Two books for sale, one to go!

I honestly wasn’t expecting all the pieces I sold last year to come out all in the same week. They originally had publication dates that gave me a few weeks of breathing room in between each one, but one came out later and another one sooner and BAM, here they all are. So thank you for being patient with all my posts being about these books for sale. And thank you for supporting me and my writing for so long. Y’all are the best!

Now on to the books. One came out earlier last week and one came out today and the last one will be out tomorrow, but I was just too excited to wait. Here are links for the first two, along with a little description of what to expect from my piece in each book:

https://amzn.to/36qEyjY

This book has my poem “Last Family Vacation” on page 116, which is a peek into the heart of a mom with a kid in his senior year of high school. 🙂

https://amzn.to/3OvLLAF

This book has my essay “Revealing Rainbows” on page 74, which is a more in depth personal look at encouraging not just my sons to be themselves, but all the other boys they know as well.

Next Chapters Unleashed available now for pre-order

https://books2read.com/nextchapters

I am so excited to announce that my first published short story is available as of today as a pre-order. You can click the link above to order from any of those fine establishments right now. Seeing the book here was really nice and pretty and I clicked each one of those links to see the book in each of the stores, because I’m extra like that.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60422120-next-chapters-unleashed

This is the image that made me cry. I have been shelving books I read into Goodreads for 15 years now. Read a book, shelve it. Read a book, shelve it. All this time I’ve been scribbling away all these little stories of my own in the background, but I was too scared to do anything with them. Last year I decided that I wasn’t going to hide my words any more. And now one of my stories is there on Goodreads. Goodreads! I’m crying again, y’all. It is a wonderful feeling.

What Reminds Me of My Grandmother?

Four Generations

What is one thing that reminds you of your grandmother?
I only had one official grandmother growing up, as my mom’s mom had died before she even got married. Something that reminds me of my dad’s mom is those little tiny rocking chairs for little kids. She had one on her porch that my sister and I weren’t allowed to use because she kept it around for the pastor’s daughter to sit in when she visited. Why? I don’t know. She never really liked us; I’ve always thought it was most likely because we were adopted and therefore not really related to her.

I always considered my cousins other grandmother my grandmother, too. She had a bajillion grandkids of her own, but she was always very nice to me and my sister. One year at Christmas she gave me a bell ornament, which I have out year round. When she passed away, my aunt gave me a scrapbook her mother made of photos of me from various events and a bunch of notes and cards I’d sent her over the years. I miss her.

Vein of Gold conundrum

I’ve been doing mine longhand, but it’s about killing my hand after three pages in the morning. Today’s task has us writing a personal narrative and I’ve had to write another six handwritten pages in the afternoon. Our class calendar gives us three days to do 10-15,000 words of a personal narrative and I just don’t write that fast, especially not longhand. What to do, what to do?

Fortunately, some of the writing I have already been doing for BYOB dovetails nicely with some of the questions suggested by Julia Cameron to answer, so I do have some of that kind of thing written already recently. I’ve also had two decades of blogging about my life to draw from, so I have some things I can go back to here to kind of look through for inspiration. I may just not be able to do all of it by hand. Typing or dictating is much easier on the hands.

Thoughts, anyone?

BYOB Delays

My posts for BYOB have not turned out to be daily. I have been having health issues again, the same brain and blood issues that I had last year and the year before and the year before. It always seems to get worse this time of year. You would think I would be used to it by now, but I am not.

So, I am up to day three now with my posts and today is the thirteenth. I don’t imagine that I will catch up, but I did have a phenomenally productive day yesterday with writing, so there is still hope.

My whole publication over at Medium.com can be found here: https://medium.com/life-according-to-lisa.

Keeping the Sabbath

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So this week in Spiritual Practices class we covered “Keeping the Sabbath.” If you know me well, you know the phrase “keeping the Sabbath” weirds me out. I spent a long time trying to shove my big round self into the little square hole of my husband’s religion and “keeping the Sabbath” and “keeping the Feasts” where big phrases in his church community. It really makes me shudder.

With the Unitarian Universalists, keeping the sabbath seems to be an easy affair. It can be done any day or any time. It doesn’t even have to be all day, apparently.

What is a Sabbath practice? The Hebrew root of Sabbath is a word that means “to cease.” So the big question here is: What do we want to turn off in our lives to make a Sabbath? What do we change from our regular lives?

For me, a Sabbath looks like turning off a lot of my responsibilities. I don’t do PTA or volunteer work on a Sabbath, nor do I attempt to get any serious writing done. If a great writing thought comes to me, of course I’ll write it down, but I won’t sit in front of my screen with my mind on my plan and my plan on my mind.

In thinking about it a while, what I realized is that I need more than just not doing things, though. I need things to do. So I thought about it a little more and decided that the things I could do that would make the Sabbath a little cozier were adding in good music, making gratitude lists, reading from my spiritual books, and spending time on self care that I don’t usually get to during the main part of the week (like fun nail polish or teeth whitening or other spa like treatments).

What are some things you do to make your Sabbath a great experience?

BYOB

I am taking an online writing class called BYOB – Blog Your Own Book. It’s thirty-one days of blogging with a goal to use the posts to make an e-book at the end of the month. I’ve decided to blog my own adoption story from start to finish, with a few meanderings here and there to talk about Adoptee Rights, the psychology behind healing the emotional wounds of adoption, websites that help people search, and other adoption related topics. I plan to send copies of the resulting e-book to my family members when it is complete.

I am telling the story from just my point of view, I am leaving out possibly salacious bits of information that might upset anyone involved, and I am not posting the given names of those who are featured in my story. Everyone named will be given a pseudonym to protect their anonymity.

I’ve chosen to post my pieces on Medium because there is the possibility of getting paid for my posts there. If this series works out, I will write more stories on Medium about other topics.

Here is the link to the first piece: https://medium.com/life-according-to-lisa/my-quick-and-dirty-adoption-story-e44ecc9a79db

One Year Blues

It has been one full year since my mother died. One full year of holidays, birthdays, special events, a graduation…and no mom. I’ve picked up the phone dozens of times to tell her things and dozens of times to ask her things. Mostly I’ve just been sad. I took all the pills, talked to a therapist for weeks and weeks, and still the sadness kept being there. Which I knew. You knew. Everyone knew.

So I’d like to just put a giant Thank You to everyone that has walked through this year with us, holding us in their hearts. Thank you for loving us and putting up with us and listening to us babble incoherently at times. We couldn’t have made it through the year without you.

Health Woes, again

Saw the neurologist today. Apparently I’m having one of those rare drug interactions no one else gets. Symptoms include erratically high and low blood pressure, chest pain, numbness & tingling, dizziness, memory loss, slurred speech, muscle & joint pain, muscle spasms, and ringing in the ears. So that explains just about everything except the weird spiderwebby nerve-feelings in my knees, which might be explained by my use of all the weird new equipment my gym has recently brought in to replace the stuff I used to use. Picked up my new meds, but it’ll be 2 weeks (according to the neurologist, or more, according to the pharmacist) before I’m ready for exciting life events again. So if you’ve seen/continue to see me dropping off the radar for the next few weeks, now you know why.