I’ve written a book!

26 Nov

“When are you going to write a book?” has been an oft-asked question throughout my life. An English major who always focused on language, won awards for papers in college and worked consistently in communications, ironically I never really gave the question much thought. My flip answers ranged from “probably never” to “when the time is right.” But privately I considered the prospect highly unlikely. I believed I would only author a book if it somehow occurred “organically” due to some (as yet unforeseen) passion for a topic that would naturally and effortlessly lead to composing an entire epistle.

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

A little over a year ago, I was visiting a friend who lost her brother not long after I lost my mom. We were reflecting on the various ways one brings creativity to bear on processing grief. Sarah showed me a series of photographs she had taken over the course of an entire year, exploring the ups and downs of journeying through life while learning to accept loss. I shared that when I returned to Kentucky in 2010 to live with my mother, I started a blog so that I would not lose touch with my writing. What began as simply being around to lend a hand morphed into the role of caregiver—and the blog became an outlet for stress and, eventually, a way to come to terms with the death of a loved one.

While speaking with my friend and seeing her wonderful work, a realization rose up majestically from my subconscious like a giant sea turtle I once encountered while kayaking that had been lying invisible, yet grand, just below the ocean’s surface. I knew I had written my best essays as blog entries during the year of my mother’s death. Why not publish them as a book to honor her life and help others dealing with loss?

sks2

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

I asked Sarah if she would read the four essays I had in mind and, over the next several weeks, we communicated about the ideas. Sarah noticed that the dates I wrote the essays created a seasonal pattern: June 2, 2012; August 9, 2012; October 4, 2012; January 9, 2013—Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter! This pattern provided me with my title: Seasons of Letting Go. Like Sarah’s yearlong photography project (some images shown here), I had a year of essays.

Upon further reflection, I found on my blog site eight other essays that would fit in well following the first four about caregiving and grief. So the concept became a collection of 12 essays, presented in three parts, each containing four chapters. I had already written a book without even knowing it!

That is when the fun began. I set the goal of “doing” the book during the entire year of 2016. Though my 12 essays were already written, I had to edit them—but that was really no big deal. The intention now was to make this a creative experience by involving friends and colleagues who would bring their artistic abilities to the project during an entire year—and I would project manage. I told everyone involved: “There are no hard-and-fast deadlines or production schedules: Just have fun!”

And, you know what? We pulled it off! The book is now at the printer and, when it is available, you will be the first to know. I’ll write another blog about the creative souls who worked on the project. So please, stay tuned, and if you don’t already follow this blog, please sign up in the upper right hand corner so you will get updates about Seasons of Letting Go: Everything I know about truly living I learned by helping someone die.

Post Script added Dec. 10: The book is now available on Amazon.com.

frontcover

Graphic design and layout by Trish Griffin Noe | Cover image by Joye Ardyn Durham

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

S.K. Schuetz, 2014

Sarah and me.

Sarah and me.

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12 Responses to “I’ve written a book!”

  1. Paul Ramey November 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    LOVE THIS!!!!!!!! 🍷Cheers to you!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Gale Tolan November 26, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

      Certainly not surprised but delighted!!! Can’t wait for a signed copy.
      Much love, Gale

  2. Lori Pelaez November 26, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    Congrats….will look forward to a reading at malaprops….

    Lori pelaez

    ________________________________

  3. Loretta Melancon November 26, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

    Frances, what a beautiful inspiring story for all of us who have “intentions” to accomplish something special and just never seem to get around to it. I will be paying attention and looking to find something I always intended to do hoping to find the “bones” already there to flesh out and give it life.

  4. Paula Lykins November 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

    I am so excited to hear you are doing this. I can’t wait to read it. Love you!

  5. Sarah K. Schuetz November 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    Cheers, m’dear!

  6. Hans Peter Jorgensen November 27, 2016 at 6:53 am #

    Congratulations! Where can we get a copy? Amazon?

    H P Jorgensen

    “We have no art; we just do everything as well as we can.” –old Balinese saying

  7. Azubike Aliche, DSW, LCSW November 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    Hello Frances,
    As a psychotherapist in private practice, I get to hear words and phrases like grief, acceptance, subconscious, help others with loss, letting go, care giving, etc., which appeared in your introduction of your book. So, I can related to these. I congratulate you on your work. As someone who has known you for 20 years now, I am not surprised that you wrote the book of the theme that you chose for the book. I am heartened that you book will complement what we do in the therapy room. I look forward to getting a copy of the book when it leaves the press.
    Thanks, for this contribution to among others the mental health literature, even if unintended.
    Aliche

  8. Barbara Falmlen November 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    My sweet Frances…your Mother and Dad are so proud of you and are smiling down from heaven…I can’t wait to read your book…make sure to let me know when and where I can get my copy…Love to you…xoxoxo Barbara

  9. Phyllis Stiles November 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    Congratulations Frances! I can’t wait to see the book. What a labor of love.

  10. irenemorse39 November 27, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    How may we get a copy of the book?

  11. Lib Mullinnix November 30, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    Congratulations, Frances! Look forward to reading your book!

    Lib

    On Sat, Nov 26, 2016 at 5:50 PM, frances figart wrote:

    > Frances Figart posted: ““When are you going to write a book?” has been an > oft-asked question throughout my life. An English major who always focused > on language, won awards for papers in college and worked consistently in > communications, ironically I never really gave the questi” >

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