Meet H.A. Robinson, author of “The Pebble Jar”

HAR_Pebble_Ebook_Rveal (1) (1)By H.A. Robinson

When I sat down to write The Pebble Jar around this time last year, I had no idea of the personal journey the book would take me on. In March of 2016, my little Nana passed away at the age of ninety-one after a long and painful battle with Alzheimer’s. By the time she fell asleep for the last time, we had almost completely lost the essence of who she had once been, leaving us with a shell of the person we loved.

As a child, I remember her being this amazing force of life, so vibrant and always happy. She was the life and soul of every party she went to, and I can still hear the infectious sound of her laughter even though it’s been so long since any of us really heard it.

In a way that none of my other books have, this one tore me apart and sewed me back together as I wrote.

At its heart, it is a love story about two teenagers, Abigail Costa and Elliot Peterson, who have been best friends for as long as they can remember. When the teenage years start to come thick and fast, their dynamic changes and our old friends, the hormones, begin to take over. While Abbi is dealing with the usual teenage angst that everybody goes through, though, she also finds herself struggling to cope with the changes she sees in her beloved grandmother, Nonna. As Alzheimer’s slowly but surely steals away the person she loves most in the world, she is left feeling alone and frightened, unable to truly cope with what’s happening in front of her eyes.

Alzheimer’s isn’t a glamourous Hollywood disease. It isn’t something that receives a great deal of attention in the media, yet it has to be one of the most heartbreaking things to watch a loved one go through. In writing The Pebble Jar, I really wanted to communicate that feeling of isolation you experience while watching somebody you loved being torn away from you. Of knowing that the person you once knew is effectively gone, even though they’re still there in front of you. That gut-wrenching pain of having them look at you as though you’re a stranger when they’ve known you your entire life.

The response I’ve received since releasing the book has absolutely blown me away. I’ve had messages from people I’ve never spoken to before telling me how deeply the book resonated with them. People who have been through similar experiences have contacted me to say thank you. I’ve always believed in the power of literature to support people through hard times and make them feel less alone, but I never in a million years expected my story to be one of them. I’m over the moon that even one person has found the book to be a comfort, and hope it can continue to support those who need to feel like somebody understands and maybe help start conversations about Alzheimer’s.

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Meet Bryan Wiggins, author of “Autumn Imago”

WIGGINS_AutumnImago_NewCover copyBy Bryan Wiggins

No one I know has Alzheimer’s disease. My parents have entered their eighties with their sharp minds intact. Only one of my four grandparents suffered any kind of dementia, and Granny’s wasn’t that severe. So when I forget a name, lose my car keys, or question what the heck I’m doing standing in the basement after clomping down the stairs, I shrug my shoulders and carry on. Continue reading “Meet Bryan Wiggins, author of “Autumn Imago””

Welcome, Rebecca Thesman, author of “Sometimes They Forget”

sometimes-they-forgetBy RJ Thesman

How a Long-Distance Caregiver Learns to Cope

When the memory thief first visited our family, we didn’t think much about it. Mom was, after all, fully capable of caring for herself and she was in good health. Continue reading “Welcome, Rebecca Thesman, author of “Sometimes They Forget””

Meet Ann Campanella, author of “Motherhood: Lost and Found”

anncampanellaBy Ann Campanella

In my early 30s, I learned that life can change direction when you least expect it. My husband Joel and I had moved from Houston to North Carolina in order to be closer to my parents. We both had successful careers – he as a businessman and me as a writer and editor. We were looking forward to building a barn for my horse Crimson and excited about starting a family. Life was humming along. Then I had my first miscarriage at the same time my mother began her slow spiral into Alzheimer’s. Continue reading “Meet Ann Campanella, author of “Motherhood: Lost and Found””

Meet Wayne Evans, creator of “Let’s Sing From Memory”

letssingfrommemory

By Wayne Evans

I’ve never had a family member diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, nor have I been a caregiver. I didn’t even know much about the disease until recently. But now I have a “new family” of over 20 people with Alzheimer’s, in addition to their loving caregivers. Continue reading “Meet Wayne Evans, creator of “Let’s Sing From Memory””

Meet Sharleen Scott, author of “Tangles”

tanglescomplete2ebookcover

By Sharleen Scott

Her name was Judy, and I married her son.

She was a Depression-era child who grew up in the Pacific Northwest forests, traveling with her grandfather’s logging company. She was an outdoorswoman who loved fishing, hunting, and hosting friends and family at her Cascade mountain cabin. She married Paul at age Continue reading “Meet Sharleen Scott, author of “Tangles””

Meet Jana Panarites, author of “Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver”

scattered_coverBy Jana Panarites

On a Monday night in November 2009, I had what turned out to be the last conversation I would ever have with my father.  He and my mother had just come back from a trip to New York and they were now back in our family home in Maryland.  Out in Los Angeles, I paced the floor as I spoke with them.  My career was at a standstill.  I was scrambling to make ends meet.  I didn’t think life could get any worse, but it did the next morning when I learned my father was dead.  Hours after we’d gotten off the phone, his heart had stopping beating. Continue reading “Meet Jana Panarites, author of “Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver””

Meet Constance Vincent, PhD, author of “Not Going Gently”

ConstanceVincentCoverBy Constance Vincent, PhD.

When my parents first began to have memory problems, I was in denial. As a psychologist teaching university classes on aging, I had always emphasized the positive aspects of growing older. Alzheimer’s disease had never been on my radar. It is now. Continue reading “Meet Constance Vincent, PhD, author of “Not Going Gently””

Meet Tom & Karen Brenner, authors of “You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello: The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care”

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By BRENNER PATHWAYS, Tom Brenner, MA/Karen Brenner, MA

Tom and Karen’s Story

The couple, a man and woman, stood just outside the door of the Scandinavian Home, arguing. The autumn leaves from the towering elms on the grounds of the nursing home swirled around their feet as the cold wind snatched their voices away. Continue reading “Meet Tom & Karen Brenner, authors of “You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello: The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care””

Meet Lisa Skinner, author of “Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost”

LisaSkinner

By Lisa Skinner

I wrote the book, Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost, Stories of Hope for Families Facing Alzheimer’s and Dementia for those who are coping with loved ones afflicted with a dementia-related illness, and crumbling with the anguish of helplessly standing by, watching your loved one decline, and not knowing how to make it better for all who are affected. Continue reading “Meet Lisa Skinner, author of “Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost””