I arrived in Independence, MO on May 7th and I count as “jumping onto the trail” on May 13- so here I am 34 days in…
In the spirit of transparency- I totally ran out of fruit and vegetables. I have some dried fruit that I add to my granola, but I had nothing fresh.
Now, I just so happened to be researching an episode on scurvy. This is one disease that scares me! It's preventable until....
If you don't get enough fresh food; veggies, fruit, especially vitamin C, You could contract it and don't KNOW you have it until your gums start bleeding, and by that time its too late... you've got one foot in the grave! So I freaked out a little bit and binge bought some produce. Oranges, lemons, pineapple, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes.... let's just say that my little RV fridge was PACKED!!
I have been eating it frugally to make it last, and it may sound silly, but I feel so much better just knowing I have some! Lol! Sometimes knowledge is dangerous!
I am almost out of my half and half that I use for my coffee. I have half dozen eggs left and I am really really sad about running out of them. They are a staple food in my diet.
I have only eaten one pound of my 25 pound supply bacon, so I should be good there. And I have 4 pounds of hamburger that's frozen- so I'm saving that. (They had to kill the cows last! Lol!)
I have yet to tap into most of my dry goods purchased specifically for my journey- I broke into a new coffee and sugar. I'm still sparingly working through what I had already before I came to MO and I am over budget by $117. I blame that on my Memorial Day blunder and gas prices have jumped to over the $3 mark. I really wasn't anticipating campgrounds to be so expensive either.
For Nebraska, and Wyoming (which is coming next week), they have an EXTRA fee to be able to use their parks for camping, or the national and state landmarks and what not. For Nebraska, it was "only" $48 for the year,or $8/day... For Wyoming, it's almost $100/annual! And you'd need a pass for everything I want to visit while I'm going through their state! I was not expecting that, and it's gonna set me back.
I realized that the original pioneers coffee was still in bean form so when THEY brought 15 pounds of it, it was heavier… but when I bring 15 pounds of it already ground… I think it should last me well into the winter! Oregon and beyond! Plus there’s the time bonus! I don’t have to roast mine, then grind, then brew… I just scoop. I’m so spoiled! Coffee was also a longer lasting item for them as well. It was one of the last reminders of their “civilized life” and they made it last well after the food supply ran out.
A replacement for coffee along the trail as suggested by Randolph Macy was dried horsemint. I’d be willing to try it. There's actually a couple different recipes for coffee substitutes that I'm curious about. (Acorns??)
I keep “waiting” to get away from population so I can perform all the experiments that I have on my list, but I guess I need to settle into the idea that people really are everywhere and I’m just going to have to do these things under the scrupulous eyes of onlookers. Let them judge as they may.
I am still excited about trying all my recipes, Do I think I’ll run out of anything? Maybe sugar… that’s my first guess. Lol
I think my issue will be that I will get bored with my fare.
I’m not a fan of bread in general, and the thought of eating some form of it every single day is not exciting to me, but, it probably wasn’t to them either… at least I have refrigeration and don’t have to pick the worms off my bacon before I eat it! Lol
So things I have to decide… do I cheat and get more creamer or do I wait until their next opportunity they would have had to purchase supplies.
And “technically” I could have brought a cow with me, so I would have a steady supply of cream and milk… yes, I think I’ll go with that story because I have a recipe for ice cream they made on the trail which is the ONLY way I’m going to survive if I come across snow…
I am really learning so much on this trip. I have read stories and I read regularly now from their letters and journal entries and what a difference it makes! I can now see what they saw. I feel what they felt. When the talk about the fierce winds and how it whipped up dust- I am literally feeling it! It's surreal!
And when they talk about passing certain landmarks, I get downright giddy when I have passed them too. They are always on my mind. I am always thinking about how they would have thought or felt or reacted to things.
Today, for example, the temperatures reached 104 degrees. No joke and it's only June. It's extra hot these days, I believe because of the black pavement, but we can always escape the weather. I am always safe.
