Category Archives: Author Tracey Clark

OMG … my head

head

lol… I know what my brain is telling me… it is screaming that I have MS and need to slow down… the month of may has been way to full of activity… I know that I need to avoid stress and heat, and listen to my body… but sometimes all I hear is ‘blah, blah, blah…’

I hate the feeling of being hampered by my MS, but that is the way of it… grrr…

okay, now that the growling is out of the way, I have to think of ways to work with my MS… my hardest obstical is Sleep… I toss and turn, sleep in the tub, and wake up exhausted… when I sleep in the bed, I roll in circles and end up tossing my pillows all over the place.. sometimes my head ends up where my feet should be… and falling asleep in the first place is a real back in the arse…

but my heads main problem is Smell… I took mom to get a perm earlier this month, and ended up sitting outside to avoid the smells… man… it had to be the strongest solution ever created for a perm… and then we rested up for a mother/daughter church dinner with granny-2…  I guess my brain/smeller was already in hyper-drive… as soon as we walked into the reception/fellowship area my nose was assaulted by the smell of freshly cut onions… my eyes began to water and my head to ache… omg… and the dang onions were at the other end of the room…

sooo… I had a few headaches this month, but I got a lot done… finished camp nano with 70,000+ words (one and half novels in rough draft form), worked on a new art project, and checked out Lake Cumberland with mom… a little pain, but all in all, I have had some great moments this month…

happy wordage, tracey

Testing out the waters…

 

8d11544e96509eff0e5d8f1ba47aed5fI want to be confident and sure… but there is that little bit of doubt in the back of my mind, telling me that no matter what I do, no matter how many people tell me they enjoy my stories, and no matter how often the urge to continue putting my words on paper hits me, I am doing the wrong thing… it may be the dreaded writer’s doubt/depression, but I also have to contend with the MS blues… no one can keep a smile on their face 24/7… but what I really think it is, is fear… FEAR…

What if I go to a book signing and freeze up??? What if no one buys my books??? What if I do it wrong, or say the wrong thing???

Damn shyness… I hate being shy… I know that once I get to know someone, I come alive… but at a book signing I will be floundering for purchase… if I have someone I know with me (Assistant), at least I will feel comfortable with them, but the purpose of a book signing is to interact with reader… AKA: Strangers… Gulp… Forget freezing up, I just hope I don’t throw up… And if I can manage to open my mouth, I know there will be some books bought… every month, people are picking up copies of Shocking Finds in eBook (kindle), but I don’t see those people… I don’t speak with them face to face…

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Amazon

(check out my book website for other buy links for stores other than Amazon)

I have signed up to be a part of three book signings this year… it will be my first year participating in the frightening process… yep… you readers out there scare the hell out of me… lol

But forget about doubt and fear, forget about shyness… What if my MS acts up, and I embarrass myself in front of all those people that I want to be entertained by my work??? What if I have an exacerbation and start bawling in the middle of one of the crowded rooms??? What if I sweat so much that I look like a drowned rat and no one wants to come near me, and therefore no one buys my books??? What if —

What if I miss this opportunity???

There will always be doubt, fear and shyness… and MS will always be a part of my day to day life… and there are a lot of questions that I will only be able to answer once I have survived the trials… The one thing I know for sure… I refuse to miss an opportunity no matter what I have to face… Therefore, I plan to be that girl sweating profusely, face red in embarrassment, and stumbling over her words at three signing events, if not more…

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Wild in West Virginia

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Imaginarium Convention

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Rebels and Readers Author Event

That’s one event in hot weather, and two in relatively cool/cold weather… that should give me a feel for what I will be up against… and yes, this is war… lol… me against my MS and shyness… but if I managed to do solos in high school, I know that I can do this… when we love doing something in private, showing the results to the world can be difficult… but then, nothing worth doing is ever easy… 😛 or so I will continue to tell myself… Happy wordage everyone

and if you want to donate to Walk MS, Click HERE

or if you just want to check out my Walk MS post, Click HERE

 

#WeAreStrongerThanMS

Finding My Words

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has been sending out encouraging emails containing stories of strength… and it is strength to feel as if something you love has been taken from you… to feel lost, but to find ways to continue on…

I have always been a creative person, with half my mind taken up with artistic ideas… but in 2005 I felt as if MS had taken all that away… no more oil paints, or stories full of my wonderful words; no more charcoal sketches or cake decorations… without warning, my mind and body was hit with exacerbation after exacerbation… without the progression and symptoms that are common leading up to a diagnosis of MS, my doctors were scrambling to find a reason for my loss of vision, my inability to walk, my childlike confusion and forgetfulness, arms with minds of their own as they twitched and slammed my hands into everything in sight, etc… basically all things MS related, but instead of a growing list of symptoms, it seemed that everything was going wrong at the same time… within weeks, I was going down hill fast…

thankfully, a multitude of physicians came to give their opinions as they ran tests and viewed results, knowing that as a college student I had not insurance… I am very grateful to them all… it was a rapid decent, but they managed to get my lesions under control…

with the support of my mother, I relearned how to walk, talk, read, write, etc… but in the beginning, the only thing I had to entertain myself in world full of unrelenting boredom (reading confused and hurt my head, watching tv caused headaches, walking was difficult and painful, etc…) was my imagination… I made up stories to pass the time…

but what good were stories, when I couldn’t write them down, I couldn’t edit my words or construct a full sentences … with my mother’s help I grew from that childish mindset… she would sit for hours, doing art project… simple and easy projects like superglue and material to make a cork board pretty, beads and string to make jewelry, or even hand held games for younger kids… each idea she came up with helped me to work on my thought processes, and my hand eye coordination… slowly I was able to jot down notes, so I could remember where my story was going, I could record ideas (in short sentences), and when my head started to hurt, I could speak into my phone so that the speech-to-text option would write down my thoughts…

