Q: For what are you grateful?
My son is my life’s greatest accomplishment. I thank God daily for giving me the honor of being the Mother of a Soldier. It is not an easy life, but the pride outweighs the fear. Tanner has deployed five times and survived. There is nothing I am more thankful for in life.
Q : If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
I would make it law that abuse of any kind, whether child, animal, or spousal, would result in immediate jail detention and a hefty fine. I detest those who abuse.
Q: If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?
Having come close to death, I’ve learned to appreciate life. More time would be spent with family and friends, for they are more important than material possessions.
Q : If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Discard the negative messages of childhood as quickly as possible and learn to laugh more, be more confident, and derive pleasure from the little things in life. Worry less and laugh more.
Q : After a difficult day what do you do to recuperate? Does it work?
Goats are the best antidepressant in the world and after a rough day I find contentment sitting in the goat pen playing with my kids. Cuddling with the dogs under the blankets and watching TV is also a great healing opportunity. Both of these work for physical as well as emotional recovery.
Q : When was the last time you helped someone that was desperately in need? What did you do? Was this person grateful?
As a former drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor, I believe I’ve been blessed and sometimes cursed with a double dose of the “assistance” gene, or as Mom called it, “I volunteer!” Almost on a daily basis I find myself contributing to some cause or another, whether financially or emotionally. I am known as an easy mark for support and am taken advantage of at times. However, those who appreciate my efforts outweigh those who don’t. The word “no” seems to escape my vocabulary and often I get involved in helping people without thinking things through. I’m the type who gives more than receives, yet I would not change that even if I could. Helping others, whether they are grateful or not, is something that makes me happy and is deeply ingrained.
Q: What is or are the genres of your book or books?
“Broken Spokes” is the story of my life. The title refers to broken bones, broken bike and broken spirit. Currently I am writing “Army Life and Deployment through the Eyes of a Mom,” which will detail my son’s twelve years as a Soldier. I hope this book serves as a guideline for all parents of military personnel.
Q: What made you decide to write in your particular genre?
Several times I have tried to write fiction and I find that my real talent resides in writing reality, writing what I know, and have personally experienced.
Thank you, Arlene for being such a wonderful guest! Would you mind sharing your bio and links to where readers can connect with you and your book?
[title color=”blue-vibrant” align=”scmgcleft” font=”arial” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-1em”]Biography of Arlene R. O’Neil[/title]
“Writing is what lights me up,” states Arlene R. O’Neil. “Being a visual writer, I love seeing my work come to life: to take the reader with me on a journey word by word: to touch a reader whether through laughter or tears.” Her current book, “Broken Spokes,” refers to broken bones, broken bike, and broken spirit. It speaks to the reader of determination, of survival, of inspiration.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Mrs. O’Neil moved to South Carolina to work on her second novel, which will relate the roller coaster life of being the parent of a Soldier on active duty. O’Neil says, “My son, SGT Tanner O’Neil, is a member of the United States Army and the joy, pride, and love of my life. After five tours of duty to active war zones, I feel the need to share my experience with other parents in hope of lessening their fears.” SGT O’Neil recently returned from his 5th combat tour.
Currently Arlene lives with her two Labradors, Holly and Bruno, and her adorable pet goats, Paxton, JaeJay, Rupert, Patches, and Frosty. “These amazing characters have helped me through some incredibly difficult times and I love them dearly.”
Aside from writing, supporting her son while deployed, and caring for her animals, Arlene lives on 3 ½ acres of land that her and her beloved animals enjoy.
An author, editor and proofreader, Arlene R. O’Neil may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org