It’s a good day today.
In no spectacular way.
It’s good just by waking up, alive, in a “warm” house (I’m grateful for the afghan made by my mother-in-law and a prayer shawl give to me by Mennonite women this fall). Then there was coffee, and breakfast with Stuart, who made the steel-cut oats.
Lots of time to look at the mountains, dramatic today with clouds of many colors hovering over them. Then more coffee. Any day with a book and a cuppa is good. Right?
And not just any book! A book about courage, My Gutsy Story Anthology: Inspirational Short Stories About Taking Chances and Changing Your Life (Volume 2) featuring many of my writing friends. I choose to make this a Good Day, a Gutsier Day, by inviting you to make friends with these writers also.
I read many stories in this wonderful anthology this morning. I’ll give you a chance to do the same. Read on to find out how you can win a free copy of this anthology. In the meantime, I want you to meet a few of the writers featured in the book with links that take you right to their websites.
Sonia has created the Gutsy brand, first with Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island and now with a My Gutsy Story website that leads to edited books such as the one above. Below are six authors I did not know three years ago, but who now make up the tapestry of my everyday life because I continue reading their stories. The title of their individual stories in the Gutsy anthology follows their name, along with other ways you can become acquainted.
Janet Givens, “Leaving a Life I Loved”
Janet joined the Peace Corps at the age of 55 and wrote a gripping memoir about the experience: At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corps Memoir. She blogs about “oh no moments” that make us gasp, negotiating boundaries, making connections, and embracing transitions at her website.
Marian Longenecker Beaman, “Gutsy in Ukraine”
Marian blogs at Plain and Fancy Girl. Anyone who has read my memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World will love the amazingly creative and well-researched posts Marian publishes. She brings all of her wisdom from her “plain” heritage into the wider world of “fancy” professional life and draws all of these influences together into beautiful essays. She’s working on her own memoir, and I can’t wait to read it.
Laurie Buchanan, “From GED to Ph.D.”
Laurie’s philosophy as a transformative life coach is “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” Every Tuesday she delights, surprises, or challenges me with her short essays combining one picture with her unique slant on the visual and inner worlds. She’s the kind of friend who reads about a book tour and drives all the way from Boise to attend a book talk in Seattle. I’ll never forget that gesture of kindness. Get on Laurie’s list. You will thank me.
Leanne Dyck, “Rising Above Expectations”
Leanne Dyck was told as a child that she was uneducable. She has proved the teachers and social workers wrong and has become a published author, overcoming the challenges of dyslexia. Leanne interviewed me on her blog. I was delighted to find her inspiring story among the many other Gutsy stories in this anthology.
Victoria Noe, “I’m Not Gutsy, But You Are”
Victoria and I connected briefly at Book Expo America this year. We didn’t have enough time to get to know each other well, but today I got to know her better by reading her unique take on the meaning of “gutsy.” She’s had an amazing series of careers in theater, nonprofit organization leadership, activism, and now writing. She has written several books about friend grief and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and the Huffington Post. You can reach Viki , her blog, and her books, here.
Angela Marie Carter, “Poetry Saved My Life”
I’m particularly happy to end my list of friend’s Gutsy essays with Angela’s. In the words of Langston Hughes, life for her has “been no crystal stair,” but Angela has wrestled with the demons of child sexual abuse, parental alcoholism, and many other challenges by pouring her sorrows into language. It was a pleasure to share the podium with Angela this summer at a talk at our local public library and to exchange ideas over lunch a few times before and after her beautiful book of poetry Memory Chose a Woman’s Body. One of her poems in that volume has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. I will not be surprised to hear it has won. You can find Angela at her website.
Finally, I need to mention one other writer friend,
Joan Z. Rough
She doesn’t have an essay in this particular anthology, but she nominated me for a Lovely Blog Award a few weeks ago. I have not been able to respond until now. Joan lives just “across the mountain” from me in Charlottesville. Stuart and I have enjoyed getting to know Joan and her husband Bill. We don’t see enough of each other but enjoy every encounter. Joan is hard at work on her memoir called Me, Myself, and Mom: A Journey Through Love, Hate, and Healing. Coming soon! You can read the first chapter here.
Now, as promised, here is the offer. I have three My Gutsy Story Anthologies, Volume Two, to give away to those who comment below. Just answer this question “What is gutsy in your ordinary life today?”
I’m also bursting to tell all my readers that Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World (Kindle edition) is on sale this week only. Tomorrow it will be the featured memoir on Bookbub. But you can jump to the head of the line and buy it for .99. Now! At this price you might want to add an e-copy even if you own the paperback. Thanks in advance for your support. And if you are interested, I’ll describe the BookBub experience after it’s over. Which leaves my with one more person to thank: Carol Bodensteiner, author and marketer extraordinaire. Check out both her books and blog too! Carol told me about BookBub.