I still use the speech-to-text, but I also flip back and forth between writing long hand and typing… I have an awesome wrist brace so that MS joint pain doesn’t slow me down, and I know how to manage my projects… it is all about balance… just because I cannot type out my story doesn’t mean that I cannot get my words into the computer… using my cell phone, I can use the speech-to-text button and suddenly my phone is a voice recorder (only better) and then I can email my current chapter to myself… after some copy and pasting, my chapter has been added to my computer files…

when you have MS, it is important to find little work-arounds so that you don’t miss the things that mean the most to you… with help and determination, I was able to finally get my novel Shocking Finds published… and I have two others out to an indie publisher at Gone Writing Publishing to be considered as well…

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I never thought I would be able to think straight again, let alone complete a 110,000 word paranormal/fantasy romance novel… but no matter how long it took – and it was a good five years before I started feeling like a person again, and another three before I could edit my own work – I feel satisfaction and pride in myself each time someone tells me how much they enjoyed my book… MS was a horrible bump in the road for me, but I truly feel that becoming ill helped me to find my passion in life…

Happy wordage everyone… and never give up hope

and if you want to donate to Walk MS, Click HERE

or if you just want to check out my Walk MS post, Click HERE

 

Author Tracey Clark

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Howdy all… this is Tracey Clark here… I am a country twang gal from Kentucky… I also live with MS… Diagnosed in 2005, I went through years of being lost… when I first got sick, the MS came on hard and nearly killed me… the doctors didn’t know why I could walk, they didn’t know why I wasn’t blind… I had trouble walking, talking, writing, making sense and understanding what was going on around me…

When the doctors came in to my hospital room and told me that they would have to drill into my brain if the steroids didn’t shrink the ‘spots’ showing up on my MRI, I happy said ‘Okay, but can you check on my mommy, she keeps crying’… when I first got sick, it happened so fast and without previous incidents (normal flare-ups where the legions cause falls, sight problems, speech and walking issues… basically everything that was happening to me all at once) … this caused some confusion… the doctors tested for everything… and finally decided that it had to be either MS or brain cancer… ergo, if the ‘spots’ on my MRI didn’t shrink from liquid IV filled with steroids, then it had to be brain cancer and needed to be biopsied …

Because of my addled mind, I felt and acted like a toddler… and like a toddler, I wanted my mom happy, and I knew that she and the other adults could fix anything… all I wanted was yummy food and gifts… when well wishers would come to visit, they would ask what we all ask in this situations… was there anything they could do for me??? and I would answer ‘You could bring me a present!’… I told one of my aunts that I wanted a pony, and I told my mother that I needed a stuffed teddy…

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And when the doctor checked my sugar, the steroids had jumped it up to 400… she looked at me and said, ‘don’t worry… it’s okay for your sugar to get higher than 400 every once and awhile’… HA… biggggggg lie… but then, they all thought that I would die…

But here I am… MS kills, it confuses, and it changes on a dime… I can’t tell anyone with finite answers just exactly how I have managed to survive or why I am doing as well as I am… what I can do is share what I have gone through, and what I have done… hopefully, my words will help in some way… I am a firm believer that the only way to fight fear is to unmask the unknown… living with, or knowing someone with MS is frightening… so let’s talk about it…

One of the ways I coped in the beginning was to do arts and crafts… mom would sit on the bed and make beaded jewelry with me… the motions of getting the elastic string through the tiny bead hole helped my motor functions… childish games on a handheld PSP helped with understanding and processing… *push A button and your player jumps, push B button and your player runs* that kind of thing… and always, always…. I immediately stopped what I was doing if  my head started to hurt… but most of all, I made up stories….

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When I first fell ill, writing a complete story was beyond me… I would just day-dream of different worlds and characters… about five years later, I started to get a little better at writing down my thoughts… when the MS first took hold, I couldn’t even write down my own name… being able to write down short sentences/basic information was a big step up… Now, ten years later, I have my first book baby published… Writing is a big part of hope I coped with my MS, and now I can share my stories with others.. hopefully my second novel will be published in 2016… I believe that having hobbies/something to focus on helped my brain to reroute the processes that I had lost… even healthy people can benefit from hobbies/crafts/arts…. but the brain is a marvelous thing…. give it something to do and see what happens….

Happy wordage everyone…. Tracey Clark

if you would like to read more about ME… head on over to my author’s site and enjoy…. 😛

Author Tracey Clark‘s Site

to find out more about my books go to the Finder’s Keepers Series blog