Monday, September 23, 2013

The release of Longing for Home has been an absolute bright spot in a very difficult year. It's a story that is close to my heart, a book I poured myself into, and a wonderful opportunity to expand my tales into a new era, a new continent, and a new group of characters. I love this book. I honestly, truly do. And I am in the mood to celebrate.

So, I am going to do some giveaways here on this blog--my little way of thanking you for your support of me and my stories, a way for me to have a virtual "party."

The "Tell A Friend" Giveaway

I love, love, love hearing people say they recommended my books to a friend. That is the ultimate endorsement! So thank you a hundred times over--I know your willingness to tell a friend has been a huge part of getting my books into the hands of new readers. In honor of that much appreciated word-of-mouth, I'm giving away a lovely prize...

  • Prize: a "Live in Hope" journal, super cute bag, and a signed copy of one of my books of your choice

  • How to enter: Leave a comment on this post letting me know who you have told about my books, "Friend," "Mom," "Sister," "All of Facebook," etc. Every comment is an entry, and you can absolutely leave more than one comment. One winner will be chosen at random from all the comments.
    • If you tell someone between now and when the contest ends... awesome! Just leave another comment.

  • Contest ends: 11:59:59pm September 30th. 

  • Open to US & Canadian residents.

Thank you, everyone, for all the support you've shown me. I hope this contest is fun.

**I'll have another giveaway in October!**

(PS, I've added info to my link bar for book clubs--if your book club is planning to read one of my books and would like to invite me to join in, let me know!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sometimes the road we are asked to walk in life is harder than we anticipated. In fact, I think it often is. And, yet, it is our road and our journey. There are times when we can stop and see the beauty around us. But there are moments when the simple act of taking a single step requires every ounce of strength and endurance and energy we have.

I hurt all the time, night and day. I have been struggling for a while to stand and walk. Any amount of time on my feet is excruciating and exhausting, at times to the point where I can hardly endure it. So this week I finally admitted to myself how bad things have become. Then my husband and I went out and bought a wheelchair. How quickly life changes.

I laid in bed that night feeling discouraged and broken. My road had become something I wasn't ready for. I have spent a lot of time lately contemplating this path and what the rest of my journey really ought to look like. And in that quiet moment as I thought of how much things had changed and how quickly, I was reminded of a song written not many years ago, a song that has always spoken to me but did so even more in that difficult moment of struggle.
Sometimes I feel like
I've never been nothing but tired,
And I'll be working
Til the day I expire.
Sometimes I lay down,
No more can I do.
But then I go on again,
Because You asked me to.
--"Up to the Mountain," Patty Griffin
There are moments, many of them, when I sit down on the roadside of my journey because I don't have the strength to go on. But somehow, I get up again and keep going because that is what is asked of me.

At first I was discouraged at the idea of doing book signings and conferences and so many other things in a wheelchair--it was just such a drastic change, and such a sudden one. Yet another way in which my life was changing and aching and falling apart. I am so used to being up and about while I'm out doing these things. It felt almost as though I was being punished for trying to keep going. But as I thought it over there in the dark of night, a new perspective settled over me.

I can't change this, but neither can I simply plop down on the roadside and weep for the rest of my life. So my chair, which I have dubbed "Little Buddy," and I are going to make this work. It will be different, but it will be okay. When my RA is more under control, I will be able to be up and about again. When it flares again--and there's no avoiding that, RA always returns, again and again--Little Buddy will be there waiting to take away some of my burdens.

My mom, who, along with my dad, is living up here with us right now, helping me get through all of these battles I'm fighting, is helping me make a fabric cover for the back of my chair, a matching, comfy seat cushion, and imagining with me crazier and crazier ways to chic-ify Little Buddy.

Just like we used to sign our friends' casts back in elementary school, I'm bringing markers with me to signings and conferences and events, and asking anyone who's willing to take a moment and sign the back of my wheelchair. I know it probably seems silly, and is probably a completely dorky thing to do, but pain has a terrible ability to make a person feel very isolated. I am one who struggles to ask for help, but I've come to realize how desperately I need it. So I'm asking if you'll help me, in this small way, feel less alone.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So, what are you doing on Saturday, Sept 21st Saturday, Oct 5th???
I know what I'm doing.

LDS-apalooza book signing
September 21st 6-8pm
Barnes & Noble - University Crossings
330 E 1300 S, Orem, UT

Deseret Book's "Ladies Night" book signing
October 5th, 6-8pm
Deseret Book - University Village
1076 S 750 E, Orem, UT

Stop by & say hi!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I've been pretty quiet on this blog lately. Life has been... tough. I've spent a great many of my words here this past year talking about Rheumatoid Arthritis and how its sudden appearance in my life has changed things. I try not to dwell on it, but RA is every moment now. It's nearly every thought.

Once Upon a Time, When I was Young... I thought RA was a pretty simple thing. It was arthritis, plain and simple. You tried a few treatments, found the right ones, and then things went back to normal. At the worst, I assumed I would move a little slower, perhaps have a bit of a limp, perhaps have a few bad days here and there.

Once Upon a Time, When I was Young... I spent my days conquering the world and doing everything I needed and wanted to. And now I feel old and worn out. I hurt all the time, but that is somehow the easy part. We have tried so many things and are still trying them. But RA isn't the simple disease it seemed to be when standing on the outside looking in. It behaves differently in everyone.

Once Upon a Time, When I was Young... I ran this show. I determined my schedule. I decided how to spend my days. I could go to any conference, any signing. I had the stamina and energy and physical endurance to blog and write and edit and market and do everything an author is expected to do to build her career and reach out to readers. I could do it all, and I loved it. Now, I've finally had to admit to myself that I can't do most of it. Not even on my good days. Things will get better, but they'll never be what they were before. So the amazing places I imagined my writing would take me, the accomplishments I'd daydreamed about, have taken their place alongside so many other things I am learning to let go of.

Once Upon a Time, When I was Young... I thought all those things were extremely important. Crucial, even. I had a predetermined definition of success. But I'm suddenly older now. Older and wiser. I have learned to be grateful for the smallest of things. I have learned a new definition of success. I have discovered inner strength I didn't know I possessed.

I don't know what my life will look like in another year, another decade. Things are still too complicated, too up in the air. I'll confess, part of me is a little scared. When I was younger and life was easier, that bit of uncertainty would have eaten away at me. But life is a gift, and I don't mean to waste it being afraid. Because I am a stronger person than I was when I was young, once upon a time.



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