Dear readers I have returned and I beg your pardon. The reason for my absence was, simply, that I was depressed. Don't be alarmed, it wasn't the check-yourself-into-the-hospital kind of depression. It was more of an extended blue funk; the kind that makes a person put projects like writing a book... excuse the expression... on a shelf. I suppose that as an aspiring writer it is pre-requisite that I cultivate some form of mental illness. (Remember the post about Hemingway, Steinbeck, and E.B.White?) Unfortunately, the problem with accepting depression as a writer's prerogative is that it then makes it extremely difficult to get any work done.
The downward spiral began a few months ago when I came to the realization that I did not have the funds necessary to travel to Walt Disney World several times a year. At the time I felt that the best way to write about the effect Walt Disney World had on Spectrum families was to shadow them on their individual trips. Nothing like first-hand experience when you're telling true-life stories, right?
In the end it was Kathy meets Reality. And, as we all know, sometimes reality sucks.
"Stuff" happens and your life turns on a dime. Forget being able to afford multiple research trips to Orlando. Tearfully, I cancelled our annual Disney vacation due to lack of funds and tried to be a Big Girl about it.
I failed miserably.
In Bill Burke's Mousejunkies (one of my favorite WDW travel books) Mousejunkie Jenna confesses, "I consider a year without a Disney trip a barren twelve-month wasteland." My own wasteland had been extended to an agonizing twenty-five month stretch, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.
It seemed at the time that my dream had met an immovable object and so I just withdrew. I stopped posting on the DISboards... it was too painful to read about others' happy travel plans. I stopped jotting down book ideas in my little spiral notebook. And I stopped blogging. No sense blogging about a book that wasn't going to get written. Time to concern myself with other, more important things.
But that darn book kept calling to me. I'd find myself thinking about it as I was drifting off to sleep at night, or at odd times like when stopping at a traffic light or waiting in the check-out line at Pathmark. Then there were the e-mails from my cyber-friends on the DISboards, wondering if I was all right and if so, was I was working on the book? And let me not forget my mother who, for some reason or other, felt it was her duty to nag me about the book whenever we talked on the phone or met at a summertime gathering.
Why, oh why, had I opened my big, fat mouth and told everyone that I was going to write this book?
I had an epiphany one evening while watching television. During the break a Disney commercial popped onto the screen... fleeting images of a family of four, laughing as they skipped down Main Street toward Cinderella's Castle, followed by the 1-800 number to call for your free vacation-planning DVD.
A glimpse of the Main Street scene and I was transported. There was the irresistible smell of the popcorn cart and the aroma of chocolate chip cookies coming from the bakery. The clip-clop of horse's hooves, the ding-ding of the trolley bell, and the jangling piano outside of Casey's. There were the vendors in their striped vests, holding so many balloons you half expected them to be carried off at the slightest gust of wind. I was there.
That's when it occurred to me that I didn't have to accompany each and every Spectrum family on their trips in order to gather enough information for my narrative. I had already immersed myself in the setting. These are true stories I want to tell, but I'm not writing for the Associated Press! Sure, I've never studied journalism, but I'm a nurse... I've been interviewing patients and gathering information quickly and accurately every day for the past twenty-five years. Oh, and writing about it, too!
Bolstered by a fresh perspective, I shook off the melancholy that had gripped me for so long and began to devise a plan...
The Many Adventures of a Disney-Lovin’ Spectrum Mom is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company or Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to Disney Enterprises, Inc., its subsidiary, affiliated and related companies, as the case may be. For the official Disney website, visit disneyparks.disney.go.com