I wear a lot of hats, professionally: writer, publisher, copyeditor, developmental editor, proofreader, designer. While the writing I do is pure joy (even when I'm tearing my hair out), it's not often I get to use my skills on a project that is as near and dear to my heart as this one.
Before my aunt passed away in 2005, she wrote a book about her son, my cousin Rick, who was in a terrible motorcycle accident when he was a teenager (I was only 4 at the time and wasn't aware of everything 'til later), and his amazing life as they dealt and triumphed over his traumatic brain injury. She was unable to find a publisher for the book before she died, and my cousin Pam, Rick's sister, took up the mantle.
I'm proud beyond belief to be able to say that my publishing company, Soul's Road Press, can now announce the publication of this book. I did the editing and design, and a dear colleague proofread the book for free, and she and a colleague of hers assisted me with some of the computer stuff. (I can't thank them enough, I really can't.)
This book…it's not something I would normally pick up and read, and so I feel truly fortunate that I was a part of the publishing process for it, because it's amazing. I didn't know about everything that happened, especially in the early years. (Plus, as a kid, I just accepted my cousin for who he was, and thus never really saw how hard it was for him. He was my cousin who taught me to shoot pool, who was a fantastic photographer. So what if he sometimes struggled to find the right words? We've got time.) It moved me to tears, and I think that wasn't just because I'm related to these phenomenal people.
Thus, this book is also one of my Recommended Reads.
Without further ado, may I present...
No Horns, No Trumpets:
A Memoir of Brain Injury and Recovery
Alice D. Clark & Richard W. Clark
Once a normal day is lost, will it ever return? A reckless driver runs a stop sign and plows into a motorcycle. On that beautiful October day, a young mother’s life shatters as doctors tell her that her 15-year-old son will never come out of the coma. But when he does, the doctors are at a loss. No treatment plans for traumatic brain injury exist in 1970. But Alice Clark refuses to take no for an answer – knowing her son is a fighter, she brings Rick home. As his greatest champion, she uses her head and heart to guide him from sitting in a wheelchair to downhill skiing, from being unable to speak to writing and editing a monthly newsletter. In No Horns, No Trumpets, Alice and Rick tell their story of setbacks and successes with humor, honesty, and pathos.
About the Authors
Alice Clark tackled the challenge of her son Rick’s brain injury in 1970 and became an early advocate for traumatic brain injury. Active in several TBI organizations in Florida and New York, she and Rick traveled across New York and gave speeches on behalf of Think First, a program aimed at educating teenagers about brain injuries. For nearly thirty years, Alice continued to learn about TBI from personal experience, trial and error, and from the many professionals she met before she began work on No Horns, No Trumpets. She enjoyed golf, horseback riding, scuba diving, and downhill skiing, and took classes in painting, photography, bartending, and flying. She became a stockbroker in her 50s. Her uncanny ability to always see light at the end of the darkest of tunnels was a gift she generously shared with others.
Traumatic brain injury survivor Rick Clark’s competitive drive and desire to succeed thrived even after his motorcycle accident. Under his mother’s guidance, he finally found his niche when he began writing stories about his experiences with brain injury, and writing became his career. As the founding and current editor of the North Country Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Center’s newsletter, Sudden Impact, Rick writes heartfelt stories focusing on the positive aspects of life with brain injury and always extolling the many virtues of positive thinking. He enjoys public speaking and one day hopes to compile an collection of his stories.
Available in print and in a variety of electronic formats:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords