The Owl of Ignorance

DickWarrenGuest post by Dick Warn

Elizabeth Cutter Morrow (1873-1955, American poet) said, “My friend and I have built a wall between us thick and wide: The stones of it are laid in scorn and plastered high with pride.”

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic) said, “In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”

Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979, Roman Catholic clergyman) said, “Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals.”

And William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor and author) said, “I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of pride.”

In the end, pride in our accomplishments is not what truly matters, it is the many ways we have chosen to deal with other people and our respect for all living creatures. We are all part of something so much bigger than ourselves, and no single person is more important than another. We are all important.

The owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.

Dick Warn

 

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Advertisements

Feeling Time

Patricia BuddGuest Post by Patricia Budd

I never thought I would see the day when an entire chapter about a man counting the seconds into minutes into the hours of a day would captivate me so completely. I mean he was literally trying to count every second in a twenty-four hour stretch. Of course he couldn’t do it so much of the time was spent with his trying to figure out how to capture time – in order to be able to know the time of day. You see, the central character in the novel Johnny Got his Gun by Dalton Trumbo, one Joe Bonham, had been mutilated in the War – World War I. What little is left of his body (no arms, no legs, blind, deaf and mute) is now useless. All that remains of the youth is his mind. Feeling completely isolated from the rest of the world he believes the concept of time will help connect him to the rest of humanity. He is so consumed by this task that when he finally figures out how to tell time (by the nurses movements in his life) he experiences a wave of joy that leaves his body feeling as if he is singing.

How was he to determine such a thing as time when he had no contact with the outside world? He had but one sense to rely on – feel. The nurse would touch him every time she came into the room. Using logic he reasoned that she must come to him 6 times during a 24 hour period and that she would mostly likely do the heaviest work earliest in the day. With this notion in mind he decided that when she bathed and changed his sheet it would be eight o’clock in the morning. This became his starting point. When she finally arrived to bath him he imagined a chalk board where he wrote down the number one; one for her first visit, one for eight in the morning. After five more visits he figured it was around four o’clock in the morning. From here he began his wait, wait for the change of temperature to register on what little open skin he had, the skin on the sides of his face, neck and ears. He will feel for the change in room temperature when the sunrises in the early dawn causing the coolness of the night to dissipate.

When this moment occurs it is like an epiphany in the young man’s life. “It felt as if the pores of his neck were actually reaching out to grab at the change to suck it in.” This transformation did not happen instantly, oh no, Trumbo manages to stretch out this critical moment for two more paragraphs as bit by bit the light of the morning sun’s rays tingle and ultimately burst “like a blaze of heat. It felt like his neck was seared burned scorched from the heat of the rising sun.” Time has reached out and touched him. Joe Bonham now knows how to tell when the sun comes up. From this day forth he will always know when he is in existence. A minor accomplishment that sends his body into rapture: “In his mind, in his heart, in whatever parts of him that were left he was singing singing singing.” Just being able to feel time, being able to now track the time of day, has given this man, a man who is nothing more than a lump of flesh laying like a slab of meat on a bed, a sense of joy that many of never attain in our entire lifetimes.

Man needs to “sing sing sing” with joyous rapture for his many lifetime accomplishments. These accomplishments by far exceed that of Joe Bonham and yet we revel not in our success, but indulge in our incompetence. From a book of greatest sorrow and defeat springs the key to greatest joy and harmony. Man must needs sing! Man must needs feel –  learn to feel time and allow for the joy of the moment.

-pmb-

When Your Book Becomes Very Popular

PopovichStanGuest Post by Stan Popovich

Many authors have a difficult time of getting their work publicized to millions of people. However, many authors do not know what to do when their books get national exposure. Here are some steps a published author should follow when their book gets national attention.

Determine and write down what the most important things you need to accomplish once your book goes national.  Once you know what you need to do, the next step is to do each task in order of his importance.

 Trying hiring an assistant or get a friend to help you with answering your email and phones calls that you may get after you book goes national. An author should do the important things and delegate the other tasks to a trusted assistant.

