A cheerleader in your corner

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I’ve completely redesigned my author website Irene Frances Olson and have revealed the cover for my novel, REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO.

As part of the new look for my author site, I’ve added a few new features. One of those features is a Countdown Clock for upcoming events, located at the bottom of each webpage. Another new feature, Reader’s Corner, focuses on you.

My professional bio indicates:

“Ms. Olson’s writing quest [is to] open readers’ eyes while ushering support into each reader’s corner. And who couldn’t use a little more help now and then?”

Those aren’t empty words. My writing will always contain words of encouragement and support to those faced with the speed bumps life lays out before them. Each Monday a new feature will provide thoughtful words that will place me smack-dab in your corner as your cheerleader and greatest fan. 

Reader’s Corner appears at the bottom right-hand side of each page, next to the Countdown Clock and Latest News. To cut down on email updates my readers receive, I will not send a notification of each week’s words of encouragement but I do hope you’ll visit my author site every Monday for some inspiration that just might lighten up your day.

Kindness Fridays

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Today’s kindness focuses on customer service – not at retail establishments but at medical offices. And I’ll be brief.

On May 17th of this year, I had a surgical consult for a nasty, invasive skin cancer that decided to make itself known on my right leg. On May 19th, I had surgery to remove that skin cancer.

I then had two subsequent post-surgical visits, May 25th and June 1st, with the latter being my final visit (knock on wood) at the Skin Surgery Center in Bellevue, Washington.

Right before I left I said good-bye to the front desk person, Ashley, and quite truthfully told her, “I’m going to miss you!”

Ashley made my cancer journey – and no doubt those of many of the center’s patients – one that felt less clinical, and more restorative. She always greeted me by my first name, recognizing me among so many that pass through the doors of the surgery center. She also remembered something important about my life – important to me anyway – and brought it up as I left.

“Enjoy your hiking this summer!”

Big deal, right? Yes, it was, because of all the things that bothered me about my cancer, it was not being able to hike that I bemoaned the most. Her farewell greeting put the biggest smile on my face because I was cleared to hit the trails once again, and she was celebrating my ability to do so.

 

 

REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO: cover reveal

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Very, very soon, when you again visit my author website, http://www.irenefrancesolson.com, you’ll get a sneak peek of my novel’s cover. Additionally, in honor of my cover reveal, you’ll see a completely remodeled site. I’m not kidding, it looks nothing like the original version. I mean, you’ll probably think you’ve landed elsewhere instead of at Irene Frances Olson’s site.

It’s so mind-boggling to realize that in seven weeks, my debut novel will be published and available for purchase. It’s been a long road, but it is quickly leading to publication of my debut novel.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Lighten up Mondays

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Schools are getting closer and closer to getting out for summer. Here are some scholarly jokes for your enjoyment.

Just before the final exam in 
my college finance class, a less-than-stellar student approached me.

“Can you tell me what grade 
I would need to get on the exam 
to pass the course?” he asked.

I gave him the bad news. “The exam is worth 100 points. You would need 113 points to earn a D.”

“OK,” he said. “And how many points would I need to get a C?”

*****

One hard thing to explain to teens is how legitimately exciting it used to be when someone would wheel in an overhead projector.

*****

“Give me a sentence about a public servant,” the teacher instructed her second-grade student.
“The fireman came down the ladder pregnant,” he answered.
“Umm … Do you know what pregnant means?”
“Yes,” said the boy. “It means 
carrying a child.”

*****

Question on second-grade math quiz: “Tony drank 1/6 of a glass of juice. Emily drank 1/4 of a glass of juice. Emily drank more. Explain.”

My grandson’s answer: “She was more thirsty.”

*****

Interviewing a college applicant, the dean of admissions asks, “If you could have a conversation with someone, living or dead, who would it be?”

The student thinks it over, then answers, “The living one.”

Kindness Fridays

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Being kind is taking a stand. By itself, it might not help: maybe our kindness will be ineffective. The money we sent to alleviate hunger might be unwisely used. Helping an old lady cross the road does not eliminate poverty in a faraway country. And for every plastic bottle we pick up on the beach, another ten will be tossed down tomorrow.

