I believe that one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself which is a ‘challenge.’
Heller Keller said,”life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
For me, that gift/challenge is writing and producing our annual Diabetes Mystery podcast. I don’t consider myself to be a writer so to sit down and actually write a 50 + page script and numerous rewrites is actually a pretty daunting task.
My challenge began last September when I visited Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood Mansion in Washington, D.C. This gorgeous estate inspired the glamorous backdrop for our murder mystery as well as the central character, Best-Selling Author ‘Marjorie Melbourne Blaze’. The mansion features the most comprehensive collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia, a distinguished 18th-century French decorative art collection, and twenty-five acres of serene landscaped gardens and a pet cemetery (!) It’s definitely worth a visit!
Writing can be a frustrating, humbling and lonely process so it’s great to involve a friend, especially a talented one. In my case, USA Today Best-Selling author Tonya Kappes was willing to spend endless hours with me over the phone or via e-mail consulting about motives, clues and dialogue. Somehow, in between all my calls she was able to put the finishing touches on several of her own mysteries which are coming out the Fall.
You can’t perform a mystery without a cast!! Our ‘Suspect Boulevard’ cast includes some familiar voices as well as few surprises. Susan Weiner, Patricia Addie-Gentle and Tonya along with my mom, Mama Rose Marie play themselves which is a challenge when writing dialogue. Susan and Patricia reviewed all the diabetes self-care information and advice to make sure it was accurate. My mom and I reworked her lines over and over again to get her feelings about aging right. Poet Lorraine Brooks wrote her own comments and funny remarks for our madcap adventure. Unfortunately Lorraine didn’t get to play the organ this year! Asha Brown (‘Primose Crump’) and Peter Arpesella (‘Nigel Lowenwirth’) who are both professional actors as well as amazing diabetes advocates returned again this year. Peter had to drop out at the last minute because of scheduling conflicts so my good friend, Chef Robert Lewis jumped in and gave a stellar performance. I also recruited Divabetic Image & Style Advisor, Catherine Schuller to join the cast. She was the only person I had in mind to play the ultra glamorous 80’s TV actress character, ‘Marlena Melbourne’. Catherine is always ‘up’ for a new challenge and drove in head first to her role with enthusiasm, excitement and even photos of herself looking like a glamorous Hollywood actress!
This year’s murder mystery focuses on the link between diabetes and dementia and diabetes alert dogs. In addition to many hours spent researching these topics I also consulted with Susan Weiner RD, MS, CDE, CDN (author of the wonderful book on organization – see link below), Patricia Addie-Gentle, dog expert, Debby Kay, andMark Dagostino, author of “Elle & Me:The Fight for My Daughter’s Life and the Dog that Changed Everything”. If you are considering adding a diabetes alert dog to your healthcare entourage I encourage you to do plenty of research.
Additionally, I asked Stacey Harris, The Diabetic Pastry Chef to contribute recipes for this year’s diabetes mystery podcast, “Suspect Boulevard”(see recipe below). If you love to entertain, check out Stacey’s recipes for flavorful, healthy options to add to your next party’s menu!
Finally, our hope is that Divabetic’s annual diabetes murder mystery podcasts inspire you to approach troublesome and worrisome unexpected blood sugar high’s and low’s like a detective; search for clues, look for patterns and above all, talk to the proper authorities (your healthcare team) about your symptoms.
Many of our favorite detectives including “Cagney & Lacey”, “Sherlock Holmes and Watson”, “Charlie’s Angels” and “Scoopy-Doo & Freddy, Daphne, Velma an Shaggy” worked with partners or teams – you should too!
One way to help prevent complications is to take on a ‘team’ approach to managing your diabetes and involve your friends, family, co-workers and healthcare professionals in your self-care. Showing close friends where you keep your supplies and informing them of what you need when you’re experiencing a low is a great way to safeguard against a health crisis. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
Why not challenge yourself to do something new and different?
T.S. Elliot said, “if you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
LISTEN NOW: Divabetic’s 3rd Annual Diabetes Murder Mystery podcast, “Suspect Boulevard.” Throughout our Diabetes Mystery “Suspect Boulevard” podcast we featuring selected songs from the classic film scores by Franz Waxman album courtesy of SONY MUSIC.