All I Want For Christmas Is Some Time To Read

Finding Your Way by Martha Beck

I don’t mean reading to my kids either. I mean time to read just for me. Maybe I’m asking for too much. Winter break starts when school ends this afternoon.

Here’s is what’s on my stack for winter break.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

I’m currently a third of the way through The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a story about what happens when in the near future, people mysteriously disappear a la The Rapture. Now I’m invested and must finish this book as soon as possible, but still make sure I get the kids’ gifts wrapped.

Finding Your Way by Martha Beck

I began reading Martha Beck’s new book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, during my flight home from Boston a few weeks ago. She was a keynote speaker at the conference I attended, and her talk inspired me to read it. I’m about 3o pages and so far I like what she’s telling me.

2012 Goddess Guidebook by Goddess Leonie

I’m almost ready to ring in 2012, but I want to take some time plan for 2012. To help me out, I’m using Goddess Leonie’2012 Creating your Goddess Year workbook, planner and calendar. I’ve printed out the ebook and it’s abolutely gorgeous!

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Last but not least I have The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka, a historical novel about Japanese picture brides on their way to San Francisco to start a new life.

Whew! What would you read during winter break if you had all the time you wanted to read?

Chat with Martha Beck-TODAY 1PM Eastern

Martha Beck headshot    Expecting Adam by Martha Beck

Today is our live chat with Martha Beck. Join us at 1PM Eastern as we discuss her book Expecting Adam. We’ll be talking pregnancy, special needs, angels, special signs, work-life balance and much more! If you have any questions for Martha, please submit them in the comments below.

If you haven’t read Expecting Adam, check out From Left to Write members’ posts inspired by Martha Beck’s memoir.

To join the chat, just enter your name in the box that says “Guest_1234″ or something similar and start typing! Click “Send” or press enter to submit your chat. 

Due to technical difficulties, we’ve moved the chat to our Facebook page. Join us there!

