Image courtesy of bugtiger at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I came to appreciate fathers in a whole new way when I began working on the book The Heart of a Father. That book is a compilation of essays by 50 men from around the world. Most of the men are fathers of children born with congenital heart defects. Some of the men are adult survivors of congenital heart defects. We even had a chapter by grandfathers of children with congenital heart defects. The Heart of a Father is the companion to The Heart of a Mother. The Heart of a Father was published 10 years after the mothers’ book and we discover what happened to some of the families we learned to love when the husbands shared their own stories.
The men had a different story to share. Their stories focused on different themes than the mothers’ essays did. The fathers talked about how having a child with a heart defect affected their marriages, their faith and how some of them felt stuck in a Catch 22 situation. The essays were touching, loving and brutally honest. They made me feel their anguish, their pride and their quandaries. I left feeling like I better understood what men feel like when their worlds fall apart because they’ve been told their children could die from their heart defects, or worse — because their children have died due to their heart defects. The mothers’ book had one chapter devoted to losing a child; 10 years later the dads needed two chapters — one called Shooting Stars for the essays of the babies lost too soon and another chapter called Short Journeys for essays by contributors sharing the lives of adult loved ones taken too soon.
Many of us enjoy buying something special for our fathers during this time of year. I know that it means as much, if not more, for children to make something, write a card or letter or, better yet — to get together to spend time with their fathers. If you would like to find something special for your dad, you can help out Hearts Unite the Globe and the “Heart to Heart with Anna” radio show by shopping using the AmazonSmile program. If you go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-4352863 before you shop at Amazon, then 1/2 of 1% of qualifying purchases will be sent to Hearts Unite the Globe. This will allow us to continue free programming for the congenital heart defect community. Our programs feature dads, moms, survivors, nurses, siblings, doctors and many others in the heart community. This year, I hope you’ll pay special tribute to the remarkable men in your life. I know I will.
I was not very good at keeping up with my blog last year but that’s going to change this year!
I’ve decided to start writing weekly with news of interest to “Heart to Heart with Anna” fans.
One thing that I’m very excited about is that “Heart to Heart with Anna” has a new intern! Gracy Kheshtinejad is our new Assistant Producer! Gracy attends Stephen F. Austin and she is majoring in Mass Communication and minoring in Advertising. We met at the Adult Congenital Heart Association regional event (in Houston) because her boyfriend has a congenital heart defect. I was immediately taken with Gracy’s sparkling personality. This is a photo of us at our first face-to-face meeting in Waco, Texas for us to plan how Gracy will help “Heart to Heart with Anna” during her last semester of school.
I feel very blessed to also be working with Monica Mossey. She was a Guest in Season One on episode #9 — ‘Surviving the Teenage Years with a CHD.’ In 2015 Monica started really helping out “Heart to Heart with Anna” by creating the slideshows on BlogTalkRadio that accompany every radio show. We even had one Guest who couldn’t send us any photos, but Monica found photos that were appropriate to the theme of the show to give Listeners something pleasant to view while listening to the show.
I haven’t had a chance to meet Monica in person yet, but we’re hoping to do so later this year.
“Heart to Heart with Anna” is preparing to conclude its 6th Season — Carpe Diem: Seizing the Day! It’s been so much fun to talk with CHD Survivors, Heart Moms and even an awesome Pediatric Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist!
The theme for Season 7 is ‘Congenital Heart Defects Around the Globe’ and will feature CHD community members from around the world. If you’re interested in being on the show, please feel free to fill out the form Be On The Show under the Shows tab on the website.
Let’s hope this is going to be a very Happy New Year!
Dear Heart Friends:
I cannot believe today is the last day of 2014! This year has gone by so fast! this was our first full year of “Heart to Heart with Anna” and we’ve accomplished so much!
Season One began with with VoiceAmerica on 11/12/2013. Although a regular season has only 13 episodes, VoiceAmerica gave us 2 extra episodes after a personal friend joined their network. “You Are Not Alone” was the theme. We produced 15 hours of programming and had 51 Guests on the show! The first season with VoiceAmerica had over 5000 Listeners!
