ANNOUNCEMENT (Please read, then watch the video): Nine years ago, I started a project that became transformational then seminal: Over the summer of 2007, at 37 years old, I finally came of age via doing 22 things I’d never done, like getting drunk, going dancing, getting a tattoo, and smoking a cigarette…in conservative Colorado Springs and as a mom and a wife. There were other, seemingly tame things like getting an astrology reading or reiki treatment that were wild in the context of my upbringing as a Nazarene pastor’s daughter.
I recorded all that happened in those 14 weeks, and it became a herculean task to craft the 500 pages of raw material into a narrative that told the story accurately and engagingly. I tried and kept trying, going at it in sections, in focused sprints, always thinking I should be done, always saying, “I’m almost done!” Over the end of my marriage, heartbreak, moving, several jobs, the death of my mother and sister-in-law, amidst being a mom, I kept at it.
In 2012, I decided to push myself and publish the book serially, chapter by chapter, selling them individually and as a full subscription. This attempt failed as my ability to produce and face it faded as my mother lost her battle with cancer. After she died at the end of that year, I descended into a depression that would not lift until 2015. However, at the beginning of 2012, I was full of plans and optimism and held a launch party that was a big success! A friend conducted interviews of those there, and this video is from that night, with my mother. This footage is one of my most prized possessions. I truly regret that she died before she could hold a copy of this book that changed me so much. I miss her so much.
I share this video with you today, on her 71st birthday, to announce that The Oat Project is DONE, being readied for publication. It has required uncomfortably unemployed but supported (my ex is a prince) laser focus since the spring of 2015 to finish (with a totally-worth-it detour for Bernie). Tomorrow, you will see an event page with an excerpt, the final cover art revealed, and information about a private presale for only you, my people, for the short couple of weeks before it’s listed on Amazon. With the help of several brilliant folks here at the end, I’m doing it “my way,” as I’ve planned for years, founding SpiralSpiral Publishing for this book and many more to come. As soon as the details are solid, you’ll also see a launch party event, in September, replete with a reading, signing, and definitely a dance party.
Over these years of deep, embedded self-doubt and disdain, so much from not being done with the book, I watched this video over and over to remind myself of my mom’s confidence and faith in me…to keep going. The effort has cost my family and me so much, in concrete and nebulous ways, that I am resolved to make it worthwhile in as many ways as I can finagle. YOU, too, have helped me through the hard work of facing myself on the page and through the lonely, slogging hours it takes to make sentences, paragraphs, and pages coalesce into a narrative that tells the story properly. Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for being with me, for making me laugh, for the hugs, for the “keep going” cheers, and for being integral to the courage to jump off a cliff.