Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thank You!

A message from HELPING HANDS PRESS (publisher of my NEIGHBORS Series as well as COLONY ZERO

We can’t say it any more plainly.
As each day grows closer to those times of the year that makes one pause and reflect on what they are thankful for and what their year was like, we cannot help but come back to the one place any Author or Publisher needs to think of and consider with each and every word- YOUour readers and supporters.
HHP counts on you each and every “Thirsty Thursday” Party for your feedback, every review you give, every email and direct message you send the Authors in our Community. Without your guidance and support we know that we would cease to exist. “THANK YOU!!!!”
As a small token of our appreciation we are going to try to do a few fun things for you over the next 4 weeks.
We are going to offer all of the paperbacks, audio books and ebooks in the Helping Hands Press Store at 30% off from Nov. 20 to Dec.18th. All you need to do is use the code word “THANKYOU” when you check out to receive the discount.  
We are also starting a contest that will run the same length of time. There will be a Rafflecopter located on the Helping Hands Press blog that will have all the details. There are a lot of prizes:

-Grand Prize -Kindle Fire HD6
-Second Prize- 12 paperbacks-Full list is below
-Third Prize-6 paperbacks-Full List below
-Fourth prize-6 audio books-Full List below
-Fifth Prize-audio book of choice

We hope that you have fun, enjoy the contest, and most of all know that all of us here at Helping Hands Press are very thankful for your support each and every day!

Second Prize-12 paperbacks: Declaration of Independence Series I, Colony Zero Complete Series I, The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series I, ’Tis The Season in Sweetland Complete, No Revolution Is Too Big Complete Series, Marsha Hubler’s Heart-Warming Christmas Stories Complete Series, No Matter What, Uplifting Devotionals Book I, 12Days of Christmas Complete Series, The Ambassadors, Preacher Man Volume I, Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine

Third Prize-6 paperbacks:Dark Enough To See The Stars, The Blizzard, The Christmas Wish, Mother Can You Hear Me?, Homeschool Co-ops 101, God,Me and a Cup of Tea 

Fourth Place-6 audio books- The Swaddling Clothes, The Desperate Road, Rio Oro, Once Upon A Christmas Eve, Neighbors V1, A Mended Heart

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Approaching 1000!

I started this blog back in November of 2009. I think I had a grand total of three posts that year (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating...) and I really had no clue what I was doing or what I should write about. My publisher told me I needed to start a blog and so I obeyed... but what could I possibly have to say week after week?

A lot, apparently. Five years later, I am approaching my 1000th post. To be more specific, this is my 950th. I've written about everything from art to religion to book reviews; I've posted writing tips and book launches and even the odd rant.

Along the way, blogging has become one of those things that I just 'do'. Somehow I fit it into my schedule and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. In fact, it has become so much a part of my life, that I can't imagine letting it go. At first I thought it might curb my need to journal, and although a blog is a little bit like an online journal, I still find the old fashioned method of handwriting in a bound book rather cathartic.

I've considered switching to 'wordpress' a time or two, but I feel so comfortable with blogger that I don't see any reason to do so.  In other words, I will be continue to be right here at 'Expression Express' with ramblings and reflections about my life as a writer, artist, teacher, mother and Christian. It's been a great five years and I look forward to many more posts.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dementia - Close to Home

As I have been reading some of the other posts in the 'Alzheimer's Awareness and Caregivers Blog Tour'  I am struck with how many people are affected by this debilitating illness. I have come to see that my story is not all that unique, which is actually comforting. I am not alone.

Dementia is a topic that has affected me up close and personal. Both my mother and my husband's mother suffered from dementia and have since passed on. Their symptoms were different in some ways, but the outcome was the same.

My mother-in-law was the first to succumb. In hindsight we recognized the deterioration had been taking place for quite some time, but it wasn't until we went to visit her in her home and found her with her shoes on the wrong feet and a rotten, uncooked chicken in the refrigerator that we realized something needed to be done. She spent a year in a care home, although she was still quite capable of doing lots of things, so my husband decided that we should bring her to live with us. We had four children at home at the time and I would be lying if I said it wasn't difficult. It was.

Unfortunately, she is one of those people who became overtly suspicious and thought we were out to trick her. I had to do a search of her room every day while the children kept her 'occupied' and would find all kinds of things stashed in odd places: knives, scissors, marbles, beads, thread, food... inside socks, under the mattress, stashed in drawers... She loved to cook and clean so she did help out a lot, too, but it was always under supervision. We could never go anywhere without her unless we had someone to 'babysit'. The final straw came about one year in when my husband and I left her at home one afternoon with the children. Our eldest was twelve at the time and had been on 'duty' a few times before without incident. However, when we got home this day (it was before the age of cell phones) Grandma had slipped out and run away. My husband found her walking down a busy road several blocks from our home. It was at this point that we knew we couldn't do it any more.

My mother also suffered from dementia. She died at the age of eighty, but we lost her seven years before that when she went from being a very vibrant and eccentric artist to a person who didn't communicate. At least she never got violent and always seemed content, which is more than can be said for my mother-in-law. Still, it was heart breaking to see this once zestful person just sitting there staring into space.

I pray that this never happens to me and certainly my children are concerned since they have not one, but two examples in their history. However, I don't worry about it. I believe that God can use all things for His purposes - even dementia. I know that this is the case with my own mother, which is another story for another time...

Check out what others have been saying on the topic... 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's In Your Mail?

I can tell you what's in mine - three new paperback versions of three different books/plays that came out in the last month! (I just got the shipment of NEIGHBORS on Friday of last week.)

From left to right:
- 'Ali and the Magic Lamp' - stage play published by JAC Publishing and Promotions
- Colony Zero Complete Series 1 - published by Helping Hands Press
- NEIGHBORS - published by Helping Hands Press