Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS

Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS
Available on Amazon and

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mom's Story

Find out more about Mom's Story:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mom's Story

It's not too late to consider giving a gift of love this holiday season: Mom’s Story, A Child Learns About MS,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Treatment of MS

 The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gilenya (fingolimod) as a first-line treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Gilenya is the first oral disease-modifying therapy available for the long-term treatment of MS. The approval of a treatment that may be taken orally (by mouth), versus injection or infusion, is exciting news for members of the MS community

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coaching Session

I'm going to have a 1 hour coaching session with Dr. Marcia Reynolds, best-selling author, speaker and master certified coach tomorrow morning, Nov. 22. It will cover writing and publishing with special emphasis on marketing.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Girl Named Mary

I'll submit my synopsis to Chalet Publishers next week.

Friday, September 24, 2010


See you at WTOH tomorrow!

SCBWI Arizona Welcome to Our House Conference
on Saturday, September 25, 2010
at the Chaparral Suites Resort and Conference Center
5001 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale. AZ 85250

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Have you visited yet? It's interesting and will be more helpful as it develops. It replaces the old LitMatch site.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Historical Fiction

Have you read Noah's Wife by Theresa K. Thorne? It's a great moving with more unexpected turns than you can count. It has inspired me to consider writing a historical fiction book for middle/upper grade kids about Mary, mother of Jesus. I want to write about her first 16 years, ending when she receives word of her pregnancy from the angel. But, like Noah's Wife, there won't be any angels or direct words from God.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The WriteonCon Online Writers Conference was great. After a first day server meltdown, everything proceeded well. I received welcome, useful feed back on all of my submissions. I read a lot of interesting stuff by other authors too!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Have you registered for the Writeoncon online conference yet? I did (it's free). I uploaded my picture book this morning in the critique forum and already have received 2 critiques and the conference hasn't started yet! Go to to register...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Front Page Listing

I am featured on the "Front Page" of the AuthorAdvance

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mom's Story Event

The program at the Microsoft Store was fabulous. In addition to my videotaped interview, the Vice President, Programs & Services of the Arizona Chapter for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society attended, providing useful information about the Society and its services. Everyone who attended received a complimentary teeshirt from Microsoft. The video will be available on YouTube soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mom's Story Event

Preparing for the event at Microsoft Store. I'll do a "dry-run" on the interview and reading with a colleague. This will give us a time measure and iron out any wrinkles. I've already connected with the Microsoft Store Event Team. We're almost ready to go. Hope to see you on Friday, July 30 at 6:00 pm.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Microsoft Store Event

On July 30th from 6:00-8:00 PM the Microsoft Store will be hosting an event on multiple sclerosis (MS). Mary Jo Nickum will discuss Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Slide Show

I just updated my slide show for Mom's Story:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Outstanding Board Member

On June 20, at the Annual Meeting of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Mary Nickum was awarded Outstanding Board Member, 2010 in recognition for her work to reorganize the Excellence in Craft (EIC) Contest and Awards. The EIC Awards recognize the best outdoor writing in 10 categories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Microsoft Store and Mom's Story

The Microsoft Store will be hosting an event for kids and families that have or know someone with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on July 30th, 2010 from 6:00-8:00 PM. You will have the opportunity to meet with Mary Jo Nickum, author of Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS. Mary has been diagnosed with MS for over 30 years and is an inspiration for all of those learning to cope with this challenging disease. Her book provides information on how to better understand MS, who gets it, how the disease is diagnosed, the various forms of MS and listing of material and organizations available to assist families in the fight against MS. While parents are learning from Mary Jo in the theatre area, the kids will be provided with fun activities to learn more about the store and the technology used in everyday life. They will even be introduced to future technology through an entirely interactive experience with the staff! We hope to see you there!
When: Friday July 30th, 2010
Welcome time: 6:00-6:30
Event time: 6:30-8:00pm
Where: The Microsoft Store
Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall
7014 E. Camelback Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 308-0800

