Creating this new blog has been both exciting and frustrating. One of co-workers took me under wing this afternoon and showed me how to do a couple things. This was really helpful!
Small world moment. This week I was talking to a friend of mine about my book. It turns out that has a dear friend who is an established author and blogger who frequently visits book blog sites. She runs a writers critique group for new writer's 1-2 days a month in addition to being the head of a general writers support group. I asked my friend if she had this lady's contact information and she said "I can do better than that because she lives here. Actually, she lives about 10 minutes from your house" OMG! I was stunned. So, I sent this lady an e-mail inviting her to read my blog and she has invitied me to join her new writer's group! OMG! I am so excited but I'm also terrified. Sitting with a whole group of people while they critique your work feels a little terrifying to me
August 2nd. 2012
My first writers group meeting tonight! I loved it! It was so exciting to sit with other writers and talk about writing. Heard a presentation on the elements of story telling. Did two exercises. It was really enlighting. Everyone talked about how they all critique and edit each other to make their work the best it can be. And yet I did not sense any judgments or criticisms. Feedback appears to be what is freely exchanged. This came as a relief to me. I have spent far too many years around those who are so quick to condemn the efforts of others.
Kate, who seems to be the leader I think, gave me some really insightful advice. I can tell why she and Jo are friends. I sense the same resilent spirit I know so well in Jo and the thing I like about Kate is she is completely real. Like Jo, she tells it like it is--cards on the table. As I have told Jo so many times, I really respond well to people like this because I will never have to question where I stand and I know I can trust what Kate and the others say. There is a grate deal of emotional security in that. This leaves me free to explore and grow in my writing. I was sorry when the meeting was over because I could have stayed for hours talking and listening to these wonderfully insightful people.
I have to admit to a certain amount of envy for Amie who is about to get her book published! Wow! I have dreamed of just that for years, My prayers is that someday my dream will be realized, I was excited to meet her tonight after reading her website,
The other ladies were so nice, so encouraging, I cant wait til next month!
August 18th, 2012
Got a call a few days ago from my dear friend. She said she was talking with the leader of my writers group. She said "Kate said you're a brilliant writer. You are the kind of un-discovered talent she loves to find. She said 'she's going to get published and she's going to be awesome" It's hard for me to describe what I was feeling at that moment. This editor has been in the business for 25 years and has herself been published multilple times. She is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup series among other things. That such an accomplished author and editor would say this about me and my writing is really incredible to me. Kate said she wants to work with me, to help me further develop my writing talent. She said she sees a few areas where I could use some formal training. She runs another group comprised of other talented writers and normally charges an expensive fee for her services In my case, however, she has offered to work with with me free of charge. Wow! What a privlege. That such a blessing would literally fall into my lap tells me there can be only one explanation---its a God thing.
August 25th, 2012
Got my first formal review from Kate a couple days ago. She's tough! I like her though. She's honest, straight up. no nonsense. I like that. She told me a lot of good things about my work. And then she gave me a looong list of corrections and revisions that are needed before we can look towards publication. I get that and I knew that would happen but holy buckets is this a frustrating process!!
No wonder it can take people years to write and publish books.Writing has always been the one area in my life where I have always excelled. And now I feel like I don't know how to write at all. Geez.
So I sit with my computer and I try to do the re-writes. I sent a new page to her tonight just to see if I'm on the right track.
Work has been a real strain.My agency is going through re-accreditation. Good heavens! what a pain! I cant wait until they're gone. Working 45 hours a week doesn't give me much writing time.
August 26th, 2012
Talking to one of the ladies on my book site. Seems like a nice lady. She has offered tp help me with my revisions. I never turn down help. So I sent her a passage to see what ideas she might have.
September 1st, 2012
It's been almost 4 years ago that I married my hubby. Wow where does time go? Such a blessing I had tonight. I had the chance to have a long chat with a friend from my book blogs site. Such a cool lady she is too. Thanks Roxanne.
Still trying to work on edits from Kate. Meeting this coming Tuesday.
