My Mental Vacation

The fact that I published my ebook Finding Faith, Finding Safe, Finding Potatoes a year ago last June astounds me.  How could an entire year go by so fast without having produced at least a 1st draft for full-length book number two? I expected that by now–eleven years after starting the book–I would have signed with a literary agent, wrapped my hands around a printed book with my name on it, gotten carpel tunnel at the dozens of book signings my publicist coordinated, along with an aggressive speaking schedule from sea to shining sea where I would win the hearts of my fans and inspire America to healthy faith.

NOT!

I have written perhaps three query letters this past year. At least I could have been self marketing my book, but even that effort has fallen to the wayside.  I’m like many other writers. We write but we don’t market our writing.  But in this day and age we must.

After reaching the momentous goal of publishing my ebook, I was emotionally pooped. Spent. Exhausted. Non-cerebral activities seemed more inviting–gardening, watching reality shows on television,reading other people’s books, cleaning house, dog whispering, and sleeping as late as my body demanded.

I am allowing myself to transition organically into the non-writing phase of my life. I accept that I am just one more wanna-be-successful author looking for an audience. I am talented but not the most talented. I write well, but I’m not the best. Many people have read my book, but more have not. I am not the most popular, the most celebrated, the most sold, but I am the most me.

Nobody can do Marsha like I do Marsha. Profound, isn’t it?

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THINK BEFORE YOU ACCEPT THAT BOOK OFFER

I received some nice compliments last week from a publisher who liked my book.  He offered me a deal.  I turned him down.

What, you turned him down? You’ve been wanting this book in print for a long time. How in the world could you pass an offer from an actual publisher when all you had to do was pay for their editing services?

Actually, their editing service was a big reason why I passed on his offer. Not because $400 (apx.) is not a good price for a thorough professional editing job, but because, based on the sample, the editing job would not be thorough or, in my opinion, professional. In fact, the edit was not even done by a human.  It was automated, like a sophisticated spell check, and pretty much limited to copy editing.

I wanted to shout the news from a mountain top, but that won’t happen. Though tempting, I recognized that this particular publisher was just not a good fit for me.

I’ve decided that it would be better to wait.

Thank you Boho Hobo!

I have not written in my blog for over two months. I was discouraged with the lack of activity on my site, so I lost enthusiasm.  But fortunately, I was wrong. Last week, I was shocked to see that several people had not only viewed my blog, but had subscribed to my blog.  My special thanks to Boho Hobo for feedback and for subscribing to my blog.  You gave me a very needed boost to keep writing.

Please visit Boho’s blog for a great adventure:

https://bohohobonomad.wordpress.com/

The Rash

I have a rash on my face.  It has been on my face in various stages of discomfort for over a month. As far as I am concerned that’s a long time. I’ve sought relief via various creams and natural substances like coconut oil, apple cider vineagar with the “mother,” my own homemade concoction, ice, and antibiotics, a medical option I avoid as much as possible. Nothing gives more than temporary, VERY temporary, relief.

Though the doctor diagnosed it as Perioral Dermititis, it still is a mystery condition. How did I get it?  How do I get rid of it? What is it REALLY?

Because nothing was really working and certain creams, according to the ariticles I read on the internet, make the condition worse, I decided to use nothing. I decided not to touch the tickly flaps of skin hanging from my upper lip, but to allow them to shed natural, just let it run their course. By the next morning, the skin flaps turned into course, pebble-like scabs. All around my mouth feels like dried paste. I can hardly open my mouth.

I didn’t start to pick it again until yesterday when I put just enough cream on my upper lip to eat a sandwich. The cream almost dissolved the pebble-like bits of skin and turned into the previous whisker-like skin flaps.  By evening, my “whiskers” were gone.  All that remained was a light pink rash around my mouth.  By evening, after applying cream, the light pink rash was a throbbing, itchy, swollen red rash.  I was so miserable, I almost asked Jerry to take me to the ER.

This morning, an even thicker “scab” has formed. It is tight, mildly itchy, and quite uncomfortable, but I’m leaving it be.  I have learned my lesson.

What is the lesson?

If you pick a scab, it will bleed and prolong healing. That’s why your mother told you not pick your scab when you were a kid. But you picked it anyway. Listen to mother when she tells you not to pick the scab. Let the scab protect the trauma.  Give it time to heal.

Even as grownups, we pick the scabs. We try to rush the healing process when we take things into our own hands (fingers) when God is our ultimate healer.  He heals the wounded.

