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A day in my Life

Mourning my mother who is still here – Is that possible?

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Is it possible to mourn someone who is still here?

The answer is yes. I’ve been mourning my mother every day since I began losing her almost eight years ago. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of her.

My Mother

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Gifted with her charm, her bubbly personality, a zest for life and a smile that lit up every room. I am so proud to call her my mother.

There was nothing she wouldn’t do for me or my older twin sisters. Always putting us first and sacrificing her own needs. Many hours have been spent laughing together, crying on her shoulder and being held in her arms when we needed comforting.

She is the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She is my rock and because of her, I’m who I am today. Mum taught me to never give up, follow your dreams and live life on your terms. I listened Mum and I’m doing it.

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Then you came along

You made your first appearance about eight years ago. We tried to push you away and fight back. But you made it quite clear you were here to stay. Little by little you began chipping away at our mother. First, you brought confusion into her mind and disorientation. A few months later you returned and began stealing her memory. Robbing her of her short-term memory.

A year later you came back with a vengeance.  Showing us you were winning. Because of you, Mum began to hallucinate. Did you enjoy it when you saw the fear in her eyes when she believed her apartment walls were covered in ants and she could no longer stay in her home?  Did you get a sense of satisfaction when she was found wandering aimlessly on the city streets at three o’clock in the morning in her bathrobe, alone and afraid?

 

When is enough, enough?

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

For the last eight years, you have slowly robbed my sisters and me of our mother. Feeling helpless, I’ve watched you over the years strip her of every characteristic that made her our mother. Her youth, beauty, courage, strength, and dignity. When is enough, enough?

Our mother no longer recognizes any of her three daughters. Any recollection of us has vanished and we live with that pain every day.  She now lays in bed unable to walk or talk. She has lost all of her bodily functions. You have consumed her, leaving only a battered shell. The mother we once knew has left us and will never return. Are you happy?

You know who you are

Yes, I’m talking about Vascular Dementia. A horrific disease that has invaded my mother. A heartbreaking slow death with no cure. Because of this illness, I mourn my mother. Six thousand miles away in England, we no longer talk on the phone or skype. She no longer comes for visits.

You took her before she could meet two of her grandsons. Before she could see the house my husband and I built with our own bare hands. A house my mother and I discussed for hours. Sharing in the excitement, dreaming of the day it would be built. She couldn’t wait to come stay in the guest house we had built. A place she never got to see or use. You took her before seeing my debut novel that is about to be published. I miss having my mother in my life.

I am forever grateful to my sister Jane and brother-in-law John. They are close by and take care of your every need and keep me in the loop of your deteriorating state. They send me pictures that break my heart. The thought of walking into your hospital room and seeing nothing but a blank stare, no recognition that I am your youngest daughter tears me apart.

What Dementia can’t take

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

This disease may have my mother in the grasp of its evil ways but what it doesn’t have and can never take are my memories of her. I will treasure these for the rest of my life. This Mother’s Day I will reflect on those memories and hold them close to my heart and reminisce on the days she was free of you. Days where we laughed, danced and sang together. Days where she told me she loved me and I told her I loved her back. Days where we took a road trip to Colorado to see her other daughter. A daughter she hadn’t seen in ten years.

This Mother’s day, I will hold my grandsons tight and tell them what a wonderful great-grandmother they have. We will share pictures together of the amazing woman they will never get to meet. Dam you dementia!

 Bringing awareness to the disease dementia

In the UK, Dementia Action Week is May 21-24.  Please visit the site to see if you can help.

Here in the US, it’s National  Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

From my Mother and me, We want to wish every mum a happy Mother’s Day. You are loved and appreciated every day.

What are you doing to celebrate this special day?

Other articles “From a day in my life”

Finding myself stranded and unprepared
Drowning in editing. A much-needed break
Upcoming Reviews

Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author’s Corner

Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's Corner

My Current Reading List

These books are up for review and will be featured in the author’s corner in the next month. In addition, I’ll be interviewing each author.

