Saturday, November 30, 2019

Count Down to Book Launch - Day 4 - Persistence or Insanity?

November 30, 2019

Good Morning!

Yesterday I was going to ride down to feed the goats, but I felt low in energy.  So I got as far as Floral City and decided to go feed the Zebra and Donkeys instead.

I have been wondering lately why I am doing this. I spend a lot of time trying to promote the book. And the needle isn't moving much at all. I feel like a dung beetle pushing a big ball of manure up a hill.

I have advertisements up on Amazon. Do you know, when you search for an item and it pops up at the top of your list that you can look around it to see the word "sponsored". If you click on that ad, the seller gets charged for that click. But if you scroll down the natural algorithms have it there again without the sponsored. Then the seller doesn't get charged for your ad.

The more I work with Amazon I am amazed at their technological savvy AND how they have an army of millions of "wanna be" folks out there advertising and paying not only a large portion of each sale, but also the advertising fees. They are smart, so smart.

Smarter than I am on this side of the great divide.

So anyway here are some promos I have paid for in order to increase sales.


I think that is it.

What I am seeing is that the advertisements are not increasing my ebook sales of THE JOURNEY CONTINUES, but of the paperback and ebook of the first book in the series, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.

Am I crazy to keep going in this direction. It reminds me of getting lost in the woods, there will be a sign or a recognizable something just over the next hill or around the next bend.

What an adventure!

Please share this blog if you know anyone who might be interested in the author's journey, the caregiver's journey, the widows journey.

See?  Aren't we supposed to have focus focus focus.  Yet here I am as always, dancing the salsa and the hokey-pokey at the same time.

Well, I gotta go.  I will be late for breakfast at the Hen House... and I don't want to miss that!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Count Down to Book Launch - Day 5 - Black Friday Sale

November 11, 2019


It is Black Friday!  And the Kindle version of The Journey Continues - Alzheimer's Trippin' with George is on sale until December 4, 2019 for only $2.99.  Who do you know that could use a little inspiration, lift, fun?

Thanksgiving was wonderful, thanks to the folks that joined me and sent greetings.

Someone somewhere created this cool image.  Who does it belong to?  I would like to give credit where credit is due... or get permission to post it.

Thanks to the artist and the owner.  It is pretty cool.  I got it from Jim Cook an Ohio Trike-rider.  He doesn't remember which trike site he found it.

Here is my Count-down video.  Only 5 more days to the launch!

It is another gorgeous day in our area of Florida. I am going to ride my trike down to feed the goats (about 16 miles down the trail). I have stored my vegetable and fruit scraps from a couple weeks to share with them.

Then, if I get back in time, some friends are meeting at the new Seven State Brewery on Tompkins. We'll see if I make it in time.

I will be back tomorrow. Will the number of pre-orders still be hovering at six? Tomorrow in the video I will go over what I have been doing to promote the book. So much! And seek your honest feed back, is it the cover? The title?  Should I change the title to "Alzheimer's is Shitty"?  Gosh, what a journey I am on.

Informative, inspirational, funny, sad - I highly recommend this book, "Alzheimer's Trippin' with George" by Susan Straley. Buy it - for yourself, for others, a perfect gift for any occasion, or no occasion at all!

Have a wonderful Friday and yes... I'LL BE BACK!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Count Down to Book Launch - Day 6

Happy Thanksgiving!

Preventing Alzheimer's

A fellow former caregiver told me this week that he thinks those who have cared for someone with dementia tend to worry more about getting the symptoms.

I don't know if that is true, but I was comforted by an article I read recently.

The Alzheimer's Association put out a magazine this fall that has a great article in about genetic testing. In the article it talked about the RESEARCH and the nature vs nurture, genes vs environment.

I will post what they said further down in this post... but right now I have to post....


Well, the kindle pre-orders are still sitting at six (6).  Sigh.  It is what it is! 
The thing is, it sure does keep me busy, promoting the books... video, Facebook, Twitter, events, emails.  

After the launch I may send out my resume to places in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota.  I want to find a seasonal job near a bike trail.  I think it will be good... but it is scarey for me.  To leave the known and step into the unknown.  Changes to self-image, identity... changes.  Just for the 2020 season and then I don't know.

My friend Debra bought a travel trailer and she is anxious to go on camping trips with me.  I have been looking at trailers and thinking and exploring.  But I can't both work for the season in one location and travel with her or meet up in Idaho for the Trike Rally.  My friends Regis and Cindy will be there and it would be cool to explore the area again with them.  A lot to think about... but not today.

