Hi, there. Thanks for visiting. I'm starting this blog as an advocate for mental and physical health. I'm a freelance writer and also own a home based medical transcription business. I was diagnosed in 1978 with paranoid schizophrenia and started to become acutely ill three years prior to that, unmedicated, frightened, confused, and in trouble with the law. I graduated from university with distinction the year I became ill. I've never regretted learning how to think at university. I struggled with my illness for 35 years and have reached the top of the mountain now, I think, or the other side, where the grass is greener and the path easier. There's hope for all of us, the whole human race, and never think there isn't hope or joy no matter your circumstances. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with mental illness in all its forms: depression, brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety disorders, etc. and your positive experiences as well as those lies and half truths society and even therapists would have us believe about ourselves.

We are different folks, and we are beautiful. The whole human race is beautiful. Let's celebrate life.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Like autumn leaves

Voices, calling and laughing, were carried on the wind like fall leaves.

I got a call today from someone at the Schizophrenia Society here in Edmonton. He was calling me back about a call I made a week or two ago asking about advocacy. He left a message as I was away from the phone when he called. Austin Mardon, an advocate with schizophrenia whom I've mentioned here before (see link at side) told me I was an advocate just by being well and being open about my illness.

Certainly I'm well now, happy, and yesterday was a special day. I had a visitor who brought me small but significant gifts, and stayed for tea, and we chatted for two hours mainly about a different culture. Very interesting and a gracious lady.

I'm trying to be more clever in my words. My children are very clever. They write well and they both have a unique and charming sense of humor. They're smarter than I am. But I can train my brain. I've done so already to a certain extent. I've put a hold at the public library on The Brain That Changes Itself. A friend sent me a link to a radio broadcast featuring Dr. Norman Doidge, the author of that book. She suggested it may be a reference I could use in an article.

I'm going to try and get a fantasy novel published. So far I've concentrated on a mainstream novel, the first I wrote many years ago, and I may be more successful with a genre such as fantasy. I'll try to hone my inquiry letter and synopsis so they're acceptable and will try to send out inquiries myself. An editor who is a friend suggested I buy a copy of the 2011 Writer's Market and I'll do that. First I must do my homework and write an excellent letter and synopsis with what I've learned from hiring professional help to do so with my first book. I'll save money if I can find an agent myself rather than hire someone else to send out my inquiries. The friend said that it's as much work sometimes to get a book published as it is to write the darn thing. The book I'm trying to find an agent for is called Thunder and a Nest in Time. It's a time travel book involving the destruction of the earth at the end. Was fun to write.

Another friend is editing my most recent novel, which also is a fantasy. But she likes Thunder best, so I'll take her advice and work on trying to get that published. I think I'll stop writing books until I can get them published or at least find an agent for them.

I won't quit my day job just yet.

Back to why this month is special. October is a birthday month for two of my family including myself, at least two friends, and someone who was 70 yesterday. One of my friends is going to be 90 in a few days and she is on her way to Ontario to visit her son and his family. She does aquafit when the nearby pool is open and she tries to walk every day, although she uses a walker now since a car accident earlier this year. My other friend's birthday is a day before mine at the end of the month. An American couple we're close to who live in Nebraska have an anniversary the day after my birthday. And there are two birthdays in November, making fall a very busy season to send out cards and help celebrate. Of course, Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday, too.

Like autumn leaves my thoughts are fluttering about my little pulsating brain tonight, tired but satisfied after a day in which I accomplished minor goals.

There are more major goals to set in place this month as well. Two of them my friends and family know, and there are more I've set myself.

I've had articles, poetry, and a play published, but my novels have not been published nor can I find an agent for them. I know they're good. I've been told they're good. I haven't tried until last year to attempt to find a publisher. I won't self publish. I can't afford it and I'm not prepared to fail at marketing them.

What motivates a person to persevere with a goal that seems elusive? I would say my motivation is stubbornness, but that's not a motivation. It's perseverance but that's not motivation.

I would say my motivation is love.

Without which I am a clanging gong, or the wind blowing through empty branches.

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