Dear reader,

Like in Perfect TimingRecollections on coping with cancer during a pandemic, I will begin with a humorous limerick. It captures, in a nutshell, my rationale for writing a sequel:

There once was a university prof in Saskatchewan

Who survived cancer and then went on

To spend some time on an island 

That made her feel like a diamond 

In a tiara she had created all on her own.

My main reason for sharing more of my (apparently never dull?!) life is first and foremost the positive feedback I received from my readers on my first, award-nominated authorial effort. They had followed me on an “occasionally bumpy, but spiritually transformative journey” I had considered (more or less) complete by April 30, 2021; that is, when Perfect Timing ends.

Initially, I had no intentions of adding to my “snapshot” (or maybe “gunshot”?) memoir. It took me a while to realize that if I did, I could catch multiple “birds” of concern with one healing “stone.”

Specifically, a sequel would allow my inner wise woman/stand-up comedian to continue educating and entertaining others, regardless of location. By chronicling and reflecting on what happened after my cancer treatments had ended, I would also likely speed up my own recovery, if not watch myself transform further.

I had not expected that I would end up doing so with Covid-19 as my ongoing main backdrop, however.

In Right on Time, I share and reflect on monthly highlights (and lowlights!) based on notes from the computer diary I kept over the course of 15 months, from May 2021 to July 2022. While some were truly unexpected and at times hard to believe, many of them were, in hindsight, as poignant as they were hysterical (“You are kidding me …!”).

Woven into the narrative fabric are also multiple memory clips or “life echoes,” as I like to call them. They touch upon my childhood and teenage years in Bavaria, Germany, in the 1970s, and my early formative years as a new immigrant to Canada in the 1980s.

My cast of characters include both familiar ones (if you have read Perfect Timing) and new, fascinating ones (if you have not), both real and imagined, top-hat and other accessories included. Some of these individuals (spoiler alert!) also experience a karmic course correction of their own alongside yours truly.

My target audience for this book is similar, yet admittedly larger than before. Once again, I invite anyone who has been touched by a critical illness such as cancer as well as health professionals, fellow immigrants, and individuals studying or working at a post-secondary institution for some “Kopfkino” (German for “head cinema”).

My hope is that this sequel will also appeal to anyone who wishes to be inspired by a heartfelt and humorous story about recuperating on multiple levels (“Barb 2.0”.)

Thanks to the Open Educational Resources Program of the University of Regina, you, dear reader, did not have to spend any money on purchasing this book. I would, therefore, be grateful if you helped me raise funds for cancer research. Alternatively, you could support a charity of your own choice. Thank you!

Barbara Reul (December 2023)


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