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Thu

27

Feb

2014

Starbucks at Funeral Homes?

If you are anything like me, a good cup of Joe from Starbucks has a very positive effect on my day. It just does.

 

The warm feeling - well, the very hot feeling - of the cup, the slightly rough texture of the brown cardboard that cradles the cup, the familiar feeling of the small drinking hole at the top, the gripping smell of freshly brewed coffee, and the "wake up my chest" journey the warm coffee travels before it hits my stomach. I could go on. You get the idea.

 

All of this makes for a sweet and simple experience. One of those not so guilty pleasures that one can treasure. It's a comforting experience. It is the Starbuck's experience.

 

I am sure you can relate. And if you've read this far, you are probably one who knows where all of the Starbucks are located in your town. 

 

You are probably wondering why I am waxing lyrical about my comforting coffee ritual. Funeral homes, specialists in delivering their own brand of comfort, are adding it to their funeral offerings as a service to their grieving customers. Not full stores, drive-throughs, or elaborate outside signage, mind you, just offering Starbucks cofee. 

 

A USA Today story clarifies the details about a funeral home in Easley, S.C., noting that Starbucks is not opening a store there, the funeral home is just setting up a "coffee corner" in a special wing of the building.

 

Frankly, I think it's a great idea. I have so many fond memories shared over a cup of coffee. And that's what we should be doing at our funerals...drinking coffee and sharing fond memories. Starbucks is not a bad choice either. 

 

Donna Vincent Roa

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

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Tue

13

Nov

2012

A Publisher's Review of "The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies"

Recently, I got a review from a progressive publishing house. I thought it would be useful for you to see it. I think it is an informative and well-written piece and appreciate the frank feedback from this publisher.

 

This essay provides some details into how the book is structured, its tone, and provides some great insights and future actions for the author to consider. 

 

******

Section 1: Title

The title The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies suits your book well. It conveys the theme and genre of your book immediately and clearly to authors while also capturing keywords that are likely utilized by men and women in this situation (like “to do”). You might consider reworking the subtitle to expand even more on this keyword advantage. A phrase that mentions the terms “funeral planning,” “money-saving,” or “for beginners” could potentially be listed in many searches. If interested, you might also consider expanding the “Ultimate To Do List” concept into a brand and other books (ie: “The Ultimate To Do List: To Get Into College”) as this type of piece would be useful in many different avenues of life.

 

Section 2: Structure

You’ve done a great job of structuring The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies in a logical and cogent manner. The book is clear and easy to read. Readers aren’t weighed down with gratuitous anecdotes, and the simplified, chronological structure of the piece is refreshing and necessary.

 

In a future editorial review of the manuscript, be sure to pay close attention to the structure of the individual chapters. Certain sections may be shifted to better accommodate certain needs of the reader. For example, the eulogy chapter may be more logically situated before or within the memorial service chapter since many readers will be going through the book chronologically.

 

It may also make sense to embed some of the tables currently at the back within the book, or to make mention of them. For instance, it would be helpful to reference the “location of important papers” chart in the first chapter as readers will be collecting and filing their loved one’s documents. Noting possibilities for these types of references throughout the book will allow your readers to take full advantage of your helpful advice and document aides.

 

Section 3: Style

Your tone throughout The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies is direct and straightforward. The no-nonsense approach to funeral planning allows readers to swiftly collect their responsibilities and to-dos. Your authoritative voice is exactly what people are looking for in this situation and it will serve as a comfort throughout the organizational process. Unless you plan to add more text or a narrative structure to the book in the future, your tone is exactly where it should be.

 

Section 4: Platform/Market

You already have a great initial platform developed from which to market The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies. The book website is professional and has many great resources for viewers. The integrated blog also has wealth of useful information; a blog tour or blog swap will be helpful in engaging with other thought leaders in this space and getting your name into these communities online. You might also consider offering individual coaching or consulting services for readers, and focusing on creating workshops based on the book’s content. Both of these activities will allow you to capitalize on direct sales.

 

As your expertise is in the field of business communications, it would also make sense to leverage this professional knowledge in a book. If you have not already done so, publishing a business communications book will build credibility, visibility, and will allow you to build your brand even more powerfully.

 

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Mon

12

Nov

2012

Where's Waldo?

