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A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing: Critical Reflection & Barriers to Pa

A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing

Critical Reflection and Barriers to Participation

Jonathan R. P. Taylor

CONTENT:

Notes
Copyright Notice
How Can I Contribute?
Before You Read
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Methodology
Don’t Raise Your Voice: Raise Your Argument
The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But the Truth
Wart ‘N’All
You Haven’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
Reader’s Questionnaire
References
Bibliography
Appendices
One
Two
Three

COPYRIGHT EXISTS

©Brittunculi 2017

NOTES

This work is completed as it stands as an author based self-case study. It is presented as a genuine insight into my world as a dyslexic creative writer born with an utterly disabling learning difficulty. I have to assume that you as the reader have some awareness of or at least a basic understanding of dyslexia; both cause and effect. McLoughlin et al 1995 provide a good concise definition of this syndrome as it concerns adults and research into brain function and anatomy, genetics and incoming sensory processing is found in Brooks: 1997. It will be confusing and at times chaotic but if you as the reader truly seek to understand how the condition affects and impacts on my writing; this authenticity is essential. I have proof read many times, the mistakes you WILL find are the ones that those countless tiring efforts have sadly missed. I have decided not to ask others to proof read this upload to maintain that authenticity. I want you to please consider how important those mistakes are and do they matter to you? Dyslexia is not a disease and cannot be cured though it can be useful to consider it as a difference in cognition and learning. Singleton et al: 1999.

We all possess prejudice regardless of our race, religion, gender or sexual orientation; we are all programmed from a very early age to discriminate. To deny this is a prejudice in itself. But; we recognise it and adjust our action or opinion through reflective thought. We, through education, re- programme ourselves and the way we think. Oliver (1993) and Tomlinson (1996) see disability as a social construct and not as a medical problem. For the purposes of this work a very clear definition of dyslexia is taken from; The Scars of Dyslexia by Edwards, J (p.5-1994) in quoting Stirling 1978“Dyslexics are categorised as those who despite conventional classroom experience fail to attain the language skills of reading, writing and spelling commensurate with their intellectual abilities”.WFN:1969 (2017).

Legislation has long sought to protect the dyslexic from discrimination; perhaps the foundation stone here in laying the path forward was the 1970 Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. It required that every LEA (Local Education Authority) provide information to the secretary of state on; “special education facilities for children who suffer from acute dyslexia. (Pumfrey & Reason: p.21-1997). Today The Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations (UN) Convention on Disability Rights; “help to enforce, protect and promote the rights of disabled people”. Gov.uk: 2017.

I ask a simple question here; is dyslectualism discrimination or not? (Dyslectualism, a new word, is here defined briefly as the existence of prejudice and discrimination, and/or antagonism directed against a person with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulty that manifests itself as dyslexia). A more complete discussion of the word follows shortly.

This work is also reflective comment on my journey to create this essay (book), itself inspired by my application for a PhD in Creative Writing. An application that was unsuccessful. “[Reflexivity] can enable the writer to make contact with thoughts and ideas they did not know they had, with completely forgotten memories, and enable the making of leaps of understanding and connections. It can also enable the expression and exploration of issues which the writer is aware of, but unable or unwilling otherwise to articulate, communicate and develop”. . In contributing to my research you yourselves are responsible in helping me to finally shape and finish it. I thank you. The second Edition will answer the research questions that have been identified and raised here.

I give you with the thoughts of Davis, R, D: 2010 (The Gift of Dyslexia) in consideration of what he defines as the Paradigm Shift. “To change our perspective of dyslexia from disability to gift, we must start with a clear, accurate understanding of what dyslexia really is, and what causes it. Doing this will bring out the positive as well as the negative aspects of the situation and allow us to see how dyslexia develops. Then the idea of correcting it won’t seem far-fetched. Going a step beyond correcting the problem, we can also recognize and explore this condition as the gift it truly is”. The author goes on to state[[“The most common disabilities of dyslexia occur in reading, writing, spelling, or math; but there are many others. Each case of dyslexia is different, because dyslexia is an unintentionally self-created condition. No two dyslexics have created it exactly the same”._] .

