Keeping secrets

I figure now, in the season where we are reminded how the desire of ages was fulfilled in a cold barn long ago, that I can tell y’all about a little desire of my own that has been fulfilled.

After a long road of trying to find a home for my memoir on our intercultural family, I’m thrilled to pieces that one Kalos Press has made an offer on my book and is eager to welcome “Mixed: Combining cultures, families, faith and awkward laughter” into its fold. I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

Basically my feelings:
A noontime rest for a full-fledged assembly worker at the Long Beach, Calif., plant of Douglas Aircraft Company. Nacelle parts for a heavy bomber form the background  (LOC)

The title may shift but I am committed to this small press that has shown a strong dedication to new voices of faith –an attribute I was hoping for all along in a publisher. I’ll look forward to sharing with you how this offer came to fruition and I’ll be honored to share more about the prospective release of the book.

Unge mennesker på stranden

If you want to join in the ring-around-the-rosie:
Be sure to keep up with me by Twitter @Kendraspondence or subscribe to our mailing list (on the right panel where it says “Be Cool, Subscribe”) if you give two toots about the book 😉 Even if you don’t, I appreciate your readership here and your friendship on and off this matrix which privileges me to write out some of the crazy rattling around in the ol’ head.

Captain Joseph H. Freedman Hq, USAFIME, is shown blowing the Shofar

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The Allume conference…and a giveaway!

My long-held dreams of attending the Allume Conference for Christian women bloggers came true. Thank you, Workplace, for funding my opportunity! It was easily one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended: well-organized, substantial in content, deeply spiritual, and dang, girl. That goodie bag.

I will not weary you, dear readers, with a play-by-play of the conference like this is an entry on Cruisers Forum.

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I will, however, share one epiphany.

Growing up as a girlchild who knew she wanted to pursue a career someday that was heavy on the interplay of words and people, I felt as though I had a limited set of female leaders. You know those she-idols doing that thing to which I aspired. There was Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, Candy Crowley, Connie Chung and a select array of other women in media who held those coveted top seats. I learned that you had to work a small market for awhile, and then perhaps get promoted to a middle market and work crazy long hours and never get to read the new Judy Blume book, and eventually, if you were perseverent, talented, and incredibly lucky, you might score a top tier post. But this was never guaranteed and you’d have to work three times harder than male peers and you best not ever have an eyelash out of place or else!

Allume reminded me that the landscape has changed. The coveted top spots for women in media aren’t the only mansions on the cul-de-sac. There is a beautifully vast and seemingly borderless industry producing media in which women can creatively steer careers in whole new ways. They can be the CEO of Yahoo or the servant leader of a small cottage industry and it’s all within their reach. I met so many amazing women at Allume who are girl-bossing their way in the blogosphere, running happy homes, and leaning in to Lord’s unique calling on their lives. It was so encouraging, especially as a journalism professor trying to encourage young men and women to think beyond just the job offerings on mediabistro.com but to think of the lifestyle they want to lead, to envision the kind of philanthropic legacy they want to have.

To celebrate being filled-up full from Allume, I’ve got a little giveaway for you, dear readers. I received many a good thing at the conference, most of them priceless. Some were tactile, though, and they can be yours. Just enter the rafflecopter below and a winner will be announced on Tuesday. Woop!

Wicked Girly prizesWicked Girly prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I did a great job in Miss Schlosser’s class

Pencil

You hold on to the pencil from your 6th grade teacher, the one she gave to everyone as a memento of your year in homeroom 6A where she hung curtains on the bookshelves to make the cinderblock room look more homey. “I DID A GREAT JOB IN MISS SCHLOSSER’S CLASS” it reads in gold letters on one thin panel of this wooden implement painted red. Because she loved you all so much, because she told you all how she prayed for each of you three minutes a piece one night, you all sort of believed it. You did a great job. Why would she have given you all this pencil if it had not been so? She lost her mother that year. You broke the obelisk on her desk that year.  She prayed for you and hung curtains and gave you a pencil.  You hold on to the pencil and decide not to sharpen it right away because it’s a bit of a novelty item and there are plenty of other pedestrian pencils and erasable pens to jot down your rising 7th grade thoughts about sleepovers and boys whose voices jump whole octaves overnight. The eraser you use; it’s a decent eraser and you make a lot of mistakes over the next few years, trusting too much in the correctness and permanence of the story you are writing. You pack the pencil from your 6th grade teacher into a wad of other writing instruments, rubberbanded and ported from dorm to apartment to condo to house, and every so often you consider how long that pencil has held up. Like so few other things that shine with their original glory, the message is unmarred and unmistakable. It is only once you become a teacher that you understand the point of view of that message in gold letters. The pencil is not, as it appears to an egoistic middle schooler, a brag flag to wave. No one cares whether one did a great or superlatively poor job in sixth grade, it turns out. Pencils, after all, are chosen by the user. Pencils are the tool of the essay writer, the math test-taker, the form filler-outer. The pencil does not guide you; you guide the pencil. More and more and more and more, the pencil obeys. As you file bills or rifle through a drawer of receipts, you look up to see a streak of red peaking from the back of your desk, and occasionally it touches you but sometimes it floods you–that you were loved enough and affirmed in gold letters once upon a time. You did a great job. In a room where books were hemmed in by curtains. By a teacher whose name you will not forget.

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