Posted on

Book Announcement: Are You Ready to Break Right?

If you’ve followed my other blog (2blu2btru.wordpress.com) or followed me on social media, you may have seen that I’ve been working on a new book. I’ve kept many of the details close to my chest. This is one of my most personal projects, and I wanted to make sure I wrote this well before sharing it with the world.

 

In 2016, it seemed like everything I touched broke–I lost my job, ended my relationship, and faced a move with no savings or income. I ended up leaving the city I’d come to think of as home, my church family, and many of my friends behind. It was truly a breaking season for me. Yet God kept me in perfect peace as these things occurred.

I learned many things in this season, and many books could have come from it, but in the end, God placed Break Right on my heart. As I worked through the ramifications and realizations breaking up brought to the forefront in my life, I wrote the things I was learning and experimenting with in my journal. This season looked different than I expected, in ways that both humbled and encouraged me. I began to wonder if others might be interested in what I was learning, so I reached out to a few women and pitched the idea. Once I put the heart of this book into words, I knew it had to be written, and I had to be the one to write it.

In the process of writing this book, I experienced the full force of what heartbreak can do. I found myself struggling to repair things I didn’t know were broken or damaged. I confronted truths I ran from before battling with the blank page. The writing of this book further healed me, and I know the wisdom God shared with me will help others discovering the healing He wants to give them as well.

If you’ve read my other books, you know I’m not the “woo, woo, woo” or “there, there, there” girl. I’m the “dig deep”, “let’s look at the lady in the mirror and be honest about what we see” girl. I’m the hard truth teller, the “what does the bible say” redirector, the spiritual fruit inspector. I’m a southern gal who’ll bless your heart and tell you about yourself in a ladylike, well-mannered way, clutching my pearls the entire time. I wasn’t sure I could write a book bound in sensitivity AND filled with hard truths for hurting women in search of healing.

But God met me on the pages of this book. He walked me through this season the way I needed Him to, while helping me hone the message of it in a way that’s sensitive and respect of where a woman walking through a breakup is in her healing process while presenting truths wrapped in a ton of love. I didn’t hurl hand grenades at injured soldiers; I’m helping in the healing. Like many medical procedures, there is some pain and discomfort involved, but it’s necessary.

I’m so excited to share the final product with you! As I finish getting the final details wrapped up, I wanted to let you know about this book of my heart and what to expect when it comes out next month. The book is entitled Break Right: Finding Wholeness in Heartbreak, and a Good God in a Bad Breakup. Part memoir, part practical advice and encouragement, and all from the heart, this raw, real and relatable work will comfort, correct and challenge the Christian woman in the midst of a breakup to reexamine heartbreak and healing from a biblical perspective. Filled with biblical examples and personal experiences from myself and other women, Break Right seeks to provide the perspective shift many of us need so we can shine our lights for the Lord in the midst of a dark season.

This book is not a blow by blow of the breakups I’ve experienced or a way to bash an ex. In fact, you won’t find much about my ex, and I hope you won’t focus too much on your ex as you read it. This book is about how you can emerge better and help the next woman do the same. I share many personal stories, but they probably aren’t the ones you’d expect. 😉

This book feels different, and it’s inspired me to do something different with its release. I am opening pre-orders for Break Right tomorrow, February 14, 2018. From Valentine’s Day until Wednesday, March 7, you can order Break Right for the introductory price of $9.99 in paperback (it increases to $14.99 after the pre-order period). Why should you pre-order? Those who pre-order will receive some cool perks: breakup greeting cards, bookmarks, and prints, as well as a free eBook of funny and introspective tales from my romantic life, Misses before Mrs. You will also received the first section of the book to start reading and access to a special Facebook Group. I saved the best for last: all those who pre-order the book or a book bundle will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. All pre-order books will arrive by the release date, March 13th.

If Break Right sounds like something you need in your life, come back tomorrow and see the front cover, read the book description, and reserve your copy. I’ll be sharing more about this book in the coming weeks before release, so watch this space.

For all my eBook readers, don’t fret. The eBook is coming! I will open eBook pre-orders two weeks before release, with digital perks.

I love you all and can’t wait for you find your wholeness and experience how good our God can be, even in a bad breakup.

XOXO,

Erica

Posted on

Wind Up Wednesday: Bringing Books Back

Note: I missed yesterday. It was my intention to have a post every day this week, at least, to kick start my blogging. Let’s all just move on to a fun post, shall we?

