Join us TODAY as we welcome Memoirist Madeline Sharples as she stops in at the NAMW Blog as part of her Blog Tour through WOW! Women on Writing
We are thrilled to introduce you to Madeline Sharples, Author of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide.
In Madeline’s blog tour stop, she shares with us how she made the shift from Technical Writing to Creative Writing. Be sure to check out the full article and post your questions or comments for Madeline.
Her book, Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss. It’s about finding peace and balance and various ways the author, Madeline Sharples, brought herself together after feeling so helpless and out of control during her son Paul’s seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder and after his suicide in September 1999. Sharples explains: “I write about the steps I took in living with the loss of my son, including making use of diversions to help ease my grief. Leaving the Hall Light On is also about the milestones I met toward living a full life without him: packing and giving away his clothes, demolishing and redoing the scene of his death, cataloging and packing away all his records and books, copying all of his original music compositions onto CDs, digitizing all of our family photos, and gutting his room and turning it into my office and sanctuary with a bay window that looks out toward a lush garden and a bubbling water fountain.”
The author’s book shares several aspects of her son’s illness and how she and her husband, and their other son, Ben, survived Paul’s suicide, as it:
1) describes the frustration, anger, and guilt of trying to care for an adult child with mental illness
2) gives mothers and fathers who have experienced a child’s death ways to get out of the deep dark hole they are in,
3) tells people the realities of mental illness,
4) describes the steps Sharples took in living with this loss; the first and foremost that she chose to live and go on with life and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother, writer, and
5) shows readers that grief is love in action. To let ourselves grieve is to feel the depth of our love for as long as it takes. For those of us whose children have died, that may take the rest of our lives, but we will discover the gifts of our loss in the process.
Learn more about Madeline and her book as she visits the NAMW blog. Post your comment or question for Madeline and she’ll be happy to leave a comment back!
You may be wondering, what is a blog tour? A blog tour is a virtual book tour. Instead of going to your local library or bookstore to see an author speak, you go to a website before an assigned date to post questions OR after an assigned date to read an author’s interview, hear an author reading or read a guest blog post in the comfort of your own home. You can meet the Author and learn more about them without even leaving your chair
Madeline so glad to hear you made the transition to creative writing. I’m an education editor and just can’t seem to get my writing going…I stop and edit it to death… I want to write children’s books so badly, but whenever I try to write a story it sounds so boring to me. Any suggestions on what I should do?
Lupe, my main suggestion is to try and write your story straight through before you begin to edit. Otherwise you’ll never get through it. If you read my post I go into that a little more.
Also, let someone else read your work. We can be so self critical. What I’ve found is that others, while looking at our work critically, are really more forgiving.
You might try to create a writing group or join a workshop. Try to get other people’s eyes on your writing.
Good luck, Madeline