Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mick and Jane are very excited about their big day happening soon!



ImageImageMick and Jane had a kind of rehearsal on Sunday, a mini launch of sorts. There were interested people, and there were words spoken. There wasn’t the book that they feature on and in though. You can have a book launch without a book, but the organisers decided not to go down that path.

Instead, that day included Carolyn Cordon giving a reading from her manuscript of her verse memoir ‘Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS’, on Sunday 25 August at the Gawler Poets at the Pub Prince Albert Hotel. Mick and Jane were a little concerned that Carolyn seemed so well known and comfortable at that hotel, and wondered a little about how and why that works so well for her …

Anyway, the event they’re excited about is at a far ‘nicer’ venue, a place where books, not booze, take precedence. This book the memoir is still not quite here yet, but Dave the Printer has assured Carolyn that the handover of the book will occur in plenty of time for the big book launch. He spoke to Carolyn is such a soothing manner, she seems to have calmed down, just a little …

It seems things are going well, with the memoir apparently getting bound today. Jane got a little bit silly at the thought of this ‘binding’, but Mick told her it wasn’t THAT kind of binding, and she settled down again. Sometimes Jane gets quite flighty. It’s a good thing Mick is such a sensible chap…

So, come Wednesday, the book launch will be on, and Mick and Jane and the memoir of course, will all be on show, to be admired by the crowds there to help to launch Carolyn’s first non-fiction book. Mick thinks it’s about time she moved away from the fiction (lies) she’s been writing in the past …


How to get your copy of “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS”

This book is being launched in South Australia on Wednesday 28 August, at the Tea Tree Gully  library at 3 pm. If you can get there, you can buy your book there, and celebrate the launch with me! The library always puts on a fine spread of food for their book launches, and tea, coffee and juice will available too.

I’d love to see my many friends there, both writing friends, MS friends, and friend friends. It’s going to be a joyous occasion, I’m sure. I love this library – it’s our family library, even though we live many miles away. Graham loves it for the wide range of books, and I love it for that but also because of the lovely cafe that’s open there daytime during the week!

If you’re unable to be at the Tea Tree Gully library, but live in South Australia, there will be copies of my book available from the Mawson Office of the MS Society SA & NT. If that isn’t good for you, you can email me on and we can organise it.

The cost of the book is $20, with $2 from every copy going to the MS Society SA & NT. If you require it to be posted, the cost will be an extra $2, if posted within Australia. postage overseas can be negotiated. For all postal sales, contact me on and let me know you have made payment.

The writing of this attractive book has been fun, creative, frustrating and liberating! I highly recommend everyone should have a go at writing some memoir about a troubling period in their life. I know I found a peaceful place in my heart and mind, by the end of my memoir. I’d love to help others to do the same.

Creative writing as therapy sounds like a dry subject, but I’d like to make it glitter with fun and truth. Thinking about the past and playing with it, looking at it from a variety of different angles can be extremely healing. Once my memoir has been launched and things calm down again, I will be exploring my options regarding a workshop or two for others interested in exploring their past or their problems with creative writing.

More News on Book Launch

Sometimes I wonder how tightly my head is screwed on. Today it feels like it’s coming undone!

I wrote a post all about my upcoming book launch, giving various details and so on. I was happy with the post and telling myself how clever I was, and then I realised I’d actually posted it to the wrong blog, again!

This is a link to where that post is. I hope you follow the link and read about it. I have a few possible excuses for my actions, but why bother listing them. It happened, I’ve dealt with it, not much more to say about it, really. 

I’m toying with the idea of becoming a buddhist, and the point of view in the last paragraph seems the right way. I’m in the very early stages of this buddhist path, and I’ve thought about humanism too. Basically, living a good life, and helping others, without any need for a god is what my overarching ideal is. Whatever that is called, that is what I am.

I can see that this book, a memoir aimed at helping others travelling the same path as me, will be an ongoing role for me, at least for the next few months. I want to launch the book and then go around to groups to talk about the book, sharing my words, and giving others the chance to share their stories too. I believe deeply in the enormous good found in being able to tell your story to people who listen properly to what you have to say.

I’ve found comfort in having my story heard, and I know others who have found the same comfort. It’s a thing that’s been proven to help, it’s not just an airy fairy idea of mine, it’s true. So, I’ll be touring around to relevant places, reading from my memoir, and allowing others the chance to share stories with me and others too. It seems like a good thing to do.