As an avid reader and writer, I always have a ton of books I want to read. My TBR pile is ridiculous. I love reading all the books my writer friends are putting out into the world (I’m reading one, Interrupted Lullaby by Dana R. Lynn, one of my critique buddies!) that I can’t put down (though I’ve read it at different stages two or three times). I’m so proud of all my romance, women’s fiction, inspirational fiction and self-help writing friends. But this year I want to dive deep into some books that focus more on developing myself as a Christian and a writer. I know I’ll get to all the fiction my friends put out, but I want to make sure I read at least 12 books that I hope will revolutionize or completely change an area of my life.

Here’s what’s on my list to read so far, in no particular order:

  1. Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman. Simply TuesdayI’ve heard wonderful things about this book, and have heard a couple interviews with Emily P. Freeman that have piqued my interest. I caught this book on sale yesterday and move it from books I want to buy to bought. Yay!
  2. A Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster. Celebration of DisciplieI’ve read this book and loved it, but it’s been years (other than a few peeks back in for my submission goal in 2013 and that palms up/ palms down meditation from Monday’s post). Not only do I want to read it again, I want to give a copy to a friend and read it with her to encourage her in the Lord. It’s be our Girl Talk thing. So excited for this!
  3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Big MagicI bought a copy as soon as it came out. I was a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s style in Eat Pray Love, but the podcast for Big Magic, Magic Lessons, sold me on this book. It’s a book about tapping into your creativity and how we are all creators. Can’t wait to let my imagination out.
  4. On Writing by Stephen King. On WritingI bought this book last year after checking it out of the library and not having time to finish it. I’ve heard many wonderful things about this book, and really enjoyed the parts I’ve read. Time to focus and read this start to finish.
  5. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Having a Mary HeartThis one has sat on my shelf for years. Is it ironic to say I don’t have time to read a book about making time? I’ve started it and nodded along with the opening points. This is another I need to buckle down and get read.
  6. The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. The best yesConfession Time: I’ve never read a Lysa Terkeurst book. I’ve had friends who’ve raved about Made to Crave and Unglued, but I haven’t gotten around to reading one of her books. I knew I had to read her work when I watched her at the creative summit The Influence Network put on.
  7. Rising Strong by Brene Brown. Rising StrongConfession Time #2: I’ve never read a Rene Brown book. But I did hear her speak on Magic Lessons, and the moment I did, I had to have this book. This is a book about how to rebound from failure. This is something I struggle with. I hate failing. I can’t tell you how many things I didn’t do because I was afraid to fail. So I’m hoping this one has some insights I can use to conquer that fear a little more.
  8. A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer. A Curious MindI heard Brian Glazer on the radio talking about his curiosity talks and was fascinated. As someone who loves to  interview people, I’m interested in reading about how he made the most of opportunities to talk to some of the worlds most fascinating people, and how I can use a few tips to make my interviewing better.
  9. Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Not a FanThe back cover copy sold me on this book. I’d heard all the hype about it and largely ignored it. But going through the Religion aisle at the bookstore studying covers, I picked this up and read the back and instantly knew I needed to add this one to the list.
  10. Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank. Muscle and a ShovelSo many of my friends have told me how this book completely changed their views on God and Christianity that I’ve just got to read it. It’s a true story about a newlywed couple who befriend a man that challenges their religious views. It’s supposed to be a challenging read that incites some strong feelings. I’m not one to shy away from things that may challenge my views, so I’m eager to see how this strengthens my faith and causes me to dig deeper into what I believe. We are to be prepared to give an answer for the faith that is in us, so it will be interesting to see the interaction between my faith and this book. I would love to get a small group together to read this one with me.
  11. Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo. Talk Like TedI REALLY want to be a better speaker. I know that I have messages to deliver to women. But I can’t expect people to want to hear me speak if I’m not going to put in the effort to be the best speaker I can be. I’ve long admired TED talks and find them to be wonderful. I really want to see a Christian version of this speaking series come to be. I’m anticipating learning a lot about speaking that will help me improve my presentation reading this one.
  12. Still Writing by Dani Shapiro. Still writingI checked this out of the library with On Writing and didn’t get a chance to finish it, though I loved Dani Shapiro’s writing. I bought it last year when I bought On Writing. I’ve gotten almost to Middles and I love it. I can’t wait to see how Dani relates more of the writing process.
  13. Bonus Book #1: Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. Women of the WordI heard Jen Wilkin on a podcast and was really intrigued by this book. Since then I’ve seen many women talking about this book online, how it changed the way they study the Bible. I love anything that gets women reading the Word for themselves, or anyone else for that matter. I’m always looking for ways to improve my Bible study time. This should be a good book for that.
  14. Bonus Book #2: The Art of Fiction by John Gardner.  The Art of FictionI read this book some time ago and loved it. The exercises led to some great writing for me. I can’t wait to dive into it as a more mature writer.

