Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Small Rock Slide on the Rocky Road, but Clearing it Out

When it come to writing this past week, it has been like a silent shroud.  The following stanza from one of my poems in my book, Pulse Points of a Woman's World, sums up how my writing progressed this week.

Silence surrounds the muse

    like the murky veil

    on a smoke-stained rose

   that enfolds a city’s dawn

   as the elegant words

   of pomp and circumstance

   are as voiceless

   as the cry of a city’s neon lights.

Unfortunately, I have been under the weather with a low potassium and breathing problem.  The doctor has prescribed that I take potassium, eat tomatoes, potatoes and avocados.  I know bananas are also very good, but they make me nauseous.  The other prescription was my favorite.  She gave it to my husband to fill, and it was frequent trips to the beach.  It seems that salt air really helps my breathing.  So, he is planning to do that this next week, and my eldest son will stay at our house while we are gone to take care of Squiggles and the house. 

Mary Forbes posted a really nice interview on her blog this week.  She has even offered to do a review on the book.  How nice!  If you want to read what she posted the link is: .

I have another interview coming up with A.F. Stewart.  I will let you know when it is online.   I have been invited to be a guest on Julia Widdop's television show, Seekers Journey, on the 17th. of April.  That is going to be a busy week.  In addition, that same week I have two presentations. 

I think I need to take that trip to the beach so I can keep up the pace with what is going on in my life right now.  I will try to take some pictures and share my experience with you when I return home.  Who knows, I may even take my laptop to the beach and work some on my next book.  For right now, I am signing out, stay tuned for more. 

Don't forget to check out my book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts,  on Amazon.  Any feedback is always appreciated.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Launch for Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts Yesterday Update!

The book launch party was quite an experience.  I had no idea what to expect since I had never done this before.  I sent out a lot of invitations, advertised it, had goodies, and even had a give-away.  I was really appreciative of the people who attended.  I had hoped there would be more of my colleagues attend, but I know this is a busy time for them.  They often show their support in many other ways.  So, if you didn't make it, you know my book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts is listed on Amazon, and if you want it signed...just let me know.  I wish there were more pictures but it was busy once people began to arrive. 

Talking to attendees and signing books
I think the people who attended enjoyed it, and they got to meet new people as there was time allowed to mingle and get to know each other.  They were interested in my presentation on bladder cancer, and wanted to know more about it.  Many of them volunteered to help get the word out to others by making them aware of the American Bladder Cancer and their website. 

Welcoming guest as they arrive.
Today there was an interview posted on Kris Wampler's blog, at:
Kris Wampler, is the author of Love Train,

A few goodies for the guests.
I had a phone call from a lady who wants me to do a presentation on bladder cancer from the viewpoint of a survivor for a conference via teleconference since I can't be there in person.  We are working out the logistics. 

I will keep you updated as news occurs.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sharing Wonderful Things Happening on the Rocky Road this Week

Tomorrow is the big day for the book launch reception.  I have been busy all week getting ready for it outside of my day job.  I will let you know all about how it went.  Plans are to video tape some of it, and my presentation.  If it turns out, I will share that as well.  I still have a lot of things to do before 2 p.m. tomorrow. 
So many nice things have happened this week, I will share a few.
Lilian Gafney posted a lovely review of the book on Amazon.  This is a portion of what she wrote; the rest is where she posted it on the books page at:
“This amazing book has it all, from terrible news to lighter humor. It all happened when a large raccoon was found on their exercycle in the morning room. He was sitting on the bike with his hands on the handle trying to figure out how to work it. This book is a valuable addition to those suffering from cancer and at the same time for those who have their health. Many times in life we agonize over the small dramas and forget the most important thing: that we’re here on earth to enjoy life as best as we can and to forgo the insignificant events in our lives. This book teaches just that.”~ Lilian Gafney
Then I receive an email from a former student who wrote to tell me she had purchased the book and had read it.  I can’t even explain how I felt when I read it, but I can tell you I was teary eyed.  This is what she wrote:
“I purchased your book Traveling a Rocky Road With Love, Faith, and Guts...and I read it! It was a good read. I don't know exactly what to say about your story but I do admire your heart and strength, your "GUTS". I wanted to let you know that I'm glad I read your book and I feel blessed to have been taught by & crossed paths with such a woman and what an amazing woman you are!”
I, also, stopped by WJBF to see my friend Jennie Montgomery.  She has been so supportive in my quest to bring about bladder cancer awareness, and to help the American Bladder Cancer Society. Later, I discovered that she had posted a message about the book and a story on the station’s website.  How fantastic.  Thank you, Jennie. Here is the link to that news item: .
The book is selling even though it hasn’t been enough time to get it listed in the book distributors’ catalogs.  I have had emails wanting to know where it can be purchased.  For now, it is Amazon.  However, by the middle of next month, it should be available for bookstores, and libraries to order.
Look for an update on the book launch reception as soon as I catch my breath. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Rocky Road of being a Bladder Cancer Survivor

