Posted in Life

Honesty

When I gave my worries to the Lord, I had to be ready for what I would hear even knowing that it could be something completely out of left field. HE knows my purpose, not me. When I started this journey of writing a year ago, it was a way to escape the world during my darkest hours. I was lost, unsure, and in trouble. I felt God had forsaken me, left me behind when I needed him the most. My cookie cutter life was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do. I was losing my mind, my husband, and my daughter.

At my darkest hour, writing brought me through where I was. You see I never told one family member or friend what I was going through in my life. So my writing allowed me to get all my thoughts on paper of a life I always dreamed of, but as I wrote, my life came out in its pages, more than I ever thought possible. It was my hopes and dreams, but also my sorrows and my deepest fears. Jean’s life was following apart and so was my own.

By October I made one of the most difficult decisions and that was to get help. Through time, some medication, and lots of prayer, I am slowly becoming myself again. I still struggle with day to day life as an adult with ADD and anxiety, but for the most part I handle it the best I can. Then I noticed how much the media marketing was affecting my mood. Anyone who is a new and upcoming writer knows the only way to get your book out there is to BE OUT THERE on social media. As a person who grew up with Myspace, I found it intimidating and very unpleasant. The more I was posting, the more I was losing myself piece by piece.

Then I realized as I got better, writing wasn’t bringing me the joy and relief it once had in my life. Not more than six months ago, I was so happy to have signed a book deal. I was going to be an author, but as the day approached, I found myself with more anxiety than happiness. Book release day came along with the party, but I found myself still not all there.

Then the problems began with formatting, editing, the reviews, the judgment, the negativity and I found myself in back to back panic attacks. Is this what I was going to have to do just to publish a book? You see I am a teacher and love my career, but I was going to have to choose, just like Jean was going to, either be a teacher or a writer, because I CAN NOT do both. My family was suffering and so was I.

This past weekend, I went to mother daughter camp with my sweet one to reconnect after such a broken year. What I found was peace and hearing God’s word on my heart. My family needs me, my little girl needs her momma to be present and spend those moments with her and not worrying what some stranger thinks or feels about my book. Instead of presenting myself to the world, I need to spent that time raising my daughter and taking care of my husband along with myself.

In the next week, I am going to deactivate all my author social media accounts, but Jean Stone’s will remain handled by my publisher. Book 1 will be back up in a few weeks depending on how long it takes to get through the mess. Book 2 will still be out in August, but as of this moment, my writing is on hiatus indefinitely. While some may see this as giving up, I see this as a story with a happy ending. You see, I got my family back which is worth more than any silver or gold in this world. As well as I recommited myself to the Lord and when he decides I need to write again, he will let me know. My little girl is only 8 once and I want to spend the rest of the year with her. My website will remain up, I still enjoy blogging and who knows what the future holds.

Thank you again for those who supported and followed along in my journey. I met some amazing people who I hope to keep up with in the near future.

Go with GOD and be blessed.

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Posted in Life

Life Changing

It has been 8 days since Jean Stone was released to the world. As I sit and reflect on those days, I realize a lot of things have changed.

I still have NO idea what I am doing in this industry, but I enjoy writing and that is all that matters to me. I have met some really wonderful people along this journey and for that I am blessed. The reviews I am getting seem to be positive so I am going to ride the wave and enjoy. As announced, my 2nd book will be out in late August. Currently, I am finishing the storyboarding part and cutting down what I think is way too many back stories in there so that the editor can work on her.

There is another work in progress, but I am not ready to tell the world just yet. New opportunites have been presented to me and I am doing my best to weigh what is good for my family and my full time job as a teacher. For now I get to take a step back for a few months and just be before promotion begins again. For success in this industry, you have to market yourself, put yourself out there and let me tell you out of everything (besides editing), I dislike that the most.

There has been some rough news in our immediate family as of last week, if anything I realize life is short and you can’t take it for granted. My mom has had a rough year, personally and I have decided in the fall we are taking a girls trip to Disney World. Just my mom, myself, and lily. This is her time to escape the world and enjoy. It is also to say thank you for all the things she has done for me. She moved her to help us with Lily and of course to be around her only grandchild. She does so much with no thought of rewards or thank yous. After this last bit of hard to swallow news she got, I decided to take her away just for a few days as sadly time is of the essence. If you pray, say some for her as she weathers this new season.

