The Fathers Pain

Writing Wednesday/ Elevator Speeches &Pitches


Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink











On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up along my journey to being published, marketing my first book, editing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then…


If you like the information I hope you will share it!


It is also the first Wednesday of the month and that means it is time to meet with my favorite support group. Every writer needs a support group and one of my favorites (yeah I need several) is the Insecure Writers Support Group [ #IWSG. ] If you need a place to share your insecurities, ask questions or perhaps you have something positive to share with your fellow writers then this is the place for you…












Elevator Speeches/Pitches


At a recent workshop, one of the presenters challenged us to stand up and give a 30-second elevator speech or pitch on our writing, business etc…

I volunteered and my speech was awful. It was time to come up with a new one.

Imagine stepping on the elevator at a large writers or blogging conference and standing next to you is one of the best literary agents in the business. It would be normal to feel tongue tied and nervous but these opportunities are few and far between so you should be prepared.

An elevator speech is a 30-60 second summary of your book or your blog. The point of the speech or pitch is NOT to sell anything; the point is to get the recipient to want to know more, to start a conversation with you and to ask you for your contact information.

Have you ever stumbled for words when someone asks you what you do, what do you blog about, what is your book about? I have and it always leaves me feeling so unprofessional.

Coming up with 30-60 seconds that answers who, what, when, why and where is not easy. As uncomfortable as it can be you must practice it out loud until your pitch feels and sounds natural not rehearsed. You also want to have two or three versions so you can adjust for the audience and practice, practice and practice.

Keep in mind that 9 out of ten times while you are trying to sell someone they are not listening to you. They are trying to come up with a way to sell something to you, so you have about 5 seconds to make enough of an impact so they actually listen to you.

Quotes Leave Sparkle

A few tips:

Don’t give spoilers

Don’t go into plots or characters

Give the title and genre

Be enthusiastic

What do you offer?

Present a call to action towards the end

End with a question that requires more than a yes or no to answer

Avoid buzzwords ex: out of the box, streamline, awesome etc…

Try to come up with a word or a phrase that will help the recipient remember your name and the title of your book or blog.

Practice, practice and practice

And finally, smile and be prepared to answer follow-up questions after you give your speech.

Quotes the more creativity you use

Do you have an elevator speech and if so do you have any tips?

If you give me your best pitch in 140 characters and your twitter user name I will tweet them out throughout the month.

Happy Writing,





Fly the friendly Skies…


My husband and I are preparing to take a trip to Florida with five of our thirteen grandchildren. We are driving because the kids aged 8, 11, 11, 12 and 14 want to actually see all of the states, not just fly over them.  When we planned this trip last year it was going to be a surprise for my parents who live in Florida.  Originally the plan was to bring all five of our kids, their spouses and all of the grandkids.

The logistics were a nightmare but we pressed on with the plans.

When I was a seven-year-old, first grader at Saint Christopher’s in Northeast Philadelphia, my father worked for Eastern Airlines. He was the VIP Representative which basically meant he had drinks all day with people the airline deemed important enough to smooze.



My father was so proud of me for getting straight A’s on my report card.  The next day he put me in his MG and took me to a children’s clothing store. With the help of a young saleswoman, we picked out a sleeveless pink and white seersucker dress. The woman suggested a white hat with a pink bow, pink ruffled socks, white patent leather shoes and a small white pocketbook to match. When Dad added a bathing suit I was confused.


Pink and white seesucker dress

I was even more confused when I left the store wearing my new bathing suit underneath of the new dress.  An hour later I was sitting in a first class window seat being served a Shirley Temple with extra cherries.


Seated next to me, sipping on a Chivas Regal, Dad explained he was taking me to Ft. Lauderdale for the day, as a reward for my perfect report card. We spent the afternoon on the beach, had dinner at a fancy outdoor restaurant where I chased geckos and begged Dad to catch two of them and let me take them home.  He laughed and said they could not live in Philadelphia because of our cold winters.


