Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows

This Week’s Guest – Monday, April 16, 2018


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Editor, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


April 16, 2018


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest Below- Monday, April 16, 2018

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the host or Dr. Maxine Thompson


April 16, 2018


April 16, 2018


Dr. Queen Shamala Sykes
Debut Author of

BlackButterfly Soul Songs



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January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

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How to get through Grief while You’re Trying to Write and Run a Business

Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

In an ideal world, death would give you a notice. He would knock on your door and say, “Make sure you told your loved ones you love them—you never know if this will be your last time.” Or, “Finish this project, because once I come a knocking, particularly if it’s someone close to you, you won’t be able to concentrate.” Or if the Grim Reaper, God forbid, comes for you, if you’re a small business person, as I am, accept that your to-do list will never be completed.
But no, death tends to come at the most inopportune times. It comes when you least expect it.
And if you’re still left standing on this side of God’s green earth, after the visit, it knocks the wind out of you.

I’ve undergone 3 deaths in the past 2 months of 2 writer friends, and a cousin-in-law, who had become a good friend. I notice that I’m not working as hard and I am not as focused as I used to. My energy feels sapped, but I have to keep it moving. I have projects I have to finish. Yet, at the same time, I’m taking time to nurture myself and acknowledge my grief. These are skills I learned from going to a bereavement ceremony.

In 2008, when my sister died from lung cancer, I was at her bedside. I had a book due in, which I turned in a month later. However, the mental and physical toll was more severe than when my mother died unexpectedly in 1993; I almost lost it. After all, not only had we grown very close, she was the first sibling of six to die, and it made me really see my mortality. I think, up until then, I had an unrealistic view of how short this journey actually is.

I say all this to say that when you’re on your spiritual path, and reaching for a goal, things will happen to throw you off track. Sometimes, it throws you off permanently. I know some writer friends who have lost loved ones to death, and they’ve never gotten back their groove.

Since I started my business on line, (which includes an Internet radio show that I have been hosting to interview writers since 2002, a literary service, which I’ve been editing for since 1998, a literary agency, which I’ve been running since 2003, and my own list of books, which now number 14,) I’ve lost my father in 2002, had 3 grandchildren born in one year (2006), joyful occasions but not without its attendant distractions, was a sole caregiver for three years for my husband who had severe health challenges (2008 to 2011), within six months in 2008, I had major surgery to remove my thyroid, which I lost my voice and yet continued my radio show sounding like a frog, as mentioned before, lost my sister to lung cancer, lost a 19 year old nephew to murder, brother had cancer, husband diagnosed with Huntington’s, in 2009, I lost a step grandson, (age 28), lost two 21 year old relatives to tragedy two weeks apart in early 2012, currently have family members with cancer undergoing chemo, now that we’re the older generation, had a broken leg and water damage where I lived in a hotel while I was running behind on writing LA Blues 2, but turned it in over a month late in January 2012.

But you know what? This is life. Whoever said it was going to be easy? There’s always going to be one thing or another. As fragile human beings, we have to accept that we will have joy, which we should cherish, but we will also have pain.
These are lessons I’ve gleaned since I’ve been running my business.

1. Life is short, so do what you can do NOW. Don’t procrastinate. Get a trust or a will. Have your financial house in order because you never know.
2. Do 3-5 things towards your dream each day, even when you’re grieving, going through a divorce, dealing with illness, etc. This will leave a record for other human beings to get through it.
3. Go to bereavement counseling if you need to; I did after my sister’s death.
4. Journal, then write a book. I worked out my grief in my novel, LA Blues. The underlying theme is how we deal with death of a young loved one. The main character, Z, lost her 15 year old nephew, Trayvon, to murder, which mirrored how my nephew, Sanchez, was murdered in Detroit.
5. Hold on. Don’t give up. Push through the pain, if you’re grieving. Work can be a solace and a healer.
6. Be grateful that the person who lived was in your life, and find the purpose that they fulfilled. Just know the person’s life or death was not in vain. They were here for a reason. Isn’t it wonderful that they lived?
7. Be grateful to be alive; find joy in every day.
8. Take time to grieve. Everyone has their own time they need. If the grieving goes on too long, it can become depression. Seek professional help, if needed.

 How Death and Dying Can Inform our Writing
Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompson.com

I received an email from a fellow writer last week who said she was touched by my article. I wrote it over 4 years ago when my sister, who had been working with me as an assistant, had passed suddenly.

I re-read the article and realized it was still appropos.

How Death and Dying Can Inform Our Writing

Recently, I was at a luncheon given by the National Association of University Women to honor my friend and colleague, Dr. Rosie Milligan, (www.milliganbooks.com) and one of the invited participants asked, “Where’s your sister?” (Apparently, she was used to seeing my sister Nancy at all the writer’s events that I attend.)

The table of women fell into an uncomfortable silence. I paused before answering. “You know Nancy passed.”

Just the uneasiness of the people at the table let me know that, as a culture, we don’t deal well with death.

In this culture, we haven’t been prepared to talk about grief. After the funeral, as the bereaved, you’re just supposed to pretend the death didn’t happen. If you talk about it too much, people tell you, “You’ve got to move on. Let it go.” Or, “Maybe you need to see a psychotherapist.”

Since that time, I found an old article (ironically, it was in one of Nancy’s old books), by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, later turned bestselling novelist, Anna Quindlen, from the N.Y. Times Service (1994), entitled “The oft-invisible burden of survivors.”

The article dealt with the silence that people expect you to have after death. Quindlen says, “More than sex, more than faith, even more than its usher death, grief is unspoken, publicly ignored except for those moments at the funeral that are over too quickly, or the conversations among the cognoscenti, those of us who recognize in one another a kindred chasm deep in the center of who we are.”

The article raised the question, What is grief? What is loss? It looked at what Quindlen called, “Loss as muse. Loss as character. Loss as Life.”

For me, personally, how do I cope with this new loss, which is making me look gapingly in the face of my own mortality? Particularly, since this was the death of the first of six siblings, but one with whom I had a kinship/friendship. How will death inform my writing?

Well, I’m going to break the silence. The truth is, just as there is never a right or perfect time to write a book, to start a business, or to start a family, there is never a right time or perfect time to get over grief. It has it own season.

Just as the loss of my parents has changed my life, thrusting me into the older generation, the loss of my older sister will shape the rest of my life. In fact, today, I was told that now I’m the family matriarch. As the oldest sister, that was Nancy’s role, so even that’s a subtle shift I will have to adjust to.

The lesson I learned from my sister’s life and her dying was this. By all means, set goals for the future, but also make sure you take time to enjoy the gift of the present. Learn to live in the moment. Learn to just ‘be.” Nancy was a connoisseur of living in the moment.

After all, the future is just some more present moments that haven’t arrived. If you can’t be happy now, you won’t be happy then.

It reminds me of people who are only happy when things are going extremely well. “Oh, God is blessing me,” they’ll chirp.

But how about when things are not going well? This is the time to lean on God. This is the time to be a testament to God’s power.

So what do you do when life puts you on notice? This is what happened to my sister Nancy when she was given a diagnosis of Stage IV Lung Cancer with metastasis on 1-28-08.

Right away, she made her decision to go home. She opted not to have chemo or radiation, as her girlfriend had undergone it two years earlier, lost all quality of life, and died, anyhow, in four months after a Stage III Lung Cancer diagnosis. Nancy chose to do hospice care at home with an alternative therapy.

On 2-11-08, Nancy made her transition from this life. However, she made those 14 days the most joyous she’d ever had. Everyone wanted to be around her because, in spite of being in pain and facing imminent death, she was upbeat, laughing, and positive. I even warned her against talking on the phone and laughing so much.

“Save your oxygen,” I fussed, not wanting to lose her. “Don’t talk so much.” Nancy ignored me and rightly so. Looking back, I was being selfish and stingy with the time she had left. She did the right thing. She called up every one, told them she loved them, and laughed as long as she was able.

“‘I’ve never been so happy in my life’,” my daughter Tamaira related that she told her. “I’ve been surrounded by my loved ones and that’s all I want.’” Tamaira added, “So how can I feel sorry for myself after seeing how Nancy is taking her situation?”

“Stop looking sad,” Nancy admonished me that Friday before she passed on Monday morning. “I was given a death sentence on Tuesday (eleven days earlier), and I’ve had eleven beautiful days.”

Over that two week period between Nancy’s diagnosis and her death, we made sure she had a houseful of loved ones, plenty of flowers, (which she meticulously re-arranged,) her favorite foods such as mustard and turnip greens and butterfly shrimp, her favorite movie “Dream Girls” playing around the clock, maid service, and plenty of massages and facials.

Nancy chose quality of life in two weeks over months of being an invalid, a vegetable, or a pin cushion. In her heart, she knew she was too far gone for chemo or radiation to add any quality of life or length to her remaining days.

When I told Nancy, “I hate to see you suffer like this,” she looked at me as if I was crazy.

“I’m not suffering like Jamina (her friend who died two years ago.) I have quality of life. I’m at home.” (For the last three months of her life, Jamina had lived strapped to a hospital bed, humongous tubes down her throat, and on a respirator in a cold, sterile hospital.)

Meantime, Nancy had closure in that half of our large family was able to make it to her bedside, and her daughter, Denise, made a return trip from Peoria, Illinois to Hawthorne, California, this time accompanied by her husband Herman, and her children, (Nancy’s grandbabies), Kendall and Austin.

That final weekend, when we frantically ran around Nancy’s apartment, trying to keep oxygen machines going, trying to fix them when they broke down, and, in truth, trying to beat the inevitable, I remarked to my older brother, Michael, “This is as real as life gets.”

In retrospect, those last two weeks were filled with sacred moments that taught me so much about real life–how short, how tenuous, how wonderful and how sad it can be, all at the same time.

In Nancy’s typical free-spirited style, the day after her death, we gave her a surprisingly beautiful home-going celebration in my living room.

After we released white balloons in the sky to her memory, Dr. Rosie Milligan told her weeping daughter, Denise, “You should feel proud. Your mom showed you how to live and how to die.”

Dr. Maxine E. Thompson is the owner of Black Butterfly Press, Maxine Thompson’s Literary Services, Thompson Literary Agency and www.maxineshow.com. She hosts Internet radio shows on www.artisfirst.com She hosted on Voiceamerica.com from 3/02 to 12/06 and she also hosted on her own show, www.maxineshow.com. She is the author of nine titles, The Ebony Tree, No Pockets in a Shroud, A Place Called Home, The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sells, How to Publish, Market and Promote your Book Via Ebook Publishing, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Anthology, SECRET LOVERS, (with novella, Second Chances,) Anthology, All in the Family, with novella Summer of Salvation. SECRET LOVERS made the Black Expression’s Book Club Bestselling list on 7-8-06 (after a 6-6-06 release date.)A new anthology, All in the Family, (Summer of Salvation) was published in April 2007l Another new anthology, Never Knew Love Like This Before,(her novella, Katrina Blues,) was published in June 2007. Never Knew Love has been a bestseller on Black Expression’s Book Club and on Amazon.com/Kindle many times. In 2009, her nonfiction book, Heal Thy Soul: 365 Days of Healing for Women of Color and her novel, Hostage of Lies will be released.

Hostage of Lies was voted a Best Book of 2009 by EDC Creations. A new novel, LA Blues, was published 7-1-11 to rave reviews. You can sign up for her free newsletter at http://www.maxinethompson.com Get a free report on how to write your book at http://www.WriteABookNow.com/cmd.php?af=677480

  
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