Last night something very exciting happened: I welcomed Basket Case: A Short (Short) Story Collection to the world. Not only that, but I did it with some of my closest friends and family at my first-ever public book launch event at the Book Revue in Huntington, NY.
I'm not sure if my anxiety has ever been higher. I can say that as I stepped up to the podium to speak, I started to regret the cup of cold brew I had at dinner just minutes before. But something happened when I got up there and looked out into the crowd. Every single person who was there, friends and family, friends of friends and family, each and every one, was there for me. Each person had given up whatever other plans they may have had that night to come celebrate Basket Case with me - to welcome this little book, my second self-published title and first collection of fiction, into the world. And that was amazing feeling.
I can't say that the anxiety washed away. That's not something that just happens with a revelation and a deep breath. But I can say that the overwhelming gratitude I felt made speaking a whole hell of a lot easier.
Last night went off without a hitch, due in large part to the exceptional gathering of people in attendance and the hard work of Eemaan Jameel and the rest of the staff at the Book Revue. My heart is warm still just thinking about how my little book brought all of these people together for this one night of celebration.
To all who attended, thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all those who made last night possible, a bigger thank you still. The hand cramps leftover from signing all of those books will fade, but the memories of last night will last a lifetime.