Search Results : madeline sharples » CMash Reads

Dec 032012
 

I have my mug of coffee in hand, please help yourself to one, as we visit with an old friend of CMah Reads.  Today’s guest visited back in 2011, so when she contacted me, asking if she could come back and visit, I put the coffee on!!  I ask, if you could help me give a warm welcome back to Madeline Sharples!!

MADELINE SHARPLES

Madeline Sharples studied journalism in high school and college and wrote for the high school newspaper, but only started to fulfill her dream to work as a creative writer and journalist late in life. Her memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, was released in a hardback edition in 2011 and has just been released in paperback and eBook editions by Dream of Things. It tells the steps she took in living with the loss of her oldest son, first and foremost that she chose to live and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, and writer. She hopes that her story will inspire others to find ways to survive their own tragic experiences.

She also co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994), co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 and 2, and wrote the poems for two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Her poems have also appeared online and in print magazines.

Madeline’s articles appear regularly in the Naturally Savvy, PsychAlive, Aging Bodies, and Open to Hope. She also posts at her blogs, Choices and at Red Room and is currently writing a novel.  Madeline’s mission since the death of her son is to raise awareness, educate, and erase the stigma of mental illness and suicide in hopes of saving lives.

Madeline and her husband of forty plus years live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles. Her younger son Ben lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife Marissa.
You can connect with Madeline at her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

GUEST POST

My Recipe for Survival

When my older son Paul took his life in our home – ending his seven year struggle with bipolar disorder, my first thoughts were: I cannot go on. I want to get into the same bathtub where he died and put myself out of my pain and misery. At first I didn’t know how I could continue to live without him.

Instead of getting into that bathtub, I chose to live and take care of myself as a woman, wife, mother, writer. Here’s how I did it.

I Wrote. Even before Paul died, I started writing about him and his bipolar disorder. Journaling got out the frustrations of dealing with his episodes, hospitalizations, and erratic behavior. After he died I continued journaling. I also took classes through UCLA Extension’s writing program, a private writing instructor in Los Angeles, and at workshops at my healing place, Esalen in Big Sur, California. It was there that poems started flowing from my pen.

 I Worked. At the time Paul died, I was working at home writing grant proposals. I soon realized that I needed to find a job outside, and luckily I got rehired into the company I had retired from a few years earlier. My job as a proposal manager was challenging, meaningful, and very stressful. Having to meet stringent deadlines kept my mind on the job rather than on my feelings. The work and the socialization at work helped get me through the first few years after Paul died.

I Sought Out Diversions. And through all these years I’ve learned to fill up my time with diversions. I read. I watch movies. My husband and I go to the theater and opera. We travel. And I pamper myself – working out at the gym, taking long walks on the beach near our home, eating healthy, and caring for my hair and nails. It feels good, helps me look good, and boosts my mood. Taking care of myself and staying healthy have become tantamount to my survival.

I chose to stay alive because I know what suicide does to a family. I couldn’t put my loving and caring husband and surviving son Ben through that kind of pain again. Besides I wanted to experience life’s next adventures. As bad as it was after Paul died, and as much as I continue to miss him, I still had things to do with my life.

Also, with such a tragedy came some unexpected gifts. Paul’s death has made me a stronger person, physically and emotionally. I have reinvented myself into a poet and creative writer. My husband and I have a stronger marriage because we gave each other the space to grieve in our own way, and I have a terrific bond with Ben and his new wife. Yes, I’m proud to say I’m a new mother-in-law. And, I’ve embarked on a new mission in life – to erase the stigma of mental illness and prevent suicide, in hopes of saving lives through my writing and volunteer work.

Staying alive has also helped me keep my son Paul’s memory alive.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss: first and foremost how author Madeline Sharples chose to live and go on with life and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, writer. It is about the steps Sharples took in living with the loss of her son, including making use of diversions to help ease her grief and the milestones she met toward living a full life without him. She says, “to let ourselves grieve is to feel the depth of our love. For those whose children have died, that may take the rest of our lives, but we will discover the gifts of our loss in the process.”
Read my review here.