Today is Thanksgiving and I have spent too much time on this blog already.  Got to start getting ready for guests and exercise.

Preventing Alzheimer's

Back to the article.

Early onset Alzheimers (younger than 65 years old) is VERY hereditary.  So if you get tested for the gene, might as well just  plan on getting it.

BUT old age Alzheimer's (after 65) may have a gene marker, but the market is just one factor of many that will influence whether you get the disease.

Other factors -- ways to boost your "environment" to prevent Alzheimer's.

Don't Smoke
Limit Alcohol consumption
Eat a healthy diet
Be physically active
Engage in cognitively stimulating activites

The biggest influencer is the older you get, the higher the risk.  So just plan on dieing before you get it, I guess...

Where do I get your books?

Oh!  I forgot to tell you where to find the information about ordering the book directly from me.  It is under contacts.


I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this independent review. Having just finished listening to it, I'm extremely grateful Alzheimer's Trippin' with George came my way. What a special book this is, succinctly and candidly capturing the highs and lows that a dementia diagnosis can bring. It's written with real passion (the author is not afraid to show things just as they are) and the searingly honest and detailed narrative pulls a real punch. For me, it is the detail which makes this book unique and creates a book all caregivers will identify with and learn from. There's a natural, relaxed writing style here and a great narration from Robin Siegerman. A unique account of a unique road-trip. Insightful, humorous and emotional.
Paddy Hartnett
Member of The Society for Editors and Proofreaders

I am grateful this Thanksgiving that YOU read to the end of this blog!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Count-down To Book Launch - Day 7

November 27, 2019

This is so exciting!

Only seven more days to the launch on ebook/kindle of THE JOURNEY CONTINUES!

I am doing a series of videos as I count down to launch.  Just me, talking about the books and the process and life this week.

Let me know what you would like to see in an up-coming countdown video.

Who do you know that would enjoy our journey, or benefit from the positive out-look and caregiving information within it?  Share this post and this link to the book.

Thanks for watching and joining me on this journey!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Coming Soon - Count Down to Launch and Holidays


It is Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Today I was interviewed on our local TV station.  They were nice enough to share the program with me.  I added the captions to clarify what we were talking about.  It is about nine minutes.

How do you like that cover picture?  Ha ha, what does it look like?  Leave a comment and let me know. 

The big thing was I offered the first 20 people who sign up to Join the fun here on this blog a FREE download of the Audio Book of Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.  If you don't get email alerts to let you know I have posted, then you need to click the "Join the Fun" tab above and enter you email.

So... first about the books and then about the rest of life...


Some of you have been asking when book two THE JOURNEY CONTINUES will be out on ebook.   You have been anxiously awaiting.

December 4th it launches!   And guess what!  You can pre-order the ebook now and it will download on Wednesday, December 4th!

The price bumps up when it launches.  So now is the time to get it.

Then on December 4th, if you are in the Inverness area, come help me celebrate in the morning at 10 a.m.  

I will do a reading from the book and then I will hang out as long as people want to.  I will sell and sign books.  I will have the first book there also and the LARGE PRINT!!!
A reader that is also a support group leader is highly recommending THE JOURNEY CONTINUES on Facebook and in her groups.  High praise!  She loves that I actually talk about how I dealt with bowel incontinence step by step.  She has not found that kind of instruction in any other Alzheimer's book, and she has read a lot of them.

I did a series of videos when I launched the first book, counting down to the launch date.  I will TRY to do something similar this time.  Short videos about what is happening as we approach the launch.

Currently there have been FIVE pre-orders.  I am a LONG way from the my goal of 100!  But then, it won't be the first or last time I have to work very hard to reach a goal... with no guarantees I will reach it.  We will see!  I will keep you posted in the count-down videos.

I got the first draft of the audio book for THE JOURNEY CONTINUES.  I am starting the process of listening and taking notes.  I have a hard time not comparing this voice actress with the one that did the first book.  I wonder if the readers are going to expect the same voice for both books.  The first voice actress, Robin Siegerman, was booked through the winter, so I hired a different one.

Candace Tuttle is good, her style is different, and her voice is pleasant.  This audio-book will be different but still have a good quality production and a clear voice. 

Here is her sample.


I love how the sales are going on Audible for ALZHEIMER'S TRIPPIN' WITH GEORGE.  The audio adds a whole new dimension to our story.  If you have already read the book and enjoyed it, I guarantee you will also enjoy the Audio version.

I imagine other bicyclists listening as they travel like we did from trail to trail.  Or other caregivers and those just diagnosed out on a trip to try to grab as much of life as they can while they can.  It makes me smile.