Guest_413
November 10, 2011 - 12:13 am
Welcome to our chat with Martha Beck! She will join us live at 1PM Eastern, so please join us then.
November 10, 2011 - 12:44 pm
Joyce
November 10, 2011 - 12:54 pm
Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us. We'll start in about 7 minutes!
November 10, 2011 - 12:56 pm
LOL It tweets like a bird when someone says something. I just ducked when I heard it, like a bird was flying around my office.
November 10, 2011 - 12:57 pm
Kristine, it's Kim here. i just heard it too. Hadn't tested the sound before now
November 10, 2011 - 12:58 pm
New to Left to Write and a huge Martha Beck fan.
November 10, 2011 - 12:58 pm
Welcome Jackie! Glad to have you visit.
November 10, 2011 - 12:59 pm
While you're waiting for Martha to arrive,take a look at our bloggers' take on Martha's book: http://bit.ly/v4XLaF
November 10, 2011 - 12:59 pm
I really connected to Expecting Adam. I love when that happens.
November 10, 2011 - 1:00 pm
Kristine, I can't even imagine what it was like for Martha. I remember how agonizing it was to even decide if we wanted to test our baby for Down syndrome
November 10, 2011 - 1:02 pm
Who has read Expecting Adam?
November 10, 2011 - 1:02 pm
My situation is pretty unique still. I was 38 but pregnant with an embryo of a 29 year old woman. So while I was high risk, the fetus wasn't. We still did testing, but did not go as far as an amnio, etc. We still had some semi scary months because of an ultrasound. I really just believed it was going to be ok though, and it was.
November 10, 2011 - 1:03 pm
@Guest_325: @From Left to Write: HELLOOOOO! IT'S MARTHA! ANYONE OUT THERE??
November 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm
Martha!!!!! yay
November 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm
hellooooooooooo
November 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm
love that "hello" ....
November 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm
Hi Martha! What a pleasure to be a part of this energy!
November 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm
Hi Martha!
November 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm
Hi Martha! It's a pleasure
November 10, 2011 - 1:05 pm
Hi Martha! Glad you can join us! If you'll change @guest_299 to Martha (in box right above the place to enter your text) so we'll know it's you!
November 10, 2011 - 1:05 pm
@Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy): @Guest_325: @From Left to Write: @Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy): @From Left to Write: @From Left to Write:
November 10, 2011 - 1:05 pm
"expecting adam" was the first book of yours that I read and I was hooked!
November 10, 2011 - 1:06 pm
Hi everyone! Welcome to From Left to Write. We're really glad to have Martha here to chat with us.
November 10, 2011 - 1:06 pm
Okay, this is Martha again--I got help from my son. Who has Down syndrome. And they think HE's the one with issues? Thank you all SO MUCH for joining me!
November 10, 2011 - 1:06 pm
Hey, everyone! Thank you so much for joining me!
November 10, 2011 - 1:06 pm
thank YOU for being here
November 10, 2011 - 1:07 pm
Martha, thank you opening yourself and sharing what must have been such a challenging part of your life! How did you prepare your family before Expecting Adam was published?
November 10, 2011 - 1:08 pm
Are we supposed to be hearing each other? I'm so honored by your kind words and simply by the fact that you've read my book. It's overwhelming to think how alone I felt when I was going through that pregnancy, and how kind you are all being to me in retrospect!
November 10, 2011 - 1:08 pm
It's a text only chat, but you might hear a bird chirping if you turn on the sound notification
November 10, 2011 - 1:09 pm
The book came out when my kids were 11, 9, and 7, and I frankly thought it would die quietly, so I didn't do anything to prepare them. Notice a pattern here? Luckily, they're awesome and handled it beautifully.
November 10, 2011 - 1:09 pm
Everyone, please feel free to jump in with any questions for Martha-she's Guest_299
November 10, 2011 - 1:09 pm
Martha - I think that is one of the reasons I connected so much to you and to your book. Raising a special needs child I've felt that overwhelming "alone-ness."
November 10, 2011 - 1:10 pm
It says "Martha" is already taken. I am, too. I'm very taken by all of you!
November 10, 2011 - 1:10 pm
Um, it won't let me use "Martha." Says it's already taken. Martha Stewart, would you please leave me in peace????
November 10, 2011 - 1:10 pm
LOL. OK. Guest_299 is a special name as well
November 10, 2011 - 1:11 pm
Try MarthaB
November 10, 2011 - 1:12 pm
Martha: I just wrote another book in which I talk about how Adam has taught me to see; it occurred to me that he took me from "aloneness" to "all-oneness." Open yourself to the experience, and you'll find unexpected magic happening. Really.
November 10, 2011 - 1:12 pm
Martha - did you plan your third pregnancy? Were you ever concerned that adding a third child would be too much?
November 10, 2011 - 1:12 pm
I'm going to dive right in with a question from one of our members, Marianne of http://www.writer-mommy.com/ There are many “supernatural” events to which you refer in this book, the majority happening durng your pregnancy. In the years since Adam arrived and since this book was published, how have those events (and any that have occured since the publishing of the book) affected and/or deepened your spirituality/faith?
November 10, 2011 - 1:13 pm
Okay, point one: I did plan my third pregnancy, although really John was more urgent about it than I felt. It was lucky I had another child soon, because my body completely gave out not long after.
November 10, 2011 - 1:14 pm
In answer to the "supernatural" events: I've come to see them as utterly natural. I think it's unnatural NOT to experience them, and our culture actually suppresses them the way the Victorians suppressed sexuality.
November 10, 2011 - 1:15 pm
@MarthaB Do you think that your "supernatural" events are what some might call their intuition?
November 10, 2011 - 1:15 pm
Adam is incredibly psychic--always knows what's happening to me no matter where I am, knows how to get complex information to others when he really still doesn't talk much. After 23 years, I'm tired of dancing around the issue--I long ago lost my ability to deny the evidence that there's something spooky about that little man.
