Steps Along My Shore - Book Release


Fear.

It can be immobilizing. Crippling. It can make my heart pound so hard I can feel it thud against my chest. It can make my mind fill with so much doubt I begin to second-guess my decisions.

Then the questions start to come:

Am I a good writer?

Can I handle the critiques?

Will people discover our true identities?

Is it worth the risk?

Can I truly help anyone?

After the butterflies that took flight in my stomach finally calmed down enough for me to think rationally again, I remember the whys of my journey down this path:

I’m not out to become a best-selling author.

I’m not seeking rave reviews and have tough-ish skin.

I did the best I could to remain anonymous.

It is absolutely worth the risk and Devin agrees with me.

I feel I can help not just one person but maybe even two…or ten…or more!

And so, I face my fears. I will not run.

I finally stopped editing my book. I stopped procrastinating. 

I accepted that there may be typos, dropped words, and goodness knows what other mistakes I made, but I know I did my best, my heart is in the right place, and Steps Along My Shore is finally ready to be released out into the world.

My baby is ready to walk on her own.
Steps Along My Shore on Kindle is for sale!
But, wait, you want paperback? CLICK HERE
OR
FREE on Kindle June 11-15, 2016

I couldn’t have done this without the help of my mentor, Bryan. My apologies to you now, Bryan…those typos that are in the final copy were not there when you read it. Those pages were added in long after you read it. Don’t blame him, folks.

Another round of thank you’s to Robyn and Donna. Your honest feedback helped me shape this final release into much better shape than when you first laid your eyes on it and for that I’m eternally grateful. I couldn’t have done it without you. Good critique partners are hard to find. I’m glad I had you both. I may need you next year for the sequel…keep your calendars open!

That’s it, folks. No tour. You won’t see me blog-hopping or see the book in your feed. I figure those who need the book will find it. As the saying goes, If God brings you to it, He’ll lead you through it.

Have you ever been so fearful you almost didn’t do something? How did you overcome it?



Kintsugi and Cover Reveal for Steps Along My Shore




Kintsugi is a Japanese word meaning to repair with gold. Rather than throw away a broken piece of ceramic, it's mended together with a golden lacquer making it more valuable in the process.

Kintsugi is also a Japanese philosophy about embracing life’s changes and one’s flaws, rather than hide them away in shame and embarrassment. They understand that our experiences, even the bad ones, make up who we are as individuals. We should not cower from them, but wear them as badges of honor. Those flaws can make us more valuable people too.

I agree with this philosophy. Almost. I understand I am who I am today because of all I went through in my life and I would not be that person today without the triumphs and without the traumas. However, I don’t know that I’m able to display that golden badge proudly on my chest for the world to see just yet. Being anonymous is one thing. Being not-so-anonymous is another.

Imagine what our world would be like if we didn’t have to hide our past, or even our present? How cool would it be to talk freely about the things we’ve experienced as we’ve grown into own unique selves? As we've become so valuable to those around us.

It’s a shame it took me thirty years to tell my closest friend that I was sexually abused as a child. Something she experienced too. All that time we could’ve helped each other through it. Instead, we hid in our own shame and embarrassment.

Just as we did about our shared drug addictions. We each knew the other had “problems” with drugs but never to what degree, or when or if the other stopped using. She recently entered the program, and had I said something earlier about my experience, maybe she would’ve done something for herself sooner. Maybe. But I said nothing. Because I was too afraid of being judged…even by my best friend, who was in the same spot as I had been.

Perhaps one day I’ll be able to embrace the Kintsugi philosophy completely and reveal to the world all of my flaws without the need to remain anonymous, but for now, I think I’ll embrace my gold-dusted flaws quietly and discreetly.

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Just like I'll reveal my cover quietly. No big parade or blog tour. Just little ol' me sharing my cover for Steps Along My Shore letting you know I'm stoked! Remember a couple of months ago when I mentioned I was putting the book on delay to get feedback on it from some fine folks who have "been there, done that"? 

Well, I've not only gotten some valuable feedback, I also got this fantastic cover too...which just happens to be my new profile picture. I love it that much! A big thank you to it's creator who requested anonymity...at least for now. You'll know who he is soon enough one day.

pardon the poor picture taking skills -  that's all me!

