Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Womans World on Facebook

Hey Readers/Contributors/facebookers!

We now have a share button so you all can let everyone know about your favourite blog site!
If you read something you like feel free to share it.
Also if yourself or anyone you know would like to become a contributor to this site please email your details to:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

10 Year-old Vogue Model Controversy

This story is causing a lot of debate! Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau is the ten year-old model whose on the cover of French Vogue. These pictures are just two of what's inside the magazine.

The outcry is that she's too young and where do we draw the line? What message are we sending young girls/tweens when they see this? Another point of view is that this is art and we should lighten up.

My point of view is that it's one thing if your daughter wants to play dress-up at home - after all it's fun, but this is a different ballgame and it's really the parents we should be asking these questions to as they would have had to sign off on all of this.

In this article Click here it's mentioned that the mother has had to shield her daughter from all of the negativity and the FB fan page was deleted. I actually feel for this child as she would be too young to know any of this would happen and due to her age, obviously too young to face such criticism.

What's your opinion?

Marnie xo

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Know When It's Time To Let Go (The Birth of a Book)

So I am down to the last bit of editing on my book. During the editing process, quite a number of pages were cut for various reasons, but I think the length is good. I'm currently at 52,781 words (about 185 pages) after editing. Who knows what the final product will look like. Perhaps it will be a bit longer, but this is how it stands today on my computer. I'm really happy with it and almost ready to let it go.

"Let it go" doesn't mean I'm ready to walk away. It means I'm ready to let it be whatever it's going to be in the world. This book is like a baby. It came from me, but it does not belong to me. I authored it, but I cannot know how it will affect each person who reads it.

But I think I'm ready...or getting close to being ready! At least I'm ready to surrender over the written part. There's so much that goes into writing and publishing a book. The book process is far from over, but the "written part" is pretty much DONE! There will be more stories here on the process. After all, it still has to come out.

I feel a mixture of fear and excitement rolled into one. It's my life. I didn't hold much back. I let it all out and soon (7 months from now) it will be on book shelves across North America for all to read. My life will be exposed. I will be exposed. This sort of makes me want to hide under a rock for the next three years or so. But I'm trying to also "let go" of the "I".

If I look deeper, I realize that there really isn't much difference between "you" and "me". Yes, we have different stories, but we have all experienced pain, suffering, love, loss, grief, confusion, joy, etc. My hope is that through sharing my journey, we can connect. Each one of us is so unique, but there is also something universal about our human experience.

So I'm willing to put it all out there. I'm willing to release my story into the world, in spite of all my fears, in order to share part of my journey with you. Because I know writing it was so helpful to me in understanding how I got to where I am right now. If it was helpful to me, perhaps it will be helpful to you. It was not an easy road. I wasn't always a happy person.

But somehow, along the way, I was willing to become a happy person. Somewhere on my journey I decided to let go of the negativity. And somewhere on my journey I not only decided, but came to believe that I could be anyone I wanted to be. And once I made that decision, I stuck by it.

And I'm still sticking by it.

Soon this thing I created will come out. I wonder what it will look like? I wonder how it will be received? I really don't know, but I'm sticking by it.

And I'm also going to let it go.

Lesson from the Monk I Married will be published by Seal Press March 2012. This post also appears on my blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Some Lessons from Benjamin Franklin

So I've been reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and I am so impressed by this man. Firstly he was raised by a wise father who "liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children. By this means he turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent in the conduct of life." I can only imagine what a huge impact this had on Franklin for he seemed on improving himself for the rest of his life. There was no petty gossip in his teenage life. He made friends with those who among himself, loved reading. They would go into the woods and read aloud to each other and discuss ideas, themes, poetry... I can't even imagine a group of boys in high school reading to each other like that. Too bad though, Franklin makes a good point later saying, "Influence upon the private character, late in life, is not only an influence late in life, but a weak influence. It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices; it is in youth that we take our party as to profession, pursuits and matrimony."

Another quote from him that I thought was very interesting about the religions of that time, "These I esteem'd the essentials of every religion; and, being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, tho' with different degrees of respect, as I found them more or less mix'd with other articles, which, without any tendency to inspire, promote or confirm morality, serv'd principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another."

