Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.

Sometimes things just coalesce.

I love that word. It first intrigued me at a writers’ conference hosted by Novelists Inc back in the late 1990’s in Savannah, GA. In a small group, we talked about how writers’  ideas,  social structures,  current  events,  philosophy, psychology,  spirituality, and technology  all coalesce, how things  just swirl around each other  and  come  together. I love that image.

So I could see where things were beginning to coalesce over the past week when I received several emails asking about the next blog-book in the Third Degree di- ary series (Gods, you guys just  made my week!). The answer is, it’s done but not yet formatted.  In fact, enough are done right now to comprise a total of 8 books similar in size  and word count to the first 2 books. Not every blog entry  makes  it to  the  books—I  leave  out  videos, jokes, most Home Depot rants, etc,  leave  in the essays and insights, and sometimes add in something from a private entry that most people don’t see.

But here’s how things coalesce in a way that takes my breath away.

I began my blog as a healing journal. It was a chance for catharsis (another favorite word!) by writing out what bothered me most,  working  through  my issues  openly, shining a light on places I didn’t want to go, forcing my- self to confront all my shadows and destroy them or accept  them.  It  wasn’t  meant  as  a  debate  with  my  ex’s friends or family and it  wasn’t meant to be objective. It was meant as a healing tool. That’s Step 1.

Step 2 was in realizing, after almost a year, how much healing I had done. It was all there in my words. Purged. Turned this way and that. Explored from different angles. And so the decision to put a year’s worth of journal en- tries into a book that was more for me than for anyone else and something I didn’t really expect to sell anywhere. It would just be a way to capture my experiences, if any- one was interested, and to honor the healing process. So I set out to format  the  first “blog-book,”  Life in the Third Degree.

Which is where Step 3 delivers a shock. I can’t put the first year of journal entries into one book. Writing mostly by tape recorder  and  transcribing  it to my computer,  I wrote the equivalent of 2 very large, juicy paperbacks— the kind people read before printing costs went  exorbitant. I tried to toss out about half the entries, but a friend pointed out that the healing is in the little details and that I should divide it into 3  books rather than edit out the “good stuff.” She suggested that I had 3 natural divides in my first year of healing, and she was right. So Step 3 was discovering  that  I  wasn’t  going  to  be  publishing  one book,  but  a  series  starting  with  Life in the Third Degree, Third Degree Burn, and Third Degree of Freedom.Life Coaching Tips

Step 4  came  in  the  past  month,  since  the  last  full moon. That’s the realization that other people get some- thing out of this, too. It’s people telling me that my journal has made a difference for them (that’s a tearjerker for me!)  and  how  they  see  so  much  of  their  own  lives through my choice of words and experiences. That’s special.

And then today, Step 5 swirled together with the rest.

In a quiet talk about the tools and techniques I’ve used to look at my  own  issues and work through  them, it was pointed out to me that I  should combine forces with a couple of counselor and coach friends to create a supplementary workbook for the Third Degree series, a type of workbook that helps the readers delve into their own is- sues. I would never have considered it a year ago. Now I’m intrigued…because it feels right and it feels like there’s something useful there. The idea has more of a mission flavor to it.

And I  really,  really  like  the  idea  that  my  working through all my own darknesses might be helpful to some- one else. As the old pain and grief swirls in this mix, they feel transmuted…transformed…into something positive.