Tag Archives: Blog Talk Radio


Writestream Tuesday: Karen’s Lyme Story

In a previous post I discussed my work with Karen Franks, proprietor of the blog Karen’s Lyme Story:

Chances are, you’ve probably heard of Lyme disease. But did you know how truly insidious and complex it is to treat? Or how politicized the process of diagnosis and treatment has become — to the detriment of Lyme sufferers (often ostracized as hypochondriacs) and the dedicated doctors who care for them?

Enter my friend and client, Karen Franks. Karen and I reconnected on Facebook a few years ago, having originally met in high school (more than a few years ago ;) ). She is truly one of the most decent, kind and caring people I’ve ever met, someone who always has a smile on her face no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Until she hired me recently to revamp her site, Karen’s Lyme Story, I had no idea how incredibly difficult her experience with Lyme disease has been. After decades of illness, she’s finally on the road to recovery, mainly due to her determination to find a doctor who could help her. Putting her experience to good use, Karen is now an advocate for Lyme patients, those who care for them, and the courageous medical professionals who treat them – often under a microscope used by skeptical medical colleagues and organizations.

Karen-Niagara Falls-Foe Website
Karen Franks, Lyme disease advocate and proprietor of the blog, Karen’s Lyme Story.

On Tuesday, October 7 at 1 p.m. Eastern, Karen joins me live on Writestream to share her experience with Lyme disease, inform listeners about the complexity of Lyme and other tick-borne infections, and — as she says — help Lyme sufferers “hold on to hope.” Her journey to recovery has been fraught with a multitude of challenges – including finding a Lyme literate doctor with an effective treatment protocol – but Karen persisted and eventually overcame the odds.

Now that she’s made significant strides on the road to wellness, she’s focusing most of her attention on her advocacy work, with a stated goal of helping Lyme sufferers and their loved ones find the answers and the care they need. Part of this effort involves supporting legislation and enlightening the public and the medical community about Lyme disease.

During the live broadcast, we welcome your calls at (347) 945-7246 and your participation in the the chat room.


And in the second hour, stay tuned for some public service satire with the Right Wing Riot and the Luminaries of Liberty: Scary Smart, Ms. Always Right and The Prince of Whitebread.

See you on Tuesday, October 7 at 1 p.m. Eastern!


A Snobby Girl’s Appeal

Working with Maureen Miles Bucci on A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer has been rewarding and educational. Learning about her experience in overcoming ovarian cancer opened my eyes, not just to the physical and emotional traumas involved, but also the harsh realities of human nature and “charity.”

Author Maureen Miles Bucci.
Author Maureen Miles Bucci.

Without giving away book spoilers, I’ll just note that life’s hardships often provide illumination and discernment in terms of relationships once considered genuine and true. In Snobby Girl, Maureen discusses friends who can’t find the motivation to pick up the phone and offer specific, meaningful help — like cooking a meal or cleaning the house. Yet, they’ll walk, walk, walk for the cure or click the “like” button on Facebook in support of whatever famous charity is posting. Or some will publicly ask for sympathy when they receive news of a friend’s cancer diagnosis, yet fail to provide that friend with practical assistance.

For example, Maureen notes in her book that previously innocuous tasks like slicing vegetables in preparation for a meal, or vacuuming the carpet add an element of danger for a cancer patient. Why? The chemo and radiation treatments take a toll on the body, rendering cancer fighters much more susceptible to cuts and bruises — and therefore, infections. Compounded by other symptoms like “chemo head,” fatigue, and nausea the everyday tasks we healthy people take for granted become difficult daily challenges. For many women coping with various female cancers, a friend who truly wants to help can best express that desire by cooking them a meal or two, offering to clean their house (or perhaps paying for a professional to do it), taking them out for some “retail therapy,” and/or driving them to a chemotherapy appointment when they’re feeling too exhausted to drive themselves.

Lucy, the Snobby Cat.
Lucy, the Snobby Cat.

And they ought to take the initiative to pick up the phone and offer specific help, versus the “Whatever I can do, just ask” platitude. Be proactive and use common sense. Life doesn’t stop for the person fighting cancer: laundry still needs to washed and folded, meals still must be cooked, pets still need to be fed and walked, lawns still need to be mowed, etc. etc. Whatever else you might do, please don’t treat your recently diagnosed friend like a leper. I was incredibly disappointed to discover there are people in the 21st century who actually believe cancer is contagious, and that many of Maureen’s so-called friends would actually move to a different  pew in church (church!) to avoid sitting next to her! Unacceptable. And certainly un-Christian.

