My journey with diabetes – Back from the Brink!!












Hey, I’m back from the brink, minus one lower leg, but smarter, braver, and stronger!!

Thank-you friends and followers for your patience!  I have been MIA for the past months due to some health problems, namely diabetes.  I was literally at the brink of death due to my own stupidity and stubbornness!

As many of you know, I have been diagnosed as a Type II diabetic for many years now.  An old boss of my husband’s would have called it “hand to mouth disease.” To make a long story short, I have been overweight, practically since birth (Oh yes, I was a ten pounder!) with a strong affinity for the sweet taste of sugar.  As time passed, it seemed to become an addiction.  I have been kind of happy to hear that it has been recognized as such, now by scientists and researchers, because in my heart of hearts, during my more lucid moments, I thought I just had no self control.

When my illness finally took me to see my doctor, back in the early 2000’s the disease had escalated to the point that I was experiencing nerve damage in my feet, a sure sign that my blood sugar had been WAY out of control for an extended time.  Not only did I have diabetes, but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other ailments most often seen with obesity.  I was promptly put on a drug regime that had me choking down 13 pills every morning, and I was scheduled for mandatory check-ins with my doctor every three months.

The next several years would see my drug intake change from pills (glumetza, then metformin),  then on to injectable insulin (lantis), along with glyburide, to try and get my blood sugar within normal range.  I remember testing one morning and seeing the glucometer read 33!  I should really be in a coma – but I didn’t really feel sick at all!  my family would tell me years later that I was always “loopy”or brain-fogged, not remembering details of things that had been told to me the day before.  Not good when you are trying to run the financial backbone of a medium sized business!  I struggled with my diabetes, unknowingly for the next eight years.  At one point, my East Indian endocrinologist would tell me, “The patient has to take responsibility of their disease, Mrs. Cook.  We have no magic pills to take the symptoms of your diabetes away.  There isn’t any point in my continuing to see you if you don’t follow what I tell you to do.”  Well, that came as somewhat of a wake-up call, but I put it off as rude, condescending behaviour from an older doctor who was well into retirement age, and didn’t have much of a handle on the new diabetic medications that were coming out on the market.  I left his office, promising to get better control of my blood sugar, and to start exercising.  Hah!  As if that were going to happen!

Last year, my nephew and his fiancee invited us to attend their wedding, which was to be held in Cuba in April.  I was very excited to enjoy a ten day sun and sand, all-inclusive eating and drinking fest, while waiting for the big day to arrive.  Well, vacation day finally came, and we boarded the plane to Cuba, me with my seat belt extension in hand, ready to party!

The next few days saw us relaxing on chaise loungers down at the beach, being served pina coladas and cold beer.  My sister and I braved the waves to dip our toes in the ocean, and enjoyed the resort’s pool and swim-up bar in  the afternoons.  My feet took umbrage to these foreign waters, and to my dismay, the callus that I was plagued with, due to ill-fitting shoes, suddenly swelled up, and broke open into bleeding sores!  Warning bells went off in my head about the dangers of infection of the feet due to diabetics, so I presented myself to the resort’s doctor-in-residence forthwith for treatment.

The medical staff at the resort took exceptionally good care of me.  Despite not having  the best quality first aid supplies to work with, they bandaged me up, gave me two shots of penicillin, and some oral antibiotics, and had me return every day for a re-check and to have the dressing changed.  Needless to say, I never got back to the pool for the remainder of our stay.

After we returned home, following the wedding, I saw my family doctor, and she was satisfied that the “diabetic ulcers” were healing.  As time went on, a thick layer of callus grew over the injured area, and I started to relax about it.  For my birthday, I bought myself an Amope pedicure tool.  Although I had been going regularly to have pedicures at a salon, I was not satisfied that the callus was going away to the extent I would have liked to see.  The doctors didn’t seem to be overly concerned about it, so (yeah, I can hear you all going “gasp – oh no!”) yup, I took the Amope tool to my feet.  Things were going well, and I was doing my best not to go too deep with the abrasion, but suddenly, I had gone beyond the brink of safety, and the skin started to bleed.  Well, I thought to myself, “Lucky Paul gave me that awesome little mountain first aid kit for Christmas!” and I promptly used my recently acquired first aid bandaging skills to fix myself up.  I kept this all on the down-low, knowing that my then-Esthetician daughter would have raised the roof if she had known what I had done!

Christmas came and went, and myself and hubby Paul went out to our log cabin country home for an after-Christmas retreat.  My foot was still looking angry, but I was still applying a topical disinfectant and over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and bandaging it up freshly each day.  I wasn’t feeling well, and was blaming the damned holiday season for letting myself get run down.  I was running a fever and felt really lousy, but stubbornly wouldn’t give in to going to see my doctor.  Paul had to travel to Toronto on Search and Rescue business.  My foot was showing signs of infection by now, and the big toe on the right was discoloured.  I finally gave in and asked my daughter and her partner if they could run me over to the ER as my doctor’s office was closed, as it was Saturday.

When I finally got in to see a doctor at the ER, my daughter insisted on accompanying me into the examination area.  When the doctor removed the bandage, my foot was revealed, and the big toe had turned completely black!  “Looks like that is going to have to come off,” said the resident.  “You will have to be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.”  By now, I figured that was going to be the case, so I resigned myself to my fate, which I thought would be a toe-ectomy.

I waited a short few days to see the OS.  The guy looked a little like a hippie, and swaggered into the exam room, all business.  He took one look at the foot and said, “Yeah, that’s gonna have to come off just below the knee.”  To say I was gobsmacked is an understatement!  “We see this all the time, and if you don’t take drastic measures now, you will be back in a month or so to have more of your foot removed, and most likely six month later you will need the below-the-knee amputation.  Just as well to take care of it now.”  He debrided the infected area, then I was presented with papers for my permission to proceed with the surgery, and was sent home with more mega-antibiotics.

It sure wasn’t long before the hospital called me with my surgery date – February 14th.  Great, what a treat for Valentine’s Day!  Paul was so sweet and kind, when I know that he must have been boiling mad inside with the cavalier way I had been handling my health.  He took the stance of “what’s done is done” and kissed me on the cheek as they rolled me away to pre-op. Thank God for his love and unwavering support.  There is nothing more terrifying than being put to sleep and to know that you are going to wake up in pain, with pieces missing.