This past couple weeks have been a little rough health-wise.  I started out with muscle cramps in my legs.  Those I can stand and straighten my leg to work them out, but then I began having them in my feet and toes.  The toes literally curled under and my foot distorted.  I had noticed that I was more tired than usual, and I felt weak and my hands and body trembled. I decided it was time to call the doctor to get checked.  She did a full blood lab work-up on me to find out what was happening.  I had to wait on the lab results. Each day while I waited, I symptoms got worse.  Finally, on Friday I receive a call from my doctor's nurse with the lab results.  Everything checked out fairly well except my potassium was very low even though I take potassium supplements.  The doctor instructed me to double the dosage that I was already taking. 

I am feeling better, but I still feel a little shaky today.  This is only one of the things that can happen after a radical cystcectomy with a diversion pouch because part of the intestines have been used to construct the pouch and the urostomy.  I had been lucky because this was the first time I had experienced such a severe spell.  You can find out more about bladder cancer, and understand more about why I give the proceeds of the sales of all my books to the American Bladder Cancer Society at:  All my books can be found on Amazon at:

In addition, the weather has been beautiful and everything is blooming out.  My allergies are affected by the pollen, and therefore, so too is my asthma.  However, this too shall pass.  I just will have to pace myself even though there is so much to do this week.  I have a lot to do to get ready for the reception Saturday, and then the rest of the month and most of April will be very busy. 
Today I was the honored guest on Stuart Aken's Blogspot.  If you would like to read the interview, you can do so at .  He asked some very insightful questions that were different that some other interviews I have had.  I think you would enjoy it. 

Keep in touch, there will definitely be more updates!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Flashback on the Rocky Road of Child Abuse

One thing I discuss in the book was why and how my mother was
 abused as a child. I am surprised that she survived it all. She 
suffered everything from beatings to a stepmother who tried to poison her. She was removed from the home at the age of twelve to be reared by a couple who had never had children. In the book, I talk about the way she was abused. It is abhorring what the stepmother did to her. She was treated less that a dog.

My father met her for the first time when she was twelve-years-old. She had run away, and he found her sitting on a log in the middle of the woods crying. Little did he know that this would be his future wife.  

My father tried his best to make up for all the years she had suffered abuse, but no matter how much he tried and no matter how much he loved her, it was not enough. He showered her with gifts. In 1929, he bought her a fur coat. She never had to ask to go shopping for clothes or the get her hair done because he was always there to say, don’t you think you need a new outfit nor wouldn’t you like to go to the beauty shop. Even with all the attention he lavished on her, she was never satisfied with what she had. Finally, he stopped giving her gifts because she did not appreciate them.  

By telling her story, it helps me, and the reader to understand why she abused me verbally and physically. I wish that things had been different because I never felt loved by her, or good enough to measure up to what she wanted me to be. Even in the end of her life, she only could think of one thing, and that one thing was to be with my father. It would just be him and her once again, and I would be out of the picture. However, learning to cope with these things gave me strength to cope with other things in life such as a rocky marriage.

There is more of this time in my life in the book.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fire on the Rocky Road Today

It was bad enough that our biological clocks have to cope with Monday, but mine got topped with a fire where I work.  We are getting a new roof, and one of the roofer's pick-ups was backed up to the building.  Something in the bed of the pick-up caught fire.  The bed of the truck apparently contained a lot of flammable material because it burst into flames.

I was in the ARC when one of the workers and one of my co-workers came running in looking for fire extinguishers.  At that time, I had no idea what was on fire or how bad.  I showed the man where the fire extinguisher near my office was located.  Everyone was rushing around frantically.  I peeked out the window to see how bad it was, and I saw that the flames at that time were bursting forth about three to four feet above the bed of the truck.  I knew that we needed to call the fire department, so I ran to the front office to tell the assistant director what was happening, and that we needed to call the fire department.

You can see the back end of my car
 just on the other side of the truck.
I was going to go tell the Dean, and about that time the fire alarms went off.  Everyone in the building evacuated.  The fire trucks began to arrive, and by that time the flames were really engulfing the truck.  We heard a small explosion. The black smoke was boiling up in the air.  Someone said to me, "Isn't that your car sitting close to that truck?  Shouldn't you move it?"  I handed my keys to a personwho volunteer to try, and they took off toward my car. (I knew that I could not get in the smoke because of my breathing problems.) They were back in just a moment or two telling me that it was too hot to get near the car much less get in it and move it. 

