Friday, May 31, 2013

Unplanned Changes

A little over a year ago, I had only one goal- to grow closer to God. Ultimately, I wanted to experience union with God, as St. Teresa of Avila did. I didn't really understand what that meant, but it sounded good. It turned out to be a great goal, although I had no idea what I was getting into at the time.

To achieve my goal, I devoted my life to prayer and contemplation. I wanted to become a cloistered nun but in America, there are almost no monasteries that accept women over the age of 35 or 40. Also, I did not know if they would take me with my autism and also student loan debt. Almost certainly, they would not. So, I had to come to terms with how it could be that I did not have a vocation as a contemplative nun when that is what I wanted.

I started attending meetings of Carmelite Seculars, however, and found that the Secular Carmelites have the same level of dedication and commitment that the nuns and friars do, and that they are considered equal members of the Carmelite Order. The only major difference is that we live out in the world and can be married.

As time passed over the past year, I drifted further and further away from my original goal. I became caught up in the affairs of the world. In November, I received grant funding to begin my own business, and  getting everything going took my full concentration. I had to learn how to use new professional software- everything from new graphic design programs to Quickbooks. The original goal in my business plan, to re-publish my books, became delayed because others were interested in what I can do. I had to start figuring out how to go about working with clients- developing rate sheets and publishing contracts. I didn't have time to volunteer for 1st Way anymore, but my company was able to offer professional services to help them instead. Client after client came my way and doing it all became impossible.

My life felt overwhelming until a couple of weeks ago. Before then, I hardly came up for air. I started wondering, "What happened to that girl who only wanted to live her life in contemplation of the Lord?" I had been doing most of the Carmelite Secular requirements- daily mass, liturgy of the hours, spiritual reading, answering my assigned questions for aspirancy, frequent confession, and at least thirty minutes of contemplative prayer whenever I could fit it in. In two years, when I profess promises, contemplative prayer will the highest priority I have. No "maybe I can fit it in" allowed. Even now, I realize how I'm shooting myself in the foot when I don't do it- but I can only integrate so much "newness" at one time. All I can say is, without trying to move towards my original goal of union with God, moving through my daily Carmelite spiritual practices has helped me begin integration of my life with God- and that was not intentional.

A year ago today, it never would have occurred to me that I would be shoving aside contemplative prayer time. It would be absolutely unheard of. All the spiritual disciplines I have learned to integrate into my life have been teaching me to be faithful, and wow, I still have so much more to learn.

The pace of my life has slowed down because I am able now to focus more on one project at a time. I've defined my job roles more clearly with clients and I've learned that my friend Mark is a top-notch editor, far better than I am, and so now we can split a lot of work. I've finally reached my original goals. I can breathe. I can ask myself again how to go about growing closer to God. It feels really good.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Autism, The Dogs I Love and Me- Coming Soon!

Great News! 

Carmel Heart Media has a new book on the horizon.

Coming soon:  

Autism, the Dogs I Love and Me, a children's book by Christopher Dean (with help from his father, George Dean) 

Christopher tells the inspirational story of how he came to terms with having autism, partly through the help of his furry pals. This should be a book to help introduce even very young children to what autism means and how life can still be very good.

Christopher's father, George, is from my home town of Rome, Georgia. We are both alumni of Shorter College, which is now Shorter University.

Take a close-up look at the cover. There are more than 30 different dog breeds represented!

Christopher Dean with his dad, George Dean

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Now Limited Availability of Borderline and Beyond

What a busy week! My focus right now has been finding ways to cut back on stress and define priorities. I can't think of many things more difficult, but I'm pushing through.

Exciting previews into the publishing world!

Barnes & Noble online has my books in stock. You can also get your local B&N to special order it. They have it in their catalog.

My books are listed on Amazon for pre-orders. I have no idea why there are four independent booksellers already carrying and selling them but they are, so you can order from them via Amazon. I have no idea what my distributor is up to and why Amazon does not have their shipment yet, but you can still get the books there.

The workbook to accompany the text is here. This one used to have the picture up but it's temporarily down. Why, oh why? Two independent booksellers have it and are selling it on Amazon but Amazon itself apparently doesn't have a shipment yet.

My new website is almost ready to launch, and of course I'll be selling it there.

Come one, Come all, Buy the gift of mental health!
(or at least a creative approximation)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Borderline and Beyond: The Original is Coming Back Soon!

I'm feeling really excited about the whole new set of Borderline and Beyond products soon to launch. For those who remember, when I was in my mid-twenties, I wrote a book, spiral bound it and sold it on a personal website and on Amazon. The book became a niche best seller and so it was re-published as a book and workbook set. My book has been revised twice, once to include "spiritual" principles and once to include applications to autism.

The strangest thing has happened since the last revision- I've continually received e-mails to bring the original book back. I've seen my original books being sold on E-bay for outrageous prices. The first was the best and so I'm bringing it back now-- but with much prettier covers!

Look, I even have a "fake spiral binding" graphic! Doesn't it look real?

Here's a picture of the accompanying workbook. I'm really happy to have my original book back. Also, most of you know I haven't had a website since 2007, when I let go. will be launched soon and these books will be for sale along with a Borderline and Beyond E-book and a way-cool App. 

I'll also be showcasing books I've published for other authors, including Terry Ianora, OCDS and I'm working with three other authors to bring their dreams to press!

You'll also see my books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon. I'll let you know when they are up.

This is an exciting time. I'm happy to share it with you.