Win this book! Hospice Tails: The Animal Companions Who Journey with Hospice Patients and Their Families


Win this Book!

Leave a comment or question by midnight on Tues. Nov 22 for a chance to win this sweet book! (Why not purchase a few for those on your holiday shopping list!)

<Scroll down for the guest post>

About Hospice Tails:

Told from the perspective of a hospice social worker, Hospice Tails is a baker’s dozen of stories about the animal companions of hospice patients and their families.

 In these pages you will meet King, an abused pit bull fiercely loyal to his rescuer, Fizzle, a teacup poodle who guarded his human in death as well as life, Io and Oi, two cats who facilitated a beautiful conversation between their owners, and Lightning, a horse who helped a widower find the strength to go on.

Uplifting, matter-of-fact, sometimes funny and never sappy, Hospice Tails will change the way you think about the animals in your life.

Only 24 Hours in a Day? Making Time for Writing

guest post by: Debra L. Stang

I’m afraid I have to start this post with some bad news. There is no way to increase the number of hours in your day. Much as we might wish for a 26-hour day, or even a 46-hour day, we are stuck with 24 hours.

Now for the good news: Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Jonathan Kellerman, and Margaret George are stuck with the same 24 hours, and look what they’ve managed to do with their time!

If you’re having trouble carving out time to write, you’re not alone. Almost every writer who ever lived has struggled to make time for his or her craft.

You’ll notice, by the way, that I said make time, not find time. You’re unlikely to stumble across a cache of extra minutes. If you want to write, you’ll need to schedule time and then fight for that time as fiercely as a mother bear fights for her cubs.

When I was writing Hospice Tails, for instance, I wrote in the evenings after I got home from my day job as a hospice social worker. I tried to explain to my friends that I actually was working during this time, but they kept calling, and I finally took the phone off the hook during my writing sessions.

I’ve developed a few other secrets that have helped me make the time to develop my writing career.

Schedule your writing times to coincide with your peak creativity. If you’re a morning person, get up half an hour earlier to write; if you’re an evening person, stay up half an hour later to write.

Commit to writing during your scheduled time whether you’re in the mood or not. Train yourself to sit down for the scheduled amount of time and write or type, even if all you are typing is, “This is stupid. I can’t think of anything to say.”

Don’t be afraid to write badly. I’ve been at this for ten years, and my first drafts of anything still stink up my apartment, though not as badly as they used to. Writing is like a muscle, and the more you work it, the stronger it will get.

A short block of writing time is better than none at all. If you only have ten minutes a day to write during a morning commute, so be it. Even if you only write half a page a day, within two years you’ll have a 365-page book.

Find a writing buddy. It’s much easier to stick to your writing goals if you know you’re accountable to a friend. A writing buddy is also a great person to turn to when you’re feeling hopelessly stuck.

If you’ve tried all these steps and you still find that you can’t make the time to write, check in with yourself about your motives. Do you really want to write, or are you doing it because you feel that you should or because you think you’d be letting someone down if you don’t? If you find that you really don’t enjoy the writing process, there’s no shame in that. Put writing aside for now, and move on to an activity that you really do enjoy.

If, however, you do enjoy writing and are still committed to making the time to do it, grab your calendar right now and block out ten minutes a day for the rest of the week. Just ten minutes. You can do it, and it will be productive time.

When are you going to schedule the time to write?

About our Guest Author: Debra L. Stang

In addition to her parents and two sister, Debra’s family includes four cats. The current crew includes a grouchy nine-year-old named Achilles; and orange tabby and alpha male named, appropriately enough, Alexander; and a black and white long-haired cat with attitude named Leroux. Then there’s the foster cat named Pumpkin. Of course, it all started with a three-month-old brown-and-gray tabby named Calypso who had strong feelings about most people. And not warm fuzzy feelings. Calypso even had the dubious honor of being banned by not one, but two vets.

When not caring for cats or writing, Debra spent many years as a social worker. She worked with AIDS patients, emergency room patients, and those with Alzheimer’s. Her final years as a social worker were spent with hospice patients. Although some would view that as a depressing job, Debra chose to view herself as a catalyst helping people make their final hopes and dreams come true. Sometimes it was making up with a family member after a decades long feud or leaving behind the stress of the office to reconnect with another aspect of their personality.

Debra took a clue from her patients and recently decided her writing–for years a part-time career–couldn’t wait any longer. Worried she would become one of those people who would one day say, “I wish I had…” she handed in her resignation and is now living her dream as a full-time writer.

Author Website: http://www.debrastang.net

Author Blog: http://debrastangfreelancewriter.typepad.com

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for the author to be entered in the book drawing!!

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3 Comments

Filed under Advice, books, Give Aways

3 responses to “Win this book! Hospice Tails: The Animal Companions Who Journey with Hospice Patients and Their Families

  1. Carol N Wong (@Carolee888)

    I would love to read this book.I have read a lot about animal companions for people who are disabled but never for those in hospice. I think it is a wonderful idea.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  2. What do you write if you’re blocked? Do you really write “I have nothing to write”? Don’t you feel that’s a waste of your time?

  3. Hi Carol – Thank you for stopping by and for commenting. I think I’ve come across one other book about pets and hospice, but that was years ago. I love animals myself, but it still amazed me to see the profound role they played in the lives of our hospice patients.

    Hi Jodi – Thanks for your question. I actually do have a notebook with three or four pages that read, “I have nothing to write.” The thing about doing that for any length of time is that eventually you get so bored you will force yourself to write something else. If the “I have nothing to write,” idea doesn’t work for you, it may help to ask yourself some open-ended questions: “If I were going to write just one sentence, what would I say?” or “What would I write about if I weren’t blocked?” Questions like these can also get the creative juices flowing.

    Best,
    Debra

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