All Posts Tagged With: "kids"

Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult

Handle

Synopsis of CHANGE OF HEART from Jodi’s website:
When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe’s daughter, Willow, is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, they are devastated – she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. As the family struggles to make ends meet to cover Willow’s medical expenses, Charlotte thinks she has found an answer. If she files a wrongful birth lawsuit against her ob/gyn for not telling her in advance that her child would be born severely disabled, the monetary payouts might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow. But it means that Charlotte has to get up in a court of law and say in public that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she’d known about the disability in advance – words that her husband can’t abide, that Willow will hear, and that Charlotte cannot reconcile. And the ob/gyn she’s suing isn’t just her physician – it’s her best friend.

HANDLE WITH CARE explores the knotty tangle of medical ethics and personal morality. When faced with the reality of a fetus who will be disabled, at which point should an OB counsel termination? Should a parent have the right to make that choice? How disabled is TOO disabled? And as a parent, how far would you go to take care of someone you love? Would you alienate the rest of your family? Would you be willing to lie to your friends, to your spouse, to a court? And perhaps most difficult of all – would you admit to yourself that you might not actually be lying?

Part of a Conversation with Jodi Picoult from Jodi’s website:

The characters in your books are always layered and complex, as are the issues that plague them. How do you create a character like Charlotte that readers can love and hate at the same time?
Well, for me, it’s a lot harder to create a flat character who’s either all villain or all hero. Most of us are a combination, aren’t we? Charlotte’s the best kind of character – one who is doing something that looks unpalatable, but for all the right reasons. In this way she reminds me a bit of Nina Frost from PERFECT MATCH. You want to hate her – but can you really say that if it were you, you wouldn’t at least think about doing the same thing she does? Charlotte’s tragic flaw, in my opinion, is that she is so single-minded in her pursuit of making Willow’s life easier that she neglects the rest of her support system – her friends, and her family.

How did you choose the recipes that appear throughout the book? Do you believe in the significance they hold for Charlotte? Are you a baker yourself?Jodi
Before I got married, I was lucky enough to have a roommate who became one of my best friends. Now, Katie works at the Smithsonian organizing special events – but prior to that, she went to culinary school. When I knew that I wanted Charlotte to be a baker, I turned to her and asked for help. Charlotte, as a baker, would believe that the sum of the ingredients is so much more than its parts – this is true for her when it comes to Willow, too, who is so much more than a litany of moments where she broke a bone or had a surgery or was sidelined to recuperate. I do bake (too much, if you ask my husband, who is constantly cursing me for a pan of brownies cooling on the stove that he is compelled to eat) – and often I have been struck by the metaphorical language of baking. I wanted Charlotte’s cookbook to be a collection of these terms, with accompanying recipes. So one day I emailed Katie a list – words like weeping, hardball, blind baking – and asked her to create recipes that might involve each term. I have to admit, that rarely is my fact checking process so delicious…I got to bake, and road test, every recipe in the book.

During the course of the trial, Amelia develops an eating disorder and starts cutting herself. Did you see this as the natural progression for her character? Were these types of behavior in siblings of disabled children something you found to be common while conducting your research?
While doing research with a child psychiatrist about adolescent bulimics I learned that cutting is very common for those girls. Apparently, bulimia involves a lot of self-hatred…and cutting figures into that. Siblings of disabled children aren’t always like Amelia, thank goodness – I’d hope that their families do a better job of including them than the O’Keefes do. For Amelia, having a sibling with a disability is compounded by the fact that she feels she’s failed her sister (in Disneyworld, for example) and that there are very high stakes in that household for being a child who isn’t perfect (which would be Amelia’s interpretation of her mother’s lawsuit).

You’ve said before that you know how a book will end before you write the first word. Was this also true for Handle with Care? Do you ever change your mind about an ending as you get deeper into the story?
I do know the ending before I write a single word, and I did here too. I will tell you that I think Handle With Care is the saddest book I’ve written – and coming from me, that’s pretty dire! I never wavered on the ending, however, because there’s a bit of a morality lesson in there as well – it’s a real “Be careful what you wish for” moment.

  • For More Click HERE to visit Jodi’s website

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Dr. Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., author of Money, Sex, and Kids and The Commuter Marriage (audio interview)

Fair Warning:  We talk about SEX, Baby…
So, you may want to listen with your earbuds if younger ears are nearby. **Scroll down and click on gray arrow to listen.

TinaDr. Tina Tessina Ph.D., L.M.F.T, aka Dr. Romance, has been married 26 years and has over 30 years counseling experience. Join us as we have a casual honest conversation about money, sex, and kids–all possible stumbling blocks to a healthy happy marriage.

