ABNA Contest: Personal Anecdotes

As part of Amazon’s 2009 Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, contestants can share the story-behind-the-story of their novel’s creation … in 300 words or less. The public will only get to see the top 500 excerpts after March 16, during which time they may or may not view the novel’s background. People keep popping onto this site while searching for ABNA, so I thought I’d post my personal anecdotes here:

 

         Four months before starting a doctoral program in English Literature, a 1998 brain injury left me severely disabled. I lost the ability to read, along with my rational side. I needed to sleep and meditate most of the day just to keep my migraines in check. Although devastating to my intended career as an English professor, this experience awakened other parts of my brain. Synchronicity, uncanny intuition, and mythology replaced plans, logic, and a highly analytic side. Unable to read print, I learned to “read” in other ways; the world became my text. Years of art history, literary criticism, philosophy, and Biblical exegesis suddenly seemed key to navigating the “real world.” My quest for recovery also introduced me to alternative medicine and spiritual healing.

            I won a small insurance settlement — on my birthday — in 2001, but I still needed to find some way to support myself. My Seattle doctor offered me a part time job working as an Office Assistant/Medical Intuitive Consultant. I honed my Medical Intuitive skills on his clients in exchange for him teaching me his fifty-year’s worth of herbal knowledge. One herb stuck in my brain: schizandra. I researched its adaptogenic power to heal anything from asthma to impotence to hypo- and hyperthyroid. Unbidden, two characters named Schizandra and Ginger appeared, and I envisioned a family of women healers named for herbs.

SCHIZANDRA AND THE GATES OF MU revealed itself sporadically over seven years. A move to Sedona gave me the setting, and my meditation practice and Medical Intuitive/Life Coaching business provided rich fodder. Synchronicity plays such a huge role in my life that I found the fantasy elements easiest to pen. I finished writing on a key date in the novel, and ABNA’s prize date — May 22 — is my birthday!          

www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

Related posts here and here.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, Laura. That’s a great story. Okay, maybe the head injury wasn’t so great, but… Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Posted by laurabruno on February 20, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Samantha. The head injury? Not so great, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It totally shifted everything in my life to a place that’s ultimately bringing me all the things I ever wanted. I had been so locked into having only one or two ways to accomplish such things, and this experience just blew those expectations right out of the water!

    Like

  3. He, he.
    That’s funny..not your head injury. No! Not that.
    It’s just that I am joining ABNA also and my Birthday (May 15) is when they will announce the quarter finalists!
    Hopefully we’ll get through. What a perfectly wonderful birthday present that would be!

    Like

  4. Posted by laurabruno on February 22, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Hey, that’s cool! I hope we both make it through. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: