Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Down The Cereal Aisle

A friend just ordered six copies of my 2003
cookbook of memories, Down The Cereal Aisle.
As I went to get the books to send to her, I saw that I have
many copies left. So, please feel free to ask for a copy or
two of this cookbook that has recipes and memories of kids
who are no longer with us. This month, order a book for only
$13.00 total. Give it as a Christmas gift.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Writing to Heal

When my son Daniel died in 1997, writing wasn't any lofty pursuit. Writing was a means of survival. I poured pain onto the pages of my journal, hoping, somehow, that I could make sense of his senseless death, find the loophole, and bring him back to life.

There is something about writing that calms you, makes your agony bearable, and gives you solace. No one has to read or criticize what you write; you own the pages of your journal. Your days after the death of a loved one are filled with enough pain to burst your heart. If you let a little of the combustion out via your pen, you can save yourself from the explosion.

I offer online writing courses at my website and hope that you will click on the Writing the Heartache Workshop link and pursue five weeks of writing through the sorrow.

As Alice Walker stated, Writing saved me.

I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

End of the year...

I know we still have a month to go, but nevertheless, I'm reflecting
over this year. This year holds much significance. I think the
four major "events" include:
* Meeting Carl, the wonder of my life
* Elizabeth starting middle school
* Rachel starting college at ECU
* Rain Song (finally) making her debut

When 2008 entered, I knew Elizabeth and Rachel would make it to
their new schools. I also knew that Rain Song was to arrive in
bookstores by October.

The biggest surprise of the year has been meeting Carl. Yes,
folks, via the Internet. He moved from New York to Durham, NC
in May so he could be close to me.

I am counting blessings. It has been a memorable year...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inspired by the northern shore

In 2001 I had the privilege of spending a week with Alice Walker ... Actually, it was a writing shed named for her. Inside that tiny space, I spent days working on fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. In the evenings the fire in the large cabin blazed while I read to other writers what I had written. There are some things in life you forget quickly, but the week at Norcroft will never leave my mind.

Outside of Duluth, in Lutsen, Minnesota, a piece of land hugged the northern shore of Lake Superior. The owner of the land opened this space up for women writers from all over the globe. All you had to do was get to Norcroft. Once there, room and board were taken care of.

Nancy Harless also had the gift of time at Norcroft. She was more productive than I was for her days there resulted in her new book, Womankind: Connection and Wisdom Around the World.
Because fellow-Norcrofters find each other and hold this common bond of time spent in this hideaway in the woods, we decided to exchange books. I sent her Rain Song and her book arrived for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure I was able to take as I read about women and places around the world where Nancy visited and worked. The accounts of these ventures are penned in this collection of stories--rich and poignant. These pages record the voices of women, women who don't have it easy, and yet find assurance in connecting with other women.

Many parts of Nancy's book stand out for me. Perhaps one I think of most often comes from the elderly Lillian, a maid in Jamaica, who said, "Oh, I have been very good. I am blessed. I have life, and life is enough." Sometimes, despite all that I have personally been through, I know that life should be enough.

My own novel, Rain Song, came after my time at Norcroft. (What I was working on in that shed during my time there never made it to publication.) I like to think that by spending a week at the northern shore I harnessed the inspiration to years later, develop my novel. Perhaps the encouragement from the women at this beautiful location in Minnesota gave me the desire to write a story that binds the lives of women a little further South---united by what keeps us all strong---family, love, and tradition.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reflecting on a dream

Missing my Son
~ Alice J. Wisler

I dreamed of you last night
silky blond bandaged head
toddling down the corridor
dragging a stuffed dinosaur.
I dreamed of you last night
as though you were seated on my lap
Laughing at the alligators,
giggling over monsters.
I dreamed of you last night
and when I woke
your smile was woven into my heart.
Eleven years since I kissed your cheek
and heard you call my name
Yet when I dreamed of you last night
it was as though the years had never been
As though we left off just as we were
with shelves of books to read
games and puzzles to complete
Not like ice cream sundaes
melting of hope and promise.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tell me your thoughts


Feel free to post under the comments section
your review of Rain Song.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not Another Flower

There was a day when the sun ceased to shine. You may have missed it; it didn’t make the headlines of any national paper. February 2, 1997, to most, was only Groundhog Day. For me, it was nothing as trite as whether the furry creature did or did not see his shadow. Forget the promise of spring, what did it matter now? My life as I dreamed it stopped when my four-year-old laid lifeless in my arms.

