Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Check out my article “‘Tis The Season To Shop... And Park Illegally In Accessible Spots” http://www.themobilityresource.com/tis-the-season-to-shop-and-park-illegally-in-accessible-spots-video/ for The Mobility Resource.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
See the article here. Many thanks to Zachary Fennel and The Mobility Resource.
Friday, November 15, 2013
7 straight wks of sales of I’m Not Here to Inspire You on Amazon.com! See my author page for Amazon Kindle & paperback!
My author page is available here. Still waiting for the first customer review. And don’t forget to join “The #INHTIY Book Tour” by posting a picture with the book on Facebook or Twitter. I’m also working on a couple possible book signing events for after the holidays; if there are other local organizations out there that might be interested, please get in touch.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Here are a few comments from readers of I’m Not Here to Inspire You:
“At times you say things I do not want to hear but need to. Other times you say things I wish I could say but I need to keep my job.” -Special Education teacher.
“I read your book last night, all in one sitting. I could not put it down. And I am passing it on to my daughter and others now. Congrats on a great collection of essays. I hope lots and lots of people all over the country/world get to read it!” -Lisa.
“I just finished your book. It is awesome. . . . Thanks for a great read. [My brother, Pat] is my hero not because he’s in a wheelchair, but because he had/has the [guts] to follow his dream and challenge his limitations, which . . . are severe. Your book hit home in that Pat has faced the same issues as the ‘cute crippled kid.’” -Dan.
“So many wonderful words of wisdom that anyone can take away from reading it! My daughter is reading it now, and my son will be next. I think that your essays show the value of pushing yourself to the limit, even when you may not want to, the need to observe the small lessons in life now because later they may become bigger ones, but most of all to be the best person you can be, not letting your circumstances define who you are, but overcoming them. These are all lessons we have been trying to teach our children. Your words, eloquently written, will have an impact on them.” -Machelle, via private message on Facebook. (Used with her permission.)
“[The book is] tough, aggressive, defiant, even belligerent. It is not the usual, predictable stuff at all; the title alone tells you that.” -Maxwell King, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“If you’re disabled, it’s the sort of book to buy, read, and pass along to the important people in your life. One caution: ask for [its] return; it’s the sort of book worth keeping as a reference.” -Gary Presley, National Book Critics Circle member.
Friday, November 1, 2013
13 miles on the exercise bike today--best effort in quite a while. My first therapy session in 20+ yrs yesterday may be . . .
a partial coincidence (also my first week of doing the bike MWF in a while and I’ve been stretching more consistently lately), but I’m sure it helped. One of the messages in my book is meant to encourage young people with disabilities to stick to their physical therapy. It really does help.
Friday, October 25, 2013
It was a busy morning of working to promote the book. I enjoyed answering some great questions from freelance writer Zachary Fenell, who has written for The Mobility Resource and worked with Handicap This! Productions. Hopefully, we’ll get some mutual benefits from his article / review of the book being published soon. I also got an e-mail from the Rocky Run YMCA offering to hold a book signing. This is the second offer I've had for a book signing event. It gets a little complicated with the book being self-published, but hopefully we can work something out in the near future.
Finally, we had another stop on “The #INHTIY Book Tour” thanks to Tom Gibson posting the below picture of us this week at Tommy’s Pizza on West Chester Pike. Tom wrote, “Not often you see me post on Facebook but it is a must that I share this. I am lucky to have a great friend named Robby Quinn that recently wrote a book. It’s about his journey through life with cerebral palsy. . . . I am so proud of him and so lucky to have him as a friend. Well done Rob!!” Apparently, I will never out grow childhood friends calling me Robby, but Tom is a great guy and I certainly appreciate the post!
Remember, join the tour by posting a picture with the book in a favorite or famous spot and tag me on Facebook or Twitter. My thanks to Tom!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
“The #INHTIY Book Tour” has made it Denver, Colorado! Many thanks to Machelle Ashby Miller and her family! Machelle offered some kind words in a private message, but I think that I can share that she was giving the book to her kids to read—learning someone has shared a book with another person, I think, is as good of a compliment as a writer can get. Join the tour by tagging me on Facebook or Twitter in a picture of your own with the book in a famous and/or favorite place.
While I was doing my video introduction for I’m Not Here to Inspire You, I couldn’t resist continuing my campaign to get on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Here’s my video for Ellen:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Sunday’s Delaware County Daily Times ran an article on my book. Many thanks to the paper, and especially photographer Eric Hartline, who managed to take a very nice picture of me—no easy task!