Shortly after take- off on the return flight, the flight attendant took me into the cockpit. The pilots let me ‘fly’ the plane. The Captain gave me a set of gold plated wings (not the plastic ones) and told me to go back to my seat because he had a surprise for me. The surprise was a spectacular light show provided by the Gemini VI Rocket that was launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

Rocket launch Gemini 4

After seeing the rocket, the flight attendant handed me a little pillow and a soft blanket. I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I was back in Philadelphia in my father’s arms. I was so cold and in a lot of pain. I was as red as a lobster. It was painful to have my dad hold me so I walked.  My brand new patent leather shoes pinched my sunburned feet tighter with each step.

I remember feeling sad that night because whenever our family went on vacation we had to get dressed up and fly everywhere. It always meant there would be a lot of walking and a lot of hurrying up to wait.  I thought about how lucky my friend’s were because all they had to do was get into their cars and  get out at the Jersey Shore. I would sit on my front porch and watch our neighbors load up their station wagon with toys, bags of food, clothes and smiling kids.

My husband and I have been spending family weeks on the beach in New Jersey with our kids and grandkids for the last eight-years.

This year I wanted the kids to experience another view of the Atlantic Ocean and I felt a strong need for them to connect with my father, on his turf.

My father got sick in December. I flew down to be with him and my Mother. He passed away in January. On the flight home there was a man sitting next to me drinking Chivas Regal.


Our family reunion trip fell all to pieces but the seven, possibly eight of us that are headed down I-95 South in a few weeks are excited. I will be feeling like an excited seven-year-old kid as we load the monster SUV with food, clothes and children.

PathfinderMy face will be wearing a big smile but I know every time I look up at the sky and see an airplane, I will miss my Dad.

Dad and Me









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.


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.

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

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,










The Scoop…

Typewriter envy

                                       My Writing Process…

Thank you to Kim Tackett for inviting me to share my writing process. It has been so interesting to read the process of some of my favorite writers. You can read Kim’s writing process here:


Why do I write what I write?  

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Suicide Prevention


For the month of April I am participating in the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Challenge was started by author/blogger, Arlee Byrd.

A-Z-AMBASSADOR-2014-211x300 Each day of the month (except Sundays) we will post something based on that days correlating letter. Some of us chose a theme and others are winging it. My theme is the A-to-Z’s of Mental Health, Raising Awareness. It is a topic that is very close to my heart. I hope you find the posts interesting and you will comment and share the posts everywhere. To see a list of all of the participants or for more information-click on the badge over there to the right>

Today’s letter is the letter S

A-Z Letter S






Suicide is the act of killing oneself. Violence directed at oneself resulting in death.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [AFSP], the most recent suicide stats available are from the year 2010. In the year 2010 there were 38,364 people who died of suicide.

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Drum Roll Please, The A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal is Today


I entered the A-to-Z Challenge for the first time three-years-ago to keep myself busy because the month of April is always a sad one at our house. My brother was murdered in a random road rage attack and my husband’s seventeen-year-old son died from suicide on the same April date, different years.

This year, in January I lost my father and a good friend and then in February I lost a very dear friend after a seventeen-month battle with cancer.

So this year I am really looking forward to the challenge, to visiting old friends and making new friends and being extremely busy doing what I love, writing.

For the first time, I actually have a theme and guess what? Today is the much anticipated A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal…

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Sad Friday Fragments…


Friday is the day I link up with Friday Fragments. What are Friday Fragments you ask? Stop over and visit our lovely host, Mrs.4444. You will find everything you need to join in there.

a new Friday Fragments photo


This is a very sad Friday for me. My sweet friend Joelle passed away on Monday surrounded by her family and Tina and I. Her service is tomorrow. I am so sad.

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The 2014 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge…


My favorite thing this week is announcing that it is almost time for the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. If you have a favorite post of the week you would like to share, stop by…

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They say all writers are insecure…


Every writer needs a support group and one of my favorites (yeah I need several) is the Insecure Writers Support Group. If you need a place to share your insecurities, ask questions or perhaps you have something positive to share with your fellow writers then this is the place for you…

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How Hospice is honoring our Veterans…



We Honor Veterans:  A Mission to Serve

 One in four dying Americans is a veteran. That’s why America’s hospice professionals are on a mission to learn how to serve Veterans through the challenges they may be facing from illness, isolation or traumatic life experience

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