I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but I adore Jennifer Crusie. I adore everything she’s written, even the stuff she co-wrote with Bob Mayer (although not my favorites, they are very readable and fun.) And as a teacher, she gave some of the best and most helpful workshops I’ve ever attended. Ever. She was a high school teacher and a college professor before becoming a full-time writer – she has an MFA in fiction, after all. But something about the way she presented really struck home for me, and gave me some very tangible tools for my tiny little writers toolbox.
I was also lucky enough to have a blue-pencil session with her at the same conference. After she read the first three pages of one of my books, her comments were, “You went for the easy boob joke here. Might want to rethink that.” And then she said, “Oh, you’ll be published. Trust me. You’ll be published.”
I could have kissed her on the spot.
Fast-forward to now. I haven’t found an agent, and I haven’t been published. I’m not whining (much), simply stating a fact. Jenny, though, has had some serious health issues over the past few years. She’s battled cancer, a blood disorder, and then was diagnosed with acute macular degeneration. She announced she would be going blind, and sooner rather than later.
I was shocked and saddened. For a writer to be blind, to be unable to see what they’ve written… Sure, there are options available but it would make her life so much more difficult. But she appeared to be handling everything with her typical aplomb and humor, a Jenny trait I admire.
Today, I read this on the ReFab Blog:
I love my new retinologist. He’s a good wolf minion.
Then he noticed my crochet in my bag and said something about that being harder with compromised sight, and I told him I was learning to do it by feel so that when I lost my vision, I could still crochet. And he said, very swiftly and very firmly, “No. In 2013, with aggressive treatment, you will never lose your sight.”
I made it outside before I started crying. I know he may be too optimistic, but god bless him for it. I still haven’t completely wrapped my mind around it, I’ve been so fixated on planning for blindness, but just having that weight lifted turned everything around. Have I mentioned how much I love my new retinologist?
I admit, I shed more than a few tears for Jenny and her joy. One sentence has changed everything she knew to be absolute. One sentence.
What’s made you weep with happiness lately? Your own joy? Someone else’s good fortune? Share!
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