Kaygan’s Devine Krew 2014


WALK

Here’s the truth: insulin is not a cure for the millions afflicted with type 1 diabetes. It is a potentially lethal medication that we inject daily in order to survive. Type 1 diabetes is not as simple as “eat and take your medicine.” However, many believe that. This is why research for type 1 diabetes is woefully underfunded. Yes, we can live, but in this day and age, I believe the expectations should be higher than those of 1921, when insulin was discovered.

Therefore, that is why we are asking for donations for this year’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk. The JDRF, unlike the American Diabetes Association, donates 100% of the money raised. And it all goes toward research for prevention, care for those afflicted, and experiments for a cure.

I have lived with this disease for 23 years. Back when I was diagnosed, I was told there’d be a cure in 10 years. Fortunately, no one made that same false claim for Kaygan. Unfortunately, it’s because no one knows when the cure will emerge. However, one thing is for certain, without funding, whatever the answer is will take that much longer to uncover. Because even though this isn’t 1921, and we live much, much better, we’re still not cured. There is no cure. But there is a way to change that.

This year’s walk in May 4th at the University at Albany; kickoff at 11:00 AM.  If you walked with us last year and want to come out again, great (wear your shirt). If you’re new and want to join the ranks, awesome. If you can’t attend and just want to donate, no worries. Follow the link for one-stop participation. And, regardless of your choice, thank for being awesome.

Kaygan’s Devine Krew page (for donations)

 A message from Kaygan:

 

 

 

Carrie, Eric, Grace and Kaygan.

 

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This is Editing

I’ve been ediitng editing PRESS PLAY for over a week now, and on Firday Friday I was home with Kaygan, who has a sinus infection. I thought I might get work done, but it turns out, I too, have a sinus infection. So, this is how I look. I’ll come up for air and new limbs, soon.

On Bad Decisions

IMG_3511                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Here’s the scene:

             The night was winding down, but I was still energized, which meant trouble, as nothing good happens on a Saturday at 2 AM.

            “What time is it?” Shannon asked, squinting for a clock.

            “It’s time to go,” Carrie said, and around the table, everyone else agreed. I stayed quiet, because I was trying to think.

            We grabbed our coats and my brain mapped out my next move.

            “This way?” Bryan asked and I followed him out the front door. The girls headed toward the back, for the exit there.

            I passed from the warmth into the cold night and sparks kicked up inside my head, an idea was crackling. Bryan said something to me, but I wasn’t paying attention any longer. The cold air had given my vision a chance to ignite, and my focus was all inside my head.

            There was no need to run, but I ran, trying to keep pace with my scheme, trying to get that one last laugh at 2 AM, on a Saturday night, when I’d had plenty already.

            The girls’ conversation was muffled on the other side of the steel door, and I watched it, waiting for the pop of the handle. And when it came, I kicked, and the door flew back. When it popped back open I tried to kick again, but Shannon came flying out.

            “Look what you did!”

            I looked at her, and she was fine, and so I was confused. Until Carrie stepped out from behind, holding a bloody hand and a fingertip that explained the tears.

            My mind stopped racing. The night crystallized into that one image, and I felt all of my stupidity. Shannon reeled on me, and I braced for the punch.

 

While not the greatest scene I have ever turned in, it’s a jumping off point for this post. You see, it’s more fact than fiction. Some of the details are 100% inaccurate, but the major ones are.

On Saturday night, I broke my wife’s finger, because I was behaving like an idiot. Sadly, this is not a first for me.

I have spent a lot of time making bad choices and then cleaning up after my mistakes, as a child, as a teen, and as an adult. Yes, I’d love to have learned from them all, and not have had to repeat, but that doesn’t seem to be the way my life plays out.

People get quite upset with me when this happens. As did my sister-in-law, Shannon. As did my mother-in-law, who might have been happy had Shannon thrown that punch. And I don’t blame them.

From that moment––when I realized my error––and all throughout the rest of the weekend, I have felt terrible. I still do, and deserve to.

And this is why I think I write Young Adult literature. My life mirrors the idiocy of so many of the fictional teens I create. Trust me, I know that Adult literature contains adults behaving badly, but the kinds of failures there are more often of the moral fiber, and ensuing commentary on such. Young Adult lit is rife with teens testing boundaries, making dumb decisions and then dealing with the aftermath. Certainly there are moral failings, too, but the bulk is about teens lost in the moment, having no foresight for the last step of their plan.

And that describes me, at times, to a T. As Bryan said, after, “For all your smarts, writing books and everything, you sure are stupid sometimes.”

I’ve tried to mature all of myself, past the insane 16-year-old I was. But I realize that may never happen. And I’m not comfortable with that, but also don’t want to spend my life hating myself for my failures––also a hallmark of Young Adult lit.

I will do my best to improve, to see the error of my ways, and will do the same with my characters. But in the end, there are no guarantees, because my characters and I, we have a lot to learn.

*That is, indeed, a picture of my wife’s hand. Still sorry, Carrie. For all of my mishaps.

Siena College Visit

I did not attend Siena College, but have had the good fortune to be invited to speak there by Pendragon, the college’s Literary Magazine Club. I will be giving a presentation on my path to publishing, fielding some Q&A, and then signing after, thanks to the support of Market Block Books. If you want to swing by, check the flyer below or the pertinent details, and I hope to see you there!