I chose not to use air conditioning most days- I just don't like it- but even I had to turn it on so my cat would cook to death. I'll admit, it even got hot for me... but the winds do an amazing job of keeping the heat level down, so if they could find shade so they weren't in direct sunlight, it would have been hard, but doable... and here's where I KNOW where they are on their journey and I know the trees are starting to thin out so there's not much shade... and I know they are getting ready to enter mountain territory.
Which reminds me... with the prices so high, I might have to switch to boondocking here soon... little concerned about that, but I'll ford that stream when I get there...
I have used some of my propane to take a shower or two and wash dishes. I'm in a bare-bones campground so... I'm not sure how fast propane burns through, I've never really used it before, so I'll have to keep an eye on that. I'm told it will cost about $25 to refill at any Lowes or Walmart.
I also need to purchase and fill a couple gas cans- everyone I talk to says to NOT go to Wyoming, pulling a camper without at least one five gallon gas can. So... there's that...
And since I'm at it, if I do have to boondock, I found a solar powered generator that will charge my phone and laptop that's not too expensive. I'm hoping it will run a fan as well... again, so the cat doesn't die of heat stroke. I'd rather not die either, if I'm being honest. I mean, how embarrassing would that be if I literally died, on the Oregon Trail?
As far as speed... I am still WAY ahead of my pioneer self. I am tracking to be in Fort Laramie,WY for the 4th of July. It's sad to me that technically there IS no more FORT Laramie, just a tiny town and that they will probably not be doing anything super special for Independence Day... but I'll know.
This is the time I'm "allowed" to restock on any supplies, eat some ice cream, cake, maybe even a pie... have some sarsaparilla, dance and relax for a couple days.
And lastly- my writing. I have not written anything on the new book that is due out this year. The Bag of Bones Podcast research, writing, editing and recording then promoting... take SO much time. SO much... plus I've taken a few hits this year and I am struggling to get past over or through those... it's really affected my creative side... it troubles me, which doesn't help matters. I believe it will work itself out and I'll be back to my happy writing self in no time. Fingers crossed...
This morning I had a private prayer meeting at the sunrise service. It was just me, the Platte River, the sun sneaking up over the plains and God. The birds were the choir and a slight breeze kept the heat away.
The brand new sunlight caught the mist coming up from the water and gave it warm etherial look.
Per our usual conversations, I begin with gratitude. How thankful that I am that I can take this journey. It's come at a high cost, and I never want Him to think that I don't realize it. I also know that there will probably be a high cost when my travels end, and I let him know that I accept that too. I am grateful for the littlest things like a safe place to sleep and the beautiful orchestra of nature around me, but I am most grateful for an audience with Him.
Because, and I'm sure He knows it... it's not long before I begin to fret about all the things. "How am I going to afford this?" "What happens next?" "What if this... what if that..."
His answer, is always the same..."Let me take care of that, you take care of the things that are in your control."
At which, I instantly felt the tiniest sting of reprimand.
Am I doing all of the things I'm supposed to be doing? Maybe... but am I doing them to the best of my ability? Probably not.
I am easily side-tracked with the latest, newest idea and I usually chase it down for the length of my leash to see what I can do with it. Sometimes I have no business being there. Sometimes I can find a few nuggets to make the things I do better and sometimes, I think that I have the power to bend time... that's my biggest problem, I think. I WANT to do all these things, so I TRY to do all these things, but it turns out that I have the exact same number of hours in the day as everyone else. I'm not SUPPOSED to be doing ALL the things apparently. And He waits patiently until I can come to our meetings for Him to tell me so.
I have been given a great deal of success and growth with my podcast, Bag of Bones. I love it. I really love everything about it, but I'm not utilizing it as best as I could. Meaning, I'm spreading out, instead of digging the well a little deeper. I jumped into a second podcast before Bag of Bones was even a year old and one, both are extremely research intensive, and two, I wasn't able to give them the amount of time I need to bring forward the quality I desire. So, with heavy heart, I am cancelling the release of Trails of History. Maybe postponing it? I don't know, but for now, it needs to come off my plate so I can continue to grow and nurture and monetize the podcast I have currently.
The other thing I need to remove right away is the more public version of the Writer's Lounge. I am moving this branch of my company to a more niched down version. I am discontinuing the Facebook group. It takes a huge amount of time creating daily posts for people and it's just not being used. And I am also discontinuing the League of Authors Membership site for this year. I love the concept of this- but it's just too big for me to deal with at the moment.