Also, thank you to everybody who has made Jean Stone a success. Thank to those who have bought and loved Jean’s story as much as I loved writing it. Book 2 is going to continue her journey of balancing life and work, or at least trying. Can she solve this cold case or will she lose her family in the end?

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Posted in Life

Support Tribe

One day after the release of Jean Stone, I am reflecting on where I started and where I am at now.

A year ago, I was struggling with a broken marriage, tackling my first year as a teacher, and a loss of self. To put it plainly, I was uphappy. For 13 years, I was a Navy wife and now I was lost adrift at sea in my own mind.

Today I am a published author. Wow I guess I have to get use to saying that. My writing is a way to escape the world and do what I love. I have no intention of quitting teaching anytime soon as my students need me and I need them. They are apart of me and I am not ready to give that up just yet.

The last 24 hours have been a dream and I am soaking up the moment. The well-wishers, the support, and the congratulations. Do not worry, Book 2 is already done and in storyboarding. Jean Stone is going to be around for while. She has a lot of stories to tell and share. Last night I got to share it with my dad and my step mom. While the last year hasn’t been the greatest, those who love and support me have been there to listen to my whining, complaining, and be a shoulder for me when I didn’t think I could go any further.

It is thanks to my support tribe this has been possible, from Jordan my publisher, to Stephanie my beta reader, to Donna my mentor, and my family and friends. It is because of my tribe here were our rankings this morning:

My husband has been the rock in all this. Our marriage was falling apart and yet he stood by me through it all. Today I am happy to say things are better and we are rebuilding what is broken a day at a time. He is proud of all my hard work as well as my daughter who I think is sometimes most excited than I am through it all. She herself is an aspired writer working hard at her skill. The next installment of her dragon story should be out soon.

In interviews, I am always asked about advice for writing. Now I say two things:

Write for yourself and nobody else.

Find your support tribe to be there for you.

Now I am headed back to folding laundry, cleaning the house, and snuggling with my dog before the party. See even though I am a published author, my first jobs are mom and wife.

Did I mention I was in my hometown newspaper yesterday too??? Go check it out!

http://theparisnews.com/free/article_e35db9ca-36c3-11e9-860a-7324b54d5bb3.html

 

Posted in Life

Happy Balance

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Today I find myself home sick with sinus issues. Weird Texas weather can not make up its mind if it wants to be winter or spring. Doesn’t help I teach either. My kids love to bring me a host of viruses just waiting for their opportunity to battle my immune system.

Last Sunday I wrote a post about plans. We all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I have been doing my best to pray and listen to God about what HIS plans are for me.

Being a teacher isn’t the easiest gig in the world. Yes we get off holidays and summers, but with all the testing that is required by the states, constant funding worries, and the collapse of the education system as a whole, has most of us teachers stressed to the max. Constant training, mounds of paperwork, and worrying about our students has many teachers leaving the profession in large numbers since teaching the students is no longer the main concern, it is how to we get these kids to pass the test! But it can not be that simple, well it is sadly. All students in the state of Texas must pass 5 STAAR test to graduate, 2 English, 1 Math, 1 Science, and 1 History. Every child takes the same test REGARDLESS of their needs although we are told that we must differentiate our instruction. This year for me has been especially difficult as I teach ESL. My poor students basically set up to fail, it breaks my heart. I am only in my 2nd year of teaching and my heart wonders if I am in the right place. For that I continue to pray, as I need to have a good home life and work balance. Like the saying goes, if momma ain’t happy, nobody happy.

Back to the plans. I have prayed everyday and asked others to pray for me that I would hear God and know what to do. Well wouldn’t you know it, while in church Sunday listening to the Youth Pastor talk about needing volunteers to teach the students, he spoke to me. That is where you need to be Morgan. At first I questioned it, like really?? Me?? This isn’t my forte, I barely remember any of the stories…. Ok God, I hear ya. So after church, I gave the youth minister my phone number and said I am here to help. I may not know what I am doing, but I know God won’t leave me behind.

