Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tune into My Podcast Interview Today

My interview with Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services has been posted and is ready for your listening pleasure!  I enjoyed this opportunity to discuss Kendra's Pearl and I hope you will learn more about why I wrote this book when you listen to the interview.

If you enjoy the conversation, please leave a comment on the Writers in the Sky website letting them know!

The interview also is featured on iTunes, if you prefer to listen to it that way.  Just look up Writers in the Sky at the iTunes store and you will find my interview listed.  Listening is free!

Thanks for all of your support as we enter a new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Please Plan to Tune into My Podcast Interview on New Year's Day

I hope that all of you are enjoying a wonderful time with family and friends during this holiday season.  As we reach the end of 2009, I know that many of you are focusing on your goals for the upcoming year.  For those who, like me, use a personal journal as a way of reflecting on the important moments in life, these last few days of December are a great opportunity to look both backward and forward.  In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to sharing with you some of my plans for 2010.

I can let you know that I will be starting the New Year by taking part in a podcast interview with Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services.  I have been selected as their first featured author for 2010, and I look forward to discussing Kendra's Pearl with the listening audience.  I plan on sharing why I decided to tackle the emotional issues that are addressed in my book and what I hope my readers will take away from reading my book. 

Please check out the promotional spot that Writers in the Sky has featured on their blog for my upcoming interview.  If you have read my book and you want to help me get the word out about Kendra's Pearl to this listening audience, please leave a comment on their blog.  I appreciate your support!

This podcast interview is just one of many ways that I will be promoting Kendra's Pearl in the New Year.  I know that this book shares a story about the complicated mother/daughter relationship that will be familiar to so many people out there.  I want women to read my book and realize that they are not alone.  I want men to read my book and try to recognize some ways that they can offer support to the women in their lives.

I'm excited to discover all that 2010 will bring!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Does the "Ideal Christmas" Really Exist?

With Christmas coming later this week and the New Year shortly to follow, we are in the middle of what is advertised on television and in movies as the happiest time of the year.  We all see images of families gathering together around a delicious, homecooked meal, people traveling from across the country to be with loved ones, and children wearing new, flannel nightgowns anxiously listening for the sound of Santa's sleigh.

But, for many people, the holiday season is the most difficult time of the year.  What if your own family experience can't live up to the high expectations we set for these celebrations?  Maybe you grew up in a family in which you were lucky to have any food on the table, let alone a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings.  For some of you, this is the first Christmas following a divorce or the death of a loved one.  What about those children who are living in abusive homes and do not have parents who want to make the holiday special?

In my new book, Kendra's Pearl, the title character probably did not enjoy any picture-perfect holidays during her childhood.  She lived with a mother who directed her rage and resentment at her children.  The members of Kendra's extended family, while they certainly loved her, were usually dealing with their own addictions or personal struggles. 

For those of you who have read Kendra's Pearl, what do you imagine the holiday season was like for the Haywood family?  I would love to read your thoughts on what the characters would be doing on Christmas.

Also, have you had any experience struggling with that ideal of Christmas that we are supposed to meet?  I have shared in interviews that, while Kendra's Pearl is a work of fiction, I have pulled some details from my own life.  So, I understand how this season can be difficult.  Maybe your comments can be of help to someone else.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Pearl is Beauty Made Out of Adversity

The gemstone that is the pearl has been valued for centuries due to its beauty and the effort taken by nature to create it.  A natural pearl, which forms without any human intervention, is incredibly rare.  Hundreds of oysters can be gathered and opened just to find one pearl.  Due to these properties, the word "pearl" is now often used to describe something that is very rare, valuable, and admirable. 

The pearl also symbolizes a journey with a special significance that I have adopted into my writing.  The pearl represents the ability to overcome adversity.  Just think about it for a moment.  The myth is that a beautiful pearl starts with a single grain of sand--a foreign object that is seen as an irritant to the hosting oyster.  In order to protect itself, the oyster creates a coating over the grain until it becomes smooth.  What a great concept.  A pearl is the creation of beauty that results from a painful environment.

In my new release, Kendra's Pearl, a young girl must create her own path and find happiness while living in a world that is filled with abuse, neglect, and depression.  Kendra must use the "irritation" to develop her life into something beautiful.

The metaphor also plays out through Kendra's mother, who is named Pearl.  It is largely through Pearl's rage and irrational behavior that Kendra learns the lessons that will help her to create a beautiful life for herself.  Kendra needs to decide if she is going to remain that grain of sand that she seems to be in her mother's eyes, or if she is going to become a valuable gem.

I imagine that some of you have been through situations that ultimately refined you into a pearl.  When we can take heartache and turn it into a thing of beauty, we exhibit strength and an ability to thrive.  I hope that you will read one example of such a transformation in my book Kendra's Pearl.  I look forward to your feedback and hearing if you see a similar metaphor in your own life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Mother/Daughter Relationship Has Always Created Powerful Stories

 As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I value the opportunity to write about issues that can reach people on an emotional level.  When my characters experience heartache, abuse, loneliness, or other very real problems, I hope that the readers feel a connection and can use my work as one way of working through some of their own personal burdens.  Like many other writers, I know that my book of poetry, Pure Thoughts, and my new novel, Kendra's Pearl, have been important outlets for me.

In Kendra's Pearl, I tell the story of Kendra Haywood.  Her world is shattered before she even starts kindergarten when her dad dies in a motorcycle accident.  Kendra's mother starts on a downward spiral of depression and failed relationships and takes her daughter down with her.

Whether or not your personal story is as tragic as the one experienced by Kendra, there is no doubt that the mother and daughter relationship is almost always complicated.  The dynamics between the two has been the focus of countless books and movies.  Here are just a few that come to mind:

The Joy Luck Club -- The story of American daughters of Chinese mothers struggle to find common ground on culture and tradition.

Mommie Dearest -- Here's a classic movie (based on a book) that definitely does not fit the title!  Who can forget the famous line, "No wire hangers!"

Possessing the Secret of Joy -- Alice Walker's amazing work examines the difficult decisions that some mothers made in carrying on a tribal tradition that scarred their own daughters.

What are some stories about the unique relationship that exists between mother and daughter that really stuck with you?  Please share your thoughts in the "Comments" section.  And, I would be honored if you decide that Kendra's Pearl is a memorable book for you as well.