Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the day “December 15, 2014”

The Erector Set

Erector 1

All I wanted for Christmas as a child, was what every other kid had, Lego blocks.  But my request always came up short.  However one particular Christmas, since my family discovered I had this urge to build, gave me this box of scrap metal, called an “Erector Set.”  And yes, the picture above shows exactly what it was, a box of scrap metal.  It came with screws and nuts, some cheap tools, but the hopes of the manufacturer, and perhaps my family, would be that it would inspire  me to build things.  Which then might lead me to perhaps a career interest as I got older.

The box included some directions on how to build sample structures, and then, it was up to your own imagination.

Erector 2

So why do I write about this “toy”?

Recently, I had an experience to see just what might have become of me, had I chose to pursue my building skills with my Erector Set.  Perhaps, with stronger encouragement, I might have gone further than just the toy kit.  I think about it, as a “boring” parent who always bought the “boring” gifts for the kids (you know, those that might just be educational), I tried to pay attention to their interests, and then provide them with gifts that might enhance their dreams.  For instance, the “silly band” craze sparked a designer phase for my youngest daughter.  So during the summer, I purchased a loom for her to continue her hobby.  Now honestly, I do not know if this will go anywhere, but as her parent, I want to encourage her in any interest that she has.

When I look back at some of the things that I might have experienced, and yes, probably made a good earning, had I just stuck with that interest in the Erector set, I could be working for the Tran Siberian Orchestra building new stage sets that lift their performers over the crowds, or perhaps, assemble sound systems or special audio-visual devices like a television lift for a fireplace mount.

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What toy might you have had way back when, that had you kept with it, might just have turned into a dream career?

A New Achievement For “Paul’s Heart”

I have always enjoyed writing, and that has been the key, enjoying it.  I did alright when it came to school projects, as long as the subject inspired me.  But if I was forced to write about something, admittedly, I do not believe I put out my best efforts.

Several years ago, I returned to one of the hobbies I love most, recreational writing.  I had already been writing advice posts on internet support sites for cancer patients and survivors, but an opportunity came about once I had become a patient at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a long term cancer survivor.

MSKCC had recently begun a new and revolutionary concept program called Visible Ink.  The program was meant for patients and survivors of MSKCC, and gave the opportunity for us to write, all the while being coached by professional writers.  It was voluntary on both sides of the pen.  But the best thing about the program is that it gave writers like me an opportunity to express our personal experiences, while at the same time, provided therapeutic relief from the many stresses we deal with concerning our health battles.

Each year, Visible Ink publishes a book, with dozens of stories written by very special authors, patients and survivors.  Some stories are about their own personal experiences, some may be about other situations.  A special night is held for the authors, where a select group of the stories are picked to be performed live, by professional actors and singers.

This will be the fourth year that I have had a story published in this book.  Other titles which I have saved on this blog as a “page” include:

“Cabbage – Not Just a Green Leafy Vegetable”

“Life On A Class Five”

“What’s Your Sign?  Mine Is Cancer.”

I have just been informed that this year, for the first time, one of my stories has been selected to be performed live.  I will not disclose the title at the current moment, until the book is published at least.  I have experienced many special events in my life, but this is definitely going to be one of the highlights for me

I informed my daughters tonight, whom I have always encouraged to read and to write.  Both of my daughters are very good story tellers, and great when it comes to detail.  They know about “Paul’s Heart.”  They also know about my other writing endeavors such as Visible Ink.  They were excited to hear that one of my stories will be performed and I told them that I look forward to having them by my side on that night as it happens.

There will be a video play of the performance, that will come later on.

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