Welcome to Paddle for a Purpose!

Hi! I’m Barb Geiger. My husband, Gene, is a dreamer. Maybe you know someone like that – someone who has grand ideas of epic adventures. Maybe you are a little like that yourself. Or maybe, you’re more like me; you’d need a pretty good reason to hop into a twenty-foot boat for five months. Either way, my memoir, Paddle for a Purpose, has something for you. I hope you’ll join us for an amazing adventure!

“You want to WHAT?” I ask, when Gene suggests, after one practice run in the tandem wooden kayak we built ourselves, that we take her down the Mississippi. The WHOLE Mississippi. Our search for a meaningful journey leads to a faith-inspired paddle down one of the most scenic and powerful waterways in the United States, stopping in quaint river towns along the way to volunteer with 26 different charity organizations. Overcoming obstacles like stump fields, poison ivy, boating accidents and equipment failures, a sense of humor, love and trust in God help us remain committed to the service purpose of our journey.

This book will appeal to anyone who dreams of taking an epic journey and those who are inspired by stories of God working in the world today. Campers, boaters, and nature lovers will enjoy the picturesque settings, the wildlife and the river’s changing moods. Readers looking for inspiration will find hope in the people we meet along the way and the touching stories of everyday heroes who donate their time and talents to offer compassion, care and opportunity to others.

Paddle for a Purpose will be published by eLectio Publishing, a small faith-based press. I admire the work they do, and am delighted to join the eLectio family of authors! On this website, you can find a countdown to the release date of April 3, 2018 and a link to eLectio Publishing, where you can purchase the book for yourself or for your friends. We will post current information about appearances and signings, once the book is out. But even more, you can visit here to see photo galleries of our trip – the rivers, the wildlife, and the amazing people we met. You’ll also find an interactive map of the towns along the river where we stopped to work with charity organizations. Pop-ups explain about each organization and link you to their websites, where you can learn more, volunteer, or donate to their missions if you wish. Feel free to visit us often, as you read your way down the river!

One hundred percent of the profits of the sale of this memoir, after taxes and expenses, will be donated to charities including, but not limited to, the organizations highlighted in this book. We hope you will enjoy our adventure as much as we did!

God bless,

Barb and Gene Geiger

 

 

 

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Birth of a Book

My writing coach, Kathie Giorgio, once told me that publishing a book is like giving birth. Each one is different – and special. I’m sure she’s right. But I’ve only got one childbirth to compare with one book, and I think perhaps the childbirth was easier.

The manuscript, Paddle for a Purpose, is finished now, resting between the covers of a three-ring binder on my shelf. I’m submitting it to small press publishers, hoping to find one who sees the same hope and promise that Gene and I have seen in this story since setting out on our kayak trip years ago. Already, the gestation period for this book-child has been five times as long as that of my son, Eric, whom I welcomed into my arms and into my life almost 27 years ago. I’m getting eager to hold the book in my hands, to run my fingers over the cover, and flip through the pages. Some of you have told me you are also anxious to see it – to read the story of God’s work in us during our months on the Mississippi.

So, what took so long? It’s just a book, right? The first year, I worked with a small group of colleagues in a Write-a-Book Workshop. We read and critiqued each others’ work, meeting once a month to discuss our books in progress. I loved being immersed not only in writing our story, but stories in other genres, as well. After the first draft was finished, I worked by myself for a while, then weekly on another draft with a different group of colleagues. Descriptions became more vivid, sentences more succinct, and inner thought more apparent, as other writers asked questions and offered suggestions. Next came a Writers’ Retreat, where I solidified the all-important beginning of the story. Then, more drafts, reading through the manuscript with Gene, cutting out unnecessary sections, and adding authenticity to the dialogue. After a couple more independent readings, I worked through the manuscript again with the help of my writing coach. Each time, the story stayed the same, but the telling improved. After the last independent read-through, I finally reached the conclusion that the memoir was written the best way I knew how.

When I began to put our story on the page, I had no idea how much revision it would need or how much I would learn in the process. I’d like to thank Kathie Giorgio, and my AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop colleagues, not only for their help with this book, but for encouraging and helping me grow as a writer. And of course, I need to thank my husband, Gene, for his patience, support and invaluable assistance, both during the trip and the writing process.

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