Yet when it comes to public declarations of “support,” these same folks will like, share, and post about how much they care about cancer on social media, along with photos of them walking for a cure.

I can definitely relate to Maureen’s experience, though (thanks to the grace of God) I’ve never dealt with a serious health issue. Many years ago, I worked for a non-profit in a health-related field. Among other things, my job involved organizing fundraisers and schmoozing the wealthy society ladies who donated money and time to these high-profile events. While I understand the need to raise money, it became evident to me rather quickly that these women were mostly concerned with having their pictures splashed all over the society page (with the camera capturing their best angle, of course), and attracting celebrity participants (with whom they could no doubt have a photo or two taken at the event).

Am I judging them for not caring about the patients this organization was serving? Of course not. I cannot get inside someone else’s heart and mind. But I can report that none of them to the best of my knowledge ever participated in actual programs this same charity conducted — programs involving interaction with real people suffering from the disease. I wonder now if any of these patients ever shared Maureen’s feelings.

While I applaud reputable charities for raising money for research and fully understand the need for fundraisers, my appeal here is that charity really does begin at home. By all means, walk for the cure. But if you want to take your charitable giving to the next level, why not donate your time by offering meaningful support to one woman coping with cancer (or any other debilitating disease)? For many people, it’s easy to write a check. Giving of your time and energy is a much bigger sacrifice but it also carries much more meaning for the person at the receiving end.

Call your friend and offer to do something specific and useful for her. We can’t help everyone but each of us can help someone. And that person will appreciate it more than they could ever express.

Please tune in to my interview with Maureen on Tuesday, September 30 for more.



Writestream Tuesday: ‘A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer’

I am excited to announce that Maureen Miles Bucci, ovarian cancer survivor and author of A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer, will join me on Writestream Tuesday on September 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Maureen recently hired me to edit her manuscript, guide her through the independent publishing process, set up her social media platforms and train her on how to use them, and assist with special events.


Getting to know Maureen personally has been an incredible experience. She’s one of the bravest, strongest, and most determined women I know. Are you coping with ovarian cancer or know someone who is? Please tune in to Writestream Tuesday on September 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern. During the interview, Maureen and I welcome your calls at (347) 945-7246.

Author Maureen Miles Bucci.
Author Maureen Miles Bucci.

In the second hour, stay tuned for the Right Wing Riot with the Luminaries of Liberty, The Prince of Whitebread, Scary Smart, and Ms. Always Right!


Interested in purchasing A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer for someone currently undergoing treatment? It’s now available in paperback on Amazon.com and makes a wonderful, practical, and uplifting gift.




Writestream Tuesday with guest host Roy M. Griffis and the Right Wing Riot

RWR_trio_500x300While I am busy promoting/supporting Shlomo Attia at his book signing at Slice of Provence, Roy M. Griffis will be filling for me as host on Writestream Tuesday on September 23. The show will go live at 1 p.m. as always, with Roy devoting the first hour to the promotion of various authors and books. In the second hour, he’ll transform into The Prince of Whitebread and incite the Right Wing Riot with Scary Smart and Ms. Always Right. It’s public service satire we can believe in!

Many thanks to Griff for helping me out. :)


Social Media, Book Sales and Managing Expectations

Although I originally broadcast this episode back in 2011, the advice is still relevant. It’s a delicate balance between budget, time, and expectations but if you’re going to make an impression and sell books as an independent author, social media is a necessary tool (in addition to “traditional” events like local speaking engagements). As someone who manages social media for individuals and businesses, it’s always a challenge to help authors understand its value when all they can see is the bottom line. I get it. You have limited resources and need to see a return on your investment asap. I wish we lived in a world where there was a direct correlation between effort (e.g. an appearance on a Blog Talk Radio show) and results (immediately following your interview you sell 100 books). Sadly, we don’t.

Then again, with traditional print advertising, there’s never been a guarantee that an ad costing X amount of dollars would directly result in X amount of sales. Either way, it’s a time commitment for the social media consultant hired to manage your blog and/or platforms so you can concentrate on the other more important obligations in your life — such as family and day job.

Anyway, I happened across the archived episode back when I was in a different business partnership. I hope it’s helpful for anyone curious about using social media platforms for success as an independent author. And let me close by adding I am very grateful to be in business with Lisa Tarves now!

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