18 May 2012

Memoirs of love, loss and life

Madeline Sharples is today's guest on Friday Five… Three... One. She's here to talk about her memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, was released by Lucky Press last year. 

  • Favorite beverage: Red zinfandel wine from Amador County, CA
  • One habit you just can’t break: Eating peanut butter for breakfast
  • Do you sing in the shower: No
  • Do you dream in color: Yes
  • TV shows on DVR? The Good Wife, Project Runway, Mad Men, 60 Minutes, Downton Abbey, Harry’s Law
  • What is your reoccurring dream? None recur, but they are all weird
  • Shoes or purses? Both although I call myself the bag lady. My closet shelves are lined with them.
  • Favorite ways to spend a rainy day? Going to the movies, working out, reading a book, writing a poem, napping
Using these four words, write a sentence: Madam. Whore. Baby. Canada.
Canada’s most renown Madam refuses to rehire her most highly paid and sought after whore after she had that damn baby because her once gorgeous and round breasts now hang down past her navel. 


Leaving the Hall Light On is about living after loss. It's about finding peace and balance and various ways the author, Madeline Sharples, brought herself together after feeling so helpless and out of control during her son Paul's seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder and after his suicide in September 1999.
 Sharples explains: "I write about the steps I took in living with the loss of my son, including making use of diversions to help ease my grief.”

Leaving the Hall Light On is also about the milestones she met toward living a full life without him: packing and giving away his clothes, demolishing and redoing the scene of his death, cataloging and packing away all his records and books, copying all of his original music compositions onto CDs, digitizing all of the family photos, and gutting his room and turning it into her office and sanctuary with a bay window that looks out toward a lush garden and a bubbling water fountain.

My memoir has been said to be a tribute to life. One reader said: "After reading this honest memoir the reader will be impressed by the strength and life-affirming perspective of a mother who found her way to healing and peace."

Find me:
  • http://madeline40.blogspot.com/
  • @madeline40
  • http://www.MadelineSharples.com
  • http://www.redroom.com/member/madeline40
  • http://www.naturallysavvy.com/savvy-over-60
  • http://www.psychalive.org/index.php?s=madeline+sharples&image.x=13&image.y=5
  • http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/madeline-sharples.html
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Madeline-Sharples/145268628820134?ref=mf

Friday Five...Three...One... is a chance for guest bloggers to share a bit about themselves in a fun format of Five Facts, Three Questions and One Sentence. If you'd like to be a guest on Friday Five, Three, One drop me an email. Put 'Friday Five' in the subject line.


Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Madeline. I'm so happy you could stop by today. What prompted you to write a memoir about your son?

madeline40 said...

Thanks so much for inviting me. My memoir seemed to evolve. I was journaling as a way to heal and taking writing classes. One of my teachers encouraged me to get my story out. I also wanted others to know it is possible to survive such a tragedy. My mission now is to erase the stigma of mental illness and suicide in hopes of saving lives.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Madeline, I truly admire you. I can't imagine the grief and pain you must have gone through at that point in time, and what a journey that must have been for you to come through it. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Maggie Toussaint said...

You have truly had a rocky road to travail. I admire your courage to publicize your thoughts about this most vulnerable part of your life.

Unknown said...

Madeline--when something such as this happens, it seems like the most cruel thing of all that can happen to parents. I don't know if I could have endured it. But we never know, do we, until something horrendous happens.
I'm so please for you that your grief found a voice in your writing. That is often the case, as I witnessed, and maybe it's the best medicine of all.
God bless you....

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Madeline, I love that you've turned his room into a productive place with such a peaceful view. What a wonderful statement of optimism and healing.

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm so sorry you had to deal with such a tragedy. Hopefully, your book will be helpful to others who go through a similar experience.

Morgan Mandel