 Educate yourself on the things you may have to learn as a result of your book getting national exposure. Some questions an author should ask themselves are…Should I improve on delivering your speech presentation, Should I take a public relations class so I can improve my publicity tasks, and what kinds of skills do I need to learn in dealing with the national media.

 Continue to market your book. Don’t assume that since your book got some national exposure that you can stop promoting your book.  Book marketing is something that an author should never stop doing regardless how popular their book becomes.

 Don’t let fame change you. Stay true to your values and learn how to handle the peer pressure from the attention you will get from people you know.  Know what you want and don’t let other people hinder your efforts. Respect other opinions but stay focus on your short and long term goals.

 Finally, enjoy the fact that your book is getting national attention.  It is not every day that a local author gets national exposure regarding their book.

BIOGRAPHY:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods”. Stan’s managing fear book has become very popular with over 300 positive book reviews and counting. Please read the many book reviews of Stan’s popular book by going to Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com/

When Sinatra Came To Town

David_JeromeGuest post by By David Jerome, “Mr. Bucketlist”

In the Summer of 1978 I was a 12 year old baseball fanatic. Life for me was God, family, and Steve Garvey, and not necessarily in that order. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that we were going to have a Dodger wedding right in my Fullerton, California neighborhood.

The Stephenson family lived around the corner from my house. Mr. Stephenson had pitched in the big leagues, and then became a Dodger scout. They had a big and beautiful backyard and agreed to host Tommy Lasorda’s daughter’s nuptials.

On the day of the wedding the street wasn’t closed off to the nosey neighbors, so my friends and I rode our bikes around the neighborhood star gazing as the limousines pulled up in front of the Stephenson’s tented front yard.

It was great people watching. There was a steady parade of Dodger players and Lasorda’s celebrity friends. When Don Rickles got out of his car I approached him for his autograph. He rubbed my crue-cut and said, “Hey kid, what’s your barber got against you?”

Then a black limousine pulled up and Frank Sinatra stepped out. I was able to shake hands with The Chairman of the Board and got his autograph. Back then I didn’t know Sinatra was… SINATRA! They were all celebrities in my mind. I didn’t distinguish between a character actor like Ron Masak (the Sheriff on Murder She Wrote) also in attendance, and an American icon like Frank Sinatra, they were all the same to me.

My friend’s house was directly behind the Stephenson’s so we were able to watch the wedding ceremony through the slats of his wooden fence.

As I grew up I acquired a great appreciation for the vocal talent and swanky coolness of the leader of the Rat Pack. I have several of his CDs and have even paid a visit to his final resting place in Palm Springs. I had my Sinatra autograph professionally matted and framed with a photo of him and it now hangs behind my bar (exactly where Ol’ Blue Eyes would want to hang).
Meeting Sinatra wasn’t on my bucket list when it happened, but the older I get the happier I am that it became a retroactive bucketlist completion.

My admiration has now been passed down to the next generation. Several years ago, I was giving my four-year old son a bath and Frank Sinatra’s song “Come Fly With Me” was playing on my wife’s ipod. I asked my son, “Do you know who sings this song?“
“Raffi?“ He guessed.
“No,” I said. “Frank Sinatra, he’s one of the greatest singers in the history of recorded music.“
“Raffi’s a good singer too.” my son answered.
I paused for a few seconds thinking about what a good parent would say, then bluntly told him the truth.
“Raffi couldn’t shine Sinatra’s shoes!“

To this day, I still think that setting my kid straight on Sinatra’s greatness is my shinning moment as a parent.

www.MrBucketlist.com
Author of “Roastbeef’s Promise”

How A Writer Can Deal With The Fear Of Rejection

PopovichStanGuest Post by Stan Popovich

We have all gotten turned down from a job interview, sports team try out, or even a date. It can sometimes be difficult to overcome the feelings of rejection and to try again. As a result, here is a list of techniques a writer can use to help get over the feelings of not making it on the first or second try.

When getting turned down, the key is to learn from your mistakes and to give it another try. Doing anything in life requires practice and persistence. For example, remember the time when you first learned to ride a bike. The first few times, you kept following off the bike. With some practice and some time, you were able to ride your bike with no problem. Everything we do is a learning experience so do not get discouraged if you don’t make it on the first or second time.

