I’ve waited until nearly the last minute to renew my domain name here on WordPress. It isn’t that I dislike their services or anything, it’s just that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue to pay for a service I’ve barely used.
It’s all me. I just haven’t been writing lately. Not blogging. I have been writing. Writing and submitting and being rejected and waiting and all the fun crap that goes along with writing. I haven’t been posting many new stories here, and even some of the older ones have disappeared, because they are going off into the wild blue yonder to be read and sent back with a note that says, “We really like your creation, but a) it’s not fit for our magazine b) we don’t have room for it in our magazine c) we don’t care d) we hate you. Kidding about those last two. The “we don’t care” usually is communicated by the lack of communication at all, meaning no response whatsoever. No one has ever said they hate me, at least not in a rejection letter.
To say I was at any time disenchanted with the writing world would be inaccurate. I knew and still know the game. Magazines, agents, and publishers are inundated with material. There’s a reason it’s called a slush pile. To say I write as often as I should be would also be inaccurate. I don’t. I procrastinate and get distracted by life in general. I come to choose sleep over writing. Trust me, there was a time when that was not the case. But I’m still trudging along, although slowly.
I’ve thought of self-publishing, been encouraged to, even. Why don’t I self-publish, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. That arena is also inundated, simply over-saturated. Not only that, but it takes money to do it right, and I simply have none. That’s a lie. I have some. But, it’s already been allocated to things like food, shelter, and making sure my son is supplied with the things he requires for his medical condition.
So, I suppose that’s that, then. I renewed my domain here at WordPress because I want to keep writing, and I’m too lazy to go about changing all of the links everywhere on the interwebs to a different address. I also love spam comments, apparently. Kidding. I don’t like spam.
I should be blogging more often, but as most of you know my life is kind of, slightly, just a little busy. New readers can learn more about that here, here, and here. I promise I’ve been writing. Just not blogging. At any rate, I see I have acquired a significant number of new followers lately, and I want to say thanks to you all for following. Thanks to my current and loyal readers, as well. And I hope I can deliver the goods, so to speak, to keep you all entertained and interested in staying on board!
A year ago, my then 29 month old son was diagnosed with a PNET (Primal Neuroectodermal Tumor) in his brain stem, and it extended down, tentacle-like, into his spinal cord. He was given a 40% chance of survival. Very little of the tumor was removed, as it was so embedded within crucial parts of his brain and spine.
It was about this time I found some fellow bloggers who’d participated in a St. Baldrick‘s event to raise awareness and donations toward pediatric brain cancer-and in honor of a lovely sprite of a girl taken too soon by brain cancer, Donna.
Through their writing, I learned of Mary Tyler Mom’s blog, and Donna’s Cancer Story. I didn’t read Donna’s Cancer Story for many months. It was always there, waiting patiently for me to be ready. I was afraid of it, because I knew how it ended, and because it was my story, my son’s story.
I began following Mary Tyler Mom’s blog and Facebook, and I learned of Donna’s Good Things. I found strength through Mary Tyler Mom’s ability to continue on after experiencing such tragedy.
Today is Donna’s Day. It is a day meant for us in the pediatric cancer community to raise our voices and awareness for a much under-researched disease that is the number one killer of children over the age of one.
According to Pediatric Genome Project :
“Cancer is still the leading cause of death from disease among U.S. children over one year of age. Cancer kills more children than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, AIDS, asthma and juvenile diabetes combined.”
Few cancer research organizations dedicate enough of their donations to pediactric cancer research. St. Baldrick’s is the only organization that donates all of their funds to ped cancer research. Besides using more of their funds for solicitation than for research, The American Cancer Society only allocates 1/2 cent of every dollar they do dedicate to research on ped cancer.
There are St. Baldrick’s events nationwide, and several coming up in my city, New Orleans. Check out the link here.
Show up or stay home, shave or don’t shave, but you can always help by clicking the donate button. Anything helps. Don’t feel like because you may not be able to donate a lot you shouldn’t. A little adds up to a lot.
My son, Robot Boy, is recovering. We are in a place Mary Tyler Mom has titled Scarred Acres:
“Scarred Acres, full of children finished with their treatment, but marked in a hundred different ways by their cancer. Some will live in Scarred Acres the rest of their lives.”
We are working hard, RB is working hardest of all, to rehabilitate and hopefully-one day-in the far or near future, we might move from Scarred Acres.
Reading Donna’s Cancer Story has taught me the importance of choosing hope. We are making future plans. They may be castles in the sky, but one day my strong superhero Robot Boy might turn them into bricks and mortar.
I’d like to leave you with this link to a sad yet heart-lightening video of Donna’s joyful moments.
Reviewing my blog layout, I’ve noticed my reader count has gone up significantly in the last couple of months. I just want to say thanks to everyone who is following my blog and giving me the chance to share my thoughts and my writing with you. I hope you find my work insightful, inspirational, but most of all, entertaining. Danke, Gracias, Merci, Grazie, Arigato, Thank you!
