Friday, November 25, 2011

Practice makes perfect

Artwork by Lora


Confession time:

When I was a moody, broody tweenage kid locked in my room with my Shaun Cassidy and Donny Osmond posters, I used to practice my autograph.

Raise your hand if you did too. Come on. You know you did.

Back in the day I imagined myself as some sort of famous person. A concert pianist perhaps. Or a movie star. We didn't have the Disney Channel back then, so there were no dreams of becoming a famous Disney star. We had the Brady Bunch, and all those roles were already taken.

And, yes, more often than I can count, I dreamed of writing a wonderful, big, thick, epic novel.

The trouble was, I was never very good at fiction.

I pretty much always knew I would be a writer of some kind. Newspapers. Magazines. Books. But nobody really asks you to sign a newspaper or a magazine -- unless you were Shaun Cassidy or Donny Osmond and it was 16 Magazine or Tiger Beat.

Nevertheless, I did practice writing my name. (I even practiced writing "Lori Osmond" a few times, just for fun.)

And now, here it is, some 40 years later and I am doing it again.

I have a book.  A non-fiction book, of course. "Adopting in America: The Diary of a Mom in Waiting," is a true story. It's the story of how my husband, Marty, and I managed to persevere through six years of infertility, turned to adoption and, by some miracle, managed to find and adopt the most perfect baby girl without selling our souls or any of our body parts. No, it wasn't easy. No, it wasn't fun. But we did it. And I wrote it all down as it was happening. Now I am sharing it with the world in a book I self-published (with a whole lot of help from some wonderful professionals).

It's available now in paperback at Amazon.com, and in digital versions for the Kindle and the Nook.

And, about a week from today, the nice (maybe even handsome?) UPS man is going to deliver a whole bunch of my books. 300 of them to be exact. And I will have to write my name in some of them. Apparently, if the requests I'm getting are any indication, a lot of them. And we're hoping to have a little book signing for family and friends and locals on Dec. 10th.

So, yes. I am practicing. Because, despite the fact that I have always prided myself on my penmanship (and I will even address your wedding invitations for you! I'm very cheap!)  I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. How, exactly, do I write my name?

Do I scribble, like I am so busy I don't have time for this?

 

Do I use my regular signature, the one I use on my checks? Um. Better not.
 

Do I write with a flourish?

 

Do I write it big? Keep it small? Slanted sideways? Curvy? Black ink? Blue ink? Purple ink to match the cover? Should I come up with some clever catch phrase to go with each signature?




Is there a Google answer for this?

Turns out, yes! There is! With advice about everything from which pen to use to what to write above your name. Thank goodness. They say to write neatly and legibly because, someday, you might be famous.

So, how about ...











Still practicing ....



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Friday, November 18, 2011

At last!



It's finally done. My dream has come true. I am a published author.

Adopting in America: The Diary of a Mom in Waiting is now available for 

Official launch party and book signing to come soon.
 Thank You, to all who believed this dream would come true 
and to those who made it happen.

Lo


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Author in waiting

God has three answers to our prayers: 

       1.Yes

       2. Not yet

       3. I have something better in mind.
~ ~ ~ ~


There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

A dream is about to come true.

And I can hardly believe it.

I am about to become a published author.

In the matter of just a few weeks, "Adopting in America: The Diary of a Mom in Waiting" will be available for purchase on Amazon.com and CreateSpace.com. Maybe even in a bookstore near you.

It is the unbelievable yet absolutely true story of how my husband, Marty, and I adopted our now-10-year-old daughter. On our own. Only our closest family and friends know all that we went through to find her and to bring her home, how many promises were broken, how many hopes proved false, how deep was our despair at times.

But we persevered. We found our miracle. And we simply can't imagine our life without her. I'm not even ashamed to admit that I still cry at my own ending.

And, much like our adoption story, this publication story has been an incredible journey in itself.

Some authors might say that seeing their book delivered in print is akin to giving birth to a child. I can say it's much like how we adopted one. It has been a journey filled with trials and tribulations, promises made and broken, and long empty silences.

Almost three years ago, as I was about to become the mother of an 8-year-old, I decided to post on this very blog a snippet of a computer journal I had kept during the many, many months Marty and I waited and hoped and tried to become parents together. I needed a place to vent.

Soon after sharing a little of my angst, my dear cousin, Dr. Bob Lochte, a college professor over in Murray, Kentucky, sent me a message. "This is good," he said. "You should expand on this."

And a seed was planted. With his help and guidance, I started to work on it. Fill in the gaps, take out the mundane. Fix some of the typos.

I asked a few people to read it. Dr. Cousin Bob read it. Dr. Cousin Bob asked a few people to read it.

And, apparently, it was good.

I even had a friend who was trying to launch a big new TV and movie production studio. He read it and asked if I minded if he pitched it to Lifetime as a movie. I did not mind, I replied.

The first team of Lifetime people liked it! The second team passed. But boy that was a fun ride.

The rest of this ride, not so much. I tried the traditional path to publication.  That didn't work. We couldn't find a buyer. No one was interested in an adoption story, they said.

So, I found another way.

And just as in our adoption story, it took one woman with a vision to see it through. And a really cool designer.

I got tears in my eyes Friday afternoon when I saw the almost-final cover design. I got tears when I posted the final one on my Facebook page and watched the flood of congratulations pour in from friends and family.

But, just as I did in the days leading up to my daughter's birth, I am waiting, waiting to see the dream become a reality. Waiting for that book -- with my name on it -- on the outside.

Yes, I hope that you will buy it. I also hope that you will share it with anyone you know who is struggling with infertility, who is hoping to adopt and fearing that it will never happen for them. I know what that feels like. I know how much it hurts. I know what it's like when no one else in the entire world get it.

I get it.

And I'm here to say it can happen. Miracles do happen.

Just look at mine.




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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The final horn

20 years.

More than 300 Friday nights. A few Thursdays and Saturdays. One or two Sundays.

I've frozen. I've sweated. I've been eaten alive by mosquitoes.

I spent one whole night in the company of a giant banana spider, but didn't know it until I was ready to leave.  Another right beneath a very active bee hive.  And there have been more wasps than I care to remember.

Oh, and the pigeons in the million dollar City Park Stadium.

I've eaten more than my share of chili dogs and nachos and jambalaya and sunflower seeds. And just ask my dentist about the Jolly Ranchers.

I've seen more tiny towns in Louisiana than I ever cared to. Benton. Farmerville. Iota. Cecilia. Avoyelles. Vidalia. Acadiana. Scott --  just to name a few.  Most were wonderful adventures filled with warm, friendly people. And food.

Some were not.

There was the time I arrived in one tiny little town where the temperatures reached the 20s and snow threatened to fall.  I naively told the press box staff that I was in this far off land to cover the visiting team. The home team in the warm and cozy press box promptly pointed at the tiny visiting press box on the other side. I got there and found no room at the inn, thanks to a not-even-local radio station.  Me? I had to watch the game, keep my stats and write my story on top of the visiting press box. In the snow.

There were the 7 o'clock games I had to get to for 3, otherwise there would be no room at all. Games I barely made. Games I thought would never end. Games I didn't want to.

And never a deadline missed. Not a one.

I've pretty much seen it all in 20 years as a sports writer.  Great games. Great plays. Great players -- before they were famous. The Manning boys, Peyton and Eli, back when they were boys. (Sat next to dad, Archie, in the stands when Eli played basketball.) Dawan and Laron Landry. Corey Webster.  Mike Scifres. Ed Reed.

Then the men in ties told me I wasn't any more. A sports writer. I was a crime writer now. And a receptionist. I was benched. And it broke my heart.

So I found a way to stay in the press box, offering to do what I did for free. I did stats for the local high school where my husband coaches, where my stepson coaches, where all our friends are on Friday nights. It kept me in the game. Kept me in the press box.

But last Friday night, was different.

It was the big rivaly game. Hahnville vs. Destrehan. A series that dates back to 1946. A game I've covered more than a dozen times. One of the ones I had to be there for 3.

But this time, I wasn't in the press box. I was in the visitor's stands.


And it hurt.

It didn't just hurt my heart, which so wished I would be writing it up for the next day's editions. It also hurt my back. And my hips. And my legs.  It was cold. The bleachers were hard. And I am getting old.
 
It's hard to admit that, but it's true.  And 20 years of hunching over stat sheets in cheap plastic school chairs or beat up old office furniture that has been exiled to the press box -- or no  chairs at all -- have taken their toll.  The hips and the back are shot. I have a semi-permanent hump in the middle of my back. And bleachers are not my friend.

There have many times over the years when I have wondered how long I would be able to chase teenaged boys. The fact is,  I can't any more. The truth is, I don't want to.

So, last Friday night was my last high school football game. This time, I decided.

The team's season is over. And so is mine.

Next year I'll take the Friday nights off.  Hopefully, The Coach and I will be able to stay home with the new grandbaby my stepson and his wife are expecting. Or maybe we'll go out to dinner. Or, maybe we'll just stay home and play a game with our daughter.

That won't hurt at all.



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