Back in early 2007 I was preparing to give a talk at the clinic here in Chicago on the topic of “Non-verbal Communication”. As it happened, just a week before my talk I somehow came across the writing of Ms. Vicki Forman, who wrote the Special Needs Mama column at the Literary Mama website. And one of the excellent posts I came across, titled “Between the Lines”, was about her experience mothering a child classified by professionals as a non-verbal communicator. Her son, Evan, 6-years old at the time, was in fact multiply-disabled, having been born at 23-weeks of age, weighing only a pound, and surviving by the skin of his teeth as a newborn.
I immediately sent an email to Vicki, explaining what I was doing and asking her permission to print out the “Between the Lines” essay for the parents I would be speaking to, and she replied immediately: “The short answer is YES, absolutely.”
The long answer turned out to be a wonderful friendship. I have had the privilege of meeting Vicki and her family in person and have followed her life and writing these past two-and-a-half years. One of the best days of 2009 for me so far was when my pre-ordered copy of her incredible, award-winning memoir, “This Lovely Life” arrived in the mail and was finally in my hands. The book chronicles, with incredible honesty and bravery, the first couple of years of Vicki’s life with Evan after he and his twin sister, Ellie, were born. It is a magnificent piece of work. Please read one of many excellent reviews of this book. This week, Vicki is a Bakeless Fellow in Residence at the prestigious Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Vermont.
Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to be able to fly across the country to be in the audience at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA for the book reading and signing that Vicki did there. I loved every minute of it, and in my excitement bought an extra copy of “This Lovely Life” and had her sign it for me so that I could give it away to a reader on this blog.
If you are interested in winning this book giveaway, please leave a comment on this post to be entered in the drawing. Along with your name, please also share with us one book, website, or workshop you have experienced that brought you new insight or changed your perspective on communication, if possible (not required). I will choose a random winner on September 1 and announce the winner here. I’m happy to mail the book anywhere in the world.
For those of you in the Chicago area, Vicki Forman is scheduled to do a reading at Women & Children First Bookstore here in Andersonville in late September. Details to be announced!