Seriously, a proposal…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

WritingWednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

Proposals

 A proposal is a business plan for your book. If you write nonfiction and query an agent that agent may ask to see your proposal. More and more agents that represent fiction are asking for one as well. It is a good idea to have one prepared before you start to query.

When I started querying for my first book I had no idea what a proposal was. I was so excited to get a response from the third agent I queried but when she asked for a proposal, I had no clue. Needless to say the one I hurried to put together got me nowhere. This time around I wrote the proposal before I wrote the book.

Quote Never Give Up

  • It contains a cover page with word count, genre, title, short description of the book and your contact information.
  • A table of contents
  • A one page summary (the synopsis) of your book. Think of what might be on the back cover of the book.
  • Target Audience. Who will buy this book and why. Do not ever say everyone will love this book because they won’t. Pick a specific demographic and then two sub demographics.
  • Research the competition. What titles out there are similar to yours? Remember that competition in the book world is a very good thing. If there are numerous titles that means there is consumer interest. Agents and Publishers love competition. List these books and explain why they are similar and why they are different. Why is your book better?
  • Your Platform- how you will be able to reach your target audience (where you are on line, your church, groups or organizations you belong to, connections etc…)
  • Detailed Author Bio- Who you are and why you are the best person to tell this story and the best person to promote the book. Include resume information.
  • Your marketing and promotion plan. Only list what you know you can do not what you hope to do. Example: Do not say I will appear on Oprah’s show and she will love my book unless you know for a fact you can make that happen. Make your plan concrete and include numbers. The secret to creating this plan is not how many ideas you have but how many connections you have and the action steps you are willing to take to improve your presence.
  • Chapter Outline with a brief description of each chapter.
  • Sample chapters- Choose two or three of your absolute best chapters (complete)
  • Have several people including your editor go over your proposal.

 

Quote Start Somewhere

Happy Writing,

Doreen

 

 

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Six frightening yet common medical conditions middle age women don’t tell women approaching middle age about…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

I cannot believe no one ever told me about these until a few of them happened to me and I asked.

Uterine, bladder, intestine or bowel prolapse- Apparantly a very common condition but if you have no idea what is happening it is terrifying. A prolapsed happens when the uterus, bladder, intestine or bowel has moved from its normal position in the abdominal cavity into a different position, usually a lower position. Prolapse may occur because of underlying weak muscles or simply as a result of repeated term pregnancies. It can cause pelvic pain. A prolapsed uterus can be treated by inserting a stabilizing device into the vagina called a pessary. Sometimes surgery is required.

Prolapsed uterus

Reflux- Another extremely common condition that I have heard of but had no idea it could cause a sore throat actually feeling like you are gargling with glass. The return of stomach contents can back up into the esophagus. This frequently causes heartburn because of irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid. 80% of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease also have a hiatal hernia.

Reflux photo

Migraine, insomnia, night sweats- We have all heard about hot flashes occurring with menopause but did you know that the drop in hormones can cause severe migraines, chronic insomnia or waking up completely soaking wet and needing to change the sheets as well as your pj’s.

Bladder Incontinence- We are seeing commercials for this problem but when it actually happens to you it is frightening and embarrassing. Urinary incontinence — the loss of bladder control — is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong you don’t get to a toilet in time.

Intestinal blockage- This condition can be extremely dangerous. Intestinal obstruction is a partial or complete blockage of the bowel. The contents of the intestine cannot pass through it. There are numerous causes of this type of obstruction. Some are simple to treat and others, require major surgery.

Pelvic Congestion cramp photo

Pelvic Congestion- One third of all women have this painful condition.  Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is similar to varicose veins in the legs. In both cases, the valves in the veins that help return blood to the heart malfunction and don’t close properly allowing blood to flow backwards and pool in the veins causing bulging veins, pressure, pain and discomfort. In the pelvis, varicose veins can cause pain and may affect the uterus, ovaries and vulva.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Shortly after New Year’s I woke up in the middle of the night with one of those leg cramps that goes all the way down to your toes. My toes were actually stuck and no matter what I did it hurt. It happened the next night and the night after that. I Googled leg cramps. The ‘simplest’ reason for cramping was dehydration, so I drank water. The leg cramps stopped but I started being woken up during the night with painful heartburn. The cramps came back and I developed a bulge in my pelvis, heaviness in my legs and several other unpleasant symptoms the worst of which was pain.  It is a non-stop throbbing ache. Four doctors, numerous tests and three days in the hospital left me with no diagnosis. The first five conditions above were ruled out. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is difficult to diagnose and sadly some women suffer for years before it is detected. There is non- invasive treatment available but some cases require a hysterectomy. I am hoping the non-invasive treatment works for me.

Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion

Chronic pain that is dull and aching usually felt in the lower abdomen and lower back. The pain often increases during the following times:

  • Following intercourse
  • When tired or when standing (worse at end of day)
  • Other symptoms include Leg cramps
  • Irritable bladder
  • Irittable bowel
  • nausea
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Varicose veins on vulva, buttocks or thigh.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Mad Fragments…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Friday Fragments logo

It’s not too late to join in on the fun and we would love to have you!

During the month of April I participated in and was a helper with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I planned on posting my Friday Fragments during the month too but the best intentions…

A to Z Survivor Badge

There was a terrible Amtrak train crash not far from us, in Philadelphia. The train was coming from Washington D.C. and headed to N.Y.C. Apparently the engineer took a radical curve at 106 mph. The limit is 50 mph for that curve. Eight people lost their lives and more than one-hundred were injured, some critically. I know so many people that take that train, often so it was terrifying. The two people I knew that happened to be riding that night are okay, thank God.

When my favorite weather woman said it was going to be a pollen-tsunami, she wasn’t kidding. My eyes are so itchy and red. I take Allegra but am going to have to try something else because it just isn’t working anymore.

Pollen

I had a health scare, actually it is still happening. Something was ‘falling out of me’ and it was extremely painful. My primary doctor gave me an antibiotic, called it pelvic prolapsed and sent me to a gyn. The nurse-practitioner stopped the exam and was leaving the room. I asked her to say something and she said she needed to get the doctor because she had no idea what it was. I panicked. Of course I did. The doctor came in and introduced himself and proceeded to examine (push on, press and prod whatever was bulging causing me to see stars.) He had no idea. I insisted he tell me something so he said, “I think you are going to be fine. It might be varicose veins.” I needed to see a gyn-urologist as soon as possible. The soonest appointment I could get was June 10. I went to the ER. They admitted me, treated the pain ran a bunch of tests and said it was indeed pelvic congestion, (Varicose veins in the pelvic area.) I won’t see the vein doctor till June 2 so I am home resting as much as possible. I will most likely have an embolization done, soon I hope.

Never a dull moment.

The Stranger in My Recliner is in production. The art department told me I would have cover mock-ups by the end of the month. This book is finally going to be born. I am so excited and cannot wait to share Sophie’s story with everyone. I am hoping it at least starts a few conversations about ending homelessness. The synopsis is up there under books. I need to have a list of reviewers by the end of the month. If you are interested in a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, please e-mail me and give me your address and let me know if you prefer paperback or digital copy. Thank you!

We are a little more than a month away from our crazy, fun annual beach week with all of our kids and grandkids. I am praying my health crisis doesn’t ruin it for us.

Beach Chairs

Is it spring in your neighborhood yet? We are bouncing between the 80’s and the 50’s. It is SO much better than 20J

Are you watching Madmen? What do you think?

Madmen

I am obsessed lately with Arranged, Married at First Sight and Newlyweds, the First Year. I just find these shows fascinating. What are you watching?

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Publishing Choices…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

 

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Every Wednesday I share some of the things I have found that worked well for me and some that didn’t work so well on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again.  The sort of stuff I wish somebody would have told me back then…

 Publishing Choices

Traditional

Traditional Publishing is still number one through six in sales, in publications and in best -selling titles, in the world. Those top six companies are:

Hatchette Book Group

Harper Collins

McMillan

Penguin Group

Random House

Simon and Shuster (name owned by CBS)

Each of these companies also own dozens of smaller companies known as imprints. An imprint may be used when publishing in a narrow field such as sci-fi or fantasy. How it works:

Traditional publishers in most cases will only work with literary agents. If you want to be traditionally published you will first need an agent.

