Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dear Stevie, the book?

Dear Readers,
I need your input on something. I think I want to write a book. Well, more like turn some of my letters to Stevie from this blog (and others that I haven't shared here) into a book. I've actually wanted to do this for quite a while, but then I'd think, "who am I kidding? I'm not a good enough writer to do that," or "no one would want to read it," or "I don't have time." But lately I feel like I'm sort of on a roll, really fired up, and two words keep repeating in my head:

Why not?

I mean, all the people out there that have published books aren't necessarily better at writing than everyone else in the world--they just did it. They went for it. I've been making a really conscious effort of doing that, of not just talking about doing something "someday," but actually taking the leap and making it happen. And so far, it's worked out pretty well! I can't get enough of that feeling! The feeling you get when you are able to take a dream and watch it become reality. It's so exhilarating.

But anyway, back to the book.

What I want to do is tell my story--Stevie's story--through the letters I've written to her. I want to start at the beginning, when she was a tiny clump of cells, two pink lines on a pregnancy test, through my pregnancy, and the year after losing her. For a while I've been waiting for a good 'ending' for the book. Some happy, neat way of wrapping everything up. Now I realize how silly (and stupid) that is. I mean, isn't that the point? That her story isn't ending; it's only just beginning.

While obviously I want this book to be something that other 'babyloss' moms can resonate with and find comfort in, I don't see it as simply a pregnancy/infant loss resource. The story I want to tell is about more than losing a baby--it's about growing up. About the lessons you learn when life doesn't go as planned. About taking a horrible, devastating situation and using it to create something good. About the power of a mother's love. About survival.

If you can't tell, I'm kind of excited about this!

I'd really love your input on this idea. What do you think? Would you read a book like the one I've described? What do you think about having the format be letters rather than the traditional narrative form? Any thoughts on self-publishing (probably the route I will take)? Do you remember any posts/letters you definitely think I should include? Please, be brutally honest--if you don't think it's a good idea, say so; I promise you won't hurt my feelings :)

Thanks so much for your help!

Love,
Kristin

30 comments:

Angie said...

This sounds like a wonderful book idea. I haven't seen any blm books like this. Not a book of resources and grief, and not necessarily a memoir. A book of letters that come together to tell the story of the life Stevie has left behind. It sounds awesome. I know of a website that helps you publish your own book, http://www.lulu.com/ xo

Amie said...

You should! I think this is such a taboo topic in our society, but it shouldn't be! I think when people experience a loss, they feel alone. And when it comes to baby loss, people don't know how to address it- when does a baby "count" as a loss to mourn? What do you say to someone who has experienced loss? And beyond that, I think that because of how many TYPES of loss there are, many people would find solace in a book like that, because so many people have gone through or are close to someone who has gone through a loss. My mom had multiple miscarriages at different stages, and my mother-in-law had a stillborn baby girl at 38 weeks. I had a miscarriage before even knowing I was pregnant, and I was about 8 weeks so it was a total shock. I think it helps people to have someone to connect with, to not feel so helpless and alone. And I've followed your blog for quite a while now, and I feel like you are an incredible leader and voice for baby loss. I feel so cruel saying that, but you are truly inspiring.

Tiffany Queener said...

You've already said it... "why not". I think in life, your passions are what take you places that you'll be happy with, even after you've arrived. You HAVE to explore those passions and yes.. take action. Otherwise, you will only have one more "what if" in your life. Who wants that?!

Rhiannon said...

Do it! You are a beautiful writer and I know that your book would be phenomenal! <3

LauraJane said...

You should totally do this. My husband keeps pushing me to do it too.
I have no idea what posts to suggest using, or even how to self-publish. Just another vote to tell you to do it! :)

Team Carter said...

Another vote here to do it! My husband has also been trying to talk me into doing this, and I've just barely started to give it some real serious thought.

Tiffany said...

Absolutely!!! Do it kristin :) I would totally read it! You are an amazing writer

Julie said...

kristin, i think it's a wonderful idea. i would read it, and i think it would be successful. i am proud to know you!

Deanna said...

Do it!! I've been toying with this idea as well. There is a book called "Letters to My Son" by Mitch Carmody. He wrote it with the letters the first year after his son died (not pregnancy/infant death), but with inserts on what he felt about those letters looking back. I read it and really enjoyed it! You would write a wonderful book, I'm sure!!
We recently had a self published author into our library for a book talk and she thought that choosing a publisher was the hardest, but she did - Author House. She struggled with the "packages" they all tried to sell to give her publicity, etc.
That's about all I can offer. Look forward to hearing your decision :)

Ausmerican Housewife said...

I say go for it! And I'll buy a couple copies to donate to the hospitals where Julia and Evan were born and where he died, our local libraries and for my midwife to lend out if she has people that are interested.

Get writing girlie! :D

Amanda McClenaghan said...

I can't wait to get a copy!

Poodlemama said...

