Jesus can use any act of love to change a life

Joy4“Jesus can use any act of love to change a life.” This was the sermon message yesterday from guest pastor – Pastor Ron Johnson at Oakville Presbyterian church. It was a great sermon I hope it got recorded because it is one I think I could easily listen to over and over again.

I finally, finally finished a section in the book that I was finding almost impossible to write. That was the part of my younger brother’s Tony’s death. It had a big miracle in it which was why I wanted to include it but still was very hard to get into it. I know for a fact it was Pastor Ron’s sermon that gave me the push to do it.

I now have most of the pieces of the book completed. A few more content edit corrections (or maybe a lot) and then I can move into grammar editing. This did not become a 30 day wonder as I was hoping but at least that 30 day push got most of the book written and that was a major. The biggest obstacle to all endeavors is getting started.

I am hoping to have it laid out in book form in the next few days and then anyone who is willing to give it a read and give some feedback on it I will be very grateful for. Part of the slow down with the book is that I entered that slump period where it seems, “too long, too boring and why in the heck am I doing this anyway,” period. So its very important to get fresh eyes looking at it and give honest feedback on what to cut back, cut out, build up, forget, etc.

Now it’s time to get going. Pudge wants to go for a walk and I’m not ready for work. Zooom!

Today’s Hangman: December 29
All Games | Mahjong, | Simon Says, | Word Search | Memory Games

“Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly [on the night of Christmas] entered into our night.” Pope Francis

 

First Book Draft is Done

If I'm Not Me Who Will Be?Hurray! The first draft of the book is done. I am now going to work on layout for the next two days and then offer a free download version for anyone who wants to read it while I work on editing, creating a final cover and lots of other stuff to get it ready for printing.

What was very neat was that I finished it yesterday Thanksgiving Morning. Then I went to a Thanksgiving Service at Oakville and the sermon was on the Parable of Talents. This was also the sermon (as my sister Barb reminded me) of the previous Sunday’s sermon at St. Mary’s. AND what is even more amazing (to me) is that during my time at Guest House it was this same topic that I heard from a priest visiting from Croatia that helped me to see that using my talents was something that God not only wants us to do but instructs us to do. So it was like a triple confirmation that writing this book was using my talents.

Here is another book cover. I’m sure it’s a long way from the final one – but appreciate your thoughts.

 

 

A Shift in Thought and a New Chapter to Share

I received a lot of great feedback and it is helping me very much to get some clarity. One friend who is not on this list but offered to take a look at the three chapters gave some advice that has been mentioned in the comments as well. This is that my transitions are too choppy, I write more as a journal rather than tell a story. She also did not think the title told enough of what the book is about to make her want to read it. I know that was mentioned a time or two in the comments.

She gave me five questions to ask myself before proceeding. I actually thought I had those questions covered but rethinking it I didn’t. So I percolated those questions over night and in the morning came up with a new sense of where I was going, who are the people I am writing to and what the purpose of the book is about.

This book is about my journey of self-discovery which I think is what most memoirs basically boil down to. One thing that has come out of my writing the last two chapters (four and five) was of my really poor coping skills. For most of my life I tended to cope with people and situations by being nice – even when being nice meant that I endangered myself. I did not know how or have the confidence in myself to say no or even to simply say what I was actually thinking and feeling.

One statement that got me into Guest House in the first place was a comment by one of the sisters that I had an anger problem. I did not think I did. I thought I was nice. The problem is one can only be nice so long before one explodes and is not so nice. When I was in drug rehab during the Navy one of the counselors told me that I had a volcano personality. I hold things in and hold things in and then explode. Apparently that did not get fixed in the first round of addiction counseling. It got better in the second round at Guest House but it is still something I know I still deal with.

So I want to change the book’s title. I won’t be surprised if a lot of you don’t like it – but this title punches me in tvolcano-test-bookcover1he middle of my stomach with its truth. It gives me direction as to the level of honesty I want to get with myself. And most of all I think it might actually help other religious sisters and other people who suffer from this same stuff. In many ways its common to a lot of women. We are taught if we can’t say something nice don’t say it. And the not saying it is sometimes a very bad thing! We don’t deal with things when they should be dealt with.

So here is my new title – and yes, it may change again and again before the book actually gets printed but here it is for today.

Title: Sister Patricia has an Anger Problem

Subtitle: A Catholic Journey of Recovery

A mock up of a cover – this is just an image I found that was too small to actually work with but it gives an idea.

Let me know what you think. I am benefiting so much from everyone’s insights and comments. I totally need the “You Go, Girl!” a lot but I also need the “this would make it better” stuff as well.

For those of you who would like I am sharing Chapter Four here.  4 Chapter Four I think it goes with my new direction even though I didn’t have that thought when writing it.

My friend suggested I start the book over with my new slant and focus and so after a day of much turmoil I bit the bullet and am doing that. Just know if you read these chapters and the previous ones the actual book will probably be quite different. Also I will not be leaving these chapters online forever – at this point I just need all the help and feedback I can get!

Thank you so much for staying on this journey with me. Please continue to share your comments and feedback.

 

First review of First Three Chapters

ocean_cover_pb3-350pxOkay  . . . here is a new cover.

I had my sister take some pictures of me – and I liked this one okay – but not high enough resolution to actually use for printing. So I told her we will just have to go back! Maybe in a couple weeks if weather is nice again.

I’m thinking I will include other pictures inside the book and have just one for the front.

Here is a PDF of the first three chapters. I probably should come up with a more interesting beginning but since this is the first and ragged draft it is the way it is I guess. I don’t want to stop to edit and improve till I get through the whole thing at least once. So take that into consideration – who knows what the final draft will be – but thank you for those brave enough to give it a read as it is!

3 Chapters.docx

Do let me know what you think. Comments do not have to be wonderful – I do want to improve it when and where I can.

Let me know what you think of this cover!

 

New Cover – Collage type . . .

collage-book-cover-red-2-smallOkay – I tend to agree with most everyone. I wasn’t really sold on any of the covers either. So I bit the bullet and created a different one – this time with pictures. Let me know what you think of this one. I’m sure it won’t be the final, final version but hopefully we are getting closer. Do you like it better with a white or red background? Maybe something else?

The problem I found with looking through my pictures was that most of the older ones were taken with cheap cameras and they look really bad compared to the high quality we get today from our little point and shoot cameras. Anyway I found a few to put together a rough collage. I think it looks pretty lame but I’m not aiming for perfection at this point just to keep moving forward. Perhaps if the book sells more than a few copies I can afford to get someone to design a more professional one.

I am almost done with Chapter Two and have about 8000 words. 10 more chapters to go. Ye Haw!

collage-book-cover-white-2-smallDoing this book is a bit like having a personal session with the ghost of Christmas past. Once you start digging in the mine fields of childhood and growing up (which I still haven’t quite achieved) it gets a bit weird. It was like, I did what? I will definitely have to be on the lookout for folks in little white coats. If this blog stops all of a sudden you will know I have been found out.

Okay enough of this – it’s back to the writing. Oh, one more thing. I am seriously thinking of sharing the first couple of chapters with anyone who is interested to get some feedback. Your help has been great with the covers!

OH – And what do you think about the Title. A couple of folks , Cathy and Jo both thought the title would be better off with adding an I before the be? So I tried that. At first I didn’t like it cause I was kind of attached to my first inspiration but now I think I kind of do. What do you think?