My Overhauls: Then and Now

 


Vitality Stories


Teri Case Overhauls


My Overhauls: Then and Now


My Overhauls: Then

Author Cathey Graham Nickell and I recently shared the ways our mothers extended the life of our clothes when we were little. Cathey’s mom would add different colored strips of cloth to the bottom of her favorite jeans to lengthen them–Cathey liked them because she felt very “hippie.”

With my eight brothers and sisters, my mom repurposed our clothes both as hand-me-downs and hand-me-ups. My mom and I had many arguments about fashion once I started kindergarten. The first would be when she tried to get me to wear some used black overalls that were given to us for my younger brother. They were too big for him so my mom said I’d have to wear them until my brother grew into them. “Besides,” she had said, “you need clothes to start school.” But I was having none of her idea. I loved bright colors, skirts, and dresses already. I cried. My mom got creative. She cut out the inseams and sewed bright green polyester triangles to the front and back and voila–the overalls became an overalls dress and I loved my “overhauls”–as I liked to call ’em. I wore the dress all the time until I outgrew it, and my mom turned the dress back into overalls for my little brother. Continue reading

Mom’s Jailbreak


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Teri Case Vitality Stories


Mom’s Jailbreak


No one puts Bonnie in the corner

Recently, my eighty-two-year-old mom had pneumonia which caused her to lose strength in her legs. She could no longer stand long enough for the staff to transfer her from the bed to her wheelchair, from her wheelchair to a recliner, etc. Ultimately, her pneumonia worsened, and she had to be checked into the hospital. She gets pneumonia quite often, but because she had lost so much strength and mobility, the hospital recommended she be transferred to a local rehabilitation nursing center (non-hospital affiliated) to rebuild her strength rather than discharge her to return to her assisted living center–her home.

What we didn’t appreciate at the time, but do now, is how poorly the rehabilitation nursing home was staffed and managed. My mom was grossly ignored for several days and was not receiving any physical therapy to rebuild her strength. Instead they were performing mental tests and assessments all in an effort to make a case that she stay at their facility for the rest of her life. She was starting to decline under the care of the rehab facility. There was no rehabbing a-happenin’. She’d try to talk to the nurses, but they just spoke over her. She tried asking for her doctor, nothing would happen. Continue reading

Biggest Surprise Ever


Vitality Stories



Biggest Surprise Ever


Dear Friend,

Right now, the above video isn’t going to make any sense because in a completely bizarre chain of events–and while I was writing this newsletter to send out–I received surprising news that the hardcover of Tiger Drive is available for shipping/delivery by January 11th via Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!! My head is spinning. I’m adding links here and sending this to you today because you deserve to know first, however, I thought you might get a kick out of my original message below because, just like that–I’m published. All my careful planning and now there’s nothing I can do about it! I have to laugh!!



Note: hardcover is $27 compared to the ~$11 paperback sales price Amazon and B&N are offering.


The Ugliest Baby (originally intended newsletter)

Happy New Year, my friend!

I missed emailing you this past month–really I missed hearing from you. Whenever I send a newsletter, several of you respond with the most interesting stories and experiences. I’ve learned so much from you in 2017, and I hope to return the favor in 2018.

This was the first holiday since I started writing full-time three years ago (yes, I know, three years and I’m just now publishing Tiger Drive–Egads!) that I unplugged and took the holiday off. Writing is no different than running your own business. It sounds romantic going into it–this idea that you will work for yourself–and then you quickly realize that you need to work 24/7 to support yourself, keep the business alive, and get everything done. It’s important to realize that just like any job, one needs a vacation from time to time. A vacation where you give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing or catch up on your non-business life. Work life balance!

