Thursday, January 30, 2014

Best quote ever:
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Guest Post by Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Jennie Sherwin

Hello all.  I've recently become a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club -- a book club for readers and Indie authors that offers opportunities to discover new and unknown work.  Today, author Jennie Sherwin is here on my blog to let us know a bit about herself and her book.  I've yet to read Intentional Healing, but I am looking forward to it.
Thanks for stopping by, Jennie!

By Jennie Sherwin:
I want to thank the Members of the Board of the Rave Reviews Book Club for this incredible opportunity to be featured as the club's first “Spotlight” Author. You've all done a great deal of work to make this club a reality. To Nonnie Jules, Founder and President, thank you for founding the club and giving authors a place to hang their hats among friends. I am also grateful to my longtime friend Kathy Treat, Membership Director, for inviting me to join. Marketing and promotion are challenges for the first-time author. Being selected as the “Spotlight” Author, who receives marketing and promotion to the social media outlets as well as to print media, is truly a gift from heaven. Last, but not least at all, I send a special thank you to all the bloggers who agreed to host me on their site. I am truly grateful.

I have always loved to read, so it was natural for me to pursue a career where I could share my love of reading with others, which I did as a teacher of English. I liked writing, too, but it took years to hone my craft. I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors. One, in particular, at Random House, the trade publishing company in New York City, literally taught me how to think about writing, always holding the reader in mind and using that focus to sharpen the clarity of my text. My experience at Random House opened the door to a career in public health consulting. Working in a busy editorial office on publications for many clients, each with specific needs, gave me the perfect opportunity to gain experience writing or editing books, papers, and articles targeting different audiences at varying reading levels. As a service to all of the writers and editors who might be reading this blog, I'd like to pass along the names of the manuals that I've used throughout my career with links to their Amazon pages. They include the Chicago Manual of StyleWords into TypeNew Hart's RulesFowler's Modern English Usage, and Scientific Style and Format.

 Now to my book: In Intentional Healing…I tell the story of my transformation from a Western-educated woman who worked as a writer and editor in the field of public health, to a woman who awakened  to a more Eastern-oriented way of thinking that included a de-emphasis on the individual and ego and an emphasis on collective consciousness and the soul. After bizarre symptoms upended my life, I sought help from Western medicine. No one I consulted could explain what was happening to me. No one, that is, until I met diagnostic detective, Dr. Leo Galland, who tied my symptoms to environmental illness and referred me to a pioneer in environmental medicine, Dr. William J. Rea, in Dallas, Texas, founder of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas. While at the EHC-D, I was introduced to the view held by doctors of environmental medicine that many chronic illnesses are triggered by environmental toxins. During treatment, I unmasked (or became aware of a sensitivity I had not recognized before) for sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. Dr. Rea referred me to Deborah Singleton, founder and director of “A Healing Place, and her energy healing team. Energy balancing helped me respond to the treatment program at Dr. Rea's clinic. With Deborah's guidance I began the process of expanding my consciousness and understanding the real roots of illness. My journey, which included initiation into Reiki channeling and healing from Navajo hataali, took me from dark nights of the soul to a new way of thinking about illness.
Jennie Sherwin, author and editor

Buy Jennie's book on Amazon HERE

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bad Luck List. 2014, You Suck!

I'm  a super attractive sight as I sit in front of my computer typing out this post.  Yellow pus leaks out of my right eye, and my left one is puffy and swollen.  It's the last straw, the icing on the cake.  2014 so far has been nothing but pure hell.  It seems like the moment I flipped open the calendar to January, BOOM! there was a major explosion of bad, bad luck.

In order to cheer up all of you people who think your month hasn't been great so far, I'm listing here everything that has happened to me since January 1st:

1.  While chewing gum on my way home from the video store, I closed my jaw and heard a loud CRACK.  One molar, broken.  This is just after paying the dentist bill for its broken brother.

