Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Celebrating my 15th Anniversary with the Release of My First Book

Please welcome to the world, my first book, Writing Your Wedding Ceremony.  It is available on Amazon today!

My book is a short, handy guide designed for couples who have opted to ask a family member or friend officiate at their wedding.  In addition, a number of readers have told me it's a very useful resource if you happen to be that friend or family member who has been asked to do the honors.  

Here are the three most important things about it:

1.  It's affirming for a broad spectrum of couples.   
My goal is to welcome all kinds of couples into the process of celebrating their lifetime commitment.  The guide works for same sex celebrations, second marriages, and it could even give you a good start on renewing your vows, if that's on your horizon.

2.  It's short and offered in an open source spirit.  
Use this guide to write a wedding ceremony over a weekend.  Feel free to copy and paste sections you like.  The more often we find common language for ceremony, the more powerful the process is.  If you do end up using sections, and feel comfortable sharing which sections you used, I would love to hear from you.   It helps a writer's learning so much to know how their words are working in the world.

3.  All of the proceeds from this book will go to Lambda Legal.  
The victory in the Supreme Court this summer was a major milestone for same sex marriage, but the work to ensure equality for all couples is not over.  As we saw with the Kentucky County clerk who refused to approve marriage licenses for same sex couples, conflict at the state and local level will continue to happen.  By buying this book you will be helping keep our LBGTQ community safe and supported.

I hope you will consider purchasing the book on Amazon today.   

It is currently available as a Kindle book.  You don't have to have a Kindle to read it. If you don't have a Kindle, all you need to do is download the Kindle app onto your phone or tablet and then purchase the book from Amazon.

If you know someone who is getting married and you'd like to give it as a gift, click on the "Give as a Gift" button that is located a few buttons down from "Buy it Now" button on Amazon.  The process is simple and easy.

Thanks for considering.


As it happens, this little book has had its own perfect timing.  Like all products of life on this planet, this project has had it's own inner clock, one, that I must admit, has confounded me at every step.  That is, until I started to believe that maybe this idea had a life of it's own, that maybe it was coming through me in it's own time, and my job was to do the work as it came time to do the work.  I know, you hear this and it makes no sense, yet, I believe it to be as true as sunlight.

I started back at this project last fall, after having put it down for over ten years.  That moment turned out to be just a couple of weeks before the Supreme Court released it's 2015 docket, in which it announced that it would hear Obergefell vs. Hodges.  The final edited manuscript arrived in my hands the day that decision was delivered.  And today, I offer you the final finished product on the very day I married my husband, Graham, 15 years ago.  

In a very literal way, this book was born that day.  I've written about how my wedding changed me on a website I started for the kids, called Roots to Grow.  The amount of time that has passed between then and now is mind boggling to me.  And yet, many things had to happen for me to complete the project, so in a way it makes sense.  What feels so strange though, is to look at the pictures of who I was when I started it.  For the first time in my life I look at Graham and me in our wedding photos and think, "Those were sweet kids."  They look like our younger siblings to me now, that young woman in the dress, with her short hair, and her beau, the young man in his first tuxedo.  

After fifteen years, life has shaped us into different people.  There was that car accident when I was in when I was 29.  And that yoga class I took when I was pregnant that introduced me to one of my soul mate friends.  Brett's bike accident.  My first article published.  Graham's  company founded in the sunny upstairs corner of our house.  Not to mention bringing three daughters into the world.  Big things and small things have made their mark. 

Like this book project, life is having it's way with us.  

In the case with Writing your Wedding Ceremony, the things life was asking me to do with it felt a lot like failure.  Things like not finishing it for many years, things like writing it very, very badly at first.  Things like showing that very, very bad version to a professional editor whose opinion I respected and feared.  All those moments, as they passed through my filter of judgement, felt pretty awful.  But when I look back now, I see that there was a hint of elegance to the order of things that had little do to with my own plans. And in the end, I am happy for the relationship between this book and me.  We've learned a lot together.

Thankfully, my relationship with Graham has included much less struggle.  The vast majority of our days so far have been blessedly happy, the ones that have been otherwise have been good medicine.  In those moments when we've argued, or hit personal hurdles, we've seen each other through.  And as any married couple knows, those see it through days are no fun, but in the end, they are the ones that forge something new.  They are the natural forces, rich with learning, that have transformed us from two sweet kids into partners for life.

At fifteen years we've seen enough of life to know we're lucky, that not all couples have the chance to develop a softened patina before the really tough blows start coming down.  To have had that chance is one of the biggest blessings of my life.  At fifteen years, I'm grateful for happy days, but almost more grateful for the tough days.  They have been our little tide pools of struggle where we learn to swim and keep each other afloat.  

Our marriage is one of the strong steady things in my life, and certainly, the most important source of strength for keeping my writing moving forward.

So as I offer this project to the world on our Anniversary, I just want to throw a shout out to Graham.  Happy Anniversary, Honey.  This one is for you.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Wedding Book is on its way!

Blog friends, 
I am so excited!  I will self-publish my first book this month.  

It's a simple guide to writing a wedding ceremony that will be especially handy for couples who have chosen a family member or friend to officiate at their wedding.  

The book includes a reliable outline for a simple non-denominational wedding, a set of reflection questions for the couple getting married, the answers to which flow directly into the writing of the ceremony, and some tips about the writing process for a project like this.  

It's simple.  It's encouraging.  And what I love most about it is that it is a stake in the ground for what I really believe.  Whether or not we are part of a religious tradition, we all deserve to experience a rich and expressive spiritual life.  Each one of us is part of the larger, universal whole, and life milestone ceremonies, like weddings, give us the opportunity to experience our own belonging--in our family, in our community and as a part of the greater human family.

As a part of bringing this work out into the world, I have connected with a fabulous new progressive wedding magazine that launched in January.  It's called Catalyst.  Vibrant, edgy, delicious, disruptive--this magazine gives you a view into the weddings you've wanted to see, celebrations that are full of color, individuality, passion.  Even if you walked down the aisle years ago, you will feel a burst of liberation when you connect with how unapologetically real and diverse these celebrations are.

I've written a piece called "Nine New Vows for Modern Couples," that will appear in their print magazine in January, and this week I've written a blog post for them that examines whether or not Obergefell vs. Hodges, the recent Supreme Court case legalizing same sex marriage, discriminates against single people.  Go check them out.  The site sparks thinking and joy alike.  SO FUN!

Also this month, I'll be sending the book proposal to a few more agents.  Wish me luck!