I don’t know about all of you, but I need to be surrounded by positive people after scanning the headlines. So, I’m thrilled to host Beth Burnett today. And, two lucky winners will receive an e-book copy of her latest EATING LIFE. Also, there are two ways to enter the contest. You can leave a comment on this post stating how you choose happiness and/or enter your email in the space provided below. Bonus points to those who leave a comment in addition to providing their email.
Now, here’s Beth Burnett!
A long time ago, someone told me they didn’t like a story I had written because the main character didn’t make any decisions. She just drifted along letting life happen to her until eventually, she bumped into something that felt right and stayed there. I understood her criticism – I was writing from the Anne Tyler school of writing where characters just seem to exist and react, usually in resigned ways, to the events life throws at them. I was writing from my own experience of living life without a sense of my own purpose or power.
A few years ago, when I was homeless by choice, traveling the country with my dog, sleeping on couches, in spare bedrooms, and sometimes in my tent, I felt that I was finally choosing my life. I was free, wild, often dirty, in the woods, on the road. I visited almost every state in the US. I met hundreds of women and slept with a few of them. I made deep, lifelong friendships. I said yes to life.
I knew someday, when I finally settled down, I would write a book about a woman who had to wrestle with the sometimes precarious balance between wild independence and the security that comes from finding a home. Casey Wilde, the main character of Eating Life, was born on a wooded road somewhere in Northern Michigan. I remember the moment because it was a perfect day, weather-wise, I had the sun-roof open, I was listening to one of my favorite artists, Crys Matthews, and as the song Serendipity came on, I had one of those life-altering moments when I realized that I was exactly the person I had always wanted to become.
I hadn’t yet finished my second novel, but I started sketching the outline for Eating Life, not wanting to lose the pure joy of that moment. I wanted to create a character who lived so hard, she felt as if she was eating life. Devouring it. Crushing it. Making mistakes and learning from them. In other words, I wanted a character who didn’t just drift along waiting for things to happen to her. I wanted someone who made her own decisions.
That’s a lesson many of us must learn – how to find a healthy balance between living for ourselves and showing up for other people. I now have a house, a partner, pets, and a garden. I couldn’t fit the contents of my bookshelves into my car, let alone the entirety of my life’s possessions. And sometimes, I start to feel a little tied. I can no longer be the woman who goes on vacation to the Virgin Islands and doesn’t come back. I can’t suddenly decide that there’s a house party in Oakland, California that I want to attend and take off to drive across the country in hopes of getting to it in time.
And yes, I’m still free. I’m free because I am not drifting – I make decisions and I choose how I want to live my life. I’ve taken responsibility for my own happiness and success in life and somehow, in that responsibility, I’ve found freedom. *
I’m going to give away two ebook copies of Eating Life with this blog. All you have to do is comment with how you choose happiness in your life to be entered to win.
*Having an RV also helps.
EATING LIFE by Beth Burnett
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Despite living wildly separate lives, best friends Casey and Megan have always been there for each other, at least in theory. Casey’s wanderlust has her in a constant state of motion while Megan has settled into a secure life in Memphis with a steady job and an unfaithful partner. When a hitchhiker with a tragic past leads Casey to question her own life on the road, she ends up back in Memphis, forcing the two women to confront feelings long pushed aside.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Beth Burnett is the Director of Education and the head of the writing academy at the Golden Crown Literary Society. Beth teaches women’s empowerment classes, runs a Lansing women’s networking group, and gives seminars on open communication.
Beth has published four books with Sapphire Books Publishing, including the recently released Eating Life. She is back in grad school for a second time, this time for an MA in marketing and new media. She is also working on her fifth romantic comedy and a self-help book for women. In her spare time, Beth reads, walks with her geriatric dog, and works on perfecting her three-quarter shimmy.
ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF
Thanks Beth for stopping by and best of luck to all the giveaway entrants. Don’t forget to share how you choose happiness. Please, help cheer me up.