I have a ton of fiction that I plan to read as well. I write more about fiction and my writing process on my writing blog, Copywrite1985.com.

What are you reading? I’m always looking for book suggestions, so feel free to leave your favorite reads or what you’re looking forward to in the comments section.

XOXO,

Erica

Join me tomorrow for my 10 January goals!

Posted on

There Just Might Be an Ebook in my Future Soon…

For the past few years, I’ve felt like my first book should make a statement about who I am as a person, what I believe. Even though I write fiction primarily, I wanted my first offering to be non-fiction, about a subject close to my heart that I could share with those in need of some instruction in that area. As I’ve been working diligently on a couple of projects that could fit that description at different points in the past three years, I keep going back in forth with which book I should publish first, and how.

For my non-fiction works, I have leaned towards self-publication. I don’t want to have to deal with editors or publishers who would water down or change some of the passages I write to try and make them more appealing to a broader audience, especially those focused on doing things in a godly way. I know that there are Christian publishers out there who would be able to support such work, but I don’t know if I want to be slated for release eighteen months after a deal is struck. I want to have more control over how and when these books are released. It’s not about acclaim and distribution with them, but with reaching people.

There are a great number of people who have been waiting for years for me to release a book. I have been told I should write a book since before I was in high school. Family, friends, classmates, teachers, and people I’ve done presentations for have expressed their intention to buy my first book. The first book is the one that everyone is anticipating and will get for reasons other than they like your writing. If you can’t capture them with the first book, your second one is dead in the water. I’ve seen people struggle to sell that second book, from established authors to self-publishing novices. So I want the first book, the one most likely to end up  in the most hands, to SAY SOMETHING. But what?

I’ve been working for a few years now on what started as the Marriage Kit Project. Even though I’ve done many interviews, researched tons of scripture, teased out most of the aspects of mate selection and dating I wanted to explore, it’s still not ready yet. I want to do a couple more interviews, pull a few more quotes, find a few more scriptures, and revise for my book’s life. I really wanted this to be the first book, but it won’t be ready for a while, even longer if I decide not to self publish it. So that leaves another possible project: Some College.

Some college is a memoir about my gap year. A gap year is a period of time of a year of more that a student is out of school, particularly higher education. For example, some people take a gap year between high school and college to travel. Some people take a gap year to work, pursue a dream, or to retest and qualify for a license. One of my relatives is sitting out now waiting to retake a licensing exam because you can only attempt it so many times a year. Many who are forced to take a gap year don’t return to finish their education.

My gap year occurred between my junior and senior year. It was not a voluntary one where I traveled or pursued a dream or sought to find myself in some way. I knew from the moment I realized I would have to sit out that I wanted to write about the experience. As a result, I have several journals filled with observations, stories, revelations, plans, and whatever else I thought might be interesting for the story. I even spent a long time getting some chapters written out on paper, figuring out what kind of structure I might want to use, and deciding whether or not to use whole journal entries. I even had an idea how I wanted to introduce the book and to whom it would be dedicated. But once I was taken by the marriage kit project, Some College fell to the wayside.

I recently uncovered yet another journal about this time and became taken with finishing it. There isn’t a lot of research that needs to be done since it is my story; I can just write and revise. I have a good start on it, and it’s an important story for me to tell. But should it be my first book? Should I self publish it?

I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out if there are some lessons I want to teach or if this is just me sharing my story. I’ve spent time deciding if I just want to write this for myself or release it. I’ve tried to decide if it fits The Season for Getting Serious model. Most of all, I’ve made the decision that if I’m going to do it, I might as well be honest and tell the truth of what happened. While I’m still working on The Marriage Kit book (still unnamed, officially), something in my soul says that Some College is the book that I need to put out first, the one I can put out soon. That same something is saying it needs to be out before college classes start this fall…

What are you feeling like you need to finish? How are you going to do it?

XOXO,

Erica

 

Posted on

Submitted and Free: My Review of My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife by Sara Horn

“I can think of at least two types of people who do not need to read this book. These include women who already feel like they have a strong grasp on what it means to be submissive to their husbands and women who are looking for a clear, concise guide or handbook with steps, charts and footnotes on what it means to be submissive to their husbands.”

