I stood at the counter with my flash drive in hand. “Hi, I have a document I'd like to copy,” I said when the Office Max employee asked how she could help me.
I handed her the flash drive and told her the name of the document.
“It's the first draft of my first novel,” I gushed like an expectant mother. I couldn't help myself.
She asked me the title of the book. ( I don't have one yet.) And if I have a publisher. (Again, not yet.) It's funny. These are always the two questions I hear any time I say I'm writing a book.
Another employee joined the conversation while I waited for the print out.
"What's the name of your book?" he asked.
"Do you have a publisher?" he asked.
See what I mean?
He asked a question I could answer. “What's your book about?”
“A young woman experiences a devastating loss and becomes a mechanic to rebuild her life,” I answered.
“What's your name? I'm going to keep my eye out for that. It sounds real interesting.”
“I'm Julie Mahoney, but I'm publishing under my maiden name Steele. Look for Julie Steele. Steel with an e at the end.”
“Julie Steele. I like that. I'll keep an eye out. Good Luck.”
It took no time for the commercial printer to spit out 212 pages of Astrid's story. The woman behind the counter pulled the stack of papers—my BABY—off the copier, placed them in a box, and handed them to me. I added mini post-it notes, highlighters, and pens to my order and returned to the counter to pay. I felt breathless, jittery, excited.
I knew this sensation and when I'd experienced it before: the evening after my daughter was born. The labor had been long, and well, laborious. I was exhausted and in a lot of pain from an unexpected c-section. The nurses settled us into our room for a long morning's nap while they took my minutes' old baby to the nursery. The new day unfolded before us. We welcomed visitors. I made the first post-surgery trip out of the hospital bed. I snuggled my newborn. We exchanged rooms for a bigger one. By evening, I was wired. Blissed out by this new perfect creature in my arms. I couldn't take my eyes off of her and I couldn't stop thinking that just hours before, she'd been tucked inside me. Waiting to greet the world. With great effort on the part of me and a surgical team, we had ushered her safely here.
These memories flooded me as I walked out of Office Max cradling my book in my arms. The metaphor was not lost on me. Over the past seven months, my creative juices had flowed. An idea had gestated within me, and I had labored and delivered this book into the world. I felt breathless, jittery, excited.
I felt like a proud mama for a second time.
|212 pages of Astrid's story|