Monday, March 31, 2008

Post #425

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Now on to today’s post:

Daughter-mom photos keep coming in! Thanks so much!

Meagan and I attended the play “The Runaway Bride,” a spoof on the actual event that took place in our sleepy little town a few years ago, while Jill and Linley attended the cheerleader banquet. There were 20+ of us attending the play together, all of whom went to a neighbor’s house afterward for wedding cake and champagne. Jill joined Meagan and I after Linley went off to a sleepover, and we three had a great time for hours with our friends, although I must say it is a little strange when you child is old enough to attend such parties with you. And thank goodness the cheer season is over for now, but alas it begins again in just three weeks. Oh well, Baby Girl loves it so what can you say but “Yes.”

This blog had 110 visits on Friday. Thanks to you all who are telling your friends about this project. Stories are coming in and I’m working more each day, trying to review each story and ask additional questions of the story-teller. If you have submitted a story but haven’t heard from me you, don’t worry, you will soon. Here are a few topics that have come in:

1. A mom realizes time passes quickly and resolves to spend more of it with her children
2. A mom repeats a tradition with her child that drew her close to her own mother years before
3. A mom who has no interest in the outdoors forms a Brownie troop for her daughter
4. A daughter tells of memories of “Girls Night” with Mom
5. A daughter credits Mom for teaching her she could do and become anything she set her heart and mind to
6. A daughter is comforted by mom as she struggles through her teen years
7. A daughter fulfills the role of caregiver for an ailing mom with love and devotion
8. A mom learns to step out of her comfort zone to reach out to her daughter and learns about herself in the process

Topics I’d love to receive a story about include:

1. Special just before the wedding daughter-mom moments
2. Mom helping daughter become a mom herself
3. Mom or daughter coming to the rescue when least expected
4. Words of encouragement what were never forgotten
5. Family traditions passed down from mom to mom
6. Hallmark gestures or phrases that still reassure
7. Tender “I love you” moments that will never be forgotten
8. When a daughter emerges as an adult before a mother’s eyes
9. Moments of triumph over a major challenge
10. When a daughter or mom came to realize just how much the other loved her

Remember – there is nothing off limits if it is an upbeat, inspirational story. What is a story? In the case of this book a story is really a parable, a tale illustrating an important life lesson. Sentimental musings or tributes that do not have an “aha” component cannot be used. Our mission here is to teach, inspire and motivate through stories. Tell me one; I’m eager to hear it!

Jill and I had a starling experience yesterday. While driving down the road I saw a young girl staggering along the roadside. She was crying. We turned around and went back to check on her and I’m so glad we did. By the time we got to her she was walking in the road in 50 MPH traffic. Jill called 911 and I jumped out to grab her. She kept screaming she wanted to kill herself. I did my best to hang on to her and thank goodness when she was finally able to yank free from me a police officer pulled up and took over. I thought about that girl for the rest of the day. I have no idea what was so wrong that she thought her only option was to end her life. I’m so glad our girls are strong and resilient, I’m confident they can handle most anything, but I still shudder at the thought either of them falling into such deep darkness. A parent’s fears are boundless, aren’t they? This is but one of the reasons I pray every night.

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

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Friday

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Don’t you love the message in today’s photo? A friend sent this to me; I have no idea where it came from.

Yikes! Just learned from my editor the due date for this book may move up as much as two months. Please, please please, if you’ve thought about sending in a story, do so at your earliest convenience. If you want to participate but don’t think you can write a story in the next couple of months, let’s schedule a telephone interview. They take 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much you’ve thought about the subject ahead of time.

The good news is 17 stories are in already. Thanks everyone!

Please remember to put your name and email address at the end of your story. If you do not I could lose track of who is the author after the attachment has been separated from your email.

This little nugget was sent to me by writer Dionna Sanchez of http://www.emphasisonmoms.com/

“Kamica is fairly young for contacts. But we knew she'd be very responsible with them and she's done great this first year of wearing them. Sometimes she gets a little weary of putting them in or putting drops in her eyes - but she's done fabulous and it's so nice to see the sparkle in her eyes each day out from behind glasses.

Lately, she's had a little trouble getting them in in the mornings (and she can get frustrated quickly) so she's been coming in my bathroom. I finally asked her this morning why she was bringing all of her contact stuff in my bathroom to put them in. She told me that for some reason, it was easier to get them in when she was in with me. I smiled and said, ‘I'm your lucky penny!’ To which she replied, ‘No, you're more like my 100 dollar bill.’”

