About

Standing Under the Cherry BlossomsSometimes when writing, my memories or current observations are pushing their way onto the page. I feel a pressure inside that builds until I find the energy to release it into words. The words form metaphors & imagery that try to illuminate a subconscious dilemma or need. I’ve learned to go with it.

This pressure demands acknowledgement that I must grow, come to terms with my beginnings, accept shortcomings… and successes. The successes are harder.

Life is too often inside my head. A train passes by, the sun sets over Mount Hood, a passing cyclist smiles at me as I walk along the river and I am half-aware.

The pressure builds… connections and insights flicker to life in a shielded mind despite the fatigue born of a life walked with head down through a cacophony of voices too demanding and actions too harsh. The words strive to be seen through the fog of that fatigue, and they may or may not reach through it.

The noise and onslaught did quiet one day, but when I looked up I was a quiet observer. I was the poetry orphan writing my orphaned poems set on a journey to find a self more joyous, witty, and strong. A life lived would be a life where the words would one day scream truths, clearly with feet firmly grounded and eyes fiercely content.

Of Consequence, a retrospective collection of poetry, is a collection of previously published poetry on this website and additional writings described as “explor[ing] the struggle between hope and disillusionment, using a blend of fantastical imagery and stark realism.” I hope you enjoy this prelude to Poetry Orphan, a collection of poetry and writings to be published in 2015.

You can purchase a copy here. If you leave a review for the book on www.lulu.com, please e-mail me at poetryorphan@gmail.com. As an appreciation for your feedback, I would love to discuss any writings from Of Consequence in detail. Please limit your questions to a total of 3, so I can give you a thoughtful and thorough response. Advice from readers and writers alike is always welcome.

Also, by e-mailing me at poetryorphan@gmail.com, you can be added to the beta-reader list for upcoming writings in, Poetry Orphan. Please write, “Add as beta-reader” as the subject line of your e-mail to read writings in progress and receive recognition in the upcoming book. I am extremely grateful for any feedback and support from the Poetry Orphans.

I will continue to publish on the website my musings on writing, living with chronic illness, and the occasional poem…

About Me

Let’s talk about philosophy, psychology and the “why” of all this being if we meet. Let’s not give a damn and be silly while obsessing about the latest urban fantasy book I’m still smiling all giddy about. Walk in the woods, binge on escapism television, be genuine with each other… there is nothing more important then the word genuine. Genuine is my favorite word. These are some of the “joyous” things.

I grew up in Miami, Florida playing in the sand and waves, watched Hurricane Andrew while visiting family in NY, and spent my remaining formative years in Orlando, FL where I spun cotton candy at Universal Studios and was once approached to do voice-overs for a cartoon character when I was shelving books at a Barnes & Noble my senior year of High School.

I moved to beautiful Greensboro, NC with my then boyfriend, in 2008, after my father passed. We picked the city on a whim… not too far north and not too far south and not too far away from family. It was a part of our story, and we were married in a garden in a small town called Oak Ridge. It was perfect.

We braved the fear of leaving what we knew for a life that could be better in a city we thought could finally feel like our “home” and drove across the country to Portland, Oregon in the winter of 2013. We were right, and I don’t think I’ve ever loved a place more than I do now supported by the spirit of this city. This is where “Of Consequence” was finally pushed out, and this is where I hope I will continue to grow.

My husband, Dani, is my best friend; he is the person I love to laugh and have adventures with. He is my solace and my rock. You’ll find us walking in the mountains, exploring new sites together and taking too many photographs, sitting with feet buried in the sand by the ocean, shooting our bow and arrow, and shamelessly enjoying the escapism of a good book or story. I have 2 children (Java Coffee McManus the Cat and Apache the Kindest Dog on Earth). I continue to explore nature and existentialism with roots in Zen Buddhism.

Dealing with Chronic Illness

I have a genetic condition called  Ehlers-Danlos  Syndrome – Hypermobility type (EDS – HM). It can be painful and frustrating, so sometimes it nudges its way into my thoughts and distracts me. One of the signs is hypermobility of the large and small joints (which 40% of women have some degree of hypermobility). The hypermobility of a connective tissue disorder is caused by faulty collagen which makes the tendons and ligaments in my body loose or floppy, so the joints dislocate and muscles clench to do what the tendons and ligaments are supposed to do… trying to hold joints in place.

EDS can range from mild cases to permanently disabling. I sit somewhere in the mid-range as far as I know. This hereditary connective tissue disorder is also called an ‘invisible illness’ by my fellow Zebras, because people like me look just like you. The zebra is a nod to the fact that doctors in medical school are taught that when you hear hoofbeats, you should assume it is a horse (the most common explanation in the Western world) and not a zebra (rare conditions).

Consequently, rare conditions can take a long time to get diagnosed if they are ever diagnosed at all. This can take a toll on the many who struggle looking for answers to an odd array of symptoms that do not just include the joint problems. It was 9 years of being in the shadows before I found out what was causing my medical problems. The average time to diagnose a connective tissue disorder is ten years.

