Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Grief, Loss and Renewal Articles

I've posted new articles on my wordpress blog and will be posting them here in the next few days. "A Widow’s Many “Firsts”' , "Dating After Loss of a Spouse", and "Dreams and Healing" are three new articles I've posted.

Please come and visit to read them. I will also be posting them to the article page of my website this week.

I've been busy revamping the site, adding more information, a press/media room. I've also been receiving new testimonials and will post them each day as I receive them, regarding "A Jouney Well Taken: Life After Loss." Publication date June 2008. I've been busy working also on a script, "Conversations", a monodrama which I will be entering in the screenplay contest posted by International Playrights Forum. It is based upon my healing experience and the journey therein. I'd love to hear from you, so drop me an email.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Advance Reviews for A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss

I've been busy working on some new articles, so I'll be posting those in the next few days. One is based on a widows' "firsts" and also one on dating, and the importance of dreams in the grief process.

I have some wonderful reviews that have come in for Journey, and will be updating my website and posting those reviews this coming week. I also have a radio interview coming up February 4, so I'll keep you posted on those.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Article on Grief, Loss, Empowerment

I have posted a new article on my different feeds, (see the two links to the right of this blog.) It's entitled "Grief is a Journey, Not a Destination." And also on my blog at my wordpress blog, link below.

Read My Grief, Loss and Bereavement Articles

I had more articles posted on this blog, but then found out through reading about how search engines work, and through another publisher friend, Bobby Ozuna, that if I post my articles too many places, as far as google is concerned it's kind of a double whammy affect. It will hurt my ranking in the long run, so I'll be posting alternatively with myspace at and with this blog and also

Or, you can click on the links to the right of this article and go to my articles through or ideamarketers. Those sites will be updated. Elaine

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Starting Anew at Fifty

By Elaine Williams ©2008

I lost my husband and best friend of 22 years when he was 59 and I was 47. We have three boys and I'd always thought we'd be together forever, however long that was, or at least another twenty years. I felt blindsided when I lost him to cancer after 11 months of illness. I had a terrible time living with the loss, but it didn't actually hit me until six months or so after he died. On our first anniversary, I felt like I slammed into a wall going forty miles an hour and I hadn’t put on my seatbelt.

It took me about 4 years to get to the point where I felt happy in my own life, which no longer resembled the life we had shared together. My period of grieving moved me through many lifestyle changes, many times fearful, but ultimately all of them good. Of one thing I am certain, everyone’s grief experience is unique.

There was a lot of stress in my life during this period. Not only was I dealing with my own emotions, but the ramifications of my boys’ confusion, loss and grief. Their emotional and physical wellbeing was always my first priority. However, there were many late nights I cringed when the telephone rang. As I reached to answer it, my heart pounded double-time in my chest and I wondered what new catastrophe would have to be addressed. My children moved through their grief as I offered loving support, knowing they needed to deal with the loss of their father in their own way, just as I did.

As my life evolved, grew and blossomed, I became someone different than I could ever have imagined. When Joseph was gone several years, I wrote a diary to myself as part of my healing process.

I wrote it over a period of time, and knew that other widows needed to read it, if only to be reassured there is hope even in the face of devastating loss. My story is very personal—emotions exposed and fear pushed out to the light.

I began dating after one year, and this was accompanied by guilt and the ultimate realization that I started too early. Dating again after 27 years felt foreign and my early experiences gave me something of a shock. We all grieve in our own way, but for me, the option to remain alone did not feel viable. At first I worried I may be betraying my husband’s memory, but gradually I realized that opening myself to a new love doesn't diminish what I had with my first love.

I am a person who thrives on human relationships and loving someone, so while I hold dear the life we had shared, I also look forward to a loving partner to enhance my otherwise wonderful, full life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Caregiving: If You Knew the Ending, Would You Change the Beginning?

By Elaine Williams ©2008

When someone you love is told they have a terminal illness, you world becomes a narrow focus based on doctor appointments, meeting with healthcare advisors and keeping that person comfortable. In essence, many times we choose to put our life on hold to see to the needs of the person we love.

My husband was ill for eleven months before he died from cancer of the esophagus. While it was a grueling experience for our entire family, it also brought all of us closer together. As sole caregiver, I was focused entirely on his day-to-day care, and I was grateful for our extended network provided by Hospice, doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, family and friends.

The last two months of my husband's life I slept next to the bed Hospice had set up in our living room. At night, I lay on the loveseat I'd come to hate and listen intently to his labored breathing. It was what I did when my kids were babies—listen intently for the next breath to make sure everything was okay. When my kids were babies, as when my husband was dying, I was alert to a breath interrupted or a sign of discomfort.

I managed to sleep in bits and pieces of time, fragments that made no sense to me. I would be sleeping soundly and then I would jerk upright, wide awake. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. I had always been very healthy, but I developed laryngitis for two months while caring for my husband.

There was such uncertainty and the fear of what was going to happen to all of us. The last week of his life, as he gradually grew weaker and more frail, I reached a point where I knew there was no going back. This was it. It was all out of my hands; not that I had ever had any control. Being in control was something I let myself believe in the beginning. Perhaps it was my way of getting through each day, thinking I actually had a say in what was developing in our midst.

Many times on that loveseat, I would lie awake and stare into the dark, overcome by an utter, unremitting aloneness. It was then I asked God to take him and take away his pain.

My husband mentioned a few times the last week of his life that he really needed a haircut, but I didn’t have the heart to call the barber. I wanted to spare my husband the possible shocked reaction from someone who had last seen him when he was healthy and vibrant.

Near the end of his life it was brought home to me that when you love someone, you’re subject to a certain vulnerability, but it doesn’t mean you stop loving. Moments during his illness, I wanted to shield my family from all pain, but many days I knew there was no guarantee I could even protect myself.

A Fresh Journey Through Loss

By Elaine Williams ©2008

The day I lost my husband my heart felt ripped out, a feeling I had never experienced before. I felt clarity in the moment and confusion over where I was going, all at the same time. I wanted to cry at the injustice of a widow at 47 years of age. I had three boys and they each needed their father. My husband Joseph had always said the boys could get along without him. I’d tried to tell him he was wrong. Our boys, 11, 18, and 19, needed him more than ever. He had said he was certain they would be okay. They were his boys, they were strong. How can you be okay when you lose your father? Their ages didn’t matter; the loss was real.

I hated that my kids saw their father waste away. I know it bothered Joseph tremendously, but it wasn’t something we talked about or could control. It was a difficult way to remember a loved one. He didn’t like anyone to see him like that, with sunken eyes and barely weighing anything at the end. He always joked, right up to the last 18 hours. It hurt that the kids will remember how he looked when he died, but it raises me up to know they also saw how he died—without complaint, fighting and doing his best to the end. Going about life the best he could.

Joseph died the way you think a man should die. Like in an old Western movie, with courage and dignity. Not once did he say "Why me?" If he ever thought it, he never said so. He was very matter-of-fact when telling anyone he was sick with cancer. If people were interested, he’d share the different things he was doing to beat it. He had elected not to do chemo and radiation, but instead went the route of alternative medicine.

Emotion rocked me up and down while my family lived with the knowledge that cancer was in our midst. Emotion and determination were the glue that kept me together for the entire 11 months he was ill. I always said to myself, "No matter what happens, we’ll be okay." I still believe that, even now, almost five years after his diagnosis. There are still moments of loneliness that transcend the grief, but it is true time has a way of smoothing and healing loss. Memories of our life together aren’t forgotten, but remembered with a smile or reminiscent grin. I understand what it means when they say something is bittersweet. It applies to memories of a life shared and then broken apart. I feel we all heal in different ways and there is no prescribed way to go about it; it is each individual’s private journey. To some degree, we have the help of friends, family, and loved ones, but ultimately it’s our show.

The journey has been difficult these many months and years. The second 6 months I found more difficult than the first six months. The first several months I was caught up with keeping myself busy with business, working, and making money. I had to deal with death certificates, lawyers and social security, then there were insurance claims and survivor benefits and hospitalization coverage. The invoices for the hospital tests the last months of Joseph’s life were still coming in the mail six months after he’d been gone. We had a car payment I continued to pay, even though the bank told me I could stop since the car loan death benefit would pay off the balance. I had excellent credit, but if I had followed the bank’s advice, I would have had a mark against my credit since it took six months to receive the final payoff. We had bought the car three weeks before we found out Joseph was sick, so after requesting all of Joseph’s doctor reports, the insurance company finally paid off the remaining balance. These practical, mundane matters kept me focused on day-to-day living.

I remember after Joseph died I suddenly felt I had a lot of time to do whatever I needed to do, as if the days had grown longer. I could now leave the house, whereas I’d had the constant thought the previous eleven months that I had to make sure Joseph’s pain medicine was covered or there weren’t any doctor appointments that may be missed. It’s like I couldn’t figure how to pick up the previous threads of my life, since life for almost a year had centered on Joseph’s illness.

My strength in keeping myself on an even keel was out of concern for my kids’ welfare. I had no time to be lonely or even think about being lonely and it was easier handling the daily living that way. I kept very busy. For me, the hurt seemed to magnify and became more noticeable about five months after Joseph’s passing, right around our first wedding anniversary. It was a gnawing emptiness that at first hurt more when I saw other couples together.

The date of our anniversary my sister-in-law, my mother, and my oldest son called me on the phone. Their concern meant a lot, but I knew I would have to figure out how to deal with these dates in a way that worked for me. My kids took a picture of Joseph and I from happier times and had it enlarged and framed. They presented it to me with a card in which they had all written a little something. I was incredibly touched and I recall hugging each of them while I sobbed; their thoughtfulness something I’ll never forget.
The first Christmas after Joseph’s death was the most difficult in my memory. I went into a sort of depression, a mixture of sadness and self-pity, two weeks before the holiday and a few weeks after. I didn’t even know it was depression pulling me down until one day that heavy, sad feeling really hit me. I was so terribly alone and lonely. In my room, I would allow myself the luxury of tears. I use the words "allow myself" because for some reason I felt guilty hiding and crying.

Our family always spent Christmas at my parent’s house with my four brothers, my sister and all their families. It had been that way for years. I had always enjoyed being with family at this time, carrying on the tradition started when we were kids. However, the first year it was very difficult being around my happy, boisterous family, seeing the complete units. Mother, father, children. Boyfriend and girlfriend. Yes, it hurt. It wasn’t jealousy, I was just made acutely aware of the fact that I no longer had that complete unit. Sometimes it is so true that you don’t realize what you’ve lost until it’s no longer there. I walked around with this dull ache in my chest that wouldn’t go away. I put on the face, without even thinking about it, so everything would look fine; everyone would think I was fine. I could handle anything life shoves in my face. I’m strong, I told myself repeatedly. I don’t need anyone. That was my litany. I will not embarrass myself by crying or being needy. I couldn’t stand to be a needy, whining person. I understand it in other people but I told myself I’d never be needy or desperate. How could I embarrass myself by showing the true emotion inside, maybe even shedding tears in public? That was not me. Perhaps little snatches of it slip out now and then, but never all the gut-wrenching emotion I kept hidden.

Especially in front of my kids, I remained strong. I didn’t want them to be scared or worried that I was cracking up. Whether they knew it or not, they needed me more than I needed to break down. That was my thought, right or wrong. And maybe that is how my kids faced the world also. They kept it all together and sometimes I just wanted them to come to me so I could hold them close and reassure them that everything would be okay. I wanted to remember what our lives were like before everything turned upside down.
The boys rarely cried in front of me. They were really men in the making, taking it on the chin. I know we all had our moments of crying, but I only saw glimpses here and there. My boys kept their own counsel and perhaps they were taking their cue from me.
Many times, I was operating in a revved-up mode.

In hindsight, I know keeping my emotions in control was just a way of handling life. At some point, I began to want someone in my life to fill up the empty hole inside me. I would be driving down the road, and I’d hear a song that struck a chord and it resonated in me. I’d start crying; deep, wracking sobs pulled up from the depths. Where did that come from? Just when I think I’m on an even keel, something as simple as a song sets me off. Was I heading for a breakdown?

I kept looking outside myself for help, all the time drawing closer to the truth that all answers must be found within. There are no quick-fix answers. I saw different professionals to discover the contentment within myself, and this questioning directed me on the road to finding the happiness within. I’m always willing to learn and listen. I’ve worked on myself for most of my adult life, but never more concentrated than in the several years. It’s like I’m both the experiment and the mad scientist directing the whole thing. Sometimes it is a scary prospect, thinking I was in charge of everything. There was no getting away from the truth, I was well and truly on my own, for the first time in my life. How can such a prospect be frightening and yet liberating at the same time?

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Single Mother Raising Boys

By Elaine Williams ©2008

One of my biggest challenges has been raising three boys as a single parent. I've been told by other parents that it's easier to deal with boys than girls. Usually this comes from a parent who has all girls. I totally, wholly disagree. Where did anyone ever get that idea? Boys have their own set of problems as opposed to girls. I've been on my own four years and I confess there were days I didn't even want to get out of bed, afraid to know what the next trauma might be involving my boys.

That's not to say they're not good kids, they're really good kids, honest, smart, opinionated, and like every other child in the world, they think they know more about life than their parent. We've dealt with all the usual traffic tickets, drinking, car accidents, relationship break ups, things that just rip a parent's heart out. What parent wants their kids to repeat their mistakes, but it's not really something you can prevent. Everyone wants to live their own life in their own way.

I remember thinking many times I shouldn't have to get phone calls at 4 a.m. Their father should have been helping me deal with these problems and situations. However, that's not how life turned out. Their father had died when the boys were 11, 18 and 19, and we were all reeling from the loss in our own ways, even to some degree four years later. I always tried to show my boys how much I loved them, how much I admired them for the men they were becoming, but other times I just wanted to walk away and not think about the stress of some of their screw-ups.

I live in a rural, wooded area, and my youngest decided at fourteen that he wanted to learn how to run a chainsaw. The last thing I wanted him to do was pick up a chain saw and start his own firewood business. I know how dangerous chainsaws can be, even in experienced hands. He kept coming up with all these ideas for his own business that involved a lot of manual labor. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted him to be a kid a little longer. I wondered if his sudden interest in all things outside, work related, had something to do with his way of grieving his father's loss.

My middle son seemed to retreat into a shell for a long time; missing school, pulling back from a social life. By contrast, my oldest son was living away from home and I had visions of him running wild with his friends, drinking and raising hell. I wasn't comfortable with any of these scenarios and I constantly tried to let my kids know I was here for them, but I also offered guidance, giving them my often unasked-for opinion on what I thought was right for them. Sometimes, being the only one responsible felt overwhelming, but somehow, too, we all came through it.

I gave my kids the freedom to make their own choices and mistakes, but Mom was always lurking in the wings to offer support in case something didn’t work out. It’s just what worked for me.

Dancing With the Demon of Loneliness

By Elaine Williams ©2008

When I lost my husband to cancer in 2004, my life as I knew it did a 360 degree turn. Nothing was the same and yet only one thing had changed. I had lost someone near to my heart, a part of my life for twenty plus years, the father of my children, a best friend and confidante. He had been an integral part of each of our lives.

I thought I was okay, but deep inside I knew I fooled myself and I really wasn't okay. The demon of loneliness entered my life slowly and then suddenly he seemed to be there on every occasion. I decided to write about this demon of loneliness so I could exorcise him from my life.

“I've danced with him many times, a most reluctant partner, my steps stumbling and my mind preoccupied. He came in persuasive and smooth, barely causing a ripple with his subtle entrance. Other times he visited boldly, making his presence well known.”

For me, dancing with the demon of loneliness filled a part of my life that I didn't know existed. He found me at my most vulnerable moments. How could I deny entrance to someone who walks in announced but so softly that you're taken unaware? He was never invited, but I passively allowed him to take me dancing whenever he beckoned, until one day I turned away.

And gradually, I did turn away. I no longer allowed this demon to suck the life and joy from me. With new strength, I allowed the grief in me to become a shadow of itself. The demon’s pervasive grip weakened. I no longer entertained a dance partner I had never enjoyed. I learned to live again, not as I had before, but in a new joyful way.

Dating Again…On the Far Side of Forty

Elaine Williams ©2008

Due to life circumstances, the death of a spouse, I had been out of the dating game for some time and reentered the scene after a 27-year absence. I experienced what I like to call “culture shock”. One definition is as follows: “A state of bewilderment and distress experienced when suddenly exposed to a new, strange, or foreign social and cultural environment.”

That was me, a 48 year old widow with three children, experiencing true culture shock when I began dating. I thought it would be a relatively uncomplicated process to jump back in. (Yes, I laugh when I read this) You go out with someone who shares mutual interests, you go to dinner, the movies, sometimes you stay in and watch movies or…Stop. That wasn’t what happened.

The above is what I considered the normal dating process, but I found there was nothing approaching normal in today’s dating scene. Having been married 20 years, I naively believed in happily-ever-after when the two right people found each other. I knew what relationships were about and I also knew they could be hard work at times.

My experience with online dating is as follows: Online dating felt similar to a smorgasbord. If you don’t like one dish you try, throw it in the trash and proceed to the next as quickly as possible. There’s always something different and new on the table. There’s nothing wrong with variety and trying new dishes, but at least admit if you don’t like the current dish. Don’t play with your food.

Dating at 48. In my admittedly limited experience, I discovered a variety of issues that came into play. My age group, as perhaps is true with other age groups, many of us have been wounded in minor and major ways by life and by society in general. Some of us carry the baggage from the wounding on our backs, others leave the baggage at the train station.

Based on my experience, some individuals have never learned basic relationship skills. Early on, I attracted only emotionally unavailable men. Men who were still in love or emotionally attached to other women. Men who preferred to remain single and just do surface dating. Whether intentionally or not, they played at dating with no real intent to take it further into any kind of emotional commitment; for whatever reason. Most of these men were good men in their own right and perhaps best kept as friends.

One dating experience I had was a man whose company I really enjoyed. He was a good father, an excellent businessman, but when we were together, he never showed interest in my day, activities or what was happening in my life. I hoped he would change. We had been “dating” about three weeks when I finally asked myself why was I hanging around with someone who made me feel so unfulfilled and contributed nothing to my life? I realized that even though he was a good man, he was not good for me. It was still incredibly difficult to make the break but I knew I deserved more.

My dating helped me learn additional life skills I myself lacked. I learned that dating should begin as friends, and I shouldn’t drop everything because a guy calls. My most important skill learned is letting someone show me they’re truly interested in me before jumping into intimacy.

These simple pieces of experience are often learned by kids today in their teens and twenties. Somehow, I had missed these lessons some thirty years ago.

When I realized by being true to myself is my real power, I also decided that for now, I choose to be alone. I choose to be alone until the right person comes along who will enhance my life as much as I enhance his.

Does God Send Balloons?

By Elaine Williams ©2008

One day, a little over three months after my husband's cancer diagnosis, was the first time I really thought he was going to die. He lay in bed and he could not get up from being so weak. I was so incredibly frightened. I knew with certainty there was a good chance he was going to die that day.

His holistic doctor and I had been trying to convince Joseph to try a new treatment for detoxification. He was adamant he wasn’t going along with any of it. I told him again about the research supporting the treatment and how it was important to rid the body of poisons and toxins. That morning, when he lay so weak in bed, I again begged and pleaded with him. When he refused I slipped out the back door of the house since I didn’t want the kids to see me crying.

I couldn't control my emotions, feeling so overwhelmed with fear and stress, a helpless witness to his constant pain. Pain control was an ongoing struggle since nothing prescribed seemed to be effective.

As soon as I left the house, I saw the balloons in the tree way across the yard from our house. Several months before we had had a party for our oldest son. My husband had found out he had cancer that week, but he wanted to go ahead with the party anyway, as he was intent on keeping things as normal as possible for the kids.

The day following the party, I was surprised to see two helium balloons high up in the tree by our backfield. It had been windy the night before, so we thought that the wind had somehow brought them there and they had become entangled in the tree branches. Even though I knew they were there, I had never actually looked too closely at them.