The next three weeks went by in a blur.  There was pain, but it wasn’t unbearable.  There was discomfort – I thought my ass was on fire due to the abrasion of lying/sitting in the hospital bed, but Paul got me a lambskin mat, and it was bearable. And there was a total loss of independence, and of dignity.  Suddenly I had to use a commode to go to the bathroom, and had to figure out how to stand up and shuffle the couple of feet I had to move to get there, using a walker.  It suddenly hit me!  I was disabled, and was going to be several months in recovery, not to mention, altered for the rest of my life.  All of a sudden I was dependant on walkers, wheelchairs, and all kinds of convalescent equipment for my daily living.

I have always been of the opinion that one is brought adversity in one’s life, just to see how you handle it.  Knowing that there were lots of people in that hospital who were facing their own problems, many of which were much more serious and life-threatening than mine, I had to take the time to be grateful for my blessings.  I have a great husband and family, a comfortable life, and medication and support with which to carry on with my life.  I have never succumbed to depression or for mourning the life I left behind, unencumbered by wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs.  I have taken on the responsibility of getting the message out to others about the dangers of consuming sugar.  It sickens me to see corporations waving all of their high-sugar products in front of our faces, and especially those of our children, encouraging us, like the proverbial drug pushers, to satisfy our sweet craving. They say there is nothing worse than a reformed addict, but I don’t know if I had know then what I know now about sugar and diabetes, if I would have ever taken the bull by the horns and cut down on my carbohydrate consumption. Maybe it took losing my lower leg to bring the raw truth to my  consciousness, and purpose to my actions.

They say it’s no use getting older if you don’t become wiser.  It is six months post-surgery, and I have just completed rehab therapy for using a prosthetic leg.  The people  at the Miller Center here in St. John’s, Newfoundland are excellent, and we had so much fun as I learned to walk again on two legs!  My therapist even told me I was the best patient she had ever seen through therapy, and what I was expecting to take eight months to a year, I accomplished in only six months.  The only thing I am waiting on now, is to have my final prosthetic leg made, once the shrinking of my remaining leg is complete.  That one will be much lighter and more esthetically pleasing-looking than the temporary ones I have been using up till now.  With the help of the diabetes education people at the hospital, I have finally gotten a handle on following the diabetes diet, and have managed to drop mu A1C levels from 9.4 down to 5.4.  the doctor has started to reduce some of my diabetes and blood pressure meds as my numbers are falling back into normal (or even below normal!) range.  I can’t thank Eastern Health enough for all of the in-home services that have been made available to me during my convalescence.  From two weeks of home care, to daily visits from registered nurses to change dressings, to emergency appointments to see my orthopedic Surgeon, to a home IV program to supply me with IV antibiotics without having to be admitted to hospital, to a home monitoring program that allows me to transmit blood sugar readings, blood pressure readings, and my weight to a dedicated remote monitoring team, I have no complaints whatsoever in the care that I have received.  I am, and forever will be very grateful.

So there you have it, my journey back from the brink!  And the brink it truly was, as my surgeon told me after the fact that I had been two days away from sepsis, and that is a very life-threatening, not-good place to be.  I have been granted another chance to live within my restrictions, and can now hope to live a long and happy life.  Although I miss the luxury of a good box of fine chocolates, it is little to give up, when I can aspire to  live out my golden years with my wonderful husband and family.


Thank-you all for reading my story.  I am looking forward to getting back into my writing as I catch up with all of the bookwork I got behind on these last few months.  If you haven’t already read my books, and enjoy action/adventure romance, look me up on  for my novel “The Lion’s Den” at:

or if you’re up for a little Christmas Romance try “Christmas Wishes” at:

Don’t forget, I have a blog running here with lots of snippets from my crazy life.  For a little light reading, and some prequels for “The Lion’s Den”, read on!

I promise to keep in touch via my website and through my facebook page, Author Norma Cook with updates and blog posts, hopefully posting weekly.

Again, thank-you for staying with me!  Adversity is just bumps in the road of life.  Now that I am back from the brink, I will keep calm and soldier on!

Love to all of you from me,

blue glitter norma





me in red - 1

Mixed Feelings on the Change of Season

Seasons of Changefall - 2

Life change, Season change, Climate change

Welcome back friends and “Hi” to new readers!  I have been absent from the cyberworld of blog posting for awhile!  Change in our business life, change in season, and change in our climate are all coinciding to make life more challenging, and thus more hectic!

To start with, our business partner, and close friend passed away in July following a short but gruelling battle with cancer, resulting in my husband, Paul, becoming the sole proprietor for our business.  Paul is now responsible for managing two garages, and sixteen employees, as well as handling accident investigations for the RNC, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, along with his volunteer services in Ground Search and Rescue – GSAR.  The fallout for me is that I have inherited the A/P and A/R posting as well as other various and sundry duties that were handled by our departing administration officer, wife of our former partner, while handling the HR duties, payroll and financial administrative duties for the whole business.  Our business life has become ever more hectic and stressful, and plans for semi-retirement have flown out the window!

Speaking of stuff flying out windows, what the heck is going on with our weather?  I have lived all of my life on this rock, surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean, and despite the fog, and oft-crappy weather, we have never been subject to hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes, or other catastrophic climatic or geological events.  I have never been a great believer in man-induced climate change.  I have always thought that the changes in climate were more a natural phenomena, based on the evolution of the planet and that human-kind was to the earth, an infestation of pesky bugs that could be easily cast off with another ice age, scourge,  or collision with a random colossal meteorite.

I am more inclined to believe that the fear-mongering on climate change, engaged in by people like ex-presidents looking to carve out a career for themselves through book-writing and paid speaking tours, is just another money-making charade, much like the “gas crisis” of the seventies.  (We, in Newfoundland, by the way, are now sitting on one of the biggest oil reserves in North America.  Can you blame me for being cynical, when most of the world’s leadership is governed by a quest for money and power?)

The intensity of our weather systems, over the past few years, have definitely changed.  Hurricanes, developing in the tropics, are now some of the most intense ever seen, and are tracking further north up the Atlantic seaboard, still packing a wallop.  Systems that  used to dissipate into what is termed  “tropical storms”, once they encountered our colder waters, are now making landfall on our rocky coasts and causing devastating damage.  We have seen tornados and have felt the effects of tsunamis resulting from earthquake events happening out under the ocean floor.  While most of these events have not had the catastrophic effects of those experienced in other parts of the world, it is becoming clear that our days of living, unsusceptible to these geological and climactic changes, are over.  This certainly brings about feelings of unease.