Thanks to Jessica and Amy Cowin, “Heart to Heart with Anna” continued after the first season. Season One was sponsored by Baby Hearts Press. Jessica and Amy ran a fundraiser so “Heart to Heart with Anna” could continue. The result was that the show moved to BlogTalkRadio which is a much more economical means of producing the show. All 15 episodes of Season One were moved over and then Season Two: There is Hope! began. Another 38 Guests joined the show over the course of the season.
Season Three: Finding Your Voice began in October 2014 with an author and will end the first week in January with other artists! We had three big changes with Season Three — 1) we went from a 60-minute program to a 30-minute program, 2) we also started airing our show on Spreaker (and they put our show on our YouTube channel, too!) and 3) we reverted to a 13-week season. With another 24 Guests and over 9000 Listeners since we started, “Heart to Heart with Anna” has touched many people in the three seasons we’ve been on the air.
“Heart to Heart with Anna” would not be possible without the help of many volunteers. Special thanks to: Callie Rickard, Mary Black, Frank Jaworski, Nancy Jensen, Lauren Bednarz, Amy Bennett, Brenda Vignaroli, Mary Ann Zima, Sheri Turner, Sue Dove and now Ryan Eland. I also really appreciate how wonderful all of my Guests have been since we started. We’ve had many survivors, doctors, parents, grandparents and other medical professionals who work with the CHD community. The show is a success largely because of the thought-provoking, compassionate interviews that have been conducted and the great amount of information that has been shared.
We’re looking forward to Season Four: Stories from the Trenches. We will take a 2-week hiatus to prepare for the season. If you’re interested in being on the show, contact Anna at Anna@hearttoheartwithanna.com.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Have you ever felt like crying because you tried something new and it just didn’t work out? That’s how I felt this week. While I was on hiatus from “Heart to Heart with Anna” I had planned to learn how to use Spreaker so I could start a new show, “Heart to Heart with Anna & Friends” and this week was supposed to be our debut show.
It didn’t work out. I couldn’t figure out how to have someone call in so during my test show I asked my husband to be a Guest and we just both talked in the same room as the computer but it was a disaster. I ended up getting upset with my husband because he was talking over me while we were “taping” the show and it was awful. You know what’s even worse than that? I couldn’t even find the test show to delete it! Spreaker doesn’t have “archives” like BlogTalkRadio does. They have “collections.” I never could find my collection but others did! Here’s the worst part — more people have listened to my horrible test show on Spreaker than have listened to my interview with Bret Baier.
The reason I wanted to do a show on Spreaker was because once I had 100 followers, I could submit the show to iHeartRadio. I thought that would be a great way for me to get the word out about the radio show. I’ve had people ask me if my show could be found on iHeartRadio, but BlogTalkRadio doesn’t have a relationship with iHeartRadio and I asked if they would in the future and the rep I talked to said she didn’t know of anything like that happening. With our showing being for the “heart” community, it only seemed fitting the show should be heard on iHeartRadio!
The “studio” for BlogTalkRadio (BTR) and Spreaker are very different. I was able to choose some sound effects and some music for Spreaker — which aren’t option in BTR unless you upload them to your studio but whereas it’s very clear how to have someone call into your show on BTR, there is no hint with Spreaker how someone can do that.
I like how I can manipulate things differently in Spreaker than I can on BTR, but since my show is a talk radio show where I interview others, if I can’t have people call in, I can’t do my show. I looked for tutorials and found one where it looks like I have to have a mixer so I downloaded Mixxx but I don’t know what to do beyond that. I’m hoping someone will read this blog and offer help, otherwise, “Heart to Heart with Anna & Friends” will have to wait until I have more time to research this platform. Is there anyone out there who can help me?
P.S. I found my “shows” that Spreaker told me have had so many listens. It’s the two commercials I imported from my other show! It looks like our Test Show is totally blank. Nothing was recorded. Back to the drawing board!