I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Help-Out-Others campaign

I suppose I could tell these in the title order but I'd much rather get rid of the bad first and move on to all the positive stuff :-)

The Bad.    

I've taken all the lessons to learn how to use my white cane  correctly. I've done the day walks, the night walks, the walk-with-your-eyes-closed walks [only with my trainer, of course] and I've made the necessary changes and improvements. Then last week, I had the 'perfect storm' of conditions, on the sidewalk I had my town fix/replace for me.

I fell.

The cane tip swept over the edge of the cement, the grassy area happened to be lower than the cement area, the tip happened to get caught in the quarter inch opening between cement squares, and the flexible band in the cane meant to give the walker some, well f-l-e-x-i-b-i-l-i-t-y popped that cane right into my ribs, knocked the breath out of me and I came face-to-face with the sidewalk.

Let me say....big time OW-CH!!!

 I thought I'd cracked my wrist, my kneecap, and a few ribs.

Someone was watching over me, though, and sent a guardian angel in the form of the gentleman who does maintenance around our condo complex. He saw me sprawled on the pavement [not a pretty sight], pulled over his truck, helped me up, and drove me home THE BLOCK. Yes, this event took place one block from my home. After a whole morning of taking the bus and train to do errands. Hmm... I seem to remember reading that most accidents take place within a mile of one's house. Who knew that included close encounters of the pavement kind.

The good part of this bad news is the x-rays the next day showed nothing broken. [Yeah let's hear it for having some extra body padding. I bet those knobby-kneed, skinny chicks would have broken their bones!]  
So I'm hobbling around making alot of "ow" and "ooh", sounds and an occasional  curse word. And don't get me started on the joys of underwire bras and bruised ribs! [Oh too much information? Sorry]

The Good.

 I applied to go to the Highlights Foundation Writers' Workshop week at Chautauqua, NY. It costs mucho dinero, but everyone I've spoken to who has been says it's so worth it; mentally, emotionally, maybe even spiritually changing for your writing career. And I was accepted! I was given some scholarship money. [three cheers!]

So the week of July 16-23rd, I will be living, breathing, sleeping writing, surrounded by writers, and a complete enclave of creativity. Oh, and did I mention that in Chautauqua, all summer, there's a festival of music, theater, lectures, and art going on???? 
And of course, writing. 
I thought the national/international SCBWI conference in LA last summer was overwhelming and stimulating and full of creativity. Be still my heart, will I survive this writers heaven in July?

Just a teeny tiny additional point...that's the week of my birthday. Happy Birthday to me, but it's peanut butter for breakfast and lunch until then. :-)

Help-Out-Others campaign

We've all  been shocked, horrified, and saddened by the trauma and tragedy in Japan. When writers in England put together an auction to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross, they were overwhelmed with offers to help.

So some American authors, Greg R. Fishbone among them, picked up the gauntlet and set up a site called Kidlit 4 Japan. Authors and editors have offered signed books or  manuscript or query letter critique for people to bid on. It started this week and will continue for probably the next 2 weeks. There are picture books, middle grade books, YA books, as well as writing craft books and services. If you don't need anything for yourself, consider family members, or others who might appreciate an autographed book. Not to mention, you'll be helping out those who need our help in Japan. I made a bid and will find out tomorrow afternoon if I am the winner.
Here's the link if you're interested:  Kidlit 4 Japan

Here's another opportunity to help out others.

This coming weekend, an organization near and dear to my heart [and eyes] The Foundation Fighting Blindness [FFB], will hold their VisionWalk at Piedmont Park, rain or shine [and right now it looks like it will be rain]. Donations are used to fund research to find treatments and cures for individual losing their sight [like me] to retinal degenerative diseases including Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, Stargaardts [ juvenile macular degen], and Usher's Syndrome [severe hearing loss coupled with vision loss]. 

I know when I've contributed to other charities, I wonder if my  5, 10, or 20 dollars even make a difference. Let me tell you, they do. Before treatments or drug therapy is approved, there must be human clinical trials. Did you know that each trial can cost millions of dollars? These clinical trials are usually delayed not for lack of participants or lack of treatment plans, but simply because there's not enough money to conduct them. And every week or month or year they're delayed means hundreds of people, including kids, lose more sight. Sometimes all of it. 

So please believe that every dollar, any dollar, is useful and can help out others. Maybe even someone you know [like me] or a family member.

Donations can be sent in through May so don't let the passing of the actual walk worry you. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the local FFB chapter, I thank you, those who have already donated and those who might, for considering this organization. 
Your donation, by the way, is tax-deductible and can be made anonymously if you like. Here's the link:
FFB VisionWalk


  1. Oh my I'm sooooo sorry about the fall.
    Cheering YAH and hope you learn lots
    and finally, we should count our blessings every day and give not only our money but of ourselves.

  2. Glad to hear that nothing was broken. Hope you will be feeling pain-free very soon!

    CONGRATS on the scholarship money for the workshop!