Blog Book Stories

Perfectly Imperfect is Here

So this is the week.  It’s here.  My new solo effort book hits stores on Tuesday and it feels a bit like giving birth.  I’m waiting for my water to break or for the day of induction to roll along.

 

I’m excited that it has gotten good reviews so far– that people have smiled, nodded their heads, laughed out loud and cried.  One of the greatest honors as a writer is to connect with people and to evoke emotions that draw common bonds around us.

Heck– I’m mostly just happy to make people laugh.

As I set out on the book tour, kicking off this week with my first reading at  the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble in New York, I know I have to pace myself.  A book tour is an endurance test or travel and strength, interspersed with wonderful moments of connecting with the reader.  I will look forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones, hopefully hitting chords with Moms and sisters, girlfriends and daughters, friends and wives and all their men too!  this is not just a woman’s book.

I probably won’t get a chance to update my blog much on the road, perhaps on some of the weekends in between– and I wont get a chance to log onto comments often.  Somehow my computer doesn’t like being away from home– weird things happen in my email that take me too much time to un-do (I told you I was a techno-peasant).   But I do promise to check in and let you know how it’s going.

My scheduled appearances are listed on this website and I hope you’ll encourage your friends to turn out for the readings in the various cities I’m headed to.

I’m excited, anxious, thrilled and incredibly happy.  I also feel very, very lucky.

Lastly– I hope those of you who twitter and who care about our wounded troops will go to tweettoremind.org and sign up to donate a dollar for each of your tweets this Memorial Day weekend……  We all need to come together to help our wounded families heal.

30 Comments

  1. Ann Murray Paige

    April 19, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Lee, so much fun to read about your adventures. Twitter should be next–I bet you’d crash the system a la Ashton Kutcher 🙂 Will have the TV tuned to Good Morning America on Monday April 20 (tomorrow.) A million congrats on the new book.

  2. Carolyn D. Marieb

    April 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Just saw your appearance on GMA. You were terrific (I’d expect nothing less) and the GMA folks were great about promoting the book. Good luck with the tour. Can’t wait to read the book!

  3. Barbara Robertson

    April 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I have read your new book and decided I would reread In An Instant. It was so compelling I read it all the way through. I haven’t had an accident but in 1995 I had a massive stroke. If you would look at me you would never suspect it as I “present too well” as the saying goes. However, 2/3 of the right side of my brain is done for. Thankfully reading has not been taken from me as it’s my very favorite hobby.When I first came home from rehab (only had to be there less than 30 days) I said that my brain felt like a house w/no furniture. Now I have progressed to a room where the electrical sockets don’t always perform well. I don’t share this to minimize what happened in your lives, just to note that I really do kow what it’s like not to function at the top of one’s game. I laughed out loud so many times while reading your new book. Loved every page and was sorry when it ended. Surely you can find something more to write about as you are so very good. Thanks for such entertaining hours.

  4. Wendy Hawkins

    April 26, 2009 at 2:11 am

    I have just finished the new book and enjoyed the chronicle of Bob’s amazing recovery and yours in the first book! We must be the same age, and I have an English degree (minor in communications) as well. It’s really fun to read a memoir from a woman I feel I have so much in common with – my husband and children are my life, my heart, my breath. My kids are 15 and 17 and both are finishing up their first year of college, near home because they are so young, but will transfer after next school year because, well, then they’ll supposedly be old enough to go away to school! Not to me, but to them and society! They are wonderful kids and we are so proud of them! Also, I am a junior high English teacher. Anyway, you are so cheerful and uplifting and hopeful and a real warrior mom and wife and I admire that because I am too! Reading both books I felt as if I were sitting with a cup of coffee at the table while you told your story. Your speech pattern is much like mine and my girlfriends!
    Continued good health and best wishes to your family from ours…

  5. Holly Cassa

    May 18, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I am also the wife of a brain injury survivor, although the circumstances were very different from your husband’s TBI, Scott Cassa’s message of everlasting hope is still the same. People tell him all the time he should find a way to tell his story. I am hoping after you read this you can help us to pass his message of hope on to so many others. In 1997 when, my husband was a senior in high school, he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage cause by an AVM ( alterior venus malformation). He was in a coma for weeks followed by a very risky surgery to remove a large portion of his left p-lobe. The surgey came with many ( what were said to be lasting) defecits all of which he had to fight to overcome. At age 18 Scott had lost the abiliy to use and understand language. He awoke not knowing how to say words or how to explain the meaning of everyday objects. The doctors had removed the area of the brain that controls our ability to communicate verbally and understand written language. At the time I was a freshman in college hearing about my high school friend’s tragedy. I reconnected with him during the early stages of his recovery. I was inspired by his willingness to push through the most difficult times. Most importantly to note, while Scott was batteling back from these defecits he had many other issues at hand that could have stop him from being so hopeful. His twin brother was with the 6th Marine Battalion deployed to Afganistan, and his mother was battling Lymphoma for the second time, this time requiring a bone marrow transplant. I was intrigued by his strength and we forged a strong relationship. He fought harder to get his life back than any person I have ever known. Scott worked tirelessly with specialist. All of the doctors at the finest MA hospitals were shocked by his improvements. He focused on lessons he learned in the book, Courage to Persevere, based on the life of TBI survivor Bill Fallon. Scott’s speech and other skills soon came back to him. Scott wanted to focus his life helping others to build strong and healthy lifestyles. He went to school to become a physical trainer, and on the 10 anniversary of his bleed he ran the Boston Marathon in honor of the Massachusetts Brain Injury Association. He was reading, writing, and sharing his warmth with others at TBI support groups in Boston at Mass General. Our friendship grew and soon became one of the strongest forms I love I know. In 2006 we were married, bought a home in NH, and look forward to sharing Scott’s story of triumph with others coming back from the brink. Scott’s main message has always been to fight for your own happiness even if it seems impossible, even if every road has a block, even if you have to grieve who you once were. He always said that you will become someone new who is able to share the news parts of yourself with others. Those who meet him now for the first time are shocked when they hear his story. He has come so far and always says that through courage and love, he found himself again. Scott is now an avid runner turing 30 years old in August with a fantiastic career in the health and fitness industry. He would love to share his experiece with others as a source of hope and encouragement.

