Nurses are nuts or do they just need “secretaries?”

 

Nurses Are Nuts by Anthony Langley, RN

 

 

 

 

Anthony Langley contacted me to ask if he could send me a copy of his book to review and possibly discuss on my Blog. I am always happy to support a fellow nurse who takes the plunge and writes a book about nursing, so I said sure.

 

 

 

About the Author

Anthony Langley has been a registered nurse for twenty-nine years. He also has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His interest in nursing started after getting a job as a security officer in the emergency room of a hospital. A male nurse who worked in the emergency room showed him the things that nurses did, which got him interested in nursing.

Anthony Langley

He got his bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1990. At his first job, he started on a medical-surgical unit. He has worked in many areas of the hospital, which include surgical stepdown unit, surgical intensive care, same-day surgery, and the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) recovery room.

 

 

Continue reading “Nurses are nuts or do they just need “secretaries?””

Wonderland Book Club

QR bookclubLast Friday I discussed my book, Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers at the Wonderland Book Club, which was held at a local independent bookstore. The audience was quite engaged and we shared discussions not only of my book but of the status of nurses, problems within the health care industry in general and in North Carolina in particular.

Here are some of the questions/comments:

  1. How do you deal with the stress of caring for patients? Do you take these problems home with you?

Me:  I have always taken home patient problems as evidenced by what I wrote in my journals. Journaling was a way I dealt with problems at work. The more difficult the patient issues, the more time I spent writing in my journal. A lot of the stories from the book have been documented in my journal. In fact, the last chapter, Playing Sheriff, was written before I found the journal from that time period. I was surprised to find the story closely paralleled the journal entry.

  1. How brave you were to write about your mother. (I’ve had this comment before. The first time, I really didn’t understand what the person was talking about)

Me:  It was difficult to write about my mother. We didn’t get along. It was especially disturbing that I was a gerontological specialist and couldn’t get along with my own elderly mother. But it was truth and I felt it was part of my story. (At another reading, I was asked what happened to my mother when she had a place of her own. I told how my mother found a boyfriend. Wish I had thought to add that to my response.)

  1. How do you deal with writing about yourself? (Asked by someone who doesn’t write non-fiction)

Me:  I look at this book as a story about someone I know. I tried to dissociate from myself so it was easier to be honest about my actions.

  1. Who was your most memorable patient?

Me:  Helen Stoltz. She lived in the apartment next door to the clinic. When I wasn’t busy, she would drop-in and sit a few minutes beside my desk and teach me about aging. Of course, she didn’t know that what’s she was doing. She talked about getting older and eventually dying, which showed me that older folks aren’t afraid of talking about death. She was ready to die. However, she was cheerful and upbeat and accepting of her life until her time came.

  1. What was the most memorable line your wrote in your book?

Me: I didn’t write it but it came verbatim from my notes at the time. The funeral director told me how to go about purchasing a grave site for the Pigeon Lady: The Greeks are tight but the Catholics will give you a break. (page 96). I’m thankful that I wrote down what he said. He was such a character—embodied with Chicago smarts and a big heart.

What I didn’t say was that “I killed all my darlings.” Therefore, there are no “precious” sentences that have survived my editing, thank goodness.

Besides the Q & A, I was happy to be able to drop some facts about nursing, such as nurses have been voted the most respected of professions for the past 18 years. And that the World Health Organization designated 2020 the Year of the nurse and midwife.

I was grateful for such an enthusiastic and supportive turnout.

 

 

 

 

 

https://wordpress.com/post/nursingstories.org/1635

 

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/say-no-to-your-darlings/

 

https://www.icn.ch/news/2020-international-year-nurse-and-midwife-catalyst-brighter-future-health-around-globe

 

https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/nurses-top-gallup-poll-most-trusted-profession-18th-consecutive-year

 

Countdown to Publication Date: Four Weeks

PrintMy book: Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers is due to be published on November 6, Election Day. Now isn’t that a bummer? In spite of the competition for attention, I plan to get an announcement out a couple of days before via Blog, Facebook and Twitter. Maybe folks will enjoy a distraction.

This is my first book and my first stab at marketing and publicity. My husband tells me it will be easier with my second book.

Most days, I am frozen with indecision where to put my attention and energy. Not being a detail person only encourages procrastination. I have a large legal pad where I list all I need to do. This is not in any priority order so you can imagine that every time I review it, I break into a sweat. Just last week, I made a time line on an old 18 X 24 sketch pad, noting what I need to do when, and the dates of the events I am participating in. No, I am not using an Excel spread sheet or any other computerized aid. I like the feel of paper in my hands, adding new information with a pen, and the satisfaction of crossing out items.

Somehow, just writing stuff down eases my anxiety.

to do list
To Do List

I am learning things that have nothing to do with writing. Like designing a postcard size advertisement for my book. It took me almost two days to finalize this. I ordered 250 copies and I plan to drop them off at various locations, like the Community Center down the block, restaurants, stores, etc. I will slip one into our Christmas Letter that I snail-mail to friends and family who are not computer savvy. Quiet a few years ago, a young woman stood outside my neighborhood library and handed out flyers announcing her new book. I wonder how many of us who took her handout purchased her book? Not me. But that won’t stop me from distributing my own handouts.

Last Friday, I listened to a webinar sponsored by my publisher, She Writes Press, on tips for public speaking given by another SWP author, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, from page to stage.

She cited two important skills.

  1. Eye contact: Speak to or connect to one person in the audience at a time for about 3-5 seconds, or 2 short sentences, and then randomly connect with another. Avoid darting or scanning the room.
  2. Silence: Using pause will allow your audience to absorb and remember ideas, feel suspense, and adjust for a new vocabulary. The speaker uses silence/pause to help herself think, breath, and relax.

Betsy had more helpful suggestions. Many I have heard before, but now reminded of these skills, I will take time to hone in on them prior to my taking my book on the road. And that, taking the book on the road, should be the fun part. Or so I’m told.

Four more weeks to go.

OUT OF THE DRAWER

Stephen King, On Writing, suggests after your book is written put it away.  Don’t look at it, or think about it for six weeks, or more. Then pull it out of the drawer and read it all in one sitting, if possible.

So after the designated time frame, while the crowds shopped on Black Friday, I curled up on the flowered loveseat in my bedroom. I tried to resist making edits. I wanted to concentrate on the story flow, the characters, any bumps in continuity but I couldn’t help noting typos and grammatical errors.

After five and a half hours, excluding potty breaks, lunch and long minutes walking out the kinks in my legs and back, I read 213 pages, doubled-spaced, with one inch margins all around, of the memoir I have labored over for the past ten years.

But this memoir isn’t the same book I started ten years ago. It has narrowed in scope and deepened in detail and is now ready for a final editing before I ship it off to my beta readers—probably the beginning of the New Year.

The end is in sight!

THE AGONY OF EDITING

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be doing edits to my manuscript—finally. Especially after spending years writing and rewriting and changing and revising, making chapter four chapter one and later dropping chapter one altogether and replacing it with what was once chapter one in 2006.

So clearly I’m in the home stretch. However, I find editing as challenging as writing, maybe more so.

In order to help me, inspire me, encourage me and just move me along, I have compiled a list of quotes, which I taped by my computer.

Here they are in no special order of significance.

May you find them helpful too.

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.

Justice Brandeis

Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.

Louise Brooks

I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.

Truman Capote

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

-Scott Adams

All writing is a process of elimination.

-Martha Albrand

It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.

C. J. Cherryh

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

-Thomas Jefferson

Try any goddam thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, toss it. Toss it even if you love it.

-Stephen King

I have written – often several times – every word I have ever published.

Vladimir Nabokov

It is my contention that a really great novel is made with a knife and not a pen. A novelist must have the intestinal fortitude to cut out even the most brilliant passage so long as it doesn’t advance the story.

Frank Yerby

The wastepaper basket is the writer’s best friend.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

“When in doubt, delete it.”

-Philip Cosby

“Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole – so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader’s consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.”

Willa Cather

“The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear.”

E.B. White

BEST TIME TO BE A WRITER

Seems that this is a great time to be a writer. At least that’s what I heard at the fifth annual Triangle Area Freelancers Nonfiction Writers Conference yesterday. I had attended the last three. Each year only gets better.

What I liked most was the conference was small enough to feel part of a friendly, local group and yet large enough to offer diversification of attendees and interests.

What I thought was important follows, in no special order:

Writing your creative nonfiction book:

  • Write the best book you can (although we all know this, it was repeated over and over)
  • Make sure facts are accurate
  • Spend money on a copy editor
  • Be able to concisely describe your book
  • Be able to concisely describe what makes you the right person to write this book

Networking and self-promotion:

  • Besides developing a platform by getting a blog and joining Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, use local media such as newspapers and magazines
  • Get interviews on local television and radio programs
  • “Blog rolls” now take the place of bookstore signings
  • It’s not all about you, plug other writers

I’m not sure I can accurately explain all the details and advances made in the self-publishing arena so I’m not even going to try. However, Writers’ Digest magazine devotes the May/June issue to e-publishing and ways traditional publishing is changing.

I intend to buy my copy tomorrow.