Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
One of the joys experienced the past two Saturdays was the quiet of the roads and the beauty of the sunrise. Life offers us opportunities to choose. I had a choice to pull over and absorb this beautiful sight or continue bugging down the road. I chose to pause. In life, we need more opportunities to pause and enjoy the beauty of nature around us. One of the books I'm working on now focuses on slowing down and being more mindful of the opportunities and beauty placed before us.If you need to leave five minutes earlier, it will be worth it. Give it a try.
What did you notice on your commute?
The past two Saturdays were spent at Craft/Vendor Fairs. The first in Utica and this past weekend, Rome. It has been a few years since I dedicated time to these type of events but within the first couple hours last weekend, I knew it was time and was glad I went.
Here's the deal, authors don't typically sell a lot of books at craft/vendor fairs so why do we go? It's an opportunity to meet our readers and build relationships. I'm more apt to read a book if I've met someone who recommends the book and if I can meet the author, the likelihood increases even more.
As a child, I remember my Mom and aunts bringing me books signed by the authors after attending different book signings. Maybe this is one of the foundations for my passion to write and meet my readers. It is fun and energizing to meet my readers and those who attended events I spoke at. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet a women who heard me at her church's Fall retreat a few years ago. Her words encouraged me more than she realized, God used her to bless me.
It's amazing to see the way God works and uses us, isn't it? Anyway, in November I have two more events, one in Fulton, New York and another in Oswego, New York. In December I'll be at Christmas in Mexico, then a break until Spring. The amount of time required to prep, plan, travel, and pack can be intense while the actual hours spent sitting can feel long BUT, at the end of the day, it's about the relationships renewed or created that make it all worth it.
In life, so many people are looking at their screens to communicate, I find events like this invigorating because of the one on one contact, eye contact, and real conversation (you know, using our voices and body language). It's great! If the conversation and 1:1 isn't enough, by shopping at local events like this, you are supporting your local creatives. I still find the homemade gifts, books, and goodies my favorite treats to receive (and give).
As you move forward into the holiday seasons, I encourage you to slow down and visit the variety of local craft and vendor fairs. Here are a few benefits you'll receive:
*Meet new people
*Run into people you haven't seen in awhile
*Support local people, possibly your neighbor
*1:1 contact with a variety of people
*Unique & personal Gifts at your fingertips
*Free parking (usually)
*You can do it with or without the kids (it fits your mood)
*Make a girl's (or guys) get away for a couple hours then grab lunch
*Most have food choices so it's one stop shopping
*You learn about new items on the market
*Autographed and personalized books
*You'll get steps and make your heart and Fitbit happy (you can't do that shopping online)
*It's fun and each craft/vendor fair is different and variety is the spice of life.
What is your favorite aspect of craft & vendor fairs?
About the Author
Antoinette Truglio Martin is a life-long Long Islander, teacher, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer—a memoir chronicling her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient.
Personal experience essays and excerpts of her memoir were published in Bridges, Visible Ink, and The Southampton Review. Martin proudly received her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University in 2016.
Antoinette had also written the children's picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup (Albert Whitman and Company), and was a regular columnist for local periodicals Parent Connections (In a Family Way) and Fire Island Tide (Beach Bumming). Her blog, Stories Served Around The Table, tells family tales and life's musings. She lives in her hometown of Sayville, New York with her husband, Matt, and is never far from her “Everyone” and the beaches she loves.
Since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012, she strives to not let cancer to dictate her life. Follow her at Facebook and her website.
In the past I've shared a review for Elaine W. Miller's book, Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo. When I saw this book available for review, I signed up. As the caregiver to more family than one should have to care and say goodbye to in a life time, authors like Elaine and Antoinette are encouraging - they firsthand stories of being survivors and fighters, offering hope to others in this battlefield and their caregivers.
Antoinette's book is written in journal format for the most part, as she shares emails between her and "My Everyone" as she calls her support network. I'm a fan of diary type books like the Diary of Anne Frank or the Dear America series, so I related to Antoinette's real and personal accounts in the midst of her journey.
The love and bond between she and her daughters brought tears to my eyes and also had me laughing out loud. The honest connection and feelings shared are a tribute to the foundation she and her husband instilled in their family and all who knew them. One of the funniest parts is when Antoinette wants to try marijuana as a treatment and reaches out to her daughters and their response left Antoinette with this, "I had to admit, I did not expect such seamless resources and enthusiasm."
The subtitle of the book, "A year of community, courage, and cancer" is a perfect summary of one woman's journey through the unknown with her "everyone" by her side every step of the way. As Antoinette shares the emails and the commentary between each, I felt like I was sitting in her living room sharing a cup of tea and brownies with her.
This is a personal and heartfelt memoir of hope and encouragement for those going through a difficult and challenging journey, helping us to remember to go through and not get stuck in the pain and disease.
Thank you Antoinette, and thanks to all who took time to learn more about this great book.
During 2017's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, She Writes Press published Antoinette Truglio Martin’s touching memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. It is a 2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in Non-Fiction: Narrative and a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist: Non-Fiction Women's Issues.
In 2007, Martin believed her call back doctor appointment was routine, maybe a scare, nothing worse. Her shock at receiving a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis was instantly compounded by her own deep fears. As a self-described wimp—afraid of needles and uncomfortable with sedation—how was she going to get through this?
Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words. She began by journaling and by writing emails to Her Everyone—the large close-knit family and circle of beloved friends wanting to offer their support, especially those who were fighting breast cancer alongside her. The emails not only helped to keep Her Everyone informed, they gave cancer less of a presence in Antoinette’s life, since she wasn’t repeatedly updating people or saying the word “cancer” over and over. The practice of writing calmed her and also gave her space to focus on living: on the house that wasn’t selling, an exciting new job, daughters in college, and summer beach plans. She signed every email with the reminder to “hug everyone you know.”
Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of this memoir, which gives the book an immediacy and raw power.
Hug Everyone You Know is a memoir about how Antoinette found the courage to navigate her first year of breast cancer treatment. It’s the story of how a community—colleagues, family, friends—rallied to support her. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny—and it speaks to us all.
Other Blogs Featuring Antoinette's New Book
Does my photo let you know how the first read by an avid fiction reader went of my work-in-progress (WIP)? Actually it wasn't as bad as one might think when you see a picture of me going up in flames yet for this author and newbie fiction writer, it was a challenge.
Here are a few truths I knew before entrusting this to my daughter:
1) It's my 1st attempt at fiction
2) It's a 1st Draft
So basically, I know it wasn't ready but I knew she'd be honest and let me know if it was worth pursuing or to file it and go back to nonfiction.
Overall she liked it but said, "You haven't shared this with anyone else yet, right?"
Ouch, was my heart but the words that came out, "No, it's a first draft, you are the only one. If it's bad, just tell me." My tone must have matched my heart.
Her response, priceless, "Relax, I was just asking. You are the editor for me, just didn't know if anyone else had looked at it."
"Nope, only trusted you so far.", no more comments after that.
I told her to write on it and share any thoughts. Her feedback is insightful and honest. Now to decide if I go back and work on a couple of these or keep moving forward or pause for a little editing and revision.
1) Switch from 1st to 3rd person in the beginning (I knew this but only noted it as something to fix later, when I started I wasn't sure the direction - she encouraged me to fix this now)
2) It's a little disconnected at parts, if a chapter was moved to a different spot, it would flow better
3) You left your phone home but then later in the book you have your phone, "Where did the phone come from? LOL"
4) times vary from perspective
5) Time frames need work
6) "I'll read it when it's done, you have work to do before it goes to the editor."
I love this kid of mine and her honesty. She noted other items too, things I struggled with and even put question marks by paragraphs with a note like, "What? Unclear.", these were paragraphs I couldn't get right so just moved on. I value her ability to read and respond as a reader, a lover of books. Her insight and questions will help me as I make changes and move forward with this project.
I look forward to getting back to my writer's cottage for a day or two of writing. I planned to this past weekend but as with life, plans changed and life happened. Instead of writing, I was where I needed to be but because of this time, my daughter had the opportunity to read and offer her feedback, so it wasn't a complete writing loss.
Do these comments make you
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323