Thursday, February 2, 2023

The Soapbox: More than Air Kisses

Brandi Chambless

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.—Romans 8:28

Last spring I boarded a plane destined for one of America’s most romantic cities. With every bit of satisfaction of having recently completed my fourth children’s book and big plans to now step into the world of adult nonfiction with a business-themed book, the miscalculated intricacy of the children’s publishing industry had taught me more lessons than I ever wanted to know.

That said, I was still on the ride of my six-year publishing journey, precisely on pointe with what my mama always called a wing and a prayer.

It will be easy, said no one ever; however, I thought by virtue of a few short rhyming sentences spread over 32 pages, this would not be that difficult of a task. I confess that I learned how wrong I was regarding the level of brainpower required by illustrated children’s books; yet, I learned by doing, primarily in response to the profuse need for clean children’s literature in a fallen world.

In the meantime, I was also privately nursing a broken heart from a potential suitor gone wrong. Scheduled to be in Galveston for a planned meeting that surfaced from the dysfunctional dating world, I watched him cross the finish line of the race he was running without ever meeting him as planned. After many months of Zooms, phone calls, online Bible studies, and prayer together…I pulled the plug just short of our face to face. Yes, this is the risk of the virtual relationship world. One button and poof…it’s over. I was in charge of me and made the tough decision knowing that to continue was not God’s plan for me. Name an ending that goes well. I wished I could have had a talk with Will Shakespeare about all being well when it ends well and ask him to contribute some modern day examples. This was painful.

So, just as the winter months had been the backdrop of so many Facetime discussions to the other side of the world where we frequently were signing off with air kisses XXOOXXOO, so had I watched him running through the snow in 40 degrees below zero with crystals frozen in his beard. Once it became apparent that this was not meant to be for me, I knew I had to take the bold step of saying my goodbyes.

He went on to do everything he said he was going to do. Running big-time races on the world stage, I had never seen his face in the sunlight. Yet, there he was in Galveston at the finish line on a sunny April day as I only watched him cross the finish line without ever saying hello. Every one of his goals was achieved just as he had said, with the exception of us meeting in person as planned.

In the aftermath of this detour, boarding a plane that was headed the opposite direction was a gift from God that I knew was an answer to my prayer for being obedient in stopping this relationship from progressing. As a result, my primary outlet to deal with this unrequited love story was by writing poetry, knowing that it would perhaps make a better adult fiction project sing. Before long, I had pulled together 25 years’ worth of poetry from my female dungeon, never realizing that I had completed that much writing in my lifetime.

Someday I should publish this, I thought. My colleague Mona read the work and volunteered to take on the editing before I could even give her my permission, forgoing any payment for her effort!! She felt it was a worthwhile work that needed to be brought to market with the premise of God’s desire for his daughters to have more than air kisses. He wants us to have the whole experience of passion with purity.

Last month, the mission was accomplished and Mona Hayden and I, together with designer Eve Francoise Tremont, brought this project forth in a hand-sized reader aptly entitled “Air Kisses.” AirGrams of love have been mailed out all over the world, opening the necessary discussion for what Biblical womanhood really means in today’s reprobate climate. The obvious progression of my writing from the age of 19 until… eh hem….29 has caught the attention of single women, long-time married lovers, and many Romeos who have connected with me to snag a copy of the collection. It is a wonderful gift book, coffee-time reader, and beach bag goodie! The experience of publishing “Air Kisses” has been one of sweetest of my life, though it began with something unpleasant and painful. I guess Will was right all along: all’s well that ends well.

To purchase a copy of Air Kisses or Brandi’s children’s books go to www.BrandiChambless.com or email [email protected] ($20 plus shipping).

Brandi Chambless
Brandi Chambless
Read Brandi's column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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