As I publish I also take time here to reflect on my final thoughts and advice as given. I had previously included my work ‘Meat: The Definitive Edition’ not only as bonus material but as a thank you. I am proud of it and naturally wanted others to read it. I want to share it with you, however, Proofer 4 soon raises an important issue. “MEAT is already published…. Why add it to this essay? Your essay is about dyslectualism.  There is no need to include MEAT.  Your essay needs to stay focussed on dyslectualism and is already quite long at, now, 212 pages.  (MEAT starts at page 213 and goes all the way to the last page, page 732.) MEAT has been proofread (tampered with!) and so does not illustrate the problems of dyslexia and creative writing. Basically, MEAT does not belong in your essay on dyslectualism”. And I have to agree; so it is accordingly removed. It’s painful for me but yes it is the correct decision and good solid advice has been noted and taken. You will find a link to the work at the end of this title should you wish to read it.

Proofer 4 further makes a good point when he states: “You have a tendency to keep adding new stuff to your writings.  Like Topsy, your books just keep on growing in size!  You should resist this tendency.   Instead, you should aim to reduce the number of words; to keep focussed on the subject; to discard new but irrelevant material.  The motivation to read a book, any book, is inversely proportional to the size of the book! It is the truth but somehow I just cannot help myself. You will soon note that the word count becomes just as important as the content. I do address this later and you may come to understand. In a nutshell; I am addicted to size and find editing at times; an act of dyslexic sacrilege! If it wasn’t important for me to have said it then I wouldn’t have said so in the first place. But I am slowly learning to control this newly found creative writing demon: the force is strong in this one! I find that my writing is improving with time and focus much more accurately now.

I have followed good advice given where I felt able but have decided to now leave two deleted appendices intact. The first is provided as evidence of my assessment for dyslexia by my Learning Support Tutor, Avice Turnball. It is at times repetitive, yes, but it does back up what I claim from a third person perspective. The second is my Curriculum Vitae; this is provided as additional information purely to back up my claims of professional competence. I feel it is essential in comparing and contrasting dyslexia versus ability as identified within my text. Appendix 3 is found to be a delightful allegorical tale written by Ben Bennetts which you will, I feel certain, find most enjoyable!

Now standing at 74,257 words over 202 pages it’s finished (I promise)!

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Print, Audio and eBook License Notes

FREE RESEARCH EDITION: 2017

Thank you for downloading this free research edition of A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing. This Book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It is supplied free of cost on the full understanding that you, as the reader WILL contribute to the research. If it is not your intention to contribute, no matter how brief in detail, you should return this copy to the publisher immediately.

Jump now to the Research Questionnaire

This publication may not be resold or given away to other people without the express consent of the publisher. If you would like to share this publication with another person, please download an additional free research copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not download it, or it was not purchased or supplied for your use only, you should return it to the publisher and download your own copy.

[
How Do I Contribute To The Research?
**
**][A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing
__
– Critical Reflection and Barriers to Participation –]

I hope that the process could not be easier. Simply cut & paste the included questionnaire and return via email to me at;

[email protected]

No matter how large or small your contribution, it is most sincerely appreciated and I thank you in advance for your help and offerings! You will find the questionnaire here: Jump now to the Research Questionnaire

www.Brittunculi.co.uk

Before you Read:

Look at the above impressionist painting. Take time to think about what you see. Consider that impressionism is; “…a 19th century artistic movement that swept much of the painting and sculpture styles of the period. It was not just a passing fad but has defined an entirely modern way of expressing one’s artistry that eventually rubbed off in other art forms like literature and photography”. Impressionism.Org: 2017. Make a decision based on what you both see and feel. Do you like it? When you feel that sufficient time has been given to consideration of it; read on. Photo courtesy: Illusion.Scene: 2017.

The above painting (1: Title Unknown) is the work of British painter: Sargy Mann. This work was completed despite his complete blindness. “This artist’s paintings sell for “upwards of $50,000”. Ibid. Sargy died on April 5th, 2015. Re-ask yourself: has your opinion changed in light of this revelation? I thank you for taking the time to think about it.

