MEET THE AUTHOR
Once upon a time I was an Executive Assistant with a solid career, a decent income, and my own home. Yet I was not happy because I was not following my heart. And so I quit that job as well as that career path, I took on a data entry level position at a company that I knew held no future for me, and I did it without regret. Within six months of taking the job, I had two books being published! It was a good sign that I was doing the right thing.
The novels were released and I was busy with interviews, launches, readings, and guest spots at book clubs. Though every event was a step in the right direction and a ‘win’ for me as an author, the brightest highlights were being on Shaw Cable’s ‘Lit Happens’ and being the featured author at C95’s ‘Shauna’s Book Club’!
A word of caution; success has a cost. I was busy all the time between an eight hour shift, several hours at night writing, and weekends spent promoting the novels. Not everyone in my life was supportive or happy about the shift in my priorities. And sadly, life doesn’t have a pause button.
There was talk of my family coming together under one roof (that roof belonging to my sister and I), one of my cats had a stroke, work was changing in a big way, and I was starting to wonder if it all just wasn’t a little too much. As I struggled with all the changes happening in my life, I prayed fervently for a clear direction, a confirmation, something to say that I was doing the right thing with my life. I needed validation! Or so I thought.
Life had something else in mind. At the age of 35, less than a month before Christmas, I became suddenly and violently ill one morning. As I hit the ground and then the wall, I wondered if I was having a stroke. I must have looked exactly like my poor cat! When I was found – a nasty heap on the bathroom floor – I was rushed to the hospital by my amazing sister. By the next day it was confirmed that it was indeed a stroke caused by trauma to a blood vessel in my neck which had clotted… to this day I place the blame on shoveling snow. The truth is, we’ll never know.
My cerebellum, the vision and balance centre, was damaged during the stroke. It was unclear, at the time, what long term effects were going to come of this. The short term was a ten day stay in observation and about half a dozen CT scans and one MRI. But in its own way, the stroke was the best thing that has ever happened to me!
I had time to think, to breathe, and to write. It was sort of like a pause button… None of it was easy and writing proved particularly hard. I had problems with suffixes and the headaches were brutal! Yet I was so happy and grateful for every letter I was able to put down. The medical team was amazing too, and I didn’t have to cook once!
Life after a stroke is interesting. I still face challenges but life no longer seems to get me wound up like it once did. I am a better person for having faced this, and I am a better writer. There is no doubt that writing is my passion, my joy, and it is my way to connect with the world.
Today I am enrolled in school, the company I worked for was bought out and my position was terminated, my sweet little cat and her precious sister (my sister’s cat) sadly passed away around the same time, my family is still under one roof but we all look out for each other. And most recently I was blessed when Shaw Cable’s PunchTV invited me to the set for an interview with Hank! It was a lot of fun hanging with the cast and crew, talking about my novels. Life rarely works out the way we planned… and that is okay with me!