#booklaunchThe Winding Road by Miriam Hurdle

I am very pleased to host Day 3 of blogging friend Miriam Hurdle’s book launch tour for her cancer memoir: The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival.

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Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Liz! I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.

During this launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.

Types of Memoirs

Many writers categorized the types of memoirs from a literacy point of view. I like the following ways to distinguish the types of memoirs from the memoirist’s perspective and their types of experiences. The following types of memoirs are self-explanatory. So, I include one example for each.

The Autobiographical Memoir

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Most everyone is familiar with the story of Helen Keller. In this book, Keller talks about her life directly. Even the most cynical reader will be inspired by what Keller was able to accomplish in her lifetime and will finish the book with a renewed sense of what is truly possible.

The Experience Memoir

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum
Joshua Slocum’s account of his solo voyage around the globe—the first ever completed—became an international bestseller when it was published in 1900 and has remained popular with professional sailors and armchair adventures alike in the 120 years since.

The Themed Memoir

The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe
Moe, the former host of the podcast of the same name, details his career in radio alongside his mental health struggles and the aftermath of his brother’s suicide, which plagues him with guilt since he believes he’s responsible.

The Childhood Memoir

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling memoir, is not an easy read—but it is a worthwhile one. “Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood,” McCourt writes. “Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” McCourt grew up in poverty, near starvation, and dealt more than his fair share of cruelty from those around him.

The Family Memoir

The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr
Karr writes about the insanity running in the family, alcoholism, feuds, and outright lying as a competitive sport. It is told from the point of view of Mary as a young girl.

The Travel/Lifestyle Memoir

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia is a 2006 memoir by Gilbert. The memoir chronicles the author’s trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels.

The Celebrity Memoir

Becoming by Michelle Obama
The former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama published her memoir in 2018. Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.

Length of Memoirs

The length of memoirs can be as short as a flash fiction up to 1,500 words, a short story under 7,500 words, a novelette between 7,500 and 17,500 words, a novella between 17,500 and 40,000 words, or a full-length novel over 40,000 words. My memoir falls into the novella range of word count.

It looks like many of us can start writing a memoir.

The book information.

Blurb

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

My Review 

Writing about a personal cancer experience as a therapeutic activity to cope with the emotions and physical changes that accompany diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis can be very beneficial to the person going through it.

However, making the transition from writer-based prose in the form of a cancer diary or journal to reader-based prose as a published cancer memoir poses a challenge. Miriam Hurdle faces this challenge head-on in her cancer memoir, The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival.

She begins by introducing the book with a Foreword in which she directly addresses the reader and explains her reasons for sharing her story: “I’m grateful to be alive, to give to others, and to receive from them.” Throughout the book, she never loses sight of the fact that she is telling her story to someone else. As a reader, I greatly appreciated this consideration. I also appreciated the family photographs she included, as her family played such a vital role in her journey of survival.

Key scenes–such as receiving an unexpected pathology report after a routine surgery–are dramatized so that the reader can experience the events and their accompanying emotions with Hurdle, rather than being told about them secondhand. She also includes italicized interior monologue, making the reader privy to her thoughts at the time, reinforcing the immediacy of the narration. In addition, she balances the experience of what she went through at the time with her current reflections on it now, so that readers can benefit from both perspectives on her cancer experience.

Hurdle includes just enough researched information about the type of cancer she had and the details of her own instance of it to give the reader a clear understanding of what she went through without feeling overwhelmed or getting the impression of reading a medical case study. (Make no mistake: the details of the treatments and their side effects are portrayed with brutal honesty.)

If I had to give just one reason to recommend that others read The Winding Road–regardless of where they are in their lives or their health–it would be that witnessing the support of a loving family and the incredible kindness shown to Hurdle by everyone in her personal and professional circles can serve as an antidote to the hatred and strife that characterize our current troubled times. Medical science aside, as critically important as it was, Miriam’s cancer journey gave me hope.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com ~ Amazon.co.uk

The Winding Road Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBzt5B3xa9Y

About Miriam

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her publications include Songs of Heartstrings, and the children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching, and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Miriam at

Website/Blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

190 thoughts on “#booklaunchThe Winding Road by Miriam Hurdle

    1. Liz did a lovely review of my book, Colleen. Yes, my cancer is gone. Even though it left some irreversible conditions, I’m grateful to be alive. Liz is a dear friend and always ready to support me and help me to spread the word about my book. Thank you for your kind comment, Colleen. ❤

