Laura texts when she arrives at the warehouse to deliver the books. I step through the little office space that is the Marketing Department and out through the side door, out into the parking lot, where I meet her at her car. The back of the car is opened up, all those boxes of books inside. The box closest to me has an open top, and the book cover I designed sits multiplied across the surface of its contents.
The Night, and the Rain, and the River, and The Night, and the Rain, and the River, and The Night, and the Rain, and the River...
Here's the perfect example of who Laura Stanfill, writer, editor, badass publisher of Forest Avenue Press is:
She heaves up one of the huge boxes of books - one of two she's delivering to the warehouse - and tells me to follow, they're heavy, she'll come back for the other one.
I grab the second box anyway, and we start to haul them across the parking lot. That weight in my arms. It's a lovely weight. I'd like to weigh the box and know the number. I'd like to do the math in my head - add up how much of mine is in that box: the design work on the front cover, the back cover, the spine. Title page. How much of Laura's publishing ingenuity, energy, interior design. All the effort, the care, the hope.
Liz Prato's curating and editing, Clare Carpenter's art, Annie Denning Hille's copy editing. The lovingly written stories of twenty-two writers throws my number exponential. I can't do the math of all the aching ownership contained in this weight in my hands.