Launch Day!

Here it is, beautiful people! A new book in the world. Shaper's Daughter, Book 3 in the World Whisperer series, is out today. And it's also the day of the relaunch, with all three books heading out with brand new covers. 

Here are the links to where you can buy the books:

World Whisperer
Guardian of Dawn, World Whisperer Book 2  (Formerly Path of Springs.)
Shaper's Daughter, World Whisperer Book 3

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In the third book of the World Whisperer series, Isika must face her deepest fears and emerge with her true identity intact.

Isika is growing into her life in the Royal city of Azariyah. Her pottery apprenticeship is going well and her friendship with Jabari is blossoming. She loves her life with her family and longs to be a normal Maweel girl, something that isn't possible with the Desert King in pursuit of her life.

Evil forces want Isika captured or dead, and the threat of the Great Waste grows stronger daily. Why is the Desert King approaching Azariyah and why is he trying to burn Maween to the ground?

As fires erupt all around Azariyah, the loyalty of the Maweel toward their World Whisperer is tested. Rumors follow Isika as she fights fire and suspicion to protect the city she loves and earn the trust of her people, ultimately standing before an evil so great, it will take everything within her to withstand and defeat it.

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I will be hosting an online Facebook relaunch party to celebrate, and you're all invited! It's a very easy kind of party to attend, with chatter and thoughts about the book, music and a few prizes. You can ask me anything! Just click the button that says you're going, and you'll be able to see all the posts and qualify for prizes.

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And I'm focusing a lot of my promotion efforts on the first book. I need your help! If you have a minute, you can tweet or post on Facebook about my book. Or share one of the images below. Thank you so much! 

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This and that.

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This last week has been full in all the best ways. Food and singing, writing and school. Trick or treating. A birthday party. And now a book group retreat.

The week started off with community lunch, and I made sprouted moong dal coconut curry, a Mangalorean dish that Jaya used to make. Then on Monday we started school and I read chapter after chapter of books to the kids, drew out their schedules, and introduced the oldest two to my way of scheduling in time chunks. Which they love. They’ve been doing it every day to get their work done, and I think it’s giving them a feeling of control of their day. That’s what it does for me, though I may be deceiving myself there. I seem to have very little control over my day in reality. That’s a half joke.

We sang Jesus bhajans in the afternoon at Shekina Garden, in the golden light that comes in November, and I watered my new seedlings in my garden bed. Tuesday was more watering and trick or treating in the evening. Most people hadn’t remembered Halloween, as it isn’t really a Thai thing, but some people had and gave the kids treats. They caused a lot of joy, walking around the Walking Street (our night market) in their costumes.

Wednesday was my day to guide meditation, and then I had Thai class, and then we drove around looking for a person’s house, and we never did find it. I drove the chariot with the kids, since Chinua had the car in Chiang Mai, and we wove in and out of villages, through rice fields and jungles. Though we didn’t find the house, it was very, very beautiful, with cool November air in our hair as we drove. Eventually we gave up on looking for the house, and went home.

And Thursday was the best day of the week, as it was my friend Leaf’s birthday and I had the privilege of helping to throw her a birthday party. Solomon and I baked a cake, getting every dish dirty, and I bought a new dress at the second hand shop in town. It was a dress up party, so in the evening, Chinua and I had fun getting dressed and putting feathers in our hair. We had the party at a nearby, beautiful restaurant, and there were candles and lights, cushions on the grass, the river rushing nearby, music and dancing. We had the tiniest soul train in the world and Chinua danced with me, which happens very, very rarely. It was beautiful. People from around the world had sent Leaf snippets of thoughts and blessings, and as we read them out, the love piled up. It’s rare that so much appreciation of a person’s care accumulates in one evening. It’s beautiful when it happens. It was a true celebration of her, with many friends. And she has given to so many people over the years. Her wisdom, creativity and generosity is renowned. How beautiful to have it spoken out. 

The next morning, I worked on my launch info and final formatting of my new book, and then I drove three hours down the mountain to get to my book group retreat. I’ve been part of a book reading group for the last three years, though I haven’t made it to meetings as often as I should, because of my distance and busy life. This was their 24 year anniversary retreat, and I was determined to make it, so I drove around curves and up and down mountains. The drive was beautiful. The Mexican sunflowers are blooming on the sides of the roads, and the yellow flowering trees are in bloom. Marigolds were planted everywhere for the king’s cremation, so the entire stretch of road was glowing in different shades of yellow.

