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GIFTS: Finding time to write?


 
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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 8:51 AM    Post subject:
GIFTS: Finding time to write?
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Gifts is a collection of personal writing by 63 different women, all with families and busy lives. How did the authors manage to find time to write their stories?"

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Jennifer Graf Groneberg
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lespring
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 9:35 AM    Post subject:
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Mine was actually a blog post that I'd done several months before. Once in a great while I can pump out something worth reading. LOL

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~Leah~

Did you visit my mom's blog today?
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kellyrimmer
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 9:52 AM    Post subject:
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I had actually wrote most of it in Alexis's baby book about that whole first day she was born. I just copied what I had wrote and sent it in along with some more details about that first day.

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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 9:57 AM    Post subject:
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I loved reading your chapter, Leah (Along for the Ride, Ch. 31). It's one of the few that features older kids, and I remembered reading it looking for clues as to what my life might be like.

And your chapter Kelly (Mommy, Ch. 9) is fantastic, it captures those initial moments right after birth (and that baby picture of Alexis makes me wish we had a girl...)

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LovingEmmaJayne
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 10:44 AM    Post subject:
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I wrote mine when Emma was about 6 months old. I worked on it for a few weeks, revising and writing, revising and writing. I wrote it for T21Online and the member section which posts birth stroies because that was how I discovered the online T21 community - through a birth story when Emma was still in the hospital and I was hurting like never before. Writing her story, our story, was completely cathartic for me and represented the evolution of my own acceptance. The story is Emma's birth story, but is really my story - the story of whom I used to be and whom I was becoming. No single event contributed to the essence of my being in a way like Emma's birth did. The process of struggling with her diagnosis has redefined me in many ways and forced me to examine my own beliefs and value systems. As much as I gave birth to Emma, Emma gave birth to me.

This is an experience I need to revisit following Gabe's birth. I am still struggling with some anger and I need to go through the same healing experience of writing down my emotions to gain some perspective...and some insight.

Emily
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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 10:55 AM    Post subject:
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I found your story on your blog, Emily (Loving Emma Jayne, Ch. 38 and it just blew me away. I was struggling with my own feelings, and reading your words helped me accept what I was feeling.

I love what you say here, too: that Emma Jayne gave birth to you, too. I feel the same way about Avery.

And your post is a great testament to the power of telling our stories. I too find it incredibly cathartic to write out what I'm feeling. And that's the type of writing I love the best...true stories, written by real people.

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Last edited by jennifergg on August 02 2007, 11:40 AM; edited 1 time in total
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mom2alex
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 10:57 AM    Post subject:
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For me it wasn't about finding the time to write but about what wonderful inclusive everyday life experience to write about.

Once I decided on one it just flowed so easy. Alex still amazes me everyday and after this was written something else would happen and I would think..man I should have written about that!

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queenk
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 11:32 AM    Post subject:
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I write mostly during Thomas's naptime. But when we were putting Gifts together, I worked throughout the day, with him on the floor right next to my computer chair. I felt compelled to finish the book as quickly as possible, and now I know why--the new ACOG guidelines that came out in January.

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Kathryn Lynard Soper
Mother of Thomas (DS) 10/2005
Sam - 2003
Matt - 2001
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Author of The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery



Editor of GIFTS and GIFTS 2

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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 11:38 AM    Post subject:
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Kathy, (editor, and author of Gifts: Two Birth Stories, Introduction) I love that image of Thomas nearby...talk about a muse! You had your inspiration right in your lap (literally!)

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Jennifer Graf Groneberg
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VDwight
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 12:57 PM    Post subject:
Finding time
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For me, it's more like making space for the inspiration. Once I have an idea in my head, the writing part comes easy.

At the time that Kathryn originally asked for submissions I was in a particularly non-inspired period of my life, so I submitted Aidan's Gift, which I had written when he was a baby.

Aidan is now 11, and his story is larger than life and so hard to capture in a short essay. I did have a blog for a while, and I'll have to try to keep that up, because it's the little things that I need to capture that all together tell the story of our lives right now.

Valle

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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 1:04 PM    Post subject:
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Welcome, Valle! (Aiden's Gift, Ch. 1) I too find it helpful to keep track of the small details of life, as those are my favorite parts of any story I read, and they are the things that you always swear you'll remember, but don't.

Blogging is a good way to do that; I know many people keep online journals for that very reason.

