Monday, December 2, 2019

2-Days to Book Launch - The Journey Continues - Alzheimers

December 2, 2019


Wow, can you believe it! Only two days to launch!

So the call... an older man called me last night to wish me Happy Thanksgiving. It was obvious he was nervous and ... interested in not being alone... shall I say. He has never called me before and I have noticed him looking at me with interest.

Gosh, here is the dilemma. I am documenting my on-going journey and now, as a widow my life continues. It feels really uncomfortable to talk about being single and the possibility of future relationships with men in this space. Certainly, I don't want to embarrass anyone or hurt anyone.  So putting up my thoughts and interactions here just seems not right. 

No, I am not interested in sex or even romance. But friendship, companionship, that would be something of interest to me.

But you know what I found going through my head as I talked?

OH! I don't want to admit this because it so fits into the reputation of widows and older single women... or even women in general. I think it is an evolutionary thing... I mean why else would I, a nice woman (really I am) think such a thing. It must be something programmed in my brain.

So here it is: I started wondering how well-off he is. YES! I did! I wanted to know financially if it was a relationship worth pursuing.

Sigh. My bad.


I have been invited to have a table as a resource partner at:

6th Annual Coping with Dementia 
Conference for Caregivers and Families 

January 22, 2020, 9:30-3:30 pm
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
6 Roosevelt Blvd, Beverly Hills.

If you or someone you know is giving care, be sure to let them know about this event.  I went to these while caring for George and learned so much as well as connected with other caregivers.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday on our ride on the Van Fleet Trail.  This trail goes through the Green Swamp and is very rural.  I love it!

Several times we encountered snakes like the one below.  I saw that it had a diamond shaped head so I kept a distance.  I learned later, when posting the picture on Facebook that is a pygmy rattle snake.  Very poisonous.

The audio version of the first book in the Trippin' Series is doing very well.  I was hoping it would, Robin Siegerman did a wonderful job narrating it.  I don't want the sales to disappoint her.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Count Down to Book Launch - Day 3 - Ups and Downs

December 1, 2019

Today I get to go ride the Van Fleet Trail!  I don't know if anyone is going to be riding the trail with me.  It is one of the rides that the Withlacoochee Riders schedule during the winter season.

I DO know that Will Byers and maybe Marie Adams will be riding toward me from Polk City.  (Remember I met up with Will and his group in the Everglades for a moonlight ride on the Shark Valley Trail?)

I probably won't ride all the way to Polk City.  That is 60 miles and my hip doesn't like my trike seat much these days.

I was thinking the other day that my hip started hurting after I changed the webbing on my seat.  The new webbing that Catrike has for the seats has more pockets in back of the seat, BUT it doesn't tighten as much.  The straps are pulled all the way and the webbing still sags.  I want to go back to the old seat!!!  I guess I will contact them and see if they still make them.

Wouldn't it be great if all I have to do is change webbing on my trike seat and my hip/lower back problems will go away???  YES!

This time of year we won't see many gator on the Van Fleet Trail, but there may be snakes and hawks and such.

It is only 3 Days to the launch of The Journey Continues!

I ordered 40 books for the book launches.  I have 20 Large Print and 20 regular print.  I sure hope that is enough.  Last time I ran out, bought more, and now I still have boxes of books of Alzheimer's Trippin' with George in my den.  I don't want to over-buy again.

Both books will be available at the book launch celebrations.

Yesterday I got notice from Candace Tuttle, the narrator for the audio book of THE JOURNEY CONTINUES.  She said she has the changes made that I had asked for.  So I will listen to those and then if it is good, I will send it off to ACX to review.  It takes them 14 business days to review it.  So it may launch the week before Christmas... it could... maybe.  Here is the sample, in case you missed it:

Yesterday I also put out a newsletter for the Withlacoochee Bicycle Riders.  Dick Marr that started the group along with a few others wrote about the history of the group and I thought, since he was resigning from organizing the Christmas ride, now would be a good time to share the history of the group.

Also, yesterday as I was launching the blog post I checked Amazon for the ranking of my books.  There are millions and millions of books available on Amazon, but there are many categories.

And even though I was down about the fact that I am no-where near the goal of 100 pre-orders for The Journey Continues, (only 8 last I checked) I was thrilled when I learned that the first book, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George is #37 in the UK for the category Senior Travel!  Whoo hoo!

In the USA I am #2 in a category.  That's how Amazon drives me forward.  They probably have it figured out, like Facebook.  Give me enough reward that I keep trying, keep pushing.

“Just finished reading a second time. It still...... review gif

I just found another review on The Journey Continues.  Thank you Connie!

"This book is written for anyone who finds themselves in the role of primary caregiver. Susan Straley writes with such honesty and compassion in regards to the joys and hardships caring for a loved one. Susan’s honesty in regard to anger and frustration with the role, while still loving the person, left this reader with a feeling of being understood. The book also demonstrates the ability to find joy, laughter, and love in simple things everyday. I laughed and sometimes cried as I followed George and Susan’s journey and I found strength in regard to my role of primary caregiver; thank you Susan for sharing your strength."  Connie Tice

Reviews on Amazon, Audible, Bookbub and Goodreads are so helpful to authors.  I never knew or I would have been leaving reviews all along.  It seems silly, but each site requires its own review!  I don't have any reviews yet on Bookbub.  Yet a lot of book lovers find their next read through emails sent to them by Bookbub.  Each site I have to set up and attend to.  I was going to advertise the new book on Bookbub and it said it would "blast it out to my followers".  I think I have one follower on Bookbub.  Ha ha.  I decided to go a different route.

Well, I have to pack up and get over to the Van Fleet Trail.  Off to new adventures!  

See you tomorrow... just a few more days to launch!

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.

Exploring NE Arkansas

Sometimes as we travel we come upon things that delight us and remind us why we leave the comfort of our homes.  That, I am happy to say, is...