Today, a very special edition of Childhood Memories Friday. I’m happy to announce the culmination of much of my efforts this year:
I Love to Tell the Story: Growing Up Blessed and Baptist in Small Town Indiana. It’s available for Kindle, but no worries if you don’t have a Kindle (confession: neither do I …). Download a free app to read it on your PC, mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Windows phone 7, or toaster (okay, I made that last one up).
As many of you know, when I began this blog three years ago, one of the things I wanted to do was document my childhood memories for my kids. Why? When I was a teacher, before I had kids, I used to tell the kids stories from my youth. They loved them and begged for more. Same thing when I had my own kids. I wanted to document these tales, but the problem always came in finding the time and the motivation to actually get around to writing them down.
Childhood Memories Friday helped get me moving in the right direction. Early versions told tales from my childhood. About a year ago, I began thinking I’d like to compile a bunch of the tales into book form. Since many of my most vivid memories revolved around church, I decided that that was the perfect theme. And “I Love to Tell the Story” was born. Each chapter is titled with a hymn that reflects its theme. As I delved into the writing, I had a lot of fun reliving the decidedly memorable life I had led as a youth :). I realized, too, that many aspects of my conservative midwestern upbringing don’t exist anymore in the 21st century. I became nostalgic thinking about the many cultural markers of the 1970s — Lawrence Welk, the Flintstones, heck — even macrame and latch-hook!
Another incentive I had in writing this book was to put out a positive Christian memoir. So many that I read started out fine, but then dissolved into abuse, disillusionment, or even worse. I began to wonder if anyone had grown up in the church and actually enjoyed the experience … surely I wasn’t alone, was I?
I hope to work on getting a paper version of the book out eventually. Until then, treat yourself to 200+ pages of a stroll down memory lane. It’ll cost you less than a drink at Starbuck’s and I think you’ll enjoy yourself.
If you do, I’d love it it you’d review the book on Amazon, your blog, GoodReads, anywhere. Publicity is 9/10 of the battle in publishing, and word of mouth is good. Very good.
Is it possible to emerge unscathed from an evangelical upbringing? Yes, as surely as David slew Goliath!
“I Love to Tell the Story” is Susan Barnett Braun’s account of growing up Baptist in a small midwestern town, touching on many cultural icons common to those who came of age in the 1970s. Braun recounts childhood obstacles, which loom as large as the walls of Jericho in her eyes. She encounters a trio of Sunday school mean girls who make King Herod look tame. She worries about being “ugly as sin” due to her chubbiness, glasses, and braces. She’s so consumed with the idea of Jesus’ imminent return that she wonders whether it’s even worthwhile to brush her teeth at night.
Humorous, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, “I Love to Tell the Story” will stay with readers long after the last Vacation Bible School craft stick cross has fallen apart.