Read the article here.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
After weeks of hype, I looked forward to seeing two characters with disabilities in prime time this fall in Ironside and The Michael J. Fox Show. After seeing each pilot episode, I thought the drama far outdid the comedy. It wasn’t that the police show dazzled, but the situation comedy came up small.
Ironside’s premier was pretty good despite some questionable accessibility issues. The main character, whose name gives the show its title, seems to have a lot of people to do the leg work—no pun intended, I swear—for him, and I’m not sure how well that will play out. He seemed to get around the city a little too easily, and the one scene where he saw a gun under a sofa cushion because of his eye level being in a wheelchair was totally overplayed. Overall though, the character seemed very strong and the focus on the typical crime drama story, which carries every TV lineup these days, will hopefully keep the show on the air long enough for the character to develop. It was also good to see the character involved with a woman without any doubt that they are having sex.
Maybe my expectations for the Fox show were too high, but it had a weak start. Bottom line, the comedy just wasn’t funny. I kind of excused the pilot because there was a need to introduce the character and his Parkinson’s disease. There were some fairly predictable cracks about the disability, but nothing that deserved more than a guffaw.
NBC ran two episodes of the show on its first night, and the second one was where disappointment started to settle in. Not only wasn’t it offering any real laughs, the premise was downright awkward. The Fox character, whose married with two children, became infatuated with the new upstairs neighbor. It may sound hypocritical after what I said about Ironside, but the awkwardness had nothing to do with the disability. The adulation eventually played out right in front of his wife. I’m never big on the word dude. In fact, I only know one person who can use it and not sound like an idiot. But it was the ultimate dude moment—as in, “Dude, you’re wife is right there. What the hell are ya doing?”
I really do hope Fox bounces back with a strong episode this week. We need good, realistic characters with disabilities in prime time. It’s a little disappointing to me that both characters became disabled later in life as opposed to being born with a disability. I think the two experiences have some major differences, and I hope to see the latter eventually appear on television. It’s not that I have any problem with the former, and those stories certainly need to be told as well.
But I’m glad to see these two characters on the air and hope they last awhile. My guess is Ironside has a better chance of making that happen based on what I’ve seen so far on.
Friday, September 27, 2013
@ the gym, woman leans in my face: "It's so great you're here! I'm a cancer survivor myself & we have 2 get in here & do it." Uh, ok #INHTIY
The tweet above (in the headline) generated a few comments on Facebook that actually helped me express the thought a little better than 140 characters allowed. One person said that she was “sorry” people were so ignorant but that the woman “probably meant well.” Another commenter shared his own story while suggesting that you just have to take such comments “with a grain of salt.” I felt a need to elaborate. So I did:
It’s no big deal any more. It happens frequently, though not quite with as much gusto as this woman offered, nor the proximity. I was adjusting a machine, and when I looked up she’s literally leaning down screaming at me. But with the book out, I couldn’t resist the tweet/post. I was tempted to say, “There’s this new book out I want you to read.” My thing is, what exactly do these people think we should say in response? I mean, seriously, they’ve essentially made a point to walk over, stick their foot in their mouth, and make it abundantly clear that while they feel compelled to connect in some small way with the disabled person, they are at a complete loss as to just how to do that. Somehow, “Hey, how ya doing?” never crosses their minds.
One of my hopes all along has been that the book itself will generate conversation or communication much like yesterday’s interaction on Facebook. I agree with the commenter who suggested that the woman probably meant well. And, certainly, I offered the polite nod and “Yeah, sure,” comment she was looking for. But hopefully the commenter and readers of the book will start to understand that we need to go beyond thinking that meaning well but not quite understanding that people with disabilities deserve the same respect offered (or that should be offered) to everyone else isn’t enough.
Monday, September 23, 2013
This year’s M.S. Ride is fast approaching for many, including some of my friends from the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports. I wanted to wish everyone the best of luck this coming weekend. I hope all of the cyclists have a safe and problem-free ride!
Originally, I had planned to include some of the photos from my experience in the 2010 ride in my book, but the extra expense of adding pictures in the self-publishing process caused me to have to leave them out. This week seems as good as any to re-post the pictures (plus a couple extra) from the original essay that now concludes I’m Not Here to Inspire You. I’m happy to include a video taken by a friend of our family, Michael Avella, just after Team PCAS crossed the finish line. (Michael also participated in the ride with another team, and actually helped my mom navigate her way through traffic–after she provided support for Reid and I at each rest stop throughout the day–just in time to see us finish.)
|The Causeways into Ocean City. Can't say I wasn't warned!|
|The last obstacle was the biggest. Causeway #2.|
|We made it! This is just after the second bridge.|
|The home stretch.|
|The Mighty Quinn fist pump, as John called it.|
|Great shot of Team PCAS finishing strong!|
|Mom was there the whole way, as usual.|
|Mom, myself, and Reid, just after the ride.|
This short video shows me just after finishing . . . and not wanting to pedal another foot! Michael and others can be heard cheering in the background.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I’ve seen numerous Facebook posts praising the Guinness commercial showing a bunch of guys playing wheelchair basketball. Seemingly sad music (my opinion) plays over an obviously competitive game, with at least a couple guys tumbling to the floor. A monotone voice says, “Dedication. Loyalty. Friendship. The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.” Toward the end of the ad all but one guy is revealed to be able-bodied as the rest simply get out of the chairs they were using and leave the gym with the other guy who continues to use the wheelchair. A couple of the players are heard saying, “Gettin’ better at this,” and “Next week, buddy.” The commercial ends with them all sharing a beer together at a bar.
Ok, nice advertisement. In fact, I would put it in the close-to-great category. I’m not sure it comes anywhere near the level of having people “utterly captivated” that the Huffington Post placed on it, but no doubt many people do buy into their suggestion that it offers “some serious heartstring-pulling at the end.”
I liked the ad the first time I saw it, and thought it offered a positive message. A bunch of friends find a way to compete with a member of their group who happens to have a disability. The music was a bit dramatic, and I winced just a little at the “buddy” reference, but I fully admit that response may be nitpicking. I have a friend who uses “buddy” all the time with all of his friends, not just me, and, obviously, so do many people. I’ve probably just had a few too many people I just met want to be overly friendly and call me “buddy.”
That said, the response to the ad puzzles me a bit. I’ve seen at least two women, both involved in competitive adaptive sports, post the commercial. Neither gushed, but they were certainly positive about the advertisement. I’m not sure what qualifies as a good showing on Twitter, but the ad seems to have gotten plenty of very positive feedback on the social media site.
I’m just not totally sure why. I mean, I like the ad, and I think it’s a step in the right direction as far as depicting disability on television (or anywhere else). I’m just surprised to see people going to the point of wanting to praise it on social media.
Of course, that’s not exactly a high standard. We’ve all seen people post the fact that they’re bored, eating a sandwich, and God knows what else. Unfortunately, we all know what else because they post it for all the world to see.
But most commercials don’t get posted by individuals on Twitter or Facebook. Perhaps that’s because most of them are unbelievably stupid. If I saw one more car commercial pretending to be a summer movie I was going to swear off TV forever. (OK, not really, but I was seriously considering not watching anything that I hadn’t DVR’d.) And someday someone will have to explain to me why it’s a good idea to depict people as completely stupid until they find some 50 dollar product that’s going to make life so much better. I always wonder if viewers are supposed to watch these ads and think, “Yep, I’m that dumb, I should get that!” Suggesting your potential customers are idiots wouldn’t seem like a good marketing technique.
Certainly, the Guinness commercial is a much smoother display of attempting to attract customers. The beer producer seems to want to tie their product to these guys who find a way to include their friend. There’s a sense of the noble in what they’re doing, according to the commercial.
And that’s where I wince just a little more. Inclusion is obviously a good thing in this context, and, sadly, it’s still far from the norm. But, noble? In fact, anyone paying too much attention to the ad would realize it’s not all that realistic. Unless these guys all work at a rehab, or at least one of them does, the odds are they don’t have easy access to a bunch of wheelchairs made for playing sports. They’re certainly not just getting up and leaving them behind until the next game. Again, that last point might be a nitpick, but when you have lived with the abundance of obstacles to actually participating in sports in the way this ad illustrates, you tend to notice such things.
Finally, I had one other thought the first time I watched this commercial. How come there’s only one guy with a disability in the game? In my experience it may actually be the most realistic part of the commercial that I’m over analyzing. It would be damn difficult for me to get together with just one other person with a disability that was similar to mine for a pick-up game of basketball. There are too many logistics involved to get into here. But clearly Guinness overlooked other potential obstacles to the game they depicted, so it shouldn’t have been too hard to show at least one other guy with an actual disability. A cynic might wonder if the lack of even one other guy with a disability suggests that people with disabilities have no interest in competing with each other; they might question whether the message is that it’s better to be participating with able-bodied players.
I’m really not trying to be a cynic here. This is just a blog post. It’s little more than me thinking aloud. Having recently self-published a book, my putting it in writing on a blog now seems far less substantial knowing that, unlike a book, it can be wiped away with a couple keystrokes. Not that I plan on hitting “delete” any time soon.
Overall, it’s a very good ad. It is a step in the right direction. But if it’s popularity really is based on pulling on the heartstrings and people essentially saying, “Aw, they let the disabled guy play,” it may not be as big of a step as many people seem to think.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Many thanks to Joe Milewski (and Lucille) for being the first to join our tour! We’ve already reached our second state! Joe shared these great shots at the University of Delaware on Facebook, saying, I’m Not Here to Inspire You “is a must read ... available on-line in paperback and on Kindle. Join the ‘The #INHTIY Book Tour’ (please click SHARE). Let’s get Rob On The Ellen Show #getRobJQonEllen.”
Thursday, September 5, 2013
I celebrated the publication of I’m Not Here to Inspire You with my friend and editor of the book, John Ziff, at our favorite lunch spot – Slack’s Hoagie Shack on Baltimore Pike. We decided it was the perfect spot to kickoff “The #INHTIY Book Tour.”
|John Ziff and I on the first stop or The #INHTIY Book Tour.|
I need you to help to make the tour a success. Let’s get the word out about I’m Not Here to Inspire You across the Philadelphia area and across the country. If you enjoyed the book, join the tour by taking a picture of the book at a famous spot or just your favorite location. Be creative and don’t forget to let us know where the picture was taken along with any thoughts you’d like to add. Tag me on Facebook or mention me on Twitter to join the tour. You can also e-mail it to me with your details and I’ll post it.
Let’s bring “The #INHTIY Book Tour” coast to coast and to all 50 states! My ultimate goal is to make the final stop in California . . . on The Ellen DeGeneres Show! #getRobJQonEllen
I’m hoping to get the tour to the Art Museum and some surrounding areas soon, but don’t worry about duplicates. I want your pictures by the Rocky statue, Boat House Row, Citizens Bank Park, the Link, and wherever you want. Going to the Jersey Shore for a late summer dip in the ocean? I’d love a shot by the water! Like I said, be creative, have some fun, and keep it (relatively) clean.
Thank you in advance.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
I’ve been trying to combine all of my social networking outlets by basically posting every tweet on Facebook and the blog. I will continue posting “important” tweets (if there is such a thing) here on the blog and Facebook, but some things just seem to work in the Twitter world that might not come off so well on the other outlets. So, I’ve posted a Twitter gadget in the sidebar that will display all of my tweeting brilliance for those who aren’t on that site. I actually tried this previously on my sports blog, and the gadget simply stopped working.
Posted by Rob J. Quinn at 4:10 PM
Here is the link.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
I was honored to be asked to sign a book that I had written for the first time in my life on Saturday. John Siemiarowski, who took the awesome picture that is now the cover image of I’m Not Here to Inspire You, was the first person I signed for. I’ll have to get better at this marketing thing—one of us probably should have been holding up the book! After signing several copies of the book for people at the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports cycling program, one thing became abundantly clear—each signature will truly be unique. This was especially true when signing after riding a difficult 24.5 miles. (Playing power wheelchair hockey was a lot of fun this season, but it doesn’t help the cardiovascular fitness!) I think I may have even forgotten the “J” in “Rob J. Quinn” on John’s copy! Thanks to Chuck Aronson for taking this great picture.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
Marketing genius that I am, I’ve decided to troll Twitter for “re-tweets” from celebrities this week. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of Twitter, well, let me first congratulate you. And you should know that a re-tweet—as I type, it dawns on me that this is abundantly obvious—is when someone shares your tweet with their followers. The idea, of course, is that I could get the word out about my book to the millions of people “following” a celebrity if just one of them actually re-tweets my message.
So, I just tweeted the following to the queen of daytime TV, Ellen DeGeneres:
@TheEllenShow A RT for I'm Not Here to Inspire You http://bit.ly/190vZ76? positive/realistic look at living w/ a phys disability #INHTIY
Nothing like starting at the top, eh? Actually, I started with Ellen because my goal is to get on her upcoming 11th season. I’ll have more on that campaign soon.
I have four more celebs in mind for Re-Tweet Week. (I figure after that it would get fairly annoying for my followers—all 76 of them!) Check this post throughout the week for updates on how it’s going and to find out who else I beg for re-tweets. If I can find them on Facebook, I’ll also ask each celebrity for a “share.”
Of course, your “re-tweets” and “shares” are very much appreciated! Or if you read the book, feel free to use the hashtag #INHTIY to share your thoughts. Sales are just starting to trickle in, so hopefully the hashtag will start getting some use soon. See the links in the menu at the top of the page to follow me on Twitter or Facebook, and help spread the word about I’m Not Here to Inspire You.