September 28th, 2012
Been on vacation this week. Wonderful. Chance to re-charge my batteries. Kate, my editor, requested I write an outline for the book. So I did and sent it right back to her. She was surprised I did it so fast. Actually, it wasn't hard its been in my head for years. She loved it! Yes, sooo excited I finally sent in something she likes without a million edits! LOL!
Today is my hubby's birthday so I'm off to collect my paycheck and buy him a birthday present.
October 7th, 2012
Met a guy named Lee Warren at my writers group on Thursday night. He explained to me the difference between CB or Christian Booksellers and AB or American Booksellers. The more I learn about this process, the more I realize I don't know, It feels really overwhelming sometimes. Lee tells me authors usually don't get to design their book jackets. That sucks! Afterall, what does some graphics person know about my book? Pisses me off.
October 26th, 2012
Met this nicest lady at the grocery store. She has a beautiful daughter. I mentioned it to her and as we were chatting, I mentioned I am a writer. She asked me if I write books and I told her I was working on my first book. And then, of course, comes the inevitable question "What's your book about?" Gee, how to answer that in the middle of a crowded grocery store. I opted for the generic version with her daughter standing there. I gave her my website and invited her to visit and then she will understand the topic of my book. Will she visit? I really don't know. She may think I'm just some kooky woman in the grocery store. Meanwhile my editor has not responded to my latest material I sent her. Frustrating
Welcome to 2013
February 3rd, 2013
Havent done much with the writer group lately. Kat says it feels like I've dropped out of their lives and I guess in a way I have. Between hubby's never ending overtime and my own work schedule transportation has been a huge problem. As frustrated as I get with my disability, I am so incredibly blessed. In recent years, I have met others who were born with the same illness I had. Not one of them is able to live independently. They remain at home with their families. And I am reminded that whatever frustrations I face in my daily life, others struggle with burdens far greater than mine.
That said, the burden of not being able to drive is a real pain at times.
February 18th, 2013
Working on my article "Do You Want Justice or Revenge?" For some reason, I feel overwhelmed at the task of writing a whole book right now so I'm focusing on writing some things for my blog.
March 6th, 2013
Been sick most of this year so far. 6 weeks of meds and doctors. Finally, I am starting to feel better. due to go back to work Monday. Cant wait to see what a mess that is. Why do I have this feeling I may not have a job?
Welcome to 2014
July 30th, 2014
Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this journal. So much has happened. I'm not working with Kate anymore. We had some creative differences. She kept pushing for more details, more descriptions and I kept telling her survivor's don't need those details in their heads, they have enough of their own. I kept telling her this book is about hope and healing. I'm also looking more and more at self-publishing. There are pros and cons to this which I will need to carefully evaluate.
Our crazy work schedule has not improved. So in the little down time I have at night, I am trying to update this blog and Im also working on a genealogical history of my family. Now there;s an addiction for you. lol! So fascinating I have spent many hours in the library discovering the stories of my ancestors..
And I grieve the loss of my dear friend Jo. A simple mis-understanding was apparently all she needed to end a 14 year friendship. You will be in my prayers Jo.
Just recently, I have exchanged a few Facebook messages with an incredible talented young singer named Christopher Dallo. What a treat and what an honor he said he would to see my work. Wow.
Welcome to 2015
Where does the time go? Another year is here. I'm still working on my writing when I can. This year saw the final resolution of the accident case. That horrible day 6 years ago when my life changed forever after being hit by a car. I haven't written the story of the accident yet because with the case still pending in legal channels, Now that its finally behind us, I feel I cab finally write that chapter but it will have to wait a bit yet. I write whatever I feel in my spirit to write and Im not there yet.
In the meantime, I discovered this incredible website for genealogy. It has a live chat room where I have met such lovely people looking fir their own family stories. One of the ladies I met there is featured on my web page. She is an awesome proofreader/editor. I have made a goal for myself to finish "Reaching for the Light" in the next two years. Sometimes people ask me where they can order my book and I must tell them its not done yet. lol!
Jan 17th 2015
Had lunch with a dear friend today. I would never have imagined this woman exactly 1/2 my age could be such a blessing to my life and yet she is. She has read about a significant portion of my book and told me she couldn't put it down. What a compliment!