Out of the moths of babes….

Every now and then someone asks me why I write. On the one hand is a single concrete truth – I have to earn a living, might as well be doing something I enjoy. On the other hand are a host of more subjective truths – including it makes me happy to touch people on the other side of the country, even the world. For instance, I found this little mention of my second book yesterday, written by a wife soon to be mother:

“Al got an Easter basket from the Easter bunny filled with healthy choices (high fiber cereal and baby oranges in a can). It also contained a book called “Why a Son Needs a Dad.” It lists all of the things that sons and dads can do together. Al kept turning the pages saying ‘I can't wait to do that with our guy.’ I think that he liked it.”

I’m so honored he did. A second mention I found was in reference to someone who donated the dad collection of my books to a public library in honor of a recently deceased dad. Again, I’m honored. I can’t take either of these gestures to the bank, but I can savor the acknowledgment derived from both all day long. That is why I write.

I hope you all have great weekend plans. Meagan and I are going to see a play tonight while Jill and Linley attend a cheerleader banquet. The only thing worse than bad theater has to be trying to have dinner with 150 teen squealers jumping around the room. What do I know, I’m just a dad.

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




Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wooden Spoons

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Today’s photo is of Jackie Bradley and her daughter. Mrs. Bradley is one of Meagan’s school teachers; she has posed for me several times over the last couple of years. One of the really fun things about taking photos of the same models again and again is watching the kids grow up.

Here’s the new sample story I promised; it comes from Daddy’s Little Girl. I hope it explains my answer regarding the FAQ discussed yesterday:

“Ray told me of a television commercial he likes, one featuring a dad who hugs his daughter before she leaves on a date while the boy stands at the front door. As the dad holds his daughter he looks over her shoulder and without a word but in an unmistakable expression, tells the boy, ‘Be careful, I’m watching you.’

When Ray first saw and laughed at that commercial, his twelve year old daughter turned to him and asked, ‘That’s not going to be you, is it?’

Of course not, darling, what father worries about the intentions of boys who come to his door hoping to remove daddy’s little girl from his immediate reach?

I told Ray of my rule about Meagan dating. I require the young man to come inside for a chat, or the ‘interrogation’ as Meagan calls it, so that I might determine his trustworthiness before granting time alone with my daughter. Everyone in our house knows to stand clear of the door should I not like or be convinced of an answer given to me. As you might guess, I’ve already ruled out eight of ten boys having a future as my son-in-law by the time I’ve asked my third or fourth question.

Ray then told me of a large wooden spoon that hangs on the wall in his daughter’s bedroom.

Of Italian descent, his grandmother, and later, his mother, used a large wooden spoon for stirring their carefully prepared sauces that simmered in a large pot on the kitchen stove. When his conduct merited it, the spoon also conveniently served its secondary purpose as a ‘correctional instrument.’

Some years after his daughter was born, he happened into an old kitchenware store and spied on a shelf a dusty wooden spoon. It reminded him of the one that had effectively kept him in line as a young boy. He bought it, cleaned it up and hung it on the wall. When his daughter inquired why, he explained, ‘When you start dating, I’m going to have a chat with every boy that comes into this house. If I don’t like his answer to any of my questions, I’m going to whack him with that spoon.’

I’m sure his daughter was no more delighted with his answer than Meagan is knowing what I’m going to put each prospective Romeo through on their first date, but simply put, we don’t care; it’s a dad’s prerogative. It’s our favorite sport, making teen boys sweat and squirm as we query them with suspicion about their plans for the future and interest in our daughters.

My neighbor Scott, his friend and I had lunch together recently. Scott and I have daughters, his friend has two boys. We accused him of flirting with our waitress while she took our orders, speculating she might now spit in the ‘old men’s’ tea before she served it to us. He asked why we were bothered by his flirtations, and Scott and I explained having daughters changed the way we thought about women.

A few months ago Scott became the proud father of his second little girl. I’m thinking about buying him a large wooden spoon, maybe two. I’m sure he’ll know just what to do with them.”

So you see, Ray told me a story in an interview, I observed a few life events that involved Scott, and I have my own experiences to draw from regarding my daughter going on a date. These components came together to make one story about not only how dads feel protective of their daughters, but also how having daughters changes the way men see women. I, the narrator, put it all together in one seamless chapter. If this is not a satisfactory explanation of how your story might be used, please let me know and I’ll take a whack at it again.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Carpool Diem

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

OMG – I just realized that by the time Linley gets her driving license (2 years from now) I will have been transporting girls to and from school for 20 consecutive years!

