When it first came out, I wrote about my friend Carrie's book "Wil of God." I have since had the distinct pleasure of devouring this lovely, luminous story of Carrie's parenting journey and wanted to follow up with her in more depth about writing and her life as Wil's mom.
The official description of the book on Amazon reads:
"Structured around the Four Noble Truths, WIL OF GOD takes you on the spiritual journey of a mother who has one idea for her life, and is handed the exact opposite. Wil comes into the world crying and doesn't stop for eighteen months, forcing her to abandon her plans for the perfect life. She must embrace the one she is handed: The mother of a boy with relentless needs, and his perfect, endless ability to love."
When and why did you start writing?
I started playing around with writing, sort of pre-blog stuff, eight years ago. I took my first memoir writing class seven years ago, and started my blog at that time.
Why publish it?
I felt compelled to write this story and share it. While writing it, my prayer was always that it would fall into the hands of those that needed to read it – for whatever reasons. I assumed it would fall into the hands of special needs moms, mostly, but you know what they say about assuming!
That being said, there are probably 1000 pages “on the cutting room floor.” A lot of what I wrote I just needed to write, but didn’t need to publish.
Does Wil know what the book is about? How does he feel?
Wil knows all about the book and is proud of it. He calls it “our” book. He asked his Grandma recently, “Did you read our book?” He’s helped me deliver it places and in a few cases, people have wanted him to sign it for them. That tickles him. By the same token, he’s pretty nonplussed by the whole thing. One day my friend said, “Your mom is writing a book about you, Wil, and it’s going to be published soon!” His response was, “Well, I’ve got news, too! Wednesday is a Thursday schedule, and Thursday is a Wednesday schedule!”
What was the hardest part of writing this book? Any major revelations in the process?
The hardest part of writing it was making myself write it. I fought with myself throughout. I was full of doubt but knew I had to persist. Some parts of it wrote themselves, other parts I just had to force myself through. It was brutal going through old journals to get the facts, especially those early years. It triggered many a PTSD episode!
What triggers or reminds you to tap into your intuition?
Oh, good question! Sometimes I literally am just gifted with a downloaded “piece” or “scene.” I know I have to go to the keyboard immediately and just let it out. I LOVE when that happens, and those places in the book remain my favorite. They never were edited, they remain first draft. I guess to answer your question, history reminds me to tap into my intuition, I’ve always been rewarded by doing so.
Has the acknowledgment of Wil's gifts prompted you to see other people differently? Did it allow you to see your daughter's gifts more clearly? Did it change your perspective on the talented and gifted kids you used to teach?
Absolutely! I see everyone and every thing differently! I am so grateful I’m not as judgmental as I used to be, and much more patient. It has allowed me to see my daughter’s gifts more clearly, and now that she’s in college and almost nineteen, I see her gifts not just as a girl, but as the woman she’s becoming. I see her wisdom and depth that she may have always had, but which has certainly grown as a result of being Wil’s sister.
At first I thought it terribly ironic that I ever taught Talented and Gifted. Now, I see that it was great training ground for advocating for kids that are beyond the norm – whatever that is. Having taught TAG and now all my years in special ed, I’ve thrown out definitions and uses for “intelligence.” We all have gifts, we all have talents. Period.
What's next for you?
No idea! I can’t wait to find out, though, and am surprised and pleased that I’m feeling okay about not knowing, and excited to see! I am letting it be “organic.” I don’t want to push anything nor force anything, but am open to all the signs and nudges from beyond!
and now some fun questions from James Lipton's "Inside the Actor's Studio:"
What is your favorite word? Love.
What is your least favorite word? The R-word.
What is your favorite sound? The sound of silence.
What is your least favorite sound? This god-awful throaty, guttural, humming sound Wil makes when he’s un-medicated.
Thanks so much, Carrie!
"Wil of God" is available on Amazon in paperback and electronic versions. Click through to get your copy today!