First Public Reading

So, today I attended the Disability Public Literary Session at the SA Writers Centre. It was an amazing morning, with amazing people there to read their work. If anyone ever tells you people with disabilities are a waste of resources, tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about. These people are terrific!

The works read today were amazing. The attendees read from their written works – novels, memoir, autobiography – everyone had a story to share. Great stuff. I’m astounded at the strength of the writing of the people there. All people with disabilities, all with outstanding abilities!

Sharon Kernot is the person who coordinates the disability program at the SA Writers Centre, with some funding from the Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability Trust. Sharon does a great job, and I’m so grateful for all she does, discussing writing projects, helping with grants applications and lots of other things.

I read a part of my new memoir today. The response was better than I’d imagined, and it makes me feel more confident about the whole verse memoir book. It seems my words have some verse-like attributes after all! Of course I read a piece that was more airy fairy and fluffy, not down and dirty. I chose the right piece for the right audience, as a good writer should!

That’s the first reading of my memoir done, two more to go – Sunday 25 August at the Gawler Poets at the Pub (Prince Albert Hotel 2 – 4 pm, Murray Street Gawler) and then Wednesday 28 August at the Tea Tree Gully library 3 – 4 pm 571 Montague Road Modbury).

I’ll have the memoir there with me, and I’m hoping sales go so well I’ll need to speak to the printer to organise another print run!

More About Wii Fit Exercises

Hello again people. I have committed yet again to my Wii Fit exercise program. For those who don’t know anything about Wii Fit, it is a game, a program, a way of regularly working to keep fit in your own home.

When you purchase the Nintendo Wii Fit game, you get the disc and a balance board. You put the disc in and turn on your TV. There are different exercises, and you work your way through them, standing on the balance board so that the Wii Fit person on the TV knows how well (or badly) you go!

The exercises help with Balance, Strength, Aerobic Ability. The machine keeps track of your weight and BMI, and lets you know how long you have exercised with the program every time you switch it on and get exercising.

When I first became ill with MS (multiple sclerosis) in 2010, I certainly didn’t feel capable of doing anything at all, let alone with the Wii Fit machine. Slowly though, I got a little strength and began to try some of the easier things with Wii Fit.

I’d begun using Wii Fit the year before, it was a new game for the family, we’d all connected with the game and had our own avatar (Mii) there. We also had our top scores and so on, so there were results I could aim at bettering, both my own scores and the scores of the other two family members.

Having MS means I have muscle weakness on my right side, I have issues with balance and I have mild cognitive issues. Wii Fit helps me with these things. I am better balanced now than I was when MS first hit me in a big way. I’m a little stronger now on my right side. And the cognitive issues? Well, at least the Wii Fit machine keeps the records about what exercises I’ve done for me…

I heartily recommend Wii Fit, and Wii Fit Plus. The latter is an extension of Wii Fit. Nintendo released ‘Plus’ after the original game became popular, giving new exercises to do. It doesn’t replace the original game, but extends it. Some of my favourite Wii Fit exercises are Wii Fit Plus exercises. A special favourite is the Snowball challenge, where your Mii must throw snowballs at a cast of characters, including some who appear to be snowmen. Lots of fun, and a bit energetic too!

I certainly feel these Wii Fit exercises are helping me to keep mobile and relatively sane! I know I haven’t got to the stage of being completely committed to it yet though. I have too many days where I have plenty of time to do the Wii Fit exercises, but just don’t do them. That’s not good enough. I want to be properly committed. I’ve been at that stage before, I was at the stage where if I didn’t do my exercises in the morning, I felt that something was missing in my life.

That was before winter came along. I’m afraid the cold mornings make it too attractive to stay in the lounge room, and not go into the room where the Wii Fit machine is waiting for me. The days are getting warmer though…

Memoir Teetering on the Edge

Well, I think I’ve done it. Today I spent quite a few hours working on my memoir, editing the proof copy sent to me by the printer, and by George, I think I’ve got it!

My memoir is all about my new life since I knew I had MS (multiple sclerosis), and before that too. When you receive a diagnosis of having MS, you can bet you’ve had it for a while already. I was diagnosed with MS in 2010, and my neurologist thinks that, according to my MRI scan, I’d had it for five or so years already.

My neuro saw the scarring of my central nervous system and used that, as well as my symptoms,  to make his diagnosis. MS is all about this scarring, because the scarring is what causes the symptoms one has.

