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Past Ten

Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Brain Injuries, Writing | 2 comments

Below is a piece I wrote at the urging of author, editor, and teacher Donald Quist. He asked me to contribute my reflections about how I’ve changed over the previous ten years to his project Past Ten in which various writers share similar recollections. As Donald says, the personal stories in Past Ten are a “testament to the transformative power of time and the human capacity to turn the unpredictable into art.” Enjoy!   June 21, 2007 It’s 2:06 p.m. The summer solstice. I’m sitting at my desk at the Vermont Lung Association, where...

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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Brain Health, Health Care, Musings on Aging | 0 comments

It’s June –  Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Did you know that? If not, no worries. I’m here to tell you all about it. Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month is a time to help raise awareness about a disease that affects millions of people world-wide. Though researchers know a lot about Alzheimer’s, they still don’t have a cure, which makes the disease still a mystery. That’s why purple is the color designated to Alzheimer’s, because it symbolizes mystery. But purple also represents magic, and it is that magical day millions of us...

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What I learned at the Muse & Marketplace Conference for Writers

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

What I learned at this year’s Muse & Marketplace, Grub Street’s National Conference for Writers: “Brevity is not the soul of a good pitch.” You need to give magazine editors enough information to help them decide if your story, essay, or op-ed is a good fit for their publication (Adam McGee, managing editor of Boston Review). Before choosing which publishing path – traditional, small press, self-publishing, partner-publishing – is best, literary agent  April Eberhardt encourages us to answer the following questions: What...

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Transportation for Seniors

Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Musings on Aging, Older Drivers | 0 comments

I’m here to share with you my latest interview with ITNAmerica, a nonprofit transportation network for seniors serving fifteen states. “Why the interview?” you might be wondering. Have you ever thought about how you would manage your day-to-day life if you couldn’t drive? Do you ever think about what you’ll do when you’re old and frail, or old and ill, and can’t drive? While I don’t lose sleep over it, I do think about it. I think about how I’ll get to the grocery store, the bank, the movies, and, of course, the wine outlet. The...

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Brain Injury Awareness Month

Posted by on March 6, 2017 in Brain Injuries | 4 comments

It’s March, the time of year when we begin to think about daffodils, Easter bunnies, Passover Seders, and, of course, day light savings time. The month of March reminds us to act on our thoughts, to effect change, to move forward; After all, March was named after Mars, the God of war. This doesn’t mean we should act through violence. Because Mars was also known as the God of agriculture and fertility, March is a time for new growth. How do we grow? Through awareness. So it logically follows that March has been designated as Brain Injury...

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March for Women, Compassion, Unity, Equality

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Brain Injuries, Disability, Health Care, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, The Human Condition | 2 comments

This past Saturday, at least fifteen thousand people marched through downtown Montpelier, Vermont, in the name of women’s rights, human rights, compassion, unity, and equality. I was among the thousands who sloshed through mud puddles and climbed over snow banks, each one of us determined to stamp out hatred and bigotry. I’m not one for crowds, especially large crowds; if you have an anxiety disorder, like PTSD, you know what I mean. But I packed my Xanax – just in case – and drove the 40 miles with my step-daughter (thank you Rachel for...

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“Surviving and Thriving”

Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Brain Health, Brain Injuries, The Human Condition | 2 comments

A few weeks ago, I stood on a stage in front of hundreds of people, shaking like a mother@#$%!&, and shared my story of “Surviving and Thriving” at the annual brain injury conference held by the Brain Injury of Association of Vermont. I also listened to others, including mental health providers and rehab specialists – share their experiences with TBIs. As the theme of the conference, “Surviving and “Thriving, came up over and over again, I began to think about what that phrase really means for TBI survivors, and...

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Long-Term Care Costs

Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Health Care, Musings on Aging | 2 comments

I like to believe that I’m too young to think about who will take care of me when I’m old and frail and can no longer prepare my own meals, bathe myself, or even tie my own shoes. But my father’s personal narrative has taught me to plan ahead: I now have an advance directive, and hope to have enough money set aside for long-term care costs, like an assisted living, or, do I dare say it? Nursing home. A place that most of us hope to avoid. We remind our loved ones, over and over, “Never, ever put me in a nursing home.” My father spoke those...

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Writing Prompts

Posted by on July 6, 2016 in Creativity, Writing | 0 comments

I recently attended a memoir writing retreat at La Finca in Vieques, Puerto Rico, where eleven of us gathered in the Caribbean breeze each morning to discuss work submitted by two separate participants. But before we plunged into the nitty-gritty of structure, voice, character development, and so on, we warmed up our brains each morning by spending fifteen minutes responding to a writing prompt provided by Elizabeth Cohen, award winning writer, poet, memoirist, journalist, steadfast writing mentor, and Assistant Professor of English at SUNY...

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Writing Dialogue

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments

Do you fret over writing dialogue? Do you use dialogue as a filler because you’re not sure where to go next on the page? Well, I’m here to offer some suggestions, that is, on behalf of Rita Zoe Chin, the author of Let the Tornado Come, a brilliantly rendered memoir about her adult onset panic disorder and how she galloped through the storm with unwavering resilience. I met Rita during her writing craft session, “Essentials of Dialogue,” at this year’s Muse and Marketplace in Boston. Since most of us shiver when we hear “rules,”...

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