Friday, May 20, 2016

Kintsugi and Cover Reveal for Steps Along My Shore




Kintsugi is a Japanese word meaning to repair with gold. Rather than throw away a broken piece of ceramic, it's mended together with a golden lacquer making it more valuable in the process.

Kintsugi is also a Japanese philosophy about embracing life’s changes and one’s flaws, rather than hide them away in shame and embarrassment. They understand that our experiences, even the bad ones, make up who we are as individuals. We should not cower from them, but wear them as badges of honor. Those flaws can make us more valuable people too.

I agree with this philosophy. Almost. I understand I am who I am today because of all I went through in my life and I would not be that person today without the triumphs and without the traumas. However, I don’t know that I’m able to display that golden badge proudly on my chest for the world to see just yet. Being anonymous is one thing. Being not-so-anonymous is another.

Imagine what our world would be like if we didn’t have to hide our past, or even our present? How cool would it be to talk freely about the things we’ve experienced as we’ve grown into own unique selves? As we've become so valuable to those around us.

It’s a shame it took me thirty years to tell my closest friend that I was sexually abused as a child. Something she experienced too. All that time we could’ve helped each other through it. Instead, we hid in our own shame and embarrassment.

Just as we did about our shared drug addictions. We each knew the other had “problems” with drugs but never to what degree, or when or if the other stopped using. She recently entered the program, and had I said something earlier about my experience, maybe she would’ve done something for herself sooner. Maybe. But I said nothing. Because I was too afraid of being judged…even by my best friend, who was in the same spot as I had been.

Perhaps one day I’ll be able to embrace the Kintsugi philosophy completely and reveal to the world all of my flaws without the need to remain anonymous, but for now, I think I’ll embrace my gold-dusted flaws quietly and discreetly.

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Just like I'll reveal my cover quietly. No big parade or blog tour. Just little ol' me sharing my cover for Steps Along My Shore letting you know I'm stoked! Remember a couple of months ago when I mentioned I was putting the book on delay to get feedback on it from some fine folks who have "been there, done that"? 

Well, I've not only gotten some valuable feedback, I also got this fantastic cover too...which just happens to be my new profile picture. I love it that much! A big thank you to it's creator who requested anonymity...at least for now. You'll know who he is soon enough one day.

pardon the poor picture taking skills -  that's all me!

My target release date for Steps Along My Shore is June 30, 2016 if not sooner. I'm doing my final read through, and then it'll be ready for release to the masses. I'm scared to death, but I'm excited too.

Do you like the philosophy of Kintsugi? Have you heard of it before today? Any words of advice before I release my book?


 

49 comments:

  1. Awesome! And a great title.
    It takes a lot a guts to reveal that we struggle or struggled with something. And it's a crap shoot - are we revealing it to the right person at the right time?
    Whether anonymous or not, your book will help someone at the right time.

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    1. Thank you, Alex. Footprints is one of my favorite poems. I read it quite often. A great reminder that I'm never alone during my most stressful times, even when I feel like it. It really is a struggle on who and how much to say about our struggles. I used to share too much, then too little, now I let my gut guide me. I'm hopeful my book will help someone out there avoid the mistakes I made.

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  2. We prefer to keep those skeletons in the closet.

    So wonderful your book is almost ready for the world. Can I email you about the cover?

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    1. Yes, we do keep the skeletons in the closet. Yes, please feel free to email me. I'm open to any advice.

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  3. Awesome cover indeed. Hope you make the target release. As far as actual trauma, things tend to roll off me, so there isn't much. So the cat tells all, no fear in him haha Now of course I have nothing super major directly to me, so who knows what I'd do if I did.

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    1. The cat has not feelings, only Pat has those. True, the cat just blabs and blabs with no fear of what others think - I wish I had that thick skin but not so much! I'm much more sensitive than that, cat...I have feelings. haha

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  4. Congratulations!!! I LOVE the cover! Way to go!

    I have heard of kintsugi, and recently too. I want to say someone did it during A-Z, or maybe it was something I saw on FB. I am pretty open about my problems with depression, anxiety and panic disorder. I want others to know they aren't alone....and judging from the amount of 'likes' I get when I share stuff about anxiety disorder, there are a lot of us out there. But I'm slowly trying to put myself back together. Maybe not with gold....pyrite maybe...lol

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    1. Thank you, JoJo.