His Name was Ben By Paulette Mahurin – Currently Reading
Aaron and Me, Works In progress By Debralynn Fein – Read. Click to read my review.
Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's Corner
The King’s Consort The Louise Rasmusen Story By Debbie McClure. Read – Read the Review here

Request a Review & Interview

Would you like to be a guest author on this site? Click here for more infomation.

Previous Reviews

Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's Corner

 

 

 

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

The Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS by Tina Hogan Grant

What is, Reckless Beginnings about?

With my debut novel moving forward and now in the page formatting stage, the question I get asked the most is: What is the book about? The easiest way to answer that is to post the synopsis of the book. This is what a potential reader will read on the back cover of the book. Another name for it is the Blurb.

The Log Line of Reckless Beginnings

What is a logline? It is a captive phase that outlines the books subject matter and stimulates interest. The logline for my book is the spouses of addicts. The silent and forgotten ones.  This I can use when contacting media, possible interviews or to be a blog guest.

Reckless Beginnings is fiction based on true events. What is fiction? What is True? Well, I’m not telling 🙂 Tammy Mellows, the main character in the book, arrives in the States as a young naive seventeen-year-old teenager and makes some terrible decisions. Eventually, unbeknown to her, she becomes the spouse of an addict. The silent and forgotten one.  

The drug Epidemic

the Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Drug addiction has been a huge problem not only in the States but worldwide for decades and it continues to spiral out of control with the numbers of deaths related to drug overdoses, increasing every year.

In 2010: 1,842 people died from drug overdoses. By 2014 the numbers had quadrupled to 47,055. That is more deaths than when the AIDS epidemic peaked in 1995.

The Opioid epidemic that haunts us today is believed to be related to the sudden surge in heroin use and related deaths. Perscription drugs are far more expensive than heroin and an addict will seek cheaper methods to feed their addiction. Heroin is a tenth of the cost of opioids, thus the rise in uses and deaths.

Today addiction and deaths related to overdoses are at a record time high. Click here to see the charts.

We Never Hear About the Spouses of Addicts

the Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Every news station, newspaper, and magazine run stories on the rising drug and opioid epidemic. Reporting how many lives have been lost due to drugs. They tell us the demand for rehab and safe houses are at an all-time record high and all numbers are continuing to spiral out of control. BUT what we don’t hear about are the spouses of addicts. The silent and forgotten ones. Shadowed by the addict, silenced with fear, the spouse struggles to retain their identity or have any kind of life of their own.  Welcome to the life of my main character, Tammy Mellows. A woman that came to the States with high hopes only to have her life thrown into turmoil.

Have I Inspired you?

I hope I have inspired you to read the book. A publication date has not yet been set. I’m estimating around four months. In the meantime, if you sign up for the newsletter, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of the first signed copies. Enter here. and read the advantages of subscribing.

Further reading about the drug academic in the United.States.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/05/upshot/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdose-deaths-are-rising-faster-than-ever.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/29/us-heroin-use-has-increased-almost-fivefold-in-a-decade-study-shows

More Articles About my Debut Novel “Reckless Beginnings

the Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS
When a child goes missing
the Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS
Are you Like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?
Author's Corner

Review & Interview – Author Christina Hamlett – WHILE YOU WERE OUT

 Review & Interview - Author Christina Hamlett - WHILE YOU WERE OUT
Click to buy from Amazon

Author’s Corner – An Interview with Christina Hamlett

For the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of reading While You Were Out, written by Christina Hamlett & Jamie Dare. 

After reading the book, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Hamlett and write an honest review. All her answers are in her own words.  Continue reading “Review & Interview – Author Christina Hamlett – WHILE YOU WERE OUT”

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day – Know the Facts

When a sibling goes missing

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In my debut novel Reckless Beginnings, the main character, Tammy Mellows is devastated when her older sister, Donna runs away and couldn’t be found. With no leads and nothing to go on, three years later, she’s still missing. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to read the book to see what happened to Donna. But I do want to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Day which is on May 25th and organized by OJJDP – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

When did National Missing Children’s Day Begin?

