I’ve shared, many times, that the main reason I began this blog was to have a creative outlet and a place to hone my writing skills — little did I know that I’d be here, just over four years later! This blog allowed me to carve out a writing career, so that I could be at home with my son in his early years. My little guy is poised to start Kindergarten in the fall, and I’m poised to increase the hours I work, transitioning back to full time.
I’ve known for years that I have a book in me, and I spent quite a bit of time tossing around three possibilities. The more I began writing and publishing personal pieces, the clearer my path became, and I’ve been slowly working towards a book since 2015. While I don’t have a single chapter written, I’ve spent the last two years earning a living writing, amassing bylines and continuing to make slow, sloth-like moves towards a book. I settled on a 5-year plan, which has become clearer and more achievable over time.
I should back up and say that my book idea became crystal clear at the beginning of 2015, when I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a call for submissions from Chicken Soup for the Soul. I wrote my heart out, submitted, and waited. And then I waited some more. Just when it seemed they’d never end up publishing the book, I received an email that rewarded 1 1/2 years of patience and planning — my essay, “Like a Dandelion”, was selected for publication in the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families (available in bookstores May 9)!
What I didn’t know was that the book went into a holding pattern, shortly after the call for submissions. Amy Newmark, Chicken Soup for the Soul editor and publisher, had decided to partner with the USO for this publishing project, and they spent a year fine-tuning both the submissions and the publishing details.
The pieces began falling into place when I received my email acceptance, as my 2017 goal card had listed “get published in 2 military magazines”. Having my essay, about growing up as an Air Force brat, published in Chicken Soup for the Soul far surpassed my 2017 goal! As soon as I heard, I knew that I needed to get the ball rolling, beginning the slow process of building a platform for the book I’ve been planning and plotting since 2015. I contacted a military brat website, who has graciously agreed to published the essays I submit to them, so I’ll have a direct connection with “my people”. You see, the book that makes the most sense for me to write right now, the book that I’m incredibly passionate about, centers around Third Culture Kids, using my experiences to give a voice to an overlooked American subculture some 15 million strong: military dependents.
I won’t go too much more in depth, except to say that I am unbelievably honored and proud to have my story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families! This is but the first of many essays and stories from me, hoping to shed light upon a silent population that most Americans don’t understand. Our experiences are as unique as the countries in which we’ve lived, and our stories are as rich as the cultures in which we’ve been immersed.
— ChickenSoup4theSoul (@ChickenSoupSoul) May 9, 2017
Want to hear a little more about my story? Amy Newmark discusses “Like a Dandelion” in the podcast linked above.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families is available in bookstores and online TODAY! The USO receives $.60 of each book purchased, so grab a copy, support the USO, and read the rich collection of stories written by active duty military members, sp0uses, children and USO volunteers!
This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon, in which I receive a small portion for each book sold (at no additional cost to you).