Saturday is for Sharing – Mary Hiland

Post #137

24 November  2018

Welcome to SCAN

Saturday is for Sharing

Our Conversations With the Authors

hosted by

Lynda McKinney Lambert & Miss Opal

Our Special Guest today is…

Mary Hiland

 

Miss Opal and I welcome you to our home, Mary, We love meeting our favorite authors. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to meet with us.  It is raining and chilly today and we can’t think of anything nicer to do than chat with a good friend and learn more about your new book and other projects you are working on this fall. Welcome to our home in the Village of Wurtemburg, Pennsylvania.

Miss Opal:  Mary, please give us some information about your new book, released by DLD Books. 

Mary:  Yes, I’d love to talk with you about my book:

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir

I am happy to say that our friends can purchase my book on-line through most book sellers. The link to the Amazon site to learn more about my book and read my reviews  for my book is:Check it out here  

Lynda:  I was wondering if you have an Author’s Website where our readers can go for more information on you and your books? 

Mary:  Yes, I do!   The editors of my book created a beautiful web page for me.  Our readers can find it by clicking onto this link:  Mary Hiland Author Website Page

 I am proud to tell you that my book was recorded and is available for blind and handicapped readers through BARD.   It is listed as DB:91261.

 Lynda:  Where are you from Mary? Do you still live where you were born or have you moved from that place? Mary: I am  a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.  And currently I live in Gahanna, Ohio with  my Seeing Eye ® dog, Dora.  Readers can learn more about where Dora came from by visiting the Seeing Eye website:  Here!

 

Miss Opal: I understand you have a wonderful dog named Dora.  Can you tell us more about her? I am a little bit nervous about dogs, but Dora seems really sweet. I noticed she is staying right beside you and she looks very friendly.

Mary,  Miss Opal, you don’t have to worry about Dora.  Isn’t she a lovely dog? She was happy to get to come along with me today and she did not mind walking in the rain.  Did you notice her new raincoat? 

Mary Hiland and her dog, Dora

Miss Opal:  Yes, I am glad you brought Dora with you today.

I was also thinking about your writing career.

Have you had your writings  published in other places before you wrote your new book? 

Mary: I’ve had my writing  published in Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul; Red Book Magazine; The Toastmaster Magazine;  and The Columbus dispatch.

 

JUST FOR FUN

 Lynda:  In our “Just for Fun” section,  I want to ask you a few questions that Opal and I thought about before you arrived today. 

 When did you decide to “grow up” or “Never grow up?” What does “growing up” mean to you?

Mary: I’ll say that my wedding day or the day I gave birth to my first child was the day I grew up, but they both paled in comparison to the day I signed the papers to commit my mother to assisted living. I was making decisions for another person’s lifestyle for the rest of her life. It felt like the most grownup thing I had ever had to do. I chose her residence, her room, her meal plan, her activities, her level of care, and the day she would go to the beauty shop. Role Reversals had just begun.

Lynda: I love the photos of you dancing in a bright red dress.  You look so happy. Do you have a favorite dance partner? What kind of dancing do you enjoy doing with that person?  

Mary:  My  dance partner was my teacher, Mark Miller. Although I was his first blind student, in fact, his first student on his first day at the studio. Just imagine what he thought when the universe threw this at him. But he naturally verbalized every step, every move, as if he had been doing it for years. He was kind, patient, and respectful. We laughed together when I made mistakes. He led with the skill I had never experienced with any other partner. He expected excellence from me, which made me try even harder. I loved almost every dance he taught me, but the one I especially enjoyed was the East Coast Swing. The steps are complicated, and you have to keep your mind on the dance every second, but you feel yourself smiling every second too. If you get through the whole song without a mistake, you feel like a pro.

Miss Opal:  What have you done recently that really made you feel good about yourself?  