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Unfortunately, I decided to pull my entry from the Mrs. America beauty competition this season.

Religious Abuse

I have been a victim of religious abuse and from that experience, have developed a deep desire to see others with similiar experience as my own find the grace of God.

You and some of the people you know might also have been wounded in/by a church.  If so, you are part of the primary audience of the book I wrote and published as an ebook June 2014: Finding Faith, Finding Safe, Finding Potatoes: Trading Religion for Amazing Grace.

Perhaps reading my book with be a healing experience for some you and/or someone you know.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434830

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My New Writing Project

imagesWriting a book can be daunting.  There were many moments while “birthing” my memoir Finding Faith, Finding Safe, Finding Potatoes: Trading Religion for Amazing Grace, that I didn’t know how I could ever reach my goal.  I was dramatically naive about the committment and challenges it took to write a full-length book.  I didn’t know until I read Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer–the best book on memoir writing that I have read–that memoir is one of the most difficult genres to write.  NOBODY TOLD ME.

Finding, Finding, Finding began as a five-page essay in a senior college-writing class.  My professor, the marvelous Devan Cook, encouraged me to expand the essay into a book.  Sure. I already had a head start, so why not?  Ten years later, I knew why.

Of course, now that the book is written and published as an ebook, and selling, I do not regret my choice. I am as determined as I ever was to keep writing; however, for the five months since Finding, Finding, Finding has been released, I have been at a loss as to what I should write next.

I know I do not want to take another ten years to write any thing.

When I was a teenager, I wrote several children’s books, but never followed through.  One book I wrote in England for the children I took care of.  I actually sent it to a publisher who had interest.  He suggested some improvements and invited me to resubmit the manuscript.  But I lost the book and to this day, I have can’t even remember what it was even about.

This is my news:

I have decided to write another children’s book.  As a matter-of-fact, I have begun to write it AND I have found a talented illustrator who would like to collaborate with me.  I am so excited!

This time I will follow through.

An Important Observation re: Unhealthy Faith: How Healthy is Your Church Experience?

“Religion becomes unhealthy when our attendance and service flows, not out of faith in God who has loved us in Christ and given us opportunities to serve out of that place of rest, but out of a need to be loved and find worth. Religious addiction is hard to spot because it has to do with motive. Two people could be serving side by side and one is doing it by faith in God for an eternal reward (gold, silver and precious stones; 1 Cor 3.12) while the other is doing it by faith in the behavior for a temporal reward with no eternal dividends (wood, hay and straw). Religious addicts are also usually the best workers in the church so their dysfunction is not only overlooked but rewarded. Meanwhile, their lives head for disaster.”

The above is written by Bill Jackson from a summary of the book Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn & Jack Felton (Oliver-Nelson, 1991).

http://www.philosophy-religion.org/criticism/toxicfaith.htm

Writer’s Block & Blogging: Sometimes You’ve Just Got to Jump

jumping into the water It’s a new day, the perfect time to pick myself up and make a new start.  Yes, I have fallen miserably behind my blog writing.  I had allowed myself to become discouraged. Was anyone even reading my blog?  Then, two days ago, at a church-chili contest, someone told me that they read my blog.  The news swelled my enthusisam.  Thank you, Michelle!

I’m sure that, at some point, most bloggers ask themselves if people read their blog.  But as published or wanna be published authors, we cannot afford to get discouraged.  How can you build a platform if you allow the “whoa is me” attitude  rob your vision? Readers or not, we must keep on writing.  That’s what a writer does. We write! And we believe against the odds.  We believe that, eventually, readers will come. We believe that our writing can make a differennce in someone’s life, even if it is merely as a temporary escape from a difficult day.  We write it and we hope they will read it.

Attracting readers is not the only benefit of an author’s blog.  The mere act of putting thoughts on to cyber paper–or the real thing–hones our skill as writers.  When you’re stuck, or just need a break from your writing project, whip out a blog.  Because blog writing is considerably less formal than most other writing genres, writing a blog jumpstarts the “I’m not sure what to say” roadblock.

Though good grammar and engaging style is important even in blog writing, a blog writer can write pretty much whatever comes into their mind.  Sometimes those words are boring. But at other times, they are brilliant. Boring or brillant, we have gifted ourselves with kindness simply by writing a blog–whether or not anyone reads it.

Jump in and get those creative juice bubbling.