About Me

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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Author update

As much as I want to keep this blog updated at least once or twice a week, I struggle to find enough uninterrupted time to actually sit down and write. It's amazing how adding one extra person to the family can totally throw you off kilter. But that's okay. We waited a long time for him, so he's worth these sacrifices of time right now.

I know a lot of you are awaiting my second book, wanting to know just how our son ever did make it back to us after my first book ended with him in the presence of another family.  Don't worry.  I assure you it is coming, in due time. It's filled with just as much poetry as the first one, if not more, and will put you right in the moment with us as we traveled the long road back to him. If you cried through the first book (as most of you told me you did), you will get frustrated and angry through the second one and will feel completely exhausted by the last page (as a test reader shared these thoughts with me). You will understand the complications of international adoption like you never have before, you will hear the orphan's voice, and you will see God's hand guiding every step of our journey. I originally planned to publish it myself through Create Space and have it out by the summer, but God completely redirected me in a way I never imagined (as usual).

I attended a one day writing seminar in April to learn more about self-publishing. I almost didn't make it due to having a zillion things on my calendar that month, but I finally registered the night before and showed up exhausted the next day. A friend from my writer's group sat down at my table, along with her husband, just as God had planned. I left that day with lots of information about self-publishing through Create Space, but I also left with the new knowledge that my friend and her husband were about to start their own publishing company with the purpose of publishing books for ministry. Was this a divine appointment?

I let another month go by, and then she and I connected again at our monthly writer's group meeting. She took a copy of my first book home to read from a publisher's perspective. I've grown so much as a writer in the last few years since joining a writer's group, and I really wanted to apply all I've learned not only to my second book, but to my first book, as well. She encouraged me to rewrite and re-title the first book so I can sell them both as a pair. This, of course, set off my original plan to have the second book out by the summer, but I take much more pride in both manuscripts now. More voice. More active verbs. Shorter paragraphs. Shorter sentences. Very little passive voice. Crisp, clean writing.

I also went back and changed all the names that I had permission to change. Julian and Juan David, specifically.  (Although their sister's name is still replaced with another name.) My author name will be my full name--Rachelle D. Alspaugh.

My friend's publishing company launched earlier this month, https://www.facebook.com/AuthentictyBookHouse, and I turned both my manuscripts over to her two days later. I don't have any idea regarding a timeline for publishing the books, but that's perfectly okay with me. They are God's books. They are His story. They are on His timeline. They consumed my summer (and my life for the last six years), and I am glad to have them off my hands for the time-being. I am looking to build a launch team for them in the near future. If you are interested in being part of that launch team, please e-mail me at ralspaug@gmail.com for more details.

Now I am taking a different direction with my writing. I am focusing only on poetry and short stories that I can take to my monthly writer's group for critique and later share with friends or in my Bible studies. I want my writing to continue to improve so I can look into more writing opportunities after my boys are no longer at home with us. I hope to build a collection of short stories documenting God's hand on our lives in a variety of ways over the years, stories that I will eventually bind together for David. He is my biggest fan as a writer, and I love how each story draws his complete attention when I read to him. I've written so much about Juan David and Julian (and their sister). Now I want to write with David in mind.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned as I continue this writing journey and as we continue our journey through adoption and beyond.