The Divining Wand

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Anna Fields and
Confessions of a Rebel Debutante

February 28, 2011 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

Successful playwright, television writer, and comedienne, Anna Fields dishes out a Southern-fried memoir about growing up too smart and rebellious for her North Carolina small town in Confessions of a Rebel Debutante.

During childhood the author claimed the “tomboy” label, only then to describe her adolescent self as being “outspoken” and “bookish” rebelling against the strict rules at her private all-girls finishing school. Anna tried to be a proper Deb, even making it through the first Cotillion. Yet, when viewed as too “liberal” and “uppity,” she didn’t make the cut for the ultimate Debutante Ball.

That’s the backstory and this is the synopsis of Confessions of a Rebel Debutante:

A strict regimen of Southern-belle grooming should have prepared Anna Fields for a lifetime of ladylike behavior.

But it didn’t.

As it turned out, Anna—a smart, outspoken, bookish girl—was a dud at debbing. After being kicked out of cotillion classes, the “Rebel Deb” left North Carolina to seek her fortune. Her first stop was Brown University —right in the heart of Yankee-land—and then the crazy world of Hollywood talent agencies and celebrity-packed restaurants. After a disastrous stint as Diana Ross’s personal assistant, Anna headed off to the Big Apple, where she worked for one of Bravo’s Real Housewives. It’s a rollicking, unlikely success story from a natural-born storyteller.

Sharp, sweet, and sassy, Confessions of a Rebel Debutante proves you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!

Please take a look at the glowing Press.

The South is known for its storytellers and Anna Fields is another talented one as she writes her “rags-to-riches,” almost Cinderella-like story. Of course there isn’t a wicked step-mother or even step-sisters in this tale, but all of Anna’s quirky relatives are much more entertaining and — more importantly — they’re real!

Written in a chronological format, this memoir has a distinct stream-of-conscious feel as the rebel deb’s voice delights with humorous details or becomes serious in relating past problems. For this book applies to every girl — living below or above the Mason-Dixon line — who didn’t quite fit in and was proud of it.

As Anna shares her sweet, bittersweet, and deeply poignant tales, she often refers to her role model of Scarlett O’Hara and frequently asks herself, “what would Scarlett do?” The answer is usually anything that will maintain the rebel deb’s strong confidence in herself. Because, when interviewed by BUST Magazine in May 2010, the author defined a rebel debutante as:

“She’s a woman who will bake a cake, clean a rifle, and drive a stick shift with a smile. She’s a mix of masculine and feminine, strong and soft—like all real women.”

However one strong tenet, revealed in the memoir, is that a rebel deb will not be content to simply stay home and birth babies. Oh no, she’s first destined to be true to herself. And where does that energy and determination come from? Within that same BUST Magazine article, Anna admits:

“I keep my eye on the ball. I stop worrying about what bad things can happen and start taking risks. I consider these to be investments in myself and in my happiness, instead of in fear. I stop competing with others, wondering what others are thinking about me, or what they’re doing. My self-love, my self-confidence, does not depend on others—it comes from God, and it lives within me. With that in mind, I know that I can overcome anything.”

Indeed she can and does, proving herself time after time by coming out on top. And, for the most part, the author accomplishes it all with her polite southern charm intact. For as the book’s description explains:

You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!

With her homespun tales and smart, experienced wisdom, Anna Fields’ story, though rooted in North Carolina, can resonate with any reader, anywhere. Every region of our country has its own distinct identity passed down by generations of ethnic family traditions. Unique, eccentric, and larger-than-life lovable relatives can be found at almost any holiday gathering. Embarrassing secrets are shared and scorned as younger generations seek to rebel against their past if only to say they can succeed on their own.

Confessions of a Rebel Debutante takes readers on the author’s journey, while nudging out our own personal, growing-up memories along the way. So travel down south with Anna who never took that final deb curtsy but realized that “You can’t bend the rules without learning them first.”

* * * * *

[Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters not only remains on The New York Times Bestseller List but has moved from #15 to #14 this week. Have you read it yet? If possible, do treat yourself….it’s delicious!]

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Anna Fields’ Confessions of a Rebel Debutante in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, . Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

Linda Gray Sexton and
Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide

January 24, 2011 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Imagine being the daughter of America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton. The innate writing talent, the lesson skills taught, (see Passing It Along), and the absolute love of words shared. Now, on the other hand, consider growing up as Linda Gray Sexton (Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton, Other works in Bibliography) and being raised by this publicly revered mother who suffered from severe depression, alcoholism, and suicide attempts that required stays in mental institutions. These far too many absences that forced being shifted to live with grandmothers and other relatives, while causing you to wonder — on your mother’s return home — whether she would keep her promise and not leave again.

When Linda Gray Sexton was barely twenty-one, her mother successfully committed suicide and was — at least — physically gone forever. However, in her just released memoir Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide, the author takes readers on her own brutal journey of depression, pain, and overwhelming sense of loss that led her to three suicide attempts. Like her mother, Linda promised her children she would never leave them yet the bond to be with her mother again always proved (not quite) stronger.

From the book’s inside jacket flap:

After the agony of witnessing her mother’s multiple—and ultimately successful—suicide attempts, Linda Gray Sexton, daughter of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton, struggles with an engulfing undertow of depression. Here, with powerful, unsparing prose, Sexton conveys her urgent need to escape the legacy of suicide that consumed her family—a topic rarely explored, even today, in such poignant depth.