A few years later Franklin tells about 13 virtues which at that time were necessary and desirable to him. He gives his own definition of what they mean and puts them in a specific order at which to work at attaining them.
1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
"Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up... This being acquir'd and establish'd, Silence would be more easy. This and the next Order, I expected would allow me more time for attending to my project and my studies. Resolution once become habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavors to obtain all the subsequent virtues; Frugality and Industry freeing me from my remaining debt and producing affluence and independence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, ect., ect."
Franklin goes on to say, "I was supris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish."

Now can you imagine any leader of any nations right now having this on their mind? I would be shocked and surprised if any of them were striving like this to better themselves.

Anyways, one last quote.
"In truth, I found myself incorrigible with respect to Order; and now I am grown old, and my memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it. But, on the whole, tho' I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Noise, it's got history

Simply fascinating. Tracing history through noise.

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Marnie xo

Sunday, July 3, 2011

~My New Etsy Shop~

Visit my NEW Etsy Shop to purchase my Photographs. My Photography is based on all of the things that I love, landscapes, warm colors and textures, aged stone, scrolled iron, worn and weathered wood and architectural details.
They make a beautiful addition to your home, office or as a gift.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hello Everyone!

NAME: Megan

AGE:  20 

I'm so excited to be a contributor to this blog! I've been blogging for the past few years now and there's really no single purpose to my blogging. But I love introducing the books I've been reading, or new recipes I've tried out, crafts I've learned or anything else that I get my hands into. It's just a smorgasbord of stuff. 


Ah that media drives me crazy. If you take the media to heart then you will never ever be happy with yourself. No matter what you do you will still find problems with your face, skin, hair, weight, height, body, voice, personality, talents, experience.... The media teaches you to compare and judge yourself to fake images. You are trying to comparing yourself with someone that doesn't exist. It's terrible. Don't fall into that trap!

Learning! I'll be honest, I'm a flat out nerd. If you question what the picture is under my blog title, oh don't worry. It's just bone tissue. It's pretty much the coolest looking tissue in the body. My favorite semesters in college (as far as classes go) have been during my anatomy and physiology classes. Learning about the human body is the most incredible, eye opening, inspiring thing. It's crazy to see the complex ways the body functions, how even some of the ideas behind our inventions are found to have already been used in the human body by tiny little cells. Every day in class I thought to myself, "Okay, there's no doubt of a higher being in this world. There's no way this could all come together so perfect and not be heavenly. The body is the most amazing machine I have ever encountered and it's here for a purpose."

Spare time involves a number of very normal and usual things, to completely absurd things. Normal: reading, singing, piano, cooking, socializing and the likes... Some absurd or not so normal things: legit sidewalk chalk art, learning the harmonica, learning Italian, trying out mosaic stain glass art, reviewing bones and muscles... you know, stuff like that. 

I love the idea of a community blog where women from all over the world come to share stories, introduce themselves, and learn and appreciate each other. Good stuff.

Right now I am addicted to panini's. They are slightly amazing and completely fantastic.

Hmm, places are sometimes made good because of the people you find there. Well, I did just re-painted/decorated my room and I love it. But I love being outside on our back deck when it's warm and sunny. It just feels so cozy. 

Women are made just the way they are for a reason. (Now I'm still coming to grips with the fact that I'm turning into an emotional person. Meaning: crying was a rare occurrence and it seems to be sneaking into my life more then normal for no reason.) I'm proud that in my head, everything connects to everything and that means sometimes I'm a confusing mess. But that's me. And I like me. 

My favorite teacher shared this and it made a remarkable impression on me. In the bible, John 3:30, John the Baptist says that "He must increase, but I must decrease." And when you first read that, you're thinking... what the crap is he talking about? But then my teacher put it into perspective. Sometimes in life, we will need to be the one to step back and let someone else advance. Sometimes we'll need to loose a game, so someone can win that time. He made a comment about living with roommates. Maybe you should stop assuming that you have more to do then your roommates, do the dishes for them and let them have the time they need to get their own work done. I thought about that scripture a lot that semester, I did the dishes for my roommates a lot as well. But not just that, it helps you put others before yourself. You are not the center of the universe, there are others out there who are in just as much need as you. Maybe it's your day to decrease, so they can increase. I know it seems like a different type of piece of advice, but when you learn to let others advance and grow, you grow right along with them.  

Sun Safety - how safe are you?

Warm sunny days are now here. Thank goodness for that! I was getting tired of looking at snow, especially when we got a snow dump back in April. 

