News, updates, &
pronouncements from Pat Ballard, the Queen of Rubenesque Romances
Nobody can make you feel inferior
without your consent.
Something to think
smile on your face lets me know that you need me,
there's a truth in your heart that says you'll never leave me,
and the touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall.
I've been thinking a lot about the power of the human touch. What an
awesome, powerful thing the human touch is. Below, I've included some
links that are informative and eye-opening on this subject.
Touch is so important that an infant deprived of affectionate touch will
literally perish from a syndrome called "failure to thrive." Babies can
thrive without sight, without smell, even without hearing. But they cannot
thrive without being touched.
At the beginning of the last century, the mortality rate among children
under two years of age who living in orphanages in Europe and in North
America was almost 100 percent. These children were being well taken care
of physically. They had all the food and health care they needed. Yet they
died in the hundreds.
Their physical needs were being taken care of―but no one was allowed to
touch them. At that time, it was thought that cuddling infants would
spread infections and make children morally weak. (http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/2003-06-03/bratt.html)
But the touching shouldn't stop with babies and children. Adults need to
touch and be touched, also.
Married women under extreme stress who reach out and hold their
husbands' hands feel immediate relief, neuroscientists have found, in what
they say is the first study of how human touch affects the neural response
The soothing effect of the touch could be seen in scans of areas deep in
the brain that are involved in registering emotional and physical alarm.
The women received significantly more relief from their husbands' touch
than from a stranger's, and those in particularly close marriages were
most deeply comforted by their husbands' hands, the study found.
The findings help explain one of the longest-standing puzzles in social
science: why married men and women are healthier on average than their
peers. Husbands and wives who are close tend to limit each other's
excesses like drinking and smoking but not enough to account for their
better health compared with singles, researchers say.
And the need to be touched never stops.
Touching and being touched is a basic human need. Those of us who are
relatively healthy and independent―and therefore able to give and ask for
affection―have likely never experienced "skin hunger" and can't
imagine what it feels like.
Hunger. That's what it feels like. A craving for human contact―an aching
need to be touched by a compassionate human being, be it a hug, warm hand
on an arm, or gentle back massage.
So basic a human need is touch that neither children nor adults can live
without it. Children who live in abusive homes and who are deprived of
touch have been known to wither and die. The need for touch is real, and
persists throughout our lives. Indeed, as we approach old age, touching
and being touched takes on added importance; it compensates for the
decline in other sensory perceptions, and helps us stay connected
with our environment. (http://www.extendicare.com/consumer/article35.htm)
So, let us not forget to touch the ones we love. The world will be a
Word From Pat
First, let me apologize for the QP
being a few days late. I worked Thursday and Friday at the office where I
fill in when someone is out, and friend Kathy's husband had foot surgery,
so I worked for her. Therefore, I got behind on my writing "stuff."
We've had a good March. I enjoyed the fund-raising event at the Hume-Fogg
school. We had a decent turnout. I haven't heard how much money was raised
for scholarships for young writers, but hopefully a lot.
I don't like doctors. I don't like dentists. But I'd found a dentist that
I really, really liked. So, you can imagine my chagrin on Thursday morning
when I went in to have my teeth cleaned and found out that my dentist was
no longer there! My first thought was, '"yep, and the new folks will be
doing all they can to grow their business."
Well, I won't go into detail, but I'm surprised that you're not receiving
this newsletter from my jail cell. Let me just say that by the time the
new dentist got finished probing, pushing and looking for cavities, and
said he found two, I was ready to reach down and grab me a handful of
equalization! He was lucky that he was sitting behind my head with his
legs clamped tightly together!
I just got an email that a new article about me and my books has gone live
author Lonnie Cruse is posting an interview with me on her blog at
I'm looking forward to keeping my grand kids one day this week. Playtime!
Everyone have a fun April. Get in that garden and get those hands dirty!
