As the thin veil of panic and distress began to lift around my life when The Zipper Club campaign ended in success, I got an interesting phone call. In my final weeks worth of marathon panic to find funding, I took to posting a series of fliers around town to help get the word out in whatever manner I could. It didn’t appear that the fliers had done much to drum up business, but we made it through the campaign successfully anyhow. About a week after the campaign’s end I got an interesting voice mail from a young lady working for Louisville’s local paper, The Courier Journal. She introduced herself as Kirsten Clark, and said she had just gotten the job with the CJ and saw my flyer in a local book store, pitched the idea of covering it to her editor and wondered if I would be cool with talking to her about the project for the paper.

Of course, I promptly said “no thank you” to her offer of free advertising, because being broke and “keeping it real” are half the point of being an artist, no matter what your medium.  Unfortunately my friendly decline didn’t wash with the plucky young reporter, as she managed to track me down on 5 separate occasions and coerce information from me to get her precious story which is printed in today’s issue of the CJ as well as available to read online.

In the span of our conversations, she asked me about everything from my childhood to my career as a writer to my continuing life living with my heart defect and I got to know a little about her and how she came to be working for the paper in Louisville. When she mentioned some of her rejected story pitches including one about midwifery being legalized in Indiana after being outlawed for decades for whatever strange reason they might have had, I knew she was just weird enough that we’d get along just fine.

In all seriousness, it was an honor to talk with Kirsten on every occasion and she took every bit of information that I bombarded her with in professional stride. She’s new in her field, but I think she’ll go far and from what I understand, this is her first big pitched project for the paper to see print. I couldn’t be happier with the justice she’s done with telling my story and the story of what Brenda and I are doing with The Zipper Club as well as what I hope to accomplish within this blog in the span of 800 meager words and I humbly beseech her bosses to give her whatever she wants in the future.

Read the article here and feel free to post all sorts of positive comments on their site so we can help Kirsten impress her bosses as much as possible.

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6 thoughts on “Len, The Zipper Club, & The Long Odds featured in Louisville KY’s The Courier Journal!

  1. Great job by Kristen on the article. It and Len’s words made me tear up. A powerful story. With gratitude a grateful mom! (Len’s)

  2. Miraculously and quite accidentily I saw your article “A Heart for Kids” as I was throwing away yesterday’s newspaper….. And I felt a sense of solice. I say this because I was feeling an void called “first-time separation anxiety”, or some such thing, having just left my 5 year old son on the bus headed for BraveHeart camp. I may have been crazy (as I was told) to allow such a youngster to embark on a week away from home, but I embraced the possibility for HIM. I am what you might call a “helicopter mom” (like most new parents with young medical kiddos), but in my heart I felt the experiences, connections and confidence he could gain would be immeasurable. It is only day two.

    Bottom line is, stumbling across and reading the article about camp and the long odds was uncanny in providing connection, comfort, and opening up all the long term possibilities for my son with CHD. Like any parent I want my son to grow up and follow his passions (like yourself) and know that he is so much more than his diagnosis.

    I am curious to read “The Zipper Club” series even if it may be years before my son can or should read it. I don’t know, but either way I look forward to finding out.

  3. Eileen,

    It’s responses like yours that make me feel relived that I’m doing these projects. I applaud you for letting your child take this journey, even at such a young age. I’ve worked with almost everyone at Bravehearts for years, and I assure you, he’s in the best hands possible. You have nothing to worry about. He might get a little home sick, (most of them do) but he’s going to have a great time.

    The reason I’m writing The Zipper Club is a sort of guide book for CHD kids to know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. The reason I started writing The Long Odds was on the back of The Zipper Club’s recent flux of attention, and will deal with how I’ve personally been dealing with all of this perspective as an adult who wasn’t expected to live but a couple of weeks into his life. The Long Odds is going to have a slightly more adult sense of humor and edge, but I’m mostly trying to keep it PG-13 going forward. I hope you and your son can derive some positive vibes from both projects, because that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.

    You can find more info about The Zipper Club here on The Long Odds website, as well as at the link for mine and Brenda’s now expired but successful IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign for the book in the link below.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/welcome-to-the-zipper-club/x/2095190

    If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email through the “Contact” button here on the site.

    Thanks so much,
    LNW

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