As for my writing, well it is at a stale mate for now. With the book release in a few weeks and needing to storyboard edit Book 2, I have too much on my plate and on my mind to write well.

For now I continue to listen and follow HIS plans.

 

Posted in Life

Time in the World

I should be storyboard editing my second book, but I found myself coming to my blog to write some thoughts down.

I realize today I haven’t written much of my 3rd book in a few weeks. Honestly other than writng in my journal or on here, I haven’t really put pencil to paper. Why? Who knows? Writing isn’t my first job, it is Teaching. Then I also have a family. For now I have been focusing more on #selflove and my family than writing. My daughter and husband need me to be present and well hell I am a work in progress. Those two are my biggest supporters through it all and when they need me, then everything else can wait.

Even though this is a hobby, with my book coming out in 20 days there is a lot of behind the scenes work going on for the launch to be successful. To be truthful, I didn’t realize how much work went into AFTER the writing. This has been a learning process for sure. Even through the hard times and stress, I am grateful for this opportunity to publish my book. It still doesn’t seem real to me that this is all finally happening. My daughter is now writing her 1st book at 8. I am so proud of her and if nothing else, I hope that I have inspired her to live out her dreams no matter how long it takes.

I love writing and when the motivation strikes again, I will reach for the paper and pencil and continue to work on the harrowing adventures of Jean Stone. But for now, an 8 year old needs me to read her story and for that I have all the time in the world.

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Posted in Life

A kid at Christmas

As a little girl, I looked forward to having my name in the paper or mentioned on the radio. I thought I was cool with my mother cutting out my name for the AB honor roll or being in a local community play.

Today, I was in the local paper for my book party. Like a kid at Christmas, I tore through the paper locating it and grinning from ear to ear. There before me was an article about Jean Stone. This book means more to me that anyone will ever know. It is me, it is my life, it is my story wrapped up in mystery.

So I ran out and bought 3 copies and I will frame one on the wall next to my two other proud achievements, my Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi & my precious family.

 

https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/news/article/Area-Event-Briefs-Houston-Area-Oil-Painters-of-13567365.php#photo-16838293

Posted in Life

Plans

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I am not a very religious person, it is something I have a struggled with most of my life. I grew up with the typical Southern background, Church every Sunday, church camp etc. Religion was not something we discussed in my household very often. My granny was a very religious person. There were scriptures on the wall in pretty frames, gospel music playing on the turntable, and a GIANT bible on the coffee table. I always felt it was ASSUMED we understand what church was all about, but I do not ever recall having any real conversations with my family about anything.

As I got older, I fell away from church. My parents got divorced and I found other things to preoccupy my time. When I met my husband, we didn’t talk religion other than mentioning our upbringing. We were not married in a church nor did we attend our first service together until after our daughter was born. You see I went to school for Science. Science and Religion do not mix very well. It is an internal conflict that personally deal with to this day. I do not try to fit into any mold or group, but I believe in both.

When we lived in Gulfport, we found the most wonderful church family. Pastor Claire Dobbs was the reason I came back to the church after so many years away. When we had to move back to Texas, I cried to leave such a wonderful place. Even now when I can’t make it to church, I listen to her sermons on line. As I write this, our family is still trying to find the right fit, but for now we have a little church family we spend our Sundays with along with my mother.

After 4 months away from church, I decided I needed to go and start the week off on a good note. Today the pastor talked about God’s plan for us. What is it? How will we know? When will he tell us?

I am very much a controlling person, meaning I feel the need to control all aspects of my life. That when I am out of control, the world crashes around me. That is my adult ADD and anxiety talking, but as I sat there today, I wondered what my plan for his work may be. You see I do not actually want to control every part of my life, but my difficult brain believes that if I do not control it, that all these bad things will happen to me. Truth is, bad things are going to happen regardless if I do or do not have control of things. Many times in my life, even now, I wonder if I do enough around me, do I need to do more, am I doing too much now.

Today as I bowed my head to pray, I asked God to lead me, use me to do his works, use my talents to bring those closer to you, and to find peace within in my decision to let go. For the first time in forever, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Even at 35, I am still learning my story with God, learning how to work with him, not against him and to finally let go and let GOD.

What parts of your life do you struggle with?