THANKS TO AUTHOR, MADELINE SHARPLES AND DREAM OF THINGS,
PUBLISHER, I HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS MEMOIR TO GIVE AWAY.
PRINT- U.S. AND CANADA RESIDENTS OR EBOOK-OPEN TO ALL.

CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.

Dec 032012
 

DECEMBER 3rd to DECEMBER 17th, 2012

 

LEAVING THE HALL LIGHT ON
by MADELINE SHARPLES

SYNOPSIS:
Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss: first and foremost how author Madeline Sharples chose to live and go on with life and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, writer. It is about the steps Sharples took in living with the loss of her son, including making use of diversions to help ease her grief and the milestones she met toward living a full life without him. She says, “to let ourselves grieve is to feel the depth of our love. For those whose children have died, that may take the rest of our lives, but we will discover the gifts of our loss in the process.”
THANKS TO AUTHOR, MADELINE SHARPLES,
AND DREAM OF THINGS PUBLISHING
I HAVE ONE ( 1 ) COPY OF THIS
MEMOIR TO GIVE AWAY.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN.
*USE THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW
IN ORDER TO BE INCLUDED IN THE GIVEAWAY
*
BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL
ADDRESS IN THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM
SO THAT I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN
*LEAVE COMMENT: 1. WHAT VERSION OF BOOK DO YOU PREFER,
IF EBOOK, WHAT TYPE OF FILE (.MOBI, ePUB, PDF)
2.  DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE DEALING WITH A BIPOLAR DISORDER?
*
*PRINT–U.S. AND CANADA RESIDENTS ONLY*
*EBOOK–OPEN TO ALL*
*NO P.O. BOXES*
 **HONOR SYSTEM**
ONE WINNING BOOK PER HOUSEHOLD
PLEASE NOTIFY ME IF YOU HAVE
WON THIS BOOK FROM ANOTHER
SITE, SO THAT SOMEONE ELSE MAY
HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN
AND READ THIS BOOK.
THANK YOU.

*GIVEAWAY ENDS DECEMBER 17th AT 6PM EST*

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN BY RAFFLECOPTER AND NOTIFIED
VIA EMAIL AND WILL HAVE 48 HOURS TO RESPOND
OR ANOTHER NAME WILL BE CHOSEN

DISCLAIMER / RULES

Giveaway copies are supplied and shipped to winners via publisher,
the giveaway on behalf of the
above. I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in
exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are
ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I am not responsible for lost or damaged books that are shipped
from agents. I reserve the right to disqualify/delete any entries
if rules of giveaway are not followed

YOUR JAVA SCRIPT MAY NEED TO BE UPDATED
IF YOU AR EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTY
USING THE RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM

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Dec 032012
 

Leaving The Hall Light On by Madeline Sharples
Published by Dream of Things
Publication Date: July 13, 2012
ISBN-10: 0982579489
ISBN-13: 978-0982579480
Pages: 338
Review Copy from: Dream Of Things
Edition: TPB
My Rating: 4 

Synopsis:
Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss: first and foremost how author Madeline Sharples chose to live and go on with life and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, writer. It is about the steps Sharples took in living with the loss of her son, including making use of diversions to help ease her grief and the milestones she met toward living a full life without him. She says, “to let ourselves grieve is to feel the depth of our love. For those whose children have died, that may take the rest of our lives, but we will discover the gifts of our loss in the process.”

My Thoughts and Opinion:
Over the past year or so, I have stepped out of my comfort zone, and started reading memoirs. And honestly, the ones that I have read have had a lasting impact on me.

The author shares, very candidly, her journey as, a wife and mother, coping with a son who was diagnosed with a Bipolar Disorder and then his suicide. Her pain and recovery. This book was a bit of a hard read for me because of some of the parallels in the story. A thought provoking read on many levels and for varied reasons.

One of the similarities was I am a parent of 2 sons, 2 1/2 years apart and the oldest named Paul, the same as the author. While reading of her struggle with her son Paul, I found myself asking, “what if it was my Paul? Another thing I could relate to was the Bipolar Disorder, because of my background in nursing, I am familiar with the struggles of those diagnosed with the disease, the patterns they have and the signs and symptoms.

