A Gonzales nurse has recently published her first book, Paper Messages: Volume One, about the struggle of real life experiences expressed through the art of poetry.

The inspiration behind Andrea Buffert's poetry book began after her time working in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, where she experienced much loss and devastation. The only way that helped her cope with everything she went though was writing.

"Once I got my patients out safely and got home, writing was a way of relief for me," the Ascension nurse said. "I had experienced such trauma, a lot of my patients had died, and it was a way of releasing tension and anxiety."

Though she has always enjoyed writing, it was never a dream of hers to have a published piece of work, until her pastor encouraged her to share her poems as a way to inspire and encourage others.

"I write about the bad stuff in a positive way. I write about things that happened and how can I turn it around into a positive thing, an encouraging, inspiring words. I said you can either sit on this stuff or use it to bless people."

Buffert said that she only began taking her work seriously about four years ago, and began looking into the process of publishing just last year through Dorrance Publishing Co.

When Paper Messages: Volume One was released in August of 2016, she felt like she had found her second purpose in life, helping others through her poetry.

"Words could not express. I still haven't found the words to express. I know everybody is on this earth for a purpose and I know being a registered nurse that has been one of my purposes all these years, but now I feel like I am entering into my second phase. I feel like I am really doing what God wants me to do. I feel like I have a legacy to leave now."

Since Katrina, she has had written over 40 poems, though only released 29 of them in her book discssing topics such as aging, Thanksgiving traditions and emotions of everyday life. There are plans to write a volume two, and maybe even more after that.

"I definitely have more publishing to do."

The 44-page paperback poetry book can be found on Amazon or at dorrancepressroom.com.