Last week, I was nominated by Paul over at his blog, Message in a Bottle, for the "Blogging From the Heart Blog Tour." If you haven’t had a chance to visit his blog, please be sure to check it out. He writes on sobriety and his musings are stunning. His writing will leave you inspired.
Since I am celebrating the anniversary of my first whole year in blogging, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to conjure up a celebratory post.
Before I answer the four questions each one of the nominees are asked, I want to take a few moments to express my gratitude to all of my readers. I have been blessed to have made some AMAZING new friends and connections throughout this journey. I know how busy all of you are so I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you stopping Dawning On a New Day.
|I took this shot outside of my window in the early hours of a winter's morning which is my favorite time to write.|
When I first began blogging last July, I honestly had no idea where to begin. I already had a successful children’s book business and brand to keep me busy but I needed another outlet for a different audience. Writing for adults is quite different than coming up with stories for our youth. Both of these brands are equally fulfilling but they are defined by their transformations and means of self-growth. I love sharing experiences and networking with adult authors and writers just as much as I love being in a classroom or assembly giving author presentations to children.
Last July, however, my expedition began as I slowly learned to digress from the coattails of a darkness which both my mother and I had battled for years. Unfortunately, my mother’s war was lost when she almost drank her life away. Alcoholism had defeated her tired and battered body where it was almost laid to rest six feet under the ground.However, God had different plans for us. On December 26th, 2012, my mother received a phone call which would change her life forever. We knew she was going to die come January if she didn’t undergo liver transplant surgery. Her liver failed exactly one year prior to that desperate December day and the doctors said she should have been dead already. So on the day after Christmas, she was given a new liver and a chance to save the lives of others by sharing her story.
It was a long recovery. I mean, I can’t stress how LONG her recovery was. There were times when she was hospitalized and told she would have to have another liver transplant because the one she received was rejecting her body. So when I began blogging in July of 2013, I was suffering through an impeccable amount of emotions. I’m talking like all colors of the rainbow here… rage, self-loathing, anger, sadness, gratitude, hope, and at times, I would see tendrils of light reaching through the darker days. The more I blogged, the better I felt. And the more I shared our meanderings, the more people I helped.
When readers ask me if I am ever embarrassed about my past, I simply tell them that is not who I am anymore. Our past doesn’t have to define who we are and who we are capable of becoming. It will always be a part of me but through blogging, writing, and my children’s work, my past becomes scattered like tiny pebbles along a cold, damp Maine shore. Where they once crippled my toes and brought great pain to my heart, now, I look back and see a more pristine picture. Because hovering above those pebbles is a warm, caring sun. He was always there but I was too blinded by the charades and numbness alcohol once provided for me.
|The epic shoreline in Camden, Maine.|
So cheers to a year in blogging! And to the woman I am finally comfortable with and glad to discover more about as I continue trotting down the path of a writer’s journey.
Now for the questions on “Blogging From the Heart.”
What am I working on?
Currently, I am working on my 2nd children’s picture book and crime fiction novel.
When I first tapped into the adult blogosphere, I had a mission in my mind; to help others struggling with drugs and alcohol discover their potential and leave those demons behind. I’m still open to discussing this disease because I suffered like many addicts still do today. And sadly, I know more people than I would like to who are currently throwing their life away by drinking every day or almost every day.
But as I mentioned before, this disease does not define who I am and it will never jeopardize my future again.
Presently, most of my work focuses on celebrating life and storytelling. I use my experiences and struggles within the depths of my heart and soul to create beautiful stories. I have been using my children’s picture book as a means of establishment within various school districts throughout New Jersey.
I guess I don’t simply write to create novels and picture books. I write so I can help others reach their potential by discovering and utilizing their talents to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s engaging in workshops, author assemblies, or trying to lend my heart out to those who need courage and advice, I am constantly trying to better this world and put an end to self-pity and destruction.
Ahh… this is simple. I write because I love to move people. I create worlds where kids and adults can disappear into because when I was a child, I adored both reading and hearing stories from my mom or Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow. Whenever I see the kids’ eyes light up with excitement and enthusiasm, my heart flutters. And the best are the “Thank You” letters and cards I receive in the mail after my author visits. There are times when I tear up because I still can’t believe how far I have come.
As far as my children’s books go, I always write them out in journals before I put them on the computer. I’ve been writing in journals since I was eight years old and this is a part of me that will never change. Whenever I am in a bookstore, I am always tempted to purchase new journals even though I have tons lying around.
Ideas come to me all of the time. My boyfriend is constantly reminding me about how I have to actually say “Yes, I heard you,” because most of the time, I nod my head but I’m not listening. It’s not because I don’t want to hear what he has to say but my mind is constantly on the go and ideas are always brewing. For this, I usually have my journals handy so I can write down whatever is being conjured up.
As far as blogging goes, I usually type all of my posts in Word and then edit and paste them onto my blog. I’m always pondering about life so whenever I think of something that I can connect to writing, I will blog about it. I’ve often thought about remodeling my blog so it’s more equipped for reviews and what not. I have several upcoming blog tours for books I am excited about and have signed up for in the Fall. I will have to wait and see where this takes Dawning on a New Day.
The novel I wrote over the winter was one of the greatest experiences to date. I never thought I would be able to accomplish such an intense project but I did. It is still a long way away from being refined enough to query agents but I will get there… one brand at a time! I’m anticipating a busy school year for my children’s book author work and this blog keeps me very busy.
But for all of my readers who are authors, you already know how hectic the life of a writer can be. But we can all agree that we wouldn’t trade this gift, nor our endless imagination, for anything else in the world!
Now for my three nominees:
Sandra from Sandra's Blog is quite the busy author, day job dweller, grandmother and wife but still manages to keep her readers occupied and laughing over at her blog. I can always look forward to a nice smile on my face as she usually posts something amusing or inspiring for authors five days a week. I am looking forward to reading her books and I am taking her novel, “Silverhills,” with me to Cozumel next week!
I’ve known Kimberly for quite some time now. We actually met at a fair last year where we shared a table for our children’s books. As soon as I saw how she was with her aunt and dad, I knew she would be a special friend. Whenever I need advice about ANYTHING, I can always count on Kim. She has one picture book published and another one coming out soon. Her blog is always filled with book reviews and author advice. She also writes from the heart and readers are sure to enjoy her blog and books! You can find her blog at her website for Kimberly Sentek.
Recently, I stumbled across Carol and her blog, Carol's Notes. Boy, can she write! I’m blown away by her intelligence in the genres she reads and posts about. Reading her blog reminds me about how I need to really add more books to my list of TBR. Carol is kind, intelligent and her writing is beautiful. Check out her blog and an array of recommendations. You will be happy you did!