My new memoir, “As a Result”, became available on October 1st, 2018. It is dedicated to the memory of those we have lost, especially my brother, John Edward Blizzard.
This book could not have been written without the solid support of my husband, who captured my heart from the second I laid eyes on him. For over forty years, we’ve faced life’s lessons together. Though we’ve changed, we’ve never fallen out of love. He still makes me laugh, and has made me a happy wife. He’s modeled fatherhood to our children in a way I never knew possible, believing in each one, and they still turn to him for advice today. It’s no wonder our grandchildren adore their Pap. Where my writing is concerned, no one else could ever have given me more valuable feedback.
When he said, “You should write a book,” I don’t think he bargained for the way in which some of his own story would be told as well. When he declared, “If nothing ever comes of this writing, if this book never sees the light of day, it has done you more good” he expressed his gift for prophecy. I’ve drawn much strength and guidance from him, my wisest friend. I love that his biblical theme verses are Proverbs 3:4-6.
Notes on the memories:
The stories retold from my childhood and later years are based on memories which often fade, and sometimes slip. Perspectives vary from individual to individual. In the case of our family, our different ages and places in the family led us to have significantly different experiences. I’ve selected new names for most everyone, so as to shield my family from any pain or embarrassment.
The recounting of our lives together is as true as I can recall, and as the circumstances allow. Apologies are offered for any inadvertent oversights.
To my three surviving sisters, (one by marriage):
The pain we’ve faced together; the losses we’ve endured, have served to strengthen our bond. The history and support we have for each other is a wonderful blessing.
To my three amazing daughters: my heart overflows with pride and love for you. Thank you for reading these stories early on, for your honest feedback, and for your encouragement.
Once the girls were practically grown, I took an excellent writers’ course with the Institute of Children’s Literature. ICL has been a most helpful resource through the years.
To poet and dear friend Mary Lucille DeBerry, for always believing in me. For convincing me of the merit my essays and poetry had as they poured out of me. For declaring, “These are going in your memoir someday.”
To the young, talented and creative writer I was privileged to mentor since you were twelve: Ana, you’ve always out-given me. And the chalkboard-wall-of-life is ready for you now as you spread your music/writing/mentoring wings at college. So proud of you!
To Daniel McTaggart and Cat Pleska for publishing “Donovan’s Intuition” in Diner Stories anthology, a fiction piece, and my first foray into writing about the influence the twelve steps of AlAnon and Alcoholics Anonymous has had on me. You could not have possibly known, when you decided to place my story on page 86, that 1986 was the year I got sober.
To the WV Writers group, for sponsoring a terrific conference each June, and for always welcoming new writers. To poetry instructors Susan Sailer (OLLI) and Lori Wilson (Madwomen of the Attic) and to the Voices from the Attic anthology, for spurring me on in publishing my poetry. Thanks to the patience and thoroughness of the readers at the Morgantown Writers Group, especially Ted Webb, George Lees, Patricia Patteson, Geoffrey Fuller and Diane Tarantini. Your invaluable feedback through the years has taken me in new and better directions. To Meredith Sue Willis and Rhonda Whiting for their excellent instruction.
Thanks to personal story instructor and the fine editing by Rae Jean Sielen and her staff. I’m forever grateful to the editor Rae Jean first suggested (my work needed more than a few sets of eyes) named Ginny Cunningham, whose talent for “brutal” reordering and cutting has provided great benefits for the reader. I’m reading my work as if with new eyes. I’m honored to have had such professional refining.