Berg encourages canine adoptions
By Angie Landsverk
New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Berg finds joy in life’s everyday occurrences.
These include watching a cardinal visiting her home, chatting with children at an Origami stand and taking her dog Gabby for a walk.
She shares such experiences in her Facebook posts, but admits joining the social media site was not something she initially wanted to do.
“I came to Facebook late,” Berg said. “I’m afraid of all things computer.”
At the encouragement of her publisher, Berg decided to give Facebook a try.
“I came to really like it,” she said.
Some of her Facebook posts appear in her book, “Make Someone Happy.”
Another book, “Still Happy,” is also filled with her postings and is now available.
Berg, who has written more than 25 books, visited the Waupaca Area Public Library Thursday, Aug. 24 as part of her Make Someone Happy Tour.
Gabby, Berg’s Golden Retriever/Springer Spaniel mix, joined her as did two puppies from the Humane Society of Waupaca County.
The puppies will soon be available for adoption.
“The reason I’m asking people to bring dogs to the signings is because Bill and I recently lost our Golden, Homer,” Berg said.
In their grief, they decided one thing they could do was to start a fund to help those who do not have funds to pay for veterinarian care for their sick pets.
It is called the Homer Fund, and Berg asked shelters to bring dogs to each of her 17 book signings.
Berg said she can testify to the joy a rescue dog brings to one’s life.
In addition to talking about dogs, she also explained how she came to visit Waupaca’s library.
“We established a radius so we wouldn’t have to drive more than three hours in every direction,” said Berg.
Before she spoke here at the library, she discovered Little Fat Gretchen’s across the street and left with some pie.
“It’s a great day – such a beautiful town,” Berg said.
She read from “Make Someone Happy” and also a bit from her upcoming novel, “The Story of Arthur Truluv,” which will be published in November.
Berg said that novel came about because she kept seeing an image of an older man sitting on a folding chair in a cemetery having conversations with his late wife.
Known for the way she writes about relationships among people – particularly those from different generations – Berg said she never thought about becoming a writer.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Berg has loved books, reading and writing since she was a young child.
She was a registered nurse for 10 years before she become a writer.
“I thought you had to be a man with an English accent and patches on your elbows” in order to be a writer, she said.
When Berg went to nursing school, the first thing she remembers being taught was to have unconditional support for every patient.
“It was a great lesson to learn for nursing and writing,” she said. “If we can meet people where there is a commonality, there is hope.”
Berg lives near Chicago and says she writes the best in the morning.
“I typically write Monday to Friday, three or four hours (per day), maybe longer, and then I go and make lasagna,” she said.
Berg believes there is a book for everyone.
She underline words and sentences she likes in the books she reads.
“It’s not a picnic on this planet earth, but it is full of joy,” Berg said. “I feel like we’re living in such a challenging time … The more I can gravitate toward these small pleasures, the better I feel.”