I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for a good laugh. This video NEVER gets old for me. It cracks me up EVERY SINGLE TIME I watch it. All my years in a corporate office setting makes me relate to this video on so many levels. And after the crazy days and unexpected detours I had last week for my debut novel, all I want this week is to have some laughs. Enjoy.
You can’t even begin to imagine how thrilled and excited I am to announce my upcoming debut novel Sifting Through Mud. This has been a long time coming and the time has finally arrived. Oh yeah!!!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!
Below are all the details.
Title: Sifting Through Mud
Author: Demetria Foster Gray
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: August 18, 2014
The death of Nyla’s husband comes as a shock to everyone except Nyla. What’s shocking to Nyla is her inability to grieve his death like a typical loving wife should grieve. But Nyla isn’t a typical loving wife. She’s a woman in desperate need to breathe. The oxygen in her life has long gone, and the astonishing thing she feels from her husband’s death is relief, not grief.
Even more astonishing is the rare and unexpected friendship which develops between Nyla and her dead husband’s mistress. However, Nyla isn’t aware her new best friend is a former mistress. And as their friendship deepens into an unshakable bond, Nyla is forced to face secrets her husband took with him to his grave. This means she has to sift through mud to unravel the truth. A truth that’s better off dead.
Yet through it all, the one thing which makes Nyla violently breathless, is the exact same thing that causes her to finally breathe.
Sifting Through Mud…COMING SOON…Tell your friends!
Available August 18, 2014
It’s been kind of quiet at this blog lately, but there’s good reason for my lack of presence around here. You’ll understand those reasons later in this post. For now, here are two pieces of news I’d like to share.
My fifteen year old son and high school jock (football player) has his driving permit. Now, I know this isn’t considered substantial news to others, but it’s substantial news to me. Where did the time fly? It was only yesterday he squirted baby pee in my face when I changed his diaper. Only yesterday when he’d poo in the tub when I gave him a bath. Only yesterday when I had to pry plant leaves from the roof of his mouth because he kept eating the house plants.
Now he’s driving, and his driving is driving me bats! Let’s not even talk about how he’s already hit our garage wall while backing out my car (scratching the bumper and denting the wall). And this could’ve been avoided had he stopped when I yelled, “STOP!” from my position in the passenger seat. But let’s not talk about it. Like I said, my son’s driving is not substantial news for you, but for me it’s a daily headline. Nevertheless, I’ll end here with two words that’ll always rattle a mother’s nerve: Teenage Drivers.
Here are two more words rattling my nerves: Debut Novel. Yes, you read correctly. My first published novel is releasing in August. For the past several months not only have I been overwhelmingly busy finalizing the book (thus, my blog absence), but also the impending release date has been rattling my nerves. The good kind of rattling, that is (unlike my son’s driving).
This kind of rattling is a courageous blend of excitement and trepidation. Excited because it’s been a long time coming, and FINALLY (yes, FINALLY–it’s about darn time) I’ve made it to this point in my literary career. Trepidation, because it’s new ground to walk on and I know the path can get rocky. However, I’m ready for the peaks and valleys of being a published author. I’m also ready for the favorable and not-so-favorable book reviews that comes along with the territory. I’m ready for these things because I have two secret weapons stashed in my pockets: (1) God to sustain me, and (2) the following quote to ground me.
“There are those who will like me too much and those who will hate me too much, yet I don’t put much stock in either. I know my ‘sense of self’ is balanced between those two extremes. That’s where strength of character and self awareness lies—between the extremes. We have to balance ourselves between the norm and the ab-norm, and realize who we are is not determined by others’ opinions. Nor by who or what they choose to love or hate.” —Demetria Foster Gray
Tune in next week for the official book release announcement. And as Bishop T.D. Jakes says, “Get ready! Get ready! Get ready!”
What’s a hand-me-down life?
It’s sort of like an old sweater passed down to you from an older relative or sibling—a hand-me-down. This sweater is stretched out of shape and unflattering.
It’s filled with lint balls and loose threads. It wasn’t originally intended for you, but you make do with it anyway. Trying to make it fit, while all along wishing for something new. You wear it by default, instead of by design.
If you’ve fallen into a hand-me-down life that wasn’t designed for you, you’re not alone. Our circumstances sometimes throw us off into directions we’ve never intended to go. We involve ourselves in careers, activities, friendships, and marriages that doesn’t necessarily fit who we are (or worse, doesn’t fit who we’ve become), yet we stay in them by default. Too afraid to change. Not sure how to redesign. But that’s exactly what has to happen—a redesign. Otherwise we’ll stay stuck in that ratty old sweater. The lint balls will suffocate us and the loose threads will entangle us.
For me, my redesign came when I first cracked opened a powerful resource book several years ago called “You’ll See it When You Believe it,” by Dr. Wayne Dyer. This opened up a whole new perspective for me and sent me feasting on all the knowledge I could get my hands on that would empower me to design a life that fits who I am now.
I burned that hand-me-down sweater. Made some changes in my career and in my marriage. Said, “no” to activities that no longer suited me. Got rid of hindering friendships, gained uplifting and supportive ones, and held on to the good friends already rooted. I’ve renewed my commitment to my inner spirit, and recharged my faith.
Phew! It’s exhausting and a constant daily struggle, but the point of the matter is this; I’ve decided to take part in the design of my life instead of letting my life be handed down to me by default.
Yes, some things are out of our control, but all the other things are open for design.
Photo by: Africa
NOTE: I previously wrote this post in 2012. I’m re-posting it because it’s one of my favorites and because it serves as a healthful reminder for me to keep
redesigning my life. I hope it’s a healthful reminder for you, too.
You know how life can sometimes shake us up like loose change in a pocket? How we get rattled, and stirred, and tossed about? How we sit in our circumstances and putter around for answers? Well, here’s what I’ve learned from all the bumps and bruises—there are no answers.
Therefore, what I’m hoping to do—because I know life will shake me—is try my best to not get stirred. Once I get stirred up or fired up by the trials of life that’s when all the “crazy” comes out. So instead of getting stirred, I’m trying to laugh a little longer, pray a little harder, build faith a little stronger, and breathe a little deeper.
We only get one life to live. Live it.
(Reminder: Postings to this blog are done once a month)