Anyway, at the  moment, I have no active lesions, thanks to medication and my body’s repair system. I’m happy on my current medication (Gilenya – a daily tablet) and I hope I can remain the way I currently am, or better, for a long, long time…

Getting back to my memoir… This memoir is, I hope, going to be useful to people who have MS, and to their family and friends. Having MS can be an isolating thing, where no-one seems to understand what you’re going through, not even you own doctor.

My memoir tracks my journey, talking about my symptoms, about medications, about support and a variety of other things, as they occurred to me in the writing. The memoir is in verse, and there are poems there too. I’m a poet, writing poetry is what I do…

I’m living well with MS and I sincerely hope that my words can assist others to live well with MS, or other illnesses. Life has been tricky, but I’m still enjoying my life. I hope you can enjoy your life too!

“Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS” will be launched at the Tea Tree Gully library on 28 August 3.00 pm. There will yummy food and drinks available, and of course, copies of the book will be available for purchase.  click here for more information about the launch.

If you’re interested in this book, contact me at The book price is $20.00 and $2.00 from every sale will go to the MS Society SA & NT.

Book Launch – Memoir about My MS

Image Well, starting today, the word is out. I was at the PwMS meeting today, and let those present know the date and time for my book launch. It was something I needed to do, as these people are certainly people I wish to get word out to. The PwMS group are people who have MS and are there to give feedback to the board of MS Society SA & NT.

The person who edits the Network (newsletter for MS Society SA & NT) was there, as was the CEO (who is launching my book for me). Obviously, I want these important people to know the details.

So what are those book launch details? Well, my book “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS” will be launched at the Tea Tree Gully Library in South Australia on 28 August, 3.00 pm.

This library does terrific book launches, and I’m looking forward to it (as well as being a bit nervous!) So, this is my first memoir, and I put a lot of myself into the writing of it. It’s the book I wanted to read when I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2010. But that book wasn’t anywhere. I’ve written it now, and I hope my memoir can help other people with MS.

So, do I think I know everything there is to know about MS? No, I certainly don’t think that. My memoir is simply MS from my own position, and including a little research about this crazy chronic illness. Everyone with MS can be different. It all depends on where in your Central Nervous System your immune system has attacked. It also depends on how much of the damage your body has been able to repair.

I’m fortunate – my previous medication helped a little, and my current medication is helping a lot more. I know of other people who have had a similar medication regime who are finding it difficult. There’s no way of knowing how each person’s body will react…

I’ve been trying to help my body out by eating relatively well, and increasing my exercise level. I hope these things, coupled with my medication (Gilenya), will help me to continue on at least as well as I’m going right now. I’m glad that I can honestly say this: I am Living Well with MS!

I will be donating $2 to the MS Society SA & NT for every copy of ‘Mick, Jane and Me’ sold. Cost is $20, plus postage. If you are interested in having a copy but can’t get to my book launch, contact me by email, and we can work it out.

Re-starting my Exercise program

I had a 12 day holiday, but yesterday I switched on the family Wii Fit machine and got back on track. I have MS (multiple sclerosis) and have been told, by several people well learned in such things, that I should exercise.

So, that was three years ago, that my neurologist advised I should try to exercise more, to help with my disability from MS. “Use it or Lose it” is what he said, meaning that if I don’t move around more, I may lose my ability to move around.

So since then, I’ve been working out with our Wii Fit machine. I began just trying exercises out, to see what I was capable of doing. I’d certainly used the Wii Fit machine before I was struck down with MS. I wasn’t able to do as well as I have previously, but I could steadily improve my scores.

Life gets in the way of my exercises sometimes, I lose interest, or as now, cold weather makes me want to just curl up somewhere warm. I live in Australia, where we are in our last month of winter. It seems to have been a cold winter. I’ve seen many people in Australia who have MS say the same thing. I’m not sure if this winter has been colder than usual, it just feels that way.

But, cold weather or not, I should do my exercises, for my own good. So, yesterday, as I wrote, I switched the Wii Fit machine back on. I did 10 minutes of exercises yesterday, and 20 minutes today. I have a weight loss target that I set a while back, when I was regularly doing these exercises. 

The Wii Fit machine seems to thing I can still meet this target, but I’m not so sure. It won’t matter if I don’t make the target – getting fitter is my goal, rather than losing weight. I also do the Daily Challenge at this website, well I try to do them every day. I consider that every little bit I do is doing me good.

Some people with MS need to use a wheelchair to get around. I’ve needed that only once so far, and that was soon after I first collapsed with MS. I feel much better now than I did then. I’m hoping that a wheelchair is never needed again!