You’ve stumbled on the blog of Elisa Pompili, brand-new author. I have my first book coming out just after the New Year. Starting now I’ll be blogging regularly, gearing you (and me) up for the release, as well as sharing my musings. As of right now, I have no idea what to tell you to expect on here. I’m not new to blogging, having blogged my entire trip to Japan from November 2009-March 2010. But here you’ll get to know me, and maybe I’ll get to know some of you.
This page is called “Life’s So Sweet” for a few reasons. One, I LOVE sweets. It’s even in my profile: I love chocolate. For my birthday celebration last weekend, my guests were told, “No presents, unless it contains chocolate.” And the photo attached to the title is one that I took in San Francisco, and those globes are actually two pieces of chocolate sitting on a granite-top desk. At the time, they were symbolic of my adventure in SF, an international educator job conference where I hoped to start my school counseling career. I walked away from the conference empty handed, but that picture is still one of my favorites. It’s chocolate, and it reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote:
“Make your choice, adventurous Stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.”
That’s my theme for this adventure of authorship. It’s been a dream of mine since as far back as I can remember, and it is happening right now, in real time. Not in a far-off distance. The globes remind me that God has laid every possibility at my feet if I’ll jump my ship of “safety” and see where life takes me.
The second reason for the blog title is, I truly believe it’s a sweet, sweet life. I have a habit of enjoying life whether I’m in the little moments like cuddling with my cat, or the big moments like sky diving or traveling overseas. I’m up for pretty much anything, and enjoy living in general.
The third reason for the blog title is the lightness and sense of happiness (or sweetness) it evokes. I think deeply about things, and I like to encourage others to think deeply about things, but I also enjoy making people smile; I like for people to leave my presence feeling refreshed or encouraged or just smiling.
So, my book. It’s called “Making Room” and tells the story of the Tenner family. Elizabeth Tenner and her brothers, Bryce, Mitch, and Danny, grew up in Western New York with a mostly absent father and an alcoholic, quasi-present mother. Elizabeth’s grandparents raised her and the boys until their untimely death when Elizabeth was 15, and it was then that she all but took over caring for her brothers. Elizabeth’s mom was around sometimes after the grandparents’ death, but when she was around the atmosphere in the home went from stressful to unbearably tense. Then when Elizabeth was 22 her mom died, and so Elizabeth took over the household completely. Her brothers stayed involved in church, as they had been for many years, but Elizabeth stuck to maintaining her household and dividing her energy between work and being a mom. In her 26th year (where the story starts), Elizabeth’s brothers surprise her with a solo vacation to coastal North Carolina. On her third night there, an awkward encounter involving a rowdy dog and a spilled smoothie lands Elizabeth in the presence of Nathan Monroe, a man who says he has a relationship with God but is okay with the fact that she doesn’t. For now, anyway. After much deliberation, Elizabeth decides to attempt incorporating Nathan into her delicate family life. Family dynamics shift, hearts and allegiances are tested, as Elizabeth’s brothers fight back in big ways and Elizabeth struggles to trust her family or Nathan to push through the situation. In the middle of everything, Nathan and her brothers continually try to convince Elizabeth to have at least some faith in them, herself, and in God. She finds believing in Nathan, her brothers, and herself is a heck of a lot easier than trusting in a God who she sees as someone who could have helped but instead left her to her life. Elizabeth must try to make room for Nathan in her family and for God in her heart, both of which prove to be Herculean tasks for a woman who sees her independence as fundamental to her emotional survival.
As I was writing that synopsis, I realized that even though it takes place in North Carolina (where I currently reside), I finished it a full 10 months before even knowing that I was going to live here. In fact, I started writing this story in 2004, worked on it about once a year until June 2010, and then worked diligently until finishing it in December 2010. The first people to receive the first copy were my grandmothers; I wrote it for them. 18 months, 5 full edits, and 22,000 words later, it was ready for publishers’ eyes. I’m incredibly fortunate that the first publisher I sought (after much research) to publish Making Room chose to take me on. I’m with Ambassador International, a small publishing company based out of Greenville, South Carolina, and Belfast, Ireland.
I just started the publishing process this weekend, so I’m sure the next 6 months will be exciting and challenging. I’ll update this at least weekly, and feel free to spread the love!