Adventures in Birthing a Book..

I have been working on writing a book for the last three years. This isn't to say that I was sitting at my computer for three to four hours a day. The writing came in waves, mostly with joy, sometimes with tears, but never forced..

I also gathered many submissions from loved ones and went to work shredding them, if you will, into threads of yarn, in order to weave them into my own writings to make a quilted story.

My story. A community story. A grand story told from multiple voices, many perspectives.

This is not new information. I think most people I am in contact with have heard, more than once, about the way I have created this book.

What I haven't spoken about is the actual birthing process of this book.

Only the neighbors who stop into my home have seen me pulling my hair out, ready to be done and trying to hand off the book.. ready to offer my words up into print, begging someone to majically put the finishing touches on it. My family was begging as well, as I was putting all my energy and attention into the final touches.

Editing, photograph bundles, editing, cover art, editing editing editing..  THANK YOU, ROHINI WALKER AND PAUL CULLEN!

I finally sent the book off to the publishing house today. I was on the cusp of doing this for so many days in a row, that when I finally pressed 'go' I wasn't holding my breath anymore.. I jabbed at the 'enter' button and only let out a long scream afterward.. a touch of anticlimax, as Robbi Robb, who had been sitting with me, holding my hand for weeks, happened to be at home when it all came to fruition this morning.

But somehow, during this phase- while it was exciting, and while I was supported by Robbi, my favorite mystical boy, and by Yazzy and Myshkin, my heroes, and Selah, who took care of all the things I was letting drop in order to dig so deep- I found myself traveling a deeper world, wandering in a different reality than the one I am used to.. than the one that I found everyone around me. I would be sitting with dear friends and watching them from a million miles away, my smile there and even some joy, but it was distant. It was even somewhat forced. I felt that I was living in a cave and visiting another world.. one where I didn't feel comfortable.

Most people didn't notice. And I was scared that I would never come back to the Jenny that I was. But just within the one evening that I have had since sending the book away to be held by someone else, I have seen bits of light, started to recognize the aspect of myself that I usually embody; the woman that loves to be around others. There was a slow rising out of the depths that I have immersed myself in for these past months.

Tears have only threatened themselves as it hasn't yet fully hit me that the monumental process of writing this book has come to a close. 

Yes, I know there is much work to do.. Robbi says he will keep me as busy as he can, as now the promotion process begins. 

But tonight, I take a deep breath, let it out with joy, and celebrate.. with an early bedtime..



hours and hours of this adventure..

Me? Write a blog?

I have been asked so many times to write a blog about herbs.  I always shied sway from it, feeling nervous to be so open in the world, vulnerable almost. Being somewhat of a dinosaur, posting anything on the interwebs always made me feel like I was standing above an abyss- blind but being seen by all. 

And yet here I am, about to send a book to be published.  A book that will expose me ultimately and completely. Show the world the inner-most secrets about my beliefs, my disabilities, my fears and my deep joy.  This book will, at times, show me in an unfavorable light, as I delve into the ride and confusion that is known as PTSD. It confesses tales of my wild youth and the hardship it gave my Arab immigrant parents.

These revelations are softened by the words of others, the stories of the community which held me as I traversed coma lands and acute pain, opioid withdrawals and deep depression. The community who loves me and is about to know me more intimately than they may be bargaining for.

The reason I am being so honest, so revealing, is that I want to reach out to Others like me.  The Scarred and Different. The Survivors. The Amputees and the Alter-abled.

When I first got out of the hospital, not only did I feel terrified of the new body I had, I was completely at a loss on how to live in this new body.  I felt lonely and ashamed. I felt like the only amputee in the world. 

My hope is that my words will offer light to even one person in the dark, let them know that they are not alone.

I was so afraid to write my words in a blog, to have my thoughts available to any who desired to see. Somehow, this experience- while harrowing and exhausting- gave me many gifts. Courage is among them. And I find myself throwing off my cloak and revealing all in me to the wide world.