Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Proof Copies more step toward publication.

After plugging away on this pet project for months and months (years really, but who's counting?) I was thrilled (no exaggeration) yesterday when my friendly Purolator Man pulled into my driveway with a plain brown box in his hands.

Our friendly neighborhood Purolator Man was gracious enough to pose for a photo as he arrived with a plain brown box.
After investing SO much time and energy into creating Book 1 of the "Dancing with Rejection" Trilogy, I was thrilled to finally get the first Proof Copies into my hands. It was only thanks to the unflagging efforts of my editor Christina George, the indefatigable Annaleigh Sage Bergman (who stepped up to offer her Interior Formatting skills), and my darling wife Sharon...who never wavered in her support and encouragement, that this day arrived.

Knowing how much you, dear reader, enjoy opening such an alluring package, I decided to hold my enthusiasm in check just for a few seconds longer to faithfully photograph this process, step-by-step.

The plain brown box that arrived on 06/11/2014.
Burning up with curiosity, and about ready to burst with excitement, I couldn't wait a second longer to slash the packing tape and dig in!

WHAT oh what is inside? The tension mounts!
The box was well packaged with a long, twisted piece of plain brown paper to prevent the contents...very slippery...from sliding around. Let's pull it out, shall we?

I bet the length of twisted paper was at least ten feet long. 
The length of twisted paper, once it was pulled out of the box, was at least ten feet long. I appreciated the care and attention to detail that the packers had lavished on ensuring that the contents stayed put. It was confidence inspiring, not to mention the fact that the package arrived only one day after it was promised on the CreateSpace website after I requisitioned the shipping.

What's that I see inside the dark interior of the box? 
Let's get rid of that packing paper and take a peek inside the box, shall we? It was such a massive head rush to see (even the back cover) of the first Proof Copies of my long-awaited Book 1 of the "Dancing..." Trilogy!

After juggling so many moving parts, it is exciting to be finally holding physical copies.
I must admit, it feels kind of surreal to be holding physical copies (albeit "Proof Copies) of Book 1 of the "Dancing with Rejection" Trilogy. Book 2 is written already, but Book 3 is still ricocheting around inside my cranium, a little unformed. The best part of this whole project is, it injects a heightened sense of urgency into my life, even as I am undergoing "dialysis therapy" three times a week, for four hours each session.

Dialysis is a blood-cleansing therapy for people with kidney disease. It's all part of the story!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Dancing with Rejection: A Beginner's Guide to Immortality" Trilogy coming soon!

The excitement mounts as we count the days down till the imminent publication and world-wide release of my memoir "Dancing with Rejection: A Beginner's Guide to Immortality". This writing project has been ongoing now for almost 20 years, with a marked acceleration in the past six months or so. Why, in the past six months, you ask? After over 34 years living as a wildly successful kidney transplant recipient (my brother Steven donated one his kidneys to me on October 17th, 1979), I was forced to re-initiate dialysis (the blood-cleaning therapy for kidney disease patients) in mid-May, 2014.
At present, I am receiving dialysis treatments 3 times a week for 4 hours each time. So, when it comes to kidney stuff, I am pretty much an expert.

Rough draft of the Cover Art for "Dancing with Rejection"

Here, I will share the rough draft of the plot-line for the trilogy:

"Dancing with Rejection: A Beginner's Guide to Immortality"  Book 1 chronicles the premature death of my father Robert of kidney failure, my initial diagnosis (Near-Death Experience...medical drama!) leading to my transplant 17-11-1979. There is also a lot of adventurous story-telling about some of the more outstanding characters I met in those days. And of course, I go into my early steps that lead to a career as a monumental mural-painter. My reaction to the "NDE" was to paint the 1st "Recovery" mural that graces the cover of Book 1 and also our masthead here. All in all, Book 1 was written to appeal to my fellow dialysis warriors, transplant patients, and generally EVERYBODY.
Book 2 is already written as well, but will be published after a bit of rest. That is the story of my rise to "fame" as a mural-painter...along with the deterioration of my health...leading to dialysis after 34+ years as a wildly successful TX patient. Both books are wrapped up in angelic encounters, as well as, of course, an ongoing love story!
Book 3 is being written as we speak!
My mission with the Trilogy is to engage a wide audience to increase awareness around kidney disease and kidney health, as it affects an everyday guy and his family across three generations.

I slightly altered the original version of this mural, called "Recovery 1", donated to Sunnybrooke Hospital in Toronto, after they initiated life-saving dialysis therapy upon my initial diagnosis of ESRF. Now, the last vibrant red figure on the extreme right appears to stride purposefully off the canvas. Things to do, people to see!

In the next day or so, we will be receiving the first hard copy versions of Book 1, for the final proof reading before we kick into high gear for the worldwide launch of the hard copy and eBook formats. I will follow up on this post as things progress...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Moving Right Along

With the advent of my friend and co-conspirator's upcoming book, Dancing with Rejection, I am compelled to re-ignite this blog in hopes of continuing to serve all of our fellow kidney patients.

You see, my friend and nearly world-renowned artist Michael Gaudet is in the final stages of publishing his debut book (read more about it here), and when he kindly shared the link for my blog, I realized it needed a little attention!

My aim for this blog is to provide a myriad of resources for pre- post- and current kidney patients and their families. If you aren't sure you fall into one of these categories, ask yourself the following questions:

Have I/Am I/Do I or someone I know...
  1.  ... been diagnosed with ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease)?
  2.  ... been diagnosed with ESRF (End-Stage Renal Failure)?
  3.  ... on dialsyis?
  4.  ... on the waiting list to receive a transplant?
  5.  ... received a kidney or kidney/pancreas transplant?
  6.  ... seeing a nephrologist (kidney doctor)?
  7.  ... suffer from diabetes that has led to kidney complications?
  8.  ... have recurrent kidney infections leading to scar tissue?
  9.  ... ever donated a kidney?

I propose a challenge!

Let's see how many people we can help with the following experiment:

Ask 6 of your friends to ask six of their friends to ask six of their friends (that's 18 people for each reader to reach out to, however indirectly) if they or someone they know have experience with kidney issues. Use the above list to help you frame your question(s).

My hypothesis is that, regardless of your social circle, you will find at least 5 of those 18 people are  experiencing (or have experienced) severe kidney issues. Or know someone that has.  And as the circle widens, that number will also increase, and probably exponentially.

When you find those people, alert them to helpful resources. Knowledge is power, after all!

Some resources you can share include:

Also, be sure to see my "Resource" link for more info, including children's literature to help them deal with it personally or indirectly.