The Best of Times. The Worst of Times.

In six weeks, Bedtime Stories for the Living will be available on Amazon!

In six weeks, I will be a published author!

In six weeks, my 30 year dream (the first 10 years I wanted to be a baseball player) will be achieved!

I’m excited (hence the repeating, albeit annoying, exclamation points).

I’m also humbled.




I wouldn’t mind a TV appearance. Maybe Live with Kelli and Ryan. An NPR interview. Maybe with Terry Gross. A billboard in Times Square. A twilight reading in a sold-out Yankee Stadium.

And yet here’s irony fit for a high school English teacher: speaking about my book, since my voice has become compromised, has sourced more anxiety, more fear, more second-guessing than I have ever experienced in my life.

Without sounding too dramatic (I’ll save you from another exclamation point), I have waited most of my life to write a book and speak about that book, yet now speaking for extending periods is physically difficult. My brain disease affects my speech and speaking has become a strenuous and worrisome activity. What if my words slur? What if the listener can’t understand me? What if the listener judges me and my writing on the gracelessness of my speech? What if I have all the eloquence of the town drunk and people laugh at me?

Sometimes I fall into the black hole wishing things were different.

But when I’m thinking clearly, I know this difficult time is the perfect time to release Bedtime Stories for the Living. A book that’s about having the audacity and courage to follow your dreams. No matter what.

I once told a friend/former student, “life doesn’t care about your dreams.” Life will never be conducive to achieving your dreams. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to work on your dream, you will be forever unemployed.

A problem with the human condition is that we often convince ourselves we’ll get to our dreams later. Later, when our health improves. Later, when I have enough money. Later, when the kids go to college. Later, when life slows down. Later, when the time is right.

I realize there will never be a “right time.” My disease gifted me the urgency to fulfill my dream. And though conditions are not ideal, there is no better time than right now to write and release BSFL.

Below is the audio and video of my recent interview with writer and podcaster Chris Palmore. The thought of talking about BSFL and having my voice recorded kept me up at night.

Because I was excited. My dream was coming true.

Because I was terrified. My nightmare had arrived.

I hope you enjoy!

Be well,


If you like this post, you may also like:

Seven years of bad luck


Introduction to “Bedtime Stories for the Living”


Why I Need to Celebrate My Worst Day


What is Normal?


12 declarations I told myself this week


An excerpt from the book: Bowling with God


Need some encouragement? Some perspective? This hardworking, almost-handsome, suburban soccer dad can help. Subscribe and, like a pizza, get my posts delivered to your door (your email inbox). No spam. Just posts.


Jay Armstrong is a writer, speaker, and a former award-winning high school English teacher. Despite being diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, that impairs his movement, balance, eyesight, and speech–Jay presses on. He hopes to help you find joy, peace, and meaning in life. For Jay, a good day consists of 5 things:

1. Reading
2. Writing 
3. Exercising
4. Hearing his three children laugh
5. Hugging his wife
(Bonus points for a dinner with his parents and a beer with his friends)

Jay hasn’t had a bad day in quite a long time. 

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