Monday, 25 November 2013

PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / Updated Cheat Sheet for Vets and Writers

Blog of a Vet's Wife portrays the detailed journey of publishing my first book, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorderthe CHALLENGES and LESSONS learned, while pinpointing PTSD and how this disorder is ravaging our men and women returning from war in epidemic proportions.  My main MISSION is to EDUCATE mankind on PTSD and its effect on families and our nation as a whole.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.           
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The HOLIDAYS have moved in with all their baggage like unexpected house guests who plan to stay a while. With cluttered days and endless commitments, I barely noticed until they jumped off the calendar and splashed into my coffee. Where did this year go??

Tomorrow I fly to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with my sons and their families. I DREAD flying in the WINTER and I HATE being COLD, but this will be the FIRST time we've been together for Thanksgiving since they were little. One of the hardships of modern-day living in different states and countries. My daughter will be missing, but Australia is too far. She'll be in our hearts and thoughts.

My cup over-flows with BLESSINGS. I have so much to be thankful for. As a writer, I hope to capture each moment to save for a rainy day when I can pull them up at random and savor every smile and the laughter once again.

Please remember to GIVE THANKS for our brave WARRIORS who will not be spending Thanksgiving with their families and loved ones.  Their absence is painful but their dedication and SELFLESSNESS is what makes our country strong. Pray for their safety this holiday and that one day soon these wars will end so they can return home to the loving arms waiting for them. 

With time running short, I wanted to post a BLOG before my flight. I decided to update my CHEAT SHEET. It's been two years since my last revision. I know I have many new readers who might be looking for a specific topic. This BLOG concentrates on my exposure to PTSD through my husbands journey, what happened and what I learned.  It also shows how I came to write this book and each step into publishing ... DETAILED.

The list may seem daunting but the descriptions are brief. The dates coincide with those on the right side of the blog.



Below is a list of my blogs for those who might be looking for a specific topic: 
     1.  In The Beginning                                                                April 13,  2011
          How my book came to be . . .

     2.  This Closet Writer . . . Goes Public                                  April 16
           My first writing class - posting my blog

     3.  I Never Planned to be a Writer!                                       April 23
          Blogging - my writing class - my free-lance editor   

     4.  Publicize Your Book . . .                                                    May 1
          Publicizing - blogging - writing class - book query
     5.  Write Your Heart Out . . .                                                 May 7
          Blogging - why I wrote my book - book proposal excerpt

     6. Q is for Query Letter . . .                                                    May 15
          Posted my original query letter

     7.  B is for Book Proposal . . . Part One                                May 21
          Elements of a book proposal - my proposal table of contents
     8.  B is for Book Proposal . . . Part Two                                June 12
          More elements of a book proposal
     9.  What Next? . . . Time for an Agent                                  June 19
          Some basic agent information
    10.  Marketing in an Electronic World . . .                            June 26
           First steps to marketing my book  
    11.  Will Self-Publishing be My Only Option?                      July 3
           Posted excerpt from Chapter One of my book    

    12.  A Platform . . . Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone    July 11
           Start to develop a platform for my book
    13.  The Marketing Medusa . . .                                              July 28
           JK Rowling's success - more marketing
    14.  2011 Agents . . . What Do They Really Want?              August 7
           Identify agent's most asked for requirements
    15.  What is a Synopsis and Why? . . . Part One                  August 27
           Details to begin synopsis process
    16.  One Writer's Journey into Publishing Cheat Sheet     September 4
           Lists previous blogs and subject matter

    17.  What is a Synopsis and Why? . . . Part Two                 September 11
           What to include in a synopsis

    18.  Ebooks . . . A Contemporary "David and Goliath"     September 19
           Show why authors are choosing to self-publish
    19.  The #1 Question: Who is Your Audience? . . . plus Excerpt
            Importance of locating your specific audience                September 26
    20.  "The Moving Wall" . . . An Experience I Will Never Forget!
             An emotional visit that squeezed my heart                     October 3

    21.  Traditional Publish or Self-Publish . . . My Decision plus Excerpt
            What direction I chose and why                                       October 10
    22.  Public Speaking 101 . . . Fight or Flight?                               
           Terror and my first class . . .                                              October 17

    23.  My First Speech . . . plus Revised Cheat Sheet into Publishing
            First speech panic plus . . .                                               October 24

    24.  Africa's Beauty Being Strangled / One Person Making a Difference
            Unique story about Africa                                                November 23

    25.  Has PTSD Touched You? / Chapter 26 Excerpt . . .
           What is PTSD?                                                                  December 3

    26.  Our Soldiers are returning / Write Your Heart Out
           Warriors from Iraq and reality                                           December 14

    27.  Ghost of Christmas Past / Chapter 15 Excerpt
            Memories of Christmas                                                     December 24

