Birthday post mortem or how I’m moving forward

Just about a year ago on Mother's Day and near my last birthday I achieved a huge goal. My memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, A Mother's Memoir of Living with her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, was published. In it I tell the steps I took in living with the loss of my son. First and foremost I chose to live and take care of myself as a woman, wife, mother, writer. In hopes that my story will inspire others to find ways to survive their own tragic experiences, I've devoted most of this last year marketing my book. I have become increasingly more engaged in social networking, through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, I had a blog tour through Women on Writing (WOW), radio interviews, and many speaking and book signing engagements. I've also embarked on a whole new writing career writing for the Huffington Post That's Fit and Healthy Living columns, the Naturally Savvy website as its over sixty expert, PsychAlive, a website that focuses on suicide … [Read more...]

My writer’s life lots of action these days

Here's a little run-down of what's been happening in my life as a writer in the last few weeks. My second piece for Naturally Savvy went live this week,, an interview about a woman I've known for lots of years, Becky Neumann. I wanted to profile her because as an over sixty personal trainer and fitness instructor, she's so fit and so inspiring to people over sixty and way beyond. Becky - Sixty-three and Counting I was asked and so I wrote another column for Huffington Post's subvertical, Aging Gracefully, but I haven't heard back yet from my contact there. My last piece for Huffington Post was for the That's Fit subvertical that turned out to be quite well received. So even though I'm a little nervous about not hearing I'll be positive based on the response I got about the That's Fit piece I did for them. I'd very much like to keep up my relationship with Huff Post. And as a result of my … [Read more...]

WOW blog tour stop No. 13

I'm over at NAMW today with a blog post about my journey from aerospace writing to creative writing. Please go over and take a look and leave a comment. I'm so proud to be part of this wonderful organization for memoir writers. It makes me feel like I've "arrived" to be in such good company. I'll also be with them again in September with a blog post about memoir writing to deal with grief and as part of a roundtable on the same subject in September. I'll let you know about dates as the time gets closer. In the meantime please go to the following links to see my post: and NAMW's news section:     "About the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) The National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) is a membership organization that invites memoir writers … [Read more...]

WOW blog tour stop No. 8

Today I'm the guest of Mason Canyon and her blog: Thoughts in Progress A place for my mind to gather its images. My post is called: Not Another Casserole: How to Comfort a Grieving Parent. And Mason is offering a giveaway of a pdf ecopy of my book. Click on the link and make a comment: She also asks: How do you comfort grieving friends? Has someone shown you care and support during a difficult time in your life? What are your thoughts on this topic? Besides hosting guest bloggers, Mason writes book reviews. I suggest you go over there to peruse her long list of books. Thank you WOW Women on Writing for another great blog tour stop. … [Read more...]


My garden Buddha says it all I remember sitting in a circle every morning at an Esalen workshop with everyone in turn giving a one-word check-in assessment of where we are with the day or anything else on our minds. So if I were to give one word for today's check-in I could say busy. However, a better word is successful. I'd say my WOW blog tour is going very well . Almost every day is full between June 6, the launch date, and July 1, the last day. If I don't have a guest blog out there somewhere, a blogger is posting a review of my book. I feel that they are all doing a very caring job. The woman today asked that all who comment learn about bipolar disorder, and she also gave statistics about suicide. Hopefully this tour will help sell books though it's certainly hard to tell at this point. Last week my rank was number seven in books sold under bipolar at Amazon. Today it is number eight-seven. I really have no idea what that means. Another s … [Read more...]

WOW blog tour stop No. 7

You must visit CMash Loves to Read my WOW blog tour stop No. 7. The layout is just beautiful. Cheryl Mash reviews books and provides giveaways. She is offering, through WOW-Women on Writing, a pdf copy of my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. To learn more and to read today's post, Using Memoir Writing to Deal with Grief go to: If you want a chance to win a copy of the book, click on the giveaway tab and post a comment. Cheryl has caringly suggested all who read her blog today and who comment learn more about bipolar disorder and know that: More than 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year, most leaving behind grieving families. Teenagers make up 5,000 of this group. Many thanks to Women on Writing for connecting me with Cheryl Mash and her wonderful blog, CMash Loves To Read. … [Read more...]

WOW blog tour stop No. 3

Today I'm back with Chynna Laird on her The Gift Blog answering her long list of questions about my background, my writing life, how I cared for Paul and his bipolar disorder, and how we as a family survived his suicide. She got down to the real nitty-gritty. And you know me. I'm always ready to reply with the real hard facts. I'll do what it takes to get the word out to others with similar issues. Chynna is a remarkable woman with a long list of accomplishments. Here's the list: Chynna T. Laird LILY WOLF WORDS Author of award-winning book, "I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD" Author of multi award-winning book, "Not Just Spirited: One Mom's Sensational Journey With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)" Author of "White Elephants" Author of 'Blackbird Flies" (Now available on all online eBookstores) Author of 'The Gift' (coming … [Read more...]

WOW blog stop No. 2

Today I'm at Beth Morrissey's writing resources website: Writing Come Hell Or High Water writing about how "It Takes a Village to Write a Book." Though writing is a lonely business, I sure had a lot of help putting my book together. Please take a look at: … [Read more...]

Marketing a book takes a lot of time

I've been working away at my Women on Writing WOW blog tour posts, and as of right now I have a draft for all ten of them. This weekend, as I normally do when editing my work I'll read each on a hard copy and make redline corrections and changes. I have to start sending in my pieces on June 1, so as due dates begin to arrive I'll go over each for last minute changes and tweaks. Other than my posts, a couple of the bloggers will interview me and a couple others will review my book, so over the month-long tour, I won't be doing all the work. Just before the tour starts I'll post the schedule here, and in real time, post a link to the blog once they are posted. The tour starts on June 6 with an interview with me on WOW's The Muffin blog Speaking of interviews a senior student at our local Vistamar High School interview me this week to fulfill her senior project to prepare a biographical essay of someone in her community. The project, lasting … [Read more...]

The Literary Ladies by Nava Atlas – book review

I feel very fortunate that WOW - Women on Writing ( asked me to review Nava Atlas' book, The Literary Ladies: Guide to the Writing Life, Sellers Publishing Inc. (2011). It is a beautifully presented book, replete with archival images, quotes, and well-researched information. Nava's premise is that the lessons of classic women writers resonate with women writing today. With that in mind I read noting how these lessons apply to my life as a writer. I found that Nava's insightful comments touched on the very same things I encountered in creating a writing life for myself, finding a publisher, moving on to the next book, and my work to overcome my fears that my book will find a poor audience and bad reviews. I also love quotes, so I couldn't get enough of the wonderful and insightful observations and wisdom from the twelve literary ladies Nava chose to highlight: Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather, Edna Ferber, Madeleine … [Read more...]

My WOW blog tour starts on June 6

I've been preparing for my book's WOW blog tour. It will start on June 6 and run for a month, and I expect to have about fifteen stops. So far WOW and I have developed a list of twelve blog topics and I've started working through five of them already. However, I know already I'll have to cut them quite a bit. WOW recommends each piece be no more than 300 to 500 words. So what is WOW ( They state on their About page on their website: "WOW! is a global magazine, designed to support women's creativity, energy, blood, sweat and tears, throughout all stages of the writing process. We envision Wow! being a favorite watering hole for professionals, the up-and-coming, and the recipients of our labors--the avid readers. Our concept is unique, as it fills in the missing gap between writing websites and women's magazines. We are dedicated to raising the overall standards within the writing community, and devote an active profile within writing industry … [Read more...]