BOOK REVIEWS for Love, Life, & God
WRITER'S DIGEST 23RD ANNUAL
I wasn't one of the finalists in the Writer's Digest Self-Publishing contest, but I did get a great review from the judge who read my book (Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain):
Renee Alter moved to Texas from California November 2006 -- one of more than 40 moves she has made. If you ask her what her passion is in life, she will tell you: "sharing and making a difference".
Miss Alter hopes that the wisdom she has gained from her life adventures will benefit others who are struggling.
The local author has now published her sixth book, "Creating a Meaningful Life After Disability: (Posts From My Blog), " and is working to assist others in getting books they've dreamed of writing into print.
A book-signing is scheduled Dec. 1 p.m. at the Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce, where Miss Alter volunteers. She also will be available to answer questions about self-publishing, for those interested.
Miss Alter's first book "Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery" evolved when she sat down to write her life story at the age of 40. She had left her then abusive husband and a job with an abusive boss, and she started from scratch as a single parent looking for new employment and a place to live.
"The day after I started writing, I woke up each morning for two weeks with a clear picture of a topic to write about that day," Miss Alter said.
With each topic, she included examples of her life experiences along with the new wisdom she learned from those. And with each chapter, she included one of her many poems.
Some 15 years later, Miss Alter was encouraged by a friend to write a book with just poetry, so she created "Reflections: A Toolbox of Poetry".
Her third volume came about when Miss Alter learned about a self-publishing contest that required a minimum of 50,000 words. She had a draft explaining how she had ended up living in Texas, but the first draft was only 30,000 words.
Miss Alter began to collect letters she had written home to her parents, emails she had sent to friends and short stories she had written, and she proceeded to collate the material by date. She also included verses to songs she had written relating to what she was experiencing at the time -- reaching the goal of 50,000 words and beyond.
The title of that book became "Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain," which represents her conclusion summarized in four parts. "Love" represents relationships she had been involved with until finally she learned a new kind of love. "Life" represents her life experiences, places she lived, people she met, and even cats she had known. "God" represents her spiritual experience and finally finding her way back to God.
"Getting Past the Pain" represents finding home here in Lampasas after 43 moves, and the cognitive shift that has enabled her to live with her 'abilities' rather than 'disabilities' to create a meaningful life.
When I moved here, I was wheelchair-dependent because I had an accident the year before I moved [to Lampasas], Miss Alter said. My legs went to sleep and wouldn't wake up. It was supposedly permanent.
"Four years ago, I was schedule for major back surgery that involved putting rods and screws in my lower back ... but the day before surgery the surgeon decided to enlarge my x-rays to check the density of my spine. The vertebrae were too porous to hold screws, so the surgery was canceled.
"I've made an amazing, unexpected recovery with the help of my chiropractor ... and you now see me walking all over town and enjoying all the local events," Miss Alter said.
A fourth book was penned when Miss Alter learned she was to become a grandmother. She decided to write a letter to her son about becoming a parent and create a book for him. It became "Be Prepared ... (for parenthood)."
Miss Alter later was encouraged to write a little book with just her cat stories. She also experimented with photos of the cats she wrote about. Her fifth book became "View From A Tree."
And most recently, Miss Alter has copied all her posts from the blog she started in 2011 to develop her book "Creating a Meaningful Life After Disability."
In addition, she hopes to have her songs professionally recorded and made available to her readers.
Meanwhile, Miss Alter has been meeting other people who have stories to tell and books they want to write. And she enjoys encouraging them to complete their project, sharing what she has learned about the process.
New Release: An Anthology of Modern Fairy Tales #1 April 2, 2015, Interview on Peggy McAloon's blog, contributing author.
This event was 1st Friday at Frames & Things in
Copperas Cove, TX
Priscilla Mac's Website
October 22, 2015 Book Trailer on YouTube for Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain
January 26, 2016 Front Page of Lampasas Dispatch
Photo at Local Author Fest held January 23.
I love that you have a nice balance of sharing your personal story and tying in tools that you have used and how others can use them! Much of the terminology I recognize so I am ready to understand your chapters! (Like FEAR and ANTS etc.) Francie Dailer