"We all have dreams thoughts and hopes of what our lives will be like," Carmen Tarleton said.
Using a magnifying screen made for the legally blind, Tarleton reads the first chapter of a story that changed her life forever.
"I never could have prepared for what direction my life took 10 days after my 39th birthday."
Tarleton was attacked by her estranged husband who doused her with industrial strength lye. The horrific act of domestic violence permanently altered Tarleton's appearance, leaving her scarred over most of her body. Tarleton's attacker, Herbert Rodgers, is serving a 30-year jail sentence.
"That will be one of the hardest chapters, the night it happened," she said.
Almost three years later, Tarleton still has open wounds from the assault. But she says she feels the best she has since the attack and is ready to share her story with others.
"It is something I deal with every day. Every day," she said. "So you know, over time you get better at coping with it."
Tarleton says she's writing the book for herself as a way to come to terms with what happened to her. But she also says that once the book is finished, it becomes something for everyone.
"If I can inspire people to get through a hard time," she explained, "maybe their hard time isn't going to be as traumatic as mine."
For Tarleton no task is too high. Her goal is to get on the set of Oprah-- sharing her story with the world.
"I can have my people call their people," she laughed.
All joking aside, Tarleton explains where her strength comes from: "I refuse to be here and not have an acceptable quality of life for myself."
And as she shows off her newly potted vegetables in front of her home, Tarleton proves that is does not take a pencil and paper to offer words of inspiration.
"I try to get through each day, each situation the best I can," she said. "And, if I'm not happy at the end of the day, then I am going to try something else the next day."
Tarleton says her newest task is the book; a detailed account of how she has come to be the person she is today.
"This time I am lucky," she said. "I get to do it just by being myself. And there is nothing better than just being yourself."
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:27:22 GMT
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes. The council votedMore >>
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:26:45 GMT
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill passed Tuesday allows an unlimited number of qualified Vermonters to access medical marijuana -- removing theMore >>
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:26:03 GMT
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman. 43-year-old Craig Dubuque was arrested for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Police sayMore >>
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-03-12 03:35:07 GMT
"You know, people say you might not need it, which is true, but this way you get a choice. I don't have to go out tomorrow," said Lorinda Henry of Milton. Henry says she hit the grocery stores TuesdayMore >>
Parts of Vermont could get up to 24 inches of snow in the coming storm. And VTrans officials are warning drivers they may not be able to keep up with the storm rolling in Wednesday.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-03-12 00:02:07 GMT
"Seems like it was just yesterday. Doesn't seem like it's been two years at all," said Glenda Reandeau of Tupper Lake. Residents of Tupper Lake still have their eyes out for Colin Gillis, a now 20-year-oldMore >>
Colin Gillis of Tupper Lake, N.Y., disappeared two years ago. And authorities are still searching for him. They say the investigation now focuses on tips from the public and from those who were the last to see Gillis.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:17:43 GMT
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser. Authorities say Officer Adam Lucia was one of two officers responding to an aggravated assault call Monday at TopsMore >>
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser.More >>