I am going to switch my focus to smaller group coaching to writer's who are ready to get their first book written and published. Many people SAY they want to write a book but few actually put in the time and effort to do so. I want to work with those few and help them with all the crazy transition stuff to make it a dream come true.
And then finally, my readers have been most patient with me, allowing me to follow this path and that- not having a new book from me. I need to get back to that. I owe you all A Devil's Errand that was supposed to be released in May, but I will do my best to get it released before the end of the year.
So keep an eye out, these transitions will be happening slowly throughout the website. Things will disappear and new things will pop up, fear not... all part of the Master's plan...
I recently posted a picture on Facebook about my struggles of having to change the sheets in my little travel trailer which is named The Beach House. And I realized that I never formally introduced everyone to my humble abode.
For those of you that don't know, "my story", I have recently given up the brick and mortar, stationary living in favor of the gypsy, transient life-style. It was about this time last year, that I bought a used, well- loved 2005 Keystone Cougar 31' camper.
The former owners painted the insides with the soft colorful tones of beach living- greens, pale blues, clean whites and decorated with seahorses, shells, driftwood and other items that scream "I love the beach life!"
I fell in love immediately. The Kirby's needed to sell it because of a debilitating cancer and they were unable to use the camper any longer. So with promises that I would love it and honor its purpose, I laid my money down.
The Kirby's used The Beach House only for weekend trips or short ocean-side vacations. It wasn't long that I saw I was going to have to make some adjustments to this quaint little camper to make it my full-time home.
The back end had four bunks (perfect for grand babies) but I only have two, at the moment, so I took the other two out to create my office.
And then there was a matter of my clothes. When I work, be it cutting hair, or doing workshops, I have to have professional clothing. As much as I'd love to live in swimwear, 24/7, it is somewhat frowned upon in certain places... not to mention cold... But the house, as is, offered minimal options.
It seemed like a lot of wasted space, so I came up with the idea to put the bed in the air... and use the space to add in dressers, and hanging space.
And when living in a tiny house, it's all about use of space.
So my step brother, Ed Wittneber, and my favorite Seabee, Barry Moyar and myself, completely gutted the bedroom!
And then put it back together again.
Barry cut and built the bed frame. His knowledge of angle iron was indispensable! A former Seabee and a craftsman in his own right, I was so grateful that he came on board with this project. And they didn't even look at me like I was crazy! Ed was quick to get the project rolling and helped me SO much!! He also bought and assembled the perfect cubbie shelves for me and my first beanbag chair for my new space!!!
Also, my wonderful brother, Scott Ide, created the perfect cabinet to hide all the wiring and add more storage space! He made it from scratch and it's perfect! It gives me a bit more space that is easily accessible from the bedroom or the "coffee station"! (okay, fine, it's the other side of the kitchen counter... don't judge! Lol!)
So, my bed is about 32" from the ceiling, so one has to be cautious when climbing up or down, or changing sheets... and heaven help me if something scares me in the middle of the night and I sit up too quickly!!
There is one large plastic set of dresser-drawers under the bed and another one at the side. I have room to hang clothes, store away other items in the cubbie shelf and cabinet. And room for a giant dog to lounge and a beanbag chair or two!
It is an adorable little place to live and I absolutely love it! Yes, there are things I want to do to it still, but it's all part of the journey!
I am so happy with this choice and I think I am living up to the promise I made to the former owners. The Beach House has certainly covered a lot of territory and seen many new campgrounds, and I hope this has just been the beginning! I hope she hangs on with me for a few more years as we continue to travel about the country.
Next, I want to re-do the bathroom and maybe even tweak the kitchen just a tiny bit. I'm learning so much as I go...
I am so very proud to say that my sixth book is on the verge of hitting the bookstore shelves and perhaps, more importantly the Amazon virtual shelves. That being said, people are curious why I am not swimming in pools of money.
Well… it doesn’t actually work that way. We see the J.K. Rawlings and the Stephanie Meyers and the Steven Kings of the world and expect it to be a celebrity experience for all authors. Wow, I would love it, if it was so, but it is not.