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day on the anniversary of Etan Patz’s disappearance. Etan was six years old when he was abducted and was the first child to be profiled with a photo on a milk carton.

Each year the U.S Department of Justice, through OJJDP recognizes individuals, organizations, and agencies that have recovered missing and abducted children and protecting children from exploitation. The department recognizes the awareness each May at the annual Missing Children’s Ceremony in Washington D.C.

The flower, Forget-me-not is the recognized emblem for this day.

Facts about missing children

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In my book, Tammy Mellow’s sister Donna was a juvenile when she ran away. According to the FBI  National crime Infomation Center, (NCIC) – as of December 31st, 2017 there are 88,089 active missing person’s records. 32,121 of those are juveniles under the age of eighteen.

Statistics show many of these are runaways or abducted by family members, due to family disputes and custody battles.

Common law jurisdiction – A missing person can be declared dead in absentia or legally dead after seven years. The time frame can be reduced in major battles or massive disasters. Such as the attacks on 9/11.

In 1982 Jonny Gosh was reported missing to the West Des Moines Police Department by his parents, while he was delivering newspapers. At the time there was a customary three-day waiting period before police responded to a missing persons’ report. Gosh was never found, but his case prompted new laws, resulting in missing person’s reports involving minors are given immediate attention.

Kristen Smart – A student at California Polytechnic State University, disappeared after leaving a late night party on May 25th, 1996 during Memorial Day Weekend. Campus police were unsure if she left on vacation and did not treat her disappearance as a potential crime. She was never found. The delayed response resulted in the passing of the Kristen Smart Campus Act two years later.

Amber Alert – America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. A child abduction alert system that originated in 1996. It was named after Amber Hagemania, a nine-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas. The system has saved over eight hundred children in America.

Using today’s technology to find missing juveniles

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In my book, Donna ran away during the late seventies. A time when there were no cell phones or internet. If she’d had a cell phone, it could have been traced. A photo of her could have been splashed all over social media. Connections could have been made. More people would have been involved and the response would have been quicker.

Technology has aided in bringing many abducted and runaway children home to their families.

The Flip-side of Technology

Unforchantly, with the rise and popularity of social media, a world of risks and danger exists for young teens. A high number of runaways and abduction cases are because of social media interactions. Everyday juveniles are lured into meeting strangers they’ve met online.

If your child is active online, strict rules need to be enforced. Most importantly, talk to your child. Discuss the dangers and the signs to look for. Be involved with your child’s accounts. Check their friend’s lists. If they experience anything that seems suspicious, let them know its okay to talk to you about it and as a parent, make sure you follow up and report it.

Remember those still lost

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

On May 25th  – National Missing Children’s Day I will be lighting a candle next to a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots, for all the children that are still missing and hope they will be returned to the families safe from harm. I hope you will do the same.

Other articles you may enjoy

May 25th National Missing Children's Day
Are you like Tammy Mellow? Did you move to another country?
May 25th National Missing Children's Day
Editing the book is finished. Moving onto the next stage

 

 

 

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

You’ve Edited Your Book – What’s Next?

What comes next after editing your book

What comes next after the editing of a book is complete?

I never thought I’d see the day where I could finally say – I’ve finished editing my book. Oh, what a joyous feeling it is. Halleluja! I began editing my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings” in August 2017. It’s been a grueling eight months. Hours have been spent checking every word, sentences, and paragraphs. Rewrites have been done, paragraphs have been shifted or removed completely. Once I had done everything I could possibly do, I handed it over to my editor to complete the task and return it to me polished and squeaky clean. She didn’t fail me.

The Final Read

What comes next after editing your book

After ten days with my editor, the manuscript was now back in my hands. I needed to do one more final read before returning it to my publisher.

After weeks of rain, snow, and winds where I’ve been cooped up indoors, we finally had a weekend of glorious weather with temperatures in the seventies. I took advantage of the perfect conditions by setting up the office outside on the grass to do my final reading.