ACKOWLEDMENTS[
Ben Bennetts (aka: Pen-The-Pen)]

It is necessary to return here and add acknowledgements as I publish this work today. Without the help and support of Ben Bennetts; this work would undoubtedly remain alongside my others as substandard. Ben has worked tirelessly in helping and supporting me throughout. I have agreed with him, disagreed with him and also agreed to differ on many occasions. He has done this quite voluntarily. No gift or payment has been requested or accepted. He also produced and sent me most useful guide on how to turn off Microsoft Auto Correct (all will become revealed later). This simple tool proved invaluable!

!

And also to Avice Turnball: my learning support tutor at Bradford & Ilkley Community College who tirelessly educated and supported me during my first years of study in higher education. Without her belief in me I would not be here today. Without her – I would probably never have been diagnosed.

Thank you Avice!

This work is dedicated to all dyslexics who may become inspired by my words.

FOREWORD

I have been spurned on to write a new title that examines the world of the dyslexic creative writer. From creation and refection and to publishing and the obstacles I encounter/ed. I am prompted not only by my discovering of the joy of writing which I found in my late forties, but also my desire to return to study. I have applied for a PhD in Creative Writing and this new focus along with my findings will catalogue my new journey. I began my statement in application to Lancaster University (UK) with the following;

First; please allow me to be both honest and frank about my personal difficulties and abilities in support of the above proposal. If you find you have any concerns what-so-ever regarding my ability to study at Lancaster – then please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to chat informally about any concerns with you.

I left school (compulsory Education) at the age of 16 without any formal qualifications in any subject. I was by all contemporary definitions – illiterate. As a persistent non-attender and under the supervision of the local authority, attending a ‘school-based reform unit,’ I was not entered for secondary exams.

As a farm labourer’s step-son I worked in agriculture as a child and upon the creation of the Youth Training Scheme, and later Community Programme, I worked as a Groundsman. This interwoven amongst periods of unemployment.

At the age of 21 I had, through volunteering for the Citizens Advice Bureau networks, become a Project Manager of a disability rights centre. Leading on to other opportunities within statutory and voluntary positions I returned to education. During unemployment I had initially studied carpentry, joinery, communications and plumbing. Sadly the second year required detailed mathematical calculations (central heating gas installations) and I dropped-out.

My work with the Careers Service introduced me to City & Guilds: I completed an initial certificate in basic skills and later, the adult education teacher’s certificate. I enjoyed this re-introduction to education immensely and decided to follow my passion for music, enrolling full-time onto a BTEC – National Diploma in Music Technology. I had difficulties, unable to understand computer programming, acoustic design and reverberation time calculations among others, but with a very supportive tutor, I passed. A clear contradictory spike in learning was identified: Passes in mathematical and music notation based units, but merits and distinctions in performance, management and art based units. I was advised not to study music at a higher level.

I had loved every moment of this 2 year full-time course that I had engaged on at the age of 25. I cannot begin to explain the joy I felt, most sincerely, so given my solid experience in advice and guidance, enrolled for a Diploma Higher Education in Youth & Community Work.

I soon failed my first year of higher education. I could not cope with the massive demands of reading, but more so, completely failed to understand what was required of me lacking even the basic skills of essay presentation. There was a mismatch between by oral and written presentations. With support I was assessed by the college psychological services team and my profound dyslexia, of which I knew nothing, was identified. I broke down upon realising I would never fulfil my dreams and spent time, a brief spell, in a psychiatric unit.

I returned to re-sit – determined to succeed as my career depended upon it. With intense basic skills support and a grant for specialist equipment to aid my learning, I passed. Through tutor nomination (out of a potential 38,000 students) I was presented with the college trust fund award for outstanding achievement in education. I then completed my B.A Hons degree for which I received an upper second grade; 2.1. I undertook my exams in the presence of an amanuenses.

An Advanced Professional Diploma in Mentoring then followed which led to enrolment for and achievement of my P.G.C.E (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). Ironically the illiterate problem-child was now the teacher…

Since re-locating to Bulgaria in late 2010 I find that I know write, compose (semi-professionally) and teach English (TESOL) in variety of establishments, both private and state sector.

