Yes, I am a Baby Boomer, and I just published my sixth book about my experience with the coronavirus pandemic. I’m 68 years old. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, I froze in place, having just arrived home from a trip to Spain. We left Madrid on March 8, 2020, and they had 500 coronavirus cases when we left. On March 9, when we got home, the number count had exploded to 1500 cases! We were sure we would get it, but we didn’t.
Now I could have binge watched every TV show and movie I’ve seen in my life to fill the time, but I faced my fears generated by the insanity of the times and wrote. I wrote poetry and wrote more. Then I shared that poetry in my weekly blogs in the face of this worldwide storm. Several of my readers emailed me, thanking me for putting into words the exact feelings and emotions they were having.
So, as it continued, and I chronicled my experiences, my blog posts became a snapshot of my experience, and I realized I had the roots of a book—a self-help, spiritual/religious memoir journal to console others and show them they were not alone.
But I had another book waiting in the wings—I Said “Yes!”—how to write a biography/memoir after writing Marshall Flippo’s biography and my two memoirs. The coronavirus book sideswiped me. But I had to write it!
You would think a Baby Boomer who’s 68 years old doesn’t have much to say, but I do. I have a purpose in life, and it came through with this book. I want others to feel they had a friend, a companion who walked through what they did and came out better.
During my life, I’ve seen people go through many trials—heartbreaks that could destroy a person. Some came through it bitter; some better! Add to my desire to help, I saw so many people enraged by the pandemic and the restrictions, yet they didn’t have a way to process their pain. My book offered the opportunity to reflect on their experience and respond.
The Book Format
So, my blog posts inspired this book. I wrote it in poetry and prose format, interspersing those two forms throughout. I divided it up into thirty-one chapters and started each chapter off with a reflective picture and a mindful quote. Then I ended the chapter with a thought-provoking question/prompt. I want the reader to read, reflect and respond, so the book could be used like a journal.
The title Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? came from my involvement in the recovery world. I have heard repeatedly in the rooms “You either become bitter or better.” So, I saw that same opportunity in facing how the pandemic affected me.
Because I originally thought of it as a spiritual/religious self-help book, my marketing agent suggested I give counselors or therapist Advance Reader Copies. So at first, I asked a psychotherapist and a Christian life coach to do the honors. Then I asked a Jesuit priest I’ve known for years in the recovery world. After that I asked the Episcopal bishop of our diocese in New Mexico. All of them said yes and offered kind words I included in the front of the book.
Sample (Not formatted correctly)
TODAY I BREATHED—IT IS A MONTH!
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure…”
Today I Breathed—It is a Month!
April 8, 2020
We made it!
Thirty-one days away
Now I remember some workers with mask on—
Did they know?
A bustling restaurant downtown
Jovial waiters served our meal.
Naïve about the possibility
Lunch in a crowded café
Again, our meal served.
Thirty-one days passed
How do I feel now?
How about now?
Habitually I shallow breathe
As it is!
But this last month
I unconsciously held my breath,
From being in a hot spot
And not even knowing!
Am I sick?
Is it the virus?
Is it psychosomatic?
I feared the worst,
but it didn’t happen!
I breathed deeply
For the first time
In a month.
Neither of us got sick!!
Today I believe strongly I’m okay
We dodged a bullet!
Today my husband kissed me
For the first time
In a month!
For his touch
Thirty-one days behind us.
Safe so far,
But still vigilant!
A month into the coronavirus pandemic: Where were you? What were you doing? What feelings raged?
As we face reality today, the pandemic still rages. New Mexico just recorded 1761 cases today, the largest number since January 7, 2021. A friend who works at the biggest hospital in Albuquerque told me yesterday they have no room there for anyone except coronavirus cases, so they’re referring non-COVID patients elsewhere. Is the subject of my book still reliant? I would say so.
Finally, I am a Baby Boomer with a purpose. When you read this book, I want you to receive solace deep in your spirit and soul. As you look back with reflection and care, I pray you can look forward with anticipation and hope.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the first two chapters for FREE!
What are your thoughts?
Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com
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