Monday, April 30, 2018

What Am I Doing in This Place? When Who You Are and Who You Want to Be Collide: The Writer Becomes a Nurse, Then a Writer

photo by Sergey Nivens via Adobe Stock
Have you ever had the feeling you're in the wrong profession? I have. In fact, several years ago I attended a writer's conference at a university in New Jersey, and for weeks later castigated myself for giving up my pursuit of a writing career to become a nurse. 

The hours spent meeting and talking with other writers. The workshops that inspired me to go after my dream. The buzz of adrenaline that ran through my veins when I thought, "I can do this! I can be a writer!" All of it was wonderful. I was excited to be back at school, even for just a day. Walking the halls of that fine institution felt so right. I wanted to stay there, to be a part of it everyday. For years.

When reality hit on Monday morning I felt deflated, forlorn, a fraud when I had to put away my work-in-progress to attend to the needs of my patients. Second thoughts about my career choices hounded me:  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Paul Toolan and “The View from Memory Hill,” a Collection of Short Stories

By Paul Toolan

I live in an English rural village with a demographic weighted towards retirees. I’m one of them, I suppose.

There are young people too, but older bodies tend to fill the shops and the midday streets. I find myself reflecting on these sometimes solitary folk, about their past lives and the people they’ve known. Have they forgotten more than they care to remember – or just forgotten?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Thoughts on the 5th Birthday of My First Novel

Today I’m celebrating the 5th birthday of my first novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story. These past five years have been full of opportunity, joy, and sadness as I learned how to be an independent author, an advocate for Alzheimer’s and dementia awareness, and a daughter of dementia.

Blue Hydrangeas is a story very precious to me as it’s a testament to the hundreds of families I helped navigate through the dementia journey during my nursing career. Little did I know, that three years after publication, I would start living my own story and become the medical, legal, and financial representative of my stepfather, who was diagnosed with three types of dementia. 

When I wrote the book, I thought I knew a lot about the caregiver's role in dementia care. Wrong! I was humbled by my new responsibilities and frustrated by the process of managing his care and business. I don't think anyone is ever ready to step into those shoes, and in spite of my years as a nurse and case manager, as well as the years of research that went into my book, I was still ill-prepared. Without the support and understanding of the fine people at AlzAuthors I would not have come through it intact.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Norman McNamara Lives with Lewy Body dementia and has Written "The Lewy Body Soldier"

by Norrms McNamara

My name is Norrms McNamara. Someone once told me having Lewy Body`s Type Dementia is like having two diseases: you HAVE Dementia, and you KNOW you have Dementia. The same person, a Consultant, also told me that right up to the end of life, the person with Lewy Body’s will still have moments, if not hours/days, of clarity. I lost both my Father and incredibly wonderful grandmother to Dementia. (I say that because she brought me up. I am who I am today because of her.)

I have read the book, seen the last page, read the last line, I know what happens and know what can happen unless they find a cure for this awful disease. So when I was diagnosed myself nine years ago, aged just 50, I was absolutely petrified, and with good reason.

Friday, April 13, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "Chasing Love," YA Fiction by Kayla Tirrell

Professional wallflower Nicole Andrews can’t wait to get out of Marlowe Junction. With only one year to go, she is eager to become the best college applicant at Rosemark High.

There’s only one problem: she still hasn’t found a niche to make her appear more well-rounded.

When a chance encounter with hottie-extraordinaire Chase Saunders pushes her in the direction of cross country, Nicole thinks she’s finally found her answer. If only she could focus on her race times, and stop getting distracted by Chase.

Will joining the team be enough to make Nicole stand out from the crowd? Or will she lose her heart in the process?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Vicki Kaufmann, Author of "Elegy for Mom, A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion"

By Vicki Kaufmann, MA, MPSt

“Cobwebs in my mind!” was how my mother depicted the disease that ravaged her brain. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in May 2000, after episodes of TIA’s and early signs of dementia. She was 82 years of age. This was a major turning point in the life of our family. For me, it was the birth of a challenging new creative phase.

I was in my 50’s, at the top of my professional career as CEO of a large social service agency. Even with professional training and master's degrees in family studies and family counseling, I was not prepared to take on the role of daughter caregiver, looking after my frail, elderly parents.

Monday, April 9, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "Because...Anonymous", Contemporary YA Mystery by Diana L. Sharples

On the run from an abusive father, Noah Dickerson is supposed to be laying low and staying out of trouble.

Mistake #1, falling in with a group of anime fans who aren’t as harmless as they seem.

Mistake #2, crushing on a beautiful girl who isn’t fooled by Noah’s good looks and charm.

Mistake #3, being in the wrong place when she receives disturbing notes in her locker.

But the biggest mistake, Noah learns, is when his mother escapes North Carolina with him. Because, it turns out, transporting a minor over state lines in the middle of the night is a felony.

Purchase Because...Anonymous

Friday, April 6, 2018

New Release Spotlight: You Can Lead a Horse to Murder, Cozy Mystery by Tara Meyers

There’s a killer in Sanctuary, and the prime suspect is a horse.

When spirited Ember Burns is led back home to open her own veterinary practice, her first client lands her in the middle of a mystery. It starts as a desire for Ember to clear her name, and turns into a personal entanglement in a rapidly unfolding story of lies and deceit.

The small mountain town of Sanctuary has always had its secrets. Who can be trusted? It’s been ten years since Ember lived there but roots run deep. Discerning friend from foe isn’t an easy task. Relying on her intelligence and instinct, Ember tries to piece the clues together as the town gears up for its centennial celebration.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Angel Smits, Author of "When Reasoning No Longer Works"

By Angel Smits

How does a romance writer end up writing a book about Alzheimer’s care? That question nearly stumped me, not because I don’t know how—I lived it—but because it’s a lot bigger question than it seems.

I’ve always written, always played with words and stories—ever since I was a kid. And romance has long been one of my favorite genres to read as well as write. It was a natural path to write romance when I started to focus on my fiction.

Monday, April 2, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Primordium by Mario Loomis

My guest today is Dr. Mario Loomis, whom I had the privilege to work with during my years as a hospital nurse and case manager. Dr. Loomis has written two young adult sci-fi novels, and I'm pleased to feature his latest release on my blog. Welcome to my adventures in publishing, Mario! 

If you’ve had trouble finding “clean reads” that were thrilling enough to hold your attention or your teenager’s, try Primordium, one of Dr. Loomis’s debut novels.