So at the tender age of 50 what are my achievements? I have written, produced and released 16 music albums from a repertoire of hundreds of self-penned songs, released under my independent label – Brittunculi. One particular song, ‘If Only – The Falling Man’ won the best folk song Akademia Award USA, December 2015. This and other notable works such as ‘The Holocaust Denier’ featured by BBC Radio. Locally; works such as; Vseki den, The Rakia Song, Baba Marta and Hadzhi Dimitar have all been featured on all major Bulgarian TV networks. Through TV, radio and press, most Bulgarians are aware of some, if not all, of my work.

I write learning resources, ear-worms, for EnglishClub Online, the world’s largest free online TESOL resource for students and teachers alike. A catalogue of material exceeding 50 works such as ‘The Alphabet Song for Rocker’s’. Additionally I have narrated several audio books and countless broadcast related media.

It was a chance meeting with a published author just four years ago that changed my life. Upon discussing my desire to put pen to paper and create my first novel, he gave me the best piece of advice I had ever received. Without judgement he said “Just write”. This I did…

My epic work (exceeding 312,000 words) ‘‘Memoirs of a Psychopath was finally finished in 2016. A world’s first in contemporary long fiction, it encompasses every main genre, ten quite separate genre works (books) written by the characters themselves, that finally collide into an ‘anti-narrative’. Available through premium catalogues in eBook form, I submit to mainstream publishers as I write.

And here we discover what creative writing means to me and my interest in the course you offer.

Imagine that you have been blind for life and wake up in your latter years with sight? Imagine being mute and then discovering you can sing? Imagine being dyslexic and then discovering that you can write? Your world begins. Writing brings me more pleasure than I had ever previously imagined possible. The expression of thought into word is magnificence beyond those words. I apply for this course for myself. I no longer have to chase qualifications to facilitate a career. This is about discovering that new world of beauty and literature previously beyond grasp and in forming a psychological model that facilitates opportunities for like-minded writers. I have much to say and much to learn – more so, much to inform on.

When I was diagnosed with Dyslexia my step-father said: “You are still looking for excuses for being stupid”. When I passed my degree my mother added: “Anyone can get a degree there”. This is what dyslexia means to me.

But am I unique? No! Dyslexia is not about reading and writing, it is about destruction. Destruction of the whole-person and rejection. Having completed all that I had can you imagine how I felt when my fist review read: “I am still in the middle of reading this book. I must say I am enjoying it thus far however I really felt I must leave a review even before I finish the read. I understand for the most part Shakespir is home to unpublished authors and there will most probably be the odd punctuation and grammatical error. However this book is littered with them. It is a shame because other than that it certainly is an entertaining read. But for me I have found it a little disappointing”. The very same reviewer returning later to add: “Also I must add, I understand the memoir itself is unedited so of course one cannot complain about any errors found, but Dr Davies notes are also questionable in regards to punctuation and grammar. I gave this book one star in my last review but I feel this may have been a little harsh, It IS interesting and did capture my attention. Reviewing this I give it 3 stars”.

One is left in the position where our efforts and creations are subject to approval of the literate world in which we are confronted with unfair rejection. Dyslexia should not be used as an excuse for poor writing, but when a writer has done their very best, with countless and endless proof readings already completed, then it becomes the reason for the very text itself. Who we are is conveyed in those words. Special treatment is not required, merely a level playing field to participation. Why do literacy mistakes matter so much to us?

I am reminded of a time, some years ago, when I worked with people with disabilities, aiding them to enter the world of employment. A man, blind, with a degree of ‘facial dis-figuration’‘ was confronted with the words of a colleague: ‘‘Perhaps you should wear sun glasses”… I was appalled. The fact that an experienced professional colleague in this day and age still believed that his disability should remain hidden from an ignorant world that refused to accept him for who he is. As if sun glasses and a stick would now cure him.

