I’m so grateful to Mary Davis for sharing this delightful guest post with us today! She is the author of the newly released book The Widow’s Plight which I will be reviewing here next week. Be sure to come back on August 16 (Thursday) to hear more about the book. In the meantime, stay tuned for:
Confessions of a Dyslexic Author
By Mary Davis
When a lot of people think of an author (me included), a stereotype jumps to mind.
- An author must have read veraciously when they were young.
- An author is a good reader.
- An author has always loved words.
- An author was good in English and received A’s.
- An author is an excellent speller.
Looking at my own description, I should not be an author.
- I did not read much as a child, and I was not a good reader. Reading was physically painful. My head would hurt and my body tense. It was torture.
- I have always been a slow reader and still am.
- I didn’t care much for words because I couldn’t keep all the rules straight on how to pronounce and spell them.
- I barely passed English with C’s. Having moved around a lot as a child, I missed the lessons on parts of speech and diagraming sentences. I knew a noun was a person place or thing, that verbs were action words, and “but”, “and”, and “or” were conjunction (Thanks to Schoolhouse Rock). But I was never taught the rest of it.
- Spelling? Well, I couldn’t spell my way out of a wet paper bag to save my life. Too many rules and even more exceptions to those rules. I couldn’t keep track of them all.
So how did this word-challenged person become an author? By the grace and power of God. I know that I couldn’t be an author and write stories, let alone novels, on my own. In my weakness, He is strong.
I didn’t know it growing up, but the reason for all my reading and writing difficulties was because I was blessed with dyslexia. Yes, blessed. I don’t see my dyslexia as a learning disability—although it was when I was a child—but an ability. I think my dyslexia helps me see things in strange and offbeat ways sometimes. Dyslexia is one of the elements that feeds into my creativity. I don’t know exactly how, but it does. Maybe it’s because I have to come up with different solutions that others don’t even give a thought to.
I became a reader as an adult and love reading now. And I love words. The right word can reveal so much about a character or put just the right twist on the mood of a scene. I have gotten better at English and might not have to struggle so hard for that C.
I still can’t spell. I misspell the same words over and over and over and over. Any day now, I expect the SpellChecker on my computer to give up on me. “If you haven’t learned to spell that word by now, I’m not going to tell you again.” There are some words that I don’t even spell close enough for SpellChecker to have the slightest clue what it is. When that happens and I’ve exhausted all the various letter substitutions, I look up a synonym (that I can spell) in my thesaurus, and in that word’s synonym is the one I was trying for. I wasn’t even close. Sigh.
So if words, spelling, and A’s in English aren’t prerequisites for being an author, what is? I believe an author has a love of story. I always loved story, even if I used creative spelling to write them down. I invariably had characters roaming around in my head, talking to me.
A nonfiction writer once told of her first experience at a fiction writers conference. She said that she sat at two or three meals with these fiction writers before she realized her eating companions weren’t talking about real people but their characters. She said it was strange to hear people talk about the voices in their head like it was normal, and she suggested medication.
I like the voices in my head. I am never alone and never bored. Someone is always doing something interesting or crazy.
Thank You, Jesus, for my creative dyslexia.
Here is the info for Mary’s book – just in case you can’t wait to hear more about it:
The Widow's Plight
by Mary Davis
Series: The Quilting Circle #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date July 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Clean Romance, Christian Fiction
Setting: Washington Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Written for: Adults
Washington State 1893
When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first, but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?