February 18, 2014
Categories: Culture, Family, Self

book cover

I’ve been trying to write a book now for the better part of a year.

Seems 2013 had a few prerequisites for me first. Apparently, before I could gain true traction, I had to:

  • Get clear on the fact that motherhood was never going ease up on my heart (sorry to break it to you, new mamas)
  • Take self care and self-love to a whole new level
  • Reopen deep wounds acquired along my spiritual walk and tend them lovingly this time
  • Meet a human or three essential to my journey
  • Quit apologizing for the pace of life my intuition tells me is best for me and my family
  • Embrace my hopeless idealism as a gift
  • Bust down walls I’d always leaned on in my marriage
  • Learn to lose, and then find my (truer) self in silence and stillness
  • Let go of my “need” for certainty and answers
  • Believe myself worthy and capable of conveying this book’s message

I know, ruthless requirements, right?

Had you told me last February that by this time I’d still not have finished it, I’d have cried, moped about the house and probably sold my soul to a cubicle right then and there (okay, probably not).

Looking back on just how much I DID accomplish this year though — however intangible — I cringe to think of what it (or I) might be had I not waited.

I needed that time. It taught me some pretty huge lessons: 

  1. Seasons of discomfort and deep growth and intense introspection are essential to our humility, our expansion and the refining of our capacities.
  2. A willingness to be broken and a slow mend steeped in the sweetness of the sacred is sometimes the truest way through our toughest of tumults.
  3. Wisdom requires both struggle and surrender.

Check, check and…check.

My first book is now well underway.

Let me try that again.

MY FIRST BOOK IS NOW WELL UNDERWAY!!!!, and I know I did the right thing by waiting because what last year seemed a tiresome burden is now waking me up at 4 a.m. begging for attention (as do all my favorite creative endeavors), requiring I bring a notebook with me everywhere I go (okay, so this is nothing new), bringing out the kinds of self-doubt demons that only bother showing up when they know I really mean business, and urging me emphatically to settle in and start pushing. (Trust me, I know the feeling well. It’s time.)

Thing is, until recently I’d kinda been freaking out, as this book seemed impossibly (and impassably) BIG. Little did I know that all along I’ve been carrying…triplets!

Ok, enough with the birth analogy. I’m writing a series, it’s gonna be awesome and its name sums it up:

Motherwhelmed

Why Modern-Day Motherhood Feels So Frustrating

 

Though I dare not divulge too many details just yet (as this project CLEARLY has a mind of its own), I can tell you that the books will be divided more or less as follows:

  • part I: that which is beyond us
  • part II: that which is around us
  • part III: that which is within us

Giving myself permission to break it up this way feels way more fun, entirely more consistent with the life I want to live and yeah, considering that title…

So, for the next several weeks? month? month and a half? I’m entering a phase of SUPER FOCUS. My plan is to rent a beach hut with a full-time cook and no internet write as much as I can while still keeping the children alive, until the first book is out.

Meanwhile — because a. the longer I live abroad and more I learn to love myself, the less allured by (and capable of) multitasking I become and b. I now have a looming deadline (keep reading!) — I’ll be saving my voice for the book (mostly) and opening the conversation up to YOU.

Every week, I’ll throw out a question that I think merits community-wide discussion. You all can then comment away, mingle amongst yourselves and solve planetary/humanitary dilemmas as you see fit.

A couple of the questions I pose will be “anthropological research” for the book. With your permission, I may then quote some of your responses, according to their relevance and deliciousness.  

By the time I return, I will have sent Part I to my editor (are you my editor?), found a kick-ass cover illustrator (are you my cover artist?) and learned everything there is to know about self-publishing and marketing ebooks to as many people as possible.

Motherwhelmed? Who me?

Now, about this deadline: 

This summer will make four years since we moved the family to Mexico. Our goal of “one year abroad to slow our pace and learn a little Spanish” has turned into the single most influential and transformative time of our lives to-date. Mexico is in us forever and for good, I’m not the same person I was when we left, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

AND, our family’s needs are changing quickly. The girls are growing up ridiculously fast, my professional path is taking shape (and Hunter’s is changing course completely) and considering where we’re headed (hello, houseful of teenage girls!?) we need a tribe of families again, like yesterday.

So, this summer, we’re moving back to the states. Not to Austin (I know {sniff}, I’m sorry to break it you this way, sweet-friends-who’d-not-yet-heard-the-news) but to a much smaller town in western North Carolina where time spent on superhighways is the exception, not the daily norm. (Truly, Austin Tribe — it’s not you, it’s the car time.)

We’re really excited, kinda sad and a little intimidated about yet another enormous transition, but mostly…we’re ready.

(Ok, not quite, but we will be come June.)

Taking a little blogging break is gonna sting a little, given that I’m all fired up and ready to write about so many topics, but alas, I’ll just have to wait until I’ve earned the floor again, so to speak — ’cause floors in the states are way more expensive.

