Friday 27 August 2021

Guest Post by Ailsa Keppie, Author of By the Light of the Crescent Moon

 Today we have a guest post by a Canadian author whose book just launched. 


Why I wrote By the Light of the Crescent Moon – Ailsa Keppie

I remember starting to write about my life about 25 years ago. I had just finished
working as a trapeze artist in the circus and had converted to Islam. I had become an
unemployed, married, pregnant, Muslim woman in a matter of only a few months.
The change had been such a shock that even my friends had reeled back when I came
out. Many of them turned away, not knowing how to be in relationship with someone
who seemed so radically different than the person they’d known up until that point. 

I had always known, even when I was still in high school, that I wanted to ‘live life’ and experience more so that I could express my fullest potential to touch people’s hearts and souls. Back then, I did everything with one foot on the gas and one on the brake pedal. I could never fully find my flow. I had searched many paths and I finally thought I had found something that spoke to the completeness of being human—Islam. However, although this path taught me much, I found out years later, that it was still not my destination in life. 

Throughout these years I wrote off and on, mostly in my diary. I wrote about my passions and my struggles, my children and my work. But it wasn’t until I had finally broken free from my marriage and left the religious practices of Islam that I finally found my voice. I was back in Canada, having re-trained as a massage therapist, raising my four girls. Life seemed full and yet I found solace in my morning practice of writing a page a day of my memoir. I would sit with my iPad and punch in the words, finally allowing myself to feel all those moments that I had lived through. I cried over every page. 

There were times I could feel myself detaching from the emotion. My words on the page would become robotic…. ‘this happened and then that…’ kind of thing. I would get up in a daze and wonder why I felt so foggy. Little did I know that I was doing my own therapy with every push of the keys. I would sit down again with the words the next day, asking myself ‘if I was writing about someone else, what would they be feeling now?’ And then I would be off again in a flurry of emotion. 

After finally writing the last page, I remember wondering ‘so what do I do now?’, where does this go from here? A friend suggested a local writing coach and I met with her. She was super supportive and spent six months reading my manuscript. Then the difficult task of chopping and changing my words and listening to her suggestions. Finally, it was ready for an actual editor! 

The excitement of sitting with a real editor and having her tell me my story was great, was such a beautiful validation of my work on it.  We again re-worked the whole manuscript and began the process of publishing my book with OC publishing. This book is the culmination of decades of living and years of writing. It feels like a moment to cherish. I also realized through writing this book that my mission to help others find their own empowerment has finally taken front and centre in my life. This book is my story and what I hope will be inspiration for others who have ever felt trapped in their lives. Freedom comes from letting go and grieving the past while also looking forward and finding hope. 

Ailsa Keppie

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