Posts Tagged ‘Midlife Boulevard’

Challenging…

Writing Wednesday

Writing snoopy 1

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Blogging Challenges

Some bloggers love them and others think they are a useless waste of time. 4-years- ago, when I was a brand new blogger I thought it would be a good idea to try one. The A-Z April Blogging Challenge was started in 2010 by Los Angeles Blogger, Arlee Bird. http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/

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Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers…

When my mother-in-law became ill and could no longer be home alone, there was no question I would leave my job and care for her. When my father was diagnosed with cancer there was no doubt I would fly or drive from Pennsylvania to Florida as often as possible to help my mother with his care. From the minute my father was put into Hospice care until he passed away I personally cared for him.

Dad and Me

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Meet the lovely Ruth Curran…

 

I’m so happy to introduce you to Ruth Curran. Of the bloggers I look forward to meeting in real life she is definitely in my top five. Ruth and I have a few things in common, one of which is we both shared a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident.

Wait till you see the view from her writing space…

Please join me in congratulating Ruth on the release of her book, Being Brain Healthy.

Author Ruth Curran COVER

 

The Author:

 Ruth drew on her experience successfully overcoming a traumatic brain injury suffered in an automobile accident to become an expert on maximizing brain health and function through lifestyle modification and “turning up the noise on life.” Curran is passionate about the connection between the brain and daily functioning and believes everyone—regardless of age or stage of life—has the ability to use neuroplasticity to live a richer, deeper, more fully engaged life. She has created a series of photo-based thinking puzzles, games, and apps that help players work on cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and executive functioning. Curran has a master’s degree in cognitive psychology as well as more than 28 years of experience as a strategist, business development executive, and organizational behaviorist.

Author Ruth Curran Photo

 

Back of the book:

 The journey to wellness when coming back from a brain injury can be a long one. It is one author Ruth Curran knows well. Faced with myriad cognitive challenges after her own traumatic brain injury resulting from an automobile accident, Curran decided to “turn up the volume” on the things that she loved in order to expedite the healing of her brain. She found ways to work through the discomfort and discouragement that can plague those suffering from traumatic brain injury as well as other conditions, chronic illnesses, and age-related changes that affect cognition and brain health.

In Being Brain Healthy, Curran shares her 18-month path to recovery along with the techniques she used—and continues to use—to amplify her everyday experiences with the goal of maximizing brain health and function. Her book is one of hope, not only for those whose brains have been compromised through injury or illness, but also for anyone who wants to think better and improve their cognitive abilities.

Curran has the unique ability to share her insights on brain health and healing in a manner that makes complex neuroscience matters make sense to even those taking their first frustrating steps toward recovery. Convinced that everyone can build better thinking skills and work their way out of what she calls “the fog” regardless of its cause, Curran shares how she did exactly that and made her entire life more fulfilling.

Being Brain Healthy combines the most cutting-edge research with what works in practice and fits in daily life. Curran helps readers understand how the brain and body work together and how the partnership between the two can be utilized to create a more healthy brain. Curran outlines how the newest science, activities, and exercises can help those with thinking challenges make the most of every day. Her “being” brain healthy methods—and book sections—include Be Active, Be Social, Be Engaged, Be Purposeful, and Be Complicated.

Also included in the book are personal stories from individuals on their process recovering from brain challenges. Their accounts along with insight and information from Curran will inspire readers to amplify their experiences and take their own brain functionality to the next level.

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hammond, IN, one block away from the IN / IL state line – a short train ride from Downtown Chicago.

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

My mom was a teacher and preached the value of books, good grammar, and an ample vocabulary. She shared her love of reading with my brother (a recently retired English teacher) and me. It seemed as if my mom always had at least three books on her night stand, a newspaper in her lap, and a stack of New Yorkers waiting for her. As I got older, books were my escape. When I was a teenager my aunt got me into reading mysteries. We picked authors (and their detectives) and followed them from start to finish. I waded my way through bogs, pubs and smoke filled interrogation rooms, and strolled along the streets of so many foreign cities courtesy of amazing mystery writers – ones that took me somewhere I had never been and seamlessly planted me right in the middle of daily life. I am always reading something, listening to at least one audio book, and have a stack of publications calling me.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

Author Ruth Curran write space

Have you always wanted to write a book or were you compelled to write this one for personal reasons?