2. I invited my in-laws over for dinner.  For the apero, I made ham-filled croissants to go with the champagne.  But an hour later, they were still raw.  Next day, my garlic bread never browned.  One dead oven.  Cha-ching, add that to the dentist bill.

3. Making pasta on the stove.  I pull the pot off.  Before I can yell at him to stop, our male cat, Oreo, leaps from the floor directly on top of the burner.  Serious freak-out moment for everyone in the house. Our screams scare him off the burner quick enough that his paws are blistered but not worse. He now stays away from the stove.

4. One way-too-young child gets initiated into the club of women way too early.  Blood all over jeans and bottom of shirt while in school.  Embarrassment and tears follow. Serious hormonal meltdown for both mom and daughter.

5. One other child comes home with a letter saying, "Les poux sont parmis nous." This is after she'd begged to sleep in bed with me for the past week.  My skin crawls as I read that her class has a nice little lice infestation going on. She hasn't been spared.  I spend hours treating and combing her hair as well as mine and stack up a pile of laundry.  It's a ritual I will go through several times a week until her head comes out clean.

6. Pocket full of cash lost somewhere between one end of Geneva and the other.  Actually, now this seems very minor.

7. Hubby and kids are in the mountains with the in-laws.  I'm loving a moment alone and preparing for a night out.  Doorbell rings and the neighbor in the apartment next to ours says a cat got over to his apartment and fell off the balcony.  I stare at him, disbelieving.  We'd covered the openings in the balcony with a tarp so the cats couldn't go to the neighbors' or slip through to the street below.  I shake my head and ask him to describe the animal.  It's Noodles.  We run down five flights of stairs and around the building.  There she is, her tongue out, blood dripping from her mouth, her breathing serrated and heavy.  She feels like shattered glass when I pick her up.  It takes 40 minutes to get to the emergency vet office via public transportation.  I'm bawling in the tram and begging her through the slots of her carrier not to die.  The vet says she has a broken pelvis and legs, but no internal bleeding.  She needs to stay there for the weekend.  He says Monday I need to talk with our regular vet about what can be done, if anything.  When I get home, I squeeze Oreo tight and try not to think about how empty the apartment feels.  Emma, Elodie and I decide we are ready to empty our meager accounts in the States to save Noodles if it comes to that.

8. Wake up.  Can't open my eyes, as they are glued shut with goop.  Take a shower and manage to pry them open, but the itching and swelling don't go away.  Pink eye.  Conjunctivitis.  Another great gift from 2014.

So...are you feeling any better about your year now?

I realize that overall, I'm extremely lucky.  These past two weeks have been bad, but nothing like the first two weeks my husband was in the hospital after his ruptured brain aneurysm.  Nor has anyone died.  No one has lost their job or home or any number of things that could be one hundred times worse.  I need to remind myself of that during these moments when I'm ready to ram my head through the wall.

My birthday is coming up soon. All I'm asking for is a change in luck.  Either that, or a fast-forward to 2015.

**Update: January 14 --  Super Noodles is as flexible as her name.  She's shook up and has one clean break between pelvis and femur, but otherwise okay.  Surgery Thursday and then she'll be home next weekend.  We're all giddy with relief...but we're fitting up the balconies to look like Fort Knox...**

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Happy 2014!

Real life starts up again for me January 6th.  It can't come fast enough.  All this holiday laziness and doing nothing but eating and drinking and sleeping and separating the girls in fights has taken its toll.  I wake up feeling like my gray matter has liquefied.  I expect to see it running out of my ears and onto my pillow.

Despite the rainy days and lack of appointments, it's impossible to write. The three other members of my family are hard-core gamers and the noise is nerve-wracking.  I sit in front of my computer unable to shut out the sounds of the odd Sims language, the tat-tat-tat of Battlefield machine guns, and the moan of Minecraft zombies. 

Zombie.  That's it -- I feel like a zombie.  Down to my hunger for brains. 

I just want a working brain again.

A simple goal for 2014:  Get a brain that works.  And then work it hard.

But until then, I'm eating some chocolate, gulping down a glass of champagne, and going back to bed.