Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Next Writing Project

I've mentioned my next project on this blog before. Now, though it's almost time for me to get even more serious about it. I now have a first draft done, time to look at it, tweak it and polish it!

This writing project is one I'm passionate about. My next book will be the book I wanted and needed in early 2010. In February of that year, I had a collapse and was diagnosed with a chronic illness, one I didn't know much about.

That chronic illness is one which has a variety of symptoms, and has no cure, only treatments that may or may not work for each different person. The chronic illness isn't one which will kill me, but until the medical world comes up with a cure, it will be with me until the cure for all arrives.

The chronic illness I'm talking about it Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS affects different people differently, depending on where in the affected person's central nervous system scarring of the myelin (insulating sheaths surrounding the nerves) occurs. This scarring (sclerosis) slows down or stops the nerves from passing the messages from the brain to the body.

The consequence of this can be weakness, pain, tingling, cold, heat - a range of things. It may affect the hands, feet, arms, legs, bowel, bladder, all kinds of parts of the body. I'm one of the lucky ones, I have no pain from my MS, except when my weakness or lack of balance causes me to fall over - then I can sure feel the pain! Trips and falls are common in people with MS.

Anyway, I'm going to write a memoir detailing the things I now know about living with MS. The good, the bad and the ugly, it will all be in my memoir. And just to make it even more interesting for me to write, I't going to be written in verse! I'm a poet and this challenge sure has me excited! It's almost all in verse, with some poems about various issues relating to my life with MS, and with some prose, where I have information about the medicines that can sometimes help.

I have a mentor helping me with writing this verse memoir - Ray Tyndale, a fine South Australian poet and verse novelist. Ray has been trying to get me on track with the difficulties in writing a narrative in verse, and she thinks I may finally have it! So, now the hard work begins. Fixing up the part I've written that wasn't on track, filling in the many gaps that will appear/have already appeared. I'm getting over Christmas and in a couple of days, it's time to get stuck into it!

I now know many people who have MS, and I really hope my memoir will help both them and their families and friends to better understand what living with MS is really like. This, I hope, will lead to better understanding of the issues and challenges people living with MS have. It's not a life I would have chosen for myself, but it's certainly not the worst thing in the world.

I have two walking sticks and a walker, I have family and friends who love me, and I have a positive attitude to life. I'm walking bravely forward, looking forward to what will come next!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vegetable Victory Strikes Again!

The final session of Vegetable Victory, presented to Primary Schools students, is finished. Vegetable Victory is part of the Community Foodies program run by Lower North Health. the program tells students all about vegetables and why they're great to eat. 

The program is in 4 sessions, and covers numeracy, literacy and Social Studies. The students learn about more than just vegetables. They're given to opportunity to try vegetables in ways they may not have encountered them before. And they're also told about poetry, and encouraged to try their hand and mind at writing poems about vegetables.

By the end of the program, the students will have thought about, learned about, written about, sniffed, seen, listened to and felt vegetables! They will have written at least one poem, and learned lots about how to write poetry, as well as listening to a published poet read their own poems and other poet's poems about vegetables. It's all good fun!

Carolyn Cordon is a Community Foodie, a published poet, and she is the creator of 'Vegetable Victory'. The program has taken place in two Primary Schools so far, and Carolyn hopes to present the program in more schools next year.

Every student should be given the chance to learn to love vegetables! 

Please contact Carolyn if you would like to see this program in your own school! 0418 806 490