Speechless For Now, Or For Good

I recently wrapped my 1st stint as a podcaster. It was an interesting experience to say the least. It wasn’t something I ever envisioned doing but I didn’t want to turn down the opportunity.  It was a new challenge. And in all honesty, it was one I wasn’t always up for.

Now that the season is over I’m taking time to evaluate whether I want to do another season. If you listen to the season finale episode you’ll hear me joke about whether you’ll hear me on Special Chronicles in the future.

Honestly, I haven’t made any decision either way at this point.

There’s a lot to consider, now that I know what podcasting really involves.

-I have other projects I’d like to work on.
-Do I have the time for everything?
-Do I have the energy for everything?
-Can I produce enough quality content?
-Do I want to produce more content than I’m already producing?
-Do I have anything left to say that someone hasn’t said or can’t say?
-I went into this venture thinking it would be a temporary gig, although it lasted longer than I thought, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still meant to be temporary.

And that’s just the short list of thoughts.

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When does one truly know when to step back, move on, or carry on?

I guess we’ll all find out the answer in the fall, at least in this case.

Let’s Talk About Porn

Having a blog and a podcast is an interesting experience. Granted I didn’t think I’d be podcasting for that long. I thought it would be a sprint rather than a distance event, which this venture has now seemingly turned into.

I wanted to share our latest recording, and for a few reasons (1) it’s an important topic, (2) I didn’t feel the need to write down what I’ve already said, (3) I want your feedback on the topic.

I’ve talked about inspirational porn before but being able to have a mainstream TV show address it in a relatable way opened a door for me to be able to see the topic in a different way.

speechlessabc_fanpodcast_v02

Listen to H-E-R–HERO

How do you feel about inspirational porn?
Where or how do you think started inspirational porn?
Do you think inspiration porn started with Tiny Tim or someone else?
Did it start with the saints or maybe the life of Jesus Christ?
Do you think we’ll ever be able to get rid of inspirational porn altogether?

 

Holidays & Disability

I hate shopping. I don’t see the point of it. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less than go to the mall, for example. I wasn’t always this way however. I used to look forward to shopping, no matter what occasion.

Now it’s just another pain in my ass.

It’s funny how I cling to online shopping when I used to resist it so much.

There’s a reason why I shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year, and it’s not for the bargains (although that would be a bonus).

I’ve been nearly finished with my shopping for months now. I just have to get a few more gifts and I’m done (hopefully by the time you read this I will be done).

This year came with an unexpected hiccup.

I went online to make my purchase. I tried more than once and asked others to try too (in the event of human error). No success.

I called the store, as in the brick and mortar building.

They told me I couldn’t place an order through their website, any order, at all.

So one wonders why bother having a website in the first place?

I asked if I could order my gift over the phone (which I understand is the most insecure way to place an order).

“Well how would you get your order.”

I could’ve explained to her that I don’t drive so getting to the store isn’t as easy as ordering online. But that’s beside the point I was trying to make by calling the store, not to mention I didn’t want to drop that card unless absolutely necessary, which isn’t, but I did ask myself that at first.

I’ll stick with the reliable family fallback gift giving tradition. It’s not my 1st choice but I have to do it with another gift anyway so what’s one more?

I can hear you asking, What’s the point of this post if she already had a solution in her back pocket?

Not everyone has a backup plan.

The holidays are stressful for everyone without accessibility issues. E-Commerce can easily be seen as a luxury we take for granted but for many it’s a gateway to the world at large, not unlike social media.

Therefore, if you have a website that includes eCommerce of any sort please make sure it works, and if it hasn’t worked for any length of time fix it and let people know that it is up and running again. You may not see any large benefits from online shopping but you’ll get more than if you have nothing at all, and even worse if you have it but it doesn’t work (in my opinion).

Tip Tuesday

Although I spend a fair amount of time engaged in some fashion in social media I have mastered none of it. In fact, I find it frustrating, meaning social media itself, not the mastery itself.

I have no expertise in it whatsoever.

Instead I find people who are and pick their brains to no end.

I’ve realized I can make better use of my time (and my sanity) if I don’t try to become an expert in everything.

