Haiti & Partners In Health

My simple statement on the earthquake in Haiti is that it’s positively heart wrenching. My prayers and thoughts are with the people and all those working with the relief efforts.

Rachel Maddow featured Tracy Kidder on her program, and I just wanted to pass along the information for the work his organization does.

The PIH Vision: Whatever it takes
At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.
(Partners in Health, http://www.pih.org)

I am extremely picky about charitable organizations, and I have to say that this one is especially encouraging to me because it works with Haitian doctors, supporting, and thus empowering, the Haitian people to provide help for themselves. It is especially moving at this time, as the world converges upon Haiti, to remember the dignity,  power, and spirit of the Haitian people themselves.

Moving Past the Post-Its

So the big non-secret is that in the past ten years I have written out the plots, settings and character sketches for three major stories. I say major because they have the potential to be novels. Or movies. Or TV miniseries. Just kidding on the miniseries, but that’s the amount of thought that has been put into these stories.

One came from lucid imagination. I dreamt the characters, and they started interacting. I put them in situations and they started responding. I simply wrote it out. That one is the oldest. It’s probably close to eight years old. It’s also 72 single-spaced pages.

The second came in college. It has a fabulous timeline. It’s part fantasy of mine and part fiction. The character is amazingly stable, and the story sits in a half-completed state.

And the third came to me in a dream. I dreamt the entire story. I dreamt the characters. The location was eerie though. I had no idea where it came from or where I had seen it before. I didn’t think I had. Then, one day I was doing research for a shorter posting I was writing for one of my blogs, and there appeared this picture on the PBS website. A picture of my dream. So I pulled this out. My sketches. Not of the place exactly, but of the layout of the town. And all the beautiful characters on the pages. Then, there was the plot.

My…umm…biography of sorts is about 20 chapters in. That has gotten the most work in the past two months. It’s easiest to see the progress on it, I suppose. And I will admit that the handbook I am partnering with a friend on sits with its first chapter written, begging for more.

The truth is I love to write. And I would love to create a schedule for myself. I really would. It just has never worked out in the past because I tend to jump from project to project or I share the stories prematurely and then feel that they are no longer mine.

But I realized as I provide my students every day with a very deliberate method, schedule and checklist for their own writing that it would not be that difficult to do it for myself. Well, minus the sheer exhaustion (as one students said to me today, “Ms. Sosnowski, don’t you EVER get tired?”). But I figure if I can take 2 hours a day to craft positive comments and constructive feedback for my students, another 20-30 minutes to work on this reflection of my life, I can simply steal moments here and there to start with this creative business again.

So I’m starting with the last one. Only because I truly thought it was a sign when I came across the pictures of my dreams…

And as one of my students said to me one day, “Wow, you’re like a real writer.”

Nope, not yet, I said.