My target release date for Steps Along My Shore is June 30, 2016 if not sooner. I'm doing my final read through, and then it'll be ready for release to the masses. I'm scared to death, but I'm excited too.

Do you like the philosophy of Kintsugi? Have you heard of it before today? Any words of advice before I release my book?


 

Making A Difference


Have you ever wondered if you make a difference in the world? Even just a little bit? I think about that. Probably more than I should. Especially the older I get. I wonder if people I’ve spoken to in the S-Anon program have reflected on the words I’ve said or written. Have I made an impact? Helped anyone? I’d like to think so. Don’t we all?

I’m pretty sure I’ve made a difference in some people’s lives. There are several that continue to contact me for support and advice. That tells me I've provided them some pearls of wisdoms along the way.

No, I’m not looking for accolades in the comments sections or words of reassurances. I think what I’m feeling at the moment is vulnerable. Yikes! I hate that feeling. Again, don’t we all? I’m feeling vulnerable because I’m getting closer each week to releasing my self-help book. That means I’m putting myself and my family at risk so I can help others and that leaves me to wonder is it worth it?

The feedback I’ve gotten on my book so far makes me think yes, the risk is worth the end result…but also leaves me wondering…are they all just being kind? Not wanting to hurt my ever so fragile feelings? It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but these are all strong confident people such as myself. If they didn’t like it, they’d tell me. Gently but honestly. At least I hope so. I know I would tell them if the tables were turned.


If you were asked to critique something would you be honest? Have you made a difference in someone’s life?

I Won't Know Unless I Try

from Google
It feels a bit strange to do a post on a Sunday but I have to work tomorrow and I wasn’t on Blogger at all last week so here I am, posting on the weekend.

Its not like football is on anyway...but The Walking Dead is on tonight. What a premiere that was last week. Holy smokes! Didn’t see that one coming…neither did Carl. Amiright? Okay, I won’t say anymore. Don’t want to ruin it for anyone. And if you’re not caught up, hurry! Me thinks it’s gonna be a fast paced rest of the season.

Anyway, enough zombie talk. I've been tossing an idea around in my head for the last few weeks and Friday I think I may have convinced myself to do it. Maybe. You how sometimes we think we have great ideas and then they turn out not so great, while others turn out fantastic? I'm not sure which category this one falls into just yet. But I'm gonna give it go and see where it lands.

I’m think I’m going to write a second self-help book.

I should probably mark this post down somewhere. February 21, 2016. Let’s see how long it takes to really get it written. The first one isn’t even in print and I’m already thinking about the outline for the second. But seeing how the first one took what? Two, three years, by the time it’s officially published – I’d say I have plenty of time to write the second. I’m not worried. It's not like I have a deadline or anything.

While the first one deals with recovering from the Relational Trauma of discovering your partner is a sex addict, the second one will address moving forward in a relationship with a sex addict. Sometimes I forget just how difficult it was (and still can be) to navigate this journey together.

There were times I wanted to run away. There were times I wanted to punch Devin in the face. But the times that I laughed and felt overjoyed far outweighed those tough times and I’m grateful I stayed. I think I want to share that hope with others too. So yeah, I think I’m going to give it a try and see where it goes. If it turns out like a piece of crap, well, at least I gave it a shot.

Anyone else a Walking Dead fan? Or have you tried a project only to have it fail? Or better yet, have it turn out better than expected?

°°°°°
Depending on my work schedule, I may be posting on Sundays for the next few weeks.

 

The Stars Aligned…


Last week the stars aligned…just not for what I expected. As I mentioned a few posts back, my self-help book was so close to publishing, I could smell the carbon on the paper. (Anyone old enough to remember those days?)

Bryan returned my WIP with a few minor edits and all I had left to do was a final read through. Then, it occurred to me I should probably send out a few CYA emails to avoid getting sued. You know, copyrights and all that silly legal mumbo jumbo stuff I’m too naive to understand.

Turns out it’s a good thing I sent out those emails. Because, um yeah, the first email was promptly (and extremely politely) answered and my excerpt is still under review by their attorney.

Another email was also quickly answered, only the response was one I didn’t see coming. Long time readers already know how firmly I believe that things happen for a reason. How cliché, right? I know, I know. But hear me out.