On November 10, I did a quick survey to find out how many places I could find that was selling "The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral. The prices went as high as $69. Here are the site that sell my book:

  1. Amazon.com
  2. BarnesandNoble.com
  3. ValoreBooks.com
  4. ShoppingYahoo.com
  5. IndieBound.org
  6. A1Outlet.com
  7. Alibris.com
  8. TheBookDepository.com
  9. eBay.com.au
  10. FuneralToDoList.com
  11. Shopping.com
  12. Pronto.com
  13. BookDepository.co.uk
  14. Chapters.Indigo.ca
  15. Half.com
  16. AbeBooks.com
  17. BetterWorldBooks.com
  18. Powells.com
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Sat

10

Nov

2012

Don't Let Your Final Act Be a Polluting Act - Choose a Green Funeral

If you knew that we bury enough metal in caskets in the ground each year to rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge, and put enough reinforced concrete vaults to build a two-lane highway from New York to Detroit, would you do it? What kind of environmental impact is this having on our earth? 

 

Modern cemeteries destroy the environment. We can choose another way.

 

However, in-ground burial with a headstone is such a strong tradition in the United States that the move to green burial will likely be slow. While there has been an increasing interest in different and more natural burial practices, the majority of people still opt for a traditional burial or cremation. Many choose cremation as an alternative method, primarily for the lower cost.

 

If we choose a green burial -- there are an increasing number of funeral homes throughout the US that are offering this option -- we can die with minimal environmental impact, conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, protect worker health, and restore and/or preserve habitat. In a green burial, formaldehyde is not used to preserve the body. 

 

Most funeral homes that perform green funerals use nontoxic preservatives and bury the body in a shroud, or in a casket made from natural materials. This allows the body to biodegrade free of chemical or synthetic materials.

 

Green burial is good for the earth. The less harmful chemicals from embalming and metal or treated hardwoods used in most coffins and concrete that we put in the ground the better.

 

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral lists green cemeteries and provides details about green alternatives that are available when preparing for your celebration of life details.

 

We are a society that cares about green living, green cars, green buildings and more. It's time we care about a green celebration of life experience.

 

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Tue

30

Oct

2012

The Days of the Dead

This article reprinted with permission from the author. It originally appeared in The Stanford Daily.

 

By Holly Moeller

 

With Halloween just around the corner, storefronts, lawn ornaments, and general décor have adjusted to reflect our temporary obsession with creepy-crawlies, scary monsters, and death.

 

The latter topic is something that we – college and graduate students generally in the prime of our lives – rarely think about. Then, last weekend, while standing at the counter of a BBQ joint, I encountered a particularly graphic rendition of a severed hand. Since I’m a relatively recent convert to vegetarianism, I appreciated the appetite killer, and, much later, the musings it engendered about the fate of our bodies post-mortem.

 

Of the friends and family I’ve lost, almost everyone has had their remains handled in one of two ways: cremation, or a “traditional” funeral, complete with embalming and a hefty casket. They’ve been entombed in picturesque cemeteries, or scattered to the winds in places that they loved.

 

Recently, however, the “greenwashing” that’s turned many of us on to local, organic produce and given corporations a major marketing facelift has turned up in funeral homes, as well. But what exactly is a “green burial,” or a “green cremation?”

 

It seems that the common idea behind both is to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental damage of traditional methods. It takes carbon dioxide-releasing energy (usually from methane gas) to cremate human remains. And the embalming process, used to preserve the deceased for viewing and burial, requires formaldehyde, a known carcinogen toxic both to funeral home workers, and to the environment surrounding graveyards. In this country, we go through 827,000 gallons of embalming fluid – the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool more than 8 feet deep – each year. Additionally, cemeteries in the United States annually inter 1.6 million tons of concrete and 104,000 tons of steel alongside the bodies they bury. And many use some unsavory pesticides and herbicides to maintain their pristine grounds.

 

By contrast, the United States Green Burial Council advocates for simpler methods – avoiding any preservatives in the preparation of the body (which may necessitate a speedier funeral), eschewing decomposition-resistant containment, and generally facilitating the return of the body to the earth. In many respects, these “natural burial” methods represent a return to the way humans have handled death for the majority of our species’ existence – only in relatively modern times have we resorted to elaborate contrivances to preserve the physical form of the deceased. (Of course, there are notable cultural exceptions, like the Egyptians.)