Today’s photo was submitted by Beth Jannery, Author of Simple Grace - Living a Meaningful Life. She is also a Life Strategist and Speaker. Website: http://www.bethjannery.com/,
Blog: http://www.bethjannery.blogspot.com/. Thanks Beth!

Stories are beginning to come in – thanks so much to the early responders. If I haven’t contacted all of those who have submitted a story, don’t worry, I will. I review each one follow-up with you to develop the story. We’ll chat soon. This leads me to a new FAQ:

I’m not paid? Aren’t I writing the story?
Well, not really. You are sharing with me a motivational story (you may write it yourself or tell it to me in a recorded telephone interview, your choice) and I am re-writing it (or transcribing it if you were interviewed) in my voice as the narrator. This allows me to weave my own mother-daughter stories (based on my observations within my family) together with yours. In other words, you are not one of many authors writing a chapter to a book but rather you are a storyteller whose story is combined with mine to illustrate a motivational tale. In some cases several stories are used in the same chapter to build on a theme. I will post another story from Daddy’s Little Girl tomorrow which I hope will illustrate my method of writing one story that was actually inspired by several.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pray for Rita

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Now on to today’s post:

A new FAQ – “How did you find me?”
I use Google tools to search blogs for key words and phrases and then scan the posts that came back. I send invitations to anyone who has written something in a recent post that leads me to think she may be interested in this project.

Daddy’s Little Girl is now within the 6 week timeframe for its release date! I bite my nails as I wait for confirmation from the girls they like how I’ve written about them.

Today’s photo is of Cindy and her daughters. I met Cindy in an unusual way; I chased her through a Kroger store. One day Meagan and I pulled up to Kroger to buy a few things for the weekend when we saw a woman escorting a child dressed like Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz into the store. Meagan looked at me and said they would make good models for “Why a Daughter Needs a Mom,” so we set out in search of them. Imagine what it was like for a strange man to hand you a card over by the BBQ chicken warmer and ask you “Can I take your photo?” That was five years ago and Cindy and others in her family have posed for me in four other books. Rita, her oldest daughter, is shipping to Iraq in a few weeks. Cindy is going to tell me their story of preparing for this occasion. Please join me in sending a prayer out for Rita.

Continuing to help you visualize what kind of daughter-mom story to submit for Mom’s Little Angel, I thought I’d tell you of a few of the stories in Daddy’s Little Girl. Hopefully when reading through this list you’ll be reminded of an event in your life that must be told:

1. A dad helps his daughter overcome her grief.
2. An adult daughter remembers a song her dad used to sing to her at bedtime.
3. A dad reminds his daughter that no matter how old she is, he will always do anything for her.
4. A dad remembers precious days years ago while looking through a memory box.
5. A dad overcomes personal challenges to be at his daughter’s side.
6. A daughter keeps memories of dad under her pillow.
7. A dad helps ease the blow of the harsh lessons of life.
8. A dad feels the first pain of watching his little girl grow up.
9. A daughter learns how to be independent and still give her dad a place in her life.
10. Adventures of daddy-daughter dates.
11. A daughter discovers her dad really can see things through her eyes.
12. A daughter aspires to be the person her dad is.
13. A daughter learns from her Dad’s example what true love looks like.
14. A daughter reaches out and rekindles old affections with her dad.
15. In a time of doubt one father sends his daughter a message of inspiration.
16. Dad makes little girls’ dreams come true.
17. A daughter teaches her dad to read.
18. A daughter reminds dad his time is the greatest gift.
19. A daughter teaches her dad how to open his heart.
20. A daughter comforts her dad in his final moments.

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

Monday, March 24, 2008

Starter Questions

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Here are a few questions to consider in case you need help getting started:

For Moms
1. What are your favorite memories of daughter-mom moments spent together?
2. What are your hopes and dreams for your daughter?
3. How has having a daughter changed you?
4. What advice would you give new moms of daughters?
5. What regrets, if any, do you have about the way you parented your daughter?
6. If you also have a son, what is the difference, if any, in raising boys and girls?
7. What was the great mystery for you when raising a daughter?
8. How do you want your daughter to remember you?

