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!