Tag Archive: author

… is exactly what I had while reading KILLING US SOFTLY, by Red Dwyer. This is a powerful book with a powerful message. I encourage you to read it. However, you should know it IS intense…
and compelling…

Killing Us Softly
By Red Dwyer
See this book and many others at Redmund Pro

I resisted reading this book at first. Why? For the same reasons we prefer not to discuss our wills, our pre and post death wishes. It sounds depressing. I’ve never had the experience, so I don’t need guidance. These are all the reasons a child will give, and it was the child in me speaking.
I don’t foresee this being something for which I need prepare. And I felt I would be making myself depressed and sad by reading about this woman’s experience as the spouse of a cancer victim.
But from the preface forward, I have felt nothing but enlightened and supported. It has become less important whether or not I’ll “need” this to prepare for similar such life events of my own.
I honestly don’t think I have read a more intelligent and straightforward book of any sort, in any genre. There is a peer (educated) to peer (educatable) dialogue going on between the author and the reader. And somehow, she had the strength and foresight to put into words every aspect of such a life changer as a spouse dying from cancer. I can’t imagine I would ever be able to think of all the things she has, that indeed need attention and decisions. Until I was already in the eye of the storm such an event would bring to my life and those who are a part of my life. Such a time is clearly not the best time to be rational and think critically. Even if I have read the book, I know there will be things defined or spoken of here that may not even cross my mind. So I will keep it for reference. Should the need arise.
KUSsCoverBut that mattered not, as I measured my progress through this calm, collected journey, related with the best perspectives one could hope for. There are many reasons for that. First, the author is as articulate and thorough as anyone I’ve known in discussing the ins and outs of this particular subject. She has done her research. But it’s more than that. She has the gene that calls her to share her experiences, not for the purpose of sympathy, but to teach, to guide. I have no doubt the author is an old soul, one who has witnessed far more than this woman could ever have in her lifetime now. And with that perspective and objectivity, she is a most capable educator, counselor – labels that go far beyond the role this book can have in the specific situation she writes of in “Killing Us Softly”.
Succinct and complete. There is no fluff. This is the real meat of the subject and she is telling it straight. When the author reminds us to question the medical professionals, especially when their attitude is condescending, or tired of your questions, it makes my shoulders a little straighter, I sit higher and remember how important it is to always come from my center. That place of strength that I have nurtured and fed. That I trust will keep me at my best in times of great stress or pain.
As she explains at the start, this IS so comprehensive because she had the presence of mind to document all of the issues she discusses as they happened or came to mind. I think there are very few of us with that kind of dedication, passion and purpose.
This book is intense and powerful. It is not for everyone. If you are a casual reader looking for a light read, read something else. However, if you are looking for a straight up experience being the surviving spouse of a cancer victim, I highly recommend this book. Or, perhaps if you are a student of human nature, the resilience, the struggles, everyday stuff, compounded by a very emotional situation, this book is for you. “Killing Us Softly” lifted my soul with the realization that we are stronger than we realize, but we must be smart about how we cope. This book can certainly be most helpful in that undertaking.
This book is probably best read in small bits, perhaps a chapter or two at a time. It is organized so well, that by perusing the table of contents, one can find just the situation that the reader might be struggling with now. Perhaps it is learning how to handle the medical professionals. They are knowledgeable, but they are not the ones who must make the decisions. Or perhaps it is the well-meaning relatives and friends, who also might think they know what’s best for you and your mate, child, cancer victim. When undergoing the great trauma, the emotional roller coaster of end stage, we may not be best able to make objective decisions that are best for all. So preparation is key. And knowing what to expect helps keep some of the surprise, and its relative frustration, elements to a minimum.
Finally, the author brings us back with her to her current life, a couple years removed from the raw nature of her emotions and fears and dreams she guides us through within the book. So we understand there is life after cancer. And with guidance and help, any one of us can get through to the other side, as did she.

EDIT 17Aug2013: I recently experienced a close relative involved in home hospice and realized just how much this book had prepared me for the end of life events. What an astounding book this is!

#deeplypersonal #author #intensely emotional #5StarReview

M3: Writer’s Spotlight: RE-Red
RedmundPro: Killing Us Softly
M3: Books I love

R is for… Red
D is for… Dwyer

Reviewed by Janet Russell
Kindle format and Paperback format available on many online sellers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Half.com, Kobo, and many others online booksellers.

Reading this book felt Just like having a conversation with a friend after work… yes, a bit one sided, but Robert’s style is so friendly that with each story or anecdote, he draws me in, so I could become part of the story.



I enjoyed the story separations, which made it easy to stop and start again, reading in little spurts which is often my style.

