The Non Fiction Book

Publishing Advice from Jennifer Basye Sander

On Sept. 14, I received in the mail a publishing contract from Austin Macauley Publisher LTD in London. Since I felt uncomfortable signing the contract without someone with experience in Author-Publisher agreements reviewing it, I cried for help on my Facebook page. Jennifer Bayse Sander responded and agreed to meet with me and go over the contract.

31dtjorckl-_uy200_Jennifer Basye Sander is an author and book packager of more than 50 titles on topics as varied as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published (over 100,000 copies sold, now in a fourth revised edition) to The Martini Diet, and many more in between. A former editor for Random House, she runs weekend writing retreats in Lake Tahoe, Write By The Lake (www.writebythelake.com), and in Washington’s Skagit Valley, Write At The Farm (www.writeatthefarm.com) and teaches at the UC Davis Extension Arts and Humanities Creative Writing Progam.   http://www.literarymama.com/profiles/archives/2014/01/a-conversation-with-jennifer-basye-sander.html

On Friday, I met Jennifer at her lovely home in East Sacramento. After we discussed the contract, the conversation shifted to self-publishing vs traditional publishing.  Then she shared something that I had never thought about.  Jennifer said that an authors publishing goal(s) usually determines how one publishes. So, then she asked me, “What is your ultimate goal, Therese, in publishing your manuscript?”  I had to think about it for a moment and then I responded, “I want to make as much money as possible to help find a cure for Huntington’s disease.” (I’m donating the book proceeds to Huntington’s disease organizations around the world.)

As John and I sit beneath the big trees in Sequoia National Park, I will ponder the pro’s and con’s of working with a publisher and determine if my goals can be met.   But one thing I am sure of, though, is I’m very lucky to have choices.

Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to meet with me.  I appreciate all the information you shared.  13848594363_c1ac60fbba

Have a good day!  Therese

Photo credit: AJC1 via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: mafo souza via Foter.com / CC BY

On Writing

The 2017 SF Writers Conference

I’m excited to attend the 2017 San Francisco Writers Conference being held on February 16-19 at the Mark Hopkins Hotel because I will now focus on the historical fiction story I’m currently writing.  If you are a writer, I would highly suggest you attend a conference and here are some of the reasons why: 2017-banner-fw_-300x152

Top Ten Reasons for Writers to Attend the 2017 San Francisco Writers Conference

      • Launch your writing career–or take it to a more professional level.
      • Choose the sessions you want from a schedule of workshops and panels that fit your specific writing needs and goals.
      • Learn about a wide range of publishing options from leaders in self-publishing and traditional publishing.
      • Get your questions answered at the Ask-a-Pro session featuring New York and California editors…included in your registration fee.
      • Go to Speed Dating for Agents – Pitch your book ideas one-on-one in a room full of literary agents ($60 option for registered attendees only). Since the literary agents at SFWC are on the lookout for new clients, you may find the perfect agent for you and your book.
      • Receive free editorial feedback on your work from freelance book editors. ClickHERE for the FAQ sheet!
      • Build your personal writing community at SFWC’s onsite Cafe Ferlinghetti with writers from all over the United States…and other countries, too.
      • Talk with the exhibitors at the conference to find out what’s new for writers.
      • Browse our onsite bookstore (produced by BookShop West Portal) and get the books you purchase autographed by the presenters.
      • Jump into pitch contests, share your work at “Open Mic” readings, and socialize at our Gala Welcome party. This is just a sampling of SFWC’s over-the-top networking opportunities during the event.

The MAIN CONFERENCE registration fee includes four days of sessions including Ask-A-Pro & keynotes, two luncheons, a Welcome Gala on Friday evening, Presenter Book Signing event on Saturday, unlimited networking, and more! Speed Dating with Agents is optional ($60). Transportation, accommodations, and incidentals are not included.   https://sfwriters.org/

I’m thrilled not to have to participate in the Speed Dating For Agents because I have a publisher for my memoir, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s.

Have a great day!  Therese

Huntington's Disease

Joe Smith-LA Angels Pitcher

Joe Smith is an advocate for Huntington’s disease; his mother currently struggles with it.  I applaud him for giving his time to create awareness for HD and his participation in HDSA events. Thank you Joe and Allie!

imgres-1“We have an opportunity to change people’s lives for the better. Help us raise $2 million dollars for the Cleveland Clinic so they can investigate if Deep Brain Stimulation can  improve the lives of those with Huntington’s Disease,” Joe Smith.