So I tried to shut my brain off and stop thinking about everything that should or could be done before Tiger Drive flies out into the world on Valentine’s Day. I talked to my author friend, Cathey Graham Nickell, about it. I was telling her how I couldn’t stop worrying about everything that needed to be done. I’m a process-oriented person, and so I get a bit obsessed with checking boxes (similar to Carrie in Tiger Drive) and if I don’t check all those boxes, Tiger Drive might suffer for it. I’ve put so much of my life into this book. What if I don’t catch any final typos? Making changes and ordering proofs takes time (even though I’ve already gone through two proofs and feel pretty good about it). What if I take vacation when I could save one more typo from assaulting my readers (I’ve hired editors and proofreaders to avoid this, but I still worry)? Cathey and I have talked a lot in the past about letting the project go, that we can’t control what happens once we release our books. But this time she said,

“Now you sort of know what it feels like to have a baby.” Continue reading

December’s Inside Scoop


Vitality Stories



The past four weeks have been hectic and thrilling. I’ve been experimenting with different social sites to find a balance between the marketing side of this whacky writing business and the joy in the process without feeling like I’m vomiting sales pitches all over my friends. I’ve been posting on Instagram (@terilcase) and on my Facebook page (tericase_author), and since I don’t expect you to track me down on all these sites (I’m supposed to find you!), I’m going to start sharing a monthly “inside scoop” video of what my new friend, TIGER DRIVE, and I have been up to. Here is  December’s Inside Scoop. And until 2018, I’m wishing you the happiest holiday and a satisfying finish to 2017.

Thank you for being you.

Teri

If a friend shared this newsletter with you, and you’d like to subscribe for future newsletters, that’s excellent! Just click here (and you’ll also get the first four chapters of my novel TIGER DRIVE).

Inside Scoop on Tiger Drive

It Takes A Village


Vitality Stories


Giving Thanks Tiger Drive


It Takes A Village


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I reflected on the six-year journey to write TIGER DRIVE and wrote the Acknowledgments page(s). I am so blessed and lucky to know so many wonderful people, and I’m glad that I had a moment of clarity several years ago and thought, I should start a list now of all the people who will contribute to TIGER DRIVE. The list came in handy, because it truly takes a village of people to write and publish a book. With gratitude, I present the best villagers ever:

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you for being you.

Teri

To subscribe, click here.

Good Stuff Is Happening


Vitality Stories



Good Stuff Is Happening


I am just back from a cruise through the Panama Canal. Next week, I’ll share some photos and a time-lapsed video. It was an inspiring trip in more ways than one, and I look forward to sharing more details with you.

But right now, I can’t wait to tell you some awesome news! As you know, I recently rolled out the landing page for my novel Tiger Drive. It’s being released in February 2018, and I will be sharing pre-order options, holiday gift cards, and bonus material soon.

I am officially now able to share that a portion of the proceeds of my novel will help fund the annual Tiger Drive Scholarship fund!

Thanks to generous friends, family, and strangers, we have been able to help eight students go to college in the past three years. They are now Dean’s List students 🙂

When I think about all the people who helped me change my life and attend college or when I think about the village of folks who have helped me become an author, I am overwhelmed by the fact that this scholarship and my dream to be published can now come together. And as a subscriber, you are one of those people who have helped make this all possible. I am beyond grateful to you.

I look forward to writing you next week. Until then, thank you for being you.

Teri

Was this email shared with you? If you’d like to subscribe for future newsletters, click here, and then give our mutual friend a big hug for me for spreading the word about the Vitality Stories newsletter and the  TIGER DRIVE Scholarship.

TIGER DRIVE Has Landed!


Vitality Stories


Tiger Drive Has Landed


TIGER DRIVE Has Landed!


It’s official! TIGER DRIVE has landed. Landed as in there is an:

  • Official book trailer
  • Official book landing page
  • Official cover (you’re in for a surprise)
  • Official book description (this about killed me)
  • Official release date
  • Official pre-order date
  • Official pre-order gift cards (just in time for the holidays)
  • Official (signed) book labels

I have to admit that all of the “official”-s above are making me feel like an official author, which reminds me of a cherished memory. Continue reading

The Orange Door: a true story

Vitality Stories

Teri Case Orange DoorThe Orange Door: a true story


With Halloween creeping our way and orange candy wrappers teasing me every where I look, I am reminded of a story my mom, Bonnie, shared in her memoirs about a house we owned in the seventies (and lost to foreclosure–but that’s another story) in Carson City, Nevada, on Telegraph Street. It had an orange door–an “infamous orange door.”

Continue reading

The Day I Was Born


Vitality Stories


teri case canva


The Day I Was Born


As I go into the final month of my 46th year with exciting plans of publishing Tiger Drive in my 47th year, I can’t help but share a portion of my mom’s memoirs about how we bonded when I was born (and my birth also sums up our family life as well). In Tiger Drive, the daughter, Carrie, wonders if she and her mom, Janice, missed this important window of bonding. Read the below if you’d like to find out how my mom and I managed.


Continue reading

Tiger Drive Is Everywhere!


Vitality Stories


road trip


Tiger Drive Is Everywhere!


Dear Friend,

I promise I won’t turn every newsletter solely into an update about Tiger Drive (the novel), but can we talk about Tiger Drive the drive?

I grew up in the Safari Trailer Park on Tiger Drive in Carson City, Nevada, from 1978 to 1986 (I left home when I was fifteen and would graduate from high school in 1989). I liked living there before I hit my wise teen years. There were always kids to play with and large fields to take long walks in with my dog. The trailer park was across the street from the movie theater and a drug store where I could get a ten-cent ice cream cone and candy for ten cents a box. I ran, played, and shopped unsupervised (most of the time).

My family wasn’t perfect, but they were my family. Our trailer wasn’t perfect, but it was our trailer and home. So because there is so much nostalgia and because so much of “me” came out of my years on Tiger Drive, when I sat down to write a novel, the simplicity and punch of TIGER DRIVE as a title felt like a no-brainer to use for my novel. It felt “right”–a very important gut-level benchmark for authors to spring from.

But the thing is, what happened on Tiger Drive the drive is not what happens in Tiger Drive the novel. In the novel, I use the trailer that I grew up in because the smells and sounds are ingrained in my memory and therefore, easier to convey in writing. Tiger Drive the novel is about a family that needs to confront the truths about their lives and each other in order to move forward and to pursue their ideals–but you’ll have to read the novel to see who does and doesn’t succeed. But as for the drive itself, the story is not about the trailer park. The novel has nothing to do with Tiger Drive the drive.

When I first started writing Tiger Drive, I made a promise to the universe: I would not tell anyone’s truths or cause any harm with my words. If I ran into blurred boundaries, I’d talk to the source and check their comfort level and get their blessing.

So when I found out that Tiger Drive in Carson City was a private drive and owned by the owners of the Safari Trailer Park, I called them to see how they felt about me using Tiger Drive as a title and to tell them about the Tiger Drive Scholarship.

It turns out they are the same owners who owned the park when I lived there and get this, the park manager who is now over ninety-years-old is still the manager!

After I introduced myself, the owner asked, “So did you live on Tiger Drive at some point?”

I said, “Yes, in the 1980s.”

She said, “So you survived.”

The owner told me about the lengths they’ve taken since the 1980s to improve the reputation and image of the park and to make families feel welcome. With pride, she said the school bus is packed with residents of Tiger Drive. I told her about the scholarship (she was thrilled to learn about it) and about my novel (not so thrilled). These owners are nice people who don’t want the stigma of a fictional and dysfunctional family to send the wrong message about what the real drive has to offer, and they don’t want anyone who lives there to be stereotyped by the flawed characters in my novel.

I absolutely agree with them. So we talked it over and reached a comfortable agreement. In the United States, there are hundreds of Tiger Drives. The closest one to me today is in Newfield, New York.

Subscribers often send me photos of Tiger Drive when they see one:

Here’s one Jack sent in Lockport, Illinois:

Tiger Drive Lockport IL
And Sue from St. Louis, Missouri, sent me this note: “Our high school mascot is a tiger, and there’s a road sign that says Tiger Drive.”
tiger drive mascot

 

So the owner and I agreed: they don’t own “Tiger Drive” but to reference Tiger Drive in Carson City, Nevada, is too specific and as the book is fiction, it’s also unnecessary. So our easy solution: make up a town or city in Northern Nevada. Northern Nevada is important to the story, but Carson City is not (though I have many friends who liked the idea of their home town being in a book). But the owner likes that there is a Tiger Drive Scholarship that gives special consideration to the residents of her Tiger Drive. She has high hopes for them. Before we hung up, she said, “You’re doing a great thing, and I want to read your novel.”

So, my dear subscriber, if you’d like to help me make up a name for a fictitious city in Northern Nevada with a population under 100,000 people, send me an email with your idea 🙂

What are you up to this week?

Happy Thursday and thank you for being you.

Teri

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