I wrote a book. It was September 2013 when I started, the ten year anniversary of my move to Southeast Asia, and I found myself wondering if I had forgotten the lessons I learned there. I found myself wondering what it all had meant- the leaving, the loneliness, the kinship, the miracles, the break-up. The being barred from returning. The tailspin. The rumors that I worked for the CIA. The deafening silence from God. The dusty fish-sauce scented air in Phnom Penh, the joy and despair. The falling in love. The starting to hear again. The savior complex, wounded.
I wrote. I wrote in my sister’s Brooklyn kitchen and in my closet-sized office at my beautiful second-hand desk and at a retreat center in southern Indiana and at a monastery in Minnesota. I revised, realizing that memoir revision is actually re--vision: seeing your life in new ways. And I found things in my story I hadn’t known before. I saw myself again. I saw God anew. I listened to ten year old playlists, and re-read books from my childhood, and I cried a lot. (They say you’re not supposed to mention the crying, but it’s true, I did.)
I wrote it down for myself, because I was afraid of losing it, and because I needed to wrestle with it until it gave up its blessings.
To be honest, I don’t know if the book should be published. I’m not wholly convinced that the world needs it. (I needed it.) But somehow I ended up with a lit agent, and pretty soon we’ll be asking some publishers if they think it’s a book worth putting out there.
If you’d like to be the first to know what they say, please sign up for this newsletter email list. I don’t intend to post anything else on the blog about this process until it’s well underway, but I do want those of you who have supported me and my writing so much to be in the loop.
It’s also the case that publishers will be more favorably inclined towards my book if I have a healthy list of people I can email to promote it. I know, right: they think that if you let me email you, that shows that you’ll also pay cash money for a book? I let plenty of people email me who’ve never gotten my credit card digits! But whatever.
So if you think you’d like to read this book - or if you want to support my writing - don’t donate to a kickstarter or use my amazon affiliate links (cause I don’t have them). Just pop in your email address, and maybe ask your friends to sign up, too. I promise you’ll only hear from me very occasionally, and when you do, it will be exclusive content, hopefully some giveaways or coupon codes, too - and I promise there will never be a pop-up on this site asking you again for your email address. There will never be annoying sidebar ads. And I will do my best to never be fooled into thinking that just because people read my words, I’m right all the time, or that I have the words of life. I don’t want to be the voice of a generation. I just want to make it my ambition to lead a quiet, faithful life -- and today that seems to require a good faith effort to see if my book is supposed to be for the world, or just for me.
Thank you so much for your support.