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Tamara Kaye Sellman

Tamara K. Sellman

Tamara's Website

Intention Tremor
 

Read an interview with Tamara by the Accelerated Culture Project.

Tamara Kaye Sellman wrote most of Intention Tremor next to a campfire or inside a travel trailer at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, WA in the five years that followed her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in June 2013.

A journalist by trade, she’d gone back to school to study sleep technology at age 47. While preparing for finals in March 2013, she discovered she could see, but she could no longer read. Other symptoms—especially tremors in her left leg and hands, balance and dizziness issues, chronic fatigue, deafening tinnitus, and sweeping sensations called paresthesias—still continue despite treatment.

Following diagnosis, Sellman finished the sleep technology program to earn two medical credentials (RPSGT, CCSH). After working overnight shift directly with patients for two years in the sleep lab, she now works as a science journalist, healthcare columnist for Health Union, and online community advocate.

She also serves as co-admin to the Multiple Sclerosis Unplugged Facebook group, is a member of both the education and content committees for the American Association of Sleep Technologists, contributes regularly to the magazine A2Zzz, and is a paid “influencer” for two of Healthline’s chronic illness communities.

Her short work (essays, poems, stories, and articles) has been published widely and internationally. Sellman’s work has been featured on postcards and calendars and inside city buses.

She’s earned several awards including first place in the Dr. O. Marvin Lewis Essay Award and has been a finalist in contests sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, the North American Review, Winning Writers, and others. Her creative nonfiction was nominated for the prestigious John S. Burroughs Prize. She’s also received two Pushcart Prize nominations: one for fiction, the other for poetry.

Sellman writes across genres and forms, letting the work organically choose its final shape. Some of her work falls into multiple categories of prose and poetry, while other pieces may be described as hybrid. She is driven by the challenge to experiment and find surprising ways to approach universal themes. She delights in playing with forms as a way to unlock the themes she cares most about.

Besides MS and sleep medicine, Sellman enjoys writing about gardening, wildlife and the Pacific Northwest, often through a political lens. She currently lives in Kingston, WA.

Author proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Accelerated Cure Project (https://www.acceleratedcure.org/). To donate, please visit their donation page at https://bit.ly/3cCbX9W.


Intetion Tremor: $16.00

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Poem from Intention Tremor

The Year I Came Home From The War

followed three years spent grieving fresh diagnosis.
During my time in those trenches, a bloodless coup
commenced, cold and indifferent. My gray matter
callused. My stomach shredded and relined itself.
The ringing in my ears roared despite the silence

of it all. Later, the flash grenades I’d lobbed at
robot insurers and ignorant minions of
Dr. Google were the same hot potatoes that
blasted me a path to my New Normal after
MS reassigned my orders. In peace time, I’m

a civilian now, and yet my war wounds persist—
surprise attacks of nerve pain across dermatomes,
the sabotage of my vitality by an
unseen enemy, the inactive lesions and
distressing side effects of medications. When

symptoms re-emerge, I perform reconnaissance
missions to rule out foreign invaders. There is
no such thing as diplomacy in this cold war,
nor should you call me a warrior. In spite of
the armor of my intellect, which I’ve used to

forge words into worthless ballistics, I did not
volunteer to become a veteran of this
exhausting assault on my spirit. If you catch
me looking over my shoulder, I’m not looking
for a fight, but for reasons not to fight at all.