Friday, September 21, 2018

WHAT EVER HAPPENED...? "September 1, 2016"

The day after my mother's 79th birthday, I was absolutely distraught. Something went wrong with the mail that week – I never received my weekly manila envelope from my editor with all the writings I turned in to him the week before. In the two years we've done this process, not once has a package from him gone missing. Now it's “crunch time” (the home stretch of writing this book before it goes to the publishers), and I'm lost without that work.

On the phone with various people to help me find it, I became more and more upset. Aiden is sometimes not able to help me calm down, and actually, usually upsets me more with his blasé attitude about life’s problems.
I became so bothered, I began to talk about quitting writing for a while, to take a break and “move” (temporarily) to Florida to help my aging mother.

My editor has told me stories of other writers who quit when it gets close to the end. That's exactly where I was and had become too overwhelmed by all of the deadlines, decisions, opinions, and so forth.

Talking to my mom a day earlier, I could not stop thinking about how she needed more help than I could give from NYS.

So, I had pretty much decided to go to my already-scheduled appointment the next day with my editor, but not to go over more writing, but to tell him I was going to put a hold on this venture until further notice.

I decided to go for a calming drive with my dog, Happy, so I could clear my mind of all the nonsense over the phone earlier in the day with the post offices and Aiden. Beautiful landscapes in the Hudson Valley always help me feel better.

No sooner had I left home, a particular song came on the radio. It was Simon and Garfunkel's “Cecilia,” the song I wrote about here in my first chapter.

It's the song that “brings me back” to decades ago, dancing with my cousin Heather. That relationship was the main reason I became a special education teacher. It's the reason I have so many long-ago memories of teaching.

I knew as soon as I heard it, that God was speaking to me loud and clear. He was telling me not to give up, keep working on the book, and when it's done, it's done. The deadlines are only suggestions, they are not requirements.

So – I went home and tried to get back to work. As soon as I did, my friend Marla, who wrote for me here, called to invite me to a party and that cheered me up.

Right after that, I called my mom to tell her that, on top of all the pressure from this book, I had just been told by my dermatologist that I needed surgery on my face because of skin cancer. She also cheered me on and told me to get back to the book. So, a song, a friend, and my mom came through for me when I needed them most.

The envelope was “discovered.” It had been sent back to the editor with one of those “Return to Sender” stickers. I had to drive back to our usual meeting spot (about an hour away), and I picked it up from him. When I brought it to the Kingston, NY, Post Office to find out why that happened, they stated “Post Office error.”

What's so great about its being found is that it was the “Businesses That Have Helped Me” chapter. I would have been devastated if I left someone out, because if I had to re-write it, I probably wouldn't have done it as well. I have notes all around my condo about what to include, but someone might have been left out. Glad I'm back on track….

For the coming year, I (Douglas Winslow Cooper] will be 
excerpting, weekly, material from this almost-final version of the fine book by Janet Johnson Schliff, M.S. Ed., which she wrote over a three-year period with some coaching and editing help from me, through my business, Write Your Book with Me.

Her memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats from Outskirts Press  and

What Ever Happened to My White Picket Fence? My Brain Injury from My Massive Brain Tumor



Janet Johnson Schliff was on WKNY  Radio 1490 at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, Kingston, NY.

Janet spoke at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY. I [DWC] attended, along with about 40 other people. Congratulations to Janet on a fine talk!

Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, at 7 p.m. on March 6. 

She spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, at 2 p.m. on March 17. 

She spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, at 6:30 p.m. on March 28. 

She spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, at 4 p.m. on April 3. I was able to attend. They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.

On 4/4/18 Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library at Rhinebeck at 2:30 p.m.

On 4/27/18 Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library at 5:30 p.m.

On 5/4/18 Janet spoke at the Hurley Library at 6 p.m.

On 5/9/18 Janet spoke at the Kingston Library at 6 p.m.

On 5/14/18 Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library at 7 p.m.

On 5/31/18 Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library at 6:30 p.m.

On 6/9/18 Janet spoke at the Tannersville Mountain Top Library at noon.

On 6/11/18 Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library at 7 p.m.

On 6/20/18 Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center at 6 p.m.

On 7/13/18 Janet spoke at the Esopus Library at 7 p.m.

On 7/20/18 Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library at 6 p.m.

On 7/23/18 Janet spoke at the Ulster Library at 5:30 p.m.

On 8/11/18 Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook at 1:00 p.m.

On 9/06/18 Janet spoke at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz at 7 p.m.

On 9/15/18 Janet spoke at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie (93 Market St.) at 2:30 p.m.

On 9/21/18 Janet was interviewed on the radio at station WRIP-FM (97.9) at 8 a.m.

On 9/22/18 Janet again spoke at the Tannersville Mountain Top Library, at noon.

On 9/28/18 Janet spoke at the Enchanted Cafe in Red Hook at 7 p.m.

On 10/04/18 Janet will be speaking at the Hyde Park Library at 7 p.m.

On 10/14/18 Janet will be participating in an Author Weekend at the Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On 10/22/18 Janet will be speaking at the Tivoli Library in Tivoli at 5:30 p.m.

On 11/07/18 Janet will be speaking at the Germantown Library in Germantown at 6:00 p.m.

More signings will be coming up. A fine feature about Janet by John DeSantos [845 LIFE] appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, March 12, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. An article about her book was just published in the May 2018 Living Rhinebeck Magazine. An article about her book appeared in the May 14 Daily Freeman of Kingston, NY. and another in the Family Life section of the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 8th. The Millerton News published an article on Thursday, August 2, about her talk at the Pine Plains Library. 

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