I just finished reconnecting with my books. I will admit, that seems like an odd thing to say, or to do. It has only been little over a year since the last one was written and released, and all the words came from within me... however, 2022 and the beginning of 2023 marked a very difficult season of life for me. Everything, including my writing, was, and still is, a bit of a blur. Like the trauma of an accident or the moment of life-altering news, we just go through the motions in an attempt to still live and breathe while largely unsure what we are going through the motions of.
I knew I had been called to launch my publishing endeavors by first writing about homeschooling, I combed through old blog posts and various other notes I had kept through the years. Many memories were triggered as I reread old entries, it was as though I was taken back to the very places where all our homeschooling memories were gathered. I recalled thoughts, details, and heart I did not expect to find. In the process, I had a system and an order, a binder with everything there … I opened my computer screen and tapped away, words simply pouring out of, I know not where, to become Lessons and This Homeschool Life. I was writing the stories but I wasn't writing.
Honestly, I am not a charismatic. I'm really more of a fundamentalist with a deep belief in the movement and expression of the Holy Spirit. God called me to begin this new career path with books on Homeschooling and I prayed he would help me since, #1 - I never want to set to task on anything without Him at the center and, #2 - it had been 2 years since we laid our textbooks to rest and I was feeling largely out-of-the-loop.
Answer my prayers, He certainly did.
The memories, the thoughts, even connecting them all together, it just happened without much effort. God wrote the stories.
The stress and trauma of that season and all my husband and I were going through, coupled with a writing process I really just followed each next step of with God at the lead, pulled me through what felt like a whirlwind. I was spun around, whipped up, and, finally, settled down in front of a 'final copy'. By the time each installment launched - I was clueless!
As my daughter and I worked up add campaigns and promotional material, I felt like I was grabbing at straws to understand what I had just birthed. Like a first-time mother trying to understand this child I had just issued and all of its quarks and needs. I even walked hard copies into our local homeschool bookstore in hopes of finding a place on their shelves and when the owner and her friend asked me about their content, I was tongue tied! What sort of author can't even formulate a comprehensive cohesive sentence about something they have poured their heart into?
Me, over here, I'm that author!
All of it was a rapid-ride and I was just trying to stay afloat. Even when life settled into a new and better norm, my marriage more secure, my confidence rising and the publishing business up for some much needed attention and revival, the blur of the past year-and-a-half simply swallowed every detail and I remained a stranger to my own work. Setting up and selling homesteading products in October, with my books owning their own corner of the table (and selling multiple copies), when asked what they were about or which one would be better to start with, I was stumped as to a proper reply. I was passionate about the work, but I had no substance for the passion. Reviewers of my book seemed more impressed with the content than I did! I knew it was time for a re-read.
I will admit, I was scared at first. Scared to pick up both copies and find out, perhaps, they had major grammatical errors and looked like they lacked a proper copiest. I feared they would be boring and the work of reconnecting with my material would be drudgery, after all, we haven't homeschooled in 4 years now. I was even a bit afraid of hard memories popping back up from the difficult season I was in when they were written.
This week, as pain levels stayed in their high-moderate range and I was weary of trying to make plans for the business and simply having trouble getting on track, I resolved to the task which just.needed.to.be.done.
Since Lessons was my first installment (even though it was birthed out of diving into the main book), I began there. I was amazed at how well it was written, no sign of the missing copiest, simply a good and compelling story. With minor interruptions, I had knocked it out in one afternoon with only a few notes for minor corrections needed.
The next day, I dove into This Homeschool Life. I don't like long, dry books and I especially do not like reading the same thing twice if it isn't super-compelling.... THSL exceeding my expectations! Being the longer of the two, and written at some of the pivotal points of my personal trials that year (and on a crunch of a deadline) I do have more typos to tend to along with some minor fixes to flow. However, it was difficult to put that book down at the end of my slotted time frame for reading! I lamented that I must cook dinner and not continue to read! I finished it in two afternoons with moderate interruptions.
Previously, as I tried to launch and build my review teams, I couldn't articulate my passion because I was so trapped in by hurt at that time. Now, what I couldn't see in the autumn of 2022 in the midst of chaos, was the beautiful story that God was writing and how it all connected so wonderfully.
With Lessons, I rediscovered how this book shares the nuts and bolts of homeschooling as from a friend sitting across a coffee shop table speaking with love, authenticity, and experience. It is a quick read, even for a busy mom. It will not only make one feel armed and ready to jump into homeschooling, it will also encourage and inspire through the early years of teaching. Lessons offers a scope for understanding the Dynamics of this homeschooling life. I use retrospect through the common phrase, "If I knew then what I know now..." in is a compilation of the key lessons I learned through trial and experience in our own homeschool journey.
With the main installment of This Homeschool Life, I dive deeper. In the first half I do tackled the nuts and bolts again, but on a deeper level and only AFTER I discuss the decision to homeschool in the first place (and all of the hubbub which comes with that!) I offer tips for countering critical family and friends and examples of the various components in homeschooling. Then, in the second half of the book we put it all in motion. I share about common trials, burnout and even maneuvering with homeschooling through hardships. All of it steeped in encouragement straight from Scripture. Where Lessons is the inspiration, THSL is the encouragement - the old friend holding your hand to say, "It is going to be okay - you've got this."
I wouldn't say I am a prideful person but I have to admit how I am of proud of the work God poured through me into the first two installments of the Homeschool Life series.
I do have a few edits, typos and some wording to fix. I also need to work out the bugs for This Homeschool Life to be available on the Kindle version. We are on-track for a re-launch in just a few weeks and I can't wait to more confidently share (again) with the world, this amazing book series God has called me to share!
If you are reading this and you or someone you know are interested in being part of our (re)launch team, please email or comment below. You do NOT have to be a homeschooling parent to enjoy these books - as a matter of fact, I encourage anyone who feels they want to support the homeschooling community in their own way, to pick up these books and give them a read. They will equip you to be a cheerleader to homeschoolers in your life.
New year - new everything! I look forward to all which lies ahead and seeing how the One who holds it all, guides us through!