(I may have studied a little too much Plato in college, but it makes this make sense)

A few years ago, I attended the Catholic New Media Conference. I’d like to tell you I did it on purpose but I just got lucky. It was small, reasonably priced, and easy to travel to. I had reached a point where I needed to learn more before I got buried in the noise of the internet.

I was so overwhelmed after one day, but I knew I was in the right place for the right reason, and I knew I wasn’t done learning from this pool of talent.

I went home and did my research, and then I kept tabs on the people that gave talks, the people I remembered seeing, even the people who started following me on Tw!tter for no reason in particular.

At the most recent CNMC I came prepared. I made two mental lists the “need to” and the “want to” list.

Patrick Padley was on the “need to” list. After sending an unknown amount of emails to companies I thought would be a good match for increasing CP awareness and getting no response. I knew I wanted to pick his brain to know what I could do differently, what I could do better.

Maria Johnson was also on the “need to” list. I needed to thank her personally for her help and inspiration. She made my brain light up like a pinball machine at my first CNMC and the lights haven’t dimmed much since.

Lisa Hendy was on the “need to” and “want to” list, for reasons that are too long to list. Let’s just say if you want to see what can happen with a small venture see Catholic Mom

And lest I forget Greg Willits who ended up at the top of my “want to” list after delivering his keynote. You know how there are people that can tell you things you don’t want to hear but when you hear it it doesn’t seem that bad? I never thought I’d thank someone for telling me things I didn’t want to hear.

Basically, my advice for using social media for advocacy is this, do what you’re good at (hopefully it’s something you like too). Seek out the advice of people who are experts in the areas in which you fall short.

I’m participating in WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. If you want to find out more about Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge visit their blog, Facebook, Twitter. You can find more posts by searching #HAWMC.

Follow Friday

One of the biggest reasons I started writing about Cerebral Palsy is because the internet was lacking when it came to voices of people who had CP.  Thankfully the internet has grown. This is only a small portion of what’s out there now.

10 Tweeters
@LCarterLong
@KateTheMuse
@MaysoonZayid
@CPInspiration
@JohnWQuinn
@ZacharyFenell
@htlcy
@AbilityCatcher
@BirdOnTheStreet
@TimDRose

10 Blogs
CP Shoes
Mama Lewis
Free As Trees
Trousdell Five
Robyn Lambird
The Blessing Counter
Smith’s Holiday Road
Tonia Says
The CP Mommy
Spashionista Report

10 Facebook Pages
CP Teens UK
Reaching For The Stars
Hannah Cockroft
Fit With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy Foundation
OM Foundation
Handicap This!
Teen CP
#CPChatNow
Karen Pape

I’m participating in WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. If you want to find out more about Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge visit their blog, Facebook, Twitter. You can find more posts by searching #HAWMC.

I’ve Learned To C.O.P.E.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I wouldn’t have most of the friendships I have without it but at the same time I get overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything that I can look at daily. Plus, I use it for business purposes so things can get tricky.

Pat Padley has a formula that has helped me attempt to keep my head above the metaphorical waters of the internets.

Create
Once
Publish
Everywhere

The idea being use all platforms, since each platform appeals to different demographics, etc., but post the same thing, because why do more work than you need.

I don’t always follow this formula, because each of my platforms does serve a purpose so not every post fits every platform but I try to follow this formula when it fits.

Honestly I don’t have a favorite platform, if I do it changes often enough that it’s hard for me to keep track of. However, I do find some platforms easier to use than others depending on the purpose. I do wish it were easier to post across all platforms so “C.O.P.E. ing” would be easier to accomplish.

I find Tw!tter the most accessible in terms of versatility, meaning I can accomplish what I want from whatever device I happen to have on hand at the moment.

I like the idea behind Inst@gram more than I like using it. I find it frustrating that it’s “mobile only” and I try not to be attached to my mobile device (aka phone) 24/7.

I’ve used Faceb00k the longest but I’m far from their biggest fan, especially in terms of their mobile app.

I don’t use any other social media platforms because frankly 3 is enough, unless we’re counting blogging than 4 is more than enough.