There are a lot of really great writers out there that are not getting the recognition they deserve. They are not getting movie deals and they are not getting the media attention that will get their work into the public eye. It's just a fact. There are thousands upon thousands of authors out there and you only hear about a fraction of us.
A lot of it has to do with “It takes money to make money”. Sure, there are some who sneak through the crack and whose manuscripts land on the right desk at the right time, but that is rare.
I write because I can’t not write. There is something inside me that inspires me to put pen to paper and release the stories, the thoughts, the revelations that I have learned and pour them out in a new way. It is only recently (about six years) that I have shared my work with others. But I have been writing and creating for as long as I could hold a utensil. It is my passion.
I don’t write, or rather share my work to become rich. If I could reach the point that it would comfortably pay all of my expenses without fear, I would be ecstatic!! But that has not happened as yet.
There are a few ways that I get paid for the books that I have published.
To give you an idea of how much money I make- when I sell a book overseas… While it is a huge feather in my cap to be known as an International Author, I only make twenty cents per book…. before taxes. Twenty cents....
It’s going to take a lot of books to make my first million. Lol.
The more money I can spend on marketing, the more my brand gets out to the people all over the world. The more money I can invest in hiring a publicist and an agent, the higher my chances are of getting my name to become more familiar with more groups of people. The more I can get out to the people, the more people can put a face to the name and in turn, they become the most loyal of followers because I am not just a name, but a real person.
I do not have a lot of money. I market as much as my budget allows and then, not even that often at times because I get distracted with… more writing.
For me it will take being in the right place at the right time or having the “right” person read my book for me to get the recognition and the income that would make my living arrangements more… comfortable!
So for now, I am not rich. I do make an income, but won’t be sipping champagne out of a shoe any time soon.
That is why I rely on your support as a reader and one who believes in my writing to always help to spread the word. Share my posts, buy my books, leave reviews. (This applies to all authors! If you love what they have written, share the love! Let everyone know! Reviews on places like Amazon, Goodreads, Barns and Noble make a huge difference to our exposure to new readers, which is what it’s all about!)
I write because it makes me happy and I am constantly in a creative process. I publish because enough of you have told me that you enjoy what I create and have requested more.
For more ways you can help your favorite author, click here!
Do you have a question you'd like this author to answer? Leave it in the comments below and I'll do my best to get to it!
My latest manuscript, A Detour Home, has been sent away to my team of editors and I am supposed to wait patiently until they arrive back to me covered in red ink.
It is a most anxious time for me and I have to remind myself not to text them with silly, insecure questions like: Are you reading it? Do you like it? What part are you on?
I just need to trust them and give them their space and hope it comes back marginally inked to death. (With every book, I try even harder to watch my grammar and punctuation as a competition with myself to see if I can improve with every venture.)
I do have lots of work to do in between the time that the editors are reading and when I get it back to do the correcting and formatting, like marketing plans, new projects and more, but this time, I thought I would try something new.
Once people find out that I am a full time author, they first off, wonder why I’m not rich and then they have a multitude of questions for me. I am all to happy to answer, and am flattered that people would be interested in my passion for writing and creating.
I recently put out a few memes that give snippets of some of the behind the scenes of being an author and they were well received prompting more questions.
So I thought, just in case you never get a chance to meet an author in person and ask questions, I would share the questions and the answers asked of me, here with you. I have about a dozen questions lined up from those who have previously written to me or have met me out and about, but if you’d like to add one I’d be most honored.
You can ask it in the comments below, or shoot me a message via the contact page or through my Facebook page.
Hopefully it will keep you entertained (or perhaps if there are budding authors out there, it may inspire) and it will keep me from pestering my editors and slowing down their progress. Fun experiment, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s a few inquires that I have gotten:
Please feel free to add to the list!
The answers can only apply to my writing quirks and you would probably get a different answer from every other author you meet, (or follow). But this is me and for what it’s worth, these are my quirks.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. I love writing and teaching and hope that my offerings touch your heart in the best of ways, even if sometimes it has to sting at first. I write from a place of love and hope that it brings you happiness!