      I heard about Kintsugi in one of my meetings and I thought it was such a beautiful concept. Embracing your flaws, making them a part of you, and honoring them. Just so cool. It's surprising to me just how many people suffer from invisible illnesses - anxiety, depression, and the like. I'm glad you're sharing yourself. That's awesome!

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  5. Yes, I've heard of kintsugi and I think it's an absolutely beautiful philosophy. It's a much wiser and much healthier outlook than our own society's insistence on an unattainable and unrealistic standard of perfection. And good luck with publication -- your chosen cover rocks!

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    1. Thank you, Debra! I love the beach scene...so me. And of course, I explained the whole footprints deal already to Alex.

      I agree with you, the idea of trying to appear perfect is ridiculous. Everyone already knows that no one on this Earth is perfect. No one. Yet for some reason everyone likes to pretend to be. The Beer Boys talked about Facebook in their post earlier this week and that's a prime example of how false people are on the outside. We'd be much happier if we were able to show our true selves without fear of judgment.

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  6. Wow, that's a beautiful cover, Elsie! Congratulations! I'm so excited for you.
    I had never heard of that philosophy before but it's wonderful. I just recently shared something from my past that I've been afraid to share and it was such a liberating thing. I'm going to work on embracing this philosophy more.

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    1. Thank you, Julie, I appreciate it. I'm excited and nervous :)

      I think it's such a great philosophy and I'm grateful I heard it. I'm happy to hear that you were able to share something from your past and it was liberating for you. That warms my heart and makes me smile! Take care.

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  7. I am so, so proud of you! It looks great. I look forward to having it in my hands. The challenge in being completely authentic is that the world is so darn judgemental. There's a lot to take into account.

    Much love.

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    1. Thank you, Robyn. It took awhile to get it to where it is but it's well finished. You'll have a final copy when it's ready, compliments of me :) You're the best, my friend! Much love back!

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  8. Great cover, and good job taking steps toward Kintsugi. It's a wonderful and freeing philosophy. I hope it works well for you.

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    1. Thank you for the kudos. I'm happy with it. It truly is a freeing philosophy and one I'd like to keep working on embracing - it's hard to show those flaws though ;)

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  9. I think the key to that philosophy is that the cracks and breaks have been repaired. Too many people want to dispense with the repair work and just "celebrate" the breaks.

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    1. I agree, Andrew. While we were discussing the philosophy in my weekly meeting we were talking about the importance of recovery and healing those wounds, not wallowing in it.

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  10. I have another friend who posted a while back on the gold-repair thing (I could scroll up and get the word, but ol' ugly American Chris), but I never thought of it as a philosophy to HIGHLIGHT the cracks, the weaknesses. I will have to do some thinking on this subject...

    BTW, love the book title!

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    1. Thanks, Chris! I love the title too - duh - otherwise I'd never have used it haha

      While I was writing this post, I found so many cool pictures of Kintsugi. It's really beautiful. But this heart was by far my favorite. Something about it really caught my eye. I never would've thought to highlight the flaws either. In my program we turn our flaws into strengths, find a new way to look at them..but to highlight them is even better, I feel. Not to be so shamed by our past. Love it!

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  11. The cover suits you nicely. Well done. As for arriving late to the party of telling your close friend, you have now. And now is a wonderful thing.

    Love, love, love the heart. Very cool. As for the badge, wear that badge, baby. You are amazing. Keep being you.

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    1. Thank you, Ivy. I know it's not the cover most authors would chose because of the "dead space" at the top but I love it just the same. I wanted the openness there so as people read it, they could cover the description and not worry about people seeing what the book was about - a problem I had with some of the books I read on sex addiction. And, yes, the beach, it does suit me perfectly. My go to place.

      I'm grateful I was able to share what I knew about the program so I could help my friend now, although I do wish I was able to tell her sooner, even if she wasn't ready to hear it just yet. Thanks for being here, my friend! I appreciate you more than you know :)

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    2. Hello Lovely Lady. Yes, I totally love the cover and it's great that you remembered your own challenges with having to get books about sex addiction. Not that this is the same, but when I read recipes in magazines that are out of order, it makes me think, I want to be more clear when I write mine. Or when I see a clear one I think, now this is lovely. This works.

      Anyway, happy weekend.

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    3. Thanks, Ivy. No, that makes total sense. I think we need to draw from our own experiences so we can write a better book for others to read. We write what we know, right?

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  12. I love the cover, good luck with the book!

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    1. Thanks Fran. I'm hoping it'll help some folks along their path to a healthier recovery than I first had.