We stood and watched while the firemen finally got it out.  The truck was black and gutted.  It is amazing that the gas tank did not explode.  There was a gas can in the back of the truck as well and it had made it through the that fire as well. 

My car appears to be okay, but it has a lot of soot on the roof. The fire chief is sending me a copy of the report today, and I am going to contact a business that specializes in convertible tops to see if it needs to be replaced because extreme heat does damage them.  I called my insurance company in the event I needed to get it replaced.  I learned a long time ago that you should always call your insurance company when something happens to just be on the safe side.   

One thing about it, my life is never dull!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Looking back on a Busy Week for Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts

Bladder cancer and my book has received a lot of attention this week.  I hope that it leads the readers to American Bladder Cancer website so they will become more informed because catching this cancer early is very important.  They can find this information on the website at the bladder cancer information portal page at:  .

This morning I receive an email from Morgen Bailey to let me know that she had posted her interview, Author Spotlight no.66 – Sylvia Ramsey, on her blog Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog at: .

This has been a busy week for the book as well, and I am amazed when I look back on all the things that have happened.  On March 8th, there was the interview posted online on Raychelle Writes blog, The Writer's Block Interviews at

The announcement that was posted on SEMO Times, a print and online newspaper that is in my hometown. "Poplar Bluff author’s memoir to benefit American Bladder Cancer Society"

Then later in the week there was the message I received from a lady who purchased the book. This is what she wrote: 

"Your new book arrived while we were in FL, and I read the whole book yesterday. It was wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing your story You have been such a gift from God in my life. Thank you. I'm looking forward to your signing at the Elks."   

I also received a phone call was from a report, Sarabeth Waller, who works for the Daily American Republic newspaper. She did an interview over the phone for a newspaper article. Once we began talking, I discovered that she lived where I once taught high school at East Carter County High School. She had moved there a few years after I had moved to Georgia and began teaching at the college level. Thank you Sarabeth for the interview. 

Later in the day, I was in contact with Susan Robinson who is setting up an article on the book for the March/April issue of the Focus on Women Magazine. That was exciting, at least to me, and it is and honor to have this article written.  

Who knows what this coming week will bring.  Stay in the loop to find out.   

BTW, if you would like to purchase the book, or like my Amazon page, the link is: .  All the proceeds earned from the sales of my books are given to the American Bladder Cancer Society. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Press Release: Poplar Bluff author’s memoir to benefit American Bladder Cancer Society, SEMO Times

That was the headline in an article in the SEMO Times.  It is a newspaper in print and online that is in the town where I grew up.  I lived outside of town, but I went to high school there and it is where I started college and received my A.A degree. That was the first step on the road to getting my Masters degree.  I was a non-traditional student when I started college.  It took a while, but I made it all the way.  I tell about the hurdles and pebbles it took to get to that point in the book. You can see what they printed at: .

Today,  I had more flyers and invitations made up.  I put up a couple.  I am going to go see my friend Jennie at one of the local television stations next week.  I am working on some more postings of interviews on my other website.

I read a lot of articles on how to market books today.  I found some very good information on the Mid West Review site.  I am waiting in anticipation of the book reviews.

I received an email from a lady who purchased the book.  This is what she wrote:

"Your new book arrived while we were in FL, and I read the whole book yesterday. It was wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing your story You have been such a gift from God in my life. Thank you. I'm looking forward to your signing at the Elks."

She may not realize it, but she has been one of the angels in my life. 

I have several things lined up to do tomorrow.  I dread daylight savings time. It really messes with my biological clock.  Monday is work, and I have an appointment with my doctor for a check-up. 
BTW, if you would like to purchase the book, or like my Amazon page, the link is:

Tune in later for more.....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back to Work on the Rocky Road and Another Interview

It was back to work today. There was a workshop for the staff who work in the Academic Resource Center/Library. After the workshop, we went for lunch. It was nice to have everyone together. Because of the hours the center is open, there are different shifts, and they rarely get a chance to even see each other. They are a wonderful group of young people who are dedicated to what they do, and when I have had to be out because of illness, they have carried on just as if I were there . They deserve lots of Kudos!  

After lunch, I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up some of my prescriptions...can you believe small bottle of pills and two inhalers over $200.00 with the co-pay. The inhalers would have been close to $500.00 without the insurance. It just doesn't sound right.  

