I felt her presence before I saw anyone. Then there was the impish
gin grin and that signature red hair. It could only be one person appearing as if my magic in my living room.
No - it wasn't Santa Claus; it was Author Glenda Watson Hyatt from Do It Myself Blog! And she picked the Artsy Asylum to set up at for day five of her whirlwind book tour to let the world know about the book and her hopes to be the winner of a competition that will pay her to blog for a year
Her energy and vitality sucked the air right out of the room! I could only be awestruck, but she put me at ease wight away with natural charm and humor. I don't get around al that spryly myself but trying to make her comfortable, I cast about for things to fiddle with for her.
Sigh. I should have known that the woman who's become as the left-thumb blogger would be fiercely self-sufficient, I also need to figure out a way to have this much energy. Maybe I could convince her to be a donor so we could do an transplant for me.
I sat down in amazement, not knowing what to ask someone in a power chair, someone who has obviously overcome such challenges in her life. Maybe it would be easier if I just jumped in, so I did a little explaining as I asked
"I've worried sharing that I have a chronic, though invisible, illness will make people think I want sympathy or just see me as the illness. How did you decide to be public about your disability in your blog - or wasn't it even a question?"
"I have always been fairly open about my disability; my cerebral palsy is not something I can hide in ''real" life. So, it felt natural to be open about my disability on my blog. By sharing on my blog, I can reach a larger audience with my message that cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence, and I can, hopefully, help more people.
It all depends on how you share your disability or illness. If you are matter of fact about it, then people tend to respond accordingly. In a way, it may be liberating because you aren't withholding a part of yourself. And, readers may have a deeper connection with you.
On the other hand, it is equally liberating to be known as you, without the disability or illness being part of the equation. That is one nice aspect of being online: you can choose what to reveal and how much. "
Since she mentioned the word 'online' the next was a natural. I wondered "Where do you get inspiration online?"
"I'm often inspired when I am reading personal stories and struggles on blogs. Sharing personal experiences can such a powerful impact on others."
She had made me comfortable with her natural ease, leading me straight into another question. "How has web 2.0 helped you reach out into the blogosphere / twittersphere for interaction & networking?"
"Wow, yes, the internet and now with web 2.0 has enabled me to network, connect and interact with people from around the globe. It's truly amazing and, at times, mind boggling! My thumb struggles to keep up. "
That reminded me "Did I hear that you've taken the Second Life plunge? How did that happen & where are you visiting/hanging out in your second life?"
"No, I haven't taken on a Second Life yet; soon though, once my first life gives me a break. I'm looking forward to visiting the Wheelies Club and seeing what else Second Life has to offer. Perhaps my next virtual book tour will be somewhere in Second Life."
Ideas were spinning in my head and before I knew it she was gone; on to the next location in her crazy schedule. I felt like a big dollop of inspiration had just been dropped into my life.
It was clear that a wheelchair and only partial use of her hands was not something that was slowing this woman down. She left me feeling energized and at the same time as if all the energy in the world had just left the room.
To purchase either the print or ebook edition of I'll Do it Myself visit the Do It Myself Book page
Use the orange button at the right of that page to tell the contest organizers that you're backing Glenda to be the one they pay to Blog for A Year.
And keep up - if you can - with her Virtual Book Tour here