Linda Gray Sexton tried multiple times to kill herself—even though as a daughter, sister, wife, and most importantly, a mother, she knew the pain her act would cause. But unlike her mother’s story, Linda’s is ultimately one of triumph. Through the help of family, therapy, and medicine, she confronts deep-seated issues and curbs the haunting cycle of suicide she once seemed destined to inherit.

Also you may read an Excerpt of Half in Love.

According to the author, the title “Half in Love” is taken from the Keat’s epigraph for the memoir which reads: “I have been half in love with easeful death, called him soft names in many a mused rhyme…” And, in relating this to her own experiences, Linda says “…it refers to being half in love with death, and then coming to be fully in love with life.”

In fact as she answered the question, The best age for you? in an interview from The Great Women Series, Linda said: “My fifties. I have come into my own and defeated my depression. I am writing again, conversing with other writers again. I have reclaimed my life.”

Now living with joy rather than pain, wouldn’t one wonder why the author chose to write about her past? Well, in the blog post — Why Write Memoir? — she addresses just that:

“It’s a difficult question. How do you protect the ones you love and still write about a topic you believe needs to be made public and to be discussed?

“In the United States today, someone kills him or herself every seventeen minutes, a million commit suicide worldwide annually, and suicide outranks homicide two to one. You could say that if you are depressed, your own hand is more dangerous than a gun.”

Startling and horrifying statistics, aren’t they? And yet they create the reason to read this book.

As Erica Jong praised: “A vivid and daring exploration of survival from the author of Searching for Mercy Street, Linda Sexton’s beautiful book is a cry for health and sanity.”

Although the subject matter of Linda’s writing is not an easy read, it is fascinating as well as more important than ever. Early in the memoir she notes that during the 50’s, 60’s, and beginning of the 70’s — when her mother struggled with mental illness and lost the battle — it was a disease difficult to diagnose, treat, and medicate properly. Support groups were non-existent and families either tried to ignore or hide a loved one’s severe psychological problem.

However that was then and this is now so The Divining Wand asked why she thought modern medical and therapy strides aren’t making a difference in saving someone from committing suicide every seventeen minutes?

Linda Gray Sexton said: “I think there is still a stigma about mental illness and suicide that makes people reluctant to talk about it. I am getting scads of mail since the book was published from those who feel that someone has at last spoken up for them. I do think that there are strides being made medically in terms of psychoactive drugs, but it takes a long time for these things to penetrate the general population. Who knows what the statistics were a decade ago? And those statistics were undoubtedly colored by the fact that people were reluctant to let others know that their loved ones had died by their own hand. Even today, how many times do you read an obituary that seems extremely vague about the cause of death? We just have to keep plugging away at it, talking about it openly and continuing to support those who live with us, or to whom we are connected, to take their meds and see their psychiatrists. Don’t let depressed people fade out of your life.”

Hopefully the author’s brave and intensely compelling telling of Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide will offer hope and help to others facing a similar situation. For those fortunate enough not having to deal firsthand with mental illness, may it give a better understanding and willingness for support. And to those readers who simply desire a truly brilliant book written — without pity — by a gifted author whose mind conquered all, this memoir is for you!

[On a personal note, I encourage you to take time to visit Linda Gray Sexton’s website. It’s enchanting, even if you only stop to look inside the writing cottage you’ll learn where and how this writer writes.]

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away one copy of Linda Gray Sexton’s Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

Guest Linda Gray Sexton on Passing It Along

January 18, 2011 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[Although Linda Gray Sexton (Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton, Other works in Bibliography) is more than familiar with inherited traits — as her latest memoir Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide profoundly showcases –, she is also well-acquainted with the gifts we receive from others. In today’s guest post, the memoirist/novelist writes about shared talents and cherished experiences that have enriched her life.]

Passing It Along

I am always struck by the way so many aspects of my life are rooted in the lives of other people, how they transform my experiences, moment by moment. Be they parents or children, mentors or professors, lovers or friends, they all have made a significant impact upon my growth as an individual, and I believe that I have had the same effect on them. It is a creative kind of sharing between us, very different from that which psychology and science say about the domination of environment and genes.

I learned how to write in my mother’s study, curled up on the old green sofa while she leaned back in her desk chair, her feet propped up on the bookshelf. Through her own experience as a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, she passed on to me a love of the word that formed the basis of my own desire to express myself this way. At twelve, I began to write my own poetry seriously, based on the methods she had shown me, creating draft after draft till I reached the most pitch perfect poem I could.

At college, I learned about expository writing, from professors and grad students alike, and began to hone my critical—rather than my creative—skills. This new sense of style came to me in my classes, an ability to craft explication de textes, as well as verse, and to write with absolute adherence to more formal language. Then, at my own hand and computer, I discovered more still as I began to write both fiction and memoir, as well as book reviews and teaching both younger and older students to pay attention to structure and their choice of words.

I combined all I had learned about the craft of writing of every sort, and then learned to plow slowly through whatever I was creating in order to grow as a writer. And whenever someone asked, I happily gave away all I had learned, to readers, listeners and peers alike.

The opposite has been true for me as well. How often, sometimes without even knowing it, we give to those who are older and wiser or just plain different than us in their outlook or experience. My sons, along with their friends, have taught me so much: how to work the internet, and how to post on Facebook; how to hold down a job that requires sixty hours a week, and how to date in this brave new social world. And I hear professional writers and younger voices as well: how to look at a book in a new way either through a review, or a blog; how to craft a better idea that engenders a bigger audience.

