Forgiveness is a complicated subject, one which I heard a great sermon on last Sunday. I have worked hard on forgiveness most of my life. It does not come easily to me. I am often asked if writing the book, The Year of the Cicadas was an immediate cleansing for my soul?
The answer is no, actually quite the opposite. I realized upon reading my first draft that I was both hurt and angry about a lot of things, with a lot of people, and with myself. Putting all of my emotions down on paper had allowed me to see that I was nowhere near healed from this experience. I now had all of these written emotions staring me right in the face… and the question, what was I to do with them?
As I shared my manuscript with each relevant family member they requested changes, additions and heaven forbid… deletions. I was forced to make a shift, a small shift in my perspective and see things from a new vantage point. This was not an easy thing for me to do. I discovered that although we disagreed we both needed to consider the other’s viewpoint. Then the rewrites started, thirteen in all. It was during the rewrites that the magic happened.
Often weeks or even months would go by while I walked the bay, through the woods or over the coastal beaches of Maine giving these new viewpoints time to percolate my bubbling emotions. Over time I began to see the events through their eyes and wrote and rewrote drafts finding a neutral ground that we could all agree upon. As one thorn was removed from my soul, I naturally went on to the next working it out as best I could.
Fortunately I had excellent support from my husband. He did an amazing job of encouraging our children to allow me to write from my viewpoint, to honor my artistic freedom. He supported our family by bringing their emotions to me for consideration. It was an amazing balancing act performed by him. He helped us to reach a healthy compromise and sometimes we simply agreed to disagree.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We are a close family, our relationship with God was strengthened, and my son is healed. How could I continue to be hurt or angry with results such as these!
By looking at it from the viewpoint of others I was able to find real forgiveness. The angry woman that wrote the book disappeared. I am embarrassed today by some of the things that I did, or didn’t do. I am also content with many of my actions. I will be eternally grateful for all of the hard work that went into the writing of our story, and even more grateful for the unwanted journey that was forced upon me by the rewrites. After all, forgiveness is a complicated subject, but so worth the extra steps in the end.
Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.
Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:
Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.
Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book. You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.
Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.
Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it. It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.
Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors. Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.
Without you, the readers of The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here. You rock.