Blogging Mama

Total Pageviews

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Angela Williams Reviews Shirley Melis's "Banged-Up Heart"

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing, guest blogger Angela Williams, and Mari from Artotems as well as Shirley Melis. Without these amazing friends this lovely post would not be possible!

Hugs,
~Crystal



Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss




Review by Angela Williams


I was skeptical when I was asked to review the book Banged up Heart. It is not a type of book that I would normally pick up and read all on my own. I am a person that likes a good mystery or thriller. My attention has to be captured within the first few chapters or I will never pick up the book again. I am not a person that reads about love stories. That was immediately what I thought this book was going to be all about. At first, it was a little bit of a struggle to get myself to read it. I think that was because of my preconceived expectations. Before I knew it, I was done with the book.

This book is more than just a love story. It is more about how two people can battle odds together and become closer than ever. It also is about how to deal with emotions after a loss. For anyone that has suffered any type of personal loss, I think it would be an easy story to relate to. It is heartbreaking and exciting all at the same time. It made me think about how I would handle a situation similar. It really made me sort of evaluate myself. Could I be strong? How would I process the emotions that Shirley was feeling? Would I have handled it the same way?

It was very well written and easy to read, once I got in to it. I think this would be the perfect book for anyone that likes books that tug at the heart strings a little.



Paperback: 300 Pages
Genre: Memoir/Non Fiction
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (February 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 193828870X
ISBN-13: 978-1938288708



Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss is available in print on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.


About

Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again.

When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend’s husband, she asks him to marry her! What follows is a year-long odyssey of travel and a growing erotic and creative partnership— until a mysterious bump on John’s forehead proves to be one of several tumors in his brain and spine.

The nine months that follow are filled with a life-threatening infection, three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. Two years and one week after their wedding, John dies at the age of fifty-nine. More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heart comes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss—a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.



About Shirley

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Shirley can also be found online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shirleymelis/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShirleyMelis

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145012-banged-up-heart?




Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing me an opportunity to participate in this book blog tour!


Be sure to check out some of the future blog stops on this tour:





Feb 23 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don't miss today's interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://applemanshapiro.com/

Feb 23 @ Writer’s Pay it Forward
MC Simon interviews Shirley Melis about her novel Banged Up Heart for readers at Writers Pay it Forward. Don't miss this courageous memoir.
http://writerspayitforward.com/

Feb 24 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer's Journey - find out what Pooler has to say about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://krpooler.com/

Feb 27 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You'll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Feb 28 @ Bring on Lemons with Cindi Ashbeck
Cindi Ashbeck shares her thoughts after reading the touching story Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 1 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 2 @ Book Santa Fe with Tange Dudet
Avid reader and book enthusiast Tange Dudet shares her thoughts and feelings after reading the touching memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://www.booksantafe.info/

March 3 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis's book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/



Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question - it's great hearing from YOU!





About today’s reviewer:
Angie Williams is a simple girl living in a complicated world. She grew up on a family dairy farm in rural Wisconsin and loves her family and has a soft spot for all animals, but especially cows. She works at the beautiful Lighthouse Inn on the shores of Lake Michigan. When she's not cheering on the Dallas Cowboys you can find Angie hanging out with her husband, children, and extended family.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Crystal Otto Reviews Shirley Melis's "Banged-Up Heart" for WOW! Women on Writing

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing and Mari from Artotems as well as Shirley Melis. Without these amazing friends this lovely post would not be possible!

Hugs,
~Crystal



Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss




Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto


Banged-Up Heart is a great memoir for the non-memoir-loving reader. It reads like a novel. The only difference being you pretty much know the outcome before you crack the spine of the book. So what makes you want to read the book? Why would I recommend it and give it 5 stars?

Well...
Let me ask you this. Did you know Custer's Last Stand ended? Or better yet, have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery and looked at one of the really large ornate stones? Right there you have examples of knowing how something began and how something ended - but were you satisfied with that? Didn't you want to know more? After all, life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey. We all have a starting point and an ending point whether we've gotten there yet, or not...it's the circle of life. What we do with the time in the middle is what leaves it's mark on others.

Shirley Melis's "Banged-Up Heart" is no different. She hasn't yet reached her ending point, and I hope there will be more books between now and then, but as far as how she managed to dance through love and loss, it's truly remarkable. It's not how I would have handled things, but if it were, then there wouldn't be a story to tell. That's what's fun about reading a memoir that reads like a novel - you get to experience things through the eyes and hearts of others. Melis's ability to forge ahead and dance is remarkable and quite admirable. Whether you've had a Joe in your life or a John - or you've experienced love once or many times, you'll want to pick up a copy of "Banged-Up Heart". Even if you've never been in love, this book will help you believe in love. It's beautifully written, honest, laughable at points, well edited, and a bit unconventional, yet it's a book you'll devour and that will stick in your heart long after you've finished the final page.



Paperback: 300 Pages
Genre: Memoir/Non Fiction
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (February 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 193828870X
ISBN-13: 978-1938288708



Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss is available in print on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.


About

Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again.

When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend’s husband, she asks him to marry her! What follows is a year-long odyssey of travel and a growing erotic and creative partnership— until a mysterious bump on John’s forehead proves to be one of several tumors in his brain and spine.

The nine months that follow are filled with a life-threatening infection, three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. Two years and one week after their wedding, John dies at the age of fifty-nine. More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heart comes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss—a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.



About Shirley

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Shirley can also be found online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shirleymelis/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShirleyMelis

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145012-banged-up-heart?




Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing me an opportunity to participate in this book blog tour!


Be sure to check out some of the future blog stops on this tour:



Feb 21 @ Deb Blanchard
Teacher Deb Blanchard gives insight into "Banged Up Heart" the touching memoir by Shirley Melis.
https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

Feb 22 @ Bring on Lemons with Angela Williams
Angela Williams reviews Shirley Melis's Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Feb 23 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don't miss today's interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://applemanshapiro.com/

Feb 23 @ Writer’s Pay it Forward
MC Simon interviews Shirley Melis about her novel Banged Up Heart for readers at Writers Pay it Forward. Don't miss this courageous memoir.
http://writerspayitforward.com/

Feb 24 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer's Journey - find out what Pooler has to say about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://krpooler.com/

Feb 27 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You'll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Feb 28 @ Bring on Lemons with Cindi Ashbeck
Cindi Ashbeck shares her thoughts after reading the touching story Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 1 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 2 @ Book Santa Fe with Tange Dudet
Avid reader and book enthusiast Tange Dudet shares her thoughts and feelings after reading the touching memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://www.booksantafe.info/

March 3 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis's book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/



Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question - it's great hearing from YOU!





About today’s reviewer:


Crystal is a secretary and musician at her church, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at WOW! Women on Writing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Is it Wrong or Just Not My Way?

same class - same instruction - look at the differences! ALL BEAUTIFUL!
I just had a fabulous conversation with a friend. I was reminded of a time when a mentor asked me a tough question. A co-worker at the time (many many years ago) had done something I disagreed with. In my youth, I was quick to judge and readied myself to jump in and explain what they had done wrong and how they could do it better the next time. My mentor asked:

Did they do it wrong, or did they just not do it 'Crystal's Way'?

I sat back and thought about that. I thought about how my mother said you should vacuum first and dust later and how my father said dust first and vacuum later and how they were both right, as long as the work got done.

It's the same way with parenting, marriage, book reviews, and just about any situation you can imagine. There's very seldom one single way to get something done. In my recent article for WOW!Women on Writing about book reviews for example I talk about writing a review of a book that you don't particularly love. Just because I wouldn't have written a book about poetry as a way to heal after sexual abuse doesn't mean Rebecca Fitton's book "Wave Rider" is any less valid. Just because I wouldn't write a book about my relationship with my mother doesn't mean Linda Appleman Shapiro's "She's Not Herself" isn't a great book.

After a failed practice marriage over a decade ago, I learned to be less critical of myself and others. I no longer look for fault in my spouse in the same way I did the first time around. If you are waiting for someone to make a mistake or if you are looking for faults in others, you'll find them. If you look for the good in others and in yourself, you'll find that too. It's no different with books. I could pick up a book by any author - this includes my dear Wall Lamb or Jodi Picoult too - and find points that could be spruced up, draggy parts, things that don't appeal to you, etc... or I could pick up the same book and see all the beauty and heart written on those pages. It's really up to me.

This doesn't mean I never write a negative book review, but I try to see books the same way I see people. There's good in most of them. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper beneath the surface, but there's some good there. Just because the person isn't someone I want to spend eternity with doesn't mean they aren't an amazing individual. Just because the book isn't done 'Crystal's Way' doesn't mean it's wrong.

There are my deep thoughts for the day. Enjoy!

Do you have a situation you can tell us about where you had to take a step back and look for the good in others?

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!

Hugs,
~Crystal

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and the wisdom of good friends.





Crystal is a secretary and musician at her church, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at WOW! Women on Writing.

Review of Shirley Melis's "Banged-Up Heart" by Michelle DelPonte

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing and Michelle DelPonte as well as Shirley Melis. Without these amazing friends this lovely post would not be possible!

Hugs,
~Crystal



Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss  





Review by Michelle DelPonte

I finished reading Shirley Melis’ Banged Up Heart a week ago and I still can’t get it out of my mind. It has changed my views on my work, faith, family, friends, and marriage. Shirley discusses her concerns with her husband’s medical treatment. As a healthcare worker, I failed to see the patients’ family’s view. I failed to see how scared they can be, as well as dependent. I never saw how their lives changed as their family member declined or passed on. I always feel that life is about quality, not quantity, but I see people suffer every day. Not a day has gone by that I have looked at any of my residents in the same light, no matter what they are going through.

I have gained a better understanding and empathy for their families.
While I am a firm believer of God and His work, I understand that there are scientists and Atheists in this world. While suffering is a part of life, I turn to my faith to get through it. I have failed to understand how anyone can live without that hope. Shirley points out that John is a man of science, not of God. She doesn’t dwell on the issue, but it was enough for me to understand how others live through the hard times without faith. It was intriguing to see how her life does not lack in any way, without the connection to faith that I depend on.

Without God to turn to, Shirley’s life is filled with friends that she can depend on throughout this process. As an introvert, I tend to be more of a loaner. Banged Up Heart has shown me the importance of putting yourself out there. While Shirley lost her first husband suddenly, it was through friends that she met John and fell in love. She chose to live life to the fullest, long before her first husband, and ongoing today.

Marrying John, Shirley gave everything to him. She willingly opened her life, heart, mind, and bed to trying new things. She wanted to know everything about her new husband. She submitted to John’s desires and grew in her own way. When John became terminal, he considered ending his own life. He briefly considered Shirley ending her own life as he did his. I don’t know how I would react to my husband mentioning that, but I was thoroughly impressed that Shirley educated herself so she could make the best decision for herself. While Shirley chose life, to dance with the pain, she went through the storms with her head held high.

I cannot say enough about this amazing book, and even more amazing Shirley herself. She is a true inspiration for all ages.

Paperback: 300 Pages
Genre: Memoir/Non Fiction
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (February 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 193828870X
ISBN-13: 978-1938288708



Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss is available in print on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.


About

Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again.

When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend’s husband, she asks him to marry her! What follows is a year-long odyssey of travel and a growing erotic and creative partnership— until a mysterious bump on John’s forehead proves to be one of several tumors in his brain and spine.

The nine months that follow are filled with a life-threatening infection, three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. Two years and one week after their wedding, John dies at the age of fifty-nine. More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heart comes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss—a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.


About Shirley

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Shirley can also be found online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shirleymelis/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShirleyMelis

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145012-banged-up-heart?




Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing me an opportunity to participate in this book blog tour!


Be sure to check out some of the future blog stops on this tour:

Feb 16 @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples interviews Shirley Melis about her book Banged Up Heart. Don't miss this heart felt interview about courage and love.
http://madelinesharples.com/

Feb 17 @ Jerry Waxler
Coach and Author Jerry Waxler shares his thoughts after reading Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
www.memorywritersnetwork.com/blog

Feb 20 @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto shares her review after reading the touching and inspiring memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Feb 21 @ Deb Blanchard
Teacher Deb Blanchard gives insight into "Banged Up Heart" the touching memoir by Shirley Melis.
https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

Feb 22 @ Bring on Lemons with Angela Williams
Angela Williams reviews Shirley Melis's Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Feb 23 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don't miss today's interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://applemanshapiro.com/

Feb 23 @ Writer’s Pay it Forward
MC Simon interviews Shirley Melis about her novel Banged Up Heart for readers at Writers Pay it Forward. Don't miss this courageous memoir.
http://writerspayitforward.com/

Feb 24 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer's Journey - find out what Pooler has to say about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://krpooler.com/

Feb 27 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You'll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Feb 28 @ Bring on Lemons with Cindi Ashbeck
Cindi Ashbeck shares her thoughts after reading the touching story Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 1 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 2 @ Book Santa Fe with Tange Dudet
Avid reader and book enthusiast Tange Dudet shares her thoughts and feelings after reading the touching memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://www.booksantafe.info/

March 3 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis's book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/



Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question - it's great hearing from YOU!





About today’s guest reviewer:
Michelle DelPonte is a busy mom and health care worker. Her two sons are the focus of her life and she works diligently to raise awareness about autism in the community. She loves reading, anything to do with history and geocaching just to name a few of her many hobbies. Michelle, her husband Ben and their two sons Sebastian and Asher live in Manitowoc, WI on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where they enjoy walking and biking on the Mariner’s Trail and spending time at the Library.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review by Tara Forst for Rebecca Pott Fitton's "Wave Rider"

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing and the lovely Tara Forst as well as Rebecca Pott Fitton. Without these amazing friends this lovely post would not be possible!

Hugs,
~Crystal


Wave Rider: Poetic Journey from Abuse to Wholeness

Review by Tara Forst

While Wave Rider is not the type book I would normally read, I have found it very interesting and can see how others who have experienced abuse similar to what Rebecca Pott Fitton has gone through, would benefit from reading it. I even feel that my eyes were opened and I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to give this a read.

Rebecca has truly bared her soul in this book and I can clearly see her pain and healing. The early poems are dark and and raw and at times disjointed just as I imagine her childhood was. They make you feel for the lost little girl who suffered at the hands of her abuser and those who ignored her plight. As you continue to read you can feel the awakening and changing seasons of her life until she finally reaches a place where she is healed and serene. I especially enjoyed “Free.” It is simple and speaks to her decision to be free of the past, and free to choose her own path. Excerpt from Free- “My words resonate to the universe. ‘I am free.’”

My husband and I are foster parents and I feel Wave Rider has given me new insight into some of the pain some foster children have experienced. I admire Rebecca Pott Fitton for being able to move from abuse to wholeness but also for her willingness to share her story in print form.


Genre
Spiritual Memoir / Poetry

Amazon Link

Goodreads Link


About
Wave Rider is a poetic reflection of author Rebecca Fitton’s long journey to heal from sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect, building a new world based on wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. Her journey has taken a lifetime. To use the metaphor of waves, sometimes the undertow nearly drowned her—but she survived. Now her beautiful and profound book offers inspiration to others who have also suffered greatly from abuse.

Praise
"Rebecca’s journey, delightfully presented through her sacred poetry, resonates with an archetypal journey shared by many. The intimacy of her sharing and beautifully aligned prose guides us into a state of consciousness where peace can be found. Her book is a delicious delving into the sacredness of individuation." —Melissa Pickett

"It is said that the longest journey begins with the first step. Truthfully, something precedes the first step: saying “yes” to the journey. In her book of poems, Rebecca invites us into her journey—one that says a resounding “yes” to life and an emphatic “no” to abuse. Her voice found through poetry, Rebecca speaks with courage, determination, and delight. My life-journey is the richer after reading her poems." —Paul Chitwood, L.M.T.