Visit Pat's Place at
www.patballard.com | Write me at
About The Queen & Her Books
Pat's Place website | The Queen's Blog | About Pat Ballard | Dangerous Curves Ahead | The Best Man | Abigail's Revenge | Wanted: One Groom | Nobody's Perfect | His Brother's Child | A Worthy Heir | Pearlsong Press blog posts about Pat
For anyone who has considered weight loss surgery (WLS, also known as
bariatric surgery), who may be considering it, or who knows someone who
is, please read the excerpt below that I'm sharing with you, with the
permission of Peggy Elam, my publisher. Peggy is also a clinical &
Medical doctors are really pushing weight loss surgery now. They can't
find any "good" diet pills like phen-fen to push, so they've turned to
Peggy sent the following note to an email list for scientists,
professionals and activists who promote Health At Every Size:
The following is excerpted―with permission―from a March 7, 2006 email
to me from a grad school classmate. We both earned Ph.D.s and became
licensed as clinical psychologists, but lost touch over the years. She
contacted me after finding one of my websites online and seeing my
emphasis on size acceptance and Health At Every Size.
My own mother just
died from complications from Bariatric surgery at the age of 70. She
struggled with her weight all her life, and as Bariatric surgery is all
the rage down in Florida where she lived―she was able to find an
unscrupulous surgeon who would chop her up, and ultimately kill her, even
though she was too old and with too many health problems (diabetes) to be
considered an appropriate candidate for this horrible surgery.
I could not talk her out of it―there was too much brainwashing going on
from the media, and the money hungry doctors and bariatric surgery clinics
springing up down there. She only had a gastric banding surgery―much less
drastic than the other things they are doing today―but the complications
began immediately―with her staples and sutures bursting, stomach fluids
leaking everywhere, rampant infections developing, etc.
She fought like a trooper for more than 6 months, in critical care most of
the time― one horrible complication and infection after another, including
pneumonia, stomach wounds that would not heal, medication induced
delirium, horrible pressure sores from poor medical care that resulted in
amputations of part of her foot. She was unable to take a drop of liquid
or food during this entire time, and since she had to be maintained on
hi-calorie central line feeding, she did not lose an ounce of weight.
Eventually, she developed sepsis―a general poisoning throughout her body,
and kidney failure. Her lungs were trashed from all the infections, yet
she still wanted to fight, so we kept her on a ventilator for several
weeks. Her heart began to fail. She was in pain and suffering for every
moment of that six month period. Finally she gave up―and with the family
all around her, we took her off the ventilator and helped her die in
November of this [past] year.
Unfortunately, Florida passed legislation last year making it impossible
for us to sue the physician responsible for killing her, who essentially
abandoned her once she developed the serious complications, and who
ultimately traumatized for life every member of my family, especially her
young grandchildren. The new malpractice laws in Florida are such that
unless there is a surviving minor child, or spouse, you have absolutely no
legal recourse. It wouldn't have mattered if the doctor had done the
surgery drunk and blindfolded (which we wonder about as it took him twice
the usual time to do the simple banding procedure! and he fought us tooth
and nail when we attempted to get copies of the records)―if you don't have
a minor child or husband in Florida―look out―you just don't count―it
doesn't matter what the doctors do to you. This has been the hardest thing
for all of us, as she made us promise that we would sue the bastard who
killed her. Never before have I seen such prolonged pain and suffering,
and I've seen a lot.
So, I suppose you now know how I feel about this horrifying new trend of
butchering people who do not conform to the unrealistic notions of our
society of physical perfection. You go girl― fight this horrifying new way
of dealing with the problem of "fat people" in America!
My sisters and I are just now starting to surface from the depths of grief
and depression that this experience caused us, and hopefully we will find
some way of dealing constructively with what happened to my mom―even
though we can't "sue the bastard." Let me know if you have any ideas about
how we could help warn others about the dangers of this surgery. I'm going
to go back to your website to get the links you mentioned there in a
> >>>>>>>>>>>>END EXCERPT>>>>>>>>>>>>
Pat's newest book, Abigail's Revenge, is featured on the Beautiful
and has been reviewed by AmaZe eMag:
A new article on Pat has been
And a review of Abigail's Revenge is scheduled to go up there on
Look for an interview with Pat on Lonnie Cruse's blog at
Calendar of Events
Pat will be a guest on the Health At
Every Size show with Dr. Peggy Elam on WRFN Radio Free Nashville
the fourth Monday of every month. The show is streamed live
over the Internet 10-11 a.m. CST Mondays. Listen to the live
broadcast stream over the Internet at
http://www.radiofreenashville.org/. For more on the show, check out
the show blog at
http://www.healthateverysize.info. You can also listen to an edited
recording of the March 27 show at
Pat will spend the next few months promoting
Abigail's Revenge. She's in the process of setting up booksignings with
local Borders Bookstores, and others.
