IndiesForward – What if you couldn’t promote your own book?

Days ago I received an email from the amazing Duolit team, telling the story of Julie. “Our indie-ninja-in-spirit Julie Forward DeMay dreamed of being a published author, and in 2011 her first book was released — two years after Julie (a daughter, sister, wife, and mother) lost her battle with cancer.”

Julie’s mother decided to self-publish her blog in 2011.

Cell War Notebooks is a compilation of the blog Julie kept during her last seven months — it’s beautiful, funny, brave and truly inspirational for anyone, whether you’ve been through cancer or not.

So the idea Duolit came with was that on January 31st, bloggers (authors and otherwise) would show support for Julie by dedicating a blog post to her. I was immediately on board – how can one not truly want to be part of this? Especially because all the proceeds from the book’s sale go to Julie’s nine year-old daughter, Luka.

I’ve been thinking of what to write for this campaign for days now. ‘A post about an experience in your life where you were inspired to overcome an obstacle.’ Ummm… Isn’t that what daily life is about? Aren’t we every day overcoming obstacles to get through the day, to live? At least to the average, working guy or gal, each day has its own obstacles to overcome.

I mean…think about it. Every single day you have to wake up in a time not of your choice, to get ready fast to a commute that you probably won’t enjoy, to get to a job that most people don’t really love… So, the first obstacle, each day, is the laziness. That feeling, every morning, that your bed never seemed so comfortable before that moment when you have to leave it…

Then, the urge to stay home, to stay with your children instead of going to work, or to study. Okay, that little responsible voice in your head, built year after year yells “Go already, you’re getting late!”, so you stop musing and go.

Then you look at the bus stop, and there are already several others like you, and the commute itself is an obstacle. In some cases, a horrendous one. Talk about closeness with strangers! Boy, you have no option in a crowded bus, trolley bus or train (the three of them every day in my case!) than to share a lot more of intimacy that one would like with totally unfamiliar people. Some of them clean, some not… Well, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Then you finally get to work…and the obstacles turn into a mountain in front of you. It may be your boss, a colleague, the work itself, the phone, the emails…or everything all together. The result, usually, is one looking constantly to the watch, counting the time left until freedom!

And, of course, there’s the commute again. Perhaps even worse, depending on the time you leave work. Finally home, you think of resting, of watching some TV and doing nothing. But normally you can’t, because there are house tasks to do. The dishes, the clothes and the floor refuse to obey my orders and clean themselves! I’ve been trying for years, but never faced anything more stubborn than those three… And food, you have to prepare and eat something. If you have children, you have to play with them, to check homework, to chat…

Anyway, it’s a day-to-day battle, and we face it every day, most of the time not even noticing it. So many obstacles. Life is made of them.

And yet, we love it. Even in our bottom moments, when life seems like just a huge amount of work and no pleasure, I bet most would never trade if for the alternative. Put into perspective, our mundane daily obstacles seem so small when we have health enough to face them every day.

We complain a lot, and I’m a firm believer in the power of protest. I’m a very happily-grumpy person, if you can understand what I mean. I hate doing so many things, but I know I have to do them, so I complain, but in a grumpy humorous way. At least that’s what I try… My point is, you have the right, almost the sacred right to complain. It’s not fair, it’s too much sometimes, we all would prefer a life of full pleasure and no work, so let’s all whine, let’s all scream inside of us to the people in front of us in the stairwell who don’t walk, making you late; to the people who simply do not understand the concept of “wait in line”; to our bosses; to the lack of money; to the lack of time; to whatever makes you feel oppressed and stuck. It’s reliving, stimulating…soothing. If you think protesting makes you ungrateful, I beg to disagree. I think it’s just normal and healthy.

In my humble opinion, what makes one ungrateful is to forget the other side of life. To just complain. So…let’s protest, but let’s also remember that it all seems so small in comparison with stories like Julie’s.

Life can be tough, but even then, it’s life; it’s valuable and beautiful. That’s how I overcome my obstacles, all my life. Always believing that tomorrow will be better. As long as you have tomorrows, don’t waste them, they’re precious; they’re [potential] dreams coming through every day!

