Tag: memoirs

Official Release Day For The Virgin Wife Chronicles

DSC03361movie e1300150650491 Official Release Day For The Virgin Wife Chronicles

Weeping Cherry Tree | Spring 2009

Hello friends!  Just wanted to let you know that I am over here today for the official release of The Virgin Wife Chronicles.

It’s been a day full of mixed emotions…

  • relief that release day is out of the way
  • relief that the website is *almost* done
  • frustration that the password protected content wasn’t working (it was working just fine a couple of days ago – so I didn’t bother testing it again)
  • anxiety over how the Chronicles will be received
  • fear of being able to keep up with the writing at a pace that keeps the readers engaged

I’ve found peace with the fact that the password protected content didn’t work out… maybe it’s a gift in disguise as it will give would-be readers a chance to see what they can expect in future chronicles and encourage them to subscribe.

After publishing what ended up being the first Chronicle, I realized how much content I don’t have written yet. What’s in the first release was really meant to be two different Chronicles.  After putting the first part in, it seemed too sparse, so I added more to it.  I’m trying not to compare too much with other online serials, but I see that mine definitely won’t have the word count that others have.  Maybe in time as I get more comfortable with the writing process…

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What I Learned From Siddhartha Part I
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What I Learned From Siddhartha Part I

12YDF00Z What I Learned From Siddhartha Part I

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse came into my life at the perfect time.  My soul was yearning for something deep, and Siddhartha delivered.  It’s been on my book list for over a year – sometimes you wonder how those serendipities work themselves out.  It’s magical.

Background of the Book:

To give a little background for those who have not read it, Siddhartha is a young boy who leaves the faith of his father to go on his own spiritual journey.  It follows him through five major shifts in his life and through to his old age.  He experiences and leaves beautiful relationships along the way, always remaining loyal to his purpose and ideals.

At one point Siddartha feels very, very alone.  He didn’t belong to the Brahmin’s anymore, nor the Samana’s.  He had nowhere to say anymore, “I belong here.”  He felt like something was gone from him, he had shed his skin like a snake does.  It left him lonelier than ever.  Yet it allowed him to see the world new for the first time… things that were always there, but now viewing with new eyes.

My Own Story With Loneliness:

I know this pain of loneliness.  The first time I felt this level of loneliness was in my first marriage.  I had entered into this contract with my boyfriend, and God, to be married and become one.  But we never became one… not physically, not spiritually, not emotionally.  I didn’t believe in divorce.  So I did what I had to… I lived the lie.  I lived a quiet, lonely death, where the outside world saw the facade, the life we wanted them to see.  (I can’t go here right now – it’s too deep, too much for right here in this post.  For more of this, please subscribe to The Virgin Wife Chronicles.)

The second time I experienced this level of loneliness was when I was converting to a faith not of my family.  I was transitioning from feeling like I belonged in my family, my tribe, to not fitting anymore, and grasping at straws to learn how to fit differently.  And then I was in this transit space where I felt like I didn’t belong in my family and I wasn’t part of this new tribe that I was converting into yet.

I can tell you that these dark chasms (and that is what they are) are where we find ourselves.  No longer do we get to parade a banner belonging to this group or that tribe… instead we are left alone, with only our own thoughts, demons, prayers, and epiphanies.  There are no coattails to ride, no thoughts to borrow, no cloaks to cling to.  It’s a space that will either lead us to death and despair, or to life and joy.  Our choice.  Our courage.  Our bravery.

I wish I knew how to help others choose the path of life and joy.  But I don’t know how I did it.  I don’t know how I went from my path of destruction to my path of life.  I was headed for death.  Truly headed for death.  (Do I have to say it?)  And then, after years of disconnected prayers, stacks of books, torrents of tears, depths of despair, something gave.  I found courage.  I took baby steps.  I chose life.  I survived.  I’m living.  I’m breathing.  That world I left behind feels like some remote incarnation.

But I can’t tell you ‘how’.

It’s an answer I seek diligently.  I want nothing more than to be able to tell you ‘how’.

In the meantime, keep moving.  Keep breathing.  Keep praying.  Keep reading.

Maybe that is the ‘how’.

Just keep going.

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Seeing the Trees Through the Forest by Stepping Back

 

closeuptrees Seeing the Trees Through the Forest by Stepping Back

Seeing the Trees Through the Forest

The last day and a half I’ve been in the biggest funk.  I received an email that literally just shut me down (I’d so like to think that I’m above that).  In reflection, I realize it wasn’t the email that shut me down – that just happened to be what pushed me over the edge.  I had set myself up for failure over the preceding weeks, and it was bound to happen.  The email was inconsequential.

