Community outreach

Discount book sale starts today!

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I am a member of an author group called AlzAuthors. This group is a compendium of authors who have personal experience on the Alzheimer’s caregiving path. To celebrate the group’s 3rd anniversary of existence as well as reaching out to those who might be looking for resources during June’s Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, many books are offered at a great discount and some are even free of charge!

href=”https://babyboomersandmore.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/requiem-for-the-status-quo-eimage.jpg”> Requiem was a 2018 Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards contest[/
This sale only runs from June 6th through June 12th so I encourage you to visit the site’s post that spotlights those books being discounted during this time. Click here to access the AlzAuthors post and grab yourselves a book or three for yourself or for someone you know who might benefit from the titles being offered. When you reach that site, clicking on each book’s cover takes you directly to the Amazon eBook purchasing discount.

I am privileged to be offering my own title at deep discounts during this sale. Requiem for the status quo is only $1.99 in eBook format on Amazon.com and if you’re craving the paperback version, my publisher, Black Rose Writing is offering that format at half-price. When you get to the checkout screen on my publisher’s website, be certain to put in the Promo Code ALZAUTHORS to receive the half-price discount.

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Kindness Fridays

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This week I focus on the kindness of a fellow Black Rose Writing author, R. Bruce Logan. Bruce and I have never met, but through both of our association with the same publisher we developed an online relationship in which I feel I’ve known him for some time. Good news? My husband and I will meet Bruce and his wife late June when they are in the Seattle area. What a delightful lunch date that will be.

Bruce kindly reviewed my novel Requiem for the status quo on his blog The Narrative Arc. That kindness inspired my own exchange of kindness by reviewing his novel Finding Lien and teasing you about its sequel, As the Lotus Blooms.

I am providing my Five Star Amazon review from a year ago, as well as my additional comments:

Finding Lien grabs you from the opening scene. Wow, I really enjoyed this novel. The author has a way of describing scenes so that the reader is transported right there. But it’s not just the scenes that are clear, it’s his description of the characters that comes through loud and clear, without robbing the reader of her or his own impressions of what a specific character might look like.

The action in this novel did not lag. I wanted to find out what happened next and was not satisfied to put the book down until such scenes had played out.

Bruce’s love of and familiarity with Vietnam and the surrounding areas give the reader confidence that what they’re seeing through his descriptions are right on the money. Delightful.  Addendum: how could he possibly know so much about Vietnam’s geography and history? He is a retired Army officer who has been giving back to the country in which he served, Vietnam, for many, many years.

Having completed Bruce’s very well written Finding Lien, I jumped at the opportunity to be a beta reader for the sequel. As the Lotus Blooms, with a release date of September 20th, seamlessly carries on from where Lien left off. If I could have read it faster I would have, a paradoxical statement if there ever was one. While wanting to read what came next, I didn’t want the novel to end. I would have done my emotions a favor by reading it as slowly as possible but speed won out, which left me wondering, “Will there be a book three?” I don’t know the answer to that question so nothing you do to bribe me for the answer will benefit your own curiosity.

What I can say, however, is that you should mark your calendars for the sequel’s release September 20, 2018, and read Lien in the interim. You will not be disappointed.

Kindness Fridays

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Long distance relationships don’t always work out but the relationship I have with an Adelaide, Australia online magazine works to perfection. I’ve never wanted to be the selfish one in this relationship, but I feel I’ve received far more from it than they have.

A wee bit of history: I’ve been writing for this magazine off and on for some time and then late last year, Grandparents Day Magazine offered me my own column; my own byline. Now I’m guaranteed a page in every publication.

Then, just a couple weeks ago, the editors/founders of the magazine reached out to me wanting to promote a writers’ group to which I belong: AlzAuthors. AlzAuthors is made up of a compendium of authors who share their personal experiences with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to benefit others. Their motto is: To make a difference. One can sing a lonely song, but we chose to form a choir and create harmony.

So today’s celebration of kindness is two-fold: one, Grandparents Day Magazine generously reached out to me and the author group to which I belong; and two, AlzAuthors members chose to share their difficult Alzheimer’s disease journeys so that others could benefit from their vast experience – much of it learn-as-you-go. As a member of the AlzAuthors group, I can testify to the fact that once I had been through a family caregiving experience – for me it was for my father – I hoped it wasn’t for naught. Being able to share my experience with others through my novel’s publication just seemed right. The same can be said for the more than 150 books written by the AlzAuthors members.

And that, my friends, is my Kindness Fridays for this week.

Kindness Fridays

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Celebrating my 65th birthday today and celebrating the wonderful parents who raised me.

Mary, Don, and Irene

Mom and Dad were fair people who were very dedicated to their three children. They were supportive and immensely forgiving of Don, Mary, and me. The latter attribute included both not letting us get away with anything, while teaching us the importance of making life decisions that would make us better citizens of the world in which we inhabited.