Dyslexia is brain damage: we cannot be cured but we can be accepted. Why should we adjust, alter, re-write, transform our literature into a format acceptable to others at the cost of our own creativity in the need to gain acceptance? Why is grammar, punctuation and spelling so important and beyond the essence of the words we portray? Why should we have to lie about ourselves and hide our true identities within the world of creative writing? I used to believe that my learning difficulties were a curse, a barrier to learning, access and provision, but now having completed a lifetimes journey I accept it as a gift. It is who I am and without it would I ever have produced the work I have today?

Why should a round peg of creativity be rammed into a square hole of acceptability? I like being round! Why can’t I be accepted for who I am based on the achievements I have completed?

The work ‘Meat – Memoirs of a Psychopath has now been proof read by a semi-professional author, all of those final missed mistakes and errors have now been corrected but I do not feel pleased that my work now meets acceptable literary standards: I am left with the feeling that it is no longer mine, those wonderful long poetic rants now removed. My work is no longer my own, my dyslexia, my identity as a person has been robbed of me in a world where Pigeon English is reviewed as: “their language, their humour, their thoughts – and Harri’s voice is dazzlingly authentic. Utterly convincing and deeply moving” (Clare Morrall, author of The Man Who Disappeared) and the work of ‘‘the brain injured’‘ viewed as “…and there will most probably be the odd punctuation and grammatical error. However this book is littered with them. It is a shame because other than that it certainly is an entertaining read”. Corrinne McMahon : 2013.

This research opportunity gives us a voice within the literary field and we can be heard. This is our chance as a community of writers to challenge institutionalized discrimination, not only from a reader’s perspective but in the very expectations of the publishing industry. I sincerely hope Lancaster will afford us this voice to be heard.

I completely understand any reservations you may have of my ability to succeed at PhD level, but my excitement, passion and desire – my absolute commitment to this will, I hope, prevail. If you feel that a distance learning MPhil route (with latter Phd conversion) be more appropriate, this I accept. But please be assured: if I had any doubt in my own ability to succeed then I would not be applying for this course.

I am not disabled – I am differently able. My work in support of this application is readily available from the following web site:

www.Brittunculi.co.uk

INTRODUCTION

This research proposal in application for the PhD Creative Writing research opportunity at Lancaster University does not seek to build on existing research as I cannot find any existing studies that examine the existence of Dyslectualism. The Dept. for English and Creative Writing at the Roehampton University (London) does offer the findings of Louise Tondeur PhD in a work: Dyslexic Writing: Reflexive Practice as Authentic Methodology , but this does not focus on dyslectualism as a theoretical phenomenon; my hypothesis. So – I seek to provoke the conditions for new research. I seek to throw the pebble of brain injured creativity out into the pond of academic literature. Ripples that will eventually reach the shores of others, educators, psychologists, writers and researchers (among others) who themselves may build and elaborate further upon its findings. It is the cat amongst the pigeons of the literary world.

It is about re-claiming our own identities as Dyslexic writers in challenging discrimination and barriers to our productivity. To understand that we have our own unique culture, to value that culture and to allow us to breath creatively and unhindered by the traditional norms and values of acceptability within the publishing fields. To encourage wider institutions and readers of literature to accept us for whom we are.

When blind or partially sighted, it is not unreasonable for us to trip or fall, or for a wheel-chair user to ask for a ramp to aid accessibility. We see beyond ‘disability’ and condemned all forms of discrimination that create barriers to opportunity and participation – we see the person before the disability and accept them for who they are. The whole person and what they have as unique individuals to offer. The ‘white-stick’ or wheelchair does not offer a cure to the condition: it does not remove the disability but it creates a sense of ‘differently-able.’ We facilitate an environment in which ‘I can do anything you can do but I do it differently’. It is the conditions of our own environments that create disability, not the infliction itself.

Is it therefore ‘reasonable’ to reject the text of a dyslexic writer based on poor literacy; grammar, punctuation and/or spelling. Has anyone asked the dyslexic writers community if they consider this an act of discrimination? Does such a community even exist and if it does, is there a sub-culture of creativity developed out of their experiences that impacts on their writing. If so: is it not reprehensible to destroy the essence of such creativity in the pursuit of profit. Poor literacy doesn’t sell – but it appears that it does when not authentic…

Vincent Van Gogh was by historical accounts colour blind. A ‘failure of his time’ and considered to be a ‘madman’. Does this today distract from his genius. Surely it can be argued that his conditions influenced the very beauty of the work he created. Would it not be an act of madness to suggest that his colour palates needed correcting?

I have searched for a definition of the word I seek. I cannot find it. An acceptable academic term that describes and sums up (defines) the very process of literate correctness to the point of discrimination, at the hands of controlling literate elite. However; in popular usage today is the term ‘Grammar Nazi’ – though it is not a term I myself would use or approve of. I find the word Nazi so utterly disgusting that it should never be used to evaluate anything other than what it is: fascism and intolerance to the point of systematic genocide.

The online urban dictionary defines the term as: “A person who believes proper grammar (and spelling) should be used by everyone whenever possible. One who attempts to persuade or force others to use proper grammar and spelling. One who uses proper grammar and spelling to subtly mock or deride those who do not; an exhibitor of grammatical superiority. One who advocates linguistic clarity; an opponent of 1337-speak. e – One who corrects others’ grammar; the spelling police”. Qaanol: 2005

Is there a problem with correcting poor grammar in a literary sense? I don’t believe so. It seems wholly reasonable to strive for higher standards if one puts oneself forward or ‘out-there’ as a writer. After all, isn’t it the experience of the reader that dictates its literary worth? Mistakes jump out mid-flow and destroy the pleasure of the reader’s experience – just as pot-holes jar on your spine during a wonderful trip out in the car to The Dales. The problem of discrimination arises when such work, the ownership of the words as contained, becomes so heavily edited that it ceases to be that of the essence of its dyslexic creator.

Van Gogh’s philosophy was ‘to reject technique in favour of capturing the impressions of things’. Given the evidence of his colour blindness it would be inconceivable to us to suggest we ‘brush-up’ the colour palate used in order to improve upon it. An analogy that we could also equally apply to great masters of composition such as Ludwig van Beethoven. Despite almost total deafness during the last 15 years of his life he composed many of his most admired works. Would we now increase the lead by a semitone to compensate for such loss of high range frequency? No: for it would cease to be Beethoven. No longer would it be the work as intended, but manipulated now into an acceptable interpretation for the hearing audience.

I am aware of the fact that here I rely heavily on analogies from other creative arts to investigate a point of interest in literature. But; as analogies they convey the point more effectively as a comparison within creative writing is hard to identify. The works of dyslexic writers have already been heavily edited before publishing so historical comparisons in a literary sense do not exist. They may be present within the fields of self-publishing and beyond the control of mainstream publishing houses – but here they are not accepted as dyslexic works but judged as poor in grammar, spelling and punctuation. Often they fail to reach their target audience due to literary discrimination.

I return to the review comment I discussed earlier within the personal statement of this application to back-up and evidence this very point. Where upon completion of my fist self-published novel, a massive life-changing personal achievement, a reviewer commented: “…the odd punctuation and grammatical error. However this book is littered with them. It is a shame because other than that it certainly is an entertaining read…”. Corrinne McMahon: 2013.

The very same reviewer returning later to add: “… I understand the memoir itself is unedited so of course one cannot complain about any errors found, but Dr Davies notes are also questionable in regards to punctuation and grammar. I gave this book one star in my last review but I feel this may have been a little harsh, It IS interesting and did capture my attention. Reviewing this I give it 3 stars”. Ibid.

What conclusion am I to draw from this reader-author interaction other than the knowledge of certain fact that this comment will remain attached to my work for all future prospective readers to view. The option to edit or remove the comment is not afforded to me. Like it or not I have to live with it. This reader was fully aware that the character created under the guise of a pseudonym is a dyslexic. Why was it so important to put the book down before conclusion to denigrate that authors literacy skills? And in adding injury to insult to return again to say: “…Reviewing this I give it 3 stars”. The conclusion I draw as its author is that had it been error free, perhaps it would have received 5 stars. That I am not being judged on my creative writing ability but on my poor literacy: I am being judged on the basis of my disability alone.

