Allen Long’s is a talented author who drew me in as he told of his experiences. I shared in his sadness and frustration, but most important in his joy. This is a story of resilience and ultimately triumph. I enjoyed this memoir which is odd to say since it made me uncomfortable. Praying for Restraint is an eye-opening memoir – especially for someone my age who has very little experience with healthcare.
I feel like I would have been afraid to write this book – I would be worried about what people would say or think. The author was very brave to share his experiences with the world. Praying for Restraint isn’t a book I would normally grab off the shelf but I would recommend other people read it, because they’d be surprised by the entire story – and inspired. No matter how bad things may seem, you should never give up! Life isn’t easy right now, so it was a good time to read a book like this.
Thank you Allen Long for sharing your life with me and other readers. Praying for Restraint is written, well edited, and I certainly enjoyed the short glimpses into your triumphant life. You are a resilient person and I’m glad you never gave up!
About the Reviewer:
Carmen is a delightful 14 year old from Wisconsin. She enjoys reading, horses, and helping on her family's dairy farm. She is 1 of 6 children and she's looking forward to entering high school in the fall. Her advice for other girls her age is "it doesn't matter if you're even good at it - sing/dance/run or do whatever it is that makes you happy!"
About: Praying for Restraint:
Allen Long works as a CNA-certified nursing assistant at that supposed sanctuary of caring, an inner-city general hospital. What an unforgettable parade of bizarre, needy, abusive, menacing, endearing, and poignant humanity passes through its doors. And those are just the staff and administrators! Meanwhile, the patient population spans the affluent and sophisticated to the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts, gang members, and criminals in custody. Praying for Restraint takes the reader on a journey into the absurd and surreal that is ultimately uplifting and harrowing, both funny and heartbreaking. Long's struggle to survive a relentlessly toxic work environment with body, soul, and marriage intact is as gripping as the battle against childhood abuse in his previous memoir, Less than Human. Reviewers found that book "inspiring, honest, and beautifully written, engaging, and thought-provoking." Praying for Restraint earns that praise and more.
Praying for Restraint is now available to purchase exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and as a Kindle book.
About the Author, Allen Long
Here’s how I became a writer. When I was a child in Arlington, Virginia, as soon as I understood what stories were, I began telling them to anyone who would listen. As a fifth-grader, I was recruited by the Storytellers, a small group of supervised fifth- and sixth-graders who told stories once a month to kids in the first, second, and third grades.
When I reached sixth grade, my teacher allowed me to skip all of my English assignments in exchange for me writing her a short story each week. In seventh grade, one of my stories placed second in an English class competition.
Storytelling seems to have been hardwired into my DNA.
One of my favorite memories from childhood is telling my younger brother, David, a made-up story every night during the summers we slept in twin beds in our cool basement.
I earned a BA in Communications/Journalism from Virginia Tech. While I was there, I took every creative writing class offered and wrote a story that placed second at a regional literary festival sponsored by nearby Hollins University. During my student days, I also worked half-time for two years as a reporter for The Roanoke Times.
After I graduated, I accepted a scholarship to earn an MA in English/fiction writing from Hollins University, where I wrote the first half of a novel. I then received a second scholarship and a teaching assistant position to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Arizona.
Shortly after I graduated, I published a story called “Second Honeymoon” in Concho River Review. After that, I decided to continue my writing education by working with master editor Tom Jenks. When Tom was a senior editor at Scribner’s, he completed Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished novel, The Garden of Eden, which became a bestseller.
I published two more stories, and then I decided to change gears and write a memoir called “Soul Breach” about the high level of illegal and unethical behavior I’d witnessed while working in the management consulting field. The story was published, and my good friend and editor, Kit McIlroy, told me it was the best piece I’d ever written, and he encouraged me to write more nonfiction.
I followed his advice and wrote and published magazine-length memoirs about the happiest, most intriguing, and worst moments in my life. These combined pieces became my first book, Less than Human: A Memoir (Black Rose Writing, 2016).
After that, I published memoirs on a wide variety of subjects, including two about my work as an assistant nurse in a poorly managed inner-city hospital populated by challenging patients, including violent mentally ill ones who often were not sedated or restrained.
“Keep writing about that hospital, and you’ve got your next book,” Kit said. I followed his advice, eventually producing my second book, Praying for Restraint: Frequent Flying with an Inner-City Hospital CNA (Legacy Book Press, 2021).
One final comment—I’ve loved visiting zoos and aquariums my whole life, and I’ve raised box turtles, swum with sea turtles, and gone on multiple dolphin- and whale-watching expeditions. Therefore, you may notice that quite a bit of wildlife has crept into my writing. At last count, I spied lions, tigers, giraffes, eland, monkeys, chimps, elephants, alligators, caimans, box turtles, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Have I missed any?
You can discover more about Allen and his work on his website: http://allenlongauthor.com/.
--- Upcoming Tour Schedule
May 23rd @ Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoirist Madeline Sharples shares her thoughts after reading Allen Long's latest memoir Praying for Restraint. Readers won't want to miss Madeline's review.
May 23rd @ Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler reviews Praying for Restraint by Allen Long. Find out what one memoir author has to say about the memoir of another author! Don't miss this valuable insight!
May 24th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Healthcare worker and Wisconsin mother, Michelle DelPonte shares her thoughts after reading Allen Long's memoir Praying for Restraint.
May 25th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles offers her thoughts in an insightful review of Allen Long's medical memoir titled Praying for Restraint. Join readers at World of My Imagination as they learn more about this inspiring memoir and it's author.
May 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Memoirist, Artist, and Psychotherapist Linda Appleman Shapiro offers some deep thoughts in her review of Allen Long's latest memoir Praying for Restraint. Join readers at Linda's blog today to learn more!
May 27th @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator and small business owner Cathy Hansen shares her insightful review of Allen Long's Praying for Restraint. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this memoir!
Crystal J. Otto
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Virtual Assistant to USA Today Best Selling Author Bette Lee Crosby
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Due to enforced shut downs, the bookstore is keeping everything virtual so instead of going in front of a crowd I printed off a set of emailed questions and was recorded responding to them. Public speaking is not one of my strengths so avoiding being in front of people made the event somewhat less nerve wracking. However, I'm not accustomed to talking about anything for an hour and knowing this was going to be seen by an audience was enough to bring some anxiety. I'm happy with how the video turned out!
Thank you to all our author clients! You make our world a far more interesting place!
We provide marketing and publicity for authors and their books. It’s a fascinating endeavor that provides us a chance to work with smart, creative, individuals who are dedicated to a noble profession.. It also gives us a chance to read some great books before they enter the market.
Throughout time, writers like artists, have been the chroniclers of history and all aspects of society and civilizations. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction they have provided a way to objectively see our world. They teach us new perspectives and ideas through the lenses of their books. They challenge us to seek within ourselves the attitudes and implications that their characters bring to life. Simply put, they make us think about ourselves.
If the book is non-fiction we are brought along for the ride with actual living and breathing people, places, and times. We get to glimpse the perspectives of people who have experienced things we may never have imagined. We walk in their shoes and see what they saw. We are challenged with the question of what would I do? How would I react? What decision would I make?
Unlike films, books force us to construct internal visions of the people, places, and situations they depict. The description of a house may be detailed but we build the total picture in our minds of what that house looks like. We personalize our experience with the writer and sometimes that connection can be magical. If you are a book lover you know exactly what this means. It can be like finding a friend and finding a place where you too fit in and feel comfortable. Or, like the character you feel the discomfort that they feel. Empathy is a powerful emotional connection.
Writing a book is hard work. It takes dedication and a great degree of creativity. It also takes a willingness to put yourself and your work out there to an unknown audience who can respond in a multitude of ways online or otherwise. We are finding that most authors are happy to have your response whether it’s positive or negative or somewhere in between. All that dedication to the craft of writing makes them pretty resilient.
Obviously we love books and we know they make a real difference in our lives. It’s our distinct pleasure to present a few of the authors and books we work with.
On Promoting Creativity
The New Art of Promotion
(Excerpt from a piece we did for the book “True Acting Tips” by Larry Silverberg)
If people don’t know about you, you won’t be found. If people can’t find you, you won’t be contacted. Simple truths. Let’s put you in that empty chair!
As most consumers know, a sea change has occurred in how we communicate and how we must promote what we do if we expect to succeed. While the phone and letters are still valid forms of communication, they require an extra effort that many busy recipients don’t have time for and relegate to the circular file. What they make time for is the web. Whether it’s email, search, or social media, that’s where contact now occurs. With this change, even traditional outlets of promotion using print ads struggled to adapt to digital consumption of what they have to say. They know they must evolve. Demographics for that consumption clearly show that if you want to be seen and heard by a very large part of potential audiences the place to start is online. Whether you are a company creating widgets or an actor performing drama, welcome to the new boat. We are all in it together.
As an artist you want your efforts to be seen. In the past others often controlled how you were seen. That, too, has changed. As a creative individual, you can now promote your own work in ways that are powerful and reach a worldwide audience. You can shape and control the presentation of your efforts. You can reach out and develop an audience. Chances are, if you create it, there is an audience out there for it. What does it take to do this? Time, effort, and access to basic computer technology are all that is necessary to begin.
Ah, time! If only we had more of it. Our good friend, the artist Steve Muhs has this to say about promoting his work: “I know I need to do it, but I don’t want to stop working to do it. If I don’t, though, then who am I making the art for? Who will see it?” His concern and his questions are valid. Like a lot of creative people, for him time is an issue. His work is demanding and requires a great deal of attention, and yet it still must be seen in order to be experienced and appreciated. He also adds that it “feels odd” to promote himself and his work. Our response is this: If you owned a company that produced a good product, would you be hesitant to promote it? Of course you wouldn’t. If you don’t do it who will? As an artist/actor you are essentially running your own business. It, like other businesses, must be marketed. And like other businesses, it has competition. However as an actor the products you produce are unique because they are creative expressions from within you. Martha Graham, the dancer, had this to say about creative expression: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” Finding an outlet for others to see and hear your unique talent is essential, so the time and effort are worthwhile. Whether you do it yourself or find an individual or organization to help, the online resources are out there.
At Artotems Co. we think artistic endeavor is a vital part of our lives. We make it a point to promote the creative efforts of many. To learn more about what we do go here.
Works by Steve Muhs
True Acting Tips by Larry Silverberg
True Acting Tips leads stage and screen actors on a journey of passion, intimacy, and personal investment. This isn't to say that there will not be heavy demands and a high cost, but ultimately, this book is designed to offer the clarity and encouragement to become an actor who makes a difference in the lives of the audience members. "True Acting" is not a reproduction of anything that has come before and True Acting Tips is not a book concerned primarily with the technical demands of acting. Instead, it is an in-depth examination and invitation to see and experience acting as a momentous burst of creation new, surprising, and deeply human. It includes inspirational quotes, more than 200 acting tips, and images that reveal a powerful philosophy to assist in the most difficult moments.
Available on Amazon here.
Sharing our creative efforts, work and travel.