Last Friday, the 22nd of September, marked the fall solstice, a time when the warm summer days fade into fall.  It is in a sense, the season of dying, or at least, going to sleep.  I used to always enjoy the season, with nature going out in a blaze of glory, but with the changes in our lives, and the feelings of unease, approaching hurricane season, along with the soon-approaching daylight savings time changeover, fall is no longer a season I look forward to.  Last winter is not too long past  to be forgotten, with  forty-plus-centimeter snowstorms, seemingly endless dark, and cold that lasted right up to May.  Winter is also not a season I look forward to.

Many say “change is good” and for the most part, that seems true.  While very often uncomfortable and unwanted, change is inevitable.  We either adapt, or go the way of the dinosaur.  The challenge is in making the most of the change and preparing ourselves for what the new challenges bring.  It can be exciting, or a source of stress and fear.  Each of us has it within us to choose.

In the words of John Snow, “Winter is coming.”

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New Reviews on The Lion’s Den! – Thriller/Military Action/Romance

So exciting to receive good reviews on The Lion’s Den! to buy to buy

Needed:  More readers!  With great reviews coming in from Blue Ink Reviews and Clarion Reviews, I am hopeful that more people are becoming aware of The Lion’s Den and will pick it up or download it.  With over 3500 self-published books coming on the market every day, it is difficult to get any kind of recognition  when you don’t have a huge email list or marketing budget, or a literary agent! Good reviews from professional agencies, therefore, will hopefully lend some credence to the writing and get me some exposure.  Here is the latest on what the Reviewers have to say:

728572 – The Lions DenR

728572 – The Lion’s Den-CLARION REVIEW

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Update on writing, The Lion’s Den

What’s new with The Lion’s Den, and what’s coming soon! to buy to buy


It has been a while since my last blog post!  I have been busy spinning my wheels, trying to get my book, The Lion`s Den off the ground.  My first attempt at self-publishing did not yield great results, so I decided to use a self-publisher`s support service to see if I could get better recognition out in the publishing world.  What I learned was that there is no fast-track to success, and the only thing that is going to work, is good old-fashioned legwork and elbow grease on my part.

Self-publishing is definitely a numbers game.  We are depending on the big e-book retailers to sell our books.  In order to be seen among the masses of e-books available, we are depending on rankings, and these are determined by the number of positive reviews our books receive by readers.  I can`t tell you how difficult it is to get people to write a review of my book!  Even close, close friends, although they love The Lion`s Den, have yet to put pen to paper and write a review. Amazon is not helpful in this regard, either, because I am told that they will check Facebook to see if you are `friends`with your reviewers, and will take down their review if it looks like you are closely acquainted.  So much for `friending` folks who find you on Facebook, who just want to show you some appreciation!

So, the only way that I can see to make some headway in the recognition department is to begin with a mailing list, and stay in touch with readers.  By offering free ebooks for reviewing and asking people to share links about The Lion`s Den, this may be the way to create some buzz.  I guess it`s never too late to advertise, but had I known in the beginning what was required to self-promote, I don`t know if I would have taken it on.  Most of the successful self-published authors I know spend 70 – 75% of their time on marketing.  And that`s not only writing blog posts, sending out email newsletters, writing Facebook blurbs, contacting local bookstores and libraries, doing readings, asking to do interviews, etc. etc. etc., but also keeping up with your day job, the housework, and the homework, if you have kids, and your other family responsibilities, and oh, I forgot to mention, trying to get the next book written!



Don`t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  Nothing worth doing comes easy, and you just can`t buy your way to success!  Therefore I must get down to business and renew my commitment to my readers to stay in touch and give this writer`s insights into the writing process and my adventures in publishing land.  I hope you will stay with me!  Thanks for your support!

I have some sneak peaks coming up into the sequel to The Lion`s Den, which I am anticipating will be coming out this spring.  It`s called Behind the Firewall, and deals with Brad`s brother, Ryan, in his attempt to break into the bin Laden communication network.  There are lots of insights into computer espionage, money laundering and skulduggery at even the highest levels of society!  I`m so excited right now as I am in the middle of writing the climax, and I can`t wait to see how it all comes out.

So get your beach chairs dusted off and find a great recipe for sangria, because your summer reading starts right here!

Behind the Firewall, coming Spring 2017!  Sizzling hot!!!

Behind the firewall - setting

Behind the firewall – setting

Gran Casino Mallorca

Gran Casino Mallorca

Who`s behind the firewall

Who`s behind the firewall


Please support my Fundraiser for Fruit for All


Support Fruit for All to promote health through self-reliance 

Dear friends,

I am selling pens as a way to raise money for the Fruit for all Initiative, and other programs undertaken by the Martin pur Christian Mission in Lahore, Pakistan.

The mission statement of this organization is to uplift the lives of the community through self-reliant and independent means.

As a writer of political drama/fiction, romance novels I have made many friends from Pakistan through social media since my first book, The Lion’s Den came out.  I guess that because the book deals with the political climate in the Middle East and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, people from there have a certain curiosity about a middle aged housewife from an island off the coast of Canada writing about their culture and conflicts.

The people who I have met and interacted with have been gracious and respectful.  It has been very eye-opening to hear about their daily lives and the challenges they face living and working, and raising their families in Pakistan.  It is unimaginable to us, as Canadians, to realize the abject poverty in which the majority of these people live.  Yes, you might think, we have our own poor people who our tax dollars support right here in our own country. In addition to that, we support our local food banks and the single parent associations and when any child is in need of health care or medical intervention which is not covered by our national Medicare program, our communities hold fundraisers and sell tickets and do everything we can to help.  Unfortunately, in countries, such as Pakistan, the poor are many and their access to any kind of help is very limited.

Poor people in Pakistan have never experienced a full stomach, have never worn decent clothing or shoes, and have never seen the inside of a doctor’s office.  Many have never even owned or used a toothbrush.  Their children don’t have toys, books and electronic games that most children in the western world take for granted.  Many of them, especially the girls, have never even had the opportunity to go to school.  It is heartbreaking to think that their lives are a day-to-day struggle and the outlook on living a productive, self-sufficient life is seemingly unattainable.

The Young Martin Welfare Organization was established to support and uplift Lahore’s impoverished and needy families.  In a community where people predominantly follow the Islamic religion, the mission introduces people to the Christian ideals of faith, hope and charity through the teachings of Jesus Christ.  The mission does its work hands-on within the community, through a group of dedicated volunteers ministering to families, gathering children together in Sunday school groups and celebrating  the seasons of Christmas and Easter together as a community.

