A New Love

I haven’t written in this space for a long while. To be back feels strange, and good. If you’re reading this, it means you haven’t given up on me, just yet. Thank you.

The truth is that I’ve been in a new relationship which has consumed all of me. That’s a lame excuse, I know, and I’m ashamed that I’ve neglected you and this blog. I apologise that I haven’t made time to respond to some of your comments. I hope that you’ll forgive me.

I have fallen in love though.

Not with someone new. Sexy Legs is still very much part of my life.

But rather I’ve grown to love WRITING.

I’ve never considered myself to be creative in anything specific, but the desire to express myself in a creative way, never disappeared. If anything, that need became even stronger after my paralysis. I craved a means of relaxing and an outlet for personal frustrations, joys and sorrows. Well-meaning people suggested that I learn to paint with my mouth. I have the utmost respect for those artists, but it wasn’t for me. Disability shows up your strengths and weaknesses in a quick and profound manner. I’m not artistic, but I have an innate need to be creative. I discovered that I enjoyed writing after I started this blog. Your support and encouragement kept me going, and this engaging community grew my confidence.

During a creative slump last year, I signed up to do an online writing course run by renowned author, Charlene Smith. It was one of those impulsive decisions that you question, yet in the end, do not regret.

At first, it felt more like an affair that I needed to keep secret. I was afraid of failing and having unrealistic expectations. But the butterflies and the tingles persisted. Writing was on my mind day and night. I spent more time in front of my computer than ever before, but now, I wasn’t only filling a void through social media, I was learning and being constructive and creative. I met wonderful people from all over the world who shared the dream of writing a book. I’d never felt so stimulated. It was like I’d found a little piece of me that I never knew was missing.

That’s when I realised that I’d, unexpectedly, fallen deeply in love with writing.

Charlene helped me choose a working title: Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon.

  • Tracy means brave.
  • My second name, Lian is of Chinese origin, and it means Lotus flower.
  • I ‘ride’ through life in a wheelchair.
  • Becoming paralysed has to be scariest dragon I’ve ever faced, and my memoir aims to show how I tamed it enough to live with. I wish I could say that I’d slayed it, but taming it comes close. Also, Dragon NaturallySpeaking software enables me to write without hands.

Although I’d been told that publishers get to make the decision on what to call your book, the title we’d chosen inspired me. Once I had completed the course, I dumped my life story onto my computer, working late into the night most days. Then Charlene gave me great advice on how to proceed.

But, still, I felt overwhelmed. I wanted somebody to hold my hand. So I joined All About Writing’s mentoring programme where Trish Urquhart, Richard Beynon and Jo-Anne Richards guided me through the process with patience, encouragement and practical advice. The interaction with my fellow wannabe writers was invaluable.

The journey has been challenging, and agonising at times. I completely underestimated the roller coaster emotions, and they were worse during the rewrite. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and lay your own character flaws bare. It’s a lot harder to write a book than I ever imagined. I have a whole new respect for published authors. But my mentors taught me that everybody can learn to write, and like an art, it can improve with practice, especially if you want to do it badly enough.

So after a decade of false starts and procrastinating on writing my memoir, I finally did it.

I’ve handed in my completed manuscript and I’m waiting for feedback from Richard and Jo-Anne. Even though there is a huge possibility that I’ll need to rewrite it again, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Finally, I feel like I have the ability to produce a story that I can be proud of. And if the universe allows, I may even be lucky enough to have it published some day.

Please hold thumbs, and toes, that I can pull this off.

About Tracy Todd (Brave Lotus Flower)

Author of Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon – an intimate and inspiring memoir of a quadriplegic. Inspirational Speaker. Teacher. Counsellor. Wife. Mother. Animal lover. Although I need a wheelchair to get around, it is most certainly not what defines me.
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59 Responses to A New Love

  1. Grant says:

    Baie mooi!
    I am so glad you continued writing. I love reading about your journey through life and am totally impressed that you have taken this huge step.
    Congrats Trace!

