Saturday, September 10, 2011

Welcome to my mania

Posted by Mackenzie Crowne at 10:01 AM
Did you ever have one of those, “Okay, that’s it, time for a change" moments? I’m not talking about some random New Year’s resolution, or a new hair cut, or even that moment when you could no longer zip your favorite pair of jeans.  I’m talking about one of those, I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore, moments. If you have, then you understand what I’m asking. 
My moment came in the spring of 2008.  I’d been happily wandering through life, enjoying the scenery, while I meandered through whatever new adventure presented itself.  Like J. Thaddeus Toad on his wild ride, life presented any number of fads and manias that drew my interest, and like Toad, I had a short attention span.  Inevitably, some new, bright and shiny notion would send me off in another direction.
My switch from one mania to another was never a conscious decision exactly, it always just sort of…happened.  Over the years, I dabbled in many things.  At one point, I filled my spare room with craft supplies.  A good friend was a marvel at producing gorgeous Christmas wreaths.  I soon discovered that I sucked at crafting.  The yard sale earned a whopping thirty-four dollars, but my spare room was clean of twigs and bows once more. 
Another time I purchased a used sewing machine from a charming, eighty-year old woman whose fingers were bent and curled with arthritis.  The new valances over my windows were presentable, but I cringe whenever I come across an old picture of my boys wearing the results of my foray into the world of patterns and thimbles. Don't most people have one arm longer than the other?  Doctor Seuss would be so proud.  I gave the old lady’s machine to a friend.
Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally got involved in something I felt strongly about, and managed to see things through to an acceptable conclusion.  Like the time I went to battle with the local school board.  Perseverance won the day, and I consider being black-balled by the powers that be one of my most gratifying accomplishments.  But when a contingent of interested parents and teachers urged me to take the next step, and run for a seat on the board, I knew it was time for a new mania.  I just don’t have the killer instinct required for a life in politics.
Other than spending time with family and friends, the only one of my manias that hasn’t faded with time is my writing.  I was ten when I penned my first short story, and dreamed of seeing it in print.  But, like Toad, I never gave that lifelong passion the attention it deserved.  Busy running in a million different directions, I treated my passion as more of a hobby than a burning need, despite the persistent antics of the characters living in my head.
Then, on a crisp spring morning, three years ago, I faced my moment.  It slammed into me within the confines of a small, windowless room, delivered by a tiny sprite of a woman.  An oncologist.  J Thaddeus Toad and I were introduced to the concept of mortality that morning, and from that moment on, Toad was on his own.  If I was going to make the effort to beat breast cancer, subjecting myself to physical disfigurement, and debilitating treatments, then I owed it to myself to do whatever it took to bring my dream to fruition. 
I’d like to say, mission accomplished, and I suppose I could, considering that GIFT OF THE REALM, my first published manuscript, will be available through The Wild Rose Press sometime next spring.  But claiming victory, and stopping there, is so Toad.  I don’t think that way anymore. 
This is my first posting on my very own blog.  The very concept boggles my mind.  But I’m a survivor, and a published author, and with the concept of mortality firmly in place, I won’t be settling for just a piece of my dream.  I want it all.  I have much to learn about the publishing industry, and God knows there is always room for improvement in the practicing of my craft.  I’m open to any suggestions that can help me along my path.  You're here.  Any thoughts?
In the meantime, have you faced your moment?  What was it, and what are you doing about it?
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Calisa Rhose said...

Mac- you are an inspiration. Not only will your book be a huge hit (I can feel it), your determination is amazing and your survival instincts humble me. And to top it all off- you've created a lovely cyber home to celebrate in!!!

And though you abandoned Toad long ago- I know, somewhere, he is hopping up and down for joy for you. Congratulations. You deserve it.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Thanks Calisa, for your words and for being my first poster. Woo hoo! Others had trouble posting so I screwed around in settings for a bit. Guess I fixed the issue. As for Toad, he's still around. He's just riding shotgun now. ;-)


Mary Ricksen said...

We all have our own demons to fight. I think all authors kill the dragon one way or another with their words. Congratulations and good luck!

mac said...

Well said, Mary. And thanks.

Lilly Gayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilly Gayle said...

Bravo! I was diagnosed with an invasive ductal carcinoma and DCIS in 2007. After a biopsy, lumpectomy, lymphosyntigraphy, lymph node removal, 8 weeks of chemo (a treatment every other week for 8 weeks.) 30? radiation treatments, a LOT of mammograms, ultrasounds, breast MRI's and one breast MRI biopsy, I was declared cancer free and had my port removed in December 2007. I will become a 5 year survivor December 2012.

I do a breast cancer blog "tour" in October and I would LOVE for you to post on my blog. We can even do a book promo~!

From one survivor to another~ Write the Dream!

September 10, 2011 6:05 PM

Mac said...

That's awesome, Lilly. I always love to hear about healthy survivors who are walking ahead of me, especially those with protocols so close to mine. Five years is a big one! I went with a bilateral with reconstruction, and I'm currently doing six month treatments with a new bone cancer drug to up my crappy odds, but I'm getting healthy again, and I'm cancer free. I'd love to join you on your cancer blog. I actually wrote a short - 1800 word - non-fiction on my odyssey so far, but haven't tried to do anything with it yet. Still too close, I guess. It's been a wild ride, as I'm sure you know, but ... wasn't it great to lose the nasty port? Mine came out and I remember thinking, free at last, free at last! LOL
Looking forward to talking to you more. Thanks a bunch.

Lilly Gayle said...

Looking forward to having you join my blog!

Cherie Marks said...

Mac, you should be so proud of yourself. God bless you!

I, same as you, had a breast cancer diagnosis (October 2009), and went through the mastectomy, chemo, and radiation treatment.

Through it all though, I wrote and wrote and wrote. That manuscript won't see the light of day, but the one I wrote afterward just released.

I feel very blessed, and I'm sorry for your diagnosis, but I'm glad you're doing something positive as a result.

Here's to many more publication!