Local News Since 1890 Now Online!

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

It’s not what you read, but why.

In Books, Children and Family, Literature, Opinion, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on August 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm

DIH LOGOAs a professional writer, and the executive director of the Western Ohio Writers Association, I am often asked what books I read or what I’d recommend to someone. But, over the years, I’ve learned that it’s not so much what you read that’s as important as why you’re reading it. Let me try to explain.

For example, it would be pretty short-sighted to read bestselling novels simply because they made the list, rather than because of their actual content. Just because a book or movie is popular, particularly with critics, by no means guarantees its quality.

The same could be said of reading only one genre or restricting your choices to only a couple of authors. Science fiction buffs, for instance, might really enjoy a good political thriller – I know I do – but rarely does one give the other a chance.

I tend to go take risks on books or lesser known writers. Since I work with so many unknown authors, I have the advantage of being exposed to material you’ll probably never see listed in the New York Times but which is still of outstanding quality and entertainment value.

I tend to ignore online reviews considering, instead, the recommendations of friends or family. A great many reviews today are pretty unreliable since they’re often paid for by the book’s publisher, or even the author, to boost the book’s visibility and increase sales.

"Flights of Fancy" is an anthology of stories set in southwest Ohio by local authors from the Western Ohio Writers Association. It will hit shelves in mid-April 2013 and features local talent and production.

“Flights of Fiction” is an anthology of stories set in southwest Ohio by local authors from the Western Ohio Writers Association. Click the cover art to order!

Local authors are also a favorite of mine and I’m always surprised at how people rarely give them a chance until they’ve hit the big time, as if they’re not good enough yet – nonsense. Remember, talented writing does not require residence in a high-rise loft in Manhattan. Helping a new writer break ground is part of my job, but I also enjoy having a connection with the author. Even if you don’t know the individual, however, chances are you’ll have a greater appreciation for their work if they’re from your hometown.

The format of the book is also less important to me than the content. I like e-readers like Kindle Fire and Nook because they make reading convenient, but I still buy hardbacks when I want to collect a book or have it autographed.

So, having said all of this, I will break my rule and answer those questions for you, starting with my favorite author: Douglas Adams, the British author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” series of novels. I’ve always loved Adams’ satirical style of storytelling and his ability to say precisely what everyone else is thinking but won’t speak aloud. You don’t have to be a science fiction buff or a fan of Monty Python to enjoy his work.

If I had to pick a periodical I read regularly, it’d probably be split between “The Writer,” a magazine for – you guessed it – writers; and “The New York Times.” As a former editor and long-running op-ed writer, I enjoy reading the work of my fellow columnists. It’s interesting to see all of our different approaches to the same subjects.

Lastly, here is a list of books I’d recommend. I won’t say why I’m recommending them, however, because that would spoil the reader’s personal discovery of their value.

In bestselling fiction I can recommend, “Hit Man,” by Lawrence Block, as well as “Camel Club,” “Simple Genius” and “Stone Cold,” all by David Baldacci. If you’re looking for work by local authors, I suggest “Pretty Girl 13,” by Liz Coley, and “Flights of Fiction,” an anthology of stories set in and around the Dayton region by member authors of the Western Ohio Writers Association. For non-fiction I would propose “Lucky Man: A Memoir,” by Michael J. Fox; “I Will Never Forget,” by Elaine C. Pereira, and “The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu.

There you have it. My recommendations, at least up to this point. There are others I could suggest but these are the top of the list. So put down the video game, turn off the TV and pick up a good book. See you in the library stacks!

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and executive director of the Western Ohio Writers Association. More at westernohiowriters.org.

 

 

Advertisements

Improving American language skills: Reading and writing are fundamental

In Books, Children and Family, Education, Literature, Local News, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on June 30, 2014 at 3:53 pm

dih-logo-SENext to the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence may be the single most important document ever created in the history of America. It established our country’s formal separation from England and set in motion more than two centuries of global influence and an example of how a free republic can succeed.

