Looking Ahead to 2015

In my post last weekend I mentioned turning my focus towards 2015 and then proceeded to share a very honest look back at 2014. With only three days now left before next year arrives I wanted to use my final 2014 post to reveal what you can expect from me come 2015. Below you will find three major projects I’m actively working on.

Zachary Fenell's before home page

My website’s home page before I begin a complete makeover.

New Website
Over the last two weeks I conducted diligent research seeking a new web host for zacharyfenell.com (currently hosted and built through Homestead Technologies). I’m planning a complete makeover, involving integrating this blog into zacharyfenell.com. By combining the two I’m aiming to establish a singular online hub for potential freelance clients and my readers alike to learn more about me.

Following careful deliberation I’m all but officially decided to use DreamHost’s DreamPress. Before 2014 closes I hope I can remove “all but” from the previous sentence.

My Next Book
Yes, I’m working on another book. Calm down though Off Balanced readers. The sequel to my teenage memoir some expressed interest in still proves far off. After all I’m currently living the experiences which will eventually become that sequel.

However, my next book will stay in the non-fiction realm. Outside that I am unwilling to delve into details. I know I’m a tease. 🙂 Expect details within the next couple months.

A Refreshed #CPChatNow
Finally, I’m working with Reaching for the Stars Student Ambassador Blake Henry to refresh and stir new excitement around the live weekly Twitter chat #CPChatNow (Wednesdays 8pm EST). John W. Quinn, Handicap This’ Tim Wambach, and I started the chat in December 2013. Busy schedules caused both John and Tim to step back from #CPChatNow in 2014.

#CPChatNow kept on but gradually started to lose participation and the early 2014 enthusiasm slowed too. Determined to re-energize #CPChatNow I asked Blake to step in as my new co-host. On Thursday, December 18th we held a Google Hangout with our fellow #CPChatNow kin. Blake and I gathered essential feedback from the Hangout which we will use to better #CPChatNow in the New Year.

If you live with cerebral palsy or want to gain insight about CP from those with the condition, please join us. Start by liking the #CPChatNow Facebook Fan Page.

Your turn! Comment and tell what you plan to accomplish in 2015. Happy New Year!

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#CPChatNow Hits One Year Milestone

#CPChatNow

Graphic (put together by Sarah Wambach) used to promote the first #CPChatNow

This past week the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow reached the one year milestone! Yes, one year passed since John W. Quinn, Handicap This’ Tim Wambach, and I hosted the very first live #CPChatNow discussion Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013.

As public figures in the cerebral palsy community we welcomed people with CP, their family members, caregivers, and whoever else to come ask us questions about CP. Demands for another live #CPChatNow chat rose leading #CPChatNow to quickly turn into a weekly deal.

Each week new and familiar faces alike joined in. A few months later the demographic shifted to mostly people with CP evolving #CPChatNow into a support group. Every Wednesday at 8pm EST we took to Twitter to announce exciting news, vent our frustrations, and bond over experiences others with CP could best understand.

The connections we made transcended Twitter and the Internet. Two young women with CP who actually attended the same elementary school (albeit grades apart) re-connected due to #CPChatNow. Through their travels Handicap This met different #CPChatNow regulars in-person.

So far I personally enjoyed meeting in-person Blake, a young man with much potential. 2015 should see me getting the chance to meet more #CPChatNow kin in-person. No matter what 2015 brings though, the aforementioned demonstrates the real, meaningful connections made by the live chat.

Now the year also saw other commitments leave my #CPChatNow co-hosts John and Tim to step back from the weekly chat. Upcoming events however should stir new excitement within the live chat’s community.

Like the #CPChatNow Facebook page to stay informed. Join the conversation on Twitter every Wednesday starting at 8pm EST. Do so with these three easy steps listed in the following graphic.

#CPChatNow Instructions

#CPChatNow takes place every Wednesday at 8pm EST.

FYI we do still welcome participation from everyone. In other words cerebral palsy parents, caregivers, and curious strangers. Come join us! You might just find our feedback helpful.

#CPChatNow Recap for 02-19-2014

#CPChatNow

Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 8pm EST

If you possess any connection to the cerebral palsy (CP) community, I encourage you to join our weekly live Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesdays at 8pm EST. Last night saw riveting conversation on everything from Handicap This Productions’ Web TV series and disability in film to dating and the pressures CP places on each gender. Personally though what I felt stood out the most revolves around the actions our chats drive.

Walk of Hope for Cerebral Palsy

Walk of Hope for Cerebral Palsy Logo

Hannah also shared a pretty awesome fun fact with everyone.

Reuniting Former Classmates

Like the Walk of Hope for Cerebral Palsy Facebook page to stay updated on Hannah and Alena’s event progress. Moving forward to last night’s riveting discussion, disability in film received much attention.

Disability in Cinema Disability in Cinema Inquiry Part II

John Quinn on Actors with Disabilities

Zachary Fenell on Actors with Disabilities

Lacking Opportunities for Disabled Actors

Guild for Disabled Actors the Answer

Ryan also created a lot discussion by asking about how men and women handle disabilities.

Gender Difference Inquiry Gender Difference Inquiry Part II

Alan's Gender Response P1Alan's Gender Response P2Alan's Gender Response P3

Equal Gender Pressures

Models with Disabilities

Also worth noting while wrapping up this recap, we shared t-shirt ideas last night. By making t-shirts we aim to help spread CP awareness. Please submit your ideas to our Facebook page Cerebral Palsy Twitter Chat #CPChatNow.

CP is Sexy T-Shirt Idea

Until next week remember those words from Tim Wambach.

“We can make anything happen!”

#CPChatNow Recap for 02-05-2014

#CPChatNow

Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday,February 12th, 2014 8pm EST

With each passing week I am increasingly impressed by the supportive and helpful nature emerging from the #CPChatNow community. In a way these weekly recaps provide evidence John Quinn, Handicap This, and my continual praise for the community remains well deserved.

You know what else demonstrates we started something special? The fact an imposter surfaced.

  @CPChatNow Account Warning

If you know anything about the person behind the account, please contact us on our Facebook page. Make sure to congratulate John too on his continued success promoting CP awareness.

John Quinn Magazine Spread

Green Bay CP Telethon

Feel free to wish Mike Berkson a belated Happy Birthday too.

Mike Berkson turned 25 years old February 4th.

Enough about us though. #CPChatNow works because we all find connection through shared experiences.

Walking with Hot Beverages

Awkward Staring

These commonalities turn #CPChatNow into a place to find emotional support and practical advice.

Rejected Accommodation

Appeal Process

Advice to Keep Warm

My Advice to Keep Warm

Sometimes we need to seek encouragement.

Handicap This Advice on Fear

John's Insights on Fear

Think big but remember thinking only begins your journey.

When plans fall apart improvise, adapt, and overcome

Together we can keep making Hump Day enjoyable! 😉

Enjoy Wednesday Nights with #CPChatNow

*Note to my regular Off Balanced blog readers, I will resume my Friday postings tomorrow, explaining my infrequent schedule recently and teasing information on some content I’m currently working on.

#CPChatNow Recap for 01-22-2014

#CPChatNow

Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Due to family issues I couldn’t partake in this week’s live Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Certain circumstances however leave me timing in from my brief hiatus here to bring you your regularly scheduled #CPChatNow recap. Looking over the Twitter discussion I see I missed a friendly, fun, and insightful conversation.

Humorous banter about the weather started early.

#CPChatNow Weather Banter

Now as John happens to mention I am in Tucson, Arizona. So I can confirm his weather report.

Meeting John in person

Arizona Sunrise January 22nd

Clouds begin to depart during Tucson, AZ’s Wednesday morning sunrise.

Those surrounded by snow did try to enjoy the situation, although CP turns said task into a challenging endeavor.

Sledding and Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy should definitely prove a hot topic this March in Atlanta, GA.

Cerebral Palsy Conference

Handicap This also entertained an interview request.

Handicap This Interview Inquiry

Moving on, the need for better public transportation became evident.

Accessible Transportation

The term “disability” received focus.

The word disability

Until next week, remember you can always join the conversation on Facebook too!

#CPChatNow Facebook Page

#CPChatNow Recap for 01-08-14

#CPChatNow

Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Imagine a community where members empower each other, support one another, and remain welcoming to everyone. You just pictured #CPChatNow! 🙂 With each passing Wednesday the community strengthens and lives become increasingly enriched. Don’t simply take me at my word though. Let these highlights from last night’s live discussion demonstrate the above.

Place your anticipations to rest.

#CPChatNow Recap Anticipation

We (@johnwquinn, @HandicapThis, and I) enjoy hosting these chats in-part because the chats allow us to better connect with our audiences.

Listening to John's Audio Book

Plus we receive the chance to celebrate your success.

Celebrating Success

Through supporting each other, personal growth occurs.

Empowering Another

Such personal growth happens because we discuss powerful topics.

Insecurities

Insecurities

Some join in seeking practical advice.

Practical Advice

Others desire factual information.

Factual Information

Overall we keep a positive tone which can involve sharing laughs.

Are you a cougar?

Please join us next week. You don’t have to have cerebral palsy to chime in.

All are Welcome

#CPChatNow

Live #CPChatNow Twitter chats take place every Wednesday at 8pm EST/7pm CST/5pm PST.

Not on Twitter? Join in using the #CPChatNow Facebook page.

#CPChatNow Week Four Overview

#CPChatNow

Next Live Twitter Chat: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Over the past month I mentioned the live Twitter chats John W. Quinn (@johnwquinn), Handicap This! (@HandicapThis), and I (@zacharyfenell) started hosting. By using the hash tag “#CPChatNow” Wednesdays at 8:00pm EST (7pm CST/5pm PST) you can join us to discuss everything cerebral palsy related. Beginning now Tim from Handicap This! and I will take turns recapping each discussion, with Tim’s recaps going up at www.handicapthis.com and mine here.

Given Christmas fell on Wednesday this week, we decided to hold our live Twitter chat #CPChatNow last night. You will find a few highlights below. Thank you to everyone who make these chats engaging and enriching.

John brought up a topic quite native to the season, New Year resolutions.

#CPChatNow

#CPChatNow

Everyone seemed to experience at least one “Why me?” moment throughout their lives.

#CPChatNow

Several Why Me Moments

An interesting question about bullying arose.

#CPChatNow

What makes a bully, bully?

Encouraging wisdom unfolded.

#CPChatNow

The above highlights just a few great tweets from last night’s chat. Please join us Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 at 8pm EST (7pm CST, 5pm PST) as we continue to build a more connected cerebral palsy community.

Establishing a Stronger CP Community

FYI regular Off Balanced blog readers, check back tonight for my usual disability related #FF suggestions.