November 10, 2011 - 1:15 pm
I felt very challenged by your idea to believe everything until proven false, instead of only believing if proven true. That's a tough one for a scientist.
November 10, 2011 - 1:16 pm
We call it intuition, we call it a gut feeling, we call it love. Call it whatever you like, the joy is that we have a huge field of reality to play around in. I absolutely believe science will understand it one day. But for now, it looks pretty darn magical!
November 10, 2011 - 1:16 pm
This is a good lead in to a question from Jennie B of http://www.wantapeanut.com : I was troubled by the idea that Adam was somehow more magical than your other children. What do your daughters think about this? How did your subsequent pregnancy, after you found your new spirituality, compare to your time expecting Adam?
November 10, 2011 - 1:18 pm
But the issue is that if you believe nothing until it's proven true, you literally CAN'T BELIEVE ANYONE. Descartes pointed out that you could be dreaming your life. Everything is filtered through perception--and we've known for almost 100 years--scientifically--that perception not only filters reality, but in some way determines it. Einstein had trouble believing it at first, too, but then he had to acknowledge the experimental evidence.
November 10, 2011 - 1:18 pm
There's nothing more magical than a mother's intuition in my opinion. We just don't always understand the power of it, and therefore have a hard time recognizing it. Just had to say that real quick.
November 10, 2011 - 1:19 pm
My kids, and your kids, and you, are all much more interesting than we typically believe. My daughters are natural mystics, though I left them to develop their own beliefs (had enough religion stuffed into me as a kids, didn't want to do that). My daughters also know that Adam is different, that he shines in a strange way, and they know that does nothing to diminish their own magic.
November 10, 2011 - 1:19 pm
@Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy): that's an interesting thought. I feel like we need to believe everything we see/feel is true in order to make sense of life
November 10, 2011 - 1:20 pm
There are two ways to see the world (paraphrasing Einstein again): as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle. Both equally potentially true, but for me, the second one's more fun!
November 10, 2011 - 1:21 pm
@MarthaB: Do you still feel the presence of puppeteers (from Melanie @ http://myattkids.blogspot.com/)
November 10, 2011 - 1:21 pm
Just having read the book has opened my eyes to the magic of my life and my kids. Thank you for that, Martha!
November 10, 2011 - 1:21 pm
Adam has taught me not to hold any belief too tightly. I know that I really don't know anything, and that's okay. More than okay, it's a joyful, liberating truth!
November 10, 2011 - 1:22 pm
I think it is very much about opening yourself up. Hopefully my brain is evolving as I get older and "wiser." It's easier to accept without proof, even though my education/training is so strongly focused on "evidenced based."
November 10, 2011 - 1:23 pm
I have a question for Joyce: Do you ever feel as if YOU have puppeteers? It could be my unconscious brain, or Smurfs, or whatever, but I do often feel that way. Yesterday I was teaching a workshop and for some reason turned on my cell phone mid-class. At that moment a client called, sobbing, having just undergone a trauma. Why did I turn on my phone? I don't know.
November 10, 2011 - 1:23 pm
@Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy): My younger self (albeit 5 years ago) was very negative, until I learned how to open myself to the positive energy around me. I'm a very practical person and back then didn't believe in that "hippie dippie stuff"
November 10, 2011 - 1:24 pm
So how do you decide what -- of all the the unproven theories and people -- to believe?
November 10, 2011 - 1:25 pm
I'm a very different person than I thought I would be prior to adopting Noah. I have learned so much from him, even as we struggle. I like the "me" I am now much better, but I never, ever saw myself becoming this person. If that makes sense. Sorry, I am monopolizing this chat.
November 10, 2011 - 1:26 pm
@MarthaB does your husband all experience puppeteers? Your daughters?
November 10, 2011 - 1:26 pm
Yes, Martha, I do feel that way sometimes. But I what I was trying to say before, is that I don't think I would have paid any attention to the coincidences. After reading your book, I began to look at it differently. It's so much more fun! And I am in awe of the way things unfold sometimes...this is a gift that you have given to me. And I have passed it along to some of my friends who have, in turn, read the book.
November 10, 2011 - 1:29 pm
@MarthaB Just wanted to jump in for a second and say how much I enjoy your writing. I'm still reading Expecting Adam (I have a 3 month old so not a lot of time to read) and look forward to finishing it.
November 10, 2011 - 1:29 pm
MY COMMENTS AREN"T POSTING! HELP!
November 10, 2011 - 1:29 pm
Oh Oh,did we lose Martha?
November 10, 2011 - 1:29 pm
I answered about five questoins before I had to log out--nothing was posting. sorry!
November 10, 2011 - 1:29 pm
Sorry Martha, I think there was a glitch. We see you!
November 10, 2011 - 1:30 pm
Thanks for your patience everyone
November 10, 2011 - 1:32 pm
I'm so sorry about the technical difficulties. Let's move the chat to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fromlefttowrite
November 10, 2011 - 1:35 pm
Did everyone go to Facebook? I'm there!
November 10, 2011 - 1:36 pm
i am too ....
November 10, 2011 - 1:36 pm
November 10, 2011 - 1:38 pm
martha is on the facebook link ... click above .... it doesn't seem anyone is there
November 10, 2011 - 1:38 pm
You m ight have to refresh the page to see new posts
November 10, 2011 - 1:39 pm
I'm there!
November 10, 2011 - 1:45 pm
If you're just joining us, we moved the chat to Facebook due to technical difficulties: https://www.facebook.com/fromlefttowrite
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Book Club Day: Expecting Adam by Martha Beck

It’s amazing how parenting views can change in twenty years. When Martha Beck was Expecting Adam, many people she knew were dismayed that she decided too keep her pregnancy after learning that Adam had Down syndrome.Today From Left to Write members share their stories inspired by Expecting Adam:

Don’t forget to join us today at 1PM Eastern and chat live with Martha Beck!  Even if you haven’t read Expecting Adam!

What Would You Ask Martha Beck? Call For Questions

Martha Beck headshot

Martha Beck headshot

We’re thrilled to have Martha Beck join us on book club day this Thursday, November 10 when From Left to Write bloggers discuss her book, Expecting Adam.

Martha Beck will be chatting live with our bloggers and you, our readers, at 1PM Eastern (convert it to your time zone).  In case you missed it, here’s more about the new edition of Expecting Adam:

John and Martha Beck had two Harvard degrees apiece when they conceived their second child. Further graduate studies, budding careers, and a growing family meant major stress–not that they’d have admitted it to anyone (or themselves). As the pregnancy progressed, Martha battled constant nausea and dehydration. And when she learned her unborn son had Down syndrome, she battled nearly everyone over her decision to continue the pregnancy. She still cannot explain many of the things that happened to her while she was expecting Adam, but by the time he was born, Martha, as she puts it, “had to unlearn virtually everything Harvard taught [her] about what is precious and what is garbage.”

What would you want to ask Martha Beck or Expecting Adam? Leave your questions in the comments and it might be chosen for our chat.

I hope you can join us at 1PM Eastern on November 10!

Photo courtesy of MarthaBeck.com

 

 

November Book Club: Expecting Adam by Martha Beck

Expecting Adam by Martha Beck

Expecting Adam by Martha Beck

It’s not quite November yet, but our book club members are excited about our next month’s book club selection, Martha Beck’s Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic (Three Rivers Press).  Martha Beck is a prolific writer and is well known for her monthly column in O. Magazine.

In Expecting Adam, Martha Beck writes a bit closer to home. Originally published in 1999, her memoir reveals the months leading up to the birth of her Down Syndrome son Adam and his childhood years. This  new edition includes  a new chapter from the author.

   John and Martha Beck had two Harvard degrees apiece when they conceived their second child. Further graduate studies, budding careers, and a growing family meant major stress–not that they’d have admitted it to anyone (or themselves). As the pregnancy progressed, Martha battled constant nausea and dehydration. And when she learned her unborn son had Down syndrome, she battled nearly everyone over her decision to continue the pregnancy. She still cannot explain many of the things that happened to her while she was expecting Adam, but by the time he was born, Martha, as she puts it, “had to unlearn virtually everything Harvard taught [her] about what is precious and what is garbage.”

Parents will find the memoir fascinating as we learn how the medical profession and society dealt with special needs in the 1990s as compared to today. Grab you copy and come back on November 10 as From Left to Write members discuss Martha Beck’s Expecting Adam.