Writing through the grief

Just a short note today. I’d like to invite you to read my guest post, How Memoir Writing Helped Me to Grieve My Loss, at Kathleen Pooler’s blog — Memoir Writer’s Journey. Kathleen is a writer and a retired family nurse practitioner. She is working on her own memoir about “the power of hope through my faith in God. Hope Matters” and believes “we are all enriched when we share our stories.” In the 2-1/2 years she’s been blogging, Kathleen  posts writing and publishing tips that have helped her along the way.

I initially found Kathleen on Twitter and when I realized she was a nurse practitioner, I asked her if she’d like to read Dancing in Heaven. Nurses have been among my best supporters. She subsequently read and reviewed Dancing in Heaven on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’d like to thank Kathleen, for the lovely reviews of Dancing in Heaven and for inviting me to be her guest today.

I hope you are able to take a minute to read my thoughts about writing through the grief.

How Memoir Writing Helped Me to Grieve My Loss~ A Guest Post by Christine Grote


Dancing in Heaven receives glowing first international review

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Those of you who regularly follow my blog will know that I recently sent a copy of Annie’s story dancing across the ocean to the small country of the Netherlands where my blogging friend Marion waited with open arms.

This morning I sat at my computer intent on posting a blog I had written yesterday about motherhood, but first I checked my email. That’s where I found out that Marion has finished Dancing in Heaven and written an absolutely heart-breaking review of the book. It continues to both surprise and validate me when readers are able to put into words what I had hoped to write. Marion has done this.

I hope you have a minute to stop over and read the conclusion to our ongoing series about Dancing in Heaven‘s trip to the Netherlands.

Dancing in Heaven

Posted on June 7, 2012 by Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess

“As I turned the last page, tears were streaming down my face. Happy that sweet little Annie was finally able to dance in heaven, no longer hampered by the prison that her body had been for her sparkling and merry mind. Sad that her radiant smile was now only a memory.” Continue

Photo courtesy of Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess June 7, 2012

This was a fun and rewarding adventure for me and Annie’s story. If you missed any of the posts you can find them below.

Thank you Marion. You’re a terrific writer and friend.


Self-publishing update — another review

With my surgery, recovery, and a little (actually it is a rather large) benevolent writing/editing project that I have been working on day and night for the past four days, I have devoted next-to-no time on promoting Dancing in Heaven and am hoping the Indie Book Blowout is carrying me through this month. (Your opportunity to buy a Kindle version of Dancing in Heaven for 99cents ends Saturday.)

Fortunately, I have a few things in the pipeline and one came through today—a book review by Stephanie Cowart on Your Need to Read. I think Stephanie did a great job of capturing the book. It always lifts my spirits when a reader is uplifted by my story.

I hope you will take a minute to check out the review on Your Need to Read, leave a short comment for Stephanie, and help me support my supporters.

I hope your life is calm, peaceful, and contented in these last days before Christmas.

If I can tear myself away from the editing for a moment today, I hope to capture a photograph to bring you of the Christmas or Squirrel-chasing, Bird-defending dog. He’s quite fearsome.


Lisa Kramer gives Dancing in Heaven a heavenly review

I wasn’t going to blog today, but I wanted to thank Lisa for her review of Dancing in Heaven on her Hub page, and give you all a chance to read it.

Lisa Kramer or Lisa Wields Words

Lisa Kramer

Book Review: Dancing in Heaven a gift of love
by Lisa Kramer

“The world of publishing is changing, as more and more people take advantage of technology, bypass traditional publishing houses and either self-publish or focus solely on e-publishing. While many people view this change with trepidation, after reading a few too many poorly written books published by so-called “vanity presses,” I see it as an opportunity for some truly talented writers to share important stories. I have been the victim of reading poorly written books published by traditional publishing companies, and have come to realize through blogging and reading that there are incredible writers out there who simply couldn’t find their way through traditional means.

“So, I was not worried when I opened Christine M. Grote’s memoir Dancing in Heaven since I had shared part of her journey to publication with her on her blog. I already know that she is a talented writer. I had already read some sections of this memoir, and recognized the poignancy and beauty of the story. I knew that she cared too much about this story and agonized too long on every detail to make something not worthy of having hundreds of readers.[...]

“I was right.”

Near the end of the review Lisa writes,

“While this may seem ultimately sad, I can’t help but rejoice in being allowed to share a little bit of Annie’s story. When I started reading I had a flashback to a childhood memory, of visiting a friend’s sister who, like Annie, never left her bed without help. I remember being a little afraid as I entered that room, and not knowing where to look or what to say. Now, I wish that I had taken time to know her better, and to discover the true gift that I am sure she was to her family. I only hope that woman, who passed long before Annie, is somewhere out there with Annie, dancing in full-bodied joy!”

Thank you for this image, Lisa. Thank you for taking the time to read and review Dancing in Heaven.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Read complete review here.

In addition to her Hub page Lisa also blogs at Lisa Wields Words, and tweets @LisaWieldsWords.


Cynthia Robertson reviews Dancing in Heaven (with a giveaway)

Cynthia Robertson is a writer living in Arizona. She is the founder of the Arizona Novel Writers Workshop – dedicated to helping writers write and polish their novels for publication. Cynthia has written a monthly newspaper column, Lucid Moments, and has had her short story Peanut Butter Kisses published in a literary journal.  She has recently completed her novel Sword of Mordrey, an historical adventure set amid the sun-baked alleyways of ancient Jerusalem and the squalor and color of medieval London.

I ran across Cynthia’s blog fairly early in my (somewhat brief) blogging career. I remember reading a post where she talked about a stack of books she had to read and review.  I’ll let her tell you the rest.

Dancing in Heaven

By Cynthia Robertson

Book Review and Giveaway

When I was quite young I remember wishing, or maybe even praying, that I could share my life with my sister Annie. In the innocence of my child’s worldview, I suggested to God that perhaps I could take Annie’s place every other week. We could trade places and then she could have the chance to ride a bike, roller skate down the sidewalk, climb trees, have friends, go to parties and do all the things I loved to do. (Quote from Dancing in Heaven)

When Christine Grote asked if I would read and review her memoir, Dancing in Heaven, I was hesitant. I don’t read memoirs typically…and the focus of this one was a younger sister who spent her entire life brain damaged and paralyzed. Would the book be depressing? Would it be maudlin? I knew Christine was self publishing…would the writing be horrendous? Would the layout be a nightmare of typos and random odd formatting? I recall that I wrote Christine back and asked her how many pages the memoir was—figuring if it was short, I could get through it, no matter what. She graciously wrote back that it wasn’t long, 179 pages, and lots of photos, so it could be read in an afternoon or two. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll do it.”

I’m so glad I did.

Read more.

I really hope you will click the link (leave a comment on Cynthia’s blog for a chance to win a copy of Dancing in Heaven) and take a moment to finish reading Cynthia’s review. It moved me to tears. She nailed me with the opening quote she selected. She really “got” it and was in turn able to communicate it beautifully. I want to publicly thank Cynthia for her great sensitivity and insight.

Initially I was hesitant to ask Cynthia for a review. But after having gotten to know her a little better through blogging comments and a few tweets here and there, I decided I would.

I’m so glad I did.


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