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  13. Hi Elise - the word Kintsugi is a fascinating one, as too its culture. What a great post ... so often people do hide within themselves and being free and open can help so many others ...

    The cover is a delight ... bearing in mind it holds some processes of your life - and the description on the front is very apt ... I sincerely hope people will read and being able to help themselves or assist others in their search for help.

    With thoughts - Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary! I want to take a deeper look into Kintsugi. I think the reading I did barely scratched the surface of it's true philosophy. What a great way for people to live - without shame and not in the shadows of their true selves. Thank you for the compliment on the cover. I really do love it. I'm also hopeful I can help people along in helping themselves. That would be so awesome!

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  14. I think the cover is absolute perfection, my friend :)

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    1. Thank you, Keith. I appreciate that immensely!

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  15. I've never heard of that Japanese word, but I do think it's lovely! People don't realize that we have all been through something which makes us less likely to judge. Best of luck with the release. I know that it's going to be another success for you! xo

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    1. I remind myself all the time that there are many people out there that are smiling on the outside but in pain on the inside. I recall many days that I had a fake smile plastered on at work, but I'd be a mess inside, just crumbling to pieces. You're right, Jaclyn, we all have some battle people don't know about. Thanks for the well wishes and the your vote of confidence :)

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  16. I really like the concept of Kintsugi. Similarly, it's like when I find old pictures of myself when I didn't look nearly as dashing, suave, and sophisticated as I do today (yeah, imagine...terrifying, ain't it?). I never get rid of them because that is a part of me.

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    1. Not as dashing as today? Impossible Al! I don't believe it for a second! Our past is a great reminder of where we have been and how far we have come (and how few grey hairs we had back then too.)

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  17. I really like the concept of Kintsugi. Similarly, it's like when I find old pictures of myself when I didn't look nearly as dashing, suave, and sophisticated as I do today (yeah, imagine...terrifying, ain't it?). I never get rid of them because that is a part of me.

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  18. I love the picture and cover Elsie ~ And I am a great believer of that Japanese word & craft ~

    Best of luck my friend ~

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    1. Thank you, Grace. I appreciate it. I like how it has a calming effect when you look at. You don't think sex addiction or Relational Trauma at all - just peace and serenity...at least I do. :)

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  19. Yes! That is a killer cover. I love the font, too. It's so sharp.

    Kintsugi is the greatest philosophy we could never adopt here. Not with digital septic tanks like TMZ around. Everyone's too judgmental, and would rather gossip about these struggles than applaud the person for talking about it. I mean, God forbid any of us admit we're humans and have problems and make mistakes.

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    1. I'm digging the cover too. A friend took the photo and all I did was add the rest. I'm very pleased!

      You're right, Bryan. People love to drink up other people's misery. It makes them feel better about themselves and their own lives, I think. And with technology the way it is nowadays, there's always someone there to capture it when it happens.

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  20. I've never heard of Kintsugi before, but it's a beautiful concept. It's difficult to put into practice, though....

    Lovely cover. Very classy.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment on the cover. Yes, I think putting the practice of Kintsugi into our daily lives is difficult but would payoff greatly.

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  21. Hi human, Elsie,

    Kintsugi is just the sort of philosophy that my human and I embrace. In fact, my pawsts and my human's posts, have such an underlying philosophy. My human is not ashamed of who he is. Via the blogging world, openness can reveal the gifts of empathy.

    Wonderful cover and title to your book, my lovely human friend. I wish you well with your book and I wish you well in your life.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and your well wishes, Penny. Yes, you and Gary spread lots of love and positive energy over at your blog. I think that's why it's so popular. That kind of vibe attracts good, kind hearted people and keeps them coming back and it helps keep us going when things aren't so great in our world. I hope things are doing better for Gary - send him my positive vibes!

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  22. Congratulations on your upcoming book, I am sure your story will bless many, as they will be encouraged!

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    1. Thank you so much, Marja. I'm hopeful the book will help others avoid the mistakes I made along my way. :)

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  23. First time hearing about this (Kintsugi) and quite inspiring… though it’s pretty hard to open up the flaws but it’s possible when people are understandable and have similar experiences. I believe no one is perfect in this world and we aren’t the only weird people.

    Btw. All the best with book release and nice cover

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    1. Thank you for the well wishes, Jeevan. I think we all have the ability to take our flaws and turn them into positives and strengths. We are not perfect people and those that think are have lots of work to do...I speak from experience haha

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.