Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Leah, With Love...

Can I have your attention please?!  I am about to make an important announcement....I would like to introduce you to my book.
"To Leah, With Love..."
(front cover)
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(back cover)
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I have been a little apprehensive about sharing this.  At the same time I've been excited...does that make any sense?
So here is the story...
Leah is my cousin. We are pretty tight as far as cousins go. I lived with her family for awhile when I was college age and she was in elementary school. She came and lived with us for part of a summer when she was fourteen. I have always been nosey about her business and free with my advice. When she was in high school I wrote her some sweet sixteen advice about not wasting her kisses on frogs and saving them for her prince. I even gave her a necklace with a frog charm for her to wear as a reminder. Well I'm still not sure how much she actually took to heart but I know she made it through high school a happy girl with no major scars from the boys she dated.
So after Leah graduated from high school, we spent some time together right before she took off for college. I tried to give her every bit of wisdom I could in the short time we had together. Finally she said, "You are going to have to write all this down for me because I'm not going to remember it." And that is how this all got started.
So one day I sat down, said a prayer, and  began to write her a letter that turned into a book. The first copy I gave her was some computer paper pages clipped together. After two months at school I went to visit her. We read the book together with her sister, some of their roommates and friends. They all liked it and mentioned they wanted a copy. I didn't think much of it.
A few months went by and I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I sent it to Deseret Book, an LDS publisher. I worked hard to get it ready and then I sent it off. It took a few weeks to hear back that they had gotten it and they were considering it. Then after a few months I heard back that "they weren't interested at this time". I was rejected. It hurt. I felt dumb. I threw my manuscript in the garbage but kept the one in my computer files. Then in March I felt like I should finish what I started. I found a way to publish it on line by myself. So the past three months I have been working on it. I finally finished it, it came last week. Eden saw it and said, "Mom does that mean you are an author?" and I said "Yes, Eden, I guess it does."
IMG_4795
As much as it feels like an accomplishment, it is also nerve wracking...almost embarrassing to know that my words are out there to be criticized and mocked. On the other hand, it feels great to know that what started out as a letter, written out of love for my cousin, could now benefit other girls as well. I totally felt the Spirit many times during the writing process. The night I thought it was finished, I couldn't sleep until I added two paragraphs. The words were clear and very specific. Even though I wrote the words, I know they weren't mine.
So there you have it. If you are interested in a copy, you can click on my book icon found here on my blog, or if you live close by, I can hook you up for $10.  Or you can leave me a comment with your email and I can send you a copy with a personal message. I can't guarantee it what it will say, it may be inappropriate, it may be Camden scribbles...but it will be a personal message. All proceeds will go towards our adoption fund...until we pay that off and then I will buy shoes.
Please...PLEASE do not feel obligated to buy one just because we are friends. If you know someone who would be interested, then by all means give them my link. Otherwise, just leave me a comment that reminds me that "I'm good enough...I'm smart enough...and gosh darnet people like me." I'm feeling a little exposed so that would be nice of you.

19 comments:

the wrath of khandrea said...

good for you!

after seattle, let's talk about arranging my copy.

calibosmom said...

YOU ROCK!!! You know, I totally look up to you! What a great gift to give not only to your beautiful cousin but to Young Women everywhere. I'm a tad strapped for cash at the moment because of my spur of the moment trip to Florida but let me save up and I'll buy some. I can't wait to read it-I bet its wonderful! Really, I'm impressed!

Kevin and Steph said...

your girls are so lucky to have to for their mom! I wish I had that book when I was single in high school and college!

♥Shally said...

You never cease to amaze me. There are days when I barely get a shower, and you are writing books!!!

Great job!

Ilene said...

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! That is an incredible accomplishment.

Um, is it too soon to give a copy to Laura?

I'm already freaked about all of this.

Lindsey said...

I wish I knew someone who was going to college! Either way, it is a great thing to have written down and a great thing to share with your progeny. I am so glad you did it, and I am so glad you are sharing it! :)

nurse graham said...

How cool are you?! You are so talented. I am so impressed that you took the initiative to figure out a way to publish it yourself. But how come no sneak peek? Maybe a chapter teaser posted? Any way, I'm interested in a copy so let's talk @ church or something.

Jean McKendrick said...

That is so cool! I agree with the comment above, give us a little sneak peek! :)

Bridget said...

You are amazing! That is so, so cool! Congrats!

Leelee said...

Yay Jess! I'm so excited. We are gonna be FAMOUS! :) I'm so excited to get my copy! I still have the original computer print off. I read it frequently!

mahina said...

that is awesome! you are an inspiration and an awesome cousin! way to stick to it and not get discouraged!
we may be needing that book very soon in our household with the way time is flying by!

Leah said...

I have to say I LOVE the title! ;) Wow, you need to pat yourself on the back, seriously. I love your frog analogy. I can imagine your passion for imparting wisdom to this age group because they are setting the course for the rest of eternity with the decisions they are making.

Mrs Ana said...

I'm buying some copies for the young women I love in my ward. I'm proud of you and love you very much.

Lauren in GA said...

Jessica, that is so, so wonderful. What an amazing accomplishment. I love that you wrote it out of love. What a blessing it will be to those who read it.

I got chills when I read, "Even though I wrote the words I know they weren't mine." You are amazing.

I am going to order a copy. I also love that you said after the adoption is paid for you are going to buy shoes. Shoes are always money well spent.

Lauren in GA said...

My e-mail is:

mp_marshman@yahoo.com I want to order a copy with lots of Camden drool on it, please ;)

Do I mail you a check?

Melissa-Mc said...

Congratulations. You are a published author! I am teaching a YW lesson on group dating to Beehives, and I'm going to have to use your frog advice and tell them to save their kisses.

Natalie said...

You. ARe. AmAZinG!!!!

Elena said...

Congratulations! When I speak to persons about you I always say you can & do anything you set out to do. I already know a couple of young girls here that I want to buy the book for. Hey, we should do a little book signing party when you come to Pendleton next. What do you think? xoxo

The Salomon's said...

I think you are a brave woman! Congrats on following the promtings of the spirit to do something so worthwhile. I have shied away from writing something that has needed to be written because of the "exposed" Feeling you talked about. Has it gotten better? Do you feel more secure about your descision to do it? I'll probably bum Andrea's copy from her and read it :-)
Again, congrats. Hardly a small task.