“You have been just like Bessie gets sometimes,” said Gracie.

Everyone had just finished their evening treats that had been spread around their run area.

“What do you mean?” I asked. Earlier I had shared with them how I had removed the link for people to sign up as email subscribers with Mailchimp. It just wasn’t working right. Every author is supposed to have an email subscriber list, or it’s what everyone recommends anyway.

“Did you see how Bessie was acting just now?” she asked. “She was here, there, and everywhere, trying to get a taste of everything but without really getting a taste of anything.”

She was right, of course, but gave me a few moments to think this over before summarizing for me.

“You are everywhere and nowhere, all at the same time.”

I was suddenly more appreciative than ever to have a friend like Gracie who knows me so well.

“I really should have gotten your advice about it sooner.”

”Maybe there is something you overlooked. After all, Pearl was worried about being a good normal chicken, but she learned to put that behind her. Maybe you should not be so worried about being a good normal writer. Maybe there is no such thing as a good normal writer.”

I laughed. And then I laughed some more. And then Gracie started laughing too. We both knew just as there is no such thing as a good normal chicken, there’s no such thing as a good normal writer.

You know, you really can learn a lot from a chicken!

Maybe there is no such thing as a good normal writer. – Gracie

Another thing I had overlooked is our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page. We have a good number of subscribers there who aren’t a part of the WordPress community. Because WordPress is set up to automatically post to the Facebook page, it’s really been sort of “out of sight, out of mind.”

But our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page really can do almost everything an email subscriber list can do. Keep in touch with our fans, even those who have left WordPress for one reason or another. Provide information about special offers, discounts, and free items that we want to give. Even spread a little “chicken wisdom”!

So Gracie and I put our heads together and decided to set up a special “Thank You” free online preview of the first half of “The Bottle Cap Lady.” You can get to it through our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view this page!

We are going to try to be more conscientious and always have something special pinned to the top of our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page just for all of our fans!

17 thoughts on “A Good Normal Writer

    1. So not only a dancer, like my Gracie, but a psychotherapist too! Sometime I think Gracie is a bit of a psychotherapist for me too. I always feel better after a good conversation with her. She is a very good listener, as I am sure you are also. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! It’s a partial cropped illustration from the eBook version of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.” (The paperback will have black-and-white illustrations or the cost would be way to high!) Thanks again!

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  1. Oh gosh we sound a lot alike. I’m always thinking I should do this or that for my writing and keep up with everyone but I just don’t fit the mold. I think that’s why I like Pearl’s story so much — I totally get her. I was never the right kind of Christian, never the right kind of mom, never the right kind of photographer and now I’m not the right kind of writer and I’m not doing it right — oh well — this is me and I’m not “normal” for some but I’m normal to God who can use me when I don’t “fit in.”

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    1. This brought a few happy tears to my eyes. I’m so glad that you felt a connection to Pearl’s struggles. I think many people do, particularly children where bullying and labeling are concerned. It sounds as you have already learned what it took Pearl some time to figure out. Keep being who you are! 🙂

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    2. Hi, Lisa. There is a rather jarring and inconsistent chapter in the book titled “The Terrifying Chicken Freak Show” which needs major revision. I shared it on Saturday and removed the eBook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble on Sunday. I’m also offering personal refunds to anyone who finds it is too terrifying. It’s going to take some reworking, but the rework received much better comments. At the time, it seemed to be right, but when taken in context it really stands out as not fitting in with the whole mood of the book. Anyway, the offer still stands for a personal refund on this post https://mylifewithgracie.com/2020/08/31/everyone-has-nightmares-a-possible-revision/ Hopefully that chapter gave no one any bad dreams or nightmares. Thanks, John

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      1. Well…. to be honest … I had to skip over that chapter and we hadn’t got back to the book yet. It was very well written but too much for the little one! 😉 I won’t be asking for a refund, though! This whole writing/self publishing thing is a learning process and for an adult reading it it was well written – a little too well written because I almost had nightmares! 😂 she reminded me of how my husband had described his mother when she was drunk and she isn’t pleasant sober so I can’t imagine her drunk — or couldn’t until I read that chapter 😉. I’m going through the book slowly with my daughter because I know there will be some sad bits and I want to brace her for it but she’s a tough kid … she’ll be okay. We also didn’t get back to it because she’s been falling asleep to music this week since we’ve been going to bed too late for reading!

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      2. Lisa, thank you for your graciousness! Pearl and I talked it over yesterday, and we came up with an idea for something that just might be perfect for your daughter and others in her age group. It’s sort of a coloring book/story book combination. We would love to send you one if it all works out. (The only tough part is likely to be about Pearl leaving us, but that did happen. No beer and cigarettes. Just bottles of soda pop and candy bars!) Thanks again!

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      3. Wait….Pearl left or Blanche? Oh gosh..I’m stressed to read the rest of the book now 😉 Don’t you worry about anything. My kid likes the book anyhow. No matter what. She loves hearing about the chickens! And seeing your illustrations. I can always skip anything I think might upset her. She’s the kind of kid that not much upsets her . . . until it does. I’m never quite sure what might catch her off guard, but I’m lucky that not much seems to. She’s the kind of kid who can declare “That guy died. Oh well, that happens,” one day and the next day she’s crying about something else I never thought she’d cry about. It’s a crap shoot — this parenting thing. lol.

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      4. Pearl is just fine and happy. Blanche left us after a long period of being sick off and on. It happened on Easter Sunday last year. So this seemed like a natural tie in for Christmas. Blanche’s life was all about giving which is what both Easter and Christmas are about. “For God so loved, he gave…” at Christmas and at Easter. But I do need to work on that connection much more in the rewrite! It’s not easy balancing so many things in a whole big book! 🙂

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      5. It is not easy to that at all (trust me, I get it) but I already got that connection and I haven’t even finished it yet. And yes, I do remember the post about Blanche now and *sniff* it broke my heart.

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    1. It’s not easy. There is so much out there about what writers should do, could do, must do…that it makes you feel like if you have just one misstep, you’re doomed! I look at Twitter sometimes, and it seems like every new book is about vampires or insane psychopathic killers. I just can’t bring myself to write a story about insane psychopathic vampire chickens. Of course, if I could, I would probably make a fortune!!! Maybe the bottom line is we just have to be who we are and trust that will be enough to get us where we are meant to go. But I will admit, it is not easy, particularly when one has been brought up to do things the right way and follow the rules. It seems to be a whole new world now. Or am I just being a grumpy old man?!? 🙂

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