Category Archives: News

Announcing my author website redesign!

Author Website Redesign Responsive HP ScreenshotsMy new author website redesign is finally up and running, and I’m so happy to announce this update! As an author moving forward with the publication of my first family saga novel, I decided my website needed to reflect my commitment to this endeavor. I’m pleased with the results and the professional new look and feel of my online author’s home.

Thanks to all my visitors for your patience over the last few months as I’ve tweaked and changed the website around. Sorry if all the construction has been a little confusing. With the simple navigation now in place, you should be able to locate things quickly. You’ll find some new bells and whistles too, the most important of which is an online form to download a free chapter of my novel Brought to Their Senses. There’s also a contact form if you’d like to get in touch with me and a subscription form to follow news by email about the publication of my book.

For those working on your own website redesign, here are the details:

I’ll still be making a few changes here and there, but I feel really good about the current version of my site and the ability to add content easily as needed. Stop by and take a look around my new author website. Let me know what you think of the redesign!

Glen Campbell, God bless you!

Glen Campbell has earned my admiration and respect for his selfless efforts to raise awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. What a courageous man to consciously decide to share his struggles years ago when he was first diagnosed. His farewell song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” is so bittersweet, sad and beautiful at the same time. Bravo to Glen Campbell! May God bless him and his family as his final act plays out.

Happy birthday to my muse Sting!

Sting is my museSting’s birthday is today, October 2nd. Each year I take the time to offer my best wishes in thanks for the music he has shared with the world.

Happy birthday Sting!

Sting is my muse and has been since 1980 when I first heard his unique voice and music on a vinyl record (remember those?). His artistry and songwriting are the inspiration behind my own writing (since I can’t sing or play an instrument). If my novel included a soundtrack, it would play from Sting’s vast catalog of songs, and I’d like to share a special one in honor of his birthday.

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Bring on Still Alice movie!

I’ve been seeing some great publicity lately for the movie Still Alice with Julianne Moore, and I can’t wait for this movie to be released sometime in 2015! It’s the film adaptation of the book by Lisa Genova, and I think it will go a long way to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s a clip from the film:

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Still Alice will be a movie with Julianne Moore!

Still Alice will be made into a movie!Julianne Moore will star in Still Alice movieI’m thrilled to learn that “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova will make it to the big screen to help spread awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, and even more thrilled to see such a top notch actress as Julianne Moore involved with the project. This early-onset story will go a long way in educating the public that this disease is not just for the elderly and that a cure must be found.

How about you, are you excited to hear this novel will be made into a movie?

Alzheimer’s disease, it runs in the family

Like mother

Like mother . . .

I helped collect donations last Saturday at a local Walgreen’s during the Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days, the second time I’ve pitched in for this important fundraiser. This year I was pleased that my thirteen-year-old daughter Annie agreed to come along and keep me company during my shift.

Annie is old enough to know that Alzheimer’s disease runs in families,  and she has started to understand the impact of that since my mother and her grandmother died of Alzheimer’s. We had a couple of hours to talk about it while we accepted donations.

My request remained the same for every Walgreen’s customer. “Would you like to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association to help find a cure?”

“I don’t want you to get Alzheimer’s, Mom,” Annie finally confessed during a lull in the action.

“Neither do I, and that’s why I help out in any way that I can with the Alzheimer’s Association. But the most important reason I volunteer is so that a cure will be found for Alzheimer’s before you are older.”

“But how much money could we possibly raise today, Mom? It can’t be enough to do much.”

like daughter

… like daughter

“No, not us alone,” I agreed. “But say we raise a couple hundred dollars here today. Add that amount with every location across the country that is collecting for Alzheimer’s research this weekend, and that’s enough to help. We can only do our best as a small part of a bigger effort.”

“So together we can all help.” It wasn’t a question, it was a definitive statement as Annie figured it out.

My volunteer time for the Alzheimer’s Association paid dividends in more ways than one this time around. How are you supporting the Alzheimer’s Association and their mission for a world without Alzheimer’s disease?

