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January 18, 2020

12/24/2019 10:18:00 AM
A book signing and Christmas traditions shared
A recent gathering at Dodgeville United Methodist Church accomplished two things: One, a group of 15 or so ladies in the community gathered together to share their Christmas traditions as an ice breaker. Two, the same group of ladies attended to hear the background behind Dianne Deaton-Vielhuber's first published book.
Christmas traditions shared at local book signing event
Prior to Deaton-Vielhuber's book signing, Dianne's sister Denise Tolzman who lives in Dodgeville started things off by asking the ladies to introduce themselves and share their Christmas traditions. Below are a few examples of traditions that were shared.
-One lady started the icebreaker session by saying that her traditions for the Holidays are spent during Thanksgiving.
-Another woman stated that she knew Dianne as Dianne was a pastor at their church and came in support of Dianne during her book signing. She expressed that her family recently started a new tradition.
"We rent a big house in Galena, all the siblings, and all their families come together and we spend the whole weekend together," she said. "We also do the elephant gift swap."
-Another woman that spoke stated that one of her holiday traditions is doing a Christmas newsletter to catch up with friends.
"We send out quite a few cards and I enjoy getting newsletters from others to catch up on what's going on," she said.
-Another lady shared that she has four children, whom have been getting married and having children.
"Our traditions have changed very quickly," she said. "But we when the kids were little it was just always tradition on Christmas Eve that we got in from the barn, went to church and then Santa came while we were at church. Then it was always the next morning hurrying up and getting chores done before going to their grandmother's house."
-The next woman that shared explained that this year would be different. In June, she lost her beloved grandmother who always loved Christmas.
"Every year since I was a little girl, we would go to my grandparent's house and it was always decked out with Christmas pictures on the walls and also their famous Charles Dicken's Christmas collection," she said. "This year we are doing a hurrah for her and will start some new traditions next year."
-Another woman expressed that she plays the piano for the choir at every Christmas Eve church services.
"That's a memory in itself, playing for the choir and the lovely pieces that they sing and just enjoying that," she said.
-Another woman has two daughters and four grandchildren. One of her daughters lives in Portland and would be coming back for Christmas. Another daughter lives in Hudson and their family will travel to Poynette to celebrate Christmas.
"I'll be going to Poynette," she said. "It will be people coming and going, having coffee and food."
After Christmas traditions were shared, Deaton-Vielhuber led the group in a small prayer and they enjoyed a light dinner.
Deaton-Vielhuber lays the foundation of her first novel
After the light dinner, the group of ladies learned the inspiration behind. Deaton-Vielhuber's "The Mary Experiment-When Doing and Being Collide." According to a book description on Amazon, The Mary Experiment is based on the biblical story of Martha and Mary who are sisters For those unfamiliar to the Martha and Mary story, it comes from Chapter 10 of the Gospel of Luke.
The story explains that they had opened their home to Jesus. As Martha hurries to ensure the preparations, Mary simply sits at the feet of Jesus and listens to the wisdom of Christ. Martha then says to Jesus, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Jesus replies, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Deaton-Vielhuber explained that she had, for a number of years, always wanted to write a book.
"I decided I really did want to publish a book and I had actually went through a process," Deaton-Vielhuber said. "It took a period of time for me to decide that this was at the stage of my life that I did want to write a book."
Writing has always been in Deaton-Vielhuber's blood as she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Agricultural Journalism. Deaton-Vielhuber has often described herself as "a recovering Martha." She said that she had spent 99% of her life being a Martha.
"What I'm trying to do, is to explore and figure out how can I put a little Mary into my life where I don't have to just be going full boar all the time, or I can step back and look at my life," Deaton-Vielhuber said. "I think what I've discovered is that those of us that are wired is Martha's. You're never going to change the wiring on us. But what I can do is maybe just put a little bit more calmness or intentionality in my book, or into my life."
"If you read the book, it's no secret," Deaton-Vielhuber added. "My sisters, my brother and I were raised by Martha parents, especially a Martha mother. It has highly influenced how I view my life, and how I go about doing things."
Deaton-Vielhuber's dream for the book is, if one feels that they struggle a little bit with some Martha-ness in their life, to try and develop a little bit of their own Mary experience.
"I think one of the most important things is I don't want people to walk away and say Martha's right, or being a Mary's right," Deaton-Vielhuber said. "To me, it's not 'either,' 'or.' It's an 'and,' and so that's why I feel it was important for me to share some of this within my journey."
At the end of each chapter, there's questions that can be done for self reflection, and there is also an expanded version where a reader can create their own Mary Experiment by using the free downloadable "The Mary Experiment: Reflection Questions & Journal."
One important message that Deaton-Vielhuber said was to never give up on your dreams.
"Keep dreaming, find new dreams," Deaton-Vielhuber said. "I'm 52 years old, and I wrote my first book."





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