Sometimes, our negative thoughts will get the best of us when we fail to get what we want. A technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make us feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel discouraged, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

If you have trouble accomplishing a certain task, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Use this same technique in your situation. Visualize yourself succeeding at your goal.

Asking for help can make a difference. Talking to someone who has been there can give us insights on how to overcome our current situation. A friend can also provide encouragement and remind us that we are not alone. Also remember to take it one day at a time. Focus on the present and try not to predict what may happen down the road.

As a Layman and author of an anxiety book, I have gone through much adversity in dealing with fear and anxiety. The key is not to give up and to learn from your mistakes. In time, you will become more knowledgeable and experienced and eventually you will accomplish your goals.

BIOGRAPHY:
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods”.
Stan’s managing fear book has become very popular with over 300 positive book reviews and counting. Please read the many book reviews of Stan’s popular book by going to Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com/

The Anti-Villain: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tropes

JHamlet Bio PicGuest post by J. Hamlet

Discretion is the better part of valor, or however it is that people choose to paraphrase Shakespeare. I’ve never quite believed that entirely. I’ve always preferred the British SAS motto: “Who Dares Wins.” In the realm of fiction and entertainment, nothing proves that more superbly than the most recent season of Netflix’s House of Cards. Spoilers ahead.

Like so many people, I engaged in a binge-watch marathon when the episodes dropped over Valentine’s Day weekend. Luckily, I had a significant other who was on board with that plan. She even suggested it. I was immediately taken in by how different the second season of the show felt. Part of that was natural as Frank Underwood, a man who would be the villain if this story was told from any other perspective, goes further into darkness.

Season 1 featured Frank running amok in the playground of Congress. With his elevation to the Vice Presidency, Season 2 offers Frank much more opportunity for carnage. The tempo of careers and lives trashed only increases, a frenzy of ruin. It’s a lot of fun in a very sick way. As I watched the season unfold with scandal after scandal and lurid betrayals flowing like wine, I thought that it reminded me of another DC and politics-centric show that’s a favorite of mine: Scandal. In a sense, the quasi-grounded arc that House of Cards had started with changed to a more deep and extreme narrative. In Frank’s quest to become the top dog, the only man the President trusts, he confronts and alienates powerful donors and even starts a trade war with China. And that’s just for starters.

 

The show also broadens its themes and introduces whole new sides of its characters. In one obvious way, it shows us sides of the marriage of the Underwoods we never saw before. At each other’s throats through much of the first season in a war with plenty of collateral damage, Season 2 shows them united. As Claire and Frank find harmony, it allows them to turn their powers and ambition outward to even more devastating effect.

 

The show even allows for a sizable subplot that highlights the feminism of Claire Underwood in a way ignored in the first season where Claire combines lies and the truth to her advantage and launch a new crusade that shapes a lot of her character arc. There’s more than that, including Frank turning ever more characters to the dark side and bringing them into his orbit through a web of blackmail and temptation. It’s tough to tell whether these new characters and “allies” will be betrayed by Frank or whether they’ll do their own betraying of him in the future.

 

I’ve lived in DC for over ten years now. I’ve seen presidential administrations change over, control over Congress bounce between parties, and political appointees come and go. The fact is, the realm inside the beltway is never quite as exciting as fiction makes it out to be. To the millions who dwell in the DC area that aren’t in politics, be they bureaucrats or contractors, it’s a sea of paperwork and program management reviews. Political intrigues, plots, murders, and sex scandals couldn’t be farther from it.

 

And yet, as far from reality as it is, I can’t say no to the worlds of Scandal and the extreme turns of House of Cards’ second season. The DC they create may not resemble the real one, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun. There’s a lot to be said for that. Any season of American Horror Story has the same, embracing the extreme and melodrama to tell stories most TV shows wouldn’t dare. Sure, they miss plenty, but they can also hit targets most other shows don’t dare.

J. Hamlet is an indie author who has far too many hobbies. His debut novel is Hand of Chaos and he also publishes a weekly serialized tumblr novel called Scarred Earth.

