Illuminating Gracie

Southern Grace

It’s never been a big dream of mine, to write the “Great American Novel.” Though my gift for gab translates fairly well to the written word, I have never been particularly taken with the idea of creating a piece of literature.  Not even as an angst-filled teen, did I pen a poem to reflect my dark and introspective mood.  My writing has been more “as needed” – to satisfy a job application, help with my son’s college essays or to pass the Alabama State Bar exam.

All of that changed for me several years ago when, quite unexpectedly, I sat down and began writing a story that would become a book entitled Illuminating Gracie.  My motivation for writing the novel was duel-fold:  to offer young women an alternative to the booze, sex and drugs literature popular at the time and to, if only metaphorically, right the wrongs of my own past.  My father had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) – he died in January of this year – and I was struggling with the guilt that came along with a seriously misspent youth.  Illuminating Gracie – the story of a miserable old woman who, with the aid of an angel, goes back in time and helps the young girl she once was become the woman she should have been – was in many ways an apology to my parents for my years of bad behavior.

When I began writing my story, it was not meant for anyone to read – except for maybe my mother and father. After all, what good is an apology that never gets extended?  No one was more surprised than I when Illuminating Gracie began to shape up into a book that was worth reading – worth publishing.  While writing the book was a “trip,” the real journey began when I started trying to find a way to get my labor of love into the hands of readers. One of the first lessons I learned was that I should be blogging – thus, this little missive.

SOUTHERN GRACE will necessarily talk about Illuminating Gracie and my odyssey into publishing, but it will discuss other things, as well.  The talking heads of the literary world have all declared with one resounding voice, the need for me to blog, yet they are strangely silent on the subject of “subjects.”  I thought about a cooking blog, but the irony of that idea was just too great; I can’t even boil water without risking third degree burns. Sewing, housekeeping tips and pet care have all been considered and tossed aside for similar reasons.  At last, I came to the conclusion to write about everything – and nothing.  In other words, being the proverbial “jack of all trades,” I’ve decided to blog about whatever suits my fancy that particular day.  I would love for readers to give me feedback and ideas – and, as is my way, I’ll thrill over a little debate, should the topic inspire it.

I ask that you sign up so I can send you updates on Illuminating Gracie’s release and let you know when a blog is forthcoming. Thank you for reading!

  • Looking forward to adding some Lisa Cheek to my routine.
    p.s. Thank you for not tackling cooking. Ditto cleaning/sewing tips. Love, someone who’s known you for a LONG, LONG time!

    • Ha, ha, ha – You’ve definitely known me long and well, my friend. Next time your in town – lunch is on me!

    • lisa temple

      Yeah, cooking could be a disaster. We’ve known each other forever, my friend, and no one knows better than you what my strengths – and especially – what my weaknesses are. I loved seeing you at Dad’s funeral (even though it was a funeral). So many of my girlhood memories involve you – hmmmm…maybe a blog about that, lol! Love you, Laura – thanks for your friendship and support!

  • Can’t wait for the release! So proud of you!

    • Thanks so much, Sharon! I appreciate your support, and definitely your patience in waiting for the book. It won’t be long now!

    • lisa temple

      Thank you, sweet Sharon! I appreciate your patience and support so much!

  • disqus_NspXmHvV2m

    Well precious one I am so excited about your new endeavor!!! So fitting that you would connect with so many people with your enthusiasm for life! Remember back to the old days when Emily Post gave us the absolute only way to have manners and etiquette that were proper. I still have Mammaw’s book where she showed me that After Rehearsal Dinner invitations simply had to be hand written in Gold ink!!!! I think that you could give your bloggers your take on matters of the heart. What is most important?? Gold ink or our should our focus be on the heart and spending time with the ones we love?

    We now live in a world where anything goes. I know that your writings will reflect the wisdom that comes from the only Book that should matter. Looking back we can all see where we have been hurt. If we had cared at all to look in the Book where our Heavenly Father gave us guidelines for living, we would have seen that His instruction was there only because of His love for us..

    Lisa’s Posts… it !!!!! Susie (your always Sis in law )

    • You are INDEED my forever sis-in-law, Susie B. – I love you and I loved your comment. It has always been a dream of mine to write an advice column tempered with some good old-fashioned biblical principal (and a little humor, too). Maybe that’s the direction I’ll take the blog. By the way, I’ll be laughing all night about the gold ink!

  • lisa temple

    Gold ink – too funny – I think about Mrs. Beaird often – the woman was a saint! I love you girl and I appreciate your sweet words. I like the “matters of the heart” idea, and have actually always wanted to write an advice column. I would love folks to send in questions. I love you, Susie B. – you are, indeed, my forever sis-in-law! Lisa