My debut novel—a coming-of-age story titledExquisite Mariposa—makes modest use of the motif of butterflies. It was only after I sold the manuscript that I realized what I had created: a book about maturation and transcendence, set in an apartment called La Mariposa (butterfly in Spanish), that, somehow, doesn’t once use the word “metamorphosis.” Exquisite Mariposa was the working title of a Google Document I would write in whenever I couldn’t do anything else due to scarce resources. Over the course of three years, I wrote to inspire myself out of a meek triad of financial insecurity, social anxiety and attraction to abusive narcissists. Cocooned in pivotal meditation, my mind rarely made note of butterflies then.


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