Working with Disney, Erica Mones

February 04, 2024 01:10:48
Working with Disney, Erica Mones
Disability Empowerment Now
Working with Disney, Erica Mones

Feb 04 2024 | 01:10:48

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Show Notes

S3 Episode 19: Erica Mones and Keith talk about how Mones got into film, her work on the Disney movie “Wish” and how Mones navigates that world. They discuss Mones other interests including vlogs and the YouTube landscape. Mones talks about running and her routine. They talk about the importance of writing and using blogs to share experiences. Mones talks about her journey and advocacy and shines a light on navigating the film industry and overcoming challenges along the way.  Find the transcript here. Disability Empowerment Now is produced by Pascal Albright.
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Episode Transcript

Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Welcome to Disability Empowerment Now I'm your host Keith Murfee-DeConcini. Today I'm talking to Erica Mones who is a consultant on the Disney film Wish, a disability advocate and YouTuber with cerebral palsy who is currently studying her graduate degree in disability studies from the City University of New York, School of Professional Studies. Erica, welcome to the show. Erica Mones: Thank you so much for inviting me. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So, we haven't officially met yet. Getting into the film, what was it like being approached by Disney, a little company by the way, sarcasm there, to be a consultant on one of their films? Erica Mones: It was really exciting. I was actually interning for a non-profit called RespectAbility and I was working in their entertainment and news media department and I did a lot of consulting, but that was probably the biggest project I worked on, so it was very exciting. And it was just really interesting to see the behind the scenes of not only how they make the film, but how they promote it, and the merchandise that they create, so it was really cool. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So I just saw it the other day, and as we were talking before the episode, it was just spellbinding with the story, the music, the inclusivity. Disney films don't really work too well without music. They are very musical oriented, most of their stories. How long? What's the process of being a consultant for, again, one of the biggest film companies and keepers of all of our childhood hopes and dreams, and what did you take away from the experience? Erica Mones: Well, I started working on the film last August, and I finished working in like September, so it was about a year. And can you repeat the last part, sorry? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yeah, no problem. I'm long winded sometimes. And what did you take away from the entire process of consulting on the film? Erica Mones: I think I took away that it's a lot more involved than I ever imagined. Like, for instance, when they were creating Asha and the character Dahlia, they wanted to know exactly where her crutch should go on her body, and I've never really thought of that before. Like, if you go to a store and you buy something, you don't realize how many people are working on something. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: In your own words, what's the overall empowering message of the film? Erica Mones: I think, probably the biggest message of the film is that we are all interconnected, and that it is important to work together and not just be like a lone wolf just going through the world. We are way more powerful when we work with other people instead of competing with them. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: That's beautiful. So what was your overall feeling at the film premiere and seeing it on the screen for the first time? You mentioned before we started recording that you've seen it in some capacity, probably like 10 times, but seeing it at the premiere itself, what was it like to see it on the screen for the first time? It must have been extraordinary. Erica Mones: Yes. They actually invited me to the premiere like, probably like four days before the premiere. So it was, I got a very last minute invite, but I was so excited. And I just remember being very nervous because I'd never been to a Hollywood premiere before and there were all these big executives and producers and I was like, this is wild. And it was also wild to see it for the first time because even though I had seen it before, I didn't see the finished product, so I was used to seeing scenes that were just sketched out, but not fully created yet. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: The way it handles representation, is a step forward. But there is so much ground left to cover. Do you think that other film companies and studios will look at this and follow Disney's lead? And how would you want them to be, as a consultant? Erica Mones: Well, I really hope that it does inspire other studios and film makers to work with disabled people and also just to let disabled people take the lead and to realize that disability doesn't have to be a big deal. I don't know if it will do that. I can't predict the future, but I do notice a trend that we are moving towards that, but I also see a lot of pushback, and I think we just have to keep moving forward and keep pushing for more and being like I exist, and that's okay, and since I exist, I should see myself represented. Did that answer the question? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yes, yes. The captions are often getting in the way of the mute, unmute button. They need to be there, obviously. So, did you interact with any of the other consultants? Erica Mones: Yes, I interacted with a young woman named Maddie Ullman, she also has cerebral palsy. And then we also met for the first time in person at the premier. We had been working together for like a year at that point. And even while we weren't working together, we would talk sometimes, so it was wild to finally meet her in person when we had already formed a friendship. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So, did you visit the set or meet any of the stars at the premiere? Erica Mones: I actually did not because the actor strike just ended that night, so they couldn't get the actors there in time. But I did friend the woman who voiced Dahlia on Facebook, and I am thinking of reaching out to her and just talking to her about it because it is surreal to know the woman who brought Dahlia to life when I worked on her for so long. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Because it 's Disney, I have to ask a few Disney related generic questions. Like, what's your favorite Disney movie and character, and why? Erica Mones: Would it be cheating if I sent Dahlia from Wish? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: No, no, it would not be cheating at all. Erica Mones: I just think I have a special place in my heart for Dahlia and also I like that they never actually bring up her disability. Of course, I think it is important to have films where they discuss a person's disability. But I don't think her disability played a role in this particular film. So it was cool to just see a disabled character just being another character. And at times during the movie, she took the lead because if you know some of the lore of the movie Wish, they tried to put easter eggs of all the other Disney films. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: That they did, and your point is very well taken because watching the movie in the theater, I couldn't really spot or identify the disability or the disabled character until well into the film because it wasn't really highlighted, but it would just there and yeah. That was important to see. Now this film is animated and it has a wonderful soundtrack. Is there any particular song in the movie that is your favorite? Erica Mones: I mean I like all of the music from the movie, but if I had to pick one, it would be the song “At All Costs” that is sung by the protagonist Ahsha and the villain Magnifico. It is the scene where they're looking at all of the issues and she sees her grandfather's wish, and she sings about it. I just really love that song. I think it is beautiful. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: I fully agree with you on that particular song. There is really no bad or throwaway song in this movie, and the lyrics and the music are all finely tuned to the film itself, and that's not always the case in films. So moving away from the film, from August 2015 to February 2021, I hope I have those dates correct. You wrote a very revealing vlogs, entitled “Running With Crutches”, which, as I told you before the episode, just swept me away as a writer. The tagline being, running eating disorder recovery and living with a disability. You called running your first love. What is it like to run with cerebral palsy? How do you get into the mindset of running? And how did you know that running was for you? Erica Mones: Well, I guess I'll start out by talking about how I got into running. So, I am from New York State and we have this yearly competition called the Empire State Games for the physically challenged, and people are eligible from the ages 5 to 21, and I started when I was five years old, and I had just had surgery on my legs, and I was, recovering from that surgery. So the first year, I wasn't signed up for a lot of races, but I got to watch a lot of the races, and I think it was just surreal for me to see disabled people running and doing all of these things that I never thought I could do. And heading into the mindset of a runner, I think it's more, for me, it's like meditation, like I get in the zone and I can kind of unplug from a lot of the things that I feel like can be stuck in my head when I'm just sitting down or doing work, so it's very relaxing for me, and I think over the years, my running has changed a lot. Originally, I started running with my walker when I was a very young child, and then I started walking with a crutch, so then I started doing that, and now I actually have a piece of equipment that is known as a frame runner. And one of the best ways I could probably describe it is that it is like a bike, but it's not a bike. Like, it's a running bike, so it's like a bike with no pedals, I guess? Or, like a walker that you can race in? And I really like that because it I feel like it gives me more support because one of the reasons I kind of cut back on running besides the issues with my eating disorder is that I was always terrified I would fall, so having that support of a running frame has made me a lot less worried about falling and I can focus more on doing what I can instead of being scared. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: The blog is extremely revealing and you don't shy away from anything. That's one of the most incredible things about it, is that it is so unflinchingly all of the time. As a writer, and as a person who was going through those life experiences described, what was the process like of being that vulnerable over several years? And what was the genesis behind the blog? Erica Mones: Well, my dog is barking so I may have to wait one minute for people to pass by and then I'll answer the question. I think the puppy has passed now, but I heard in my blog, it was right after I had graduated high school. So I was getting ready for college and I didn't have many friends, especially not friends with disabilities. I had gone to camp with other disabled kids for years, but in my regular everyday life, I wasn't around a lot of disabled people. So I just wanted to connect online. with disabled people in a way that I didn't always get to during my everyday life. And I think, I guess I just felt like I could be more vulnerable writing stuff down than talking to people. Like, if you read my blog, it's some things I don't think most people would talk about in a regular conversation. So it kind of became like an online diary. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: You're absolutely right on that, and that's what pulled me in so much, it's that I got to walk through your entire life span and I got to hear it in your own words. And this is the first time I'm actually hearing your voice, I would just. And as a writer, I would just hooked to the page to the screen. But the first blog post was in 2021. Is it done? And if so, what are the major takeaways from the entire piece of work? Erica Mones: I mean, I'm not sure if it's done. I may pick it up again at some point. But the last post coincided with when I began freelance writing, and then I was like, oh, I can make money off of this. So I think that's what happened, and then also, in 2021, I started posting on YouTube, so that was a different medium for me to get my thoughts out, but I wouldn't say it's finished because I could pick it up tomorrow. And so never say never. But the biggest takeaway is that it's okay to be vulnerable. I feel like a lot of times it is very stigmatized to be vulnerable, especially online and in public. People say things like, the internet is forever, so don't, like, post stuff. But the thing is, we're all human beings, so I don't really agree with that, because the internet, as many bad things have come out of it, we can also connect with people that we would not be able to connect with if the internet wasn't there, and it can help people feel less awkward alone, so I don't regret being vulnerable online. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: You absolutely shouldn't. That is probably the most, the greatest thing that I will take away from reading, and I read it all the way through in one go, I was just like, this is too incredible of a story to let go of, I need to find out what happens next. So as a fellow writer, you totally hooked me in. What do you hope other people take away from the blog? Regardless if they have disabilities or if they don't. Erica Mones: I mean, it's hard for me to pick one thing, so I may pick a few things, but the first takeaway I want people to get from it is that disabled people are people. We want respect. We want love. We want to be able to pursue our passions. We're not some, some, like, object for non-disabled people to admire and to feel better about their own lives. And the second takeaway was that back in, it might have been 2015 when I started the blog, but anyway, whenever I had started the blog, there wasn't a lot of talk about how disabled people, particularly people with physical disabilities, could struggle with body image and eating disorders and now there's a lot more talk of it online. I see it a lot more now, but back then there wasn't. So I think another one of the takeaways I would want people to get from it is the link between disability and mental health. We often talk about mental health under the umbrella of disability, and that is true, but also it's another intersection. Because you can have a physical disability and a mental health related disability. So I think that's another takeaway I would want people to get from it. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: What is adaptive fashion and how did you get involved with it? And for people who don't know what it is, why is it critical? Erica Mones: So, adaptive fashion is basically any type of piece of clothing that would make it easier for somebody with some sort of disability to get dressed. So, an example of this may be if it's like a button up work shirt, it could have velcro. It may be fake buttons and have velcro so that somebody with dexterity issues can have an easier time, well, not buttoning it up because you're not, but with putting it on and taking it off. And, I first got involved with it, I was an ambassador for a women's clothing brand called Aerie. And then from there, I modeled for the Runway of Dreams, which is a fashion show for disabled people. And the reason adaptive fashion is important is because, well, we all wear clothes, so disabled people need to wear clothes too, and anything that can make people's lives easier is important. It's important, and it's also important to see disabled people represented in fashion. Like, I don't know if anybody saw, but that conservative political hand on the rant about how Kim Kardashian's lingerie company featured a model who used a wheelchair. And I think anybody who doesn't have a visible disability, doesn't understand what it's like to not see yourself in advertisements. So it really does affect how you see yourself if you're not seeing people who look like you in the media. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Very well said. You have had your work published in several publications, including the Progressive, New Mobility, Well Plus Good, Rooted in Rights, Auto City magazine hope i'm pronouncing that right and Pop Sugar you are a stop writer for Cripple magazine how does it feel to be a published writer and are there any plans or book aspirations that you have? I have often described your blog as a very unflinching memo, is that in the works? Erica Mones: It's not in the works, but it is definitely something I would consider. I had a professor during undergrad, because I was majoring in writing. I had a professor that told me to save all of the essays I had written for her class because she said that it would make a good memoir if I continued it. So I did actually save it in a Google Doc so that I always have it and I think I got into freelance writing because it was right when the pandemic had started and I had just graduated undergrad and I didn't have a job so I wanted a way to not only make money but to get myself out there, because it was so hard to find a job, I felt like I could get my name out there and having a recognizable name can help you get a job and just make connections. But it was very exciting when I got my first acceptance into a publication, because before that I had submitted a lot of my writing to places. And I either got rejected or I didn't hear back, so it was very exciting. When I first got accepted, I was like, oh my god, I'm finally published. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Before we get into your graduate degree, you majored in creative writing and the classics in undergrad. What made you want to pursue the classics in undergrad? Erica Mones: So, I think it's a really weird story of what made me pursue classics. It's a bunch of random things that will make people go like, why would you do that? But number one. I've always really liked Greek salad, so like Greco Roman culture reminded me of Greek salad, but also when I first started out undergrad, one of the most welcoming departments at the school was the Classics Department, so I really felt like there was a little community there, and the professors were really great. And since it was such a small program, I feel like they got to know us as people, and not just, oh yeah, this is another Classics student, like, they really understood me as a person, and they looked out for me, and if anything was going on in my personal life, I could talk to them. And I feel like that's a really important part of the school, is not just learning, but having a community. So that was how I got involved in the Classics Department. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: You are right now pursuing your graduate degree in Disability Studies at the City University of New York School of Professional Studies, which I also attended. In the exact same program. Imagine that. What do you hope to do with your degree once you get it? Erica Mones: Well, one of my biggest goals in life is to be a screenwriter, and while I already consider myself a screenwriter, I have not yet had any of my work produced. But since I write a lot about disability, I thought it would be best to understand the tropes and stereotypes and things to steer clear of, but also to have a better grasp on what makes a presentation good. So that is why I wanted to do disability studies and not screenwriting, because I felt like I know how to write a screenplay, and while I have lived experience with disability, I wanted to know more beyond just myself. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: You mentioned that you're a screenwriter, and in your blog, you mentioned that you already have one lead at the time, one completed, I’m blanking on the term screenplay. I don't know why I blanked on it. What is it like to put pen to paper or to explore that medium of storytelling? Erica Mones: I mean I always say to people my least favorite part about writing is writing it down, but I love to imagine things, but of course you have to write it down if you want to be a writer, but I think what makes screenwriting different from other people types of writing is you get to imagine what it's going to look like on the screen. And I just, since I was a little kid, my favorite thing was imagining things and playing with dolls and watching TV and movies. So I think it was just a natural fit for me and I also took a screenwriting class during undergrad for my writing degree and I really fell in love with it and a lot of my classmates loved my screenplay so I was like well I guess I must be doing something right hopefully so. Maybe this is something I could do and then I also became a production intern at a small production company in New York City. So I got more involved in that side of it. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: We'd share a lot. We're both from New York. I'm from the city and we both have cerebral palsy and we both know what it's like to talk differently. What are some of the things you wish people knew about cerebral palsy and why? Erica Mones: There are a lot of things I wish people knew. There are, I wish people knew how tired I get at, at the end of the day. Like I said before this interview, I was traveling over the weekend and my one friend that I was traveling with a used wheelchair. But I didn't bring my wheelchair since I was flying on the way there, and I have a lot of anxiety around getting my wheelchair broken on a flight, which is a major issue. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Wait, wait, that happens? Erica Mones: What is that? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: I am being sarcastic because I know how much it happens. But as someone who is a chair user, talk a little bit about that anxiety because it's so prevalent. Erica Mones: Yes. Well, so I have a wheelchair because even though I can walk, like I said earlier, I do get tired. So I have a chair, and it takes a while to get a custom chair from your insurance company, and it is a very big thing where airlines break people's wheelchairs, and I don't want my wheelchair to be broken and have to wait for my insurance company to get me a new one or to fix the one that I have. So that is why I've never brought my wheelchair on a plane with me. And honestly, I don't plan on ever doing that, which is very bad that I have to do that, because trips are one of the places where I could probably use my chair the most. But they're also, when I'm traveling via plane, I don't bring my chair. But when I take the train, or I'm driving, then I will bring my chair. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Are there other things, and I am assuming there are, that you want people who have little to no familiarity with cerebral palsy to know about cerebral palsy? Erica Mones: I mean, there's one saying about autism, that if you know one person with autism, you know one person, and I would say that's the same for every disability, including CP. I know a lot of people who may have a sibling or a child or a friend or a partner with cerebral palsy so then they'll assume they know everything about CP. But CP is a very diverse disability. It affects everybody in very different ways. So I think just not acting like you know everything about it just because you are familiar with one person like I have friends with cerebral palsy that may have intellectual disabilities as a result, I know people, including myself, that have speech impairments as a result. I know people that are full time wheelchair users. I know people that don't use any mobility devices. I know people that can dress themselves and shower themselves, and I know people who can't do that. So I guess just understanding that cerebral palsy is not one size fits all, I guess. It's different on everybody. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yeah, how I describe the speech impediment, I just say it's another accent because really it is. When people want to know more, I'm like, okay, imagine you plug a USB drive into a computer and you get a little pop up, driver not properly installed. Please contact your system administrator. That is basically what my understanding of my voice, which only came into being seven years after I was born, I weighed two pounds, eleven ounces, and was born three months premature, and I didn't really vocalize until age seven. Everyone is very, very different. As you said. Erica Mones: Yes, I started speaking when I was two years old, but even then, I didn't like, speak as fluently or as much as other children, and actually, unlike most people I know with cerebral palsy, I was not premature, so I feel like I'm like, a heredity in the CP community, because most people I know were premature, and I was not, so Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Well, we could definitely talk at length about that because my brain's short circuiting, trying to process what you just said. That's incredible. So, what's ableism, what's internalized ableism, and why is it so prevalent in the disability community? Erica Mones: There are many ways in which ableism can be defined, but the definition that I like most is that ableism is the discrimination or oppression of somebody based upon disability or perceived disability. So someone doesn't even necessarily have to be disabled to experience it, but if they're believed to, like, say somebody has a birthmark on their face and somebody assumes that it is related to some sort of a disability, they can still face it. Ableism and internalized ableism is when you absorb that discrimination and oppression and when you take it on yourself. And you start to believe the lies that society tells you about disability and about your worth as a human being because of that and ableism is very prevalent in society. Often people I know, especially non-disabled people, will say to me, you think everything's ableist. And I'm like, well, yes and no. I mean, ableism is so prevalent that everything is ableist, but also I'm not the girl who cried wolf. I don't say something's ableist just because I don't like it. I really look at the whole picture and I'm like, okay, why is this being said or done? Does it have to do with disability? And if it does, most often it is ableism. I think that's why it's so important that we talk about it, especially in the disabled community because there is a lot of infighting, and like I said, over the weekend, I went on a trip, and it was actually a trip for disabled women, and there were people with a lot of different types of disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities, and I noticed a lot in the disabled community, how people with intellectual disabilities are treated terribly, and that is something that we really need to work her on. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So is there a difference between ableism and imposter syndrome or are they intersectionality connected? Erica Mones: I mean they're definitely connected and imposter syndrome can come as a result of ableism and it often does, but there definitely is a difference because a lot of people who don't experience ableism can experience imposter syndrome, and then I also know people who experience ableism who have never had imposter syndrome in their life, which I'm like how, but good for you if that's your story, then I'm very glad that you don't experience that. But yeah, there are people who experience ableism who don't have impostor syndrome. They're very lucky and very far and few between, but they do exist. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: You just mentioned that there's a lot of internalized ableism in the disability community directed at each other. And that's one, that's probably. The biggest shock to me was to see it so prevalent against each other because we are all on the same side. I'm gonna ask a very open ended question. How do we kill the rest? How do we begin to restore bonds that we all want the same things? Erica Mones: I don't have all of the answers at all, but I think what I would say is how we would heal that is how we would heal any type of rift in our society, and that is by being in community with people that that are different than you because when you know somebody who's different than you, a lot of times you can see differences but also still see somebody's humanity. Like if you don't know anybody with an intellectual disability on an intimate level, then you may have a lot of conceptions and you may perpetuate stereotypes in your head, but when you get to know somebody and you see them as a human being, then you see them as a human being and not just some person who's totally different than you. I think that's probably the most important step in dealing with that is being in community with people and understanding that they're people. But of course, I don't have all the answers either. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Very well said, regardless. Wrapping up, if there are any aspiring advocates that want to make this advocacy their professional career, and I'm keeping in mind that you yourself are going to graduate school, so you're walking alongside them, so to speak. What would be some action steps that you would impart to them? Erica Mones: Well, I have a question about that. What do you mean? What do I want them to do for themselves, or like, what types of action do I want to see them, like, do, like, what policies and stuff? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: What would you recommend as a fellow advocate to get started and to become as professional as you can? Erica Mones: My first piece of advice for that would be to connect with other people already doing advocacy work because you don't need to reinvent the wheel and you also don't need to do things alone. And like the movie Wish tells us, we're better and stronger together. So when we connect with other people already doing that work, then we can be like, okay, you're doing this, and now I'm good at this. So maybe I can do this to help you accomplish. I think that's one of the biggest things, but also just realizing that anything can be advocacy. It doesn't have to be policy work. It can be writing a screenplay. It can be, being an actor or being an athlete, anybody can be an advocate, even if they're not necessarily in that profession. So I just think that there are many different ways to approach this and your way doesn't have to look like somebody else's. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: I like to think that both people with disabilities and those who have yet to discover their own disabilities, yet, listen to this podcast. And it would be naive of me to think that both groups take away the same things from every episode. As my guests, what do you hope that people with disabilities take away from this episode? And what do you hope that people who have yet to discover their own disabilities take away from this episode? Erica Mones: So for other disabled people, I hope that they can take away that you can do whatever you want to do and that connection with others in the community is so vital, not just for the sake of the community, but for your mental health and for your identity, you feel so much better about yourself when you care about other disabled people. It's like, the late activist Stacey Milburn said, I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something about how loving other disabled people allowed me to love myself, and I think that that is very true, and that is something I've experienced firsthand, is that especially being around other people with CP has helped me feel less bad about my own CP. Because I don't hate them in the way that I grew up hating myself. So it really helped me see myself as a human being and for people who aren't disabled yet or don't realize they're disabled, I just think realizing that disability is not the end of the world, and that it's just a part of the human experience, and many of us, if not all of us, will experience some type of disability in our lives, so just be prepared for that, and don't treat disabled people badly, because it could be you one day, and karma might get you, so. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Well, I could easily talk to you for hours, we have a lot in common and I have enjoyed this episode immensely. I hope we cross paths one day as writers and advocates. I hope you continue to write and continue to run because both are so imperative, in your life, but in the lives of advocates around you, and I hope you'll come back on the podcast and share more of your wisdom, more of your writing. And again, I thank you so much for being vulnerable and unflinching in your opinions. Erica Mones: Thank you so much for having me. I really loved coming on here. And I loved how your questions weren't just generic, so what's your disability? And what are you going to school for? I liked that they were very directed and very personal. So thank you. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Well we had. more time, and this is probably teasing another episode or two. I would have combed your entire vlog and been like, okay, what can I ask? What can't I ask, cause it's just laser focused, and that's something I admire immensely about you, and if anything, it's and I'm going to use a dirty word in the community. If anything is inspiring or empowering about you, that's why I kept myself glued to your blog. It's your writing. It awakened that passion that I had in middle school. In high school, I first started writing when I was seven, and it's just very refreshing to see someone so unflinchingly honest about every single thing and keep writing because we need more voices exactly like yours. Erica Mones: Definitely. And I think a point you made there is that there can't just be one of us. Like, just because one person is speaking out and one person is successful doesn't mean that it makes you unsuccessful or that you shouldn't speak out and let your voice be heard because there is room for all of us and it can't just be on one person. So, yes. But I will definitely keep writing for the rest of my life, so that's not going away ever. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: And I do hope your first love of running won't go away either. I won't mention the post that is really the first post that I read, and we're going into overtime here. It was called a “Kind of Love” and I approached that with curiosity because I wasn't sure if it was about a date, or about your eating disorder, and I only found out in the last sentence. And that's the power of writing, when you can keep the reader both engaged and guessing of what's going on. Where is this going to go? I'm really invested because I want to know the answer and that's the power of writing objectively. Well, thank you, my friends, so much for everything you've shared, not only on this episode, but in your blog and your screenplays. And I look forward to continuing to get to know you for many, many years to come. Erica Mones: Thank you so much for inviting me, and I will definitely come back if you will have me back. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Absolutely, take care of yourself, my friend. Erica Mones: Thanks, you too. Bye. Keith: You have been listening to Disability Empowerment Now. I would like to thank my guest, You, our listener and the Disability Empowerment Team that made this episode possible. More information about the podcast can be found at DisabilityEmpowermentNow.com or on social media @disabilityempowermentnow. The podcast is available wherever you listen to podcasts or on the official website. Don’t forget to rate, comment, and share the podcast! This episode of Disability Empowerment Now is copyrighted 2024.

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