Out of Storage

For months, the Milwaukee Public Library Tippecanoe Branch (aka the Tippecanoe Library), went through a complete renovation. While a temporary location housed some of the books That’s All I Got! went to an off-site storage location. I’m happy to announce that the Library has completed its transformation and all the books have happily returned to their shelves for the Grand Opening!

Please join the Bay View community in welcoming the books to their renovated home on Saturday, December 12, 2016 from 10am-1pm! See the photos below for more information.

I know That’s All I Got! and her author waits for someone to borrow her (at all three libraries where it lives: Tippecanoe, Milwaukee Central, and Cudahy. We hope to see you there!

 

Why I do what I do

If someone asked me: why do I write? why did I write a book? and why do I share my journey? I’d tell you the following.

Everyone at some time in their lives has required healing. Many people have qualifications to assist in healing. I help to heal from experience.

Some may think it’s difficult to discuss my journey and at first, I thought so too. It took a long time to talk to people without crying or getting into a lot of detail. I remember it took over a year, to utter the word widow and that’s when I was in counseling. The second time I used widow was during a discussion I had with my first chiropractor, Dr. Drew, and he was the first male stranger (at the time) that I shared my struggles with and I didn’t shed a tear. Talk about a milestone in my journey. Even now, while discussing certain topics I may become teary-eyed, but that’s almost always due to memories.

I want to educate others on what I know about traumatic grief. It’s important that I share my journey to reveal there’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel following tragedy. Part of my “job” consists of preventing innocent lives from being lost due to the completion of suicide. I would like other people to learn about mental illness because education is a life line.

The other day, a friend of a friend posted on Facebook about losing a friend to suicide over the weekend. I know what she’s dealing with so I reached out to her. I let her know that she could reach out to me because grief and emotions take a long time to heal.

This afternoon/early evening, I hosted a spot at a health fair sponsored by my chiropractic clinic, along with my book, That’s All I Got!. While I only sold one book, I shared many more conversations. Almost everyone I spoke with knows someone who lost their life to the completion of suicide. Some conversations were about mental illness. A few people knew today is World Suicide Prevention Day or that this week is National Suicide Prevention Week. I shared what today meant with a few vendors and each said, “I should know this” and “why don’t I know this?”. I opened their eyes to something they didn’t know. Yes, I wished I had sold more books, but a conversation I had with my current chiropractor that revolved around what really matters, reminded me why I do what I do. Thank you Dr. Steven for the reminder.

Climbing Higher

In the last few weeks, I’ve personally sold book numbers 101 and 102. Book number 102 went to a friend of mine after we watched the South Shore Frolics Fireworks at South Shore Park last night. Book number 101 has a story to share.

I attended a Sunday morning yoga class at the Downtown Milwaukee YMCA. We had a sub for class that day. I really enjoyed the class and talked to the instructor after class ended. We started talking about journeys and I shared the concept of That’s All I Got! with her. She became interested in my book and told me she’d buy a copy. I always travel with a few copies of my book in the car and since we had parked near each other and she had the cash, she bought a copy. I handed her a small stack of postcards for her to put out at the gym she works at and then she suggested having a book signing event at the gym in Cedarburg later this summer. Wow! Talk about a great encounter!

There’s always opportunities to share my journey available, but you never know who cares enough to listen. They did, will you?

Reaching 100!

It’s been over a year since That’s All I Got! became reality. Since then 175 books have been in my personal inventory waiting for good homes to readers to inspire and educate. For a long time, 99 books have waited for 1 more to join them out into the world. That day arrived. On May 1, 2015, book #100 found a home!

It took a lot of time and effort to reach this milestone and I began to think it wouldn’t arrive. Here’s proof that patience does pay off. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible and to those who help share the message the book holds.

There’s too many innocent lives lost to the completion of suicide every year due to mental illness. There’s too many stories that need telling to help prevent another life lost and to educate others about mental illness and suicide. I’m surprised how many people have had their lives touched in some way due to a suicide loss. Just today, I listened as someone shared the story of another life lost to suicide, and this person asked questions that most people don’t due to the stigma still surrounding suicide. Help break this stigma-speak the story/journey-help others-share the message.

One Year Ago…

On March 28, 2014, I obtained the first copies and the first order of That’s All I Got! from my publisher. With life bustling around me, I almost forgot the one year anniversary of becoming a published author. A definite milestone in the publishing world. I’m two copies away from personally selling 100 books (I have a home inventory that’s yearning to dwindle).

In the past year, I’ve traveled locally for many book events and one event out-of-state near my college alma mater, Ferris State University. It’s been quiet for a while now, but since spring has arrived, new life and energy grows branches leading me to new possibilities.

Voss front cover

How procrastination worked…once

Saturday, January 31, 2015 started out like any other Saturday. I lounged around, waiting for my magical self to work on chores, run errands, and have one last workout at the South Shore Y. I dawdled like no one else can. Sure, a couple of things got done like chatting with friends, watching TV, tossing in a load of laundry, and cruising the couch. Finally, I decided to finish getting ready and get a move on because the time for the SSY to close its doors and the whirlpool to close even earlier crept closer.

Before I left, I checked the mailbox even though it seemed too early for the Saturday mail to arrive. Bad thought on my end because they mail had arrived including my newest royalty check. I thought, great I can take this to the bank since it’s open until 4pm. First, I made a copy of it (for keepsake purposes since it closed out 2014) and headed out. I didn’t know what lay ahead.

Most people don’t realize the afternoon hours of the bank on Saturday and yet today the line inside wove. I waited and when my turn arrived I mentioned about depositing my royalty check. Now most tellers and bankers there know I’m an author and a couple go on to ask how sales are. I tell them. So today, my teller expressed her congrats, but the best part wasn’t expected. As I left the bank talking to someone who I hadn’t seen there before, I told her how everyone knows about my book and told her the details. I didn’t realize I had been talking to the District Manager who accepted my business card and said she’d have to look it up. I thanked her before we went separate ways.

Now who knew procrastinating would have a reward.

5 short of 100!

Today, I personally sold book number 95!

There’s a story on how it came about to sell this special number. On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, an announcement came through the media and mail that the South Shore Y(MCA), the one place that changed my life forever, is closing at the end of day on January 31, 2015. The news hit everyone hard especially those who have been members for a long time (it opened in 1974) or have a success story (like myself) or memories to share (OK everyone both young and old have been affected by this news).

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, I headed to the South Shore Y for my workout and encountered many familiar faces of people who used to work at this Y. Some were there for CPR re-certification and other helping out this week during week one of chaos. One of the faces turned out to be a friend of mine. As we talked, I knew she hadn’t purchased a copy of That’s All I Got! because I haven’t seen her in a great while. I knew that I’d see her today while I spent time volunteering, so we arranged for her to buy a copy of the book, signed of course. Thank you Tabitha for purchasing the sale of number 95.

There’s a good chance that number 96 will get a home this weekend. Maybe the other four will get new homes too.