Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rain Song

Four years ago I received the wonderful gift of spending time in northern Minnesota at a writing retreat called Norcroft. For three weeks while the leaves turned from green to gold, orange and blazing red I wrote like a wild women. That is where Womankind was born.

I recently connected with a fellow Norcroftie on-line and read her book Rain Song. See the review I wrote and consider Rain Song for your holiday gifts for friends, sisters, mothers and anyone who enjoys a good read! It's available at bookstores and the usual web stores too.

Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler makes a delightful weekend read. This appealing narrative takes place in Mount Olive, North Carolina and like so many stories set in the South, is chock full of quirky, charming, characters. You can’t help but like grandmother, Ducee, and her wise, yet eccentric, words of advice. Pretty cousin Grable struggles to cope with her fraying marriage and at the same time care for her daughter Monet, a special needs child with behaviors as unusual as her name. Their side story adds level of depth to the already interesting primary story about Nicole Michelin, a school teacher, who avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and all things Japanese. Nicole is given the chance to deal with her demons, and the gift of hope for a different future, when she forges an Internet friendship with Harrison, a man met through her website writings about tropical fish. Wisler’s book is a light read with a fresh narrative that will be appreciated most by those who enjoy a story with characters real enough to be a neighbor next door, or your own family members. Rain Song breathes hope into our troubled world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Story in Collection

The following is excerpted from the local newspaper, The Hawk Eye and was written by Bobby Riggs :

"Please Let My Son Not Die," a story by Nancy Leigh Harless of Wever, is included in "Reflections on Doctors: Nurses' Stories about Physicians and Surgeons."
In the collection of nearly two dozen provocative essays edited by Terry Ratner and published by Kaplan Publishing of Canada, readers are taken behind the closed doors of the operating room, the emergency room and other venues where medical situations are exceedingly intense.
The account by Harless is about the kindness, compassion and respect a "Doctor Drita" showed a frightened new mother, and how her behavior during a simple newborn baby exam gained all the medical staff's trust.
Harless is the author of "Womankind: Connection and Wisdom Around the World," based on her experience as a women's health care practitioner.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Achieving a Healthy Balance

Achieving a Healthy Balance - that was the theme for the Women's Conference in Waconia, MN on Saturday. I am thinking that maybe I need to work on doing that in my own life.

I managed to get to the conference and speak - albeit a rather rambling, shuffling talk it was. I had been up most of the night before experiencing horrible pain in the left side of my face. Really weird pain - I had no idea if it was the sinus infection of the century, or a really bad abscess tooth that was sending shocks of electricity across my face and into my jaw bone. And, of course, I didn't connect the dots and realize that the 'cold sore' that had appeared on my lip had anything to do with the excruciating pain. Long story short - I have shingles involving my Trigeminal nerve! The good news is the truly disgusting pustules didn't pop out all over the left side of my face until after my presentation for Achieving a Healthy Balance. At least i didn't scare everyone in the room!

We left immediately following the conference and came straight home. Today is my first day out of bed. It has been a true learning experience (not to mention a good lesson in vanity) and I am truly beginning today to work on achieving a healthy balance in my own life. Sadly, one of my first steps was to cancel my book events for November.......well, maybe not all....maybe I'll be able to at least to the Anna Parker book clubs 100 birthday Celebration Party next week. Send me your positive thoughts, prayers, reiki and anything else you might call it. I'll take all the help I can get!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reflections on Doctors

One of Womankind's stories, Please Do Not Let My Son Die, has been included in anthology of nurse’s stories about Physicians and Surgeons. Here are some excerpts from the Press Release -
"Anyone who has been a patient or visitor to a hospital knows that the long-time image of nurses as helpful ladies in white who administer IV’s and wake patients every four hours to take their temperature, is not the role of modern-day nurses. Coming from varied educational paths and scopes of practice that place them side-by-side with doctors, nurses are no longer the “obedient handmaidens” to doctors that they once were perceived to be. If they disagree with doctors’ orders, nurses today can and do refuse them. The relationship and power dynamic between nurses and doctors has evolved with nurses now trained to ask questions and seek answers.

Through nearly two dozen provocative essays REFLECTIONS ON DOCTORS: Nurses’ Stories about Physicians and Surgeons (Kaplan Publishing; September 2008; $14.95 Paperback/$16.95 Canada), readers are taken behind the closed doors of the OR, the rapid pace of the ER and to many other venues where medical situations are exceedingly intense, and the integrity of the intertwined relationship between nurses and doctors is consistently challenged.

As REFLECTIONS ON DOCTORS’ editor Terry Ratner, RN, MFA says, “The nurses of this anthology represent a spectrum of voices and perspectives, reflecting upon their work alongside physicians. The majority of these nurses have witnessed revolutionary changes in the nurse-physician relationship over time. They are our messengers, our heroes and our scribes.”

Many of the essays in REFLECTIONS ON DOCTORS provide readers with clear-cut explanations of various medical terminologies, interesting history of the nursing profession and glimpses into its future. The diversity of all the essays is appealing to both new and seasoned nurses, as well as to someone simply interested in understanding the importance and ever-changing relationship between nurses and physicians. Further topping off this collection of engaging essays is a reader’s guide designed to, says Ratner, “stimulate meetings of the minds and begin crucial conversations in hopes of understanding the nurse-physician relationship.”


Nursing is a time honored profession with unique challenges and unique rewards as illustrated in MEDIATIONS ON HOPE: Nurses’ Stories about Motivation and Inspiration (Kaplan Publishers; On sale: October 7, 2008; Trade Paperback Original; Price: $14.95). Depending on the area of one’s practice “hope” can hide behind the harshest moment or appear in the most innocent of situations. In more than twenty personal stories, readers are treated to the richest range of emotions, events and experiences as nurses write about what has nurtured their own spirits and professional lives.

This collection of inspiring firsthand accounts from every area of the nursing profession including hospitals, private practices, and home health care, heralds special moments that have helped sustain and bolstered the faith of many committed men and women in the nursing profession. In The Peaches, Nancy Harless, tells a story of humor, hope and healing in the post-war Balkans. In My Life of Hope, Doris Urfer shares how the special relationship between her daughter and a pediatric practitioner not only brought a touch of humanity to a sterile medical wasteland but actually inspired her to become a nurse herself. Madeleine Mysko’s cantankerous patient in Mr. Bunyan makes a non-verbal peace offering by sharing a sun-warmed tomato from his balcony garden in a moment when the patient realizes he’s not the only one having a bad day. MEDITATIONS ON HOPE shares these and many more gripping and inspiring moments filled with the human drama that is an integral part of the nursing life, and moves these stories from the oral traditions of previous generations and showcases the diverse talents of the people who now populate the profession.

River Lights 2nd Edition

River Lights 2nd Edition


Norm's Masterpiece