Monday, October 16, 2017

A Book Is Born—THE AFTER GLIMPSE


At book clubs I’m often asked where my ideas come from. The concept for THE AFTER GLIMPSE (available now) was first sparked in an ice cream shop in Wethersfield, Connecticut years ago. The owner takes pictures of her patrons and hangs the Polaroid photographs all over the shop, so even the ceiling is covered. I knew somewhere inside that shop existed a picture from when my mom had visited the ice cream shop with us years earlier. When my family went back to the same store years after my mom’s visit, I spent time hunting among the hundreds of pictures for the one the owner took of my mom and my girls. Suddenly, I was overcome with a stab of nostalgia, thinking how cool it’d be if I found the photograph, and my dad, who’d passed away years before my mom visited, somehow materialized in the picture next to my mom.

I found the picture. My dad wasn’t in it.

…and so a book was born.

In the process of writing this book, and now releasing it, I understand how this book is about grief, but it’s also about so much more.

Our lives—every relationship—every interaction counts for something and as one endorser so profoundly put it . . . “maybe there’s more going on around us than we know.”

The After Glimpse is available in paperback and ebook formats—TODAY.



*If you read & enjoy, please consider writing a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Outings



In the midst of all that’s chaotic out there I’m thrilled to let you know my novel, The After Glimpse, releases in ONE week! Everything leading up to release day has kept me super busy. Here are a few of the many things I’ve been invested in…

The After Glimpse is now on Goodreads. Tell the world you want to read it by clicking that cool green Want to Read button.

While at soccer practice last week, I had the pure joy of Facetiming with an endearing group of women. They discussed my book, The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James, and asked me thought-provoking questions related to the book. I was greatly encouraged by my interaction with this Florida book group.

In a few days I’m visiting my first Georgia book club! I can’t wait to see what the group thought of Ellory and Pete. Will let you know how it goes. If you’re a member of a book club interested in discussing any of my books, I’d love to know—and participate. Please reach out!

I’ve begun the initial stages of planning a local Book Release Party for The After Glimpse. Cannot wait to share more details about this in coming weeks.

Another women’s fiction manuscript has captivated my focus. I’m deep in the editing stages. Goal is to pitch this one soon.

Finally, if somehow your eyes skimmed over this before, The After Glimpse releases in ONE WEEK, on Monday, October 16th. I seriously cannot wait for you to get your hands on this one. I’ve been told by more than one person (both have read all of my published works) that this one is their favorite.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Small



I feel small on mornings like this. I’d planned on sharing all of the exciting things I have going on this month, including several book club visits and the release of THE AFTER GLIMPSE, but I’ll save the updates for next week.

Instead I woke to news of the deadliest mass shooting in America.

And my heart atrophies.

Another day I must teach myself to embrace the significance of humanity. There are days I’m certain the world has gone mad, then I remind myself it’s always been this way. Even when my heart falters I will slam up against the madness. In this short time I have here, I’m determined to create a spark against all that breeds pain.

My thoughts and prayers are with the grieving.

“People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.” 
–Mark Zusak, The Book Thief



*picture is of the sky this morning when I drove my eldest to school

Monday, September 18, 2017

Write Angry


Something happened yesterday that royally pissed me off. During an away game one of our soccer players fell to the ground injured. Immediately the parents for the opposing team launched an aggressive attack against the ref and his “poor” call after giving us a free kick. Their screaming escalated and was, in my opinion, beyond classless. Our player lie writhing in pain only feet from these parents and they had the audacity to spew about what they believed was an unfair call. Let me shed a little more light on the situation. The ref had made a few questionable calls during the game so far—this was not one of them. Also, the injury didn’t occur during a breakaway. And our player has to get an X-ray for what could be broken fingers.

I seriously kept thinking is this how it’s going to be—the world my kids are going to live in? I think this a lot and it tends to freak me out. I have to mollify myself with the whole be the change self-talk. I maintained self-control and I’m proud of that because every muscle in my body was ordering me to go off on those parents. Instead I took a little walk and breathed.

You could say I was just a tad angry. Rightfully so.

There are plenty of times in life we should be angry. It’s the most appropriate response to injustices we see around us. Someone once told me the things that trigger the most anger in us are signposts, informing us of the issues where we’re most impassioned and positioned to respond—to inflict change.

Here’s where the writing part comes in. I understand the argument for writing sound, for dealing with your emotions before you tap out the first word so your work will be coherent and well-punctuated.

Hogwash.

I say write hot. Three reasons why I stand by this . . .

Passion

When you write angry your passion will be evident in your words—it will seep into every sentence. People will feel that passion and latch onto it. It’ll create emotion in others. Your anger will present people with a choice. Your work will hold up a sign that says I care about this. Will you?

The Geyser Inside

Sometimes you don’t know how strongly you feel about a subject until you begin exploring your feelings on the page. Writing is an optimal way to unleash these untapped emotions. It’s incredible what your impassioned indignation may look like when it’s finally free to spread out and find a home on the page. No matter what it looks like, I guarantee it will demand attention. It also has the potential to introduce you to an assortment of other things you had no idea you were feeling. Hello, geyser inside.

Connection

I didn’t know the parents from my team were bothered by the embarrassing actions of the parents from the other team until I took my little calming walk. It’s then that I heard the comments. Guess what? They were fuming mad too. It’s exactly for this reason that writing hot is important. When you write angry you have the potential to create powerful empathy. You motivate others to care and move to action. You connect with readers.


*All this to say I’ve noticed people seem to get angry at the slightest things anymore. Then they spew like crazy with little self-control. Let’s get angry when anger is merited. Then, let’s follow Toni Morrison’s example. “I get angry about things, then go on and work.”

Monday, September 11, 2017

Spirit-churning

I’m more than a little slammed right now with self-imposed deadlines and life in general. Still, I wanted to inspire you in some small way today. The following three quotes speak to me. 
Hoping they will speak to you today.



The success of love is in the loving—it is not in the result of loving.” Mother Theresa

“Hope is not about proving anything. It's about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” ―Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

“Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly.” ―Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

Monday, August 28, 2017

When a Book Moves In


Balance? I’ve heard this word and it always rings strangely in my ears. This is especially the case when I’m in the midst of a tricky edit or when a rough draft is practically writing itself.

It’s more like triage around here. And I’ve come to accept that and thank God so has my family.

When a book moves in I’m aware of all that goes by the wayside. My methodology to keeping some semblance of balance comes down to this: the important stuff gets done.

Everything else … {shrugs}

Right now I’m not only hosting one book in my brain, I’ve got two roaming around up there making quite a ruckus. Working through edits. Picking up dirty socks. Wiping down streaky mirrors. These characters can make a raging mess. And they love to hog my attention.

I’ve trained them to sleep when my kids are home. They’re not great sleepers. I’ve debated slipping them some NyQuil, but so far it hasn’t come to that. There are some nights they’ve stayed up partying so hard, pinging inside my head until the wee hours, they end up crashing hard during the day. Crazy house guests these books are.

But I suppose I love them and I haven’t yet found a way to kick them out (trust me, I’ve tried). In the meantime, you might see my kid wearing two different types of cleats or you may wonder how long can clean clothes rest on a bedroom floor before they’re considered dirty again.

Some people crave physical order before they’re ready to face the day. For me it’s all about mental order and mental order begins with me preparing my kids for school, kissing them goodbye, then shaking my house guests awake, never knowing what surprises I’m about to encounter

A Book Is Born—THE AFTER GLIMPSE

At book clubs I’m often asked where my ideas come from. The concept for THE AFTER GLIMPSE (available now) was first sparked in an ice c...