The retreat has been lovely. Today is the last day, and I’m finally taking a moment to write. We hiked, and talked, and ate. People shared memories of their time in the group, and talked about life back when they first came to Thailand. (It’s an expat group of women.) There is a lot of wisdom in the group. I’m more than twenty years younger than any of the other women, and I love to hear their experiences in Laos, India, and Thailand in the seventies and eighties. Life here was so different then. I wish I could catch a glimpse of it.

We went for a hike yesterday, among pines and along a mountain ridge. I have been weary, doing so many different things since before I left for America. But being outside in the golden air, surprised by flowers that appear suddenly in the jungle, weariness slips away. We stepped on pine needles and through baby mango tree orchards. We walked through a Hmong village and saw rose farms. It was beautiful.

I’m hoping the coming week will be a little less full, to be honest, but I treasure these ones that are so busy, because they are filled to the brim with good things: with life and God and people and work. And there are flowers everywhere.

 

I’m thankful for the flowers.

 

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as a dollar a month, and get extra question and answer video posts and other content. Thanks so much to this month’s new patrons: Brittani Truby, Alicia Wiggin, and Kathleen Anderson. Your support keeps this writer going!  

Patrons, your video will be up this week. Books have been sent to third-tier supporters. The link is in your Patreon messages. Thank you so much! 

The veil.

My friend Leaf tagged me in a photography challenge and I couldn't get up, so I took a photo of my wall while lying on the floor. 

My friend Leaf tagged me in a photography challenge and I couldn't get up, so I took a photo of my wall while lying on the floor. 

I'm always surprised by how a bad neck day can change the way I think and feel, even the way I speak. Today was a bad neck day. I have chronic pain from a car accident that happened when Kai was three months old. That's fifteen years ago in December. It was a teardrop fracture and it hurt for a long time, especially because I was supposed to rest but I had a baby to care for, so rest was not possible, at least in terms of not using my arms. And then I went and had another baby right away.

All that is long in the past, but the pain is very much in the present. It's rare to have a day without pain, but some days are worse than others. Bad neck days. If I'm squinting a lot, or moving my head around, or you find me lying on the kitchen floor; chances are it's a bad neck day.

I've been thinking about chronic pain over the last year, more ready to call it as it is. (I think I spent the first fourteen years assuming I would be better in a month or so.) I'm doing more these days (some days) about exercise, massage, and supplements. (Magnesium citrate, and it has to be citrate.)

But mostly I want to enjoy my days and want to learn how to think past pain. Today was rough. I had a Thai lesson and could barely gather my thoughts. I forgot English words too. And I felt like moaning along, rolling instead of walking, not like cooking or being a standing and walking human being. Because on bad neck days, my neck doesn't feel capable of holding my head up, and really that's the least a neck should do. (You had only one job!)

It's less like a little piece of the day, and more like a puked on filter that drops over the world. Kids are more annoying with their fingers tapping on the table (little annoying tappy fingers) or their voices and faces. Food is an issue, rather than a joy. Work is hard because it requires sitting or standing or looking at things.

But I am aware that many people live with pain, or with sickness, and do it well. I want to live well, whether or not I get rid of this completely.

Today I tried being aware of pain and how it was effecting me, noticing it and then moving outside of it and into the rest of the world. So, guiding meditation this morning, I realized how much of my mental space was taken up by my bad neck, then moved out into the bird song I could hear, especially those gorgeous spotted doves cooing on the grass roof. I watered seedlings and thought about how pulling the hose hurt a bit, but how the earth smelled so good. And then on the scooter I thought about how the day felt endless when all I wanted was to crawl back into bed, but how the air was my exact favorite kind of air; full of golden light, cooling at the end of the day, reminding me of poems I have read in other places in the world. 

This evening I made patterns with shape blocks with Isaac, and I asked Chinua to give me a quick massage, and I send Kai for takeout on the street, because the kitchen seemed like too much to handle. And I guess pain can make life less easy, but it can't really take away beauty or love, and it can only take away my sense of humor if I let it, so pain can't win. Even chronic pain. 

What about you? Have you found anything that helps with pain?

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Support me on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as a dollar a month, and get extra question and answer video posts and other content. Thanks so much to this month’s new patrons: Brittani Truby and Alicia Wiggin. Your support keeps this writer going! 
Patrons, I am working on November's video post, and third tier patrons, your copy of Shaper's Daughter will be emailed to you tomorrow instead of today. Yay!

Thankful in the quiet.

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I have a soul that tends toward comparison and self pity. Leaning and slanting into a puddle of ugly measuring. I know how to battle it now, because there is no better remedy for self pity than the open eyes of thankfulness.