February 8th 2015
Very exciting right now with the development of my book. I have been writing like crazy! To date, almost 27,000 words! Working with a team of 4 outstanding women who are serving as my Beta readers. One devoted lady runs her own publishing house. My team of 4 has been reading the first writes on various sections of the book and offering their valuable feedback. So great. Writing this book is proving to be amazingly therapeutic. I knew it would do me good to write it but its more than I expected. When things threaten to make me crazy at work. I just remind myself I have gone through much harder things than this.
February 15th, 2015
Added two new readers to my team. One very nice gentleman. My spirit feels its time to take the step of including a man's view.
February 17th, 2015
Cover of the book previewed and chosen. Claire, my editor, posted a promo on Facebook today! So exciting! Looking at it made me feel so proud. I have had this dream in my head for so long. I can't believe this really going to happen. I showed the Facebook posting to my work partner who also happens to be my supervisor. I decided I wasn't going to let that bother me. She thought it was awesome and exciting.
Febuary, 23rd, 2015
OMG! I have over 1,300 hits on the website! This is incredible. My editor told me tonight I have hit 40,00 words on the manuscript.!
February 26th, 2015
Met with the pastor of my church last night to share the news of my book. He was so excited for me. He said "It sounds like you are ready to share your story and it sounds like an amazing story" He also said "With the publication of this book, you are beginning a ministry to help other women. Thats just awesome" We talked about putting together a survivor's support group at the church lead of course by me. wow that's just so cool.
March 4th, 2015
I have been gradually sharing with my co workers and superiors at work about my book. The executive director said to me "How many people would take such a horrible experience and do with it what you are doing with it? Not many. You are going to do such great good with this book. There is much of this out there and we don't talk about it enough" Wow. This coming from someone I have such respect for really made my day.
Book cover is going to have to be changed. Pics I like are copy righted. Oh well.
March 21st, 2015
Spending the weekend working on the section of the book I will take with me to the conference. What conference? See my post on that. I can't wait!
April 17th, 2015
I'm beginning to think that the blessings I have received on this journey are meant for a much greater good. My new writers group is fun and quite helpful. Talking to Lee Warren and he was surprised I have no formal agreement with Claire, my publisher. Recommended I call a copyright lawyer. Okay, so try try to google that. Very confusing. So I e mailed my lawyer from the accident. Lawyers know each other right? And the blessing of the divine is mine again. Turns out her own husband is a copyright lawyer! We have a meeting with him next Thursday. In the meantime,I gave him my website so he can get an idea what this book is about.
May 21st, 2015
Today I met one the sweetest vampires. She works in the lab attached to the professional center where my doctor works. The good doctor's nurse could not get a blood sample from me. This is not news. I have deep hard to find veins and IV's and blood samples are a major pain literally. So I'm sent down to the lab where the experts who stick people for a living work. I met the nicest lady who immediately knew what to do. She warms my hands up and then takes the blood needed out of my finger instead of another vein. Saved me much discomfort and still accomplished the mission. So while she is milking my finger we were making conversation and I told her about my book project. She got really excited! It was so touching. Here she doesn't know me from adam but wants a copy of my book. She tells me "You are more of a blessing than you even know" How cool is that!
May 23rd, 2015
Got the page layout for Chapter One today. Looks awesome. Gives me a rush to see it as it will go to print. So awesome! Finished the final draft for The Father The Monster chapter 4. Whew! That was tough.
May 25th, 2015
Tonight I got to meet my publisher via video chat. So much fun! So nice to see her in person and actually speak to her. She has the most charming accent. I love it. This way if I ever met her in person I will know what she looks like and she she will know me. She said it was nice to meet the author she has been working with for so many months now. The face behind the story.
June 14th, 2015
I'm overwhelmed by the numbers of people who have visited my website! As of today, 2, 021 people have visited this website. That's incredible. My hope is that this will translate into hope for other survivors of this horrific crime.
June 21st, 2015
Met this nicest lady in chat tonight. As we chatted awhile she tells her name is Katharine. Turns out, she is a therapist who left the job because of the incredible paperwork burden. I know about that. I love therapists. Therapists gave me my life back so they are quite special to me. She said she has worked with survivors so she knows the challenges we face. I gave her my website. She said she is going to read it later. As of tonight 2,065 visitors! That just blows me away.
