As I mentioned I have my own blog that can be found at www.writerjimlandwehr.com. Like Allison, I am a writer and actually have my first book coming out soon. The book is titled Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir and it will be published by eLectio Publishing aand releases on June 17th, 2014. The book is a humorous account of trips I took to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota with my brothers, friends and later, our kids over the last twenty five years. With its emphasis on the outdoors, adventure and family, it is my feeling that this book will have a broad appeal to many readers. I am so excited about it that I could scream, so, tell your friends and if you see me around Waukesha, ask me about it and I’ll talk your ear off.
How I met Allison is kind of a weird winding road. My brother Rob who passed away in 2011 from cancer (a tragic story that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure) was hard of hearing. Through a strange series of events, I met my wife through Rob while they both attended RIT/NTID in Rochester, New York. (Ask me about that story sometime, it’s crazy.) She moved to Milwaukee after we married in 1990, and shortly after, in part because of her sign language skills, she ended up with a job as a sign language interpreter scheduler at SEWCIL which later became Independence First. Her job entailed setting up appointments for deaf clients to insure they had an interpreter when they needed one.
Fast forward twenty four years, and because of her ties to a number of people in the deaf and hard of hearing community, she became friends with Allison on Facebook. I got word that Allison had a book published and I also knew Colin Richter, her illustrator, and eventually we became Facebook friends too. She followed my blog, I followed hers, we connected with Twitter, shared writing tips and, well, that’s how I got here.
It’s weird how people meet. With Facebook, it seems everyone knows someone, who knows someone else that I know. Facebook makes a big world smaller and our small worlds bigger. It’s meant reconnecting with some college and high school friends as well as making some completely new connections with people we may never even meet again. So, it’s weird…in a cool way.
So that’s my “how I got here” story in a nutshell. I look forward to contributing something to this blog once in a while and maybe spurring some conversation. If any readers have anything they’d like me to talk about, I’d love to hear. I figure I’ll spend some time in the next few posts talking about Rob – who was my closest sibling – and what it was like growing up with him in our house with a single parent and six kids. He taught me many things, not the least of which was a decent amount of sign language, most of which has gone by-the-by for lack of practice. More importantly, he taught me to appreciate every day you have with your siblings.
Because, you just never know.