Solo Travel: Analyzing Risks

October 13, 2017

Hope for the Holidays

October 13, 2017

Really? I’m an author?

October 13, 2017
Ring of Kerry
Christmas decor
Ella at desk

With a contract for RECLAIMING JOY, I can now legitimately call myself an author with a forthcoming book. Those words have very specific meaning in the publishing world, and I have to pinch myself to make sure I haven’t dreamed it.

After having an unfinished manuscript hanging over my head for more than three years, I am not quite sure what I do next. I know a lot of work is ahead—permissions, manuscript revisions, decisions on page and cover design, marketing—but for now I am enjoying the lull.

Resources for Widows

One of the last steps in preparing my manuscript for submission to the publisher was compiling a list of all the helpful books I read on my journey from grief to joy. I have posted the bibliography here. While the list includes widows’ memoirs (and widowers’, if we count C.S. Lewis) and self-help books, I also read a lot of books on developing the positive attributes everyone needs to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Programs Available

I am scheduled to give my first “author talk” November 1, and this week I wrote the 30-minute presentation, “The Why and How of Writing a Book.” In the process, I revisited my early notes and my first draft for the first time since I wrote them and was surprised by how much made it to the sixth and final draft. I enjoy speaking to clubs and church groups and look forward to more opportunities after the Holidays. I especially want to work on a presentation for the new year: “Resolved: To Claim Joy in 2018.”

If you need a program or want more information, feel free to contact me at You can learn more about my topics here.

In case you missed my announcement on Facebook, I am delighted that an imprint of the Baylor University Press will publish RECLAIMING JOY, inspired by the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, in 2018.


  1. It was inevitable. You had the important message that needed to be shared, the talent to write it, and — equally important, in my opinion — the persistence. The idea-to-publication process is a long, strange dance and none of us are born knowing the dance steps. And you did it. So proud of you. It’s a wonderful book!

    1. Thanks! It absolutely would not have happened without you and Mary. You believed in it before I did. I am very grateful.

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