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Emily Page

Emily Page

Emily Page is a professional artist who also blogs for fun.

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Success! Fractured Memories sold 548 pre-orders by April 30, 2016, was pitched to 36 publishers, and will be published by BookFuel.
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Fractured Memories

Because Demented People Need Love, Too

Part coffee table art book and part memoir, I recount my family's heartbreaking and hilarious journey through my father's dementia.

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Journalism Art and Memoir
Raleigh, North Carolina
50,000 words
50% complete
11 publishers interested

Synopsis

My father was diagnosed in 2009 with frontotemporal dementia - a form a dementia that strikes earlier and progresses more quickly than Alzheimer's, and for which there is no treatment to slow the progression of the disease. He had been my best friend, so there was no question that I would do what I could to take care of him. My husband and I moved across the country to live with my parents to help my mother care for him, but even with 3 of us alternating shifts to watch him, it became too difficult for us to keep him safe. He had become the world's most destructive 5 year old in a very fit and capable 66 year old body. After a year of living together, we were able to secure a room for him in a dementia care facility, where he lived until he died in early 2016.

As a professional artist, I have often turned to art as a self-prescribed therapy to help me deal with life's trials. This battle has been no different. I have created roughly 35 paintings (and counting) in an effort to understand and explain both what happened to him and what happened to us, his caretakers. Using the elephant as a symbol for dementia (because "an elephant never forgets") and incorporating sheet music (because my dad was a jazz musician), I address a range of issues from my fear of getting dementia myself, to his transition to diapers, to the best ways to make him giggle, to an exploration of how he might have gotten the disease. Eventually, I intend to hold an art exhibit of the works. Here are a couple of the paintings I've completed:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150639437923361.410806.113984173360&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150639437923361.410806.113984173360&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150639437923361.410806.113984173360&type=3

About a year ago, I started blogging about our experiences, and the response has been overwhelming. As the baby boomers age and more and more people are diagnosed with various forms of dementia, this is a very timely memoir. I have not shied away from the ugly stuff, nor have I failed to laugh at the ridiculous circumstances in which we often found ourselves. I have done my best to present our journey through dementia with honesty and love. At the urging of several people, I have decided to write a book, including the images of the artwork I've created, in hopes of providing comfort to those who will see similarity with their own family's experiences, guidance for those whose loved ones are at the beginning stages of the disease, and perhaps a little comic relief to remind us to look for the light in all of this darkness.

Outline

The book will start with the eulogy I gave at my father's memorial celebration. Then I'll flash back to a brief overview of his life. 

The second part of the book will talk about the early years following his dementia diagnosis. Included in this section will be practical advice on talking to and taking care of a loved one with dementia - from keeping them safe to financial planning to choosing a dementia care facility. 

The third part of the book will talk about the final years of his dementia, our struggle to advocate for him, his death, and the aftermath.

Throughout the book, there will be images of paintings about the various topics.

Audience

This book comes at a moment when the baby boomers are starting to show signs of dementia. Many of them have already dealt with aging parents who had some form of dementia, and now they're facing spouses and friends with the disease. They, their children, and other loved ones must navigate a treacherous world of minute and gargantuan losses, paid facilities and caretakers, and fear about their own futures. As we live longer and longer, almost guaranteeing the number of people with dementia will rise, this book will be relevant for many years to come.

Author

Being raised by two dirty hippies in a VW camper, Emily Page fell in love with art early as a way to entertain herself on long camping trips with no TV. As a result, she studied art in college at Wake Forest University, and has been a professional artist for about 15 years. She has used art to understand, interpret, and express her feelings about various challenges that she's faced over the years.She's also used it to make people laugh. She is a lover of the absurd and whimsical, of honesty and openness, of facing the darkness head on, of mac and cheese.