The person offered me a unique opportunity: a chance to sit in on a support group offered for the injured spouses of addicts. I can get additional ideas for my book and also help them heal from their trauma in the process. Exactly the reason I wrote the book - to help people heal. How cool is that?

Last week was my first meeting and it went thirty minutes over so I’d say it went well. They were a welcoming and warm group of folks who love to laugh, just like me.

And while this delays publishing my book for a bit, I think it will be a better book because of it. I’m sure there are things I’ve gone through that I’ve since forgotten and talking to these fine folks will help jog my memory to include it in my final draft. I’m stoked!
 w w w

How about that game last night? What was your favorite commercial?

Starting Off With A Smile


Happy New Year! 2016. How long will it take for me to stop writing 2015? I’m guessing at least two weeks. I think that’s actually being optimistic. More like February before I’m consistently writing 2016 and not grabbing the ol’ bottle of Wite-Out.

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a good start. Mine has been a bit rocky but I think it’s a matter of perspective. I can frame it to be complete crap or I can look at it through the lens of something more positive and that’s the view I’m choosing. Optimism.

I’ll start with the good first. My ever-patient friend, (and I think undercover angel) Bryan, sent back my self-help book. The critiques weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be.

I anticipated lots of corrections requiring major rewrites but that wasn’t the case at all. Just some suggestions on how to make it really shine. And since my wise and wonderful friend, Robyn along with my blogger buddy Donna have already read the “advicey” portion of the book; it’s almost ready for publication. Now that’s exciting news for 2016! I should have that bad boy to print in a couple of months. Yay for getting to help people soon!

The not-so-good start of the year was the discovery of Devin’s continued slips. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. Not in the slips. I don’t care about that. Really, I don’t. It’s his recovery. Not mine.

It’s the lies. Those get to me. No matter how many times I tell him how crazy-making they are, he continues to do it. The slips have been going on for a couple of months and I’ve known it. The red flags have been popping and I left it to him to come to me because it’s his job. I asked twice if he’s slipped and both times he said no.

As an addict, it’s an act of self-preservation. I understand that because I can relate from my days as an active addict. Sometimes an addict has to feel shame and remorse in the moment of acting out to stop the cycle of their addiction. And that’s what happened. I caught him in the act. He was looking at porn.

We talked it out and he figured out why he slipped. He discussed ways to prevent it from happening again and even offered to put a keylogger on his computer. While that is tempting, I don’t think it’s wise. Putting a keylogger on there leaves me responsible for checking up on him and I don’t want to be his accountability partner. If he wants to put some kind of restricter on his computer, that’s on him…not me.

So, again, I choose to frame the beginning of this year in a positive way. I’m going to focus on me. I'm going to work on my book that will help people heal from the trauma of discovering their spouse is sex addict, rather than worry about Devin and his sobriety. I think that’s a much better way to begin the New Year: with a smile on my face.

How about you? Are you starting off the New Year with a smile?



Who Cares What People Think? - IWSG Post



Join in on the fun!
Happy Anniversary IWSG!!

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means - it’s time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our lovely co-hosts are:  Laura at My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham.    Be sure and thank them for their hard work.

A big thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for making it happen, you rock, Alex!

Funny how things show up in my email just when I need to read them.  As most of you know, I’ve been working on a self-help book about recovering from finding out your partner is a sex addict. I want spouses to avoid making the same mistakes I did after I found out about my husband’s addiction.  I provide tips and coping mechanisms to get through the relational trauma that comes from the discovery of the addiction.

As I write, there is this lingering doubt in the back of my head that this book will help anyone or turn out the way I want it to.  I fear what other people will think about the advice I give or how well the book is written.

The other day, I was letting those insecurities creep in when I came across this in my email:


You’re right, Kristen Wiig, it is dangerous to worry what other people think (and you were great in my favorite comedy, Bridesmaids!). 

I need to remember why I started this book - I couldn’t find anyone who’d written anything like it four years ago except doctors and counselors.  I figured who better to share advice than someone who has been through it?  

Recently, I found a couple of books on Amazon written by the spouses of sex addicts and I am excited.  It means that we are starting to have a voice, that the addiction is being taken seriously, and that gives me hope.  


I can’t wait until I have finished writing my book so I can join them on Amazon!
I couldn't help but post this.  It cracks me up.