I’m a writer
I’m a wife and mother
I’m the middle child of five
I’m a college graduate

I have many dimensions, but in the end I’m still Nina. A woman doing her best to live with multiple sclerosis. At its base, it causes plaques in your brain that block messages traveling along your nerves. This means it affects everyone just a little differently depending on what parts of the brain have these lesions.

And me? Well, my neurologist can’t quite figure out why my disease is so disabling when all the MRI’s show little damage to the nerve paths in my brain. *shrug* It is what it is and despite my best efforts, I can’t change it.

And the fact is, I live my life full out and try not to let too many things slow me down. I manage my MS with my doctors. What I DON’T do is spend hours upon hours on the internet looking for the latest and greatest drugs or possible therapies for MS. I don’t have time. I’m too busy living my life. But that doesn’t stop people who know me from doing that very thing. I can’t tell you how many times someone gives me an article printed from some magazine or internet article and suggested I give a new therapy a try. (One was tapping various parts of my body at regular intervals during the day … umm, yeah, they skipped all the fun parts.)

When I decline, often times they get very upset. I’ve had responses like “I would have thought a scientist would be interested in something like this” or “I can’t believe a college educated person wouldn’t pay closer attention to the latest break throughs”. Wai…whaa? I’ve lived with this disease over 20 years. I’ve tried enough medications and homeopathic remedies to realize–none of them worked for me. And that’s me. I don’t suggest to other people how they should manage their disease. It’s none of my business. But the bottom line is that I’m tired. I’m tired of getting my hopes up on another supposed cure only to be let down. I’m tired of medications that make me sicker than the MS. I’m tired of people thinking they know what’s better for me than I know myself.

I know people are doing it because they care. But really, do they have the right to be upset because I choose not to try their newest and greatest thing proclaiming cures and health benefits that they’ve just discovered? I’m not sure what part of the human psyche makes us react that way, but I’m really tired of having to defend myself. Because in the end, this really is, all about me!

So has this happened to you? Maybe not with an illness, but perhaps a career choice or a life path you’ve chosen? I’d love to know I’m not the only one out here having to juggle people’s feelings.

NOTE: April is MS month. Research continues to bring us closer to a cure for this debiliting disease. Please find an MS Walk or Bike-a-thon and sponsor a walker/rider. I’m so excited that this year, for the first time since I was a kid, I’m “walking” in a fundraiser with my electric wheelchair. My family is sponsoring a team. I wubs them.

I’m a little homesick. I’ve spent this week bumping around the blogosphere visiting with other authors and chatting about Maid for Master. But even I’m a little tired and looking for a break. I’ve got three more stops. Check THIS POST and find out what stops I have left. This coming Wednesday I’ll choose a person at random from all those who commented on the various blog posts to win a box full of goodies including my book Healer’s Garden.

On the writing front I’ve had a really good week. I did shoot something off to my editor at Ellora’s Cave and should be hearing something in a few weeks. In the mean time my muse and I have come to an understanding. She understands I NEED her to stay put and play with me and I’ve come to understand she needs more hot showers, space heaters, and wine to survive this crazy-cold and snowy month. The bribes seem to be working. We’ve been a finely tuned machine this week cranky out the words. (Let’s hope we can keep up that New Year’s resolution through the end of the month.)

On a personal front … I am jumping up and down and screaming with joy. Most of you know I have multiple sclerosis. I can walk around my home, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to get around malls or hotels. For years, and I do mean years, my neurologist and I have been trying to convince my insurance company that a motorized wheelchair would improve my life significantly. Finally, FINALLY a chair arrived at my door step on Friday. There’s still the question of how we’re going to transport it, but expect to see me and my sexy new wheels and writer’s conferences this year. I CAN NOT wait. It’ll save me from all kinds of difficulties that have kept me home. Yay!

So what are you up to this weekend? Any special plans?

I’m pleased to say that Emma Sanders, author, CP and dear friend has gifted me with a blog award. This is a neat award because it’s not only a little kudo, it’s “blog with a purpose”. I’m not sure my blog is anymore than my personal ramblings, but I’m happy to think someone thinks it has a purpose! Emma’s one of my CPs and without her help, I’m sure I wouldn’t be a published author. She’s been wonderful reading through and critiquing all my stuff (and one of my last books had a minor hole in the plot and she found it!)and I love her for it!

The rules are:

1. nominate 5 blogs which haven’t had this award before (I thought this would be difficult, but I’m having a really hard time choosing only 5 *sigh*)

2. each of the blogs must have a purpose

3. the nominated blogs must make a link back to this page

4. the logo from the award must be put on their blog and it must link back to this blog!

But you know me, I never follow the rules. I’m going to give you links to 5 wonderful blogs and I hope you enjoy going there. I will not however, wrestle the authors and ask them to link back here or post to 5 other blogs. Mostly because I’m breaking another rule. I’m linking to more than 5 blogs and a couple of them already had this award.

1. Tip of the Quill –  Jennifer Linforth is the author of the upcoming “Madrigal” series. Her first book is a continuation of the Phantom of the Opera and is due out from Highland Press in the fall of 2008. She blogs on wonderful historical topics and LOTS of phantom information. She’s also one of CPs who keeps me on track. I’m not sure I could do this whole publishing thing without her in my corner.

2. Under and Over – Denise Rosetti is a multi-published author from Australia who always has wonderful writing snippets or just fun stuff on her blog. I love going “down” there to visit. She’s just a very neat lady and willing to share herself with new writers like me!

3. Alien Barbeque – April Martinez is head of the art department over at Liquid Silver Books. I love visiting her blog because she always posts the beautiful book covers she has designed for LSB and other publishers. The woman is very talented. (I would have linked to Anne Cain, my very talented cover artist, but she doesn’t have an active blog … both very talented ladies!)

4. Roxy’s Flog Blog – Roxy Harte is a very talented erotic author. She’s helped me on more than one occasion with information on certain scenes involving bondage. But, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea … on her blog she shares her personal struggles and triumphs in publication. It’s just fun to pop over there and see what she’s up to.

5. MS is a crappy disease that can really drag people down. But there is nothing more uplifting than visiting the blogs of people with this disease that get up every morning, smile at the world, and keep going despite their disability. Mima’s Doings and Disabled Not Dead are two such wonderful woman who persevere despite their circumstances.

6. The Redneck Romance Writer – (I told you I couldn’t just pick 5) Jennifer Leeland (McKenzie) is a awesome writer I met through Liquid Silver. She has a wicked sense of humor and a heart the size of Texas. I visit her blog nearly every day. (Don’t yell at me Jen … I know I should be writing the sequel to “Healer’s” … but sometimes you’re too much fun to hang around!)

And Mima is so sweet, she gave me another award “You Make My Day” for my blog, but try as I might, I can’t get the picture to post… you all will just have to believe me! Really … she did!