(To Leave a Review, please scroll down, and find the “Leave a Review” button, just after the Questions and Answers segment ⇓)
In the media:
- Listen to Jan and fellow Ally Kyle, in an interview with Markus Shwabe, from CBC, Radio One, on the Circles and Allies program in Sudbury, and the need for more Allies:
2. Watch for the article, featuring Jan, in the September 2018 issue of Alive + Fit, a health magazine based in Sudbury, Ontario:
3. December 4, 2018 @ 2:30 p.m., Channels 10 and 610: Season two for “Your Wellness” Series, featuring a look at the faces of poverty. Jan weighs in as an advocate for the Circles and Allies program, with Public Health Sudbury and Districts, and Jansquest.weebly.com
4. Tune in to CBC Radio One, on Nov. 8, 2018 regarding Jan’s Autobiographical journey. Here is the link:
Questions & Answers
Questions, courtesy of Francesca Jackman, Book Marketing Manager with Tellwell Publishing.
1. You describe your work as personal and authentic: “It’s raw. It’s true. It’s me.” What was the process of writing your personal experiences like? Did you encounter any challenges or hurdles?
Jan: The process of writing this autobiography made light of many of the difficult events that came my way. It became a source of detachment with which I could package my emotions and qualify them in a written format. I looked forward to having things go a-muck, and would react with the following words: “It will be good for my story!…”, I would say with resign and acceptance. Of course, I hurt through the process, but perhaps less so, than without this project. I suppose it became a distraction for me. As much as it was so personal, I felt that by recounting in the role of the third person and viewing my life at arm’s length, I had a better perspective in sorting through my thoughts and feelings, to decide my next move.
2. How have friends and family reacted to you publishing a memoir?
Jan: I have had so much support from my circle of friends and extended family. My immediate family, considering the very emotional and trying couple of years have been guarded but supportive. We have different timelines, my husband and I. My husband’s journey is a life-long one, and his recovery is fresh so he has not been ready to read my work though I believe it will help him with his healing and with his finally understanding me. I hope…
3. You broach some topical subjects that many readers could relate to- from battling cancer, to mental illness and relationship challenges. What are you hoping those readers will take away from your story?
Jan: If my story can help at least one person, whether it’s a family member living with an addict, working through a cancer diagnosis, or simply to empower women to make needed changes in their lives, then my pride tank will be filled. It is my hope that this book encourages a double-take on our current life’s path, to realize that we all need to take more time for ourselves so that our needs don’t get lost in all of our other priorities. We need to be prepared for the future, but living or the opportunity to do so, is NOW. Nurture our minds, nurture our bodies and nurture our many relationships. I believe this is the path to true happiness.
4. What’s something you wish you’d known in the midst of the life challenges you faced?
Jan: I wish I knew my strength and my rights from an early age. I have always been indecisive, insecure and a people-pleaser. Decisions that I made in my youth which were not in line with my parents’ rules, made me feel ashamed of myself. It didn’t and doesn’t seem fair to me, that the same choice made regardless of gender, is not equally accepted. I wish to change that mentality. I don’t know how long I have, but part of the reason I published this book, was for my children’s future mental health and teaching them that it’s okay to mess up, and to have the patience with others’ as they make their own mistakes. We judge too readily. We all make mistakes. We are all Human. A fellow Ally once said: “We are Human Beings, not Human Doings”. We need to take the time to ‘be’.
5. What got you through the most challenging times you faced?
Jan: The biggest source of strength came from awakening the Momma Bear in me. In such a role, I felt I could protect my young from anything and that is what I tried to do. I had to stay strong so that they could learn by example and was completely open with them so that they could understand the process of what to do when your spouse is sick, physically or mentally. I prayed each night for strength. My husband was not physically abusive, so I kept my vows. I married for life, after all.
6. What are your words to live by?
Jan: I’ve recited different sayings, poems and prayers throughout my journey, applicable to the current experiences that I was facing.
