Not For the Faint of Heart

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I’ve been thinking about my journey to become an author and what I’ve learned thus far. I am a novice, and this is a journey like no other I’ve taken. However, it seems to me that all that I’ve done and experienced prepared me emotionally for these hills and valleys. Writing is an art form that lets me and many others escape to a place of freedom to capture emotions and thoughts and lay them down on paper in such a way that makes more sense than if we used spoken words. Our language becomes comprehensible, and it can deliver a message that can be felt and understood. While that’s good and therapeutic for the writer, there is another need to consider. In fact, it’s the most important one: the reader’s need. This is an author’s major goal; otherwise, we’d be content to write in journals and simply archive our writing. The specific need may be to educate, entertain, or explore. This is not an all-inclusive list. Whatever the need you’re trying to meet be clear about your intent.
Having a four-year-old has helped me get some perspective as a children’s writer, for sure. However, I acknowledge that not all four-year-olds are the same. Still, it’s beneficial to gain perspective from children, attempt to imagine again, and see life through their eyes. We must imagine and create like we used to do before there was the pressure of time and the realization of impossibility. Besides children, there’s another audience to consider. Yes, it’s parents and others who help them read and bring the characters alive in a dramatic way, which is not a simple and easy task.
I wrote and started the process of writing my first and second books without using any writer’s tools. Since then, I’ve found a few that are quite helpful. The Author Leaning Center is the first resource I found ( https://www.authorlearningcenter.com/) They offer webinars and recorded videos from credible experts in writing and publishing. I have also gleaned tips and tools from free webinars I find through social media and writers’ blogs. There’s a lot of information out there. Focus on what you need to learn in the moment, and just keep adding to your toolbox. Another great resource is the Self-Publishing School (SPS) https://xe172.isrefer.com/go/curcust/bookbrosinc3691. There is so much value presented in their complementary webinar. I enrolled in their Marketing course after struggling with clear plan on how to market my first book. I was Immediately embraced by a community of writers who were eager to share, support, and connect. If writing of any form is your passion you will feel at home at SPS and get all the tools you need to be successful.
Now, after your research, write, re-write, edit, re-edit, and contribute to the creation of characters and images, not everyone will like what you produce. Well, that’s true for everything in life, right? We can’t please everyone. Rejection is sure to come, and it does not feel good. So, don’t be caught by surprise. Decide how you’re going to handle rejection when it comes. Stay focused and determined to learn and grow from every experience. Don’t give up. Become a disciplined writer.

What do I mean when I say I love you?

What do I mean when I say I love you?

We are Joined at the Heart cover jpg

 

After I became a mom, I experienced love in a very pure way. I was smitten and overcome by something divine. I found myself telling my baby girl “I love you” quite often. It occurred to me on one occasion after whispering “I love you” that I needed to be more verbal and expressive about what that truly meant. I could not say with all certainty that she knew what I meant. I knew that she was just a toddler, but I had the thought that I could plant the seeds of my intent and keep watering it through the years until it took root.

What does love look like? My message about love would be the first that she would see and hear, and I wanted it to be a balanced message. It would also be a pure and fruitful one, just like the one she brought me on the day she was born and looked up at me with those seeking eyes. I’ve heard the words “I love you before.” Yes, I had heard them many times. More often than not, it was a complete thought or message by itself, and I was left to assume all that it meant. Also, “I love you” seemed to come when I had done something pleasing or had a praiseworthy moment.

I did not have much experience with random moments when love was being expressed clearly and eloquently with words. I assumed I was loved because of what I had done, what I was given, or how I behaved. It was a conditional kind of love that needed the fuel of performance. So I adapted and accepted the brief verbal repeats of “I love you.” I believed that it was more important to express love by doing, and that verbal expressions beyond “I love you” were not necessary. My flawed perspective contributed to some feelings of insecurities, and to an  engagement with performance to gain acceptance and more of what I defined as love. This perspective followed me for quite some time. I had to acknowledge and unlearn it so I could be a better parent to my child.

Being a parent causes a spotlight to shine on every heart issue. Chances are, there are times when you’ve feIt that you did not have it all together. As parents, we are often left to examine ourselves, and make internal and external adjustments to provide the pure sustenance that our little ones need. I did not have all my daughter needed at the time we first met, but the love she brought with her gave me the courage to seek it out. My daughter looks to me to be fed and clothed. She asks to be nourished not only physically but also spiritually and emotionally. Something about her presence demands it in a constant, compelling, and yet gentle way. I believe it is the same yearning of every child. You may not have it all together as a parent, but it is possible to seek out whatever it is.

Love, when it is conceived, changes everything and everyone. It effortlessly transforms us into a better version of ourselves. So, having been changed by love, I have the need to find random moments to say and to explain “I love you.” When I tell my daughter that I love her, I sometimes ask, “Do you know why I love you? Do you know how much you are loved?” In the moments when she spills the juice and it splatters everywhere, I am reminded of what love really looks like. What a beautiful moment to say I love you. Really? Yes, a beautiful moment to show that love is a decision, and it is not a sitting on a mountaintop experience, or skipping around on days when we feel we are at our best.

Now, I wish I could say I never had a meltdown when the “the juice was splattered everywhere.” But I would not be sincere. As it turns out, those moments of missing the mark are quite useful. I usually seize the opportunity and say, “please forgive me, I was wrong. I love you.” You’ll find so many opportunities to show and tell your little one what love really looks like. When I sat down to write my first children’s book, of course it was about love. A love that changed me. I needed to express that love that comes without condition, limit, conflict, or regret. A deep, abiding, constant love that would always embrace to dispel all shame. A love that changes everything for the better.

 

A New Beginning

 

I would like to welcome you all as I embark on my journey of being an author. My journey to writing started with poetry many years ago, and I had taken a long, break from writing. I gained inspiration to begin to write again from my 4-year-old daughter whose joy, creativity, and life compels me to live vibrantly.  Something in her demands it. We all have a unique purpose and no one can do what you do like you do it. My hope is not only to write great children’s books, and great poetry, but it is also to inspire someone to use what they already have to live the life they are purposed to live. What you need to succeed is already in you! So why children’s book? I have a daughter who absolutely loves books. Books inspire conversations. Why not find creative ways to have important conversations. I’m not sure where this journey will l lead but I have a great expectation not only for myself but also for you. .