But what would have happened if the men who founded our country lacked the basic language skills to create that first, all-important document? How would these men have properly and so effectively communicated the displeasure and intent of an entire people without such a firm grasp on the English language, not merely to speak it but to put it down in a document to be revered for centuries to come? In short, they couldn’t have.

On this 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we need to remember that it’s author had but two years of formal, college education. In those days, a man wishing to become a lawyer apprenticed under other attorneys, reading the law and learning to interpret and apply it for the good of the people for whom it was put in place. Jefferson eventually became a lawyer but not by obtaining any degree we might understand today.

Likewise, Benjamin Franklin went to school briefly but, because of financial issues, he had to stop to help support his family by going to work with his father. He furthered his own education, however, through reading and self-study, a practice that is, sadly, frowned upon today. Both of these men demonstrated the vast important of language and writing, and how the written word can change history. Some people, though, struggle with language skills or never learn to read at all.

One of my favorite books from childhood was called, “The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read,” by Irma Black. The book chronicles the story of a little, old toy maker who, despite his amazing craftsmanship for pleasing children, never learned to read. One day, his wife went to visit a sick friend and left him alone for what must have been the first time. He was forced to do the grocery shopping on his own, which turned out to be a very frustrating endeavor. Upon arriving home, he sadly discovered that what he thought was a spaghetti box turned out to be wax paper and the can of sauce, coffee instead. It was very disheartening. But it motivated him to learn and he did. The book was written many years before the technology age, but imagine what he would have to deal with today if he couldn’t read at all? It would be nearly debilitating in modern American culture.

little_old_manI have always been a writer, even back into childhood, but most of my language skills came from audio books and those children’s books that came with a 33 rpm record. I found later that I had been dealing with a learning disability that hindered my ability to retain what I had read. Over the years, I adjusted and coped, but was not diagnosed until my mid-30s. Today, I have new ways of dealing with the problem and read as much as I can. I learned to defy my disability because I wanted to read.

There’s no question that Jefferson and Franklin were above-average men, but we all have the ability to move past our limitations, just as Franklin taught himself what he needed to know and just as I worked past my reading issues. For those who want to improve their language skills across the board, here are a few tips and they work for pretty much all ages.

First, try to write as much by hand as possible. Using paper and pen will slow you down a bit and force you to think before you write. People were better writers in the old days because it took time to get thought to page. Today, technology has us whizzing through sentences without a thought to grammar and word usage.

Next, although it’s fallen out of favor with the public school set, use cursive writing as much as you can. As with the first point, handwriting something makes you think and use the right language. It even gives you the chance to look up a word before you use it.

Try to learn a new word every day. Vocabulary is the key to better language skills. Take the time to look up words you hear throughout your normal day. But if you don’t hear any that grab your attention, pick up a hard-bound dictionary, open it up, close your eyes, and point to a word on the page.  That’s your word for the day. One of those “word of the day” desk calendars is a great resource too. Of course, you need to put the word into use whenever possible to make it stick.

Read, read, read, read. And, did I mention, read? Newspapers, well-written blogs, congressional briefs, comic books, it doesn’t matter what you read, just make sure you read a lot. If you’re trying to improve your language skills, however, the more advanced the reading the better. It’s ok if it takes time, look up words you don’t know and charge ahead.

Finally, don’t write like you text. In fact, don’t text how you text, either. The wave of “texting shorthand” is maddening to those of us with good grammar and language skills. Use full words and sentences – even in texts. It’ll make a big difference in how you communicate in email and in other written documents as well. Take your time and say it right.

So this Fourth of July weekend, go out and enjoy the picnics and fireworks.  But remember, when you hear the words to the national anthem or the preamble to the constitution, think about the meaning of each word and be grateful that those guys were diligent enough to get every one of them right. Our very freedom depended on it.

Xenia Lives: 40th Anniversary of the 1974 Xenia Tornado

In Books, history, Local News, Uncategorized on March 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

tornado poster finalXenia, Ohio – This year marks the 40th anniversary of a tragic event that changed the course of history for the Xenia community. The 1974 tornado that devastated Xenia was a reminder of both the power of nature and the resiliency of our people. In recognition of this, the City of Xenia, the Greene County Historical Society, Xenia City Schools, and the Greene County Libraries, Xenia Branch are proud to present a month of remembrance and education.

