Update on our Co-writing Journey. What Personal Info is Too Much Sharing When Writing Your Life Story in a Memoir and Legacy?

Hello and Welcome Readers, Friends, and Bronco Fans!

“Writing a Memoir is different than an autobiography”

A Memoir is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject’s life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual.

But it is also a personal essay about a significant memory in the author’s life that uses narrative devices like setting, character, and dialogue. Molding your “chosen memory” and in our case, ‘ How Addictions, Money, and a Shift from God and The Loss of a Son,’  that I am writing for Vance and bringing his story to an appropriate structure, using vivid detail and examining the memory’s significance will help us write a strong memoir


So our writing journey has begun and is moving along. Now I want to be transparent as possible as Vance and I continue to write together. I spoke with Vance yesterday and he is moving forward with working with a marketer and making choices on what type of book cover to go with. Do we do that now? Or do we wait to read the full manuscript first? Your thoughts readers? I also want to share a little about the process of writing and how at times one can be unsure of themselves of what to share about one’s life. We would love feedback from all who visits this post as a ‘Wee Bit of Encouragement’ to my writing partner. We’re exploring the topic and feelings of writing about others in the memoir, but is there a line we just don’t cross?

THE DILEMMA:

When I wrote my book/memoir, and it turned into a book manuscript (all by GOD Intervention), I too was riddled with reservations about some of the personal family drama and dysfunctional episodes that went on in my home I grew up in. I was raised at a time when you never bring “shame” to the family and never talk about what goes on in our homes out in public. Well, needless to say, I felt I needed to share of the topics as those events were a direct link to some of the roots of why I had turned to addiction later in life. NO, I didn’t share to hurt my family or those I spoke of, I did it to give an in-depth look inside one’s life and share how all of the events, abuse, chaos, and trauma in my home had an effect on me. Especially into adulthood. Not all children are raised in a perfect home environment the “Brady Bunch or The Cleavers.”

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Now? Vance is struggling a little with some of these decisions as we write. What does he expose or not about his family, events or old memories about growing up as to NOT hurt or offend his parents, sister, or others?

I explained to Vance that his book and the journey are not about them or others, it is about him and looking at the past pain and events that had an effect on his life and had carried that into his adult life and how he made it through to the man “Standing In Grace and Saving Lives from Addiction today.  Am I Wrong?  How do you feel about that? GOD never promised us a Perfect Life without trials and lessons to overcome.  Vance has come through many storms and trauma from addictions.  My own side of the family and I had been estranged for about six years before my book was released. But Vance’s family are in his life, but just not aboard with this book project.

So, do we share the good, the bad and the UGLY? Or do we change direction or not write his memoir chronological and start in a different place? Isn’t this part of Vance’s healing process of taking stock, process and then turn it over to GOD? Or is there a fine thin blue line between the paper your not to cross?

Any feedback, advice, and comments would be helpful and appreciated. It is why we chose to invite everyone to follow our journey. Your voice and advice is important for our project.

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Book Reviews – An Outstanding Spiritual Wisdom Book & Guide Called; “The Gateways” ~ By Author, Dr. Jane Galloway.

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“It is not often when a book comes along and can change your “life path” to a new direction and journey of spiritual healing and inner peacefulness no matter what life may bring you, good or bad. That is some of what you gain by reading Author, Dr. Jane Galloway’s new release titled; “The Gateways.”

We all know life can be a tough challenge within the society we live in today. There is so much unrest throughout our world, and believe it or not it can make many of us feel on edge. Especially if we are dealing with our own life roadblocks.

There can be many! We need to learn to have awareness of how to deal with life challenges and get back to living with less stress and drama that seems to happen all around us. This is why I highly recommend you read Dr. Jane’s book. It will open the gateways into living a life of freedom and a path to a real spiritual awakening in mind, body, and soul. That is how I felt while reading this book. Here is more about Jane, her book and what other readers felt…

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About The Book: “The Gateways on Amazon Kindle”

“The Gateways are…A Gateway, a Bridge, an Opening into living the Spiritual Life that the Steps promise!  What YOU get from this is TOOLS, Inspiration, Time to release the Shame and move into the FREEDOM.”

Is there more to recovery than just staying sober and clean? Dr. Jane Galloway offers an emphatic “yes” to this question in her groundbreaking 12 Step companion guide, The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality. Galloway presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with breadth, skill, and sensitivity that helps readers of any faith (or of none) experience a profound spiritual awakening.

Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway’s strength-based approach suggests “Rather than obsessing about what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Incorporating ancient developmental systems like Chinese meridians and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as more recent psychological systems like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man, Gateways presents 12-Step Spirituality as a Wisdom Path. Galloway’s 12 corresponding Gateway Essences unlock the power of the Steps through spiritual practices and rituals that make up a customized, holistic Mind, Body, Spirit toolkit.

As a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ordained pastor and Doctor of Ministry and accomplished stage and screen actor, and community organizer, the Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway brings a woman’s voice to the chorus of men who have previously spoken on 12-Step spirituality. Her work is inspired by and devoted to AA’s founding spiritual vision as it appears in “The Big Book”: “To us, the realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.” The Gateways opens wider vistas to the deeper wisdom within us all.

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A Must Listen “The Gateways” ~ ~ Dr. Jane Galloway Shares Hosted By Omar Pinto of “The SHAIR Podcast”

 

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BOOK REVIEWS:

Jane Galloway opens the Gateways….  5-Stars! Amazon Reviewer.

Just finished The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12 Step Spirituality by Jane Galloway. Its subtitle is “Dynamic Practices that Work.” I recommend this book for anyone wrestling with addiction problems, but even more so for anyone seeking a deeper spiritual experience and inner healing. Jane begins with a theological exegesis of the traditional 12 step path and then leads us to deeper spiritual connections across a variety of traditions. The book is set up as more of a “workbook” than a didactic instruction book. It is intended to provide ways to actually explore and experience a richer spiritual life. My highest compliment would be that at a certain point in the introductory section, I began looking forward to the Gateways as a way to deepen my own spiritual experience.

It is also indicative of Jane’s commitments that she includes a section on how these practices can be used in building community. This is a book only Jane Galloway could have written. She has lived in both the worlds of traditional mainline “church” and also New Thought, worlds which often don’t touch, or see, each other.She is a very valuable “bridge person” between these worlds. As you will discover, she has also explored Wisdom literature, and practice, in the broadest possible way. She is a scholar, a theologian, a preacher, but most of all pastor. It is from that caring perspective this book is written. I will always be thankful for our years as colleagues at West Park and for what I learned from her Sanctuary community…

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This book is a gift to anyone on the spiritual path toward wholeness.

The Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway’s The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality combines the tried-and-true methods of the 12-Steps with dynamic spiritual practices that allow people to more deeply integrate the Steps into their own personal spirituality. Among longtime members of recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (such as the author), newcomers to the 12 Steps, and even among the throngs of curious onlookers wanting to know just exactly how this method miraculously transforms broken lives into productive, joyous, deeply spiritual lives, The Gateways is creating a different kind of buzz.

Rev. Galloway sets the stage by telling the story of the 12 Steps with all of the drama and detail of her significant acting career. Whether you know the adventures of Bill and Lois by heart or you’ve never heard of the founders of AA and Al-Anon, the first part of The Gateways reflects some of the best recovery writing I’ve seen. Galloway remains true to the letter of AA’s founding tenets as well as its original literature—much of which reads like a 1950s newsreel and is at risk of becoming outdated—in this timely, revolutionary book. But Jane Galloway’s The Gateways is much more than an update.

It presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with skill and sensitivity that will carry the message into the next millennium. The Gateways invites devotees of every faith, as well people who identify as agnostic, atheist, and spiritual but not religious (SBNR), to share this journey into wholeness. And, somehow, Jane Galloway manages to map this vast topography with equal breadth and depth in a concise, direct narrative.

With honesty, candor, and a touch of wry humor, Jane Galloway begins the conversation on 12-Step spirituality by telling us her own story. She has nothing to hide—which I find one of the most refreshing characteristics of 12-Step philosophy. One of my favorite parts of the book is where the author transitions from her personal background to the bigger historical picture in a chapter entitled “A Country Spirals into Addiction.” The 20th century was indeed a breeding ground for widespread addiction, but it was also a time of great breakthrough in preparation for the spiritual and religious awakening that is upon us in the 21st century.

Dr. Galloway devotes three especially salient chapters to the ways 12-Step spirituality dovetails with New Thought spirituality, eastern Wisdom teachings, and the Christian movement known as the Jesus Path. Here’s where Galloway’s Doctor of Ministry from Claremont School of Theology sheds light on the full spiritual spectrum without becoming bogged down in any of the doctrinal dogma associated with religion. She’s well equipped with the necessary knowledge and wisdom—distinctly crucial attributes—to guide us on the inter-spiritual path of which the 12-Steps are a valuable part.

All of this builds up to the truly groundbreaking second part of the book, where the author introduces twelve “Gateway Essences”—a veritable smorgasbord of spiritual practices including a Chakra, a Chinese Meridian, color, sound, gemstone, and musical note that reflects the deeper essence of each of the 12 Steps. Galloway cleverly provides a metaphorical container for these practices, modeled on the Japanese bento box, whereby people can pick and choose which practices they’d like to incorporate, just as a typical bento box may hold rice, fish or meat, vegetables, etc. In today’s global spiritual marketplace with its overwhelming selection of spiritual teachings, it’s nice to visualize this tidy little personalized “to go” box of spiritual practices. Finding the spiritual practices that feed your soul can make the difference between lifelong sobriety and serenity, and the repeated relapse scenarios we see and experience all too often. The tangible rituals and practices of The Gateways unlock the power of each of the 12 Steps to make recovery a truly sacred experience.

But perhaps the greatest contribution of “The Gateways” is its emphasis on strength-based recovery. Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway suggests “Rather than obsessing about what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Recognizing the importance of addressing the root causes of addiction, she posits that “Drawing forth the inherent strengths in a person opens a world of self-realization.”

Herein lies the genius of The Gateways: Jane Galloway’s multivalent spiritual approach empowers people to not only live soberly but to live spiritually. The Gateways doesn’t replace basic Step work, but takes each of the 12 Steps to the next level and, in so doing, helps us live in greater alignment with our Higher Power, our life’s purpose, and the joy of living. Jane Galloway’s The Gateways is a priceless gift not only to the recovery community but to every spiritual pilgrim on the path toward wholeness.

Kate Sheehan Roach
Managing Editor, Patheos Spirituality

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You can connect with Author, Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway on her many social media sites and a visit to her website is a must. With currently all 100% 5-Star Amazon book reviews, you know this is an Exceptional Read.

Jane’s Website: Jane Galloway, Author
Sacred Stories: About The Author
A Goodreads Author
Her Podcast:  
The Gateways with Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway – YouTube
Twitter  ~  Facebook

About My Book, My Writing, and My Book Blogging Ramblin’s. . .

Hello and Welcome All,

Now it is no secret that many of my blog friends,  my followers, and readers who come for a visit know that a live life in recovery. I share this a LOT. But I also need to keep in mind those of my visitors that are new to my book promoting blog may not know this about me. They may not know that my current book titled; Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat, is some what my Memoir of my life, starting as a wee little girl to about 2012.

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Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) Nov 2012

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And I can honestly say that my life has changed in SO many ways since my book was released on my 50th birthday! Yes, I’m 50 something, but age is just a number people! That was in November 2012. My book was written & shared with the intent to make readers who also live in recovery from any addiction know they are not alone.
That they can recover and overcome!

I can also honestly say, that my writing has become so much better as well! LOL. We all know great editors can help make our words come to life, and they can make our words within the pages of our books look and sound good. But as a writer, the rest is up to me.
Is my storyline strong enough? Or did I grab the reader, did I hold their attention with my craft and prose till the end of my book?

These are many questions all of us as writers ask. One of the ways we learn what readers think about our books is through the power of book reviews. I take all my book reviews from 100% organic readers very seriously. Now, not to brag or toot my author horn, but I have been blessed with most all 5 star Amazon Reviews, and one 4.8 review. Not bad for a first time writer/author. But I did work very hard for those reviews. I do believe all writers and authors do. And we take our craft as writers seriously. Not to say you can’t have some fun along the way right?

I always tell many in recovery, “we all have a story within us to tell.”
And I do believe that. Look, over 8 years ago, if some psychic lady told me I’d be a writer and published author in my lifetime? Man I would have laughed in her face. Really! I would have, as it was never on my life radar.

Now, am I a good writer? Well, I hope so. My readers seemed to think so as far as their book reviews of my current book. Writing for me is a release. Yes, my book maybe hard subject matter, but many who have never experienced addiction, or the joy of triumph in recovery, or even may not know anyone with addiction problems, but many readers say they learned much from story.

In recovery, we all know that our words and stories of recovery can be a powerful tool to help those who do live life in recovery. But through my book, and my other blog, my recovery blog: https://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com/
they are meant to not only help those in recovery, those reaching out for help, but also they are about creativity. Many people journal in recovery. I do, and I have for years because it was the only way to see my positive progress in recovery, and also my weakness’ where I needed to work harder in those area’s.

Well I look at writing the same way. We as writers are always learning and evolving. We grow in our craft as writers the more we write. Wring came natural to me because I was already journaling a long time. Now, that is not to say because one writes in a journal or diary, that now you’re a professional writer. Oh no, but many of us who do write enjoy it as it puts our mind, heart, and our imaginations to work. Of course, these are just my own experiences.

Since my current book is non-fiction, about addiction, my life, and recovery, this topic is much harder to write. There is a very fine line for sharing a story of addiction without readers feeling you are using excuses, rationalizing, or blaming things on someone or something other than my poor choices when I was deep in my addictions.

I feel the same when writers write fiction. The characters and storyline needs to come alive. And that can be a tough job. My own struggle is the darn endings, or close out of my books, that is my weakest area as a writer. When this is accomplished with your books, and readers tell you through their reviews or maybe comments on your blog or website, there just is no other fantastic feeling ever as writer. It is also why I book promote as my business. I enjoy helping other authors find their readership, and have the honor of reading many fabulous books they have written. If you’re an author and need some advice or tips on how to promote your books? Then check out my new Feature Page of Book Promoting tips here on this blog.

Many authors hire me to just pure book promote for them, so they can continue to write more books, and have the peace of mind knowing I’m getting out there for them promoting their work through all forms of social media, book promoting sites, with a dash of sending out Press Releases announcing their books to many media outlets, book bloggers, and internet media. I enjoy doing this for all authors at very affordable prices. I want all of us to be successful, and make sure readers find all our amazing reads.
My clients are authors helping authors.

I hope you enjoy my Book Promoting Blog while your here. If you’re a reader, check out my Monthly Hot Book Picks page, and if you’re a writer? Keep Writing!!

Until next time everyone!

Much Happiness & Success All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon