Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and the children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, by Barbara Studham www.barbarastudham.com


Leave a comment

Now In Print! Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, by Barbara Studham

Two choices:– ebook and printed version of

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, by Barbara Studham

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, by Barbara Studham www.barbarastudham.com

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, by Barbara Studham

Until today, my book Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years was only available in ebook format. People complained. They wanted a printed book they could hold in their hands, so here it is in paperback form.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, book blurb.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years is a sequel of Two Decades of Diapers. In both memoirs, author Barbara Studham gives insight into parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a disorder caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. For more than twenty years, Barbara Studham has parented grandchildren with FAS. Through her wealth of experience with the disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years leads us through her desperation, fears, hopes, and prayers while coping with her grandchildren’s complex behaviors. However, Barbara would be the first to admit that while FAS brought a whirlwind of emotions into her life, her grandchildren’s struggle to cope with the disorder has far outweighed her trauma. Often labelled defiant, odious, caustic, and wayward, individuals with FAS are more victims of brain damage overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life, than the disposable people society deems them. If you are an individual parenting a child with FAS, a mental health worker, or someone who is interested in learning more about this distressing disorder, then Two Decades Of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years are essential reading.

Book specs:

Genre: Memoir, Category: Special Needs/Mental Health

Size: 5″ x 8″, Pages: 232

Cost: Print $9.99 (usd), Ebook $0.99 (usd)

Available from AMAZON. 

Barbara Studham’s bio.

For over twenty years, Barbara Studham has parented grandchildren diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, describe her challenges during their toddler years and teens. She has also written fiction, including a six-book series titled, Under The Shanklin Sky, set in the seaside town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. She is currently creating a children’s FASD picture book series Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Now available is the first in the series titled THE SCHOOL DAY. The second in the series titled FIDGET! is soon to be released.

Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.

Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com

FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Twitter: @BarbaraStudham

 

Painting of Thumper by author Barbara Studham. www.barbara.studham.com


Leave a comment

New Post: Sooty, my pet rabbit, by Barbara Studham

Two rabbits, sixty-years apart!

Painting of Thumper by author Barbara Studham. www.barbara.studham.com

Painting of Thumper copyright Barbara Studham

I recently painted a picture of my granddaughter’s pet rabbit named Thumper. When I showed the draft to my friend, her comment stopped me in my tracks. “Does the bunny remind you of Sooty?”

Sooty was a pet rabbit I owned at around the age of ten. I wrote a vignette on that experience when I attended a memoir writing class, and eventually included the segment in my memoir Two Decades of Diapers describing the twenty years I parented grandkids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Upon reading the vignette to the members of the memoir class, I was embarrassed by their silence which I mistakenly took for disinterest. However, I quickly discovered their hush was due to shock over the gory details of my anecdote. Following, is that vignette taken from my memoir Two Decades of Diapers available from AMAZON.

Sooty, my pet rabbit, by Barbara Studham

The following vignette was originally printed in the copyrighted memoir Two Decades of Diapers,

by Barbara Studham. Available from AMAZON.

As a kid, I was not keen on schedules, but every Saturday would see me up and out by 7:00 am, cycling like crazy to the local farm to purchase fresh straw for my rabbit.

 “Bring a bigger bag next time,” the farmer would urge while watching me stuff handfuls into my school satchel.

“I will,” I always promised then, throwing the bag over my shoulder, I would cycle as recklessly home, run to the back yard, and unload the straw.

“Look, Sooty, this is for you,” I would squeal as he nervously backed away.

Sooty had belonged to a neighbor who no longer wanted the bother of his upkeep. “He comes with a hutch,” she had explained to my mother, who sighed and shook her head.

“No thanks, Mrs Pond. I don’t need a rabbit,” Mom had muttered then, nodding toward me, added, “I have enough trouble with this one.”

“But, Mom, he’s so beautiful!” I gasped. “Please can we have him, Mom? I promise to look after him!”

After several hours of my pleading and empty promises, Mom finally relented and so I raced to my back yard where my neighbor was working in her yard.

