A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a web makeover contest that a colleague was promoting. As fate would have it, a good friend and extremely worthy candidate won the contest … Glenda Watson Hyatt. Through a screening process, she made it to the "final four," then people voted on the winner. She came through with a landslide of votes, and now is going to receive all kinds of help to redo her website and begin to build a killer platform to promote her book. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.
I have only met Glenda online, as she writes from her home in Canada, and I write from mine in Arizona. She left a comment on my blog, and when I followed the link back to her site, I got fascinated by her story (I wrote an ezine article about her a few months back). Glenda is writing a book called I Can Do It Myself: A Collection of Memories from a Woman Living with Cerebral Palsy. Her book blurb says the following:
"Glenda has cerebral palsy. A lack of oxygen at birth meant she would not be able to walk, her hands would not function well and her speech would be almost impossible to understand. Her parents were advised to institutionalize her. She wouldn’t amount to anything, the experts said.
Yet, this gutsy redhead proved them wrong. Glenda was integrated into a regular classroom long before mainstream was a buzzword. She went on to earn the Canada Cord, the highest award in Girl Guides, and the Outstanding Junior Student Award. The girl who could not walk won a gold medal in horseback riding!
How did she do it? Read Glenda’s inspiring autobiography I’ll Do It Myself: A Collection of Memories from a Woman Living with Cerebral Palsy, due out November 2006! Glenda intimately shares her life story to show others cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence."
Glenda and I share 1966 as a birth year and wanted to make significant progress towards our books by our 40th birthdays (mine in August and hers in November). We bounce ideas off each other, provide sympathy and support when we get creamed by a nasty comment or let down by a business partner and generally encourage each other to keep going. All this via email, even though Glenda only writes with her left thumb.
Glenda has ridiculed me for calling July 1 "Canadian Independence Day" (it is Canada Day, and as she scolded me, "independence from what?"), advised me to eat chocolate instead of getting devasted by an editor’s dislike of my writing (always sage advice) and provided thoughtful comments on many blog posts such as this one to my post There is nothing wrong with you:
"I love cartoonist John Callahan’s take on disability, which I don’t think many ABs (able-bodies) get. Having a physical disability myself, society typically instantly sees something wrong with me, that I am less than perfect or broken. Whereas, in fact, it is actually that attitude of perceived less-ness that becomes my disability. That perceived brokenness or worthiness becomes a barrier in accomplishing so much. Among other things, it hinders me in finding employment, which is the main reason I became a solopreneur.
I know there is nothing wrong with me. I simply need to get the message out to the rest of the world."
With this boost, Glenda should be able to get her message out a whole lot easier!
To me, Glenda encapsulates the spirit of what I have been trying to convey with this blog: That despite difficulties and challenges, if you get crystal-clear on your purpose, broaden your circle of supporters, put yourself out there and ask for what you want, things will happen.
Good going sister!