Since I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year (good times and lots of hair pulling), AND I'm working on revisions with my editor on WANTED: Dead or Undead all at the same time, AND I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year (for my non-American friends, this is the holiday in which we give thanks for all our blessings by having the women rise early in the morning to shove a turkey in the oven while men eat and then sit zombified in front of the TV watching football) I decided to open up my blog to several authors to do guest blogs and showcase their new book releases. Please give them support by leaving a comment, if only to say congratulations and best luck (they LOVE comments--authors LIVE for them).
Check out John Abramowitz's guest post for those of my followers who love a good zombie read with a different twist on the genre. ATTICUS FOR THE UNDEAD
And now, today, I'm turning over my blog to my good friend Megan Morrison to talk about her memoir AND THEN IT RAINED. So give it up for Megan! My blog is all yours. Take it away.
Megan’s Mission: Pay it Forward
I'm so excited to be visiting this page today. One of the benefits of being a part of Evolved Publishing is that I get to work with some fantastic authors like Angela. We get to share our stories, our tips, and sometimes, our fans. Today, I want to talk with you all about my memoir, And Then it Rained: Lessons for Life.
If you're an author like Angela and me, you probably get some raised eyebrows when you tell people you wrote a book. "You wrote a book? Holy cow!? What's it about?" (Sidenote, one lesson I learned very early on -- do not call the accomplishment "finishing" a book. People interpret this statement a little differently, like my former manager, "oh, you finished a book? That's great. I just finished Entertainment Weekly, front to back.")
Any ways, right, back to the first question: What's the book about?
The answer: It's about me. That's the simple answer at least, and the straightforward one. And Then it Rained: Lessons for Life is a memoir after all -- of course that's what it's about. So why, at age 27 (age 20 when I started) did I feel compelled to write one?
Because I wanted to inspire people.
What I really wanted, in high school at least, was to inspire one person -- the same person who had inspired me. Actually, Maya had done a whole lot more, giving me a light in some of the darkest times of my life: my parents bitter divorce, my dad's severe bout with alcoholism (over ten failed rehabilitation attempts) and his moving ten states away to be with another woman. That was why when she started going through issues of her own, it seemed only natural that I be the one to reach out to her.
Apparently she didn't think so. Or, apparently, I went about it all wrong. Whatever the reason, rather than help the person I looked up to more than anyone in the entire world, I pushed her away, and lost a friend, an idol, and a source of comfort I'd counted on for six years.
The outcome wasn't all bad. Sure, I had to rethink just about everything in my life -- if Maya could lie to me, if Maya could hurt me, then couldn't everyone else do the same? But through all of that reflecting on our experience I found some pretty crucial lessons, in particular "never settle." Those two words took me to my dream college, where I found a far bigger, even more meaningful experience than what'd I'd had with Maya.
Still that failure to help the person who had helped me stayed on my mind throughout that time -- a crushing burden. Maya never even understood what she'd meant to me, much less that I'd tried to help her. How could I live with that? How could I go forward having taken so much away, yet never having given anything back?
What if I paid it forward instead?
What if I used those lessons I'd learned from my experience with her to teach other people. What if I took all of that energy I spent focusing on my outcome with her, looking back at how I could've done things differently with her, and put it into doing things right in the future, with, well, the rest of the world?
On an August night seven years ago, I sat down to write. I titled the seven page document I completed "mañana." For those of you who haven't taken Spanish, mañana is the word for tomorrow, a symbol of hope, of moving forward. And ever since then, I've continued to.
As you can guess if you're a writer, the manuscript for And Then it Rained: Lessons for Life has undergone hundreds of thousands of revisions in the past seven years, yet "mañana" is still in there. My reflections from that night on the meaning of my experience and the message that could be shared with others, have continued to form the story's foundation.
It's a story with so many takeaways -- so many lessons. How one person can change the life of another, how part of believing in yourself is believing in what you can do for other people, how you can overcome obstacles to reach your dreams, and how you should keep dreaming... as long as you're alive.
To this day, a run in with my former friend and idol -- and they happen occasionally -- is difficult, a reminder of what I couldn't do. But when I come back and read these 76,000 words I've poured my heart and soul into, I remember all I still can do.
And did I mention what I'm doing with the proceeds? Oh right, that mission. See, I figure if I make money off the book, it kind of defeats my purpose. Again, I'm writing to help people. So that's what the proceeds will do too. Find out more at http://skybluemission.com/the-mission/.
Thanks Angela, for letting me share my story. I hope all of you will check it out and enjoy it! You can purchase the book @ Amazon, Smashwords, and Bookie Jar.