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Caroline K. Dixon

Caroline K. DixonThe loss of the daughter to the mother, the mother to the daughter, is the essential female tragedy. – Adrienne Rich.

I have spent the better part of this afternoon perusing a fellow birth mother’s blog. My first baby girl, Rebecca, suggested I might do that, so I could learn more about blogging. It has not been easy to feel her pain. I have experienced so much of what she shares. I have borrowed the quote above from Suz at WritingMyWrongs.com

My heart aches as she shares hers. We share a grief no mother should know. I am most blessed, however, that I have been reunited with the infant daughter I released just a few days after her birth. It has not always been easy. Ours was a closed adoption, in 1978. I never expected she would want to know me. She had loving, generous parents that always prepared her to know me. Sadly, when my own mother learned that I was to be reunited with my baby girl, she could not imagine why I would want that. I can’t begin to express the joy I felt at knowing that my baby girl wanted to know about me. I had built a stone wall, believing such an event could never take place. For 18 years, I could only pray she was loved, healthy and thriving. I would have given anything to see her, to hold her, to know her. How could my mother not understand that? I was certain that she would be happy that God had blessed me so. Powerful emotions rest just below the surface today.

In the midst of all of the triumph, there have been tears. I have finally realized that I was not my most authentic self until now. I have spent 35 years trying to be what my mother wanted me to be. Finally, I am learning to be who God intended me to be. I am free to love and be loved. The love I know is unconditional. I am blessed beyond measure by family and friends, truly joyful for my accomplishment in sharing my story. I am filled with gratitude for those who have reached out and said my story has touched them in some way. I am looking forward to the next baby steps of this journey. I am eager to learn more about my new friend, Jeanette, and about her story. Providence continues. The people in and out of our lives have purpose. Perhaps you need them, or perhaps they need you. My prayers are ongoing for those who have any painful memories from me telling my story. It is my perspective from a time long ago, but brings peace to the soul of this first mom.

Caroline K. Dixon, Author
Providence For A First Mom
www.carolinekdixon.com
www.facebook.com
Twitter: @Carolinekdixon
www.progressiverisingphoenix.com

 

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Everybody Has to be Someplace

Amanda-and-the-Lazy-Garden-Fairy-deanna-klingel-steve-danielsI’ve been selling books in Saltville, Virginia, at the Civil War reenactment lastweekend. Saltville, in southwestern Virginia, has an amazing history. Millions of years ago Saltville Valley was a shallow inland salt-water sea. During the ice age 10-20,000 years ago animals like mastadons and wooly mammoths roamed the giant salt lick. Geographic changes – the development of salt deposits, rise of mountain ranges, the changing course of a river – are slow. Cultural changes happen much faster. The Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville has wonderful displays of both. (www.museum-mid-app.org) There is evidence of human occupation in Saltville over 14,000 years ago, a large settlement during the Woodland Period between 1,500 BC an 1500 AD, with European presence as early as the Spanish in 1567 who traded with the Indians for salt. So what has this to do with the Civil War? Salt was commercially manufactured here beginning in 1800. The railroad arrived in 1856. Saltville produced and deployed the salt that was necessary for human and animal consumption for all the South. The Confederacy needed to hold on to the salt works; the Union wanted to capture it. Two battles were fought in Saltville over the salt works. The first was a Confederate victory costing the Union 5200 men. The second resulted in the destruction of the salt works by the Union. At the time of the destruction  December 20, 1864, the salt works produced 4,000,000 bushels a year. One of the reenactors, Doc Eller, who grew up here and is in his 80s now, told me how the salt is removed by pumping water into the ground, dissolving the salt, then pumping the briney water out of the ground to be boiled down in big kettles. (Doc Eller is the perfect Doctor Simpson in my Avery books!) He said when his mother was growing up here, this hilly land was a perfectly flat salt lick that drew an amazing assortment of animals. The reason it’s hilly isn’t that hills have pushed up. It’s because the ground has collapsed. So much salt has been removed over the past 200 years that there’s not much foundation left. He said houses, garages and roads have fallen into giant sink holes where the salt used to be. Geologists say in another 100 years Saltville will be, once again, a shallow inland salt-water lake. There are already two big lakes on either side of the road. One is fresh, one is brine. “Wow!” I said, “That’s scary.” “Well, I suppose it is,” he answered. “But, everybody has to be somewhere.” I thought about that. I’d love to see The Black Hills. But they get serious flooding over there. I hear the plains sunsets are amazing. But they get cyclones, and I don’t have ruby slippers. Northern Michigan is beautifully unspoiled. But who wants to get caught in their blizzards?  Glamorous California could rumble and break off into the ocean or bury itself in mud. But people do live in all those places.  And all those places have a history. And, they all have folks who’d like to talk about it. As Doc says, “Everybody’s got to be somewhere.” Is there a marketing lesson here? I think so. No matter what you are selling, if you don’t engage your potential buyer you won’t sell. You want to engage someone?   Be interested in their town. Where do people work in this town? If you see something unusual or interesting, mention it; ask questions. A man in another town cheerfully told me the lore of the town water tower after I mentioned its artwork. He talked for an hour thoroughly entertaining me, then he bought two books. Towns and people have stories to tell. For your own sake, be honest. Don’t try to fake your interest. Be interested.  And listen. Laugh with them, not at them. They’ll remember you. You’ll not only sell your product, you’ll learn some interesting stories. Writers can always use more story. Marketers want to sell more product! Learn some geography and history and make some new friends along the way.
Post by Deanna Klingel
Deanna’s Mini Blog Selling Books can be found: http://www.booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books.html
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