I remember the day that my freshman English teacher, Mrs. Chang, told me I was good writer. I was shocked. My handwriting and spelling were (and still are) horrendous so I was used to pages filled with red marks and comments about the benefits of taking my time and neatness – nothing beyond the surface and certainly nothing about the quality of my writing. Enter Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein and my passion for writing took another turn. I was going to be a great investigative reporter. Life, as it does, eventually led me in a different direction but every job I had involved some kind of writing.  I don’t think I ever saw myself writing a book until recently. This book got in my head a couple years ago and it was not letting go. I started out writing a much expanded version of my blog on brain health, brain healthy lifestyles, and that connection between how we act and how we think. It was good information with great practical, everyday application but it was not relevant. With great prompting from a dear friend, I saw that I had to tell the story of how I got here and to own the fact that the value of my journey was being lost – especially if I just kept it locked up in a safe in my head.

Other than physical damage to the brain due to injury or illness, what psychological or sociological factors might affect one’s brain health?

The two biggest issues are stress and social isolation. Prolonged stress or periods of isolation – physical, psychological, or sociological –can change how your brain works and how well you adapt to future situations. Both of these conditions can re-wire your brain in the long run.

What is the number one thing people should do daily to boost their brain health?

Smile. Your brain and your body are programmed to reward those things that make you feel good. Smiling is the fastest route to feeling good.

What are some common misconceptions people have about brain health?

There are two misconceptions about the brain that make me absolutely crazy. First, we are born with a certain number of brain cells and there is nothing we can do to make more. That is so wrong. We can absolutely encourage our bodies to grow new neurons and, beyond that, we can encourage our neurons to form new connections. Second, older brains don’t perform as well as younger brains. That too is untrue. Older brains may perform differently but definitely not worse.

The Links:

 The website/blog

 Ruth shares her insights and proven techniques for amplifying everyday experiences at

http://www.craniumcrunches.com

To buy the book:

 http://www.amazon.com/Being-Brain-Healthy-Ruth-Curran/dp/069239995X

 Twitter:

 http://www.twitter.com/@CaptCruncher

 Midlife Blvd badgehttp://www.midlifeboulevard.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Wednesday/ PR Part 2/ Press Releases

WritingWednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey to publication, marketing 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 to share please do…

Public Relations PR Part 2/ Press Releases

Just when you thought writing the book was the hard part you were told you had to write a synopsis, then an outline, a proposal and the hardest of all a query letter.  You finish all of those and breathe a big sigh of release only to find out you need to write marketing, advertising and PR plans and those include writing press releases and media pitches.

Writing is hard

If you have the budget to hire a professional to write and submit your press releases for you, they are well worth the money. If a professional isn’t in your budget no fears, you can write your own.

The fact that you wrote and published a book is not ‘newsworthy’ to most media outlets. They are looking for news that is of interest to their entire audience.

The main thing you have to remember when writing a press release is you are informing the audience of something important to them, you are not promoting your book (that would be considered advertising.) What expertise or insight have you gained from writing your book? If you wrote a book about your transition from the corporate world to owning a bakery perhaps your angle could be ‘the pros and cons of opening a small business in (name of town,) or tips on how to have a memorable celebration. The possibilities are endless but you should choose 2 or 3 and stick with them.

The second thing to remember is keep it concise and professional. Use simple words.

The third thing is to send it to the right place. Do the research. Make sure the publication is right for ‘your news.’ If it isn’t something their readers would be interested in, you are wasting your time and theirs.  My suggestion is to start small, think close to home. Your small hometown paper, magazine or newsletter is a great place to start. On most media websites you can find a place to submit press releases. Does your alma mater have a newspaper or newsletter, does your church? Once you have submitted to these local publications submit to 3 or 4 city papers closest to home. You can expand from there.

Newspaper photo

There are web based businesses that are promising to distribute your press release, for a fee. It is time consuming but you are better off looking up the publications and submitting to them yourself.

Do not submit press releases to the same publication more than once a month unless the news is really big.

Tips on format:

Your headline has to be fabulous and should be no more than 8 words. You only have about 15 words to grab an editor’s attention so the headline counts big-time.

Next you want to put your first choice for the date you want the release to be published. Most people put, For Immediate Release.

Next you want to write an introductory paragraph. Press releases are written in third person. If you are announcing a book event, mention that and the host and any other authors involved. Think hooking the reader here.

Next you want to go more into ‘the news of your release,’ answering the who, what, why, when and where questions. Remember you cannot ‘sell’ in a press release so don’t mention where your book can be purchased. You want the ‘news’ of the release to be so good that the reader will go look for your book.

A short bio comes next and then you want to list your contact information. Let the editor know what contact information you want published and what information you don’t want published. I usually list only an e-mail publicly. If it is for a book event you can list the phone number of the book store or wherever the event is being held.

When a publication does publish your press release, thank them, promote them and share on social media.

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Next week: PR part 3-TV and radio pitches.

 

 

 

 

What unique angle or area of expertise can you use to make your book, WIP or your blog newsworthy?

Happy writing,

Doreen

*** Before the angel of success arrives in your life, you should devote yourself to preparing your welcome for her. Polish your craft and strengthen your body to be fit so that you can do your job and enjoy success when it comes. Sharpen your mind and spirit so they are ready to face the challenges that accompany a visit from the angel of success. If you are not ready when the angel knocks, she will flee. And who knows when she will make it back around to your door again. Unknown ***

Angel pic

Will I see you here?

BAM-FB-coverhttp://midlifeboulevard.com

Or here?

A to Z 2015 Badgehttp://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

 

 

 

 

Shotgun Rider, BAM and A-Z…

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!

It has been a month since I last participated so I am full of fragments.

I had another jaw surgery the first week of January. This was the 7th surgery on my jaw/mouth in 2 ½ years. This one was rough. I am SO glad that one is done. It feels so good to be eating real food again!

One month from today I will be in Nashville for the very first BAM blogging conference. I am so excited that I will be meeting in person, some of the most supportive blogging friends. Did I say I was excited?

http://midlifeboulevard.com/bam-conference/

BAM-FB-cover

 

Those of you, fragmenters that know me know that the first week of March my husband and I always attend bike week in Daytona Beach.

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Because of the BAM conference we will be leaving 3 days late. It’s a good thing bike week is actually 10 days long. My plane from Nashville will land in Philly Sunday afternoon and I will hop in the truck and head south. I’m sure this song will be playing because John has been singing it to me for a month now.

http://youtu.be/BkpuLMsDn48

Tim McGraw

 

While I was recovering from surgery we binge watched the first four seasons of Downton Abbey. I had seen a few episodes and I couldn’t wait to catch up. It is so hard to wait till Sunday now.

The sign-up list is open for the April A-Z Challenge! I will be helping out with the challenge again this year and I would love to see your blog on the list! You can find all of the details here:

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

A to Z 2015 Badge

 

This time last year I was in North Carolina helping to care for my dear friend Joelle. I cannot believe it has been almost a year since we lost her. #ihatecancer

My long time elderly client has taken a turn. My day job is awfully sad sometimes.

My other job is going very well. The Stranger In My Recliner is about to go into production and I cannot wait to share Sophie’s story with you.

I am going to go watch a mindless, stupid reality show because my head is about to explode from the news.

How did your week go? Seen any movies? Have you had snow?

Have a blessed weekend!

Doreen

 

 

 

Caregiving and Stress

Caregiving and Stress 

Nearly ten-million adult children over the age of fifty are caring for their aging parents. With ten-thousand people turning 65 every day and with the trend expected to continue through the year 2020 the numbers are expected to skyrocket and so will the stress.

