I’m delighted to welcome new author Annette Goggin to Home Row. But before I give her the floor, I want to say a few things. (Are you surprised?)
For most of my 27-plus years at the New Castle Courier-Times, I have heard Annette's name. I knew only that she wrote on occasion for the newspaper, and that she taught English at New Castle High School.
We recognized each other a year or two ago in passing at the Monday night Bible Study Fellowship in Middletown, but with a tight schedule and not being in each other’s small group among the hundreds of women there, we didn’t have a chance to chat. But the sighting put us on each other’s radar.
It is one of my unexpected joys of 2016 that I have gotten to know Annette, and we hit it off. Through our mutual friend Sandy Moore, who published a children’s book this year, Sadie’s Search for Home, I learned that Annette was writing her own book, and that she blogged, sharing some of her life stories that would become Home: Three Houses.
So I friended Annette on Facebook and began looking in on her blog posts that deal with three important areas of her life: farmhouse, school house and church house.
Annette started treating me as a friend. “Hey, would you and Sandy want to go to a writing conference with me?” she asked.
Another time Annette asked if she could pick my brain with some book questions over lunch. This fall, she asked if she could attend one of my programs to see how I do what I do in preparation for the release of her book. She came, shadowed me, and then we went to lunch to talk some more.
Occasionally Annette will email with a question or opinion on how I handle something.
I don’t know that I have told her, so I will tell her and you at the same time: I am honored by Annette asking me for advice and seeking out a writing friendship.
I greatly admire English teachers and count among them a best friend in Gay Kirkton and a sister-in-law Linda Cronk, and a book editor Steve Dicken. I can think of a bunch more influential English teachers in my life but I’ll leave it there for now.
Here is something about which I’m super excited. Annette and Sandy, who are both members of Foursquare Gospel Church, 3200 S. 14th St., New Castle, Indiana, have invited me to join them at a book signing there from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. We'll all three have plenty of books and be delighted to sell, sign and visit with anyone who cares to drop by.
Meanwhile, here’s Annette.
The flip side of failure
By Annette Goggin
In his poem “Don’t Quit,” Edgar Guest said, “Success is failure turned inside out.” My book, Home: Three Houses, proves him right.
In September 2015, I applied for a teacher creativity fellowship grant worth several thousand dollars. If my proposal were chosen, this money would fund my attendance at writing conferences and pay for the publication of my book.
The process of applying for the grant forced me to define my dream of writing a book, decide what it would be about, and hone in on how it would be organized.
By the time I had submitted the grant proposal, a writing recipe that had been on the back burner of my mind for years had been moved to the front burner, and it was hot.
In January 2016, I received the bad news that I had not been chosen as a grant recipient. Failure.
That failure turned inside out when my passion to write the book eclipsed that setback. I “inside-outed” that failure and wrote the book anyway. Home: Three Houses is a series of stand-alone true stories that give a refreshing glimpse into the goodness of people and of God.
Readers will relax, crack a smile, and laugh.
Author Annette Goggin is a long-time English teacher at New Castle High School, where she continues to teach classes in AP English and grammar. Home: Three Houses is her first book, which came out just before Christmas. For a copy or information about booking her for a program or signing, email Annette at: firstname.lastname@example.org.