Monday, March 19, 2012

Birth Day

It’s an interesting thing to grow up being told you’re a miracle. It makes you feel special. Every family get-together I ever attended as a child included the story of my birth. Most commonly, I heard the story from my maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother, but a few of my aunts often related the events of the day also. I was born pre-mature with a condition called Hyaline Membrane Disease, a syndrome wherein the lungs are not fully developed. Instead of a healthy newborn pink, I was more like a smurf, a nice little shade of blue. The doctor entered my mother’s room that evening with the news that I would not make it through the night. I was the firstborn and this news was devastating to my parents.

But, in case you’re wondering, I survived.

“She’s a fighter,” the doctor told my mom. “She wants to live.”

As you can imagine, hearing this about yourself over the years has its effect upon you. When the going gets tough, I tell myself I’m a fighter and that I wanted, even fought, to live. It has always given me strength. (yes, I use this story in one of my novels) I have no ill effects from my newborn ails, however, because of the lack of oxygen to my brain when I was born, the doctor told my mother that I might be a little slow at math.

This, unfortunately, proved to be true. Math sucks.

But, English . . . ah, English. I loved it. Even the grammar. I remember being sad when I had to turn in my HS sophomore grammar workbook. I wished I could keep it. Not sure what I would have done with it, perhaps studied it for entertainment. One thing is for sure, I would’ve treasured it. Maybe I would’ve slept with it under my pillow. Who knows? (Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean I’m good at grammar, just that I was one of those weird kids who found it fascinating).

My mother owned and operated a ballet school while I was growing up. I would watch her show me the steps, and much like A Chorus Line, I would think to myself, “I can do that.” And I would.

The same concepts apply to novel writing. An I can do that attitude goes a long way in the publishing field. And you need to be a fighter if you’re going to succeed.

I’m a fighter. At least, I’ve been told that all my life by the people who love me.

It must be true.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

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