We're turning Date Me into a tv series! Our goal is 3-4 seasons of six 23-30 minute episodes. Visit this link to watch the first episode, and follow @dateme.show on Instagram for updates.
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A Million Suns is a continuation, of sorts, of Greater Things. These stories tell of my journey to find the passion that I lost with paralysis. That looks like: trying every adaptive sport, modeling, traveling the world and, eventually, meeting a man whom I love. This one is a lot of fun and I'm excited to share with you!
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Purchase Greater Things here and I'll sign it, stamp with an original illustration, and deliver/mail it to you same or next day. Plus, free shipping!
also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders
Date Me! Buy it here and I'll deliver/mail the book same-day or next-day. Read more about the book below. I'm very excited about this.
also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders
I'm young, single, and in a wheelchair. In most people's minds, my wheelchair seems to define me; people are either scared of it or think it's a bigger deal than it is. But I'm just a normal girl. I'm a young, single woman who happens to be sitting down.
Still, for better or worse, my wheelchair sets me apart. In dating - it's for worse. In meeting new people - it's for worse. In maneuvering around the city I live and grew up in - it's for worse.
But there are benefits.
My wheelchair placard gets me great parking spots, I skip lines at theme parks like I'm royalty, I occupy the biggest bathroom stalls, and my college dorm room was legally and exceptionally larger than my peers. As for dating and finding a man who loves me, that'll happen when I least expect it - at least that's what people say. Good thing I'm not in a hurry.
Date Me tells the stories of my crazy family; the unique and often lousy ways people interact with me because of my disability; and my attempts, often failed, at dating in a wheelchair with a strained, but ongoing determination not to give up.
For my first year in high school and into the summer before my sophomore year, I was on top of the world. My grades were slightly above average, I was active on 3 competitive sports teams, and I got along well with my family. Freshman year had been the best year of my life, and summertime only exaggerated that. I had tan skin, an athletic body, and more friends than I could count on two hands. I was invincible.
The end of August came and Aubrey invited me to her house in Lake Gaston. I was less than one week shy of turning 15 years old and school started on Monday, so it was our last chance at summer. I’ve known Aubrey since we were kids in Sunday School, but we’d only just started hanging out outside of Sunday mornings.
“Mark is coming, too” she said. “I don’t think you know him. And you remember Feild.”
I recognized Mark from school, and I’d just met Feild on a church youth-group trip a couple weeks before. Aubrey introduced us in the church parking lot and I liked him immediately after meeting. Feild is tall with light brown hair and a smile that’s contagious. I remember positioning myself in the line loading onto the church van so that “natural” order would lead me to sit next to him. When my plan didn’t work, I squished directly behind him and to the edge of the seat, balancing uncomfortably for the whole ride. I was trying to stay close as I could without appearing as captivated as I felt.
The day was mix of roller coaster rides, hot dogs, and theme park games and, by the time we loaded on the bus to go home, I was crushing hard. Feild was easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable. He made me laugh and that’s the biggest reason I liked him.
Now, one week later, I was invited to spend an entire weekend with him. I couldn’t wait. A lot was riding on that trip. I bought a new bathing suit, packed my cutest summer clothes, and washed my hair. It was my chance to show off to Feild. He would realize our mutual attraction, ask me to be his girlfriend, happily ever after—or at least until homecoming.
Aubrey’s lake house sat on a hill with a yard that led to a dock covered by a boathouse. I don’t remember many details about the weekend, but I remember climbing onto the roof and jumping into the water below. I remember hearing Feild’s laugh before I hit the water and I remember how excited I felt when he smiled at me. I was on my best behavior, just hoping he would like me. I remember trying so hard.
On our last afternoon of the trip, Aubrey’s Dad gave us permission to take out their two jet skis tied at the end of the dock: Feild driving Aubrey and Mark driving me. We chased each other around the lake and bounced across the waves with my arms tightly wrapped around Mark’s waist. The only thing to slow us down was a No Wake Zone through an area where people were swimming.
As we pushed past the swimming area, Mark slowed our Jet Ski to a crawl before accelerating into the waves. I heard Feild and Aubrey’s ski coming from behind us so I turned to look in what turned out to be my last moments of consciousness. Their ski accelerated and slammed into us from behind, landing on top of us.
One second is all it took.