Never mind. We have affirmed a principle, a way of being.

Microcosm is macrocosm: Each person is the whole world.

As many mystics and visionaries have pointed out, each individual, in some subtle and mysterious way, embodies all people.

If we can bring some relief and well-being to just one person’s life, this is already a victory, a silent, humble response to the suffering and pain of the planet.

This is the starting point.

Today’s Kindness Friday comes directly from the book, The Power of Kindness – The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life, by Piero Ferrucci.

Why you should own a copy of REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO

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REASON ONE: You don’t have to know someone with Alzheimer’s disease to benefit from this novel. Let’s face it, when you pick up a novel wherein cancer, murder, courtroom drama, homelessness, financial devastation, or horror are part of the storyline, you don’t put down the book because none of those issues have personally affected you. I mean, when was the last time you picked up a Steven King novel and said, “Man, this is totally irrelevant to me, I’ve never been terrorized by a car named Christinenor have I ever attended a prom where a girl named Carrie exercised her supernatural powers to ruin the evening for most everyone in attendance.” And even though no one – as of yet – has ever lived Under the Dome, you would still be glued to the pages of that novel (not so much the TV version) to discern how it would all turn out.

When you pick up a novel, you find yourself getting involved with the characters. While you’re wondering how the book may end, you read on to find out what’s going to happen next. Or maybe your eyes are opened about matters for which you previously knew very little and then you can’t wait to see where the storyline leads you. REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO satisfies all of those curiosities.

REASON TWO: You do know someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia – whether tangentially or intimately. You might be hesitant to read yet another technical treatise or article about the devastating effects of the condition, but you still want to learn more while being entertained at the same time. Did I say a novel about Alzheimer’s can be entertaining? Yes, and I’ll tell you why. The definition of entertainment isn’t just giggles and laughs – as Steven King’s novels clearly demonstrate. According to Merriam Webster, entertainment is also something diverting or engaging. Without a doubt readers will be engaged in the story of the Quinn family from page one when the patriarch of the family, Patrick, finds himself in a very inconvenient situation while stranded on an extraordinarily busy freeway in Seattle, Washington. And you will cheer for Patrick’s daughter, Colleen, as she struggles to redefine normalcy while craving even one minute of status quo. And believe or not, you will find humor in some of the least desirable circumstances faced by a variety of characters who are members of “Club Alzheimer’s.”

REASON THREE: You read Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – maybe you even saw the movie – and you became very sympathetic to those who have faced, are facing, and will face the ravages that Alzheimer’s disease has on families such as yours and mine. And if you were fortunate, you also read the memoir, Her Beautiful Brain, Ann Hedreen’s account of the challenges she faced raising a young family and caring for a mother who was “lost in the wilderness of an unpredictable and harrowing illness.” There is much to be gained by reading various genres on the subject, and quite frankly, not enough is being published in the fiction and memoir genres.

As of this writing, there are more than 5 million people in the United States with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, and worldwide, more than 44 million suffer with the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is not going away. The more awareness and compassion we possess, the more capable we will be of helping ourselves, and others, through this protracted disease journey.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS …

REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO a Black Rose Writing release, will be available July 20th, 2017.

Lighten up Mondays

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I celebrated my birthday last week, an event that really doesn’t bother me. There are those who aren’t quite enamored with getting older. Here’s some humor for you:

Rock stars used to say, “Don’t trust anyone over 30!”
Now that many of them are over 50 they say, “Oops, we didn’t mean us.”

***

You Know Your Old When:

  • You and your teeth don’t sleep together.
  • People call at 9 p.m. and ask, “Did I wake you?”
  • You begin every other sentence with, “Nowadays…”
  • The clothes you’ve put away until they come back in style… come back in style.
  • Things you buy now won’t wear out.
  • You sing along with the elevator music.
  • You wear black socks with sandals.
  • You get into a heated argument about pension plans.
  • When all you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of your age.
  • Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.
  • You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.