we are all just hungry to be loved.

angie warren writes // www.angiewarren.com

I wrote the above words this week, as I was working on the ending of my manuscript. I bounce around a lot when I write, and still have a great chunk of middle to add in. The unexpected connection with my homeless friend, Thompson, has completely changed the direction of my memoir - in a good way.

Yes, Thompson is still "around" though he's moved up the street a bit. Each encounter I have with him, I walk away with a new truth, a new lesson. I look forward to seeing his familiar figure on the side of Main Street, and I enjoy his smile of recognition when he sees me approach. I especially love when the kids ask about him, or come up with an idea of how we can help him this week.

When I began to realize the infinite truth mentioned above, I found that no matter who we are, where we call home, or how full our lives are - we are simply all hungry for the same thing: love. And no matter how difficult our situation, regardless of what life has thrown us, we are all capable of filling another's tank. The best part of this whole thing is? When we give love, we are incapable of not feeling it ourselves.

It could be grief, financial burdens, loss of a job, or just a crappy week - filling someone else's void with love, is the best way to fill your own. I am walking, breathing, living proof of this.

Maybe your own Thompson is out there, just waiting for you.

all the things you meant to say all along.

It's a funny thing to publish a memoir, to bare your life for all to see, to write about the people who've changed your days, and your heart. The most you can hope for is that they read with an open mind, that they forgive you your memories and experiences, that they trust your intentions, and that they see, a little more clearly, all the things you meant to say all along.

- Claire Bidwell Smith

 

When my mom died I immediately dove into memoirs about loss. I craved the written words of others who had gone before me, walked the motherless path, found themselves navigating a new world. I read a lot. One of my favorites was The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith.

Claire lost both of her parents to cancer. The way she is able to weave her words, the honest portrayal of her grief, struck me so. I have gone back and re-read parts of it many times in the last year. I loved the above quote, in fact the entire article is a good one. It sits with me, as I pen my own memoir.

There are parts that are ugly, in fact, there's a lot that has been hard for me to write - and I know will be hard for some to read. Namely, my family. This has been a huge struggle for me, the idea of telling the story as it is meant to be told, knowing I'm cheating it if I'm 'too careful' and yet, wanting to honor the memory of my mom.

An email from Claire last spring allowed me to realize something important, as she encouraged me to read books of the same genre, "They reminded me of things I could write about, reminded me to be brave in my writing, reminded me that these stories are important."

When I came across the article and quote mentioned above it was just the reminder I needed, and it spoke what my heart has felt all along.

"The most you can hope for is that they read with an open mind, that they forgive you your memories and experiences, that they trust your intentions, and that they see, a little more clearly, all the things you meant to say all along."

Yes, yes, yes. So much yes.

instagram, writing, and other random news.

I decided officially, today, that I would document this writing a book process. If only for myself, I wanted a place to be able to look back on and see the ins and outs, and maybe if you are someone who is in a similar boat, can commiserate with the journey!

In addition, after months away, I decided to open a public account on Instagram. A place I can be online, to share more of the day to day of myself as a writer. I don't for a moment regret my decision to leave social media all together last winter, and I have no plans to be anywhere on Facebook. Instagram however, allows me a platform to connect in a way that feels right.

You can find me here: www.instagram.com/angiewarrenwrites

With all that out of the way, here is where I am! It is interesting, how just days after my mom died in the fall of 2013, did I decide I would write a book. When she was sick, she said to me, "Ang, you know what I am going to do? When this cancer nonsense is over, I'm going to write a book. Will you help me, please?"

I agreed. And so, when she died, I felt I had to acknowledge this commitment, and began a ravenous process of writing. But I was in a dark place, I had no idea what trials lay ahead, and so, those first 35k words or so were rough. Rough in the sense that I wrote from a place of brokenness. I re-lived her death and the details as if my life depended on it.

And then, sucked dry, I would slam the lid closed on my Macbook, and walk away. This happened for months and months, until one day I decided I could no longer write it. That there was no redemption - my dad was still a mess, my marriage was falling apart, and my life was full of such anger and chaos, I had absolutely no happy ending in sight.

But then grace stepped in. Forgiveness. Kindness. Time did what it does, ever so slowly, and the shattered pieces of my heart began to mend. My husband still loved me, my friends didn't leave my side, and my relationship with my dad started to find healing.

It was then that I began to see how the story would end, the final pages of the book have already been written. Since, I have poured a good 20k words out from a place of joy, acceptance, peace. It is a huge work in progress. I keep thinking I'm near the end and then more things come back to me.

That is about where I am at. Writing. Writing. Lots of writing.

Additionally, I'm working on the proposal. Writing a killer query letter, or attempting so, and hoping to have a lovely little book proposal package ready in the next few weeks. Then? Who knows. I have no idea what the future holds, but I do believe God gave me this story for a reason, and that is good enough for me. I just pray continually that my words will reflect His grace on my life, that I will honor my mama's memory, and show that there is always, always, always hope.

Until next time...


writing a book.

www.angiewarren.com

"I am writing a book." I told them in the car, this week.

"Like, a real book? A book that will be at the book store?" they asked, voices glistening with intrigue.

"I hope so." I smiled.

Telling the kids about this was a big step for me, which in hindsight sounds silly to even say. I wanted to communicate to them that just because I am mama, doesn't mean I don't have things I want to pursue, or should be able to pursue. Dreams. Hopes.

I have spent the better part of the last decade putting these small people first. I will continue to do so in waves, however I think there is something to be said about them seeing their mama put HERSELF first, too. Her hobbies, her passions.

Beyond that, saying it out loud, even if only to my children, solidifies it for me. That terrified part of me that thinks the idea of finishing this manuscript is pointless. That there are thousands of other authors out there, there are thousands of other new books out there. Saying out loud, "I am writing a book." means, I am, writing a book.

Later Danny came to me as I typed away, and he leaned in like he often does.

"So, what is your book about?"

I paused, not sure what to tell him exactly. I began to explain the general idea of a memoir, about how I am writing not only about Nana but about how life has changed since she died. About all the awesome things she taught me, and about how we survived losing her. He thought for a bit, and then nodded his head.

"Mom?" he whispered.

"Yeah, bud?"

"Nana would be really proud of you."

Yes, I think she would.