At first, Choosing to SEE, by Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn, appears as a mother's tale about her life, the wife of a famous singer and songwriter, Steven Curtis Chapman. Upon opening the first pages, you soon learn that the chapters hold so much more. This memoir to me is really little Maria's story. Four-year-old Maria's words and life rang throughout the book and filled them as did the poignant line she often said: "Just SEE the glory of God today."
As a mother who has also buried a child, my heart goes out to Mary Beth and her family. It has been stated by many that the worst loss is when a child dies. My son Daniel was also four when he died from cancer treatments. I know of the screams, the tears, the agony, and yes, the anger at God that consumes you after losing a child. I also know that the longing to be with your child never ends. When a class of young children wrote notes on balloons and lifted them up to Maria in Heaven, Mary Beth writes: "Part of me couldn't help but want to go right along with the balloons . . . to be gathered up by the wind and swept to heaven to be with Maria." I completely understood.
Like so many bereaved parents, the Chapmans chose to create a foundation in memory of their daughter. Maria's Big House of Hope is located in one of the poorest provinces in China and provides orphans with the care they need. Maria's legacy lives on as these children are given medical attention, food, clothing, love and hope.
While the Chapmans have celebrity fame and status, Choosing to SEE shows that no matter who we are or what we have accomplished, when we lose a child to death, our hearts break. To experience that deep anguish and sorrow is the nature of being a parent. If the book had denied the reader of that truth, and tied to sugar-coat the tragedy with spiritual platitudes, it would have been a shame. I appreciated the honesty of this memoir and am sure others will as well.
~ Alice J. Wisler
Author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, and Hatteras Girl
[A copy of the book was provided for me by Revell upon request to write this review.]
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
My third novel, Hatteras Girl, makes her debut soon! And we are going to celebrate with two events. The first is at Starbucks on 3801 Guess Road in Durham, NC on Saturday, September 25 from 4 to 7 PM. Come, get your favorite coffee concoction and listen as I read from Hatteras Girl.
On Friday, October 1 at 7 PM, we'll gather at The Regulator Bookshop on 720 Ninth Street in Durham, NC for a book reading and discussion. If you have a favorite tomato pie recipe, come ready to share it. Or how about a dream you've had since childhood and at last have seen it fulfilled? Come, ready to share those stories.
Hope to see you at one or both of these events!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Listen to the recent Writing the Heartache Show about ways parents honor the memories of their children.
Writing the Heartache: Honoring the Memory
Writing the Heartache: Honoring the Memory
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
1. I have always been fascinated by your name. Tell me about how you got the name K. Dawn Byrd.
K. Dawn Byrd is a pen name due to the fact that my employer wasn't entirely comfortable with my using my real name. I think my pen name is kind of catchy. I've been called everything from Kay to Karen to you name it.
2. What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love, love, love to plot! It's the best part as far as I'm concerned. I plot heavily before beginning a new novel, but I do allow my characters the freedom to take a life of their own. That's when things get really exciting!
3. What is the most humbling aspect of being an author?
I'm totally humbled by all the work that goes into marketing. Prior to a new release, I'll spend days just filling out blog interviews.
4. What inspired you to write your recent book, Killing Time?
I've always been an avid reader and planned to write a book one day. When I began work as a counselor in a jail, I thought that would be a neat setting for the book. I began to jot down notes about the environment such as sights, sounds, and smells. Before I knew it, my heroine had formed in my mind, begging me to tell her story.
5. Summer is a great time for a break from the routine. Where do you like to vacation best, and why?
I enjoy the beach and go at least once a year, sometimes twice. Since I live in the mountains, it's nice to escape to a new environment for a while. However, I'm always glad to return to the mountains when vacation is over.
Thanks, K. Dawn, for the interview!
Read more about K. Dawn Bryd and order Killing Time today!
Queen of Hearts (April 2010) & Killing Time (August 2010)
Monday, August 2, 2010
The first Writing the Heartache All Day Workshop was a wonderful experience, and we are going to have another! This one will be held at the Hampton Inn in Cary, NC on August 21 from 8 AM to 5 PM. We will have a full day to write from our pain for healing, health, and hope. Come to write with us--poetry, from photographs, letters, and essays.