I have an interview online today on Raychelle Writes blog, The Writer's Block Interviews. It was very nice and I appreciate the interview. If you want to check it out, here is a direct link to it: 

Talking about interviews, I still have several that I need to set-up and schedule on my other blog, Thoughtful Reflections. I started it about a year-ago because so many people had been kind enough to help me that I wanted to pass it forward.  

Who know what will happen between now and tomorrow? Tune back in to find out!

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future. Faith is having the courage to dance to it today.- Dr. Peter Kuzmic, theologian

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Busy Day on the Rocky Road of Writing, Sharing and Being Normal...Did I say that..Normal!

Yesterday, I spent about 12 hours setting up and scheduling interviews for authors on my other blog,  Thoughtful Reflections blogspot, that is dedicated to that purpose. It was a busy day answering phone calls and email.  Several of the calls were telemarketers (even though my phones are on the no call list), and I had a few that were having to do with the politicians running for office. 

One call was funny.  My house phone rang while I was busy working on an interview set-up.  I had my cell phone sitting near my house phone, and for some reason it didn't click that there was a call on it as well.  I answered the house phone, but I couldn't hear the person on the other line because of some loud music being picked up on it.  Finally, it dawned on me that a call had come in on my cell phone just about the time I answered the house phone.  I excused myself to the person on the house phone to see who was calling on the cell phone, and to tell them I would call them back.  Wouldn't you know it, it was a telemarketer!

One of the phone calls was from a reporter , Sarabeth Waller, who works for the Daily American Republic newspaper.  She did an interview over the phone for a newspaper article.  Once we began talking, I discovered that she lived where I once taught high school at East Carter County High School.  She had moved there a few years after I had moved to Georgia and began teaching at the college level.  Thank you Sarabeth for the interview.

Later in the day, I was in contact with Susan Robinson who is setting up an article on the book for the March/April issue of the Focus on Women Magazine.  That was exciting, at least to me, and it is and honor to have this article written. Thank you Susan.

Today I am trying to catch up all the interviews for other authors, work on getting preparations for the author reception that is scheduled for the 24th. of this month and do some mundane things like wash clothes.  I took a few days vacation, but I think I need to go back to work tomorrow so I can get some rest! :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Rocky Road of Coping with the Internet and Computers

Today was a fun day...not! (I picked up that expression from one of my students! :) )  I worked on getting my book trailer on my Authors' Den page with the biography.  I figured that out, but I had trouble with getting the poetry book, Pulse Points of a Woman's World video posted with the book.  I finally yelled "Uncle",  and asked for help.  I had a quick reply that they were going to try to help me. 

My anti-virus program somehow was changed when I purchased my new computer.  I had a subscription that did not expire until the end of 2013.  The message I received from my virus protection program said it expired in five days.  I called support, and by the time they got everything straightened out it took up more than an hour.   I am sure that you know that you must know what you have to go through with you call for support. 
First, the automated operator who gives you all sorts of numbers to select and push to get the correct extension.  Then, you are put on hold forever while you listen to music and all sorts of voice recordings before you finally get to speak to a person.  Finally, when you get to speak to real person, they thansfer you to another person who puts you on hold so that you can go through the entire process again.  Once you get the correct person, you must give them all the ID information once more before they can begin to help you.  I must admit there were times I just wanted to hang up and say forget it, but I hung it there like a trooper because it was important to get it all straightened out.

The next thing I dealt with was trying to get my book trailer for the poetry book, downloaded from YouTube so I could post it in with the "book" on my Authors' Den page. I had problems there, and that took up at least another hour or more.  Here again, I had to yell, "Uncle".  I contacted support, sent them a message about the problem I was having.  I received an email saying that a technical support person would try to help me with this problem. 

I checked and responded to all my I could...because I have the new Internet Explorer and it takes fits of shutting down when you try to send an email.  However, I managed to get them all answered by closing IE, cleaning my temp files and finally rebooting my computer.  That was about 5 times today.  I really wish they would get this bug fixed. 

Can you believe it, I am still in a good mood!  These are just little pebbles that find their way in your pathway.  There really is no reason to let them become rocks or even boulders.  How was your day?

More updates to come!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Weekend on the Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts!

I am finally home after a whirlwind weekend with my husband in Savannah.  I have made contact with the Barnes and Noble bookstore there, and I am waiting to find out about the book signing.  It was so busy with social activities that I did not get a chance to add to the blog.

I have a full week planned ahead of me.  I have to work on getting the invitations to the reception out to the faculty where I teach and work.  I have been asked to submit some articles, and to do a few presentations on bladder cancer.  There is a backlog of interview to set-up on my other blog. It is going to be a busy week!

I will update you with more later this week. Right now I have to catch my breath.