See the following website for more information about the fundrasing campaign: http://ccf.convio.net/site/TR/DIY/CCFTeamRaiser?px=2821611&pg=personal&fr_id=1390#.V7olKJMrLYW  and                    http://helpcurehd.com/

Have a good day!  I am!  Therese 

 photo from website: http://www.athletesonmove.com/charities/
The Marin Siblings

Sibling Love

The following is the  first page of my memoir, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s


Some lives seem to move smoothly along a natural continuum, with one event or decision seeming to slide into the next. Such people seem to have faced no dramatic forks in the road, had few life-altering choices to make. Other lives, at least in hindsight, travel in a particular direction at one particular life-changing moment. That’s what happened to me, when, at age twenty-two, I suddenly had to confront the most complicated decision of my life.

I met John Marin in 1976, when we were attending junior college in Contra Costa County, across San Francisco Bay on the far unnamedside of the Berkeley hills. I was twenty and he was one year older, with light brown hair and kind hazel eyes, tall, handsome, and athletic; I fell for him immediately. We felt so close so quickly, it wasn’t long before we were a couple.

I quickly learned that being with John meant having his three older sisters in my life as well. The four had had a difficult upbringing and were exceptionally close. Their mother had been placed in a psychiatric hospital when John was just a baby. Their father, Big John Marin, would never tell them why their mother was gone and when she might come back. Of course, his life was difficult, too: In addition to having four children under age six and working full-time, he helped his elderly immigrant parents manage a five-acre ranch next to his home. Even so, he didn’t seem to take much interest in his children, never showing them affection or encouragement, only criticism and negativity. He treated his oldest daughter, Lora, as a housekeeper, and the others just stayed out of his way.

When I met them, Lora was twenty-eight, a blond, striking woman with a creamy complexion, twinkling eyes, and a welcoming smile. Her generosity and bubbly personality drew people to her; I always felt a light radiated from Lora. By day, she was a sc0009de2csecretary at an accounting firm in Sacramento; by night, a highly creative chef. I loved visiting her and her husband, Bob Harbin, a jokester and life-of-the-party kind of guy. He and Lora had become a couple when she was fourteen, and Bob had embraced John, then eight, like a big brother.

Marcia was twenty-six. She was shy but sophisticated, glowing with gentility—the first woman I knew who looked chic in jeans, maybe because she had them dry-cleaned. Her light brown curly hair and makeup were always impeccable. Neither sister had a college degree; after Marcia graduated from high school, she’d gone to work in San Francisco in the typing pool at Pacific Bell. But she was smart and ambitious, and ten years later, her title was Marketing Representative. She lived in an apartment in Walnut Creek, about fifteen miles east of Oakland. She’d been with Gary Hancock, a local realtor, for several years.  unnamed-2

By the time I began dating John, Cindy, two years older and his childhood buddy, was working as a dental assistant in Surrey, British Columbia, just above the Canadian border. She visited during the holidays, so I’d been with her a few times. John called her a “free spirit” and the positive force in their family. Like John, she had a wide smile and hazel eyes, and there was no denying their kinship.


*******************************************************************Cindy with cousin Dee Yount

I have yet to meet another family whose siblings share the same closeness as did the Marin siblings. There were times when I envied the relationship John enjoyed with his sisters. Over the years, I have worked on my relationship with my sisters, having learned from the love between Lora, Marcia, Cindy and John.

I’ll be posting a page from my book each month for your enjoyment and to give you a flavor of the story.

Have a good day!  Therese


The Awesome Marin Women & the NYC Marathon

About two years ago, when I was still writing my book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, I planned to coordinate my book launch with the NYC Marathon on November 6, 2016. The date seemed so far away at that time.  So, I asked Fran and Vanessa, since they run marathons, if they would participate in it and fundraise for a cure thinking I would have a completed book.  In reality, though, since I’ve never written a book or experienced the editing process, November 6 would sneak up on me fast.

What really through a wrench in my plan was that I switched from self-publishing to traditional publishing, which is a bird of a different color and the process is very slow. My goal now is publish in 2017.

So, I am proud of these two young women that I get to have in my life for agreeing to run the NYC Marathon without my book launch.  Thank you Fran and Vanessa Marin.  I love you!  And, thank you for all the support you’ve given me through the years!  307150_10150858394075195_572330230_nunnamed


Watching Their Dance- A Love Story

Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, is a unique love story in the sense that I married John despite the uncertainty and stress of John living at risk for Huntington’s disease. The reality is I couldn’t stop loving John because he MIGHT have a genetic disease.  When I was indecisive about marrying him, John said, “I could get killed walking across the street, Therese. You never know what’s going to happen in life.”  And, of course, he was right.

Acknowledging our life at risk, I harnessed the power of HD to love John deeply, every minute, every day of my life. Our 305690403_052ff73cfc_orelationship began purely platonic when we first and melted into a love that was strong, honest, supportive, and true.

Living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease can either tear a relationship apart or it can create a bond so strong nothing can destroy it.  For 38 years, John and I chose to cling to each other and draw strength from our love which lead to a successful marriage and ultimately to our survival.

