Tag Archives: book fair

Consider sharing your caregiving story

I had a great time at the Atlanta Writers Conference Book Fair. It’s been awhile since I’ve attended a conference in-person. It’s always inspiring to see so much creativity on display.

To that point, I met several caregivers at the Book Fair who shared their personal caregiving stories with me. If you are on the fence about writing about your caregiving experience, I would encourage you to try, even if it’s in a personal journal and not for public consumption. Doing so can be a cathartic experience. You may find that you do have lessons to share that would benefit other caregivers. If so, there are many self-publishing platforms available, in addition to the traditional publishing route.

Understandably, while you are an active caregiver, you likely will not have time to work on a book project. I scribbled down notes, quotes, scenes, anything that I thought I might want to revisit in written form later. Sometimes having a bit of distance can help in framing an experience in a balanced way, but capturing those visceral images in real-time was important for me. I published The Reluctant Caregiver 2 years after my mother’s death and 6 years after my father’s death. Of course if you’ve been following my blog from the beginning you know I began The Memories Project within weeks after my father’s death. At the time I thought I would mainly be writing about my father’s journey with Alzheimer’s but then my mother fell ill. By the end of my caregiving journey with my parents, I had a variety of experiences and lessons to share.

No doubt you will too.

[To give you inspiration, check out the recording of Poetry for the Dementia Journey, a poetry reading event hosted by AlzAuthors. At about the 37-minute mark, you can hear a poem I shared about my father.]

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Hope to see you at the Atlanta Writers Conference

I will be participating in the Book Fair being hosted at the Atlanta Writers Conference this weekend. The Book Fair is being held Friday, May 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. I will be there most of the day. My latest title, my award-winning children’s book, Slow Dog, will be featured, but I’ll also have a few copies of my award-winning personal essay collection, The Reluctant Caregiver, and a few copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias, which includes an essay I wrote about my father. All books will be priced at a special book fair discount.

The event will be held at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel. Conference details can be found on the Atlanta Writers Club website.

Shortly after my mother’s death, I learned that I had been selected as the recipient for the 2015 Rick Bragg Prize for Nonfiction, in the annual contest hosted by the Atlanta Writers Club. That honor gave me the confidence I needed to keep writing about my caregiving experience and eventually, publish a collection of my personal essays. So the Atlanta Writers Club will always hold a special place in my heart.

If you will be in attendance, please swing by the Book Fair room to say hello!

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