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Book Tour: The Adventures Continue With a Talk at BU

I took on my first book tour 11/29 through 12/7, landing in Boston, driving to Vermont to speak at Saint Michael’s College, driving back to Boston to speak at BU, driving to Rhode Island to speak at URI (Kingston), and back to Boston for one last talk at BU. You can find the first entry here, and the second entry here. The following details my journey Saturday 12/2 – Monday 12/4:

“Just act like you know what you’re doing.”

That’s what I told myself as I walked up the stairs out of the T rail on my second day in Boston. I was nearly confident with where I was going–which was a lot more confident than I had been 12 hours prior–but still trying to get things down perfectly and had to fake it until I made it.

Luckily, a week before this trip to Boston, I had found out at a Thanksgiving party that an Aquinas cross country alum had moved to Boston. Nick was my lifesaver, and I happened to be walking out to my lifesaver this very day I had figured out the T rail.

Nick came out to my presentation Monday, too!

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Book Tour: Boston, Day 1

I took on my first book tour 11/29 through 12/7, landing in Boston, driving to Vermont to speak at Saint Michael’s College, driving back to Boston to speak at BU, driving to Rhode Island to speak at URI (Kingston), and back to Boston for one last talk at BU. You can read the first entry here. The following details my journey on Friday 12/1.

Driving back through Vermont toward Boston was a “magical” experience once again (great views, easy driving). Driving through Boston, however, was a different kind of magical.

I know I’ve been told DON’T GET A CAR IN BOSTON, but with all the traveling I needed to do for speaking engagements, it was a requirement for this trip.

I had a mix of awe and jolts of fear entering the city. For someone who’s already anxiety-prone with driving, I was testing my limits–because not only were the roads busy (I was warned about the traffic), but my GPS seemed to go haywire (“turn right, MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN THE LEFT LANE OF THE TURN RIGHT [too late], now SHARP LEFT, make sure you’re in the middle lane”…). With the constant curves and tunnels (my GPS lost signal, of course), it was tough to make the drive mistake-free. So a big mantra of this trip has become “Just take one thing at a time.”

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A Second Book, Video Interviews, Journal Entries Revealed

With snippets of information here and there, I figured it was high time to give more details about what’s been going on in the realm of Running in Silence and future writing/speaking endeavors. Honestly, I’ve just been way too busy, so I’m trying to carve more time into my day to work on writing, speaking, and YouTube videos. THANK YOU to all of you who have supported me/followed my journey so far!

YouTube

I’m about to embark on a video interviewing spree, which will include talking with my parents (separately, as they offer differing perspectives), men with eating disorders, and possibly my coach from Aquinas. Check out my YouTube channel (Running in Silence) for extra videos (and be sure to subscribe!). I will keep you in the loop on those upcoming videos via social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). In the meantime, be sure to comment below (or email me at runninginsilence@gmail.com) if you have questions you’d like me to ask the interviewees!

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017

I can’t believe how easily time gets away from me–it’s already been nearly two weeks since National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW), and I’m able to update on the craziness at last.

A few days before the NEDAW officially began, Karen Saukas (eating disorder survivor and mental health advocate), Zach Stepanovich (my friend and former Aquinas cross country teammate who also suffered from an eating disorder), Gail Hall (Director of the Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders), and I were all on the Maranda show to raise awareness for eating disorders.

Just days later, early on Monday morning, Zach, Gail, and I we were on Fox17 News for the lighting of the blue bridge in Grand Rapids (huge thanks to Gail Hall for making this happen for the first time EVER in Michigan!). The bridge was lit in the NEDA colors (green and blue), which made us a part of the nation-wide “coloring of buildings.”

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Book Release Aftermath

It has taken five years of writing, editing, and research to make Running in Silence happen, which means that when the book released this past Tuesday, most of what I felt was relief and exhaustion.

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And as everyone buys the book and starts to read it, I begin to feel like there’s this suspenseful silence …. I await to hear anything good or bad come my way. Then the responses trickle in little by little, and with each positive review, the excitement starts to creep in.

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My Story is Your Story

Running in Silence is not just my story.

It’s a peek into thousands of stories.

I share my journey not to highlight what happened to me specifically, but to reveal an individual perspective of fear, darkness, and chaos that either mirrors or closely reflects a community of women and men, thin and heavy bodies.

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Book Breakdown Before Publication

When I first received the PDF version of Running in Silence, I was in awe of the layout (props to Koehler Books!). But this soon turned into somewhat of a horror film as I began to make a final round of SMALL EDITS/CORRECTIONS (emphasis, my publisher).

Thoughts: It’s almost a book! So many things to fix that I hadn’t seen before! I can’t publish this right now!!!

I asked my publisher if we could get more time. I asked if we could change multiple sentences and paragraphs, and I questioned myself as an author. Deep down, I knew what was happening–I realized I was in what I now call “pre-publication freak-out,” a stage that my editor admitted she experienced as well with her book Looking for Lydia, Looking for God.

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New Publication Date and Spreading the Message

Due to small editing tasks falling behind (which is not a rare occurrence in the publishing world), the release date of Running in Silence had to be pushed back a month to November 15, 2016.

While this wasn’t the most exciting news at first, it wasn’t necessarily bad, either. There are advantages for me, since November is a less hectic month (considering my cross country coaching season will have just finished), and it gives me more time to apply everything I’ve learned about the book publishing and marketing world for the next two months. Like squeezing in more YouTube videos (now that I’m getting the hang of it), hearing my voice on the radio (after stumbling over my words the first time I ever did it), and listening to more YouTube book publishing podcasts for my own education.

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Life-Saving Imperfection

After another dose of editing Running in Silence, I’ve set aside my book yet again, hoping I won’t have to go back to it too much more now. The staff at Koehler Books get to handle it at this point, which is a relief because I have to let them take it away from me so I stop trying to find more to “fix.” But as my editor Dean Robertson said, “Remember: the book is about recovering from the quest for perfection.”

So I have to stop trying to make the book “perfect.” I figure that if anyone finds fault with it, I’ll just tell them that those imperfections are because the book is exactly that–imperfect! It was my intention all along. :)

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The Tour Begins: My First Speaking Engagement

–or pre-book tour, you might say.

I had my first paid speaking engagement this past Thursday–and I say “paid” not because I’m in this for the money (*all of us authors/artists laugh*), but because it feels more official.

I was asked to speak.

I arrived at the Women’s City Club two hours before my presentation to practice one last time with public speaking coach JoeAnne Peterson. JoeAnne was not only a phenomenal coach, but also a friendly, kind, encouraging, and very knowledgeable. She gave me suggestions I had never thought about before when presenting, and reminded me that I’m speaking because I love it and because I’m excited about what I have to say. If I want to speak into people, I can do it not only with my writing, but also with my voice–and especially with a whole 45 minutes reserved for me to speak. And like writing, public speaking can be enhanced by emphasizing my words, packing a punch in my phrases, and getting deep into the souls of the listeners through emotion.

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