With so much love and gratitude for your encouragement along this journey,

I’ll be back soon!

bethsignature

 

 

 

P.S. I truly am looking to assemble a team of talent for this and future projects and would love to support friends and friends of friends. Any recommendations for amazing (professional, affordable) editors, illustrators, cover artists and graphic designers would be much appreciated. And to those of you with experience related to any of the aforementioned, consider your advice hereby solicited!

P.P.S. I’ll still be active on my Facebook page while breaking from the blogging. Hope to see you there!

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73 Comments

  1. I am such a fan … and I can hardly wait to read your gift to the world! So happy for you!

    Reply

    • Thank you so much, Rachel. The fan bit is quite mutual, I can assure you. You’ve been a HUGE inspiration to me.

      Reply

  2. Joanne Griesinger

    Best wishes to you beautiful woman ! Will miss your posts –you are quite brilliant & wise & full of compassion ! – Joanne

    Reply

  3. Love it all! Can’t wait.

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  4. Go Beth!!

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  5. so good to hear! write-on sista!<3

    Reply

  6. Sounds wonderful! I recently discovered you (grateful) and look forward to some more of your writing. You are inspiring! I do love North Carolina, although I just LEFT the lovely state for Colorado! Sheila

    Reply

  7. Yay! You’re inspiring me to follow your lead to get with the pen!!! Congratulations :)

    Reply

  8. Professional, affordable author’s portrait photographer at your service! I would be thrilled to be a part of helping your wonderful book become a reality. Way to go, Champion Mom!

    Reply

    • Awesome. I’ll TOTALLY be taking you up on that offer this summer. Thank you so much, Sarah, for your consistent encouragement. It means a lot.

      Reply

  9. Congratulations! What an exciting move for you and your family. I look forward to hearing about your transition this summer. We lived in Belize for two years and just moved back this past summer. As excited as we were to move back to the States it was way more shocking than I thought it was going to be :) Best of luck! I have been waiting for your book since you first mentioned you were writing one…can’t wait to read all of them!!

    Reply

    • Thanks, Michelle. I am already bracing myself for the shock. it happens every summer when we visit, so I can only imagine what it will be like as a permanent move. Just trying not to have expectations, which is tricky. I’m sure you’ll be hearing all about it!

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  10. Like all proud mamas we will miss you dearly as we cheer wildly from the sidelines!!!

    May the Creator continue to bless and keep all healthy and safe.

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  11. I love this: “Quit apologizing for the pace of life my intuition tells me is best for me and my family”. There’s no reason why we should all have the same pace of life. My parents took us to a third world country for 3 years when I was a kid, and the pace was slow all right… and you know what? Those were among my best years ever!

    Great post, you inspire me too.

    Reply

    • The pace thing has been among the greatest gifts of our time abroad, for sure. The real test will come when we re-assimilate stateside! Thank goodness intuition knows no borders. Thank you, I so appreciate your encouragement.

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  12. As someone in a small town in NC….I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it! (at least for a little while). Don’t get too caught up in the media-version of North Carolina. And try not to hold the stereotypes as the true median of our soul….NCers are a complicated mix. xoxo beth!

    Reply

    • I think it will suit us well. It’s a very strategic move based on proximity to family, mountains, seasons, fertile ground and the vibe of the town. We’ve learned that there are stereotypes no matter where you live, which keeps the idealism at bay. Thanks for reaching out, Sucar!

      Reply

  13. I am so excited to learn about your books! And I feel so bittersweet about you leaving Mexico too. I love hearing (er, reading) your stories and experiences. I’ve lived vicariously through you and you have helped my pipe dream of moving abroad become more a real possible dream. I can’t wait until you come back to the blogosphere. Good luck!

    Reply

    • Thank you, Kerrie! I’m excited, too. Mexico is magical. I highly encourage working toward that dream. I will miss not blogging, which will motivate me to stay focused. Hopefully that means I’ll be back soon!

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  14. Congrats and best wishes!

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  15. I’ve loved so many of your posts. Best of luck with the book series, and the big move! If you need a proofreader, I’m here. Can also do more in-depth editing.

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  16. Beth—I love your writing, your message, and though I just discovered your blog recently, find myself thinking of it often. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  17. Will miss you! I find great strength in your blog, but excited for you and your next project…all the best on the adventure!

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    • I really appreciate it, Karen. I find strength in it, too, so hopefully this will motivate me to stay focused and I won’t have to be gone long! Thanks for reaching out.

      Reply

  18. I’ve been admiring you from afar and, I have to admit, I’m sorta sad that you’re leaving. We’re saving our pennies now, for a (one year) move to Mexico in the near future. However, I’m a huge fan of western North Carolina. I’m sure you’ll love it there too. Safe travels.

    Reply

    • Thanks, Greg! All the best with your upcoming adventure! What part of Mexico?

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      • We own property out in the jungle, but walking distance to Sayuilta. That will be home base while we build our house. My wife has family all over mexico so we plan on exploring as much as possible. Good luck with the book. Let me know if you need any graphic design help.

