Libbie the Lobster

To purchase the children's book "Saving Libbie the Lobster" go to



One of the Worst Things I Have Ever Done

One of the worst things I have done in my life was to buy into the idea that I was sick– physically and emotionally. In the year 2004, I was diagnosed with hepatitis C and emphysema. I was 53 years old and working in a career that I loved for only a few years. I knew how I acquired those illnesses of course and blamed only myself. My previous life in the underworld of addiction hell, brought with it those devastating consequences. Testing showed that I had the worst kind of hepatitis C (genotype 1a) and had only 1/4 of the lung capacity I should have had.

Having worked hard in college for six years, completing graduate school with the highest honors, I looked forward to a long career in a field that I had been all too familiar with–addiction and mental illness treatment. But my best laid plans came to a screeching halt. I thought my life would never be the same. I struggled to breathe, got sick often and experienced flu-like symptoms most of the time. Until I was diagnosed by the doctors, I had been able to work through it, albeit not easily. I had never questioned doctors’ diagnoses and treatment before that time, why would I have done it then? When they told me I would progressively get worse, I, like many people, gave in and gave up.

I soon found myself living alone in a small apartment, tethered to an oxygen machine, giving myself shots of interferon and taking a plethora of other medications. I took on the sick roll well. Depression and shame replaced excitement and hope for a bright future. No longer able to work and steadily gaining weight added to my new self image of a helpless victim. The time came when I could no longer care for myself. I was at death’s door and welcomed the relief it would bring.

One day my sister came to visit and saw my condition. She packed me up and took me to her home some distance away. I found myself living in a room without any control over my life. I learned later that the doctors treating me believed I would not live past two weeks. The hepatitis C was beginning to ravish my body and I felt sick all the time. I was on machines day and night to breathe.

But through it all, there was a ray of hope. Deep within me was the knowledge that I had been in this state complete despair once before when I had hit a bottom from addiction. I began to go without oxygen for a few moments at a time, then a half hour, then an hour. No one knew that I was more willing to die than to live that way any longer. I began to decline foods I considered bad for my health and joined a gym. Feeling embarrassed to be in a gym, overweight and carrying an oxygen tank, I forged on. 10353577_874254112615079_8955753878119279813_n

I had woken up one morning and said, “I don’t want to live like this anymore!” So I changed. Anyone who knew me then, is shocked and amazed at my health and vitality today. My doctors (on the rare occasion I need doctors) like to tell me how sick I was when I first arrived in their offices.

No longer on oxygen and cured of hepatitis C (as of this summer), I live in an apartment that feels like a castle at the beach and I just published a book. I am honored and humbled to have many wonderful friends. Sometimes I think that if my life gets any better than this, I don’t know if I can handle it.

I know I am not special. Many people overcome more horrible things every day. Through all of this, I have learned that my story is meant to help others, to bring perhaps a ray of hope that change is possible. I trusted my heart and changed my life. When it comes down to that very moment of asking, “Do I want to live or die,” is when things can change.

I hope you enjoyed my story. Feel free to comment and share with others.



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The Inspired Mic November Spotlight – Michele Napier-Berg


A newcomer to The Inspired Mic promises to be an excellent addition.

Originally posted on Michael Ray King:

I asked Inspired Mic presenters to send me a little something about themselves and what they write. I gave them free reign to pick and choose material about themselves that would be informative and promotional. As The Inspired Mic grows, potential audience participants would like to know something about those who steel their nerves and get up in front of a live audience to present their creativity. In the days leading up to the November 18th event, each of the November readers who send me their info will be In the Spotlight:

Michele Napier berg Pic LiftMichele Napier-Berg

I was born and raised in South Africa and immigrated to the USA sixteen years ago. I have worked in the ministry, education and the corporate world; however, nothing gives me greater joy and fulfillment than when I am creating. As an artist and photographer I see art in everything and want to either paint it…

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I sold 10000 copies of my book


Fascinating read.


I could not believe it was happening to me. But it was.

I sold ten thousand copies of my book in one year.

You may think this is not much; and indeed, it isn’t; if you come from a country with people who read.

I don’t.

In my country reading is not a priority. People have different priorities. It is often said jokingly of course, though it is true to some extent, that if you want to hide something from my people, you put it in a book. Chances are it will never be seen.

Hence, outside school books that must be bought because they are compulsory for students, other books do not sell that much. Writers do not have a good chance of making money through their works.

