March 22, 2016

So I'm Writing A Book and Wearing Red Lipstick

 I usually write you all my feels but if you've been on my blog lately, you'll notice I've written a lot recently.

I could say I'm making up for lost time because there were months of sabbatical when I didn't post so much as a status update but the reality is that I'm laying a foundation because I'm writing my book. 

I could tell you the story about me and book writing but it's long and it's late and so I'll just say this. I haven't wanted to write a story that's not finished. I haven't wanted to push words out and bind them up and plop them on a shelf just so I can say I have a book on Amazon and now I'm really something. And then there's the fact that book writing is big and scary and I am afraid of failing. I'm afraid of no books selling, of feeling a fraud, of finding my story isn't worth telling or worse, isn't worth hearing.

So God's been dealing with those doubts because I've felt for awhile it was finally time to write the book. For years I've said, not yet, when people have asked. I'm in no rush and would happily sit in the not yet for another decade or two. But the stories are coming, they keep coming like birthing pains and I feel gritting my teeth and pretending it's not happening isn't an option. I've heard the call to obedience and I've been mostly trying to ignore it. I have a lot of reasons writing a book makes no sense at all. Writing a book when you struggle with bipolar disorder and homeschool 3 children and have health problems is ridiculous. Just typing that is ridiculous. But when I sit to write, the stories don't really fit in a blog post. When I sit to write, I feel ready, which is not to say I don't feel terrified or sort of nauseous, because I definitely feel those too. #writinglife

So I wrote a blog series right here in the middle of it.

Maybe I could've just written a blog post to say, hey, I'm finally working on a book but I needed to write the reminders. I needed to write the series I could go back to when I wondered, did God really say...? When the writing is hard or the work is tiring, I needed to be able to return to the promises of God. I have made you good. And I decided if I scribbled them in my journal, I could deny they exist when I want out. So I'm sharing with you, my people, that I'm writing my book. 

 Before you get excited (hopefully) I'll tell you that I'm in the early stages. I'm writing my proposal which I'll then send out to agents and editors to see if anyone wants to publish me. So it's early days.

I'm also working on building my platform which sends every oogy skeezy feeling running through me. I'm not great at advocating for myself, I always feel uncomfortable with the ask. And in turn I've never really worked to grow my blog, but publishers care about that kind of stuff. Having to market myself was enough to scare me off book writing forever. But I've realized I am passionate about the message of my book and even more passionate about the people who will read it and hopefully have a larger view of the goodness of God where you'd least expect to find it.

I hope you'll read it and it will echo the comments and emails you guys have sent me for years, "I feel less alone. I feel seen and understood by a God who loves me, even still. Even when I'm broken, even when it hurts, even when it's hard, God is still good." 

 So I care about this project as much as I've ever cared about anything I've ever written. My first chapters are almost finished and they're the most beautiful honest hard writing I've ever done. It takes every ounce of self control not to publish them right now because I want to share this work with you so badly but I knew when I started writing them, they're not meant for a blog post. They're meant for a book. 

It's my memoir, it's the stories I've written in short form or hinted at over the years on the blog. I don't check stats much because they mess with my head and make me insecure but because of the book proposal process I've had them on and I will say my favorite thing isn't how many readers I have but how many of you come and visit and read my blog like a book. I'm so glad when you stay awhile. 

So for those who have been asking me for years, and for those who are brand new, I'm doing it. And between you and me, I'm still terrified. But God is good to keep dropping hints to remind me that even when I'm a doubter, He's still faithful.  

What if weakness is my spiritual gift? Well maybe I've discovered it actually is. And maybe you need to know there's glory here too. 

For those who'd like to read the series leading up to this book writing news you can start here. 

I Am From White Also But Not Only: Part One
Standing at the Margins: I Don't Belong: Part Two
You're Good Enough: Part Three
Circling Back Again: Part Four

Other popular posts lately

Living in Exile and Finding My Way Home 
For All Who Hurt With Nothing Left
Dead to Center: Living with Bipolar 

Ok, as an add-on, I promised I'd give you a list of my fav red lipsticks in honor my She Loves Post on Red Lips, Lady Danger, and Holy Rebellion So here it is. 

  • First, make sure your lips are exfoliated because flaky lips and the color red are unforgiving. You can just mix some sugar with some coconut or olive oil and scrub your lips with it until the flakes come off. I do this at night or in the shower. 
  • Moisturize your lips with a balm. My favorite is Smith's Rosebud Salve or the Mandarin one. Both are lovely and last forever. Dry Oregon winters with the woodstove can make lips shrivel like the Crypt Keeper. This is a must. 
  • Pick your color. If you have never worn red lipstick and it's scary, try a tinted lip gloss or a red lip liner with clear gloss on top. 
  • Take the plunge with a bold color. Lining your lips inside will help the color stay on your lips and not travel to unwanted destinations. You can apply red lipstick straight from the bullet or use a lip brush for a little more accuracy. If you have thinner lips, I'd recommend a lip brush and small strokes. If you go outside the lines, just use a little oil on a q-tip to dab it off and then dry it and put some concealer or foundation back on. 
  • Take a singly ply sheet of toilet paper and put it over your pointer finger and stick it in your mouth making an O shape with your lips. Pull it out and the excess red should come off on the paper and not on your teeth. 
The colors are listed from the top, left to right. I gave three drugstore options and three high end options depending on your budget. These are all favorites. 
  • Rimmel Kate 01 is a semi-cream formula which isn't as long wearing but is an affordable true red
  • Maybelline Vivid Matte Lipstick in Orange Shot is not matte despite the name but it's a lovely vibrant red-orange.  
  • Loreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss in Shanghai Scarlet is also not a matte. It goes on creamy and lasts forever. This is a good starter red. 
  • Mac Ruby Woo is a bright red which I swear looks good on just about everyone. This formula is very matte and stays forever but some might find it drying. 
  • Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella is a brown red and because it's a pencil, it's super easy to apply. A great beginner red lip pencil for someone who wants super easy application and a less bold color. 
  • Mac Russian Red is a blue red and will make your teeth look so white. It's also a matte so it'll stay put. 
  • And for my favorite red lipstick, you'll have to head over to She Loves and read about Lady Danger. 
That's it, folks. Thank you for being my people and hanging out with me. I am so thankful for you guys, I really do have the best readers on the internet. Thank you for reading my words and sending me some of your own in response.
I really do love when you talk back, I went to hear a sermon by PastahJ, which I wrote about in my Living in Exile post and he said, "I am a black preacher," which basically meant he'd need some call and response. Some amens and mmmhmmmm's and hallelujah's along the way to know people were tracking with him. I think I might need that too. So give me a shout out, just hit reply and it'll come straight to my inbox. Let's chat.

And feel free to share this newsletter with a friend who'd enjoy it or just needs some red lipstick. It won't always be about book writing and lipstick. Sometimes I cry and write about other things and sometimes I tell embarrassing stories.

Either way, I'm so glad you're here. 

Alia Joy