For Daughters
1. What are your favorite memories of time spent with mom?
2. What aspects of your relationship changed over the years and how do you feel about that change?
3. What advice would you give new moms of daughters?
4. What was the occasion when you first understood how much your mom really loved you?
5. When did you mom begin to see you as a mature adolescent/adult instead of a little girl?
6. In what ways do you hope your relationship with your mom will change?
7. How would your mom say if asked, Tell me about your daughter?
These are just suggestions but anything is game so long as it is inspirational and informative to daughters and moms looking to better understand each other or simply want to celebrate what they share.

I found Violette DeSantis’ review of “Sisters” over the weekend on the BellaOnline website:

“New York Times best-selling authors Gregory E. Lang and Janet Lankford-Moran have completed another book together. Sisters - 100 Ways They Bless Our Lives is a book for any age, timeless enough to sit anywhere in your house just waiting to be read.

The beautiful black and white photography has a color all its own. Photos of young and old alike remind you of the special people in your life and what they meant to one another, as if they were photos of your own mom and aunt, or you and a sister. Inspired by her own experience with her sister, Janet Lankford-Moran wrote Sisters - 100 Ways They Bless Our Lives, with Gregory E. Lang, as a thank you in a way to her own sister for having nearly raised her after their mother passed away when Janet was 8 years old.

Sisters’ has the ability to reflect life the way we remember it. Remember all trying to fit into a bathroom together, or dressed up for Easter posing for a picture, and then down the road having coffee when you’re both all grown up? In the midst of the photos are the 100 ways they bless our lives. They are little thoughtful sayings that continue to remind us of why we love our sisters, and remind us of our own stories that we share together with them. My favorite is “Sisters… make a house a fun place to live.” It makes it easy to cherish the two year old running after the four year old in that pitter patter way that makes one smile. And “Sisters… can get on each other’s nerves, but always get over it.” A bittersweet thought, to remember the differences we have and how we overcome them for love.

Priced nicely at $14.95, Sisters: 100 Ways They Bless Our Lives, is a book perfect for a special gift to your sister, friend or any woman in your life who shares a similar bond with another woman since childhood. Tuck it into a basket of goodies as a special treat or just give as a gift on its own. It is also a great coffee table book for family and friends to peruse during visits.

Sisters - 100 Ways They Bless Our Lives is published by Cumberland House Publishing, (April 2008) which also published Lang and Lankford-Moran’s “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad” and “Why a Son Needs a Dad” and many others.”

As you might guess, I invited Violette to submit a story for Mom’s Little Angel. She has three daughters and I’m sure more than qualified to pontificate on the subject!

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

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another Example

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

Today's photo is of Carol Minn and her mom. Carol is a friend of mine from Macon, GA, my hometown, and is now a news anchor in Tampa, FL. This pic is from "Why a Daughter Needs a Mom."

Now on to today’s post (a story from Daddy’s Little Girl)~

“MICHAEL, SOMEWHAT JADED by his years in the military followed by a career investigating crime scenes, had grown weary of the traditional Christmas celebrations. The season had gotten over commercialized and lost its heart, he thought. Gift-giving delighted his children but didn’t provide him with what he wanted most, an opportunity to spend quality time with his family, focusing only on one another and creating memories that would last a lifetime.

One evening during dinner, after listening to his daughters chatter on about what they wanted Santa to bring them that year, he announced his plan for the family to begin traveling during the winter holiday. Each year, he explained, they would enjoy spending time together exploring a new destination and getting to know one another better.

Although Elizabeth and Caroline didn’t like the idea of traveling during Christmas at first, they soon grew to eagerly anticipate where their dad would take them next as each winter break drew near. St. Louis, Phoenix, Beverly Hills perhaps?

One December, Michael took his family to Seattle to enjoy a truly white Christmas. Among the events he had planned for his family was a hike into the nearby foothills to enjoy gazing at the glaciated peaks of Mount Rainier in the distance. It would be the first time his daughters, who had been raised on the beaches of Florida, would see snowcapped mountains.

The afternoon before the day of the hike, the family members found themselves in a general store, purchasing hand warmers, trail mix, and other hiking supplies. Elizabeth, the oldest daughter, looked around and saw Christmas decorations scattered throughout the store. There was only one thing she didn’t like about traveling for Christmas, she remarked. She missed having a Christmas tree.

Overhearing his daughter’s comment, Michael disappeared into the aisles of the store. Enlisting Cody, his stepson, to keep the curious little girls distracted, he set a slight change of plans into motion.