So yes, Julie and her poignant, touching story can make you see things differently. I hope you find it inspiring as I did, and will help spread the word about her and her book. Please read more – read it all – here. Then, go tell everyone you know about this campaign. Let’s make an angel smile seeing how so many people are helping to promote her book!


No guilt, eh? That must be nice… :)

I was watching an episode of ‘The Middle’, one of my favorite TV shows, the other day. It was a rerun, where the family decided to give the mother a different Mother’s Day gift: left her alone to have an entire day just for her.

She wastes the whole day in ordinary tasks, while the family has a marvelous day without her. At the end, Frankie, the mother, says to Mike, the father, how being a mother is to be always feeling guilty. If she’s with the children and wants to be alone…guilty; if she’s alone, she wants to be with them, so…guilty!

I can understand that. As a mother, I have to be away from my daughter most of the day, to work and commute. The entire day I miss her. Then when I get home, there’s always a lot to do, and there’s writing related stuff too. So I try to stay with her in the middle of all that, but it never seems like enough time.

I’m sure all parents understand that, actually. Kids grow up so fast, every day they’re slipping through our fingers, and all we can do is try to capture every minute, the feeling in them (yes, I love ABBA! Do you know that song?)…

So…how can we live with all that guilty? If I’m so tired that all I can think of doing is to take a nap, but my baby wants to chat; or if I have got to promote my book for a while, but she wants to play something; or if I just want to stay quiet for a moment, because I have a headache, and she wants to show me the new stop motion video she made…?

You know what I think? There’s no way to win. It’s just like Frankie says; a mother is always feeling guilty. You’ll never believe you’re doing enough, you’re always thinking you should do more. Now, for example…I’m writing this, because I wanted to share my thoughts, while my daughter is by my side, finding new dolls she wants to have on the internet, and I’m thinking I should be doing something with her. 🙂

The funniest part of the show is that when Frankie says it, Mike, the husband, states that he doesn’t understand, because he never feels guilty. Her answer? ‘No guilt. That must be nice.’ It might be…but I think it’s part of the ‘fun’ of being a parent. I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Well, in my family things were quite the opposite. My father played the role of Frankie. He cared, and tried his best, so I’m sure he felt guilty a lot, J. How about you, fathers and mothers? How do you deal with that feeling? How do you arrange things to spend enough quality time with your children?


New Story – Merge, a Sequel to Mean and My Sore Hush-a-Bye

It’s now available on Amazon and Smashwords my new short story (8 thousand words). If you read Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette and My Sore Hush-a-Bye and want to know more about Cassandra and Camille’s future, here’s your chance.

** Please note that this short story (around 8K words) is a SEQUEL to Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette and My Sore Hush-a-Bye. Do not read it before these books if you don’t want those stories to be spoiled! **

Cassandra Connelly and Camille Marie Jones: two women who suffered unthinkable child abuse. Their lives were forever stained by their ordeals during their childhoods.

The way they reacted to it, however, was completely different.

Five years after the events of Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette and My Sore Hush-a-Bye, see what happened to Camille and Cassandra, and how they will react when facing one another.

– Merge is FREE at Smashwords for a limited time, and only 0.99 cents on Amazon. –


My 5 star Review of ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’, by Amanda Green

I believe I’ve never read a memoir before in my life. I read biographies when I was young — used to love them back then, but never memoirs.

Nevertheless, the moment I read the description of “My Alien Self, My Journey back to me’, by Amanda Green, I wanted to read it.

The journey described is intense, almost brutal at some points. And yet there’s tenderness in the way Amanda tells it all, no holding back—after all, it’s her life; she’s her own main character.

Reading fiction can be easy, even if the subject is difficult, because you have the comfort of knowing it all came from a creative mind; here, however, it all really happened.

This is a tough story, but it’s also about redemption and recovery. It will make you change your pre-conceptions about mental illness, and will certainly help so many people!

Find out more about Amanda Green in my interview with her: