Once in a Lifetime News

Since my blog last Thursday I’ve thought a lot about my writing. That post was about answering questions relating to my writing process and what makes my stories unique. I did my best to answer the questions, but felt something was missing. Looking back I realize there wasn’t an easy way to add what was, to me, missing.

Well, not without making an already lengthy post even longer.

Addressing that issue was the subject for this week, but then the unexpected happened and I realized that sharing my unexpected news fit right in with my intended topic.photo

How often does that happen?

The third question asked why I wrote and, having just finished talking about the unique fantasy elements in my stories, I was quick to follow that path and talk about how fantasy allows me to unleash my imagination. Fine. All true.

All true from an imagination standpoint.

But there’s more and the “more” moves the discussion from my head to the core of who I am.

The trials in my life instilled a deep, lifelong depression in me, nearly breaking me more than once. Yet, always I clung to hope. In my darkest hour I found someone who helped me. Rather then strive to provide me more hope he taught me to build upon the hope I already possessed. The skills I learned (thankfulness, forgiveness, mindfulness) from him enabled me to cope on my own and pursue happiness.

I don’t write stories about depressed people, but I do write stories about those who struggle against demons internal and external while clinging to hope. Too, people working together, feeding off each other’s strength and ideas, is another theme that’s present in my tales.

So, how does this all tie to my unexpected news?

As many of you know I’ve long worked to assemble a poetry collection for publication, wading through over 450 poems looking for my best work. In the end I narrowed my search to 87 and then loosely divided them into four groups that represented my life’s cycle to this point. After that there was editing, arranging, writing support pieces, and surviving a certain gray cat stepping on the power switch on the strip that served my computer.One of the hired help giving her opinion during a long night spent searching for the right fonts for the new website. Details.

My life passed before my eyes and went splat! Virtually nothing was lost.

I went to Createspace where there was one mini hurtle after another. This isn’t about criticizing them, it’s about me having to divert from my mission to address ISBNs, EINs, formatting issues, distribution, accounts, design, proofs, and everything else I had to learn. I lived there for more than two weeks, my slow pace partly a learned coping skill for managing anxiety.

And then the tasks required, like a seemingly endless mountainside, ceased and I found myself at the summit. Sure, there was still KDP, but I addressed it in a day since all the hard work was done in Createspace. I went from struggling to a published author before I was fully aware it had happened.

Link to my Amazon Author's Page.

Link to my Amazon Author’s Page for the ebook and paperback versions.

Yes, I’m proud to say that yesterday, May 14th, I became a published author.

The Renaissance Cycle is live on Amazon. The book that started as a favor and became a passion (and taught me to spell renaissance) is now available as an ebook and a paperback. I do hope you’ll all take a look at my author’s page and the book that’s featured there and consider taking the book home with you in one form or another.

As much as the book is about learning and growing, it’s also about creativity. The last, biggest section celebrates humor, love, happiness, and thankfulness.

Thankfulness.

Right now I’m thankful beyond my ability to adequately express it. Yes, I did the work, but there are so many people along the way who’ve made a difference in my life and helped make this possible. Included in that rather large group is all of you. Thank you.

There’s a lesson here, one you’ve probably heard before, but I’ll share it anyway: Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t and certainly never believe that yourself.

Christina Anne HawthorneOver 35 years firmly in depressions grip…I should probably be dead. Instead, I’ve just published my first book and the online story will conclude in July. So, those college classes you’ve put off, those paint brushes you’ve ignored, that promotion you wish you had…discover within you what you need to find a way to your happiness.

I wish you all the best.

8 Replies to “Once in a Lifetime News”

  1. Christina, I am very happy for you! It has been a difficult journey but you made it out. Congratulations. I still think I should get a signed copy of the trilogy. Lol

    • Way back when, when my stories were in their infancy, your beta reader-like comments were far and away the most insightful and encouraging. I haven’t forgotten that. You helped me see my strengths and had a flare for critique that’s valuable to every writer. Thanks for your continued encouragement. The stories have become more than a trilogy. My gosh, the original you first saw was big enough to be at least 4 books. You’ll get your copies, signed, and with my sincere thanks.

  2. I plan to look up your book on Amazon and get it! I can’t wait to tell people ” I know the author!!!!!!” 🙂
    I am sure I will enjoy your poems, just as much as I have enjoyed your stories.
    Thank you the many hours of hard work, to give us something good to read!
    God Bless You!!

    • Oh, thank you so much, Tricia. Your comments always mean so much to me and it’s such comments that help move me along, especially when I’m fighting with the more technical aspects of publishing that can drive a person insane. 🙂

  3. This is such a lovely post… Congrats again! Your poetry is safely on my Kindle. I think it’s such a great structure, even more meaningful that it represents your cycle… I’m looking forward to breaking out of Sadness…. Can’t wait to join you in the world of the published either! In my head everything’s different there and sparkles lol

    • Thank you. I don’t know if it sparkles, but it does feel a bit different. Perhaps it’s having taken that step. That’s a lot of it for me. Publishing this short book was partly about overcoming the fear…and there WAS some fear. Yeah, okay, maybe there’s some sparkle when you can say you’re an author and not wonder if the writing police are going to haul you away. We shouldn’t require such validation, of course, but it sure feels good. I have absolutely no doubt you’ll join us sparkly people…it’s in your DNA.

      My sadness, my Infinite Sadness, was extreme. I built walls to protect myself, but didn’t realize leaving out the door made the walls a prison. There’s no better word. I was in a prison. The collection isn’t a guidebook, but it is a road with mile markers along the way, markers I wrote and left behind. I already see you walking down that road. 🙂

      • Your poems are so beautiful.. I’ve not suffered myself but I have friends who do (sorry, rereading my comment I realise I was misleading – I meant that I’m in the Sadness sections of your book, so poignant but I’m looking forward to the journey towards hope & happier passages)… It’s so wonderful that you found the door and have found the way to share the markers on your path to finding it. What I hate about depression is that it’s so hard to help a friend in need – you can only support and be there and hope they find the door for themselves. I’m definitely going to mention your collection to them.

        • That explains a lot. I’d never gotten a hint before that you suffered depression so when I read your comment I was surprised. If the book helps even one person you know then I’ll be pleased. It isn’t a cure, but I hope it’s instead inspiration for people so they seek aid no matter the form that aid takes. You’re right, too, that they must want the help. That’s the vicious circle for those who suffer depression: They must want the help, but depression encourages isolation. I hope I’m able to put a “bump” in people’s downward spiral so they’ll look up if only for a moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*