This past summer, one of the directors of Martin pur, Amir Javed, initiated a program called Fruit for All, with the goal of supplying the people of the community with fruit tree seedlings, which  started with the planting of a fruit tree nursery.  Seedlings of a native species, the Guava fruit, were harvested and planted in a community plot, and were tended and raised by volunteers and families.  As the plants matured and could be transplanted, families  received their own seedlings to establish their own fruit gardens on their own properties, thus creating a sustainable source of fruits  for their families for years to come, at no cost. The growth of the seedlings is monitored by volunteers, to ensure the success of the program. As time goes on, it is hoped that more species of fruit plants can be added to the home gardens.

Presently, research is being done into the best methods and practices to be utilised to ensure the success of this undertaking.  Educational support from the local agricultural colleges and guidance from the Feed the World Organization, as well as other international sustainability programs is being sought.  Any input is welcome, as are donations for the procurement of tools and equipment.

The importance of availability to fresh fruits and vegetables to the nutritional well being of this community cannot be overemphasized.  The cost of buying fresh fruit is out of reach for most of the people living here, the poverty level is so extreme.  Being able to improve the health and well being of all members of this community through their participation in this program will be a Godsend.

Amir’s mission for his community is to create self reliance in all facets of community life. His vision is to work hands-on with every person who participates in the project. “We will start with our unique, small-scale agriculture model. This will provide a means of full nutrition, which supports and sustains healthy life. We have a simple goal – to teach families, communities, and villages how to thrive on their own. After they have been taught the skills necessary, they can duplicate those skills and pay forward the method. Our model eliminates dependence by helping families reach the goal of true self reliance that is sustainable.”


Would you like to be part of this community’s transformation?  Consider buying a pen to support the Young Martin Mission.  The cost is only $5 and ALL of the funds, apart from the cost of postage will go to support the mission.  Thank-you for your consideration.  Please leave a comment below with your email address and I will be in touch with payment information.




Fruit for All – Making a Difference in Lahore

Martin Pur Christian Mission in Pakistan Fruit for All Program
















This summer the Martin pur Mission in Lahore, Pakistan, instituted a program named Fruit for All, whereby Guava fruit plants were cultivated, and distributed to families, so that everyone who could not afford to buy fresh fruit would be able to plant a seedling on their own property and grow their own Guava fruit.  The progress of the growing plants is monitored by advisors from Fruit for All  program.  Their hope is that families will work together to tend their plants, and in time will be able to sustain their own small orchard as more fruit seedlings are added to their gardens. Mango and orange plants also grow wild in Pakistan, and are a few of the species that can be harvested, raised in a nursery, and distributed once the seedlings are big enough.

The children of this community are pitifully poor.  They need clothes, shoes, and so much more to just bring them up to a reasonable standard of living.  I recently sent a package of school supplies for 100 children by mail to Martin pur.  The parcel, cost me $184 CAD to send and will take 2 months to get there.  They will most likely have to pay an import or custom fee when it gets there. As with any service run by the government there, it comes attached with  unreasonably high fees.  Just to get a customs-exempt letter for the mission costs over $200.

The sensible thing to do is to send a donation.

If you would like to help by making a donation, please contact me at  Any funds  donated to this charity has always gone 100% to the children and their families, unlike other organizations whereby most of the funds go to “administrative costs”.

If you have any suggestions on other ways to help these people,  please get in touch with me.

Helping people in need around the world is the first step towards peace.

Thanks for reading!

love, norma




My experience with iUniverse publishing

iUniverse logo



What have you got to lose publishing with iUniverse?  A LOT!

Hi friends,

I haven’t been posting much in the last little while.  Sorry about that!  My time has been taken up with having my book, The Lion`s Den re-published through iUniverse Publishing.

You see, I had not been achieving the kind of sales I would like to see with the book, and being that over 3,500 new authors self-publish a book EVERY DAY, it is very difficult to achieve any visibility on or Goodreads, etc., where your rankings mean EVERYTHING in order to show up in the top 100 books in your genre.  And let`s be real here, would you go through more than 100 blurbs, hunting for the next book you want to read from the Kindle store?  Not likely.  That’s why we authors depend on READER’S REVIEWS to encourage other people to buy the book!


My Holy God!  What a saga! I was contacted some time ago by iUniverse, offering to help me re-publish my book.  They are a division of Penguin/Ramdom House and they provide a whole range of services for self-published authors, from editing, to cover design, to marketing, and you get to take advantage of their distribution channels.  “Great”, I thought, and I could take advantage of their “half price sale” on their packages to get an all-inclusive program of support for the low, low price of $2,800.  So, I says, “what have I got to lose?  My book is not making sales, so I’ll take a chance.”

Things were swinging along great.  I submitted my manuscript, and got the reply back that in order for iUniverse to publish it, the book would have to undergo an edit to “bring it up to their editing standard.”  For the low, low price of about $2,330, they could do a “line edit”  which just involves grammar, spelling, etc. or they could do a much more comprehensive “content edit” which would involve, basically tearing the book apart, possibly changing some of the time line, re-working the story line, along with grammar and spelling etc., This would cost quite a bit more!!  I figured that I had already paid a fortune to put the book through at least three professional edits, and I couldn’t face the idea of tearing it apart and re-working it, as much as it may make it better literature, so I went with the cheaper option.

About three weeks later, I got the manuscript back from the editor with minor suggestions on changing a few sentences grammatically.  Now, this was okay, because I learned that I need to be more clear in defining subject and predicate in my work to be sure the reader is clear on what I am referring to in certain instances, so it was a lesson learned, albeit an expensive one.  I also got a better idea of how to work the g’damn quotation marks, which can be quite challenging! So, having made the suggested edits, (Oh yes, you have to actually make the recommended changes yourself unless you want to pay more for an assistant to make them for you!) I sent the “clean” manuscript back and awaited the next phase of development.

Not long after, I was contacted by “Rey”, a representative from the iUniverse marketing team, who claimed to be all excited about my manuscript!  He was full of ideas about how they were going to promote my book.  They were going to get it on the USA Today list and Publishers Weekly in order to get it before traditional publishers who might be interested in picking it up.  They were going to hire me a publicist who would set up interviews and book signings all over the country, and I would make an iTunes video interview, talking about the book, etc etc. etc.  He even broached the idea of having a movie made from the manuscript!  My eyes just got wider and wider, until he dropped the price point for the “aggressive marketing plan” which was $18,000!  (which could, of course be paid in four equal installments of $4,500 each (US funds, of course!!!)) He was pressuring me to make the first installment immediately to get the ball rolling.  I, of course put the brakes on immediately, telling him that I would have to discuss this with my husband.

