There are many good things about getting older but unfortunately our society holds aging as an inevitable downward spiral. That’s why I like to post about the positive when I find it. Tom and Helen are wonderful examples of a happy circumstance. I have written two posts about them. After the excerpts below, I will … Continue reading Update on Tom and Helen
My son-in-law and daughter left for a weekend in Chicago so he could run the marathon. I stayed at their home, watching three grandkids and the two dogs. It was good timing. My life, up to now, has mostly centered on promoting my first and only book. I have been doing little else. Stories from … Continue reading Learning the hard way about book promotion
When I worked at the National Institutes of Health, a colleague and I wrote an article: The Role of Nurse Practitioners Expands at NIH for the NIH Record newsletter in May of 2000 about the increase of Nurse Practitioners at the Institute. My short time there was exciting, especially as I witnessed NP positions increase … Continue reading The National Institutes of Health Disappoints
In keeping with the theme of my last two posts, this one reflects my ambivalence about aging.
I promptly lost my first Medicare card. When I opened the envelope and saw the red, white and blue border, I was reminded of the elderly I cared for over twenty years ago when I was a gerontological nurse practitioner. I ran a not-for-profit clinic in a converted one-bedroom apartment on the tenth floor of a senior citizen highrise in Chicago. How many times had I asked to see someone’s Medicare card? Most of my patients were poor, illiterate and had multiple health problems. So when I first looked at my card, I could only remember loneliness, despair and disability. This couldn’t be happening to me. And, poof, the card was gone.
Slowly other patients strolled into my memory. Mildred, blind and lived alone, always asked me to put her kitchen cabinets back in order after her daughter visited. Margie, ninety-something with an Irish brogue, came down to the clinic…
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I am pleased to announce that Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers is a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist.
Here we go again. It's Nurses Week and we are still battling a misguided perception of nurses. This isn't just a week to celebrate nurses for all that we do to keep patients well and safe, not only in hospital settings but on the world stage, and to remind ourselves that for 52 weeks a … Continue reading Nurses Week–Here We Go Again
I had finally decided to clean out my office closet. I started with the stuffed cardboard file box. The first thing I reached for was a frayed manila envelope. The stack of typed pages spilled out onto the floor. After I read the first two sheets—an early attempt at documenting my nursing life—I knew I … Continue reading A Long Overdue Thank You
In the April 2019 AARP Bulletinthere is an article discussing the restrictive laws in North Carolina that control Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.* North Carolina is where I now live. While I no longer practice as a nurse practitioner, I’m always on the lookout for the latest restrictions or advances in APRN practice. And I … Continue reading Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
I have become much better when I meet someone new at acknowledging that I am a writer and have published a book. After I give them the elevator speech describing the book, they usually ask, “How long did it take you to write?”
I have spent more time answering this question than telling them what the book is about. I feel the need to justify why it took seven years to finish.
A new acquaintance asked just yesterday, “So, how long did it take for you to write the book?” As usual, I spent many minutes with my in-depth explanation. I droned on as if giving a lecture that I had given many times before and had to reluctantly deliver it again. Why?
Then that afternoon, after I read Marlene Adelstein, The Dreaded Question, I knew why. My book writing journey doesn’t follow Marlene’s exactly but her story does help to clarify that my first book, Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic, has been growing inside of me for years. Years! My previous writing was mostly in preparation for this book. Like Marlene, I recognize that I have had subconscious motivations for finishing this book all along. I am still processing the reasons, which I will share in another post.
I hope you enjoy Marlene’s fine story and her lovely writing as much as I did.
by Marlene Adelstein
Now that my debut novel, Sophie Last Seen, has just been published and I’ve started doing readings and interviews to promote it, I’m hoping my least favorite question won’t pop up. But inevitably, it does. How long did it take you to write? It’s often the first question out of people’s mouths. Why the length of time it takes to complete a book is of such interest, I’m not sure. Maybe people secretly want to hear it took a long time so they can feel better about their own slow writing. Or perhaps they want to hear it didn’t take very long at all, and they’ll think, That sounds easy, I can do that!
The fact is, when I started writing this book the World Trade Center had just toppled. And it was only a little more than a year ago that I got a…
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This seems like a good time to revisit an earlier post as I start on my second book, which will be about various home visits I have made over the years. It originally appeared on April 7, 2013.
Recording sad, depressing, and unpleasant experiences is challenging. They are often the stories we nurses would rather block from memory. I empathize with nurses who choose not to write while, at the same time, I encourage them to do so. Motivation varies from writer to writer, and composing my stories grants me an absolution of sorts. Revealing my reactions to clinical situations will be challenging. But then who said writing is easy?
Four women in my Wednesday evening non-fiction workshop graciously agreed to be my beta-readers and look over my manuscript during a two week break, following suggestions outlined by our leader, Carol Henderson. What Carol stressed, among other things, was not to get bogged down with spelling and formatting but look for flow, bumps and where you fall asleep. How does the narrator come across? Make a note where things are not clear.
The four women are talented writers. Their stories deep, interesting and well told. I consider myself lucky to have willing and skilled readers. Their feedback, positive and negative, can only improve my book. They have heard my stories, isolated, standing alone, without any connection to what had happened before or followed next. Now for the first time they would have the whole picture of my creation.
The “corrected” manuscripts (Sol Stein, Stein on Writing,
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