  6. Jeannette Mayer

    June 3, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I too am a wife a wounded soldier, my husband served in Iraq and was involved in 2 major accidents and 3 minors ones that compiled up to create Traumatic Brain injury – with many side effects to having frontal and right side head damage along with Post traumatic stress disorder. Even on his best days, he is not half the person he was prior to deployment. We live by the ever changing “New Normal” and try like crazy to remember to joys and blessings in our life. We are the lucky family, our husband/father was able to come to us. Reading your books has brought strength and encouragement.
    Sometimes we place people up on these petal-stools, those “unreachable” people who make such a difference in life in some way shape or form. Reading your two books has brought the true human side of life to face. You two are just good people, normal family ready to take that needed step in life to reach out to others and make that needed difference in lives. You and your family have faced your life challenges head on and come out on top. For sharing this with us, I thank you!
    We have had a couple of opportunities to speak at events; they were amazingly a great part of our healing. This week has been a down week for DeWayne, today is rock bottom. He fought all week with his aids (palm pilot, schedule keeping, notes, reminders, limits) that he has now crashed. Between books like yours and Sue Hicks (the Boise VA Medical Center) counselor & DeWayne’s case manager we can keep placing one foot in front of the other. Our faith in the Lord has also been a great strength.
    We have been participating in the Wounded Warrior Program up in Sun Valley, Idaho, Executive Director Tom Iselin, great program; he mentioned that the remind.org/Woodruff foundation helps support this program. Thank you! They helped DeWayne succeed and feel good about himself. A boost he truly needed and to tell you the truth, so did I.
    Blessing to you and your family and to all those who make a difference helping others!

  7. Lee Woodruff

    June 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Jeanette– we know Tom and our foundation supports the program. I am so heartened to hear about your journey and so honored you have visited me here. its hard to stay on top of all the communication so I hope you’ll forgive me– I’ve just gotten off the road and I try to respond to everyone– not always so timely, but i love hearing from folks like you.

  8. Christy Painter

    June 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Dear Lee,
    I am truly enjoying your book, so much so, that I am reading some of your chapters to my husband aloud. We are laughing and remembering our experiences , many similar to yours with our now grown children.

    As a Michigan native, I love when you refer to Bob’s life in our state, because some of his experiences here reflect those of my youth.

    However, more than any chapter, I can relate to the one about your Dad, because I too am experiencing my father’s journey through dementia. I didn’t recognize how often he tells me how proud he is of me until you mentioned this about your Dad. I don’t think I have ever heard my father compliment me as frequently as he has the last couple of years. We meet and talk daily about his life, no longer very much as he wishes it to be, and mine. I am greatful for his sense of humor and his appreciation of my husband and my time spent with him. But as you said, he is no longer the vibrant and capable man he once was, and it is difficult to watch this declline. Thank you for letting me share my story, and thank you for yours.

  9. Lee Woodruff

    June 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    thank you for reading the book and for writing to me– this is such a difficult journey for a child and so sad– have you read the book “Still ALice?” I found that helped understand some of this but it doesn’t ease the pain. Thanks Christy —

  10. Mari Brady

    July 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Dear Lee:

    I met you in the lobby of Memorial Hospital when you and your husband were visiting a friend’s child. I had just finished reading In an Instant and you were both so gracious when I approached you to say how much I loved your book. I just finished reading
    Perfectly Imperfect and I found myself laughing out loud as well as being incredibly touched by your stories. I’ve recently started swimming again and please don’t laugh but I’d like to know the name of the shampoo you use for getting the chlorine out of your hair – green highlights is not what I need. I wonder some times if you know how much you help people.

    Thanks for sharing your stories with us – as an aside I was so happy to learn that Melanie Bloom got remarried (I didn’t know that until I read your book) – she deserves every happiness in the world and you’re both blessed to have each other in your lives. Don’t forget about the shampoo – I’m excited about getting back to swimming – not so excited about green hair.

    Mari

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