That’s me — I kept walking around telling everyone who slowed down by me that I was in the anthology, page 35! Was I beyond proud? Hell yes! What am I talking about?
Well, if you are a patient of Sloan, they have a nonprofit organization called Visible Ink that is run by Judith Kelman and volunteers who edit and help encourage patients write about … well, whatever they want.
As soon as I learned of the program, I signed up and Judith herself called me to find out all about me and then she linked me with my soulmate, Samantha — the best editor around (imho) — and she and I got to work on what I wanted to write. I knew right away it had to be fiction.
Why? Because I always wanted to write fiction but could never do it despite trying for, um, decades. I am a big reader and wanted to publish since I was a kid and even my professional publishing did not satisfy my goal of published writer. Sure I was an author but not a “writer” — there’s a difference and if I have to explain it to you, you will never understand — but if you get it, you know what I mean.
I started writing about a divorced single mom of 1 with one boob — the only things like me are the one boob thing as I am married with 2 kids :).
When I submitted it, I wasn’t sure what would happened, it was 800 words ripped from my soul and a few months later I got the letter saying I had been selected to be part of the anthology!
There is also a chance, if your piece is selected, to be acted out, on stage, by Broadway and off Broadway (and TV) stars but mine — this year — was not picked for that but getting into the anthology at all was a huge honor!
I attended the event with my husband right after our long vacation at Woodloch — I got dressed up and I was nervous and excited. My seats were in the second row and we were absolutely transfixed for the whole show and before when my picture was on the big screen too!
Each piece was acted out much like I did during my days of speech and debate with a black binder and limited movements but with music and dance and singing and more. Oh the singing!! My other most wished talent!
On the way out of the event on to the smorgasbord of wonderful food and drink (all provided for free), I saw someone who looked familiar, though I could not place her. And then, my brain kicked in and I realized it was my favorite (living) author! (Note: My favorite author of all time is Emily Brontë but she is not living anymore — is it creepy that I feel I have to preface my favorite author with the word “living”?)
Adriana Trigiani was there — in the flesh and we hugged and she was so so kind even though my chemobrain robbed me of the names of all of her books. I just read her latest, Kiss Carlo, and all of her books have been amazing — like Big Stone Gap! If you love books that hit you with love stories, scenery, dialogue and more — like when I read her books, I can see her world in my mind, that is the mark of a true writer, then you must read her work — the link to Amazon is right here.
Visible Ink is a nonprofit that helps heal — by writing our stories, we give pieces of it away — the bad stuff that would eat at our hearts gets out and into the ether. The good pieces become tattooed on our hearts for whatever comes next. The kindness of people who volunteer to do this either editing for hours or practicing a piece to get it just “right” for the writer (and the rest of the audience) — these are amazing things that people do to help us feel whole again.
If you can donate anything to help them continue, it would be amazing and tax deductible — you can click here to donate OR to order the anthology and to read my amazing kind of too personal story (though it is fictionalized, parts of it are real true — too true for my husband’s liking … but it is okay, he still loves me)!