Winning. Not something that’s been a big part of my life. Much like the unfortunate likes of Charlie Brown or the Amazing Luckless Peter Parker, I’ve been one acquainted with catastrophe. Literally, and I’m not misusing literally.
I’ll never be the person who wins the Powerball twice in ten years (bastards) or finds a briefcase full of a million dollars (okay, seriously, that’s mob money). You won’t see me winning any competition. I’ve often joked that if there were a contest which required its winner to be named Donnell Jeansonne and have my social security number, some identity thief would win it.
But when you are a luckless schlub, you learn to really appreciate the things in life that some people might find trivial. To be completely cliché I’ll maintain I’ll never be wealthy, but my life is enriched by the people in it. Some of those people are close friends and family. Some are new friends. Some are acquaintances. Still, some are folks I’ve never met in real life, and may never meet.
One of those wonderful people is a lovely lady and author of the blog Pinwheels and Poppies. We met as WordPress bloggers when I first read her blog The Coming Adventures of a Soon-to-be Baldie in which she writes of an upcoming trip to Chicago to participate in a St. Baldrick’s event. The blog was posted on March 19, 2012-just thirteen days after I learned my own son, then twenty-eight months old, had a malignant brain tumor.
We’ve corresponded via the Internet since then, and today she shared something with me. Although I’ve been behind in blogging (I promise all of my free time is spent working on my novel.), she’s awarded my humble blog with the Liebster Award.
Coincidentally, I studied German for three years in high school and two in college. I can’t say I’m fluent anymore as parts of my brain have gone on permanent vacation. But I do know that among the word’s meanings, one of them is beloved. And with this knowledge, I want to thank my friend at Pinwheels and Poppies for awarding my blog, and as always for dedicating herself to helping raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Now there are rules that go along with this award. Just like Spidey says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” These rules don’t appear to be carved in stone or anything, but basically they are intended for bloggers to pay it forward by acknowledging the blogger who awarded them and to pass it along to other, also lesser known, blogs. According to seemingly official Liebster Award criteria posted by P&P, an awarded blogger should recognize three to five other bloggers with less than 300 subscribers.
Past bloggers have also passed down rules that an awarded blogger should state eleven things about herself/himself, and should answer eleven questions set by the person giving the award. And that we should write eleven questions for our own awarded bloggers.
Since the lovely lady who has seen fit to give me this award has followed the eleven question rule, I will follow suit.
11 Questions for Me:
1. What is your earliest memory?
A tight squeeze and a bright light. Just kidding. My earliest memory is from last week. Who am I again?
2. What are your personal religious/spiritual beliefs?
Spiritual yes. Religious hardly.
3. Favorite comfort food?
I really can’t answer this question. I’m from NOLA. Everything is comfort food.
4. Are you crafty? If so, what’s your crafting niche?
Is sticking yourself repeatedly with sewing needles and burning yourself with hot glue guns a craft? Because if so, that.
5. Who do you think is hotter- Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr?
6. What’s your astrological sign? Do you believe in astrology?
I was born on the Virgo/Libra cusp. I’m a little of both and a little of neither. I lean more toward the Libra in me. For entertainment purposes only.
7. How many countries have you been to? Which ones?
Four not including the USA. Mexico, St. Maarten, the Bahamas, Grand Caymen. Also the US Virgin Islands which I didn’t count because it’s the US.
8. Have you read 50 Shades of Grey? Opinion?
9. Which decade do you feel like you belong in? Why?
The Seventies. I could see all the cool bands, man.
10. Do you garden? If yes, what kind of gardening do you do?
Does watching my husband mow the lawn count as gardening? Then yes.
11. What blows your mind more- outer space or life as we know it?
Outer space, man! Seriously. The universe is fucking awesome.
Now that that’s finished, here are eleven things to know about moi:
1. When you’re on fire you don’t remember to stop, drop, and roll. I know this from experience.
2. I say fuck a lot. But not as much as motherfucker.
3. I think if I had a British accent I’d be much funnier.
4. I once tap danced in front of the Cabildo and made $11-true story. Also, I can’t tap dance.
5. I’m pretty sure I’d make a successful psychic. I can’t see the future, but I’m pretty good at bullshitting people.
6. I like the Regular Show.
7. Me and my bestie once played Spider-Man for Playstation 2 for twelve straight hours until we finished because we didn’t have a memory card.
8. I’m fairly jolly for a person whose life’s in the shitter.
9. I am a book hoarder. I buy books I never read, some I do read, some I read multiple times. I am addicted to buying books.
10. Anyone who’s ever heard my name knows how much I love Queen and Freddie Mercury.
11. My fantasy destination in Phuket, Thailand.
And here are the next award winners of the prestigious, glamorous, delicious Liebster Award. Drumroll please……..