I am so close to finishing the book.
July 18th, 2015
The last couple weeks have been really tough on me. June 25th talking to my dear sister. She tells me something that rocks my world. As we begin comparing our memories other pieces fall into place for me and I know that my mother knew or at the very least suspected what my step father was doing. I have long suspected she knew more than she will ever admit but the confirmation of this is devastating to me. So I'm back to seeing a therapist again.
August 30th, 2015
The numbers on the website continue to climb. Almost 2,600 people! Thats just an incredible number! Looks like we may be able to release the book in October. My publisher posted a great promo for me but it crossed over to my personal FB page so I had to delete it.
September 26th, 2015
I heard the term "collateral damage" used in a show I was watching this weekend and it struck me how true this is for my family and suddenly whole passages began flowing through my head and I sat down at the computer and started writing what was in my head. The result is the afterward that is now part of the book. I told my proofreader/editor I almost feel like the book is writing itself sometimes.
David and I just returned from a great vacation. We really needed the break to get away from everything for awhile. This coming Wednesday I have my first session with my new therapist. The first lady I was seeing Nikki was great and I will miss her. Now I have Monica.
October 7th, 2015
The book is nearly done. I'm hoping to finish the last bits this week. My first session with Monica went well. I like her. I can't cope with work right now too much anxiety and stress so the doctor has me on leave. I need a break. It gives me time to finish my book. Can't wait to see it in print.
November 12th, 2015
So much has happened! The book is completed and in the hands of my publisher to be formatted into book form. After that, we go to copyright and then finally, after 4 years of hard work, its RELEASE TIME!!! I have been invited to do a book signing at our university fir the book store. This is one of our two major state universities with around 16,000 students. Holy cow! I never saw this coming.
When I told my therapist, she got all teary she was so happy for me.
November 22nd, 2015
Meeting at the university went well. Good chance my book will be carried in the university bookstore I am so excited! Meanwhile I quit work. Planning to go back to school for a degree in creative writing. Looking at career change. After 20 years in human services I've had enough. Waiting for book to finish formatting then we go to copyright.
December 27th, 2015
Publisher has finished formatting book. She did a fabulous job! Sent it to me as "proof" draft for me to review and do any changes I wanted and tag any changes for her to do. Also to check every period, every comma, all spelling, etc. book is 328 pages long and 94,000 words. Wow I guess I had a lot to say lol!. And yet we have so much material left over, so much we had to cut to keep the book a manageable and marketable length. In looking at the material we have left, much of it deals with the struggles of relationships. It's like after therapy has worked its healing magic and we have recovered enough to have a real life then what? How do we go about putting our life together in a way thats positive and healthy? So, my publisher and i were talking about this issue and she suggested I write another book on this very thing so that will be my next book project for 2016-17. The new book will be called "Living in the Light of Healing: Incest Survivors and the Challenge of Relationships"
In the meantime, we are hoping to launch "Reaching for the Light" sometime in January or February but thats just really a guess because we have no real idea how long it will take to get through copyright once we get there. Copyrights I'm told are processed in the order received so it just depends on how busy they are at the time my book arrives there. It could be two weeks, it could be months.
Before we can get to copyright though, I need to get the book back to my publisher so she can do final touches. She said it would be most efficient to send the book back as an e mail attachment. She explained to me how to do this and it certainly sounded simple enough. That should have been my first clue that it was going to anything but. Long story short, David my sweet man spent two hours, yes I said TWO HOURS trying to get my computer to perform this task. This most annoying pile of microchips will have none of it. Complicating the issue is that the book does not show up in my document library and we don't know why or how to get it there. So David tried to link up my e mail to microsoft word so I could send it that way. No dice. Finally, the dear man gave up in frustration. I am convinced its related to this major headache called Windows 8 which I have on my computer. I didn't ask for it and I swear I will never own another computer with Windows 8.
January 15th, 2016
Welcome to 2016. With a bit of help from sister Lydia I got my attachment worked out. Book is fully done and will be delivered to copyright lawyer this coming week. Lawyer will send to copyright office via FedEx. And then we wait for copyright to be issued. As soon as copyright is issued we can release book to Amazon.com. I'm so excited to think this book that I actually started writing in 1996 is finally going to be published!! And the numbers on my website continue to grow every day. I'm so overwhelmed and so grateful for all the people who have visited my web site.
April 29th, 2016
It's been awhile since I updated this journal. The book was submitted to copyright on January 29th, 2016. My copy lawyer told me the copyright office has extended their processing times for all pending copyrights. The copyrights are processed as they are received. My literary team and I are patiently waiting for the copyright certificate to be issued. Meanwhile, the book is being reviewed by a selected "test audience" across the globe. The feedback I have received from this group has provided a glimpse of how the book may be received by the public at large when its released for world wide sales. The response has been extraordinarily positive which is enormously gratifying and exciting to me and my team.
In the meantime, my computer woes continued when I tried to update my computer to Windows 10 as I'm told its a better, more user friendly system. A good word processing system is critical for a writer. I have struggled with Windows 8 since purchasing the computer 3 years ago. After uploading and installing Windows 10, the computer crashed and died. I took it to a repair place that was supposed to be reputable. I was told the system could not be repaired by the technicians at the shop and would have to be sent to the Sony factory---in Japan, This sounded a bit extreme to me and the price I was quoted was equally extreme. My suspicions were aroused so I consulted the instructor for the computer class I'm taking. He has extensive experience in computers. He shared my suspicion which was very validating to me. He suggested I might be better off with a new computer pre-programmed with Windows 10. I took his suggestion and David and I purchased a new computer. The problem then was how to retrieve 3 years of book material from the other computer. God always gives us what we need when we need it. With the assistance of a skilled technician at the place we had purchased the new computer who spent hours using strategies known only to computer geeks, he was able to retrieve the material and transfer it on to an external hard drive where it is safely preserved. What a relief! Lesson learned for me: Always back up your work some place safe.
Tonight begins the annual writer's conference weekend! Always one of the highlights of the year for me. The opportunity to fellowship with other authors, editors, publishers etc is such a high.
May 7th, 2016
The writer's conference was awesome! I met with a best selling author for 45 minutes and did a mentoring session focused on the cover for my new book project and how to effectively edit the book reviews from the select group of folks who have pre-viewed the book. It was an incredible opportunity for a new author. So far, all the reviews have been overwhelming positive and I will be posting a new one each month as we wait for the release of Reaching for the Light. I'm hoping for sometime in late July or early August. In the meantime, the number of people visiting this site for the book continues to blow me away. As of today, I have had 5,080 people visit this site. That's the size of a small town! These numbers underscore just how important this issue is.
Next year, I will have Reaching for the Light in the conference book store! In the meantime, exciting things are happening with my second book Searching for the Light Together: Incest Survivors and the Challenge of Relationships. My own survivor sister Becky has brought her artistry talent with photography to design the book cover. Becky is a much sought after free lance photographer and many of her pictures are breath taking. I can't to see what she puts together. For me as an author, having my sister design the book cover is such a gift and eliminates any potential copyright issues. Its a great advantage.
May 18th, 2016
Phone conference with copyright lawyer this week. It looks like the much awaited release of Reaching for the Light: An Incest Survivor's Story is just around the corner! I'm looking for a release date very soon. I'm so excited!
My sister Becky has presented me with a stunning book cover for the second book. Oh yeah, she's good! The cover will be featured in the back of Reaching for the Light. We are shooting to release Searching for the Light Together: Incest Survivors and the Challenge of Relationships in the summer of 2017.
A third book The Light Through the Trees: Trauma Survivors Through the Generations is also being planned to complete the series. My team and I are projecting a possible release in the fall of 2018.
As of today, the numbers on my website continue to climb every day. The response to Reaching for the Light in social media is immensely gratifying. I've not gotten a single negative review for the book from everyone who has previewed it across the globe.
Stay tuned! We're almost there!
June 18th, 2016
Just 14 days until Reaching for the Light makes it world wide debut! It's been an amazing adventure on the way to publication. I can't wait!
