Friday, February 8, 2019

WHAT EVER HAPPENED...? "Recommended Books, II"

The Gift in You: Discover New Life through Gifts Hidden in Your Mind, by Dr. Caroline Leaf
·       “You were wonderfully and beautifully made with specific intent and incredible purpose.”
·       “The frontal lobe (also called the prefrontal cortex) is capable of an impressive display of functions, is connected to all other parts of the brain, and is where all the neural connections converge. It also houses the brain's most sophisticated circuits. This enables the frontal lobe to integrate and manage all the activities of all other parts of the brain.” [And this is one part of my brain that is permanently damaged.]
·       “In fact, God has designed the brain in such a way that as a memory is brought out of the nonconscious mind into the conscious mind, it becomes unstable and has to change – either in a more toxic or less toxic direction: it never stays the same. That’s great news for us because we can fix – rewire – toxic memories. Your amazing ability to use your frontal lobes to stand outside of yourself and observe your own thinking provides the fuel for this change.
·       “Laughter quite literally dissolves distressing toxic emotions because you can’t feel mad or sad when you laugh. When you laugh and have fun, endorphins are released which make you feel so great and at peace, those toxic thoughts can’t get out of your brain fast enough. Fun protects your heart because when you laugh and enjoy yourself, your body releases chemicals that improve the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, protecting against heart attack. Fun reduces damaging stress chemicals quickly, which, if they hang around in your body for too long, will make you mentally and physically sick. Fun and laughter also increase your energy levels.”
·       “If you don't build relaxation into your lifestyle you will become a less effective thinker, defeating your ability to accomplish your gift. In fact, for the brain to function like it should, it needs regroup consolidation time. If it doesn't get this, it will send out signals in the form of high-level stress hormones some of which are adrenaline and cortisol. If these chemicals constantly flow they create a ‘white noise’ effect that increases anxiety.…”
·       “The neuroplasticity of the brain will grow the toxic unforgiveness an even deeper root and the branches will get ever more pervasive….”
·       “Forgiveness is not excusing the behavior, but it is placing the situation into God's hands.”
·       “God wants to protect our brains and does not want us getting worked up about little things.”
·       “…with the neuroplasticity God has so graciously built into the function of our brain, you really can achieve lasting change. Never forget: you can change your brain and release your gift. So, plant new seed and walk in confidence that change can happen – we can see it in Scripture, just as we can in science.” [Amen!]

The Tourette Syndrome & OCD Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers, by Susan Conners
This book is an excellent resource for all teachers because it describes in superb detail how to help the student in the classroom who is distracted with TS or OCD.
It is also very helpful for families to be better equipped at advocating for their child's needs.
As with another book I recommended here (Life Amplified by Karen Skogen Haslem), I hope these two books are future textbooks for college classes for educators. They have plenty of information to absorb and then help their students with.

Miracle on Hammertown Road: One Man’s Fall and Salvation, by Jim “Bubba” Bay with Mic Ruzich
This book is about a man who fell off the side of the road one night when he was out walking, climbed out of a deep hole, and lived to tell his story about brain injury and many other medical problems because of it. Here are some of the highlights that have helped me:
·       “Kids never cease to amaze me. If we could think like kids more often, this world might just be a better place.” [Amen!]
·       “What doesn't kill you defines you.” [Quoted from Geoffrey Talcott.]
·       “Jim is now a witness for the Lord and is alive to tell his story. It is the same in each of our journeys during life. We all have obstacles and feel like we’re not going to make it at times, but with God's help we can overcome every challenge. Just ask Jim!” [Quoted from Donna Philipbar.]
·       “With my brain injury I'm very forgetful.…”
·       “My memory isn't what it used to be: I forget things if I don't write them down… [I] occasionally say the wrong word – I might say 'bat' when what I want to say is 'hat.' Sometimes I forget words, and gaping holes open up in my conversations as I wrack my brain trying to find the word for what I want to say.”
·       “Sometimes my life feels like a tennis match, the ball bouncing back and forth between two sides: on one – I feel it a miracle to be here at all; on the other – it hurts to be me… my emotions go back and forth, up and down.”
·       “When I go shopping, I often give money to a cashier and get distracted by something…. This forgetfulness about money has become something of a problem….”
·       “I wish I felt as good as I looked.”
·       “… No matter how bad you think you have it, there are always many who have it much worse.”

Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion, by [my editor] Douglas Winslow Cooper
This is about a husband's deep love for his sick wife. Reading this helped me be a better writer, and here are some quotes that did just that (or that I totally agree with):
·       “Staying in the here-and-now is a good way to keep from sadness or worry.”
·       “Writing a book is a scary task.”
·       “Our staff has told me horror stories of fist-sized bedsores down to the bone on nursing home patients who received inadequate care. By that stage the sores are deadly. Too many patients, too few staff, poor morale among the staff all can contribute. Once a bedsore starts to develop, it is admittedly a challenge to reverse.” [My friend Barbara's sister’s bedsore led to her death after her TBI.]
·       “If we are to count to 10 before speaking in anger, the quiet person is doing that already.”
·       “Even if what we do is not as good as it was years before, the years we have left can be quite precious.” [I reread the sentence over and over on a paper I wrote it on to make me feel better about the life I've lost.]

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery, by Henry Marsh
This book is written from a British brain surgeon’s perspective – he has excellent quotes I've listed here, and even told the story of the patient who had the exact OCD behaviors I had (about clean hands) and needed brain surgery also.
·       “She probably knew already that the last thing you get in hospital is peace, rest, or quiet, especially if you are to undergo brain surgery next morning.” [How true!]
·       “Meningioma…. These particular tumours are always benign and usually grow quite slowly….” [The one I had.]
·       “Few – if any – of these patients would survive or emerge unscathed from whatever it was that had damaged their brains.” [I survived, not unscathed.]
·       “… eventually even benign tumours can prove fatal if they grow large enough, as the skull is a sealed box and there is only a limited amount of space in the head.” [My brain surgeon said, “Not much” when I asked him how much time I had left if the tumor hadn't been discovered. That was very scary to hear!]

I (Douglas Winslow Cooper) have been 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



More talks are being planned for the spring of 2019… she can be contacted at 845.336.7506 (home) or 845.399.1500 (cell).

Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Oblong Books Bookstore in Rhinebeck, NY, on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m.

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

Janet spoke at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY, on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. 

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

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

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

Janet spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, on April 3 at 4 p.m. [They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.]

Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on April 4 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library in Stone Ridge, NY, on April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hurley Library in Hurley, NY, on May 4 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Kingston Library in Kingston, NY, on May 9 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library in Staatsburg, NY, on May 14 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on May 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on June 9 at noon.

Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library in Gardiner, NY, on June 11 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center in Stone Ridge, NY, on June 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WTBQ-FM (93.5) on June 29 at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Esopus Library in Port Ewen, NY, on July 13 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library in Pine Plains, NY, on July 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Ulster Library in Kingston, NY, on July 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook, NY, on August 11 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz, NY, on September 6 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie, NY, on September 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WRIP-FM (97.9) on September 21 at 8 a.m.

Janet again spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on September 22 at noon.

Janet spoke at the Enchanted Cafe in Red Hook, NY, on September 28 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hyde Park Library in Hyde Park, NY, on October 4 at 7 p.m.

Janet participated in an Author Weekend at the Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie, NY, on October 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Tivoli Library in Tivoli, NY, on October 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet’s interview for the TV program Wake Up with Marci on the You Too America Channel aired on Monday, November 5, and Friday, November 9. It can now be found on the Internet.

Janet spoke at the Germantown Library in Germantown, NY, on November 7 at 6:00 p.m.

Janet participated in the Red Hook Middle School's College and Career Cafe in Red Hook, NY,  on December 19 at 10:30 a.m.

Janet will speak at the Poughkeepsie Brain Injury Support Group at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall in Poughkeepsie, NY, on Saturday, February 23 at noon. 

Janet will speak at the Stanford Free Library in Stanfordville, NY, on Saturday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m.

Janet will speak at the Howland Library in Beacon, NY, on Wednesday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at the West Hurley Library in West Hurley, NY, on Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at the Dover Plains Library in Wingdale, NY, on Friday, April 5 at 6:00 p.m.

Janet will participate in an Author Talk at the Saugerties Library in Saugerties, NY, on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at St. Timothy's Church in Hyde Park, NY, on Sunday, May 5 at 11:00 a.m.

Janet will speak at the Moffat Library in Washingtonville, NY, on Saturday, May 11 at 1:00 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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