If you are thinking about starting an Audible account and are buying my audio book,  use this link I will get a bonus from Audible!

It is available on:


Wow, I just found the audio book on itunes to create the link above and I gotta tell you, it was thrilling to see my name up there.  Wow.

And then I saw that my interview on Fading Memories Podcast was up there too.  Pretty cool.  Itunes!


On Sunday, November 24th I will be at the Citrus Writers Book Fair.  If you are out that way, stop by and say "Hi".


Those of us living and riding the Withlacoochee State Trail have been watching the construction workers revamping two parks that sit side by side along the Withlacoochee in Inverness, Florida.  It was a major redesign.  They added pathways, a shelter for the farmers' market, places for bands to play, half walls where people can sit, showers for sweaty bikers and boaters, kayak launch and rental place, docks, bathrooms, an adult fitness area with chin-up bars and sit-up bench, an amazing fenced-in playground for kids.  It was expensive to do, but exciting to watch.

On Saturday after our Withlacoochee Bicycle Riders breakfast at the Hen House, many of us went down to watch the ribbon cutting and to get a tour of the parks.  You know why two parks are side by side?  One, Wallace Brooks Park, was for the African American Community.  Even in 1968 after all the civil rights marches and exposure of the Jim Crow south, they were created separate facilities based on the color of your skin.  That was when Wallace Brooks Park was created.

It was a cool 50-degree day after a long hot fall.  The breeze was brisk.  Many of our group and the crowd did the tour but didn't hang out.   A guy hired to play jazz was on the stage playing with no audience.

Some of us went over to Cattle Dog afterward to warm up over hot drinks.  It was fun to see Regis and Cindy back on the trail.



The holidays are coming.  I have about 18 people coming over for Thanksgiving!

We are all bicyclists and that is what binds us.  I invite folks who don't have any family in the area to celebrate with and who play well with others.  Many of them have come every year for several years.  They are my extended family here.  Many of them stepped in to help when I was care-giving and George was living with dementia symptoms.

I was going to make the turkey, but one of the attendees offered to do it.   Everyone else is bringing a dish to share too.  So I won't have a lot to do for this event.  Set-up and wait.  My friend Beth is coming over early to help greet people and get the food set up for the buffet so if my hip gives me trouble I can sit down a while.

I called my doctor and made an appointment again.  This will be the 6th time I have been to a doctor about this hip/back/leg thing.  The healthcare system is very frustrating.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Unfocused, Unqualified, Unsatified


It is often said that to achieve great things, you need to focus your energy on one thing.  You can't spread your energy over many many things or you won't excel at anything.

I guess I am programmed to be mediocre.  Ha ha.

I kind of timed things wrong.  You see the audio version of Alzheimer's Trippin' with George has just been launched.  With that launch is the task of writing and sending out press-releases, putting posts up on social media, and giving out lots of free copies to experts and audio-book fans in the hope that they will leave a review on Audible or Good Reads.

I just got my first review of Alzheimer's Trippin' with George on Audible!

This book was great! I was a caregiver for my mother who had Alzheimer’s for 10 years!
It was very hard when she did get angry and aggressive. This book gave a sense of calm and patience. I look forward to the second half when it gets much more difficult to see how it is handled. Being married for 45 years now one of the things we do anticipate is what we would do if one of us gets this dreadful disease!!!!!
Thank you for sharing! 

When you launch a new book on Audible they give you 25 free audio books to give away.

If you want to listen and give an honest review I would love to give you a code.  Just send an email to me, susan at susanstraley dot com.  I still try to give my email in code to avoid spammers.  Giving out the free codes and getting reviews is the best way to promote the audio-book.

If you want to join Audible, use this link because then I get credit.   I think a membership at Audible is $14 something a month.  I joined recently and the first book I listened to was Becoming by Michele Obama.  I like listening to books when I ride or walk alone.

Back to talking about the work involved after the launch of the first audio book.  The work would be just fine if I didn't also plan the release of the ebook and audio-book of The Journey Continues for early December.  That also requires press releases, social media posts, and events.

So I am feeling like a squirrel... first I head one way, pause and run the other way, and then end up dashing in front of someone almost getting squashed in the process.

My emotions fly from excited to nervous to confident and calm to unworthy and not confident at all.   I have taken up a bit of meditation.  Only 5 minute blocks of time throughout the day.  Sometimes it helps me stop the squirrel and find the stillness where I might encounter insight, direction, and peace. Boy is it great when that happens!

There is a bit of pressure to get a lot of press for The Journey Continues in November.  Because from now until December 4th the ebook is available for pre-order.