The day of the hike arrived, and the family drove away from the city, headed for the foothills. As everyone climbed out of the car, Michael slung a backpack over his shoulders. He was to carry the water bottles and snacks they had purchased the day before. Soon they were marching through the snow, singing carols and looking for the perfect spot to stand for a photograph and a great view of Mount Rainier.

As they hiked, Michael scanned their surroundings; he was looking for something. “I think this one will do,” he finally said, walking over to a small evergreen tree growing alongside the path. Six feet high and spindly, it was rather unimpressive in contrast to the other, more majestic trees that surrounded it. “Yes, it’s perfect,” he said, then knelt down, unzipped his backpack, and reached inside.

Not certain of what he was doing, the young girls gathered around to see what was in the backpack. To their delight, Dad pulled out a small collection of Christmas ornaments and began to decorate the tree. Within moments, it was the most beautiful tree in the forest, adorned with shiny red and silver orbs, gold tinsel, and candy canes. To finish, he hoisted Elizabeth up, and she placed a glitter-covered plastic angel on top of their Christmas tree.
As they all held hands and sang “O Christmas Tree,” Michael’s girls looked up at him and agreed—it was their best Christmas gift yet.”

Another quote about Mom I found: “Every act of ministry bears the imprint of my mom's influence. I hope to have caught just half the grace and dignity with which my mom lives her life.” Well said.

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

Thursday, March 20, 2008

FAQs


I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s post:

The photos today are courtesy of the Shelli, Rachel and Gracie Larson. Pretty ladies!

Something funny I read on someone’s blog yesterday – “Without my mom's influence, I wouldn't know my head from my rectum.” So true.

To answer a few questions…

Is this real?
Yes, it is. Check me out online at any book retailer or on the shelf in your favorite local bookstore.

How did you find me?
I use Google tools to search blogs for key words and phrases and then scan the posts that came back. I send invitations to anyone who has written something in a recent post that leads me to think she may be interested in this project.

I have a story but I’m not a writer. What then?
That’s where I come in. You write what you want to say and then working together we will shape it into a story that works with the rest of the book.

I want to send a story but I’m having trouble getting started. Can you help?
Visit this blog from time to time. I will post sample stories from Daddy’s Little Girl and good examples of stories submitted for Mom’s Little Angel. I’m also happy to call you and conduct a recorded interview or just to brainstorm with you.

How do I send you a story?
You submit a story to me over my website http://www.gregoryelang.com/. If it is appropriate to include in the book we’ll talk (or email) about how to bring out the best points of your story. In September I will submit the manuscript to my editor who will make the final decisions about which stories to include in the book.

So every story submitted isn’t included in the book?
No. In the case of stories that are too similar in theme only the best one is selected for inclusion in the book. Some submissions are sweet, sentimental musings but not a story; others are about subjects that are not teaching or uplifting. I give feedback on each submission to help you find and bring out the moral, but if we can’t get to that important inspirational point of the story, it isn’t used.

May I submit more than one story?
Yes.

I am both a mother and a daughter. Which shall I write about?
Either is fine or you can speak of both relationships in the same story if they tie together with a common thread.

How is this book different from your other books?
The majority of my books have been gift books that included an introduction about the relationship addressed by the title (e.g., Why a Daughter Needs a Mom) and 100 to more original proverbs that explain the title and describe the relationship. Daddy’s Little Girl and now Mom’s Little Angel are story driven books that tell of inspiring moments in parent-child relationships. They are all occasion motivational books, not specifically gift books.

That sounds like the Chicken Soup books. How are yours different?
Each story in the Chicken Soup books is written in the voice of the original author. In Mom’s Little Angel I revise your story and it is told in the voice of a narrator. This is done so that the stories flow evenly throughout the book, avoiding uneven shifts in writing and story-telling style. In addition, your stories are woven together with those I’ve written about the relationships between my daughter and step-daughter and their mothers.

Will real names be used?
No. Pseudonyms are used so that you can write without reservation and due to the nearly insurmountable task of obtaining permission from each character in your story. Only your permission is required and it is given with a mouse click as you submit a story over my website.

Am I compensated for my story?
No. You are providing your story without the promise of compensation other than that which you will derive when you see it in print. Believe me, a wonderful feeling comes when you hand your mother or daughter a book and say, “I wrote this for you.”

I’m not paid? Aren’t I writing the story?
Well, not really. You are sharing with me a motivational story (you may write it yourself or tell it to me in a recorded telephone interview, your choice) and I am re-writing it (or transcribing it if you were interviewed) in my voice as the narrator. This allows me to weave my own mother-daughter stories (based on my observations within my family) together with yours. In other words, you are not one of many authors each writing a chapter to a book but rather you are a storyteller whose story is combined with mine to illustrate a motivational tale. In some cases several stories are used in the same chapter to build on a theme. Please read “Wooden Spoons” posted on March 27 to see an example.

I have a beautiful daughter-mom photography. Will you use it in the book?
You are welcome to send it to me for posting on this blog but I am unable to use it in the book. There are specific technical requirements for print art that cannot be met unless you use a pro-level camera. Also it is important for the photos to have a similar artistic style, thus I am the photographer as well as the author.

I hope these answers help. If you have others, please email them to me.

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What I'm looking for...

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s post (a sample story from Daddy’s Little Girl)~

“WHILE GETTING OFF the bus one morning on the way to elementary school, Alice tried to jump across a snow-and-ice covered curb. Unlike her fellow students who had jumped before her and cleared the icy patch, eight-year-old Alice didn’t leap quite far enough, and down she went. One of her hands bent backward as she landed, and the force snapped her wrist.

Although she was in considerable pain, she didn’t shed a tear as she was escorted to the school nurse’s office. She wanted to be a brave girl, as brave as her father always was.

The nurse called Alice’s parents to tell them of her accident and learned that the stoic child would have to wait until her mother could find someone to drive them there to pick her up. Both parents were blind and obviously could not drive themselves to the school.

Her father hadn’t yet left the house for work when the nurse’s call came in, and wanting to be with his injured daughter as soon as possible, he decided not to wait for a ride. He grabbed his cane and left the house, in his haste leaving his gloves and scarf behind. He walked just over a mile through the Philadelphia winter, all the way to the school.

When her father walked into the nurse’s office, Alice burst into tears, not because the pain of her broken wrist had finally gotten to her, but because she was so touched that her dad had endured the walk to come to her side dressed only in his business suit. In spite of his vision impairment and in the face of rather unfavorable conditions, he had once more come to her rescue.

He took a seat beside her, draped his arm around her shoulders, and kissed her on top of her head. “You’re going to be okay,” he said, “Daddy’s here.” He carefully raised his fingers to her cheeks and brushed away the tears he knew were there.

Alice knew that day that nothing could stop her dad; he would come to her rescue whenever she needed him to. And over the following years he did.”

Moms and daughters, I hope that gives you an idea of what I’m looking for. Feel free to email your questions.

Other news: Linley is on the mend – first it was Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on the couch in front of the TV, now it is green tea ice cream for dessert after having a sushi lunch at our favorite place down the street. She’s got me running up and down the stairs retrieving stuff, serving milk and cookies and allowing her to hog the remote control. Little does it matter though, because when we go outside she holds onto my arm for support. These days when little girls lean on you do indeed pass too quickly. I know; Meagan, the oldest one, is now only four months from leaving home.

And sadly, on a more somber note, Princess, the butt ugly poop on the rug stinky fur ball is still alive. Damn it!

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Story Already

I'm beginning to get responses to my requests for story submissions! Thanks so much ladies for expressing your interest in the project. I am looking for stories about life changing or motivational events in mother-daughter relationships that others will be inspired by. Inspired to be a better mom, a more understanding daughter, a forgiving woman, etc.; stories that everyday women can relate to. During this week I'll post a few samples from "Daddy's Little Girl" to help you nuderstand how your story might be used. In the meantime, pleae enjoy this little sentimental moment one mom told me about:

When did my daughter get so tall? We were looking in the full-length mirror together and she said, "Uh, Mom... where do I come up to you?" indicating with her hand on her head. I looked, and almost didn't want to pull her over so that our hips would be side by side. OH MY GOSH. Both our eyes were as big as pies as we watched my level hand go from the top of her head to my BROWLINE. She grinned so wide and I felt like pushing her down a bit with my hand on top of her head. She giggled as I tried it.

She had been gone for a few days at camp. Is that when it happened? From what I can gather, they fed her hotdogs, wrapped in pop-n-fresh dough, smoked over a tiny fire. If anything, she should have shrunk.

Maybe it was fresh air and summer breezes, but whenever it happened, it did, and it isn't stopping yet, I am sure. I always knew there was a chance she would be taller than me when all was said and done. Her Dad is nearly 6'4", and her build carries that very motivated gene structure. Her nicknames have included 'Legs", 'Tall One', 'Colt'.

As we looked at each other in the mirror, wondering, I sighed, "I am going to have a daughter taller than I am!" Her thoughtful reply was, "That's all right, Mom, I probably won't grow much more." and we put our arms on one another's shoulders and smiled.

The truth is, I don't mind at all that she will soon join my husband in calling me 'Shorty,' which I have always thought unfounded, being 5'7", and tall by my family's standards, but I do mind that the time is already upon us. I wish I had a dime for every time an older someone, watching me with my little babies and toddlers, said, "Cherish this time...it goes by so fast." I would take all those dimes and buy some of that cherished time, more chubby arms around my legs, more hands reaching up to hold mine, more piggy-back rides, and snuggling into my lap, and bed time songs, and soft, warm cheeks to kiss just after a nap. Chelsea's arms and hands and snuggles and cheeks. It does go by in a blink, like a visit from a butterfly.

I need to go find my chubby-cheeked 4 year old, Maren, no mirrors allowed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Monday

Well it has been a while since I made regular posts, mostly because I have been working hard every day on the novel I’ve daydreamed about finishing for several years now. It is going well and I hope to complete the revised draft by the end of April. But the real reason I haven’t been around lately is that I’ve been fighting the nasty cold/flu bug for 13 days. I’ve just been too lethargic to think of much to say here. But I was able to sleep though the night last night without waking myself up coughing and I haven’t been through a box of tissues yet and it is already almost 9AM, so I think I’m on the mend. Oh, and yes, there was that little matter with Linley…

Baby Girl woke up with a bad belly ache Friday so I took her to the doctor; Jill and I were concerned because she seemed to have difficulty standing upright and it was painful for her to walk. Turns out she had appendicitis and went into surgery that afternoon. She’s much better now, still asleep at the moment, but will be out of school for a week. It was terrible watching her get worse by the hour. Her mom, dad and I kept vigil and each did his/her best to take care of the baby when she as finally brought back to the room, and Jill and I are spoiling her right now. For example, I thought Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was prescribed after a tonsillectomy, not an appendectomy, but who really cares. She’s enjoying the attention and let her have it; one day she won’t have us around to give it to her so why refrain now.

Meagan and I spent the day driving back to my hometown yesterday so that she could meet the young woman who is her first choice for a roomie at UGA this fall. They passed each other’s review and then went shopping for dorm decorating accessories. Girls and their excitement about bedding, it escapes my comprehension. But the best part was the five hours we spent alone in the car talking about everything under the sun. I’m grateful for such times, when I get to be dad, friend and advisor, not just disciplinarian and Daddy Warbucks. Oh I complain but you know as well as I do how much I am going to miss the times when she hugs and kisses me, smiles with sparkling eyes and tells me I’m handsome just before asking for a $20.

Speaking of Meagan, you’ll notice the neat little widget on the blog, a countdown clock to the release date of Daddy’s Little Girl. After the book is in stores the widget will be replaced by a Browse Inside tool that will allow you to see a few pages and photos before you buy. During this week I hope to make a few more changes to the blog, including adding links to where you can order the book, and adding the widget to my website. As preparations for launching the book unfold I will share what news of media or event plans that I can, and of course as the final days near I’ll have much to say about my excitement. My fingers are crossed, I hope to finally make it into the Top 5 on the New York Times Best-seller list!

And more news, I have officially begun working on Mom’s Little Angel, the mother-daughter follow-up to Daddy’s Little Girl. I sent over 1100 emails last week soliciting stories and have already received several. Thanks to all for your continued interest in my writing and willingness to share your stories with me.

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Notes on Why a Son Needs a Mom:

I found this online this AM:

“We received a book at the adoption shower with the same title as this post. Last night when everyone was in bed, I was alone in my office reading. I needed some quiet time to think. The days are extremely hectic and between settling disputes, cooking and dealing with the kinds of disciplinary issues and stories of birth parents like we did last night, there are few moments to sit and reflect. I think I will become one of those people who sleep three hours a night. Who needs sleep?

