We’re Moving!

9 minutes away, that is.  But still, if you’ve read my memoir, moving houses is a big deal for me.  It usually is for all of us.  I’ll be dedicating my next several blog posts to the process of moving to a new house in Austin with my little family.

I can say in total honesty that in the last three days I have cleaned nearly every inch of my house. Inches I have avoided cleaning. Dusting the legs of the nightstand and the two inch shaft between the wall and the fridge. Vacuuming with the skinny attachment on, reaching all the way back under my son’s bed. This kind of cleaning feels like time traveling to the past. The vacuum sucks up toys we’d given up finding years ago.
Years ago…8 years ago we bought this little house. No kids, not even a dog yet. The house felt spacious yet cozy. Now it feels cramped and smells vaguely of soiled diapers.
Yesterday, once the kids were in bed for the night, B. and I recaulked the bathtubs, patched up nicks on the walls with fresh paint and restained the patio. I didn’t get in bed till well after midnight. My hands were raw from cleaning products and marked with stain and paint.
But it felt like the right work to do. (When I’m trying to process feelings into words, the most direct route is through physical labor of some sort.)
This I know: It will not be easy for me to leave this little house. Just because we’ve found something bigger and better, it will hurt to say goodbye.
I picture the last time I’ll open the front door and walk out of this house. The thought catches in my throat.
Twice, at nine months pregnant, I’ve hobbled out our front door with empty arms and have returned home with a newborn baby. I’ve brought both my children through this front door.
As I sat in my front hallway patching the walls with paint, I saw our shabby front door with new eyes. Every inch of a house tells a story. And I love to write stories…

The Wife of a Singer-Songwriter: Part 1

Friends! The next 3 blog posts will be about being a musician’s wife.  If you know a musician’s wife, share my posts freely.  Hope you enjoy.


I am the wife of a singer-songwriter. The wife of a working musician.  He is sensitive to critique.  He’s drafting a new song and feels great.  He’s depressed and money is tight.  The dishwasher is broken.  But he only writes songs and fine-tunes instruments.  He’s ticked that he can’t fix the dishwasher.  He’s hurrying out the door for a gig tonight.  Don’t get a sitter he mutters, not worth it.  No one will be there.  Big black cases  in the hallway that my kids trip on or want to use as playground equipment.  No no no, that’s Dad’s amp.  I haul it back to the closet or back under our bed next to two guitar cases.  I hate putting away his music crap.  I love his music.  When he sings I remember again why and where we are headed and for whose glory.  Not ours.  We count the cash when he gets home from the gig, better than he expected. Cool, he sighs, let’s call a dishwasher repairman.

Why I am Raising Money to Publish my Book

Fundraising. This is a term very foreign to me. Some people do this for a living. Philanthropic geniuses. They study psychological motivation and they study and sociological trends. Some people know exactly how to get a dollar of charity out of people. I don’t know much about that.

But I do know that for the first time in the entire 6 year process of writing my memoir, I need people. I need charity. B. Sterling and I are living on one income. When Iris was born, I deeply wanted the chance to be a stay-at-home-mom. So we tweaked the budget and B. Sterling took on extra gigs and opportunities to teach music lessons. Even still, our budget is real tight. There’s nothing sexy about my food pantry on one income. Bulk, off-brand cereal. Long, bland loaves of wheat bread. Big, heavy jars of peanut butter. And bananas. We keep Chiquita in business at 42 cents a pound.

So when it came time to publish my book with West Bow Press, B. Sterling and I looked at each other and said the same thing aloud, “Where are we going to get $9,000?” We have an emergency fund, but publishing my book isn’t exactly a family financial emergency. So we prayed about it. And we talked with other people who have published books. And fundraising from friends and family rose to the surface as our solution for the cost of publishing.

This is why I am using GoFundMe to raise money to publish my book. Some people have already contributed money to my campaign. I wish I could say eloquently how grateful this makes me. It’s somewhere in the realm of weepy + lushy. Like when you’ve had a bit too much wine on less than a full night of sleep. I end up wanting to cry on their shoulders and promise, “Oh my gosh, thank you! I’ll dedicate my next book to you!”

You get my sentiment? My heart swells at your kindness. At your belief in my creativity. At your hope for my future writing career. Nothing has said love to me lately in quite the same way.

Big Endorsement

Even as I wait and hope for other publishing offers, I work at being my own best champion for my book.  I’m discovering that I can’t expect anyone else to get excited about my writing if I don’t “cast my net wide” so to speak.
With this intention, I went after a big endorsement. I sent my manuscript to Billy Graham’s personal assistant of 30 years, David Bruce. He is a nationally recognized spokesperson for the Graham family, and he is on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  He is a discerning, wise man whom the Graham family has trusted for decades.   To claim his public approval of my work would be a big endorsement.
So it was an honor to receive an email from his last week praising my book. He called my writing, “refreshing and insightful” and said he’d be sincerely pleased to give his public endorsement of my memoir.  David Bruce’s public statement is as follows:

“In Finding Home with The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham, Archer takes three cultural forces and braids them tenderly. The result is a charming, honest girl’s story of finding home through the icons of her childhood.”