Starting a new chapter in life after battling dyslexia
A WOULD-BE author who has battled dyslexia and other disabilities to pen her first trilogy of "novelettes" is appealing for help in taking "the next step" to get her work published.
Despite having a passion for writing from a young age, Victoria Powell, 42, of Nunsthorpe's Sutcliffe Avenue, said she always felt like something was stopping her from taking it further.
But it was not until well into her adult life that she discovered she had dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome, which affects her vision – particularly when reading and writing – and makes her sensitive to light.
However, after taking a creative writing course with the Grimsby Institute she is determined not to let it stand in her way and now hopes her story will inspire others to do the same.
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Victoria, who also suffered Deep Vein Thrombosis during her pregnancies with her children David, 13, and Katie, 12, and was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia, said: "I was always good at writing stories at school and I always wanted to do something with that, but something wasn't quite right.
"When I tried to put words down, they didn't make sense.
"For a long time it felt like more and more obstacles were being put in my way. I kept thinking 'how many more will I have to overcome?'.
"Then I had a meeting with Kathy Mason, the nurse at Oasis Wintringham Academy – where David and Katie go to school – who told me I should do something for myself.
"They are really good there, and take care of the whole family – not just the kids.
"I said that I loved writing but I had never done anything with it and she told me that the Grimsby Institute were holding a short story and novel writing class."
With the support of her "walking dictionary" and husband of more than 14 years Dave, their children, her mum and "role model" Maggie Smith and Kathy, she took the plunge.
Her tutors and classmates told her to "embrace" her talents and not to hide from her condition and now she has finally had the confidence to pen her trilogy Warchild's Dreams.
She said: "I thought long and hard about it. I wanted to write a novel, but that seemed too daunting, so I wrote it in a series of novelettes.
"That way I could use them like stepping stones to go forward and help build my confidence. Now I want some help in editing them and maybe having them published. I just want to show other people like me that it can be done. If you are determined enough, you can do anything."
Can you help?
If you believe you can help Victoria take the next step, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health news is on page 18 of today's Grimsby Telegraph.