Hi Everyone! Happy almost-holidays! I hope everyone is enjoying seasonally-appropriate weather. It’s been pretty nasty around here the past couple of days, but such is life, especially in December. The very exciting news is that earlier in the week I WALKED ALL THE WAY AROUND THE BLOCK!! (!!!!) If you’ve just joined us, here’s a […]Read more "Updates on Life, Health, and Other Fragile Things"
A Girl Behind Dark Glasses Jessica Taylor-Bearman Being a teenager is difficult. It’s a lot more difficult when you’re suddenly saddled with a debilitating illness. For those of you who’ve seen Jennifer Brea’s award-winning documentary “Unrest,” “A Girl Behind Dark Glasses” is the story of Jess, the English ME sufferer featured in the film. It […]Read more "“A Girl Behind Dark Glasses” by Jessica Taylor-Bearman"
I’m currently reading Jessica Taylor-Bearman’s A Girl Behind Dark Glasses, about her experience as a teenager with severe ME/CFS. I’m interested in her story not just because, as someone with a chronic illness, I’m interested in the stories of other people with chronic illnesses, but because, like most people in her situation, she has to try […]Read more "Tripping Out: Writing About Altered Perceptions"
A Scone to Die For H.Y. Hanna Gemma gave up her high-powered job in Sydney and moved back to Oxford to open a tea room. But she soon becomes embroiled not just in scones and toast, but in murder. “A Scone to Die For” is pretty much the quintessential cozy mystery. It has an uber-cute […]Read more "“A Scone to Die For” by H.Y. Hanna"
Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change Mary Beth Pfeiffer An ancient monster has been awakened from its unquiet slumber by the arrogant foolishness of humans, and is now coming to feed on you and your children, while scientists and government officials sit back and do nothing, or actively distribute misinformation. The plot of the […]Read more "“Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change” by Mary Beth Pfeiffer"
Last time we talked about different writing tools you can use. This time we’re going to talk about something particularly close to my heart: writing when you’re dealing with some kind of physical infirmity. Even healthy people will experience physical and mental fatigue, eye strain, and neck/back/hand pain if they spend too much time writing, […]Read more "Why Aren’t You Writing V: Overcoming Illness and Disability"
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand In “Unbroken,” Laura Hillenbrand returns to tell another story (after “Seabiscuit”) of someone who has been bloodied by adversity, but not broken by it. Louie Zamperini was one of the world’s hottest track stars, breaking record after record and running in the 1936 Olympics. Then WWII broke out, and he ended up […]Read more "“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand"
Unrest here at WFU! I’m very excited to say that Wake Forest University will be holding a screening of “Unrest” today at 6pm in Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall. The screening will be free and open to the public, and there will be a panel discussion afterwards that will, health permitting, include me. I’ll probably discuss […]Read more "“Unrest” coming to Winston-Salem Today!"
How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide For the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers Toni Bernhard Foreword by Sylvia Boorstein The problem for most Western approaches to dealing with a serious or chronic illness is that they are based, whether they know it or not, on the concepts of objective distance and physical and rational […]Read more "“How To Be Sick” by Toni Bernhard"
My latest essay on The Mighty, about finally learning to accept my body once I developed a serious chronic illness, can be found here (That’s a picture of Mandelstam, whose poem “A Body Has Been Given to Me” begins the essay. It’s not the most flattering picture of him, but it’s the bravest: it’s his mug […]Read more "My Essay on The Mighty: How Chronic Illness Taught me to Accept My Body"