Anyhow, before reading the book I was, of course, deep in thought about Viktor. Every day I am working towards bringing him to us, emails and phone calls (between rounds of dealing with the little guys, when they have five minutes of quiet play!) and so on. We have identified at least one program in Kiev that he can be a part of, and we have been in contact with the US side. He will have to come one month early to study in an intensive English camp. But guess where our region's camp is? Here, in our city! HA! We are also still garnering support and letters of support for his student visa. And finally, we are building the PayPal page/link. This will be a few days, it is a bit more complex when it is for a nonprofit, tax-deductible donation situation. But it is coming!

So back to the book. Basically it just answers the question, why does a son need a mom? As I read this with tired (OH so tired) eyes and a heavy heart, it was very powerful...

In honor of my two little sons, my big son who waits there to be reunited with his mama, and the fact that the majority of orphans in Ukraine are boys who are sons to no one and desperately need a mom as well - here are some of the things I read:

A son needs a mom...
...to believe in him when it seems that no one else does
....to assure him that his heartache will not last forever
....to be his trusted confidant
....to tell him that anything is possible if done for the right reason
....to steer him away from the darkness
....to protect him until he is old enough to protect himself.

Wow. I love my boys so much - all three of them.”

It’s a great feeling that comes when you see that your words speak to people in ways they themselves describe as powerful. I love what I do.

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

Monday, March 03, 2008

Requesting Daughter-Mom Stories

My most recent book, Daddy’s Little Girl: Stories of the Special Bond Between Fathers and Daughters, will be released May 6, 2008. Published by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollins Publishers in New York, it is the first of a new series of inspirational books about family relationships.

I am now searching for inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships. All stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and which give insight into how to create and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling mother-daughter relationship, are welcome. Please share your story with me. Please see the next post for a sample of how the stories are written.

If you are a mother or a daughter I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences, particularly those stories that share wisdom and inspiration for others who are striving to have the best mother-daughter relationship possible. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner beneath the word “Projects” on the home page.

Please visit this blog from time to time for writing updates and to see samples of how I am using the stories submitted to illustrate important lessons about mother-daughter relationships.

Feel free to contact me by email with any questions you have about this new project. For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

Thanks so much for your continued support of my writing.

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

Sample Daughter-Dad Story

Much to Meagan’s embarrassment, I once volunteered to monitor the safety of her classmates as they were dropped off in the school parking lot each morning. One day I saw a white-haired and bearded portly elderly gentleman walking across the parking lot with a few children in tow. He looked a lot like Santa Claus, I thought, but without the suit.

I later learned he was indeed Santa Claus and had been for ten years in a Nashville shopping mall during the Christmas season. In his early seventies and with that long white beard it’s no wonder children would tell him their Christmas wishes while he waited in the carpool line for his grandchildren to finish their day at kindergarten.

As I got to know about this kind and interesting gentleman I also got to know one of his daughters. In addition to being known as Santa Claus, this man was also known to Sabrena as Big Otter.

Sabrena was one of six children; there were five daughters and one son in her childhood home. Mindful of the unique needs of young men, her dad made a special effort to do “boy only” things with his son. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Sabrena tried to do everything her brother did with her dad. As hard as she tried to be involved, though, she was excluded from one particular activity. She could only watch as her brother and father put on their head bands and Indian costumes, and left the home to attend Indian Guides meetings. Big Otter and Little Otter would not let her follow along then, it was their special time to spend together, just the two of them.

As her brother became a teenager and joined the school diving team, he lost interest in being an Indian Guide, but not Dad. Remembering Sabrena’s interest in the Guide’s outings and wanting to spend as much time with his daughters as he had with his son, he started an Indian Princess chapter for Sabrena.

At last, Sabrena had an Indian name: Swimming Otter, given to her by her father because she loved to swim. Wearing head bands and painted faces, and going canoeing and swimming at the Indian camp, were her dreams come true. She could hardly wait for the big end of the year campout, to participate in the ritual she had seen her brother and dad leave home for so many times before.

The time of the campout finally came. Even though she had grown up quite a bit by then, Sabrena sat in awe as she watched Big Otter gather his tribe around the big bon fire for the opening ritual. He was the chief and it was his role to tell the others of the importance of their coming activities, and the meaning they were to derive from the dad and daughter games and adventures he had planned.

As Big Otter stood in the glow of the fire to speak, his voice boomed while the fire crackled in the background. Everyone was entranced by his story of love and friendship between Indian braves and their daughters, but no one was more mesmerized and proud of the chief than Swimming Otter. She knew that this was the special moment he had created for them to share, just the two of them.