Last Saturday a long-held dream came true when I released my children’s picture books. I’ve been writing since I was a very little girl – first I did it just for me, because it was fun and I just liked making up characters and stories. Then as I grew older it became therapeutic – the perfect outlet for my tween and teen angst. Finally, I took my words out into the real world by publishing poetry and short fiction in various literary journals. And somehow that has led me to these picture books.
It felt important to celebrate a milestone, so we did. More than anything else, I wanted my party to be joyful, relaxed and fun since these are children’s books, so I had a face-painter and a balloon artist in attendance. When I saw that one little girl had stars painted all along both of her arms, I knew the entertainment was a hit! I had a great crew that kept everything running like clockwork. From the music, to the book sales table, to the story circles, to the refreshments, they managed to keep all the balls in the air so that I could focus on the attendees and autograph books with personalized notes for all the little ones there.
A very big thank you to Wine & Design Los Altos, Hey Balloon Lady, and Happy Heart Body Art for their generous raffle contributions which added a dash of excitement to the event.
Also a huge shout-out to 2 of my friends who went above and beyond for me that day. They kept an eye on things, jumped in whenever and wherever needed, and said the sweetest things about me to boot. Janice and Gina - thank you, I’m lucky to have you in my life, and I love you! To my wonderful friend and talented photographer Rohit, you may want to switch careers - thank you for capturing the day!
The launch party was fun, but it wasn't the release of the books that affected me at the end of that day. It was my realization that in the short time that I’ve been here in California, I have been blessed to find and build a village. It’s hard being away from home, and family, and friends. I still miss my Tims every morning, the Fall colors, and the anticipation of spring. But when I stood up to thank my guests and saw how many people were there out of friendship and to support me, I recognized that I’m not a transplant anymore, adrift and untethered. I saw that I belong in this new village, and my heart was full.