Guest Blog by Shay Stone
My name is Shay Stone, and I should focus this post on telling you about my new contemporary romance The Rise to Fame. But I’m not going to. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I will share my book information at the end and ask that you buy a copy for yourself and everyone you know because I’m an author and I need to sell books. However, for this post, I’d like to discuss something a little more personal to help you understand why this release is such a big deal for me. I hope it will serve as an inspiration for you as well.
You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but several years ago I was involved in a bad car accident. I’m not going to tell you how many years ago, because, well I’m a woman and therefore telling my age goes against the woman’s code. Honestly, I usually end up telling people I’m a year older than I actually am. I don’t know why. I blame it on the head injury.
Yep, that’s right. I have a head injury. Technically, it is called a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Among other things, the accident affected my occipital and sub-occipital nerves which affected my vision. My eyes couldn’t focus together. If I tried to read or look at a computer, the sentences would all converge and float off the page or would disappear because my peripheral vision was also affected. For years, I couldn’t read or look at a computer. If I did, I would have body leveling migraines or mini-seizures – which I can best describe by saying it makes you feel spacey and like everything is happening in slow motion.
And if that wasn’t enough, my ability to think also suffered. I confused words that sounded similar. In my head, I knew they weren’t the right ones, but my brain dubbed certain words as “close enough” and substituted them. I once had a conversation with an old boss where I kept saying “astronomical” instead of “astonishing.” It didn’t inspire his confidence in me.
It’s hell. It’s embarrassing. And it’s totally uncontrollable.
That’s why writing this series is such a big deal for me. After intense hours of vision therapy and brain training, or re-training techniques, I kicked my head injuries butt! To be fair, the retirement of CRTs and upgrade to LCD or plasma screens helped. I’m not saying I don’t still struggle or have issues – to this day I still can’t look at a CRT and sometimes I physically cannot make myself say the correct word– but I wouldn’t let myself give up.
And that’s the point of this post. I wanted to be a writer. So, against all odds, I became a writer. At first, it was tough. I typed with the computer screen off or with a notebook covering it and relied on my editor and publisher to fix any errors. But this series, I did everything. I still had an editor, of course, but I was able to go in and make changes and rework things to bring my readers the best story I could. I didn’t give up.
And I don’t want you to either. Whatever you are doing… whatever you want in life… don’t stop going until you get it. Make yourself mentally strong. And when you encounter obstacles, refuse to let them stop you. Go around them, plow through them or blow the damn things up if you have to, just whatever you do, don’t let that negative voice in your head beat you. This is your life.
Make it whatever you want it to be no matter how crazy or daunting it might seem. Don’t settle. Be determined. You can do it. I believe in you. Now believe in yourself.
Please check out my steamy and suspenseful contemporary romance The Rise to Fame available now. It is the first book of a two book series. The second book, The Cost of Fame, is due out September 2018.