January 17, 2007

40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself — Glenda @ 11:48 pm

Forget lugging around heavy boxes of books, waiting for delayed flights and enduring jet lag to do a book tour. Do it virtually! A virtual book tour enables an author to visit blogs and chat rooms anywhere in the world from the comforts of home! And the number of readers reached can be mind-boggling.

Given the wicked winter weather Vancouver has been receiving, a virtual book tour makes perfect sense for me (not that I could leave home if I really wanted to, with all this snow and ice). Next Monday, I am kicking off my virtual book tour “40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days” to promote my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself.

The plan is to visit forty blogs or ezines in the forty business days between Monday, January 22nd, and Friday, March 16th. Please visit my new Do It Myself Blog.

Looking forward to seeing you somewhere along the tour.

January 10, 2007

Have You Heard about Ashley’s Treatment?

Filed under: Accessibility, General, Life — Glenda @ 3:09 am

Tonight, while searching for potential bloggers for my virtual book tours, I stumbled across this extremely controversial story. In a nutshell:

Nine-year-old Ashley is severely physically and mentally disabled. Three years ago, Ashley’s parents made the highly unusual decision to keep their daughter child-sized when they observed early signs of puberty.

The young girl has undergone hormone treatment that will limit her growth, which will keep her at about four feet, five inches, and 75 pounds making it easier for her to be moved. She has also had a hysterectomy and a breast bud removal.

“Ashley has no need for her uterus since she will not be bearing children,” they say, adding that the decision means she will not experience menstrual cramps.

The decision to remove her breast buds was partly to avoid sexualizing Ashley in the eyes of her caregiver, but mainly so that she would not experience discomfort when lying down.

Ashley also underwent an appendectomy during her surgery, as she would not be able to communicate pain if she were to suffer from appendicitis, they said.

Partly quoted from CTV.ca

For hours, I have been reading the parents’ blog and discussions, for and against, on other blogs. Mixed thoughts and emotions are running through me at the moment. I am somewhat reluctant to comment publicly on such a heated topic without fully absorbing and contemplating the issues involved. I can appreciate the parents’ perspective and that caring for their daughter on a daily basis is difficult and exhausting. No doubt, the lack of means of communication is one of their biggest challenges as their child cannot indicate her needs or where she hurts. But, as a person with a disability, a woman with a significant physical disability, I find “Ashley’s Treatment” terrifying and saddening; in fact, I felt nauseous as I was reading and I was beyond tears.

So many questions come to mind: is the only way to protect her from sexual abuse is to de-feminize her? How far will the removal of body parts go to prevent possible disease in the future? Will this become society’s solve for managing the care of its severely disabled citizens? Why aren’t desperately needed support systems being providing so that parents with special needs kids don’t feel the need to do it all alone? If it takes a community to raise a child, where is the community for the child with a disability?

Time to go crawl into bed, although I’m not sure how well I will sleep after such a story. Once again, I’m thankful for the parents I have.


December 13, 2006

Book Arrival Celebration

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself — Glenda @ 9:11 pm

After 30 years of dreaming, planning and researching, 4 years of writing, editing and agonizing, and only one month one week after my 40th birthday, I celebrated the arrival of my book I’ll Do It Myself on Sunday, December 10th. I purposefully did not call it a “book launch” as that would preclude me from having a launch at a later time at another location when other people are able to attend. After all that work with my left thumb, I am all for celebrating as many times as I can get away with!

Glenda posing at buffet table

The impromptu celebration was well-timed as my friend’s sister, who is an executive chef, catered a large company Christmas party the night before and she gave us some of the leftovers! I would like to be able to publicly thank this angel; however, her client does not know they essentially sponsored my event, so she will remain “the unnamed angel”. Thank you, the food was awesome!

The event was intimate with my godfather Uncle Od and my husband Darrell giving touching toasts. (Darrell, as for your question, please give my poor thumb time to recover before I start the next one, ok?) Suzee did an excellent imitation of my speech therapy on the floor, which Jan caught on videotape. I hope to make that video available online as soon as it is edited.

Friends holding up copies of my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself

And, of course, numerous books were sold and a few were signed. I was actually scared to sign directly in the book. One wrong, involuntary movement, the pen could go flying across the page and, in my eyes, ruin the book. For a few of them, I was able to type an inscription, print them on self-adhesive labels, sign them and stick them inside the books. Worst case scenario, I would reprint a label or two. But, with a houseful of people, I didn’t have the luxury of time (and a few moments of peace to figure out what the heck to say) to type out labels. I did what I had to in the moment: faced my fears and signed my “GWH” in brand new books. It seemed to work, much to my surprise!

Faith sprawled out on the back of the couch

After an evening of sharing good food and good wine with good friends, I felt like how my kitty Faith looks – totally contented, reflecting upon the fact that I am now a published author, although that might take some more time to fully sink in!

Thank you to everyone who joined me in celebrating the arrival of I’ll Do It Myself. This milestone will be preciously treasured for the rest of my life. Although there will be other books, which Darrell will make sure happens, there will never be another first book, my firstborn.

Tuesday evening, I received an email:

Hi Glenda,

I couldn’t put your book down - I’m finished it already! I am so in awe of what you’ve had to go through. You have so much strength, dedication and courage… and you’ve sure needed it! Thank you for sharing your story with us - and like Darrell says, I’ll be waiting for the next one!

All the best to you Glenda,

Lorraine Carol, Online Business Manager

My first book review! Thank you, Lorraine, one step closer to all of this sinking in.

December 5, 2006

They’re here! They’re here!

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself — Glenda @ 10:44 pm

An empty space beside the work table
Awaiting the delivery…

Boxes and boxes of books
They’re here!

Glenda holding a dagger-looking letter opener
The sword is mightier than the pen…when it comes to opening boxes…

Box top…I’m very impressed with how with the books are packaged.

This sight brought tears to my eyes. In this moment, my dream became reality. I did it! I have written and self-published my autobiography — and I have 500 copies to prove it.

…and 50 large-print copies!

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