On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for August, 2014

Bible Verses for Caregivers – Under His Wings | by Linda Brendle

Psalm 91 4



winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available now at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

Anaiah Press

Church Ladies – the Other Side of the Story | by Linda Brendle

casserole-carrier-lFirst published in the Rains County Leader, Emory, Texas:

I almost missed this week’s newspaper. We have been in Louisiana all week, and I have fallen way behind in my writing. Thankfully, I can write quickly once I receive a gentle reminder that a deadline is looming.

We made the four-hour drive to West Monroe in just over three hours last Sunday when we received a call that David’s mother was in the hospital. Betty had suffered with various lung issues for several years, so when she contracted pneumonia, it was critical. The family gathered and stood vigil, at her bedside when we were allowed into the ICU, and in the waiting room or by the phone when visiting hours were over. (more…)

Caregiver Quotes and Tips – Great Love

Small things with great love

In my writing, I have sometimes called caregiver heroes–not the kind of hero that steps up in a sudden moment of crisis and performs a single amazing feat of courage. Instead, caregivers are heroes because of, as today’s quote says, the small things they do. A caregiver’s life consists of taking care of repetitive but essential needs like nutritious food, clean clothes, fresh bedding, regular medications, doctor’s appointments, companionship, reassurance, comfort, and so much more. Even the most heroic caregiver is also human, though. They get tired, bored, discouraged, irritable, angry, and sad. In spite of these feelings and others, they quietly continue to see to the needs of their loved one with heroic commitment and great love.



winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available now at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

Anaiah Press



A Life Well Lived – Betty Brendle 1928 – 2014



Today we are celebrating the life of Betty Nichols Brendle. Betty was born in Houston, Texas, on October 31, 1928, and she went home to be with the Lord August 21, 2014.

I first met Betty fifteen years ago shortly after I met her son, David. He and I were moving quickly from friends to a more serious relationship, and he thought it was time to take me home to Mama. He said she had reservations since, like me, he had not always made good relationship choices, but she made me feel like a part of the family from the beginning.

Yesterday, we planned how we would lay to rest the body that she no longer needed. She had left us some ideas.

“I think I want to be cremated,” she said a few days ago. She didn’t want us to think she had given up, and she always left room for a woman’s right to change her mind. “I not sure, though.”’ After a few minutes, she continued. “I want Woods to do the service.” Woods Watson is the Senior Adult Pastor at her church. “I don’t know what he’ll find to say about me that’s good,” she worried.

“Mom,” said Deb, her youngest daughter, “You have a servant’s heart. You’ve always been there for anyone who needed you.”

“And you raised three wonderful children,” I added. She smiled and nodded. “Yes, I did.”

Family was important to Betty. In her last days, her family gathered around her. As her hold on this life weakened, she asked about those who had not yet arrived.

“Is Jerry here?” she asked about her younger sister who flew in from Astoria, Oregon. When Jerry arrived, she offered words of love and made sure Betty was comfortable.

Betty also asked about her granddaughter. “Is Krista coming?”

After Krista arrived from Austin, Texas, Betty seemed to relax. Shortly after midnight she simply stopped breathing.

As I write this, some of the kindness she showed to others is coming back to her family. Friends are bringing food and preparing to serve lunch before we go to the funeral home where we will laugh and cry as we share stories and memories of a life well lived. Let the celebration begin.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:6-8



My First Radio Interview | by Linda Brendle

radio_microphoneLast month I wrote about the experience of my first newspaper interview. I talked by phone with Kenny Green, Community Editor for the Mesquite News, and he published a write-up of our conversation on July 31.

Last week I had another new experience–my first radio interview. After seeing the article in the Mesquite News, Shondra Tharp, Advanced Broadcast Journalism Teacher for Mesquite ISD, contacted me about an interview. I wanted the full experience instead of a watered down telephone version, so David and I made the 150-mile round trip to the KEOM studio.  (more…)

Meet Emily Ungar, Author of Liberty Belle

Anaiah Press

Liberty Belle

LIBERTY BELLE -Author Photo. eungar (2)Emily Ungar is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at http://www.emilyungar.com.

You can also find her on:

Twitter: @emilyungar

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/emilyungar/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13863166-emily-ungar

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilyungarauthor

  1. If you could tell my readers only one thing about yourself, what would you want them to know?

I moved around a lot during my childhood–all across the country, in fact. My constantly mobile childhood shaped who I am as an adult. I used to think that was bad–but now I know it’s actually a good thing. Not only did it broaden my experiences as a child, but it helped shape who I am as a writer.

  1. Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite middle grade writer is Louis Sachar (author of HOLES and the Wayside School series). He writes with such a wonderful wit and respect for this age group. HOLES is one of those books that you can reread year after year and you still marvel at how the story is pieced together.

I also love to read women’s fiction. One of my favorite writers is Daphne du Maurier, the author of REBECCA (which was also an Alfred Hitchcock film). Her writing is beautiful without ever being flowery, and she is a master at creating psychological suspense.


