Friday, May 25, 2012

Emails. Words. Encouragement?

written 5/24/12
He said it was very powerful. He said that he would encourage me to follow this through to publishing.

My book proposal is in its third stage now. After writing then re-writing and submitting...I have finally gotten feedback. 

Of course, when I first saw that email pop up in my inbox, I about wanted to cry realizing things had finally come full circle.

I had the idea of writing a memoir about you and the impact of your disease on our family--> I wrote it (the book proposal that is, with the sample chapter...just one thankfully!) ---> I sent it to be read by a published author and get his feedback.

Now comes the scariest part(and I thought that would be reading his response!)...

 I have to implement his critiques, tighten my work, add a few more letters I wrote to you around your final days with us, and submit it back to him so that he can send it to his agent for his rough critics and own thoughts on if this is something I should pursue as a... wait for it...CAREER.

This is all so surreal to me. My goal with writing this book proposal and chapter has never really been to write the book. Sure, that is my end goal, but I'm not even a graduate with my Bachelor of Arts yet.

The whole time I've been working on this project I kept telling myself: "You don't have time to write this book anyways so don't freak out if he hates've got time".

Oh boy, am I so glad that I can still say that to myself..."I still have time, your goal isn't to write a book in college, it's to learn and grow...take the feedback you get and edit like crazy!"

Mom, I'm going to edit like crazy.... and then I'm going to submit this back and wait for the agent's edits/critiques/thoughts...and then I'm going to sit and take a deep breathe...and then I'm going to share what I wrote.

I am excited and terrified about what an actual agent may say about my work. Now this is not because I care at this point, in my so called writing "career", if my book will get published by him. I have these feelings simply because of the learning that can take place.

That is what I love about where I'm at right now as a writer.

I'm far enough away from entering the workforce that I don't need to already have this book proposal fine tuned. I'm far enough away from the age and the experience level that I will need to have to be taken seriously. I can simply take these critiques and emails as learning opportunities.

 I have enough time to grow and improve that I don't need to worry if this book gets published right this minute, because I don't have the stress of relying on my writing for income purposes just yet.

All this to say Mom, your story is being heard. Right now just by two more people...but eventually years from now by hundreds... maybe even several hundreds.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity I've had to write this proposal and even more so to share your story. I have faith in the future. I have faith that your story will shine stronger and brighter, no matter how poor my writing is, because I took these opportunities to share it with others.

I love you, so much.

I'm so sorry that this is what happened, but I love you more and more each day because of what you've allowed me to see and learn through this struggle of yours... and ours as a family.

Thank you Mom, for being who you are. For always standing strong even when the world did everything it could to tear you down.

 The world didn't win, Mom. You did. You won the fight against Moya Moya, not because you physically survived it, but because your heart and your love overcame it.

You won because you survived in the hearts of others. You won because you gave everything you had... and in doing so you taught us so much and loved us even more.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A New Portland Perspective

Hi Mom,
     Due to my crazy schedule and book writing, I haven't been able to process all that's going on in my head, so until then I wanted to share with you a note I wrote in my journal and shared with my Missions Team at our debrief a few days ago.

These were my overall thoughts on the trip I took over spring break and the impact it has made on my life. enjoy!

"What I find so unique about the Portland trip is that we weren’t abroad...
So many times by friends and others I was asked:
"If your spending all this money to “make a difference” why not go somewhere completely different from what you know? Why not travel to some place that is poverty stricken?
Portland doesn’t really need attention, does it??"

Let me be honest: until I actually WENT to Portland I didn’t really understand how much these people and this city DID need attention. The high rate of homelessness there was very apparent...

What really struck me though is that Portland is just a city.
It’s just a place-like Rocklin, Sacramento, Roseville…

So why does it take some official title... why does it take the phrase “Missions Trip” to be added to the end of this seemingly ordinary city in order to get us to act?
Why does it take two words, “Mission Trip” to get us to open our eyes to the problems surrounding us?

What would happen if we saw our whole life as a missions trip?

Sacramento, Rocklin, Roseville: they all have their own set of issues, struggles, and needs. Yet we keep our eyes so set on our own path that we are guarded against the needs in our own cities. Our own workplaces. Our own classrooms.
What would these places look like, what great benefits would we be able to see, if we actively pursued the missions around us?

I saw this missions trip to Portland as an opportunity to give back to others what I had been given… but why do I think that such giving can only occur in the setting of a missions trip? Why do I feel like that title obligates me to act, but everyday life doesn’t ?

We spent a week giving everything we had to people we have never met- yet that person at work who is in the same office as you, or that person who goes to class with you- We find those people ACCEPTABLE to skip over.
Let us work to give all of who we are to everyone we come in contact with, regardless of the setting or the title “ missions trip”. Let us give everything we have, even if its just a hug or an authentic conversation, to those in need.
 This type of giving is a risk. It could require you to step out of your own circle of friends, it could require you to be five minutes late to wherever you need to go that day-but its those sacrifices for others that show our true character.
 It's those sacrifices that speak louder than any words that we can produce.

Let us learn to be missions minded in our day to day lives too.
 We need to learn what it really means to love and give and sacrifice everyday not just when we have no other distractions to keep our attention.
 Life is not always going to allow us to dedicate an entire week solely to meeting the needs of others. It is up to us whether or not we truly believe that we can make a difference. And if we do in fact believe that we can, then it's up to us to ACT on that-- wherever we are and with everyone we are given in our lives.
Everyone in the world has needs that can be met. Lets not wait on a title to tell us when its appropriate or okay to act and meet those needs. Let us take the first steps from where we are at today. "
Thanks for listening Mom. I miss you every day.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,