With the quickly approaching release of my first chronicle in my memoirs, I’ve just been a ball of stress and emotions.  I’ve been over analyzing every little technical detail as far as how it should be released… like, release it on this blog, or create a new one?  How should it look and feel?  What should the domain name be?  Do I let just anyone read it or do they have to be a subscriber? And on, and on.

While these technical details are important – it’s the content that will prove to be most important.  And I’ve been covering up fears of my writing being good enough with technical details.  While I’ve told myself I can’t release it yet because I don’t have these technical details in place, the truth is, I’m not even sure which chronicle to release first.  I’ve re-written all the chronicles that I have so far, over and over again.

When I get in such a funk, I realize that I just need to step away for awhile.  When you are in the forest, you can’t see the entirety of the trees.  So I took a step back and read.  That’s what I do.  That’s what inspires me.  I was drawn to Siddartha.

woodstimeout Seeing the Trees Through the Forest by Stepping Back

Seeing the Trees Through the Forest | Photo by Mark

Siddartha was written by Herman Hesse, originally in German in 1951 and is about the spiritual journey of a boy named Siddartha.  Siddartha’s name is made up of two Sanskrit words, meaning: he who has found meaning of existence.

Do you ever have books on your list to read for years before you ever get to them?  And then when you finally do, you are absolutely amazed at how perfectly you needed that book at that moment in your life?  This is that for me now.  I’ve been able to escape for a couple of hours, forgot all pending deadlines, and just absorb myself into this fascinating book.

I’m ready to walk back into the woods…

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Book Video Trailer For The Virgin Wife Chronicles

IMG 1046 2 Book Video Trailer For The Virgin Wife Chronicles

I am so excited to have my Book Video Trailer for The Virgin Wife Chronicles complete!  This took many arduous hours to make – my first time using Windows Movie Maker.  I have to say, it’s a great program and reasonably easy to use for a first-timer who was just committed to figuring it out.

Please feel free to give me your feedback – good, bad, ugly. My hope with this video is to generate interest and reflect the tone for the book… a little bit haunting, a little bit beautiful. And, of course, I want people to be interested enough after seeing it, to take action, go to the site, and read the online serial (which is coming VERY soon… I promise!).

I am all ears to your initial reaction to it, your critique, feedback, suggestions, etc.

Thanks so much!

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Why I Befriended the Outcasts and Misfits

DSC05012 Why I Befriended the Outcasts and Misfits

After Junior High, my parents moved to a neighboring city, which meant a new group of kids and a new High School for me. In Jr. High I was part of the ‘popular crowd’.  But going into a new situation after our move, I was nervous and shy and scared out of my wits to make new friends.  The popular crowd tried to recruit me…

I was conventionally pretty, stylish, and I looked the part.  I should have fit right in.  But I resisted.  Invitations to football games, after-parties, lunch dates, all went unanswered by me.  One of the football players wanted to date me, and presumptively and self-righteously, I retorted that I would never give him what he wanted.

The truth is, I was scared to be in a situation that I didn’t know how to handle.  I didn’t drink and I wasn’t going to be having any sex.  I was a good Christian girl and I didn’t want to be in a position to have to say no.  All my old friends new this about me and accepted me for it.  But this was a whole new ballgame that I wasn’t prepared to play.

So instead, I clung to the misfits and outcasts and befriended the lonely.  I imagine it was just as challenging for me to befriend them, as it was for the popular kids to befriend me.  I didn’t look their part.  I bathed.  I read the Bible.  I didn’t wear black all the time.  And I was never found smoking at the Stoner’s bench on lunch breaks and after school. So I had to earn their trust and respect.

Though they smoked, drank, and did drugs, somehow, it was different.  They did those things to fill voids in their lives.  The popular crowd did those things to be cool.  At least, those were my perceptions.  I didn’t want to be cool. I wanted to connect with people and make a difference in others’ lives.  Some mistake my way of being then for altruism – but I do not fool myself.  I had my own masks like everyone else, and this was the one I was comfortable wearing.

Years later after high school, one of these so-called misfits tracked my parents down to find me.  He sent a box with a his cut off hair in a braid.  He was on his way to the army, and wanted to thank me for befriending him in high school.  So he gave me his hair.  Yeah, a little creepy.  But I received the sweet gesture behind it.

To this day I feel fiercely loyal to the underdog.  I know what it’s like to feel on the fringes of society, to not be sure where your place is, if you have a place at all.

Let’s make sure our kids know to be nice to outcasts, the fat kids, the weirdos; to stick up for the underdogs. They’ll gain respect for it and start a trend with their peers if they are not ashamed in doing it.  They may also change the course of somebody’s life by believing in them, and never even know it.

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