This hurts and this is wrong, – it is unfair unwarranted criticism, and I believe; blatant institutionalized discrimination against brain injured writers. Though: the important matter however is; did this reviewer (in her published review of the public domain) realize that I was a dyslexic author beyond the dyslexic character itself?

But surely I cannot be alone in such feeling. I believe that dyslexic writers are given a clear choice: be honest and true and therefore risk certain ridicule of our efforts or hide behind the services of professional proof readers and pretend our dyslexia doesn’t exist at all. As a native speaker who now lives abroad and specializes in teaching English as a foreign language, I admit I hide. I have never disclosed my dyslexia to students or colleagues for I know to do so would be an immediate judgement upon my literary ability, for a dyslexic tutor is obviously a stupid teacher. I will not be judged for what I bring to the session, but upon what I cannot. Though; surrounded by textbooks that prompt me and aid memory I fail to see what I do not.

Dyslexia for many merely means the inability to read and write. Dyslexia for me as a tutor means an understanding of a simplified holistic learning methodology far beyond what other tutors may have to offer.

I find that the obsession with perfect grammar forms extends beyond the English spoken by native speakers. My students vary in ability but most as adult Bulgarian learners, have a very high standard of spoken word and are highly skilled in conversational English. Though they often refuse to speak and are reluctant to engage in open classroom conversation; I feel at times that I am pulling teeth. They too are obsessed with perfect grammar even though English is not their native tongue, withdrawing from conversation in preference to appearing ‘silly’.

My approach to encouragement is to say: “Always remember your Ps & Qs. You may say: where now is bus to please Chelsea? – as you will be judged on the basis of being a polite foreigner. No one will care about your poor sentence construction”. So why do we react so differently to poor writing from dyslexics?

In exactly the same way I approached my novels, I will approach this research. I am not a narcissist who believes my work to be beyond what it actually is, but it is a world’s first within contemporary literature and should be judged only on the merits of its creation. I want my research too to be a first. I realize it may be controversial to many to suggest that poor grammar, punctuation and spelling is acceptable and that it should be welcomed within literary circles just as Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman is. A work shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011 – it celebrates the richness of experience that poor literacy brings in authentic forms; – but it is not authentic. I am aware of my own experience leading to bias; that when Cromwell sent his men to find witches, they found them. I want to investigate a sub-culture of dyslexic creative and identify, and if they exist, common threads of experience and perceived discrimination.

In order to carcass (a term that reflects back to my days as a failed plumbing student), to form a basis from which to work and from which to throw that pebble I referred to, and also in the absence of existing terminology that defines the very presence of the institutionalized discrimination I wish to investigate and focus upon: I shall create a new psychological model. An acronym from which to cast. Allow me to now focus on that model for I fear I run the risk of uncontrolled ranting – a common subculture identity that I believe exists and identifies us as unique dyslexic writers.

I am a product of my experiences. Emotional turmoil and abuse which leads me to write as if I am delivering a revolutionary political speech. For when you scratch the surface you find that I (we) are angry.

The new word that I have created for the purpose of this research proposal and to define the conditions that discriminate against dyslexic writers is dyslectualism. A wonderful expressionism that I would like to take full credit for, but alas I cannot. Using Google I typed in various forms of the word dyslexia. I preferred dyslexiaism: such as in racism, sexism and anti-Semitism; an ‘ism’ attached to the end of dyslexia would suffice most suitably. I found that the word is already in existence, though used out of true context, it links to an established ‘Independent Film TV and Omnimedia company’. I tried dyslexism in dropping the ‘a’ but that too links to an apparent Americanism meaning the conditions of dyslexia. After several attempts I turned to my partner and said: “I need a new word that describes discrimination against dyslexic writers”, without a seconds thought she suggested – “dyslectualism”.

https://www.google.bg/search?q=dyslectualism Dyslectualism: No results containing all your search terms were found. Your search – dyslectualism – did not match any documents. Did you mean: dialectalism, dialecticalism

I find it to be fit for purpose – I do myself however claim ownership of its breakdown and definition. If it’s good enough for William Shakespeare, its good enough for me . After-all, isn’t that what creative writers do. We create new words.

