Every now and then, it’s good to stop and take stock of things–where you’ve been, where you’re going, how you’re planning to get there, and stuff like that. Thought I might do that today.
Some of you may know I’ve had some health issues crop up in the last few months. Skin cancers, which aren’t new for me, Type 2 diabetes, which is, and other age-related things that plague all of us who persist in sticking around a long time. My thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement! Hope you’ll forgive me if I update you all at once.
After having had many, many basal cell carcinomas removed over the years–I grew up under the Florida sun before we’d ever even heard of sunblock–I finally developed my first melanoma. Luckily, my dermatologist and I are old friends who see each other at least annually, if not more often, and it was caught very early and totally removed. Whew. The basal cell in my ear was a bigger problem to get rid of, though not as dangerous, and I was quite happy to keep the top of my ear.
In May, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and I’ll tell you, it scared me more than you might imagine. My father passed away due to diabetes when he was a mere 8 years older than I am now. So, I took my doctor’s advice seriously, and determined that while I have no way of knowing whether I’ll be here in 8 years or not, I would NOT let diabetes be the reason I wasn’t.
My doctor told me it was up to me to manage it, gave me plenty of info on how to do that, and I committed myself to getting healthier by our 3-month follow-up visit. I managed to do so beyond even my own expectations, going beyond every goal she’d set for me. I saw her this past Friday, and she said she was extremely proud of me for how well I’d done. Of course, that made me proud of me, too, so I’m passing it along for those of you who may deal with something similar. Commit yourself to getting healthier and follow through. You’re worth it!
I expect even better numbers when I go back in another 3-months, and have learned SO much about what works for me and what doesn’t. It’s made a profound difference in my life in several ways.
And finally, many of you have read my post from Saturday on building a local readership via face to face events with readers. There are many ways of doing this, of course, but I’ve chosen to speak at several local venues (Enterprise Museum, DeBary Hall, and others in our area) and at private book clubs. I’ve talked at times about writing and self-publishing, not as an expert, but just explaining how I went about it, myself, and what had worked for me versus what hadn’t. I’ve also talked on one of my passions, Florida wildlife and habitat.
Saturday, I did a slide presentation on backyard birds and wanted to report that things went super well. First of all, as I was greeting early arrivals, two women I hadn’t met before came rushing up as soon as they entered the room. They wanted to tell me how excited they were to meet me in person, and that they had most of my books, but only just found out that I do talks at various venues. Their happy smiles and big hugs started my afternoon out in the best possible way!
One of these ladies had a bag with the books she’d already bought from a local store and on Amazon, very hesitantly asked if I’d sign them, even though she hadn’t gotten them from me. I teased her about thinking that over, and then of course, happily signed them all. Both of them were excited to learn about birds, and stayed afterward, waiting until last in line to thank me for such a great afternoon.
And then there are the 33 other folks who showed up, some new faces, some old friends, but all of whom were part of a friendly, outgoing, engaged audience. They asked good questions as we went through the slide show, and they laughed at all of my jokes, always my acid test! 😀 It was a super group and I had so much fun with them.
Now, if that doesn’t convince you to put on your thinking caps and come up with your own ways to get out and talk to folks, I don’t know what would. Don’t forget, I had my books displayed at the signing table, and sold several after the talk ended, too. But mostly, I felt like I connected with a terrific bunch of people, and I know that many of them will also be buying my future books. (Especially those who wanted to know when, oh when, would the next “Rabbit book” be out.)
So that’s it in a nutshell. Take care of your health, be good to yourself, and find a way to get out and talk to folks. You’ll be inspired by the people you meet, especially the ones who love your work already, and you’ll end up with some new readers, too. And if you’re doing everything your doctor tells you, you’ll be around long enough to keep writing new books for years and years!
That’s my story, an’ I’m stickin’ to it!
But it’s okay to laugh about it, too, you know.
So with that in mind, a couple of Health Memes for you!