The Dream

Last Friday, I woke up to an e-mail from my publisher. The subject line read: page proofs/Inconvenient Daughter. After I opened the e-mail, I clicked the attachment and saw this:

I cried.

I cried long and I cried hard. As I clutched my pillow and let the tears fall, I thought back to my childhood.

When I grew out of my Mulan journal, I remember taking sheets of computer paper and folding them in half. After they were even, I’d go to the kitchen and get the stapler out of the junk drawer. I’d carefully curve part of the edge under, so as to ensure the staple would fall right onto the crease.

In big letters on the front, I’d write the title of my book. Inside, I’d try to center my headings – my name on one side, the title of my book on the other, page numbers centered at the bottom. Then, I’d begin writing.

As I grew older, I used Word and get fancy with fonts and layouts. I’d print the pages, not caring how much ink I used, and insert them into sheet protectors before putting them into binders.

But this wasn’t a book I’d fashioned out of paper and staples and protector sheets…it was here and it was real.

When I picked the pages up from the printer and held the book I’d worked for pretty close to 12 years on in my hands, I couldn’t help but stare.

“Is there something wrong with the order, miss?” the cashier asked.

“No,” I said, trying not to fucking cry in the middle of the UPS Store, “nothing is wrong.”

“Are you okay?” he pressed, catching my vibe.

“Yeah, I’m great. Living the dream.”

I’ve waited and worked for this my entire life, and now it’s here. My book is finally here. Thank you for being on this journey with me, readers – it isn’t over yet <3.


About ljsharks

Lauren J. Sharkey is a Korean American writer from Long Island, NY. Her debut novel, INCONVENIENT DAUGHTER is forthcoming June 23, 2020, and is based on her experience as a transracial adoptee. Sharkey's creative nonfiction has appeared on DEAR ADOPTION,, Blind Faith Books' I AM STRENGTH collection, and others.

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