This is how Sara Horn begins introducing My So-Called Life as a Submissive Housewife to her readers. She lets the reader know immediately that she is sharing her personal experiences in much the same way as she did with her first book, My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 wife. These two books chronicle year-long experiments undertaken by Ms. Horn in an effort to live up to the qualifications of a wife as written in the Bible. They read like getting a glimpse into a woman’s personal diary as she struggles to make sense of her role as a wife as defined by God’s word.

When I read the introduction to this book, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. The introduction sets the tone of Sara’s writing (humorous and serious in turns), sets the expectations (not a step by step instructional but an honest account of one woman’s year long quest to learn to be a submissive wife), addresses the sociocultural climate in which she is writing, and tells us why this subject is important to us spiritually. I knew that this book, if nothing else, would at least be well written and edited.

At the beginning of this experiment, Sara Horn is a hardworking Type A wife and mother riding high off of the insights her Proverbs 31 experiment have afforded her in recognizing her role in her family. She sees herself as the thermometer for the family, setting the emotional temperature. She sees tackling this project as a way to grow closer to the kind of wife the Bible says she’s supposed to be. She is also living with her husband’s family as he has recently returned from a deployment.

Most of the people she tells that she is going to be a submissive wife to are either skeptical or disagree with it entirely, including her husband. “Why would you want to do that? We work together as a team…That’s not us,” he says. His problem is what he pictures when he thinks of submission. Sara anticipates a major problem for her will be waiting for her Type B husband to make a decision on something she wanted to do. *Spoiler Alert*: this WAS a problem for her.

Sara struggles to put her husband first in a climate where women are encouraged to seek to be comparable to men in the workplace and relationships, to see submission as a bad thing.  She struggles with trying to balance her work schedule and role as a mother with her role as a wife. “I Think most of us assume we are putting our husbands first, or at least somewhat near the front, simply because of what we do…No, I think most of us who are wives and moms wake up thinking not about or husbands, but about The List. What we have to do…Who really wants to worry about one more thing to check off the list, like submission?” she writes. Her thoughts cross some of the same ground over and over again in her struggle to understand what God wants from her in this area of her life.

What I usually do when reading a book is try to find the popcorns, or the passages that reveal something that may be useful to note down the line, as well as some ways to show how I am relating to the material. I highlight frequently in non-fiction, so while the number of highlights is important, it isn’t a good gauge of how I actually feel about what I am reading. So I have to introduce other elements into the grading rubric. In my Kindle, I used “twinzies” to mark passages where Sara Horn responded as I would or had the same struggle I would; ITYSS (“ I think you said something”) to highlight passages that contained truths that sparked realizations in me or a strong chorus of “amens”, and; when I couldn’t articulate the right emotion to express much a passage really struck me, I used “!!!” When I really agree with something, I “throw my shoe.” Throwing my shoe is equivalent to Patti Labelle kicking her shoes off in concert: it is just that good to me, and I am about to really get deep into it. Throwing my shoe, then, is the highest honor I can bestow. SMH (shaking my head) needs no explanation.

In My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife, I did the following:

Favorite quote: This word submission is in the Bible. Not once but several times. So as much as we sometimes want to ignore it, I don’t think we can. I don’t believe we should. Not if we’re following Christ.

Highlighted passages: 186 (not including commented on passages)

ITYSS: 16

!!!: 22

SMH: 9 (mostly in her early attempts at submission)

Twinzies: 8

Popcorn: 2

Throw My Shoe Quotes: 3

I am not married yet, but like many young women today, I struggle with figuring out what Biblical submission should look like. As the possibility of marriage becomes more and more real for me, I, like Sara, wish there was a list of do’s and don’ts spelled out in plain English in my Bible. Even though Sara doesn’t provide a how-to guide, she provided me with hope that when you submit as God desires, the pieces will begin to fall into place as they should.

The things I didn’t like in this book are minimal. In the beginning we seemed to be covering the same ground a few times, which bogged me down in a section or two. There were a couple of soapbox areas whose preachy tones didn’t fit with the general tone of the book to me. There wasn’t as much focus on submission to God or how we are called to submit to one another as I thought there would be. But none of these makes this book any less worth reading.

I loved this book! It was real and relatable. I felt like Sara was really trying to figure out what being submissive meant and follow God’s leading in this area of her life. I felt like I was going through life with her for the space of this year, as if she didn’t hide any of the struggles and triumphs from me. There were times when I wanted to shake her and ask her what she was doing, as well as times I wanted to hug her and say thank you for expressing how I have understood it. Going into the book, I wasn’t sure that a book written in this diary style would be a good book to use in women’s classes or for discussions, but now I’m frustrated that no one else in my circle has read this book yet because I want to discuss it. It’s a discussion that is needed, especially for young women like me who need to know these things about being married. I would recommend this book to any woman, single or married, who wants to get a better understanding of how submission can work if you make the effort to follow God’s command to do so.