Stay tuned for Operation Keep Elizabeth Distracted…
With the overwhelming series of unfortunate events surrounding my Leading With Love tour, I must say that your outpouring of love and concern have been so heart-warming.
So often when authors undertake something of this magnitude, we feel like we are "in it" alone. It makes sense; we do spend a lot of time alone. I write best when I'm alone... I research alone... I daydream alone... I create alone... And while all of my creations are meant to enrich the lives of others, they must have time to steep in quite and solitude.
My book signings and workshops are my main opportunities to really get to be with people and interact with them.
All that to say, I always just assume that I have to find solutions to my problems... alone.
So for the first few dozen folks or so, when they ask me "What can I do to help?" I've said, "Nothing, I just have to figure things out."
For person number thirteen, that was an unacceptable answer. I got the "No man is an island" speech.
So... (short of sending me food and gas money) I have come up with a list of ways you could help me keep my head above water with little to no cost to you.
This list will actually help any author on your love list but allow me to thank you in advance by participating in any, or all of the following suggestions!
1. Have You Bought A Book? (or several?)
Contrary to popular belief, I do not make much money from the sale of my books. However, every time a book is purchased through Amazon, it raises my status and ranking. I make more of an income when I sell my books at fairs, books signings or out of my trunk (lol). But the actual "public" sale of my books help me more in the long run. So if you haven't done so, go to amazon.com and search my name and purchase a book!
2. Leave a Review (5 stars?)
Once you read the book and realize how wonderful it was, while the moment is still warming your heart, head back to Amazon and leave a really great review. This too, raises my ranking (even more than the purchase. So if you have already purchased one of my books elsewhere, PLEASE, please, please go leave a review!) The higher ranking, the more Amazon will promote my books and get them in front of new readers. (A lot of new authors are purchased thanks to the "if you liked this book, you might like this.... method!)
Goodreads.com is also a really great place to leave a review!
Also- if you loan your book out to anyone else to read, please encourage them to leave a review as well!!
3. Amazon Searches
Every time you go on Amazon for anything, search my name. Type Elizabeth Bourgeret into the search bar, whether you need a new book or not. (Even if you are shopping for vitamins, fishing lures or cookware or... whatever) Again, it helps to trigger Amazon that maybe they might need to make my work a bit more accessible. If you are like me, I shop for everything on amazon! I also let Amazon know who I am similar to. For example, I'll do a search for Joel Osteen, Karen Kingsbury, Tony Robbins or Francine Rivers and THEN I'll do a search for my name. It starts to link the names together.
4. Social Media
Love it or hate it, I have to be a part of it. I do love it for the great way it allows me to connect with readers and give those who are interested quick updates of the highs and lows into the life of Elizabeth Bourgeret and her Great Dane, Meera.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
Whether you are on there sixty times a day or once a month, please like and follow my page.
I try very hard not to post too often and I am always considerate of inflammatory content. But my pages are a great way, like I said, to get quick updates, share stories and thoughts and be privy to new blog posts or books.
5. Share Posts
Yes, not only do I ask that you like my Author page, I do ask that you share posts or comment on them. (The demands are getting greater!! Sorry you asked yet? Lol) If you have found a reason to like me, there's a chance that someone connected with you just might like me too. Please encourage others to like my posts and hopefully, my page.
There are a lot of Elizabeth Bourgeret memes floating around with my quotes either made from my camp or elsewhere, but if you see one, PLEASE like it and share it!! It helps to build name recognition!
6. Local Bookstores
While you are out and about, stop in at your local bookstore (big or small) and request that they carry my books. (This can also link back to #1. If you want to help support your local bookstore AND me, this is a great way to do it! I love to promote and support the smaller bookstores! Just request that they order my book for you to purchase and maybe they'll get an extra to carry in their store. OR when I get around that city they may be more likely to allow me to come in for a book signing!!)
7. Invite me to your Book Club!
Book Clubs are SO fun! I'd love to support your book club! I am happy to help with book discounts for bulk purchases, I'm happy to Skype with your group and answer questions or if you are within a 60 mile radius of where I am located, I'd be most honored to make a live appearance, sign books and chat about whichever book you guys are reading!!
So, there you go. There are seven suggestions that you can help me get past this dreadful "hump" that I'm having trouble getting past. These are little to no cost, but just take up a bit of time. (Add a post-it note close to your computer to help remind you of your favorites so they can be done multiple times...!)
I can't say enough how much I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement and now actions. I am thrilled that you have chosen me to invest a piece of your heart in. It reminds me that I am doing good things and am where I am supposed to be.
Thank you, and thank you again.
The New Year is well under way and it looks like it's going to be a busy one!
2015 was awfully good to me and I expect nothing less from 2016.
For those who know me or have come to know me, can attest to the sheer diversity I have in my life. I am into all kinds of things! This year will be no different!
Last year, Daddy's Girl was released and given great reviews. This year, A Detour Home will continue the series in Bakersfield, AR with some familiar names, and introduce new characters to grow our lovely family.
Last year, this site was all about me.
Late last year I opened up the Book Club to allow new authors an opportunity to get their work in front of new audiences. And you, my audience, my readers, my friends have made them feel very welcome and I am so happy and proud that you have warmly accepted these new visitors.
They find me through a website called Fiverr and they pay five dollars to promote their book. I started this because my on-line bills were starting to out weigh their income, so the Fiverr would off-set it and help me out. I didn't want to compromise my site with a bunch of unsightly banners or advertisements so this seemed to fit in nicely. And, thanks to you, it now completely pays for all my websites, fees, and other silly stuff I am responsible for.
Sure, it started with the intention for a small income, but then I was able to "meet" some of these brilliant authors! There's a little bit of everything in the Book Club! If you need a new read (and you've already read my whole collection, Lol) there are SO many choices!! My to-read list is growing by leaps and bounds. There is fiction and non-fiction and something for every age group! I am so happy I chose to do this.
One of my favorite quotes by Zig Zigglar is, "You can have everything you want, if you help others to get what they want." That is SO true! I love seeing these new authors post their books on my site! They are so passionate and creative and amazing! And, like I said, you have made them feel so welcome!!
(And I know your favorite way to correspond with me is through e-mail, but I would be so grateful if you'd show a little love in the comment sections. These authors could use some positive feedback! Don't be shy! They are good people and who doesn't need a little positive reinforcement?)
Next- at the end of 2015, my daughter and I opened a vapor shop called Phoenix Vapes. Talk about a new world!! I am learning so much! If you are unfamiliar, it is proving to be the best, and healthiest option for people to quit smoking. The most common term is the e-cis, or electronic cigarette. (It is WAY more complex than that, but I didn't want to bore you with all kinds of extra details! But please visit the website if you'd like to know more!) It opened in November and we are still in the scary first quarter stage, but I am feeling pretty good about it. It's my first "brick and mortar" venture for quite some time and let me tell you how it not only sucks up money, but it sucks up quite a bit of time as well!! So, my writing has been put on the back burner for a minute until I can create a new schedule that includes everything. For the last few months Phoenix Vapes has been front and center, but now I need to get back to my writing.
Which brings me to...
More website changes... I am thinking of taking down the on-line store of this website and just promote my books and my upcoming events and of course, the Book Club. My goal for 2016 is to expand to the online courses we've talked about before, but time has not allowed it to happen. I'm not ignoring your requests, by any means... I just have to get back into the swing of things. That being said. I believe I'm going to have all my online courses, available through my newest website, Your Love Principles.
If you visit there, you'll see it has its own Book Club too.
I was told that if I wanted to go down all these separate paths that I was going to have to divide into separate entities. Apparantly, they were right. I tried to do it all through this one website, but it was not working. So, my relational work will be transferred to Your Love Principles.
On that same note, unfortunately, my work with teens has to go online as well. (which makes me sad) With the new Phoenix Vapes opening, I am unable to travel and have pretty much locked myself into one space until it gets secure. So, I'll be creating online workshops for my teens and will just have to miss that face to face connection that I love so much for just a little while.
Whoo! This blog turned out to be longer than I expected! Lol! But there you have it... So, if I'm missing from here, check one of the other sites or I'll be helping the world quit smoking!
Thanks for sticking by me...
Links you might be interested in:
Looking to Quit Smoking? Phoenix Vapes will be available by Feb 1 for online purchases. Click here for more details.
Looking for a good romance fiction? A self-help relationship guide? And soon to be the home of Elizabeth Bourgeret's online relationship courses. Click here.
Visit the Elizabeth Bourgeret's Book Club and see what she means with a huge variety of good reads, study material, audio books, and even coloring books. A little bit of everything. Make these authors feel welcome!
For a complete selection of kids and Young Adult books, helpful advice for working from home, and all around family life, check out Elizabeth's Momma's Kids.
And finally, follow Elizabeth on Facebook!
I had a birthday this past week. When I woke up, I was prepared to be sad and even depressed because I was alone. Far away from family and anyone who might love me... or even like me a little. Once I figured out that each day is a gift, my attitude changed just a little bit. But I was still so lonely because I knew that no one was going to do anything nice for me for my birthday. No cake. No party. No dinner invites. I was so sad!
(In actuality, no sooner did my eyelids flutter to life, my phone started chirping with birthday wishes and greetings of love and affection. I was not forgotten! And suddenly I felt worthwhile. I mattered now, because someone somewhere out in the world loved me.)
But the most poignant message I got was from my sweet niece and she said, "Happy Birthday, I hope you use this day to spoil yourself."
It dawned on me that I don't have to wait for someone else to do something nice for me. I could do it myself! As I am constantly trying to teach "my" teens that they should love themselves (before they can expect others to love them) this is one way of showing love to yourself. So I did...
I had an extra serving of bacon with breakfast. I took a long, long, extra long hot shower. I went to the beach with my dog, Meera. (There were dolphins!! They were swimming SO close to the shore I could have walked out and touched them!! There were hundreds of sand dollars everywhere too!) I wrote in my latest manuscript. I relaxed, stared out over the water and thought about the people that I loved. I ate an entire box of chewy Sweetarts. I watched a couple episodes of Bones and finished out the night with a favorite movie, a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine. The only thing I couldn't get my hands on was birthday cake. (Because, as you know, birthday cake is the only kind of baked good that has no calories...) But it was not meant for me that day, I guess.
Overall it was a good day. It was a good birthday. While I love being around my friends and family for the special occasions, this has truly been a lesson that my happiness is not dependent on other people. I could have easily chosen to spend the day in bed and stay sad that no one is doing anything nice for me, but every single birthday wish I got on my phone or on Facebook was enough for me. I am loved. I am treasured and not even birthday cake can say that any better!
This is the life that I have chosen for myself. To travel and be an author and create awesome workshops as I go. Therefore, I am going to be away from my "support group" quite a bit of the time. I need to know how to make myself happy. I need to love me in case there isn't anyone else around to remind me that I am lovable. And... it's okay to spoil myself every once and again. Because I am special. And I am worth it.
So this is me giving you permission to spoil YOURself! Love you for you. Celebrate your awesome uniqueness and know that you don't have to wait for someone else to celebrate you.
(By the way, thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! They really and truly made my day. Each and every one brought a smile to my face! It's good to be loved.)
Finally! My second work of fiction, Waiting for the Sun, hits the book stores today!
I was more than a little worried about this novel because it was SO completely different from my last book, Captive Heart. It's still in the same category or Christian- fiction, but while one is historical fiction, this new one is set in a contemporary setting. I am hoping that my readers will give this new work a chance.
But just in case they didn't, I decided to get some pre-reviews to hopefully open up to a wider audience. Here's a glimpse of the notes I have gotten back:
"I just realized that I am too soon to post my review! I did enjoy your book. I loved the fostering of the children on the huge ranch. Good job!" - Cindi Klemm
"I have to tell you that I love, love, love your book... I couldn't put it down! I can really see and feel the characters and setting. I am excited to be reading your book in a way I don't often get. I hope you have other books so I can read more!" - Julia Wilson
"Elizabeth Bourgeret! You have done it again! I am SO proud of you! I don't know what you were worried about!"
