Motivation Monday

The One With The Coffee Mug Motivation…

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I love mugs. If you ask The Chemical Engineer, he might tell you we have too many mugs. I would disagree. We have mugs that are full of memories that make me smile. We have mugs that have sayings on them that make me smile.

I actually got the mug below for him. 😉 I do use it as well.

It’s official. You’re awesome.

I took the following picture sometime last week, and I thought I’d share it in case anyone else needs that reminder or needs a smile or loves mugs as much as I do. 😉

I shared it on Instagram this morning.

Oh, in case you’re wondering where I got it. It was at Target. They don’t seem to ship it anymore, but some stores may still have it. They do curbside contactless pick-up. 🙂

I have a lot of things on my to-do list for today and for this week, including:

  • Finish revising/drafting my first adult rom-com.
  • Getting the German/Italian version of ONE DREAM ONLY ready for publication. That means: work on the ebook cover, the paperback cover, upload it on different platforms.
  • Getting the Italian version of ONE DREAM ONLY ready for re-publication, as I’m getting the rights back this week. That includes: work on an updated ebook cover, an updated paperback cover, upload it on different platforms.

Do you have mugs that bring a smile to your face as soon as you see them? What do you have on your to-do list for today? Or for this week?

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revising, rom-com, writing

The One With The Love List…

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What is a love list? Honestly, you could do a love list for a whole lot of different things, but this one is about my manuscript. 🙂

Once upon a time, YA Highway (remember, YA Highway?)’s prompt for Road Trip Wednesday was: “What’s on your Work-in-Progress Love List?”

It was a summer day, forever ago (on August 22nd, 2012), when writers around the globe shared their love lists for their own manuscript. I did, too. Even if I did apparently forget.

Full disclosure: I actually remembered Katy Upperman’s love lists (for KISSING MAX HOLDEN which was then called CROSS MY HEART and another book which is full of hearbreak and emotions), which is how I found my way back to Googling YA Highway RTW Love List, re-read Dahlia Adler’s Love List for her manuscript which popped up in my Google search, and then re-found my own from August 2012.

That YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt was based on a guest post by contemporary young adult author  Stephanie Perkins’ for author Natalie Whipple’s blog.

Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas as I discover them during my push through early drafts. I use this list as a touchstone to remind myself during the hard times why my story is worthwhile. It’s easy to forget the GOOD STUFF when I’m wading through the muck, and the end is still months away, and it feels pointless and hopeless to continue. This list becomes a crucial reminder: Yes! This is a story worth telling! 

And as I’m about to go back into finishing drafting/revising my current work-in-progress, I feel like writing down this manuscript’s love list (in addition to my Pinterest board) will be helpful.

This is my first adult rom-com and I’ve only been sharing snippets of it with my critique partners.

So, here we go.

💕Love List 💕

Second chance romance.
Bucket Lists.
Lace. And tule. And wedding dresses.
Vintage clothing.
Old Bay.
Swans’ Cove.
Maryland Eastern Shore Little Town.
Holiday season.
Laughter.
Animal shelter.
Hockey.
Therapy.
Ice rink.
Self-confidence.
Therapy.
Friendships.
Giggles.
The sweet smell of cinammon apple pie baking in the oven.
The flavor of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon.
The sound of the waves.
Family dinners.
Support.
Chemistry.
Scenes full of sexy moments…including sizzling sexy moments and laughing sexy moments and full-of-emotions sexy moments.
and so much more ;-)…

Do you have a love list for your manuscript? Or maybe for your job? Or your day? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. 🙂

Oh, and if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

Audiobooks, narration

The One With The Recording Setup and tips for audiobook narrators from Megan Carter…

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If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

I love seeing narrators’ recording setups and so I’ve asked Megan Carter, the narrator of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT (coming soon), if she didn’t mind sending me a picture of her setup.

And…here it is. 🙂

Where the recording magic happens.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some tips for narrators from Megan…If you haven’t listened to those three tips, you can catch up here or below.

You can also click here to access the YouTube video.

1. Try to pick projects you love! Don’t be shy about asking to read the whole book before you sign a contract. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll enjoy the process more and create a better product.

2. Keep track of your characters! I use a spreadsheet with timestamps for each voice. If you have a minor character that appears in chapter 3 and doesn’t come back until chapter 17, you want to remember exactly what he sounds like!

3. Take care of yourself! Sitting in one place and using your voice all day can be really hard on your body! I warm up before, take breaks during, and I’ve bookmarked a few favourite yoga videos on Youtube for a great neck and shoulder release after. And make sure to hydrate!

Have you already listened tothe excerpts from the FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT audiobook I shared over the past couple of weeks?

The first minute of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT…
Meet Dimitri – an excerpt from his point-of-view…
The Killer Speaks…
There’s romance in the air…
A little excerpt from Erin’s POV (Chapter 2)

Have you already listened to the first part of the bloopers?

Explicit bloopers (Part 1)
Bloopers (Part 2)

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletteror to fill out the Google Form if you want to receive an exclusive scene narrated by Megan.

And if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

marketing, newsletter

The one where I share what I learned about tags and journeys for newsletter subscribers on Mailchimp…

…Yes, I know it’s a long title. 🙂

Long story short

This is what I learned:

  • In Mailchimp, you can assign tags to new subscribers who subscribe from a landing page. The advantage? You know exactly where subscribers signed up from and you can tailor some of the emails based on that tag. In addition, you can then keep only one list with different automations.
  • You can then create a “journey” for them based on that tag.
  • At the end of the journey (since I have an essentials plan and not a standard plan), I add an additional tag to those subscribers.
  • They then start on the “regular” journey I have created for people who sign up through my website.
  • Let’s say, reader A finished reading FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT and would like to read a bonus scene, he/she/they click on the link at the end of the ebook, subscribe(s) through the landing page (example here of said landing page) and then get(s) assigned the tag “FMFMN Bonus scene”.
  • Reader A then receives:
  1. The exclusive bonus epilogue.
  2. Then, an hour later, an other tag is added to Reader A through the “journey” called “Welcome emails”. Reader A then starts the “Welcome Emails” journey.
  3. Reader A receives about one to two hours later a Welcome Email with a password to access more bonus content.
  4. A week later, reader A receives another email with more info on the newsletter, info about free books, audiobook promo codes and pictures of Plato The Dog and Bobbie Voltaire The Cat.
  5. So reader A receives a total of 3 emails within a week.

Here you can read much more about tags, journey, landing pages:

Long story long:

Authors are usually told that newsletters are very important because, unlike social media, one keeps the contact info of people who subscribe and is not subjected to the whim of the ever-changing algorithm of social media.

What does this mean? It means that you can reach people without relying on them using social media. You also can reach people without boosting your posts, because you land directly in their mailbox. When algorithms change on Facebook or Instagram, it can affect how often your audience sees your posts…and then your audience may leave social media, but might keep their email address.

It doesn’t mean that it’s free. Hosting a newsletter can get costly, depending on which provider you decide to use.

The ones I hear most about are Mailerlite and Mailchimp. I personally still use Mailchimp. But it’s mainly for convenience, and I still have a plan from years ago with them, and I haven’t reached the number of subscribers that would make Mailchimp very expensive.

Because it can get expensive. Did I mention that?

If you’re interested in the different platform and their pros/cons, here are a few articles.

I used to have different mailing lists, depending on where I was getting my susbcribers. This made sending newsletters a bit cumbersome, and then I had some duplicate subscribers. So, I’ve been consolidating my newsletters into one. And that’s when I started looking more closely at tags, and journey, and automation, and …. and …. and…

I chatted with Mailchimp employees several times to understand fully what the best solution for my needs was and decided on creating different landing pages, depending on where subscribers signed up. That way, I can attach a tag to said subscribers and they can have personalized “welcome” emails.

I’m still working on some landing pages but here are two of them if you’re interested in taking a look:

FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT exclusive epilogue (link is at the end of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT encouraging readers to leave a review, but they don’t have to leave a review to receive the epilogue…): https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/fearmefearmenot

Website subscribers landing page: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website

  1. Website subscribers receive a password to a bonus content page which has all the bonus content as their first welcome email.
  2. FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT subscribers first receive the exclusive FMFMN epilogue and then another tag is added to their profile and they go on the same “journey” as website subscribers. Their second email is the password to the bonus content page.
  3. The last email both sets of subscribers receive as part of their “welcome journey” is more info about the newsletter, as well as pictures of Plato The Dog and Bobbie Voltaire The Cat, and info about free books and audiobook promo codes.
  4. FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT subscribers receive three emails within a week. Website subscribers receive two emails within a week.

And this is it, today, for “The one where I share what I learned about tags and journeys for newsletter subscribers on Mailchimp…”

Don’t forget that if you’d like to receive my blog posts directly into your mailbox, you can sign up here (I blog more often than I send newsletters).

personal

I turned one yesterday!

I turned one yesterday.

Well, I turned one in a way yesterday. I celebrated my second birthday. A year ago, on October 7th 2019, I received my stem cells back as part of the autologous stem cell transplant.

I wrote a much longer update on my CaringBridge journal in English, French and German: https://www.caringbridge.org/…/…/id/5f7f593bd73a099f728b4928

We celebrated that day yesterday. October 7th. It is my second birthday. And every day, I am grateful. Fine, maybe not all day every day but at least three times a day. 😉
And celebrating those milestones is important to me, to us. So, yesterday, we took a stroll in the park with Plato the Dog. I had a pumpkin spice latte with the creamer I had gotten from Target in curbside pick-up. Alex picked up food at our favorite restaurant. And I even had a candle on my cake.

If you want to help me celebrate, don’t hesitate to share my LIGHT THE NIGHT fundraiser or Alex’s LIGHT THE NIGHT Fundraiser (on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society platform for Alex – on Facebook for Alex – on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society platform for me – on Facebook for me). You can give from all around the world. And/Or register to BeTheMatch.

And/Or register to BeTheMatch in the US. If you’re in France: https://www.dondemoelleosseuse.fr/ or in Germany: https://www.dkms.de/de/spender-werden

And if you can, enjoy the sunshine outside your window, or the rain pattering, or just take a moment to breathe or check in on someone you haven’t checked in a while, or ask for help if you need it, or take some time to enjoy your favorite dish, and be kind to yourself…

I turned one yesterday—in a way.
And I have plans. And pumpkin spice latte.

Audiobooks

The one with bloopers from the upcoming FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT audiobook…(Part Two)

Time for part two of bloopers from the audiobook recording of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT by Megan Carter. 🙂

I love watching bloopers for some of my favorite shows. They make me laugh, and sometimes they give an insight into the creative process.

And I was so happy, when Megan agreed to share some of the bloopers of her recording of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT with me. Spoiler warning: even her bloopers sound amazing.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter or to fill out the Google Form if you want to receive an exclusive scene narrated by Megan. That exclusive scene will be available to those who signed up as soon as the audiobook is available for sale! The audiobook is currently undergoing ACX review, so it should be available before the end of October, right on time for Halloween.

Here’s the second part of the FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT bloopers.

Press play on the video below or click this link to see it on YouTube! Or you can listen to the audio here.

Have you already listened to the first part of the bloopers?

Explicit bloopers (Part 1)

Have you already listened to other excerpts from the FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT audiobook I shared over the past couple of weeks?

The first minute of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT…
Meet Dimitri – an excerpt from his point-of-view…
The Killer Speaks…
There’s romance in the air…
A little excerpt from Erin’s POV (Chapter 2)

And have you read or listened to the three tips to audiobook narrators from Megan, the narrator of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT? You can read/listened to them here. 🙂

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter or to fill out the Google Form if you want to receive an exclusive scene narrated by Megan.

And if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

Thank you so much for reading and listening!

Oh and you can sign up below if you want to receive an email when I write on this blog…

Uncategorized

Help me #LightTheNight?

The messages pictured in that post were on the wall of the Family relaxation room of the stem-cell transplant unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center. And honestly, those cards throughout the unit helped me quite a bit during my hospital stay for my autologous stem cell transplant last year.

My admission date was supposed to be October 2nd, 2019, but I got admitted a day early, and started high-dose chemotherapy that same evening.

How can you help me #LightTheNightLong story short: I want to find ways to help patients and families dealing with blood cancers — if you haven’t checked out my #LightTheNight fundraising page for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the link is: https://pages.lls.org/ltn/md/baltimor20/elodieslightthenight

We would love to have you on our team! Once you click on the link, there’s a button at the bottom called “join”. If it doesn’t take you directly to my team, you then look for the Baltimore event and then you can look by Team Captains. And you type in my last name: Nowodazkij. You can decide how much you want to raise and LLS gives you all the tools you need. Thank you to everyone who already donated! 

Did you know that LLS helped advance 55 of the 65 blood cancer treatment options approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2017?

Long story long: Last year on October 2nd, I was at the hospital. My admission date for my autologous stem-cell transplant was supposed to be October 2nd, 2019, but I got admitted a day early, on October 1st and started high-dose chemotherapy that same evening.

This was part of the message The Chemical Engineer had posted on our CaringBridge on October 1st, “Today we got a call from the hospital and the admission date was moved up by 24 hours, so it’s happening! We are trying to stay cool and prepare to check in at 12:30 pm.” That part about staying cool? The operative word of that sentence is “trying”.

Staying cool wasn’t that easy, especially as I still had things I wanted to do before getting admitted. I wanted to take a stroll into our favorite park by the water for example. I was scared. I had done a lot of work to prepare myself mentally and that switch in schedule, which I knew could happen, still came as a surprise. I thought I had another day to get ready. But, there was no time and off to the hospital we went. The team at the hospital was amazing and made me feel at ease. Looking back, I think the stress would have been even higher if my parents and Alex would not have been able to visit me as often as they did. On October 2nd, 2019 I also got more high-dose chemo, and I was also signing books for a vendor event in our neighborhood that was taking place that weekend, and where The Chemical Engineer went for me.  

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about joining #LightTheNight …

Thank you to everyone who already donated, and thank you to Sam and Alex for joining my team. I could have come up with a cool name for our team, but right now we’re “Elodie’s Light The Night.”  And did you know you can join us and help us raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?  They give you the tools you need. You get your own fundraising page and you set your own goals.

Check out the link here: https://pages.lls.org/ltn/md/baltimor20/elodieslightthenight

Audiobooks

The one with bloopers from the upcoming FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT audiobook…(Part One)

I love watching bloopers for some of my favorite shows. They make me laugh, and sometimes they give an insight into the creative process.

And I was so happy, when Megan agreed to share some of the bloopers of her recording of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT with me. Spoiler warning: even her bloopers sound amazing.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter or to fill out the Google Form if you want to receive an exclusive scene narrated by Megan. That exclusive scene will be available to those who signed up as soon as the audiobook is available for sale! The audiobook is currently undergoing ACX review, so it should be available before the end of October, right on time for Halloween.

Here’s the first part of the FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT bloopers.

Little warning: there might be a curse word in there. 🙂

Press play on the video below to hear an excerpt from the killer’s point-of-view or click this link to see it on YouTube! Or you can listen to the audio here.

Have you already listened to the other excerpts I shared over the past couple of weeks?

The first minute of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT…
Meet Dimitri – an excerpt from his point-of-view…
The Killer Speaks…
There’s romance in the air…
A little excerpt from Erin’s POV (Chapter 2)

And have you read or listened to the three tips to audiobook narrators from Megan, the narrator of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT? You can read/listened to them here. 🙂

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter or to fill out the Google Form if you want to receive an exclusive scene narrated by Megan.

And if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

Thank you so much for reading and listening!

Oh and you can sign up below if you want to receive an email when I write on this blog…

Books, Translations

So happy to announce… Escono Oggi: UNA SECONDA POSSIBILITÀ (Nick & Em #2).

Lasciati tentare. Ordinalo oggi…:-) I’m very excited to announce that the Italian version of ALWAYS SECOND BEST titled UNA SECONDA POSSIBILITÀ (translated by Annalisa Lovat and proofread by Cinzia Novi) is available today!

A volte non ti aspetti di arrivare al primo posto. A volte l’amore ti concede una seconda possibilità.

La ballerina diciassettenne Emilia Moretti è stanca di essere sempre la seconda, e intende far vedere al mondo che anche lei merita di essere prima. Nell’imminente esibizione della Scuola di Arti dello Spettacolo, davanti agli occhi dei suoi genitori. E nel cuore del ragazzo che ama. Passa ore a provare, ore a sognare di diventare la numero uno, ore a immaginare come tutta la sua vita stia per cambiare. Ma quando niente va nel modo che aveva programmato, dovrà capire cosa significhi veramente essere al primo posto.

Il diciottenne Nick Grawski non ha più voglia di seguire le regole del caro paparino. Ha intenzione di fargli vedere che il suo destino è di diventare un ballerino – non un avvocato – e non intende stare alla larga da Em solo perché glielo chiede suo padre. Dovrà mostrare a Em che questa volta intende restare e che non le spezzerà il cuore un’altra volta. Anche quando lei si vede crollare il mondo addosso, anche quando lui scopre che suo padre forse aveva sempre inteso proteggerlo, anche se essere pronti a sostenersi a vicenda è più difficile che innamorarsi.

UNA SECONDA POSSIBILITÀ è un romanzo di speranza, cuori spezzati e sogni infranti. È un romanzo che parla di innamorarsi e scoprire che essere primi non è sempre la cosa più importante.

If you haven’t picked it up, you can also get the first tome in Nick & Em’s story…UN’ESTATE SENZA PRECEDENTI (Nick & Em #1).

