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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Michelle DelPonte Encourages Readers to Read Allen Long's "Praying for Restraint"


We are excited to be included in Allen Long's WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour for his latest memoir Praying for Restraint.  Thank you WOW! 

About Praying for Restraint:

Allen Long works as a CNA-certified nursing assistant-at that supposed sanctuary of caring, an inner-city general hospital. What an unforgettable parade of bizarre, needy, abusive, menacing, endearing, and poignant humanity passes through its doors. And those are just the staff and administrators! Meanwhile, the patient population spans the affluent and sophisticated to the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts, gang members, and criminals in custody. Praying for Restraint takes the reader on a journey into the absurd and surreal that is ultimately uplifting and harrowing, both funny and heartbreaking. Long's struggle to survive a relentlessly toxic work environment with body, soul, and marriage intact is as gripping as the battle against childhood abuse in his previous memoir, Less than Human. Reviewers found that book "inspiring, honest, and beautifully written, engaging, and thought-provoking." Praying for Restraint earns that praise and more.

Praying for Restraint 
is now available to purchase on Amazon in both paperback and as a Kindle book as well as Barnes and Noble and as a Google Book. 

About the Author, Allen Long

Here’s how I became a writer. When I was a child in Arlington, Virginia, as soon as I understood what stories were, I began telling them to anyone who would listen. As a fifth-grader, I was recruited by the Storytellers, a small group of supervised fifth- and sixth-graders who told stories once a month to kids in the first, second, and third grades.

When I reached sixth grade, my teacher allowed me to skip all of my English assignments in exchange for me writing her a short story each week. In seventh grade, one of my stories placed second in an English class competition.

DNA strands
Storytelling seems to have been hardwired into my DNA.

One of my favorite memories from childhood is telling my younger brother, David, a made-up story every night during the summers we slept in twin beds in our cool basement.

I earned a BA in Communications/Journalism from Virginia Tech. While I was there, I took every creative writing class offered and wrote a story that placed second at a regional literary festival sponsored by nearby Hollins University. During my student days, I also worked half-time for two years as a reporter for The Roanoke Times.

After I graduated, I accepted a scholarship to earn an MA in English/fiction writing from Hollins University, where I wrote the first half of a novel. I then received a second scholarship and a teaching assistant position to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Arizona.

Shortly after I graduated, I published a story called “Second Honeymoon” in Concho River Review. After that, I decided to continue my writing education by working with master editor Tom Jenks. When Tom was a senior editor at Scribner’s, he completed Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished novel, The Garden of Eden, which became a bestseller.

I published two more stories, and then I decided to change gears and write a memoir called “Soul Breach” about the high level of illegal and unethical behavior I’d witnessed while working in the management consulting field. The story was published, and my good friend and editor, Kit McIlroy, told me it was the best piece I’d ever written, and he encouraged me to write more nonfiction.

I followed his advice and wrote and published magazine-length memoirs about the happiest, most intriguing, and worst moments in my life. These combined pieces became my first book, Less than Human: A Memoir (Black Rose Writing, 2016).

After that, I published memoirs on a wide variety of subjects, including two about my work as an assistant nurse in a poorly managed inner-city hospital populated by challenging patients, including violent mentally ill ones who often were not sedated or restrained.

“Keep writing about that hospital, and you’ve got your next book,” Kit said. I followed his advice, eventually producing my second book, Praying for Restraint: Frequent Flying with an Inner-City Hospital CNA (Legacy Book Press, 2021).

dolphinOne final comment—I’ve loved visiting zoos and aquariums my whole life, and I’ve raised box turtles, swum with sea turtles, and gone on multiple dolphin- and whale-watching expeditions. Therefore, you may notice that quite a bit of wildlife has crept into my writing. At last count, I spied lions, tigers, giraffes, eland, monkeys, chimps, elephants, alligators, caimans, box turtles, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Have I missed any?

You can discover more about Allen and his work on his website:

--- Review by Michelle DelPonte 

As someone who has worked as a CNA, now a caregiver for people with behavioral issues, “Praying for Restraint” reminds me of another day at the office. Allen Long does a wonderful job of explaining the day to day concerns and lives of those that choose this much needed profession. He introduces us to many different types of people and circumstances that most people would not consider, from the patients to the upper management and everyone in between. This type of work is extremely taxing, but even more so with abusive clients and management. Entangled in the web, Allen shows how his work affects his PTSD and marriage. This book is a true testament to his character, as he is able to treat others with empathy and compassion while they are at their lowest points. The ability to care for people who are suicidal, abusive, and not in a good place is a gift that not everyone was blessed with. I encourage everyone to come and take a ride with this book and try to walk in the shoes of a caregiver.

About today's Reviewer:
Michelle is a busy mom, healthcare worker, and autism advocate. Michelle lives on the shores of Lake Michigan with her beloved family. 

--- Upcoming Blog Tour Schedule

May 25th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles offers her thoughts in an insightful review of Allen Long's medical memoir titled Praying for Restraint. Join readers at World of My Imagination as they learn more about this inspiring memoir and it's author. 

May 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Memoirist, Artist, and Psychotherapist Linda Appleman Shapiro offers some deep thoughts in her review of Allen Long's latest memoir Praying for Restraint. Join readers at Linda's blog today to learn more! 

May 27th @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator and small business owner Cathy Hansen shares her insightful review of Allen Long's Praying for Restraint. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this memoir!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Michelle. Thanks so much for your thoughtful review!