Light Refreshments will be provided
**RSVP: Space is limited for this event, so please do not wait to RSVP.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Positive Reply from Editor

I just received a positive reply from the editor to my picture book submission. I promised her a revision by mid July, but, right now, I really have no idea how I'm going to revise it. I'll give it some serious thought this month while I'm on a working vacation!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS

I'm working hard on designing teaching materials for Mom's Story. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Demand Studio

I signed up on Demand Studios. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Biomarkers Test for MS Nine Years Before Symptoms Appear

A small study analyzing the blood of healthy people who developed MS, along with the blood of those who did not, has uncovered “blood signatures” that may lead to a diagnosis of MS before symptoms appear, and consequently earlier and more effective intervention.

"We are not yet able to treat people with MS to prevent the onset of the disease but knowledge is power," says Anat Achiron, a professor of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and vice-dean of research at Sheba Medical Center. "Every time we meet a new patient exhibiting symptoms of MS, we must ask ourselves how long this has been going on. We can diagnose MS by brain MRI, but we've never been able to know how 'fresh' the disease is."

If doctors can predict the onset of MS early enough, intervention therapies using immunomodulatory drugs or beta-interferon drugs that stave off MS symptoms might be used.

Examining blood samples of twenty19-year-old Israelis who were inducted into the army as healthy soldiers, and the nine of them who later developed MS, Achiron and her team at Sheba were able to use a "high throughput analysis" using more than 12,000 gene transcripts expressions. The screening compared similarities and differences in the blood of those who developed MS and those who did not, eventually establishing biological markers.

"Those who will develop MS will show a different blood signature from those who will not," says Achiron. "When we compared the gene expression signatures, we saw a similar pattern of the same working biological processes."

These early genetic markers may now be used to test for MS up to nine years before healthy young adults start developing symptoms. And because MS is thought to have a genetic component and a tendency to be found in siblings, Achiron says the biomarkers can be used as a tool for brothers and sisters of people with MS. The goal is to learn more about the genetics of MS through this new discovery, with the hope that early intervention therapies may be more effective, and help advance medicine toward a cure, according to Achiron.

Typically by the time a person notices symptoms, significant and irreversible nerve damage is already done.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


I just joined a Ning.

A Ning is a social platform for an interest or passion online. Every member can reach millions of people from across the world to explore and express a particular interest, discover new outlets, and meet new people with shared pursuits.

I'm bringing the existence of a book marketing Ning to everyone's attention. Whether or not you choose to join, is your decision. I provided the link so you can check it out if you want.

As the author of a children's chapter book, I think any help with marketing is a plus. I think other authors may feel the same way.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS

I will read, discuss and sign my book, Mom's Story, at Park Falls, WI Public Library on June 16th at 3:00 pm

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

With MS, am I going to end up in a wheelchair?

The natural course of MS is highly variable, and it is impossible to predict the nature, severity or timing of progression in a given patient. Some people with MS will have a more progressive disease course than others.

In some cases, the course of MS over the first five years may provide a clue to the progression of the disease over the next 10 years. Recent studies indicate that 90% of patients with minimal disability five years after onset were still ambulatory at 15 years. It is estimated that at 20 years after diagnosis, about 1/3 of people who receive no treatment may require a wheelchair or other assistive device.

With the present immunomodulatory therapies, the goal is to slow the progression of disability. Some people with MS respond quite well and may have no progression over years. For others, the treatment may slow, but not stop the progression. It is important to be proactive and work with your healthcare provider in order to obtain the most appropriate treatment, thus obtaining the highest level of benefit.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis Question 4

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, tremors and depression.

Not all symptoms affect all MS patients. No two persons have the same complaints; no one develops all of the symptoms.

Symptoms may be persistent or may cease from time to time. Most patients have episodic patterns of attacks and remissions throughout the disease course. Symptoms may remit completely, leaving no residual damage, or partially leaving degrees of permanent impairment.

Because the symptoms that define the clinical picture of MS are the result of nerve lesions causing disturbances in electrical conduction in one or more areas of the CNS, the nature of the symptoms that occur is determined by the location of the lesion. For example: an optic nerve lesion may cause blurred vision; a brain stem lesion may cause dizziness or double vision; a spinal cord lesion may cause coordination/balance problems.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mom's Story is available

I will be attending "Talk MS" on May 1 at Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort. Mom's Story will be available there.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis Question 3

Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?

Statistics indicate that there are currently 350,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with MS. Two hundred people are diagnosed with MS every week and over 2.5 million people are living with the disease worldwide. However, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not require U.S. physicians to report new cases of MS and the symptoms of the disease can go unrecognized for some time, these numbers are only estimates.
MS is more common in women, appears more frequently in Caucasians than in Hispanics or African Americans, and is relatively rare among Asians and certain other ethnic groups. MS is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can develop in young children and teens as well as older adults.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Erin Hunter

Victoria Holmes was fantastic and fascinating. Wonderful presentation. It was great to see all the wonderful little readers!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Erin Hunter

I'm going to a signing by Victoria Holmes this coming Tuesday evening. Here's what Changing Hands, the Indie bookstore has to say:

Erin Hunter's advice for aspiring writers: "Read, read, and read some more! Make sure you read a wide variety of stories: fantasy stories teach you about making up completely new worlds, crime-solving stories teach you about handling a complicated plot, stories with lots of characters teach you how to describe relationships. Also, write as many stories as you can, even if no one else reads them. And remember that the best inspiration comes from what's around you – Kate, Victoria and Cherith go for long walks through the woods to find new locations for the cats to explore. They also spend hours watching their cats -- and other people -- to see how they behave in certain situations."

Erin Hunter is the nom de plume of three British writers who create enthralling, animal-centric YA fantasies in the tradition of Brian Jacques's Redwall books. In 2003, they launched their bestselling Warriors series with Into the Wild, the story of a domesticated kitten who leaves the comforts of his human home to join a family of feral cats living in the woods. Introducing a captivating world where rival cat clans struggle for survival, the book was an immediate sensation with animal- and adventure-loving preteens.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis Question 2

Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?
Statistics indicate that there are currently 350,000 to 500,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with MS. Two hundred people are diagnosed with MS every week and over 2.5 million people are living with the disease worldwide. However, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not require U.S. physicians to report new cases of MS and the symptoms of the disease can go unrecognized for some time, these numbers are only estimates.

MS is more common in women, appears more frequently in Caucasians than in Hispanics or African Americans, and is relatively rare among Asians and certain other ethnic groups. MS is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can develop in young children and teens as well as older adults.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Radio show

My blog radio show appearance is today at 3 pm (PDT) I'll be discussing Mom's Story, writing for children and anything else that comes up. It is a call-in, I'd love to hear from you all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mom's Story will also take you to the site where you can order Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Goodreads give-away

Happy Easter! Goodreads Drawing winners for Mom's Story were from Russia and Israel. Thanks to all who entered!

Press Release

Check out my new free press release:

Friday, April 2, 2010


Just got a rejection e-mail message for one of my picture book manuscripts...oh darn! Back to work!

Multiple Sclerosis Question 1

Is multiple sclerosis contagious or fatal?

MS is neither contagious nor fatal. People with MS have a life expectancy that is not really any different from the general population. The leading causes of death in the MS community are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. MS tends to affect quality of life, not quantity of life. There are unusual variants of MS than can be very aggressive and potentially shorten life, but these are not the norm. Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

Goodreads give-away

Hurry!! Only 531 people have entered the Mom's Story give-away, LESS THAN 24 HOURS LEFT!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The Natioal Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) makes the following comment on CCSVI:
"Based on results published about these findings to date, there is not enough evidence to say that obstruction of veins as in CCSVI causes MS, or to determine when this obstruction may occur in the course of disease. This fact has been emphasized in meetings and public presentations by Dr. Zamboni himself. He has also noted that people with MS should remain on their immunomodulatory therapies, as has his wife after her endovascular surgery."

Mom's Story

Mom's Story give-away has broken the 500 mark, with 502 entries in the Goodreads give-away. Drawing is April 3.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Goodreads give-away

475 people have entered the Goodreads ( world-wide drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story, only 6 days left to enter.

Mom's Story

Hurry, the drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story will be held on April 3! There's still time to get your name in at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mom's Story

452 people have entered the Goodreads ( world-wide drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story, less than 2 weeks left to enter.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Virtual Book Tours

Here is some helpful informatiion about virtual book tours: Katie Hines ; Successfully Advertising Blog Tours:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mom's Story

430 people have entered the Goodreads ( world-wide drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story, 2 weeks left to enter.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Authors to Pay for Placement in Bookstores?: A new model emerges for the frustrated self-publisher:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mary Jo Nickum

Visit my author page on and while you're there, order a copy of Mom's Story.


Visit my page on MySpace:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm back on MySpace:

Mom's Story

I just received word that I will be marketing Mom's Story to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog interview

Catch an Interview with Mary Jo Nickum, Author of Mom's Story before it’s gone!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Goodreads give-away

384 people have entered the Goodreads ( world-wide drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Goldenrod Writing Workshop

Want to be an Outdoor Writer? Now you can!
Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) will host its first Goldenrod Writing Workshop at the University of Montana in Missoula August 1-7, 2010. Open to both novice communicators and published professionals, the week-long workshop is designed to improve skills in outdoor, nature and environmental writing. The workshop is in a casual setting with hands-on learning from peer groups and veteran instructors.
The curriculum includes assignments, discussions, readings and shared critiques along with time for writing and socializing with others who share a passion for outdoor writing. Enrollment is limited to 30 students, and it’s on a first come, first served basis. The $995 fee includes tuition and room and board at The University of Montana campus residence. The deadline for applications is May 1, and a $250 non-refundable deposit is due the same time.
Four instructors teach the workshop. They include Lisa Densmore from New Hampshire, a book author, photographer, TV producer and Emmy-award winner; freelance writer Holly Endersby from Idaho, whose magazine articles have appeared in many markets; book author and humor writer Alan Liere from Spokane, Washington; and investigative reporter Ted Gup, who also heads the journalism department at Boston’s Emerson College and whose book about the CIA was a NY Times Bestseller.
Visiting faculty include best-selling author Patrick McManus from Spokane and Bill Schneider, founder of Falcon Press, from Helena, Montana. For complete details, go to, click on “Goldenrod Writing Workshop.” The direct link:

Latest Blog

Check out my latest blog appearance...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

D's Roundtable Radio Show

I will be Deborah Simpson's guest on D's Roundtable Radio tomorrow, March 10, at 6:00 pm, EST. We will discuss Mom's Story and my other writings in science for the public. Call in and join the discussion, (347)838-9051.

Good News

Media Decoder: Kirkus Gets a New Owner — From the N.B.:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mom's Story; A Child Learns About MS

Mom's Story giveaway is still going on at Goodreads. Enter today,

Science for the Public

I'll be listening to the Science for the Public Outreach show by D's Roundtable on #BlogTalkRadio -

Internet Radio Show

I have a spot on the internet radio show, D's Roundtable Radio Show (, 6 pm EST on March 10, 2010. I'll discuss Mom's Story and more...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goodreads give-away

So far, 333 have entered the second Goodreads give-away for Mom's Story.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Press Releases

Here's a great place to list your press releases for free:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goodreads give-away again

There's another give-away of Mom's Story now on Get in on the drawing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Don'ts for Query Letters

Never mention who has rejected the piece before.
Do not request advice or comments.
Do not talk about how thrilling it would be to be published.
Do not discuss payment
Do not discuss copyright. Editors know that you own your work the minute you type it.
From Windy Lynn Harris

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hint of the Day

Remember - Bad decisions make good stories!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chapter One

I just placed Chapter One of Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS on my website: follow the "Books I've Written" link.

Goodreads give-away

300 have entered the new Goodreads Give-away for my book,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mom's Story

New questions and new answers about my book and me at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Virtual Book Tours

Another virtual book tour opened this morning for my book:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Goodreads give-away

258 have entered the new drawing on Find out more about Mom's Story at

Monday, February 15, 2010

Radio show

My interview about Mom’s Story is running now non-stop for two full days on

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Virtual Book Tour

A new tour will be starting February 17, 2010 on New questions and answers about Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Critique Group

Are you a writer in need of a critique group in Phoenix?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Your Essential Synopsis Checklist

From Writer’s Digest, February 01, 2010

Here are the essential specs for a successful synopsis:

  • Use a 1-inch margin on all sides; justify the left margin only.
  • Put your name and contact information on the top left corner of the first page.
  • Type the novel’s genre, word count and the word “Synopsis” in the top right corner of the first page. Don’t number the first page.
  • Put the novel’s title, centered and in all caps, about one-third of the way down the page.
  • Begin the synopsis text four lines below the title.
  • The text throughout the synopsis should be double-spaced (unless you plan to keep it to one or two pages, in which case single-spaced is OK).
  • Use all caps the first time you introduce a character.
  • After the first page, use a header on every page that contains your last name/your novel’s title in all caps/the word “Synopsis”:Name/TITLE/Synopsis.
  • After the first page, number the pages in the top right corner on the same line as the header.
  • The first line of text on each page after the first page should be three lines below the header.

Mom's Story is available

More places to purchase Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS. Check

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Goodreads give-away again

113 have entered the new Goodreads giveaway for my book, Mom's Story.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Goodreads give-away

I opened another giveaway of my book (Mom's Story) on Goodreads, this one is worldwide. So far 77 have entered.

Radio show

I just did a tape for an online radio show for the book this morning. It will run in a few weeks on

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Entry closed

The drawing for my book on Goodreads closed with 816 entries, both winners were from Canada.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Only 8 hrs to go...

Only 8 hours left to enter a drawing on for a free copy of Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS.

Deadline nears...

The drawing pool on Goodreads is up to 747 with less than 24 hours left to put your name in the "hat" for a free copy of Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nickum's Notes

A new edition of my newsletter, Nickum's Notes, is now available at


UPDATE! 701 have entered the drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story on Goodreads with less than 48 hrs. until the drawing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Goodreads give-away

UPDATE! 600 have entered the drawing for a free copy of Mom's Story on Goodreads with 6 days to go...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Speaking and Signing

I'll be speaking and signing in Tucson tonight at an MS meeting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Goodreads give-away

578 have now entered the drawing on Goodreads for a free copy of Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS. Drawing on Feb. 3.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will air again...

If you missed it, the Joanne Foster show with my interview will air again on at 8:00 am Monday, 1/18/2010.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Radio show

I will be featured along with Mom's Story on, Joanne Foster Show from 5-6 pm tonight. Please check it out!


506 have now entered a drawing on Goodreads for my book, Mom's Story

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Mom's Story is now available at Gridley's in Fountain Hills and Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ.

Friday, January 8, 2010


421 have now entered a drawing on Goodreads for my book, Mom's Story.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goodreads give-away

380 people, so far, have entered the Goodreads give-away of my book. The drawing will be held February 3, 2010. The give-away is open to all English speaking countries.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blog interview

I have just scheduled a blog interview with Simon Rose on January 18. An interview with Simon will appear here on January 18.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Have you visited lately?

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Author Page

Please visit my new Author Page on Amazon.