The Queen's Proclamation

 

 

 

June 2006
News, updates, & pronouncements
from Pat Ballard,
the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Something to think about....

People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln

Recently I was indulging in a major pity party and having a real good "feel sorry for me time" when a thought came to me: "Life is like a big old barnyard, and when Mama dropped me I landed in a pile of dung (okay, so maybe I did use a stronger word than "dung") that I've been trying to dig out of all my life!" I thought that was rather profound.

Then common sense took over and I started thinking about all my friends, acquaintances, people I barely know, people I don't want to know, and total strangers, and I could not come up with one—single—person I'm aware of who has had the "fairy tale" life. The "live happily ever after life." Everyone I know is trying to dig out of their own pile of dung!

Now, going into this, it sounds very negative. But the more I thought about it, the better I felt. You know, the "misery loves company" thing. But it's actually more than that.

When we think we have it really bad, all we have to do is look around us and we can find someone who has had or is having it worse. That doesn't mean we need to take pleasure in someone else's pain, but instead, it makes us look at our own problems with a little more acceptance. And, hopefully, it makes us look at other people's problems with a little more concern and compassion.

I checked, and nowhere on my birth certificate am I promised a perfect life. The only thing that the birth certificate confirms is that I was given life. Given a chance to walk on this Earth for a few short years. What I do with those years is strictly up to me. I can whine and complain about all the bad things that have come my way, or I can look for the beauty that surrounds me and find joy in that.

Bottom line, just like Abe said—if we want to be happy, we should look for those things that make us happy.
 

 A Word From Pat

I hope everyone in the States had a wonderful Memorial Day.

On the spur of the moment, my husband Joe and I decided to go to Mississippi for the weekend. I'm so glad we went. I counted at least 25 people who gathered at one of my uncles' for the Sunday noon meal. Three sets of family members came from Mobile, AL, which is a hundred miles away. And everyone hung around and visited longer than usual. It was a "warm and fuzzy" day for me.

This was my dad's family. So after everyone left, we went to a little neighboring town and visited with my mom's only living sister. Now, this one—you just never know what's going to come out of her mouth. She is the epitome of a character out of some Southern comedy novel. She was telling us a story about someone who had really upset her, and she said in one of the most Southern drawls you can imagine, "Well, that about puts the "led" on the jar, as far as I'm concerned!"

We had a safe trip. But on the way there, right after we'd passed a black SUV, it careened off the interstate, crossed in front of at least three lanes of traffic—missing everyone—and went off the road. I was very thankful we escaped whatever that was. Then on the way home, just outside of Birmingham, AL, we sat in traffic for two and a half hours. Four lanes of interstate were being directed onto a one lane exit ramp to bypass a wreck.

But now it's time to get back to the routine...

Everyone have a wonderful June!

                                               Love,

                                                                    Pat

Visit Pat's Place at www.patballard.com | Write me at patballard@bellsouth.net

 

Links 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

Weighty Matters

I have two aunts in Mississippi—one maternal, one paternal—who suffer extreme pain from osteoporosis. As one of them put it, "the pain is like your brain's on fire." According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, both of these women are prone to osteoporosis because they're both older, short, small-framed women. (Bone Structure and Body Weight. Small-boned and thin women (under 127 pounds) are at greater risk. http://www.nof.org/prevention/risk.htm)

Because this has been on my mind, and I'm trying to make sure I do what I need to do to keep from winding up in the same situation when I get their age, I found some interesting articles that I want to share with you.

Erika Goodman, former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, became crippled with osteoporosis in her early 50s after years of anorexia. Shown in the film at age 54 shuffling along with a walker, Ms. Goodman warns others against the hidden costs of chronic eating disorders. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=940CE0DC153FF931A25751C1A9669C8B63

Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by loss of bone tissue, can be brought on prematurely among people with eating disorders. According to an article issued in 1996 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), out of a population of young patients with the severe eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa, 50 percent were diagnosed with premature osteoporosis. Due to the severe reduction of food intake characteristic of this condition, the body becomes deprived of the calcium it needs to build proper bone mass. This causes the bones to be brittle and prone to breakage. Research finds that about 40 percent of skeletal calcium should be established during teenage years and Peak Bone Mass (PBM) is reached beginning at around the age of 20 years old. Unfortunately that is the most common age for females to be afflicted with eating disorders.

The prevalence of osteoporosis among women with eating disorders is an area that researchers are just beginning to uncover. According to JAMA, long-term studies are required to assess what, if anything, can be done to reverse the damage of osteoporosis in people with eating disorders. At the present time, recognition of this dangerous trend is essential.

The MDPH is targeting youth for the prevention of osteoporosis in an effort to overcome assumptions that this disease only Affects older people. "We're encouraging young women to resist striving for the emaciated 'waif look' so dominant in our media culture. Healthy young women can have strong minds, strong bodies and strong bones for life by eating well and exercising moderately," says Annie Wilde, director of the MDPH's osteoporosis awareness campaign.

http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content4/eat.dis.osteoporosis.html

You can find the risk factors here: http://www.nof.org/prevention/risk.htm

This article talks about how much calcium we need at any age, and also about vitamin D, which helps make calcium work: http://www.nof.org/prevention/calcium.htm.
 

Communicate with Pat via her "Amazon Connect" blog on Amazon.com!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/id/AC8LT66HFJQ1Y/ref=cm_blog_blog/102-0429066-5275365

Pat's newest book, Abigail's Revenge, is featured on the Beautiful Portal website: http://www.beautifulportal.com/news.php?item.900034.8
and has been reviewed by AmaZe eMag:
http://www.venusimaging.com/Magazine/2005/decjanrealistic/jennifer.htm

 An article on Pat has been posted at:
http://eastmanpublishing.com/epextra/articles/eparticle1007.htm.
And an EP Extra review of Abigail's Revenge is posted at
http://eastmanpublishing.com/epextra/articles/eparticle1011.htm 

Look for an interview with Pat on Lonnie Cruse's blog at
http://www.lonniecruse.blogspot.com.

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 or download edited recordings of some of the shows at www.pearlsong.com/audio.htm.

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.

Show #1 discusses Pat's romance novels
http://www.wcrsradio.org/RadioStage/size/SIZE051.mp3

Show #2 discusses women of size and their sexuality
http://www.wcrsradio.org/RadioStage/size/SIZE052.mp3

And check out the photos from the Nov. 6, 2004 Mississippi Authors Festival that are online at The Queen's Proclamation blog and The Pearlsong Letter blog. (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 blog!
 

Books Existing and Upcoming

Abigail's Revenge, 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 longer.

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."

Click 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 magazine.

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 www.pearlsong.com/dangerouscurvesahead.htm. You can also read an excerpt from Dangerous Curves Ahead's title story, 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
www.pearlsong.com/nobodys_excerpt.htm.

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 are available.
 

Ask your local  library to stock Pat's books, allowing many others to enjoy them
while spreading the size acceptance message.

 

Book Contest

Register to win a free copy of the Pat Ballard book of your choice at Top 100 Women Sites: http://www.top100womensites.com/contest.htm.
 

Newsletter Archives

Read previous issues of The Queen's Proclamation at http://www.pearlsong.com/newsletterarchives.htm.
 

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