Mary: When my friend was to undergo an extremely serious surgery last year, and she was describing it to me on the phone, I heard a voice in my head say, “Go to her.” I am not a nurse, nor have I ever taken care of anyone just home from having surgery. But there I was, asking her, “Do you want me to come and help you when you get home?” I was terrified when she said, “I would love it if you would,” but I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to fly to Florida, learn my way around her house, and jump right in with getting her ready for bed. In the morning on the first day, I asked her if she wanted coffee, and of course she did, and lots of it. I was happy to bring her the coffee in bed. As the week progressed, so did she, which pleased us both. By the end of the week, when I asked her if I could make her a coffee, she said, “No thanks, I can get it myself.” I felt I had helped her regain some of the independence she treasures, which is just as important to her as regaining her strength.

Lynda:   Describe a phone call that surprised you recently. Who called?  

Mary:  It had been on my mind for several years. I needed to apologize to someone for something I said to him in an email. I had written it in haste, and at the time, I thought it was necessary to make a point. A few years later, he saw me in a restaurant and came over to say hello and introduce me to his grandson. He was cheerful and funny, and it filled my heart with half a joy. It appeared that he had forgiven me. Or had he forgotten? I promised myself I would contact him and apologize for my angry letter, but I made one excuse after another. Even though I had asked for God’s forgiveness, I hadn’t asked for his, and it was nagging at me. Then I accidentally found his phone number and dialed immediately, praying that he wouldn’t answer, so I could leave a message before I lost my nerve. The voicemail answered, and I calmly but sincerely said what I needed to say. The next day, he called and I answered. “You have no idea,” he said, “what joy I felt in hearing your voice.” Joy? Really? There was the other half of the joy I had been needing all those years.

Additional Thoughts About Mary’s Book

 

When her mother, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, had to move into assisted living, it was time for Ms. Hiland, who is totally blind, to step up and assume the duties and role reversals required for her mother. The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living, a Daughter’s Memoir is her first book.Synopsis:

Making the decision to move an elderly parent into assisted living against her will has myriad challenges. Like many adult children who want to respect their parents’ wishes, I didn’t take action until it was crucial. But unlike most adult children, I had to deal with this crisis as an only child who is totally blind. The logistics alone were only the start of my uphill struggle with this task.

For the last two years of her life, I learned many lessons about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and she learned to accept the difficulties of being 98 and living in an assisted living community.

Mary:  In The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living, A Daughter’s Memoir, I describe not only the move, her adjustment to a foreign way of life, and the emotional trauma for both of us, but also some advice and comfort for others experiencing this inevitable change.

What makes my story unique is that I tell it with blindness always in the background. You will find some touching moments, some troubling, and some relative to your own life.

This is a memoir woven through my observations of who my mother was and who I am.

Contact:  Mary Hiland 439 Canterwood Ct. Gahanna, OH 43230

email mary.hiland@wowway.com

_

This series, Saturday is for Sharing, is brought to you by the courtesy of Miss Opal and Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2018. All rights Reserved.

Thank you for visiting with us today. 

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Saturday is for Sharing – Amy Bovaird –

Post #122 – Aug. 25, 2018

Saturday is for Sharing

Series of Guest Authors – #8

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Meet Amy Bovaird

Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

 

 

  

Hi Amy,   I am so pleased to present your books and hear your thoughts today on SCAN.

Your life-long love of travel and your humorous adventures abroad,  teaching English as a Second Language, seem to be  the backbone of  your writing.  No matter what the story is about, we get an excellent view of the world as you experienced it.  You bring us along wherever you are, in your writing. I’ve been reading your stories for a number of years.

Recently, I listened to the Spring/Summer issue of “Magnets & Ladders Literary Magazine.” This magazine was  recorded on digital cassette by the Perkins Library. I really enjoyed hearing your essay, “The Sweet Breath of Africa,” which won an Honorable Mention for non-fiction.  This story is about an African nurse  who took care of you while you were alone, in a foreign country,  in a hospital. It is a beautiful  and sensitive story. I have listened to it twice because it is so compelling. You are a natural storyteller, Amy.   Read this story here:  https://www.magnetsandladders.org/#the-sweet-breath-of-africa-memoir-nonfiction-)honorable-mentionwzxhzdk47by-amy-bovaird

Q_ What do you think about your name and do you use a pen name for your books?