“Mrs. Pond! Mrs. Pond!” I yelled over the fence, “Mom said—yes—I can have the rabbit!”

Her smile widened. “Here you go then.” She picked Sooty up in his cage and handed it to me. “I’ve got a sack of straw in the garage. I’ll get it for you.”

As she passed the hutch over the fence and into my eager hands, I thought I would burst with excitement. I looked around for the perfect place to display him, like an award I had received for reaching the age of ten and therefore deserving of a rabbit. But, as I scanned the yard, I heard the living room window open and my Mom yell.

“He’s your responsibility, now!”

“I know Mom,” I called, having no idea what responsibility meant.

For the next year or so, I groomed and petted Sooty, changed his straw, and with every opportunity showed him off to the neighborhood kids. They envied my having a rabbit with soft, shiny black fur, a bobbing tail, and sharp appealing eyes. I delighted in their arguing over who would hold him next, feeling much older than my years as I made them line up to take a turn. I truly loved Sooty and knew he loved me.

Then, one Saturday, my uncle came to visit. When he arrived, I was in the garden cleaning Sooty’s hutch, and feeding him fresh lettuce leaves I had stolen from my Dad’s garden. I noticed my mom standing a way off watching me. She had recently complained over the cost of Sooty’s upkeep so I intuitively sensed danger, but was surprised when she calmly turned and walked back inside the house. When convinced Sooty was clean and fed, I gave him one last kiss, locked his cage, and headed off to play.

“Be back at one for lunch,” my Mother shrieked from the kitchen window.

“I will Mom!” I yelled back, running as fast as my legs would take me to avoid being grabbed by the long-legged spiders inhabiting the high, green, privet hedge that surrounded our house. “I promise!”

So, at one o’clock I was back home, sitting at the table, innocently swinging my legs waiting for lunch to be served, but noticed the table was only set for one. Hearing my mother, sister, and uncle in the kitchen whispering and giggling, I called, “Isn’t anyone else having lunch?”

“Nope, only you,” called Mom, bringing in a large bowl of steaming stew and setting it down before me. “Eat up while it’s hot.”

After my busy morning, I was hungry and so tucked into the stew but, after a spoonful, muttered, “It tastes funny.” I glanced at my mom and uncle who were standing in the kitchen doorway smirking. I sensed something was up, but I was too afraid of my mom to refuse to finish my meal, so downed the whole bowl, and then ran back outside to play.

Later that evening when my uncle had left and I lay on my bed exhausted from play, my sister came to my room. “I have a secret to tell you,” she murmured enticingly, and leaned in. She whispered in my ear.

Startled by her words I jumped up, raced downstairs, and out to my rabbit’s hutch, but Sooty was gone.

“Sooty, where are you?” I cried. I frantically searched the garden, all the time calling his name. “Sooty, Sooty, where are you?” But, there was not a murmur, nor a squeak. I ran back inside.

“Mom! Mom! Do you know where Sooty is?” I cried, hoping my sister’s revelation was a lie.

But, when I saw my Mom’s expression, I knew it was true. Mom had asked my uncle to kill Sooty, skin him, and prepare him for the stew.

My heart died. “Mom, where is Sooty?” I whispered.

Staring defiantly, she smirked, “In your stomach.”

A CRAZY THING JUST HAPPENED! AS I FINISHED SOOTY’S STORY, THUMPER’S PAINTING FELL FROM THE WALL BEHIND ME AND CRASHED TO THE FLOOR! COINCIDENCE OR SUPERNATURAL? YOU DECIDE.

Sooty’s demise was traumatizing. More so were the twenty years I devoted to parenting four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Two Decades of Diapers, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, describe those years. Available from AMAZON, my memoirs are essential reading for anyone interested in learning more about the disorder.

Barbara Studham’s bio:

For the past twenty years, Barbara Studham parented four grandchildren, all diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, describe her challenges during their toddler years and teens. She has also written fiction, including a six-book series titled, Under The Shanklin Sky, set in the seaside town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. She is currently creating a children’s FASD picture book series Strawberry  & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Now available is the first in the series titled The School Day.

Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.

Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com

FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

 

 


Leave a comment

Is BAD publicity GOOD?

Author appreciates all publicity!

I submitted my ebook cover, Under the Shanklin sky for review to The Book Designer re the e-Book Cover Design Awards, November 2017. The opportunity for publicity overshadowed winning an award, so I entered an ebook cover to attract attention to my work.

Link: https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2017/12/e-book-cover-design-awards-november-2017

Well, my cover attracted attention, but not the kind I crave. While I appreciate its listing in JR’s The Book Designer Awards, his comment was not so pleasing. Here is the cover I submitted along with his comment.

Under the Shanklin sky, by Barbara Studham. The first in the Milly Mullan adventure series. Milly is a retiree who moves from London to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. Caught up in the locals' activity, she soon finds herself sleuthing through her golden years. Available on AMAZON.

Under the Shanklin sky, by Barbara Studham

JF: It might, if you let a professional design the cover.

Here the type is confused and the whole effect is underwhelming.

Is BAD publicity good?

I welcome the response, but I do not have the means to hire a professional, so I cannot act upon JR’s suggestion. Moreover, the publicity overrides the bad review.  After all, my book was posted and mentioned (good publicity), despite his comment, some readers will like my cover and even check it out on Amazon (good publicity), and my name being recognized as an author on another website is excellent publicity.

The last point is the most important, because, a book’s cover is not what sells books, but rather the author’s name. My favorite author, Rachel Joyce, could sell me a book with a blank cover simply because I adore her writing. Becoming known is what is important. An attractive book cover will garner eyes, but when those eyes are browsing hundreds of thousands of book titles on Amazon, chances of them landing on my book are miniscule. Conversely, if the reader is searching for a specific author, namely me, the odds improve.

Author appreciates all publicity.

So, how do I attract attention to my work? Take up with a toy boy and prance around town in low-cut dresses and cause a scene until noticed? How about I dye my hair blue and wear funny hats. What if I hold a knife to someone’s throat and hope journalists include ‘author’ when reporting the details. Not bad ideas, as ALL publicity is good publicity.

Meanwhile, I will stick to a traditional publicity route. On Sunday, February 18th 2018, I will join local radio host Bernadette Rule on Art Waves to speak about my children’s FASD picture book titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The book is aimed at ages 5-12, is full color, twenty-six pages, and available on AMAZON. Art Waves is an arts-interview radio program airing live every Sunday evening from 7 to 8 at 101.5 FM. Google “1015 The Hawk.”

To listen to my previous Art Waves podcast when I spoke on my FASD memoirs Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, visit this link:

https://archive.org/details/279BarbaraStudhamMar.132016

Barbara Studham’s bio:

For the past twenty years, Barbara Studham parented four grandchildren, all diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, describe her challenges during their toddler years, and teens. She has also written fiction, including a six-book series titled, Under The Shanklin Sky; set in the seaside town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. She is currently creating a children’s FASD picture book series Strawberry  & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Now available is the first in the series titled The School Day.

All Barbara Studham’s books are available from your AMAZON.

Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com

FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham


2 Comments

FASD: The Teen Years

1. Does TIME really HEAL?

I decided this week to offer my memoir Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years in print. Now available in ebook format, due to its popularity, print form would make it viable for libraries and book fairs. Wanting to be sure the manuscript is up to date, I clicked on the file to edit. Big mistake!

The adage Time Heals is a misnomer, a fake, a big fat lie! Time does not heal; at least, not in my case. When I read the first chapter, I thought my heart would break. Tears streamed down my face. Time heals—what a joke. 

Reading that chapter resurfaced memories from my years parenting grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The stress, the sadness, the worry; it all flooded back. Here is a peek into part of that chapter.

Chapter 1
My Eldest Grandson, Rocky,
Placement # 1

I am in line at the information desk of Hamilton Police Station. As I wait for my turn, I gaze through the heavy, glass double-doors. Rain pelts down. People hurriedly step over puddles to push their way inside. A woman shakes out her umbrella, careful to avoid those of us patiently waiting.

        With eyes on the entrance, I watch for my fourteen-year-old grandson, Rocky, to arrive with his Children’s Aid caseworker. Five minutes later, they step inside out of the rain. Rocky tosses raindrops from his blond, curly hair.

        Dread surges through me. He is about to face a grueling interview and I am uncertain how he will react. His worried gaze scans the lobby searching for me then brightens as he smiles my way. He knows I love him and will be there for him no matter the outcome.    

        Arrested for criminal activity the previous evening, Rocky was removed from our home and placed into the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Now, he is at the station to discover his fate. He and his worker join me in line until the information officer directs us to a specific department. A detective approaches and dismisses the CAS worker but instructs me to stay. She leads us to a small, brightly lit room where she explains our interview will be videotaped and everything we say recorded. I glance at Rocky and my heart pounds. His face is pale. I sense his nervousness.

        For the next hour, the detective addresses Rocky and the reason for his arrest. The facts that emerge sicken me until I feel I will pass out. My mind screams. “Get up and get out; don’t come back, don’t even look back. This is too much, even for you. After everything you have been through, you do not deserve this. Come back later, when he is an adult and you are no longer his guardian. Come back then and simply be Grandma.”

        I ignore my mind and stay. After all, everything once again depends on me. I’m broken, exhausted, and overwhelmed by the fourteen years I have spent raising him and three of his siblings, all challenged by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I am in no shape to absorb this new catastrophe.

To read more about Rocky’s rocky road in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, visit this link

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

2. Another seascape!

I love painting seascapes. Having recently taken up painting, I work on my pictures daily. Painting reduces my stress and offers me a break from writing and promoting my books: memoir, fiction, and children’s picture books.

Following our weekly meet-ups for updates on the second in the children’s picture book series, titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, illustrator, Heather Lamb kindly gave me tips on painting. I learned how to hold a brush for optimum detailing, to paint with tools other than brushes, and the importance of shading and highlighting.

Painting a Seascape with Acrylics.

Once a week for four weeks, Heather oversaw my seascape painting. It is now complete and added to my collection of beginner’s works. The reason I am posting the sequence of pictures here, is not because I see the final as a masterpiece (far from it), but to encourage readers to indulge in a new interest. Being a senior, I am constantly on the lookout for new projects, and love this one. Thanks, Heather!

During our London, England, trip in 2018, my son and I are planning to visit the National Art Gallery. It won’t be the first time for me as I was born in England and lived there until the age of 26. A few years before immigrating to Canada, I visited the National Gallery, and want my son to share the experience. If ever you get the opportunity to visit London, don’t miss the Gallery. The masterpieces are breathtaking. I can guarantee, you will leave the building a new person.

If you are looking for a relaxing experience, why not join me on my Amazon Author Page at the following link. There you will see my FASD memoirs, my fiction books including Under The Shanklin Sky English seaside series, and my children’s FASD picture book titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The School Day. 

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

 


Leave a comment

Self-Publishing

One joy of self-publishing!

Self-publishing—the very words arouse visions of independence, control, and yes… even sole proprietorship. Having self-published memoirs, fiction, and recently a children’s picture book, I had come to see self-publishing as speedy, inexpensive, and totally in my control.

Oh, how the proud fall.

With copies of my children’s book titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in hand, I arrived ten minutes early at an agreed upon place, at an agreed upon time, to meet up with a person with potential to influence the local board of education to consider my book for their libraries. After all, my children’s picture book depicts a typical school day in the life of a child with FASD, so I imagined schools falling over each other to grab one, and even better, several. Ah, life was good.

We met up, drank coffee, talked a reasonable amount of small talk, and then, just at the right moment, I produced the book from my bag. His eyes lit up; always a good sign. He leafed through the pages and smiled. “My contact will enjoy this,” he said. He took a pen from his inside jacket pocket. “Do you have another copy?” he asked. “I’d like you to sign one for my personal use.”