 

Springfield IL Walk to End Alzheimer’s September 22, 2012

1 Walk to End Alzheimers Springfield IL Sep 22 2012Many enthusiastic and passionate supporters came out on a sunny and fiercely windy morning in Southwind Park for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 22, 2012 in Springfield, Illinois. Not only was the event a fundraiser, but it was also a moving tribute to those who currently suffer from or care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

A dog shows support for the Walk to End Alzheimers Springfield IL Sep 22 2012

I volunteered to help find people who might be interested in participating in clinical research trials, and in this role was reminded how much fear is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. As I walked through the crowd and talked to attendees, I was greeted with much anxiety and heard often, “No, I don’t want to ever know if I might get Alzheimer’s disease.” This response reinforced the need to find a cure for me because people are so afraid of this devastating illness.

The crowd at  Walk to End Alzheimers Springfield IL Sep 22 2012A touching speech was made by a woman  in her fifties who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease three years ago and her caregiver husband, both of whom stressed fighting as long as possible and dealing with the diagnosis as best they could.

Colorful pinwheels were given to participants and held proudly to designate roles of those in attendance – purple for those who have lost loved ones, blue for those currently living with Alzheimer’s, yellow for caregivers, and orange for advocates. These pinwheels spun out of control at times as the wind gusted. I thought this was a lovely symbol of solidarity but noticed only a couple of blue pinwheels in the crowd. Purple and yellow pinwheels were represented the most, and I proudly held my purple pinwheel in memory of my own mother, who lost her battle with Alzheimer’s in 2009.

Pinwheel from Walk to End Alzheimers Springfield IL Sep 22 2012The walk after the brief rally was somber and befitting the occasion as we all walked together around Southwind Park, each silently hopeful that some day there will be a cure found to stop the suffering from this horrible and frightful disease. I thought about my mother and family as I walked on their behalf, and I reflected on my greatest wish the entire time. Please let there be a world without Alzheimer’s disease for my children and their children.

 

Vacation, Had To Get Away!

Saugatuck, Michigan VacationAhhhh, vacation! I’ve just returned from some much needed rest and relaxation in the quaint town of Saugatuck, Michigan. Unlike previous travels, this vacation was not overly planned and turned out perfect for that very reason. Without an agenda or checklist of activities, I was free to sleep as late as I wanted and linger where I was most content. I ate at some fantastic restaurants, played card games with my family, and watched the summer Olympics too.

Over two blissful summer days, Oval Beach was the perfect spot to lounge and read under a sun umbrella to the calming sound of waves lapping the sandy shore – two books finished in five days. I am refreshed and renewed, once again ready to charge back into my personal and professional pursuits, full steam ahead!

 

Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days

Forget Me Not Alzheimer's diseaseI’ve just received my marching orders to participate as a volunteer in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Forget Me Not Days annual fundraiser. On Saturday, May 19, I’ll be working at a local grocery store raising awareness of Alzheimer’s while collecting donations and handing out packets of Forget-Me-Not flower seeds to plant in honor of those currently suffering from this disease. I’m looking forward to helping with this national initiative in my own small way right here in my own hometown. Maybe I’ll see you next Saturday during the Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days? If not, watch for others out there in your community and please help if you can to support those suffering from or caring for a loved one with this horrible disease.

Dementia Film from the Inside Looking Out

You're Looking At Me Like I Live Here And I Don't, dementia film by Scott KirschenbaumMake sure you catch the new Alzheimer’s film “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t” by Scott Kirschenbaum. It is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide and shows dementia from the perspective of someone afflicted with the disease, specifically a woman in California named Lee Gorewitz.

This is an unusual and startling perspective to witness this disease from, and the description of this film reminds me of the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova, although much farther along in the progression of the illness. I have this set on my DVR already to watch, check your local PBS listings and search for the program “Independent Lens” to find it. I’ll share my thoughts after I watch it, and I’d love to know what you think about it too. Please check it out and come back to comment.

Image and information courtesy of The New York Times