While she never fancied herself a writer, Page does come from a family of writers - in particular, her grandfather, Irvine H. Page, and her grandmother, Beatrice Allen Page, were both published authors. Page started blogging at the insistence of a friend who thought it would be a good avenue for promoting her artwork. Little did she know that her artwork and writing about dementia would strike a cord within so many people.

So now Page has decided to buckle down and assemble and add to her writings and collection of paintings about dementia. Says Page, "This is a terrifying endeavor, because, as mentioned before, and I don't consider myself a writer. But the encouragement of friends and family (and a fair few strangers!) has helped me to decide to take the leap and hope I grow my wings on the way down - or at least not get whacked in the face by too many branches before I hit the ground."

You can see her art at
http://emilypageart.com/ and read her blog at http://emilypageart.net/.

Promotion

I'm hoping to promote the book in two ways: 1) through my blog and social media, and 2) through the Alzheimer's Association and its support groups. I plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Alzheimer's Association to aid in their efforts to support families affected by dementia.

I'm planning on self publishing the book so the funds raised from pre-orders will go toward having the artwork professionally photographed and toward the full-color printing costs. 

But it is possible to attract a publisher if I have enough pre-orders, in which case the funds will go toward paying my assistants to teach some of my art classes for me so that I can dedicate more time to finishing the book, thus allowing me to complete it more quickly. So help a girl out and order eleventy-two copies today!

Competition

I have not yet seen any books that combine artwork about dementia with a memoir. Artwork can express emotions that words can't always explain. I've also noticed that memoirs tend not to include practical advice. So, I'm not sure there are any competing books out there at this time.

There are certainly complementary books, like Still Alice and Being Mortal.

11 publishers interested
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  • Update #19 - Reviews Feb. 24, 2017

    Hello there, glorious Fractured Memories readers!! As you all know, I opted to self-publish the book, which means that promoting it is up to me ...


  • Update #18 - A Fly In the Ointment Feb. 1, 2017

    Um, so, yeah. We've hit a snag. The publisher I chose kind of, well, sucks. I'm currently in the process of cancelling my ...


  • Update #17 - Want a Pretend Book? Dec. 8, 2016

    We're getting close to the finish line, everyone! The final print layout has been approved and we're waiting on the mock-up of the final ...


  • Update #16 - 'Cause That's How I Roll Oct. 22, 2016

    Awwwww yeeeeaaaaaahhhhh! Got the first print layout proof back and I'm losing my mind. It's so...real. I DID that. Me. ME. Surprisingly ...


  • Update #15 - Copyedited Manuscript Has Arrived Aug. 31, 2016

    Guess what guess what guess what guess what?! I just got the copyedited manuscript back from the publisher, who said this, "I think you are going ...


  • Update #14 - I Won a Grant for the Book! July 22, 2016

    Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod! I just won a grant! Not Ulysses S. Grant - although that'd be pretty cool, if maybe a little stinky since he's been ...


  • Update #13 - Decision Made June 22, 2016

    It's official! I have signed with a publisher. I was offered both traditional publishing options and self-publishing options, and I have decided to self-publish. It ...


  • Update #12 - My Phone Doesn't Understand Me June 9, 2016

    I tried using the voice recognition software on my phone to take some notes while I was riding in the car, but it wasn’t ...


  • Update #11 - Bonus Prize June 2, 2016

    So, I didn't mention when I did that campaign that I was part of a "Write-Off" contest here on Publishizer. Basically, whoever attracted the ...


  • Update #10 - First Draft Complete May 26, 2016

    It's official. The first draft of Fractured Memories is complete. And it didn't kill me. Still need to finish up 2 final paintings ...


  • Update #9 - One Final Update May 1, 2016

    Just a quick note to update you that we sold 548 pre-orders of the book! There are not enough words in the English language or any ...


  • Update #8 - 9 Hours Left! April 30, 2016

    Only 9 hours left! Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered. You're the light in my life, the butter on my bread, the bourbon in ...


  • Update #7 - We Did It!! April 20, 2016

    Have you ever seen me be giddy before? It looks like this: 

    We hit my goal of 500! This gives me so much more ...


  • Update #6 - 400 Pre-orders April 14, 2016

    We just hit 400 pre-orders. I could cry, but, like, good cry. The you're-making-my-dreams-come-true kind of cry. We still have 16 more days to ...


  • Update #5 - A Whopping 368 Pre-orders April 9, 2016

    Hi everyone, Just one, quick, glorious update. We're up to 368 pre-orders for the book, which is about 73% of the way to my ...


  • Update #4 - We hit 250!!! April 7, 2016

    Can we all just stop for a second to acknowledge the awesomeness of you? You people are the BEST people. In ALL the land. We ...


  • Update #3 - 80%, baby! April 7, 2016

    Seriously, you're going to make me cry. Three days in and we're already 80% of the way to 250 pre-orders. You're making this ...


  • Update #2 - Half way there April 6, 2016

    It's only been two days, and we're half way to the 250 pre-orders mark! All because you guys are so incredible, stupendous, and ...


  • Update #1 - Update title April 4, 2016

    You guuuuuuuuyyyyyyyys! It hasn't even been 24 hours since I launched the campaign, and we're already 40% of the way there. I could ...


  • Jonathan Lensch on April 4, 2016, 9:43 p.m.

    In!

  • William Bunn on April 4, 2016, 9:53 p.m.

    Can't wait to read the book!

  • Natalie Wilson on April 4, 2016, 9:55 p.m.

    I can't wait to read and experience this beautiful book!

  • Samantha Heart on April 4, 2016, 9:57 p.m.

    Emily, My mother died 2 years old of the same thing. I want to support you the best I can.

    Good Luck my friend,
    Samantha L. Heart

  • Holly MacEwan on April 4, 2016, 11:47 p.m.

    Love, gratitude, joy to you! We are all so proud of you, Emily!

  • Jayne Ashworth on April 5, 2016, 1:07 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading your work!!

  • Joanne Sullivan on April 5, 2016, 1:30 a.m.

    Please support this wonderful person & artist

  • Barbara Fielding on April 5, 2016, 2:25 a.m.

    You are amazing! I look forward to receiving your book.

  • Louise Largiader on April 5, 2016, 3:12 a.m.

    This is so exciting! You should have some bourbon right now. Louise

  • Karen Ramsey on April 5, 2016, 3:54 a.m.

    My mom has dementia and we just placed her in a memory care unit. I look forward to reading about your experiences.

  • Dan Wilson on April 5, 2016, 4:04 a.m.

    Talented AND gorgeous

  • Jill Marcus on April 5, 2016, 12:27 p.m.

    So proud of you and happy to participate.

  • Carter Catalano on April 5, 2016, 2:09 p.m.

    Good luck Emily!!! You are smart and so funny! Your writing always makes me smile. xo Carter

  • Lili Crowley on April 5, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

    good for you!

  • Teresa Radomski on April 5, 2016, 4:57 p.m.

    Wishing you all the best, Emily! I know your Dad is smiling down on your awesome project from Heaven (where "Red Hot Smoothies" resounds :-) Hugs, Teresa Radomski

  • Ellen Hogan on April 6, 2016, 2:15 p.m.

    Go, go, go Emily!

  • Helene Morrison on April 6, 2016, 8:42 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • Katie Martin on April 6, 2016, 10:26 p.m.

    I think what you're doing is amazing. Thank you for all that you've done for Special Spaces of the Triangle. I'm excited to see your book and art published. I am keeping one book for myself, and intend three as gifts for special friends who have walked this difficult and painful path.

  • Ben Railton on April 7, 2016, 1:45 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading it, Emily.

  • Paul Erb on April 7, 2016, 1:45 a.m.

    My dad, too.

  • Brad Samuel on April 7, 2016, 2:04 a.m.

    Happy to support a meaningful endeavor

  • Rashard Spiller on April 7, 2016, 2:11 a.m.