*Follow my journey with EDS at Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Contemplations. This is a new website. My aim is to explore the process of acceptance through unedited reflection and introspection. Another goal for this site as it unfolds is to provide support to others living with chronic illness. Research, advice for self-advocacy, and personal ruminations on the topic will be posted. Please feel confident in opening up and discussing how I can make this a helpful website for you as it evolves for fellow people with an “invisible illness” and those who are interested in learning more. Visit www.ednf.org and www.chronicpainpartners.com for a wealth of information on the subject.

*09.25.2014: Upcoming, I will slowly incorporate Ehlers-Danlos Contemplations’ posts into the Writing Orphans blog.

  One thought on “About

  1. Dawn Runs Amok
    May 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Stephanie,
    Thank You for adding my blog to your poetry links, and for the lovely comment you added as well. I consider that to be high praise indeed!

    I’m already very impressed with your poetry.
    After barely scratching the surface of your blog, I’ve found it to be a wealth of strength, subtlety, and word craft.
    May I add your site to my Blog Solidarity page?

    ~D.C.

    • May 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      The comment was sincere. Thank you for the feedback, and any feedback is appreciated.
      I’d love to be added to your page…it is an honor. Thanks Dawn!

      • Dawn Runs Amok
        June 5, 2011 at 1:43 am

        Thank You, Stephanie. You’re most welcome. I wanted you to know that it’s my pleasure to have added you to my Blog Solidarity page: dawnrunsamok.wordpress.com/blog-solidarity/

        Thanks again, and please keep up the stellar work.
        ~D.C.

  2. June 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    I was just surfing your twitter profile and want to invite you to share some of your writings with us in the Best Poems Encyclopedia if possible.
    Best regards
    Louise

    • June 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks Louise. I took a look at the site, and it is really great. I’m going to take a good look this weekend to see what I may want to submit.

  3. July 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for visiting 1513fusion, Stephanie and leaving your comment. I’ve returned the compliment and subscribed to your pages.
    I note: existential pantheist, a term I’ve not heard before. I meditate and try to follow Buddhism; perhaps there is a connection?
    I’ll keep looking in.

    regards
    Harry

    • July 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Harry. I think there may be a connection. I studied Buddhism for awhile and my beliefs may be still rooted there. The pantheism relates to the interconnectedness of life for me. The existential aspect relates to beliefs I believe are rooted in Kierkegaard, specifically living sincerely (with genuinity) despite darkness and obstacles. To keep a fervor for life and retain wonder as well. They’re ideals, of course. -Stephanie

  4. September 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I love your poetry, perhaps because I’m also a pantheist-poet who is fascinated by physics and philosophy. Will look forward to reading more of your work!

    • September 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you Betty! It is always nice to hear from a like-minded poet.

      • September 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

        Stephanie, I forgot to mention – trees hold a special “mystery” for me too. There’s an impersonal intelligence about them – a dignified presence. It always pains me to see one taken down. As you say, always nice to find a kindred spirit!

  5. September 18, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    “Impersonal intelligence” and “dignified presence.” Well said! I think that is why I feel most at home when hiking or sitting in the park. It is a comforting thing.

  6. January 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I love your site and your poetry, Stephanie. I’m working on following your blog, but am getting a message from WP to “try again with a valid email address”—which I don’t understand at all! I’ll keep trying, though, and I look forward to reading more of your work. (P.S. I’m a NC native and got my degree at UNC-G!)

    • January 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the ‘follow.’ I ran into that issue last week and ended up first signing in to my wordpress account, then navigating to the individual’s blog, and then clicking on the ‘follow’ button. It shouldn’t ask for your e-mail if you’re logged in. :fingers crossed: You can also perhaps manage it from your account under your followers. WordPress added a button there to ‘follow.’ I love your blog as well; it’s very intelligent and lovely .=) I’m actually hoping to get into UNCG next fall for the creative writing MFA program. What’s your degree in??

      • January 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

        Thanks…I managed to get it worked out. And thanks for your kind words about my blog…still figuring things out. I got a degree in dance education…many long years ago. Good luck with the MFA program! I applied to VCU for their master’s program in writing a couple of years ago and got accepted, but then I realized that it wasn’t the right path for me.

        By the way, I just nominated you for the 7×7 Link Award, which I was nominated for by someone who follows my blog. You can follow this link to find out more about it. http://pathwriter.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/7×7-award/

      • January 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        I wish I could dance…I have the shy gene. Thank you for the award; what a neat idea!

  7. June 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for dropping by and following my blog, Stephanie. I am quite honoured after reading your blog…I love how you write…my appreciation of poetry has been hidden far away in the attic of teen years and is slowly resurfacing. I relish this new found world of words on Word Press and discovering so much creativity used with the “word”. Whispering Insights

    • June 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks Whispering! Words are sometimes my best friend or nemesis depending on the day and what’s going on in life. I think the key is just to keep at it and work towards the type of writer you want to be. Thanks again. You gave me a smile. ;)

  8. August 13, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Bless you.

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