We left the USA for China on January 1, 2018 and since then have had the most exciting adventures of our entire lives. I have never had more fun, experienced so much personal growth, and been more in love. I am so thankful for this adventure and what it has done for our lives. As if I don’t have enough to be thankful for, I am so proud to announce that my special fella has published a book called Finding My Voice. That’s right. Dr Lowry is now a published author!!!
Finding My Voice
Finding My Voice is a collection of short stories that Josh has been working on over the past year while also working on his first novel. Oh yeah, and traveling the world with me! It has been incredibly interesting for me to see the transformation of his writing style and choices of subject matter. His very first piece, “The Heist“, is “the true story of the one and only time I’ve ever stolen anything“. The story is fun and funny, but he had never told his mother or anyone else about this experience in crime. I felt like it was one of his first experiences as a “real” writer, panicking a little bit that people will see too much of him in his writing. It was an interesting struggle for me to watch him overcome.
If it wasn’t cool enough to watch my bestie lay his heart on the pages, I also got our friends involved. The artists for the book are a couple of our dearest friends. Travis designed the cover and we immediately fell in love with the colors and his creative idea to hide a “V” within the design. Jarred illustrated the chapter separators which also ended up on the cover. Seeing his designs inspired by the Josh’s stories brought us to tears. They are truly beautiful and beyond special.
Probably the most exciting development for me to watch was how our travels worked their way into his writing. The eccentric aunt character from “The Flavor of Christmas” was inspired by someone we met while traveling. “Light as a Feather” was written when we were in Malaysia. It’s the story of a man who dies and wakes up in the “wrong” afterlife. I found it interesting that the story of competing religions would come about after spending time in such a diverse country surrounded by Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. My favorite, of course, is “It Didn’t Have to be This Way, Ted”, a story I inspired during one of our many hikes in Australia where we were out in the middle of nowhere, but could hear the music of a nearby vineyard.
J. Brandon Lowry
Picking out an author name seemed like one of those useless conversations couples have in moments of idle musing. It’s a bit like asking, “What should we do if we win the lottery?” I’m not sure either of us really thought it would make much of a difference. However, that first email Josh received starting with “Dear J. Brandon” was a strangely special moment. It’s weird to experience all of these little successes together, like the first recognition of “J. Brandon”, first draft in print, first signed copy, first check, and first payout to our artists.
We’re not making millions of dollars yet (more like 10s of dollars), but it still feels amazing having accomplished this goal. And it isn’t going to stop here. As of two weeks ago, J. Brandon Lowry has officially wrapped up his novel! 170,000 words of pure imagination is done and ready for the next step. We’re writing pitches for agents, building his brand as an author, and pushing for traditional publication.
Living the Dream
I know this is a bit of a step away from my usual posts, but traveling the world isn’t the WHOLE story. It’s just one facet of our shared vision for our ideal lives. Our adventures are about the people we meet, the things we learn, and the ways we grow, and I’m so thankful that we are finally able to pursue our dreams together.