Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Blessings of Meeting Readers

Last night, I drove home down the dark two-lane roads from Edisto Beach under a blanket-covered moon. I was tired, but I was fulfilled. You see, I was coming home from the quaint Edisto Yacht Club having dined and spoken with the Edisto Women's Club. Thank you, Gina, for inviting me and Nakia, a Mount Pleasant sweetgrass basket maker. The Edisto ladies learned about sweetgrass from an authentic source and then I told them about my journey to becoming a writer. I read from The Spirit of Sweetgrass and my upcoming novel, Trouble the Water.

Before we ate supper, the sixty or so ladies held hands in a large circle and one woman read a lovely prayer. In it, among other things she asked God that we not be 'self-seeking'. I remember this because, here I was, speaking about my books and having the Edisto Bookstore selling them after the talk. Wasn't that a bit self-seeking? I find it completely strange, this being a writer and selling things. I understand, of course, that if my books do not sell, a publisher will not ask me to write another book. But the business of books is daunting and uncomfortable to me, quite honestly. If I were to stand before those sixty women last night and try to sell them a book, I would have fallen on my face. And it would have done them absolutely no good.

So this is what I've learned: that prayer about 'do not be self-seeking' is important. I've found that if I do not seek my own gains, but instead, seek to share my journey, share what God has done in my life and let Him have the glory, I can speak much easier. The words flow. Yes, my books must be bought by readers, and I'm grateful that you do buy them. It allows me to continue writing, to continue doing what I feel I've been called me to do. We all have something like that in our lives. Often, we just don't know it yet or it hasn't been revealed to us. But it will come.

I suppose this is all to say that the people I meet when I talk or sign books is what this writing gig is all about. Here I am, sitting behind a computer in my house, alone, writing a novel. It seems solitary and short-reaching. But then, like last night, after I tell my story about hearing the call to write and telling about the near-death experience that brought me there, a woman, Sharon, comes to me afterwords with tears in her eyes and says the very same thing happened to her. She heard the same message. Or another thanks me for writing a book that allowed her to envision Heaven after her mother passed away--to picture her in a better place. It's these things, these non-self-seeking things that make me keep wanting to write. I truly believe that if I follow my heart, someone, somewhere out there will be touched by what I have to say.
This holiday season, try with me to not be self-seeking. It's not easy at all. You and I will be amazed at what blessings come back to us though when we simply do what's right for others.

I pray you have a wonderful, safe holiday season. Feel free to visit me at and keep in touch.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Books for Xmas!

Lowcountry Women Authors Holiday Book Signing
Presented by the Center for Women and Barnes & Noble of Mt. Pleasant

Over 30 fabulous Lowcountry women authors will assemble at one downtown location in time for holiday gift purchases. The public is invited to meet their favorite local authors, make purchases and have their books personally signed!

“The Center for Women wants to celebrate the wonderful women authors in our community whose talents contribute enormously to our quality of life,” said Jennet Robinson Alterman, Executive Director.

This special event will be held Sunday, December 2 from 2pm – 5pm at the Citadel Holliday Alumni House on the Citadel campus. Admission is $10 at the door and includes light refreshments. 20% of all book sales benefit the Center for Women.
Gift wrapping will be available.

For additional information, visit or call us at (843) 763 – 7333.

The following local women authors will be there:

Joyce Coakley, Sweetgrass Baskets and Gullah Tradition
Stacey Crew, The Get Organized Guide for New Moms
Ruth Cupp, Portia Steps Up to the Bar
Carol Ann Davis, Psalm
Nathalie Dupree & Marion Sullivan, Nathalie Dupree's Shrimp and Grits
Linda Ferguson, Bird Missing from One Shoulder
Cathy Forrester, At Home-Charleston
Dottie Benton Frank, The Christmas Pearl
Mary Edna Fraser, A Celebration of The World's Barrier Islands
Nikki Hardin & Caitlin McPhilipps, PMS- Problems Men Started
Beth Webb Hart, Grace at Low Tide / Adelaide Piper
Josephine Humphries, Nowhere Else on Earth
Fran Hawk, The Story of the H.L. Hunley and Queenie's Coin
Trish Hutchison (co-author), Girlology/ Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Hanging Out
Harriet McBryde Johnson, Accidents of Nature/ Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life
Allison Keller, While You Were Away, Daddy
Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair /The Secret Life of Bees / Firstlight
Ann Kulze, Dr. Ann's 10 Step Diet
Dorothy Perrin Moore, Island in the Storm/ Careerpreneurs
Susan Romaine, Cornices of Charleston
Nicole Seitz, The Spirit of Sweetgrass
Sue Shankle & Barbara Melton, What in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?
Toby Smith, Goofy Things Girls Do To Get Guys
Sally Hughes Smith, The Circle: A Walk with Dementia/ Rosebud Roams Charleston
Shari Stauch, Precision Pool
Mary Caroline Walker, Managing Life with Kids
Andrea Weathers, Hermy the Hermit Crab Goes Shopping
Marjory Wentworth, Noticing Eden/ Despite Gravity
Mary Whyte, Alfreda's World / An Artist's Way of Seeing

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Who Says Bookish Ain't Beautiful?

I stumbled across a photo taken last month at the Charleston Country Library after a panel discussion on Writing and Spirituality with Denise Hildreth, myself and Beth Webb Hart. Our lovely publicist who happens to be the SC Poet Laureate, Marjory Wentworth, was our moderator. She's on the left. And the little cutie in Denise's arms is Marjory's beautiful god-daughter. Click here to take a peek. Who says "bookish" can't be beautiful too?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

A few weeks ago, I met some fellow Southern authors at the book festival in Nashville. Today, I'm pleased to say I'm a guest blogger on the "A Good Blog is Hard to Find" blog maintained by author Karin Gillespie. There's a saga involving my next book cover. If you're interested, jump on over and take a peek. There's a ton of amazing authors on her blog.