Mom always told me: “If you don’t take care of yourself, no one will”. This repeated in the background of my consciousness, when I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer.
The poem that is displayed on the overhead beam in my kitchen, reads: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to…dance in the rain“. This quote always inspired me, when I suspected that my husband was drinking again. I realized that I could find moments of joy, despite the stress of real time. Even if it was just attained by plugging in the ear buds and listening to “Despacito”, or going to the gym, meditation, etc…
Every night, I followed my “Now I lay me down to sleep”, with “The Serenity Prayer”, which became almost a motto, for me, as I realized that change is always possible: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Not only did these words pop up in my nightly prayers, but my husband also received this prayer through his rehabilitation classes, and received the poem on a rock, decorated by the spouse of one of his rehab-acquaintances. I believe these were the most important words to live by, for us.
7. What has been the most gratifying experience of sharing your story so far?
Jan: I love engaging with people. Often at craft shows, I have that opportunity and love to share my story. I love that being so open by-passes all of the pre-programmed, meaningless words and cuts to speaking from the heart. Real conversation. Real love. There’s much love in so many hearts. I feel that we are more of a community than we realize, if we’d all just open up and stop hiding from each other.
8. What’s next for you as a newly published author?
Jan: I am working on a number of projects, currently. Mostly legacy projects. I continue to dabble with making toxin-free toiletries and cosmetics for the fall craft shows. (Bijangles) This is fun, but also very important for me, to ensure that I don’t add pseudo-estrogens from our commercial products, as my cancer is estrogen fuelled. This also creates a wonderful opportunity to engage with members of the community and make new friendships.
I am also working through the various social services in Sudbury, in order to identify barriers keeping individuals living on the streets, and blogging my findings here: www.jansquest.weebly.com. I would love to create a printable guide for services, that individuals can give out as they encounter individuals asking for money or help. I would also love to write about living on the street, should I find consenting individuals to take part.
I will be the subject of an article in the September 2018 issue of the “Alive + Fit” health magazine, and have written for the Open Minds Quarterly, a mental health focused magazine.
I plan on visiting several book stores, including a trip to Newfoundland, and planning a Book Signing event, in early fall.
Most importantly, I look forward to getting re-acquainted with my new and improved husband.
Enjoy every day. Love every day. xoxo
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The Crystal Road by Jan-Andrea Day speaks to the raw truth that many families struggle with in silence. This truth of her family's journey with alcoholism is REAL. And we need real. It is BRAVE to step out and share your truth. But if we are willing to put ourselves out there at the risk of being judged, and if that means helping even one person, then it is worth it. Jan-Andrea Day accomplished this. One person's story, opens up another's. MANY families will be helped with the sharing of Jan and her family's sacred story.
Thank-you Kathy, for your kind words. Your feedback definitely helps me to realize why I went through this process. Together, as a community, we can heal. /Jan xoxo
You are my hero. I read it in a day. Thank you for letting us into your life.
Thank-you for your kind words, Carole! I feel that I am not alone, and I hope that many others can relate to my journey, and feel there are outlets to share and open up. Sharing, is healing. /Jan xoxo
The Crystal Road is a captivating and authentic account of a life story that has the reader’s emotions on a pendulum. The author has a matter of fact and genuine approach to telling her story; the pages seething with her determination, bravery and courage to hold her family together while faced with an ill husband and a devastating cancer diagnosis. The Crystal Road has made me laugh, cry, as well as made me realize that my monotonous life problems aren’t really problems. After reading The Crystal Road, I am inspired to be the best person I can be, and to live life to the fullest as things can change in a heartbeat.
I am so humbled, by this review. Thank-you Marianne! /Jan xoxo
What an amazing book,couldn't put it down and read it in 2 days. I learned so much about my friend Jan. How much we are alike and how much we have in common. Definitely teaches you no matter how bad you think your life is, someone else is fighting a tougher battle.
We all struggle, don't we? That's part of being Human. I'm glad that you still like me after reading about all of my secrets! 😉 Jan xoxo