I kind of knew Christina Ray Stanton before reading her book. She grew up in my hometown of Tallahassee, FL, and I met her once in New York City. I knew she was in NYC during 9/11, but didn’t know much more.
A few years ago, my mom told me Christina was writing a book about her 9/11 experience, and I was very excited to read it. It was also interesting to me, because I had just started writing my own memoir, Discovering My Scars.
I ordered my copy of Christina’s book as soon as it was available (May 31st 2019) and read it in one day. I planned to take a few days, but I couldn’t put it down!
The book starts right where I remember learning of the events, the morning of September 11, 2001.
Ten months ago, I adopted my 4-year-old greyhound, Mac. She had some challenges right from the start. First, the adoption agency recommended getting a crate for her to make her feel more comfortable as this is the only “home” she had ever known.
Everything I read said the same thing, and that they might have accidents in the house if not in the crate. Well, she hated the crate- hated it! I tried so many hours to get her to like it, but she never did. She even started having accidents in her crate (which they said never happens).
Then, I found out she had a urinary tract infection (by observing blood in her urine). So just days after adopting her; I had to find a vet to treat her. Shortly after, I also learned she had hookworm (most retired greyhounds from Florida have it), AND she had bad separation anxiety when I left home.
This November will mark three years since I started writing my memoir, Discovering My Scars. I had layers of fear about sharing my story with the world, one of them being the fact that I’m dyslexic.
At the beginning of first grade, my teacher was pregnant and left a few months later to go on maternity leave. When she returned, she was the first to notice that I wasn’t progressing like the other students.
I was tested, and diagnosed with a reading and writing learning disability (dyslexia). I was in regular classes, but pulled out for a few hours a week for special one-on-one teaching. I was taught differently, as I learned differently than others in my grade.
In 2015 I became an Online Content Creator, which just means I’m in the business of creating content (videos, pictures, text) and sharing it online (social media, youtube, websites). Other titles frequently used are blogger or YouTuber.
My company, Mother Daughter Projects, all began with a belief that there was value in visually sharing the projects my mom and I were doing around the house. I thought others would find encouragement in seeing us, a mother and daughter, working together to accomplish these tasks.
While I was writing my book, Discovering My Scars, I started listening to the Morgan James Radio Podcast. The show hosts interview many authors about their journey and share advice. Along with learning from the show, Morgan James Publishing (MJP) was the company I was considering to publish my book. The CEO, David Hancock, is one of the hosts of the podcast and listening helped me get to know him and his company. That connection is what ultimately led me to choosing MJP to publish Discovering My Scars.
That got me thinking about the power of podcasting and push me to start my own podcast! Not everyone knows the ends and outs of a podcast so I thought I'd do a short primer about podcasts as a way of introducing you to mine.
For the last three years, I have been thinking of getting a dog. I was overwhelmed with the number of breeds, which slowed my search for the best one for me. One of the main reasons I wanted a dog is research has shown dogs are good for the owner's physical and mental health. As I live with depression, I was very interested to see if being a dog owner could help me.
Well, long story short, but I became aware of the greyhound breed and the need for them to be adopted once their racing careers are over.
So, November 13, 2018 I brought Mac (who I named after the computer) home. She has brought me joy, happiness, and truly has improved my mood. I struggle far less with depression having her in my life. I'm not saying she is a miracle drug, but with the guidance from my doctors, I am now off all medication for my emotions.*
In the seven short months this girl had been in my life, she has already expanded my understand of life and love.
In the Fall of 2018, I finally got up the courage to ask my friend Beth Demme something I had been wanting to ask her for months.
As I wrote my book, Discovering my Scars, I started to think of ways to expand on the book and topics inside. The idea of a podcast sat in my head for a while, but I knew I could not do it alone. Only one name came to mind as my co-host.
The morning I scheduled to meet with Beth I was so nervous. I felt silly expecting this professional woman to say, “Sure, I’ll give up my limited time and record a podcast with you.”
I psyched myself out a few times, but finally quieted my own thoughts and prayed about what to say. God simply told me to ask. To put my dream out there, and she could decide, yes or no, if she wanted to be a part of it.
While I was writing, Discovering my Scars, I knew I wanted a photo taken for the front cover. I didn’t want my face shown, but I thought about maybe being able to see the scars on my arm in the picture. I didn’t put a ton of thought into it, though, as I had my hands full with writing the darn book!