MIFFLINBURG — It had been a long time since Nicole Bingaman saw herself as a writer. But a horrendous event just over two years ago put a story in her lap that revived her skills.
Nicole’s son Taylor took a fall in the family home, sustaining a traumatic brain injury in the process. His story, her story and what has happened since is the topic of a soon-to-be-published book.
Bingaman is now well on the way toward finishing the document that could be a valuable personal resource for people going through what she has been through.
The desire to write started a long time ago.
“Late (in my) elementary school years, my English teacher at the time said, ‘I think you’re going to be a writer one day,’” Bingaman recalled. “Then through the years of high school and college, my teachers would say, ‘I like the way that you write. I am amble to feel what you are sharing.’”
Writing was not on the radar for a time, she said, until the events that started on the eve of Thanksgiving 2012 began to unfold more fully.
“Falling Away From You,” a book by Bingaman that will soon be published by Convurgent Publishers, was inspired by people who have survived traumatic brain injury, as well as people who care for them, and persons who love them, specifically friends and family who do not walk away in the toughest of times.
She noted that Taylor has made remarkable progress in the time since, but his recovery from frontal lobe damage is ongoing.
Bingaman said the idea for the book sprang from thoughts about doing a blog in early 2013.
“I was so emotionally spent, I couldn’t even get past page one,” she said. “Then as I began to share on Facebook, people would send me messages from time to time, ‘Have you thought about writing a book?’...several months after (Taylor) was home, I started considering it.”
Bingaman wrestled with the idea of whether documenting the saga of her son’s injury and recovery was a path she would really want to take, or if she was somehow meant to do it.
Complicating things were other facts she had to face, including having a full-time job and caring for her son. Bingaman concluded she would be unlikely to make progress without having the resources of a publisher to help with editing and sorting out the story as she wrote it.
After another passage of time where the project was dormant other than Facebook posts, Bingaman woke one morning with the words “Falling Away from You,” as a book title, firmly ensconced in her mind.
A message left on the Facebook page led to a contact with Convurgent, a meeting, and the start of the writing process with their guidance.
It also led to an early morning regimen of writing before heading to the office for regular work.
Bingaman said first efforts were difficult because there were so many thoughts coming to her. Outlining the story was also tough because at the time, there was little indication of how the story of her son would work out.
A saying used by one of her son’s baseball coaches proved helpful.
“Find your sweet spot,” were the coach’s words Bingaman used to channel her creative impulses toward writing effectively.
“I kind of found a ‘sweet spot’ in writing, and when I hit it I would know that I was in the right zone,” she added. “The hard part was writing when you weren’t in that ‘sweet spot,’ because you can’t just stop and wait for inspiration to come. You have to keep at it.”
Keeping at it involved rising at between 3:30 and 4 a.m. every morning.
The finish line is in sight, she added, as Convurgent has tentatively scheduled a March publication date. “Falling Away From You” is the first personal, less technical account of a recovery to be published by Convurgent, known most for medical texts.
Bingaman added that her son Taylor is much improved over a year ago, but has retained a seizure disorder, which is managed through the use of three seizure medications. Though 24 years old and kind hearted, she says Taylor, is somewhat childlike, especially when upset or angry. There are also periods, when said when his speech is slurred and he is slow to respond to things.
Working out at the gym and art lessons are among Taylor’s weekly activities, part of a recovery his mom said he works hard to maintain.
During the last year, Bingaman said she has become acquainted with the Budd family, after Sharon Budd sustained massive critical injuries when a rock was dropped from an overpass on Interstate 80 onto the vehicle in which she was traveling. Though Bingaman did not speak with Sharon Budd during their visit, she had high praise for the family and husband Randy Budd.
Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.