Tag Archives: anxiety disorder

Slug Bug Good-bye


It’s hard to say good-bye. And I’ve had a lot of good-byes to say.

At the end of fourth grade, I had to say good-bye to my friend Ruby Ann Warren. We spent every school recess together and spent the night at each other’s homes.

As the school year ended, Ruby told me her dad’s company had transferred him to a job in Texas. (Texas is a million miles from California where I lived. How rude of her dad’s company to send him so far away!) But I didn’t say that when Ruby told me the news of her departure. Instead, a silent sadness came over me. Ruby lived across the street and the day she moved away, I stood on the street curb and watched her pile into her family car. When the family’s car pulled out of their driveway, her dad stopped the car at the spot where I stood. Ruby jumped out of the back seat and ran to the curb and hugged me. “Good-bye,” she said, then hopped back into her car. She waved from the car’s rear window as I stood there watching her family sputter away. She continued to wave until her car turned the corner. I raced to my bedroom, put my head in my pillow, and cried hard. I never saw her again. read more

Finding Peace With Exploding Hair

I’ve learned the secret to making dreams come true.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ~Zig Ziglar

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”   ~Zig Ziglar

Ten years ago I wrote a list of twenty-two goals I wanted to achieve. At the time, none of them seemed possible. I suffered from an anxiety disorder. I didn’t fly on planes, nor did I go near an airport. Actually, I didn’t even like uttering the word “airplane.” I also didn’t like bridges. For this reason, I cancelled any road trips that involved crossing a bridge (you can imagine how many trips were cancelled). I didn’t go anywhere that involved parking my car in a parking garage. I didn’t ride elevators, and preferred to search for stairs and huff up fifteen flights. This way of life was no life at all. In addition, panic attacks gripped me at  read more

I’m a Survivor and You Are Too

Merry Survival! Merry Survival!

“Your book title tells me nothing about your book,” says the literary agent.

She sits across from me at a table in the far corner of an empty room. She flips through the pages of my book, Five Minutes For France, with nonchalant abandon.

I assume she’s a nice lady in real life. She probably packs her kids’ lunches with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with brightly-colored Post-it notes reading: “You’re awesome!”

But at writers conferences~agents who sit behind tables in far corners can morph into Cruella Devilles.

Not that they’re intentionally mean. But they don’t want you to get your hopes high without equipping yourself with some nice, hard truth. And there’s a lot of hard truth for a writer to swallow. read more