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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Purposeful Vulnerability

It’s been a whirlwind of a week with the release of my novel, Cosette’s Tribe, and a surprise visit from my daughter and granddaughter from NC. And then on top of that, I was honored with a surprise launch party, sneakily hatched by my two beautiful daughters!

With all these amazing events I’ve felt the steady hug of support from friends and family and the relief of finally sending Cosette on her way. And now Cosette, equipped with an unflappable voice of her own, will find her readers amongst the noisy populace—ready hearts prepared for her tale.

Releasing a work of art is more complicated than I had imagined. I’d been so busy, for so long, with all the tedious publishing details that I wasn’t prepared for the emotional punch that came after the release of Cosette’s Tribe— That was the biggest surprise of all.

My novel was written from a place of healing and light, but in order to write it I had to visit a land of shadows, a place where cherry-cheeked little girls faceoff with villains disguised as good daddy neighbors, and although Cosette’s Tribe is a work of fiction, in many ways Cosette’s steps parallel my own childhood journey. So, when releasing this work I found myself feeling—a bit exposed and vulnerable.

But isn’t that how art is suppose to be—intimate and honest, touching the hidden places and waking them up; inspiring us to see more than the obvious. In sharing this work I’m sharing a part of who I am—what I’ve seen and learned, performing a sort of spiritual alchemy by taking the base things in my life and transforming them into something precious—redemption through art.

I’m smiling now because I know that it’s true, and that my vulnerability is bold and purposeful. I have done it and it is good.

I envision you sitting in your favorite chair, with my novel in hand, escaping for a moment from the clamor and demands of your life. It is my heart’s desire that the valuable time that you take away from your busy schedules in order to read Cosette’s Tribe will be entertaining, rich, and illuminating.

I want to thank all of you for making this launch such a success. Cosette’s Tribe is selling very well. Your love, support, and encouragement over the last year has been inspiring and remarkable.

An e-book is in the works and my website will be up and running in no time. Again, thank you. You guys are a treasure!

Anna Nalick, says it best in her song, Breathe:
“And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to.”

I chose this song, Shine, because it just seemed appropriate;)


Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful family you have. So glad you were brave enough to be vulnerable.


Karen Wojcik Berner said...

There is no greater feeling than the support of your family and friends when you enter a new phase of your life. I am so glad for you. Sounds like you had a perfect launch. Cheers to your and success!

Cheryl said...

I am so glad things are going well and that is so sweet of your daughters to give you an emotional hug after all the work of getting your book launched. I am happy the sales are off to a good start. I truly understand what you are feeling about the "exposure" that comes with writing. A few years ago, I started a book based on my childhood as well and after doing some of the painful research, I had to quit. That type of writing (which is to say, "close to home") is very painful. You are brave to have done it and seen it to fruition.

Jayne said...

Leah, thank you for being brave enough to be vulnerable, and showing us the curative powers of spiritual alchemy. I got my copy of Cosette’s Tribe today. :)

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Debbie. All writers are vulnerable aren't they. They write down their thoughts and then show them to the world. When is your novel coming out?

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you sweet Karen. I know you are about to launch book two of the Bibliophiles and I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on it.

Kathy said...

Leah...this is so wonderful! Congratulations to you on your sustained courage and successful launch....and your family right there celebrating with and supporting you... right along beside and with you!...and so are the rest of us!!!!! Hugely warm smiles of appreciation to you! Kathy

Rimly said...

Leah you are amazing. I am sure Cosette's Tribe will do wonders. I am planning to buy a copy here in India. I am looking forward to reading it. It must be such feeling of relief, satisfaction as well as exhaustion. You finally did it. Congratulation my friend. xoxo

Melissa Tandoc said...

I hope it lands in my country too :)I'm so proud of you. Is the feeling the same way as giving birth to a wonderful baby? It amazes me how dreams could come as true as this and wow, we can hold and feel your success as you share it in your page.

You are right, you made yourself vulnerable but this just shows your readiness to accept what the world holds for you. And it is indeed with a purpose :)

I am so happy for you :*

Dangerous Linda said...

Congratulations, Leah! I agree that art comes from the depths of our personal experience. The artist turns pain into art as the alchemist turns rocks into gold. Thank you for all that you are! XOXO

Authentic Imperfection said...

What a wonderful and inspiring post Leah.

"But isn’t that how art is suppose to be—intimate and honest, touching the hidden places and waking them up; inspiring us to see more than the obvious."

Congratulations! I look forward to reading your book. Is it available on Amazon?

Leah Griffith said...

Cheryl, it took years for me to be ready to write about it. I remember having a little epiphany about how not ALL of my childhood memories were bad ones, so I began to write about the good memories. After a while the good memories were able to outshine the bad ones, leaving me with an appreciation for all the good stuff that happened to me as a kid. From there I was able to move forward. I still have some distance to travel, and quite honestly I'm not certain that I'll ever be "there" 100%.
Thank you for posting Cheryl. I'm hoping you can find your way to a place where the shadows are merely shadows, and are no longer monsters in waiting.