    Good luck and God bless.

  • Josh Arnold on April 7, 2016, 2:32 a.m.

    Best of luck Emily!

  • Daniel Swanson on April 7, 2016, 3:18 a.m.

    Emily, your artwork is amazing. If I wrote a children's book for my daughters, could I commission you to illustrate it for me after you finish this book? I'm completely serious. Hope you're doing well, -D Swanson

  • Vanessa Bland on April 7, 2016, 3:59 a.m.

    😘

  • Jeff Wild on April 7, 2016, 4:03 a.m.

    Jackie's away at college (finishing up her Junior year at FSU, so I've got more than enough to eat here. If you eat meat, I've got a wood burning firepit in the back yard and if not, a decent size wok in the kitchen. You are welcome here any time. No need to be a starving artist.

  • Pat Niemann on April 7, 2016, 11:24 a.m.

    I am looking forward to receiving and reading your new book knowing that it is going to be good reading!

  • Marianne Wysocki on April 7, 2016, 12:37 p.m.

    Hi Em <3. Love you.

  • Brian Pieslak on April 7, 2016, 1:30 p.m.

    Pre-ordered! I am looking forward to reading the book when it's published. Good luck!

  • Aaron Weber on April 7, 2016, 1:51 p.m.

    :)

  • Josh Dalley on April 7, 2016, 1:51 p.m.

    Good Luck, Emily!

    Josh Dalley

  • Anne Slater on April 7, 2016, 3:02 p.m.

    What an awesome tribute to your father. Best of luck, Emily! -Anne

  • Benjamin Gruchow on April 7, 2016, 4:20 p.m.

    I would have done this sooner, but I had to wait until payday. Looking forward to reading your work.

  • Grace Hauth on April 7, 2016, 5:01 p.m.

    SOOO proud of you, EP!!!! I'm hungry, too!

  • John Maynor on April 7, 2016, 5:31 p.m.

    I'm pleased I can help. Thank you for being candid about such a serious issue. Cheers!!

  • Jim DiVito on April 7, 2016, 10:20 p.m.

    Look forward to reading it

  • Alan MacEwan on April 7, 2016, 11:59 p.m.

    Don't throw up! Thanks for writing this!

  • Stephanie Spurlock on April 8, 2016, 12:38 a.m.

    Rooting for you!!

  • Lori Drennan on April 8, 2016, 1:52 a.m.

    You go girl!! We all need more cow bell!! Hugs

  • Chris Eastburn on April 8, 2016, 2:03 a.m.

    Looking forward to it Emily!

  • Kym Lord on April 8, 2016, 5:02 a.m.

    So sorry for your loss, Emily. I cannot wait to see your precious work of love.

  • Tara Brooke on April 8, 2016, 9:13 a.m.

    Good luck Emily! your writing is is a tribute to your dad & the amazing relationship you had. It's something to be proud of. good luck! 💙 Tara ( carters friend).

  • Scott & JoAnn Wilson on April 8, 2016, 1:15 p.m.

    No need for a mention. You Go! We love you kid.

  • Sarah Dewan on April 8, 2016, 1:38 p.m.

    You have done so much for me, during the sickness and loss of my Mom. It is the least I can do for you. Keep up the great work Emily! Thoughts are with you.

  • Liza Fiz Flood on April 8, 2016, 3:33 p.m.

    I'm so excited for you!!!!

  • Michele Martin on April 8, 2016, 3:33 p.m.

    You are a dear

  • Iscella Wittich on April 8, 2016, 5:48 p.m.

    Love you and wish you many, many book sales!

  • Chris Page on April 8, 2016, 8:54 p.m.

    So proud of you! Excited you are taking the challenge of this project. Love you C & C

  • Lisa Daffy on April 8, 2016, 11:10 p.m.

    Great idea Emily, really looking forward to reading your work!