There was a time when I helped my mother to grow in just this way. During college vacations, I brought home books by writers whom I was exploring in class, and we would once again hole up in her study—but this time it was I who read favorite authors to her, I who taught her all I knew about writing and reading. T.S. Eliot, Wordsworth and Tennyson, Ezra Pound. With no college degree of her own, she would marvel at all I was learning and thank me for bringing this new knowledge into her writing room.

Once, as we sat outside a doctor’s office, waiting for my results of a crucial examination by a specialist in gynecology, she supported me through the dreadful vigil. My predisposition for a particular cervical cancer came from a drug she had taken as she had tried to prevent a miscarriage while she was pregnant with me; but when I turned twenty-four, I had a different problem, of another sort than the one we had anticipated—infertility.

She sat with me that day, in unspoken empathy, knowing that she might have passed on to me a deadly condition and blaming herself, though no responsibility could really be assigned. We were two different but united women, each with our own issues: guilt and fear.

And as we sat there waiting, I read aloud to her from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves in a quiet voice that took into consideration the other patients sitting around us. Nevertheless, my mother grew excited and then enthusiastic and then, at last, emotionally moved. She had never experienced Woolf before. We distracted ourselves from the threat of the medical issue before us, and she marveled at the rhythms and the words that this other woman had chosen to bring her vision into life, words that I now offered up to my mother as we held hands and I spoke them out loud.

When I was a child, she had passed onto me an enduring and immense gift: the love of language. That day I gave back to her a gift of the education in literature that she had never had. It was a special kind of communication, one woman to another. It was a mutual inheritance, from her to me, and then, in reverse, from me to her. I know I treasured the exchange. I am certain she did, too.

* * * * *

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away one copy of Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Presenting Debutante Eleanor Brown and The Weird Sisters. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

Alice Eve Cohen and What I Thought I Knew

December 06, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

As a playwright, solo theater artist, writer for Nickelodeon and PBS, multi-talented Alice Eve Cohen has been honored with fellowships and grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. She also teaches at The New School in New York City and one would believe Alice knows a lot. And that was true until 1999 when her body turned everything she thought she knew to be true into falsehoods and unknowns. Seven years later Alice was finally able to apply her creative talent to sharing this very personal journey in What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir.

Anne Lamott, Salon.com BEST BOOKS OF 2009: “Everything we love in a book — profound, honest, hilarious, humane, surprising.”

Here is a brief introduction/description to What I Thought I Knew:

A personal and medical odyssey beyond anything most women would believe possible

At age forty-four, Alice Eve Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to an inspiring man, joyfully raising her adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming. Alice tells her fiancé that she’s never been happier. And then the stomach pains begin.

In her unflinchingly honest and ruefully witty voice, Alice nimbly carries us through her metamorphosis from a woman who has come to terms with infertility to one who struggles to love a heartbeat found in her womb – six months into a high-risk pregnancy.

In What I Thought I Knew, Cohen has applied her theatrical sensibility to create a page turning thriller of a memoir. Cohen’s journey through a broken healthcare system and the farthest reaches of her own spiritual faith is laden with memorable characters and surprising twists and turns. A powerful story with an endearingly honest heroine, and rich insights into family relationships, What I Thought I Knew is timely, compelling, and utterly unforgettable.

Timely? The memoir debuted in Summer 2009 when Alice appeared on CBS’ The Early Show, detailing more of her story while answering Harry Smith’s questions. Please watch this interview:(If the video does not appear on your monitor, please watch the video here.)

Now it’s your time to read a brief Excerpt from What I Thought I Knew, courtesy NYT Books.

The element of time — its pressures and consequences — play a major character role in this remarkable story. Writing in a November 11, 2010 Guest Post: Infertil-i(denti)ty by Alice Eve Cohen for Bless Their Hearts Mom blog, the author explains:

“My crazy quilt journey with infertility began before I was born. When I was twenty, I learned that I might be infertile, a result of my exposure to DES—the anti-miscarriage drug my mother took when she was pregnant with me. Uncertainty about my fertility became part of my identity.

In my early thirties, I wanted to have a baby, but my fertility doctor confirmed my fears. “’Your estrogen level is so low that you couldn’t possibly get pregnant. And you should NEVER attempt to become pregnant with fertility drugs! With your small, deformed uterus, there’s no way you could carry a baby past six months.’” He added, “The good news, Alice—You’ll never have to use birth control again!’”

No garden-variety infertility, mine was super-deluxe, intervention-proof, and absolute. My identity as an infertile woman was lodged impermeably in my consciousness. On the bright side, this level of certainty made it easy to decide to adopt.”

Less than tactful as well as wrong, this doctor is the first of many the reader meets while accompanying Alice through her journey to find medical truths. Yes, the names have been changed to protect them all for as Alice says:

“There are good guys and bad guys in my story, from all corners of the healthcare system. My health insurance company was woefully inadequate, and some doctors made idiotic mistakes. But I also encountered brilliant doctors and therapists who were selflessly dedicated to their patients.”

Of course it took time for the author to rationally reflect on what happened to her and this writing of What I Thought I Knew helped to sort out and work through a period of life that was both confusing and troubling. And, although staging the story (as a major performance) in her theater artist role was unthinkable, the playwright did structure her memoir by writing it in three acts with each act divided into scenes. The dialogue reveals action in the scenes, and the reflective narration throughout the book works much the same as solo theater monologue. The result is an intimacy and immediacy to literally everything Alice endures. However, since its similar to theater, the experience is absolutely entertaining.

In other words there’s nothing to fear about this story. Reading it will prove fascinating, frustrating, startling, poignant, sweet, bittersweet, and humorous. That’s correct, be prepared to laugh out loud at the ridiculous absurdity of it all. And, not to worry, about laughing at Alice’s troubles and trials for now she even encourages others to laugh as well as ponder.

What I Thought I Knew Video:

(If the video does not appear on your monitor, please watch the video here.)

What Alice Eve Cohen knows now is that her book holds a universal message for anybody who’s experienced difficult times, and that includes almost everyone. She also knows:

“I’m fortunate that our family crisis and our new understandings that came out of it did ultimately make us stronger. There were times in my journey when I feared for my daughter’s life and for my own. Somehow, my family, my marriage, my children and I all survived and thrived, despite (or maybe because of) the storm we weathered together.”

What The Divining Wand knows about What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir is that it’s a timely book for the season. After all, in this holiday season of miracles, could there be a better, more triumphant story than this miracle of eleven years ago? Yes Elianna celebrates her eleventh birthday next Monday, December 13th. Celebrate that joy by reading — as well as gifting — her journey to birth and beyond told through her mother’s despair, confusion, hope, and everlasting love!

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Alice Eve Cohen’s What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

Presenting Debutante Kim Stagliano and
All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa

November 01, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Debutante Kim Stagliano has the honor of being the first Class Member of the 2011 Debutante Ball to waltz across the ballroom floor and into bookstores with her memoir, All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism, officially launching today. And ironically the author may be the most reluctant Deb, never imagining her life as it is or that — in a September 1, 2010 post, Wenesday’s with Deb Kim — she would write:

“My book is a “’Kimoir’” (memoir makes me feel O-L-D) and sure to make you laugh, even if you have to grab a tissue once or twice while you read. I started writing in 2003 when my husband Mark was out of work. It was cheaper than therapy and healthier than overdoing the cocktail hour, if you know what I mean. Mark and I live in Fairfield County, Connecticut and have three beautiful daughters – who have an autism diagnosis. Mia is 15, Gianna is 14 and Bella is 9. Our lives are anything but typical, never boring (how I long for boredom!) and often upside down and inside out.”

How did her life story evolve? Here’s a synopsis:

How one woman raises three autistic daughters, loses one at Disneyworld, stays married, Has sex, bakes gluten-free, goes broke, and keeps her sense of humor.

“Dr. Spock? Check. Penelope Ann Leach (Remember her?)? Check. What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Check. I had a seven-hundred–dollar Bellini crib for God’s sake!” So begins Kim Stagliano’s electrifying, hilarious tale of her family’s journey raising three daughters with autism. With her funny, startling, and illuminating first book, Stagliano joins the ranks of bestselling memoirists like David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. With her willingness to lay everything on the table—family, friends, and enemies to basement floods to birth days to (possible) heroin addictions—she eviscerates and celebrates the absurd.

Whether she’s going commando to rescue a daughter from a potentially embarrassing situation or accidentally stealing electric fans, she and her family are seemingly always on the edge of a Stagtastrophe. From her love of Howard Stern to her increasing activism in the autism community and exhaustive search for treatments that will help her daughters, she explores her life with vigor and humor. Always outspoken, often touching, and sometimes heart breaking, Kim Stagliano is a powerful new voice in comedic writing—her “Kimoir” (as she calls it) will be a must-read for everyone within the autism community. More than that, it’s the debut of a new voice that will entertain everyone who reads it.

Unlike other books on autism, Kim promises hers is different because “it’s very funny.” And it is, despite these two sobering statistics: In 2010 there will be 1 in 110 children diagnosed with some form of autism, and couples with an autistic child(ren) have an 80% divorce rate. Yes, it’s a bit overwhelming and yet it makes for the best of reality reading. In fact think of the “Kimoir” as better than anything reality TV has to offer since the Stagliano’s experiences are unscripted, unedited, and Kim is not Mother Teresa. As she explains:

“The first and biggest difference between my book and many of the others out there is that it’s very funny. My style and voice lend themselves to writing humor, even when the topic isn’t all that funny. Also, mine combines our family life outside of autism – meaning our financial trials, including when my husband lost his job twice in one year. That was fun….”

Now here’s an example of a “fun” Stagastrophe from an Excerpt of All I Can Handle.

And be sure to read the heartfelt Reviews.

There is no cure for autism — which has been under the field of psychiatry since it was first seen and defined by Leo Kanner in the 1930s. However Kim, in her role of Mom/advocate/activist, believes parents should explore every option for their child, even when it’s difficult (like radically changing their diet.) While all this author wants is the best for those with autism, there are those who condemn her efforts towards hope. Still the “Kimoir” is not meant to be controversial, rather it was written for readers to understand autism and thus be more accepting of those who have it. In fact the author’s message can be applied to everyone with differences and challenges, particularly in these days of “bullying.” Simply put, Kim’s hope is that the book will promote the following:

“Just follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others…. If you see a behavior that’s funky, like gorgeous Mia sucking her thumb, which she does sometimes, take a second to wonder if Mia might have “’something’” (you don’t have to know it’s autism) instead of staring and making a face in her or my direction. It’s OK to be startled or even aghast at a meltdown or inappropriate behavior, just pause for a moment before reacting. If you’re horrified, I’m horrified times a million and I really appreciate when people are kind. So do my girls, even if they cannot tell you so. They are people – do not refer to them autistic or autistics – any more than I would call someone with cancer, cancerous. Autism is not who they are – it’s what they have.”

Respect is what Kim wants for her girls and the 1 in 110 other children and adults diagnosed with varying degrees of autism. No financial contributions, no sympathy or praise for being a “good Mom.” Instead she faces reality head on and deals with whatever arises with humor, faith, and the knowledge that her daily life will be filled with the unexpected.

Enlightening and entertaining, All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism is a “must read” and even a “feel good” read as Kim and her husband care for their three stunning daughters — yes, there are 24 color pictures — with love and commitment for the long haul.

And, when you do read, consider Kim’s simple wish from a September 15, 2010 post, I’ve Never Given Up Imaginary Friends:

“You’re never alone if you can read.

That’s why every year, when I sit at my children’s IEP meetings (those are planning meetings for special ed, my three girls have autism) I say, “’I just want my girls to read.’” I know that if they can develop some level of reading skill, even if it’s “’just’” a 4th grade level, they will never be alone and will always have friends too.”

Book Giveaway: This week Skyhorse Publishing has generously provided The Divining Wand with two Hardcover copies of Kim Stagliano’s All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa to be given away in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

Trish Ryan and A Maze of Grace

June 21, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Memoirist/Essayist Trish Ryan took readers along on her quest to find “Mr. Right” in her debut memoir, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Love, and Happily Ever After, and tomorrow — June 22, 2010 — she continues to share her life’s journey in A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances.

The idea for chronicling the continuation of the author’s now five years of married life came at the insistence of a friend who never realized that daily wedded experiences could be “Great!” Yet that’s how things “by some crazy miracle” seemed to end up for Trish and Steve. And so she shares their ups and downs as encouragement, noting in a disclaimer: “I’m under no illusion that Steve and I have mastered some “‘spiritual”‘ right way to do life.” However, by asking for God’s input in places they’ve been stuck has provided ideas, suggestions and alternatives to their personal struggles including: infertility, depression, body image, and sex.

Yes Trish talks to God, even about THAT subject. Now for those unfamiliar with He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, please don’t raise your eyebrows. Because the first book is “the story of how a new-age dabbler turned to Jesus for relationship advice and ended up with a “‘happily-ever-after'” husband and a newfound Christian faith.” Considering God offered her sound, practical, and miraculous advice back then, it’s only natural for this author to keep asking for and following His guidance.

Yet to share even more of herself… In the Monday, May 17, 2010 blog post, Good News from Publishers Weekly, Trish admits her relief and joy by writing:

“I just saw the Publishers Weekly review for A MAZE OF GRACE. And it’s fabulous!!! I’m shaking right now, all teared up & soggy. I hadn’t realized how nervous I was about this until I read the review (and then re-read it six or seven times). The relief is unbelievable.

“Here’s why: MAZE was a tough book to write. It’s super-personal, even more so than HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT. It’s real and raw and (in a few places) heartbreaking, even for me. But it’s also–like me–fun and funny, and a little absurd. Which was a weird balance in the midst of the process. Not to mention that life while I was writing was rather tumultuous, and my editors and I were adding and deleting scenes right up until the very last moment. By the time the book was finalized, I’d sort of lost touch with whether it was “good” or not, in the big-picture sort of way: Was it entertaining and encouraging…and something you’d want to give to all your friends? I hoped (and I certainly prayed) so. I’m tearfully grateful to report that he folks at Publishers Weekly say yes:

Ryan (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) returns with another spiritual memoir, bringing back her trademark wit, humor, and honesty. Her first book portrayed her journey toward love after a promise to take Jesus seriously; this sequel chronicles her spiritual and romantic life during the first five years of her marriage. Each chapter focuses on a unique struggle or revelation, from the joys and challenges of marriage to body image and politics; as a result, the book reads more like a compilation of short essays or long blog entries rather than one continuous narrative. Most admirably, Ryan, currently part of the pastoral staff of Vineyard Church, is able to present herself as a believing Christian who recognizes that spirituality can be both simple and complex, a universal experience that can be felt in an infinite number of ways. Ryan does not evangelize, instead humbly and humorously offering her own experience for interpretation. Readers of all faiths can enjoy this memoir for its humanity and its honest exploration of relationships and religion, showing how those two things can often intertwine. __Publishers Weekly

And, of course, there’s this praise:

“Trish Ryan is the rare writer who can range from the deepest questions of the soul to hilarious moments of everyday life…This engaging account of a spiritual journey will resonate with readers of all backgrounds.”
–Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

Interested? Well now you can Browse Inside This Book.

Having read He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not and then following Trish’s life through her blog posts, I appreciated the Advance Reading Copy that Hachette Book Group sent. A Maze of Grace does not disappoint. In fact Publishers Weekly “got it” so right…and more.

Perhaps the book’s appeal is simply Trish. She is both honest and brave in revealing her faith, confusion, opinions and less than sterling homemaking attempts at cooking and cleaning. Yet she tries to find the right way or method.

Her talks with God are most impressive because — though a gentle, loving Father — He doesn’t allow Trish to whine or take the easy way out of a situation. While you may not believe and agree with His teachings or wonder why an intelligent adult woman — complete with a law degree — would believe and abide by seemingly archaic traditions, the fact IS that the author DOES. And she takes full responsibility for that course of faith.

This memoir begins after Trish and Steve’s wedding reception and follows in chronological order through their first few months of the “Honeymoon period.” After that it is a maze of dealing with “life happens.” However, through it all, there is communication with God and between each other. Also there is love.

In reading the post, Guest Trish Ryan on Your Life, Starring You!, you learn that the author doesn’t see herself as the main character in her books, instead “LOVE is the main character — that urge inside of us that keeps us looking and hoping for romantic partnership….” After reading both books, I disagree. Love could be considered the main characters in Trish’s books however it is SELF LOVE — the need within all of us to like ourselves, to be the best of ourselves, and to accept ourselves…that’s what the writer really finds along her way. And everyone can benefit from a good measure of that love found in A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances and in our own lives.

IMPORTANT: Trish Ryan is offering a BOGOF plan until 11:59 p.m. tonight!

Here’s her plan:

“Buy a copy of A Maze of Grace before the official launch date of tomorrow, June 22nd.

Send a copy of your receipt (scanned store receipts count, too) to Trishryanonline AT gmail.com. Include your mailing address (no worries…I won’t use for any other purposes) and I’ll send you a FREE copy of my first book, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT.”

Source: TRISH’S DISHES’ Tuesday, June 15, 2010 post, BOGOF.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of Trish Ryan’s latest memoir, A Maze of Grace in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to possibly claim your book.

Guest Trish Ryan on Your Life, Starring You!

June 15, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[Trish Ryan (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Love, and Happily Ever After), — like many recent featured authors — admits to having a messy but interesting life. Ever likable, vulnerable, and oh so human, Trish shares both the joys and blahs of her first five years of marriage in A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances to be released on June 22, 2010.]

Your Life, Starring You!
Thoughts on being the main character

Larramie asked if I’d blog about what it’s like to be the main character in my own books. Her question caught me off guard—I’d never thought about it in those terms.

You’d think it would take a surreal combination of determination and hubris to believe that your life is sufficiently unique and wonderful to keep people turning the pages of not just one, but two memoirs. But truth be told, not even I think my story is all that unique and/or wonderful. Just the opposite, in fact. Until fairly recently, it—and I—was a complete disaster. But here’s the thing: In the midst of my struggles, I always knew I wasn’t the only person out there wrestling with big questions: What is love? How do I get it/give it/absorb enough of it to keep going? Does God play a role? How much is my responsibility? How can I make better choices if I can’t think of any options other than what I’ve already tried? What if self-help doesn’t help? My books are about my search for answers.

I spent my twenties and early thirties in a dizzying try/fail cycle of dating that might be unique if only for it’s breadth and scope. I married so badly that I had to run away to escape. The police were involved on more than one occasion. At some level, I had to admit that not only were my strategies not working, I was out of ideas of new things to try.

The answer to this dilemma surprised me. It was spiritual, and way outside my comfort zone. That surprise—with the good results that followed—made up my first book, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After. I thought that other women in my shoes (the ones who hear Stevie Nicks sing, I climbed a mountain and I turned around and think, “That’s the story of my life…”) might find it encouraging to have another option to consider, and comforted that the door hasn’t closed on Happily Ever After…It’s still out there, still possible.

My second book is about looking at these same questions from the other side of the alter, as a newlywed struggling to imagine a marriage better than the warnings I saw in books and magazines. Our culture makes you feel like a special little flower when you’re a bride, but the moment you’re back from your honeymoon, the fantasy wilts. No one tells you how awesome your new life will be; they warn you. You hear the phrase, “The honeymoon is over” muttered in low, dire tones. I didn’t think I was the only wife out there hoping that more was possible, and thus Book #2, A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances, came to be.

So perhaps my answer to Larramie’s question is that I don’t see myself as the main character in my books. As hokey as it sounds, I think LOVE is the main character—that urge inside of us that keeps us looking and hoping for romantic partnership far beyond the point when the more reasonable choice would be to give up, buy a cat and a condo, and find a few new hobbies. Most of us want more than pets and hobbies. As the band Sugarland puts it, “From the beginning, we’re all looking for a happy ending…” My books are about this process.

Thanks, Larramie, for getting me thinking about this question! And blog readers, let me ask you: How do you feel about being the main character in YOUR story? Would you re-write the script? Does your plot need a twist? Are you at the place where all hope is lost (which is, according to writing tradition across genres, ALWAYS when the hero arrives…)? Consider sharing in the comments below. You might not be the only one wrestling with these questions.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of the triple memoir Three Wishes by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post, Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand with Three Wishes. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to possibly claim your book.

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The Divining Wand celebrates its first anniversary today. After one year and 219 posts, the site has grown, evolved, and is successfully connecting authors and readers beyond book pages.

Thank you authors/friends/readers, all!
Larramie

Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and
Pamela Ferdinand with Three Wishes

June 14, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Although its title and description may sound like a fairy tale, the collaborative memoir, Three Wishes:A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand, is a 21st century non-fiction account of how anything is possible through traditional hope and love.

Once upon a time — ten years ago — these three successful, connected, savvy journalists began to realize a personal deadline was looming. Their careers had made headlines while relationships had been “cut” for limited time/space/interest. Although single and approaching forty, they still dreamed of “having it all”….or, at least, one baby.

Three Wishes tells the story of of these three friends who transformed their lives when they decided to take control in making motherhood happen.

Here, in Video form, is the book’s backstory:

Then the Three Wishes synopsis:

Carey, Beth, and Pam had succeeded at work but failed at romance, and each resolved to have a baby before time ran out. Just one problem: no men.

Carey took the first bold step towards single motherhood, searching anonymous donor banks until she found the perfect match. What she found was not a father in a vial, but a sort of magic potion. She met a man, fell in love, and got pregnant the old-fashioned way.

She passed the vials to Beth, and it happened again. Beth met man, Beth got pregnant. Beth passed the vials to Pam, and the magic struck again. There were setbacks and disappointments, but three women became three families, reveling in the shared joy of love, friendship, and never losing hope.

The Reviews are glowing and Three Wishes was selected as a “TOME OF THE BRAVE” Pick for the June issue of Oprah’s O! Magazine.

When Pamela Ferdinand contacted me to offer a Q&A interview or the opportunity to review this triple memoir, how could I resist what sounded perfect for The Divining Wand? Yet ARCS were piled high and the site’s posts booked solid with new releases/debuts. So before even reading the book, I was introduced to Carey, Beth, and Pamela (live) during their April 21st interview on TODAY. Please take this opportunity to meet them, too, by Launching the Video.

Would you like to browse through the book? That wish can be granted as well:

What good fortune all this information is available about the authors and their book, yet what about actual storytelling?

With each author having her own compelling and complicated experiences to tell, they take turns in sharing their journeys to motherhood in alternating chapters. Carey leads off by being the first to seek wish fulfillment by purchasing the vials of donor sperm, Beth follows, and then Pamela. Each voice is as unique as their personal circumstances along with their individual timelines. For, remember, Carey has already made her decision to opt for single parenthood via medical technology or has she?

Because when Carey meets the man who will eventually become the father of her children and her husband, that’s when wishing only for a child turns into wanting much more. True, she does use one vial of donor sperm, but the procedure is unsuccessful. Seven vials remain but now there’s a man in her life and, even if he doesn’t want to commit to being a father…perhaps a donor?

Yes all three women meet their match but even the best relationships are messy and oh so vulnerable. In fact it’s the sheer candidness of sharing everything the authors and their mates live through that makes Three Wishes most impressive. How did they manage to reveal such personal and intimate details of their lives? I asked Pamela and she replied: “It wasn’t easy to share all those details, but we felt an obligation to do so — as journalists who asked such personal details of other people; as women who want to encourage other women to be able to share their experiences; and as authors who feel the most interesting stories are the most honest ones.”

Three Wishes is much more than a book about choosing motherhood as a single woman. Instead it relates what can happen when a wish becomes a goal in life as opposed to an unspoken breath blowing out birthday candles. If by definition “a dream is a wish your heart makes,” then — in order to make it real — you need to share it with others. By opening your heart, you’ll be opening that wish to possibilities, suggestions, support, alternatives, and the unexpected. As Pamela wrote in her post, Guest Pamela Ferdinand Makes A Wish?:

“I fell in love only when my heart was open wider than ever because, in accepting the sperm, I had accepted the possibilities of a non-traditional route to motherhood and family. Of a non-linear life, when anything could happen, in any order.”

Three Wishes:A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood is for anyone who believes that, while miracles do happen and wishes are granted, most of what one yearns for requires time, extreme effort, and heartfelt strength. If you want to be reminded, inspired, or simply awed by those truths, please read how Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand created their own magic to produce three wishes.

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of the triple memoir Three Wishes by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to possibly claim your book.

The Revealing of Trish Ryan

June 09, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

Trish Ryan closed her debut memoir, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Love, and Happily Ever After, after exchanging wedding vows with “Mr. Right.” But rather than that being the end of her journey of self-discovery through the help of faith/beliefs, it was only the beginning as the authors recounts in A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances to be released June 22, 2010.

The popular Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, shares her praise for this second memoir:

“Trish Ryan is the rare writer who can range from the deepest questions of the soul to hilarious moments of everyday life. Most striking is her honesty about her struggles – with her faith and her penchant for Ann Taylor clothes, with her marriage and her weight. This engaging account of a spiritual journey will resonate with readers of all backgrounds.”

The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of A Maze of Grace for Monday, June 21, 2010 but today let’s meet Trish through her “official” bio:

TRISH RYAN lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, Steve, and their genetically improbable mixed-breed dog.

And now, in what she described as “fun,” Trish reveals her true self:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Unexpected, hopeful, ridiculous, hilarious, sparkly, fun, adventurous, candid.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: “Things tend to get done.” (From my law school friend Jon, who napped while the rest of us studied, came to exams in his bathrobe, and—to my eternal consternation—ended up with the same GPA as me.)

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: When life exceeds my expectations.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Heights. My career as a high school gymnast was a sad and funny thing to behold.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Cambridge in early summer is rather beautiful, so right here. Maybe outside under a tree, instead of in my office.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: This sounds preposterous, but ever since I was a little girl I’ve been fascinated by Harriet Tubman. She was so brave, and did impossible things with some regularity. At the end of my life if I’ve done something even a little bit along those lines, that would be great.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: My husband, Steve. Nothing phases him, and he’s incredibly awesome and consistent. The three favorite personal qualities I describe below? All him.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: I have a love/hate relationship with adverbs. Whenever I need to cut my word count in a manuscript, I do a search for “ly.”

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I would love to be hospitable—to know instinctually how to welcome people and take good care of them, to enjoy food and cooking. I’m so focused on people and conversations that you can sit in my living room for four days before I even think to offer you a beverage.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: I was a state champion baton twirler when I was 12. That combined all the words I listed above to describe my life (Unexpected, hopeful, ridiculous, hilarious, sparkly, fun, adventurous, candid) much more than anything I might say about passing the bar exam or writing 2 books.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Discouragement. If I’m not careful, I can see all the things that could go wrong with every dream or plan.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Being encouraging (Oh, the irony!) When I’m on my game, I have a lot of faith for impossible things, despite seeing what could go wrong.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not staying in touch with certain friends from different phases of my life.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: For a day, I’d be the President of the United States. I like to know how things work—people, organizations, systems—so as a former poli sci major, it would be incredibly cool to understand the Presidency from the inside.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I laugh a lot. Everyone in my family has a great sense of humor, and finding a way to laugh is our default response to almost everything.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: When I was little, I loved this collection of books about a girl named Trixie Belden who solved mysteries with her friend Honey. I’m not sure why they had porn star names, but those girls were awesome.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Cat Woman.

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: This was the toughest question! I love sports, so presenting me with a pretend opportunity to meet a favorite athlete sent me into a tizzy ☺ In the end, though, I realized that I’d LOVE to have a conversation with Billy Jean King. She did so many amazing things in her years as a player, but what I really love is that she has ongoing vision for how to move her sport forward. Her life is only partly defined by her years as an athlete. So I’d ask her how she maintains vision and energy to keep pushing forward.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Being late.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: I do a lot of speaking about spirituality & relationships. That’s really fun because my romantic past was such a complete disaster that EVERYONE feels more hopeful once they’ve heard that things worked out okay for me.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Choreographer/judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Consistency, Honesty, Humor

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Baloney sandwiches…with mayo, mustard, American cheese, and cucumber. So delicious.

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Around the Sun by Ryanhood
Happy Ending by Sugarland
Rock & Roll Heaven’s Gate by The Indigo Girls
The Long Way Around by The Dixie Chicks
Help Me Believe by Nichole Nordeman

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: I’ll stick with non-fiction here, because that’s what I write:
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Redeemed by Heather King
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Marjorie Williams

Trish Ryan is an example of grace by being warm, funny, wise and incredibly human. To become even better acquainted, follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, Trish’s Dishes.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of Allie Larkin’s Stay in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post, Allie Larkin and Stay. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is tonight, June 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to possibly claim your book.

AND

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Tish Cohen’s The Truth About Delilah Blue in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post, Tish Cohen and The Truth About Delilah Blue. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is tonight, June 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to possibly claim your book.

Guest Pamela Ferdinand Makes A Wish?

June 03, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[Pamela Ferdinand is a co-author with Beth Jones and Carey Goldberg of the triple memoir Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood. This amazing account of real life magic already has been seen on and in: The Today Show, The New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, WGN Chicago, WGBH Boston Greater Boston, WNYC The Takeaway, iVillage, The Boston Globe…. Yet, in today’s guest post, Pamela writes about taking control of life, rather than merely wishing for what she desired.]

Wish. So often that word conjures the idea of a genie in a bottle instead of taking destiny into one’s own hands. As a single working woman nearing 40 who wanted both love and family, I could have used a genie. I felt like I was running out of time after falling for men who either couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to me. But as much as I hoped one would show up before my biology gave out, I couldn’t count on it. I couldn’t just close my eyes and wish.

Instead, I discovered a different kind of magic in the process of transforming my life by accepting it as it was, figuring out what I truly wanted, and allowing my friends to support me, as I had supported them. It was a moment when wishes became actions, when desires became decisions, and when I stopped waiting for life to happen to me and tried to create what I wanted my life to be.

My path to wish fulfillment began when my friend Carey, alone at age 39, had purchased vials of anonymous donor sperm but never used them. She met her future husband and father of her children the very day those vials arrived at her clinic. She passed them on to our friend Beth, also on the verge of 40. Beth had expected she would have a family with her husband, but they divorced, and she decided to become a single mother. As she prepared to use Donor 8282’s sperm, Beth met her match, and together they had a child.

By the time Beth offered me the vials, I also was fully prepared to be a single mother, one way or another. I had considered the necessary resources, role models, and emotional support I thought my child and I would need. I had seen my gynecologist and spoken to my family. No sooner had I accepted the sperm from my friend than I met my love on an observatory rooftop. Today my fiance and I have a daughter.

I didn’t jump into this romantic relationship like a lifeboat because I was suddenly scared to enter single motherhood. Having a child on my own was not necessarily my first choice, but that does not mean I considered it a lesser choice. As a woman journalist who once assumed I could Have It All, and then didn’t, I took the time to think about what I really, truly desired. What I could not live without. To other women, it could be so many things that are meaningful in life, things too numerous to mention. But for me, it was a child.

I fell in love only when my heart was open wider than ever because, in accepting the sperm, I had accepted the possibilities of a non-traditional route to motherhood and family. Of a non-linear life, when anything could happen, in any order. For me, having the sperm not only severed the ties between romance and reproduction, and all the pressures that entailed, but it also represented taking control of my life. Even if there were no guarantees.

Being offered the sperm also reminded me of the power of friendship in making wishes come true. It’s far easier to create the life you want if the people around you genuinely want you to succeed and provide the emotional and psychological succor — and in this case, the actual means — to pursue it. With Carey’s help, then Beth’s, I did more than make a wish. I granted it.

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Announcement: The winner of Allison Winn Scotch’s The One That I Want is Heather Larson. Congratulations! Please email: diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and the book will be sent out promptly.