Photo after the tornado of the main intersection of US 35 and SR 68, looking southwest from the lawn of the Greene County Courthouse

Photo after the tornado of the main intersection of US 35 and SR 68, looking southwest from the lawn of the Greene County Courthouse

Beginning in March 2014, special programming and events will be offered to the general public to learn about weather phenomena and severe weather preparedness, to understand the history of the 1974 tornado and its aftermath, and to recognize the efforts and leadership displayed in the recovery and rebuilding of our community. A memorial service will be held at the 1974 Tornado Memorial in front of Xenia City Hall, 101 N. Detroit Street, at 4:15 p.m. with a reception immediately following at the Xenia Branch of the Greene County Public Library.

Possibly the most famous (and ominous) photos of the 1974 Xenia Tornado.

Possibly the most famous (and ominous) photos of the 1974 Xenia Tornado.

“The April 3, 1974 event, while tragic, does not the define Xenia. What defines this community is our ability to rise from tragedy. It is our ability to overcome, to withstand these hardships, to transform destruction into a thriving community, to embrace friendship, and to be greater than our suffering, that makes us truly great,” stated City
Manager Brent Merriman. “We remember this day, and those we have lost; but reflecting on this event allows us to see how far we have come and how much farther we can go.”

More information and a complete schedule of events are available on the City of Xenia website, www.ci.xenia.oh.us.

Local writers read in Beatnik Cafe at Books and Co. Feb 14

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, Holiday, Local News, Uncategorized on February 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

WOWA_VAL_BEATNIK_POSTERBeavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7 pm on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Titled “Sweet Fire of Love,” the event features writers from all genres will perform through short works of fiction and poetry. The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960′s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what.

WOWA_Beatnik_Dec_2013_4Greene County native, Gery L. Deer is the co-founder and executive director of the organization. A professional freelance journalist, editorial columnist and commercial writer, he started WOWA in October of 2008. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” he says.

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

WOWA Logo 2Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive. Details at the group’s website, http://www.westernohiowriters.org.

Watch the video interview with co-founder, Barbara Deer on WDTN-TV2’s, LIVING DAYTON program …

October 2013 marked the organization’s fifth anniversary and these talented scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Commercial WritingBooks & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Follow the WOWA on Facebook and Twitter.

Horror author sets December tour in Greene County

In Books, Entertainment, Holiday, Local News, Print Media, Uncategorized on December 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

howtosaveaworld-bookshot1GREENE COUNTY, OH – Beavercreek author Carl S. Plumer has been a writer since childhood, beginning with his own, single-issue newspaper. Now with the release of his second work of apocalyptic fiction, “How To Save A World From Dying: A Demon Apocalypse Love Story,” Plumer is visiting local bookstores in December to read, sign and talk about his journey from cub reporter to novelist.

Plumer will be visiting two Greene County bookstores beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday December 7, with Dark Star Books, 247 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs. On December 14th, from 2-4:00 p.m., he will stop by Blue Jacket Books, 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia. Each event will include a reading from the novels, question and answer time and of course an autograph session.

The second in his series of, “Apocalypse Love Stories,” his newest novel is a loose collection of stories with different characters, plots, and locations. All share the same mash-up of horror, comedy, and love. Plumer said he wanted to inject some humor in to his favorite genre and, with the first book, wrote the title first, setting the stage for a new collection of horror.

Author Carl S. Plumer

Author Carl S. Plumer

“I’m a fan of horror movies and books; I love getting scared,” Plumer said. “When I first started writing, all of my characters (spoiler alert) died at the end. I think because I couldn’t figure out how to end the story, not because I was trying to write horror.” Plumer noted that there really is an important message he wants to convey to his readers, even amid all of the blood, gore and humor.

“I put my characters into dire situations – apocalypses; as bad as things get. But they rise above extreme adversity with grace, dignity, and a sense of humor. The plot may be adventure with a bit of gross horror, but my message is, ‘Carry on, regardless.’ Chin up, chest out, you know? It’s the British side of my ancestry.”

