Congratulations, Keith Alan Hamilton!

My poet and walking friend, Keith Alan Hamilton, has just released his new book of poems: Peace Out Poems about My Abnormalities Normality. The poems are about stigma, mental illness - including depression and bipolar disorder, and suicide. "I hope for those who read it, it will be of benefit to them.  There is a huge stigma overshadowing those who suffer from mental conditions like depression or being bipolar.  Even more so for those who have committed suicide.  That reality will not change until my type of story is told and understood.  To me, the stigma overshadowing a day-to-day survivor is even worse.  When you are a depressive with thoughts of suicide cycling in your head day in and day out..... it is far harder to survive and keep going than it is to submit.   It is easier to be considered mentally ill and medicated, or to have taken ones life than being someone who successfully copes day-to-day and is a productive contributor to life.  If we are going to show others that … [Read more...]

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I’m getting ready for a big long walk

  I’ve started training in earnest for the May 21 American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness overnight walk in San Francisco for suicide awareness and prevention. I walk in memory of my son Paul who took his life in 1999 at age 27. He was bipolar and severely depressed at the time of his death. The recent data, according to AFSP, about suicide is astounding: Suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. General In 2014 (latest available data), there were 42,773 reported suicide deaths. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 15 and 64 years in the United States. Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. A person dies by suicide about every 12.3 minutes in the United States. Every day, approximately 117 Americans take their own life. Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of … [Read more...]

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What happened in November

Since returning from our three-week trip to Central America, Raleigh NC, and New York City on November 6, I’ve been intent on getting back into my daily writing routine. Here’s what I did in November to start moving in that direction. Please note that I didn’t spend this month just writing. I think reading and seeing movies, opera, and plays are all grist for the mill and great learning devices. In November I: Wrote a poem every day to fulfill Robert Lee Brewer’s November 2015 PAD challenge – wrote the last one today Wrote a journal entry every day to fulfill my personal writing challenge Wrote a piece for Naturally Savvy – I have a blog there called Savvy Over 60 Wrote a piece about how I got my book published for an Authors Publish anthology - not accepted yet Read: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Marilyn by Gloria Steinem, Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, and Room (the second time) by Emma Donoghue Started to read: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, … [Read more...]

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Saturday, November 22, is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

Throughout the  fifteen years since our son took his life, I've met many folks in person and through  groups on Facebook who like me are survivors of suicide loss. So, I thought I'd remind all of us that tomorrow, Saturday, November 22, is International Suicide Survivors Day, an event always falling on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I did a little research about how this day started and found out that Senator Harry Reid introduced a resolution to the United States Senate which led to the creation of National Survivors of Suicide Day in 1999. Senator Reid is a survivor of his father's suicide. Every year since the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sponsors the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. The AFSP website says: International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. On thi … [Read more...]

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Latest suicide statistics

My son, Paul, died by suicide thirteen years ago. Here are the suicide statistics for the year 2009 (ten years since he died). It's the latest available data though I hear the numbers are even worse now - especially with the rate of one suicide a day in the military. Seems to me we have a lot of work to do to prevent suicide. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 2009 data: Facts and Figures National Statistics General Over 36,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. In 2009 (latest available data), there were 36,909 reported suicide deaths. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the United States. Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes in the United States. Every day, approximately 101 Americans take their own life. Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric … [Read more...]

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So how’s the marketing going?

Since my book launch and signing just after my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, was released in early May, I’ve spent the month of June on a blog tour, coordinated and managed by WOW-Women on Writing. I decided to embark on this tour because I had hosted two other WOW blog tour authors in the last couple of years, and it seemed like a great idea. I’m sure I’ve said before that I’m a me-too kind of person, so there I was again, letting the WOW folks know that I wanted a tour too when my book came out. And actually making that happen was quite easy. All it took was a decision about dates, blog post ideas that included the subject-matter of my book and general writing-related subjects, and $350.00, to cover their advice and counsel about post topics and their picking out and communicating (almost continually) with the blog owners where I would guest post. The big bucks kind of took my by surprise, but very quickly I decided it would be worth it. Also in June, my publisher and I … [Read more...]

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