        Reply

  19. So excited to see your new book! Will miss your blogging but will check in on your facebook to keep up to date. Happy writing!

    Reply

  20. Milinda Lawless

    So excited for you and the family, though I will always wish you had moved to Colorado! Best of luck and as for cover art, art in general….you know my work and know I would be absolutely thrilled to collaborate. Just to say….I’m in your back pocket if you need me;) NC, thank your lucky stars!!!

    Reply

    • You made it hard not to, sweet friend! I do know your incredible work and so appreciate the offer. Will be in touch, guapa.

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  21. Huge projects, wow. I´m gonna pack my favorite restaurant´s awesome cook in a box and send him to you rightaway! ;)
    Already missing your posts *sniff*
    All the best!!!

    Reply

    • Wow, indeed. Breathing deeply, and awaiting my personal chef. Thanks, Anka. Your kind words are always a blessing.

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  22. Felicitaciones guapa. Te esperamos. Besos!

    Reply

  23. Peggy Winkler

    The Dalai Mama! Can’t wait to read your book! <3

    Reply

  24. I love the idea of your book. I have a great friend who lives in Charlotte who is an artist and might be a great person for your cover.

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  25. Excited about book series! In a small town in southwest Virginia – from Atlanta. Love it here. Best wishes!

    Reply

  26. What wonderful news! I am a NC girl Who lives in Charlotte. I have traveled to many places and have lived in Scotland and Ireland…Western NC remains one of my favorite places on earth! Can’t wait to continue reading about the adventures that await!

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    • So good to know. We’re planning on putting down deep roots, so it’s great to hear about people who love it! Thanks, Jenn!

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  27. So excited for you and your books! I can’t wait to read the first one! You’re an inspiration, living your intuition and knowing when your family needs a change. Will be looking forward to hearing about your new adventures!

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    • Thank you, Emily. The intuition thing is not always so convenient, but has rarely led me astray! I so appreciate your kind words.

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  28. papa proud

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  29. So Cool! Good luck. And here’s a graphic artist/designer you might like: http://berrygraphics.com/cover-design-general-fiction/

    Reply

  30. Beth, I’m SUPER excited about your book. This editor is a virtual friend of mine who’s work I respect highly. She just recently went freelance and I think you should check her out! I feel like you two might could get along well…

    http://penelopejacksoneditor.com

    good luck!!

    Reply

    • Thank you so much, Debbie. I’ve not been the greatest about expressing it, but I am so appreciative of your ongoing encouragement and kindness. She looks just about perfect. I’ll definitely be reaching out to her!

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  31. We moved from CO to a small town in western NC just over one year ago. We. Love. It. Truly! I hope this transition is as smooth as can be for your family.

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    • Thanks, Lisa! I think we’re going to like it, too. Meets so many of the characteristics we’ve been looking for. Ahhh, another transition… ;)

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  32. Wow! Congrats and good luck! How exciting!!

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  33. Best of luck to you with your writing. I always enjoy your voice online and just know your book is going to be great! As far cover designers, I highly recommend Damon Za (www.damonza.com). He did the cover for our 2nd book and it actually won an award. Surprisingly affordable too. :-)

    Best of luck too with your move from a former Austinite. Still love love love that city.

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  34. Perfect, Jennifer. I so appreciate the recommendation based on personal experience. That goes a long way! Grateful for your encouragement, Beth

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  35. Congrats, Beth! You’re quite an inspiration. If the Asheville area is where you’re moving, you won’t be disappointed. We moved here 2.5 years ago and have fallen head over heels for this beautiful place. Right after we moved here, my now good friend said, “If my soul could be a city, it would be Asheville”. I couldn’t agree more. Best of luck to you and your family wherever it is you end up in WNC.

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  36. a huge congrats on your book(s)!
    can’t wait to welcome you to western NC!
    cheers~

    Reply

  37. My husband does some graphic design work. Some of his work and contact info can be found on the website. I love your writing, can’t wait to see where the book takes you!

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  38. I’m so excited to read about your forthcoming books! Also, I have a cousin that lives in Franklin NC…it is so beautiful up there. I so miss the snow and beautiful mountains of the GA/NC area…living here in flat Florida. Quite a change for you guys but the kids will enjoy the snow…for a little while!

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  39. I’m not sure if I’m more excited for you following your dreams and making your book a reality or that I will get to read it?!! And on top of that you get to move to WNC! I’ve had my eye on moving up there to a smallish mountain town for awhile now, I feel it in my bones. Just have to figure out how to get that feeling in my husbands bones too, pretty sure another hot dry Texas summer will do the trick :) I look forward to hearing about y’all’s journey, especially interested in hearing your take on the schools up there; something I will have to start considering much more in the next few years. Good luck to you all!’

    Reply

  40. I can’t wait for you book as well!! I truly admire the life you chose and there are so many aspects of it I can easily incorporate into my life. Thank you!

    Reply

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