July 31st, 2016
Just now getting a minute to catch up my journal here. It's been an exciting month. Reaching for the Light made its debut on Amazon.com and Kindle July 4th. In just its first week, it earned 5 star reviews. I didn't know this until a friend who had ordered the book said to me "Did you know you have 5 stars?" What a rush. Thanks so much to everyone who has ordered the book on Kindle or print.
We are now looking at releasing the sequel Searching for the Light Together on Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2017 so my team and I will be really busy the next few months with this second book project. It's a bit scary for me because I spent 4 years writing Reaching for the Light so to complete a second book and be ready for publication in just 7 months is a very different experience.
And yet readers of Reaching for the Light have let me know they are eagerly awaiting the next book.
So, I better get writing! The journey continues, stay tuned!
January 4th, 2017
Our initial goal of releasing the next book on Valentine's Day proved to be a bit more optimistic than practical. We have revised our target for the summer. I'm excited about the new material. There is a chapter called "Sister Survivors" which is very special. Most of this chapter was written by my two sisters, Becky and April, and tells their stories of what our step father did to their lives. I am so honored to have the Pastor of my church write the preference to Searching for the Light.
David and I will be attending various book events throughout the year to promote the message of hope and healing for all survivors.
February 4th, 2017
To date, more than 7,000 people have visited this site. That's a small city! In just 4 weeks, my Facebook page is now being followed by 93 people. The message of hope and healing is spreading and I'm couldn't be more excited. I have two more book events coming up next month and then in April is the annual writers conference. Its a major event attended by writers, editors, publishers and just anybody in the book world. Its my favorite event two days exchanging story ideas, writing techniques, etc. Its a rush! Its an expensive weekend but worth every penny. My book is now in a retail book store in my city. Its a life long dream come true. Seeing my book on a bookstore shelf is one of the greatest thrills of my life.
February 9th, 2017
The new book is taking on a personality of its own. Its funny how that works. As this book comes together, I again am so blessed to have some very special people on this project with me. The Pastor of my church wrote a beautiful eloquent preface. My two sisters have contributed their own stories of survival. This, then, is their story too. And there are others who have generously contributed their time and talents to this project.
February 27, 2017
I'm working with a new proof reader for this second book. She is highly educated in English grammar and punctuation. She lives here in the U.S. and I'm not sure if that makes a huge difference but she gets my vision for this book and she catches the little things I miss as my creative juices flow through my fingers onto my keyboard. My brain frequently runs faster than my fingers can type which inevitably leads to typos, mis-spellings, and grammar errors. She takes this raw material and refines it correcting my many mistakes. Writers never work alone and I am blessed to have such dedicated people who care about my work.
May 20th, 2017
It's been a tough couple months for David and I. I haven't gotten to catch up my journal here. The part of the marriage ceremony that goes "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health." There's a reason that's in there and I find myself reflecting on it those words as David's recovery continues. Just as he never left my side after my surgery, the positions are now reversed and now it is I who stands by his side offering all the love and support I have for him. In March, I was one of 8 local authors featured for an "Author's Day" for one of two state universities in our state. I did a 45 minute presentation on my book and on the sober and tragic statistics of the number of people who are, have been, and will be victims of sexual assault before their 18th birthday. It went very well and resulted in my having a personal meeting with two survivors. I'm proud to have my book now carried in the university book store. The last weekend of April was the annual Writer's Conference in my city. This is a major event here and attracts authors, new writers, editors, publishers, etc from all over the U.S. It's essentially a Who's Who of the book world. I eagerly look forward to event each year because I learn so much and there is nothing quite like spending the weekend surrounded by people like me who love writing as much as I do! What a rush. I had the incredible opportunity to have a coaching session with a New York Times best selling author for 45 minutes who reviewed the cover and book outline for my new book project Searching the Light: Incest Survivors and the Challenge of Relationships. The cover is displayed on my blog and got rave reviews at the conference. I cant take much credit for its design though. It was done by photography talents of my sister Becky and the graphic talents of Claudia Plaisted. Due to the demands of other life events, the book is taking longer than I expected to complete the initial draft.