The Little Things
May 11, 2021
The Little Things has now been published on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. Simply go to amazon.com and search for The Little Things Book Amy Montague.
February 8, 2021
I keep adding to the book as I remember more and more details. I will add a passage in a first draft and then embellish it, mature it and it seems that’s what is happening to my book. It is growing, enlarging, and maturing into a more complete and real story. It is taking on a life of its own. I have always wanted to write a novel since I was a small girl. I wanted it to be really good, a masterpiece. I went from starting to write and being lazy with the storytelling; just wanting to get through the material and be done. I was a lazy writer at first. Now I have matured my storytelling by adding parts and details. And now presently I want it to be as rich as possible. I am willing now to do whatever it takes to make it as good as it can be. With nothing held back now, I approach my work. It is becoming larger than me. As I lie awake at night, I think about what I have added and how I can enrich it. It has been my first attempt at writing a novel and at first, it was only about the stroke. A colleague said it was a good article. So right then and there I thought about developing it into the complete story of my life including pieces of my psychology work more in the present, but also going back into my history with the idea of creating my complete life story. I hope I am being successful. I would appreciate any and all feedback that anyone is willing to share with me. I thank you in advance. As I think of it now, it is a lot of painting and watching it come to life.
January 29, 2021
After reading the book for flow and content I have moved about 6 pages of memories from the Prologue and placed them in chapter 3 where they are combined with other memories that I had shared in chapter 3. This makes the prologue shorter and less wordy while adding content and a better flow of ideas in chapter 3.
January 25, 2021
I believe that I have finished putting content into the book. I will self-publish and put it on Amazon after a final edit and proofreading. I have decided not to go with publishers at this time. Perhaps if I reach a level of sales and success whereby I can afford to hire a publisher to advance sales, I might enlist their help at that point. Thank you all for your interest.
January 21, 2021
I am in the process of adding information to the chapters of my book, as I remember details. I do this with the hopes of bringing my story to life in a way that most can put themselves into my situation. For example, I talked more about my office and how much it meant to me, and how I put the office together. I even venture into the work I did with my patients (without names, of course).
January 18, 2021
This is my first novel, a memoir. I have taken a few classes through UCLA Extension on how to write a memoir. These taught me how to write and combined with my writing and practicing. I feel like I finally am a writer. How good of a writer still remains to be seen. I have contacted a few publishing companies so far:
Dorrance (been around 100 years), Page Publishing in New York, a few others, all are located Back East. They have stated that they liked the book and accepted it for publication. However, they all want money to proceed with publishing and marketing it. It’s always been my dream to publish a book since I was a very young child. I almost like the idea of the notoriety, more than making my fortune, haha. Anyway, I have no money, since the stroke, my husband and I are living up in the mountains and surviving on social security. It would a miracle and a dream come true if this ever worked out. Aside from my sons, I feel like this is all I have to live for!
January 15, 2021
Decided to post the prologue to my book. Update: The prologue has since been broken up and sprinkled throughout the book but this will give you a taste of what the book is about.
THE LITTLE THINGS
Amy D. Montague, Ph.D.
The inspiration for this memoir came following a massive stroke to my right brain on 3/19/17.
I was born on 3/8/50 in Newark, New Jersey to Leon and Pearl Rosenfeld. Some of my writing unfolds from long-term memories in the deepest caverns of my mind and some derive from recall and other memories are clarified by old photographs. Memory can be so faulty.
One of my earliest visions of memory is awakening outside in the cold dark of night. I am being cradled in the warmth of my father’s strong arms as he is walking with me from the car to the house. My mind then flashes to my being held by my mom in a fragile, insecure hold and I can feel her insides trembling. I remember not feeling safe at all.
Next memory, I am crawling carefully through a hole in a chain-link fence delivering me into the playground of my elementary school in West Orange, New Jersey. I am in the first grade. I do not know why I’m entering the playground in this way. What I do know is that this large mass of black asphalt, painted in places with white hopscotch boards, a few swings but basically devoid of color and warmth was to become for me a kind of temporary home, holding me in the empty hours before and during school hours. I excelled here. I could run fast, faster than most of the other kids my age.
Furthermore, I could jump high and farther than most of the other kids my age and I could refine my movements delicately and as purposefully as needed. But I felt paralyzed socially. I stayed to myself most of the time and did not seek out other children to play with, feeling more comfortable by myself only. Although I was instilled with a good amount of athleticism, I felt alone and somehow not the same as the other kids my age, like I didn’t know as much as they did and that I wasn’t a part of the school like they were. It was a bad feeling, and it held me back from playing carefreelessly and joyfully. It was a feeling of not belonging like there was some inner club that I was not a member of. I do remember overhearing a teacher on the playground one day talking to my mother and telling my mother that there was something wrong with me and that I needed help. I do know that I was always shy. I read an article a few years ago about the fac5 that a gene for shyness was identified. I know that I never got this help. I brought it up to my mother some years before she died. My mother said that she didn’t remember this.
There were happy feelings and fun times that came on the days of gym class when it came time to pick teams either baseball, volleyball, or football, and just about all of my classmates would
scream out my name “Amy, Amy, Amy we want Amy!”
One of the most interesting facets of the stroke to me is the way that my mind keeps choking up these old memories. It corresponds in a very meaningful way to something I learned in an undergraduate psychology class. We were learning about famous people and their contributions to the field. One was a world-renowned psychologist by the name of Erick Erickson. He invented the phenomenon of eight stages of psychosocial development that we all pass through as we grow up through life. He maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order through these eight stages from infancy to death. Each stage wrestles with two conflicting issues.
The final stage, the eighth stage begins at approximately 65 and ends at death. Since I am going to be 71 in a few months this stage is particularly relevant to me now. It is during this time of life when one contemplates one’s life accomplishments. It is called ego integrity vs. despair. Ego integrity would be one’s ability to exit life feeling that one has led a successful life. Individuals who reflect on their life with regret at not achieving their goals will, according to Erickson, experience feelings of bitterness and despair. Erickson described ego integrity as “the acceptance of one’s one and only life cycle as something that had to be” (1950, p. 268) and later as “a sense of coherence and wholeness” (1982, p.65).
As we grow older and become senior citizens, we tend to slow down our productivity and explore life as a retired people. Erick Erickson believed that if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our past, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, that we could become dissatisfied with our lives and could develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness.
Success in this final stage of life will lead to the virtue of wisdom. Wisdom enables a person to look back on their life with a sense of closure and completeness and an acceptance of death without fear.
Wise people are not characterized by a continuous state of ego integrity, but they experience both ego integrity and despair. Thus late life is characterized by both integrity and despair as alternating states that need balance.
You can find it on Amazon by searching for The Little Things Book Amy Montague