“You must do the thing you think you cannot do. You must be fearless.”
This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, along with my addition at the end, has been both my challenge and my inspiration over the past year. I underestimated the task of writing a memoir. I didn’t receive the memo that informs writers that penning a memoir take every ounce of strength and determination you possess in order to thoroughly process through your past with a fine-toothed comb. Many memories I’d ignored for years because looking at them was just too painful. Many things I wanted to forget. But writing this book proved to be intense (free) therapy for me as I finally processed my life without fear and faced everything head on. Some of the realizations I came to were not easy, others helped me better understand where I came from, but all of it proved to be healthy and productive as I took back my power in ways I’d too long relinquished it, and compiled my life into a manuscript.
Now, one year later from when I stood at the starting gate of this crazy journey, I am approaching the finish line. I am excited to announce that release date for Refocusing My Family was set last week.
I am thrilled to finally be at this point and watch all the hard work come together into something that I can hold in my hands and share with you. That is the reason I continued to press forward. It was for you. On the days I experienced writer’s block or felt frustrated and completely discouraged, I reminded myself of the why behind this story. I reminded myself of those of you who were waiting to read it, and my resolve always returned to me because I believe so strongly in the mission behind this story. I’ll be honest, there are pieces of my life in this book that I’d rather keep private. There are parts of my heart on display that make me feel vulnerable. But if any part of my story makes another closeted LGBT person feel a little less isolated and alone, or grants them a candle of hope, or helps a family not reject their child the way my family rejected me, then not only my writing will be worth it, but the story I’ve lived through will as well.
With a release date set, a book tour is now in the planning stages. We already have almost 20 cities interested in hosting a book reading/signing event. The cities currently being considered are:
Chicago, IL Albequerque, NM
Houghton, NY Seattle, WA
Toronto, Ontario Portland, OR
Lincoln, NE Austin, TX
Raleigh, NC Dallas, TX
San Diego, CA Nashville, TN
Claremont, CA Minneapolis, MN
Whittier, CA Ottawa, Ontario
Pheonix, AZ Des Moines, IA
If you live in one of these cities and are interested in helping in some capacity OR if you live in a city that is not yet on the list but you would like it to be, please email me at Beyond.AmberCantorna@gmail.com. There are many ways in which you can volunteer to help as well, ranging from transportation, to being a host home, to helping organize/host the event in your area, to giving financially. We would so appreciate your help.
Further details about financial contributions will be coming in the weeks ahead. My ministry, which I’ve decided to call Beyond (Renew Your Faith, Restore Your Hope, Reclaim Your Love) is being established as a non-profit corporation and soon, all donations will be tax deductible. I encourage you to begin praying now about how you might be able to contribute. Funding this book tour is going to be our biggest challenge, but I believe with your prayer and support we will not only see it succeed, but flourish.
My new mailing address has just been established as well and I can now receive snail mail at THIS address. More on Beyond and giving opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks. For now, please continue to pray for us as we navigate the journey ahead. And celebrate with us all the good things that are to come!