I started with the queen of daytime TV yesterday, so I thought it only appropriate to continue Re-tweet Week with the original queen, Oprah Winfrey.
@Oprah A RT for I'm Not Here to Inspire You http://bit.ly/190vZ76? positive/realistic look at living w/ a phys disability #INHTIY
I also followed up with Ellen:
@TheEllenShow u like short books right? Try I'm Not Here to Inspire You http://bit.ly/190vZ76 #INHTIY; tryin 2 #getonellen the show that is
I tried tweeting a “CP brother” in Josh Blue today.
@JoshBlueComedy A RT for I'm Not Here to Inspire You http://bit.ly/190vZ76? positive/realistic look at living w/ a phys disability #INHTIY
On Facebook, I included the subtitle “Essays on disability from a regular guy living with cerebral palsy.” I can’t believe how many times I’ve forgotten the word living in various messages about the book. I added it to the subtitle at the last minute and have the original version stuck in my brain. Sorry . . . almost every e-mail recipient so far!
I also took the advice of a Facebook friend and e-mailed Oprah (unbelievably, complete with the above error). And I continued my #getonellen campaign by e-mailing her through the show’s website. They’re a bit stingy with the size of the e-mail that you can write, but I tried to make it work. Plus, I discovered the error in the subtitle in some of my prepared materials, so re-working the e-mail was very worthwhile!
A buddy of mine “shared” the book on Facebook . . . and iUniverse shared the book via his link! I’m countin’ it as the first big success of Re-tweet Week! Yeah, yeah, I know it’s their book too, but it’s Thursday of Re-tweet Week so I’m going with it. Josh Blue also “favorited” yesterday’s tweet, so . . . ok. It’s something.
Today I went with a local Philadelphia celebrity in Pat Croce:
@pat_croce A RT for I'm Not Here to Inspire You http://bit.ly/190vZ76 ? positive/realistic look at living w/ a phys disability #INHTIY
Croce’s Facebook page doesn’t allow people to post on it—smart man—so I just went with the tweet.
And yes, I continued my campaign to get on the Ellen DeGeneres Show:
@TheEllenShow ok so I'm not a cute li'l kid BUT have cute baby pics & the book cover pic is cool http://bit.ly/190vZ76 #INHTIY #getonellen
I wrapped up Re-tweet Week with a request to one of the first people with cerebral palsy that I ever saw on television:
@kinggimp A RT for I'm Not Here to Inspire You http://bit.ly/190vZ76 ? positive/realistic look at living w/ a phys disability #INHTIY
Remember Dan Keplinger from the King Gimp documentary?
I debated tweeting several other people simply because of the number of followers that they have, but I thought a tweet to another “CP Brother” rounded out this exercise nicely.
So far, still no actual celeb re-tweets, but friends on Facebook have been awesome with “shares.” Many thanks to all for the assistance in spreading the word! I even had my latest tweet to Ellen DeGeneres “favorited” by a random person on Twitter. I also learned #getonellen isn’t exactly a unique hashtag, which I should have realized.
If nothing else, I hope I gave people a few laughs. I’ll be doing some more of this a little more exclusively on Twitter because I think it plays a little better on that format, but I’ll keep readers updated on Facebook and the blog. My #getonellen—maybe #getRobJQonEllen—will continue in the same manner.
Of course, I’ll be rolling out new ideas to promote the book in the coming weeks and months, and ideas are more than welcome. Thanks again for the Facebook “shares!”
Saturday, August 10, 2013
A 9-day stretch I couldn’t have imagined not long ago: 3 days in a tourney w/ @phillypowerplay, 4/5 days at the Y, & almost 20 miles down by the Schuylkill w/ the Pennsylvania Center For Adapted Sports (last 8+ w/ a buddy from HS/college). Exhausted but feeling great.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Posted by Rob J. Quinn at 11:00 AM
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Self-publishing your book: about $1k
Taking a mildly serviceable picture of it w/ CP: about 20 tries
Having the finished product in-hand: AWESOME!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Monday, August 5, 2013
I’m Not Here to Inspire You: Essays on disability from a regular guy living with cerebral palsy is available on the following sites and devices:
(New! As of 10/5/2016; Kindle, Nook, and other formats available.)
(Paperback and Kindle)
(Paperback and Kindle)
Barnes and Noble
(Paperback and Nook)
(Paperback and Nook)
(Paperback and e-book)
Many e-book sites, including your favorite!
(Paperback and e-book)
Many e-book sites, including your favorite!
And, don’t forget: Bookstores, Non-profits, Schools / Teachers Can Get 36% Off!