A Joyful Season!
Brighter Days Are Coming
In this, my last post of 2023, I want to extend heartfelt thanks to all who have supported my writing over the years — even before Ibis and Hibiscus on Blogger. From Sarasota, FL, I cataloged and shared my adoptee search and discovery essays, garden musings, and the poetry and prose that the hemorrhagic stroke I survived at fifty-seven engendered.
When I was actively submitting and tracking my subs to literary magazines with Duotrope, the support of my early readers fueled my memoir self-publishing journey. Stroke Story, Permanent Home, Coming to Terms, and Fortitude’s Footing followed. (see Books By MaryEllen)
Wanting more graphics and versatility, I opened a Wix author page and blog, inviting contributions from the adoption community. It was a good run, and although the subscriber count ebbed and flowed, a core group has stayed for the journey, and I am grateful to you.
I came to Substack around Mother’s Day this year and saw a place to read, practice, and learn from wonderful writers. And for now, because I’m getting too old to wander, I’ll remain here despite problems around algorithms, and possibly worse; freedom of speech vs. the impingement of ideology. I get it, and I did sign on to the query, which was all but disregarded by the CEO’s. Please let me know if there is a safer platform. Until then, I’ll be here. Because I want and need to practice my craft. Also, see Mel's Book Page and These Links.
The first edition of I Must Have Wandered went live on Amazon and Ingram in mid-August 2022 with Luminare Press, an excellent, women-owned and operated assisted publishing company in Eugene, OR. At the same time, I launched an email newsletter, and opened a Facebook Group, Barely Rooted by Adoption, having recruited a small but enthusiastic “street team”. I’d set up an author page several years before. This was an experiment in publicity, which I was barely equipped to handle! Currently, the group is on hiatus, and I’m thinking of reactivating it, as the updated softcover 2nd edition is coming soon.
Thank you to all who requested advance copies of my memoir last year. Your gracious reviews, blog posts, and podcast invitations have meant so much to me! To date, 29 reviews and ratings, most with 5 stars, have been posted to Amazon. If you are willing to add to their numbers, I’d be deeply grateful!
A few review snippets:
"I Must Have Wandered...a deeply heartfelt memoir... a road map to finding your family, with or without the help of the state where you were born…It gives testament to never giving up, and even if what you find is not so pretty, it is still yours…" -- Lorraine Dusky, Author, Hole In My Heart, Love and Loss in the Fault Lines of Adoption
“I highly recommend this book to adopted people and their parents, both birth/first and adoptive, as well as pre-adoptive parents, and child welfare professionals, for its authenticity, readability, and wealth of information."-- Joanne Wolf Small, Author, The Adoption Mystique: A Hard-Hitting Exposé of the Powerful Negative Social Stigma That Permeates Child Adoption in the United States; Adoptee, MSW, LCSW-C
“We can all find pieces of our struggles and joys reflected in Mary Ellen's story--especially those of us touched by adoption."-- Laureen Pittman, Adoptee; Author The Lies That Bind: An Adoptee's Journey Through Rejection, Redirection, DNA, and Discovery "Adoption memoirs are important for members of the adoption constellation in providing an opportunity to discover one's personal ambiguous thoughts and feelings crystallized in another's words." —Brooke Randolph, LMHC, therapist, author, speaker, and trainer specializing in adoption and Brainspotting "The complexity of the adoptee's search for a place and self in this world is universal and powerful." -- Paige Adams-Strickland--Adoptee, Author; Akin to the Truth, and After the Truth "Gambutti tells her life story with immense courage and honest feelings ...She articulates complicated feelings with profound clarity. We, adoptees, need each other. After reading Mary Ellen's book, I feel less alone." -- Paul Kimball - Author, We Are All Human Beings/An Adoptee PondersI