How I remember those early months after his death. I wanted to be like my Victorian ancestors and wear black, even a veil. Then my clothes could shout to my neighbors, those in the grocery store lines, and the many at church -- look at me, I am a parent doing the impossible: living without her child.

I remember those who helped us as we put one foot in front of the other on the rocky path. My husband, three children, and I couldn’t walk it alone. Friends, with embraces as strong and wide as eagle wings, circled us, cried with us. They brought meals, sent cards, provided listening ears, and took care of our young children.

Then there were those uncomfortable with our grief. During the first weeks they joined our tears, but as the months dragged on, their expressions and subtle hints were shouting, “Get back to normal. Look at the joyous side of life. Heal your broken heart!" For some reason, as you may know, people put a timeline on grief. I think the general consensus is that you’re only allowed two to three weeks of sorrow.

When you are new to grief, even simple tasks can be laborious. Your energy and patience levels are low. But hear a comment or two that is completely out of line for anyone to say, and suddenly, you are propelled by anger. How can I forget the older lady in our church that called me every day for two weeks? She’d start off by asking how I was doing. My guts felt like they were stripped out of my body and my heart, mangled. I’d say, "It’s hard."

One afternoon this woman told me with all the sincerity she could muster, "God needed another flower in his garden in heaven and took Daniel." I nearly dropped the phone. This was supposed to provide comfort? I eventually did hang up, but politely. My frustration flared. I got a lot of laundry done that afternoon -- throwing clothes into the washing machine, banging the lid shut, flinging socks and shirts into the dryer.

I am bolder now. When people tell me certain lines, aimed to help me and they don’t work, I let them know. My new mantra is, "Cry with me. Don’t pretend you understand why my child died. Don’t try to rationalize why my son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three and died at four."

Those who have helped are the ones who continue to remember his birthday and think of how hard it is to live the holidays without him. I appreciate the friends who join me at the cemetery, named by my children “Daniel’s Place”, and lift a helium balloon into the sky with me. Watch it soar.

I believe my son is vibrant and alive in Heaven now. I hope the balloon reaches him. Don’t tell me it pops when it gets out of sight. Let me be like a child and not know the laws of the stratosphere. Let me wish he knows how much I love and miss him. Let me believe he is alive and touching the face of God.

The sun does shine again in my world. Although the hole in my mother’s heart is always present, I’m grateful for the times I can tell Daniel’s story. Remembering him, writing about him, even sharing his jokes with those I meet, brings healing.

I place flowers at his grave. But Daniel is not another flower.
~ By Alice J. Wisler

Friday, November 7, 2008

Daniel, again

I dreamed of my little Daniel early this morning. He was walking down
a corridor with a bandage and surgical tape sticking out of the back
of his head. I called his name and eagerly, filled with warmth and
smiles, he came and sat in my lap. We talked and laughed as though
we had just seen each other. As though it has not been 11 years
since I grinned over one of his jokes.

I dreamed of Daniel, my son. There are gifts and then, there are
gifts. The joy from that dream is a gift that is impossible to
describe unless you've had the experience to join your precious
child in the realms of a dream... Because once a child dies, the
dreams are all you get.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

This week Rain Song is featured at the CFBA. Check out the interview and review here at Window to my World.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Novel Journey

Take a walk over to Novel Journey to read my interview by Jessica.
Post a comment for a chance to win a copy of Rain Song.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is, my next novel, due May 1, 2009, has a cover! I think it's perfect.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rain Song in The Durham Herald-Sun!

The actual article starts on page one of the Sunday edition of The Herald-Sun and carries over to the Books and Leisure Section and spans to the next page.