This is the time of year where everyone usually stocks up on Sun Block and Sunscreen. We take it for granted that we need an SPF 15 or higher. Some companies are making them as strong as they can. Now that seems like a great idea, but is it really? Have you ever wondered what's inside your sunscreen? Better yet, have you ever wondered how an SPF is determined?

Not all Sunscreens or Sunblocks are created equal. A lot of brands out there are masquerading as gentle or healthy. The sad part is that most of the worst offenders are the sunscreens marketed for babies & little children. This can be scary as a lot of the ingredients are found to potentially cause future skin tumors and cancers.

We are in a Catch-22 situation. We need Sunscreen as burning is bad. The products we purchase may stop us from burning, but since a lot of the ingredients are questionable, we are bringing on another slew of potential problems.

EWG's Skin Deep (Environmental Working Group) is a fabulous site to visit. They give the lowdown on every ingredient imaginable. They have just issued their 2011 Guide for Sunscreens, and they explain everything you need to know on the topic. They even have a 'Hall of Shame' for some of the worst sunscreens available on the market today. If you want to find out what sunscreen/sunblock is best for you, or to compare how your brand stacks up,  click here.

What Red Said...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Poster?

And by that I don't mean a new poster of my future husband, Johnny Depp, hanging on my wall.  I mean, I have been asked to contribute to this blog, aka be a "poster".

My name is Angela and I live in Northern Utah, where spring has FINALLY arrived.  In May.  Just a little late, Ma Nature.

I have been married to my husband Randon for almost 12 years.  We have two kids, boy and girl, 10 and 7, respectively.

I like to make stuff, read stuff, and sleep.  Let me correct that to say I like to make stuff, I like to read stuff, and I LOVE to sleep.  In fact, I love it so much that I get really cranky if I don't have enough.

I am an Americorps Vista, which, for an easy way to explain it, is a federal volunteer.  You can also say that I work for a domestic Peace Corp.  One of these days I will do a post about what it all entails, but I love love love it.

I am also a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and mainly buy things to support my habit.  I do love it though.   I also spend WAYYY to much time on Facebook, enjoy Twitter, and other various forms of social media.

I also blog over at Blowing 7 Different Kinds of Smoke.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Experiencing Arkansas

I've lived in Arkansas pretty much all of my life. There is still so much of it I have yet to see, and enjoy. There are however a few things that I've experienced, that my family has not, and I would like to share with them.

Did you know Arkansas has an elephant sanctuary, caverns, diamond minds, water falls, several mountains, and other natural wonders? We've never been camping, and Petit Jean Mountain is calling my name. In the spring daffodils cover Wye Mountain, and I'd absolutely love see it!

The Trail of Tears runs right through Arkansas, and it's a part of our Choctaw heritage. My children have NEVER experienced Riverfest, and it's been about 25 years since I've been. I would say it's about time that changed!
There's so much to see, do, and experience that one spring and summer won't be enough. But I'm going to do my best to plan the most exciting tour of Arkansas my family will never forget. Join us May through August as we experience Arkansas, one adventure at a time. We'll Tweet with the hashtag #ExpArk.

Originally posted on 40s Reasons To Live, Love & Laugh Out Loud.

LaTonya writes about the adventures of her 40s, and Tweets about everything else

Friday, March 25, 2011


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Every Action Has a Ripple Effect: Sending Out Healing Thoughts

I usually post on Wednesday or Friday, but I've been feeling a bit numb recently and unable to write. I'm in a very odd place, I feel. On the one hand, so many things are opening up. Things I never dreamed could happen. My position in the world has shifted. I feel it. I know I am right where I need to be. I know I am on my path. But that doesn't mean it's all roses and daisies and sunshine and rainbows. Nope. Not at all. What I've found is that the more I open up to my path and go into my fear, the more challenges I am faced with. Sometimes I get sucked into the drama, which my husband calls Mara. I've written about Mara before. Mara comes in many forms and is there to distract or sway a person from their chosen path or course of action. If a person is not strong enough, he or she may fall prey to the ensuing drama that is all around and lose the balance of the mind. The key, I realize, is to keep on my path and keep my practice.

