About

Hello, and welcome to the new home of  the blog Carmella’s Quest:  Taking On College Sight  Unseen.  I am  transitioning to this WordPress blog from  a previous blog located at

http://CarmellasQuest.LiveJournal.com 

As time permits, I will be moving content from that site to this one due to ease of use and better features.

My first book, “Carmella’s Quest: Taking on College Sight Unseen,” was released in early 2009 and is published by Red Letter Press.
http://RedLetterPress.GooglePages.com

The book is about my first year of college at a small Baptist school (North Greenville) located in the upstate of SC. The story takes place in late 1994 and early 1995. In this reader-friendly and simple story, I recount my experience of leaving home for the first time, friendships, academic challenges, romances, and the life lessons I learned during that very important year.
What makes this book different from other college memoirs is that I also describe unique situations that arose for me as someone who was legally blind but not totaly blind. Some of my choices around that issue will be frowned upon by members of the blind community. I am prepared for that. I do things differently now, but  am honest about  where I was in my own acceptance of the “blindness thing” at the time.

Another aspect of this story that may set it apart for many readers is that the book does not include offensive language, or descriptions of wild college parties or other content that might concern parents or offend some readers. I just wasn’t into that stuff and being at a Christian college meant such things weren’t so much a part of the mainstream culture there. I’d give it a PG rating if it were a movie, I think. It has a few “questionable” or  “edgy” segments . 

I enjoyed writing this book, believe there is enough diversity of experience to keep readers engaged, and am excited to be able to share it and to see where it takes me.

The Second Edition of Carmella’s Quest: Taking On College Sight Unseen is now available via print on demand and in electronic formats for download to various e reading devices. My publisher, Bob Lamb of Red Letter Press, decided to change the cover. The new cover and an excerpt can be viewed at
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/101186

To get a print on demand copy through Amazon visit
http://www.amazon.com/Carmellas-Quest-Taking-College-Unseen/dp/1466371625/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328564762&sr=1-1

It is available for Kindle download, as well.

 

For those who are blind like myself, you can  borrow it from your state’s talking book library or download it from SCTBS’s website. TBS Lionshare is a service similar to BARD but for locally produced digital talking books and magazines available for download. Just like BARD, downloaded audio files are zipped and need to be unzipped onto a flash drive to play. Go to this link and do a JAWS find command for Carmella’s Quest.
http://www.statelibrary.sc.gov/lionshare
If you can’t find it, or prefer ordering it instead of downloading it, contact your library and ask them to borrow it from SCTBS via interlibrary loan.  I read the book myself in the TBS studios (more about that in another post) and am very proud of how it turned out.  

Carmella’s Quest is also available on digital download through bookshare for those with visual and other disabilities subscribed to this service

http://www.bookshare.org

 Through this blog, I’ll also share some of the  other  pieces I’ve written, books I  have enjoyed, other writing related stuff, current happenings in my life, and   my thoughts on other topics.

So, who am I? I ask myself that a lot so let’s just stick to facts here. I’m originally from a small town near Augusta, GA. I have been legally blind since birth due to complications related to prematurity. I live and work in the Columbia, SC, area. I am passionate about my career as a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist. I have two undergraduate degrees (North Greenville College and Columbia Bible College/Columbia International University) and a graduate degree from the University of South Carolina.  I am passionate about truth, relationships,  and  writing. 

Living in a world set up to accomodate those who can see is not always easy, especially since life still offers a range of other difficult experiences that have to be dealt with on top of the “blindness thing.” I strive to live a life of independence, authenticity,  and integrity and am sustained by faith in God, my family and friends, and my wonderful guide dog, Maggie. One of my favorite things, as I say on the Dedication page of CQ, is being an aunt to my sister’s three great kids. Spirituality and a sense  of humor that can tend towards sarcasm and edginess also help a lot. Despite life’s challenges, I consider myself very blessed.

I hope you enjoy this blog. Check in often.

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