 

Then there’s so-called “green cremation,” or “resomation.” The process is straightforward enough: rather than burning the body to ash, heated potassium hydroxide is used to dissolve away the soft tissues. (The bones are ground and returned to the family of the deceased.) While the process is said to release a fraction of the greenhouse gases of regular cremation, I can’t help but wonder about the downstream environmental effects of the concentrated base solution, which is washed into the sewage system after the body has been dissolved. The first green crematoriums have only come online in the past few months, however, so I’m sure we’ll hear more about their environmental impacts if and when they catch on.

 

All in all, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to the “greening” of death.

 

As an ecologist, I’m trained to think of humans – indeed, all living things – as temporary amalgamations of raw materials that are part of global cycles much larger and longer-lasting than our corporeal forms. I like to imagine that some of my calcium was once precipitated by a coral, that some of my oxygen once also nourished a Tyrannosaur, and that, after my death, the energy and nutrients trapped in my chemical bonds will temporarily boost the growth of a tiny microbial food web. If to be “green” in death means to minimize the barriers between me and this natural recycling, then I’m all in favor.

 

Of course, what happens to our bodies after death – good or bad for the environment – represents only a small fraction of the impact we’ve had over the course of our lives. You can’t make up for a lifetime of Hummer driving (or, in my case, of cross-country flights) by going green in the afterlife. But perhaps thinking about our shared ultimate fate – demise and decomposition – will remind us of our fundamental interconnectedness with the most basic cycles of life on this planet, and motivate us to protect and maintain them. Ashes to ashes, ocean to ocean, dust to dust.

 

Holly is a Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolution, with interests that range from marine microbes to trees and mushrooms to the future of human life on this swiftly tilting planet. She's been writing "Seeing Green" since 2007, and still hasn't run out of environmental issues to cover, so to stay sane she goes for long runs, communes with redwood trees, and does yoga (badly).

 

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Mon

17

Sep

2012

Why Are Plans So Important?

Guest Post by Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.

Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.
Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.

Throughout the years, what I have noticed is a common theme with my clients is that unplanned events create chaos in their lives.  Unfortunately, when we are emotional, we do not always make the best decisions. 

 

With my tv guests (Making It Last, Montgomery County Municipal Cable TV, Channel 16), the consistent message they have given is that from the beginning, families need to try to plan for most major life events.  Some key take-aways that I have gotten from the show thus far are:

 

(1) Families need to work on a realistic family budget. 

 

(2) With kids, it is important to develop a family mission statement, and periodically check-in with one another to make sure that not just basic needs are being met, but that everyone's emotional tank is being filled with a little TLC. 


(3) To avoid a probate disaster, it is important to set up estate planning documents right away.

 

(4) Insurance needs should be reviewed with a reliable expert to protect income and assets. 

 

(5) Reviewing the details that need to be covered in the event of a death is an unpleasant converstation that cannot be avoided -- if you care about your loved ones. 

 

When plans are not in place to cover these major issues, what I have seen is that the stress is overwhelming for some families, and a perfect storm scenario can easily cause the strongest of family units to crumble. 

 

My job for the last 14 years has been to minimize the loss to a family opting to part ways, but I have rarely completed this mission by myself.  It is with all the experts, like the ones on my show, that I have helped families rebuild two separate households. 

 

Many times, it is the divorce itself that finally forces people to create a plan to address the major issues outlined above, which always leaves me wondering, how many families could have been saved if they had just spent the time upfront making plans? 

 

This is the reason for my show, because it is my firm belief that by planning ahead, more families could make it last.

 

Regina A. DeMeo is a top DC divorce lawyer, who is nationally recognized as an author and lecturer on family law and divorce mediation. She hosts the television show "Making It Last" for Montgomery Municipal Cable. The show airs on Channel 16 on Wednesday nights at 7:30.  Donna Vincent Roa and her book "The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral" was featured on "Making It Last."

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Thu

14

Jun

2012

Give a Little, Get a Little

So, yesterday was a very interesting one. When I woke up, I thought/was inspired by two things: my noon appointment at Spice Xing in Rockville with Mary from Fletcher Prince AND the compelling thought that I needed to go to Starbucks to give away 5 copies of The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral.  

 

The lunch went great. The visit to Starbuck yielded a television interview.

 

My intention was to give out five books. At one table, I gave out one each to two women sitting at the table by the south door. As I was walking out, one of the ladies called me back to her table. "Do you have a card?" she asked.

 

This was the universe transpiring to help me achieve my goal of spreading awareness about a book that has the potential to help a lot of people.