How it works:

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

Submit your finished, professionally edited manuscript to an agent

If they decide to sign you they will have you go through another round of edits

They will try to sell your manuscript to a publisher

They will negotiate a contract on your behalf

They will receive a percentage of your sales

Once they have sold your manuscript to a publisher:

You will go through yet another round of editing

A cover will be designed and a title will be decided on

Conceptual editing will be done (styling)

The Advantages of Traditional Publishing:

They put up the front money for editing, copyrighting, distribution, listing with vendors, ISBN number, marketing and advertising. They may even provide an advance. The big Publishers have connections w/ T.V., radio, Magazines etc… Prestige and credibility. Your book will be released in Hardcover and then 8 months to a year later it will be re-released in paperback. Chances are much better for international sales.

Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing: 

Lack of control over everything involving your book including style, title, where it is sold, how it is marketed etc…

Earnings- You do not get paid until your advance is paid back (if you received one), royalties tend to be paid at lower percentages than other types of companies

The process tends to be impersonal

If the Publisher does not make their initial investment back in two-years they may drop you

The time frame from signing to publication can take up to two-years

Independent Publishing

Independent Publishers tend to be smaller companies and can be imprints of a larger company. Most of them operate ‘under one roof’ meaning they have editing, marketing etc…in house.

There are hundreds of Independent Publishing companies with new ones starting up every day.

Advantages of publishing with an Independent Publisher:

Pic of Maya Angelou quote Writing

They may or may not require you to be represented by an agent, More author attention, Time from signing to publication can be as quick as one year,  Prestige and credibility, better royalty agreement.

Disadvantages of publishing with an Independent Publisher:

Less opportunity for international sales, not impossible but unlikely

You will need to do most of the marketing

Your book may be released as an e-book prior to paperback release. It may not be released in hardcover.

Boutique, Hybrid, Subsidy, Vanity, Print on Demand and Assisted Self- Publishing Companies

This is where the publishing water gets very murky. These companies charge fees for services. Some of them are very good companies that do exactly what they say they will do and some of them are very bad companies. Some of them are extremely choosy over what they accept for publication and others will print anything. If you choose this route for publishing you must research the company, have any contract looked at by a literary attorney, request author references and order a few books that the company published to check the quality.

These companies may offer different publishing packages ranging in price from $10,000 for complete preparation to release services, $5,000 for less services and $600 or less for assistance with self-publishing such as ISBN number (your books social security number) copyrighting and formatting for Amazon and Barnes & Noble on line listings.

Advantages to this type of Publishing:

More control artistically, the highest royalties paid,  a good option for special interest, regional, self-help, speakers, cookbooks and celebrities, quicker to release (less than a year.)

Disadvantages: 

Some of these disadvantages are changing, rapidly. The stigma surrounding self publishing is eroding. To break through these barriers, write a good book and make sure it is professionally edited and professionally formatted.

Most libraries and book stores will not stock these books.

Lack of credibility.

Many professional reviewers will not review these books.

Some of these companies don’t handle returns and that is a distribution problem.

Keep Writing,

Doreen

 

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

The Caregiver…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

I belong to a writer’s group, Lower Buck’s creative Explorers. It is such an inspiring and talented group. The latest published author in our group is, Maria Casale. I had the privilege of listening to her read excerpts from her new novel The Caregiver as she wrote, rewrote and edited. Maria’s writing is lyrical, just beautiful. I am looking forward to reading the ‘finished’ product.

The Author:

Author Maria Casale

The Book:

Author book Caregiver

When Lillian Thomas is hired to care for cantankerous, bedridden Ellen Wilmot, it is Ellen’s beautiful, strangely familiar old house that immediately claims her devotion. But when Ellen’s daughter and granddaughter come to stay, Lillian finds herself drawn into the family’s loves, lies and resentments. And she faces a terrible choice…. The Caregiver is a story of mothers and daughters, the perils of obsession and what it means to be “the help.”

