On Reading...

When I was a teenager (way back in the 70’s), I liked to read, though I would never have admitted that to any of my friends.  It just wasn’t cool to say that I couldn’t go out because I was reading a good book and wanted to finish.  But sometimes it was true! I read many of the classic teen series and romance novels.  As I got older and my tastes changed, I ventured into new genres.  I particularly liked “near future” Science Fiction, and Historical Fiction.  I still do!

Years later when my 3 sons came along, their father and I read to them every day.  I was more focused on educational books, but I also read them tons of poetry. Shel Silverstein was their favorite, but I also included the classic poets in our daily sessions.  Their father read them The Hobbit and Harry Potter series, which they remember fondly and even brag about.

My sons are all adults now, and 2 out of 3 are avid Fiction readers, and the 3rd focuses on reading relative to his career.  I have a 3-year-old granddaughter too, and her parents are reading to her daily.

Reading improves your language and vocabulary skills. It also helps to form perceptions of the world as it relates to the subject matter. 

It’s never too late to enjoy a good book, and to share your reading experience with those around you.

One more thought…consider listening to books.  It’s easy to train your brain to listen to a book and do some other menial task, such as housekeeping, or walking. 

Happy Reading!!


How Do You Measure Success?

When I was younger, I measured success through my three sons.  They made it through elementary school, then middle school and finally high school and college. It was quite an achievement as a parent.

In the meantime, as I matured along with my boys, I started to develop my own goals.  I wanted to leave the business world and become a nurse, and I wanted to be creative, though I didn't know exactly how. 

It takes years to grow "into your own", even when you are already an adult.  I look at my three adult sons now, one with a family of his own, and I still see a little boy. He has so much to learn, as do his brothers, as do I! 

We are all learning and growing no matter how old we are, and each phase of our life presents its challenges and measurements of success.

Today, I measure success by delivering to you a "good read." It's that simple. 

Thank you for supporting my success, and I wish you all the best in achieving your success!


What am I working on?

I really enjoy writing about anything medical related and being a registered nurse for many years has filled my head with all kinds of interesting stories.

In the upcoming months, I will be releasing a three-part mystery series about an Orthopedic Surgeon who leads a secret double life that wreaks all kinds of havoc, especially with her patients. Part one is completed and being reviewed by several literary agents, and part two will be complete by mid-February. Part three should be done by the end of May.

It takes me approximately 10 to 12 weeks to complete a novel, but the editing, formatting, book cover etc. takes about the same amount of time. In total, it takes about five months to have a finished novel that is ready to share.

Once I’ve completed a novel, then I have to decide when it should be released.  So, I’ll ask you…would you prefer to wait and have all three novels available to read, or should I release the first one and then stagger the second and third?  Decisions, decisions!

Here’s a paragraph from Part I – STONE ADDICTED

Dr. Lila Stone rolled over in the hotel bed and gazed at the naked man that lay beside her. His name was Ted, or Teddy something. Teddy, the chief executive. Teddy, the one-night stand. Tagging her temporary lovers with their profession, or some other memorable detail, was the only way she could avoid the embarrassment of forgetting their names when the encounter was over. It was 3 am and time for her to leave. She watched Ted sleep for a minute, and then carefully slid to the edge of the bed. She glanced back to make sure she hadn’t disturbed him and then carefully rolled off. She would probably never see him again, and he didn’t know her name or have her phone number, though she had collected his business card, just in case.

‘Tis the Season for Depression

In my novel DETACHED, Dr. Jason Smith suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which leads to his Detachment Disorder.  When left untreated, Depression and Anxiety can become debilitating.

It’s difficult to understand why someone would be depressed during the holiday season, but the facts tell us that it’s a prevalent issue.  People that live in the northern states are subject to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), while others with Social Anxiety Disorder find it difficult to enjoy large family events or work-place holiday parties.

f you or someone you know become sad or withdrawn during the holidays, there are strategies to help alleviate some of the systems.

First, make sure you or your loved one has a strong support system.  It’s not their fault they are suffering. Be sympathetic, and avoid forcing them into social situations they are not comfortable with.  

Have gatherings with a shorter guest list small, including only those that you or your loved one is comfortable with, and make sure they have a set time to end.

Be outside in the sun as much as possible, or consider purchasing a light therapy device.  Exposure to light, especially fluorescent light can offer a significant improvement for people with SAD. Exercise improves depression to get out for a walk and enjoy the holiday lights!

Happy Holidays to all, and please take time to read a good book! 

Click Here:  https://goo.gl/8AQciX



Am I my Characters?

After reading my novel, a reader asked me, “Are you, Lindsey Blake?”  I laughed at the question because it seemed so far-fetched, but after thinking about how I develop my characters, my answer changed – a little.  

Lindsey Blake is a single woman, who left a grown son and his wife behind in Boston, to start a new life in South West Florida.  She loves the warm weather.

I am a married lady with three grown sons and a granddaughter who left Boston because I wanted to live in a warm climate.  So yes, there are similarities in the geography but not necessarily in the family history or personality.  Lindsey is portrayed as a loner, but I am not.

I am working on my fourth novel now, and in each story, the characters are a blend of people that I’ve met, or are close to me, or perhaps pieces of myself. It’s possible that the old instructions, “Write what you know,” has stuck with me through my stories.  

I caution you about guessing which characters are a reflection of me or someone that I know, because some are entirely made up!  When you read about Cliff, you’ll see what I mean.

Characters are a combination of imagination and reality, as they should be. 

Who is your favorite character in DETACHED?