Ms. Sharples shares her painful experience of living through her son’s periods of mania and depression. Her raw emotions are palpable. Then the worst nightmare that every parent fears, burying one’s child. And even worse, not knowing the whys. Does any parent have closure? No such thing. How does one go on? I can’t even imagine, having to go through something like this. She frankly and honestly describes her emotions of love, anger, worry, depression, hope, guilt, and even at times, selfishness. How she used writing poetry, which are also in the book, as a coping mechanism. And the decision to write this, which had to be very painful, memoir. As a parent, it was a heart wrenching read. But it was also a read of survival and recovery. It’s then that the hall light goes off.

A powerful and poignant read!! 

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or
Barnes & Noble.  I am an IndieBound affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
Jun 162011
 

What a day today is!!! I am beyond thrilled!!! I even checked my Thesaurus and couldn’t find a word to express what I am feeling. I am now a tour host for WOW-Women On Writing and what a way to start! Please help me give a very big and warm welcome to today’s guest, Madeline Sharples, as she stops by while on virtual tour, to talk about her inspirational memoir.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Although Madeline Sharples loved poetry and creative writing as a young girl, she took a more practical career path by studying journalism and working as a grant writing, editor and technical writer. She co-authored a book about women in nontraditional professions called Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (August 2010). Her poetry has been published by many publications including two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer).

Madeline turned to another type of writing, memoir, as she grappled with her older son’s bipolar disorder and subsequent suicide. She and her husband of 40 years live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles. Her younger son Ben lives in Santa Monica, California with his bride Marissa.
Just Thought You Should Know:
More than 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year, most leaving behind grieving families. Teenagers make up 5,000 of this group.

You can visit Madeline Sharples at her websites:
http://madeline40.blogspot.com/

www.madelinesharples.com

GUEST POST
Using Memoir Writing to Deal with Grief

I signed up for a writing class three months after my son Paul’s death. We sat in the instructor’s living room on couches and big easy chairs in a comfortable and forgiving atmosphere. Each week the instructor told us to write a journal entry. He didn’t specify a subject. This was a beginner’s class. All he wanted us to do was learn to “write like you talk,” and to write in a voice that came from deep within our bellies. And then we’d come back the next week and read to the group what we had written.

At first I was afraid to put my grief out there in my writing. When I apologized for writing about the same subject matter in my assigned journal entries over and over, my instructor, Jack, said, “It took Dostoyevsky five hundred pages to write Crime and Punishment, you have a long way to go.”

With that I felt empowered me to write about Paul and how I felt about his death and the pain of losing him. And I still feel empowered to do it.

After several years of patiently listening to my material, Jack and the rest of the class encouraged me to put my story into a book. They felt certain there were people who needed to know it.

And then a goal to put my material into a memoir started to formulate: I thought if I could tell my story in the most truthful and realistic terms possible, I could help other parents with children with bipolar disorder that in many cases results in their suicide. Otherwise I felt it wouldn’t be useful to anyone – including me.

And so I kept writing my journal entries – not only for class, not only to comfort myself, but also to emerge into a memoir. I also wrote poems. Poetry just seemed to come spontaneously. Poetry seemed to be the only way I could really express my emotions. And when the time came for me to put my material into a book I organized it in the order of the poems in my poetry manuscript.

Writing was my therapy. I was turned off by traditional therapy after my first meeting with someone who hadn’t experienced the death of a child. I couldn’t imagine how that person could help me. And I didn’t turn to self-help books either. Along with working and working out, I found my way by writing every day. It became a habit and a huge help in getting myself out of the mire after my son’s death and the tragedy that had hit my family.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss. It’s about finding peace and balance and various ways the author, Madeline Sharples, finds to bring herself together after feeling so helpless and out of control during her son Paul’s 7-year struggle with bipolar disease and after his suicide in September 1999.

Sharples explains: “I write about the steps I took in living with the loss of my son, including making use of diversions to help me forget. Leaving the Hall Light On is also about the milestones I met toward living a full life without him: packing and giving away his clothes, demolishing and redoing the scene of his death, cataloging and packing away all his records and books, copying all of his original music compositions onto CDs, digitizing all of our family photos, and gutting his room and turning it into my office and sanctuary with a bay window that looks out toward a lush garden and a bubbling water fountain.”

THANKS TO ROBYN FROM WOW, I HAVE ONE (1)
EBOOK EDITION OF THIS MEMOIR TO GIVE AWAY.

CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.
DISCLAIMER
Giveaway copies are supplied and shipped to winners
via publisher, agent and/or author. This blog hosts
the giveaway on behalf of the above.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
Jun 162011
 

What a day today is!!! I am beyond thrilled!!! I even checked my Thesaurus and couldn’t find a word to express what I am feeling. I am now a tour host for WOW-Women On Writing and what a way to start! Please help me give a very big and warm welcome to today’s guest, Madeline Sharples, as she stops by while on virtual tour, to talk about her inspirational memoir.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Although Madeline Sharples loved poetry and creative writing as a young girl, she took a more practical career path by studying journalism and working as a grant writing, editor and technical writer. She co-authored a book about women in nontraditional professions called Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (August 2010). Her poetry has been published by many publications including two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer).

Madeline turned to another type of writing, memoir, as she grappled with her older son’s bipolar disorder and subsequent suicide. She and her husband of 40 years live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles. Her younger son Ben lives in Santa Monica, California with his bride Marissa.
Just Thought You Should Know:
More than 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year, most leaving behind grieving families. Teenagers make up 5,000 of this group.

You can visit Madeline Sharples at her websites:
http://madeline40.blogspot.com/

www.madelinesharples.com

GUEST POST
Using Memoir Writing to Deal with Grief

I signed up for a writing class three months after my son Paul’s death. We sat in the instructor’s living room on couches and big easy chairs in a comfortable and forgiving atmosphere. Each week the instructor told us to write a journal entry. He didn’t specify a subject. This was a beginner’s class. All he wanted us to do was learn to “write like you talk,” and to write in a voice that came from deep within our bellies. And then we’d come back the next week and read to the group what we had written.

At first I was afraid to put my grief out there in my writing. When I apologized for writing about the same subject matter in my assigned journal entries over and over, my instructor, Jack, said, “It took Dostoyevsky five hundred pages to write Crime and Punishment, you have a long way to go.”

With that I felt empowered me to write about Paul and how I felt about his death and the pain of losing him. And I still feel empowered to do it.

After several years of patiently listening to my material, Jack and the rest of the class encouraged me to put my story into a book. They felt certain there were people who needed to know it.

And then a goal to put my material into a memoir started to formulate: I thought if I could tell my story in the most truthful and realistic terms possible, I could help other parents with children with bipolar disorder that in many cases results in their suicide. Otherwise I felt it wouldn’t be useful to anyone – including me.

And so I kept writing my journal entries – not only for class, not only to comfort myself, but also to emerge into a memoir. I also wrote poems. Poetry just seemed to come spontaneously. Poetry seemed to be the only way I could really express my emotions. And when the time came for me to put my material into a book I organized it in the order of the poems in my poetry manuscript.

Writing was my therapy. I was turned off by traditional therapy after my first meeting with someone who hadn’t experienced the death of a child. I couldn’t imagine how that person could help me. And I didn’t turn to self-help books either. Along with working and working out, I found my way by writing every day. It became a habit and a huge help in getting myself out of the mire after my son’s death and the tragedy that had hit my family.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss. It’s about finding peace and balance and various ways the author, Madeline Sharples, finds to bring herself together after feeling so helpless and out of control during her son Paul’s 7-year struggle with bipolar disease and after his suicide in September 1999.

Sharples explains: “I write about the steps I took in living with the loss of my son, including making use of diversions to help me forget. Leaving the Hall Light On is also about the milestones I met toward living a full life without him: packing and giving away his clothes, demolishing and redoing the scene of his death, cataloging and packing away all his records and books, copying all of his original music compositions onto CDs, digitizing all of our family photos, and gutting his room and turning it into my office and sanctuary with a bay window that looks out toward a lush garden and a bubbling water fountain.”

THANKS TO ROBYN FROM WOW, I HAVE ONE (1)
EBOOK EDITION OF THIS MEMOIR TO GIVE AWAY.

CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.
DISCLAIMER
Giveaway copies are supplied and shipped to winners
via publisher, agent and/or author. This blog hosts
the giveaway on behalf of the above.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.