So what?

Soooo... if I get alot of pre-orders (say 100), they all download on the day the book releases.  Amazon will take notice, maybe give me best-seller status for my book categories, and help find buyers for the book.  That is why pre-orders are important.

Last I looked I have 15 pre-orders.  Only 85 more to go!

You can help!

Send your friends to here to pre-order their kindle today.  At the special discounted price of ONLY $2.99 during the pre-order period.

I have found a few folks through some facebook pages and even twitter that wanted a code.  I keep my fingers crossed that they will leave a review.


If you are in the Tampa or Inverness area, I hope you can join me for one of the launch celebrations.  This time I hope to spend a few minutes in the beginning reading from The Journey Continues before I sit down to sell and sign books.

Also the Citrus Writers Club is hosting a book sale at the Citrus Memorial Library in Citrus Springs, Florida on November 24th.

Speaking of signing, I was talking with my neighbor that is also a new author.  She just is in the process of producing her second book.   She shared with me that her emotions are high and low too.  We might be feeling low and then we hear from a reader that was touched by our writing and our emotions soar.  It's a crazy ride.

Friday I went to a fundraiser for Dementia Education at the Hen House Cafe in Inverness.  Two friends joined me, and I also saw and sat with two Dementia Divas and their princes.  I had donated ten books to the cause.  I guess they had decided to give them away as door prizes.  But one lady came up and asked if she could buy one for her friend.  Sure!  I donated the money to the cause.

Dementia Education helps educate businesses in the area.  And they have two booklets they have created.  One is about dealing with fire-arms, which is something I didn't have to worry about with George.  I know of several caregivers that do have to figure out how to deal with fire-arms in the house.

Anyway, the very next morning after the fundraiser, I was back at the Hen House for our bike-group's Saturday-morning breakfast.  A waitress brought a white-haired woman back who was carrying Alzheimer's Trippin' with George in her hand.  The waitress told the woman she read the book in two days, "It was very good."  The woman, (her name was Adele), wanted me to sign the book.  She was just thrilled to meet me.  I felt so high... "I am a celebrity!"  ha ha.

Short-lived, these highs drive me to keep going, keep working to spread the news about the books.   Sometimes I wonder why, then someone says that if I feel driven it is what I should be doing.

I am feeling driven by some unseen force.  Maybe it is angel George with his hand on my back that is nudging me forward.  George had high integrity and showed people respect.  To me he was better and kinder than some evangelicals I have met who don't have integrity or respect.  George also had Athiest beliefs... or let's just say he didn't believe in the stories that churches tell.  

I am open to knowing that I don't know what happens after our heart stops beating and our brain-waves stop waving.  I am one to think that we can pick and choose our beliefs.  Each of us can find the stories that make sense to us and help us through tough times.  For some that is the story of virgin births and salvation, for others it is the story of angels watching over us.  For some it is the idea that our thoughts create our reality or the law of attraction.   I say, whatever toots your horn,  it all might have some truth to it.  Just don't blast that horn in my ears.  If there is a all knowing being, I choose to believe it is full of love and forgiveness and kindness... flowers, butterflies and puffy white clouds.

See what I mean?  How did I get off on religion and philosophy?

Oh yes, I was talking about feeling driven... and unfocused.

A bit About Care-giving

AARP Bulletin has a great article on financial stress and care-giving.  Mostly it is talking about the financial burden on caregivers.   Extra medical care, neglect of their own medical care, less savings, more debt, less paid hours of work.

What they didn't mention is that spouses carry the burden of poor financial decisions by their partner.  Decisions made by the person with dementia that were made before they are diagnosed.  And those with dementia in these early stages are especially vulnerable to spammers and con-artists.

Other Stuff

Besides working on the books, I have been riding trike, attending parties.  I even entered a walk/run and got second place.  So I signed up for another one, the Jingle Bell run/walk.

I hosted a party here.  My hip didn't start hurting until people arrived and I had to stand and find counter space for stuff and utensils and prepare the last-minute stuff.

The very next night I had Warmshowers guest.  This was a couple from Turkey that were making their way up Florida to New Orleans.  I enjoyed having them here and I had some left-over chili and ice cream from my party so they were very happy.

Of course they both wanted to try out my lovely trike.  And I was happy to show them how much fun it is.

 Ok, I have yammered enough.  Now to dash off in a different direction.

Til' next time, enjoy your moments.

A Miracle and a Good Laugh

 Greetings from Inverness, Florida. I have sooo many stories to tell.  So much fun to share.  But I will save you from yawns by telling you ...