Calligraphy and illustration by Fozzy Castro-Dayrit, book design by Steph Yapnayon

From This Day Forward barges into bookstores and magazine stands this month. I am all of these: relieved, proud, humbled, happy. I started working on it over a year ago. It took a while to figure out—I was inspired but confused. When I finally figured it out, it took even more time. I wrote two stories beside a river, one in my childhood home, several in my apartment on weekends accompanied by red wine and Local Natives. My life changed a lot. I fell out of touch with dear friends and made new ones; I won some and lost some; I grew up because I needed to and stayed in place because I wanted to. Then one day I finished it, and now it's here.

After four years (my editor Ines took a chance on Every Girl's Guide back in 2008), I still find it hard to believe I'm writing books. I still find it hard to believe people are reading them. Thank you, and you, and you.