Interview with Elizabeth Cabalka

When did you first start writing?
I was blessed with a fine 8th grade English teacher that instilled in me a love of the five paragraph essay and the power of a strong thesis statement. Nearly everything I've written since then adheres to that formula.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was 33 years old when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know anyone else my age who was facing this experience. Along the way, someone told me that my role as a caregiver was to be a 'silent servant'. After pondering that a bit, I decided that could not be farther from the truth. I realized that I was also experiencing cancer, just differently than my husband. I recognized that I mattered and that I had a voice in this experience. Just as my husband needed care, so did I. This book is about my journey as a caregiver and the many lessons learned along the way.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I didn't have the time or the patience to leave it up to others. I wanted to bring the story to the world, and so I did. For three years, I used my network, my curiosity and just plain persistence to bring the print and audio book (on CD) to caregivers, hospice volunteers, churches and cancer support groups, with nearly 400 speaking events around North America! Along the way, this little story found its own wings, leaping borders and oceans, surprising no one more than me!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finding clarity in a complex or deeply felt idea. Finding imagery that brings that idea to life within me and helps communicate with others.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. In the case of Wednesdays at the Fluff 'n' Fold, readers are often those who have walked a similar path. My life is richer because they have shared their lessons and insights with me.
What are you working on next?
When Wednesdays at the Fluff 'n' Fold first came out in 2003, I had a vision for two follow up books: The Ironies of Grief and I Love You Too (loving again after the loss of a spouse). Roughly 100 pages of the manuscript for Ironies have been sitting in a drawer for the past several years. It is time to finish that book.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are far too many to name. Generally, my favorite is the author of the book I most recently read. There are those, however, whose words I sip, especially when I want to gulp, because of their obvious love language and respect for their readers.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's a new day! Opportunities abound!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Usually on two wheels. They joy of riding (mountain biking or road riding) brings me back to age 6. There is nothing like it! Most evenings find me on my yoga mat, stretching out the day.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A friend and I came across an abandoned old boat in the woods by the lake. We vowed to each write our story of how that boat came to rest on the shore long ago. I still have that story and the joyful memories of that walk with my friend.
What is your writing process?
Start with the nugget of an idea. Outline where I sense that idea is going. Write the first draft (or flesh out that outline as much as I can) without censor or edits, then step away. Editing comes later.
How do you approach cover design?
My mother-in-law is the most gifted self-taught artist I know. She created that image from a photo of the real 'Fluff 'n' Fold'.
Published 2015-02-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Wednesdays At The Fluff 'n' Fold: A Caregiver's Oasis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,540. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Death, Grief, Bereavement, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Cancer
So many lives are touched by cancer. Nearly everyone experiencing the journey called cancer has a partner, spouse, or loved one there beside them experiencing the journey in their own unique way. Yet, the caregiver's stories are not often told. They need to be told. Here is one caregiver's touching and dramatic story of embracing life amidst disease.