Before I was an author…

Recently, I started listing the stories and my book for a writing resume. I remembered that years ago, I had a couple of poems published in two anthologies for The International Library of Poetry as part of a course I took through them; somewhere I have all of the material from that course. Both compilation books published in 2001 and I have copyrights on them. I took the books off the shelf and read the poems not knowing the would have true meaning 16 years later and even before.

It Would Be Me published in Timeless Mysteries, March 28, 2001

The Path published in The Language of Memory, November 30, 2001

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over!

In June of 2016, I submitted a story through Project Semicolon for publication into a book that’s being designed to relate to young people 18-25 years old. According to the original email before I wrote and submitted my story told us this, “We have joined forces with HarperCollins to bring forth a book with stories and pictures of those who found the hope to continue their story. This book is being designed to be relatable to young adults in the age range of 18-25 years old. We are asking that all stories when written keep that age range in mind”. My story did just that and included the name of my book, That’s All I Got! Thrival: A Widow’s Journey After Suicide, because a lot of young people deal with suicide on a regular basis, especially when dealing with the pressures of college and the military.

I hadn’t heard back from Project Semicolon about my submission that is until Thursday night, February 9, 2017. I received an email from HarperCollins with a subject line of: “Your story has been selected for the Project Semicolon book!”. To quote the email, “Together with Project Semicolon, we are writing to let you know that your story has been selected to be included in our upcoming book, PROJECT SEMICOLON: YOUR STORY ISN’T OVER! HarperCollins is publishing the book on September 5th later this year. We are very excited to be including your submission, and we are grateful for the time and effort you put into creating it—you are helping to spread an incredibly important message all over the world…Please keep an eye on Project Semicolon’s social media in the coming months for more information on publication info, events, where you can purchase a copy of the book, and how you can tell people about this amazing project”.

It’s very exciting news! It’s also proof that patience and perseverance pays off. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the book in the coming months and I’ll share that information. Project Semicolon’s mission via their Facebook page is “Project Semicolon is a global non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire”. I encourage you to look it up and share its mission.

Always Available

Yes, there’s black Friday, small business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but did you know, “That’s All I Got!” is available every day online or in person? Why not invest in it for yourself or someone else that may benefit or to have a different type of read.

Once you’ve read it, I would love for you to post a review of it on Amazon.com and let myself and others what you think of it and how it benefits others. Thank you in advance.

https://thatsalligotbook.com/order-here?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

Thoughts vs Memories

We all have them. We all have thoughts. We all have memories. Having a thought can lead to creating a memory. Reflecting on memories creates more thoughts. Can you have one without the other? Would you choose to? Would you care to?

One day, I had a thought to write a story. After I complete the story, I read it to people and someone thought the story could become a book. I thought, “yeah, right”. I wrote the book. The book contains memories, good and bad, but it also creates thoughts in others. Thoughts that can help other people heal and gain knowledge. When you have knowledge, you have the power to educate and when you educate others you can help change the world and yourself. Now some people think that me writing the book postponed my forward progress when in reality it pushed my progress forward. Writing, That’s All I Got!, promoted healing in a relaxed and therapeutic way. I wouldn’t have been able to write the book if I hadn’t moved forward in my healing. I wonder if the people who think I haven’t moved forward are the ones who haven’t whether they’re attached to my journey or not.

I’ve come to enjoy the song, “The Magic Store” in the finale of The Muppet Movie. The song talks about creating your story with your own ending. If we’re lucky our journey doesn’t end until God calls us home. Keep creating memories that build from thoughts and take your journey far beyond what you think it could be.

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!

 

Seasonal Support

For many people, the holidays aren’t very joyous, but difficult. While normal holiday stresses exist, other not so normal unseen stresses appear. For people who have lost a loved one for whatever reason, grief joins in for the holidays. With winter settling in, the gloomy and cloudy days, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and depression become part of some people’s days. They require sources that can aid them: books, friends, and support.

Do you know someone who has been or is going through a tragic situation or life event whether or not related to this journey? Do you know anyone this holiday season that would benefit from reading, “That’s All I Got! A Widow’s Journey After Suicide”?

Why not give the gift of healing this holiday season. Why not direct them to sources that may assist in their grieving. Reach out.

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.

Suicide Prevention Week & Day 2015

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This week, September 7-13, 2015, is National Suicide Prevention week. You too can do your part to help prevent suicide. When you become educated about mental illness and suicide prevention, you help save a life or more from being lost to the completion of suicide.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day. People will come together around the world to help prevent suicide. You can do your part by wearing blue, and placing a lit candle in a window at 8pm.

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I’m hosting a spot at a health and wellness fair to share my journey and to have copies of That’s All I Got! available for sale.

On October 4, 2015, I’m walking in the Milwaukee Out of the Darkness walk for education and prevention. You too can join and/or support a walk in your area. Let’s work to #stopsuicide ! #BeTheVoice #TalkSavesLives