On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Alzheimer’s disease’

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.

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Caregiver Quotes and Tips #6 – Joy Rides | by Linda Brendle

Joy Ride

 

 

Our first night out on the epic seven-week, sixteen state RV trip I wrote about in A Long and Winding Road, we cooked dinner on the grill and ate outside. After dinner we were enjoying the evening breeze when Mom looked at me and said, “We must be the luckiest old people in the world—getting to go all these neat places with you.”

Later, after she and Dad moved into assisted living, outings became more difficult. The last time we took them out, we loaded everyone into my brother’s van and went for ice cream. It took a while for them to walk from their room to the car, and getting them both in and buckled up was a chore. Ice cream was dripped on shirt fronts, and both of them were exhausted by the time we made it back, but it was worth it. Anyone who has watched Alzheimer’s steal a loved one away a piece at a time lives for those moments when the light shines through, even for a brief moment. When Mom turned to me with a bright, ice-cream smeared smile and said, “This is fun,” I knew it wasn’t a waste of gas.

Blessings,

Linda

Launch Day Minus 3 – Interview – A Long and Winding Road

Old-Movie-Countdown-3-copyLast week, Dr. Sharon King and I visited for a bit.  Among other things, we talked about what effect Alzheimer’s Disease had on my spiritual life. Read our complete conversation on today’s Blog Tour stop at her website, Years Full of Grace.

Yesterday while we were having a free day, Kara Leigh Miller was spotlighting my upcoming memoir on her website, Kick Start Your Heart. CLICK HERE and visit the official blog of this talented romance author.

To see the complete itinerary for the tour, CLICK HERE.

Pre-Order Links: B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Blessings,

Linda

A Long and Winding RoadAbout the BookSometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

Blog Tour Stop #9 – Spotlight of A Long and Winding Road

Enter-the-Contest-to-WINToday we’re stopping by the website of another Anaiah Press author, Angela Schroeder. Angela has posted a spotlight that tells a little bit about my upcoming memoir, A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. She is also giving her visitors a chance to win an autographed poster of my book cover or a small spiral notebook. Watch my author video of you don’t know the significance of the notebook.

Tomorrow will be a free day–one of those days on tour when you can go shopping, relax in the sun by the pool, or revisit any earlier stops you might have missed.

June 17 –  Mormon Mommy Writers – Review

June 18 – The View from a Blank Word Document – Spotlight and Contest

June 19 – Princess of the Light – Interview and Review

June 20 – Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina – Spotlight

June 21 – Pam Thorson – Guest Post – “Caregivers and Heroes”

June 23 – Being Sam – Review

June 24 – Adventures in the Ballpark – Interview

June 25 – Keely Brooke Keith – Guest Post – “Street Teams for Caregivers”

June 25 – Donna L Martin’s ON THE WRITE TRACK – Review

June 26 – Angela Schroeder, Author – Spotlight

Saturday, we’ll visit with Dr. Sharon V. King at Years Full of Grace for an author interview. Among other things, we’ll talk about how Alzheimer’s Disease has affected my spiritual life.

Pre-Order Links: B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Blessings,

Linda

A Long and Winding RoadAbout the BookSometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

A Previously Published and/or Unpublished List about Caregivers – the Sequel | by Linda Brendle

ListMonday I posted a rather long-winded explanation of why I was posting a list about how to know if you are a caregiver. I won’t bore you with a recap; I’ll just post a link  so you can read the original. So, as they say in the theater or somewhere – without further ado, here’s the second half of the list.

You might be a caregiver if… (more…)

Calling In Hospice Is Not Giving Up | by Linda Brendle

I didn’t know much about hospice before Mom died. Hospice was called the year before when Dad had a massive stroke, but he went so quickly that I didn’t learn much about what hospice was about. All I knew was that the hospice nurse called the necessary people to handle the necessary paperwork. I showed my ignorance in a short conversation with her.

“I guess this makes your job a little less heart wrenching, when the patient doesn’t linger for a long time.” (more…)

Are Alzheimer’s Patients Right to Resist Showers? | by Linda Brendle

Gas maskPersonal hygiene is a major issue for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. One of the first symptoms I noticed when Mom and Dad’s memories began to fail was their lack of attention to cleanliness. Their little house that was usually thoroughly cleaned once a week was instead neglected and filled with the odor of unwashed bodies.

It didn’t take much interaction with other caregivers to discover that lack of hygiene is a common topic of conversation in the dementia community. Many support group meetings were devoted to the reasons behind and the solutions to the problem, and many posts on the Memory People support group on Facebook are also devoted to the subject. (more…)

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