Discipline – An Acquired Skill

Lots of people have asked me, “How did you do it…write and publish a book while working a full-time job?”  The answer is that it wasn’t easy.  As far back as I can remember, I always felt that I had “a book” in me.  It lived in my head in various versions, such as a memoir of my childhood, or a story from experiences working in the Operating Room, or my experiences working as a homecare nurse. But then life got in the way; family, job, school, etc.

One of the first things I learned when I embarked on this literary journey was that many writers and authors carry a book in their head before they finally put their fingers on the keyboard, or pen to paper.  I think it’s just a matter of when.

When I finally put my fingers on the keyboard, I made a promise to myself that I would see it through no matter what.  So, I wrote a few chapters and then sent my pages to a critique site on the web.  Within a few days, I received an eye-opening email.  Words like “cliché” and “banal” (which I had to look up) and someone even wrote that I should consider another hobby!  It was embarrassing, but my story had to come out.  

I did some research and thought about my favorite authors and then approached writing in a more disciplined way.  I set a daily goal to write 1,000 words per day or at least 7,000 per week.  The experts said to just write to the end and then go back and edit.  It was hard to do at first, but once I let go and stopped worrying about whether or not I was doing it “right,” the story spilled out, even faster than I thought possible.

When I finished writing DETACHED in July, I took a one-week hiatus and then started the next book which I completed in eight weeks.  I am currently writing my 3rd and 4th novel, setting weekly goals for each.  

I look forward to sharing the details of those stories and hope you will enjoy my writing.

Living with Anxiety

In my novel DETACHED, Dr. Jason Smith suffers from severe anxiety attacks, which started when he was a young boy.  This is not an uncommon problem. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 18% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety, yet only a third of them will seek treatment.  It’s difficult to understand why someone would not want to feel better, but the truth is, especially for men, a stigma still prevails.  To some, admitting to having anxiety is the same as admitting to being weak.  But let’s be honest – we live in stressful times!  We all work hard and we’re tuned in, plugged in and not getting enough sleep!

People with anxiety are less productive in their work life and tend to struggle in their relationships.  But there are strategies to help deal with anxiety, such as meditation or simply “unplugging” from computers, cell phones or watching binge TV. 

Participate in activities that you enjoy to reduce stress. Regulate your sleep pattern by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. 

Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of anxiety that are persistent.I’m looking forward to opening the conversation about anxiety disorders and how they affect our lives.

Wendy Weiss

Dissociative Disorders - Rock Stars are Real People!

In my Novel - DETACHED - Dr. Jason Smith suffers from a Dissociative Disorder called Depersonalization Disorder.  It has also been called Detachment Disorder.  This is a real psychiatric condition...one that real people have been known to suffer from.

Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell and Adam Duritz

It’s difficult for us to understand that people with such amazing talent can suffer from mental illness, but the truth is that it’s all around us.

Rumor has it that Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, both taking their own lives, suffered from Depersonalization Disorder in addition to Major Depressive Disorder

People with Depersonalization Disorder can sometimes feel like they are living outside of themselves, unable to connect to the reality of their circumstances or situation. They typically use the words, “as if” to describe their experiences.  

For example, “It was as if I was floating outside of myself, unable to touch or feel my surroundings.”

Adam Duritz, the lead singer of the Counting Crows, revealed in a Men’s Health interview in 2008 that he’s been suffering from the disorder for years.

"It's like the world doesn't seem very real, I don't know," Duritz said. "I really hoped it would go away, or that I would find the right medication, so it didn't affect me anymore, or that I would just go to therapy and could think my way around it. But none of that has happened."

No one knows for sure what causes this condition. However, it’s possible that many who have experienced depersonalization have had some form of severe trauma in their lives.

There is help for people who Depersonalization Disorder, and it includes therapy and medication.  Talk to your doctor if you think that you might have this disorder, or encourage a loved one who is suffering to do the same.


Understanding Dissociative Disorders

In my novel DETACHED - Dr. Jason Smith has a number of "out of body" experiences in which he floats above himself as a means of relieving his stress.  

Have you ever had an out of body experience?

Do you live with someone who frequently seems detached from the moment?  Then chances are you or your loved one may be dealing with a Detachment disorder, otherwise known as Depersonalization Disorder.

You might describe this as feeling like you are outside of your body, perhaps in a dream-like state, sometimes even watching yourself perform certain activities, like sleeping or walking or even having conversations with others. During these episodes perceptions are altered and the person can feel like they are living out a dream, while at the same time they are in touch with reality. These episodes can last seconds, to hour or even longer. Living with this disorder can affect social and work activities and a person’s ability to maintain relationships.

What does it mean to be Detached from your body?

Depersonalization disorder is categorized as a mental illness under a group of conditions known as dissociative disorders, however this disorder may be a symptom of other illnesses.  Some forms of substance abuse can cause personality changes, including detachment disorder. In addition, people with other brain diseases or seizure disorders can experience detachment. 

People with this condition may feel they are losing touch with reality and going “crazy”. Others live in a constant state of depression or anxiety or months or years. And in some cases, it can lead to permanent disability.

What are the triggers?

While the experts are not able to pinpoint a specific cause, a pattern emerges from those who suffer with this condition.  Many who suffer from these symptoms have experienced severe trauma in the past, such as natural disasters or exposure to extreme violence.

How do you know if you have this condition?

Depersonalization or Detachment disorder is considered rare. However, it can be diagnosed, first by having a physician perform a complete screening, including your medical history, the performing a physical to rule out any other illnesses, and then finally brain imagining to determine any other organic causes.  If all the tests come back negative, the Physician will likely refer the you to a Psychiatrist for additional screening.

What if you have it? Can it be treated?

 Yes.  There is treatment. Cognitive and behavioral therapy, talk therapy and medication are key to treating this condition.  In many cases, after working through the potential causes, the condition goes away completely.