The sound of my own voice.

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Remember when you were little and you used to play with the Record button on your cassette tape player? We even had one with a microphone that I would instinctively hold so close to my mouth that I always sounded like a drive-thru window worker. Didn’t your voice always sound weird? I remember thinking I didn’t sound like me at all. Funny how that works.

Well, today I got the privilege of hearing my own voice in a podcast. Same weird feeling as those cassette tapes long ago. Last week I spoke with Nick Galiete at The Good Word about my book, Covenant Motherhood. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but luckily he was nice to me and didn’t ask me questions that made me look like an idiot … I think.

The whole interview is about 17 minutes long and I did get the chance to share some of my own experiences and my testimony about motherhood.

>>Click here to hear the interview.<<

To be entered in a giveaway and win a copy of Covenant Motherhood (that you can keep or give away for Mother’s Day), listen to the interview and answer this question in the comments here on the blog:  Why did I start blogging?  I’ll turn on comment moderation so I can edit out your answers before I post your comment publicly. I’ll announce the winner Monday morning. :)

So now I can add radio star to my resume. Sort of. Right up there with “meanest mom ever” (I get that one a lot.) Thanks, Nick. Enjoy the interview, friends.

It’s Launch Day!!

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Today is the “official” launch day for Covenant Motherhood.  The launch party will be tonight at Seagull Book in American Fork. Click here for details. All are welcome.

Two exciting things going on in Internet world today that make the book launch feel like a real celebration:

1.  LDS Women Facebook page is highlighting three quotes from “Covenant Motherhood” today and giving away a copy of the book. They are also connected with FamilyShare.com (a division of the LDS Church’s media arm) which is an awesome site with a wealth of family-friendly resources. Go check out the giveaway and register over at FamilyShare today.

2. Bonnie over at Real Intent put up a review of Covenant Motherhood today and said some really nice things about the book. If you’re looking for an opinion other than mine (what?? you think I’m biased?), go check out what she has to say.

Happy Launch Day, everyone. To infinity and beyond!….

The Writing Process

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I feel a little apologetic that my blog has been so book-heavy lately, but that’s what my life is at the moment, so I guess if nothing else, at least I’m authentic.

Bonnie at Real Intent interviewed me recently about the journey from book idea to publication. The interview is up today, so head over and check it out. Feel free to comment or ask any questions there.  A week from today is my book launch party, and I saw my very own book on actual, real-life bookstore shelves yesterday, so I guess it’s all the real deal.

Oh, and p.s., for a chance to win a copy of Covenant Motherhood, if you see it on shelves anywhere between now and the launch date of March 15, take a picture of it and post it on my FB Author page with the location you found it. I’ll do a drawing of the entries for a free book.

I got my book today!

Covenant Motherhood Book

Well, I guess it’s real. Wow.

Also, the other day, when I talked about feeling insecure… remember that? Well, later that day I listened to a talk about pride by President Uchtdorf, and good grief, did he whip me into shape. Especially this part:

…when we focus on our own importance, power, or reputation; when we dwell upon our public image and believe our own press clippings—that’s when the trouble begins; that’s when pride begins to corrupt.

So that was a healthy dose of perspective which made me feel a little bit bad, but then it made me feel so much better because it felt really good to decide to just not even worry about that stuff. To let it go.

And on that note, I’m excited to show you a sneak peek of the book. Covenant has posted up the first few chapters that you can read for free. Go here, and enjoy.

My book has a due date!

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Some people have asked what it’s like to write a book. Well, it’s kind of like having a baby. Twice. And I’m not just saying that because it’s a book about motherhood.

Let me tell you a little about birth #1. I had a nagging feeling for a couple of years that this was a book I was supposed to write. I had pitched the idea with an editor in May 2011 and received a little bit of encouragement, but I just could not figure out when a mother of young children was supposed to write. At the beginning of 2012, when that feeling became more intense and a little more urgent, I knew I needed to figure it out. Matt was key because he helped me make a schedule and took over all childcare (in his own dad-kind of way, I might add) for those few hours a week we blocked out. And I began to write.

I wrote an email, attached the manuscript, and pushed the Gmail send button on Friday, April 27th, 2012, at 11:59 p.m.

I honestly felt like I had given birth. I felt this huge rush of relief that it was over. I felt proud, and happy, and scared, and absolutely exhausted. I was physically tired and mentally spent. I had no idea if anything would ever come of that experience, but I did feel really proud that I had set a goal, worked hard, and finished it.

Or so I thought. I hadn’t finished yet. Enter gestation period #2.

On August 13, 2012, I got the news that the book would be published (!!!) in March 2013. Seven months, and there was a lot of work still to do. Preparing the book for publication was much more time-consuming than I had anticipated. At one point my editor told me that people don’t usually write more than one non-fiction book once they realize how much work it is to get it ready. Anyway, months were spent on source checking and copyright clearance and editing and reorganizing and tweaking. Some weeks were very intense and some weeks went by where everything was in the editor’s hands and I would just await my next assignment. In November, the final edits were complete, and I got to see the first proofs of the book in January. After a few last-minute tweaks, my editor and I handed it over to the printers–my little almost-book.

I’m happy to announce that the book has a real due date now.

Starting next week, Covenant Motherhood should start appearing on shelves in LDS bookstores and become available in their online marketplaces. I understand that it should also show up on Amazon around the same time, and I believe there will also be a Kindle version. For anyone who is interested, you are cordially invited to the book launch party:

Friday, March 15, 2013, 6:00-8:00 pm (open-house style)
Seagull Book, 218 NW. State Road (next to Hobby Lobby), American Fork, UT.

Here is the event page on Facebook with more details, and you can RSVP there as well (optional).

Like any expectant parent, I have so many mixed emotions. Am I excited? Yes, but I’m also terrified. The whole thing feels a little bit like running for student council in junior high. I hope they like me. It feels vulnerable. It was such a thrill to find out it was going to be published, but that feeling was immediately followed by a flash of terror: What if it’s a total flop? What if people read it and judge me as a mother? (They will.) What if it makes me sound like an expert on motherhood when I’m really just figuring it out like every one else? And failing often, I might add. I have spent most of my life with the gift of confidence. Honestly, other than becoming a mother and feeling totally inadequate in that job, I have usually been quite self-assured. But publishing a book and having other experiences and opportunities appear that all seem so much bigger than me? I know it seems like it should build confidence, but it mostly makes me feel insecure. Seriously, I am a forty year old woman, and I’m having an adolescent crisis. :) But I also feel blessed, and in moments where I don’t panic or worry about it, I think to myself, Stephanie, even if the book only sells ten copies, but those ten copies help ten women to gain a greater testimony of the power and importance of their role as mothers, then you have succeeded. And then I breathe deeper and relax and try not to think about it. I keep trying to surrender it all to God and hope for the best.

So all this rambling is basically an early birth announcement: Behold, my book is born. If anyone out there dares to read it, I really hope you like it.

If you’d like to get announcements about upcoming book signings and silly events like that (that I seriously can’t really wrap my mind around at the moment), just “Like” my Facebook Author Page, and then updates should appear in your Page feed. [You can do that right over on my sidebar too --->]

The book is available for pre-order at Deseret Book’s website, and you can read a quick summary there as well.

And finally, if you have a Goodreads account and want to add Covenant Motherhood to your To-Read list, you can do that here.

There you have it. Welcome to the world, little book.