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, so when I was little I said “Hey!” instead of “Hi,” but I mostly grew up in Trenton, New Jersey.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

Yes, my parents both loved to read.  My mother always had a book in her hand—even when she shouldn’t have had a hand free for it.  She had an elaborate system for reading while washing dishes.  She really fostered my love of reading and always gave me books—when I grew up and had to choose my own books I found it kind of overwhelming at first.  My parents were also very conscious of writing and very tough critics: when I had to write my first book report in fourth grade my father told me that the correct way to learn to do this was to read the New York Times Book Review section.  He was serious!

New York Times Book Review

Have you always wanted to write a book?

Maybe, in a vague kind of way.  I have always loved books.  If I had to choose between being a reader and being a writer, reader would definitely win.

For a long time I didn’t really think of myself as someone who could write a book.  When I was younger I wrote poetry.  I came in second in a school poetry contest and decided that was it.  I figured even someone who came in first had very little chance of making a life as a poet.  The person who came in second better just give up!  I really stopped writing then other than for school or work.  When I started writing a lot again in my thirties, I wrote a bunch of interconnected short stories, and then I got the idea for The Caregiver, and finished the first draft in ninety days.

Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

I can write anywhere, any time.  I just need a really nice pen and a spiral notebook (I’m a lefty so I need to write on something that lays flat in the middle).  When I don’t feel like writing I buy new pens and notebooks to coax myself.

sword pen

Did you map your story before writing or did you just let it flow?

The Caregiver was a let it flow project—I definitely found out what was going to happen as I went along.  I’ve written other projects with a little more mapping out ahead of time—just loose outlines, basically.  I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those writers with story boards and reverse outlining and so forth.  That isn’t fun for me, and I know if I’m not having fun I won’t do it.  So I stick with a level of (dis)organization that lets me feel like writing is an adventure.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

No.  I’ve made a pretty conscious choice to make writing portable.  Coffee shops, libraries, my dining room table, my bed—as long as I have a notebook, pen and sometimes my laptop, I’m good to go.

Do you have a day job?

Yes, and it requires me to write horrible, passive-voice bureaucratese!  I sometimes think this is some kind of special torture designed for novelists, or maybe just lovers of strong verbs.  I have great coworkers, though.

What are you writing now?

I’m working on a couple of projects at once, which happens fairly often (see disorganization, above).  My primary project is a novel called Snow Angel, about three cousins whose mothers are three sisters.  I’m interested in how patterns repeat and change down the generations.  And there are some family secrets, and a dead body.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Irish Breakfast tea.

Tea 2

Your guilty TV pleasure?

X-Files reruns and Downton Abbey.

The Caregiver is available in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Caregiver-Maria-Theresa-Casale/dp/1502420953/ref=sr_1_29_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1427819023&sr=8-29&keywords=caregiver

Maria blogs about reading and writing at http://bookwormrrriot.com/

Thank you Maria and thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

 

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Writing Wednesday is back…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

IWSG badge

Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

                                                            Wednesday is also, Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

April was a crazy busy writing month and personally. I am thrilled to report that I survived another A-to-Z Challenge! Now it’s May and it is time to get back to business, at least for a month before the lazy days of summer…

A-Z Challenge 2014 Survival badge

The Stranger in My Recliner is well into production. Editing is done and the art department promised me several covers to choose from by the end of the month. I am hoping the conceptual editors will be finished then too.

I received two early reviews, they were good, actually great and that was such a relief. I know I am not the only writer that gets stressed out asking for, waiting for and receiving reviews. Talk about neurotic.

I never asked for reviews of my first book, not even from my family. I had no idea you were supposed to ask. This time my publicist said eight weeks before the release date he will ask me for a list of reviewers.

So I am preparing that list. If you are interested in reviewing, The Stranger in My Recliner, doing an interview, cover reveal, blog post or whatever you can think of please e-mail me and let me know if you prefer a paperback or e copy and your address. Thank you so much in advance.

[doreenb8@verizon.net]

Getting Reviews for your Book

If an author has 25 Amazon reviews posted the day their book is released the critics will notice. Once thought to be meaningless, amateur reviews on Amazon are not only credible but relevant.

amazon_200x200Look for potential reviewers on Amazon’s Top Reviewers list — which you will find at http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers — and target the people who regularly post reviews of books similar to yours.