A tsunami and earthquake hit the city of Sendai, Japan, where I spent two years of my life, on Friday. While I tried to carry on with my day, it was a bit difficult. The bicycle path elevated above rice fields where I rode to the ocean on the weekend from my apartment is gone along with the fields and houses. I don't know if the students and friends I had there are alive or not. The ripple effects or aftershocks of this earthquake were felt inside my very own heart. It left me feeling hopeless for a day or so. While it seems this tragedy is on the other side of the world far from many of us, I realize it is not that far removed from any of us. We are all affected by anything that happens on the planet. The feelings, thoughts and words of one single person can cause a ripple effects across the entire planet. So what can I do about it? What is the answer to something so devastating?

Last night I found the answer after two days of feeling a bit numb and helpless. I am the answer. I found it while I was sitting in a movie theater near the University of Washington with a handful of other people watching director Tom Shadyac's movie called, believe it or not, I AM. The Los Angeles Times had this to say about it: "The accent (of the movie) is on big-picture optimism and the interconnectedness of all life..." And if we are in fact all "interconnected," as the movie suggests, then what we feel, say and do in this world is so important. The overwhelming state of the world at times can leave each of us feeling helpless. After all, what can "I" as a tiny human being, do to solve the world's problems?

On the outside, the truth is, probably very little can be done from my efforts. I can offer donations, monetary aid and prayers. I could fly overseas and roll up my sleeves and pitch in. Yes, there are certainly things I could do on the outside. But I know that the "real" work begins on the "inside." If each one of us takes entire responsibility for ourselves and our own feelings, thoughts and actions from the inside, then how different our world would be on the outside.

I am the answer and so are YOU. It may sound new agey or weird and at one point in my life I might have scoffed at this very idea and thought, "Now that's wacko." But I don't believe that anymore because my own experience has shown me differently. I have seen how the words I write can have a tremendous effect on the people around me. I have received e-mails and comments from people all over the world on many occasions letting me know that they can relate or that they feel these things to be true or that the words I have written were exactly the words they needed to hear. This hasn't happened once, it's happened dozens of times. And I realize that my words are NOT the important thing at all. In fact, the words themselves have very little to do with what is happening here. The truth is, we are CONNECTED...all of us! We all breathe this air. What is happening here is about intention. I have good intentions in me which were somehow awoken by my choices and situations I encountered in life and those intentions are waking up the intentions in you and your good intentions are also awakening the intentions of those around you as well. And it just keeps going and going.....None of us can OWN these words or this goodness or the dhamma or the scriptures or the laws of nature or ANY OF IT. We are all in it, we are all a part of it and what we do here is so important. It starts with you!

So now, a year before my book is about to launch, I am coming up against some Mara or obstacles, if you will. I feel I am being shaken. My new point of reference in the universe causes unease for some people around me. Thankfully, the number of people who feel unease in what I am doing and want to shake things up is no where near the number of people who have supported what I am doing. So I have to say to YOU out there who have encouraged me: THANK YOU....your intentions and the ripple effects of those intentions have been felt! Keep shining and keep spreading your good intentions, you don't know what a positive effect it can have on you, the people around you, the world and beyond! We all play a part in this and it doesn't matter where we come from or what we believe or who we follow. We are all in this together.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aspartame Sweetener: The Bitter Truth

Good morning all!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far. I just wanted to take a moment to share with you an extremely enlightening blog article by my friend Lille over at ~Woodstock Lily~. She is constantly a source of inspiration, hope, and positive energy, if you don't know her already please go check out her blog. You'll be a fan, I promise! :)

Anyway, the other day she posted about the dangers of Aspartame in our everyday foods.

I personally have terrible reactions to anything in food or beverages that is not "real" sugar. Nutri-sweet, aspartame, stevia, etc. Makes me sick. All of it. While it's not a life-changing issue for me, it does bring it's fair amount of ridicule because people refuse to believe that it's truly bothering me. Most seem to think that I "just don't like it"... ridiculous! 

After reading her post, I am so happy that I have been listening to my body and the cues it's been giving me loud and clear about it's aversion to artificial sweeteners. (Stomach cramps, nausea, etc.) Check it out, inform yourself, and take care of your body! It's the only one you get...

You can click HERE to read the original post, and I have also pasted the text below for your convenience. She's included some really informative reading for a more extensive look into the dangers of aspartame, be sure to check those out too!

Have a great week!!

"Aspartame: White Death" by ~Woodstock Lily~

"I feel an obligation to my readers to share what I've learned about aspartame, and a new name manufacturers will be listing it under, Neotame. Aspartame is found in 1000's of products we use everyday, and with the new changes being allowed in ingredient labeling laws, we may not see it on the ingredients except under "natural flavors". Carmel coloring is another deadly ingredient that is listed as a natural flavor on many products including all cola beverages. You may want to read recent findings about it here. Carmel Coloring and Cancer

People, this is scary. Aspartame was originally named Neotex-II and was formulated for a chemical weapon. The chemist who developed it accidentally discovered it tasted sweet when he licked his finger. Aspartame is 40 times sweeter than sugar and is cheap to make. This poison causes brain tumors, birth defects, blindness, infertility, miscarriages, and tons of other breakdowns to the human body. It's a poison!!

Below is a video from Truther Girls, "Neotame: Chemical Weapon in your Coffee" that spells out the truth about what is in your diet beverages, and most all processed foods. It's time we all take responsibility for what we put in our bodies. You are better off using regular sugar but I caution you here, as well. The fact of the matter is that sugar, and high fructose sweeteners made from corn, are in my opinion, and many other natural health specialists, another form of "white death", too. If you are pregnant DO NOT use Aspartame. Do not consume or give your children chewing gum or diet drinks. Please read your labels and eat more real food. There's a reason they call it Die-t food.

Neotame: Chemical Weapon in your Coffee

For more information and sources to read, Truther Girl has a post, "Neotame, a Sweet New Poison" you can check out for yourselves (below) about how this has been allowed in our foods and is killing us. It is eye opening, and I beg you to read it, and watch the video above. Please feel free to link back to me about this, and post this on your blogs or facebook pages. I welcome your comments and experiences with this white death masquerader.

"Neotame, a Sweet New Poison""

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Red Tent - My thoughts on

First off, I absolutely love Anita Diamant's writing style. Very easy to read, which is what I'm all about. Some of her lines made me stop, re read and sigh with mental notes to remember that particular order of wording strung together, but already, I've forgotten. I think I'll refer back to it and write them down at some stage.

While half way through this book I started to question my initial pre-conceived ideas about this story. First off, I thought, because it is based on the biblical story of Dinah, (someone who is not mentioned much in the bible for other than the fact that she was raped) I had believed it was a "Christian/religious" book.( Think Francine Rivers style ). Yet the amount of idol worship, pagan rituals and some very *ahem* heated relations graphically explained in the story made me question what genre this book actually falls into. The book is a fictitious depiction of Dinah which is based rather loosely on the story of Jacob's wives from the Bible. I feel this is important to point out as it is in no way to be taken in truth. Purely imaginative.

The story is so right up my alley with the whole sisterhood-bonding thing I love. Written in three parts, part one is dedicated to the 4 wives of Jacob who all play a role in mothering Dinah. We hear their stories, their loves and losses. We grow to love and identify with these characters in a short space of time which is a huge compliment to Diamant's writing. We find ourselves bonding with these woman while reading/living their most intimate moments, as women, together, in the red tent.

Part two is Dinah's childhood and coming of age, where a piece of me felt grief at not hearing more about these other women whose characters had been so developed.

 I am not certain whether my earliest memories are truly mine, because when I bring them to mind, I feel my mothers breath on every word.

We are introduced to more women who play a life altering role in Dinah's journey, gaining more insight into each of their own remarkable stories.

Part three without giving too much of the plot away is Dinah's young adult life away from her homeland and family in Egypt. Her experiences as a midwife and adaptation to a new culture. More women in her life that again, begin to shape and support her in her life.

I enjoyed this book immensely and missed the characters once I was finished. I loved parts where Dinah felt at peace by water, because I could relate to this.

I stood by the water's edge until the last trace of daylight had drained from the sky, and later, after the evening meal, I returned to savour the smell of the river, which was as heady to me as incense, heavy and dark and utterly different from the sweet, thin aroma of well water.

4 stars from me...and only not 5 because I wanted to actually read more about some of these characters. I felt their lives were somewhat ripped from the page after being introduced and developed so strongly.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What a year can bring...!

pst... I'm currently staying here... Travellers, seekers, see you there... Tatty x

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writing a Book is Not a Walk in the Park

Before you decide that getting a book deal or writing a book is your golden ticket to whatever, I invite you to read this in The New York Observer. Don't get me wrong. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity. It has been my dream to be a published author since I was...I don't know..ten years old? Now that I am actually in the process of having a book published, I realize that dream and reality are quite different.