  1. Did that author or another author influence your style, and if so, how?


Louis Sachar is definitely an inspiration to me, especially when writing more humorous middle grade fiction. I also love the Babysitters Club books from the 1980s and 90s.


  1. How did you connect with Anaiah Press?


Jessica Schmeidler (my editor) and I started chatting after she read a blog post I had written about a Twitter pitch contest I had entered. I ended up querying her with a different project that I hoped might be a good fit for the Adventures imprint. Jessica ended up requesting a full manuscript (which made me so excited!) and later on that month offered me a publishing contract for the book. I was so excited! I knew based on Jessica’s enthusiasm for the project that Anaiah Press was the right home for my book. A writer dreams of that editor who really connects with their work, and I feel so blessed to have found that with Jessica and with Anaiah Press.


  1. Was the editing process more or less difficult than you expected?


Here’s the funny part: I’m a professional copyeditor. I edit nonfiction projects during the day as part of my job. I knew there would be a few things that needed to be fixed. I was shocked when I received my first round of edits and saw how thorough Jessica had been with editing! The suggestions were terrific, and I learned more about style and grammar in that one round of editing than I had in many of my college classes! After we got through that one big editing round, the following rounds were a bit smoother and quicker.



  1. What advice would you give to new writers?


Don’t ever give up. Ever! Let me repeat that: don’t ever give up! There is a saying out there that the successful writers are the writers who just never gave up. And it’s true. Querying your writing out to editors and agents is in itself a natural-selection process for which writers are truly the most dedicated to their craft and the road to publication. While it’s okay to work on different projects and even set some aside for a time, it’s never okay to give up writing entirely. Find a mentor to coach you through those tough times when rejection letters get you down, but keep on walking down the road. Just improve a little bit with each setback. Learn something every time to give you a bigger edge the next time.


  1. What’s next after Liberty Belle? Can we expect further adventures for Savannah, or something else?


I think Savannah has quite a few tales left to tell. She’s definitely found her place at her new school, but next year Savannah will be moving with her classmates to a new middle school. Anything is possible. And bless her heart, Savannah can’t keep herself out of trouble for long.

About the book: 

On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag—about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who has the in with the school authorities.

Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the vice president’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.

All is well until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters—and fast! Will Savannah find herself or lose her friends?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Smashwords

Book Links: Goodreads | Anaiah Press

Rafflecopter Giveaway: CLICK HERE to enter to win an autographed Liberty Belle poster or a Liberty Belle folder.

Book Review of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Read what Robert August, Ph.D. had to say about my book.

Physics and Art

20983741Linda Brendle’s A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is an account of her time as caregiver to her parents in their later years as their health failed. It focuses especially on a long RV trip that she and her husband took with them. It is filled with accounts of moments that would test the patience of even a saint, and recounts them with both love and honesty. I especially liked the way that the story didn’t flinch when describing incidents that would have most people packing up their folks for the assisted care facility. Linda is very honest about her reaction to these incidents; at no time does she paint herself as a saint for taking on this responsibility. Ironically, I’m pretty sure this attitude actually earns her points on the Saints scoreboard.

The main storyline concerning the RV trip is bolstered by antidotes…

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Senior Humor – Edition #27 – Scrolling Down | by Linda Brendle

Scrolling to your birth year

This is very true. You also know you’re old when the waitress automatically gives you the senior discount without being asked. The thing that makes you feel the oldest, though, is the honesty of children.

On one of my visits with my brother, his granddaughter was spending the night at his house. She had not seen me in a while, and she stared as if she didn’t quite recognize me. Finally, she came closer and said, “You look different. Did you get gray hair for your birthday?”



Bible Verses for Caregivers – Working for Christ

You are serving Christ

Caregiving is often a lonely and thankless job. While a caregiver is sometimes left without help or support, he or she suffers no shortage of critics who are more than willing to point out how the job could be done better. In those frustrating moments, it would be all to easy to lash out and say, “If you think you can do a better job, I’ll pack Grandma’s things and bring her to your house this afternoon.” However, the Apostle Paul reminds us who we’re really working for–not for those critics or even for our loved one. Instead, we are working for the Lord, and He will give you the love and grace you need just when you need it the most.



Graveyard Humor | by Linda Brendle

dead_end_graveyardWhen I was younger, I thought operations and medications were the only subjects older people talked about. As I “matured,” I realized that I was wrong. Sometimes we talk about our final wishes–how we want our earthly remains to be put to rest when we leave them behind. A couple of Sundays ago, several of us went to lunch after church. By the time our meal was finished, we had solved the world’s problems, and our conversation drifted to more practical matters like the choice between burial and cremation.

One couple, while they took part in the discussion, remained non-committal about their personal plans. David plans to be buried at Uncle Sam’s expense, thanks to his eleven years of service in the Navy. The rest of us plan to be cremated. (more…)

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