“When I read that you (as a child) learned to drive the ’31 Chev truck and could pop the clutch, I rejoiced in the fact that we were of a select elite group of women who could claim that ability,” wrote Nancy. She also said. “It was affirming to me that the prayers and sacrifices of parents really matter.” At our family reunion in July, Sticks, Stones & Songs—The Corey Story received similar kudos from members of the Corey clan. An entire evening, filled with sound bites from the book and never-before-told camping, hunting, and fishing tales, was punctuated with peals of laughter. Besides the family reunion, there have been other opportunities to share: reading at a book store, placing the book in libraries, speaking for social and church groups, and selling at a street fair. I am grateful to those who are helping me add dates to the calendar.
“Are you writing the sequel or, perchance, the love story of your parents?” They ask. “Or are you taking a rest, now that Sticks, Stones & Songs is done?” After four years of researching, writing, editing, and publishing, it would seem right to sit back and bask in the accomplishment, or even to get started on the next one. “But alas,” I respond, “the more demanding task has just begun—the task of getting The Corey Story to more readers.” “Not to mention,” I say to some inquirers, “I need to sell enough books from my closet inventory to make room for the coats.” All jokes aside, I am grateful to those who are reading the book, telling friends, and inviting me to speak at events. If you too would like to purchase signed books for yourself or to give as gifts, or if your group would enjoy hearing more of the story, just contact me: email@example.com. Travel is in
“I couldn’t quit laughing,” one person told me, “at the humor of your childhood tales.” Another said, “I read until I finished the book after 1:00 AM because I was so engrossed in the mix of history and the family that lived it.” A third commented, “As I read this book, I was warmed by the constancy of the parents’ faith in the midst of trials.” These days I am reading, selling and signing at numerous events. Local book stores, historical societies, and libraries are ordering books because readers have encouraged them to do so. It is truly rewarding to hear reports of those who are enjoying Sticks, Stones & Songs. Perhaps you, too, have been engaged with the story. If so, would you please write a commentary so others might be encouraged to get a copy of their own? Amazon welcomes reviews even if the book was not purchased there. You
“You’ll never know how God used you to bring peace to my spirit.” Pastor Greg Reynolds of Joyce Bible Church read this sentence from the book, Sticks, Stones & Songs, as he began the Sunday morning message. Recorded on page 161, these were the words of gratitude spoken in 1952 by my mother to our neighbor. For several months Mother had fretted over being pregnant at the age of 47. She didn’t know how she could face the raised eyebrows of the community, already dumbstruck by the size of the Corey clan. When she told Mrs. John Johnson how she felt, our elderly neighbor declared, “This child will be a blessing to you in old age.” These words rang over and over in Mother’s ears until she came to realize God had spoken through Mrs. Johnson, and that this tenth baby was no accident. Pastor Greg applied the phrase, “You’ll never know how
Zaid holds the birthday gift from me and we all wait in silence. Will he like it, or will he not? Zaid, at twelve, can be a hard one to please. But, as he opens the box, we watch a grin stretch across his cheeks. He fumbles to the inside pages of the book, anxiously searching … searching. There it is—his name—in the very first sentence of the Prologue. He reads the words I had drafted three years earlier: “In the living room, nine-year-old Zaid catches my attention. Rubbing his hands over gold-etched words, my grandson asks, ‘What’s a White Rotary, Abuela?’” Then he looks up from the page and declares, “I can’t wait to show my friends!” He had received the perfect gift—Sticks, Stones & Songs—a book written with him in mind. Have you obtained your copy? If not, you can discover how at www.eleanorcorey.com, or you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org
He was asked, “Would you like to buy a book?—it’s a good read.” And Leonard Kelly, Mayor of Stanwood Washington pulled a twenty from his pocket. It was a cash sale of Sticks, Stones & Songs, the first at a public event. There were other sales that day, thanks to Robert and Icle Crow who invited me to bring some copies to their Stanwood diplomat and neighborhood party. In the photo next to me is Fire Commissioner Jeff Sinker, and on the far right is Fire Chief John Cermak.
Sticks, Stones & Songs—the authorized edition—is now LIVE. You can buy printed or e-reader versions direct from Amazon click here or Barnes and Noble click here. (Note: Amazon may still have the wrong date on the description page. However, what they now sell is the updated Jan 23, 2015 edition.) Please understand that Eleanor has no control over the print or price, but she is confident you will find this tale worth its weight in coins. Enjoy the read. PS. If you live within commuting distance of the author, you may personally collect a signed copy. For additional purchase options other than the internet, contact email@example.com.
How do you fit the zany recollections of a family of twelve into a few pages? You don’t! Furthermore, that isn’t the only problem. How do you keep the page count down so the publisher won’t charge an arm, a leg, a back, and a torso to your reader? And how do you keep the font at a size that eyes older than a few decades can decipher? A few months ago, agents reviewed the story and said, “It’s well written and engages the reader all the way to the end. However, first-time authors can only be sold in small packages. Cut some chapters, remove some stories, and we’ll consider selling your book to the traditional publishers.” So I asked myself and a few involved protagonists, “Which sister do I leave out, or which year of my childhood do I cut?” When the answer came back, “None, of course,” I
How does a person write the story of growing up in the middle, or should I say muddle, of a family of many characters? How can one be true to her own memories and honest with the memories of others when there is discrepancy of detail and interpretation? The answer is: With great care. Care to cast a net of research for the truth, seeking as many voices, documents, and historical facts as possible. Care to review together that which is discovered. Where variables surface, take care to explain the rationale for choosing one over another. That is, diaries and letters will trump personal recollections, while historical timelines can mitigate dogmatic opinions. How do you re-enforce the bonds that have been tested over time? The answer may be: With much compassion. Compassion that allows another person to opine on the stories you've included and review the text you've written. Compassion to remove words that feel offensive to some even if not
To blog or not to blog. That is the question. The question over which I have mulled for weeks…well months…yup even years. For someone who loves words, what a chance to elocute. I can resist no longer. For I must grab this opportunity to share the experience of writing a memoir, before my memory of the memoir has gone the way of other aging memories and before the hard drive of my mind crashes into oblivion.