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nashtaters
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 1:56 PM    Post subject:
Ours is Chapter 8
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and I had part of it written out, bit by bit, right after Nash's birth. But during the month of "crunch" time I changed the focus from the original idea, which titled "The Crying Towel" because I used to sleep with a towel to dry my tears, to how it all seemed to come "full circle". Believing Nash would have Ds when I saw the little girl at the beauty shop getting her hair done; my experience with the Baby Doe case, and now being an advocate, along side with my husband and son. I never could have cranked it out without Kathryn's "gentle" push and editing!

Oh, I finished it during work....... Laughing

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nancyreader
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 2:09 PM    Post subject:
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I actually had written a VERY long story, which was shortened for the Benotafraid.net website. For the book I took my story and shortened it much more and updated it to include the facts that I had just received the kariotype (sp?) and the experience of coming home after a weekend away. Most of it was from the original story.

Writing the original story took a very long time. I wrote it for a "finding out" thread on NADS, which was nowhere in sight by the time I actually finished it. I spent hours late at night typing while my husband was on business trips. I was tired, especially being up early with four kids, but once I started I could not stop. I had a lot of emotional baggage from issues concerning prenatal diagnosis, termination offers, etc., so it was great to get it all out there.

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Our story: GIFTS - page 130
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Annieo
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 3:41 PM    Post subject:
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I've written a couple things about John's birth, but they were very lengthy, more like vomiting my thoughts onto the page and not anything anyone would want to read. I don't usually make the time to write, although I've always enjoyed doing it. After the call for essays, I sat down one afternoon and started writing a really stupid, boring essay during naptime. I got a few paragraphs into it and started a paragraph about how having John felt like being enrolled in school against my will. I realized that was my essay. I started over and spent a little time writing it that day, and a little that evening, and then finished it up the next afternoon. When I knew what I wanted to write, it came very easily, very different from the struggle I had writing the original stupid, boring essay.

(By the way, my essay is #20, The School of Life.)

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can make a difference, in fact it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Meade

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Annieo
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 3:47 PM    Post subject:
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LovingEmmaJayne wrote:
As much as I gave birth to Emma, Emma gave birth to me.


Emily, that's just beautiful. I hate to say that just one of my children made me who I am today, but if I had to pick one it would have to be John.

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"There's a release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there's nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at least, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance." Sue Monk Kidd

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can make a difference, in fact it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Meade

Ann, married to Tim, mom to Sally, Mark, Jane, John (12/02, DS), Paul and Alice

www.caringbridge.org/visit/johnbremer
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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 02 2007, 5:41 PM    Post subject:
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Thanks for joining in!!! We have Janine Steck Huffman (It's Better Than Good, Ch. 8, Nancy Iannone (A Hopeful Future, Ch. 30
and Ann Bremer (The School of Life, Ch. 20.

I remembered reading somewhere that the "poopyhead" story touched one family in particular...I had to smile, because I knew exactly which story it was!!!

And Nancy, your story illustrates what so many of us experienced with unhelpful doctors and negative stereotypes, even before our children were born.

And Ann, the "School of Life" metaphor is so true...like you, all my kids have taught me things, but I think the biggest lessons, for me, the most profound ones have come from mothering Avery.

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Stephanie
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PostPosted: August 06 2007, 11:18 PM    Post subject:
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I found time in the car on my 14 hour road trip to my first NDSC conference.
Everytime we checked in to a hotel I would send Kathy my update. She was really great at pulling out what I wanted to say.
I just knew my life was such a blur before Megan came along and now I enjoy my life noticing every small detail...I never knew life could be so good.
Thanks Jennifer for doing this! You, your blog and your story always inspire me Smile

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jennifergg
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PostPosted: August 08 2007, 3:26 PM    Post subject:
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You're welcome!

And thanks to everyone for making this discussion of Gifts a fun one!

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Sarahlynn
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PostPosted: May 27 2008, 11:25 PM    Post subject:
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I stumbled upon this discussion a year late (Sarahlynn Lester, "Growing," Chapter 57) but wanted to contribute that I write late at night when everyone else is asleep. Of course, I'm sometimes cranky and slow the next morning! But I need solitude and uninterrupted chunks of time when I write.

My essay is part of a larger work of memoir that I was working on a couple of years ago. I like a lot of the work I did - especially the chapters about my pregnancy and my daughter's heart surgery - but I've put it in a drawer for now.

For one thing, throughout the process of working with Gifts, I learned that two very talented writers had beaten me to the punch! (Many heartfelt congratulations, Jennifer and Kathryn.) But I think the pieces I've written will eventually have a home in a different sort of work, so I'm letting some ideas percolate for a bit.
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EliasMom
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PostPosted: May 28 2008, 12:32 PM    Post subject:
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I wanted to write, but I didnt knew how to do it - im sad that i missed the opportunity

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