Seeing Beauty In All Bodies

Writing The Longest Nine Months took a LOT of motivation, patience and brawling with discouragement tossed in with some existential questioning regarding my story.

I knew that I wanted to explore the theme of abortion but that was it.

Then the notion of conflict between Campbell, my main character, and her husband Chand began to flutter in my mind. And so the couple conflict took shape but it still wasnโ€™t all that I wanted to write about.

romance was my vehicle to get to where I wanted to go even though I hadnโ€™t a clue where that was.

Slowly, as I continued to write, the abortion subject turned into one of disabilities and Down syndrome.

I began to read on it and listened to interviews and one thing linked to another, as things have a habit of doing, which led me to Riva Lehrer, the marvellously amazing Chicago based artist.

 

A lot of what I do in my work is – almost of all of what I do – is deal with what it means to be looked at. What it means to be in a stigmatized body.

For an inspiring glimpse of Riva Lehrer listen to Mary Hynes interview Ms. Lehrer.

Instead of seeing impairments, Lehrer sees bodies that are – in her words – unexpected, charming, exciting.

What would you do if you knew that you were carrying a child with a disability?

 

The Longest Nine Months.jpg oct. 2017

Amazon

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “Seeing Beauty In All Bodies

  1. Talk about timing–I was just heading up to my treadmill for a walk and a read. The book? The Longest Nine months! So it was funny to see this post in my inbox right now. I’m halfway through the book and will probably finish it tonight. I’m really liking it, as I have all your novels.

  2. I can’t wait to read this book Carol. Sorry it’s taking me this long, but life has been challenging. Once I get this next book out, I shall breathe and read more. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  3. I was so grateful you placed an interesting twist on this book. I really enjoy “What if?” books (like Jodi Picoult’s themes.)
    It’s an excellent read which keeps the reader guessing (as well as the reader.) I kept rooting for the positive throughout. Way back in the dark ages when I gave birth, we hadn’t a clue whether the child was a boy or girl, and even if I did know my baby had a defect, my faith wouldn’t allow me to abort it. Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139.
    Hope you have fabulous sales and thanks again for your support and reviews of all my books. I sure appreciate you. โค

    • Thanks for your personal comment. I so appreciate it along with your generous words about the twist. I also hope that you have wonderful sales with your books and wish you and your family a wonderful thanksgiving. There is always lots that we have to be thankful for. โค

  4. Funny you ask that question. My husband and I disagreed on this topic. Never had to see what happened but I could never abort a child based on some subjective decision that s/he’s imperfect. Just wouldn’t happen.

    I’m off to Amazon to buy the book, Carol!

  5. Seeing that I’m disabled, myself, you would probably think my decision about this would be an easy one but it isn’t. It would depend on the type of disability the child would have and what helps were available to cope with it. This might sound cruel but living with disability can be pure torture.

  6. Carol, I have known two productive and well loved Down’s Syndrome adults. The first was a sibling of my ex-husband who I loved (Jennifer) and the second was an artist who is a clerk at Creative Fundamentals. She has made postcards and cards for the Columbus Zoo and other places who respect developmental disabilities. Thank you, thank you for addressing such a touchy situation. ๐Ÿ’ž
    I still supported my good college friend who had an abortion due to rape in college. ๐Ÿ•Š

    • Thank you, Robin, for your warm-hearted words. How sad for your friend to have gone through such a terrifying and horrific experience. And how lucky she was to have you by her side.
      Thanks for being here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I am sure all of us reach out and support those who have terrifying situations but appreciate your saying this, Carol. I will enjoy reading each of the follow up stories of your great book “Getting to Mr. Right.” I wrote about my visiting my college friend and her story since now that people are coming forward to tell their own stories about assault and rape, she wanted me to include hers on my blog. I do mention “choice” and how my Mom signed papers at the clinic. She never told her parents fearing they would “blame her!” My Mom was a high school teacher and wasn’t afraid to say we need as women (or men) to have the ability to choose. Not later, but sooner since viability becomes when the brain stem is receiving blood from the heart. Biology teacher told me this is in the third month. (Preferably do procedure before 8 weeks, if person feels it is the only way to move forward.) She was my maid of honor and in one photo, she is leaning towards my Mom. I notice this now, the bond they made. โค

      • Your stories are always so touching and beautiful! โค It's really the extraordinary situations that bond us. BTW, I disagree, Robin, with what you said about all of us reaching out to support those in terrifying situations,. A lot of people run away. Those that stick around are the heroes we read about and love in the books we read. They're everywhere in literature but in real life it's a different story.

  7. Carol, I loved your book and was hooked by the story of Campbellโ€™s and Chandโ€™s wildly opposing view as to her pregnancy and the ensuing conflict and drama. It is interesting to learn about the inspiration for this story and fascinating to read about Riva Lehrer. Obviously it is every womanโ€™s choice what to do in such a situation; when pregnant I was offered the amniocentesis test which I (& my husband) refused…whatever the result of the test I wouldnโ€™t have ended the pregnancy so it seemed pointless to me.

    • Thanks, Annika for you super kind words. It’s interesting what you said about refusing the amniocentesis.
      According to a NY Times article “at least two-thirds and as many as 90 percent of fetuses found to have Down syndrome in utero are aborted.”

      It is a difficult issue. Thanks for your support, Annika! ๐Ÿ™‚

      In the case of being pregnant with a Down syndrome child about 90% abort.

  8. Wow….I am behind!! I need to read all your books. I am a former special education teacher and am looking forward to the latest especially. I was also an assistant director of a crisis pregnancy center at one time as well. It sounds as though these books are perfect, as we all are through Christ!

  9. Thanks for introducing us to Riva Lehrer and her work. Although I’ve never had to make such decision it is something that we all, individually as well as a society, must think about. Concepts such as beauty and worth are so arbitrary and random that is bizarre we live by them. A very important topic and I wish you the best with your book.

  10. This is a tough one – I would want to know that the child growing within me is going to be able to have a happy life but then we can never know that for sure… regardless of the illness of the child.. Your book intrigues me, Carol!

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