Money, Sex, and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage  explores how to develop a relationship infrastructure to help us view our marriage as a partnership and learn to talk to one another and bring up difficult subjects in a way that won’t end up in a fight. Dr. Tessina offers insight, real-life scenarios, and practical solutions to the everyday challenges of married life. She says, “With a little information and practice, you can become a successful, happy couple. You’ll learn to understand why you and your partner argue and the remaining skills you need to enhance your relationship and transform your struggles into working together to create a smoothly working partnership. You’ll be able to resolve your issues about money, sex, and kids, and move on to having a workable, satisfying relationship, with minimal or no arguing or fighting.”

Dr. Tessina’s Words of Wisdom:

  • “Part of marriage is teaching each other–you get to teach each other what works for you.”
  • “If you develop partnership, your marriage is gonna work. If you develop an antagonistic relationship, then your marriage will struggle…and eventually you’ll probably get tired of the struggle.”
  • “Think about your struggles as “problems to be solved” rather than who’s right and who’s wrong.”
  • “Sex is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be a drag.”

Dr. Romance Coming to Words To Mouth ~ Ask Your Questions NOW!

Just a real quick post to let you know I’ll be recording a show with Dr. Romance, Dr. Tina Tessina, Ph.D., L.M.F.T. on Monday, June 30th. 

Dr. Romance is a licensed psychotherapist with 30 years counseling experience, both individuals and couples. She’s published 13 books in 16 languages, including her latest releases, Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage and The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart.Tina

So…just post your questions below, send me an email at Carrie@WordsToMouth.com, or call (206) 309–7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on air and we’ll get Dr. Romance’s opinion.

Dr. Tina Tessina, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.

Dr. Tina Tessina, Ph.D., L.M.F.T. is a licensed psychotherapist in Southern California. “Dr. Romance,” as she’s known, has 30 years counseling experience, both individuals and couples, and has published 13 books in 16 languages, including her latest release, Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media Jan 2008) and the forthcoming The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart. (Adams Media, June  2008).
 
Carrie:  What inspired you to write Money, Sex, and Kids?
 
Tina:  In my work with couples, I see a lot of problems created by a habit of fighting, and I’ve developed a lot of strategies to change those old bad habits and give couples something new to do that works better.

Carrie:  What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from this book? 

Tina:  You can have a loving partnership, full of sweetness and effective planning and decision making.  It’s not hard to create.

Carrie:  Tell us about your writing process.

Tina:  I essentially re-create the counseling process I use with couples, including case histories, dialog and exercises just as I use them in successful counseling.

Carrie:  The process of writing a book is not easy, to say the least. What motivated you to keep going, especially in those times when it was far from convenient to write? 

TinaTina:  Well, this is my 12th book, so I’ve got the process down by now, and it’s help I really want to make available to couples.

Carrie:  Who are your favorite authors and who influenced your writing? Besides your own, of course, which authors and/or books do you recommend to readers? Why?

Tina:  I love Anne Lamott’s honesty and clarity.  I have been influenced by Carl Rogers, Robert Bly, Albert Ellis, Eric Berne, James Hillman, Thomas Szasz, Ken Wilbur, Marsha Sinetar, Virginia Satir and others.  I studied Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis Rational Emotive Therapy and many other modes.  The book which best captures my modality is Ken Wilbur’s Integral Therapy.  I also read a lot of research.

Carrie:  Can you offer a glimpse into your “real life” and share with us a bit of your personal life—what’s important to you (i.e., hobbies, passions, causes, family)?

Carolyn Ellis, author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting (audio author interview)


Spending time with Carolyn Ellis left me feeling as though I had been in the presence of a great teacher. Sound hokie? Maybe, but true, nonetheless. Carolyn took a far-from-pleasurable experience, the dreaded “D” word, and is turning it into a positive, not only for herself and her children, but virtually for people across the globe.

Through her organization, Thrive After Divorce, and her podcast, The Divorce Show 101, Carolyn Ellis reaches out to people across the country and abroad to help them navigate through the process of divorce. Even those who have not experienced divorce first-hand, either as an adult or as a child of a divorced family, can benefit from this interview. Carolyn shares her positive perspective on looking at life in such a way that encourages us all to SURRENDER, to stop resisting, and to learn from both the positive and negative experiences we encounter.

Join us in this thought-provoking conversation and feel free to share your impressions and comments. To enter a drawing to win a copy of Carolyn’s book, email Carrie@WordsToMouth with “7 Pitfalls” in the subject heading.

Enjoy my audio interview (podcast) with Carolyn Ellis, author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce .

Check out Carolyn’s website at www.ThriveAfterDivorce.com She also has her own podcast at www.Divorce101Show.com 

To listen to the interview, simply click on the arrow below, or you may download it where indicated to save it to your computer and listen later.

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  • About WordstoMouth

    Carrie created Words-to-Mouth—a blog & companion Internet talk show introducing new book releases and their authors to a community interested in excellent writing that may not  necessarily top the New York Times Bestseller List—Yet! To learn more about Carrie, click here