The Moment that Calmed My Anxious Adventure

The Moment that Calmed My Anxious Adventure

Last week I made the trek to New York City for BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States.

The venue alone was intimidating. The Javits Center boasts a total area of 1,800,000 square feet with 840,000 square feet of exhibit space. Attempting to fill it up were massive banners promoting authors such as Dan Brown and John Grisham, ticketing areas for breakfast speakers, including Stephen King and Savannah Guthrie, and mountainous stacks of programs detailing events for and by booksellers, librarians, publishers, agents, and distributors.

Even though I visited the venue before the official opening, I was more anxious than excited. My planner mode was in high gear, but there were too many variables to consider.

In fact, I was overcome with possibilities—Ha! Kinda ironic given the title of my book.

Anyway, that night, my publisher hosted a dinner for her authors, forty of us from all over the country. I rolled through the front door of the restaurant and then bobbed and weaved my wheelchair up three sets of subtle but well-designed ramps and into a beautiful atrium where I parked beside the buffet.

Animated women of all shapes and sizes filled the spacious courtyard, flitting easily from one to another while leaving snippets of their conversations in their wake.

My wheelchair, as it so often does, distanced me.

My lap and legs protrude at least three feet in front of me. Crowds often overwhelm me when I’m reduced to tucking myself in one spot, out of the way so my feet (immobile, but always adorned with funky boots) won’t accidentally trip anyone.

As I settled into my space, the heavenly aroma of fresh bread welcomed me as a few kind souls came over to introduce themselves. We chatted easily about our books before they moseyed back into the depths of the standing crowd.

Suddenly an arm popped up from amongst the crowd, flailing its way toward me.

“Becky,” I heard a muffled voice call out.

When the arm finally broke through the crowd, shiny brown hair and a big smile came along with it.

“Hi, I’m Brooke!”

It was my publisher. Brooke Warner, founder of She Writes Press. She artfully darted around my protruding boots to the side of my wheelchair and dodged my joystick to give me one of the biggest hugs I’ve had in a very long time. The words, voice, and social media images of an icon that has been guiding me for over two years suddenly became full color, three-dimensional, animated, and real. It was as if a fictional character in a beloved novel had come to life.


This omniscient being, the one who’d read, edited, and brought twenty years of my stories into a larger narrative of published works, was sitting right there beside me.

Smiling. Assured. Encouraging.

Her warmth, energy, passion, and support not only for me, but every author in that room was as steadfast and solid as the 398-pound power wheelchair I trust to help me live my crazy wheelchair life. Her savvy confidence permeated the room. My brief time with her was inspiring, restorative, and oddly calming. I felt my anxiety begin to melt away.

The next day, I was ready to take on BookExpo. Gold boots blazing.

I soaked it all up!

Every. Single. Bit.

It’s amazing what you can enjoy once you reclaim your calm.

How about you? What helps you reclaim your calm when life has too many variables? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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P. S. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers for Madison’s placement. We are making progress! And thanks so much for all the pre-orders! Next week this time, I hope many of you will have my book in your hands. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support!

Pre-order Becky’s Memoir Rethinking Possible

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