— Life —

I FINISHED MY MEMOIR

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Hi Friends. I finished the memoir I’ve been writing, and it has been the experience of a lifetime. One I wouldn’t have missed for anything, and I have you to thank, because you are the ones who asked me to write it. I am grateful to all of you for reading what I write and leaving me such supportive comments, and in the prologue of my book I have given you the credit.

When it comes time for you to read it you may find it shocking––it will be something you didn’t expect––but it is my truth, and I needed to get it out on the page. 

I have also written a book proposal and a query letter. As some of you know they are almost as difficult as writing a book, but I will need them as I embark on my search for an agent and a traditional publisher. Agents are not easy to find. First you have to write a book worthy of capturing their interest, then you need to look for agents who are interested in your particular genre. In my case that’s memoir, and out of this subset you need agents who are open to being queried by writers they don’t know which is an even smaller subset. While there are online tools to help in my search, it is a slow tedious process.

If any of you have connections to a book agent, I would be grateful if you’d touch base and share them with me.

The other day I talked with a friend about reclaiming our lives after the brunt of the Covid storm. During our conversation I mentioned this passage from my book:

It was chamomile the bruja had burned in the scuzzy motel, I know that now, and tomorrow I will buy a bundle of the same, dried sweet-smelling sticks, tied together with string. I will open all the doors and windows, every dresser drawer and closet door and cupboard full of dishes. I will light the end of the small dried sticks and wave them and cleanse away the Nazi spies, the politicians who gambled here and lusted after lost girls and the bad karma left by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I will release the house, and myself, from every invisible force of dark energy, and I will banish all things that have no place in my future. 

My friend suggested we all need to have a cleansing ceremony of some sort to put this year of Covid behind us, and I think it’s a great idea. Whether we do it by burning dried sticks of chamomile, opening a bottle of champagne or asking God to help us move safely forward, let’s also take stock of where we are and where we want to be and get on with the business of living. Even if we’ve lost a friend or a loved one to Covid, we must not let this terrible virus rob us of our hopes and dreams.

Hoda and Jenna spotlighted ‘It’s not a Burden’

Another friend I spoke to has produced a film that will resonate with everyone who has aging parents. It’s Not a Burden is a feature-length documentary that gives us an intimate look at the humor and heartache of raising elderly parents. Many of us have found ourselves in this position—or will—and this touching, funny film lets us know we’re not alone. The film is from the Emmy-nominated filmmakers of HBO’s Packed in a Trunk and you can watch It’s Not a Burden via Cable on Demand and on most streaming platforms. I wish this film had been around when I “raised my mother,” or perhaps we should watch it with our kids as they begin to think about “raising us.”

This week let’s remember to take time to get still and go inside and hear our inner whispers. We may not think they’re there, but they are begging for us to listen to them. Let us become more connected with our little voice and summon the strength within us. Venture forth and make this the best day and the best week you can, because it will never come this way again. Be joyful and give thanks we are still here. #MakeLifeCount

Love, Brenda

63 Comments

  • Reply Vinetta June 5, 2021 at 7:47 am

    I’ll buy your book!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 11:20 am

      Thank you, Vinetta! I’ve missed you! xoxox, Brenda

    • Reply Steve Schnipper June 5, 2021 at 2:38 pm

      Me too.

  • Reply Joan June 5, 2021 at 7:58 am

    I can’t wait to read your memoir!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 11:20 am

      That’s wonderful. Thank you, Joan! Hope your summer is off to a good start.

  • Reply Joyce Sullivan June 5, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Dear Brenda,
    The life strings you play for us all through your selfless sharing affirms for me that every day is worthy. So glad our paths crossed and my days are more richly nuanced when you arrive in my inbox. Will email some book agent ideas separately. Joyce

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 11:22 am

      Once again you’ve left me such a beautifully written comment, Joyce. Have you started writing yet? I appreciate any ideas you may have. Look forward to hearing from you. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply jeannette June 5, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I’m so very happy for you Brenda! You have to be very proud of yourself to have accomplish this difficult task. I wish I had connections to agents however I do not. I will however be checking in regularly to see how things are moving along and when we can expect to buy it. Best of luck with this next chapter. I’m always happy to come visit with you to read whatever you have to say.
    Take good care

