Tag Archives: writing my book

Take cover

I’m not sure how cover creation works for other publishers or for self-publishers, but I can share with you my process.

At the beginning of our partnership, my publisher asked me to fill out a questionnaire about the cover and turn it in with the completed manuscript. Were there images that would be appropriate? I suggested anything that symbolizes union: the Tao symbol (my Twitter avatar), joined hands, joined hearts, puzzle pieces coming together, and rainbow colors for promises kept. I didn’t know how the publisher would build a cover with that input.

[I really like the image on Jim Gritter’s book, Hospitious Adoption, as well as the content in it (wow! currently selling on Amazon for $900!). But Jim got it first.

Hospitious Adoption by Jim Gritter

Still, for my own book I had nothing definitive in my mind, no clear vision of what the book should look like. I am much more facile thinking in words than in pictures, so I’m glad I had access to the publisher’s expertise in this part of book production.

The questionnaire also asked if there were any images that should be avoided.  I nixed babies. This book isn’t about parenting just babies. And I don’t want it to attract only people who are at the very beginning of their adoption journey. It really should have wider appeal — it’s also for parents of toddlers, gradeschoolers, tweens and teens. It’s got messages for birth families as well as adoptive families. And there’s a chapter for why and how to have openness in foster situations,  international adoptions and parenting by donor gametes — even in cases in which “openness” doesn’t mean actual contact.

I sent the questionnaire along with the manuscript at the end of the summer. And waited for the publisher to work its magic.

Two weeks ago the publisher sent me five options. Four of them had templates based on squares and were very grid-ish. But one was more orb-ish in flavor. In my mind, circles portray wholeness and integration better than do squares. So my gut feeling on choosing The One was clear and instantaneous.

And so — we now have a cover for the book.


Lori Holden's book cover

If you like it, tell me. If you don’t, there’s nothing I can do — so instead tell me who is your favorite political theorist of the European Age of Enlightenment and why.

Without Googling.*

* generic term for all Internet searches.

Time Warp Tuesday: Books

Ooooh, books. Most every blogger I know loves to write because she loves to read. We pepper our posts with references to the books and authors we loved in the past — Nancy Drew and Piers Anthony and Sydney Sheldon (don’t judge!) and Jean Auel — and those that touch us now — Jim Gritter, Melissa Ford, Joan Didion, and Anita Diamont.

We’re revisiting posts about “books” for Time Warp Tuesday, the monthly blog hop offered by Kathy at Bereaved and Blessed.

Kathy directs us this month to:

Choose a post in which you wrote about one or more books that you have read. The post could be a book review, a blog entry that was part of a book tour/book club discussion or just references a book(s) that you love… Then write a new post about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.

I’m going to interpret Kathy’s instructions loosely. I’m going to warp time by 11 months and direct you to this post, the closest I will ever get to making a pregnancy or birth announcement.

My Big Announcement: Not Paper Pregnant but…

Damn, it felt good to publish that post after so many years of trying.


So what has changed since my news?

  • I have written the book. I had the privilege of interviewing dozens of people involved in adoption, and their stories and insights make the book something I’m proud of. I committed to showing up to write for at least an hour every day the kids were in school, and by May I had a manuscript. Consequently, I am able to share some excerpts with you.
  • My daughter’s birth mom, Crystal, is listed as a contributor rather than co-author. Turns out it was too cumbersome to write in the first-person plural, since our viewpoints and experiences were often vastly different.
  • Carolyn Savage, author of Inconceivable, has written the Foreword, thanks to Kathy introducing us. Carolyn has become a good friend and publishing mentor, and I love reading her regularly on her blog.
  • Several luminaries have written endorsements for the book after reading the raw manuscript. You might recognize some of them.
  • Even though the book won’t be available until March, its page just went up on Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, would you Like my book?
  • My Amazon Author page was just approved. Do you want to see the Author/Contributor portrait for the book flap?

What has not changed?

  • The title, at first in question by the publisher, will remain The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole.
  • The cover is still under development. I have NO IDEA what it will look like.
  • The book will be available in hardcover and e-version. Amazon is taking pre-orders now, along with its pre-order price guarantee.

Is this sense of contentment and happiness and anticipation I’m experiencing at all like what it feels like to at last be pregnant with a takeaway?

Click over to Time Warp Tuesday to read more posts about books, and maybe even add your own (even if it’s no longer Tuesday).

Perfect Moment Monday: Good enough?

Tessa was quite nervous to start her new school year. She hadn’t slept well the night before because she’d wrestled with demons: Would her new grade be too hard? Would she be accepted?  Would she have what she needs? Would she do the right things, wear the right things, say the right things? And the most insidious demon of all — Am I good enough?

Tessa woke up with a stomach ache and an inability to focus on getting ready.  As I walked her and her brother toward the school, I addressed her anxiety.

“Sweetie, I know that by the time you come home today, you’re going to be beaming. You’re going to tell me how wonderfully your day went, how you are so happy to be where you are. How prepared you are, how everything clicked for you.”

“Do you really think so, Mom?” she asked. “I hope you’re right but I’m afraid you won’t be.”

“I know I’m right. Mom’s know.”

And I did. Hours later, she beamed, she chattered happily as she recounted her triumphant day, things clicked for her.

My next stop was my yoga mat. After my yoga class, I planned to return to my book manuscript, due soon, the one that I’d put aside for much of the summer. In about a week I will move from the private activity of writing to the collaborative effort of editing.

The yoga teacher warmed us up and eventually guided us into Firelog pose (agnistambhasana) — a deep hip opener. I found I was tighter than usual. As I breathed through the pose, I could feel energy and matter stuck.

My demons.

Our teacher left us in the pose long enough (each side got a turn) for me to tune in to my own fears and blockages.  Like Tessa, I was afraid of making a transition, of leaving behind what was within my comfort zone and revealing myself to The New. Would my work be deemed acceptable? Would I prove to have what it takes? Would I be able to say and do the right things in this next stage of my book’s journey? Am I good enough?

Soon I will share my so-far private project with a critic — my editor. Of course, the end-step will be to share it with the world (or an adoption corner of it). My impending steps toward increased vulnerability triggered low-level anxiety, much like my daughter experienced.

I inhaled these insights and exhaled release. The tension in my hips began to soften and eventually unknot. With each breath I was able to ease more deeply into the pose.

A yoga class.At the end of class as I lay in savasana, a pose of complete relaxation and release, I experienced the perfect a-ha! moment. The words I used to calm  Tessa could also be used to calm me.  I will get this manuscript turned in. Chances are I will end up beaming and things will go wonderfully (and if not, I will deal with that). I am prepared for the next stage of my book journey and I bet I’ll be just as content and competent in my new phase as I’ve been in my old one.

I am enough.

Moms know. I know.

Photo credit: Wikipedia


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin September 24.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  2. Write up your own Perfect Moment and post for August.
  3. Use List.ly below to enter your name (or blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment post. You can even embed the entire list on your own post (holler if you need any help doing so).
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog. (Looky! Its the 2012 version, courtesy the fabulous Justine!)What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.