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Observing the beginning from outside and in

It is an unexpected joy, to see a friend's dream come to reality.

Such was the case in coming in, part way, to Sandra Hurst's journey. Sandra already had much of her novel, Y'keta, written when she introduced herself to me. I had started to attend the same monthly bookstore open mic night that Sandra did, and for whatever reason, she decided to reach out to me.

And I'm so every glad she did.

Since then, a year and a half back, Sandra and I have become fast friends, and I have been pleased to see her manuscript go from her self-proclaimed "baboon-crap" to a finished manuscript, to a proof copy, to a launched novel.

This week Sandra was overjoyed and shocked to see Y'keta on the Calgary Herald Bestsellers list (#2 even!). I wasn't shocked. I knew she would get there. For although I observed Sandra's trepidation, her worry, her small victories and blows of self-doubt, I saw Sandra's talent and magical fluidic language, spiraling around her characters, creating a world of wonder and tribal-influenced reality. From the outside, I had no doubt her novel would be a success. Not. One.

It is different, seeing a book come to reality as an outsider. Well, as a partial outsider. What I mean is, when I am publishing my own, I know the many steps I need to take. I know the late nights, the heavy decisions, the endless edits, the long waiting and weighty financials. From one step out, as a friend, I could watch her go through the same, but also lend support where I could. That meant anything needed, from suggestions on content, to praise with the cover. Wanting to make her first launch truly magical, I offered to do a few things. I didn't want credit, I just knew how stressful it could be, offering up a newly born book to the world, waiting for it to take it's first figurative steps.

Hoping it wouldn't stumble and fall. And if it did, that it would get up and continue on...

But Sandra's spread its wings and took flight instead.

As I said, it is an unexpected joy, to see a friend's dream come to reality. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did, but it was a pleasure and I look forward to it happening with many more of her stories.

Soar well, Y'keta!

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