With laptop in hand, plenty of bottled water, a fresh pot of hot tea, I dug my bare toes into the cool soft grass and began the process while admiring the wonderful view of Frazier Mountain. (I love my office:) )

Six hours later, I read the last line and smiled. With very little changes, I’m thrilled how the book has turned out and hope my readers will feel the same. What started out as an idea in my head over twenty years ago is now a novel, that I created. At that moment, I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself, if I must say.

What’s Next?
What comes next after editing your book

With the editing stage behind me. (Oh, how I love to say that.) It’s time to move onto the next stage, which is page formatting. Satisfied with the manuscript, I emailed it back to the publisher to begin the process.

What is page formatting? This is where my publisher will transfer the manuscript into the format of a book. Margins will be added, font size and style will be decided. Pages will be numbered and the style of the chapter headings will be chosen.

For me this is exciting! The next time I see my book, it will look much different. The publisher told me that the process will take about five weeks. At that time I will need to go through it, making sure nothing got deleted or switched around. I’m estimating the task will take a few weeks.

Final Thoughts

This has been such a learning experience. My father was an author but I never saw this side of the process. There were many times I wanted to quit and just walk away. Unable to find the right words, burned out with editing, having no motivation and fearing criticism. Tears have been shed, many late nights have been spent with explosions of frustrations. I have put my heart and soul into this book and  I’m so happy I didn’t give up. Even though we still have quite a ways to go before I actually get to hold my book in my hands, I’m beginning to feel the rewards. I’m not expecting to be the next Nora Roberts. I had a story to tell and I actually sat down and wrote it and to see someone reading my book, well that feeling will be priceless.

Never give up on your dreams, keep pushing through the obstacles that may come your way and tell yourself you can do this. What have you done that you’re proud of? Was there a time where you almost gave up? I would love to hear about it.

Other Authors that have achieved their goals and I’ve interviewed

What comes next after editing your book

 

What comes next after editing your book

What comes next after editing your book

What comes next after editing your book

Additional Reading

Click to buy from Amazon
Click to buy from Amazon
"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another Country?

Tammy Mellows is the main character in my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings.” Due to be launched this summer. At the young age of seventeen, she leaves her own country, England to move to the United States. Leaving the securities of her home, job, family, friends, and neighbors behind. Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?

While writing the story, I asked myself, why does someone move to another country? What’s so important to them, that they’re willing to leave so much behind?  If you’re wondering why Tammy did? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

The book is fiction based on actual events. Tammy Mellow’s character is based on me and yes I left England to move to America. But again you will have to read the book to find out why. 🙂

What motivates a person to make such a big move

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another Country?

Moving to a new country is a life-changing event. You have to be one hundred percent sure you’re making the right decision. Some of the most common reason for someone wanting to move are:

  • Job/school related
  • Joining a family/loved one
  • Cost of living
  • Better climate
  • Retirement
  • Sparked by a vacation

For those moving abroad because of a new job or attending a school, college or university, it’s probably safe to say, they’d never visited the new country before. But With the offer of a good education or a better paying job, many will sacrifice and take the plunge. Hoping they will like the country they are about to call home.

In many cases, some may have visited their new destination prior and for some reason or another fell in love with it and a desire to move was ignited. Did Tammy Mellows Visit the States before she left England? Was she trying to better her life?  Again, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

Moving to another country is no easy task

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another Country?

Once the decision has been made, that you’re going to take the giant leap and immigrate to a new country, it’s time to start planning for the move. You’ll want to organize the transition so everything goes smoothly. Start planning early and make an extensive list so nothing is forgotten and there are no loose ends. Sometimes a move as large as this can take up to a year to plan in advance.  My character Tammy Mellows had just one week. Why only one week? You know the answer – read the book 🙂

What might be on your list will depend on your current living situations and the reason for the move but here are some things you should be considering:

  • Secure all important documents – Passports, birth certificate, insurance policies, tickets and visa/work permit if needed
  • Will you have health insurance in the new country?
  • Your home – If you own, will you be selling. renting or leaving vacant? What about the utilities?
  • Bank accounts – Will they need to be closed?
  • Vehicles – Are you going to sell them or have them shipped to your new destination. Consider the cost of shipping a car and buying a new/used one.
  • Pets – What are the laws for bringing animals into the country?
  • Furniture – Keep or sell?
  • If you have children – what are your plans for their education?
  • Income – How will you earn a living? Retirement? A secured job? What is the job market like in your field?
  • Once you arrive, where will you be living?
  • Make time to say goodbye to families and friends.