J. Hamlet: Everyone needs a hobby. I chose writing. Not one of the easier ones. I chose it at the tender age of 14, churning out terrible science fiction novels that heaped on the cliches and barely hidden tropes of all space operas. Thankfully, those creations reside in the prison of an old Commodore 64 hard drive and several 3.5″ disks (kids, ask your parents) in a landfill somewhere. And, let me be clear, the world is better for it. Along the way, I kept writing. Through college. Through grad school. Through the beginning of my career, such as it is. I like to believe I picked up skills. I write genre novels that have characters brimming with personal problems, professional problems, and sexuality. Sure, novels that do this exist. I’m not trying to say they don’t, I just think too few of them are out there and I intend to do my personal best to increase their numbers.

 

Author Links: Facebook | Website | Blog | GoodReads | Amazon | Twitter |

Frightening Facts in Stephen Emmott’s Ten Billion

Patricia BuddGuest Post by Patricia Budd

I am learning some really frightening facts from Stephen Emmott’s short non-fiction, Ten Billion. This book is not a sci-fi dystopia about the future. It is a fact based look at what is fast becoming our dystopian future. We will reach the unsustainable population of ten billion in just under thirty years. Emmott has even projected the deadly number of twenty-eight billion by this century’s end. I will, by that point, fortunately, be dead, but your children and grandchildren will not. Right now the planet’s resources are insufficient for supporting ten billion people, let alone twenty-eight billion.

 

When I was writing my dystopian sci-fi novel, Hadrian’s Lover, one of the criticisms I received was the overly large population I created for sometime in the 22nd century. Well, Stephen Emmott just justified that seemingly absurd number in his book, Ten Billion, by pointing out that “by the end of this century there will not be ten billion of us.” Rather, he goes on to say, “There will be twenty-eight billion of us.” I was eight billion short of this projected mark! The planet simply cannot sustain such a radically high number of humans.  Emmott rightly warns us that we are “in an unprecedented emergency.”

 

A radical shift, he writes, needs to occur in the mindset of the business world in order for us to effectively combat the damage we are continuing to inflict upon our planet. “The rules of business,” Sucked, explains, “urgently need to be changed, so corporations compete on the basis of innovation, resource conservation, and satisfaction of multiple stakeholder demands, rather than on the basis of who is most effective in influencing government regulation, avoiding taxes, and obtaining subsidies for harmful activities in order to maximize the return for just one stakeholder-the shareholders.” Like Emmott, I do not believe this will ever happen.

 

And yet, we must act. That is the key message Emmott addresses explicitly and implicitly on every page of his book. We are the problem and we must be the solution. If nothing is done then a crisis of pandemic proportions will be upon us. For, as Emmott evidences in his book,  “there is no known way of feeding a population of ten billion.” Prior to this statement he pointed out that since 1980 world population has grown by a billion every decade (pp 25, 29, 32). This suggests that by 2020 we will be at eight billion, hitting the nine billion mark by 2030 and the impossible to sustain ten billion by 2040 (or sooner). I could still be alive, just turning 80. If not luckily lost in a stupor of dementia, I may well have the misfortune of being cognizant of our species final descent into madness.

 

This book is rife with examples of the irony of human action and inaction. One example given is what he refers to as the “irony of ironies”. Apparently “it takes something like four liters of water to produce a one-liter plastic bottle of eater.” This, Emmott aptly describes as “completely unnecessarily” and goes on to call it “Water wasted to produce bottles-for water.” And, this is only one of the many examples of how we are overusing our planet’s limited fresh water resources. “In short,” as Emmott succinctly puts it, “we’re consuming water, like food, at a rate that is completely unsustainable.” Wow!

 

According to Stephen Emmott, there are three key reasons why the demand for food is growing (beside the obvious population growth): 1. People are eating more in developed countries, 2. People are consuming more meat than ever before, 3. Eating, particularly in wealthier countries, has become a pastime (Pages 70 $0& 71).

 

So, what are we to do? If we continue down this miserable trek as Emmott feels certain is exactly what we will do then all the dystopian fiction written predicting an apocalyptic future may become all too haunting true. Maybe we’ll wise up as a species sooner rather than too late and take Emmott’s advice in this book.

