Update and Heads Up

Update:

My book has officially launched into the world, and it’s as wonderful, strange, and delightful as I’d imagined!

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I’ve gotten only positive reviews (5 stars on Amazon!) and emails, telling me that the book touched my readers’ hearts, which is such a gift. I’ve also spent too much time with my phone in my face, scrutinizing stats and wondering which publicity is most effective to share my book with people who will want to read it. Some days are a roller coaster—this is great! could I do more? hooray!—but at the end of each one, I am so, so grateful that this dream has come true.

 

Don’t have your copy yet? Order it here in paperback or for Kindle.

 

Since the book launched, I’ve been on a number of radio shows, and I’m recording interviews on two podcasts over the next week. Something I didn’t expect was how many opportunities I’d have to talk with people who come at the book from different perspectives: fathers, grandmas, grandpas, Catholics, Protestants, “nones,” folks I know, and total strangers. The book says “CatholicMom.com” on the front of it, but it’s opened up a conversation that’s allowing connection and communion among a broader demographic. Very cool.

 

If you’re interested in listening in on my next appearance or want to tune into a recording of a past interview, check out my Events page, here, for links.

 

Heads Up:

On Wednesday I’m launching a giveaway on Instagram that I am so, so excited about. I’ve teamed up with a bunch of artists I truly admire and I can’t wait to share them. Follow me @lindsayschlegs for the details.

 

What’s next?

I have a couple of speaking gigs coming up, and I’m still working on writing projects large and small. Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter to see what I’m up to.

 

Thank YOU for reading! God bless you!

 


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It’s Publication Month!

My book, Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God, will be published at the end of this month by Ave Maria Press. You can pre-order it now and expect it in your mailbox in just a few weeks!

In the meantime, I invite you to sign up for my email list, where you’ll get info on the book and other writing projects before it reaches the masses.

Sign up here!

Thanks so much! You’ll be hearing from me with a preview of the book soon!

 

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Some links on this site are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will receive a percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Books About Books and Big News

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Some links on this site are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will receive a percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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It has been just too dang long.

 

I have not forgotten about this space online, but I’ve been fortunate to have other writing projects over the last—eek, how long?—that have occupied my time and creative brain space. Including . . .

 

. . . my first book! Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God is scheduled for publication this fall by Ave Maria Press. It’s not a novel, but consider this: While I’d been working on my novel for over six years, this book took just over six months from the first time I opened a Word doc for it to getting a “yes” from an acquisitions meeting.

 

More on that to come (I just saw the cover and love it!), and in the meantime, a post I’ve been chewing on for some time. I’m sharing four of my favorite books about books—don’t be fooled by those that look like they’re for children!—and I hope to find some new gems you’ll leave in the comments.

 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

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Lyrical, lovely, and will make you want to live in a library (if you don’t already desire that!). The short film won an Academy Award.

 

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler’s Wife)51cYvfpa4SL._SY324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg.

Another one I wish were real life. Released first serially in The Guardian, this story is a treat to read all in one sitting.

 

We Are in a Book by Mo Willems

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You can buy this for the next baby shower you go to, but after you read it, you’re going to want to keep it for yourself. Banana!

 

It’s a Book by Lane Smith

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If you’re giving this one to a kid, choose the board book version—the ending is a little more kid-friendly. In a world driven by technology, it’s good to remember the simple joys and tremendous value of a real book in your hands.

 

 

What are your favorite books about books?

Four Reasons Writers Need to Read This Book

Every so often I read I book that I end up recommending to everyone I encounter, regardless of state of life, occupation, or literary interests. This spring, thanks to my husband, I came across Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant, which falls swiftly into this category.

 

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I was first intrigued by Grant’s introductory TED talk, which inspired a piece I wrote for Verily on the merits of moderate procrastination. The book arrived from the library the day my piece was due. I was bummed not to have a chance to use it for the article, but once I began to dig in, I realized what I was learning was useful beyond a single article.

 

Grant argues that unconventional thought is not something you either have or don’t have. Rather, it’s something to which you can cultivate openness—once you discount common opinion on how brilliant minds and creative geniuses function.

 

Here’s why Originals appeals to writers (and humans in general).

 

  1. Moderate procrastination, as I mentioned above, is a tool, not a vice. Our first solution to a problem will usually be the most conventional. When we allow ourselves more time to consider the issue, the other experiences we encounter in the meantime can suggest connections we otherwise wouldn’t have made. Thus, a more creative final product. This is not license to wait until the last minute. Not having enough time to put a good idea into action renders it useless.

 

  1. Good ideas do not happen in a vacuum. Innovations that have changed culture are typically among heaps and heaps of failed ideas. Often the ones that take off are not what the creator expected to succeed. Basically, we can’t put all our eggs in one creative basket. Fear of failure can prevent the creation of what could be the next big thing. Translation for writers? Write, write, write. Submit, submit, submit.

 

  1. The writing is compelling. Research is used to present a focused narrative in a unique and engaging voice. If you normally write fiction, stretch your muscles with this. Broadening the scope of what you take in will deepen the resonance of what you produce.

 

  1. Grant proves that the best feedback you will get is from fellow creators. I’ve said it many times before, but a quality critique group is key to growing as a writer. You need to approach the craft from all sides—reading, writing, editing, discussing—to make progress. Accountability and encouragement don’t hurt the process, either.

 

I could go on, but this is a blog post, not a full-length manuscript. I recommend this book whole-heartedly! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.

Perseverance Is a Tricky Thing

Perseverance is a tricky thing. It means sticking with something you believe in, even if your goal isn’t in sight. It means having faith in what you’re doing and trusting that good will come of your efforts. It’s easy to celebrate in retrospect, but can be tough to stick with in the midst of a challenge.

 

A few years ago, I heard about a magazine called Verily, whose mission aligned with what I was trying to do with my fiction, that is, create content in mainstream media that is backed by solid values without being preachy.

 

I subscribed right away. I was bummed when, three issues in, they had to go to online-only. Still, I signed up for the daily email and read the articles consistently. I looked up the submission guidelines until I had them memorized. Finally I got the courage to submit a piece.

 

Prior to this, I had little experience with magazine publishing. With the guidance of a friend who did, and with confidence that the piece I pitched mattered, I sent in my article. There was a dance party in the kitchen (the best place in the house for such an event) when it was accepted!

 

In the following months, I continued to pitch. Not everything was accepted, but I got a good response from what was.

 

One night, I was talking with my husband, wondering how it was that some of the writers contributed so much more frequently than I was managing. I looked again at the site’s job board, but I’d never seen a posting for a staff writer or anything like that.

 

It was about this time that I committed myself to publishing two pieces per month with Verily. Two weeks later, I got a message from the editor who published my very first piece. She wanted to know if I would be interested in contributing regularly.

 

Would I?!

 

I waited thirty seconds before responding, as not to seem overeager.

 

In the three months since, I have learned so much about pitching, writing, editing, collaborating, and what works online versus in print. I am grateful to have an editor who is interested in helping me grow as a writer.

 

I have tried to make myself read the things I thought I should be reading, the places I thought I should want my work to get published. What they say is true, and the best fit for my work was what I was already reading. It took courage, confidence, and resilience to bounce back when I was rejected, but ultimately, I’ve found a great place to contribute my work and build some great relationships along the way.

 

Is there somewhere you’ve been dreaming of submitting your work? What’s stopping you? What steps could you take today, this week, this month to give it a shot?

 

P.S. Check out my pieces at Verily here.