Amy_ There is so much to a name, and over the years, I have learned not only to appreciate but also to cherish mine. My three siblings are named after other respected family members, but my mother said she chose my name simply because she liked it. That is so sweet, all by itself. As I traveled overseas to teach, having a small three-letter name like ‘Amy’ fit just right. My last name—French in origin—posed problems so my overseas students called me “Miss Amy.” This made me feel close to them; it facilitated stronger relationships and forged cultural ties.

In one class, which focused on teaching strategies for TOEFL, a college-entrance exam needed for non-native students to enter western universities, we came across the word, “amicable.” My Indonesian student said, “This is you, my teacher.” His observation filled my heart with gratitude. At some point, I heard the term, “Bon ami,” French for ‘good friend. and added that on to the lovely nuances of my name. It also has roots in Spanish, “amistad,” which means “friendship,” and “amor,” which means love. That described me well as I loved to make new friends. Later, I learned my name meant “beloved.” At that time, my walk with Christ was deepening, so my given name became even more meaningful.

I think it’s amazing how God ensures we have the tools we need to succeed in our careers—and that certainly includes the name we go by. I went by it as a teacher and I also use it as a writer.

Q_What have you done recently that really made you feel good about yourself?

Amy_ In the 90s I had the most wonderful job ever—teaching specialized English terms (think map reading, tanks, helicopters, etc.) to international military personnel at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base. I even helped set up language programs overseas. I left my job to marry an Egyptian Captain and teach in a civilian women’s college in the Middle East. I could never duplicate the unique teaching environment I had at Lackland.

About three weeks ago, one of my former colleagues and I met up in San Antonio and reunited with past co-workers. It was a whirlwind of excitement, beginning with an unexpected stop at the base from the airport and two full days of meeting up with memorable colleagues. It was also the best thing I could ever do for myself – to reconnect with the bold, daring teacher and intrepid traveler I once was in the days before the huge drop in my vision. It was good to remember I was still that person.

Q_ Are you a “Mountain,” “Valley,” or “Beach” person?

 Amy__I am definitely a mountain gal. Give me a backpack and I’ll climb high! I have a couple of humorous anecdotes in my second book, Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side of Mobility, about climbing mountains in Scotland and Japan. You can probably guess the challenges of climbing the Scottish mountain named Goatfell! There’s something about the high altitude that goes hand-n-hand with adventure.

 

Q_ What is your most notable achievement or accomplishment to date?

Amy_  I am  quite proud of my second book launch. I collaborated with the Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania to unveil Cane Confessions. We found a great location to hold the launch, a large senior center in our area. We put our heads together to create a strong line-up of speakers for our program.

The CEO of the Sight Center was our emcee. She introduced each speaker for the event. Other speakers included the director of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. This organization provides counseling, training aids, rehab and orientation and mobility to those who are blind or have low vision. Another speaker was on the Board of Directors for the Sight Center but also represented Pennwriters, a state-wide group of writing professionals of which I am a member. It also included the head of the Lions Club (of which I belong), followed by a leader dog (guide) trainer with her leader puppy. The keynote speaker was a laser eye surgeon, who I asked to speak on gene therapy. I also spoke and read a humorous passage from my book. The line-up ended with my pastor, who prayed for the outreach of my memoir, and also for the food.

While we served cake and punch, and I signed books,

we had a fabulous new group perform some original music,

including one song they wrote specifically tor the launch.  One of the group members was from Pennwriters.

We even had someone to take the money for the books, so I only had to focus on signing and connecting with those who came to purchase them.

I don’t think any of us expected such an incredible, comprehensive program to unfold without a hitch! We were thrilled! Unfortunately, although we sent out a slick press release to the media, they failed to show up. What a shame as my launch showcased so many facets of assistance available to the visually impaired community. We certainly put up a united front. It is still one of my fondest memories.