Red-faced horror!

Red-faced horror!

Mentally patting myself on the back for remembering to carry extras, I pulled another from my tote. Taking the pen, I opened the book to write. Horror struck! The pages were out of order. Page 13 was where page 1 was supposed to be; my introduction was located in the center of the book, the copyright faced page 7, the end was at the beginning, and so on and so on. I was mortified. My cheeks blushed. I felt small, and no longer in control. How could my POD service have done this to me, and, worse, to my customers? People are buying: from Amazon no less! I imagined purchasers trying to make sense of the arse-about-face pages; their expressions creased, my reputation ruined. I wanted to run home, click on the POD website, and give them a piece of my mind.

My guest smiled. He understood, or so he said, but the atmosphere had changed. He appeared less excited about the book. Would he still give a copy to his contact? Okay, so it’s a learning lesson. I know that, but I don’t want to hear it. I’m 70 years of age; I’ve learned enough! What I do want is for my POD service to GET IT RIGHT!

Barbara Studham has written FASD memoirs, fiction, and is currently working on the second in the

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol series, titled, FIDGET!

See her on Amazon at the following link.

http//:www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Twitter: @barbarastudham

Also on: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn,

Barbara Studham’s blogs:

www.barbarastudham.com

 www.challengedhope.com


Leave a comment

eBook: Strawberry and Cracker, Twins with FAS

eBook Now Available!

In a few weeks, I will be celebrating my 70th birthday. Wow, I never expected to make it this far, but now I have, I am finding it fun. When I was in my thirties, I believed my becoming old would mean ill-health, dentures, wrinkles, and crepey thighs. Okay, so the thighs are a bit on the crepey side, but apart from that I look fine. And, who cares about old-lady looks anyway? What I am excited about is the recent launch of my children’s picture book. Already available in print, it is now a downloadable eBook on Amazon. Who knew retirement could be so busy?

Children's Picture Book

Children’s Picture Book

Information

Strawberry & Cracker: Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is now available in both print and ebook from Amazon. Category: Family & Relationships/Children with special needs. Printed version priced at $9.99 (usd). Ebook $4.99 (usd).

Introduction

Meet Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)! With over twenty years of experience parenting four grandchildren with FAS, I have created the children’s picture book through my perception of the disorder. Illustrated in the first of the Strawberry & Cracker series titled, The School Day, is the twins’ use of visual aids, the necessity to attend a special needs class, and living with a caregiver other than a biological parent. Initially featuring Strawberry and Cracker’s strengths, the story subsequently introduces the reader to a typical school day in the life of a child with FAS, and the supports required for a successful outcome. Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the picture book series, is designed to be enjoyed by children with FAS, for caregivers with a desire to introduce their children to FAS, and for the public to learn about the challenges associated with the disorder.

Illustrator

It is difficult to judge a book by its cover, so visit this link http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham to take a peek at the story and Heather Lamb’s, fabulous illustrations. Without a doubt Heather has captured the essence of FAS in her paintings, and done the book proud. 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Author on FASD

September 9th 2017 is International FASD Day.

Meet Strawberry and Cracker, twins on a mission to help spread the word on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). At present, the twins are staying tight-lipped about how they intend to educate the world on FAS, but rest assured, they know all the ordeals and struggles that kids with FAS face each day of their lives.

Intrigued? Would you like to know more about Strawberry and Cracker’s mission?

Stay tuned to www.barbarastudham.com, and, www.challengedhope.com.

 September 9th 2017, all will be revealed.

Twins, Strawberry & Cracker

Twins, Strawberry & Cracker

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on young and teenage lives, visit this link:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

There, check out my two ebook memoirs on FASD: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years. Both describe the emotional side of how I became a grandmother raising grandchildren with FAS, and the heartbreak of having our family unit wrenched apart by the effects of the disorder. My memoirs are also available at most other ebook distributors.