Obstacles and Human Ingenuity

James JosueGuest Post by James Josue

An obstacle, by a standard definition, is anything that prevents one from attaining one’s goal. It is the dream-killer. It is sometimes one’s own personality and belief that prevent one from succeeding. At times, it is the circumstances affecting a person that prevent them from achieving their goals. Yet, the question remains: is an obstacle always destructive?

At first, it might even seem foolish to ask such a question; you may think, “How can a barrier to one’s life possibly be useful?” That is what most people think. That is also the reason why, when an obstacle arises, if they cannot get rid of it, they run. If they try to eradicate it and fail, they usually decide to quit. It might be in our nature as humans to flee from anything that hinders the happiness we think we deserve. However, I think this is a rather unusual way to think and act. We have missed so many opportunities when we flee the barriers in front of us. We need to stand and confront those barriers with our skills, knowledge and ingenuity. Only then can we eliminate these obstacles which provide us with the opportunity to grow and evolve.

How many throats would be in harm’s way had King C. Gillette run from improving the cut-throat razor? The cut-throat razor was ineffective; using it was time consuming and dangerous: it could actually cut a man’s throat. Gillette went on creating a razor that was cheap, yet, did not need to be sharpened and was easy and most importantly, safe to use.

The stethoscope, one of the icons most associated with today’s medicine was invented because Doctor Rene Laennec was confronted with the obstacle of touching a patient’s breast. He was asked to examine a woman to find out if she had some kind of heart disease. He had to examine the patient but because she was a woman, he did not want to touch her with his bare hands or place his ears on the woman’s chest. Just then, he remembered something he observed not long ago: two children were playing with wood and a pin to send signals to each other. As a result, Laennec rolled a piece of paper and used it to listen to the patient’s heartbeat. This was how Laennec was able to use his ingenuity.

Think of Sophie who thought that her roommate and she would be the best of friends when she first got to college.  But her roommate’s snoring was loud and intolerable. The snoring was despicable and intolerable. She would wake up every night because of the snoring. Though, one night, at around 3:00 in the morning, as Sophie was struggling to find a way to fall asleep again, an idea came to her. Instead of considering the snoring as something that was awful, she considered it as something that was part of the room. In her mind, she visualized herself dancing. She listened to every beat of the snoring as if she was listening to Moon Light Sonata by Beethoven. A few minutes later, she fell asleep.

Guess what? Sophie and her roommate became the best of friends.

What about Christian Barnard? He was brave enough man to perform the first heart transplant in history. He did not chicken out because he would be first one to ever attempt such a transplant on a patient.

These examples of how some people have used their skills, knowledge and ingenuity are not meant to encourage people to do foolish things and engage in reckless behaviors. They are meant to demonstrate that an obstacle is not always a problem but might be an opportunity to use our ingenuity to flourish.

 

BIO: James Josue, guitar player, song writer and poet is distinguished scholar known for his love of poetry. He wrote many poems and songs for his local churches. He’s always been fascinated with words and the challenge of understanding their etymologies and meanings. http://www.jamesjosue.com

Authors: Get Bloggers to Promote Your Book

Scott LorenzGuest post by Scott Lorenz

Book Bloggers, I.E. people who blog about books, like to interview authors for their blogs. Some bloggers have tens of thousands of followers and can totally change an author’s life by exposing you and your book to their audience.

Finding a blogger who interviews authors in your genre and particular topic allows you to reach your target niche. Blogs tend to generate a fairly dedicated following with certain blogs sending some authors right to the best seller ranks. By having a blogger interview you and post the interview on their blog, you will potentially pique the interest of everyone who reads that particular blog. People will be more likely to visit your site and read your work, increasing your sales.

Here’s a short list of book bloggers who interview authors. Find the ones that fit your genre and give them a shout:

Book Bloggers Association: http://bookbloggersassociation.com/

YA Book Blog Directory: http://yabookblogdirectory.blogspot.com

Eri Nelson: Wonderful Reads of the Month: http://www.wonderfulreadofthemonth.blogspot.com/

Teddy Gross on Jewish-themed books: http://teddygross.blogspot.com/

Morgen Bailey: http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/blog-interviews/

Kate Brauning writes excellent book reviews: http://katebrauning.wordpress.com/

MUTT: http://www.muttonline.com

Indies Unlimited: http://www.indiesunlimited.com

Review Carnival: http://www.reviewcarnival.blogspot.com/

The Writer’s Life: http://thewriterslife.blogspot.com/

Beyond the Books: http://beyondthebooks.wordpress.com

Cynsations: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com

The Next Best Book Club: http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.com

Book Chums: http://www.bookchums.com/blogs.php

Rainy of the Dark: http://www.rainyofthedark.com

The Indie Exchange: http://theindieexchange.com

Neal Thompson: http://www.nealthompson.com

Expat Bookshop: http://www.expatbookshop.com

The Writing Corner: http://www.thewritingcorner.net

First Book Interviews: http://firstbookinterviews.blogspot.com/

Lena Sledge: http://www.lenasledgeblog.com/

Better World Books Blog: http://blog.betterworldbooks.com/

Proud Book Nerd: http://proudbooknerd.com

I Am a Reader, Not a Writer: http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com

Blogging Authors: http://www.bloggingauthors.com

As long as a particular blogger covers the genre you write about, most of these bloggers will be happy to interview you about your book. Some bloggers may conduct a phone interview while others will email you questions to answer.  Others will invite you to submit a book synopsis, your bio, head shot, book cover and a press release. They’ll use all of this to create the blog page about you and your book.  After all, it is fresh material for their site.

By reaching out to a targeted list of bloggers you will be promoting yourself in online circles, which will increase your visibility and potentially increase book sales. You can also search for bloggers who interview authors by typing keywords such as “list of book bloggers” or “blogger author interviews.” If you want to track down a certain audience, you can be more specific with your Internet search and search phrases like “young adult fiction book blog.”

For more in depth information about promoting your book using blogs I suggest you read “How to Blog a Book” by Nina Amir. It’s filled with useful tips and techniques that will guide you through the process.

Bottom line: Finding a blogger to interview you about your work is one ‘arrow in the quiver’ of a book marketing strategy and one that can lead to new fans, publicity and increase in book sales.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Living with a Disability

Glenn-Gardiner-HI-RES-COLOR-21Guest post by G.E. Gardiner

On December 28, 1996, while skiing on top of a mountain in western Maryland, GE Gardiner suffered a Hemorrhagic brainstem stroke, caused by high blood pressure. He spent six and a half weeks in three different hospitals, and four months recuperating at home before returning to work.

Complications that lingered after the incident were blood clots, lack of motor dexterity, and cerebellum ataxia. Permanent damage from this stroke affected his brain and significant bodily functions, including: breathing, vision, cognition, gait, speech, memory, and balance, all of which prevented him from living a normal life. Today, he uses a walking stick and long ago retired from regular work.

In 2004, his family urged him to begin mental therapy by writing a journal. Unable to type or handwrite, he resorted to Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice-recognition software. By 2010, he was writing a science fiction novel. The 2012 anthology, My Wheels, included one of his short stories, Speed. His first full-length novel, Glimpse of Sunlight, coauthored by Leona Rosa Bodie, will be published on April 1.

Today, Gardiner seeks to raise awareness about how people can still live full lives despite a disability. Strokes come in many forms, and people need to be aware of the signs: inability to

speak, slurred words, drooping face, and weakness in the arms. More information on strokes can be found at http://www.strokeassociation.org

Gardiner, who lives in Florida, also recommends familiarity with the Brain Injury Association of Florida (http://www.biaf.org/). It is Florida’s only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to inform, educate, support and advocate on behalf of traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors, their families and caregivers. The organization assists those recovering from brain injuries with finding support groups, employment, healthcare professionals, and assistance for caregivers.

Gardiner offers the following top three tips for living with a disability:

1. Turn the negatives of your disability into a positive.

2. Accept your situation and be happy for any advance.

3. Find someone to be your advocate.

He can be reached through his website: www.GEGardiner.com

%d bloggers like this: