First book … the Pink Prayer Book …

September 15, 2008 § 7 Comments


Backstory
: It just happened. One of the consultants at the company where I work as a tech writer is married to a senior editor at Liguori Publications. I have met this editor. We talk at parties. She knows I write, has read some of my stuff. We have many things in common, (something I’ve found often to be true among writers).

She called me in May about a project. Liguori had an idea for a book they wanted to publish, immediately. It just needed to be written first.

Would I do the project? 
Um, yes.
Would I do it in six weeks?
Yes, sure. (I did not look at the calendar. I did not ask the pay. (Why? The sound of opportunity knocking was very loud.) Further, this was a very specific book, a very specific cause.)
I was all yes’s.

Liguori Publication is a Catholic press. I’ve never written or considered writing anything religious or spirtual.  I am a quiet protestant, neither evangelist nor angel. But the book was to be non-denominational. It is.

Above all, it was to be a collection of orginally written prayers by breast cancer survivors and those related to them. The universality of prayer, of petitioning via a belief, and the things people say and stories they tell in their petitions – that was to be the beauty of the little book. It would also include Scriptures and some interesting pertinent (and some literary) writings.

I got busy. I believed there would be a huge field from which to harvest. Wrong.. I am here to tell you that you cannot ask too many people; you cannot send your message through too many networks in order to cull originally written work. People are shy to write. And of course, I had a serious time constraint.  And so the prayers came in, in fits and starts.

Patricia Corrigan, an excellent published writer and breast cancer survivor,  stepped up to write the four essays in the book. She and I telecommunicated; she was a pleasure to work with. And Cokie Roberts, (yes, the Cokie Roberts), a breast cancer survivor,wrote a nice little Intro for the book (despite the writhing and worrying of her agent)!

Now: Three months later, the book is out. It’s a book that belongs to everyone. Every contributor has his/her name in it. They can all feel “wowed” by what they wrote and shared. Maybe they will now have publishing fever. I hope so. I hope to reprise the effort next year.

The PINK PRAYER BOOK fits in your purse; it’s neither too tiny nor too heavy. It took me places I had never gone before. Most remarkably, it brought responses from people I would have never met. It brought my family in touch, from its furthest extremes because my maternal aunt had breast cancer and this got us all talking years later not only about what Auntie went through but what each of us experienced during it. The caring network is unabashedly in full swing.

No, I never planned in my wildest book imaginings to work on a book of prayers.
But writers never know which turn in the path will bring them into some incredible clearing.

Go here to see the contributors and learn about Pink Prayer Day, and more. And thanks for allowing me this blog entry.

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§ 7 Responses to First book … the Pink Prayer Book …

  • anno says:

    This is a wonderful story! And, as it happens, the perfect gift: I am attending a party this very weekend for a friend of mine who just successfully completed a yearlong treatment for breast cancer. Thanks so much for posting this — and, CONGRATULATIONS!

  • oh says:

    Anno – Thank you for your comments!!! Honestly. And I am so glad the book will be a gift.

  • This looks wonderful. I was suprised to see this post, I just finished a post quite related. I will be getting a copy for the woman I wrote about for sure. Looks like a really good project to have had the honour to be involved in. Congratulations on making your deadline!

  • oh says:

    Ya’ gotta love deadlines, right? I had to bop over and see what you wrote on your blog. I wish your friend well and have complete faith in all our collective faith to help hold her up.

  • Jeanie says:

    This is a beautiful story and I love how it “happened.” Sometimes you don’t overthink — you just say, “this is right” and do it. I will visit the site — I have a number of friends who are breast cancer survivors (my mother, alas, was not) and this might be a most thoughtful gift.

    Thank you for doing this.

  • oh says:

    Jeanie, If you write to me at dlosciale at sbcglobal dot net, I will send you a book. I’d be delighted to!

  • That is a lovely story, and a lovely cause… no wonder you were all “Yes” when she asked. 🙂

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