The article comes with a large, full color photo of me and Rain Song's cover, as well as a listing of upcoming book events. Of course, being able to see, feel, and breathe in the full newspaper affect adds to the excitement I feel for this piece.

Author's newest story an outlet for her grief

By Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan : The Herald-Sun

Oct 19, 2008

"Rain Song"

By Alice J. Wisler(Bethany House, trade paperback, 304 pages, $13.99)

Alice J. Wisler was passing through Mount Olive, N.C., one time and stopped to eat at a restaurant there. The town -- home to the pickle company and annual pickle festival -- became the setting for her debut novel, "Rain Song."

Wisler, who has lived in Durham for 20 years, has previously self-published cookbooks and ran a small cake decorating business. Food is a popular topic for discussion among the "Rain Song" characters as they plan the annual family reunion. And they make and eat a good deal of pineapple chutney. Main character Nicole enjoys her grandmother, great aunts and other quirky extended family.

But it is Nicole's immediate family relationships that cause her pain. Nicole was born in Japan to missionaries. Her mother was killed in a house fire when Nicole was just a toddler. It left a longing and unanswered questions in Nicole and led to a distant relationship with her father. So Nicole takes comfort in her familiar surroundings in Mount Olive, her contributions to the Pretty Fishy Web site and her job as a middle school teacher. Until she connects with a man who has fish too, but more importantly lives in Japan and holds the key to Nicole's understanding of her young life there. As she learns about her past, her comfortable world is shaken.

Like her character, Wisler is also the daughter of missionaries and lived in Japan as a child. She has also dealt with the loss of a close loved one. Wisler's son died at age four. Over the past dozen years she has used writing to deal with grief and showed others how to do so, too. Writing is something she has always done, though she put it on the back burner as she raised her children. She is also mom to a freshman at East Carolina University and two middle school students. After her son died, she was writing for survival.

"It took on a whole new course," Wisler said. "My writing became a lot more realistic. Now it's not so happily ever after."

The ending of "Rain Song" leaves the readers an opportunity to continue the story in their own imagination. Wisler actually finished the novel without the final chapter, which her publisher asked her to write to provide some closure. She doesn't plan to write a sequel, but she does have another novel coming out next year. Her publisher, Bethany House, which publishes Christian fiction, signed her to a two-book contract. "Rain Song" includes church and religious references as part of the daily lives of the characters in the small Southern community.

"I wanted to add the Christian influences but didn't want it to be overly saturated with it. I wanted it to be entertaining, not a sermon," she said. Wisler attends Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.

Her next novel, "How Sweet It Is," takes place in Bryson City, on the edge of the Smoky Mountains. It features a woman from Georgia who moves to a cabin there and teaches cooking at a church-run foster children's program. Wisler has worked with foster children and studied social work in college at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va.

She has been part of a writing group in Cary for eight years. Wisler said she had been rejected many times before, and had just three chapters of "Rain Song" completed in 2007 for her soon-to-be agent. The agent asked for the entire book, and Wisler frantically wrote her final draft while her children slept or were at school. She already has a third book in a draft stage -- another novel -- which does not have a publisher yet.

"I want to have one ready," Wisler said.

Copyright 2008
All rights reserved

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rain Song in Dutch -- Regenlied

Well, when I was doing what writer Patricia Fry calls
a fame search, guess what I came across?

Did you guess Rain Song in Dutch? Believe it or not, you are right.

Rain Song, or Regenlied, will have a different cover from the US
cover. The picture is of a little girl in a pink sweater and I think
she looks adorable. The Dutch translation should be out by Christmas.

Okay, so you are curious to see what it looks like?
Head over to this site.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gotta love this review of Rain Song

Head over to Deena's site, A Peek at My Bookshelf.

What an in-depth and fun review
of Rain Song she posted today.

There is nothing quite like the feeling that
a reader gets your book. Thanks, Deena!
I hope we get to meet one day.

Thank you, WKCT!

I so enjoyed the interview yesterday afternoon on
Bowling Green, Kentucky's WKCT radio. I only wish
it could have been longer than 10 minutes. I barely
got going and it was time for sports.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Way to go, Reviewers

This is a special thanks to all who have placed a review on
Amazon's page for Rain Song.
Thank you, thank you, all!

Be sure to add to your calendar the Family Christian Stores book signing held on Saturday, November 8 from noon
to 2 PM at the 6901 Fayetteville Road location.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Por Fin!

At last, Rain Song's official release
date is here! I've sent out my newsletter
Literary Lyrics, emailed a bunch of folk, and
am ready for the sky to light up with fireworks...
Uh, it's now raining. Well, perhaps it will
clear before the day ends. It's 3 AM EST.
I'm off to sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Events Surrounding Rain Song

For all who have listened to me whine about how long it is taking for Rain Song to get ushered into the wide world, thanks! I owe you. Why not come to one of the following events so that I can acknowledge how grateful I am to you?

* October 5, 2008 from 4 to 6 PM at Janet Stolp's Durham, NC home: Join us for a wonderful gathering of women. Prizes, favors, food, and so much more southern fun.

* October 24, 2008 from 7 PM at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC: Open to everyone! Come, be part of a discussion on family reunions and quirky relatives you know and love.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Year in Japan

What fun it was to go to Cresset Christian Academy this afternoon and talk about New Year celebrations in Japan.

The middle school students in Susan Palumbo's class were attentive and laughed at my jokes. You know that I had fun recalling my childhood in Osaka. When I mentioned I used to buy bean paste ice cream on the way home from school, no one looked hungry.

Anyway, talking about soba and ozoni made me wish for bowls of each right then.

Later, I handed out fliers about Rain Song. How nice of Susan to have a copy of Rain Song on her desk and refer to it as her "new favorite book." One child asked if I am the person behind the umbrella on the novel's cover. You gotta love those middle schoolers (I do, I have two of my own!).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Holding Rain Song

Yesterday, the UPS man left my new baby on my doorstep.
Rain Song looks beautiful. Holding my first copy of the
novel was exhilarating. My editor says Rain Song will
be lining bookstore shelves soon.

Benjamin (age 12) held the book and said it was "inviting."
The cover and back copy are both appealing. Yahoo!

I never thought I'd live to see this day.

Daniel would have been 16 on the 25th of this month.
I feel this whole experience is even more enhanced
by receiving the novel right around his birthday.

Cheers in Heaven, Daniel! Rain Song is dedicated to
you, and all your siblings here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Daniel: Birthday Eve

Years don't matter
even after eleven
I still miss
what we had and
what we could
have been

Monday, August 11, 2008

AuthorsDen is Truly Beautiful

Authors Den has to be one of the best friends an author can have.
I just joined, posted a biography, a few pictures, wrote some blogs,
and uploaded an article about my novel. Unless you want more bells
and whistles, the site is free for authors. What a nice one it is
and a popular way to promote a novel. Visit my pages there --- http://www.authorsden.com/alicejwisler

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The newsletter, Literary Lyrics

Yesterday, I sent the second issue of my novel-related newsletter, Literary Lyrics to the masses. In it, I asked readers for a family reunion recipe and some lines about a favorite pet. In Rain Song,
pets are important and the book is based on preparing for a family reunion.

Less than two months until pub date. The excitement, the anticipation, the thrill, the worry---don't let any author kid you---all of those components are there. I reread Anne Lamott's chapter on publication in her lovely and funny book, Bird by Bird. For the first time, I understood how she felt as her pub date approached. It takes a lot of courage to let the world see what you have to offer.

Meanwhile, I continue to find reviews posted on the Internet and wait for my publisher to create a wonderfully beautiful press release for sending. It's like Christmas, only I have no idea which day this month or next it will be available.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I confess I search the engines much too much. I suppose I'm hoping to see Rain Song reviewed in more places. Anxious for the world to get its hands on my little novel, I wait. Pub date has never been so close. Yet, I am constantly looking for more book-related action.

As I searched today, I came across The Compassionate Friends' chapter in Leesburg, Virginia's newsletter. I had almost forgotten I wrote this tiny piece for my former e-zine, Tributes. How nice to know that the words about my son Daniel still linger around the Internet, perhaps helping others. Strange, but today, with just over a month to go until we celebrate yet another birthday without him (August 25th he would be 16), my words bring me comfort. I hope there will be meaning in them for you as well.

