Thursday, October 18, 2018

#Giveaway In The Key of Be by Lena Hubin


Non-Fiction / Memoir
Date Published: April 2, 2018
Publisher:  Chatnoir Press


Lena Hubin is a straight-A college senior when she lands in a psych ward. After her release, psychotherapy, illicit drugs, and sex distract her from her chronic anxiety--but none yields lasting relief. Despite teaching abroad, marrying, earning a masters and adopting two children, she remains haunted by anxiety. In her fifties, Lena returns with her family to the U.S., anticipating peace of mind. But when her son struggles with alcoholism, she feels her sanity swirling down the drain like the liquor she would dump--if she could find it. In a quest to help him, the author starts a journey that will change her life for good.

 About the Author


Lena Hubin has been writing since she was a young kid growing up on a small Wisconsin dairy farm. She has had essays and articles published in ISS Newslinks, The International Educator, Midwest Living, and The Sun. For four years she wrote quarterly book reviews for In Recovery Magazine. She has a masters degree in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno. Lena writes, plays piano, teaches, and works for social justice in Prescott, Arizona, where she lives with her husband, dog, and cat.


The entry to the Wisconsin farmhouse of my 1950’s childhood was small and windowless. My dad’s barn overalls and our coats and jackets hung from wall hooks to the right and left. A door on the right opened into the kitchen. An assortment of boots lined the floorboards, where the edges of the linoleum were ragged: When Mom let Cookie, our black cocker spaniel, in during thunderstorms, the poor dog gnawed at the floor like a nail biter chews to the quick.

But anybody flapping through the screen door from outside couldn’t miss the huge map of the world on the wall straight ahead. My mother tacked the thing there, above a trunk—she, whose 1940 “normal school” yearbook proclaimed her goal to teach in Alaska; who, despite three kids and meager means, would earn a masters degree in education; who forever warbled “Those far-away places with the strange-sounding names/ are calling, calling me” as she cooked and washed and gardened. 
Mom never went to Alaska. Instead, she settled down with my dad on a small dairy farm and raised three daughters. Rarely venturing far from home, she taught in public schools nearby for forty years. The traveling was left to me. Today, our home office space is plastered with maps of the countries where my husband and I have lived.
My parents did well by their three daughters, providing us with pets, piano lessons, the opportunity to go to college, and the example of a steadfast relationship. The benefits have accompanied me through the years. 
But less favorable elements of my Midwest upbringing have also traveled with me. My folks’ need to beat back the Depression with hard work and little play; Mom’s efforts to control and perfect everything, especially me, her first-born—and thus my fear that I never could do well enough. These became burdens I hauled along like unwieldy bags whose contents, when unpacked, attacked me as anxiety. My guts churned; my teeth clenched; my shoulders sat high and tight. Hypochondria plagued me. My fear of flying worsened with each flight.
I spent a decade self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, and sex before jumping off the continent. Eventually, in Africa, I met the man with whom I would enter a lasting relationship. We lived and worked together in exotic foreign places; we adopted a son from India, then a daughter from Madagascar.
Through it all my angst persisted. After twenty years abroad, settled with my husband and kids in Arizona, I still longed for release from some vague perennial distress I could not name.
For ten years more I squelched disquietude, until in 2009, a crisis threatened my sanity. Someone suggested a path, and in desperation, I took it.

Author Interview (thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog and answer some of my questions!):

1- Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is an avocation—something I’ve always done and always will—but it has not been my career, not made me money to live on—unless you count teaching it here and there.

2- What was the hardest part of your writing process?
Reckoning with my critiquers’ comments, deciding which to follow and which not, and revising.

3- Did you have any one person who helped you out with your writing, outside of your family?
Yes, I had several readers who read each chapter, or chunks of chapters, in my memoir as I wrote. Two readers were professional writers; we formed a “critique group.” Others were avid reader-friends who gave me feedback from across the country.

4- What is next for your writing?
I’m shaping smaller pieces, some from the memoir, to send to various venues—lit. journals, magazines, contests.

5- Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
Yep, I’m always reading. I read oodles of memoirs as I wrote my own—but the book i’m reading now is completely different: a droll, dark, ridiculous little novel called The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson.

DESCRIBE your book in a tweet.
“A fresh, candid, exciting story of the author’s failed roller-coaster quest for serenity through sex, drugs, work, marriage and adoption—until, when disaster strikes her family, she surrenders and finds peace in a most unlikely place.”

This or That?

1- Neither iPod nor Mp3
2- Chocolate over vanilla
3- Mashed potatoes over French fries
4- Both comedy and drama, depends
5- Neither Danielle Steel nor Nicholas Sparks
6- Reality over fantasy
7- Text if possible, over call
8- Public school over home school
9- Coffee over hot chocolate, usually
10- Paperback over eBook

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