 

The woman, who was a family law attorney, was at the table in Starbucks discussing segment topics for television show she was hosting and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed on the show. 

 

You know my answer.

 

What a delightful moment for me. I will have to give out more books. Give a little, get a little. I didn't expect this, but it sure was nice. I've posted the interview on the home page of this website. Take a look at it!

 

Donna Vincent Roa

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

 

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Wed

13

Jun

2012

You Know You've Made It When... Beavis and Butthead Endorse Your Book!

Posted by Donna Vincent Roa, Author, The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies
0 Comments

Sat

09

Jun

2012

The Ultimate To Do List Wins Finalist Medal in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Donna Vincent Roa, The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies, funeral planning, funeral to do list, green funeral, military funeral, funeral check list
At the Awards Event. L to R: Marilyn Allen, Literary Agent and Advisor; Donna Vincent Roa, Author; and Catherine Goulet, Awards Chairperson at the 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards at The Plaza Hotel in New York, NY.

New York, NY (PRWEB) June 08, 2012 -- Donna Vincent Roa, an accredited business communicator and former cub journalist who wrote obituary notices at the Beaumont Enterprise, won a coveted finalist award in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Self-Help Category for her book, "The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral."

 

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards, described as the "Sundance of the book publishing world," honors the best independently published books in 60 different categories. The award from the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group, or IBPPG, is widely considered to be one of the highest awards for independent authors, and the recognition places Roa among the top independent writers in the self-help category for 2012.

 

Roa has written a comprehensive checklist for before and after the funeral, with details of funeral planning and execution, a topic that most families often ignore. She even includes an epilogue about her own funeral – a green one given her work on and love for environmental issues.

 

Roa, an acclaimed business communicator, screenplay writer and independent movie producer, draws from her own experience after the death of her mother to pen this one-of-its-kind funeral book.

 

IBPPG presents the awards in association with Marilyn Allen of Allen O'Shea Literary Agency. For more information about the program, please visit http://www.IBPPG.com and http://www.IndieBookAwards.com

 

The competitive awards program is the largest not-for-profit awards program for independent publishers and is open to authors and publishers worldwide.

 

Finalists and winners of the awards attended a reception to honor them at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on June 4, 2012, coinciding with the start of Book Expo America in the city. IBPPG will promote the finalists and winners to thousands of participants at the exposition, including book buyers, members of the media, library representatives and industry professionals.

 

For more information about the Next Generation Indie Book Awards:http://www.indiebookawards.com/index.php

 

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Tue

05

Jun

2012

Plan Ahead. Express Your Wishes. Keep Funeral Costs Low.

funeral to do list, how to do a funeral, military funeral, green funeral, funeral costs,

What are the largest expenses in a person's life? A house. An automobile. A wedding. A funeral. Childcare. 

 

We compare prices for wedding gowns, prices for houses, and certainly prices for automobiles. We shop around for the best place to leave our children. We should also compare prices for our funerals. Now more than ever. 

 

The headline screams "Funeral costs up 17.5 percent" and cites research form the National Funeral Directors Association that from 2004 to 2009 funeral prices rose more than 17.5 percent with the average price at about $6,550. 

 

In today's terms, the average is probably closer to $10,000 - $15,000. I speak from experience, and it was based on some very careful and financially-responsible decisions about each item on the "shopping" list. In Japan, where land is a premium, burial plots cost upward to $100,000. Don't wait until you are in a sea of grief to make decisions about your funeral or your loved one's funeral. Research the options. 

 

Caskets come in all shapes and sizes. Funerals come in all shapes and sizes. Do you want a silk shroud, a bamboo casket, or one made of metal or pine? Do you want a green funeral, or do you want to be cremated? Be clear about what you want before you visit to a funeral home and sign the dotted line.  

 

Also keep in mind that attitude and service of funeral home directors and staff should always be taken into account in life/death buying decisions. Would you buy a car from a salesperson that treats you badly or responds in such a way that makes you feel uncomfortable? Stay away from any person that leads you to emotional overspending. 

 

We were blessed to have a remarkable experience with Johnson Funeral Home who gave us caring, personalized service and were patient with us as we moved throught he process.

 

We all need to be smart about one of the most important events of our lives. Leaving things to chance or not having a plan in place that values your and your loved one's resources is not smart at all.

 

Funerals and funeral spending are already uncomfortable. Spending more than you should for this life event will definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth. That's not how it's supposed to be. We shouldn't have to deal with financial regret and grief.