Mom with her 1st grandchild, my daughter, Erin
Dad couldn’t just change out the toilet seat, he had to play around with it

Mom was the creative half of our parents, sewing all our clothes and actively involved in the musical community throughout her life. She was a master pianist and sang tenor equal to or better than most male tenors. She was also an activist, a trait I am happy to have inherited. Dad was the jokester of the two, but managed to balance that fun side with extraordinarily practical aspects of childrearing so we would become successful, contributing adults.

Mom and Dad were extremely kind – to family, friends, and strangers – and taught us to consider each and every person with whom we came in contact, as equal to ourselves, regardless of their station in life, their ethnicity, race, or religion. Us kids had a really good start in life because of their parenting, and now that we’re all three in our mid to very late 60s (that’s you, Don) I can proudly say we didn’t turn out all that bad.

Irene, Don, & Mary

Kindness Fridays

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Over the years I’ve discovered that when we are part of a community of people, our quality of life increases. The support of others can’t be beat. For me, community is like-minded people with a common thread through their lives that provide meaning and purpose for one’s day to day existence.

I found community in a writer’s group called AlzAuthors, a compendium of authors who have all been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. All of us authors share our experiences through our non-fiction and fiction works to bring knowledge, comfort, and understanding to those on a similar journey to the one we have already completed. Trust me, we all wish such a group were not necessary; that the common thread we share didn’t involve the always fatal disease of Alzheimer’s and related dementia; but it is necessary and we’re filling a need that as of this writing doesn’t show any chance of abating.

I’ve never met any of these authors – I live in Washington State and the rest of the authors represent just about every state in our nation – but because of our common journeys, we are members of a community. Are we all politically aligned identically to each other? Probably not. What about religious practices, do we follow the same spiritual practices as every member of the group? Hardly, but it doesn’t matter. What we have in common does matter: we are dedicated to encouraging and helping families and individuals whose lives have been interrupted by Alzheimer’s disease. Speaking for myself, I am so glad that my novel, Requiem for the status quo, can reflect the good and the bad decisions I made and other individuals made, so that those who are still on the Alzheimer’s journey might do better because they know better. I hope you’ll get to know us AlzAuthors through our website and that you’ll become an AlzAuthors Reader Community once you’ve browsed through our bookstore. Click here to go directly to the AlzAuthors Bookstore to find a library of books – more than 140 as of today – that link directly to Amazon or other purchase outlets.

So that’s it. This week I celebrate the kindness I have found in the AlzAuthors Community. Sure beats going it alone.

Kindness Fridays

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The other day I was in the clothing department of a store I frequent, found the item I wanted to purchase, and made my way to the sales counter…with a 20% coupon in hand.

“Do you have any other coupons?” the salesperson asked.

“Why, no, just the one.”

“You can ask me.”

Not certain what I was supposed to do at that point I asked, “Do you have any coupons?”

Yep, she sure did, which she scanned bringing the price of the item even lower…almost to the point where I was wondering if they would owe me money, rather than the other way around.

The salesperson didn’t have to be generous and kind like that, but she was.

And that’s my Kindness Friday for this week. Don’t you just love it?

Kindness Fridays

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This week’s kindness celebration focuses on a long-time family friend, Walt D.

Walt came into our lives when we lived in Los Angeles, California. He worked at the same company as my father who was a mentor to the young, up-and-coming new employee at Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Company. When my family moved from LA to Honolulu, Hawaii, Walt kept in touch with us, oftentimes flying through Honolulu on his way to Maui where he vacationed from time to time.

We hadn’t seen Walt in a while, so when my mother died in September of 1994, imagine my delighted surprise when I entered the church for my mother’s funeral service and there stood Walt near the altar, a friend who had flown to Honolulu from Toronto, Canada where he had relocated years prior to work in the head office of my father’s company.

At forty years of age, I ran up the aisle of the church and threw my arms around him, so thrilled to see our family friend and so blessed that he traveled all the way from eastern Canada to honor my mother and our family by his attendance at my mother’s service.

Fast-forward twenty-four years to Monday of this week when eighty-three-year old Walt D. called me from Toronto to congratulate me on my novel, Requiem for the status quo. He had just finished reading it and couldn’t wait to talk to me about my accomplishment. “Irene, there is no reason why your novel shouldn’t be on the New York Times Best Seller List!” I thanked him for his very generous review and we then talked about the book’s subject matter (Alzheimer’s disease and its effect on families) and how he, in his golden years, had witnessed dementia’s hold on many of his friends. Since Walt and I communicate by postal mail several times a year (he does not own or use a computer), I was well-aware of his involvement with the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada where he volunteers and participates in their equivalent of the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Walt visited my father after my Dad’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, even while my father was in the middle of his Alzheimer’s journey. Walt made a point of keeping in touch with Dad, knowing the window of opportunity would come to a close in time.

I spent nearly a half hour on the phone with Walt this past Monday, feeling so close to this man who had entered our lives way back in the early 1960s, and who had remained a part of our family for almost sixty years. Friendships don’t have to end because of distance and time; when you stoke the flames they can survive and be contributory to one’s quality of life, as Walt’s has been to mine.

Kindness doesn’t recognize the barriers of distance, time, and even age.

Kindness can live on if we make the effort to nourish it.