More and more women are willing to take a financial hit to care for their aging parents. I left my job for eighteen-months to care for my mother-in- law and most recently have been caring for my father long distance. Leaving my job and family in Philadelphia and traveling to Florida to help my mother care for my father is stressful, it takes a lot of planning and I couldn’t do it without a lot of help and good information.

“I’m pleased to partner with Midlife Boulevard to bring you this important public service information about National Family Caregivers Month.”

Midlife Blvd badge

My friends at Midlife Boulevard have been an online lifeline, full of inspiration as well as valuable information throughout my father’s illness.

It is important to build a network when you are caring for a family member, especially long distance. Enlist neighbors, church members and friends. They may be willing to pick up groceries, do home repairs or provide meals. Ask friends and family members that are not in the area to make scheduled calls, send cards and handwritten notes and care packages. Many people want to help and if you are like me, when someone offers it is so hard to say yes and then tell them what you need. You need to accept whatever help, is offered.

If you are considering hiring outside help, ask everyone in your network online and in real life for recommendations. Even if you can only hire someone for a few hours a week, those few hours will give you peace of mind.

 

Another way to alleviate stress before it happens is to create a list of where things are in the house in case of an emergency. You want to list the location of the electric panel, the water shut- off valve, have an emergency contact list that includes family to be called (in order) doctors, plumber, electrician, preferred hospital,  medications, location of extra keys, pets names and schedules etc… It is a lot of work but in an emergency this information will be priceless.

The most important thing you can do for your loved one as their caregiver is to take care of yourself. Accept or ask for help so you can rest, get out for a walk or just to get out and have lunch with a friend.

My Parents in Florida

While caregiving it is easy to get lost in the business. Remember to sit with your loved one and just be. Watch an old movie, listen to their favorite music with them and reminisce.  These are the memories that will matter most to you.

Another valuable resource for me has been the community of caregivers and experts put together by AARP aarp.org/caregiving.

 

http://youtu.be/Ggjc8u_1ccc     Spoon feeding caregiving video

 

Dragging Fragging Friday Fragments…

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, and other small gems from your week and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post with our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Friday Fragments Summer logo

The Pope is coming to Philly! I should be super excited and yes it is very exciting but for some reason all I can think of is the traffic and the diversions. Will I go if he holds an outdoor Mass. Probably but I already know it will be a logistics mess.

I LOVE that he met with the FINALLY released Christian woman who was sentenced to death, Miriam Ibreham and her family.

pope-francis-Meriam-Ibrahim

I was so excited to have a post on Midlife Boulevard for the first time! Which by the way is an AMAZING community of the most talented, funny, brilliant and supportive women I have ever met (only a few in real life) but cannot wait to meet more of them in real life.

http://midlifeboulevard.com/boomer-deadly-road-rage/

As if that wasn’t exciting enough this happened on Books is Wonderful:

http://www.booksiswonderful.com/books-by-writers-i-know/

The author of Books is Wonderful, Helene Cohen Bludman is in England right now with another MLB friend, Lois Alter Mark. They are touring the Downton Abbey Castle and doing all sorts of other dreamy things. I cannot wait to read both of their posts about the trip.

My conspiracy theory mind is spinning out of control over all of these ‘air’ disasters. Sad.

I had to have surgery to clear up a jaw infection that resulted from jaw surgery. Just ouch and a frustrating setback. It has me dragging.

Hell on Wheels will be back on AMC on August 2. I cannot Wait!

Hell on Wheels

Have a Blessed Weekend,

Doreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chili Round Up! The Patriots and the Broncos may be playing but…

 

The greatest football fans will be on our big red couch…

For more great chile recipes visit :

Midlife Blvd badge

 

http://www.midlifeboulevard.com

 We would have loved going to the game for the first time, it is only an hour away, in New Jersey but decided with a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures in the single digits our big red sofa with a big ole pot of chile on the stove this is the place to be…

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