Thursday, March 6, 2014

Walking for Autism and Roller Derby

I seem to only get things done when I know someone is counting on me. The only person I feel ok letting down is myself. That's why I started this blog: I love to write, but I lacked the discipline to sit down and do it until I knew there were people looking over my virtual shoulder.

For months now I've been thinking about a novel I want to write. In this story, a more selfish and less responsible version of me abandons her family to walk US Route 1 from Maine to Florida. I think she leaves a note before driving off to Maine, but that's about the extent of her planning. I thought about the story, about how the chapters would alternate between the woman walking and her family figuring out what to do without her, about literary devices to indicate her internal monologue. One morning I walked from Milford to New Haven for research. I even wrote a few pages. And then I got busy with...I don't even know what...and put it aside.

Last night I made a public declaration that this novel is going to get written. I announced my intention to walk across Connecticut from border to border as research and inspiration for this book. I made this announcement in the form of a GoFundMe campaign: as I walk I will be raising money for two charities close to my heart, and I will be blogging my adventure to force myself to write.

The charities that will benefit are the New England Ballet's adaptive dance program for kids with special needs, and CT RollerGirls.

For the past four years, New England Ballet has included young dancers with special needs in an adaptive production of The Nutcracker Suite, alongside members of the professional dance company. They have given Ryan and dozens of other kids with autism, Down syndrome, and various physical challenges the opportunity to express themselves through movement; to learn the discipline that goes along with rehearsing a show; and to gain the self-confidence that comes from performing what you've practiced and getting well-deserved applause.

Raising a kid with special needs isn't easy, and I've owed my sanity over the past few years to roller derby. There's nothing more therapeutic than making good friends and knocking them off their skates. The ladies at CT RollerGirls create an environment that's both inclusive and competitive, allowing all its members to tap into their inner beasts and be their own heroes.

Please join me on my journey!


  1. Yo. Link your GoFundMe page so we know...go fund you.

    1. Yo. Look up at that big box that says "Click here to Go Fund Me." And the one in the left margin. Now go fund me :)

  2. Yo. Mobile versions omit things, and don't even tell you you're missing something! I'll go check out your blog on a desktop so I can see the fancy buttons know...go find you. :)

  3. Oooh, fund fund fund, not find. No stalking, I promise.


Keep it civil, people.