We are pleased to have author Linda Brendle here today to share a little about herself and her upcoming memoir,A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love and Chaos
Tell us a little about yourself.
I began life in a tiny west-Texas town that was so small the only clinic was on the second floor above a hardware store. I retired three years ago to another tiny town in east Texas. In between I lived in and around Dallas and Tampa. I have one son and two beautiful grandchildren, and I have been married to David, the love of my life, for 14 years. I’m a life-begins-at-50 kind of gal. I got my BAS at 51, I learned to ride a motorcycle at 55, and I finished my first book after I started collecting Social Security. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of decades bring.
Tell us why we’ll love your book.
You’ll laugh when my 6’2” husband folds himself into the small storage compartment behind the back seat of a small SUV, and we forget to let him out. Your heart will stop along with mine when I come around a curve on my motorcycle and see a dump truck heading straight for me. You’ll shake your head in disbelief at our “stupid people trick” as the RV rolls down the highway. You’ll cry as I watch my parents slip further away from me into their respective dementias. Most of all, you’ll care about the people in my book because they’re just like people you know.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I’ll pass on the writing advice that has helped me the most. It came from Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.” Basically she says to put your rear end in your chair and write. She advises to let yourself write a terrible first draft. The second draft will be better, and eventually you will have created something wonderful that didn’t exist until you wrote it. Before I read her book, it took me days to write a single blog post. I read and re-read what I had written after almost every sentence, micro-editing and second guessing myself. Now I write until I’ve finished a particular article or chapter, and then I go back and edit. It’s amazing how well my ideas come together if I get my OCD side out of the way and just write.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
David and I live on 2+ acres in the country, and I have discovered my country roots. I love gardening even though I lose most of my tomatoes to the squirrels and a good bit of my garlic to our resident gopher. I don’t have a lot of excess to can, but I’ve learned to pickle okra and to make several kinds of tomato relish. I’m active in the women’s group at my church, and I teach AWANA, a Bible-based program for children. I still love to travel, and if the price of fuel ever goes back down to an affordable level, David and I will be back on the road again.
Provide us with a 2-sentence description of your book.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of a 7-week, 16-state RV trip – the story of the drama and hilarity that happen when two new RV owners and two people with dementia spend 53 days inside a 400-square-foot box on wheels. It’s a story meant to make you laugh at the ridiculous things in life, to encourage you through the hard parts, and to inspire you to keep on rolling, even when the road is hard.