Hello, End of Summer, Thank God You’re Here!

Summer is winding down and though most people are dreading the end of the season, I’m pretty happy and stoked for its departure. Now that the kids are back in school, I can finally get back to my normal work routine. No more of the constant interruptions summertime brings.

As a kid, summer was my favorite season. As an adult, not so much. I dislike being hot, sweaty, and sticky every time I step outside. I dislike the bees buzzing around my front porch ready to attack me. I dislike the spiders and their massive webs and the plump, red mosquito bites that keep me scratching all day. I dislike what the humidity does to my hair and what the extreme heat does to my attitude. I’m also not a fan of all the happy summer lovers who can’t seem to understand that not all of us love summer.

Another weighing factor of why I’m not in love with summer is the fact my kids are out of school, which is a conundrum in itself. I then become a deranged taxi driver for said kids—continually carting them from Point A to Point B—in order to keep them from lying on the couch playing video games and eating Cheetos all summer.

No, I’m not a summer lover and so glad the end is near. And even though I do enjoy a good pair of flip-flops and sandals; cookouts and ice cream; and, of course, trips to the beach, spring and fall are the seasons I covet. They are the beautiful seasons which bring me peace and restore my soul.

Goodbye summer, see ya next year.

 

NOTE: Thanks to Alexandra Caselle, Melissa Kinnel, and Melissa Maygrove for their blog shout outs of my debut novel Sifting Through Mud. If you missed their posts, click on their names to check it out. (If there are other blog posts I’m unaware of, please forgive my oversight.)

FYI: My initial blog tour has been rescheduled for October. Details to come.

 

WANTED: Laughter

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.

Coming Soon: My Debut Novel!

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

 

 

 

 

Book Synopsis/Summary

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!

Contemporary Fiction

Available August 18, 2014

News Updates

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.

Parenting News

Me and my teenage son at the lake for a day of family fishing. Yep, I see the hat.

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.

Publishing News

Photo by: Master Isolated Images

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!”

 I’M READY!

 

The Discomfort of a Hand-Me-Down Life (Repost)

My story isn’t that different from anyone else. My need for self-empowerment and growth stemmed from being sick and tired of a hand-me-down life.

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.