Personal Reflection 4/16/22
Above is a pic I picked out for Tiny Buddha memes!
An update on my projects and life:
My YA, You Are The Reason My Sky Is Blue, is half written and half outlined. I decided Payton is going to sing in broken places and meet people who need help as the main plot. So I have to figure out how to write that. That will be the greatest challenge of the book. She’s a singer who thinks she has to be a lawyer to have worth. The intro is her walking in Harvard square and sees her “future self “— a law professor — talk to her. Everything is planned out in her life until she meets a runaway teen named Skye with a mohawk on the train station. She helps her get away from bad men. Suddenly her perfect plans fall apart and she realizes she is a broken person in need of help. Skye and Payton are lovers who are not able to be together. Payton’s true love is Ever. It’s a love triangle. She listens to Enya mostly and wants to emulate her voice. Her mom is a drug addict that she disowns and she moves in with her dad. Her stepmom Corelle tries to build a relationship with her that she resists and she’s annoyed by her stepbrother Eli. They all come together though because of Corelle getting cancer. Payton is also picked up by a music manager who wants to sign her but she’s set for Harvard. So she has to choose.
My friend Jason Dodge who helped me put descriptions in my intro of YA left twitter so I can’t hire him to help me with the rest. My ex friend Jacob (whose last name I won’t mention) failed my book vision and tried to make it his own. I have a learning disability that makes writing descriptions hard. But I am doing it using the example Jason Dodge left me so it worked out.
My memoir Unseen Brilliance is edited again. I decided to change some things. I’m proud of the updated vision. I sent it out to more agents and independent publishing houses. I asked God for a 222 if I was on the right track, and I got one immediately. It was actually a 221 retweets of a post, so I retweeted it to make it 222. I’d share it here but it has to do with animals rights so the content is a little distressing. Still…I got one. (Note: I have learned I can’t ask questions and get signs but sometimes I get little nudges like that).
My book Your Calling Is Your Character is the follow up to my memoir, where it leaves off. My memoir is about surviving bipolar breakdowns and having an NDE. YCIYC is about how I rebuilt my life and found myself afterward. I update it as I discover things. It’s neat!
These three books above all are on the backburner and depend on getting the right help for them.
The books I’m working on to be published if my memoir doesn’t get picked or I don’t get a good editor for my YA (or it done first) are Start with Surrender: On Deconstructing Faith, You Are Beautiful: A Guide To Finding Your Authentic Self and Brilliant Road and the Red Balloon (a children’s book). These books are set up. BRRB will be done first. YAB will be done second. And SWS will be the hardest book I write as it is undoing Joel Osteen’s ignorance pretty much.
I absolutely love my books and the ideas. I worked very hard to formulate the vision. I’ve tried writing each day at set times but I write as I get inspired. It’s still daily but I can’t control it. I can be watching Better Call Saul and think of something for Payton that’s like Kim Wexler. So yeah. I recently learned that Payton’s life is the inverse of mine. She’s the opposite of me. She’s introverted and awkward. Her family comes together in a way. She has a friend (Skye) who supports her. And she finds her love at a young age. The heartbreak of losing her stepmom to cancer mirrors mine. But she gets to have a relationship more before it happens. I only had one right at the end with mine and there was a lot left unsaid. In a way, my memoir is my life and my YA is the inverse of my heartbreaks in life. And the gist of all my books is not to say “Everything happens to a reason” or downplay or minimize people’s suffering. Simply hold space for them. People don’t know how to deal with others’ pain so my books are guidance as how to be human.
This is my sponsored goat Lolli at The Gentle Barn above.
I am starting The National Foundation to End Childhood Abuse and Neglect (ENDCAN) their Communications Advisory Committee. I’m very excited! I have been working with youth in various ways for years, so this feels the right opportunity to land on. I will be writing articles for them and doing other projects!
I still volunteer for Butler County Humane Society, The Humane League and Tiny Buddha.
I’m reading Nobody’s Normal and Demystifying Disability. Both I’m using for my books. So I’m taking notes on them. And it’s good to learn about mental health stigma and disability in general.
Simone De La Rue’s workouts and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts meditations came to me due to Jennifer Garner promoting them. They have made over how I spend my mornings!
I enjoy Every Plate their vegetarian dishes replacing dairy with vegan items. They’ve given me a new relationship with food. Meatless meat is great but working with vegetables and finding creative ways to use them is helping me. I want to have vegetable garden one day! I love zucchini the most. Roasted and stir fried vegetables are the best! It’s an adjustment not to have meat as your main dish. I have a lot of vitamins and stuff to help me. I drink a plant based protein drink daily.
My dog Lady’s mysterious pain disappeared. It came and went in a matter of weeks. So that’s weird. She has bacteria growth due to GI Panels they did that showed that so among her many meds she is now on a probiotic. That’s why she gets sick or doesn’t eat a lot sometimes. We have a vet appointment soon to follow up.
I really like James Martin SJ. He’s a Catholic who advocates for LGBTQ and trans people. I sent him my NDE a long time ago to no reply BUT he got to see a bit of my vision. I have updated it all since then and explained more, so he didn’t see the full picture yet. I’ve read one of his books recently which introduced me to centering prayer.
I had some mental health breakthroughs. Once I had this vision of a halfway uprooted tree representing an insecure foundation due to childhood trauma. Anyways, recently I had a vision of that foundation being replaced with Heaven as the foundation. It was cool!
I get meditation visions no matter what type of meditation I do — whether it’s centering prayer, surrendering, law of least effort, tonglen meditation or reiki. I thought I was a spiritual mutt because I’ve had this happen but really mindfulness in general is what God is using here. As long as you tap into your soul, you may feel something. So I edited my memoir NDE to explain that the source is God even if you have an experience with a different view or get your wisdom from something else. He’s the ultimate guide.
You say universe. I say God. The “universe” is too much of an impersonal thing. I like the relationship aspect of Christianity. But I also believe in evolution and some other stuff that conservatives don’t. I am mostly prolife because I think God doesn’t condemn those who have abortions. The children grow up on the other side. My character Skye in my YA had an abortion but she wanted to be a mom and has visions of her “daughter” Birdy waiting for her on the other side. The ending of my YA Payton sees her future daughter as a great poet, Forest Westwood, and Forest is with Birdy. God directed this. I’m a bit shy about being like “yeah it’s a soul” but it is. The soul grows on the other side if aborted. So I am giving that information but also know that God forgives. I think science will evolve one day so that abortions aren’t as needed. There have to be other solutions.
But I will never judge someone who has one. Maybe there is a middle ground?
There are things I can’t solve. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know why I had an NDE that doesn’t just tell me everything. I’ve had to piece things together over time. But I do know that God is there.
So I have faith. No matter what.
Thanks for reading,