I thought I smelled a rat.  I had been under the impression that marketing services were included in the price of the package I had bought.  I was already pissed that the book had to be subjected to extra editing at extra cost, and it was starting to seem as if each phase of development came with another price tag attached.  A friend offered to have the iUniverse company checked out by someone he knew in literary publishing circles, so he sent off an email of inquiry.  Meanwhile, I called Paul and asked what he thought.  His scam detector immediately went up, and he told me to ask them for a complete breakdown of the proposed services  and a prospectus of the kind of profit that they felt the book would earn, utilizing this so called “aggressive marketing plan.”

When Rey called me back, he informed me that iUniverse did not break down the cost of the services, that they were sold as a package, and that the profit to be realized could not be determined, as I was not yet an established writer with a proven track record, and they could not release what other authors had done, due to privacy issues, but I could look at testimonials that iUniverse already had posted on their webpage.  Not a very satisfactory answer!  Rey kept trying to persuade me to go with it, so I told him to call Paul as we make all of our business decisions together.

Needless to say, Rey got nowhere with Paul, so about an hour later I got a phone call from Gloria somebody, claiming to be the marketing manager, and Rey’s boss, who insisted that my book was worth making the investment in, as it had tremendous potential to be quite successful.  I told her that we are business people, and that when we invoice people for our services, we always provide a cost breakdown of the work done on their vehicles.  We also expect the same of our suppliers to provide a detailed list of what we are purchasing from them.  In no instance do we pay a bill for a “package” price on something, especially when that something costs over $18,000.  She went on and on about what they were going to do for me, and the conversation was left at an impasse, as she was unwilling to provide the cost breakdown or the expected revenue information we required.

I never heard from anybody for a week.  That’s when I took another call from “Rey” telling me that they had worked out an alternative “less aggressive” marketing plan, in which they would do a pared-down version, for only $8,000.  I was still not impressed, and they were still unable to provide the cost breakdown we required, so I threw the ball back into their court.  This price could be paid out in monthly installments, so I knew that they thought that I was suffering from sticker shock, and by making the cost more reachable, that I would buy in.  Meanwhile, my friend’s buddy came back with a reply.

His first question was, “Had I signed away any of my rights to the book by purchasing this publishing package?”  The answer was no, although they have some restrictions on who I can sell the book through.  They have their own distribution channels, which, our friend says consists of the usual uploads to the Amazon and other e-book sites, and as for their Barnes and Noble stores, they have access to ONE B & N brick and mortar store!!!  All iUniverse is interested in, our friend says, is to sell services to authors.  They have little interest in how the book actually does, and apparently many authors have had trouble getting royalties from them after their books have been released!  Great!  says I.  Scammed again.

So, since the book is half-way to production, and iUniverse has committed to designing a new cover for it, which is included in the package price, I decided to proceed, since that money is already spent.  It didn’t hurt to have the additional edit, and the inside book design was also included in the price, so I figured what was the sense of pulling it, at this stage?  I had already recognized that I probably needed the cover re-designed to get better recognition in the romance genre, so presently they are working on that.  I had someone call me from the graphics department to feel me out about what I am looking for, and they will work up three designs that I can choose from.

In the mean time, Rey called me back the other night.  Apparently they did an unprecedented thing!  They had decided to “invest” in my book by further reducing the price of the “less aggressive” marketing plan to just $6,400!  What a bargain!  I told him that when I initially bought the package that I was under the impression that marketing services were included, and that I was shocked when they told me that additional fees were to be charged.  I told him that I was considering having my second book published through their services, but judging by what I had experienced with the first one, I was considering pulling the second.  So, he buggered off, and I haven’t heard anything from him since Wednesday night.  Nor have I heard anything from my “check in co-ordinator”, Andrea, whose job it is to oversee the whole project.

As it is the advice of a professional working in the publising industry to stay far away from iUniverse, I am regretting my decision to do business with them, yet, I will let this project go to completion and wait to see what sales generate from their distribution services, but I will not be allowing them to take on the second book.

There is ALWAYS somebody out there ready to cash in on your inexperience.  Many, many people have been burnt by these people, as I have read, since Googling the name on the internet, and while you  have doubts, you go on, thinking that, just maybe, your manuscript is as good as they tell you it is, and has all of this potential to do great, and the investment in the marketing plan is all it will take to jettison it into astronomical sales and recognition in the literary world!  Yeah………..they say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, to quote John Lennon.

So, hear I sit, waiting to see what comes next in the saga.  I am expecting a call anytime from Rey with further cost reduction in a “wimpy marketing plan” costing just $4,000, payable in equal weekly installments.  I think I will tell him to go stuff himself!!!

On a brighter note, our friend in publishing has suggested the name of a traditional publisher who, he feels, may have an interest in looking at my manuscript!  Hope springs eternal!

And how was your week?

Your (discouraged and downtrodden, yet hopeful) pal,

heart 2

Please consider writing a review!  In exchange, I will send you an electronic copy of the book!


Missions in Pakistan Need Our Help

world peace

How Can we help the poor of Pakistan?

Hi friends,

Since my first novel, The Lion’s Den came out, I have had many friend requests on social media from Pakistan.  I guess  where the plot of the book involves the hunt for Osama bin Laden, people from Pakistan are curious about an author from a province on the east coast of Canada, who chooses to write about the politics and customs of their country.  All of the interactions I have had so far with these beautiful people have been positive and respectful.  A couple of them, in particular, have shared snapshots of their lives and work, giving me a deep appreciation for the struggle and hardship that the majority of the people in this country suffer in living their daily lives.

Now, you may ask yourself why would I be interested in helping needy people in Pakistan  when there are plenty of poor people here in our own country?  I would say to you that a large chunk of our tax dollars  is spent on social programs for our needy.  We have medicare, welfare, support programs for drug and alcohol dependency, mental health programs, school lunch programs, and the list goes on and on.  In addition to that, as individuals, many of us support community food banks, and support groups , for example, for single parent families. We donate used clothing to charities for distribution to the poor and hold fundraisers for people who suffer health problems that require medical intervention beyond what our free government-funded health service provides.

