Archive | January 2017

Grief and Bereavement


Left Gene and right is Sam…

Loss is tough. Trust me in that I understand this all too well. Will you ever be the same? No. Your life has changed and you must change with it, at your own pace, in baby steps, and coming to terms with your loss.


Sam December 1989

Face it – grief can be hell, but we need not stay there in darkness. Easily written and hard to do. Growing up I had my shared of family deaths and they bothered me but I was able to move on until….

Bam! At age three years my baby brother passed away and a large gash simply ripped into me. I was 21 and my baby brother was an innocent little Down Syndrome boy who just couldn’t survive his heart repair surgery. I was hit with a ton of bricks. Slowly I worked my way past this and now have sweet memories of him.

Bam! One uncle and three grandparents passed away. I was devastated, poor, and couldn’t afford to go to any of the funerals. Again, I clawed my way out of grief and depression and persevered.


Christmas 1987 – Gene on left and Sam on right. 

Bam! My oldest son, Shane, strangled on his umbilical cord while still inside me. Labor was induced, I birthed, and a small private burial was held afterwards. The gash was so deep that I couldn’t cope. Losing a child is the King of Loss. I struggled for a long time, and then life looked sunnier when I found myself pregnant again. Thanks be to God for a safe delivery of my middle son, Gene. I was born to be a mama and I doted on him. I missed Shane, but I had my beautiful little boy to care for, and I reveled in being a mama. Soon after, I found myself pregnant again. I praised God for allowing me to have yet a third baby, a boy named Sam. Two peas in a pod, best friends and buddies, and great at fighting with each other at times. Life was good. 

Bam! Right before his 5th birthday, Sam was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer that for him, was located in the right side of his neck and extended into the cerebral fossa and into his brain cavity with mets to both lungs. My world with my boys came crashing down. In the end, Sam too, passed away. If you want to read about his life and story, When Angels Fly, can be obtained through Amazon.  I’m not writing this blog piece to sell my book, but I do want to discuss feelings and thoughts and the grief process, especially grief regarding infant and child loss. The graphic below sums up the King of Loss.





This entry was posted on January 28, 2017. 5 Comments

Grief is a Bully

Many Faces of Cheri G

I sometimes (often?) have arguments with the ghost of my husband. Perhaps argument is too strong a word, and quite likely it isn’t really him or his ghost, but simply my own delusional mind still trying to make sense of everything.

These disagreements are rarely about anything important, but isn’t that the way most marriages go? You gripe about the clothes that didn’t quite make the hamper. You bicker about who left the front door unlocked. You “discuss” the fact that the gas tank of the car is nearly empty. Or maybe it’s your wallet that’s empty. Yeah, that happens more than the gas tank…

I can almost hear him complaining about the shows I choose to watch on Netflix. Or reprimanding me for leaving my not-quite-empty coffee cup on the counter instead of rinsing it and putting it in the dishwasher, or gently disapproving of the bowl of ice…

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This entry was posted on January 28, 2017. 2 Comments

Win 50 Books for a School or Library

Kristen Twardowski


I want to share a contest that I recently stumbled across. Brightly, a division of Penguin Random House that focuses on books for kids and young adults, is giving away a collection of 50 books. The sweepstakes is open to parents, librarians, and teachers who live in the United States and runs from now until March 25, 2017.

This is a great opportunity to spread some bookish love, so if you or someone you know would benefit from the books, head over to fill out the entry form at

Best of luck to anyone who enters! I’m sure some kids will enjoy the grand prize.

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EDITING 101: 22 – Using Registered Trademarks and Brand Names…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Registered Trademarks and Brand Names

When you’re writing and your character uses a Kleenex, you’ve just used a registered trademark. Normally in non-fiction or business writing, you’d see it this way: Kleenex® or Kleenex™. To avoid using a brand name, you could say your character used a “tissue.”

You do not have to use ® or ™ in fiction writing.

The words aspirin, escalator, phillips-head screw, zipper, yo-yo, and vaseline were once trademarked but have lost that protection. They acquired such market dominance that the brand names became genericized. Companies want their products to become popular—but not too popular!—since there’s a price to pay for that popularity.

Kleenex®, Xerox®, Band-Aid®, and Plexiglas® were once in danger of losing their trademark…

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2017. 2 Comments

HOW to get promotion for yourself and your book …

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Two days ago I wrote a blog post that proved to be the most popular, in terms of reach and reaction, of any I’ve ever written! Thanks to everyone who read, liked, shared, reblogged, followed my blog, and commented on it. I guess I hit a nerve with the topic of authors behaving badly and how to avoid becoming one. It seems this kind of behaviour is definitely prevalent and a problem on social media, because so many of you agreed with me and my guests who also offered quotes on experiences they’d had dealing with these self-centred authors.

I took a negative tack on that last post, because it’s a fun angle to come from with this kind of list, and I’ve had success with that approach in the past. It also allows me to write in a humorous and sarcastic voice – which I hope was the voice…

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2017. 2 Comments