We Love Memoirs – Sunday Spotlight

I had a fabulous experience yesterday - Sunday June 21. I was in the hot seat for the We Love Memoirs’ Sunday Spotlight. We Love Memoirs is basically a Facebook social group consisting of memoir writers and aficionados that allows no self promotion. That is except for the Sunday Spotlight. For that one day I was told I could promote, post relevant photos, links, and information about my writing work, and talk about it until I couldn’t talk (actually tap on my computer keys) anymore. Also those coming on-line to chat with me were told they could ask me ANYTHING, and that I'd be there to answer their questions ALL DAY LONG. So I sat down at my computer at 9 am and except for two 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch (I needed to pay some attention to my husband on Father’s Day), I was online fielding questions and comments until 5:15 pm. The interesting thing is the people on-line were from the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, other foreign countries, and the US – so when … [Read more...]

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Leaving the Hall Light On has legs!

This month has ended with the 124th five-star review of my book, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide. Published four years ago, this makes me  feel my memoir still has long legs, that there are many others who can relate to the story I tell about our son's bipolar disorder and suicide, and of how they affected the lives of my husband, our surviving son, and myself.  The book ends on a high note - the marriage of our surviving son, but don't get me wrong. The grief will never end, I still miss our son desperately, and my memories of him are alive and active, but I've been able to move on and live a full life without him. We all have. Here's what the latest reviewer on Amazon had to say: Amazing story of a mother and her family's journey through the wilderness of suicide grief. This painfully honest memoir, parallels the experience I recently have had with my son's 3 year battle with schizophrenia and hi … [Read more...]

7,471 total views, 4 views today

Write from the wound to survive trauma

Lorraine Ash, author, journalist, essayist and writing teacher is my WOW! Women on Writing blog tour guest today. Her second memoir, Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life, is a spiritual memoir about taking stock of the traumas, losses, and disappointments we all experience by midlife. In Lorraine Ash's case, the major one was the stillbirth of her daughter, her only child. "After a time," Lorraine says, "what happens to us can feel like meaningless assaults to the self. But the book shows us meaning can be made of our life events, however disparate, if we bring them down to the soul level. In the end, it’s the quality of our inner life that determines what forces thrive in our psyches and so our lives." I can certainly resonate with Lorraine’s story. After the suicide death of my 27-year old son, Paul, I was able to find new meaning in my life and actual gifts that resulted from his death. Writing my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, was a huge help in my healin … [Read more...]

11,610 total views, 8 views today

A new milestone: 175 reader reviews

In the last 30 days my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On has received three new reviews. As a result it has reached a milestone: 175 reviews total - 113 with five stars.  I’m always thrilled with the five-star reviews, of course; however, the last three have all been terrific. Twenty-seven days ago, Michael Knezic’s five-star review said: “Heartbreaking! “I thought that the book was very well written and put you right there with the family. I don't know how difficult it was for them to write this book but I think it puts the reader right there with the family. It opens your eyes!!” On July 7, Bridgette Carpenter’s four-star review said: “A sad story about parenting a severely mentally disturbed son. “…The book is very sad…. It is so terribly sad that the parents could not keep their son in an institution where he would have been required to take his medicines and he would not have been able to injure himself. Their son was an adult so he couldn't be forced to take his medicines a … [Read more...]

4,234 total views, 4 views today

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 Madeline's stor … [Read more...]

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Miracles do happen – I’m sure of it

I’m struck once again how life and death events put everything into perspective. The petty things I was worrying over – what Pilates class should I take, when should I go to Portland to visit my sister, or even what should I cook for dinner – at the beginning of this week fell by the wayside when I heard the news that Ben had been in a horrific automobile accident on the freeway on Wednesday night while he was on his way home from acting class. He called me the day after about noon to tell me about it. He was fine he said, he didn’t have a scratch on him, but his car was totaled. While I was hearing him tell me this news I began to cry – not about the good news that he was well and all that was lost was his car – but for what could have been. And then I quickly realized I needed to rejoice, not cry. My handsome wonderful son is still here with us whole and well – and we began to joke that his car, lovingly called Stanley, a Ford Focus, saved him. I was even more elated when I saw … [Read more...]

2,204 total views, 4 views today