It’s Not About You: How to Stop Taking Things Personally is a work in progress. The book is a hybrid, blending memoir and self-help. I have a full proposal and my manuscript is 60% complete.
In It’s Not About You, I share stories about how taking things personally has affected my life in negative ways and where I offer solutions to others who have similar tendencies. This is a universal problem.
It is in inevitable that you will take something personally. If you put yourself out there you will encounter difficult relationships and situations. These are important opportunities to notice when you are taking “it” (the other person’s behavior) personally. Finding the “it” (trigger) is part of what I tackle in the book.
We can’t control how someone treats us (or not), but we can control our reaction or response. My mantra is: It’s not ABOUT me. It’s all ON me.
My unpublished manuscript, Glowing Houses: A Memoir, won an award in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest in the nonfiction/memoir category. My manuscript is complete (~87,000 words). I have a full proposal that includes the following: table of contents; chapter-by-chapter outline; synopsis; competitive titles; marketing plan; bio; and three sample chapters.
Glowing Houses is a coming-of-age memoir about a girl who grew up on the outskirts of a small town in West Virginia. By age fourteen, in the summer of 1979 and less than a year after getting her period, she finds herself pregnant and married.
She leaves the holler and her family to live with her new husband’s family for what promises to be a better life, but a life that puts her face-to-face with The Outsiders, people her father say to avoid: church people, gays, blacks, white trash and snobs who use fancy words—but the very people who become her salvation.
She struggles with a never-ending internal conflict, a duality: she feels naturally very smart and capable, but her profound ignorance makes her feel stupid. Over time, she eventually has a shift in understanding. She learns that black people are not out to cut her throat, that church people, mostly, have good intentions, and that people who use fancy words are the ones to imitate. In the course of her journey, she learns the meaning of words like unorthodox and gullible, how to order food from a menu, and that ignorance and stupidity are not the same thing. Although ignorant, she is not stupid.
Glowing Houses is a nuanced, deeply felt memoir that both explores and explodes the stereotypes of the Appalachian hillbilly.
Some comments from the judges who critiqued my submission:
The Magic of Memoir is a memoirist’s companion for when the going gets tough. I am one of 38 writers who share hard-won wisdom, stories, and writing tips. Editors Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner have taught and coached hundreds of memoirists to the completion of their memoirs, and they know that the journey is fraught with belittling messages from both the inner critic and naysayers, voices that make it hard to stay on course with the writing and completion of a book.
Included are Myers’s and Warner’s interviews with best-selling and widely renown memoirists Mary Karr, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Azar Nafisi, Dani Shapiro, Margo Jefferson, Raquel Cepeda, Jessica Valenti, Daisy Hernández, Mark Matousek, and Sue William Silverman. For a complete list of contributors as well as full bios go here.
This collection has something for anyone who’s on the journey or about to embark on it. If you’re looking for inspiration, The Magic of Memoir will be a valuable companion.
The Eight Aspects of God: A Pathway to Bliss, a Finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards is a treatise on spiritual living encapsulated into a short and easy-to-read volume. Each sentence is full of wisdom and practical information you can apply to your life today, right this second.
In the book, I explain how your energy is affected when you’re not living in alignment with the eight aspects introduced in this book. Any issue that shows up physically, mentally, or in relationship can be traced back to an energy center and ultimately a missing aspect in your life.
The Eight Aspects of God offers an authentic and effective strategy for intuitive self-healing while at the same time exploring a new course toward spiritual and personal development.
“True healing is removing the ignorance covering the splendor of our soul which is our True Self.” ~Yogiraj Siddhanath