With every review copy you send out you should also send a cover letter and a press release.

It is a good idea to keep track of your review requests using a spread sheet or something similar. Ask your reviewers to post their review on your release date. Send a reminder e-mail 30 days and then again a week before the release date.

Did you know that if your book is available for sale in brick and mortar stores you can request a New York Times Review? Chances may be slim but hey, if you don’t try…

New York Times Book Review

 

 

 

 

 

New York Times Book Review

620 Eigth Avenue, 5th Floor

New York, New York

The web site for the Midwest Book Review has a ton of great information on how too and where to ask for reviews.

How do you feel about paying for reviews? Personally it does not sound like a good idea to me.

Most of the books I read these days I’ve read about on blogs, and honestly they have all been good. How do you choose the books you read?

 http://www.midwestbookreview.com

Keep writing,

Doreen

The awesome co-hosts for the the May 6 posting of the IWSG will be Eva Solar, Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

http://www.twitter.com/doreenb8

 

 

 

 

 

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

A to Z Reflections…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

A to Z Reflections

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

This was my 4th year participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and my second year to participate as a helper/minion.

I was really excited this year because the first year I participated I had a book coming out a few months after the challenge and this year I have a second book coming out in a few months. I was also excited because my 500th blog post happened during the challenge. I will be celebrating that milestone next week.

Originally I joined the challenge because April is a tough month for me. The anniversary of my brother’s murder and my step-sons suicide are on April 26 so my husband and I both try to stay as busy as possible, doing the most positive things during the month. No matter what we do that date is always painful for us.

This year, the month life threw more bad news our way. My stepson was diagnosed with stage III non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We are hopeful and remaining positive. If you are the praying type we would appreciate your prayers.

While my husband was is Arizona with his son I had a medical emergency here in Philadelphia. I will be having a hysterectomy, soon.

I have to say that all of the bad news aside this was the least stressful challenge for me. Every year I swear I am going to pre-write my posts and every year I fail to do that. This year I did pre-write 7 posts and decided on all of my titles. It helped. I am still going to try to write all of the posts next year.

This year I had the least amount of visitors/comments. I commented on many more posts than I received. That was disappointing and unusual for the challenge.

All in all I am pretty proud of my participation this year. I handled all of my last minute book edits, spent a few days in the hospital, received sad news, dealt with frustrating issues at my day job, hosted a visit from my Mom and was only late with one post!

Cheers to all of my fellow A to Z’ers and a huge thank you to the challenge creator Arlee Bird: http://tossingitout.blogspot.com

And to all of the co-hosts and ambassadors;  Lisa Buie-Collard our Live Wire leader and to my fellow Live Wires!

Champagne toat for a to z

I’m looking forward to the road trip!

Thank you so much for reading along,

Doreen

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Zee End

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Today’s post is my final in the 2015 annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Z

My theme this year was An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of, Sophie.  Sophie is the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The night that she walked through our front door changed me.

That book will be out later this year.

So; I decided this year’s challenge posts would be on programs that actually help the homeless and the mentally ill, programs that don’t, when did homelessness become a problem and what or who caused it, famous homeless people, famous people that help the homeless and the mentally ill, what you can do that will help in a real way and a whole alphabet more…

Zee End

I thank you so much for following along this month with Sophie’s story. I hope her story inspires you to do something to help the homeless and or mentally ill in your community by writing letters to your community leaders, politicians and churches insisting on homes not hospitals or jails for the homeless.

If you have any suggestions or want to share what you have done please post on twitter using #sophieschallenge.

Happy May and thank you again for following along,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa was a fabulous challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom – Bob R. MilneTamera NarayanStephanie FarisHeather McCubbin

*I am a day late because I was admitted to the hospital. I will be fine, cannot wait to get home!

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Yummy…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Y

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

An excerpt from The Stranger in My Recliner

Yummy

I started to remind Sophie at 8:30 in the morning that she had to take a shower. She smiled and said she would take one later. You have to shower today, I told her again and again. After my own shower, I placed the plastic safety chair into the tub and put a towel on the seat, to make it softer for her to sit on and not as cold. I put four fresh towels on the counter and a wash cloth on the arm of the shower chair. A bath sheet worked better on the floor than the tiny bath mat so I folded the mat and put it in the hall closet. I lined up the mouthwash, baby powder, Q-tips and facial moisturizer on the sink, doubting she would use any of the products.