“Plus, I thought death made my stories seem cool,” he noted. “Turns out horror mashed with humor is where I’m most at home.” His first book, “Mad About Undead You: A Zombie Apocalypse Love Story,” has been on shelves for about a year. His third is planned for July 2014. Plumer’s books are released by Someday Press.

Both of Plumer’s current titles will be available for purchase at the events. For more information on his appearances and a complete synopsis of both novels, visit the author’s website at www.carlplumer.com. Watch for Carl S. Plumer on the WDTN-TV2 daytime program, Living Dayton, at noon, Wednesday, December 4th.

Author celebrates first anniversary of children’s book with reading November 2

In Books, Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Literature, Local News, Print Media, sociology, Uncategorized on October 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm
Author Teasha Seitz, "Little Leah Lou and her Pink Tu"

Author Teasha Seitz, “Little Leah Lou and her Pink Tu”

XENIA, OH – Author Teasha Seitz is a Miami Valley native who has always enjoyed sharing and discovering stories with children. Her stories entertain, enlighten, and encourage young readers to explore their own world and discover who they are. Her first children’s book “Little Leah Lou and Her Pink Tu,” was released last year (ISBN 0985662506).

To help celebrate the book’s first anniversary, Blue Jacket Books in Xenia is hosting a reading and signing event beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 2. The author will read from her book and the store will have free printed activities for children to do as well.

Illustrated by Jean Ditslear, “Little Leah Lou and Her Pink Tu” tells the story of Little Leah Lou, who loved to wear her pink tutu. She wore it everywhere she went and pretended to be a princess. But when she wore it to the zoo she encountered a giraffe with the munchies and Little Leah Lou was left with just half a tutu. Her tutu was ruined! Could this mean she’s no longer a princess? Little Leah Lou was shocked, but not for long. Her solution to the tutu tragedy will not only surprise and amuse readers; it will win her the admiration of one of the zoo’s flashiest residents.

In addition to copies of “Leah Lou” at a dollar off the cover price, children’s tutus will also be available for purchase as a “package” with the books. Blue Jacket Books is located at 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia, Ohio. For more information call the store at (937) 376-3522 or go online to http://www.teashaseitz.com.

Little-Leah-Lou-and-Her-Pink-Tu-Seitz

Western Ohio Writers present live Halloween reading at Books & Co., Oct 26.

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Entertainment, Literature, Local News, Media, sociology, Uncategorized on October 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm
WOWA editorial committee member Bill Bicknell reads from his work at Books & Co. during last year’s “Beatnik Café” event.   Photo by Debra Bays, GLD Enterprises

WOWA editorial committee member Bill Bicknell reads from his work at Books & Co. during last year’s “Beatnik Café” event. Photo by Debra Bays, GLD Enterprises

Beavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7 pm on Saturday, October 26, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Writers from all genres will regale visitors with tales of Halloween through short works of fiction and poetry. The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960’s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what.

Greene County native, Gery L. Deer is the co-founder and executive director of the organization. A professional freelance journalist, editorial columnist and commercial writer, he started WOWA in October of 2008. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” he says.

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive.

Flights of Fiction. Cover art by Michael Martin

Flights of Fiction. Cover art by Michael Martin

October 2013 marks the organization’s fifth anniversary and these talented scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. Books & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Follow the WOWA on Facebook and Twitter.

Extra! Extra! Examining the plight of print.

In Books, Business, Entertainment, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Print Media, Technology on August 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

electronic_printAre newspapers dead? Since most of the mass distribution for Deer in Headlines is still in print media, then chances are if you’re reading this it’s probably printed in a newspaper. But it’s also circulated in a fair number of online publications as well so if the publication you’re reading ever went belly-up, you can still find it on the web.

When Amazon’s chairperson, Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post, the publication’s circulation had dropped by 40-percent over the last year. A seriously risky bet, Bezos picked up the media icon for pennies and paid for it out of his own pocket. The intention was to preserve the paper in its current state, but it’s just as likely he will take it to the next logical level – all digital.