 

Thoughtful decisions prior to when "it" all happens makes for a more peaceful transition. Making any decision under pressure is not healthy for anyone, so be prepared.

 

We may all be somewhat afraid of death, but we don't need to be afraid of funeral planning.  

 

Donna Vincent Roa

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

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Mon

09

Apr

2012

How Does it Feel When Your Mom Dies?

I just saw this question in a blog post and it struck a chord with me. It was asked by someone who had not yet lost her mom. How does it feel when your mom dies?

 

As I reflected on this question, I thought about a conversation I had with my sister yesterday. We were discussing that question. We were talking about our feelings. The ones we have now. Still have since my mom passed away about 15 months ago.

 

We are still talking about the profound effect that her life and death has had on our lives, our thinking, our conversations, our view of the world, our energy level, our ability to "get our groove" back following the intense grief one experiences, and so much more. 

 

And, it's not just about the feelings of grief. It goes much deeper than that. For those of us lucky enough to have had a deep and loving relationship with our mothers, the feelings almost have their own energy. There is that "something is missing" feeling. The "I don't have access to her advice and counsel." The feeling that she's not there to laugh at your funny or not so funny jokes. The feeling that you are no longer directly connected to the main author of your character. And so much more.

 

Our greatest treasure on earth is our mother. We were blessed to have an amazing, loving, thoughtful, giving, kind, and funny mother. We miss you, Mama.

 

Donna Vincent Roa

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

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Wed

04

Apr

2012

There is Comfort in Knowing that They Know

In doing research for the book, I came across many sources of information that gave me a greater understanding of what's possible for funeral arrangements.

 

In fact, as I wrote the book, I started to reflect on my own funeral. What did I want? How did I want to be buried? Where did I want to be buried? The questions were many. This project gave me a sense of what's available and what's possible. There are so many choices. So many options.

 

I used the epilogue in the book to outline my choices and made sure that I discussed the details with my husband and my family.

 

There is comfort in knowing that they know what I want.

 

Donna Vincent Roa, Author

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

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Mon

19

Mar

2012

No One Likes to Think About Funeral Arrangements

I get it. No one likes to think about funeral arrangements or funeral planning. We are occupied with the business of living.

 

This was ever the more evident to me at a recent bar mitzvah I attended. We were celebrating an important life event, and it was amazing to see my nephew, whose father is Jewish and mother is Catholic, perform his duties during the ceremony and party like the best of them in the event afterwards. It was a moment to rejoice in the milestones of a young man's life and to celebrate his coming into his adulthood. A true moment of living.

 

During the party afterward, I was speaking with a relative of my husband about my book. I mentioned that it was recently published and that I was having a great time with the marketing, promotion, and publicity activities. "What's the title?" she asked.

 

When I answered, it was if the entire room became silent, or so it felt like it. She chuckled a bit and said something like I don't need that kind of book. Her comment surprised me a bit. All of us need this kind of book. All of us have to rely on others to carry out our wishes, to execute our funeral, with a plan or not.

 

Using The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral as a tool to guide your discussions with your loved ones is not only good for you, but good for your loved ones as well. I am all for removing uncertainty and stress. We are all going to die. There. I've said it.

 

Preparedness happens for so many other of our life occassions. I reflect back on how much planning went into getting ready for my two children's birth or planning for my own wedding in Malaysia. Let's give funeral planning its due. Let's be the generation that elevates death to its rightful place. 

 

Donna Vincent Roa, Author

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

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Fri

24

Feb

2012

Funeral Planning - Takes More Than Just a 10-item Checklist

When it's time to carry out a funeral, you will need much more than a 10-item checklist. Funeral planning and execution requires a comprehensive to do list that does the thinking for you -- to do items that need to happen in real time. 

 

While it is critically imporant to plan and plan early, oftentimes, we just don't have that luxury.

 

Let's talk about important events in our life. Weddings, for example. Most people take six months to a year to plan a wedding. They are so many details. Most people never plan a funeral.

 

Why?

 

Is it because we are so death averse that we just don't want to bring it up? Do we like the stress and anxiety of delivering on a event unprepared? Do we think that if we talk about death it will happen sooner? Are we just not equipped emotionally to handle these funeral pre-planning conversations? Are we so busy with life that we keep putting conversations about death and funeral planning actions down on the bottom of our to do list?

