Writing Days Are THE Best!

It’s a Writing Day, the coffee’s on, and I wanted to post a quick vid before embarking on my imaginary vacay! The freedom of a full-on Writing Day is tremendous! No worries about real world responsibilities. Just pure blissful escape. Later!!

The Scariest Part of Writing

As an introvert, it took a long time to develop confidence in sharing my ideas, at school, on the job, in general. These days, I’m pretty sure of myself – most of the time. But when a writer puts her work out there for others to read, for them to take in, reflect on, and react to, without the benefit of immediate feedback, well, that takes a whole new level of nerve. Let me explain…

Join Me On A Road To Joy

It’s been six years today since my husband, Paul, passed away suddenly, and my world crashed to a jarring end. From that day until today, I have traveled a path I didn’t even know existed. I’ve been bumped around, worn myself to the bone, lost pretty much everything I knew, got lost more times than I can count, and eventually, discovered a new road I could have never imagined.

In six short years, I have transformed into someone infinitely stronger, more compassionate, more creative, and more confident than I ever thought I could be. It’s been exhausting.

But I can’t say it hasn’t been interesting… Where I have been, what I have learned, what I have gained: there’s a story in there somewhere. But try as I might, I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts long enough to be able to share more than the highlights.

Until a few months ago, when I woke up with the realisation that my story is actually a combination of every attempt I’d made to tell it. And when I took all of the pieces, the best of every version, and brought them together, they fit as if they’d been looking for each other the whole time.

The result is a novel. One where I created the main character (I think.) I gave her my circumstance. And then I sat back and wondered what she would do in my place. Much of what she’s been through is my experience. But most of her story is her own. I have come to know her pretty well now, and I care as deeply for her as I do all of you. When she hurts I hurt. I have laughed with her until I cried, and I have cried with her until I couldn’t cry anymore.

Like mine, her story is one of transformation. She experiences an entire evolution of self. From scared and weak and broken, to recovery, discovery, and re-creation. She uncovers the secret to overcoming the worst thing that has ever happened to her, only to realize that it’s also the best thing that ever happened to her.

Our stories are intertwined. The same and different. Profound. Emotional. It’s time to share.

The manuscript is almost done. I’m aiming to have a copy of the book in my hand for March 31, 2019. And in the meantime, I’d like to invite you to follow along with my process of telling a tale. I’d like to share some of my methods with you: how I write, where it all comes from, why it is what it is, the magic that happens when I least expect it.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Ask questions, let me know what you think. Keep me on track. I’ve heard writing is a lonely life. I’ve never thought so; I have so many imaginary friends. But it would sure help to keep one foot rooted in reality.

Welcome! We’ll talk soon,
Alex.

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A Road To Joy – The Novel

I’ve been trying for some time to try to put my experience into words. To tell the story of what happened to my family, to me, after my husband died.

At one point, I simply tried to write down an actual chronology of the events as they unfolded. A sort of journal of the entire journey. But that turned into a task very much like trying to sort through all the old photos…

I tried to turn the story into a collage of the grief of the various people affected by the loss. I don’t think I’ve ever written anything so impersonal.

I avoided everything and tried to write a story about how I’d like to escape. That showed promise, but I was going for funny, and I quickly ran out of material.

But the whole idea came together at once, waking me as ideas usually do, at 4 o’clock in the morning, with an intensity and purpose that drives sleep into oblivion and forces mind, body, and soul into action.

The book is a merging of all of the above.

I gave my story to my character. Up to the moment that the first word appears on the first page, she is me. But then she becomes her own person, experiencing her own life’s battles.

I lent her my circumstance: she has five kids and her husband just died.

I gave her my family’s trip to the Yukon. I mapped it out for her so she could follow the route. Mostly. She’s made a few changes.

I gave her my journey from despair to joy. Although she travels that course in the span of about a month, it’s taken me a few years. But a month makes for better reading, I think.

But what I didn’t give her is a name. She is most definitely her own person, apart from me. But she is Mom. She is Mrs. She is Widow. She is Hurt. She is Broken. She is Real.

She is me.

But she is also everyone. She is any woman who has ever just wanted to get in the car and drive. And never come back. She is every woman who has ever just wanted to run away. Except that she actually goes.

And what she finds along the way is what I need to share. What she finds is the secret to living a life that can still hold meaning and purpose, even when hope and faith are gone. What she finds is what we all need to discover: that the Road to Joy is paved with Gratitude.

I would like to invite you to follow my journey as I continue to reveal hers. I’d like to share the process of the writing of a story that shares the process of recovery, discovery, and creation of a self. Because I can’t believe for a moment that I’ve been given a gift of such insight and treasure if I’m supposed to keep it all to myself.

Welcome to our journey. Join me on A Road To Joy.

Alex.