XOXO

Erica

cover28130-medium I was not compensated for this review, but I did receive a reviewer’s copy of the book. This book will be published by Harvest House Publishers August 1st, 2013.

Posted on

Now Entering Phase One…

First of all, the happiest of birthdays to the most awesome mom ever. Happy birthday, mommy!

Now back to the lecture at hand…

I am now entering phase one of all of the things I can’t tell you about. However, I can tell you a few things I’ve accomplished. The first thing I’ve accomplished is finally getting a laptop to aid in to publishing and blogging domination. Yes, for the past four years of blogging, I’ve been writing from a desktop, tied down to one location. Now I am able to sit cross-legged on my futon watching The Mentalist Season 1 on DVD while updating the blog or working on the book. Yay for a new laptop!

I have also opened up an account of Net Galley and am going to be reviewing new and advance copies of books going forward. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. I hope to launch a book club in the future, so having the chance to see what books are coming out and know what books may suit my book club will be a great addition to my blogging. Besides, we all know how much I love to give my opinion.

The biggest thing that I can share is that I have booked my first speaking engagement that is in line with my website/book. I will be speaking to a small group of women at a seminar called Authentic Self on May 18th on the topic “Getting Serious About Who You Are in Christ: Go Godly Early.” I am supposed to speak for an hour to an hour and a half. I have been kicking around some ideas to address areas that Christian women in their 20s and 30s struggle with in their walk with Christ. If anyone has any ideas of areas I should address, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

There are a couple of other things in process that I can’t talk about yet, but they are really close to completion. I’m working really hard on the website and book to bring you all a more dynamic, community oriented experience. I’m trying to come up with things for the site that I thinks readers will appreciate, and I would love your feedback on what you would like to see as a reader of one of my blogs.

I’m feeling a little sick and very tired today, so I’m doing the meds and bed thing (one time for being able to type this in bed!). If anyone wants to come take care of me, I am accepting applications.

XOXO

Erica

 

Posted on

Getting Serious About Your Bookshelf

Readers who have followed me here from my other blogs know that it’s been a dream of mine to start a book club. One of the reasons I want to start a book club is when I am reading a book and have a strong reaction to something in it, I want to have someone to turn to with some easily readable facial expression and just say “Right?” or “Seriously?” or “Oh my goodness, did you get to chapter 3? Didn’t you just die!” (OK, so I don’t talk like that last sentence, but I’ve always wanted to say, “didn’t you just die!” as an exclamation and not a question. Anyway) Aside from confirmation of my personal reaction to books, I like the discussions, the different perspectives, and the feeling of picking a really good book that really resonates with people. As a writer myself, it’s what I hope my (yet to be published) books will do. To this point, however, said dream of a book club has never gotten off the ground, even though the ladies at church think it might be a fun idea.

One thing I’ve really gotten into is reading Christian non-fiction. I’m very picky about what I read, because I’m very picky about what I let influence my overactive imagination center. I felt half crazy with fright over the months I read Stephen King’s IT on my lunch break, alternately terrified, disgusted, laughing, and confused. It was so not good for me, but I need one of those every once in a while, and his dialogue and writing is top notch.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah.

I’m picky about what I read now as I get serious about my life. You should be, too. I already talked about the influence of social media, but if you have been to the twitter accounts or facebook, you know I don’t use those much. My major influences are blogs and books (and TV/movies, but that’s a whole other animal for another day).

When someone I follow on twitter mentioned that the book publisher they worked for gives copies of books for review to bloggers, I decided to follow up on it. I’ve always wanted to review books! Ever since third grade book reports, I’ve wanted to tell people what I think about books (I imagine it was like this for Roger Ebert with movies). I’ve heard about bloggers getting advanced copies and read the reviews and wondered how I could get that gig.

Well, I got it! Only, it’s not a gig, as in a job. But it comes with free books.

The first book I get to review is perfect for this site, ladies. If you are like me, you may have heard of Sara Horn’s book, My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife. The book was about her year-long experiment trying to live the Proverbs 31 wife life. While I haven’t gotten a chance to read that one, I saw part of her interview on Today, and I remember really wanting to read it. So I was beyond excited to get chosen to review her new book, due out in August of this year. When I saw the title, I knew I had to request it, and I prayed I’d get it. It’s one of my favorite topics to discuss with women, and one we need to get serious about if we are going to be wives.

I’m reviewing My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife. *Insert happy dance here*

Wait, are you guys dancing, too? I can’t see you, but you probably aren’t. Sara even points out in the introduction to the book how so many women want to wear the banner of Proverbs 31 wife, but that word “submissive” gets a different reaction altogether. Which is why I really want to read it. I want to see what she experienced trying to live submissively. I want to know if I agree with what she did–do I think that was being submissive or does it seem like she was taking it to the extreme? Do I agree with her interpretation of the scriptures? How hard is it for her to live it out and not just patronize her husband? I’m so excited to dive in.

Will you be reading my review? What questions about this book would you want me to answer in said review? Has anyone read My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife?  Does anyone remember the show, My So-Called Life? Who wants to be in the Serious Season Book Club?

XOXO

Erica

Posted on

Freestyle Friday: The Long Time No See Edition

It’s been a long time; I should have left you…without a dope beat to step to. Step to, step to, step to. Step to, step to *insert djing noises here* Note: Everytime I say it’s been a long time, just know the intro to Aaliyah’s “Try Again” plays in my head.

Hi, everyone! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted here. I’ve been so busy establishing the brand of the new site, The Season for Getting Serious, being buried under work, and working on bringing some cool new things to ALL the blogs, that I haven’t had a chance to actually write a post. We won’t even mention the craziness that is writing this book right now. Many of the things I’ve been working on are starting to bear a little fruit, but I promised myself not to share until they were ready. Can’t you feel my desire to just put it out there, though? I hate keeping good news to myself! But it’s only for a teenie weenie while longer.

On to stuff I can talk about. The website is doing well! I’ve had 50 likes on 14 posts after only a month (I celebrated one month since I bought the domain on yesterday)! I hope to build on this start in the future. For those of you from this blog who have been over to support the website, thank you so much. I love you guys!

What else can I talk about? I used some of the money from my collision claim to begin transitioning my apartment to more of an adult home. I bought a media stand and a TV stand, an iron (my iron from college finally died) and a vaccuum. If we’re being completely honest, I also bought an iPod and some blu rays, too. I’ve not disappeared into purely responsible adulthood. I am waiting on the last pay out for the collision claim, which isn’t a big check like the other one, but will cover my first car payment. I also have to deal with the underinsured motorist portion of the claim, but the PIP is finished.

Speaking of the car, the good news continues with my car. My car insurance dropped. It is lower than it was when I lowered the coverages, only about $10 more than when I lowered it to basic coverages for the month I was out of a car. The quote I had on the first car I looked at was $50 more per month! This car is all around the better deal.

Oh, there is one new blog-related thing I can share with you. I will be reviewing books again! I can’t share the details, but just know, this girl has some recommendations and reservations to share with you, book wise.

Well, my boss is back from a vacation, which means my workload has decreased in some areas and increased in others at the same time. I have to get fly and get out the door. I’ll be in touch more often, and hopefully, I will have more good news to share with you soon!

How’s life been for you?

XOXO

2blu2btru

Posted on

Free as a Bird, Wild as the Wind: Freestyle Friday

It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these, I almost don’t know what to do! Most of my time lately hasn’t exactly been “free,” so I haven’t been writing as much, but I’ve wanted to write many times. Work has picked up for me, I’ve been doing pre-marital counseling once a week, I’ve applied to school, and I’ve been writing or reading source material every spare moment I have. My days have been filled from my daily walk/jog until I fall asleep on the couch watching Investigation Discovery. Here’s what’s new and not so exciting with me:

  • My five year anniversary was this Wednesday. We didn’t have time to do anything to celebrate Wednesday, as we both went straight from work to church and didn’t leave there until after nine thirty, but hopefully we can do something nice this weekend. Of course, we are going to New Orleans next weekend, which is a great way to celebrate!
  • My car will be paid off by Monday or Tuesday!! I am so excited at the prospect of not having to send that payment in every month. I am praying that the car will still keep going and need as little work as possible for a year or two so I can at least get to taste a little bit of savings. The next debt up for repayment will be the student loans (eeek!)
  • I’ve been preoccupied with writing what will be the seminal chapter of my book, the Adam & Eve chapter. This chapter will introduce nearly every topic that will be developed later. Needless to say, trying to get it perfect has consumed a lot of my writing time (hence why I’ve been so silent here). I’ve decided to break the book up into three sections: Preparation, Purpose, and Purity. I’ve done extensive work in preparation and some writing in purity, but I haven’t done as much work on the Purpose section. I say all of this to say that the writing is going well. I’m not going to end up with the book I thought I would, but this one is going to be better; promise.
  • I’ve been reading Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Josh Harris, and it is GOOD! By the same author who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye, this book focuses on courtship and how to move from friends to married couple. So far I like the stories used as practical examples (except that ill advised reimagining of Adam & Eve at the beginning) and the principles given. It’s WAY different than my book, but it’s a good read. 😀
  • I’ve been a little obsessed with Miguel’s “Adorn” and “Lovin’ Me” from the R&B Divas album! I listened to a CD with those two songs on it on repeat for a couple weeks;
  • however, it was supplanted by a sermon Bro. Drummer preached, “Following the Footsteps of Faith,” that everyone needs to hear. I mean, this sermon is awesome. One of my favorite concepts from this sermon is that you cannot expect the blessings of God if you are not where He told you to go. Brother Drummer used the following illustration: if someone tells you to meet them in Tampa and they will pay all of your bills for a year, you wouldn’t pull over at a rest stop in St. Petersburg and wait for them. You wouldn’t say “St. Pete is close enough. If he could pay my bills if I come to Tampa, why can’t he do it in St. Pete?” It’s amazing what principles we understand in secular things that we can’t seem to translate to spiritual terms. Get out of Harran!
  • Speaking of Brother Drummer, our counseling has come to the point of talking about the different relationships in marriage. We’ve talked about the covenant and contractual aspects; now it’s time to talk about the ceremonial and conjugal aspects (or as like to say as our code word “conjugating verbs”). According to Bro. D., we are getting to the interesting or fun stuff; I’ll let you know how that goes in a personal blog post.
  • I’ve got a list a mile long of things I want for Christmas, etc. I have picked out everyone else’s gifts, but I am indecisive about what I REALLY want. I want a new iPod (mine broke a while ago), a laptop (which I should have had long ago; I only own a desktop), a long list of songs and books I want to buy, a new bed, some spin shoes, a membership to the spin/yoga studio that just opened up, etc. Even though I feel like paying off my car is the best Christmas gift I could receive (thanks Mom! You’re the best!), I want to get myself something that moves me toward publishing my own website, developing my author platform, and getting some books published. But then, I really want to cut down my list of music related goodness to bless myself with. Decisions, Decisions.
  • I’m bringing back “We’re Just Links” to promote other blogs, so if you know of any great blogs, please tell me about them and leave a link.

But enough about me, loves, what are you doing/thinking/ this week? Have you got Christmas all squared away? Have you kept any resolutions you’re especially proud of? Do you want to get me iTunes gift cards and a domain name for Christmas? Feel free to leave some love in the comments section!

XOXO

2blu2btru

Posted on

Passing on Your Passion

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Image via Wikipedia

When I was back in Michigan last week, one thing I wanted to accomplish was sorting through all of my books. I have a ton of books. Every birthday, holiday, or scholastic achievement was celebrated with new books for me, not to mention all of the books I bought from every book fair, book sale, and Friends of the Library store I could find. As reading has always been one of the loves of my life, I have books for every age of reader from beginner Little Golden books to The Babysitter’s Club to Disconstructionist Literary Theory. Needless to say, it was a lot to sort through (and I have a hard time letting go of a good book!).

It didn’t take me long to determine I would never reread The thin Disney’s the Little Mermaid I had stuffed in a box in the closet, nor would I be reading many of the other titles again. Those phases of life, for me, were passed. I don’t have any pigtail-laden little girls to read them to, either. But some of those books were just to good to be stored in a bin, never to be read again. I remembered the joy I had reading them, the worlds they opened me up to. Some things are just too good to keep to yourself.

My cousin has an almost six year old daughter (which is WAY older than five, you understand), Jemilia, who likes to read. She’s read every book that she has. My hometown no longer has a library (which, when I discovered this, made me feel like I’d lost a close friend), so her only source of books is her family and the school (which, of course, is about to close for the summer). Keeping this in mind, I combed my collection for books that were appropriate for a smart almost six year old.

The first book that went into this pile was My Body is Private. That’s very important reading for a little girl nowadays. Then came the disney books and  one about a tiny elephant eating from a jar of peanut butter. I noticed some were missing. Where on earth was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?

Of course, there were some I just couldn’t part with. My huge hardcover collectable Disney books based on the movies, for one. My grandmother gave me those. Also, the treasury of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales she’d also given me. I intend for my child/ren to have them one day. But the rest went on the pile, no matter how much it hurt to see these old friends go.