  2. Pingback: Dark Torment by Tracy Todd | Allaboutwriting

  3. Moonyeen says:

    Hi Tracy. My first words long time ago when I met you on your blog – You go Girl! and you did go:) Congrats!!!

  4. Adrienne says:

    Can’t wait to read it x

  5. Bonnie Espie says:

    I have had the privilege of reading some of your writing Tracy.
    You’ve truly tamed that Dragon!
    I will be at the book launch. It is just a matter of when, not if. You will be published.

    • Tracy Todd says:

      aah, thank you, Bonnie. That means a lot coming from one of my fellow writers in our mentoring group. Hopefully all of us will have an opportunity to be at each other’s book launches. What’s life without dreams and hope, right? It’s been a privilege getting to know you and the wonderful work you do with guide dogs.

  6. Dolores says:

    There is no end to your remarkable talents Tracy darling, your determination and inspiration puts a lot of us to shame. Your unstoppable courage serves to strengthen us all and we are all so very proud of you. Good Luck and I look forward to reading your book as I grow old “disgracefully”!! All my love, Aunty Dolores.

  7. Shael Maree says:

    This has been a very long and courageous journey for you Tracy. We applaud you and absolutely cannot wait to see the book on the shelves. You are immensely talented – no doubt about it you will be successful! Congratulations on reaching this stage – we are so proud of you. Much love Chris and Shael

  8. Oded Ben Dov says:

    You’re amazing. Now send send send already!!! 🙂

    • Tracy Todd says:

      I’m waiting for my feedback so that I can tweak it or rewrite it until it’s perfect. Then I promised to send it. Lots of love from across the continent.

  9. Chuck Brandner says:

    You. Are. The. Best. 👍👍

  10. Susanne Kalmbach says:

    Tracy – what amazing news!!! I definitively want a “lipstick-copy” of your book!!! I will find someone to send it over! You must be so proud and so exhausted – rightly so! What a task, what a dragon-task to master – you are fantastic and such an example for all of us! Thank you! Print all the comments and have them put on your wall. So the next time you feel small and useless and uncapable, you’ll be reminded of your achievements! 🙂

    • Tracy Todd says:

      Thank you Susanne, it’s a happy exhausted, though. That’s a good idea to print the comments because they do encourage me to keep at it. I’m determined to see this project through to the end. I’d better buy some bright red lipstick.

  11. Andy says:

    Hats off to you Tracy. An excellent accomplishment!

  12. That’s great news, and about damn time you cast that blossom upon the waters. Christy Brown did it. Why not you? Not thrilled about the title (too long to promote in casual conversation), but they’ll shorten it for the movie if you and your editor don’t revise. The main thing is to DO IT, so kisses for that.

    • Tracy Todd says:

      Yeah, it’s about time, Michael, thank you. The title is long, but it kept me going. We’ll have to come up with another shorter one. Your ideas are always welcome. Sending you lots of love from across the ocean. x

  13. Sexy Legs says:

    Hi my darling,

    Iv’e had the distinct privilege of getting to know you , falling head over heals in love with you…and also seeing you at your most vulnerable.
    Now that you’ve written your book some dark memories have had to be relived for the benefit of the reading world.
    I’ve watched your journey of writing and I’ve wiped some of those tears.
    We have grown closer and I thank you with all my heart for allowing your pain and joy to be portrayed in this manner.
    I love you Tracy Lian Todd
    Mwa from Sexy Legs

    • Tracy Todd says:

      aah, your comment made my day. I have tears streaming down my cheeks. I’m incredibly lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for always being there to wipe my tears. I wouldn’t have made it through this book without you. I love you more than you will ever know.
      PS Look after my legs.

  14. Denise says:

    Well done Tracy!! I can’t wait to get a copy!

  15. Wilma says:

    Wow, Tracy, you are an amazing woman. I can’t wait to buy your book! You are really an inspiration to me.

