I’ve been wriggling under my snowbank for a few weeks, curling into a tighter ball of fur instead of taking action. Now I’m rising, shaking off the crusts of ice from my eyelashes. It’s been such a long time that I’ve been sleeping in this snowbank, not blogging, that I can’t quite think what to share now. But it seems that I should summarize the past few months and give a few updates.
Before I proceed, thank you for the many kind messages I received. On a particularly low 24-hour period not long ago, I received five messages or phone calls, all from random people, all in different states I believe. That itself was enough to show me that God had not left me in my snowbank to rot, but was in fact, sustaining me. I apologize for not replying to all of your kind words and thoughts.
So now, the summary. First, the Boys.
Over Christmas vacation, Marnell and I took two trips, and the boys stayed with their mom. Mom missed them terribly, and wanted them to stay. At the same time, after they left, my mind cleared. I wasn’t sure that I could handle taking them back, at least not without an extensive break.
They never did come back permanently, although they showered at our house a few times a week for a short time. Before the end of January, their mother found a nice apartment, and they are now with her in a safe place.
Although I had an initial euphoria of relief, a blanket of depression resettled in the weeks that followed. My failure to maintain sanity while keeping the boys bothered me more than anything. Why do I fail at everything? I asked myself. Anxieties and fears of the future troubled me as well.
Second, my writing.
As usual, my writing project provided therapy even thought I didn’t find the energy to blog. I have nearly finished the draft of my next book. It will probably be titled Thomas E. Kirkman: Artist, Spy, Amishman. This book resembles Captain Garrison, since it is about a real person and fictional details have been added. Tom Kirkman, however, entered the world in 1934 and found his way to working in the White House before joining the Amish. It is a fascinating project!
Third, my new blogging series.
Since late winter can be a drag for everyone, I’m planning to kick start my blogging by sharing a series of things that can help battle depression, both from my own experience and from things other people have shared. I’ll debrief from the last few months and highlight the best things I learned.
I’ll share one “intervention against depression” today.
I am trying to do at least one “Act of Kindness” every day of February for someone else. To make this easier, I ordered a large box of chocolates from Russell Stover. I’ve also enjoyed visiting people and having some great conversations. Now that my chocolates are running out, I will have to get a little more creative.
My most creative idea is approaching Monday night. I can’t tell you much about it because that could spoil it for the people who are coming. I’m hosting a “Favorite Foods of the Presidents Dinner.” (Monday is President’s Day, if you aren’t aware.) Since I’ve been doing a lot of White House and Eisenhower research for the Kirkman book, it wasn’t hard to pull some ideas together. I’m planning to seat people as they do at the White House, where everyone gets mixed up rather than sitting beside the person they came with. Isn’t that interesting? I’ve also sent handwritten invitations, as Tom Kirkman likely did in his time as calligrapher in the White House. We’re going to have formal photos, and even a game of memory. Will the food be elegant? I’ll share the menu next week, but let’s just say, presidents historically haven’t been too elaborate in their choices of favorite foods, according to the list I referenced.
An Update on Captain Garrison and A giveaway.
Have you all gotten a copy of Captain Garrison yet? The feedback I received pleases me immensely, despite at least one specific mistake in the book. Boys as young as 9 or 10 have read it! I thought it would most likely appeal to teens, so these young men must be exceptional readers.
I was quite angry at Amazon for not allowing me to load Captain Garrison there, but in the last week it finally went through. Although I make almost no money on it because of the excessive fees, it’s a good platform to buy a book if you want an autographed copy, since I ship them directly to you. Also, it is a lovely place for me to collect reviews. If you have read Captain Garrison, please do me a huge favor by writing an honest review here on Amazon. You can also order a signed copy that way.
And the giveaway? Leave a comment sharing something kind that someone did for you (any time, any place). I’ll pick the name of one person to receive a signed copy of Captain Garrison, my last bar of Russell Stover chocolate, and a little treat from the Presidents meal.
From my snowbank to yours!