Now, crying quietly, I walked out to the tree, totally devastated by what was happening back in the house. I stood under the balloons and saw for the first time what both balloons said. "Get Well Soon." Immediately, I stopped crying, as it felt like a sign. A voice inside told me something I'd heard many times since my husband got ill, "No matter what happens, we’ll be okay."

I went back into the house, feeling buoyed up by something positive. I just had a feeling that somehow God had sent us that message. Back in the house, I told my husband about the balloons and what they said. To my surprise, he said he would try the new treatment.

Within one half hour following the treatment, he was out of bed and outside puttering around in our barn. I was amazed. I couldn’t believe he wanted to go outside, much less that he was no longer weak. He also said he didn’t need any pain medicine, he felt fine.
After that first successful treatment, he had an influx of energy, as if he’d been rejuvenated. I kept very precise records of all the medicines and supplements he received. From that day until three days later, he had very little pain medicine, and he swore he was very comfortable.
This was the only time in the entire 11 months he was ill that he had such an alleviation of pain. It’s incredibly hard to understand how or why this happened. Many times after that I would stare out the window at those balloons and just as many times, I think God was just trying to give both of us a break.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Widowed Romance Writer: "Give Me REAL Romance-Or Give Me My Empty Bed!"

For Release: On Receipt
Contact: Elaine Williams, 518-628-4415,

Widowed Romance Writer:
"Give Me REAL Romance—Or Give Me My Empty Bed!"

CATSKILL MOUNTAINS, NY: After her storybook 23-year marriage ended when her husband succumbed to cancer, romance writer and widowed mother of three Elaine Williams wanted another prince—but found herself politely holding her nose in the company of a whole bunch of warty frogs.

Were her standards too high? "Too many women settle for much less than they deserve. I know it's possible to find true joy in a relationship. That's what Joe and I had together. By setting high standards, I will find someone to meet those standards. In the meantime, my life is exuberant and passionate, even without a life partner."

That exuberance doesn't mean her life is without sorrow, of course. "People always assume I've moved on; our society doesn't give you much time to grieve. But after five years, I still think every day about Joe. I talk to him, dream about him, remember him as the strong, loving husband and father he was. Still, I know he wouldn't want me in a funk for the rest of my life. Every hike or yoga class or horseback ride I take is an honor to his memory. When we're falling apart and tested to the max, that's our opportunity to discover our real strength and purpose."

A lifelong writer who has published with Silhouette and elsewhere and is an active member of both the Women Writers Guild and Romance Writers of America, Williams chronicled the transformational time beginning with Joe's lingering illness, carrying through his death, and into her struggle to make a new and happy life for herself and her sons—warty frogs and all.

And her new book, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss, has a powerful, cathartic message to the 700,000 new widows throughout the U.S. —many of them, like Elaine, in the prime of life—who lose their spouses each year: "A new life can emerge from despair and grief over loss."

Journalists: To arrange an interview and/or request a review copy, contact Williams at 518-628-4415,

A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss
By Elaine Williams
OnWings Press, $13.95
Publication date: June, 2008
ISBN: 9780980110807


Press release information site

I found a great site while searching for placement of press releases. I would rather do free, who wouldn't? But in doing free, I wanted to make sure I get the best deal and exposure for not paying any bucks, otherwise why bother invest the time? What I found in my search was a great article in, Truth not Charm, by Jennifer Mattern. Here is the URL

and I'm posting it also under my writing links to the right of this page. Her article relates to effectively placing press releases, and also a second post on the places to actually place the press releases. Here is the 2nd URL

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Articles and trees, what if no one paid attention?

You know that old saying, paraphrasing here: "If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make any sound?"

Well, if a writer writes articles and no one reads them, were they really ever written? hmmmmmm

Friday, January 18, 2008

Website updates and adding Media Kit

I've been busy most of the day updating the websites for A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss. It's a time consuming business, this marketing. I did, however, have time to have my hair highlighted and it looks very nice, thanks for asking.

I've added a media kit/press room to my site with all kinds of good stuff for the media. Full size cover, two press releases, one for publications and another one for radio and production hosts, author bio, author pixs, review sheet and Journey excerpt, all in pdf format. My friend Shel Horowitz, really helped me spruce up the press releases and bio.

The rest of the galleys went out today, about 30 in all so far. I'm working this weekend on galleys/queries for women's magazines and the remainder of the big pre-publication reviewers on my list. I also have a few large corporations I'm going to query to see if they'd like to purchase the book as a giveaway to their members.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I've been busy, wrote five more articles on grief, loss, bereavement and empowerment. All under the heading of women's issues. I feel like all this stuff is coming to the surface, new ideas wrapped around the old. I feel as if I'm freeing myself even more by writing about theseissues that I couldn't talk about or grasp two years ago. It's funny how when I look back I can see my life and myself and my decisions with crystal clarity, but at the time it was like peering through muddy water. How funny is life when we can look back at ourselves and see what was happening? I don't regret any of my life history, my decisions, what I have become. I rejoice in it all because it's made me as I am today. I am happy, I am content. I am me. As my good friend Lu would say, "hoo-haw!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Galleys today

I worked on preparing the galley packages along with the advance review copies all day. Everything is ready to go. I'm mailing them all out tomorrow and then I'm taking a break. I've been going at it like crazy, although I did have time to get in some swing dance lessons last night. That was fun, it took me an hour to drive there, an hour lesson with about twenty other fun people, then an hour or so drive home. The weather's been a bit iffy the last few days, snow, snow flurries, ice with mud underneath. Oh well, spring has to be just around the corner, right?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Free site for press releases

I've posted a press release at the site below and their service is free.

Some more great publishing links

I signed up for a newsletter put out by Aaron Shephard, and it's about linking your website to Amazon correctly. Here's his URL,

It's a pretty comprehensive listing on how to correctly link your books through Amazon. He has many other articles also you can look through to get new, innovative ideas of publishing your book. Aaron's book is a wonderful resource and it's called, AIMING AT AMAZON, The NEW Business of Self Publishing.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Article writing

I have been working on some new articles over the weekend. Suddenly, my mind is abuzz with all sorts of new topics to present. I have submitted the 14 I wrote previously to several more outlets, such as I had never had much interest in taking the time to write such articles before, but I'm really enjoying the endeavor now. I've found even more wonderful websites regarding promotion, and a really good one seems to be Steve Weber, Plug Your Book. I've provided his blog link in my writer links. He's got some innovative ways to market your book, if anyone wants to check it out. I've also ordered his book through Amazon and expect to get it later this week.

I have three more articles I'll be posting on my websites and the other article-based sites such as , , , , and

The hits on my website do seem to be up since I've been posting my articles, so I do believe this is a viable way to bring traffic to your site.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Internet Links and other things

I've found out one of the best free, but time consuming ways to drive traffic to your site is to add links to it. High traffic links that are relevant to your content. This message is repeated over and over in my searching through internet marketing. So I'm continually searching out relevant sites, such as empowerment, grief, loss, bereavement, women's issues. These all relate to my book, and there is so much available on the web, it's amazing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Proud Souls, Fiction Book on Grief and Loss

I recently met a fellow writer on Facebook by the name of Bobby Ozuna. He hails from Texas, and his FICTION book "Proud Souls" has some similiarities to my own book, which is NONFICTION, "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss."

Both are journeys involving the loss of one or more family members and the toll it takes on a person emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. It's about life and making the choice to live life or let life die all around you. I've posted Bobby's links on my writing links sidebar.

Monday, January 7, 2008

What is Kindle?

I understand it's a device where you can read books that are downloaded from I've checked this out as a viable source for marketing my book when it is available on

Most of the articles I found in google searches relate to the price of the Kindle, around $399. What I wanted to know was were there any downsides to signing up with Amazon regarding my rights. What if I want to do an ebook on my own website? I am working with for my printing, book cover design and book formatting for the printer. I read's terms of agreement and it sounded pretty straight forward, but I wanted to make sure.

I found in's December newsletter an article by Rick Munarriz about Kindle. I emailed him regarding my questions, and asked him based on what he knows about Kindle, is there any downside to a self publisher as far as rights. Rick emailed me back that your ebook account can be taken down or removed at any time by the self publisher. This sounded good to me.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Widow statistics

· Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands each year and will be widows for an average of 14 years
-U.S. Bureau of the Census (1999)

· 800,000 new widows/widowers in the U.S. in 2002
-National Mental Health Association

· In 1999, there were over four times as many widows (8.4 million) as widowers (1.9 million)

· 32% of women aged 55 and older are widows
· 9% of men aged 55 and older are widower
-2000 U.S. Census

Galleys and advance reviews

My galleys are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, so I've been working on my press kit to include in the outgoing package. I found a great resource site at written mostly by Jim Cox. What a great resource! Specifics as to what reviewers want to see and when. I've included the link on my right sidebar under writer links. Another great site is Dan Poynter's pages. He's the first king of self-publishing.

I now have 18 requests for advance review copies. Those will also be going out this next week or so.

Am I crazy? Will this time spent pay off? Only time will tell. For the last four weeks I've been spending an average of 8-10 hours a day working on book marketing. I guess it's a good thing I don't have a significant other right now. LOL.

Article link posted

I have posted a link on the right side of my blog related to my articles found at

I will be adding more articles as time goes on. Some are book excerpts, others are new articles relating to dating after forty, loss of a spouse, grief and life after loss. The articles will also be posted on my websites,, and

Grief, loss, bereavement links posted

I have posted links at the bottom of this blog, a lot of links relating to losing a spouse or family member. Some loss links relate only to death of a spouse while others relate to any kind of death, family or friend.

Internet Buzz and Blogging class with Mark Joyner

I just found out about a new course on blogging internet guru Mark Joyner is offering for free. Here's his information below.

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

It's all about your blogging and getting your articles, name recognition out there. I took this audio course and it was well worth the time spent. He gives a lot of good tips on how to get noticed by doing a blog. I highly recommend it to anyone seriously blogging for networking.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Articles and updating website

This week I'll be updating by adding links to helpful pages about loss, grief and bereavement, but also websites for self empowerment and women's issues. I've also been busy working on articles and I have 13 thus far. They will also be added to my website. I've been asked to add articles other places also, so hopefully this extra exposure will increase my exposure on the web. It's just a matter of getting the word out about A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss. The articles will also start appearing on the different ezine article sites, such as ezinearticle, ideamarketing and gotoarticle, but again, they'll be available on my website. Anyone can take the articles and use them, repost them on your site, as long as my credits and byline remain intact, so people know how to get in touch with me.

I thought long and hard how and if I was going to respond to the fellow I got an email from the other day. I thought to myself that I would want some kind of response if I had gone to the trouble to contact someone. So early in the morning after thinking about it some time, I emailed him that I appreciated his email, but that since he had never called me in the five weeks since we'd met, I didn't sense he had any real interest in me. I wished him well in his endeavors and that was the end of the story. If I was interested in someone, and knew they were interested in me, I sure as hell wouldn't let the grass grow under my feet. Zeesh.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

0 degrees and dropping

I guess there's always one thing that's constant, and that's the weather this time of year. Right now it's blustery, the temperature is still dropping, and I'm sure it'll be minus something before the morning gets here.

I can't believe the guy who I mentally "kicked to the curb" two weeks ago emailed me on New Year's Eve and asked if I wanted to go out to lunch some Saturday. Keep in mind he hasn't bothered to pick up the phone once, since the one time we met, to actually talk to me. Is there something wrong with this picture? Must be he had a break in his many "dates" with the dating service.

I just read my horoscope for 2008 in Redbook. The sky's the limit. I'm going to take it at its word. :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The end of one year, the beginning of the next

I had an interesting reaction to the ending of 2007 and thus a new beginning in 2008.
At 3 a.m. on the 1st of January I was totally, completely incapacitated by a stomach flu/virus whatever. I tried to resist it, but there was no avoiding the apparently inevitable bug that was trying to get me firmly in its grip. I have been really healthy all year, so when I get sick it really knocks me for a loop.