Some folks to show off

  Yesterday we attended a book launch and reading of my friend Lee Quarnstrom's new memoir. Lee and I go all the way back to high school - New Trier Township in Winnetka, IL - where we studied journalism and worked together on the New Trier News. He went on to be a newspaper reporter and columnist and did a bunch of other things well worth reading about in his book - such as hang out with Ken Kesey on the Magic Bus for a while. From the title you'll see that he had an exciting life. He's now living east of Los Angeles with his seventh wife, Chris, whom he met at our 40th high school reunion. Chris and I have known each other since grade school. Besides the three of us, seven other New Trier alums attended the reading. It was such fun to get together with dear old friends.   Another couple I've known for a long time, Alice and Richard Matzkin, will appear from March 3-5 on a free online event called Transforming Aging Summit - about making your later years your b … [Read more...]

Meet artists and authors, Alice and Richard Matzkin

We spent a wonderful weekend with our friends Alice and Richard Matzkin at their home and art studio in Ojai, California. I always feel like I’m at an idyllic retreat when I’m there. It is so quiet, so lush with greenery and interesting things to look at, so filled with beautiful art, and the conversations are endless. Alice was my first friend when I moved to Los Angeles in 1961. We went to art classes together for quite a few years. Needless to say, she stayed with her painting. I found another creative outlet. Around the Matzkin yard We went up Friday night in time to hear Richard drumming with his jazz trio at a local Ojai restaurant. Besides being a drummer he’s a sculptor, mostly of aging men. Alice, a painter, has her work at the Smithsonian portrait gallery. Her commissioned painting of Chelsea Clinton once hung in the White House private residence. Our portrait by Alice hangs prominently in our home. Alice, Chelsea, and Hillary, 1997 Madeline and Bob, … [Read more...]

My paperback launch is August 6

Since Dream of Things will launch the paperback edition of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide this Monday, August 6, I thought I’d share the newest reviews posted on Amazon in the last three weeks. They are all five-star. I couldn’t be happier about the wonderful response to my memoir. I hope these reviews will entice you to read the book yourselves. Madeline Sharples propels her readers through a startling emotional landscape of those left behind after suicide, in "Leaving the Hall Light on." Incredibly intimate and revealing….Her imagery, scenes, and movement through her family's recovery expertly nail the high art of the memoir.Ruth Belanger It took considerable courage to write this book. Madeline Sharples describes a path from guilt and grief to recovery. Life goes on but it requires personal fortitude. Anyone who has experienced the suicide of a family member will find Madel … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving thankfulness – 2011

In early September, my friend Alices’ son started the heart transplant process. First he had to be evaluated to find out if he was indeed eligible. And yes, after a battery of tests, various medications to keep his heart plugging along, and several days wait, his doctors determined he was eligible. Then the long wait for a heart – that he envisioned as his Golden Heart – began: first at the hospital, then at home with a fanny pack containing a 24-hour medication drip, then quickly back to the hospital again. By mid October, his heart had began to deteriorate and the lack of circulation was affecting his other organs. To ameliorate this condition he underwent a BiVad – the implant of a heart pump that supports both sides of his heart to get the blood circulating and oxygenating throughout his body. Then, by late October and early November, although he was in and out of the ICU a couple of times, he had healed nicely, had a healthy rosy glow, had more and more energy and app … [Read more...]