Yet, my book that is a non-school book has sold more then ten thousand copies.  That is an achievement that merits…

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Authors Helping Writers

I was sitting in a local cafe one day about two years ago feeling restless. I could think of nothing but writing. I wanted to write a book about my life. My story needed to be told. It was burning inside of me, threatening to burst through my very being.images (1)

For days, months, no…years, I wanted to write. As a young girl I fantasized about being older, with much of my life behind me, sitting in a large room that overlooked the ocean where as I gazed at the waves, ideas flowed easily and my pen wrote words that created stories.

The day came when I knew the time had come for my imaginings to become real. The room was ready, the desk was in place and the windows looked out over the ocean waves. Now a computer sat on the desk in place of pen and paper, waiting only for me to begin writing.

Something was holding me back! Why couldn’t I just start writing, I wondered. I knew that wanting to write was not enough. I had to sit down and do it but could I really write a book? Looking back I know that I was my own worst enemy. Teachers, family, and friends had told me for years that I should be a writer but my own mind told me different. Then something changed.

That day in the cafe, as I drank my coffee and listened to conversations around me, trying to distract myself from my restlessness, I overheard a woman telling the cafe owner about the story line for her upcoming book. I had seen her before and had heard she was a local author of ghost stories for young adults. She seemed excited and appeared to be self-confident. Her excitement rose as she described the story. I sat listening intently and knew I needed to speak with her.

“Oh, so you’re a writer?” I queried.

“Yes I am.” She said smiling brightly. “I write ghost stories for young adults. Do you write?”

” I want to write a book,” I replied sheepishly.

And right then and there my writing began in earnest. That friendly exchange of two strangers evolved quickly into a lasting friendship. Becky Meyer Pourchot, author a The Hungry Ghost Series, also became my writing mentor. We met often over the ensuing weeks and her encouragement and direction fueled my desire to become a published author. These days, we are planning book signings together and our paths intersect often on our journey as writers.

I will be forever grateful to my friend Becky. Because of her encouragement and belief in me, I am now helping others who have come to me in the same way and who have said, “I want to write. I have a story inside me that is screaming to come out.”

Thank you Becky Meyer Pourchot.

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What a Night for an Interview – Steve Boone of The Lovin’ Spoonful


Remember the Lovin’ Spoonful? My new author friend Steve Boone was in that band. He wrote a book about the experience. Read on for more about him and his book.

Originally posted on blindoggbooks:

Did you ever have to make up your mind?

That wasn’t meant as a question…it was my way of cleverly introducing this post.

Baby-boomers and rock-and-roll fans of all ages probably sang the words while they read them…or they’re humming the tune right now (and probably will be for the next few hours).

Most of you know who sang them back in 1966, or you used to know, but the band’s name is on the tip of your tongue.

For the record…it was The Lovin’ Spoonful.

The Spoonful had a pretty impressive run between ’65 and ’68 which included seven Top 10 hits and another seven in the Top 100.

You might say they were hotter than a match head

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 -

Like many bands they also had their trials and tribulations…

Tomorrow night (Friday October…

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I’m going crazy! Who wants to join me?

This is exactly how I feel today, and yesterday and oh yes, since the day I found Libbie the Lobster in Publix! I never imagined I’d be sitting at my computer almost every waking moment of almost every day for almost three months reading, writing, and I love to learn new things but does it have to come so fast and furious! I guess that’s the kind of person I am. Bring it all on! I don’t have to eat, or go to the beach, or see people in person, or even sleep for that matter. I’ll just keep tapping these old fingers on the keyboard and hope it sells a book or two. So far I’ve got two pages on Facebook, a Twitter page, Google+ business page and WordPress blog page. The best part is I put them all on HootSuite and I can post to all of them or one or two at a time and I can even schedule them so I only have to go absolutely mad a couple of times a week! Jeez, I really am pretty good at this. Heather Chalmers just come and get me when it’s time to pick up our books.
Oh and By the way, this picture is of me and it is in our children’s book, Saving Libbie the Lobster. Join the fun!


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Short Story Sunday: Checkmate


Scary story just in time for Halloween.

Originally posted on Vampire Maman:

Today I’m treating my readers to a fun creepy bit of fiction from my friend and fellow WPaD author Dave Stone.  I’m so excited! Thank you Dave for sharing this bit of fright.


A story from Dave Stone
Nathan Kemp opened the dusty door of the dusty little pawn shop, causing a dusty bell to tinkle dustily through the drifting dust. He stepped in and closed the door behind him, looking around as he did so. Light filtered dimly through the coat of dust on the small windows, casting a yellowish petina over display cases and odd bits of junk in the shop. The sound of the bell caused a bit of movement in the back room, and soon a curtain covering the door to the back fluttered and the proprietor came out. He was tall, he was athletic, he was blond…and he was pasty. He looked like he…

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