  • Mary Kyle Hughes on April 9, 2016, 12:41 a.m.

    Wishing you much success with this very worthwhile endeavor!

  • Sarah Freeman on April 9, 2016, 12:57 a.m.

    Thank you!

  • Courtney Hobgood on April 9, 2016, 3:36 a.m.

    I love you Emily, you are the type of person I want to be.

  • Sohail Mushtaq on April 9, 2016, 5:27 p.m.

    very good approach.

  • Linda Bastida on April 9, 2016, 5:55 p.m.

    This is very timely for me. We are moving my husband with FTD into a memory care facility next week. Fractured is a perfect word for the people with dementia and their loved ones. Thanks Emily.

  • larry camp on April 9, 2016, 7:20 p.m.

    Thank you, Em!

  • Dion Reaves on April 10, 2016, 6:22 p.m.

    Thank you! Can't wait to read!

  • Maryann Russell on April 10, 2016, 7:36 p.m.

    I'm so excited to receive my copy. Thank you to Holly MacEwan for telling me!!! Yay.

  • Alistair Marais on April 12, 2016, 12:22 a.m.

    And You're Pretty Cool Too ;)

  • Margaret Parsons on April 13, 2016, 1:12 p.m.

    YOU'RE awesome!!! <3

  • Alexandra Morris on April 14, 2016, 6:46 p.m.

    I hope you are successful

  • Christine Payden-Travers on April 14, 2016, 8:03 p.m.

    I have asked my former boss to share this with the Centra hospice staff where I was employed as a chaplain for 7 years. I'm so glad Tamara forwarded the notice to us.

  • Charlie Niemeyer on April 14, 2016, 9:38 p.m.

    The cover, alone, says it all. Alzheimer's is the elephant in the room that no one is talking about.

  • David Sontheimer on April 15, 2016, 9:33 p.m.

    Emily, I look forward to reading your book. My father passed in 2013 due to Lewy Body Dementia and I think often of the ups and down of the wild ride that was the last few years of his life.
    -David (WFU '05)

  • Cathryn Astin on April 16, 2016, 8:29 p.m.

    Hello dearest Emily. I will be so pleased to see your work. What a wonderful legacy for sweet Nick. Big hugs to you. Cathryn Astin

  • George Manahan on April 16, 2016, 10:24 p.m.

    Good luck. Parkinson's disease is a hideous disease. It looks like you are close to achieving your goal. Glad we could help you get there.

  • Guy Vincent on April 18, 2016, 7:45 a.m.

    You're doing amazing Emily – congrats :)

  • Mary Caperton on April 19, 2016, 1:33 a.m.

    I hope this helps.

  • William Franck on April 20, 2016, 3:29 p.m.

    It is a great idea.

  • Christy Redfern on April 20, 2016, 3:43 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Love and joy to you as you embark on this next chapter to honor your father.

  • Dawn Loranger on April 21, 2016, 3:19 a.m.

    Hey Cuz. You Rock!

  • Lori Maloney on April 21, 2016, 5:41 a.m.

    To be honest, I'm a little nervous about reading this book, but I know that I should, and that it will be very very good. Good luck with publishing!

  • Beth Roberts on April 21, 2016, 11:32 a.m.

    I'm sorry it took so long but know that I send you love and support. So proud of your endeavors, your strength and your courage. Keep it up!!! <3

  • Jennifer Snow on April 21, 2016, 5:25 p.m.

    💗💗💗 Thought I did this last week, but you made it to your goal! So happy for you.

  • Ricky Haag on April 21, 2016, 11:31 p.m.

    Great to be able to help for this cause. Thank you! :)

  • C Ng on April 26, 2016, 3:30 a.m.

    I'm glad you put notice of your book on 4/22 TheBloggess.com blog
    :) Christina

  • Denise Chandler on April 26, 2016, 7:06 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading and seeing your loving endeavour! Your dad would be so very proud of you ... even more than before.

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