I love the idea. I think you are an excellent writer and have a very important story to tell.

Jessica said...

Great idea! I think you are a fabulous writer! I would certainly read it!

Anonymous said...

Where can I sign up to get a copy? I think it would be a great book and such a wonderful thing to offer others! You have tremendous writing skills and you can really put your emotions into words which is something that is hard for a lot of peoeple to do. Your letters to Stevie have certainly helped me on my journey through this all to confusing life after losing a child and trying to figure out your 'new' life.

Brooke said...

I was just posting today about the benefits of putting your pain out there and being honest about what you're going through. I think it's a lovely idea.

Self-publishing has some a long way, especially with all of the electronic media that's available, so that seems really reasonable if you don't want to struggle with finding a publisher for what might be considered a "niche" market (although I agree with you that the lessons we're all learning are so universal). From what I understand, you can market yourself with a listing on Amazon, and of course your blog gives you a forum for reach people as well.

Best of luck to you.

Becky said...

definitely go for it. Your letters and all of the great things you have been doing in Stevie's honor are so inspiring.

Shannon said...

Sounds like a wonderful idea to me go for it. I can't wait to read the book

Anonymous said...

This is your rainbow! How exciting to have this clarity and direction. I'm a stepmom and nearly 40 and your writing resonates with me. I follow your blog daily. I'm so glad you're back. I think you'll find amazing success and a new direction! Go for it!

Anonymous said...

This is your rainbow! How exciting to have this clarity and direction. I'm a stepmom and nearly 40 and your writing resonates with me. I follow your blog daily. I'm so glad you're back. I think you'll find amazing success and a new direction! Go for it!

Anonymous said...

I'm a longtime reader and a book is nothing but a wonderful idea.

You're such a good writer, though (plain-spoken and down-to-earth, but eloquent), I don't see why you'd have to go the self-publishing route; you should send your manuscript to the bigger presses, too. What could it hurt? ;)

-Sarah

Leanne said...

You should totally do this!!!!!! It would be awesome. I'd want to buy it!!

LindsayjKing13 said...

DO IT!

Melissa said...

Do it do it do it! I call dibs on a signed copy! <3

Seriously Kristen, this is such a wonderful wonderful wonderful idea. And that idea that you're not a "good" writer? Throw that out the window right now, lady! You're AMAZING. Your writing is capitivating, smart, funny, witty, and all-in-all fantastic. You could write such a great book. I support you 1000% and I believe in this so much I'd even donate money to help you get it published. I bet lots of us would.

Get cracking, lady! I can't wait to buy your first copy!

Maggie said...

You really, really should!!! I would totally buy it too!!! I've always thought of turning my blog into a book, but to be honest, I've been quite lazy about it and it's still on the back burner. But I've read SO many loss books, I just know, Stevie's book, if you choose to do one, will touch so many people, just like this blog does. Put it this way, when we started writing here, we probably never thought there would be any actual readers. Now look... :) Good luck. I think it would be great!

Melissa said...

Definitely!!!

The Deters said...

I think you should definitely write this book. I have been reading your blog since last summer, and I am amazed by your talent to express emotions through words. You have so much knowledge and experience to share. I would buy a copy, or two, of the book!

Get writing :)

Jaime said...

I will definitely read! Put me on the list for an advanced copy! ;)

Missy Luukkonen said...

I have read your blog for over a year now, and even through all the greif, I have always thought that you were such a good writer. I think your book sounds amazing and would help so many other people!! I wish you the best of luck in this journey and I know you will have great success!!!!

Baby Gabby- Forever in our hearts said...

Absolutely positively YES!! I just so happened to somehow start reading your blog somewhere in the middle (from a google search) and I read it going backwards. I have NOT been able to stop reading! Since I began reading it in the middle, when I reached the end (which was actually the beginning of your blog) I had to come and check out your most recent posts to see how you are doing NOW! I have to say I am thrilled that you are considering in writing a book from all of your letters to Stevie from this blog. Stevie lived inside of you for 6 whole months, she had a LIFE, and she most certainly has two incredible parents who love her dearly and will never ever forget her. Your letters to Stevie are something that other mother's in the same situation NEED to read! They need to realize that THEY are not the ONLY ones going through this unbearable heartache. That is why I am thrilled that I read this post...because before I read this entry I was already thinking to myself how great it would be for me to introduce your blog to my sister-in-law! We have and are going through tremendous heart ache with the loss of my first and only baby niece Gabby. In 8 days it will be her 1st Angelversary :'(
Your book would be phenomenal because not only are you an incredible writer, this book (BECAUSE OF STEVIE) will touch so many hearts and especially help the hearts of other mothers (and fathers) that are trying to cope with the loss of their sweet baby. I will buy a copy! This book will allow Stevie to live in our hearts forever ;)

Kristine said...

Lots of luck. I've been working on a book forever based on my blog and just can't seem to get it together. I need more dedication!

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