Leah Griffith said...

Jayne, I'm hoping that your visit with Cosette is meaningful. I love that you're reading my book. <3

Leah Griffith said...

Kathy, I can feel you here with me, and it makes a world of difference. My family and friends have been amazing. I can't believe how unnerving it is to put your first novel out there. LOL!! I may start having an evening beverage just to help me sleep;)
Big hugs Kathy!

Leah Griffith said...

Dear sweet Rimly, thank you for your loving post. It is all those things and more. I can't wait for you to read Cosette's Tribe. I think you'll enjoy it;)
Sending love right back to you Rimly. You're amazing!

Leah Griffith said...

Melissa, it is like having a baby. This baby took many years to deliver. I love that the struggles of my childhood have become a thing of beauty and light. It really overwhelms me with gratitude when I think about it. I've been boohooing a whole lot lately but I figure it is all a part of the process. Sending love and hugs to you sweet Melissa. Thank you for all your support.

P.S. I am working on getting an e-book version of Cosette's Tribe formatted so you will be able to read it.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Linda! Yes, we learn, we grow, we share. That seems to be the way life works. I really appreciate the tribe that surrounds me—the friends and family who have stuck with me and rooted me on. You are one of those people Linda, my birthday sista! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Leah Griffith said...

Dear beautiful Authentic, thank you so much! I really appreciate your presence here with me. Yes, Cosette's Tribe is on Amazon, and also B&N. B&N has the book on sale so I would go there;)
Sending enormous hugs to you!

Tameka said...

Leah I am so proud to know you. I am inspired by your journey and can't wait to read your book! Thanks also for taking the time to keep up with your fellow bloggers and their projects while you were busy with yours. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed. I pray that your book sales blossom each day. You deserve to have your story read widely. I speak success over you my friend. I admire you!

Leah Griffith said...

Oh Tameka, you're so sweet. Thank you for blessing me with your heart and words. I admire you also. You're bold, and talented and have a heart the size of the sky. Thank you <3

Corinne Rodrigues said...

How beautifully you've shared your feelings, Leah. So proud to know that you did the bold thing - you put yourself out there in this book. I'm certain it's going to be a success. YOU already are! ♥

Jessica M said...

This was a beautiful post. I am so excited for you! What wonderful daughters you have for launching a release party. I can't imagine the amazing and yet sometimes difficult journey it must have been..from coming up with ideas that went into the book (perhaps revisiting past memories that were painful)...and going all the way through the publishing process. I am looking forward to giving it a read myself in the near future.

Congratulations again!

Healing Morning said...

Purposeful vulnerability. It's a curious thing, yes? When I started blogging, I realized early on that I had to not only accept, but embrace a new level of transparency on a pretty large level. Oddly, the global aspect of people reading my work doesn't nerve me out half as much as people close to me reading my work does! Still, writers write their hearts and then put those delicate emotions out there for the whole world to see, accept or reject.

I'm walking a parallel course of purposeful vulnerability in another area of my life as well, so your words struck another common chord. It requires a brave heart to be vulnerable, and I'll be honest and say I'm not all that comfortable with it...the bravery and vulnerability. But I'm doing it. And I'm happy I'm doing it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all those other old adages, right?!

Carpe Happy, my sweet sister, to return your words to you. I am thrilled for you about this bright new accomplishment!

With love,


Leah Griffith said...

Corinne, thank you. What you just said is something I believe the universe is trying to communicate to me—that I am already a success. Why is that so hard to grasp sometimes. We're such conditional creatures.
Thank you for your love and support Corinne. It means so much to me.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Jessica. Cosette's Tribe is a life work. It took from then to now to produce it. LOL! I have more books/words in the future and I'm hoping that the journey is as exciting as my journey in publishing Cosette's Tribe.
I'm excited and nervous! LOL!!
Thank you sweet Jessica for being here with me.

Leah Griffith said...

Dear Dawnie, I can see now that publishing the contents of one's heart can lead to nothing but vulnerability. As you said, "writers write their hearts and then put those delicate emotions out there for the whole world to see, accept or reject."

I guess it's the rejection that we're most afraid of, steeling ourselves against it before it even happens. I will always write true, no matter who rejects it. Those who accept it are the ones it's been written for.


Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with this issue of vulnerability as I finish my book. I understand about "writers writing their hearts and putting those delicate emotions our there for the world to see".
Those who we write for accept and love us.
Thanks for being you, Tanya aka Caperpoet

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Tanya for expressing your heart here on ELR. I do understand the feelings of vulnerability that come with writing a novel, but a month or so into this I can honestly say that it was so worth it and I feel so blessed at having been able to pen my novel and use what I have to create something beautiful
Keep on writing and let me know when you publish. I'll be at the front of the line waiting to read it.

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