Lei è la sorella più piccola del suo migliore amico. Lui è il miglior rubacuori in circolazione. Non dovrebbero stare insieme. Però quest’estate la tentazione sarà grande.
Amazon Kindle: https://amzn.to/2TH0tK9
Amazon (paperback/cartaceo): https://amzn.to/2TGYlSF
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1513072384
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/it/it/ebook/un-estate-senza-precedenti
GooglePlay: https://bit.ly/GooglePlayASLNOSee Translation

Thank you! Grazie!

personal

Second try…Let’s do this. Help Me #LightTheNight for Blood Cancer Awareness Month…

Re-sharing with the correct link 🙂 For the donations already done to the previous thank you SO MUCH!!!

September is Blood Cancer Awareness month, and this year I’m going to do several things, including my first Light The Night with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is virtual this year. You can help me by joining my team or donating here. My goal is to raise $500. You can also share this post or my team page with your friends and family, on your social media. If you’d like to share one of my social media posts, you can find them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin.

Long story short: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October 2017 and went through several treatments and went through an autologous stem cell transplant almost a year ago. I’m currently in remission. It still feels surreal to type this.  And I just want to find ways to make sure no one else has to go through those countless treatments. And if they do, that they have the support I had. 

Financially. Emotionally. Physically.

And that more people become aware of blood cancers and the symptoms. And that a cure is found. And that people can find the help they need. Your donation will help. And you joining my team to raise money for LLS will help too.

Oh and another thing you can do? Register to be a donor for BeTheMatch.org. I’ll be soon doing a virtual registration drive for them. But you don’t need to wait to help save a life.

Long story long: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October 2017 after months of feeling unwell, losing weight, having back pain. It all started with pain as I had a sip of wine back in November/December 2016. I thought back pain was just the way it was. I didn’t exercise enough. I don’t sit or stand straight enough. Fast-forward to a doctor’s visit, a lot of physical therapy, another doctor’s visit and then another. And well, the tumor I had in my chest was now probuting out of my chest wall. Fun times.

When I had my biopsy, I couldn’t lay down all the way because the surgeon was worried about me not being to breathe due to the mass. Which was about the size of half a gallon of milk. When we got the results of the biopsy, we were actually happy. Because Hodgkin’s was a much better outcome in our mind than the other possibilities. I was told and knew from research that I would have 6 months of chemo and then should be okay. After 2 months of chemo, we would do a PET scan and that PET scan would ideally be clear.

Well, it wasn’t.

After 2 months of chemo every 2 weeks (4 different chemo each time), my PET scan wasn’t clear.

I went for a 2nd and 3rd opinion (both gave me so much hope and I’m so grateful to them), and changed care. My current oncologist and his team make me feel like I’m an integral part of my care, and they gave me that hope I mentioned and I was able to start therapy as part of their comprehensive care which was oh so helpful. I changed chemo regimen. Did 6 more months of chemo. Had a clean scan through treatment and an iffy scan after.

That iffy spot ended up being okay 3 months later (as my oncologist had said it would), but another spot showed up. So more watch-and-wait. And then another PET scan. And then a spleen biopsy. And then radiation. And then another PET scan. More watch-and-wait for another spot. And then another PET scan. And then another biopsy. Which didn’t get enough tissue. So another biopsy, this time a mediastinoscopy. And then Hodgkin’s was confirmed. So onward with immunotherapy for several months. Another PET scan.

And then the decision to go through an autologous stem cell transplant. Preparation for that, including placing of another catheter and then cell collection. And then time to go into the hospital.

High-dose chemo for several days. And then my cells were given back to me. And then sepsis, high heart rate (in the 200s) where I needed to get a shot to reduce the heart-rate and there were a lot of people around my bed when that happened as they prepared the paddles to put on my chest…just in case. I could spend more than 300 words on that particular experience. 😉

And then I got better. Still couldn’t eat much or taste but slowly got better.

And then I started immunotherapy maintenance treatment.

And then I got a clean scan.

And then I finished maintenance treatment during Covid-19. My first treatment ever without my husband by my side as caregivers weren’t allowed in the cancer center.

And then another clean scan with something in my nose. And then another clean scan with still something in my nose but smaller. And then a nasal endoscopy, which was weird but very reassuring.

Oh and shingles.

And plenty of therapy sessions.

And quite a few tears.

And a lot of laughter.

Help me make a difference, click here to join my team and/or donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for #LightTheNight and/or to join my team. Thank you! 

I light the night as a survivor, as a supporter of everyone touched by blood cancer being the patient or the family or the friends, and in remembrance of so many people. Too many people, including Melissa Baker from Australia who was a light herself on the Hodgkin’s Refractory group, and passed away at the beginning of the year after so many years of treatment. I didn’t know her personally, because I don’t interact much on the group. But she was such a bright spot. Just like so many others. Lost way too fucking soon. I think of them and their families and their friends and their loved ones often.