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.



Moving forward! 10 chapters written

Been hitting the old book writing hard and heavy!

Making great progress after the initial rewrite of the first three chapters. Much better. There will still be tons more editing but it is starting to hang together and make more sense.

I was hoping to keep the book to 12 chapters but may have 13-15. Believe it or not I am still hoping to get er done by the end of the month! Which is why I have not been keeping up to date here very much.

Today I am completing Chapter 11 and have over 45,000 words. I was planning to just do 40,000 which would have been a small book but now looks like it will be regular sized between 50,000 – 60,000.

I am so glad that I wrote the chapters about living in the monastery back in 2010 when things were much more fresh. I am doing a little rewrite of them but the hard word of remembering was all done. Thanks God!

The first 3 chapters of the book are a bit depressing I think but once I get into the monastery the tempo picks up and becomes much more cheerful and positive. The time in the monastery was a great period of my life and I hope to remain true to that.

So this is just a note to let you know I’m keeping on track and pushing forward!



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!


Book Progress Report

Just a brief bit to say that the book is coming along pretty well. I am starting Chapter Five and have over 18,000 words written. At this rate it may be a little longer than I thought but I am stilled determined to finish (as rough and ragged as it may be) by November 30th.

I will share the first three chapters with anyone on this list who might want to read them in a few days. I’m sure a professional editor whould be shocked at my sharing in such a raw state – but that’s the way this is just going to be.

Tomorrow I am taking a morning break from writing and going to the coast with my sister. We want to give our dogs another romp on the beach while the weather is still nice and the waves are not to rough as will be soon during the winter months. Looking very forward to that.

I read all the comments about the latest cover and I agree with my friend Barb and a few others in the comments that I need to find more pictures of the present “me” and use only one or two from the monastery. The thing is I am always the one taking pictures not being in them! So will have to see what I can come up with. So be prepared for a third set of cover possibilities. . .

Last night I finished reading a really great young adult book called, “Deadline” by Chris Crutcher. It is a novel about a 18 year old boy who finds he has just a year left to live. Now that sounds like it would be depressing to read but it wasn’t a bit. It was instead about all the living he packed inside that one year. I was very impressed with the issues the author covered and how honest and to the core he got with things. It reaffirmed my decision to be as equally candid, with sharing my own story.

No doubt some may have a very different idea of who I am if they read my story. In fact I am finding out I am getting a very different picture of who I am just by writing it! Which also by the way has made me decide that I am going to go with my original title of “If I’m not Me, Who will Be?” It’s not about my deciding to become someone else it’s about God created me to be me – and if I am not true to that person – no one else in the world can take the place of me. That is how it is with each of us. No matter how unimportant we might seem to be – we still are the only ones who can be who we are.

Well, taking a break for a bit. I took a nap earlier so I may write some more later or not. Not sure. Hope you have an awesome day.


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?


The Race is on . . .

Joy2I am moving steadily ahead! As crazy as it may seem I am trying to write this book in just a month!

Oh, I know you think I will burn myself out – but really the way I figure it – with my very short attention span it’s the only way to get it done! That and the fact that I can maybe slip by working one month solidly on the book – but can’t afford to take any more time to do that. Necessity makes possible a lot of things!

So this is my thought. I will write the book and have the first edition ready on December 1. Just in case someone thinks it would make a nice gift for Christmas. It certainly won’t be Pulitzer Prize material because I am just writing and sharing my story as I write and share here. It also won’t be real big. I’m planning on about 12 chapters and about 40,000 words which is very doable for me. At any rate will keep you posted on my progress. So far I have about 4,500 words so that is 1/10th of the way!

All prayers accepted.


And do you like any of these covers? I’m still working on them – but since the cover is an important part of the book – I want it to find out which one you would be most attracted to. These are not the final choices but might give me some idea of what to go with.  Please give your vote in the comments since I can’t seem to get the poll to work very well when I send it through email.


cover-choices-4If you have any other ideas for a good cover let me know!

Many thanks!

The Results are in!

Joy1Well – looks like the Memoir book won hands down! The poll didn’t work outside the website (sorry about that) but 11 people did vote there and the results were 10 for the “If I’m Not Me, Who Will Be” book with the poll. A lot of people left comments or sent an email and most of those were also for the personal book – so looks like I had better get busy!