 

Q_ Tell us more about how you began to write books. 

Amy_ The first professional paid writing job I fell into was a ghostwriter job. I wrote a memoir my client termed as “the greatest love story ever told.” It was an upbeat story of my client and his wife (the love of his life) as they dealt with her ovarian cancer. I was so proud of it when I finished it.

That prepared me to write my own memoirs. I have written two books about mobility (using a white cane), which includes elements of fear, faith, humor and adventure. (I am currently working on my third and final mobility book. I plan to finish the series by December of this year).

Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

is the memoir I want to share with you today.  This new book combines my faith and experiences in a devotional format. It consists of forty-five devotions where God met my needs at desperate points of loss during my time in the Middle East. The first section focuses on loss in childbearing. The second section focuses on getting through divorce. The final section focuses on coping with the discovery of my father’s stage-four cancer while I was in the Middle East.

Writing these devotions helped me better understand how God carried me through my heartbreak. My devotions reminded me how God had ministered to me in the past, which, in turn, helped me recall who was in control of my life. Certainly not me. I was deeply grieving over the loss of my mother, who was eighty-seven. One day she was fine; the next, she suffered a massive stroke. You think you’ll be prepared when an elderly parent passes away but few of us truly are. The loss of a loved one causes grief no matter what the age of the one you love or of the bereaved.

The greater purpose in writing this memoir was to reach out to others facing similar losses. When I go to speak, not everyone can relate to challenges of my sight loss. However, many can relate to losing a child or a parent. Additionally, one out of every two marriages end in divorce nowadays. There is a great need to know God will remain firmly at our side in those frightening moments when we face our biggest fears, failures and disappointments. All devotionals show testimony and mine does the same, only thematically.

 

If I could pick a page that would sum up of the message of my devotional book it might be found in this devotion.

LOVE TRANSCENDS TOUCH

 “‘I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow,’ declared the Lord.”
–Jeremiah 31:13, NIV


When Noor died, everything happened quickly. Nadir completed the legalities for her birth and death at the same time. I received no birth certificate or inked footprints to remember her. Nobody brought Noor to my bedside, so I could hold her and say goodbye. Nadir carried her shrouded body away. He placed her directly into a gravesite somewhere in a Dubai cemetery I would never see. Losing a baby in utero devastated me. It left me without even a photograph—as if conceiving her never happened. My second twin’s heart beat together with mine. I nurtured and sang to her, fought and prayed for her. After I delivered Noor, the nurses whisked her away to an incubator. Most of the time, my emergencies kept me from going to her. Except for One. Special. Moment. I reached through the incubator holes to stroke tiny legs—my first touch. One time to last forever.

My lack of input and involvement in the burial left gaping wounds. I cradled a single Polaroid the doctor snapped of Noor shortly after birth. Nadir hid the photo. He believed it unhealthy and wanted me to move forward. But I had no closure.

That summer, I wept for the missing rituals and mementoes that typically accompany motherhood. To fill that gap, God gave me a beautiful song about love being deeper than touch. The lyrics slowly filled the void, like rays of hope seeping through a heavy black cloud.

The words seemed penned for my twins and me. When I listened to that song, I thought about how beautiful it was to have those hearts beating inside me for even a short time. I believe one day I’ll have that privilege again.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for scripting special words to heal our unique pain.

 _____________________

 

Contact information:

Name: Amy L. Bovaird

Book Title: Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

Email: mailto:amybovairdauthor@gmail.com

Website: https://amybovaird.com/

Book Description: https://amybovaird.com/seeking-solace/

Blog: https://amybovaird.com/blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amybovairdauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amy_Bovaird

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ls28BO

*Book is available in regular, large print, ebook and audio.

Audio is available at Audible.com, iTunes, Amazon and my website.

_______________________

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________________

Saturday is for Sharing

is brought to you by

Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert and her feline writing partner, Miss Opal.

SCAN is owned by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems.

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