Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today's Broadcast

What an honor to be on Gloria and Heidi's show, Healing the Grieving
If you missed the show, aired on Voice America, you may click here and it will take you directly to the program. Turn on your speakers and you can listen to the entire hour show.

Isn't technology wonderful?

Writing Into the Night

Special thanks to Jayne Newton for posting this on the
Atlanta Compassionate Friend's FaceBook site. I'd forgotten
that I'd written this, but then again, I forgot what
I ate for breakfast yesterday, too.

Writing into the Night

It's eleven p.m. and the rest of your household has slipped into bed, but your mind is bombarded and you can't sleep. You pick up a book, but the words are too lengthy to decipher at this hour.

As bereaved parents, and especially as newly bereaved, our minds have trouble concentrating and staying focused. It takes an enormous amount of energy just to get out of bed in the morning. So to have to read lengthy paragraphs and figure out what the author is saying can be too consuming. We want bite-size pieces to chew on, we want healing in easy-to-swallow capsules.

While reading the books on surviving life after the death of a child, are essential, so is something else--writing.

Writing's benefits are vast. Putting pen to paper releases pent-up feelings, some good, some nasty, but all honest. When you let your pain over the death of your loved one flow out on the paper, you are providing therapy. Your blood pressure is lowered, your pulse rate slows, and you give your heart an all-around healthy work-out.

Buy a notebook, spiral or bound. Set aside some time each day or night to write freely for ten to fifteen minutes. Write how you feel. Your notebook will not judge you. This is a friend who will hold all your secrets.

Let your mind remember as you write the memories of your child. View a photo of him at the beach and recall what the water and sun felt like that day. Remember a summer picnic at grandma's. What did your child eat? What did she wear? What were the expressions she used?

What did your child do that made you laugh? Sing in the bathtub? At the top of one of your notebook or journal pages write the word "Funny" and record those things that your child did that were funny to you.

We often think we will forget our child-- not his life, but pieces to his life. Sometimes a photo or a video can trigger a good memory. When these are brought to mind, write them down. Carry a notepad in our purse or in the car's glove compartment. I have written many of my son Daniel's antics in my notepad while sitting at a red light.

Studies have proven that writing through the pain is therapeutic. Give it a try! After pouring out your pain, you may even be able to find something else you need -- sleep.

~ Alice J. Wisler
~reprinted from Tributes June 2005

Monday, May 25, 2009

Radio Event

If you can, please tune in to Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley's Healing the Grieving Heart radio show this Thursday, May 28th at 9:20 PST or 12:20 EST. The topic is The Power of Grief and I look forward
to being a guest on the show.

Since the first guest is unable to make the show, I've been asked
to "appear" as a guest at 9 AM PST which is noon EST.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thanks for a great time!

Last Saturday at LifeWay Store was a wonderful event for me as
I signed copies of my two novels, Rain Song and How Sweet It Is.

I got to meet one of my FaceBook friends for the first time.
Missy joined me at my book signing table to purchase Rain Song.

My good friend, Katharine, was also there to support me.

I appreciate all who listened to me talk about my novels
and then am grateful for those who were kind enough to buy

Thanks, to LifeWay's staff for being so welcoming.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I was happy to see a review of How Sweet It Is at the Borders Bookclub site. Thanks, Jan S. !

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Coming up: National Fiction Day

This Saturday is the day! Please come out to the LifeWay Store on
Walnut Street in Cary. I'll be there at a table from 11 AM until
1 PM signing copies of How Sweet It Is.

Would love to see you there!

Cary LifeWay Christian Store
Centrum at Crossroads Shopping
2450 Walnut Street
Cary, NC 27518
Phone: 919-859-7379

Monday, May 11, 2009

Freedom to Cry at The Expanded Sky

Are you grieving the death of a loved one? Be sure to check out my columns in The Expanded Sky at this site.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An American Daughter

Yesterday my 18-year-old Rachel and I were loading up my Jeep to
carry her dorm room items home from East Carolina University.
As we made trips from her room to the parking lot, I was amazed
at her collection of shoes, purses, body wash and shampoo bottles.
I don't remember having so much of those when I was a freshman
in college, I thought. I made do with little; my daughter has
made many trips to Walmart.

However, I did commend her for a few of her purchases. She wiped
the room's mini fridge and microwave with scented wipes, something
I don't think I would have thought to buy at her age. A roll
of pink Duck tape came in handy when the bottom of a box fell out.

I didn't know about Duck tape at her age nor did I know that
a girl needed eleven different purses and bags.

Congratulating her on her first year at college, I thought I
also need to be congratulated. While I did go to college
and well remember the feelings of relief and happiness
after an academic year, I didn't grow up as she has. I
was a foreigner in an American setting. While classmates
lived in homes with basements and TV shows that blasted
out Laverne and Shirley and Mash, I'd lived in a small
house in a neighborhood in Osaka where on winter nights the hum
of the sweet potato truck selling the hot tasty goods
could be heard. Home for me was ten thousand miles away
from Harrisonburg, Virginia where I spent four years
of "higher learning". I had no driver's ed in high school
and graduation did not require wearing a cap and gown.

"You have an American daughter," my mother recently told me.
"And you don't know what it's like to be an American growing up
in this country." True, my daughter and I do not share American
childhoods. For that matter, my own mother was an American child
and later as a mother in Japan, raising my brother and me. We
certainly weren't like she was at our age.

"There were no drama queens," my France-born husband tells me of
his experience in a high school in The Netherlands. "And we weren't
all from America. We lived in a foreign country with
classmates from all over the world. We weren't typical

He explained it well. Our ideas, experiences and environment
caused those of us living as Americans in another country
to shape us into something other than Americans. To this
day, as adults living in the US, we still do not feel

My daughter, and her siblings, however, do and will. Born
and raised in Durham, North Carolina, they will think like
those around them.

I like to think that my children are privileged to have a mom
and step-dad who have seen the world, and although we struggle
with where home really is, we have a lot to share and offer about our rich experiences.

Meanwhile, I will realize that yes, my daughter is different from
me in may ways. While I don't always understand her American
attitudes or her vast shoe collection, I do embrace her for who
she is becoming and the potential she has. I like to think that
her world view is broader than most kids her age due to having
me around---a mother who loves sushi and eel, sings
karaoke songs in Japanese and is still figuring out many things

Monday, May 4, 2009

Interview at So Many Books ... So Little Time

Take a moment to drop by So Many Books ... So Little Time time to read an interview Jennifer had with me and posted at her site. The questions she asked were fun to answer---I especially liked the one about my favorite scene in How Sweet It Is. As I answered her questions, I learned a little more about myself. Always a good thing.