Tonight was a busy Halloween night! I had Spiderman and princesses and ghouls and goblins. I ran out of candy far sooner than I thought! Goodness gracious. Next year I will have to plan for more. It does seem to vary from year to year.

I am going to create some pins (like the one to the left) that I will use on this site and my Pinterest page. What do you think? Does it seem too promotional to put “Joy in Jesus” at the top and my picture and website at the bottom? ? ?

Well – my friend Barb says if I’m going to get this book done – I better get to writing! Guess she is right!



Should I? Or Shouldn’t I?

Well it’s like this. Things were going along pretty well with my job at the church and two social media clients. Then I started praying to get back to what I really love which is working on this site  . . . And lo and behold . . . God heard my prayer.

I lost both Social Media clients within two weeks.


Of course there is no way I can live on my Church job. It doesn’t even pay the rent. So I now have “LOTS” of time to work on this site but not so much for things like keeping a roof over my head and buying a bit of food for me, Pudge and Buddy.

So I’m going to step out in faith again and do a book. I haven’t had too good of luck with getting this done lately (so please don’t roll your eyes). Smile. Here’s the part where I need your input.

I have two books in mind. One a second book on the rosary and the other – a small book about my journey of faith  – [before thepaperbackbookstanding_200px monastery – 25 years in the monastery and my life such as it is today.] It won’t be anything bestselling but I wrote 11 chapters of this book while I was still in the monastery so that will be authentic for telling my joy of being a nun – and then I will add new material about living outside the monastery which has a joy of its own I hope as well.

101new_rosary200pxWill you help me to decide which one to work on first? I do plan to do both at some point in life. And of course if you think I should abandon either book idea and go get a job as a dishwasher you can vote for that too!

Which Book should I do? free polls

Contest Winner and Weekend at the Oregon, Coast

Betty B. is the winner of the Amazon Gift Card Contest. Congratulations!

Thank you for everyone who participated. I think there was only about ten but hopefully the ten found it fun. The bad thing about contests is there is usually only one winner. The next time I do a contest I shall come up with at least a small prize for everyone who participates.

big_stump_beach_waldport_oregonWell as per normal I am not keeping up with what I said I would keep up with. So what else is new? Did have a great time at the Ocean though! Wow o Wow! It was truly the best time ever. Surprisingly late September and early October is the best time to be at the coast in Oregon. The weather was balmy, the winds were low and every day was the best imaginable. Of course we were only there a short weekend but it was a wonderful one. This was the place we stayed at. The beach is called Big Stump beach, because of this big stump from a giant sequoia. The stump is over 1700 years old and the roots must go down deep and hard for it to stay upright and solid during year after year of the waves rushing in and out. During high tide it is almost submerged and probably is totally during the winter.

The picture is of my sister Barb and her dog, Oscar. I took Pudge of course. The dogs go crazy at the beach. They run and run and run and have so much fun. It is almost worth it just to take them!

Last year I talked about having a week at the beach and inviting anyone who wanted to come (well, ladies that is)  and we would have a fun week. Another thing I didn’t follow through on (the list is endless isn’t it?) anyway I really, really am going to do it for next year. It is just way too much fun too miss! During the off season (which is the best season for Oregon coast) the cottage we stayed at was only $125.00 a night for six people. Add the taxes and the whole bill for the weekend was about $380.00 but still that seemed an awesome time for not a ton of money. The biggest expense for everyone would be the travel of course! But maybe if we start planning now we could actually do it for next year! Let me know if you are interested. This time I would actually book us a place ahead of time and then we would have a concrete date and place to make it a reality. Something to think about.

I’m also way behind in the Beth Moore Bible study. The group is on Day 23 I think and I’ve reached the top of the hill of Day 11 and coasting down into Day 12. But what the heck I’m taking the Bible study for myself so as long as I keep pushing forward and get something out of it, it’s all good.

beth_moore_bible_study_day_10 beth_moore_bible_study_day_11I still am making a Pinterest Pin for each day just at a slower pace. Made two  now for days 10 and 11. Not sure if anyone else likes them or not but they help me to pick out the gem that I find the most powerful for each day. And just perhaps doing them is the PUSH I need to stay the course. I always needs lots of push.

buddy_in_bedSo every day there are a number of things I don’t always get to. Living alone with no one to check up on if I get the dishes washed, the bed made, the floor vacuumed can be a recipe for disaster. But here is proof that it’s not all negative.

Hope you have a very wondeful, blessed and joy-filled day.