The Big Move

I know just the moment I backed away from updating my blog; I’d gotten no further from the NIH than the Dulles Airport when an update on my blood work from the visit popped up on my phone. There were five categories where my numbers were off. This was a dramatic made-for-blogging opportunity. I could create a post wherein I could freak out. My readers could freak out. I could then contact my doctor and collect information to put the off numbers into context and — BOOM! — that could be the next blog post. Yawn.

I will—I promise—resume this blog at some point. I’ve missed some real opportunities for reflection during this current dry spell. But I’ve been distracted. By the vicissitudes of chronic illness, yes, but also by the demands of my increasingly enthralling writing workshops.

Loyal followers, here is a link to a story that was first presented to me seventeen years ago in my workshop in Connecticut, and which has now been published by Adelaide Magazine. The Big Move is a spellbinding work by Maria Frangakis about a young Mexican girl who has the audacity to be curious.  I know you will enjoy it.

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The Yoga Cat Will Have To Wait

A few posts back, I had promised I’d take you with me to the yoga studio over the living quarters of the Temple of My Daydreams, so you could meet the yoga cat. But did I do that?

No. I did not. Instead I inserted a post about my WEGOhealth best blog nomination, and patted myself on the back. If you do enough yoga, you learn to pat yourself pretty far down your back. Now that I’m done congratulating myself, I’d like to congratulate two of my students.  You would not believe the extraordinary quality of writing I see every week from ordinary people here in Ohio, the most ordinary state in the United States of America. My workshops generate unforgettable stories that have mostly not yet reached an audience larger than five to eighteen readers, but absolutely should. Which is why I’ve been so pleased that in the last few weeks, two of my students have managed to receive broader recognition.

I usually don’t blog about my role as a teacher. For instance, my heart just burst with pride back in February, when a student of mine, a long time community theater performer and first time playwright, received a standing ovation at the Aronoff Center for the Arts after the staged reading of her hilarious play Humble Pie. Did I blog about the staged reading? No, I did not. This is an MS blog, and Barbara Timmon’s play has nothing to do with MS. But maybe, by not blogging about my student’s success, I was playing into the notion that my life is conscribed by my disease. It is not. From now on, when one of my students deserve a pat on the back, I’m going to go ahead and pat.

My first pat on the back goes to Edith Samuels, a graduate of Vassar College. For years, I’ve been trying to find a publication for her deeply moving poetry series about a love that has persisted through Alzheimers. I was beyond thrilled when Reminisce Magazine contacted me with the acceptance of her story, The Spy Catchers, which is about her truncated surveillance career back in 1942.

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If you’re anything like me, you pass a good deal of  quality time in waiting rooms, and might easily locate the summer edition of Reminisce Magazine wedged between Neurology Now and the latest issue from AARP. You’ll find you have plenty of time to read Edith’s adventures as you wait for the sexy drug rep to stop batting her eyelashes at your neurologist. Those of you who spend your summer hours outside of medical facilities can treat yourself by listening to the author read her story here:

 

 

My second pat on the back goes to the ruthlessly honest storyteller Maria Frangakis, who first took a writing workshop with me  maybe nineteen years ago at the  Tabor Arts Center in Connecticut. Maria’s unseemly intellect and ambition earned her the nickname, La Mala in her hometown in Mexico, and has earned her an MA and an MBA here in the United States, where she has created a beautiful family as well as her own successful Biotech consulting company.

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You can read Maria’s unforgettable short story, Not So Great Expectations, by following this link to Typehouse Literary Magazine.

And while I’m doing all this promotion, I might as well prompt you, gentle reader, to buy Issue 30 of the literary magazine 34th Parallel, which features a short story of mine, Chorus of Exes. 

Those are my pats on the back. My next entry, I promise, will be about the cat in the yoga studio. It might even be about MS. (This is an MS blog, after all.) I know this much about cats: it’s not a good idea to keep a cat waiting. And I know this much about MS: I’ll keep MS waiting just as long as I can.

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If you are a fan of the blog, please consider following this link to endorse me as a “Patient Leader” in the WEGOHealth Awards. WEGOHealth is the world’s largest network of Patient Leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics. I would love the opportunity to broaden my reach even further. Help me out if you agree!