The marriage phase. The kids phase. The divorce phase. Then the illnesses come creeping in.
Now, before I continue, I do not have cancer. But I have two friends who are both in remission and another writer friend who's in the midst of treatment for her cancer. So, when I got an email from another cancer survivor asking me to spread the word about mesothelioma and Lung Leavin' Day, I said "Sure!"
What's Lung Leavin' Day? Well, I'll tell you. But first, this is Heather Von St. James and her lovely daughter.
When Heather was 36, just after her daughter was born, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos. She was told she had 15 months to live. Can you imagine? You're holding you first little baby and they tell you you won't live to see her turn two?! Ack!
Heather underwent surgery to have her lung removed - her sister named the day Lung Leavin' Day. The name stuck.
Heather is still with us and still being an awesome wife and mother. And although there are always fears in everyone's life, she uses Lung Leavin' Day (on February 2nd) as a way to express those fears and overcome them, by writing her fears on a plate and smashing it.
Check out her site at http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday/#.VMjvEcacNaQ
(It's a very cool site.) and join Heather in smashing your fears away on February 2nd.
I'd also like to use this post to introduce you to Cynthia Jaynes-Omololu.
In addition to having a last name that's totally fun to say - Omo-lo-lu- she is a fabulous writer. (She used to be in a critique group with me - that's how I know her.) She has three Young Adult books previously published: Dirty Little Secrets, Transcendence, and Intuition AND one picture book, When It's Six O'Clock in San Fransisco, and her fourth YA THE THIRD TWIN is coming out shortly.
Cynthia is a warm, funny, brilliant woman with a husband and two teenage sons, and she has brain cancer. Yup! That sucks!
It's hard enough promoting your book without brain cancer - but since she can't focus on that right now, a bunch of her writer friends are trying to promote the hell out of it for her.
Here's the Kirkus write-up:
Could an identical twin be a killer without her sister knowing it?
It all began as a joke when Lexi and Ava were little: The identical sisters would imagine they had a “third twin” named Alicia. Now in their senior year of high school, the girls have reincarnated Alicia, using this persona to dress up and date boys they normally wouldn’t. They’ve even gone to the trouble of creating a fake ID and social media site to build a back story for this fictitious sister. The fun ends when Lexi, out as Alicia, is the last known person to have seen Casey, her date and would-be rapist, alive. Told from Lexi’s point of view, the mystery continues as more of “Alicia’s” dates turn up murdered. When the evidence and unusual coincidences all point to Ava, Lexi feels like the person she’s always known best is suddenly a stranger. And because they share DNA, Lexi also becomes a person of interest. As she races to find the real killer, she must also contend with moving on from high school to college, finding her own identity and trying to save the boy she really loves from meeting a deadly fate. Although the resolution may be more out of Hollywood than reality, the dramatic suspense will keep mystery fans entertained.
I love Cynthia's books. They have rich characters, great plot and tension, and they keep it moving.
THE THIRD TWIN launches Feb 24th!
I love YA - so I'm getting it for myself. But if you're not into it, buy it for a teenager in your life. Pre-order here or at your local bookstore.
So let's break some plates, buy some books, hugs our people, and be kind to one another.
Thanks so much for stopping in!