Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Project #ReadandStayWarm

I'm happy to help The Combined Book Exhibit promote Project #ReadandStayWarm. Here's what they have to say about this initiative:

ReadandStaywarmsnowmanIn the midst of the August heat, keeping warm this winter is probably the last thing on most people's minds. But the reality is, "for the now nearly 15% of Americans living in poverty, a warm winter coat is a budget “extra”, and an estimated 671,850 Americans experience homelessness on any given night." (source) That's why we're excited to announce a new initiative starting this fall at the Pennsylvania Library Association conference in Lancaster, PA, to help donate coats to those in need.

In hopes of helping others keep warm this winter, The Combined Book Exhibit is launching project #ReadandStayWarm . At six of our Fall and Winter library shows, CBE will be collecting new and lightly used coats for those who need them most. Below please find a schedule of the shows where CBE will be taking donations, and please help spread the word on twitter, FB and any social media you have by using #ReadandStayWarm .

* Please note, all coats donated at ALAMW will go towards our second Fall/Winter 2015-2015 campaign.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Coming soon: The Land Uncharted by Keely Brooke Keith

Okay, so this post is about my book, The Land Uncharted, which will be released October 21, 2014. I'm so excited. Excited and terrified and hopeful and nervous.

While I'm doing all the marketing stuff they say to do, I'm a private person and an introvert, so I daily have a what-am-I-doing moment. The truth is: I could not do this without the army of supportive friends God has blessed me with. They listen to my doubts and quell my fears, they brainstorm with me, they let me help them too, and sometimes they make amazing graphics about my book that totally rock my face off. Example:

Seriously! How cool is that? Thank you, Claribel!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Guest Post by Author RJ Thesman: Hope for Caregivers through the Reverend G Series

When I coach writers, I often remind them, “Nonfiction tells the facts, but fiction shows the truth."

That quote has become reality as my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Mom is now approximately five years into the disease and she is experiencing the second level – what I call – The Intermission.

By writing a fictional series about Reverend G, a gutsy woman minister who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I have been able to share the truth about this horrid disease. It sneaks up on families and before they know it they are living within a nightmare of confusion, regressive behaviors and the sadness of a parent who no longer knows who they are.

Within the novels, I’ve tried to include some ideas for caregivers, ways they can learn to cope with what is happening to their loved ones. Often, readers email me to express gratitude or to agree with me about a particular experience that Reverend G goes through.

“Yes, that happened to my mom. How did you know?”

“I agree with you. It doesn’t help to argue with an Alzheimer’s patient. They win every time.”

“It hurts so much that my dad no longer knows my name.”

Because Alzheimer’s is such a tragic disease that affects entire families, I’ve also included humorous stories and characters within the book, including a cat who serves as part of the staff at Cove Creek Assisted Living. By including some of the lighter stories, my readers can deal with what is happening to Reverend G and also, hopefully, find some humor in the situations they are dealing with.

My main goal is to encourage caregivers, so I hope that comes through in these novels. Because fiction shows the truth, I hope that families who deal with Alzheimer’s can find encouragement within the life of Reverend G.

RJ Thesman

Intermission for Reverend G 
by RJ Thesman
Blurb: Three months after a fire ripped through Cove Creek Assisted Living Facility, repairs are complete, but even as Reverend G and her cat, Gabriel move back into their apartment, the retired pastor realizes life just isn’t the same. She continues to minister to her fellow residents — the widower who reads the same book over and over and the woman who waits by the front door for the family who never arrives. Even Gabriel is back at work, making his rounds and forecasting death. But while Reverend G is able to find the words to conduct a funeral service, anticipates the birth of her first grandchild and plans her future with her beloved, Chris, she battles her worsening Alzheimer’s symptoms — memory loss, paranoia, anger and fear. Now, her worst nightmare seems to be coming true. God hasn’t spoken to her in weeks. Has Reverend G lost her connection with God?

The Unraveling of Reverend G
by RJ Thesman
Blurb: When Reverend G hears the devastating diagnosis—dementia with the possibility of early-onset Alzheimer’s—she struggles with the pain of forgetting those she loves and the fear of losing her connection with God. With the help of her friends at the assisted living facility, Bert, a farmer from Oklahoma, Roxie, the stressed-out activities director and Gabriel, a cat with the gift of forecasting death, she soon discovers there’s humor to be found in forgetting part of the Lord’s Prayer, finding her iron in the freezer and losing a half-gallon of ice cream. And she discovers that while the question she wants to ask is, ‘Why,’ the answer really is, ‘Who.’ 

The Unraveling of Reverend G at Amazon

RJ Thesman has been a writer since she flipped open her Red Chief tablet and scribbled her first story. After writing 4 non-fiction books and almost 500 articles, she woke up one day with a novel in her head. That novel became "The Unraveling of Reverend G." She enjoys teaching writing workshops and helping writers birth their words. She is a certified life coach, works as a writing coach and as a coach for women who are Starting Over Single. She is the mother of an adult son, and she enjoys reading, gardening and cooking - especially anything with blueberries. Thesman lives in the heart of Kansas with her son and an elderly cat.

Connect with Author RJ Thesman


Friday, August 1, 2014

But What If?

We spend a lot of mental energy worrying, don’t we? Life can seem like a series of problems, challenges and disasters. Whether a glass half full or half empty kind of person, we all dwell on our circumstances and make a mental playbook, rehearsing our reactions for every possible outcome.

What would happen if during that first worried thought after the doctor confirms the cancer, after you open the rejection letter, after the judge sides with the plaintiff, or the spouse says it’s overwhat if somehow in that moment you knew for a fact everything would be fine? What if in the middle of your current circumstance, you somehow knew the surgery would cure the cancer, you would get into grad school, the debt would be paid, forgiveness would come?

What if your 90-year-old self came back in time and told you the thing you most fear will never happen and something wonderful will happen? Or the current circumstance that seems so awful will one day be the thing you are most grateful for?

Would you think different thoughts?

Would you live today any differently?

Would you treat people better?

Would you treat yourself better?

God’s got this. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Trust Him.