You can still hear the taped radio shows from Size Matters with
Veronica, WCRS Radio, on Pat's website.
discusses Pat's romance novels
Show #2 discusses women of size and their sexuality
And check out the photos from the Nov. 6, 2004 Mississippi Authors
Festival that are online at
The Pearlsong Letter
(Click on the Mississippi Authors Festival link under the "Photo Albums"
heading in the lefthand column of either blog to view the photos. While
you're visiting, post a comment on the
Existing and Upcoming
my fifth novel, is published! My publisher, Peggy Elam, pulled a few
rabbits out of the hat and the book debuted at the Southern Festival of
Books in Nashville last October. In fact, it was delivered to
the booth on Friday after the festival had started. That is where I saw my
first copy... hot off the press!
It's a Romantic Suspense,
and is different than any other novel I've written. It's also a good bit
Abigail Avery was falsely
convicted of the murder of her father and sent to prison when she was only
eighteen years old. The supposedly good citizens of Leaky Springs,
Mississippi were silent as an innocent young woman was orphaned, accused,
swiftly tried and locked away. Her only clue in the travesty of justice is
that a bunch of crooked "good ole boys"—headed by the judge who presided
at her trial—keep pestering her to sell the family farm.
Now, a decade later, Abigail's out of prison and heading back to Leaky
Springs. It won't be a pleasant homecoming. She's out for revenge on the
people who stole ten years of her life. Especially the judge.
Karen Sparks, owner of Top100womensites.com (and an avid reader), says
of Abigail's Revenge, "Injustice, romance and suspense with
page-turning flair! This is Ballard's greatest work. Her fragile, yet
beautifully big heroine is pushed to the edge with family tragedy, but
she's determined to fight back and avenge the injustice that cost her ten
years of her life. Ballard has created a rich romantic-suspense that you
cannot put down until it's finished."
here to go to the Pearlsong Press website page for Abigail's
Revenge. They're offering an advance sales special of free
shipping within the U.S. for copies sold through their online store.
I'm continuing to work on my
first nonfiction book, The 10 Commandments of Self-Love, a
motivational book on accepting ourselves as we are instead of obsessing
over trying to look like some unrealistic actress or image we see in a
Meanwhile, my short story
collection Dangerous Curves Ahead is available through
Pearlsong Press (www.pearlsong.com).
After its May 2004 publication, Dangerous Curves Ahead
received a glowing review from Cindi Appel on the Fearless Books
review website. Appel wrote:
Ballard doesn’t pull punches. She shows
her heroines exhibiting ample will and tenacity to tell off those who
would shame them into becoming something they aren’t just to blend in with
society's narrow-minded notions of beauty.
To read the entire review, go to
You can also read an excerpt from Dangerous Curves Ahead's title
Dangerous Curves, by clicking on the title link in this sentence.
Pearlsong Press has also
re-released my existing books, Wanted: One Groom, Nobody’s
Perfect, His Brother’s Child and A Worthy Heir.
The Pearlsong Press edition
of Nobody's Perfect was called
"a charming, witty love story with a twist"
in the July 2004 Small Press Bookwatch section of Midwest Book Review.
Read the whole review at
www.pearlsong.com/nobodysperfect.htm, or an excerpt at
I’m extremely happy that
my books are now available in both print and eBook format. (The eBook
edition of Abigail's Revenge has not yet been published,
however.) Please visit Pearlsong Press and check out all the options that
Ask your local
library to stock Pat's books, allowing many others to enjoy them
while spreading the size acceptance message.
Register to win a free copy of the Pat
Ballard book of your choice at Top 100 Women Sites:
Read previous issues
of The Queen's Proclamation at
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