I am an award-winning author in both memoir and spiritually based self-help. My memoir, Glowing Houses, took second place in the nonfiction/memoir category in the 2015 Pacific Northwest Writers Association literary contest. My manuscript is complete (~86,000 words) and I have a full proposal that includes the following: table of contents; chapter-by-chapter outline; synopsis; competitive titles; marketing plan; full bio; and three sample chapters.
As a past columnist for New Spirit Journal, I offered readers self-healing strategies based on the principles of yoga, meditation, and energy medicine. These articles served as inspiration for my book, The Eight Aspects of God, A Pathway to Bliss (HenOli Press, 2012), a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards. Integrating the teachings from this book with my personal story, I write articles for the online magazine, Contemplative Journal.
Glowing Houses is the story of a girl who grew up in a house with dirt floors, crumbling concrete walls, and drinking water pumped from the ground. In a holler in the hills of southwestern West Virginia, the house was always being built while at the same time falling down. It was nothing like the houses in town: houses that had matching windows, grass, inside bathrooms, and shelves with food; houses that glowed like candles—from the inside out.
Her dad kept the family, especially the girls, isolated and ignorant. He told his kids they were Supreme Beings and that he didn’t want them influenced by outsiders: fags, niggers, white trash, and people who used fancy words. If it wasn’t the law, they’d have never gone to school or gotten their shots. Aside from Bibles given to each of the nine kids by the church people and a small book of poems written by a preacher in the holler where Ruthie’s mom was raised, they had no books.
The hunt for her own glowing house, and the comforts she believes it will bring, takes Ruthie from holler life into cultures where—despite having a chronic case of ignorance—she learns the meaning of words like unorthodox and gullible, how to order food from a menu, and that she and the Outsiders aren’t so different after all.