Why I wrote 'A Faded Cottage'
It was the night of December 18, 2010, my birthday, a very calm and uneventful night. I couldn’t sleep, which isn’t unusual for me, so I made my way downstairs to my cubby office. I decided, since I was wide-awake that I’d work on one of my novels.
I sat down in front of the computer and began to type, but it seemed my fingers and hands had another idea as they shook uncontrollably. If you’ve tried to text as you are riding in a car or train when it’s bumpy, then you might understand how difficult it is to type when you have trouble hitting the correct keys with tremoring fingers. You see, I have had Essential Tremor from my early twenties and I’d learn to deal with my tremors for many years, but this night it became overpowering.
I leaned back in my chair and stared at the computer screen, my anger grew watching my hands quiver over the keyboard, and for once in my life I felt sorry for myself. The question of why me, a question without an answer, played repeatedly in my mind.
I took in a deep breath, closed my eyes and I let my tremoring hands type and the words, “Happy birthday dumb-ass” were written across the screen. I laughed and let the words flow and Quaid Witherspoon, a famous artist, was born.
A man who had everything or so he thought, but now his hands had abandoned him and his life of painting had ceased, becoming a bitter man. I didn’t have the story of Quaid planned that night, but his character emerged from my mind and as the story grew my hands calmed, while I released the stress of the evening, telling Quaid’s story, a journal of only two weeks of his life. The story of Quaid Witherspoon, the novel 'A Faded Cottage', became an incredible love story, one about strength of mind to fight fate and never accept what life throws at you.
‘A Faded Cottage’ is journal of a famous artist not of his life, but of only two weeks, a love story about aging and two people being reunited after thirty years finding love can conquer all.
Through this process of bringing ‘A Faded Cottage’ to life, I have learned so much. Finding the Essential Tremor awareness groups on Facebook, talking, listening to everyone’s stories so similar to mine has brought calmness to my life.
Now, 'A Faded Cottage' has become a vehicle to explain about Essential Tremor and how millions live each day with tremoring hands, head, voice, and entire body.
I have become an activist to bring awareness to Essential Tremor and founded the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor, Non-Profit 501c(3) organization committed to help people struggling in today’s world with Essential Tremor. DSF is dedicated to inspire, educate, enlighten, and increase awareness to the world about people living every day with uncontrollable tremors.
Proceeds from the sales of 'A Faded Cottage' books go to Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor.
Essential tremor (ET) is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or trunk. About 10 million Americans have Essential Tremor and million more people worldwide. That's about 5% of all people in the United States. For comparison sake, 7.8% of the population have some type of diabetes. Most people though haven’t heard about Essential Tremor and I’m adamant to bring attention to the world.
Millions of children and adults live each day with uncontrollable shakes from essential tremor, the largest movement disorder in the world. Awareness and education will stop the bullying, people losing their jobs, college students having their dreams disappear and end depression for people worldwide who are living with hand, voice, head, and body tremors.
The Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor will make a difference and directly change the future for everyone who will inherit or develop ET.
With awareness, people with movement disorders can come out of hiding; live normal lives as anyone with a disability.
Please go to www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org and donate, every penny counts and will bring us closer to finding a cause and cure.