The Ugly Tree
Ten years ago I endured six months of emotional highs and lows, the likes of which sent me straight to a mid-life crisis at the tender age of twenty-five. A little premature to be certain, but after enduring several family tragedies and an undue amount of stress, I began to question the direction of my life. After much prayer and introspection, I returned to my love of writing and with fortitude began my career as a novelist.
Being a writer has been a lesson in perseverance, patience, and humility. While I would love to concentrate solely on advancing my career, I have responsibilities. Over the past ten years, I have been raising my son, supporting my husband through medical school and residency, running my own cleaning business, and writing. It has been a precarious balancing act, but I take pride in the fact that I have managed to publish three women’s fiction novels during these demanding years. Although, I have to smile at the irony; I am an award-winning author who still scrubs toilets. The one dollar advance checks that I received from my publisher didn’t stretch too far!
I am hopeful that the recognition and awards that I have been receiving for The Ugly Tree, and my two other novels, Fixing Forever Broken, a bronze medal IPPY winner, and Falling to Him, will lead to a literary agent, a bigger publisher, and an advance check that is a bit more than one dollar. I am actively working on The Peel and Stick Heart and hope to complete the project next spring, when I plan on leaving my cleaning business behind so that I can work towards my ultimate goal: becoming a bestselling author.
To order signed copies go to: http://www.tamaralyon.com/
They are also available on amazon:
Tammy will appear this weekend at the Sterling North Book Festival in Edgerton this weekend,
See the schedule for more informtion.
Here is the introduction for The Ugly Tree:
On the night that I was born, the circle of life sucker punched my family in the face. Grandma Betty stepped up to the plate, and out of her iron will to make lemonade out of lemons, she named me Cane, claiming it was because I was as sweet as sugar.
There are two problems with my name. First, there’s really not a thing about me that’s sweet. Second, I’ve read the Bible. The spelling of a name doesn’t mean anything, and you can’t convince me otherwise.
Before I had even come out of the womb I had broken the sixth commandment, more than once, and was in dire need of absolution by the time they wiped the birth matter off of me. When I sit in Grace Lutheran church with Grandma Betty, I’m always on the lookout for God, but I’ve failed to find Him. Maybe it’s because of what I did that God chooses to ignore me when I’m in church. “Come out, come out wherever you are,” I say to Him, but He keeps on hiding.
Wooden pews and rote prayers don’t offer much comfort, but I’ve found a place that has. Every Sunday evening after Grandma Betty has gone to bed, I tie a rope to the limb of the oak tree outside my bedroom window, climb down, and run to the forest preserve on the other side of town. Just inside the split rail fence that borders the back of the property resides a daunting hill that overlooks railroad tracks, cornfields, and one turbulent and defiant stream that floods every spring.
A solitary maple punctuates the knoll; unattractive but brawny, it was struck by lightning on the exact night I was born, during the storm that ruthlessly destroyed lives. An inspiring portrait of life and death, only half of the tree lives. It defies death every time it sprouts a leaf, grows a limb, and slowly but steadily inches its way upward, taking its dead half along for the ride.