Q tips

I ran downstairs and into Sophie’s room and picked out an outfit for her to wear. I chose a pair of mint green linen pants and a cream colored tank and sweater set. If only I could talk her into wearing real shoes. The plastic slides she wore made me cringe. At least I was able to talk her into wearing socks so her feet wouldn’t get frostbite.  The socks with the slides looked absolutely ridiculous but that was a fight I chose not to start. Cream pumps or flats would be so cute with this outfit. Even white or cream sneakers would be adorable. She only had white and black socks. I chose the white. Would she ever wear knee-highs, I wondered. I wanted to throw away those stupid plastic shoes so badly. If she didn’t dig through our trash cans I could probably get away with throwing them out and letting her think she lost them. Right away I realized how mean that would be, or would it be? Plastic shoes cannot be healthy for your feet.

Her toenails were disgusting too. I tried to cut them for her once but she screamed so loud I had no choice but to stop. When people age their toe nails thicken and harden naturally. The thickening can also be caused by a fungus, other disease, a trauma and of course improper fitting shoes. In Sophie’s case it could have been all of these. I tried talking her into seeing a podiatrist but she wanted nothing to do with that idea. I could only imagine the screaming she would do and how embarrassed I would be.

Moving on, I quickly scrambled an egg and cooked it in the microwave for her. I generously buttered her soft toast and poured a large glass of apple juice and put everything on the dining room table for her. She begged me to let her eat in the recliner. It was another fight I chose not to start and I moved the meal to her end table and placed a dish towel on her lap.

scrambled-eggs

I ran back upstairs to gather some laundry. “Dina, Dina” she shrieked. I yelled down to her asking her what she needed. “You forgot me peas in my eggies.” She whined.  I could not tell her we did not have any because I had enough canned peas in the cupboard to wait out Armageddon. Why did I think she would be okay without peas for that one day? I ran downstairs, opened a can of peas and drained the liquid off of them. I put a few spoonfuls of peas into a small bowl. I placed the bowl in the microwave. The smell of microwave eggs is bad enough first thing in the morning. Adding the smell of nasty canned peas and that slimy liquid they come in is so gross. The smell gets stuck in your nostrils and stays there. Taking the small bowl out of the microwave, lifting it with a paper towel, I walked over to the recliner. Carefully I scooped the peas from the bowl and piled them onto her plate.  I asked her to take her plate into the kitchen when she was finished eating. She smelled so badly I had to fight my gag reflex. I could not wait to get her into the shower.

peas in a can

I put a load of laundry into the washer adding extra Tide liquid and Downy fabric softener because I knew it would make the house smell better. It wouldn’t get to the root of the odor problem but for right then, I needed that putrid eggy, peas and urine smell to be gone.

Tide

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom – Bob R. MilneTamera NarayanStephanie FarisHeather McCubbin

 

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Xeroma…

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 X

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Xeroma

Xeroma is an abnormal dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea of the eyes; may be due to a systemic deficiency of vitamin A.

EYE Chart

Sophie always complained of having dry eyes and I was convinced she had this condition.

It turns out she just had, dry eyes. She also had 20/20 vision. Imagine that, an 80-year-old woman that had perfect vision.

We were surprised at how healthy Sophie seemed. She didn’t take any medications and refused to even take an aspirin.

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom – Bob R. MilneTamera NarayanStephanie FarisHeather McCubbin

Email, RSS FollowShare on Tumblr
Available at all booksellers!

Subscribe/Follow
Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz
Awards
  • Friday Fragments: Episode #353 May 15, 2015
    You know how great it feels to clean a closet? You know how much you hate cleaning closets?Well, Friday Fragments gives you the satisfaction of having cleaned the closet of your mind,and it takes far less time than an actual closet cleaning.Isn't that great?!Pretend this is Goodwill and you're dropping off a load of stuff that's […]