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November is #NationalMemoirWritingMonth

Each time I sit down to write a memoir essay or work on my book I have to fight off the Critic Dragon screaming, “Who cares about your piddly life?” If you are a memoir writer, or considering writing a memoir, you may have the same Critic Dragon breathing fire at your keyboard.

Guess what? Even though your life experience may seem unique, many others are going through similar experiences and challenges. Your perspective just may help them get through it.

“But there are already so many books about (abuse, divorce, trauma, recovery—whatever).”

Remember this: No one has written about the experience the way you will.  James Jones, Norman Mailer, Tim O’Brien—and scores of others have written about war, and no two books are alike.… Read more

THE SPITAK QUAKE: Dr. Felix recalls delivering replacement children

The Spitak Quake: Dr. Felix recalls the dark days of delivering
By Gayane Mkrtchyan
ArmeniaNow reporter                                                                                           
Those women, still in reproductive age, who had no more maternity plans, bore children again to replace the ones they had lost. They were not young, still they 


What a Kick

Hard to believe, but I have a student ID again.  It didn’t really hit me until I held my new shiny card in my hand and looked at that awful picture — “I’m a student again.”  I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the thought.  The 20-somethings waiting in line all turned to look at the crazy lady old enough to be their mother.

The snow got in my way of going to the official orientation and getting my ID, so yesterday I drafted my son Justin to come with me on the four hour excursion.  We managed to travel on the only day I’ve seen the sun shine around here for weeks, so the drive and the ferry ride were actually very pleasant and even fun.… Read more

Travolta Baby Watch–'Healing' Baby

I’ve joined the masses on watch for John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s special delivery, due any day now.  Lately I’ve seen that the expected baby is being referred to as a ‘healing’ baby. I like that title so much better than ‘replacement child.’ Is it too late to change the title of my book? Is it too late to just change my own perspective. How much more empowering to be the ‘healing child!’  Maybe a sequel?

Pretending I'm Dead

The other day I was in my local natural health food/vitamin shop—which I love–and I was explaining to my now friend who owns the shop that I was worried to death about my only son travelling across America and camping out in parts unknown.  I told her I was afraid he would take up with strangers, meet with tornadoes and hurricanes, and possibly fall down a volcanoe.  She said she had the same feelings when her two daughters would go off on adventures and she would have no control over their safety.

“I just pretend I’m dead,” she told me.  “If I were dead, they would do what they are going to do and I would have no power anyway–so I just pretend I’m dead.”

It made sense. … Read more

Hidden Reasons for Exploding #Relationships

Have you ever wondered why everything you do seems to disappoint someone? Or why you keep choosing the same kind of wrong person to be in a relationship with? How about why you are sometimes triggered into an emotional reaction that seems over the top?

At one time or another in my life, I answered yes to all of the above.  After writing Replacement Child, which entailed no small amount of soul searching and honest self-evaluation, I would suggest that you might want to look farther into your past–and your family history–than most people ever do.  And, I’m talking about even with most professional counselors. … Read more


Replacement Child is cover story

Psychological Look at Replacement Children

Another interesting look at replacement children at

What is a Replacement Child?

When I start to talk about my book, Replacement Child, the first question I am usually asked is “what is a replacement child?” I then explain that it is not a term I invented, but that I found the term in my research around grieving and loss, especially that of a child. The following link gives a very clear definition, and offers clinical background to the reasons and cautions behind the syndrome:

Talking to other replacement children

Recently I’ve found other people that identify with being a replacement child of some sort. Talking to them, it is uncanny the similarities I am finding in my own feelings and attitudes, even when their circumstances are vastly different than my own. It’s apparent, for instance, that parents of replacement children–those born to replace a sibling who has died–don’t talk about the child who died. Some don’t even acknowledge that the child existed until the replacement child may discover some old photos or documents that clue them in.

I remember when I first started asking about my sister Donna and the plane crash that killed her.… Read more