November 7, 2018
My book was published one year ago today, November 7, 2017. Finishing the book, receiving awards and good reviews, and the connections it brought with readers—all of it was unexpected and so fulfilling. My parents would be overjoyed.
May 22, 2018
The prestigious National Indie Excellence® Awards is an award contest open to recent English language books in print from independent, university, and self-publishers. The winners and finalists were announced: While They're Still Here is a Finalist in the NIEA category of Aging.
For more information go to NIEA Award Announcement
Learn about NIEA at https://www.indieexcellence.com/
April 13, 2018
While I was off on Cloud Nine after winning a Gold IBPA Ben Franklin Award for While They’re Still Here, my parents won another award for their grace and grumbling. The words I originally scribbled for my brother won a Bronze IPPY Award in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
I just can’t take full credit for it. My parents were amazing, and the boundless involvement of my friends and family enriched their lives and this book. I am filled with joy and gratitude.
April 9, 2018
I’m astonished and appreciative that my book won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award in the autobiography & memoir category. Here is the press release from IBPA:
(Manhattan Beach, CA - April 9, 2018) -- The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) – www.ibpa-online.org – announced over the weekend the gold winners in the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program, now in its thirtieth year.
March 19, 2018
Wow. Thanks Mom & Dad; sure wish you were still here.
While They’re Still Here has been selected as one of four Finalists in the category of Autobiography/Memoir for the Independent Book Publishers Benjamin Franklin Awards. Winners will be announced April 6th, 2018 in Austin Texas.
March 14, 2018
While They’re Still Here has been named to Caring.com’s Best Books on Caregiving List for 2017. Caring.com has a following of over 3.75 million unique monthly visitors.
December 16, 2017:
This is a link to a short piece of nostalgia in my hometown newspaper - the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram:
For author, Elyria is the roots of her soul
Patricia Williams | Special to the Chronicle-Telegram
You can read the article online at: http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/11/26/For-author-Elyria-is-the-roots-of-her-soul.html
December 9, 2017:
A little story you might enjoy. All except the first paragraph was cut from the book, but this is a perfect time to smile about my dad's life, November 13, 1923 - December 9, 2012. Here it is, with the actual photo of the event.
"We dropped Mom at the grocery store and Dad moved into the front seat for the ride to the lab for his blood test. I hadn’t washed the inside of the car windows before picking them up, and the sun highlighted all the slime from the dog’s nose prints. He stared at them then said, “It’s a message from Mica!” He read it slowly, as if deciphering canine language. “I love you Grampa.”“I’ll have to tell my sister that one,” he laughed. “When she called last week we talked about our dog. Did I ever tell you about Brownie?”
“No. I thought you weren’t allowed to have a dog.”
"We weren't, and we really wanted one. My mother thought they were to dirty....
December 1, 2017
More great news! IndiePicks magazine included my book in their gift guide for readers round up that ran December 1, 2017. This round up appears in both the print and digital issues of the magazine and also on the magazine’s blog.
IndiePicks is a new publishing trade magazine focused on indie published and self-published books that reaches librarians and booksellers nationwide.
Gift Guide for the Readers in Your Life | In Book Reviews, Featured Blog Post by Rebecca Vnuk | December 1, 2017
November 7, 2017
Today, the publication day for my book about my parents, is also Election Day. We vote by mail now, filling out the form at the kitchen counter. My parents voted together, after Dad got home from work. Mom was ready. Her best dress, pillbox hat, button clip-on earrings, and second-hand Spectator pumps. Voting was important, and required dressing up. I like picturing her that way, and Dad in his suit and tie, celebrating the day that a book about them goes out into the world.
November 6, 2017
BuzzFeed included my book in a round-up of caregiving stories in honor of National Family Caregiver Month, called 5 Essential Reads for Caregivers. BuzzFeed has a readership of 168.6 million monthly viewers.
The Family Caregiver Alliance/ Caregiver.org is running my essay called Caregiver’s Mantra on their site this month for National Family Caregiver Month.
Woman’s World with 4,754,993 monthly visitors featured my Thanksgiving chapter as an excerpt in their online edition.
Culturalist featured my book in a round up called Inspiring Stories on Caregiving for National Family Caregiver Month. Culturalist reaches a following of over 600,000 monthly readers.
October 30, 2017
Today’s Caregiver is featuring my book in the November issue, in honor of National Family Caregiver Month. There is also a podcast interview.
October 26, 2017
thirdAGE (925,797 monthly visitors) featured my quote on fibbing to my father in the hospital, in order to protect him emotionally, in their caregiving and therapeutic fibbing article that posted 10/26/2017.
Read the article at http://thirdage.com/caregiving-and-therapeutic-fibbing
October 12, 2017
The Caregiver Space (a reach of over 130,000 readers seeking resources for caregivers) ran my essay "8 Tips for Gentle Decision Making" on 10/12/17. You can read it at https://thecaregiverspace.org/8-tips-for-gentle-decision-making-for-your-aging-elders-care
October 11, 2017
HomeCare Magazine (has over 30,000 print subscribers and 78,000 online users who are home care provider organization managers, families, and professionals) used a quote in an article for their October print issue and also turned it into a featured short essay “A Ray of Sunshine” for their online edition.
October 11, 2017
I was thrilled to receive a good review from Kirkus for my memoir, While They're Still Here. My favorite lines are:
"Both crushing and uplifting; an account nearly as emotional as the caregiver’s trials it vividly outlines. . . . The end result is an intimate oral history of a blue-collar, postwar American family revealed by the author in the same touching and heartbreaking manner it was disclosed to her." -Kirkus Reviews
October 5, 2017:
Someone asked me recently how it came about that I cared for my parents. Here is a partial explanation, from my book:
"Over the last three years, as their health had declined and my father had lost most of his sight, I had traveled back and forth from Washington to Florida with increasing frequency. Based on my undeniable history as a caregiver, I didn’t even question my role. From the beginning, I dressed my Tiny Tears doll in a warm coat to go outside and in snuggly pajamas for bed. I bathed, brushed, and tucked Bluey and Sugarfoot, my stuffed dogs, under the covers with their muzzles peeking out just enough to sniff fresh air. Over the last three years, as their health had declined and my father had lost most of his sight, I had traveled back and forth from Washington to Florida with increasing frequency.
September 25, 2017:
In the 1955 photo on the cover of my book, my mother has a camera in her hands. There are many pictures of her with a camera, including this one from 2007. My book is thanks to her chronicling of our family life with pictures and stories. What a memory she had!
From my book:
“For the next week, Mom sorted photos and I labeled them. She could instantly name all fifteen people in a tiny, grainy family reunion picture who were all dead long before I was born.
September 2, 2017:
My book about my parents, While They're Still Here, will be published in November. I'm so excited, and more than a little nervous. My parents loved books. After Dad lost his eyesight, the VA connected us with the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. It changed his life. He listened to several books a week - Perry mason, Hardy Boys, Tom Sawyer, and Westerns by Zane Grey.