Jemilia and her grandmother stopped by as I was going through old notebooks upstairs. I sent the pile of books down with my brother, pausing to look out the window. She reached for the pile, which was almost as big as she was, but her grandmother took it for her. She tugged on her grandmother’s shirt until she bent down, then took The Little Mermaid off the top. As they started walking back home, she already had the book open and was reading, not watching where she was going, and not caring much where she ended up. I smiled. “That was my favorite one, too!” I thought, then turned back to my notebooks.

Isn’t the best look in the world the look we get when we fall into a book, no matter what age we are? The hunger, the wonder, the pure joy that comes over our face is almost unmatched. We all look like rapt children when in those moments, open and hopeful and imaginative. This is what makes me upset when people say they don’t like reading, or hate English, the thought that I’ll never surprise that look of wonder on their face. With everything else that happens in this life, I think everyone should feel the joy of reading.

So I used precious cargo room in my car to bring back books I have no intention of ever reading again. Among them are well loved copies of The Babysitter’s Club, The Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley High, and R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books. As the school year has ended, a sister at church wants to continue the tutoring outreach to include a reading and math help summer program. These books could be the start of a lending library for summer reading. 

There’s nothing I love more than sharing my love of reading with others, especially those who just haven’t discovered the book that unlocks that love in them. I believe we all have it within us (I should really be an English teacher, shouldn’t I? LOL). I want to cultivate a love of reading in some, and nurture it in others. I want to have pass on my passion. I’m glad I’ve found a way to do it…and declutter my home!

How are you passing on your passion? 

Posted on

Multicultural Reading Suggestions

Zora Neale Hurston, beating the hountar, or ma...
Zora Neale Hurston.Image via Wikipedia

Since I spent yesterday lamenting my love/hate relationship with the AA section, I wanted to spend today helping people diversify their reading list. I will be the first to admit that the AA section of most bookstores is not overflowing with great literature. You may have to go to Amazon, Overstock, or a bookstore website to get the books I would argue are worth reading, but it’s worth the extra effort (I recommend the library, as well. They usually have great exchange programs with other libraries if they don’t carry the book you want).

The selections that I am going to give you are composed from two sources: books I’ve read and books on my to be read list. I encountered many of them through classes such as Native American Literature, Women in Literature, African-American Literature, and through my own stumbling attempts to find other works by authors of short stories I liked from class. I will give you a very brief overview of what each book is about (what I remember). Feel free to take up any suggestions, and add your own in the comments section. *Note: These list is multicultural in that several cultures are represented here. No other claims of multiculturalism are being made.

  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston: I’ve read this book for classes at least three times, from junior year of high school to Women in Literature, this one keeps cropping up, and for good reason. Maxine Hong Kingston is the child of Chinese immigrants, born in America. She’s also edited a Best American Short Stories collection and written other books. This is a memoir.
  • There Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: This is the only book on the list I’ve read more than The Woman Warrior. I’ve read this ins Great American Books, African-American Literature, Zora Neale Hurston Major Author Study, Women in Literature, high school–everywhere, and once just for fun. This has some of my favorite literary quote. If you have issues trying to read vernacular, it can be tough going in spots, but Hurston’s prose it beautiful.
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez: The story of a Spanish family (Puerto Rican, I think), whose daughters go through the identity crises brought up being raised in America in a different culture. The girls struggle to identify themselves and be acceptable to both their family and society.
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo: Yes, I actually read this for a class. It is a novel about Italians and Italian-Americans, primarily in New York. Aside from some harsh language and violence, the story portrays the life of struggling immigrants, a little race relations in the poor areas of town, certain ideas that are associated with the Italian-American culture (loyalty and family), and the rise of mob/crime families.
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: I’m sure many of you have read (and loved) Jane Eyre. If you’re like me and wondered about the wife in the attic (and thought she was done a disservice in that book), you may be interested in Wide Sargasso Sea. WSS tells the story of that wife, from her upbringing in the Caribbean to the fateful fire in Jane Eyre.
  • Love Medicine by Louise Erdich: A Native American novel encompassing generations of a Native American tribe. It’s a complicated one to try to explain, but well worth a read. It’s interesting to follow the evolution backwards and forwards in time and see the impact of losing their ancestral lands and their quickly disappearing languages and culture. Erdich’s writing is lyrical and crisp.
  • Persepolis by Majane Satrapi: The story of a woman’s early life to adult growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi’s narrative shifts to her schooling in France as well. Told as a graphic novel in black and white, there are two books/parts to the tale. I bought the complete Persepolis. It’s a fast read and a rare look into a much maligned or misunderstood culture.

I’m going to have to break this up a bit. I’ll add more in the next post.

Happy Reading!