Saturday, May 31, 2008

Legally Me

So this is what being 21 is like....

I hosted the Friday night meal here in my tiny matchbox apartment for my family -15 people in total- l'kavod the book and my birthday. It was lots of fun and all order was kept at the expense of my sanity. Just joking mother- please come again! The ice cream cake was heavenly, (thanks to Sprinkles of Boro Park) and you have half a tray of leftovers in my freezer....

The next part of becoming 21 was getting stuck in that splendid display of thunder and lightening we had this morning- oh yes, and also the rain. My little JB refused to take the stroller today so we were both caught in the rain and soaked, him in his new outfit and shoes and me in my freshly washed sheitel that was supposed to make me look good for Wednesdays' signing. But JB had so much fun splashing in the puddles that I stripped him down to his striped undershirt and let him live and enjoy his toddler hood...until we got back home...

Then came the presents. The presents that remind me that I am no longer a teenager, but a (young) woman about to take on life... and allowed to legally drink...okay, well Vitamin Water is the most I drink, but its nice to know I can if I wanted to.

Soon comes my new diver's license in the mail- to replace the one I've been hiding away in my wallet for three years because it has "UNDER 21" printed right near that ugly picture of me.

Also comes the excitement of having published my own book, and the nervousness about putting it out there and becoming a voice representing people in my situation. I never meant to be anything but an author, but this year, being 21, might teach me a few things I might not yet know about myself.

Along with my new age comes the honor and challenge of standing behind my upcoming book- the honor to acknowledge the praise and the challenge of facing opposition from those who think I am too young and naive and too nervy to have a real opinion on life.

Turning 21 is a big deal for me, it means that I have 21 years of experience behind me, with 21 years worth of friends and family and blog readers along with me, and the world at large recognizing me as an adult. Now the last part of being 21 is to recognize myself that way and know that I am ready for whatever my 22nd year will bring me.

Can I be 21 and still be a little stinker?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Starting Something Big

Okay cyber-readers, I need your help.

With all the publicity that I'm trying to do for my book, I got a very unexpected call from a good friend of my father's.

This is man who lost a son to cancer years ago, and feels strongly about my book getting out there to help other patients laugh and see the brighter side of things.

He offered to buy $500 worth of books to be given to patients, and then he said that if ArtScroll would offer him a discount he'd give another hundred. ArtScroll said they'd definitely do a discount for people wanting to donate books.

Another pal of my fathers loved the idea and also pledged $100.

Now we're all thinking about spreading the word and trying to raise money to get my book out to hospitals and to Jewish patients and their families free of charge. It does mean money though.

We are trying to raise (for starters) like $1200 which will give us about 80 books to work with. 80 books doesnt sound like an awful lot, but having been on the other side, I will tell you that if someone had given me a humorous book about my situation when I was sick, it would have meant the world.

We are hoping my book will mean the world to 80 patients out there- maybe more.

Will anyone care to join the quest?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Proper Invite...

The Face Behind the Blog

Okay readers! You've been following me for a while now and this week you got to finally hear my voice. One reader- "Blueberry" commented that my voice sounds the same as my writing- like a 12 year old. I told her that my face looks the same too.

Now my face is going public with a book signing at Eichler's in Boro Park next week Wedesday.

I'll be on the Nachum Segal show in the morning and then from 6:30 to 8:00 pm I will be signing copies of Miracle Ride to buyers in Eichler's.

ArtScroll has done up a stunning email invite to the book signing but I can't figure out how to get it onto the blog- oh well. I still have lots to learn.:-)

I believe they are offering a %20 off the list price of my book- so there you have another reason to come and meet me. :-)

I'm really really nervous but soooo excited! I hope to see some of you there! I'll bring JB too...if he behaves...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Archive of Gavriel Sanders Show

For those of you who missed my late night interview with Gavriel Sanders, here is where you can listen to it:

For streaming online: Click HERE

For downloading to MP3 or computer: Click HERE

Tell me what you think!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Check it Out!

Click HERE to go to ArtScroll's website where you can already preorder a copy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New book news!

Hey everyone! Newest update on my book...

I was interviewed by Gavriel Sanders for his radio show. The show airs Sunday nights at midnight on WSNR AM 620 NYC. There will most likely be archives of the interview for those of you who don't want to stay up that late :-)

Got to for the archives if you miss it!

I will have another interview IY"H with Nachum Segal, Wedesday, June 4, at 8:30 am. The show plays on 91.1 FM WFMU. I can imagine there will be an archive of the interview too on his site:

Let me know if you hear me on the radio! I'll be going under the name Tzipi Caton...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


From having nothing to say a week ago, I'm revved up to write right now!

The book is REAL. It's ALIVE! And it's coming your way! The people at ArtScroll called me yesterday morning to finalize the cover and to tell me that the book will be on shelves the first week in June. I am still catching my breath. Those guys work fast! That's the link to ArtScroll's page on my book and you can order the book there and actually preorder it now.

I got a call this morning about talking on the radio together with my doctor to promote this book and I'm really thrilled! I'm already picking out my wardrobe for when I go on the Oprah Winfrey show. ;-)

The people over at ArtScroll are making it sound like this book is going to be huge and I'm still kind of in shock. I never expected something I wrote to keep me sane at age 16 to become a national bestseller. This is too good to be true!

There will IY"H be a link on this page where you can buy the book directly from the blog, but for now ArtSCroll's website is the only place you can preorder it. will also carry the book, and it has a glossary in the back that explains all the Jewish terms so that the book can go to a much larger reader base.

The description of the book on the website I posted is so beautiful, I'm really excited to hold a copy of my own and see it for real.

My students are all planning to buy a copy and have me autograph it for graduation. :-) One of my students today pointed out how so much good was coming out of a very bad illness and I felt like hugging her because that's kind of the whole point of my book- to show how much good can come out of anything Hashem gives us.

I plan on keeping the site open and updating you with the radio shows and the fame and glory and stuffs and of course with all the other cancer rants. Now that I'm going public there are sure to be many more stories to share.

My little JB is going to be famous but he's too little to care. Right now he got himself stuck into my cleaning bucket, so I need to take a break from fame and get him out.

Updates to follow more often now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Okay! I'm here!

The book is really moving! They called me today from ArtScroll to finalize some minor little details that had to get done, and the actual printing is within the next week or two. That means that by this summer you can see the book on shelves! I'm so excited!

The title has been changed to "Miracle Ride" even though I liked "Riding Backwards" better. There will be a subtitle on the cover to give a little insight to the book and so far we came up with "Fighting a Tumor with a Dose of Humor". I thought that was a good subtitle, but ArtScroll still needs to approve.

The cover art isn't done yet, it's in the process of being created, but printing can happen before the cover is done so I dont care much. I need ideas for a good cover, but I trust ArtScroll has ideas of their own. After all, they're in the business a lot longer than I am!

There are two forewords and two afterwords in the book. My doctor and my mother have each written a foreword, and my friend (another survivor) and myself have written the afterwords. Well my aftweword is more like a thank you page, but its worth reading cause it's funny. I am not about to drop my unique style even for a boring acknowlegements page.

My students are so excited with this book- they are learning so much from the process of what it takes to write and edit and print. I should publish a book every year! My classes all deserve this experience.

My doctor actually called to talk to me about the book and he's really excited about it too. He felt that this is something that no one has covered yet in the market and he feels that this might be good for all patients to read- not just the Jewish ones.

He laughed about all thos incidents that he remembered me getting into, and said that there were a lot of times where I cried or was serious that he never would have guessed felt. He thought it was something that could show people out there that its possible to see things in a good way but its okay to cry too. I'm so happy that he thinks highly of the book.

Other than that he asked me if I would mind talking to a new patient of his who also has Hodgkin's. She's a little down about the whole thing and he thought it would be good for her to see me and hear my point of view. I said yes right away, but I'm kind of shy and nervous.

Anything else about the book? Oh, yeah. I went and gave a class to a seventh grade last week about what it's like to be an author. The teacher is my niece and she took advantage of me by asking me to fill up her lesson. I had a great time pretending to be this amazing author, and then it hit me, like, "Hey! I AM an author!" Feels good!

Pretty much that's what I have to write for now and I'll keep posting as my book gets closer to being published...

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm Still Breathing....

New post to be up shortly.. lots of stressers now, but life to return to normal within a few days. Sorry "amazing", be right with ya!