I’m over at Smitha Vishwanath, the blogger, painter, artist, and poet’s blog. She shared a heartwarming review of my memoir. Her review stirred up my emotions about my journey all over again. It brought happy tears into my eyes because I’m alive t share my story with you. Please go over to read her excellent review.
I want to thank Miriam for writing this book which is a real-life account of her battle with cancer in 2008. In the foreword, she says, ” Life is precious and it’s worth fighting for. If I died, my pain went with me, but I would leave pain with my loved ones. My life is worth living.’ This very honest, straight-from-the-heart line, sets the tone of the book and forms the backbone of her fight against cancer. It was this line that made me read on. It reminded me of my very recent brush with the hospital and how I felt when I was wheeled into the operation theatre. I thought, ‘Well if it ends, the pain is gone. But, there’s so much love to live for.‘
Miriam recounts her experience with the dreaded ‘C’- the chance identification of it, the subsequent tests, and adjusting her life so…
I’m excited to be at Denise’s blog today. She generously shares her blog with me to host my launch tour. She is a prolific writer and poet. Her publications include but are not limited to: Just Her Poetry, The Button, This Second Chance, No Fairy Tale, Dolphin’s Cave, Elizabeth’s War, Things on a Tree, An Unusual Island, and Tree Fairies.
I continued to talk about memoir writing and discussed the role of research today. Please head over to join me for the discussion and browse around all the wonderful books by Denise L. Finn.
I’m honored to have Miriam Hurdle here today to share her story. This was a heartfelt story and my review is below.
Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Denise. I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.
During the launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.
The Role of Research in Memoirs
Memoirs always require research. They are stories based on real-life events. Fact-check everything can be fact-checked, such as names, dates, places, weather, and events. One person wanted to write a family memoir, but she was not sure if her great-grandmother’s name spelled Emily or Emely. Her research shows Emely was the correct spelling. You can’t make up this information. The inaccuracy takes away the credibility of your story.
Example: In The Winding Road, I wrote I was holding the “10 feet” tall IV stand as my cane to walk on the hospital floor after my surgery. My writing group laughed. One said, “The IV stand feels like 10 feet tall to you because you’re short.” I then Googled the height of IV stands and changed my story to “The IV stand looked like 6 feet tall.”
I’m over at Robbie Cheadle’s blogfor Day 5 of The Winding Road launch tour. I talk about how I wrote my memoir. Please head over to join me for the discussion.
Robbie has a new children’s book Haunted Halloween Holidaysreleasing soon. You can find out more about this delicious book while you’re there.
Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Robbie. I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.
During the launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.
How did I write my memoir?
During my fifty-three weeks of the cancer journey, especially the six months of full-time bio chemotherapy, I was so sick that all the days blended in together.
Emails – As soon as I found out about my cancer, I emailed the updates to my family and friends. They emailed back to show me their support. I saved all the emails.
Records – I kept all the medical records in a binder with tabs to organize the doctor’s referrals, doctor’s appointments, visit summaries, insurance authorizations, testing instructions, testing results, lab results, treatment schedules, and discharge summaries.
I mentioned we canceled the Victoria, BC, trip and went to Pot Angeles in Washington. I booked the flight coming home from Seattle. My husband didn’t want to rush, so we went to Seattle the day before returning to Southern California.
I read about the Chihuly Garden and Glass in a blogger’s post. Since we would be in Seattle for one day, I made a reservation to visit this magnificent exhibit. The museum is right next to the Space Needle. Here’s what the website says about Chihuly. https://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/about/dale-chihuly
Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.
In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as fine art.
His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
An update on our life
My husband and I are moving to Portland, Oregon, to be close to my daughter and the grandkids. I have always wanted to do that and even wrote blog posts about my desire. But my husband was not ready. On a couple of occasions, I went alone to be with my daughter and the grandkids for Thanksgiving or Christmas. My husband, Lynton, stayed in Southern California to be with his mom during those holidays. Lynton’s mom passed away two months ago. His siblings are busy with their extended families. He seems to be free from the obligation to stay in Southern California.
When we were in Port Angeles, Lynton expressed an interest in moving to Portland to be close to the grandkids.
I searched for a home right away. Then contacted the realtor whom I worked with for the last 15 years. After one week of communication back and forth, we signed an offer on August 28th on a home within a 13-minute drive from Mercy. Mercy and Will toured the house and sent us the videos.
We’re working with the agents and signed a listing disclosure to sell our California home.
We’re packing and will have everything in a storage unit by the 15th. We’re going to Portland on the 16th for Autumn’s BD. The agents will show our house while we’re gone.
Everything happened so fast. My head is spinning. We’re excited about the move. At least we don’t need to travel every six weeks to see the grandkids.
An update on my book
The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival is now available on Amazon.
Early this month, in a comment, Diana W. Peach asked me if I kept a secret about my new book.
I’ve been writing my book about my cancer journey since 2016. I kept organizing, reorganizing, writing, rewriting, editing, and reediting. I posted tidbits here and there but the story was still brewing. It is not a secret but it becomes normal for me to keep working on it until I call it done.
Well, my writing group at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at California State University, Fullerton, has been extremely instrumental in helping it to come into shape with clarity. I’ll introduce this group of retired professionals to my blogging community later.
Today, I’m grateful to reveal my Cover, the Foreward, and the Blurb.
The book will be available on Amazon later in the summer. I’ll let you know when I have a date.
You know the ending before you read the story because I’m here to tell it to you. The journey was long and dark, but I survived. The ending is an important part of a story, but the process gives it meaning. At many points during this cancer journey, I felt death was teasing me. I lost most of my muscle mass, lost 20% of my blood, and almost all my energy. Yet, I was breathing. It caused me to ponder. What is life?
I had an active and productive life up until the point when I had cancer. When I couldn’t lift my feet to walk, being productive was thousands of miles away from my thoughts. Family and friends became the only value in my life. In fact, they carried me through this journey.
Life is precious, and it’s worth fighting for. If I died, my pain went with me, but I would leave pain with my loved ones. My life is worth living. I want to enjoy the beautiful earth and everything that lives on it. I want to emerge in the blessed and loving relationship between family and friends.
I’m grateful to be alive, to give to others, and to receive from them.
In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-a dangerous, aggressive, and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received the treatments at the beginning of 2009, her cancer progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and upward winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.
Thank you for letting me share this cover with you. Now, I have to get the ball rolling!