A Wonderful Tribute for Tree Singer

A wonderful book blogger did an interview with me about Tree Singer and I wanted to share it with you!

Heather:

If you know me, you know I love books. I always have a book I’m working my way through, and sometimes I have up to three going at once! There is something absolutely magical about books and I will advocate for people to read them as long as I live. 

Recently, I had the bookworm’s chance of a lifetime. A colleague and friend of mine also happens to be a fantastic author. She posted on social media looking for beta readers for her new book Tree Singer. Basically, a beta reader is someone who gets to read the book before it comes out then looks for grammar mistakes and gives feedback. I felt like I had won the book lottery!  

I instantly fell in love with Tree Singer because it transported me into a magical world that is completely detached from the pandemic and violence laden world we are currently living in. It gave me a chance to take a break from planet earth and to step into a world filled with harmony and connection. I am an outdoors type of girl, so the magical world and story centered around trees and connecting to them was right up my alley. The author’s ability to describe the spiritual connection between the main character and trees is so beautifully curated that I myself could almost feel the connection. The story is of a young girl named Mayten living in a fantastical place where she is training to become a tree singer, someone who is able to communicate with trees, when she is sent on a whirlwind journey to save her world and everyone in it. I found myself on the edge of my seat as the thrilling and mysterious plot unfolds with Mayten racing to restore the delicate balance of life as she knows it. I desperately want a sequel and I won’t stop petitioning for it. I am fully invested in Mayten’s life and well-being; have you ever read a book and felt the same? 

Since I couldn’t convince Jacci to start a sequel the moment she released Tree Singer, I got the next best thing, a Q&A! Let’s dive in: 

What inspired you to write this story?

Thanks for asking Heather,

One of my favorite spiritual practices is silence and solitude. Before the pandemic, I’d go to a retreat center in Auburn once a month for 24 hours of silence. I do a lot of my writing there. On one visit I had a view of the incredible redwood and oak trees from my window. Sitting and contemplating the trees I thought about how connected we are to the earth and I began to envision a girl who could help trees grow by singing to them. It was a whimsical thought but blossomed into the book Tree Singer.

To read the interview click here!

Spiritual Practice – Bridge Building

            It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when the world is falling apart. I often ask myself if am I doing enough to help move things forward. What can I do?

 Recently a business in our town had a rock thrown through its huge plate glass window. Small businesses in our area are going through a really rough time so my husband and I decided to meet there for coffee as a sign of support. When we arrived, we found our friend outside, who is a trans woman. She is very tall, has remaining “masculine” features and she is loud and proud! She was wearing a bikini and standing outside the business holding up a black lives matter sign. We went up to say hi and have a chat and I noticed that other folks walking by looked confused, or even scared as they passed her. Some openly stared. These reactions are common to the experience of trans women. We invited her into the business to buy her a coffee and then the customers around us seemed to relax.

It was as if our acknowledgement of her humanity allowed them to do the same. It took away her “otherness.”

            This was a very small thing to do, but it is an example of bridge building that we can look for every day. So many people are blowing up bridges right now, especially on social media. Just read the comments on any news or corona-related post and see the haters with their bombs sowing division. Bridge building is a small drop in the ocean of justice and healing, but as we each do something small it will become a river of love healing our land.

Mother Teresa said, “Do small things with great love.”

            What are some small things you can do to build bridges?

We can amplify the voice of someone whose voice is marginalized. A friend of mine organized a protest of a local park named after a white supremist. I stopped by for about a half hour, created some of the available art, and took a lot of pictures. Then I went on my Facebook and the Black Lives Matter pages and shared those pictures, thanking my friend for organizing the protest. If you see a post by someone of color, reshare, like, or comment on it; that amplifies their voice and builds a bridge from your friends to theirs.

We can stand with someone who might be treated unfairly and lend them your unspoken support. That’s what we did with our trans friend. We just stood by her, talked to her and bought her coffee. Two middle aged CIS gendered folks treating a friend with dignity allowed others to see her as a person, one that was safe to approach. Others felt free to interact with her more. You can do this by attending peace vigils or protests too.

My friend Jessica wrote this book. It’s short and informative, read it!

Or we can buy books by people who are different from us, read them, and then leave reviews. One idea I heard was to make a commitment to do this for a year. What a great way to learn new things and hear new voices. What bridges will be built as you talk with your friends about these books or post about them.

You might go for a walk with someone who sees the world differently than you do and just listen without judgement. I wrote about this earlier and it was a great experience for me to learn why my friend was against mail in voting. She had some legitimate concerns. A bridge was built between us that strengthened our friendship that had been weakened by political differences. Friendships are more important than politics.

My husband and I were talking about Jesus, who was a great bridge builder. Whenever he met a tax collector, clearly one of the most hated populations in his day, he wouldn’t mention their “sin,” he just saw them as people, and generally invited them to lunch. In fact, he rarely confronted anyone’s sin, except those of the Pharisees who were trying to keep people away from him. He did have some harsh words for them. Yes, let’s stand up against that kind of injustice, those who make policies to harm the orphan, the widow, the prisoner, and the immigrant. We need to vote them out. But, let’s put on our Jesus glasses and try to see people the way he did, as humans to be loved and cared for. Let’s look for ways we can build bridges.

What ways have you found to build bridges in this difficult time?

Photo’s mine