I am excited to say that I made the last five tweaks to Willful Evolution today and instructed Off the Common Books in Amherst, Massachusetts to print a first batch for me. Copies should be hot off the press next week sometime. Stay tuned.
While the editing process took roughly a year, I’m proud of the work and the changes I have made that enhance the story. I’m also excited to get the book out there, yet I feel vulnerable, too.
I stand in faith, though. It’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone once again.
When I was holding a printer proof in my hand yesterday, I was marveling at how the compact package held the highlights of the past 10 years of my life. There it is, right there—ten years of working hard to get from grief to great.
In 2010, I was laid off from my full-time job as a communications specialist in a hospital while I was on a family medical leave, taking care of my late husband, Ed, in his last days. He’d been diagnosed with lung cancer four months earlier.
I heard my boss tell me my position had been eliminated as I stood on my front steps; Ed lay in a hospital bed in my living room just inside the door. He died four days later. I had no income. No partner, and two teenaged children to raise.
I told the story of that devastating loss in my first memoir, Divine Renovations, which was published in 2011. My new book, Willful Evolution, is a sequel to the first book, and it is poignant, inspiring, and at turns, downright funny. The book shows how I reinvented myself. How I got from there to here.
Willful Evolution begins a few months after Ed passed away; I’m on a walk with my grandson Eli. The story ends in this COVID-19 era.
When you read Willful Evolution, you will hear stories of my travels to far-away places. You’ll see me rent a cockroach-infested car in Majuro in the Marshall Islands, watch a volcano erupt in Hawaii, and play cards and curse with family in Florida.
I did a lot of online dating in the past decade, too, and readers will have a chance to meet some of the wacky men I met, like Sam, who told me on a first date that his ex-wife got so fat he didn’t want to have sex with her anymore. So attractive, right?
Yoga and other challenges and adventure also helped me gain physical, and then emotional strength, along with my ridiculous competitive nature.
My book is about wrestling fear, building relationships, and finally growing up—in my mid-fifties. Think Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert because the book touches on travel and love.
Think Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle because I write about empowerment and metamorphosis. I show it more than tell it.
Think Daring Greatly by Brené Brown because so many of the moves I made involved daring, pushing myself to do things that frightened me.
My book is as motivating, amusing, and powerful as these works.
Willful Evolution will make you laugh and empower your soul. I hope it will make people feel both at home in who they are and inspired to take on some new challenge or change.
My hope is that people who read my book will find new strength in their own lives, take risks, set new goals, and reinvent themselves.
I’ll let you know when the book is in my Shop, and I’ll be sending updates about a live reading I hope to be able to hold in the spring, as well as a virtual reading.
Be strong everyone!