Showing posts from June, 2020

Upcoming Online Event! "Medical Mysteries, Personal Crises"

I'm pleased to participate in "Medical Mysteries, Personal Crises"--a livestream this Wednesday, June 24, hosted by my publisher, Signature Editions , at 7 PM Eastern.  And yes, you can watch even if you don't have Facebook, though you can't comment.  Click here to join the livestream.   The description: "Three authors talk about how and why they've written about very personal medial issues--Marion Agnew on Alzheimer's disease, Amy Boyes on premature birth, and Vanessa Farnsworth on Lyme Disease." Our three books have many similarities but also many differences, as do our lives and approaches to writing. Come, bring your friends, and ask questions!  Also: Signature will make available FREE COPIES of our ebooks for 24 hours after the stream! Here's a link to Amy's Book, Micro Miracle. And here's one to Vanessa's book, Rain on a Distant Roof. If you can't make the live event, the video will also be available afterwords. I'l

Race, COVID-19, and Dementia: June is Alzheimer's and Dementia Awareness Month

At least, June is officially Alzheimer's and Dementia Awareness Month in the U.S. Results for Canada seem to be mixed, with Canada's public health infrastructure celebrating World Alzheimer's Awareness in October. Forget-me-nots, a near-universal symbol of dementia awareness, bloom in July.  At least they do here, near the lake, in shady wooded areas. The ones above are from last summer. In that spirit, let's not forget a few things, as we  * continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic,  * are reminded, painfully, of our personal internal biases and the racism in our institutions,  * are grateful in June for longer days, bright sunshine, and growing gardens         - yet remember how long a day can be for someone with dementia          - and for the people who love and care for them  Here's some information to read and remember.  Canada's national dementia strategy, Together We Aspire, released about a year ago.  (It mentions race in the context of Indigenous natio

More About The Cooking Gene

Last December--what feels like roughly eleventy-billion years ago now-- I wrote about two books in connection with my father's birthday. One of those books was The Cooking Gene, by Michael W. Twitty. This past couple of weeks, we as a society have looked (again) (and, I hope, in a sustained way) at murders of black men and women and focused a renewed, deserved attention on Black Lives Matter.  As I've considered the ways in which I've benefited from being White, I keep thinking about this book. In the post six months ago, I shared how this book changed my perspective on the value of DNA tests as a way to trace family history. (Again, not the use of any DNA aggregation as "proof" that "I can't be racist because genes" or "I'm indigenous because genes." Again, check out the work of Dr. Kim TallBear .)   Here's another subject Twitty discusses: slavery was an industry, in the modern sense of industry. When White people enslaved African

Book Resource: The FOLD and Others

Many people more knowledgeable and connected than I am are posting many resources to educate White people about Black history in North America.  Pay attention to those--but look at this organization, too. Here's a link to The Fold , an organization that does so much for voices traditionally underrepresented in the literary world.  They hold a Festival of Literary Diversity each spring, and this year, they held it online. It was exciting to be able to "go" (from our upstairs guest room) and hear great writers talking about process, community, revising, and many other struggles of art and craft. They also host a reading challenge each year . And they hold (ACCESSIBLE!) webinars and other activities all year, including an event for young readers . They recommend books all over their site. They also accept donations. Give .  The next resources are not specifically Black-owned or -led but they support diverse Canadian literature. If you're looking to expand your reading ho