Another day, another story!
Happy SEPTEMBER! Hang on for a wild ride!
*( If you're in. hurry and need to dash - jump to the bottom of this newsletter and the most important part - my prayer for you for September!)
It's my birthday month and that makes it one of my favorites. Well, actually, it's those cooler temps at five am that promise fall is coming that make it a favorite and the fact that the leaves are already changing up on the hill. It's also the month of the Autumn Equinox. I love the idea of a perfect balance. AND believe it WOULD HAVE BEEN MY BIRTHDAY if the doctor hadn't induced labor so my Army Daddy would be there for the birth. You can read all about that in the opening chapter of Confessions. Which is pretty funny from this side of the story all these years later. Not so funny at the moment the doctor was trying to pull me into the world with forceps and me screaming, "WAIT I'm NOT READY! I don't want to be introduced! No, no. I'm a CAT. Don't force me into the noise and lights. WAIT FOR ME TO DECIDE WHEN IT's TIME. No such luck.
FUN FACTS ABOUT SEPTEMBER:
The word September comes from the Latin word "septem" which means seven. Because in the old Roman calendar September was the 7th month of the year which started in March during Spring which is a really good time for new beginnings. And of course as I said it's the month of the Autumn Equinox The staircases at the main Maya pyramid, El Castillo, at Chichen Itza, Mexico are built at a carefully calculated angle which makes it look like a snake of sunlight slithers down the stairs the moment the equinox occurs. I was thinking of doing this exact same thing with my porch stairs this year but just decided it was cheaper to jack them up so they were level and I didn't slither down them like a snake and break my neck. Fact: These fun facts were stolen from various sources on the internet.
THE NEW NOVEL IN PROGRESS is no longer in progress.
IT IS FINISHED! THE END are two of the sweetest words I know. And the thing about typing THE END is you can't do it six chapters early. You can't just decide like I did when I was giving birth to my son Chris and was having natural childbirth that I had had enough of this ridiculous pain and was just going to get my purse and leave the hospital. It was just time to go home and I'd have the baby another day. But it doesn't work that way giving birth to a novel either. You can't just type - the end and they lived happily ever after. The end again. And yes, it is very, much like labor. Delivery is delivery. The working title of the novel is, TOO FAST A MERCYwhich is a line that the main character says. It may not end up being the published title because titles go through rounds of discussion with publishers, editors and agents. I happen to love the title but the important thing is for it to accurately reflect the story.
This is a SUPERNATURAL SUSPENSE THRILLER with gutsy southern characters set in the city of Nashville. Early readers say it is destined to be a television series so - from their mouth to God's ear. I'd love to drag my directors chair around and set it up on a series location. Even if they didn't invite me. I'd put it way, way in the back to be near the action. THE MAIN THING IS if you loved my novel THE GIN GIRL - You are going to LOVE this novel. I'll be reading a short excerpt and talking about some of the special props that the Smart sisters carry with them Saturday at HIGH NOON on the River Jordan Reader Posse Round UP. Facebook Group. If you haven't signed up please just hit request and we'll get you in on the fun insider news, chats and giveaways.
News FROM THE HILL
The hummingbirds are in full out sugar wars as they tank up getting ready for their big flight out of here until next year. Life on the hill is full of glorious, mystical, magical moments. Cicadas and shooting stars, fireflies and rainstorms. All the kind of summertime fanciful that can lull you into putting your feet up on the porch and leaving them there all day until evening falls.
UNLESS of course you happen to be running a fever that you are self-treating by drinking a gallon of water a day while you are working on finishing your novel which lands you in the ER which lands you into getting admitted into the hospital because you have BOTTOMED OUT YOUR SODIUM. Which causes you to like - see little green men and go in a coma and stuff. So, yeah that happened. BUT no worries. I was two points north of hallucinating and dropping over. My sister did a great job of staying by my bed and taking good care of me in the hospital and my niece and nephew came to visit and actually sat by the bed and I do so appreciate them choosing to come hang in the hospital instead of all those other options. AND A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MY NEW SPONSORS. Dear Gatorade, you are my new bff for life because I am back in the electrolyte saddle. (YOU GUYS NEED A NEW SPOKESPERSON? I'M GAME!)
FROM THE MAILBAG
Saints in Limbo, my novel set in the fictional town of Echo, Florida (which was really my Daddy's old place on Holmes creek) garnered some great praise from reviewers when it came out. And words from some of my favorite authors like these from Ron Rash - “River Jordan’s Saints in Limbo is a compelling story of the mysteries of existence and, specially, the mysteries of the human heart.”
Paste Magazine called it "A Southern Gothic Masterpiece."
Those kind of high praises are literary candy for a writer but the solid gold - and I mean this from the bottom of my heart - are words that come from readers talking about how a book has touched their lives and made a difference. These words were from a reader I've never met -
"I just finished your book -Saints in Limbo--- wow---just loved it, couldn't put it down and even when I did parts of it kept coming back to me...it called to me... I felt parts of this book, tears came with this book, I'm keeping the "fear, doubt, regret" quote--- it's a truth I had overlooked............ thank you ." Mrs. Valerie G.
I want you guys to know how much your words, letters, emails and comments all have meant to me over the years. I try to make certain I respond to every, single one and that I save them forever and a day. When I'm trying to finish a new novel or just put one foot in front of the other - I pull them out and reread them. They are literally the wind beneath my wings. Author Claire Fullerton recently read Saints in Limbo and posted this surprise review on Facebook with her own photo creation. Saints is available now for only $3.99 in some places. So take advantage of it if you haven't read a copy yet. And also Please checkout Confessions below with Links to Indiebound where you can support your local bookstores and show some love for the people who have stories running though their bloodstream.
NPR INTERVIEW FOR CONFESSIONS - ON THE PORCH WITH SILAS HOUSE
SUNDAY 9/8 at 7:00PM CENTRAL TIME - 8:00 EASTERN TIME I'll be in conversation with the great, southern author Silas House and hope you can join us for his NPR program. He asks wonderful, thought provoking questions and then actually gives me the time and space to answer them. And his voice is like pure Kentucky wildflower honey. You will want to eat it up by the spoonful so set your alarm to tune in now. 91.3 WUKY.org
More EXCITING RADIO NEWS
Clearstory Radio is moving to a sassy new time slot! We'll be kicking off at 1:00PM Central every Friday starting later this month. Look for a special announcement of the stellar line up of guests and a hot, new mind-blowing tapestry of story. It's gonna be all kinds of literary, mystical, and masterly with a scent of science geek. Think - Fresh Air meets On Being meets This American Life meets Dr. Who. All with the same eclectic mix of great tunes you've come to know, love and downright -crave.
FOR BOOK CLUBS and SMALL GROUPS
I'll be happy to SKYPE or FACETIME with your book club or group as my schedule permits. I'd love to see and visit with you!l AND HERE'S THE KICKER - You don't have to be reading MY BOOK! I'll visit with you if you are reading a multitude of authors which I hope includes some of my friends and favorites. Reading something wonderful you think I should be reading too??? SKYPE me in and let's talk about it!
STORYTELLING on the BIG STAGE
Some of the best moments of my life have been in my travels to speak at various events around the country. I kid you not. From the girl who walked out of the auditorium, straight up to the book table and thew her arms around my neck crying and she would just look at me and say, "You know," over and over. And I replied - "Yes, I do." There was an old pastor that was rattling my chair over and over because someone kept talking to me and he wanted his turn. Then he said - You know the promised land can be on both sides of the Jordan River. You don't have to wait till you get to the other side to get what God promises you and I said, "I do." To the young Autistic man who felt comfortable talking to me and wrote me a note that I have to this day and treasure. The city-wide fund raiser in Montana where the people staying at the Rescue Mission were the ones that proudly prepared the banquet. It was the first time they'd done this and they were beaming with pride and pleasure. Or the young woman who came up to me at a conference of two thousand and whispered - "You're the reason I'm here. What you said is what I needed to hear." I think the title of that speech was I'm a mess! And had lost my wallet and ID at the conference and wasn't going to have an easy time flying out and making it through security. I was in Minneapolis at the time and was so sorry I didn't have time to make a dash for the Purple Rain Prince tour.
These experiences have provided me with an opportunity to connect with people by the thousands. As much as I love intimate dinners and small group chats I would never be able to touch this many hearts and minds with the power of story if it weren't for the chance to speak on the larger stage. Whether it's for a fundraiser for the Homeless, a Library Foundation, a Civic Organization, Church, University or Retreat, I love the opportunity to help people laugh at all of our messy humanity in the midst of our glorious, imperfect lives. City after city, story after story, one thing remains the same. The power of story in our lives is where we find our common ground. It is the great unifier and the holy ground we walk on every day. If you're organization, church, or community needs someone to share great stories with a sense of humor and a powerful message - click here to contact The Ashley Agency for booking engagement information and scheduling.
If you've made it this far in this long, missive - WOW! Thanks for hanging in here and allowing me to catch up.
I know so many of you personally now after all these years of writing and conferences or bookstore visits where I'm able to meet you in person.
I know some of you have recently lost a loved one, had a particular challenge your facing, health or financial issues, or simple life challenges and changes. All of these things brought these words to mind.
These words from John O'Donohue's To Bless the Space Between Us are my September prayer for you.
These are the ones that stood out to me when I thought of you.
"May you sense around you the secret Elsewhere where the presences that have left you dwell . . .
May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life.
May you not disrespect your mystery through brittle words or false belonging.
May you be embraced by God in whom dawn and twilight are one.
May your longing inhabit its dreams within the Great Belonging."
Wishing you blessings in the days and weeks ahead as we step into this beautiful, seasonal change known as Autumn.
Peace, Love and Light -
(PS: If you are getting this out of the blue and don't have a clue who I am a lot of people signed up for this newsletter during the recent Confessions of a Christian Mystic Book Tour back in April or May - I do so hope I read all those handwritten notes and addresses correctly. BUT if I squinted my eyes when I should have squeenched them. Please forgive and gently delete and unsubscribe. Our royal apologies.)
Warning: There most certainly shall be errors contained herein and forthwith. We shall roll with it, baby.
Thanks so much for reading, liking and sharing with friends.