Life has its way of forcing you into what you need.
For the past several days, that’s what it has done to me: given me enforced bed rest. I haven’t been keeping well this year, and this weekend brought another crash. Weather in Singapore being its hot and humid tropical best, I’m trying to stay hydrated, and indoors. Feel like I’ve been through a wringer, as it is.
Things are better now, but I’m still not at 100%, so I’ll keep this short. Two links for you:
Here’s a useful post on Verbs for the writers among you, from editor Kelly hartigan.
And another one with one of my recent stories published in a New Zealand journal. (I’ve added a screenshot of a part of it below, click on the link and scroll if you’d like to read the rest.)
I thank you all for the love you’ve continued to show my blog despite my absence. The last post on illiteracy saw such kind and insightful comments. I’ll be visiting back each of your blogs, and sharing your posts on social media. Missed you, my blog family–life hasn’t been the same without you.
How has life been treating you? Any news you’d like to share in the comments? What’s the weather like in your part of the world?
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Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, author Lillian Slugocki spoke about short stories, a post that continues to be popular. Today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome journalist Valerie Waterhouse who interviews author Aileen Godat, about how, aged 16, she overcame illiteracy.
- Like most North Americans, you attended school (in Queens, New York) — but aged 16, you realized you were illiterate. How is it possible for a child in a modern-day, occidental country to slip through the education net?
A: In 1964, I was 11 years old. In the eyes of my mother, the Sisters of Charity, my grandparents and all others in my young life, I was a troubled girl. Aside from the family fights that trumpeted from our apartment, no one knew what was happening after dark in the confines of my home. If someone knew, would they have intervened? Would they have understood why I was unable to learn in school? Would they have known what to do to help me? My brother had the support of clubs, teams and activities designed to assist boyhood and grow successful men. Girls didn’t need an education to change a diaper, wash a floor or clean a house. As my mother before me, I was directed towards domesticity. So, my guess is that it was easier to let the ‘bad girl’ slip through the cracks than it was to address the cause of my difficulty.
2. Illiteracy, it seems, often masks greater troubles. In the USA, for instance, 70% of prison inmates are illiterate. Fortunately, your life took a totally different path. What made you finally acknowledge your illiteracy?
A: One morning while taking a shower at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan, I realized I couldn’t tell the difference between the shampoo and conditioner bottle. I was compelled to do something.
3. Interesting that something so banal yet important turned around your life! You then taught yourself to read and write. How did you manage this?