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Jeannette, What a sweet comment. Thank you! It’s taken me 18 months of sitting down at my computer every day, all day. Fingers crossed I find a great agent. xxxxx, Brenda

  • Reply Hilda Smith June 5, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Well done you. Put my name on that list to buy. I have no doubt you will find a publisher. Make sure it is the right one so thatthey can get your book the publicity it deserves.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you for your support, Hilda! You’ve always been here, cheering me on, and I appreciate you more than you know. Here’s to finding a great agent! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Barbara June 5, 2021 at 9:06 am

    What an accomplishment Brenda! I can’t imagine what it’s like to write a book but I know I want to read yours. I wish you good luck finding the right agent who will bring your words to all of us. and thank you for telling us about this film. I told my sister about it and we’re going to watch it. We’re at that stage with our mom. Xo Barbara

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Barbara, Great to see you here! Thanks for the well wishes and support you’ve given me throughout this process. You will love the documentary, It’s Not a Burden. It’s sweet and charming and so in tune with what we’re all facing. Be well. xoxox, B

  • Reply MARTHA RIKLIN June 5, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Looking forward to reading your book

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Martha! Thanks for your support. I appreciate you!

  • Reply LA CONTESSA June 5, 2021 at 9:51 am

    ANY AGENT WHO REFUSES TO TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BOOK……………IS NOT WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD!
    BEST OF LUCK!
    WE ARE ALL WAITING!!!
    BOOK TOUR HERE YOU COME!!!
    XOXO

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      LOL! You’re funny, Elizabeth! If only that were the case. Finding an agent who wants to read what you’ve written is as difficult as finding a good man! xoxox, Brenda

      • Reply Mark S James June 5, 2021 at 8:47 pm

        Hi Brenda, I might be inclined to agree with your comment regarding the difficulty of ‘finding a good man’, as I have never actually engaged in that particular quest, but one just has to know where to look. Perhaps under bigger rocks? However, I empathize with the general situation as, in my experience, finding a ‘good woman’ seems inordinately exasperating. Alas, I hesitate to admit abject disillusionment, but must confess a general reluctance to exert the evidently required effort. But I digress. (Actually, I set the bar pretty low at the outset, so nowhere to go but up!) I am genuinely thrilled you have finished your memoir! I will offer my service and gladly proofread for you, gratis of course. In fact, if you are amenable to subtle bribery, I will pay you for the opportunity! Can’t fault a guy for trying.
        Speaking of guys… never mind.
        Looking forward to future interaction,
        Mark

        • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 7, 2021 at 3:33 pm

          Thank you, Mark! I appreciate your comment. Best of luck to you.

  • Reply Karen A LaBarbera June 5, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Looking forward to your book…good luck with the search.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you for your well wishes, Karen! xoxox

  • Reply Suzy June 5, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Congratulations! What an amazing accomplishment!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Suzy! Thanks so much! I’m happy to have reached this point. It’s the beginning of another long process, but it feels good to be here. Brenda

  • Reply Laureen June 5, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Congratulations my friend! Kudos for this amazing accomplishment….now on to the next “chapter” as it will ~ finding the agent to promote you and your book. Does this mean The Gristmill is in our near future??? If it EVER stops raining!!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Sweet Friend!! Thanks for standing by my side throughout everything! You are loved and appreciated. Yes… lunch! xoxox, B

  • Reply Joanna June 5, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    I’m afraid reading your book is going to make my life seem so uneventful, so boring. Nevertheless, I look forward to getting my copy.

    Life after Covid. Hmmm I find I’m having a hard time getting motivated to travel again and I love to travel, seeing the sights, meeting new people and experiencing a different culture. What is wrong with me? Like so many, I have been languishing over the past year. I need something to motivate me, to light the way. Perhaps, travel locally will be the way. Making plans and getting on a plane again would be a start. Baby steps.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      No! Every life is challenging and difficult in different ways! Thank you for your support! I know what you mean about life after Covid. Nothing’s wrong with you. I’ve felt the same way. I’ve been a hermit, not seeing anyone and getting groceries delivered. It’s a big step to break out of our safe shell, but we need to get our lives back. I started with going to the grocery store, lunch with a friend outside and meeting with my Bible study group. You mention getting on an airplane!! I’m doing that next month and since I’m vaccinated, I feel more confident about it, but I’m not looking forward to being crammed into an airplane with lots of people. Take that first step, Joanna. We need a sense of normality for our physical and mental health. Let me know what you decide. xoxox, Brenda

      • Reply Joanna June 5, 2021 at 8:36 pm

        Yes! I need my life to open up again. I thrive when I travel. I’ll get on that airplane and visit my kids across the country and hopefully feel my world expand.

        • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:33 am

          That sounds like a great idea, Joanna. I know what you mean about needing your life to open up again so go for it! xoxox

  • Reply Sue Burpee June 5, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Congratulations, Brenda. Writing a memoir is a painful, gut-wrenching labour of love. An oxymoron all the way. A friend of mine has been doing query letters and they are TOUGH. Good luck with the rest of the process. 🙂

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:38 am

      Hi Sue!! Thank you! There were many chapters I didn’t think I could write, but I dug deep and found the words. Has your friend written a book proposal? Even if she’s finished with her book most agents want to read a book proposal. There are references online for how to do one, but if she needs any help, email me and I’ll send you a required table of contents to pass along to her. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Beckye June 5, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Hallelujah! So proud of you and admire you for the courage you’ve shown in facing down the monsters of the past and putting it all down in paper in a way that I know will be touching, compelling, and meaningful. I have no doubt that your book will be more than well-received! Hold out for the best deal and agent for you. You’ve had guest writers for your blog; could some of those authors recommend an agent or give insights on finding the right one? You’re an excellent writer and I know you’ll do well! Can’t wait to see how the Lord leads you!

    Thanks so much for recommending the movie! It’s right where I’m at, so perfect timing!

    So glad to hear you’re braving the outside world! Agree wholeheartedly! It’s time to live our lives!

    Love you and rejoicing with you in this accomplishment and waiting for the next step to be revealed.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:43 am

      Dear Beckye!! Your comments always feel like blessings. Thank you! I’m not sure the Lord is happy with everything I’ve written, but he knows why I wrote it. I am sending messages to a number of writers and people I know. Finding an agent is like mining for gold. I know your new living conditions have changed and I’m sure it’s been a challenge for all of you. I think the documentary is a good film for you to watch. Blessings back to you. Love, Brenda

  • Reply David Gust June 5, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    So glad to hear you are finished with your memoir. I can’t wait to read it. Just continue on your journey and I’m sure things will come to fruition for you.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:46 am

      Thank you, Dave, for your support. When the time comes perhaps you can think of ways for me to promote my book in the tech community and the Datapoint alumni. The book is a noteworthy side note in computer history. Brenda

  • Reply Jo Floyd June 5, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    It will be a fascinating read can’t wait for it to be published . Of course I will buy it !

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:47 am

      Oh, thank you, Jo! I appreciate and value your comments and your support. All my best to you. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Alana June 5, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Congratulations, and I hope someone can put you in touch with an agent who will be moved by your truth and get you published. I love “make life count” and the thought of a COVID cleansing ceremony (except I don’t think we are quite at the end of that story yet). We are survivors, whether we think of ourselves in that way or not, of life, our experiences, our health, or what have you and each of our stories has value. It’s sad that book publishers have to concentrate on “what sells”, which leaves many worthwhile writings unpublished and unknown.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:53 am

      Hello Alana! Thanks so much for cheering me on. I have to laugh sometimes at how many people ask me when it will be published and skip through the arduous part of finding an agent who will pitch me to a publisher. Then I remind myself they haven’t been through the process and don’t understand. I agree with you about not being at the end of the Covid story, but hopefully we are all more cautious and aware and take precautions. That’s all we can do. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Judy Freedman June 5, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Congrats! It must be so rewarding to have completed your memoir. Can’t wait to read it. Good luck with finding and agent and publisher.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:55 am

      Judy, it’s wonderful to see your smiling avatar here! Thanks for the well wishes. I hope all is right in your world. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Donna Nance June 5, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Congratulations on finishing your memoir! Hoping you find an agent and get your book published without delay. I will be in line with my $$ in hand! xoxo

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 7:57 am

      Donna, sweet lady! Thanks for reading my blog post and leaving me a comment. I appreciate you!! I’m going to imagine we’ll both be at my book signing someday and I’ll get to meet you! Wouldn’t that be great? xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Don Perry June 6, 2021 at 1:16 am

    Congratulations, Brenda…I knew you could do it! You are right about the amazing experience. Re-living moments in my life through the book made those moments even more precious. Sometimes we skim by things in our life that we don’t have time to truly savor or realize how much they changed the direction of our journey. The writing though painful at times is nothing compared to what comes next. I shopped publishers without much success, even though I had referrals from friends who had their books published with them. In the end, I self published. If you decide to go that way, I went with Outskirts Press (after much research). Couldn’t have made a better choice. They were easy to work with, get major distribution and pay on time. I can’t wait to read your book…you are truly a great writer and I know I will hang on every word!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2021 at 8:02 am

      Hi Don, You’re a voice out of my past, and I always like seeing your name. Considering your Hollywood background, you will appreciate parts of my memoir. You’re mentioned, although not by name, but you’ll recognize the “time” and know you were a part of it. Thanks for the Outskirts Press reference. At the moment I’m only looking for an agent, who will pitch me to a traditional publisher, but I know there are other options should I need them. Hope you and your wife are settled in your new home. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Nancy Stordahl June 6, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Brenda,

    Big congrats on finishing your memoir! It’s quite the process, isn’t it? And I hear you about the agent search. Good luck with that part. I went the self-publishing route, so there’s always that option. But you’re a far better known writer than me! So, you’ll likely land one.

    I wish you much success with your book and everything else too. Thanks for sharing parts of your life with us.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 7, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Dear Nancy! Thanks you! Yes, you know all about what it takes to write a book. Now I’ve moved into the next phase, and I know it will be challenging, but I’m hopeful.We’ve both come a long way since our early breast cancer days. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply bonnie sachs June 7, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    i think your hashtag ‘make life count’ says it all. thanks for that and wishing you so much good luck with your book. i wish i could be of help…but sure will read it!!!!! best, bonnie

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 7, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      Awe… Thank you, Bonnie! I agree, #MakeLifeCount is important for all of us to remember. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Rena McDaniel June 8, 2021 at 10:56 am

    I cannot wait to read it! I am so excited and if you need anyone to review it keep me in mind!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 10, 2021 at 10:35 am

      I love you, Rena! Thanks for your encouragement! I’ll keep you posted. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Barbara Torris June 8, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    As always, you rock Brenda. I love the sound of your book and would love to write a review when the time comes. Following your journey from the words to finding someone to read them is always interesting. I will watch the film you suggested…maybe with my children. Even though I relate to you and all the members of WOM, I am almost 80 and being raised by a loving daughter, patient 80 something husband and two sons. I like it a lot.

    As for Covid, yes my son who is school head at the American Embassy School in New Dehli did catch it from a coworker that later passed away. It was very hard. He is fine because he had taken the first dose of the immunization…India, on the other hand, is not. We are very quiet about covid because we don’t want to draw its attention.

    Take care and good luck!

    Barbara

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 10, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Hello Sweet Lady! Thank you for your offer to review my book. I appreciate you more than you know. Eighty is not what it used to be and you are firmly in “midlife.” You must have been so worried about your son. Those in India have suffered greatly from Covid, and I’m relieved to hear your son is doing well. To you and your family, be well and be safe. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 10, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Bonjour, Yvonne! Thank you! In my mind “pride” will kick in if I get an agent and a traditional publisher. For now I’m working on that and view it as a bit premature to be proud, but I love your encouragement. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Barbara Bergin June 11, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Congratulations Brenda! Now, just waiting for your book release!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2021 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you, Barbara! You know what it’s like to give birth to a big creative effort. Are you writing new songs and performing, again? xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Sandra Sallin June 21, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    I think I have first dibs on buying the first copy!!! I can’t wait to find out the secrets that lie within!!! Does that mean you’re back to blogging?

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm

      Thank you, Sandy! It’s yours!! I’m back blogging as regularly as I can. Hopefully every week, but right now I’m faced with a major revision to my manuscript, then finding an agent, so I’ll be in and out. I’ve missed talking to everyone! xoxox, Brenda

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