Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Early Buzz: I Love All of Me

Early buzz is humming for my upcoming board book which is part of my Wonderful Me series: I Love All of Me. It releases September 17th, 2019, from Cartwheel, Scholastic. Carolina Búzio's art is beautiful and full of joy!

  • So here's what's being said: 

Best Board Book of the Season

From “wiggle toes” and “smelly nose” to “blinky eyes” and “bendy knees,” this is a delightful, affirming ode to toddler parts. The smile-inducing rhymes beg to be repeated again and again, while the bold palette and cheery images heighten the book’s enthusiastic tone. 

Grover’s rhyming text soars, and reading the words aloud almost feels like singing a song...a vibrant and lyrical ode to bodies ideal for those learning to explore their own. 

Pre-orders are available! Here are a couple links for you:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Helping Each Other Forward

My collage from the former site Polyvore. 

As we collectively march forward for social justice, find our way through the gaslighting of narcissistic political leaders, and work to protect our planet, we also walk individually. In our private lives, we have encounters where we can help each other forward. The exercise requires self-knowledge, reaching deeply for compassion, and the ability to not personalize another's aggressive fears.

Sometimes in an exchange, we are the ones enlightened to a new perspective, we grow in compassion, or realize our own privilege. It is then we acknowledge that, lean in, and try again. We make ourselves vulnerable to learn and grow from another.

I found myself recently startled to learn of a particular senior's rich, life experience. The fact that I was startled unveiled an ageist bias, one I thought I didn't have. Candid, present self-awareness is required to find these and grow.

Other times, we may have opportunity to share our stories, one-to-one, to help another gain insight. These can be quick, unexpected, small moments. Despite good efforts, we may be ignored. Two instances recently occurred for me.

First, I chose to share with my dentist that his choice of music in the office might trigger survivors of sexual assault when they are caught in the chair, unable to advocate for themselves. Despite my effort to connect, the dentist, with his life experience, has chosen to continue to place his song-choice-privilege over his patients' possible pain.

In the second instance, I shared with someone that their disregard of my preference for their privilege echoed previous pain in my life. As a writer and sexual assault survivor, having my voice silenced was particularly poignant. My personal story received no compassion, and the reply quoted "real" sexual assault survivors' testimony; thereby, he avoided personal responsibility.

As we walk forward in daily life and encounter difference, we might:

1. Listen.
2. Consider the life experiences of the other person we likely know little to nothing about.
3. Ask questions.
4. Ask where the women and other marginalized groups are in the setting. What are they saying?
5. If called for, admit ignorance and work to learn.
6. If discovered, admit bias, apologize, and strive to grow past it with compassion
7. Do not compare sufferings. Each has a weight of its own.
8. Do not minimize another's sufferings, especially when they have been brave enough to share them.
9. Never take a survivor's story or testimony without permission, for your own purposes, no matter the end you are reaching for.
10. If you are powerful and privileged, do not claim you have been victimized by the marginalized.
11. Be ready to set aside your privilege out of compassion for another.

Let us grow and help each other journey well. May our self-knowledge increase; may we have the ability to not personalize others' aggressive fears; and may we be patient and compassionate as each is worthy.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

An Alert for a Misuse of My Writing

My collage from the former site, Polyvore

I offer an alert that my words were recently included in a pointed post about certain individuals and specific churches. I requested this not be done, in this manner. My request about my own words was not honored. My work was taken and my intent disregarded. When I asked for it to be removed, I was told no.

My aim in writing about former experiences regarding Tom Chantry, his prosecution, and ARBCA is to care for survivors, and encourage love and restoration where possible. Within that process, there is a naming of infractions, but it is not my position to attack or dictate a church's response. Any criminal infractions I hope will be dealt with in the courts.

I live with the belief that each one is striving to do right. We make errors. We hurt people, sometimes horrifically. And then we own those acts, carry the penalty, and work to restore. We can help each other do this.

I am sympathetic and grieve with those hurt by this man co-opting my work. Lorie Ann Grover

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Between Convictions: Tom Chantry and ARBCA

Illustration created with the former site, Polyvore

Following two convictions of assault, Tom Chantry has been found guilty of four charges of molestation. What can be done as another survivor awaits Chantry's next trial with nine counts? The Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America released their statement following the most recent verdict. I have seen the outrage regarding it and have been turning over my own thoughts as a former member of an ARBCA church where Chantry attended and preached. How can we love and care for each other well?

First, we affirm. I affirm children deserve to be protected and heard within a church. Parents deserve the same. Members ought never be told to not read and educate themselves.

Second, survivors must be heard. ARBCA can listen to Tom Chantry's victims. They can hold the pain and anger of each one assaulted.

Third, we confess. ARBCA can confess these things, as a start:

1. being complicit in assault and pedophilia
2. not believing, protecting, and nurturing victims
3. misleading parents
4. covering the assaults
5. giving refuge to the pedophile
6. welcoming him into a new church community without disclosing his crimes
7. exposing further children to assault
8. exposing the congregation to Chantry in the pulpit
9. labeling molestation as spanking
10. sending Chantry out to work in an elementary school
11. ordaining him to preach and lead another congregation
12. welcoming that church into ARBCA
13. taking the stand in the courtroom against the survivors
14. continuing to refuse to comfort and make reparations to the survivors
15. encouraging current church members to not read and educate themselves about the matter
16. ignoring all of the proceedings and judgments and continuing on as if nothing has happened

There is a time to plod on, and there is a time to stop. Stop and hold oneself accountable. Listen to the survivors. Be transparent, confess, make reparations where possible, and commit to protecting the ones who can't protect themselves. Love.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lupus and Sjogren's Dry Eye: Rose-Tinted Glasses

So, I've waited to post about my new glasses because I was trying to figure out the full effects for me. I still haven't reached my final conclusions, but I wanted to share at least what I've gathered so far.

Since manifesting lupus, I've known of my photosensitivity. But when a doctor used the term photophobia, I looked into it and came to learn more fully that dry eye itself, from my lupus and Sjogren's, causes photosensitivity. The two terms are often used interchangeably. Yet, photophobia led me to sites that mentioned the benefits of rose-tinted glasses. In particular, Theraspecs manufactures a line of glasses to aid dry eye patients and those who get migraine headaches.

Therapecs will create plain or prescription lenses. My particular insurance could not be applied to their line so I went to my optometry department to see what I could find independently. The migraine lens tint is FL41 and only ran about $20.

In the above picture, the left glasses are Theraspecs (thanks to my mother-in-law) and the right are mine. There's a difference in the red saturation between the two, but both are effective. My value is about 1.5, and the left lenses are likely a 2. I found value 3 to be too dark to see in dim places. It also kept others from seeing my eyes which created a sense of isolation.

Here are my results, after a month:

1. I'm able to walk through a room where the blinds are open. (Because of lupus, I still wouldn't choose to sit in the light and expose my skin for a longer period.)
2. I can sit in a room with artificial light that others would consider normal.
3. I can look at screens for a longer period.
4. With extended exposure, say if I'm driving, only 1-2 symptoms of lupus manifest at a time, rather than 5 or so.
5. My full lupus flares last a couple of days instead of 1-2 weeks.

This is life-changing! I'll continue to monitor how it goes and if the benefit sustains. Right now, I'm rocking the groovy glasses and the world looks very rosy.