Awards & Purchase

Awards for An Essential Song


An Essential Song won some awards that boosted my confidence:

2018 Living Now Bronze Award Winner for Grieving/Death & Dying

2019 Montaigne Medal Finalist

2019 First Horizon Award Finalist

2019 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist for Grief

2019 Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention Winner for Spiritual


This recognition gave me the courage to write FINDING THE SONG: Living After Attempting Suicide, which is the comprehensive, nonfiction version of An Essential Song.

Both books are available on Amazon
 "An Essential Song" and "Finding the Song" can be purchased on Amazon either for delivery or download for Kindle.



Writer's Digest Judge’s Commentary for FINDING THE SONG: Living After Attempting Suicide: The author is to be commended for her courage in not only learning to value her own life, but in deciding to write her story. There were many places in the book where I felt deeply for the author as she relived what were surely very difficult memories, all for the admirable purpose of helping others. Making sure the reader is immersed in the book and connected to the author is essential here, and author handles that well through a conversational tone and a light-hearted energy. We soon see that light-hearted energy as a surface layer on top of pain, and we’re already connected to the author, feeling empathy for her suffering, hoping for her. Well done. Nice structuring and timing as this essential connection is formed and refined. I loved the analogy of the astronaut on a severed lifeline, just floating around. That brings great emotion of the disconnect. Some excellent phrasing, such as "I could see life going on around me, but I couldn’t find a way to be included in it." Author has written some fabulous emotion, perhaps helping the reader tremendously by outing confusing feelings into images and experience description. There are some places where the author could have provided more detail, such as "I was harmed by a therapist." I’m very sure that some of these memories are extraordinarily difficult to revisit in writing this book, but a disconnect is made when the reader is left wondering what happened. A line of description would go far to keep the reader immersed in the story. The visual of medical staff playing tic tac toe on her skin is so moving, disturbing. We feel helpless and bound as well. This is a good example of how author made a difficult memory an experience for the reader, on any scale of experiencing it. Sensory detail like the pen on the skin say a lot, and deepen the narrative. Throughout, any scene that is shared via telling what happened can be made more realistic and more moving through creating a scene with dialogue, movement, sensory details, setting and inner dialogue. I see several scenes I would have loved for author to turn into sensory experiences, such as the eating disorder clinic where setting would have allowed author to use her great talents for description. The story’s structure is excellent, pace flows, voice remains consistently welcoming, and reader trusts and admires the author. If possible, let the reader feel more of what the author went through. Nice job. Again, very brave of the author to share her story. It’s not easy to access difficult memories, especially when you may still be healing from them. But author has done a terrific job of crafting her story.

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