Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Look!!!

When I originally picked the template for the Life's a Beach blog, my face was so swollen and my vision so clouded by blood that I could barely see the screen. The sandy beige and bird silhouettes served their purpose, but now it's time to move on! Hopefully you agree this new look captures that sentiment.

While very ill and heavily drugged, I decided that I would maintain a Life's a B**ch attitude as best I could, as in "When life's a b*tch, channel positive thoughts to make it as beach-like as possible." Two years later, I credit this mentality for having played a huge role in my ability to cope with my condition. I hope the concept is helpful for others going through tough times...

The new blog header is the result of a collaborative effort with a fabulous graphic designer (whom I would be happy to put anyone in touch with). This same design (without the blog reference) will be on the T-shirts, as soon as I decide blue or white for the shirt color.

We've applied for copyright protection for the image, which makes it feel more real that something positive has come out of my leukemia diagnosis.

A final note: Yes, that crabby crab has been symbolic of me at times during this ordeal, and will once again represent me at the end of next week, once I've begun the next round of ATRA. But let's be real: who doesn't feel like that crab once in a while?

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Exit" in Print!

The Winter/Spring 2013 edition of Adventum is now available in print or as a MagCloud download!

I couldn't have found a more perfect home for my essay, "Exit." The outdoor adventure-themed literary magazine is filled with beautiful photography and gripping accounts of men and women pushing their limits in the wilderness.

In addition to "Exit" (and stunning photos of the great outdoors), the other essays featured are:

From the Seat of a Bicycle, Nadine York
The Sponge Divers of Kalymnos, by Willard Manus
Pilgrimage, by Yelizaveta Renfro
Lost, by Mac Greene
Powder, Guns, and Yoga, by Sophie Nicholson
Open Water, by Carloyn Gray
Fire and Ice, by Duncan McCallum
My Father Teaches Me to Fish, by Sarah Morris
Barefoot, Rim to Rim, by Thea Gavin

My motivation for writing "Exit" was to share with others how my experience at a First Descents camp helped me cope with the fears that come with cancer, and how to get busy living again. On the last day of camp, when my kayak capsized at the base of a waterfall, I was more terrified than I'd ever been in my life, and that's saying a lot! As I reflected on those moments, once warm and dry again, I thought about how interesting it would be to slow down those 60 seconds, to make a reader really feel like she'd been there with me, in that kayak and a year earlier in the hospital. The result became my essay, now available at Adventum Magazine: Current Issue.

Nantahala Falls
The subject of my essay and site where I capsized in my kayak.