Poor Pakistani families, by contrast, have no such support system. Work is difficult to find, therefore money to support a family, and to  look after their health is hard to come by.  A corrupt government system keeps the wealthy wealthy, while the poor people are left to scratch an existence as best they can.  We in the western world cannot imagine a world where people don’t have access to decent food, clothing, shoes, or clean water.  We can’t imagine having to sift through a dump in order to find something to eat.  Most of these people have never seen the inside of a doctor’s office, or even used, let alone owned so much as a toothbrush!  This is what abject poverty looks like.


Pakistan poverty 1Pakistan poverty 2

Thankfully, there are some people in Pakistan who are trying to improve the lives of people in their communities.  My friend, Asma Rehman, works through the Cottage Support Welfare Organization. They have been concentrating for years on getting the over 5 million children who are not in school  the financial assistance they need to get enrolled.  They advocate for women and girls, and fight for their rights to work and receive an education.  Through American-sponsored programs such as “Ball to All”,  Asma and her group have been able to provide free footballs (soccer balls) to deserving children within the community.  The result is that the youth have a positive outlet for recreational activity, and are less likely to get involved with radical religious groups.  Football tournaments are being held, and team spirit and community pride is growing. In addition to the Ball to All program,  the Cottage Support Welfare Organization is involved in holding food and clothing drives and many other positive outreach programs.

ball to all

cottage suoort welfare org



Another friend of mine, Amir Javed, is interested in creating a sustainable, self-sufficient community.  His mission, the Young Martin Welfare Organization, was established to support and uplift the needy families of Lahore, Pakistan.  In a community where the Islamic faith is predominant and the persecution of Christians by extremist Islamic groups is common, Amir’s mission introduces people to the Christian ideals of faith, hope and charity through the teachings of Jesus Christ.  The mission is very hands-on, with a group of dedicated volunteers ministering to needy and impoverished families, gathering children together in Sunday schools, and celebrating the holy seasons such as Christmas and Easter with joy and hope.

In addition to the spiritual teaching, Amir hopes to address the health and welfare of his community by instituting a “Fruit for All” program whereby native fruit tree seedlings will be harvested and  transplanted into a fruit tree nursery. Volunteers and community members will work together to raise the seedlings until they are mature enough to be distributed to all of the families in the community, providing fresh fruit at no cost to everyone. Species such as Guava grapes, mangoes and oranges are some of the fruits that can be successfully grown in this area.  The benefits to the health of these people, who are impoverished to the point where they cannot afford to buy fresh fruit, will be enormous.  Amir is presently doing research and is seeking the expertise of organizations such as  the Feed the World program, who are presently engaged in running similar agricultural programs in many areas of the developing world.  Funding will have to be sought to provide tools and equipment for this enterprise. If any of you have knowledge to offer on projects such as these, please get in touch with Amir through the Young Martin Welfare Facebook page.

Pakistan Christmas


balls for all 2

I can barely put into words how gratifying it is to be able to give to a charity where one hundred percent of what you donate actually goes to the people.  I made a modest donation to Amir’s mission at Christmas time, and he sent me this photo (left) of what my money went towards.  The joy on the faces of these children, who have so little is truly heartwarming.  We are presently working towards putting together some Easter Coloring books, which tells the story of the Passion of Christ in terms the children can understand.   I am working towards sourcing crayons at low cost to provide the 600 or so children in Lahore with this educational tool that tells the  story of hope for the world through Christianity.   I have no intentions of trying to influence people of any region to convert to Christianity, but it is my hope that through exposure to other religions that we can foster understanding and respect between our world neighbours.

What heartens me, too, is to see people of both the Islamic and Christian faiths working together within the same community to support one another.  The picture to the right shows children of Amir’s mission receiving footballs under the Ball to All program, part of the Cottage Support Welfare  Association that Asma helps co-ordinate. In a community in which Christians and Muslims are so often at odds with each other, it gives me hope that the more they work together, the better their community will be served, and peace can become a reality.

If you have information that you would like to share with the leaders of either of these missions, you can contact them through their Facebook pages under the

Cottage Support Welfare Organization or the Young Martin Welfare Organization.

or if you prefer, contact me by leaving a comment on this blog, and I will put you in touch with either Asma or Amir directly.

Either organization would be happy to receive a monetary donation,

I am soliciting help with a couple of projects I have undertaken to supply hand knit Izzy dolls and Prayers blankets to Amir’s mission.  If you are interested in contributing to either of these projects, please get in touch with me by leaving a comment on this blog.  I promise to not share your email address or contact information with anyone, unless it is your wish that I do so.  The comfort that these simple handcrafted gifts can provide is immeasurable.

Izzy doll

prayer shawl verse
prayer blankets 2














love, norma












Cats on the Keyboard – Alternatives to Child-Rearing

cats on keyboard

Couples choose to raise cats and dogs over babies

My twenty-seven year old daughter and I were sitting having one of our late night chats when the subject of babies came up.  She and her boyfriend had just recently adopted an adorable tuxedo kitten, whom they had named James T. Kirk.  Thinking that since the two of them were now settled away in careers, and had moved into an apartment of their own that the next logical step might be to consider starting a family.  When I broached the subject, all I could do was sit there and blink as she informed me that they had decided not to have children.

“I’ve never really liked babies.”

“Babies are really expensive.”

“You know that when babies come, the man’s life hardly changes, while the woman’s focus is totally on the childcare and raising and they are so dependant on you that you lose your own identity.”

“We wouldn’t have the freedom to travel and do the things we want to do.”

“What if we move to New York ? I wouldn’t have anyone to depend on besides Andrew to help me raise a baby.”

“I don’t have the patience to go through the whole school thing with a child.”

“Andrew is so over-protective, he’d probably end up in jail if anyone looked at his kid sideways.”

….were some of the reasons she had for staying out of the parent game.

frustrated mother“I see all kinds of women come through the spa stressed out and exhausted from trying to deal with working, managing a home and a husband, and trying to deal with one or more kids at the same time.  I’ve even asked a few of them if they had the chance for a do-over, would they choose not to have kids (barring the emotional guilt) and so many of them have said they would not have had kids, or at least would have waited longer.

Wow, I thought, seeing all of my plans for cute grand kids, (not to mention  revenge for  all of the trying moments she had me suffer, during her childhood!), going up in smoke.   Having heard stories of Andrew’s antics  as a child, I could envision Heather with irascible twin boys, running around the house like miniature ninjas, plotting the demise of teachers, schoolmates and possibly several law enforcement agencies.  I had been kinda looking forward to how she and Andrew would handle that, to tell the truth.  There’s one thing for sure, any offspring born of these two would definitely be a challenge to raise.

“But don’t you think that you would miss having a family around you as you get older?”  I asked.

“No, the family you choose is just as close as those who might be born to you, Mom.”  She countered.

“But there’s nothing like the bond between a parent and child.” I put forward, cautiously, expecting to be told to mind my own business.

“But we have Jim,”  She said, snuggling the precious ball of fur who lay sleeping in her arms.

“Look at the advantages:  No nine month gestation period, with stretch marks, breast feeding and horrible morning sickness;  The kitten can walk almost right out of the box, and within a couple of months, can eat solid food, walk on his own, and use the bathroom.  By six months, he knows everything there is to know about being a cat.  You don’t need to pay for a college education and you get all the love his tiny heart can give.  What more do you want?”

“Well it’s kinda fun to watch a baby grow into their own personality, and be able to recognize traits in them you see as coming from you or your husband,” I replied.

“But is it worth the power struggles and the temper tantrums and the terrible twos?”  She asked, “Keep in mind that my best friend is a day care worker and she loves kids, but is the first to admit that they are walking bags of germs and snot.”

Well she kind of had me there……..but I still wasn’t convinced.

“Look, I know we had our share of disagreements and times when we really didn’t like each other when you were growing up, but you know I wouldn’t trade you for a farm out west, right?  I hope that nothing about your childhood would have convinced you to live your life without allowing yourself the joy of having a child of your own?”

misbehaving children“No, mom. I just choose not to go through all of that.  I hate it when the women at the spa tell me “Oh you’re only young, you’ll change your mind,  children are different when they’re your own.”  Meanwhile their own kids are out at the front end, running around and poking at everything, driving the girls nuts.  I’m sure they come in to get a break from them.  No, we’re totally happy with Jim. I couldn’t love him more if I had given birth to him.”



The more I look around, the more I realize that this attitude to pet parenthood over child rearing is a modern phenomenon.  The financial considerations are huge.  Who can afford to take a major (like 60 percent) cut in salary for a year in which child care expenses, feeding, clothing, diapering, equipment, etc. etc. etc gobbles up your income like the Cookie Monster chomping through a bag of Oreos!  Then when you get past the one year maternity leave, the cost of baby daycare is at least $250 a week, if you’re not lucky enough to have a stay-at-home granny willing to help you out. The pet alternative looks a lot better with a bag of kibble costing $25 a month and a box of kitty litter $10 or less.  Kitty can stay at home on his own, as long as he has some familiar things, like his bed, his food and water dishes and his litter box, plus a few toys around to amuse him.  He will be there to great you with purrs and head rubs when you open the door at the end of your work day.

petstorePet companies have hit the jackpot with this new trend towards pets taking the place of children!  Walking into a national brand pet store, the products and services available to pet parents are overwhelming!  The choices in foods, toys, litter, treats, (even clothing!) are mind boggling.  Grooming and obedience training are all offered on site, and pets are welcome to roam the aisles (on leashes of course) and pick out their own favorites from the myriad of products available.  Seasonal holidays are all exploited as the displays come alive with Hallow’een costumes and Christmas stocking stuffers.  Think  the pet stores are exploiting the hell out of people’s need for family love?  You betcha.

Well, as Heather and I made our way back to the car today, with our arms laden with our pet store purchases, totalling over $100, I bit my tongue about the price tag attached to caring for one small kitten.  To each their own, I thought.  People ought to know what they are able to handle in their lives.  Quite often people take on the responsibility of raising children, which is a life long commitment, when they probably should have stuck to the easier (and shorter) alternative  of caring for a pet.  Nobody should judge you for the choices you make in whether to have babies or not.  It is a personal decision and one not to be taken lightly.  People usually have to study several years, do practical training and write a final exam in order to be qualified to do a job, yet all they have to do to become parents is to jump in bed without birth control.  Ironic, isn’t it?  I wish more people would figure out what their limitations are and live within their financial and emotional means.  There would be a lot fewer messed up people out there!  And while you’re at it, if you decide to adopt a pet, do a little research to see exactly how much effort you are going to have to put into caring for it.  It’s very easy to decide, “Oh this is way too much work, I don’t have the time, I’m going to get rid of Tabby.”  Think of the impact that has on the little cat who is going to get dropped off at humane services or at the SPCA, and taken away from everything that is familiar to her, including her people.  You can’t do that with a baby, by the way, or you will be charged with abandonment.  It’s too late, in either case then, the damage has been done.  Time for people to be held accountable for their actions.  Put some thought into parenthood, whether it be of children or animals.

Oh, and a few points for some people who take pet parenting a little too far.

love, norma

2016-01-13 13.18.23


Hysterectomy – Fire in the Hole

Prelude to a Hysterectomy

female reproduction

Hi friends,

You might be wondering where I have been these last few weeks.  I did kinda drop off the face of the planet, as I am home, recovering from a hysterectomy.

What happened was, I received a call from my doctor’s office, asking for me to come in.  “Hmmm” says I, starting to worry, as the doctor is so busy, you usually have to wait weeks to even get an appointment, and I hadn’t had any routine testing done lately. What could be behind this urgent request to see her?

So, over I go to the clinic at the appointed date and time and nervously wait for my name to be called.  I’m ushered into an examination room and shortly, the doctor appears with my six-inch-thick file in her hands. (Yes, I do have some health issues!)  She starts by yammering on about my cholesterol levels, explaining that we had been so long working on getting my arthritis under control, that her concerns with my tri-glyceride levels had to be put on the back burner.  Oh, fine, I inwardly groan, kissing my toast and tea habit good-bye.  This, along with the restrictions on my diet caused by type II diabetes, meant that I was going to be down to consuming  sticks and berries from here on in.  “Any other concerns?” the doctor asked, ready to clue up our visit while filling out a requisition for blood work.  “Oh, yeah, I thought that Aunt Flo had hit the road years ago, but it seems she has been making a reappearance the last couple of months.  What’s up with that?”

Well, I didn’t expect the firestorm that little admission would cause!  Suddenly all the concerns over tri-glycerides were thrown back on the back burner, as I faced a barrage of questions about my menstrual experiences.  I was to come back in two days time to undergo a PAP test (something I had been avoiding for years….stupid, I know) and we would see where to go from there.  I went home expecting to have to wait a week for the results of the test.

Two days after the PAP test, the phone rings and I am told that the test results were back and that I was scheduled to see a gynecologist at the end of the week.  Uh oh, something must have shown up.

I walked into the ob/gyn’s office on Friday.  The waiting room was lined off with pictures of pregnant women and healthy-looking babies, something I hadn’t thought about in years.  Shortly I was ushered into an examination room and a few minutes later, a young woman entered, introducing herself as Dr. Brown.  She seemed to be quite familiar with my file as she explained that abnormal cells had shown up in the PAP test, and a biopsy was needed to  shed some more light on what was causing the irregular bleeding.  “So when will that be scheduled for?”  I ask, unnerved by the word “biopsy.”  “I can do it right now.” Dr.Brown replied, making my head spin with how fast this investigation was going down, and the implications that had for their level of concern.

About a week later, Dr. Brown’s office called me with a return appointment time.  By now I was dreading her news, so I sat in the waiting room, bravely trying to envision the doctor telling me that it was all a false alarm, take a bottle of pills and I would be right as rain.

But she wasn’t finished yet.

“Your biopsy results are back, and there seems to be something going on with your endometrium (lining of the uterus).  We will need to do a D&C (dilation and  curretage)  procedure in the hospital to see what needs to be done.”  Having undergone this before, I had some idea what was involved, although the doctor informed me that years ago they did this under general anaesthetic, but now they did it with a light anaesthetic and local freezing.  Wonderful!  I thought.  I really wasn’t interested in being present during the procedure, pain or no pain, but I guess there were fewer complications in not being put completely out of consciousness.

On the day of the procedure, I presented myself to the Women’s Health Center at the Janeway Hospital, handed over my C-PAP machine, (Yes, I have sleep apnea, too) and was escorted forthwith to the surgical prep area. I was interrogated as to my medical history, even though they had a file on me a mile high, and was issued two stylish Johnny coats, booties, and a cap, and invited to change, then be seated in a comfy vinyl recliner to await the insertion of an IV and drugs for relaxation.  Okay  I thought, I can go for that.  Pretty soon Dr. Brown shows up, with a pack of residents, all dressed up in their greens.  She goes over the procedure and the after-care and asks if there was anyone staying with me during the surgery. Whut? I think. I hadn’t thought it necessary for Paul to take time off just to wait around while I had this minor procedure done.  “Nope, I’m flying solo,”  I reply, trying not to feel like a neglected house frau.

The time counts down, and I am escorted to the OR by a very nice nurse.  I silently gave thanks for the second Johnny coat so that I could walk around without my bare ass hanging out.  We enter the OR where a number of masked nurses and technicians are buzzing around.  The lights are bright enough to knock your retinas out and the whole sterile environment is rather intimidating.  The nurse introduces me to the anaesthesiologist, who explains his role in getting me “to sleep”.  He helps me onto the table, places a mask over my nose and mouth and I slip away into unconsciousness.

Dr. Brown and company must have arrived, as while I was floating around in that fluffy land between sleep and waking, I could feel a tugging “down below” and the sensation of instruments being used.  I don’t recall any conversation, which I was happy for, as it is bad enough lying on a table with your hoo ha exposed for the whole surgical team to see, let alone hearing about what they were doing!  Forty minutes later I was rolled back to recovery where I was reunited  with my C-PAP machine, and enjoyed an hour or two rest.

It wasn’t long before I got another summons to Dr. Brown’s office.  She somberly gave me the news.  The sample they sent to the lab from my D & C showed a number of irregular cells.  Not enough to call it cancer, but they weren’t ruling it out.  The endometrium was abnormally thick, another indicator that my time as a child-bearer was up. A hysterectomy was recommended, as soon as possible.

Now, I didn’t get all upset about the impending loss of my girlie bits.  I wasn’t using most of them anyway, and had already gone through the rigours of menopause. They could hopefully do the operation laparoscopically, which was a much better prospect than being cut open and gutted like a fish, so I resigned myself to an estimated six week recovery period, and went home to catch my office work up to date in case something unforeseen should crop up which would keep me in hospital past the one to two day expected recuperation period.

So, here I am, a week post-op,  resting comfortably at home.  I can’t say that I’m feeling too bad.  The nurses at the hospital were amazed that I refused pain medication.  I figure, if you can manage it without being too uncomfortable, why take medication?  Within a day or two, I was up and around and able to go to the bathroom.  The bandaging was minimal, only band aids.  Oh the marvels of modern laparoscopic surgery!  Moms, don’t discourage your kids from playing video games.  You never know when they will need that hand-eye co-ordination in their future careers!  Within two days, I was being sent home, and the extra day was just because they broke off a bowel retractor during my procedure, and wanted to be sure they hadn’t caused any injury to my soft and squishy internal organs with the sharp end of the instrument being exposed.  It was kinda off-putting thinking that it was possible, if they had nicked my bowel, to die from peritonitis, and it might not rear its ugly head for seven days, but the doctor was pretty confident that everything was intact and fine.  I was grateful to be informed about this incident, as I could be on the lookout for developing symptoms and would know who to sue, in the event of complications arising (just kidding!)  It must be terrifying to doctors the liability  issues they can face.  I’m sure that they have insurance to protect themselves financially, but the harm to one’s reputation can be enormous, not to mention the mental health implications, should a patient die from something that happened while under their care.  I’m kinda glad that we only deal with mechanical repairs!

Someone asked me how I feel, now that I no longer have the ability to bear offspring.  Do I feel less of a woman?  Stupid question, I thought.  Does a cat feel less of a cat when they are spayed?  Of course not.  The freedom from having to deal with the monthly periods, having to worry about birth control, and the lessened risk of endometrial, ovarian, uteran, or cervical cancers with those organs having been removed, is definitely worth the loss.  Luckily, I was post-menopausal when I went through this, so I am not expecting my life, post surgery, to be very different than before.  I hope that I don’t continue to experience pain “down there” as I do now, although according to some sources I have read, this is possible in a small percent of cases.  Hopefully my love life will be able to resume without any detrimental effects.

As a romance writer, I will continue to tell stories of the human experience, because, after all, doesn’t romance live in our hearts and imagination?  Love is such an interesting and fulfilling part of our lives that we want to hear about other’s relationships, in order to understand our own needs and heart’s desires.  I only hope that my readers continue to enjoy my work and that people enjoy and value the mental part of love as much as they do the physical.  To quote Paul, Love is patient, love is kind.  Love never ends.

love, norma












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