From List to Launch

Maya Bairey
3 min readMay 7, 2024

The final throes of publishing Painting Celia have been overwhelming. I somehow manage to add two tasks to my list every time I cross one off. My perfectionism could power a small city if you hooked jumper cables to me!

I’m barely keeping up with my self-imposed schedule, struggling to really truly believe the words “it’s finished!” Today I’m mired in minor tweaks (aka every individual word) of the blurb on the back of the book. Beating around my consciousness is the idea that I could just go in and edit the whole manuscript one last time, in one week. Perfection is out of reach, I tell myself. Ah, but how far out of reach? That liminal space tortures me.

Thankfully, this weekend brought a refreshing change of pace as my niece, Jaime, drove down to visit. We’ve been building her a website to showcase her photography. It’s a fledgling space so far, not ready to be shared, but I enjoyed feeling the hope and promise of starting a new creation. I did my best to ignore the thought of tasks on my list turning red as arbitrary deadlines slipped by.

How Many Hats Can I Wear?

Jaime’s website isn’t the only one I’m working on; I manage five and assist on two others, plus handle part of a Fortune 500 site at my day job. Does it sound like I should take on one more? Because I did.

I am putting together a site for Lingua Ink Media, which is my new publishing imprint. That’s right, I’m a publisher now. I’ve already taken on one author — my rascally poet friend, Sulima Malzin, whose website is one of those I manage — and have leads on other local authors. Who knows, when I step into my second career after retiring from programming, maybe it’ll be as a publisher instead of an author! The formatting and promotion and administration aspects of publishing do come naturally to me.

I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual. Gotta publish this book first!

Asking for Help, at Least

That brings me to another item on my list: getting some professional author portraits. Lucky for me, I have a photographer niece! This weekend, we finally had the photoshoot we’ve discussed for the last six months. The clock finally ran out! Taking a break from website building, we stepped out into perfect weather and lighting, and in a mere hour she had captured much better pictures of me than I ever managed myself.

The photoshoot was refreshing fun, me changing clothes and trying to not make my worried face, and Jaime getting the angles right while downplaying my ridiculously big bosom. These moments are what I’ll remember about publishing my first book. The angst will recede in memory, but I’ll never forget our laughter over some of the candid photos we got!

Each task crossed off gets me one step closer to holding Painting Celia in my hands. One of the best parts of the process has been sharing it with so many people — including you. Please remember to keep May 11 free for my launch party! Official invitations will be going out soon. The wording on those will be easier, I hope, than this blurb on the back of my book.

First published at



Maya Bairey

Maya Bairey pens tales of relatable, stuck characters who find solutions within, aided by real relationships. Discover her book, Painting Celia, at