It’s Been a Year

I haven’t posted in a while–2 1/2 months, as I just discovered. Wow…that’s pretty bad, and I can’t believe it’s already October! I meant to post after my 5 year checkup (more on that in a post next week), but I wanted to sit on it for a few days and then things got busy and days turned into weeks, and I never did. I struggle sometimes with posting here consistently if I don’t feel that I have something to actually say that seems worth saying. I don’t want to add to the noise, but then I also know the best way to keep people reading is NOT by posting super infrequently.

Anyway, here we are. It’s October 2nd, and that means it’s a pretty big anniversary for a couple of reasons, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to anniversaries–for today and for my 5 year “cancerversary” (it’s a thing…don’t judge…cancer card).

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Why I Wrote a Book

I started graduate school in August and have been meeting many new people as a result. Just as I moved to Hawaii a couple months after I finished chemotherapy and found myself having to explain a lot of my back-story to the new faces I encountered, so now I find myself having to give a lot of context as to why things have been a bit busy…because I happened to write a book that also just happened to come out in the fall. People frequently ask me why I decided to write a book, and though I often doubted my reasons along the way—thinking there was a good chance I was legitimately going crazy—I’ve had two main reasons.

I was reminded of the first reason when I read something by Parker Palmer for one of my grad school classes. In his book Let Your Life Speak, Palmer explains his reasons for writing about his experience with depression, and I resonated with his words. Here’s what he says:

“…my depression was largely situational. I will tell the truth about it as far as I am able. But what is true for me is not necessarily true for others. I am not writing a prescription—I am simply telling my story. If it illumines your story, or the story of someone you care about, I will be grateful. If it helps you or someone you care about turn suffering into guidance for vocation, I will be more grateful still.”

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Kickstarter Update #10: Some Rewards Are on Their Way!

Exciting news: some rewards are on their way!!! I was home in Dallas over fall break from graduate school last week which afforded me the time to sort through my first shipment of books, sign some, write thank you notes, and get out the first shipment! I sent about 20 packages, so almost half of you should be getting your books by the start of next week (and some should be there today or Friday!).

Unfortunately, all of the rewards aren’t out yet. I’m waiting for the rest of my books to get in from my publisher in order to send out the rest of the hardcover and paperback books, but once those are in, I can get those out very quickly, so I estimate that those will be out in the next week and a half to two weeks.

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Kickstarter Update #9: Drumroll Please…

Well, today I held in my hands my very own copy of What in the World Are You Doing with Cancer?!!! I’ve been waiting to do (and say) that for a good part of the past three years! The print quality came out great–no missing pages or cover printed upside down or anything! So, I gave my publisher the go-ahead to send on my initial shipment of books and it should arrive next week!

Some of you may have seen that my book is available on and right now, and a couple of my friends said their orders should arrive tomorrow. Today I asked my sales rep at my publisher how that was possible if I hadn’t finished signing off on the print quality yet since I just got my own copy today. He said that each of those companies uses different printers, so my publisher WestBow has me okay the print quality as a courtesy that other companies don’t. So hopefully the copies people bought from Amazon and B&N turn out okay, but if not, that’s a problem for the individual printers those companies use.

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Kickstarter Update #8: The Long Awaited (and Long Overdue!) End Is Finally in Sight!

Wow. I never imagined it would be October of 2013 when I finally knew that I’d be holding my book within a week. And yet, here we are.

I posted back in April that this had been a patience-testing journey, and since then, the fun hasn’t stopped. I paid the deposit for Wheaton graduate school on the first Friday in May, and later that day, the song licensing for my book finally came through after five months of my persistent phone calls and emails. I’m not saying the two are necessarily linked, but I had been feeling like I was supposed to attend graduate school this fall but couldn’t bring myself to commit and leave Hawaii again, so I do think the timing of my actually paying the online deposit and hours later receiving word that my licensing was in order was poetic. Maybe I should have been obedient with grad school sooner…

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Kickstarter Update #7: Patience Is a Virtue, Right?

Aloha! Well, it’s April, and as you read this update, the question on most people’s minds is probably: when the heck is this book of Hannah’s coming out? Trust me, it’s my daily question, too.

Here’s where things stand: writing, editing, and endorsements are all finished and submitted. My cover design is planned and ready to put into action with the design team, BUT, we can’t move on until everything dealing with the text is in. I think I mentioned that before when I was waiting on endorsements, but after I submitted the endorsements (a few of which are listed at the bottom of this post), the publisher reviewed my manuscript and said that I can’t move on yet because of licensing.

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Kickstarter Update #6: I’m Sure You’ve Been Wondering

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s December, and you don’t have a copy of my book in your hands. If you haven’t noticed, please stop reading this right now and continue on your merry way. I tried to come up with some entertaining title for this post or a witty analogy for my update, but I decided against offering up some trite lighthearted excuse.

Instead, here’s why you don’t have a copy of my book in your bookcase or in a stack of stuff on your desk. I was on track to have everything finished and the book printed by November, and then a number of discouraging factors along with a few neutral delays intervened.

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Kickstarter Update #5: As Time Goes By

Whew! It’s been a busy summer and I have a few more crazy weeks coming up, but a lot of good stuff has happened. I love that this is becoming more and more of a reality! I tend not to get my hopes up about things, so I think maybe the reality that I’m publishing a book hasn’t set in yet. It’ll be good to hold it in my hands this fall!

I’ve paid Westbow 3 of my 4 installments, and my last payment should be the first week of September! I’ve also submitted my manuscript and it’s being reviewed by Westbow as we speak. When they get it back to me soon (this week or next I think), I’ll review what notes and changes they made, I’ll add my parents’ forward and my acknowledgements to the book, and I’ll start working with the design team on the look of my book. I’ve been working on my cover design but haven’t finalized it—it’s a big deal and I don’t want to mess it up! The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is around for a reason, so since I realize most of us do look at books based on their covers, I’m not saying “go” until I feel it’s perfect.

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Kickstarter Update #4: It’s Go Time

First of all, I’m so sorry that it’s been few days since my goal date and I haven’t posted. I got the e-mail from Kickstarter that we’d reached the goal while I was sitting in a bridesmaid luncheon before my cousin Ali’s wedding on Saturday. Needless to say, I was pretty elated.

Once again, thank you all for your overwhelming support! I am so grateful for you and humbled by your generosity. Know that I literally could not be publishing my book without you!

I paid the publisher my first installment on Monday! 🙂 I’m so excited for this to actually be happening. Westbow set me up with my production team, and I talked to Maggie, my “Check-in-Coordinator” on Tuesday. She sent me about seven documents on where we go from here. First of all, I have to submit my manuscript. I have three more chapters that need a final-final edit, and then I need my mom to look over a couple of sections and their wording. By the end of next week I should have my manuscript submitted.

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Kickstarter Update #2: And on the 8th Day…

I can’t believe we’re 8 days in and almost there! I’m once again so humbled by everyone’s generosity. Thank you SO much!

I realized the other day that I never said what I’d do if I raise money over my goal.  As you might know, authors have to pay to buy their own books. Granted, there’s a discounted rate, but much of publishing is out of the author’s hands, including being able to have polished copies of their own work. Any money I raise above my goal can help me buy books to distribute to different people that my story could help (from hospitals to college health centers and beyond), and it can also help me cover editing services and things like licensing fees for instances where I quote song lyrics in my book.

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