What I've Learned Since I Last Held Your Hand

- Cemeteries don't scare me anymore

- I live the best I can

- I cannot expect to be always understood

- Making time to cry is important

- The stars seem closer to me now

- A friend who can cry with me is worth more than gold

- Remember to tell those you love, "I love you", often

- Butterflies are peaceful and calm; taking time to watch them brings comfort

- Living life is like viewing a morning glory - you have to be wanting and waiting to see the beauty

~Alice J. Wisler, In memory of Daniel Wisler

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two months to go...

Two more months and a few weeks, but who isn't counting, until the debut of my novel Rain Song. I am impressed with the reviews and hope I get to see more of them. As for book two, we have decided to call it How Sweet it is and the art department at Bethany House is working on a cover.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Publishers Weekly

How exciting to see Rain Song's review in the June 9, 2008
issue of Publishers Weekly.
The galley for the novel arrived via UPS last week and even though
I had guests, I managed to allow a shriek of delight to fill my house.
Soon my edited galley will be sent back to my publisher and then,
then, I think Bethany House is going to start with printing the
actual book. Check out my web site to see all my reviews
at alicewisler.com.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Library Journal

I must confess that I have been acting a little excited
today. Upon "googling" my name, I found a review for
Rain Song in the June issue of Library Journal. The
writer even has my book listed as a good summer read.
Well, you can buy it when it comes out in October and
read it next summer. If you are a librarian, please order
a copy or two for your library. Don't forget to do this;
make a note of it now even though the book isn't quite
ready yet. I'd hate for some bestseller to come your way
and for you to forget all about me.

In fact, the galleys for Rain Song should be
out next week my editor emailed to tell me
today. She says then my book will look and
feel more like a real book. Perhaps they are
going to publish Rain Song after all....?

Friday, May 2, 2008


What a wonderful month May is in Durham, NC. Well, we've only had two days so far, but both of them have been lovely weather-wise. I'm getting ready to send my newsletter for Rain Song out to the masses. Literary Lyrics is free, so if you want to join, go to my website at http://www.alicewisler.com and sign up.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Today is a monumental day for me. My second novel's
(2009) been revised and sent back to my editor at Bethany
House. If everyone is happy with the changes I made, then
we can pass around the plate of reduced Valentine's cookies
and celebrate. I'll even throw in some caramel ice cream
I got on sale this morning.

Releasing it back to the editor took some time. For
two weeks I told myself, "This is the week I'll send it
back." Yet I held on until today. Today I abandoned it
and let it go. Hopefully, my editor will be pleased
with the changes. I think I am.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I started this blog site a year ago so I could have something
to do while waiting for my novel to make its debut. Now I hear
that the Bethany House fall catalog is on its way to being
printed. And guess what? My picture will be included in
it. Which means, my book might be published after all.
I suppose all first-time novelists wonder if their book
will actually make it to the shelves of bookstores. Is
it really going to happen, or is the publisher just having
fun with me?

I've had a whole plate filled with writing projects lately
and am also revising my second novel. Readers who read it
liked it; of course there were some suggestions that were
made and I'm working on those.

Meanwhile, I continue to wait and wonder..........

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Today marks eleven years since Daniel's
death from cancer treatments. My ritual is
to light the vanilla-scented candle, shed
some tears, and write something
in his memory. This is how I can make it
through another year without him. Although
my desire is to write something profound
and earth-shattering, I can never
quite get it right. This year, this will
have to do.

Lamentation for My Son
~Alice J. Wisler

When spring arrived, he had left
tiny tennis shoes by the door
stuffed animals nestled in his bed.
Summer warmed the earth
although his laughter
never made it to my ears.
Autumn brought the dazzle of
gold and winter the soft snow;
his jacket remained in the closet.

Opening the window, I breathe in
yesterday--what I had, what was mine.
Always yearning for another day
before the tombstone under the oak tree
held his name.
[In memory of Daniel Paul Wisler 8/25/92-2/2/97]