176503334_4b3e2732a0_oThere are times when I think HD was a gift, which sounds crazy, but recognizing death as part of life has made me truly appreciate my life and value every moment. Though, somewhat paradoxical, by death hovering over my life, it made me more alive.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/opinion/sunday/to-be-happier-start-thinking-more-about-your-death.html

Have a good day!   Therese



Photo credit: Jetaimetous via Foter.com /Photo credit: FUNKYAH via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND


Right to Die

California Aid-In-Dying Law vs Hospice Care

The article below appeared in the Sacramento Bee on August 15, 2016, and it left me pondering for days over the new California aid-in-dying law that was approved last June.  http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article95676342.html

As an advocate for hospice care, and having had first hand experience of watching patients die without pain, comforted by their family, friends, caregivers, this law reaffirms my belief that we need more education and discussion regarding the benefits of hospice care. The logobasic concept of hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment; quality rather than quantity of life. The dying are comforted. Professional medical care is given, and sophisticated symptom relief provided. The patient and family are both included in the care plan and emotional, spiritual and practical support is given based on the patient’s wishes and family’s needs. http://www.nhpco.org/

My hope is this blog will reach people who are struggling with a family member or friend contemplating assisted suicide so they searchcan explore hospice care as an alternative. I just want people of know there is another option.

Have a good day!  Therese




Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day at Fleet Feet

Keith and Fran Marin met with Fleet Feet Sports Menlo Park (San Francisco area) on Monday to hammer out all the details for their event! Remember, our HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE AWARENESS DAY is this Saturday, September 3rd from 9am-12pm at Fleet Feet Menlo Park. Address: 859 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025.  http://www.fleetfeetmenlopark.com/     14184314_10209910766796083_1240548870371039387_n1018804-01

Join us in a 5K fun run + shop day (10% of purchase price will go to HDSA)! Snacks will be provided, can’t wait to see you there!

Have a good day!   Therese

Family, Love

The Lovely Bride To Be

2295086253_fa0b8b618e_zLast Saturday, Vanessa’s friend, Christina Machado, hosted a bridal shower in at her mother’s home, Linda, in Petaluma. My sister, Jennifer, myself, Amy, Vanessa’s friend, and Scott’s mother, Dawn attended. We ate macaroons, drank wine, played games and blissfully enjoyed the afternoon together. It was held 11349066413_99c32dee4a_zexactly three weeks from the wedding date when John will give his daughter away and we will gain a son-in-law. I’m blessed to have both; a daughter-in-law, Fran, and son-in-law. Scott was off enjoying his bachelor party so Dawn, Jennifer and I spent the weekend with Vanessa.

Since Scott doesn’t do Facebook, I thought I’d show pictures of Vanessa’s dress because I’m thrilled she chose to wear my IMG_4998-1IMG_5001mothers wedding dress, part of it anyway, that I wore in its entirety in 1980.  I loved Vanessa’s idea of creating a skirt from the dress and modernizing it with a lovely, beaded corset. (the bodice of the dress fell apart).

I also thought it would be fun to revisit the  meaning of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue“, so here’s how the website www.knotnot.com explained it.

This tradition comes from an Old English rhyme (“Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”), and the four objects that the bride adds to her wedding outfit or carries with her on the big day are just good luck charms. Don’t stress too much about them — they are the little tokens of love your mother, sister, other relatives, and attendants will give you at the eleventh hour (although you can give them to yourself, too). Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity; and a sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity, although this remains largely a British custom.

It’s been fun sharing Scott and Vanessa’s upcoming wedding with you……………….

Have a great day!  Therese

Photo credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Foter.com / CC BY
Photo credit: torbakhopper via Foter.com / CC BY-ND


TCS New York City Marathon Official Charity Partner Program


Meet the Huntington’s Disease Society of America 2016 Marathon Team

Vanessa and Fran are highlighted in red below.


Amanda NardoneBoston, MA
Allison ShepkaSagamore Hills, OH
Kristen WestdorpWauwatose, WI
Julia LehnbeurerNew York, NY
Tonia CarpenterKennett Square
Meghan SmallCranston, RI
Sarah MillerPhiladelphia, PA
Rebekah BradyJonestown, PA
Seth RotbergNatick, MA
David TovarOxnard, CA
Jang-Ho ChaArlington, MA
Melissa HalsteadHolliston, MA
Greg CassityRoswell, GA
Christopher PfaffBelleville, IL
Jasmin SullivanSt. Louis, MO
Rhonda HennahaneLeawood, KS
Jessica ParkerFort Smith, AR

HDSA’s Marathon Team’s Fundraising Progress as of 8/25/16-$64,158.00


Date: November 6, 2016 and the whole family is attending to cheer them on!

 Have a good day and thanks for visiting my website! Therese