Publishing Woes

brainAn experience happened to me this week that reminded me of the challenges of having a brain injury. I read an article run in the New York Times years ago this week. I shared it on Facebook with the following doctor’s quote lifted out. “People hold on to hope that just as when they survived the crash and they had this miraculous recovery, that they will overcome these challenges that other people may not in this miraculous way.  That’s not going to happen.”

For me it isn’t so much overcoming my challenges. It’s that I remember what I was able to do before so easily and it’s not easy now. As a result, I often say I’m going to do something without remembering how stressful it is for me to get it done. I might be able to accomplish the task but it means dropping everything else in my life.  After twenty years, I’m realizing few things are pressing enough for me to make this sacrifice.

For example my book memoir with some theological reflection is ready for the publishing stage. I could not have accomplished this without Joyce Hollyday’s help.  Yes I wrote much of it but Joyce added to it and edited it in a way that makes organizational and theological sense.  We discussed the theological pieces but she actually wrote them with a tiny bit of input from me.

Thinking theologically is very difficult for a brain injury survivor. This involves drawing many pieces together in one’s mind to come up with a clear idea, which is considered an “executive function”. Due to my frontal lobe injury, this is now very difficult if not impossible to do.  Theological reflection also is hard due to my mental flexibility, cognitive overload, and cognitive fatigue issues.

In the process of writing the book, Joyce and I did a dance with the theological pieces. I wanted to write them and my old way of being was to do this with no problem. I often told Joyce I would write something but after trying, I couldn’t come up with anything.  I didn’t want to admit that and I think this was hard for Joyce.  It didn’t happen all at once but slowly, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to write those pieces so I asked her to write them.
manuscript The same thing happened with Bill Gaventa’a request for a one page summary of the book. He is attending a conference next week and needed to have something available for folks to read.  My old self wanted to write it but Joyce gently reminded me of the speed of my writing.   It needed to be written quickly so she put it together.

I asked her if my contact information should be with hers on top. She hesitated and explained she knew the publishing process better than I.  Then she told me when Bill asked for a copy of the book so he could write the forward, I sent him an old version so that’s what he read.  Joyce sent him the newer version which he read while on a plane.

In the publishing world, mistakes like that cannot be made. Even after twenty years, it is hard to admit that I cannot do some things on my own. I’m getting much better with that realization but it still is a challenge.

A New Year


A new year has begun and I can’t seem to get myself going. I managed to block out the commercialized Christmas season by having a nice quiet Christmas at home. Circle of Mercy had a live nativity scene at a farm of some of the members which was a wonderful event. I then went to worship on Christmas day along with a few other people. Having Christmas on Sunday means a lot of people stay home!

I did feel sort of out-of-it since I don’t have the family Christmas events that everyone else seems to have. You know something? That’s okay with me especially since I don’t like large gatherings (cognitive overload) and I realized that there are lots of people who don’t have these sorts of events. The message we hear from our world is that something is wrong with us if we don’t celebrate the way everyone else does. I ignored these messages and had a nice Christmas season anyway.

Now it is the New Year and I think I need to push myself since I don’t feel like doing anything. (initiation) This is one of the problems with not working because it is easy to sit around drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. I always feel better when I push through these feelings so this is what I’m trying to do.

There’s a picture of a moon at the top of this page. (I don’t know how to crop it) Moons and rainbows have always meant a lot to me when I am in the darkness. A moon reminds me there is light within even when my life seems dark and dreary. I used to have a pair of moon earrings that I would wear to remind me of this spirit. For the time being, the picture above can help me remember.

Are there times when you feel particularly blue? How do you manage this? Commenting instructions are on the top right. Please remember that due to a computer glitch, I’m unable to comment here so if you would like a response email me at puffer61@gmail.com