Needless to say, I'm feeling a little better about Waiting for the Sun being added to my published library! Being a writer has to be one of the neatest things in the whole world!! It thrills me to no end, and yes, I giggle every time, to see one of my books pop up on the internet or see my name in printed form. It's like... I am somebody now. Like, my work will be around long after I'm gone and my children's children's children can say, 'yep, that was my great- grammy!" It feels good.
Like anything made in a creative way, it's always scary to put it out there for the rest of the world to critique. And while I smile for days for every 5 star review I get, I ponder and question and doubt and dwell on every low star. (who rarely put a review with it so I am tormented as to WHY!!) But, so it goes. I am happy to say that the 5 stars FAR outweigh the low stars, and so I am encouraged to keep writing. Which I am thankful for because it gives me great satisfaction. I thought I was content just writing for myself and my family, but the joy I receive by being welcomed in the hearts of people I haven't even met yet, is too much for words. I am so very grateful.
So for those who might be interested, here is the little blurb from the back of the book to hopefully pique your interest:
Waiting for the Sun is the story of Gillian Sanders who's husband left her after many years of marriage. She took what might have been her darkest hour and turned it around by moving to a new state, opening her home to foster children, running a cattle ranch and teaching at the local theatre.
Making sure she is too busy for romance, she focuses on her "kids" until a man she never expects fits right into her life... or does he?
Sometimes hiding from love is the best way to find it.
Waiting for the Sun is available on Amazon.com, at your local book stores (don't see it? Ask them to order it for you!) or right here on this website!
BONUS: If you order from here, and purchase $25 or more (on any books) you will receive a free canvas book bag! Good while supplies last!
Order your copy of WAITNG FOR THE SUN today! Right now!!
The Spring Photo Shoot is complete and I think we can call it a success! The weather was absolutely beautiful and everyone was in a great mood and we even managed to get some good shots!
This photo shoots purpose was to get an author photo for the upcoming release of my second Christian-fiction novel, Waiting for the Sun that comes out on May 20th. But it should also give me some good publicity photos for any number of other things coming up. The pictures with the quotes on them seem to do really well and get shared quite often, so I get a lot of feedback from them. With the back drop of some of these photos, (they were taken at the Missouri Botanical Gardens! 80 acres of beautifulness!!) they are perfect for some quotes I've got laying around!! Lol And lastly, the website needed a little cleaning up so some of the pictures will be featured there as well. A little bit of me splashed all over the place!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my make-up artist, Mary Spezia. She is my go-to girl when it comes to my face and hair. She takes really good care of me and always knows the "look" I am going for. She is patient and funny and is always ready for a touch-up. She is not afraid to hold up the process if she doesn't think I look "just right"! And I love her for that!!
Also, thank you to Iramil Kneemiller for assisting my awesome photographer and for making sure the was set up right, my arm was in the right spot and the wrinkles were pulled out before any film was wasted!
And my photographer, Shaun Kneemiller. I love working with this man! He is so very talented and has such a brilliant eye. While his wife and my make-up artist were making me fabulous, he was patient and would fill his time taking pictures of other things around us. (Which turned out amazing as well!!) He is destined for great things in the photography world and I am honored to be able to say that I found him first!! We work together so well and I only have to describe an idea and he is off and running with it. I am so happy that he takes the time out of his busy schedule for me.
So, back to this whole author photo thing... I am asking for help in choosing the actual photo that will be used on the back cover of the book. So, if you are so inclined to add your opinion, I would be most grateful. You'll be able to see the photos revealed one at a time on Facebook (Elizabeth Bourgeret- Author or EBourgeret), twitter (EBourgeret), google+ (+ElizabethBourgeret) or instagram (EBourgeret) all next week. If you could let me know what you think by leaving a comment or sharing or liking, I can narrow down the choices. I love having your opinions!
So, follow me on the social media outlets and let me know what you think of Shaun's handiwork!! I am so grateful to have people around me that love me and encourage me! Thank you to everyone that helps Elizabeth Bourgeret be all that I am supposed to be!!
Lume is a sponsor of the Bag of Bones Podcast and of this website! If you are looking to trade in your chemical based deodorant, for one that is all natural and works better, would you please consider Lume?
Click the link below to learn more about their products!