One of the best aspects of being a writer isn’t necessarily the act of writing itself; ask any author and he/she will tell you it can be torture sitting alone in front of a computer screen on days when you’ve got nothing in your brain except cotton balls. What’s fun is getting out of your head, getting out of your office, getting out of your house, and venturing into the world where there are people who not only love books but who are doing amazing work of their own.
I’m reminded of how broadening all this venturing out can be every time I do a book tour or go exploring for research or reaching out to people and organizations when it comes time to promote my books.
Case in point? As Chronicle Books and I gear up for the November publication of YOU’D BETTER NOT DIE OR I’LL KILL YOU: A Caregiver’s Survival Guide to Keeping You in Good Health and Good Spirits (I’ll be posting the cover next week!), I drove over to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara, an organization that’s been around for over 100 years, providing my community not only with superior nursing and hospice services but also grief support and counseling to families and caregivers. These folks are angels, pure and simple.
Although my caregiver book is upbeat and even irreverent in some ways, it’s also got a chapter on death and dying, a subject that’s coming into its own these days as more and more people are open to talking about it. I thought it would be great to offer up my book as a way to celebrate the work of VNHC, so I met with Pauline Jones, the organization’s COO.
Pauline is one of those women you adore on sight. A nurse herself, she oversees a staff of 300+ and has more energy than the proverbial Energizer Bunny, plus she smiles easily and exudes warmth and grace. She and I kicked around ideas for ways she might put together an event, during which I would talk about the book to 100 or more guests – an event that would provide laughter and leave everybody feeling good about life, even if they’re dealing with a loved one with a medical condition.
I hope the event comes together. But just spending an hour in the company of someone so inspiring was enough for me yesterday, and I came home ready to tackle the computer once again.