    28.  The Self-Publishing Jitters of a Perfectionist
           Trials of self-publishing                                                    January 7, 2012

    29.   Wounded Warriors Walk Among Us / Chapter 24
             Reality and PTSD symptoms                                           February 8

    30.  Self-Publishing Nitty-Gritty / Copyright / Excerpt
           Copyrighting and song lyrics                                             February 19

    31.  PTSD / Can One Woman and Her Book Make a Difference?
           How my story helps our warriors with PTSD                    March 12

    32.  Self-Publishing / PTSD - A Passage of Passion
           Print-on-demand - song lyric trials                                      April 6

    33.  PTSD / Vet's Wife Self-Publishing / Chapter 33 Excerpt
           Formatting anguish                                                              June 13

    34.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / Sneak Peek at the Cover
            The dawning of my book cover                                          July 16

    35.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / Where's the Book??
           Reveal my self-publisher and perfect cover                        November 6

    36.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife Appeared on My Doorstep!
           Seeing my book for the first time                                      December 6

    37.  Diary of a Vet's Wife Reveals PTSD / Marketing / Reviews
           Suicide increase and my marketing plan                           February 18, 2013

    38.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / The Truth and Vulnerability
           What you should know about PTSD                                  April 13

    39.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife and Memorial Day Memories
            My first encounter with the Moving Wall                         May 27

    40.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife goes to The White House
           How my book got to the White House                               July 4

    41.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife and Michelle Obama
           A surprise from Washington                                              October 6

    42.  PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / Bittersweet is November
           Veterans Day meaning and memories                             November 10

Did you find something of interest for your own Journey?


Sunday, 10 November 2013

PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / Bittersweet is November

“Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.”   Robert A. Heinlein
November 11, 1919, was the first anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I.  Celebrated as Armistice Day, it was dedicated to the cause of world peace.  The day was commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving, filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who selflessly served our country.  In 1954, the word Armistice was stricken and Veterans Day took its place in history.  Each year, November 11th is a national holiday to ensure that ALL our veterans know how deeply we appreciate the sacrifices they have made in their lives with parades and speeches. Yet we owe them so much more . . .

I have seen it in your face
I am sure you have noticed it in mine;
that thousand-yard stare
that does not look out --
it looks in --
at the unutterable,
unalterable truth of our war
.   ~ The Wall Within

This may not be the best time.  My blog is heading in a direction that I had not planned.  But I'm on a roll and words are flooding my computer screen.  It wants be written . . .  
Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the 4th of July are the holidays that grab me by the ankles. My senses are on high alert, certain images bring flashbacks, and tears simply break loose at the strangest times.  My memoir, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shows my journey with the love of my life as we battle his PTSD.  It wasn't until years later, when I began to research this disorder for my book, that I learned I had PTSD as well . . . through association.  I now know that this is why I react to certain stimuli the way I do. The dreams are less often, but I can't watch a war movie or war news without tears. Nor can I sing patriotic songs without blubbering.  The homeless veterans rip my heart.  And I have yet to be able to thank a veteran for his service at the airport or out in public without stammering over the searing lump in my throat, tears embarrassing us both.
Does anyone else go through this after so many years . . . or is it just me?

I stood there one fall
ankle deep in leaves
and looked up at the night sky
through a hole in a ceiling of trees
wondering how much better the world
might look from up there.   ~ The Wall Within
Most of my days hum effortlessly with a plethora of activity tossing me from one hour to the next. My energy level soars as I juggle the shiny balls overhead.  But then comes November swooping down on me like an eagle preparing to snatch me away.
Each November arrives with poignant promptings of the past intertwined with the present, like a finely woven sterling chain around my neck. Veteran's Day is in November, stirring up vivid memories of love and pain from long ago. No matter how long, no one ever forgets!  My husbands birthday is in November.  The 18th.  In 2001, after years scattered with tears, I received an amazing GIFT on Lorne's birthday.  My youngest granddaughter was born!  Was it a coincidence?  No ... I know it was a GIFT to help heal my heart.  
Bittersweet is the taste of November.
Veterans Facts
There are approximately 23.2 million veterans in the United States.
These brave men and women who serve and protect our country come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents.  They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities.  Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States.
  • 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.
  • 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35.
  • 1.8 million veterans are women. (For another post)
  • 7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
  • 5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
  • 2.6 veterans served during World War II (1941-1945)
  • 2.8 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953)
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2008, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • 5 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas ( 1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
U.S. Census Bureau and United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Note: I was unable to locate veteran statistics beyond 2010.  These numbers would increase greatly with that information.  

The SADDEST question of all:  How many of these BRAVE and HONORABLE men and women live on the STREETS?  This must end!  We MUST take care of our own!

God bless America and the honorable men and women at her beacon call.