Far more costly to produce than their digital counterparts, print publications still have a purpose among certain die-hards and the older generation. There’s something about holding that printed page in your hand that has brings about an emotional response unique to each reader.

I’m kind of caught in the middle. I like having a printed page in front of me, whether it’s a book, magazine or newspaper. But I like the convenience of digital media too. If you’re stuck waiting to be seated at a restaurant or in the doctor’s waiting room, you can always bring up something to read on your smart phone or Kindle.

Eventually, pretty much all periodicals (newspapers, magazines, etc.) will be converted to digital, but in my opinion, it’s not just the media format that’s killing print publications. Less ambitious salespeople and a lack of knowledge among advertisers have also helped contribute to their demise.

Publications, like any other media, survive by the vicious circle of subscribers and advertising. The more subscribers, the more profitable the ad revenue, but if the content is lacking no one is going to subscribe. The numbers drop and ad revenue falls along with circulation.

Plus, have you noticed how much smaller your newspaper is these days? Most have shrunken both in sheet size and number of pages, with some content located online to drive people to the publisher’s website. As a practical consumer, why would you pay $1.50 for a publication that has less content than it did when it was 75-cents? Unfortunately, if you want to keep getting a print publication you’ll have to pay whatever price they ask.

Advertising rates are going up too, though that one thoroughly perplexes me. Lower circulation should drive down ad prices, but many publishers are trying to recover lost revenue by adding web-based exposure in conjunction with print packages. For some, it’s too little, too late, however.

An ever more computer-savvy population will eventually drive print to its ultimate end. Attempting to preserve it will be a costly and finally pointless endeavor but some people are making the effort, as Bezos seems to be. But then again, he’s a billionaire and that’s what it would take – deep pockets.

No business can continue to operate in the red, always hemorrhaging money. Unless the operator is treating it like a hobby and has the disposable income to keep it going, it will die.

If you want to keep the presses running on your local newspaper, I suggest the following. First, contact the publisher and remind them how important the paper is to the community. If you are part of a business or organization, make sure to send press releases and other news-worthy information to the editors so they have good, local content to draw from. Include detailed contact information and artwork (photos).

Demand local coverage written by local correspondents. Small, hometown papers can do better financially on their own level than national publications when they have good, locally-created content to drive circulation and advertising.

If you own a business or are part of a community organization, advertise in the local newspaper but do it correctly. You need to display your ad regularly and consistently in the same publication for at least several months before you see a response. Be consistent and be patient. And finally, go buy a paper! You’re helping the community and the economy.

 

Deer In Headlines is syndicated by and intellectual property of Gery L. Deer / GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. All rights reserved.

 

Acclaimed author and writing guru to present “commercial” writing workshop

In Books, Education, Entertainment, Jobs, Local News, Media, Uncategorized on June 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm
Author, writing guru Peter Bowerman.

Author, writing guru Peter Bowerman.

Cincinnati, OH – On Wednesday, July 24th, aspiring professional writers in western and southwestern Ohio have the opportunity to meet and learn from “commercial” freelancing guru Peter Bowerman, author of The Well-Fed Writer series of books.

From 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at School Outfitters (3736 Regent Ave., Cincinnati), Bowerman will present a workshop entitled The Well-Fed Writer: Exploring the World of Lucrative ($50-125+/hour)“Commercial” Freelancing. Admission is $10 per person, cash only at the door and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Cincinnati Copywriting and Content Professionals, and Western Ohio Writers Association.

In 1993, after a 15-year career in sales and marketing, Bowerman turned his sights to freelance commercial writing (writing for businesses and for hourly rates of $50-125+). With no industry experience, previous paid writing experience or writing background, he built a commercial freelancing business in Atlanta, Georgia from fantasy to full-time in less than four months.

He has published more than 300 articles and editorials, leads seminars on writing and is a professional coach for both commercial freelancing business start-up and self-publishing endeavors.

Bowerman has self-published his five books (three Well-Fed Writer titles, including the quadruple-award-winning 2010 edition; and two in The Well-Fed Self-Publisher series, including the brand-new 2013 update of the 2007 original). His five books have yielded 70,000 copies in print and a full-time living since 2001 (all the how-detail of which is chronicled in TWFSP).