Was Tammy able to accomplish everything on her list? in just one week. Aah,  you’ll just have to read the book. 🙂

Dealing with the emotions of moving

No matter how much you prepare for the transition to a foreign country, you can expect to experience a turmoil of emotions throughout the whole ordeal. From the stress of having everything in order to anxieties and doubts as the departing date becomes closer. You’ll probably be wondering if you’re making the right decision and at times fearful of leaving your home and loved ones behind. You’ll be flooded with memories you want to cherish and take with you as you share your last night with those close to you. How did Tammy spend her last night in England? Was she surrounded by loved ones? You know what I’m going to say – Read the book 🙂

It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when moving so far away, not knowing when you’ll see friends and family again. Thanks to today’s technology and social media, we’re able to shorten the distance through video chat and texting. Unforchantly the internet wasn’t around when Tammy left 🙁 How did she handle it? If you want to know, I suggest you read the book. 🙂

Suggested reading

Are you like Tammy Mellows - did you move to another country
Click to buy from Amazon

 

Are you like Tammy Mellows - did you move to another country
Click to buy from Amazon

What about you?

I would love to know if any of my readers made the brave move to another country. Why did you move and are you happy you did?

Other articles you may enjoy

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?

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Facebook groups for authors, writers, and readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Corner

Book Review & Interview with Laura Heffernan – Author of REALITY WEDDING

 

Book Review & Interview with Laura Heffernan - Author of REALITY WEDDING
Click to buy from Amazon

Reality Wedding is the third book in a reality series by Laura Heffernan. I have not read book one –  America’s Next Reality Star or book two Sweet RealityHowever, after reading the last book in the series I plan on reading the others so I have a full scope of the story.

After reading the novel I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Heffernan and write an honest review of her book. All her answers are in her own words.

About the Author

Book Review & Interview with Laura Heffernan - Author of REALITY WEDDING
Laura Heffernan – Author

(Copied from author’s page) Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys board games, travel, board games, baking, and board games. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and two furry beasts.

Laura loves connecting with readers. Find her on her website mentioned at the end of the interview. You can also find her on twitter (Also mentioned at the end of the interview)  where she spends far too much time tweeting about reality TV and Canadian chocolate. Continue reading “Book Review & Interview with Laura Heffernan – Author of REALITY WEDDING”

On writing

Improve Your Writing Skills by Adopting These Habits

What is the definition of Habit?

Quoted from the Merriam-webster Dictionary  “Habit –  an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary .” Another way of saying this is: We do things from the force of habit. 

In order to improve your writing skills, you need to be adopting certain habits that over time become natural and a part of your everyday routine. Continue reading “Improve Your Writing Skills by Adopting These Habits”

Author's Corner

Book Review and Interview with Sally Crosiar – Author of Come Back

Interview with Sally Crosiar - Author of COME BACK
click to buy from Amazon

Come Back is the debut novel of Sally Crosiar which I’ve had the pleasure of reading over the last couple of weeks and what a joy it has been. After reading the book I was able to interview Sally and write an honest review of her book which you will find at the end of this post. All answers are in her own words.

About the Author

Interview with Sally Crosiar - Author of COME BACK

 

( Copied from About Author  page)  Sally Crosiar lives in the Finger Lakes of New York State where she reads incessantly, enjoys time in and on the water, savors dark chocolate with red wine at every opportunity, and teaches about health and play for Empire State College. She is the author of  Find the Love of Your Life, based on her own true story, My Uncle Dave, a children’s book with an adult message, and co-author with Dr. Sidney B. Simon of Love Builders Tools to Build Every Relationship. Come Back is her debut novel.  Continue reading “Book Review and Interview with Sally Crosiar – Author of Come Back”