 

Your guide to making funeral planning easy.

 

You can use The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral to make sure you are ready. This is the kind of book you will not only read, but will use. It's a checklist. It's a workbook. It's your guide to making funeral planning easy. 

 

Donna Vincent Roa, Author

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

0 Comments

Thu

16

Feb

2012

Nothing Like a Call From Your Dad

A few days ago, I sent a package of books to the reviewers, to friends whose parents have died and used the book to organize their family member's funerals, and to my Dad.

 

Today, I received a call from my Dad. He was calling to let me know that he started the book and couldn't put it down. He told me the book was beautiful and that he really loved the way it was written. 

 

You might think: "well, he's her Dad, so he would have to say this." But, this isn't the case. My Dad, who likes for me to call him Ronnie, is light on complements. So, this really holds a lot of meaning.

 

It's a nice moment to get this kind of validation. A proud moment for me. One I will treasure.

 

Donna Vincent Roa

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

0 Comments

Wed

08

Feb

2012

Book Cover

funeral planning, funeral to do list, before & after the funeral, how do you do a funeral, death, bereavement

I just realized that I didn't have an example of what the entire cover looks like. I think that when you see all of the elements together as one unit, you can appreciate the care taken to design it.

 

The cover represents the spirit and the tone of the book and provides a great visual representation of the feeling I had when writing it. This book is about hope, sunshine, calmness, beauty and more.

 

All of the elements were carefully chosen. The blue color palette matches my Mom's eyes. One day they were dark blue, other days they were light blue or even seafoam green. (Mine are brown, all the time!) 

 

The flowers, though not Magnolias (the state flower of Louisiana), remind me of them. I think that is why I was drawn to them. They seemed familiar. They are actually plumeria flowers -- the ones that are used to make leis in Hawaii (flower necklaces). They have an amazing aroma and are often used for landscaping and potted plants for indoors. 

 

This original cover design was done by an amazing, thoughtful, and kind designer. She created a design accurately represents the spirit of the book and captures the color of my mother's eyes. It was a fun process, and I am exceptionally pleased with the final results!

 

Donna Vincent Roa, Author

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

0 Comments

Sat

04

Feb

2012

Writing Post Cards to Funeral Homes

0 Comments

Fri

03

Feb

2012

Final Version - Headshot

This is the final version that I chose for the back of the book cover. 

 

When the photos were ready, Victor and I were called to set an appointment for the viewing. We arrived at the studio. The lights were dim, and there was soft music playing. 

 

Jeremy directed us to the viewing area and started the slide show of all the photos. He requested that we view first the entire set, then watch again with pen in hand to mark the ones we liked the best.

 

It was quite difficult. I had a general idea of what I wanted for the book cover. Something serious, but not too serious. Something professional, but not too stodgey. A warm, welcoming feel to it. And of course, a shot that made me look good. That's important.

 

We narrowed it down to five or six, then three, then two, then one. Both Victor and I agreed that this one photo met all the requirements. We were happy with the results.

 

All in all it was a good experience, and probably a good choice to have headshots done on a cruise. The sun had given me rosy checks (though a bit difficult to see in black and white) and the cruise itself had put me in a relaxed state. Both good things. 

 

It had been nine months since my mother passed away, but the memory of her death was still heavy on my mind. It was good to have a moment away from it all. I knew that taking this photo put me one step closer to making this book a reality. It happened in the right time and in the right way.

 

Donna Vincent Roa, Author

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

0 Comments

Thu

02

Feb

2012

Author Headshots

In preparation for the desgin of my book cover, my website and other marketing materials for The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies | Before and After the Funeral, I evaluated different options for headshots.

 

Do I take them locally? Do I have my husband take one just after I had my hair done? 

 

In August, we went on a Princess Cruise for our vaction. During all cruises, they take pictures. This particular shot in this post was taken by one of the ship's photographers one evening during the formal dining. I liked the way it turnecd out, but I wanted a more formal, serious picture for my book cover.

 

As luck would have it, on this particular ship, there was a formal photo studio...one of the first professional studio set-ups on a cruise ship. I decided to take the plunge and book a session.

 

My black and white headshot used for the book cover was taken in this new and high-end photo studio. Jeremy Chichester-Miles took the photos in black and white. During the session, he took 125 photos. Different styles. Different looks. Different clothing.

 

I was happy with the final results!

 

Donna Vincent Roa, Author

The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral

 

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