Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Message





Merry Christmas! Best wishes to you all, from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

For Jill

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Lovers' Prose

Private embraces.
The giving of time.
Saying what is meant,
And hearing what is said.
Lingering kisses that pause but a moment,
Then begin again.
Interlaced fingers,
Becoming one, and
Whispered requests for more.
Eyes that reassure,
Warm smiles well placed.
Waiting until the last minute.
Lovers’ prose.
Sometimes words,
Sometimes gestures.
Lovers know.

I love you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

UGA! UGA! UGA!


Meagan has been accepted into her college of choice – the University of Georgia!!! After months of sitting on pins and needles the news finally came in. Now my sweet daughter is a bulldog, too, just like her daddy! Her intended major (at least at this time) is Consumer Journalism, then law school. You cannot imagine how proud I am!

It was also a big news day for Linley. She has been attending a camp for a number of years and has wanted for some tome to be a counselor in training. She was accepted, too! Although we will miss her while she is gone for a full month this summer, we know she will be happy helping the other little campers.

I received another update on the book the other day. The designers have made a few last minute changes that are wonderful. It seems ready to jump off the shelf and into a dad or daughter’s waiting hands. We are now inside of 2 months before it is in print, and 11 weeks from seeing it on store shelves.

The photography show went very well (photos coming soon). I believe a second piece will sell this week and three gallery owners asked me to follow up with them. Is there a real future for me as an artist as well? I certainly hope so; we’ll see.

Other than a Christmas message I plan to post at the end of the week, this is the last post for 2007. Between the parties, family visits, helping the kids study for final exams and plans I have for Jill (our third anniversary is this Thursday!), I will be too busy to blog. But stay tuned – 2008 will be a year of exciting news and writing!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Awesome Power

Last night Jill and I visited with our neighbors and friends, Keith and Carol. What was planned to be a 30 minute visit turned into 4 hours filled with laughter and disclosure. We had a grand time talking about much, including how I became a writer, which always leads to a discussion of the awesome power of God. I told Keith my little story and of how I captured it in a little paragraph in a book. Here it is:

"A book about giving thanks to parents would not be complete with also giving thanks to my Heavenly Father. I confess, I sometimes succumb to human nature and think to myself it was my research, talent and perseverance that resulted in my success as an author. The truth is, however, years ago I was lost and in despair, and I had not an ounce of experience in creative writing. One evening in a prayer I asked for help and then did my best to go forward with hope. Soon certain events began to transpire - like a friend telling me of a successful little book that eventually inspired me to write; my introduction to Janet Lankford-Moran, the photographer who helped me complete my first book; meeting Ron Pitkin, my publisher, who coincidentally but not known to me until later, was the publisher of the successful little book that got me started in the first place; and then there are all those events in my life that have been the fabric with which my stories about love, faith, forgiveness and duty are woven. And now my book about thanks, the only one that has closed with a testimonial such as this, is in your hands. Coincidence? Serendipity? Chance? I think not. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Thank you God."

It is the season of Thanksgiving and Praise. Go now into your day and don't waste a moment of it, nor pass up an opportunity to let your voice of gratitude be heard.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Baby Girl Wins Again

Linley (seated) participated in a two day competition this weekend and her team won again - undefeated after three competitive events. Now she's pushing to get cheerleading in the Olympics.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A day in my life...

Some days I have an email exchange that sticks in my mind for some time. Today is such a day:

“I just stumbled across your book while searching amazon.com Briefly, are your writing basically in support of the natural family, 2 biological parents, etc?”

“I am writing in support of loving, nurturing families, irrespective of their composition. Blended families and families created by adoption are as genuine a family as those created by two parents who have not divorced, in my opinion.”

“Do you mean regardless of sex or number of parents?”

“What is the objective of your questions?”

“Well, I'm not trying to challenge you or anything. I know my question comes across that way, but I guess I'm interested in your idea of what is the best form of family, if any? Initially when I saw the titles of your books, it sounded like books about what my children need from both their mother and father, and I figured I'd best be emailing you to ask. I'm reading up on this whole issue myself. And, I'm a psych student.”

“I think the best form of family is one that is loving and nurturing to the mind, heart and soul of the child. It is great, even desirable, when that occurs in an intact family of origin, but it often does not. Thus, if step-parents, adoptive parents, or gay parents can provide that love and nurture, it is a fine family in my mind. It is better to be a loved and wanted child in a non-traditional home than an unloved or neglected child in a traditional home.”

“I think I agree with what you're saying, but if I may ask to clarify. Are you saying that the best form is the non-incestuous man and woman for life marriage is the best family form for children, but if such isn't available, others are good too, if they are loving and nurturing? In other words, putting children preferably in a family form closest to the natural family as we can is best, if it is available?”

“You are attempting to pigeon-hole me so let me be clear. The ideal form of a family is one in which neither spouse is unfaithful (wives cheat, too), the man-woman marriage remains happily intact and they are cooperatively raising children in a loving, nurturing environment. I say ideal, not best, because this family form is historically accepted and as such faces less obstacles and scorn from those who judge others. Yet this form of family is less prevalent, leaving us with the question of what is the “best” family environment for the children who have little say in the decisions adults make. You and I can exchange moral or theoretical arguments all day long, but in the end, the best family is the one a child can point back to and say “They (or even he/she; a single-parent home is still a family, I believe) are my loving parents and that was my happy childhood home.” Who am I, or you, or anyone else, to disagree with that child just because one parent may not be a biological parent, or both parents may be of the same sex? Or one is black, or Hindu?