In this 90-minute workshop, Bowerman will explain what commercial writing is, why the field makes sense now, how to build a portfolio, where the work is, what to charge, and more.

According to the founder of the Cincinnati Copywriting and Content Professionals, Alexandria Webb, “I started this group to provide copywriters and content professionals—whether novice or veteran, freelance, in-house, or with an agency — in the Cincinnati area with networking, support, and educational opportunities like this one.”

The Western Ohio Writers Association  is based in Greene County and provides networking and educational opportunities to writers in southwest-central Ohio. Participants attend monthly critique sessions to hone their writing skills through peer feedback, networking opportunities and educational presentations.

Gery L. Deer, professional freelance writer, owner of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and director of the Western Ohio Writers Association, noted, “Our organization is about education and enhancing the skills and opportunities available to writers in our area. Professional career support, like Mr. Bowerman’s workshop, is an important part of that mission.”

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP online at http://bit.ly/195D0FP

Author Shares Journey of Love and Despair as Caregiver for a Mother Ravaged Dementia

In Books, Education, Entertainment, Health, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on May 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Elaine Pereira yearbookGREENE COUNTY, OH –  Author Elaine Pereira shared the seemingly never-ending journey of caring for her mother stricken with dementia in her newly-released book I Will Never Forget: A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey through Dementia (ISBN 978-1-4759-0690-5). The award-winning author will be visiting Xenia for two public events, June 6 and 7.

I Will Never Forget is a powerful true story of the author’s talented mother, Betty, and her poignant and humorous journey through dementia. As their mother-daughter relationship evolves, Elaine copes with her mom’s uncharacteristic verbal assaults and watches as her brilliant mind is slowly destroyed by dementia’s insatiable appetite for brain cells.

Elaine Pereira earned a BS in Occupational Therapy and an MA in Family and Consumer Resources from Wayne State University and worked as a school occupational therapist for more than 35 years before retiring in June 2010. In this moving account, Pereira shares warm and humorous incidents as well as tragic and overwhelming encounters from the death of her father, sister-in-law, brother and her mother’s journey through a new world after her familiar world fades from her memory.

“This is a true story which validates the incredible events that happened in my mother’s life,” says Pereira. “From writing nine checks to the same payee, on five consecutive days, and later on the Great Houdini Escape when she nearly froze to death, Mom’s journey through bewildering dementia is real.

Cover I Will Never Forget 1-15-13I Will Never Forget is educational and therapeutic but is a journal full of insights that will provide helpful assistance and tips to other caregivers of dementia patients. “I want newly-commissioned caregivers to learn from my unwitting mistakes, to realize that reasoning and logic are rarely helpful dialogue techniques with a dementia patient,” explains the author.

“That approach is confrontational and often creates agitation and a fear response in someone. Redirection, re-phrasing, waiting and patience are the most helpful response strategies to diffuse potentially hostile situations.”

During the year long writing process, Pereira was able to put the troubling incidents in her mother’s final years in perspective. “The little problems faded away and the core of her wonderful life surfaced for me. That is how I want to remember her, as she was in my eyes as a child.”

Pereira’s book was named a finalist in the Best New Non-Fiction category of the 2012 USA Book Award and was an honorable mention finalist in non-fiction in the 2012 Hollywood Book Festival and was bestowed a ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Editor’s Choice award by iUniverse. The book most recently won the aging category in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards.

At 7PM, Thursday June 6, Pereira will speak to the members of the Western Ohio Writers Association at  Blue Jacket Books, 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia, Ohio, with an emphasis on how and why she wrote the memoir about her experience. The event is $5 per person, open to the public, and RSVP is requested by emailing the organization’s director, Gery L. Deer, wowainprint@gmail.com

The next evening, Friday June 7, beginning at 7PM, the author will be at Blue Jacket Books, 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia, Ohio, to speak about the experiences so many people now have in caring for a parent or other loved one suffering the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. There is no charge for this event and seating is first come first served. For information call 937-376-3522. The author will be selling and signing books at both events.