So you want to be a published author? Are you willing to commit your life to it? Are you willing to put your children, husband, social life and everything else on the back burner for it? Are you willing to sit at your computer for LONG hours writing endlessly with very little social contact?

The reason I love blogging is that it's so interactive. I write something, you write something and we have this nice, little exchange. There's none of that with book writing, apart from the feedback you receive from your editor. I had to laugh when I read the article above. So much of what the author described was true for me. Whatever subject you choose to write on, be prepared to be stuck with that subject for one, two or even ten years in some cases. By the end of it, regardless of how much you LOVE your topic, I guarantee you'll be saying, "I'm so sick of writing about this I could SCREAM!" or "This is SO BAD, who on earth is going to read it?!"

I became consumed with the idea of writing this particular book years ago. I imagined I would write it during a few lovely weeks at my family's lake house. I'd sit out on the picnic table in the sun, birds would chirp around me as I lovingly put down my life in words.

Boy was that dream shattered quickly. First of all, you need to decide how you want your book published. I chose traditional publishing, even though I was warned numerous times that it was a tough road to publication. Everyone has to decide what's best for them. I followed my intuition on this one and stuck the tough road out. Second, if you choose this road, forget the book. If you are going to publish any work of nonfiction, you need a proposal. Mine was around 95 pages and included my book concept, a marketing plan, sample chapters, production details, a section on the competition and a section on how the book would be promoted. I knew nothing about this when I started. I had to find it all out online and through books as I bumped along the road to publishing. I spent the good part of a year just writing the proposal. I hadn't even gotten to the book yet. Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write by Elizabeth Lyon became my bible. In the early stages, I hired a writing coach in Seattle at The Writer's Workshop who gave constructive feedback on my proposal and, more than anything, helped me stay on task by holding me to deadlines.

My husband, the former monk turned yoga teacher, played an important role in this process, too. He was my sounding board, my life coach and my cheerleader. His calming nature and belief in what I was doing really helped me get through it. He'd sit for hours listening to me read back what I had written. During a private yoga session with a client who already had two books under her belt, he got word of a freelance editor in Seattle who used to be an acquisitions editor at a major publishing house. While we were out staining our fence one hot, summer afternoon, he said, "You really should call that woman." So I did and I'm so glad I did.

It helped to work with a freelance editor who had been on the other side of publishing. I learned so much from her. She helped me refine my proposal. The thing is, working with a freelance editor is not cheap and there are no guarantees. You could spend a great deal of money on advice, coaching and editing and still not have a book deal in the end.

As many before me have probably mentioned, a lot of it has to do with timing. But more than timing, you need serious commitment. If you are really committed to your project, you are willing to take whatever time and whatever measures are needed to see it become a book. You need to believe in what you are writing about and it helps if you have a reason for writing it or an author's purpose. In my case, I'm writing my story because I believe I have something important to share that will help others realize their own purpose or potential.

On occasion, my husband has entered my writing room and found me, head on the keyboard, completely burned out from writing. In most cases, I haven't showered, eaten, nor seen the light of day. He's had to wing it for meals and housekeeping has completely gone by the wayside. But he never complains. Instead, he comes over to the computer, kisses me and says, "I'm proud of you, you are doing a great job," or he gently lets me know that perhaps I should turn off the computer and come to bed.

After several years, and through what I call "some mysterious workings of the universe," I not only received agent representation, but I also a got a book deal. Some of my friends believe it happened a little too easily for me, but what they can't see is that I put in a lot of legwork. I believed, with every ounce of my being, that it would become a book. I never veered once from this goal. I put every single ounce of myself into it. It was not a walk in the park. In fact, while writing my story, I had to relive quite a bit of pain and I often wondered why I was putting myself through it all again.

I've finally finished writing the book, 287 some pages of it. Yet it is not REALLY finished until it's sandwiched between two covers or until I can walk into Barnes and Noble and hold a copy of it in my hands.

No, it was definitely NOT a walk in the park, but neither is life. And, truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Note: Lessons from the Monk I Married is due out in bookstores across North America in spring 2012.

This was reposted from my blog: Lessons from the Monk I Married

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Am Enough

How many women out there think they are not good enough?

I am guessing a huge amount.

Not a good enough wife, mother, partner, sister, cook, gardener, friend, lover, worker.....the list is endless and so are our questions.

When will we ever tell ourselves we are enough, just as we are. We do the best with what we know and have, we do enough.

Say it with me in 2011.