Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Update

I should have a second book in print by early spring.

I have not felt any time urgency on this one like I did the first. But I'm excited to be getting closer to a finished book. My editor expects to have the second draft back to me with his suggestions by the end of next week. We will then have some back and forth to do in the typesetting process. But he thinks we'll have a finished file to submit for publishing some time in February. After that, I will order a proof copy so I can read through it in print because there are always mistakes or typos you miss in the digital copy. And after final corrections are made and the cover is ready, I will list the book with Amazon and Barnes and Noble. John has convinced me that I don't need to attempt selling and shipping the books myself this time. I plan to release a digital version of this book as well as a paperback.

I'm estimating spring because the cover may take some additional time. And when the final manuscript is ready, I am submitting it to an abuse ministry organization for review in the hope that I may receive an endorsement and/or professional contribution of some kind to the book. So I have to allow time for that process. I am very excited about the possibility of that. It would be quite an honor for me as a self-published author.

The title is:
Through My Eyes
     Overcoming the Emotional Injury of An Abusive Relationship

I have gone through many title ideas before settling on this one. And I decided on the first part because I want the title to convey that the book is written from my perspective as an abused woman. It's deeply personal. The subtitle came to me as I was thinking about the word "wounded" and how that is not really how I feel about myself today. There was a time when I felt very wounded. But in hindsight I see those former wounds more as injuries I have fought through and overcome, much like an athlete overcomes physical injury through rigorous physical therapy and rehab. I don't need to write a book about my journey to assist in my healing process. I am sharing my story in the hope that I can help encourage and empower someone else to overcome their emotional injuries ... to feel less wounded and more like an overcomer. I relate to other authors through reading their stories and what they have learned. I am absolutely certain that there are readers who will relate to me and my experiences.

I have grown to love the word "overcome." I think the reason I love it is because it has been transformed in my thinking by the Gospel. The word used to represent perfection to me; something unattainable. But now I look back on my life and see so many obstacles I have truly already overcome. I don't see myself as possibly an overcomer in the future. I am already an overcomer. I have not overcome through my own strength, of course. I have overcome through God's grace and strength, which is always present in my weakness.

I focus on word choices a lot and finding the right word to express what I feel or think. So maybe this distinction is bigger for me than someone who is not so much a word person. But just realizing that I don't feel wounded anymore as I pondered my title was, in itself, empowering for me. I think I made the connection to physical injury because of my experiences last year with physical therapy for frozen shoulder and my recovery process from foot surgery. I have overcome both injuries by listening to medical professionals, being patient with myself, following instructions. In one case (frozen shoulder), overcoming required grueling and painful physical therapy. In the other (foot surgery), I was required to be still, rest, be patient, not try to do too much too soon.

In thinking about both physical and emotional injuries, it occurs to me that different injuries require different methods of recovery. But when I look at the scars on the tops of my feet ten months after they were physically traumatized by a scalpel, I don't think of the scars as wounds anymore. They are nothing but a reminder of pain I have put behind me. The damaged nerves are gone. There's just a scar to remind me they are gone.

I appreciate my healthy feet and shoulders much more than I did before I suffered injury to them. And it has been so rewarding to me to share those experiences on my blog knowing that others can read the successful outcome of my physical therapy and/or foot surgery and feel more hopeful and encouraged at whatever stage of the healing process they may be in.

The same is true of my emotional and spiritual journey. As I have relived the darker days of my life through the writing of my second book, I realize that what I have gained through suffering and adversity is more valuable than a life without pain could ever be. And my own suffering has uniquely equipped me to touch the lives of others.

I do have some mixed emotions about how my second book will be received by a small handful of people. But I am not afraid of anyone's reaction this time. I've learned I can survive that, too.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy Anniversary to us!

There is so much I could say about the guy in these pictures. He is my best friend and the most wonderful husband I could have ever imagined having. He is a great step-dad. He is a fun, loving, generous "Poppy John" to our boys. And all my family and friends think the world of my husband. He treats people well. And I love that about him.

I love, appreciate, respect and admire him more than I could ever express. In my second book, my editor suggested I gush a little bit less about John. So I'm going to spare you the "barf bag" gushing and just say how thankful I am for every day of the last nine years I've had the privilege, the honor, and the sheer joy of being Mrs. John Howerton.


This was taken on our wedding day, January 4, 2004.

The picture below was taken this week, on New Year's Day 2013.