Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

Book Review: The 5th Wave

Image
Cassie is 16 years old, and alone. Not the kind of alone teenagers are wont to bask in while feeling tortured. Really alone. In the woods, her only possessions a sleeping bag, a backpack of provisions, with an M-16 and a teddy bear for company. It is so quiet that she can hear "the stars scrape against the sky."
What brought her there was the appearance of an alien mothership in the atmosphere above Earth. This was followed by four events — or waves — that one after the other eliminated more human beings. With the world in tatters and humanity on the verge of extinction, what matters? For Cassie, it's her younger brother, Sammy and she is on her way to find him. Along the way, she meets a mysterious boy in the woods and have to decide whether to trust him. And on the other end of her quest is Sammy, in a different but equally strange situation, also deciding who to trust. This isThe 5th Waveand you need to read it.
In the post-Twilight era, the name of the game in the in t…

Trekking in the Andes

Image
Ever since I first read the book about the Peruvian soccerteam that had to engage in a bit of cannibalism to survive, I've wanted to see the Andes Mountains.
Yes, I realize this was a bit of an unusual preamble to a post about inflammatory arthritis, but it is relevant. Sort of.
Last week, I posted a news release from Show Us YourHands! with an update on what we've been doing this year. One of our big tasks was figuring out how to make an organization work when all members live with inflammatory arthritis. We very quickly decided that expecting healthy and able-bodied production levels was a recipe for burnout and an unstable organization. And then we set about creating processes that would support the talents and efforts of all team members, while accommodating their disease. It has been a long and rewarding process, resulting in an incredibly peaceful environment. Being able to be completely honest about your needs, especially when they sometimes mean a delay in a project, is …

Stress, Spoons and Overdraft Protection

Image
I ran out of spoons around the middle of June. Then I spent the next six weeks teetering on the line between having just a few and being deep in energy overdraft, while mentally (and repeatedly) chanting just hold on until August 1 and not quite understanding why I was flaring to the tune of more pain than I've experienced in a long time. What can I say — I was too busy to think clearly.
I'm still not quite sure how I made it through that.
After a bit more than a week off, I was still hosting a pain party and remained somewhat surprised that I didn't get better the minute my vacation started. Friends  reminded me that it takes time to heal, but I only had three weeks left and would like to be able to do some other things I planned before I have to go back to work.
If reincarnation is real, my task this lifetime is to learn patience. After 50 years, I'm not doing too well.
What I am good at, however, is noticing patterns — partly genetic, and partly from spending a large pa…

Reclaiming Your Voice

Image
As some of you may have noticed, I'm on a much-needed sabbatical from my main day job and all this freedom has given me the mental space to think. As is my wont, thinking usually leads to writing and in this particular instance that, too, made me think.
When I was in university, I used to write my essays longhand and then do the final copy on a typewriter (yes, it was that long ago). In the late 1980s, I had a summer job that I didn't like much, but I used all the money I made buy myself a computer. And then I discovered that composing while you write longhand and composing while you type are two entirely different things. For a while, I wrote my essays longhand and used my computer as a glorified typewriter.
Eventually, I did figure it out. In fact, I took to it like a fish to water and writing got even better than when I used a pen. It seemed as if I managed to connect the deep recesses of my mind to my computer via the conduit of my fingers. Finally, my hands could keep up wi…

Show Us Your Hands! Works with Inflammatory Arthritis and Starts Fundraisers for Growth

Image
(August 13, 2013) – Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to provide an update of the organization’s activities in 2013. Launched less than two years ago as a community collage project, our grassroots organization continues to grow thanks to the continued support from members of the inflammatory arthritis community.
We are happy to share that we have obtained official US nonprofit charity status. State of Illinois charity registration is in progress.
Show Us Your Hands! has also created an Advisory Council to provide ideas and feedback for awareness projects. The Advisory Council is composed of an international group of motivated and talented individuals: Andrea Sarullo (USA), Ferhaan Kajee (The Netherlands), Kimberly Cooper (USA), Nicole Dalton (USA) and Shelley Cook (USA).
All Show Us Your Hands! Directors and Advisory Council members live with inflammatory arthritis. This has presented our organization with the unique opportunity of creating organizational structures that support and accommo…

Winner - Chronic Resilience Giveaway

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of  Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illnessby Danea Horn. All of you wrote beautiful, thoughtful replies that I am sure will be helpful for those who are new to the disease and still feeling lost.

I asked The Boy's boy to choose the winner by selecting a number from 1 to 18. He liked the number 9, which means comment #9 is the winner! Congratulations to Cris Peacock (from Maui!), who wrote

"My greatest gift has been learning to truly enjoy my family. LIfe is too short. With my daughter and family 5,000 miles away and my son 2,500, I treasure the time I spend with them. No worries about appearances or expectations, only admiring and experiencing the amazing people they are."

Congratulations, Cris! Contact me at landers5ATgmailDOTcom so we can make arrangements to send the book to you!

5 Gifts that Come from Chronic Illness - Guestpost & Giveaway

Image
Last week I interviewed Danea Horn about her new book for HealthCentral. Danea  agreed to do a guest post for The Seated View and generously offered to give away a copy of Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness. This is a great book that has lots of real, practical tips on creating a good life with a chronic illness. I plan to give it to several women I know, including some that don't have a chronic illness — the tips can be used by anyone who needs help with managing stress. Check out the bottom of the post for instructions to enter the giveaway.

Take it away, Danea!





Illness comes with many unpleasant gifts: fatigue, pain, appointments, worry, medications and a host of other inconveniences. These are obvious. What is less apparent are the unexpected blessings that can come from dealing with a chronic illness.
Of course, no one would choose to be sick for these gifts. However, if you have to cope with an illness, it’s good to be re…

Freedom

Image
Freeeeeeedoooooom!!
For the entire month of August, I will be on sabbatical from HealthCentral. This is my main day job, and one that I love passionately. That passion has a tendency to translate into a lot of work and to be fair, not just for HealthCentral. I wear a lot of hats and together, they take up the vast majority of my available time and energy. A couple of months ago, I added another freelance gig with The Aurora Foundation of Southern Arizona doing something incredibly exciting and by then, I was over capacity. Having a grand time, but still somewhat overworked.
And that meant no writing.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I wasn't ready to dive into Book Two, so it was nice to spend a few months focusing on something else altogether. But the itch has been growing and the only way I can scratch it is by creating time. That meant a sabbatical and thankfully, my wonderful Producer told me to go right ahead and do what I need to do.
What I need to do is write. And spend tim…