      Liked by 6 people

        1. I’m so happy to know your husband went through a similar journey and survived, Colleen! Life is precious. You’re right, the internal scars are not as intense as time goes by. I have permanent swelling of the left leg because the lymph nodes are gone. I was lazy to put the compression stocking on yesterday. By the evening, the swelling went all the way to the toes! 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

  1. Thanks Liz for another great review. If great is the right and appropriate word to use here. Put’s the value of life and my own recent conflict with covid into total perspective.. I was standing in my garden this morning, not doing anything, just standing breathing and smelling the sweetness of the air and thinking this is wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Goff! Covid is terrible. My daughter got it and thankfully it was a mild case. I’m glad you’re standing in your garden breathing and smelling the fresh air. The ability to breathe is precious and wonderful.
      Liz did a great review of my book. Her perspective is objective. Her recommendation is delightful.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m so excited to be here today, Liz! This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your readers again since my last visit. Your post is lovely. I enjoyed your fantastic critique and analysis of The Winding Road. I appreciate your recommendation of my book!

    Liked by 3 people

            1. In a sense, it’s good news. I still see my doctor annually and do lab work. But I do the same lab work for the physical with my family doctor. It doesn’t help too much.
              My cancer can’t be measured by cancer marker like some of my friends.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. They go out 6 years on me. After my primary retired years ago, my oncologist and rheumatologist have acted as my primary. I finally got a new primary through my health plan. He’s pretty useless so far. I told him I was going to him because my oncologist and rheumatologist couldn’t deal with some of the general stuff I needed dealt with. He ran blood tests, and then referred me to an oncologist because of my low white counts(which are the new normal), and a rheumatologist for some other markers. The fact that I have an oncologist and rheumatologist seemed to go right over his head. Then he sent me to a dermatologist, which is out of network, for something he could have and should have treated. This guy is a real MD, too, not a CNP. Really frustrating.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. I can how frustrating you are, Timothy! Some MDs only know some general things. That’s the reason you also need specialists. I see my dermatologist annually. I was referred to a lymphedema therapist lately but I canceled the consultation because I’m moving. My primary retired also. I have a new young primary. He is okay. It’s no use to see my melanoma specialist because he let the intern do everything and just come in to say ‘hi’ at the end. The intern knows nothing about me and just asks general questions. I don’t miss any of my doctors when I move away.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. I miss my old primary. He was a good old fashioned doctor. 1) I could usually get in to see him the same day. 2) He had no problem touching me where I might hurt. He had no problem putting on gloves, making me cough, or “assume the position” as he would say for a prostate exam, etc. 3) If I needed to be stitched, have something cut of, burned off, or otherwise dealt with, he did it. No need for a stinking specialist for the simple things. Now the primaries want to send patients to a specialist for everything. I hadn’t had a prostate exam in over 10 years. I asked my new primary to give me a prostate exam. He was taken aback. I told him “You are not sending me to a urologist or dermatologist for an exam you are supposed to do!” He finally did it, but he was pissed. Lazy bastard.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Years ago before the streamlining of medical care, my primary did everything. After the streamlining, he couldn’t give me a simple medication during an annual physical exam. I had to make an appointment to go back.
                      Health care is getting a bit annoying. Wishing you continued good health and breathing in the fresh air.

                      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Miriam, Congratulations on your book and getting through such an ordeal with cancer. Thanks too for Liz’s excellent review. Fortunately, my husband survived prostate cancer several years ago, and I was also lucky in my 30’s to recover – just after screening started (a walk in the park compared to your ordeal !) You also write lovely poetry! Keep in good health. Hugs. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your up and close personal experiences with cancer, Joy. It seems like men have prostate cancer as many as or more than women have breast cancer. Many of our friends’ husbands had it and fortunately, they all survived. Wishing you both good health. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Miriam as memoirist, poet, and children’s author is so prolific I can’t keep up with her. She has documented her life as meaningful, and you, Liz, have certainly done a thorough job of showcasing it. I especially enjoyed the trailer. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much for your lovely comment, Marian! I think being an elementary teacher contributed to my cross-genre writing. Yes, Liz is wonderful at showcasing my book through her review. So glad you enjoyed the trailer! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I understand that perfectly, Robbie! Someone in my writing group wanted to know how he should write about a certain concept to gear toward the liking of the readers. I said you can never achieve that. There’s one book, but there are hundreds, if not millions, of readers out there.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. There is certainly a formula to success with readers in certain genres. Dan Alatorre found it and if your goal as a writer is to make money, that is the way to go. My goal is to write what I want, so no formulas which curb thought processes and creativity. I have accepted that I will never make a lot of money from my writing.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for reading this post and watching the trailer, Resa. I teared up by watching my own trailer because it brought back memories. I remember how hard I tried. Lia did a great job reviewing my memoir. I’m thankful.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Our lives are enriched by the presence of family and friends. We are supported by the courage and resilience that is found within a compassionate community. Liz – an outstanding book review. Miriam – your book is a testament to faith, hope and love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly, Rebecca! Our lives are happier and filled with colors with family and friends around us. I couldn’t have fought through this battle without them.
      Liz did a wonderful job reviewing my memoir and bringing out the essence of what it is about. Thank you very much for your insightful comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s wonderful to see Miriam here, Liz. I was so moved by her story, and the last paragraph of your review was a huge part of my takeaway too. The support was astounding and it was clear as a bell how important that was to Miriam’s journey. And what an interesting post about memoirs! I never really considered how many different types there were, or that they could vary so much in word count. Congrats on the wonderful book, Miriam, and thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad to see you here, Diana! I tried to read Denise’s post while I was in the doctor’s office but my phone did some strange thing so I couldn’t read it. I’ll catch up tonight. It took me 2.5 hours to drive to West Los Angeles to have my annual cancer follow-up. My husband usually goes with me so that we could use the carpool lane. But with all the workers working in the house, I went by myself. There were many times I wanted to turn around to go home. But I wanted to tell my doctor I’m moving. He saw me anyway even though I was half an hour late.
      Thank you very much for your lovely review also, Diana. Many people in my in-person community are sick and dying. I’m delighted to have my virtual supportive community. But I’ll see you in person in a couple of weeks.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, can’t wait to get together, Miriam. Portland has some excellent healthcare providers, so hopefully all your medical services will transfer easily. And I’m sorry to hear that your in-person community is going through tough times. I can completely relate to your reliance on our virtual friendships. See you in person soon!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just found out two more people got cancer. So sad.

          My insurance asked us to wait until we get a local address to transfer. My melanoma doctor have me the name of a doctor in Portland. For my other healthcare need, I may go to Providence on SW 3rd.

          Your husband must feel free to have the tube removed. Rest well.

          See you very soon, Diana.
          Your name looks like Dr. Wallace Peach out of a sudden. 😂

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Luanne. I’m thankful for your support in reading my memoir. Liz did a wonderful job reviewing my book. She is so kind to host this launch tour to spread the word with her readers.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s wonderful Miriam’s book tour is going so well, and her story will resonate so much with others going through the same thing. She lands on my blog tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much, Staci. Liz did a thorough review of my book. Fourteen years ago, there was no proven procedure to treat my cancer. I’m grateful to be alive. I appreciate your visit during the busy promotion of your new release.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Liz did a great job with this post, Sue! As a teacher, I know the best way to learn something is by doing it. By writing a memoir, I learned a lot about memoirs and how to write a memoir. Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve had good health except for the lymphedema from the removal of lymph nodes.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Beautiful, comprehensive review, Liz. Cancer has touched our family several times, so the loving support Miriam has had is wonderful. Writing helps through dark times, but I can only imagine how hard this journey was to compile into a book. Congratulations to Miriam, and I also enjoyed the various types of memoirs. 💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to see you, Lauren. I realized cancer has touched your family several times. I wish them good health and cancer never come back.
      I talked about how I wrote my memoir at Robbie’s post today (Friday). It was therapeutic to go through my journals and realized how far I’ve come.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Our family is doing fine, Miriam, thank you, and I’m glad writing your memoir was therapeutic. You’re an inspiration. I’ll check out Robbie’s post, too. I haven’t seen you in a while either, but you’ve been busy, a good busy. 🙂 Take good care and I look forward to reading your book. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good to hear your family is doing fine, Lauren. It’s a blessing to have good health.😍 Yes, it’s a good busy. We’ve been packing day and night. I got up at 4:30 am this morning. We got good realtors both for buying and selling. We hope to move by the middle of November. Thank you so much for your support in my new book. 😊

          Liked by 2 people

  9. What a significant exploration of life, death, and love. It seems we could all find a sense of meaning as we follow Miriam’s journey. And Liz, both you and Miriam have done a magnificent job of showing us the best ways and purposes for writing memoir. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wonderful review Liz, especially an uplifting story because of the work of Miriam I know throughout blogging ~ the book must be uplifting as this is such a great trait of hers, but also heart-wrenching because of the topic. Wonderful for you to bring this book to the attention of the community.

    Liked by 1 person

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