News about Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude

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As many of you know, I have been writing a memoir over the last several years. No, I really didn’t start out thinking that my life was interesting enough, or had inspirational fodder enough to write a book about it. But after the death of our son Sam, I started posting regularly on Facebook about the grieving process, and specifically, how the process of systematically looking at what I could be grateful about helped me move forward.

I think that writing a memoir is difficult no matter what. I mean, reflecting upon your own life is not something most humans do easily. In my case, reflecting on what Sam’s loss meant to me, to my life, to how I look at life — that was a challenge. Often in the writing I would find myself crying without even realizing it, and sometimes I had to stop because it was too raw.

Finishing it (okay, finishing the almost final version of it) was a relief, and something to celebrate. My editor has been a saint through this process, helping guide me even when she knew I might react emotionally to her suggestions.

Through the last couple months, I had finally reached the point of sending out a couple queries to agents and to a couple publishing houses that don’t require agents. I started small, figuring that if I got rejected, I would just keep trying.

Miracle of miracles, it didn’t get rejected at all. In fact, way sooner that I could ever have expected, I have signed a publishing contract on Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude. I am so excited to be able to work with the publishing team on getting it into the final format, and getting it out into the world.

My hope is that this book will help someone feel not as alone, and feel like even on the darkest day, there is a path to joy and peace, no matter how broken you feel.

 

A trip down memory lane, sort of…

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Massachusetts to Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester for a book signing event. What a great trip we had, although it was (as always with us) laden with so many emotions.

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The book event? Just plain fun. Laughter, loved ones, and new friends — all together for an afternoon of joy.

After the event, we (my husband and I) went to our hotel, and passed the hospital where the first Anna Belle Rose had died. I have to admit, it hit me — the last time I’d been in that part of Worcester was on that night.

The next day, we went to West Brookfield to visit her grave, and those of my grandfather, cousin Michael, and my aunt and uncle. The pride and joy I feel about my writing career is something I so wish they are were still alive to experience with me — but planting flowers for them in the rain helped me feel like they were part of the experience.

Then we drove around the town, saw my grandparents house, familiar landmarks, stuck our toes in the lake. All the while, I kept talking about good memories — memories full of love, laughter, joy and fierce loyalty.

Now, as I reflect on the last few days, what a wonderful mix of old memories and new ones, all tied together by love.