Rather than think about “putting” children in a certain kind of home, why not think about how to help those people succeed who endeavor to give a family experience and home to a child?”

“I apologize. I didn't mean to pigeon-hole you. I was hoping to cut to the thrust of your idea just to get hold of the basics.What I meant by ‘putting,’ was, if a child can't be in their biological home for whatever reason, we would put them somewhere else sometimes. I didn't mean to degrade those who would want to give a child a loving home. I agree, love and nurture is very important. I wasn't envisioning an exchange of views, but since we've kind of ended up here, I guess we diverge on the questions of what is best for a child. Love and nurture, or a specific family from that also provides love and nurture.”

“Please share your opinion on the questions you have asked.”

“Well, I'm swaying towards the natural family as the most optimum, but I don't know that there's good research to show that non-traditional family forms are worse off -- Maybe they are just as good. I don't know. As I understand it, most of the research on non-traditional family forms are from families where there is a divorce, or death which is obviously going to contribute to negative outcomes for whoever is involved. I also think a lot of the research is politicized by whoever is quoting from it, so I feel at the moment, I should hold off from a definitive opinion.”

“Yes, most research is conducted to prove a point, often one that was pre-determined, rather than to find an answer. It is a human weakness – to see only what we are looking for.”

"Yes. I hope to rise above it."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tell Me Your Stories

People in all times and places have told stories. Stories have probably been shared in every family in every culture as a means of entertainment, preservation of family history and to instill knowledge, wisdom and moral values in youth. Traditionally, family stories were passed from generation to generation, in the car during road trips, on a rocking chair porch or around the dinner table, at family reunions, weddings or funerals, and whenever the need arose to help someone better understand a significant life event or challenge. Such stories are often lessons that still teach even though generations may have passed since the events of the story originally unfolded.

Family stories also all too often survive only in memory, and as such, slowly fade away. I would like to capture important family stories while they are still fresh in the hearts and minds of those who tell them. I want to give longevity to stories about family, love and faith that can inspire others for years, even generations, to come.

If you have an inspirational story to share, one you think others will enjoy and perhaps learn an important life lesson from, please tell it to me. I am interested in stories about:

Father – Daughter relationships
Father – Son relationships
Mother – Daughter relationships
Mother – Son relationships
Falling in Love
Lasting Love (wisdom of older couples)
Lessons taught by Grandparents
Faith Experiences
Best Friends

You may submit stories through my website: www.gregoryelang.com

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Book Review

From the Accent Gwinnett magazine. Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

An Update:

It seems so much is happening right now. I spent the better part of last week reading and re-reading the copyedited draft of Daddy’s Little Girl, looking for errors and ways to improve the book before it went back to the designer for final tweaks. We agreed to change a few photographs, story titles, and added or deleted a word or two from here and there to clarify a story.

Then yesterday I received a bound sample of the book, the kind you might do yourself at Kinko’s, one that is intended to give the sales team an idea of what the final product will be. Jill sat down to review it and right away found a few more spelling errors, which sent me into a flurry to get notes to the editor in CA before she left her office. Fortunately, a proofreader had also caught the mistakes and made the changes. I’m in good hands.

The girls are beginning to get curious about the book and want to know what stories I’ve told about them, but I won’t answer, wanting to give them a copy of the actual book before too much is revealed. The sales team samples are hidden away and I’m hoping as the girls snoop around to see what Santa has in store for them (and they will), they won’t find the book. There’s no doubt each will take an exception to how she is represented in at least one story and I want to forestall that grief for as long as possible.

I also received my contract from the Speakers Bureau that has begun to represent me. I once gave speeches quite often in a different industry, but never as a motivational author. My knees are shaking a bit but I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m also grateful another door has opened for me.

A magazine was just released which included a review of two books I wrote for Cumberland House. If I can get permission, I'll post a copy here for you.

The photography show opens next Friday! Can't wait; I'll post photos of the event on Dec. 17th. Hey, I've already sold a piece!

…sorry for the free association, I am in a hurry but wanted to get an update out… gotta go….

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Monday, December 03, 2007

This is why I do it:

Hi Greg,

I was shopping in Target this evening and came across your book. As I flipped through the pages, I was immediately pulled in and tears began to fill my eyes as I thought of my own father. I had to buy the book, because I didn't want to be standing in the middle of Target crying like a baby.

Anyway, I brought the book home and read it from cover to cover. At first, I thought I would make it to the end without any tears, but sure enough they came. I soon realized that even though my father was absent from my life in so many ways, he left me with so much more than I realized.

My dad taught me how a lady should be treated, he taught me how to treat others and he taught me how a father acts when he really loves his children! I am so grateful to my father for all of this and I am grateful for you and your beautiful book, "Why a Daughter Needs a Dad".

Teri

It is the stories you tell me that help me find my way through the maze that dads sometimes find themselves lost within.