I‘m continuing with the scene from Watching Their Dance, when Lora, Marcia and Cindy told John and I the family secret; their mother had Huntington’s disease.
This is the reaction I had when the Marin ladies gave us the news.
Page 16, sixth paragraph:
“I leaned back on the couch and took a deep breath as I felt this compelling information slowly registering in my consciousness, alerting my senses to danger. A struggle crept into my mind, a primal instinct screamed, Run, but my heart said, Stay. I felt as if I were being pulled one way and then another, back and forth, back and forth.”
To read the first chapter of the book, please go to my author website, https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com and sign up to receive my weekly blog and I’ll email the first chapter to you.
Today, three (3) years ago my dream was fast approaching to become a reality; no longer did I have a manuscript, now I had a book (a proof copy of the book) that I could hold in my hand. I remember going to the mailbox and taking the package out of the mailbox, walking back into the house, my hands shaking, afraid to open it, and my heart pounding in my chest. John said, “Aren’t you going to open it, Therese?” It was surreal holding Watching Their Dance and reading the words I had labored over for so many years. Amazon http://amazon.com/author/theresecrutchermarin
For seven years, I’d traveled on an unfamiliar road that excited me; learning and improving my writing skills, finding camaraderie/support in fellow writers at Gold Country Writers Club and Sacramento Suburban Writing Club, and joining a critique group for three (3) years; I had to put on my tough skin to listen to their comments.
In 2015, after attending the San Francisco Writer Conference for the second time, I was ready to work with an editor to teach me techniques to improve my work. Editor, Pam Feinsilber, taught me so much during those two years. Many folks who have read the book have shared that they couldn’t put it down.
When I began writing the nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance, it developed into a Labor of Love, a new expression of my love for my three sisters-in-law. After Cindy died in 2008, I was looking for something good and positive to come out of Lora, Marcia and Cindy’s struggle with Huntington’s disease. The idea of sharing our family’s experience with HD was born out of this tragedy. What is Huntington’s disease?
John and I both mourned the death of each of sister even before they we gone from this world because Huntington’s disease shrinks the brain and dementia and cognition problems occur. Both Marcia and Cindy’s eyes were vacant the last years of their lives and I still tear up when I think about it. Info on grief and loss: https://www.centerforloss.com/2016/12/journey-grief-six-needs-mourning/
I worked on the manuscript for seven (7) years, learning the craft of writing, attending writing conferences, seminars and in 2015 I began working with an editor and published in April 2017. Writing John and my story and publishing it was the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life and I’m very proud of the accomplishment. At the same time, it’s the hardest thing I’ve every done except for giving birth to my children, Keith and Vanessa, which also was a labor of love.
Therese will be selling her memoir/nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, at HDSA Annual Convention, June 7-9. The book is available on her author website https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com & on Amazon,B&N, & in Kindle, Kobo,Nook, iBooks format. 100% of the profit from the book is donated to HDSA.
Therese and John donated $9,015.00 to Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) which was the profit from her book since she published in April 2017.
Via Ingram Book Group, IngramSpark titles are automatically made available to more than tens of thousands of retailers, libraries, schools, internet commerce companies, and other channel partners, including Chapters/Indigo (Canada), and other well-known book retailers and wholesalers across North America. http://www.ingramspark.com/how-it-works/print-distribution-partners
I’m thrilled to finally hold a book in my hand and I find it surreal to read my words in a book. Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s was a labor or love and is truly a dream come true. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPkSf-NfJ0c&t=1s
As I reflect on the seven year journey I traveled to write my story and publish the book, I’m grateful for the strength and perseverance I was given. Lora, Marcia and Cindy were my inspiration because they greatly influenced my life by their steadfast bravery, kindness, and the unconditional love they bestowed upon me.
The book would not exist without John, my best friend and hubby, who brought me many glasses of wine and a variety of cocktails, pulled me out of my office to go on walks, and prepared hundreds of dinner while I wrote or stared out the window as day drifted into dusk.
I was in our credit union the other day signing some papers and linking my business account, NorCal Publishing, with all our other accounts, when Sherry, the gal helping me asked about my business. I told her I was a retired healthcare professional turned writer and NorCal was my publishing company and I was publishing my first book. Of course, she asked what it was about. I quickly began spieling my elevator speech. “It’s about a young woman who takes the biggest gamble of her life and marries the man she loves despite the fact that he has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the worst disease on the planet, Huntington’s disease. HD is a fatal, genetic disorder that progressively destroys never cells in the brain and deteriorates a persons mental and physical abilities. It can strike in prime working years and there is no cure or therapy” Her eyes grew big and her jaw dropped. After about 30 seconds she said, “That’s the most horrible disease I’ve ever heard of.” Then she grabbed a tissue, wiped her eyes, took my business card, put it in her purse and said, “I want to read it when it comes out”.
Sherry’s reaction reinforces the lack of knowledge and understanding our world has about Huntington’s disease. I find some folks may have a vague idea regarding HD but they don’t have full comprehension of the consequences of the disorder.
I will carry on my crusade, along with many others, to educate and use my book as a marketing tool to heighten awareness. The world needs to hear what Huntington’s families are confronted with everyday of their lives.
I would like to ask your opinion on book cover designs my graphic artist sent me for Watching Their Dance. Please click on the link below, COVER 1, and 5 designs will pop up. You can email me at through the envelope icon on my website or theresecrutchermarin.com and tell me what number/letter you like the best.
I’m getting closer to holding a book in my hand. It’s been a great journey, 6 years, writing, editing, joining writers clubs and making new friends.
The two main themes in my book, Watching Their Dance: A Memoir is HOPE and MINDFULNESS, or living in the present. Both of these concepts were not far from my thoughts every day for years and they kept me from losing my mind with John’s 50/50 chance of inheriting Huntington’s disease from his mother. I clung to HOPE and most days I had to work at being MINDFUL because it didn’t come easy for me. Keeping those concepts in my mind gave me the freedom from worry and allowed me to live fully with John and the kids.
Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” – a clearly written introduction to mindfulness said, “Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckhart_Tolle
Two symbols you will see at the end of each chapter in my book are:
It’s something to think about incorporating into your life.
Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth! Therese
Photo credit: Mara ~earth light~ via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
You may wonder what is an Alchemist? The answer is, “One who works in alchemy” and alchemy is defined as a power or process of transforming something common into something special.
So, Jim Shubin, http://bookalchemist.net/ the book designer who is creating the design for the covers of my book calls himself A Book Alchemist! I thought it was a clever way to describe himself and I’m hoping he will perform some magic on my cover. An award winning book designer, his awards include: Paris Book Festival, London Book Festival, New York Book Festival, Indie Book Awards, International Book Awards.
Book Passage, a unique book store in the San Francisco Bay Area, that has existed over 40 years, is where I found Jim. I joined their Path to Publishing Program that mentors new writers and holds seminars, classes and hosts book launches for their members. That is also where I found my editor, Pam Feinsilber; a terrific teacher and writer.
Even though I live in Auburn, approximately 119 miles away from the Book Passage, it is so worth the trip because they offer invaluable resources. I highly recommend visiting their website http://www.bookpassage.com/ and reading one of their newsletters. And I suggest signing up to receive the newsletter via mail or email.
I thought I would share the synopsis that will appear on the back cover of my book. Hope you like it and I’m crossing my fingers it intrigues people enough to purchase the book.
A POWERFUL, DEEPLY PERSONAL memoir: an inspirational story of a young woman who steps outside her comfort zone and takes the biggest gamble of her life to love a man with a precarious future.
At age twenty-two, Therese Crutcher thought she was in control of her life by meticulously planning and eliminating as much uncertainty as possible. When fate steps in, and John Marin and his three sisters learn they are at-risk for the worst disease on the planet, Therese is confronted with a life-altering decision; can she navigate through the treacherous swamp of uncertainty presented by Huntington’s disease? After much soul searching, Therese marries her beloved and, thus unfolds a life filled with unpredictability, tough choices, and pain, and yet full of love, good times and great joy.
Crutcher comes to realize that the uncertainty she willingly took on has opened her heart to love more deeply; that acknowledging her world could change overnight has made her life richer. Told with deep emotion and great suspense, Watching Their Dance: A Memoir captures the reality of a life shrouded in the ambiguity of an inherited, fatal brain disease.
If you are writing a book, short stories or poems, and your goal is to publish your work, a group to become involved in is the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club. They share a wealth of information, present great speakers, are a lot of fun and they can help you achieve your publishing dreams. http://www.sactowriters.org/