  16. Bill Watson says:

    Thanks for the re-connect. I am very happy you are on this path. My wife finally got her book published about 3 years ago and I identified with what you are going through as I went through it with her. Her biggest difficulty was releasing her writing to the rest of the world – and no matter how many edits it went through there were still mistakes found after publication. I hope I can get a copy here in the States or some way of purchasing a copy if it is only available in SA. Much love to you and I value out time together when I was visiting in White River. Namaste & Gassho – Bill

  17. Kathy Bangard says:

    So proud of you Tracy. I’ll surely be requesting a signed copy after its published…positive thinking! It’s really good to see you blogging again.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Tracy Todd says:

      Thank you, Kathy. I’d be honoured to ‘sign’ as many copies as it takes if the dream becomes a reality. I’ll have to get the brightest red lipstick and kiss every book 😉

  18. trayzface says:

    Good for you! So many people mention that they would like to write a book someday but never do anything about it! Congratulations on finishing your first draft and good luck with getting it done, edited, published and printed. I look forward to reading it one day.
    Btw….what a beautiful second name you have 🙂

    • Tracy Todd says:

      Thank you traysface. And to think that I hated the name as a child and often queried why my mother had chosen it because so many people commented on how strange it was. I do love it now and its meaning.

  19. Terry says:

    All the best with this Tracy! Can’t wait to buy it and read 🙂

  20. Brenda says:

    Love reading your blog and sharing your story with others. Very motivating. Well done Tracy. Way to go! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Keep us updated.

    • Tracy Todd says:

      Thank you, Brenda. I promise to keep you updated and let you know if anything transpires. If my dream of being published does become a reality, my blog readers will be the first to know.

  21. Maureen Ferreira says:

    Tracy, don’t apologise – we know you haven’t and never will neglect us – 🙂 – you had to pour all your energy into the love of your life ‘fulltime’ firstly! I love the way you write, your sense of humour and embracing life fully – dragons and all! And we thank God for ‘sexy legs’ in your life – now you can pour your heart and soul into writing your book – Good Luck – we can’t wait for it!!!! xxx

    • Tracy Todd says:

      aah, thank you for letting me off the hook so easily, Maureen. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I thank God for my Sexy Legs too. Even he has been neglected over the last while. I promise to keep you posted.

  22. MaanKind says:

    I hold everything I have, Tracy, I have no doubdt that it will do well.

  23. Lindy Maclaurin says:

    Well done Tracy. I will be one of the first to buy your beautiful story. Can’t wait!

  24. Dougal says:

    Brilliant.. You are such an amazing person I’m probably not as in ‘awe’ as I should be because I always think of you as being capable of anything. I’m not articulating this very well so I hope you get what I’m saying.. WELL DONE girl.

  25. Cath says:

    Awesome you! Very well done for having the courage to do this, you are human like all of us, just more determined….you go girl x

  26. Carl Muller says:

    Good for you!!!! Let us know when you are publishing…. my best friend Etienne Dorfling is at Macmillan the biggest publisher in Africa.
    When you want to publish please do the following:
    There are many small publishers out there that cannot take your book to the market (I am one of them, we specialise in School Accounting Books, do not use them. A friend did it and was disappointed with the outcome.
    Go to Macmillan or Lapa here in Pretoria and get quotes and also request what they can give you.
    I am not capable to publish such a big work but you are welcome to ask for any advice…..
    God bless you!

  27. Aileen Clayton says:

    Wishing you all the best with your New Love. Holding thumbs and toes and can wait to see your book on the shelves. Will definitely be a worthwhile purchase I will make xxxxx

  28. Wenchy says:

    Off course you can! You conquered the dragon!

  29. Ina Ferreira says:

    Can’t wait to read your book my friend. Soooo proud of you xx

  30. Tracy how incredibly wonderful! Kudos to you. I have been writing a book for the better part of 5 years and it is no closer to being finished and is spoken about all the time – enough talking and more writing. Thank you for your post today, I shall think of it every day as my inspiration.
    I am looking forward to you to tell us your book is published. I cannot wait to own a copy.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Tracy Todd says:

      Thank you, Mandy. Don’t give up on your writing dream. I’ve read that some of the best writers took years to get published. That’s what gives me hope. Just take one day at a time and one word at a time. Good luck with your book. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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