It’s Launch Day!
Launch Week Elements: Nursing Home
Happy Monday! Corgi Capers 3: Curtain Calls and Fire Halls is now available for purchase! You can find it at Amazon (ebook coming soon) and DWB’s publisher store for now (you can also buy a set of all three for one lower price!). Once I stock up on copies, I’ll offer autographed editions at my own store and send out copies to all the winners. Check out the contest below, in which one lucky person will win an autographed copy. I’ve decided to draw the names on Thursday because it’s my birthday, so you have a few days left to make sure you are entered. 😉
As part of her redemption for playing a serious prank on Halloween (which you can read about in The Sorceress of Stoney Brook), Courtney is “asked” to volunteer at Willow Lakes, a nursing home and adult living facility in the fictional town of Stoney Brook, Pennsylvania. While at first she gripes about having to “volunteer” there and believes she has nothing in common with the elderly residents, she quickly makes a friend.
Just as being exposed to new neighbors opens her eyes to new perspectives, meeting old Mr. Grindle makes her realize that not everyone is as perfect as she perceives her brother to be. Like Courtney, when I was a child, I thought older generations were always “perfect,” and mine was the first group to break the rules. Of course, I learned otherwise, and so does Courtney: She thought she was a bad seed, but now she realizes that every person has flaws and assets. Her experiences at the nursing home are part of her character’s move toward redemption. Deep down, she never meant to play such a nefarious prank on her brother at Halloween; she simply followed along with what her friends suggested without fully thinking through the consequences.
The reason I chose a nursing home and adult living facility to be the site of Courtney’s redemption is partly in tribute to the nursing home and rehabilitation facility that took such great care of my grandmother. For the last few years of her life, my grandmother had several complicated health issues requiring her to receive around-the-clock care. The nursing home where she lived was warm and loving. During our visits, we made friends quickly with many of the residents, including my grandmother’s roommate and the amazing nurses who took care of them.
During our visits, I realized how much each resident appreciated the time we took to be with them. My dad, in particular, made friends with one of the residents. The two of them would joke around with each other every weekend. As a child, it was hard to believe a senior citizen could be as goofy and mischievous as my dad. And it’s probably no surprise that we brought our dog to visit with the residents—just like Courtney brings Sapphie. Little Chip brightened many days, with residents opening up with stories about their former beloved pets.
It’s been my experience in life that negativity is terribly contagious. But while I was at the nursing home, I saw how love and positivity could be just as contagious. The love in the eyes of the nurses as they interacted with the residents was unbelievable to me. More importantly, the love in the eyes of my grandmother as she told her favorite nurses that she loved them brought a smile to my face. In the nursing home, there was no need to bring negativity in. Holiday decorations were always fresh and colorful, events were always scheduled, and smiles always appeared on residents’ faces when visitors or nurses would stop in. When we visited my grandmother, we also “made the rounds,” taking her to visit with the other residents. Our conversation and our dog helped to spread joy to them as well. I always felt lighter leaving the facility than I’d felt coming in.
I thought this would be an effective backdrop for Courtney as she realizes the power one person can have in improving the lives of others. It’s a theme I emphasized in Corgi Capers 3, and it’s a powerful concept I hope to help spread. As you go about your Monday, put a smile on your face—and see how “contagious” you can be 🙂
Corgi Capers Book 3 Giveaway
Sign up to follow this blog via email (sign-up is toward the upper-right), and at the end of the week, I’ll randomly select a winner to receive a free copy of Corgi Capers: Curtain Calls and Fire Halls. Haven’t read the first two? The winner can choose one of the other Corgi Capers books instead.
Winner will be chosen on or shortly after November 17, 2014. The prize will be the winner’s choice of Corgi Capers 1, 2, or 3. Paperback copy available only to U.S. addresses. International winners will receive choice of ebook version instead. Void where prohibited.
I’ve already blogged about the winners of the Name that Cat contest (and about cats as well) and the inspiration of one of the winning names. Being inspired to enjoy life is a constant theme in Corgi Capers, as Zeph (inspired by my own fraidy-dog Yoda) is afraid of most things. Many characters volunteer and push beyond their comfort zones, learning to find the heart of a hero beating within, often taking inspiration from neighbors. Curious to learn more? You can view the trailer here. I’m pleased to be working with Yuming Cao to bring this bravery to life through illustration, and a new, illustrated corgi book will also be available soon.