"I have been reading Rebecca’s poetry for a few years now. Her choice of words in describing deep emotions, life’s challenges, and pivotal awareness-evoking experiences creates for me a rich and expansive tapestry of multidimensional memories, feelings, and a desire to explore further within myself issues and life mysteries raised by her poetry." —Emily M. Smith

About Rebecca
Rebecca Pott Fitton explored different places and professional work. She grew up in Delaware and went to college in upstate New York. After graduating from Keuka College, she earned an M.A. in international relations at the University of Delaware. Then she headed to Michigan for careers in urban planning and health-care administration and an MBA from the University of Detroit. She continued working in health care in Ohio and retired as president of CareView Home Health in Middletown, Ohio. Retirement can be a busy time. Fitton brought her business acumen to service on five nonprofit boards. After her husband, Richard, died, she realized that the time had come to remake herself. As the lyrics of the song go, “I’d built a life wrapped so tight it was strangling me.” Freedom was a spirit call from Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing me an opportunity to participate in this book blog tour!

Be sure to check out some of the future blog stops on this tour:





Feb 15 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Rebecca Fitton’s book Wave Rider and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/


Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question - it's great hearing from YOU!


About today’s guest reviewer:
Tara Forst lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their young son.  Tara owns her own business: Worn Forever - dedicated to helping mamas with babywearing and attachment parenting.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Are They ALL Yours? (and other things strangers ask moms with 3 or more kids)

Hi!
Many of you know me, but for those who don't, I've given birth to 5 beautiful children thus far and I'm not opposed to having more (good Lord willing and the creek don't rise). Right now, we have 4 children at home ages: 9,8,3, and 1. The 9 and 8 year old are 14 months apart which is apparently known as being 'Irish Twins' and the younger two are 17 months apart. I also take care of my niece who is 17 months younger than our youngest. (Our youngest will be 2 in a few weeks and our niece is 7 months). Now that you know more than you ever needed to, I am going to launch into all of the weird things strangers have asked and the snarky comments I've formulated in my head as a response:

Are they ALL yours? (People have asked me this when I have just 3 of my own children...and of course if I have 5 in tow, then they still ask. I just politely smile and answer truthfully...but in my head, this is my snarky response: No - I rustled up all the neighborhood kids to go grocery shopping because I thought it would be fun to push 2 carts and 5 crabby little humans around the store!)

Do they all have the same father? (I usually just smile and give them a blank look - who asks that anyway? Who answers that even? My snarky response: No, I'm a prostitute and some guys refuse to use a condom, so this is what happens. Why do you ask, does this one look like he/she is related to you? or better yet: No, I don't think so. I'm not sure who is the father of this one - does he look like anyone you know?)

Are they twins? (This may seem like a legitimate question, but in my case, there's a huge size difference between all of my children...so I just smile and say, Irish Twins maybe, but that's as close as it gets at our house. My snarky response: Yes, they are twins, but this one came out a year in a half before this one...it was grueling.)

How do you get anything done? (I usually just laugh and say, sometimes they sleep, but my snarky response is much better: I don't - we live in a filthy pig sty. or I lock them in the kennels in the basement and deep clean the house with the radio turned up listening to 80's tunes to drown out the screaming!)

Are you done now? (I'm sure they don't mean grocery shopping, this is usually in reference to whether we are having more children or not...and I laugh and say "it's up to God" but my snarky response is a wee bit more fun: We are going for a world record - just a few dozen more should do it. I mean after all, what is it to them?)

You aren't having more, are you? (see above...with a twist: Well we sure aren't having less, are we?) LOL

You know about birth control, right? (there's no way to respond to this - especially with a stranger - just smile...it's about all you can do. Snarky response is (drum roll please...): no, what's that? Do you have time to tell me about it before we get out of the produce aisle? )

seriously though - I would never actually say any of the snarky comments you read above. I'm pushing 40 and my filter seems to be working most days, so I act appropriately and just THINK the snarky thoughts to myself.

What is the weirdest question you've been asked by a stranger?

How do you respond when people ask you personal questions?

Leave a comment - it's always awesome to hear from you!

Hugs,
~Crystal

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and snark!



Crystal is a secretary and musician at her church, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at WOW! Women on Writing.