Cary Writer Plans Humor Book to Raise Funds for The Miracle League of the Triangle

Cris Cohen will donate proceeds to the Triangle baseball league.

Writer/blogger Cris Cohen of Cary.


March 2, 2011 (CARY, NC) – For six years, California native Cris Cohen entertained his readers with his wry and often hilarious takes on any number of everyday subjects, primarily through newspaper columns. His columns were published in various newspapers in California before he and his family (wife Michelle and son Max) moved to Cary, NC, in 2008, where he began writing his equally funny blog Nothing in Particular: An incomplete waste of time.

Now Cohen is planning something for those columns, and a few new ones, that will do more than just make his readers laugh. He’s putting together a collection in a book that he’ll use to raise funds for the Miracle League of the Triangle, a baseball league for children with special needs.

After it’s published in September, proceeds from Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane by Cris Cohen will help kids with special needs and their families in the Triangle area continue to experience joy and community through American’s favorite pastime — baseball.

One of those kids is Cohen’s own son, Max.

“Max’s various physical and mental challenges prohibit him from participating in a lot of fun, regular kid stuff,” Cohen said. “The Miracle League is one of the few places where all of those barriers and limitations are magically wiped away. Max gets to play baseball with his buddies. It’s pretty amazing.”

Local businessmen Robin Rose and Tony Withers began the Miracle League of the Triangle in 2004. They opened their first official season in 2006 with 100 young baseball players. Today, the League has 200 players, or 18 teams, and more than 500 volunteers.

“We’ve gotten a lot from the League,” Cohen said. “It’s a place where Max gets to have some independence, to leave Mom and Dad in the stands and head out to the field. And we have made a lot of great friends, people who understand the challenges of being the parents of a special needs child and can offer advice, support, etc. After receiving all of that, Michele and I wanted to give something back.”

Cohen’s book will also feature original illustrations by Raleigh artist Darla Yancho, including cover art of a goldfish in a bowl wearing a shark fin.

“Darla is one of the few people I know who could create a picture that is worth not just a thousand words but a thousand odd, slightly off-center words,” Cohen said. “The cover she created is fun, funny, and makes you do a double-take. I can only hope my writing lives up to her illustration.”

To help offset the cost of publishing Staying Crazy to Keep From Going Insane, Cohen is offering sponsorship opportunities to anyone who would like to get involved. Sponsorship packages start as low as $35.

“So anyone interested in sponsoring the book and in return getting some promotion for his or her business, website, or hobby that mixes the arts of dancing and taxidermy, should email me at writercris@live.com or visit the Sponsorship page,” he said.

Cohen recently launched a website for the future book at www.stayingcrazy.com and a Facebook page.

For more information on the Miracle League of the Triangle, visit www.miracleleagueofthetriangle.com.

To read Cohen’s ongoing blog “Nothing In Particular,” go to http://criscohen.typepad.com.

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen is the author of the Nothing In Particular blog. Although he was born in Buffalo, NY, Cris grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, Michele, and Max moved to North Carolina in 2008. His blog is available at http://criscohen.typepad.com.

“Orphans Of War” Author To Appear On BlogTalkRadio

Bearta Powell - head shot 1

August 17, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Bearta Powell, the Lebanese-born Raleigh, NC, author whose new book Orphans of War chronicles her life as an orphan growing up in war-torn Lebanon, will be featured in a full-hour interview on Deidre Hughey’s “Author Buzz” talk show for BlogTalkRadio on August 19 beginning at 2 p.m.

Orphans of War is an unembellished account of the life of five siblings – including the author — after they became orphans in the midst of the religious and political conflict that consumed Lebanon.

“When I was five my parents died, leaving behind five young children,” Powell says. “We lost our parents and virtually every relative, but we gained brothers and sisters at the orphanage that took us in. Through anything that came our way – death, war, hunger, misery, rejection, failure, and happiness, we were there for each other. Out unbreakable bond, support and love for each other… as we searched for the positive in the remnants of each experience . . . no matter how horrific.”

Powell will discuss many of those experiences, as well as the courage she and her siblings found to survive amidst desperation and fear, during Hughey’s “Author Buzz” interview.

Bearta Powell immigrated to the United States when she was 19 years old. She graduated from North Carolina State University and now lives in Raleigh with her husband and three sons.

“I am an American and I say that both proudly and modestly,” she says. “I have three beautiful boys that know only of war-torn Lebanon through my stories and battle-scarred photographs. I have a supportive husband who gives me comfort when memories swell up and paralyze me with remembrance. I am grateful to America, for she has given me new memories and the resolute strength of a survivor.”

For more information on Bearta Powell and Ophans of War, including a way to order Orphans of War, visit her website at www.BeartaPowell.net.

Deidre Hughey’s show is accessible at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/DeidreHughey.

About Bearta Powell:

Bearta Powell is a Lebanese-born author who became a naturalized US citizen at 19 years old. Powell, an orphan, spent her formative years amidst war-torn Lebanon and wrote Orphans of War to chronicle her often horrific childhood experiences.  Powell is a graduate of North Carolina State University where she pursued a Bachelors of Science in Business and Management.  Powell is a fitness enthusiast and very active in her community.  As a certified Zumba® and IFTA instructor, Powell orchestrates the largest inter-cultural fitness event in the Raleigh metro area.  Her events are designed to celebrate cultural differences through a variety of fun with fitness and fun with food experiences.  Orphans of War is available for purchase through book retailers and through the author’s website at http://www.BeartaPowell.net.