You are the Magic the World Needs

Between Words is out in the world. When I notice myself getting swept up in the whirlwind of to-do’s that comes with launching a book, I’ve found it helpful to pause and relish how miraculous all of this is. I tell myself to hold onto this somehow.

Some of the magic I’ve been gifted since Between Words came out. The card in the center was gifted to me by the loveliest art teacher and friend, and captures a sentiment that applies to all the amazing humans I’m lucky to have in my life; YOU.

I want to remember how much of a thrill it’s been, hearing how the book has sparked thoughtful chats about what it means to belong for caregivers and kiddos in their lives, and how these little sages have already witnessed the wonder of making friends who speak a different language.

I want to remember how much it tickles me to find out that kids are asking for the book to be read over and over, and that for many, the wordless underwater scenes are their favorite part. (Samesies!) 

I want to remember my surprise and sense of awe upon receiving unexpectedly heart-felt reactions from grown-ups. Many have reported that the book hit some kind of soft spot and made them or others in their life tear up. It’s humbling. It makes me weepy in turn, and reminds me that feeling like an outsider is a universal pain we all contend with. Sharing this experience connects us to each other—helping us realize that we’re not alone. That we belong in our non-belonging. 

Story time at The Bookies Bookstore.

I literally wanted to send thank you notes to everyone who got the book and supported it in some way. I brought this up with my partner and she thought I was NUTS. I mentioned it to some dear friends and they told me it wasn’t necessary—that they would’ve supported and shared my book regardless—that it would be INSULTING, even. (Not really. Though one friend brought up the existence of cultures that operate without “thank you” as a term because communal support is such a given. Isn’t that kind of lovely?) I might still do it…

This whole thought process did give me pause about my capacity to receive, and some of the issues around self-worth I’m still clearly needing to work out. Why does it feel so miraculous to be supported in this way? Why do I desperately feel the need to reflect (or deflect) it back? Is it me trying to claw this love into place, ensuring that it remains? Or am I just that incapable of believing that my work and I can be loved, which is what makes this so incredible and something I need to be profusely grateful for?

Whatever the reason, the truth remains that so many magical moments came to pass thanks to the beautiful souls I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by. Remembering this becomes the antidote to my struggle with finding meaning in the face of so much tragedy and injustice in the world. I anchor myself in how thankful I am. It becomes the fuel for me to be and do better.

So. All of this to say.

I’m thankful I got to celebrate with you virtually and in person.

I’m thankful I got to meet you at readings, events and book signings. 

I’m thankful for you sharing the book with other beautiful souls in your life.

I’m thankful for the celebratory treats and cards and new plant friends.

I’m thankful for the pics of the book in their new homes and out in the wild (including at ALA!!!).

I’m thankful for the messages and personal stories you have felt compelled to share back.

I’m thankful for you and that you’re here.

YOU are the magic that the world needs. Getting to bask in it has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you.



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