Due to the difficulties of the past month or so I haven’t been writing here as frequently. Nevertheless, I did manage to get 8 posts up this month. In case you missed and of them, here they are:
Interview with Author Christopher Datta
Just Girls is a young adult LGBTQ novel that stands out to me as innovative and aware while simultaneously touching on the topics that affect many teenagers as they enter the college scene for the first time.
Just Girls is the story about Ella Ramsey, a MTF transgender woman who is starting as a new student in college and hasn’t come out to people there even though she has gone through the coming out process in her hometown.
She becomes friends with Jess. She’s a cisgender lesbian who has overheard slurs and bullying comments about the transgender person on campus and pretends that she is transgender as a way to raise awareness of trans and LGBTQ issues. She doesn’t know at first that her friend Ella is the person she’s defending in this way.
The story is about their individual and shared experiences in these early days at a college campus.
Author Rachel Gold does a great job of raising awareness of myriad LGBTQ issues in this book while still retaining the story itself as the primary focus. Reading it, I was concerned about the characters and their inner lives and their relationships. I wasn’t focused on anything as a “trans issue” and yet noticed that there was a lot of information and advocacy happening in those pages. I love that Gold was able to balance her writing in this way.
The past month or so has been tough on me, but it finally feels like I’m starting to get my head above water again. I’ve shared a few of the big things that happened (my medication mishap, my grandmother’s passing).
The other things that occurred were not as big as these things. In fact, they were relatively small in the big scheme of things but it just seemed like it was one thing on top of another thing and I couldn’t catch my breath.
I made a mistake with an article that I wrote, sending in a draft instead of a finished item and the draft got published to my great dismay since it wasn’t anything like the finished article was. I had a Google issue where they decided my crochet blog was violating some term of agreement and pulled my ads (and therefore income) and it took me awhile to figure out how to fix it. I had a confrontation of sorts with a friend about my inability to connect well during this time.
Considering how tough the month was, I felt like I handled it pretty well. I went back to the basics. I made sure I was eating well and trying to sleep enough and being as gentle on myself as possible. I reached out and let the people close to me know that I was having a hard time, even though I wasn’t sure what I wanted from them in the way of help or support. I tried to remember that it was just a rough patch and would get better, even though I didn’t quite believe it at the time.
The worst of it seems to be over. I finally get health insurance starting November 1st, which relieves a lot of the medical issues. I re-designed my crochet blog and am happy with the results (and I’ll be looking at a site re-design here in the near future as well). I rested when I needed to rest and am getting more productive now that I’ve got a little more energy.
Life is ups and downs.
Loving this spoken word by Brenna Twohy:
Today I’m excited to bring you an author interview from Chris Datta. His first novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.
The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors.
“Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!”
-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood
Novel Publicity: What drew you to writing about spiritual forces, and could you explain how spiritual forces can be both real and supernatural?
“World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and what the world’s governments and health organizations are doing in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year’s theme is living with schizophrenia.” – PsychCentral
I’ll have a post up today on Crochet Concupiscence about the ways in which one woman has used crochet as part of her total wellness plan in living with schizophrenia.
For my post here, I wanted to talk about depression instead, because that’s what I personally deal with. And I wanted to be open about a setback I had recently that was hugely frustrating and reminded me how difficult it can be to get adequate mental health care when you need it.
My grandma passed away yesterday. I wanted to share her obituary:
Lucy S. Vercillo, 1925 – 2014
Lucy S. Vercillo died on October 6, 2014 in her home, exactly where she wanted to be.
Her faith never wavered and her spirit remained strong.
Lucy was born December 2, 1925 in Huron, Ohio, one of twelve children of Antonio and Eufemia Larizza. After her graduation from Huron High School she attended nurse’s training at St. John’s in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to learning the profession of nursing she also met Joseph J. Vercillo, who she married on January 18, 1947. Lucy became a registered nurse, a wife, and a mother. The young family lived in Cleveland, Ohio on the near east side. When many families in the neighborhood began moving to the suburbs, Lucy, her husband and three children (at the time) moved a little farther, settling in Ashland, Ohio where she had lived ever since.
Lucy went to work as a nurse at Samaritan Hospital where she practiced her profession as a registered nurse for thirty five years. She was devoted to her patients and took the time to know every one of them. Over the years, it seems that she touched the lives of most families in Ashland through the care she provided to their loved ones. Although she had been retired for 28 years, many people remember her to this day as the person who took such good care of them or their family.
Lucy was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph, who died on February 20, 1980. She thought of him every day. She is survived by four children: Damian (Randi) Vercillo, Phyllis Maunus, Joseph (Miriam) Vercillo, Thomas (Mash) Vercillo; 8 grandchildren: Francesca, Emily, Kathryn, Tony, Diana, Saraan, Eufemia, and Dominic; and 5 great grandchildren: Aidan, Chloe, Isabella, Joseph, and Sophia. She is also survived by her sister, Teresa Johnson. In addition there are many others who thought of her as their mother and friend.
Lucy was an active member of St. Edward Church for over sixty years serving the Lord through many church activities. She was a member of nursing organizations and met regularly with her nurses group.
Thanks to the folks who recently gave me the “like” over on Facebook.
I was recently offered the opportunity to try out Canvas Champ, a service through which you can turn your own photos into canvas prints. I found the service easy to use and am liking the product I ended up with:
I got a 12″ x 8″ canvas print of this photo from my April birthday trip to Channel Islands. The order was simple to place. The order was processed quickly and I received the product via delivery within two weeks of placing the order.
Some of the things I liked: