These times in which we’re living keep bringing my older novels top of mind, because the themes I explored when I wrote them seem more relevant than ever.
Lead Me Home is one of those books.
This novel, which received a Publisher’s Weekly starred review, features female characters who grapple with secrets and shame, and do so as women who can make their own choices about their lives and their futures.
Consider picking up a copy of this faith-based novel as one of your summer reads (or re-reads), wherever books are sold.
Seven years ago I launched an online mentoring program for aspiring writers called Focused Writers (www.focused-writers.com), not knowing that this intimate space for learning about writing and publishing would not only lead to books and blogs being birthed by members, but also to a tribe of mutual support.
When some of the members approached me about writing something together, I finally agreed, and in January 2021 we embarked upon a yearlong Mastermind Class of sorts, with me guiding them through every aspect of publishing – from idea stage to finished book.
Also exciting for us as we release this book just in time for Women’s History Month in March, is our collective agreement to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from sales made from February 22 through March 31 to the YWCA USA.
Back in my reporter days, I covered a range of social issues, including writing stories about women working their way off of welfare, fleeing abusive relationships and learning to advocate for themselves and their children.
I also wrote about the organizations and nonprofits designed to support them, including the YWCA, whose mission is to empower women and eradicate racism.
So when my Focused Writers mentees decided to write a book together, title it On Womanhood, and donate a portion of proceeds from sales, the YWCA USA was a natural choice.
I am a six-year board member of the YWCA Richmond and can vouch firsthand for the staff’s dedication to serving women and children, in a myriad of ways.
Yet, we have chosen to contribute to the YWCA USA because our Focused Writers anthology authors are based around the nation – from Las Vegas to Houston to Savannah to Richmond. And each writer will be reaching out to her local branch, too.
So in addition to buying our short collection and supporting a great cause in the process, also take some time to learn more about the YWCA USA and the YWCA in your local area!
Happy September. I stepped away from most of my online posting during a well-enjoyed August break, and now that I’m back, I say hello to you all and welcome to my new friends and followers. Please indulge me as I take a few minutes to reintroduce myself; and after reading my update, feel free to share a bit about yourself in the comments. I’d love to get to know you and discover what inspires you.
I’m Stacy. A creative spirit and lover of words. I have a big heart, a feisty streak and a soft spot for all people – kids and young adults in particular. I’m an optimist who keeps my eyes on life’s prize.
My “It List” includes writing, reading, music, chocolate, fresh flowers, candles, laughter, hugs, sunrises, beaches, mountain views, helping others and learning new things.
I’m the mom of two young adults who are blazing their trails in the world and allowing me to enjoy their ride.
I still use all three names though I’m divorced, because “Stacy Hawkins Adams” has been my “pen name” for decades and has taken on a life of its own. Lol
Plus, the Adams clan will always be fam and friends.
So look me up under that name and you’ll find 11 nationally published “book babies” that I hope you’ll consider reading and enjoy.
I also blog here, at LifeUntapped.com, post inspirational musings on Instagram and on Facebook, and occasionally pen freelance articles and essays for national publications.
I’m in the process of writing a new novel – a piece of women’s fiction that is stretching me and thrilling me (while praying that my agent and a publisher’s gonna love it).
I can be serious, but those closest to me know that I am just as often playful.
I dance and sing behind closed doors, but I’m a prayer warrior wherever needed.
I love that my milestone birthday this year has opened me up in ways that are freeing and fulfilling.
I am more often speaking my truth in love
and trusting myself the first time
and believing bigger because, Why not?
I also am still stretching, stumbling and growing; but isn’t that what makes life’s journey a beautiful mosaic?
I hope the words and images that I routinely share here with you, and on the written page, will remind you that you can do the same.
I’ve connected with quite a few writer friends this week and it has fueled my creativity in ways that I didn’t realize I missed so much during the pandemic.
Two of the catchups were one-on-one reunions over a meal, and both of those friends/mentors reminded me that writing is important work – to be leaned into, wrestled with, granted free reign, yet relented to with finesse, because words hold power and stories help us understand each other; and when we put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, sometimes we even surprise ourselves at the important truths, wounds, dreams, hopes, fears, strength and more that lie just beneath the surface.
Whether we’re writing fiction or nonfiction, that power – and responsibility – are the same.
My other gathering with writers was filled with amazing talent and wisdom too, and left me with an inner glow.
I share all of this to note that as I’ve spent time at my keyboard after hours and in the wee hours of morning this week, editing others work and also nurturing my own work-in-progress, I’ve felt more grateful than ever for the gift of words and writing, and for the opportunity to speak to the world in a manner that can endure.
What part of your purpose or your journey are you most grateful for this week? Acknowledge it and celebrate it in some way.
Today, pay attention to the little things – words spoken or unspoken; gestures rendered or withheld; opportunities offered or missed; your struggle between fear and confidence, or maybe a focus on all that’s wrong instead of dwelling in the beauty of all that’s right.
Watch yourself and others, and consider the consequences of words and actions; listen with your heart as well as with your ears; assess whether being glass half-full or glass half-empty serves you best.
Change whatever you must to grow and be content; and give others the space and the grace to do the same.
Stretching and growing isn’t always easy, but having the courage to embrace the process (while being thoughtful and respectful of others) can guide you to greater places, both within and without.
One of the things I love most about spring is that its arrival serves as a tangible reminder that “not now” doesn’t mean “not ever.”
The sunnier and warmer days of this season are rewards for pressing through the previous months of darkness and cold – a season that was perhaps ordained to be a period of hibernation, rest and regeneration – a time to prepare for our longed-for successes, new opportunities or next level ahead.
As you lean into whatever this season brings for you, remember that most “overnight” successes have toiled in the winter of their own making for years and years – keeping their vision before them, getting up, pressing forward and saying “thank you” in advance, so that when their blessing or victory arrived, they could declare “Welcome! I’ve been waiting for you, with open arms.”
If you aren’t quite there yet, keep going and preparing. The good you do along the way won’t be wasted. It is watering your path, building your legacy and inspiring all you touch.