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.
The prompt from Linda G. Hill for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “resolve.”
I don’t sit down to write my New Year’s resolutions. I resolve to do most of the things I had done in 2021 and try to do them better in 2022. In fact, there were too many interruptions in 2021. It wasn’t a good year to accomplish things I wanted to do. I had better years than that of the last year. I expect a better year in 2022.
Let me just say that whatever I do, I keep my basic values in mind which are: family, fitness, fun, friends, and finance. There are many subcategories in the area of fun.
My family always comes first. I have resumed my schedule of visiting my daughter’s family every six weeks.
It’s important for me to be close to my granddaughters. I remember starting a new family with a baby with no relatives to help. It was the most stressful time for me. During one particular year when Mercy was a baby, I started my first-year full-time teaching at the Los Angeles Unified School District and doing full-time (12 units) studies of Child Development at California State University, Los Angeles. Three full-time jobs all at once. I was a rehabilitation counselor prior to that and just switched over to education. I didn’t want to lose my teaching opportunity and didn’t want to wait any longer to finish school. Of course, my baby was most important.
I never want Mercy to have a stressful experience like mine. I always encourage her that if she could afford it, do one thing at a time. The Covid turned out to be a blessing to her in that she didn’t work during her pregnancy. She stayed home to take care of baby Nora for sixteen months. Right now, she is working part-time on the days when Autumn and Nora go to school.
My husband wants to get together with some of his siblings once a month. Most of them live 40 miles from us. They are coming our way to meet this month and we’ll go to them to meet next month. We’re also talking about taking a family vacation to Australia and New Zealand.
I see fitness as a way of life. When my dad came to the US to visit us at the age of 84, he got up at 6:00 a.m. The first thing he did was to stretch for half an hour.
I have been going to the gym, swimming, walking in the neighborhood, or on the trail consistently for years and years. My husband and I started working out together two days a week since his retirement in 2016. There were interruptions during the pandemic. But we resumed going back to the gym several months ago.
We do some modifications to the workout. We keep our routine of using the different machines, the number of sets, and the duration of time (such as walking on the treadmill) but reduce the intensity or weight. As we’re getting older, it takes longer to recover from the sore muscles.
There are many things I do for fun which include reading, writing, blogging, painting, gardening, photographing, singing, learning, and traveling. I always say it would take three parallel lifetimes to fully enjoy my hobbies.
I raised 20 Monarch butterflies in 2021. I’m ready to do it again this summer. The milkweed should grow nicely and hopefully, I’ll have a better way to set up the butterfly cages.
The Chorale group didn’t meet most part of 2021 but resumed meeting to sing with masks on later in the fall. I’ll continue to sing in this group.
I haven’t done watercolor painting for a while. I may pick up the watercolor painting at least for one quarter during 2022.
Hopefully, my husband and I will take one trip this year. We wanted to go to Banff, Canada last August but the border was closed. We may consider going sometime this year.
It’s important for me to keep in touch with my friends.
The pandemic wasn’t too helpful in this area with the social distancing requirement and the gathering restriction. I hope to get together with friends even when we meet outdoors.
Financial independence means freedom.
I don’t have the impulse to buy things. I only buy what I need, not just what I want.
My husband and I just went through stacks of old documents when doing decluttering. It reminded me of the number of times I refinanced our current home and the previous two homes. Whenever the interest rate went down, I refinanced the homes. Prior to refinancing, I created a spreadsheet to calculate the total interest paid during the financing periods.
I know it takes money to save money or make money. I count it as a blessing to use my resources to save money and have extra money to put in the stock account to make a little money.
How do I do it? Here is an example:
Family is the top priority. It’s the motivation behind what I do every day.
I exercise (fitness) regularly, keeping in mind that I need to be strong and healthy in order to be with my granddaughters as often as we want. I can’t be with them if I’m sick.
I follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines carefully to avoid contracting the virus, even when it means reducing the social contact with my friends.
I try to reduce unnecessary expenses (finance) to have more money to travel every six weeks to see my granddaughters.
National Gratitude Month is celebrated every November. It was declared the month of gratitude in 2015 after author Stacey Grewal advocated for it.
“Gratitude is an essential ingredient of a happy, fulfilling life,” said Grewal, who wrote the book Gratitude and Goals. “Research shows that practicing daily gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of wellbeing. This challenge is a great opportunity to see if you can improve your life by getting more in touch with gratitude.” Grewal pointed out that, on average, grateful people tend to be happier, healthier; more physically fit, have a higher income and have much more satisfying personal and professional relationships. – PR Newswire
“Gratitude – The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” – Oxford Dictionary
I will take time to relax, reflect on things I’m thankful for this year, write, and be with my extended family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
I will focus on expressing gratitude in many ways :
1. Write a daily gratitude journal (could be brief)
2. Wake up filling my mind and my heart with thankfulness
3. Be grateful for health (good or not so good) and being alive
4. Be intentional to show appreciation to family members, friends, and people around me.
5. Stop and be thankful for the safe environment
6. Appreciate the natural beauty around me
7. Be generous in giving in a tangible way
What would you add to this list?I would like to hear it.
This means my blogging time will be reduced. I have two posts later in the month. Other than that, I’ll resume posting in December, in time to celebrate Christmas.