I’ve tried to use G00gle+ for things other than the occasional hangout but I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

I like the opportunities social media has given us as a society but I don’t like the algorisms they employ behind the scenes. It makes me suspicious and weary to engage in anything. I like my timelines chronological. I’d like to go back to the idea that everyone has an equal chance of being seen/heard like when social media was beginning.

I’m participating in WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. If you want to find out more about Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge visit their blog, Facebook, Twitter. You can find more posts by searching #HAWMC.

Tales From A Late Adopter

You know how some people claim to be early adopters?

Well, I’m not, except for maybe blogging, and F@cebook, and neither of those were totally my decision.

My 1st computer was over 7 years old when I decided to get a new one. It was supposed to have Wi-Fi capability when I bought it but I don’t think it really did.

I’m still on my 1st smart phone, which needed to be replaced years ago, and didn’t even know what a podcast was until after attending my 1st CNMC (an ignorance I have since more than made up for). Oh and I still try and build websites in HTML whenever I can get away with it.

And it takes me roughly and hour to make a minute long video that I can just barely stomach watching.

My 2nd computer had Wi-Fi capability but I didn’t actually get Wi-Fi for a few years afterwards, and even then I didn’t use it unless I was in a Wi-Fi only location.

If I’m anything, I’m a reluctant adopter.

So when my computer, my 2nd one, died a quick, yet horrible, death a few weeks ago I just about when bat crap crazy. (1) I’ve never had a computer completely die on me before and (2) I had class starting in a matter of weeks, I had to make a decision, and fast.

It’s really really rare that I wish I was in a relationship but this was one of those times, if for no other reason than I’d have someone capable of making such decisions for me and then getting me settled without causing me stress.

Thankfully I had everything backed up, which I’ve never done before but won’t ever skip that step again, so that was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. But in my rush I didn’t do my usual vetting process.

And while I was waiting for news on my computer I went so over my data limit on my phone that I couldn’t even add any additional data to my plan. I had a big “no” symbol in my notifications for days.

I hadn’t kept up on the software upgrades on my tablet for so long that it took days to get that taken care of before I could even use it effectively.

My new computer didn’t come with office already installed. I realized that in the store but knew I had two product codes at home, so why bother. Well the joke’s on me because now that I need one I can’t find either one of them anywhere.

It also doesn’t have a disk (or rather CD) drive so when I went to look for one I got a little freaked out. How would I install anything?

Also the power button is on the side instead of near the keyboard. Once I found it I wondered what team of people thought it would be a great idea to put a power button so easily accessible to anything. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve turned it off without meaning to.

Although I’m a reluctant adopter I hesitate to call in any outside help for anything. I don’t read directions and although I typically purchase additional tech support I rarely, if ever, call them.

I made more calls to set up this computer than I have ever. It makes me feel defeated in a way, because I hate asking for help, especially when it’s something many people easily master. But stress and a tight timeline won out, at least this time.

One of the biggest reasons why I am a late adopter is because I don’t like having to work out the little bugs that come with the 1st generation of so many products. So I usually wait and keep my ear to the ground before making any major purchase.

Until my motherboard dies, then it’s time to run to the store before having a nervous breakdown, because who can live without a computer these days?

I went with the “upgraded” version of what use to be very much the other half of my brain, which is lying closed up in an old dusty box like a technological casket, because I didn’t have the time, or the patience to figure out something new (and I still spend hours on the phone with various tech support people).

Am I happy with it? No. But it probably has more to do with a rushed purchase rather than an unsatisfactory product.

Now my next task? To upgrade my phone and maybe use the gm@il account I created for myself a few months ago.

I need to do something before all of my devices are on the verge of another technological breakdown, and maybe do a better job at keeping up with the rest of the planet.

My Hero(es)

Who are my heroes?

I have a pretty awesome family so I have plenty and I mean plenty of people I’ve idolized and looked up to my whole life. That’s always been a given. So they’re, in a sense, my heroes.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have other more famous heroes growing up.

Like Rebecca Lobo

And Natalie Coughlin

OK so maybe they’re still two of my heroes.

I also have a great admiration for people like Dr. Hugh Herr

I’m taking part in The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge this month (also known as #HAWMC).