I love the honest feelings he presented about the not so politically correct guests he had to work with. The stories were told in an easy friendly manner, engaging me in the very experiences he was undergoing!

There were lots of cliches in the book, but that’s the whole point of it. Robert wanted to show the reader that these cliche people really do exist!

And finally, Robert ended with a little of his homespun wisdom on various subjects from comic books, parenting, grocery shopping while hungry, Reality TV, and today’s hero’s for our kids to politics and human nature.

You gotta read this book! It’s warm and friendly, and funny and every point he makes will make you go “Yeah, I’ve always thought that too!”  It’s a feel good book in which we can all commiserate about the funny nature of our fellow human beings.

Thanks, Robert (he goes by The Hook on his blog You’ve Been Hooked) for a very entertaining time!

Oh, and for a Canadian, he’s all right in my eyes!


You’ve Been Hooked
The Book of Terrible

Nora Ephron has died. She passed on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 of complications from myelodysplasia, a blood disorder. Nora was 71.
In the days when magazines like Newsweek “didn’t hire women as writers”, a Newsweek interviewer told her, Nora got a job as a mail clerk. She stuck that out for about a year. In 1962, the International Typographical Union walked out on the Daily News, the NewYork Times, the New York Post and six other major newspapers. During the strike, Nora was hired to write a parody of a popular gossip column. The New York Post liked her so much, they offered her a trial position as a “cub” reporter. Her career took off from there, the Post loved her and she worked happily for them for five years. She became involved with Arianna Huffington’s new brainchild The Huffington Press. She was an intimate part of the birth of that publication, from its conception to the multimedia giant it is today.
Nora became extremely popular as an essayist, novelist, journalist, screenwriter, filmmaker, producer, director, author and blogger. At first she was hesitant to try her hand at “blogging”, not even a recognized activity, at the time, much less a professional one. Of course, she excelled at it. In fact, she preached it, as a viable means of communication in which discussion could be created among members of a “community” who might never have come together.
Throughout her years she wrote such hits as “Heartburn,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Silkwood” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” Her personal life was lived among the literati of the times, hanging with such folks as Betty Friedan, Julia Child, Meryl Streep. She feuded with Gloria Steinem.
Nora was married several times. One of her mates was Carl Bernstein, of the famous duo Woodward and Bernstein. In fact, when the true identity of “Deep Throat” was revealed to be navy veteran and FBI official, Mark Felt, Nora wrote that she had known it all along. She listed all the facts that had led her to her conclusion that it was Mark Felt. But even with her clout, no one really believed her. It wasn’t until Mark Felt actually outed himself that the world at large actually accepted the truth.
Nora has quite a legacy to leave, not the least of which is her strong pioneering spirit in taking an absolutely male dominated environment by storm. In addition to numerous essays, articles, plays and columns, Nora was one of America’s best known humorists. Some of her books, include “I Remember Nothing, And Other Reflections” and “I Feel Bad about My Neck: and Other thoughts on Being a Woman.”
Nora will long be remembered as an outstanding artist, a devoted wife and mother, a dear friend to many, and a pioneer and role model for women.
In her 2010 memoirs, “I Remember Nothing…,” Nora spoke of her lifetime love affair with journalism:

“For many years I was in love with journalism,” she wrote. “I loved the pack. I loved smoking and drinking Scotch and playing dollar poker. I didn’t know much about anything, and I was in a profession where you didn’t have to. I loved the deadlines. I loved the speed. I loved that you wrapped the fish.”

While filming “When Harry Met Sally”, the director (Rob Reiner) asked Nora to reveal something about women. “Women fake orgasms.” she told him. He didn’t believe her and Nora replied “Not always, but sometimes.” Since he still didn’t believe her (“Not with me,” he’d said), they then stormed into “the bullpen at Castle Rock Pictures, where all the women worked.” He asked the whole group ‘Is it true that women fake orgasms?’ He was astounded when all these women confirmed it was true. Hence the unforgettable scene in the movie.

RIP Nora Ephron: May 19, 1941-June 26, 2012. I am certainly proud and fortunate to have known about you!!!

Sources and/or Related:

Huff Post, Arianna Huffington:  “Heartbroken in Manhattan…”

Huff Post, Nora Ephron: “Deep Throat and Me…”

HuffPost Media: “Nora Ephron Dead…

HuffPost Celebrity: “Nora Ephron, Dead at 71…”

Wikipedia:  “Nora Ephron

hUFFpOST: “10 Things We should Thank Nora Ephron For

The Washington Press: “Nora Ephron… dies at 71

filed under:
N is for… (Nora)
E is for… (Ephron)



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