The Best Part of Being an Author – So Far!

Juvenile-Alice-in-Wonderland-White-rabbit1This whole experience of “being an author” has been a bit surreal.  When I was in 6th grade, I was Alice in the play put on at the local library in Cleveland Heights. The last two weeks have been a bit of a reprise of the Alice role.

It is so easy for me to “market and promote” the blazes out of kids’ programs and worthy causes related to children and families in need. It is a “whole ‘nuther” experience to market and promote this book where my personal story and my candid perceptions of the world form the core of its message. It does not come easy… and I am just learning the ins and the outs, making it feel even more awkward. As someone who is an introvert, not surprisingly I have had several “walking around naked” dreams in the last two weeks.

I asked friends and colleagues from across the years, in person and through Facebook, to post a review after they read the book. In the world, those reviews prime the pump and help drive traffic to the book’s page.  Once someone is there, the reviews give shoppers some enticement (or not, depending on the review!) to purchase the book.

coverThe reviews so far have been Triple A: Amazing – Affirming – Awesome. There are 14 reviews on The Can Do Chronicles page as I write this blog, and they are the best part, so far, about being an author. These readers’ words motivate me to push past my anxieties and find new ways to share the message of CAN DO with the wider world.

What I love about this book is that it is not only a testament to Cathi’s courage through some of life’s toughest battles (i.e. job loss, leukemia,…), it is a amazing narrative on how God is faithful and works out things in a perfect, intricate, undetectable design. Cathi (and all of us) “can do” because God does the major prep for us. I also enjoy how she is unafraid to peer deeply into her own experiences and apply the wisdom gained to the next step in her journey. 

Everyone can benefit from reading the Chronicles. It’s both inspiring and motivating.

Represents a provocation in its simplicity to pause before reacting. The author could have gone for a series of cliches, but avoids this and, therefore, her product is eminently more readable.

I would give this a five star rating for its clarity. Cathy has touched on so many questions that I have wrestled with for most of my adult life. She offers a direct path to significant growth that is uphill and most inviting. I look forward to to reading her blog, but most of all to keep this little treasure nearby as companion and guide.

“Can Do Chronicles” follows the author’s personal journey through very difficult times and how by utilizing a rather simple series of actionable questions, she uncovers a unique and effective way to bring balance and peace back into your life, no matter how great the obstacles.

Tonight is the night that, at least temporarily, the government was re-opened for business. Going forward, we all need as much CAN DO as we can get to move our little corner of the world forward with Hope + Gratitude, believing that it will make a difference.

I commit to doing my part by keeping the CAN DO messaging and marketing moving forward, in spite of the anxiety dreams and competing priorities.



The shutdown brings back memories – and a message of hope!

govt shutdownBecause I live in the Washington, DC area, the news of the current government shutdown is everywhere I go. While the shutdown does not impact my family directly, the stories that I hear on line, on the news, in conversations with neighbors, colleagues and in the grocery store aisles remind me of how I felt three years ago last summer when my husband’s job was eliminated two weeks before my (planned) last day of work. We went from having two upper management incomes to NOTHING.  Zip, zap, zero!

O.M.G. The uncertainties associated with not having income can quickly become overwhelming. I had plans for starting my grant writing business, but no clients! There were moments of doubting my decision to quit my job, even though I had done so for very good reasons. There were doubts about how the mortgage will get paid on time and we became hyper aware of the cost of gas and groceries. We even had a garage sale to bring in some extra cash.

Over those next weeks, whenever one of us got discouraged or anxious, we reminded theno whining other that we did not have any other option but to keep moving forward and doing the next right thing. There was no time for negative; no time for whining; no time for feeling sorry for ourselves. It was in those weeks in the summer of 2010 that I began to take seriously the need to find and keep an attitude of gratitude at the core of my life.

June 2010 was the starting point of my CAN DO world view. I was determined to work with what I had, and not concern myself with what I did not have at the time – like a big savings account or a trust fund! I started to ask simple questions as I made each decision: WHAT CAN I DO? If that won’t work, WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?  When I stayed focused on the possible, I was able to move forward, away from my fears and into action.

Ned and I worked hard during that difficult time to keep our focus on the positive, stay connected with our friends and family for support; and we reminded ourselves every day how grateful we were for what we had. Within weeks, Ned negotiated a part time transition plan with his former employer and found some part time contract work that, in time, led to a full time job. With determined actions, my “plan” to start a grant writing business quickly became a reality. This was not the end of the story in terms of the struggles – but it set us on a CAN DO course that guided and sustained us through some more very challenging times. A CAN DO course that changed our lives.

coverThis weekend as I launch my new e-book, The CAN DO Chronicles, I think of the thousands of families in my community who are struggling with many of those same challenges, fears and uncertainties in the wake of the shutdown. Part of why I wrote the book was to help people get through tough times like these. My prayer for them is that they not lose faith, and that during this difficult time they can find within themselves the start of a Can Do world view and approach to life.

A CAN DO life is not an easy life, but it is easier than living in doubt and fear.