Here are some heart brightening things. Things I love. Things that steer me back to gratitude.

  • a quiet morning
  • poetry
  • the beauty parlor I love, with all the older Thai ladies
  • the Thai language
  • language of any kind
  • rice
  • Solomon’s heart
  • Isaac’s laugh
  • Kenya’s hugs
  • Kai’s care
  • Leafy’s mind
  • Chinua’s voice, arms, songs
  • flowering trees
  • Isaac’s square little feet
  • friends
  • boiled peanuts
  • spicy food with Leaf
  • nail polish
  • God with me, even when I’m a wretch
  • real change
  • good talks with the teenagers
  • long days
  • yarn
  • the fact that the world is in color
  • birdsong in the morning
  • a cup of green tea in the afternoon
  • Christy living here
  • the fact that shopkeepers in my town know my name (so they don’t just call me the foreigner anymore)
  • our big station wagon
  • hot-springs
  • the gift of aging
  • a faithful husband
  • bracelets
  • Winnie’s crab dance
  • light at every different time of day and year
  • my little dog
  • kimchi fried rice for breakfast
  • yellow noodle yunanese salad
  • Lou, my house helper
  • books: reading them, writing them, and reading them to my kids
  • Isaac in the morning
  • fried eggs
  • hummus
  • my blender
  • coconut trees
  • the river (I have found myself there several times this week, watching the streetlights on its black night surface)
  • my kitchen
  • my new friend who greets me all around the town, whenever he catches sight of me, even at my sink when I am washing dishes
  • my mandolin
  • possibility
  • pens, books, paper, paints, pencils
  • backwards dancing in the kitchen at night
  • talking on the phone with my parents
  • sunsets
  • my banana seed necklace
  • hand embroidered textiles
  • my pillow
  • frankincense
  • hanging out with kids 
  • mountains
  • picking moringa for my salad from the weedy lot next door
  • podcasts
  • our piano
  • God everywhere, loving me.

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Support me on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as a dollar a month, and get extra question and answer posts and other content. Thanks so much to this month’s new patrons: Sue Kauffman, Elizabeth Jolley, Tj and Mark, Ro Keyzer,  Erin Smith, Margaret Petry, and Diane Brodeur. Your support keeps this writer going!
Patrons, our monthly AMA post will be starting any day, and third tier patrons, your copy of Shaper's Daughter will be emailed to you on November 1st! 

 

Shaper’s Daughter Launch Dates.

I went to Chiang Mai for a couple of days, to do a final edit on Shaper’s Daughter, now that many of the Amazing Unicorns have given me their proofreading results. I have a little guest house room I like to rent, with a desk and a bed, a shower and a tiny balcony for pacing. 

I find when I have writing retreats, I have to schedule them fairly thoroughly, or else I run into Mother syndrome. I have time to myself, all the time I need for two days! And I draw a complete blank and end up drawing circles on the white tiled floor with my mascara wand, singing softly to myself. If I don’t block out my time, that is. Too much time is confusing to a mother with kids at home. A day feels like a year. 

So it’s edit for an hour, then look through Pinterest, then write a newsletter, then edit for another hour, then drive out on the scooter to find some papaya salad for lunch. Then back to editing. And I do that all day, and I don’t get to everything, but I don’t just have fashion shows for the mirror in my underwear either. 

Anyway, as a result of my editing days, I am so confident in my ability to get this book ready that I have a publication date!  

Shaper’s Daughter, World Whisperer Book 3, will be out in ebook and paperback form on November 6! I have loved writing this book, going deeper into the lives of the characters. They just get better and better. 

I’ve also been working on a novella called Azariyah, which will be free for subscribers to my newsletter. That will be ready around the same time as Shaper’s Daughter, and I’ll be having a (re) launch party for all three books on facebook, with prizes and an Ask Me Anything. And probably music. There will be lots of ways you can help me, with your sharing and telling people about the books, and eventually I’ll get to all that, but for now, here is the cover for the book formerly known as Path of Springs. It’s now called Guardian of Dawn, and I love the new cover.  

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Support me with as little as a dollar a month on Patreon.  Patrons get extra question and answer posts and other content. Thanks so much to this month’s new patrons: Sue Kauffman, Elizabeth Jolley, Tj and Mark, Ro Keyzer,  Erin Smith, and Margaret Petry. Your support keeps this writer going!  (PS: If you are a third  tier contributor, you’ll be getting your copy of Shaper’s Daughter a little early.)