I define dyslectualism as follows:

Word form origin: Dyslexia (DYSLE) versus Intellectualism (LECTUAL)

Noun: DYSLECTUALISM: The existence of prejudice and discrimination, and/or antagonism directed against a person with dyslexia or other specific learning difficult that manifests itself as dyslexia. The inability to separate the condition of dyslexia from the perception of poor literacy skills. Institutionalized discrimination (particularly in education) that leads to the exclusion of a person with dyslexia. A stereo-type based on the belief that dyslexics cannot read or write. The active editing, censorship and/or alteration
of expressive contribution from the dyslexic community in order to meet the norms, values and traditions of others. Noun: DYSLECTUALIST: A person who engages in the exclusion and/or discrimination of/against a person with dyslexia. A person who believes that their level of attainment in education (particularly in the field of language, grammar, punctuation and spelling) is of greater value and/or superior to that of a dyslexic. The condition of personal prejudice against others with dyslexia. Adjective: DYSLECTIFYING: Lacking knowledge, awareness or understanding of the condition of dyslexia. Verb : Base form: DYSLECTUAL. 3rd person singular present tense: DYSLECTUALS. Present participle: DYSLECTIFYING. Past participle: DYSLECTUALISED.

In examining the ‘existence of dyslectualism’ I will construct an acronym from the word dyslexia. I will develop an eight letter psychological model that will focus my empirical research on key stages of psychological self-development where the conditions of dyslectualism may propagate and co-exist.

DYSLEXIA

D=Diagnosis

The first stage, diagnosis, and the last, acceptance, are perhaps the most crucial. D – This is the point where a diagnosis has occurred. For the purpose of this research a formal diagnosis by a professionally or suitably qualified person must have taken place. Misdiagnosis and/or self-diagnosis have no quantifiable or qualitative benefits. Diagnosis has occurred within a learning environment for a reason, a problem has been identified. Success or failure depends on accurate solid diagnosis appropriate to the needs of the dyslexic. The dyslexic learns that they are not ‘stupid’ but brain injured/damaged. They cannot be cured and their dreams and hopes for the future may never be attained. This leads to devastating personal reflection on life before. The belief now that they will not achieve. In many, depression and a sense of overwhelming failure set in. Formal diagnosis is either welcomed or denied, but rarely comes as a surprise. A catalogue of informal diagnoses has usually been present throughout the learner’s life- journey. This negativity is internalized and a decision as to whether to sink or swim is made. Some throw the towel in and withdraw from the learning process or creativity that they are involved in - in the belief that they cannot succeed. Some will accept the diagnoses and may use it as an excuse for poor effort, handing responsibility for future development over to the condition. Some will become determined to succeed at any cost and will not allow the condition to hinder them. This latter group link directly to the final stage A – Acceptance. Having done all they can and having succeeded in over-coming the barriers that dyslexia presents. They still find that they are rejected because of their condition. That no matter how great the achievement, judgment will always be passed due to their literacy ability. At this stage too the creative dyslexic may, given such rejection, withdraw from creativity processes. Many positive mentoring schemes evolved during the late nineties that later encouraged myself to become a professionally qualified mentor . It is essential that following diagnosis we help, support and guide others to raise aspirations and continue to build today on these early cultures of awareness. .

Many examples of informal diagnosis occurred during my formative years before I received a later professional diagnosis. I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

Whist studying for my B.T.E.C. National Diploma Music Technology I received pass grades in physics (mathematical calculations) and language (music notation) based units. I received merit grades for project based work such as studio management and studio design. I received distinction grades for art based units such as composition and performance. Despite an obvious ability and contradictory learning profile/spike, I was advised by my lead tutor not to pursue music technology / education at a higher graduate level.

Y=Yearning

Beyond diagnosis Y yearning is the stage of grief, a sense of mourning in the loss of the person you believed yourself to be. Disillusionment with education and a system perceived to be stacked-against you sink in. The dyslexic desires to be fulfilled – to prove him/herself to others as able. They seek approval and yearn for success. They reflect on the inequality of their previous experiences. What they could have done, who they could have been and what they might have achieved had they not been a born or acquired dyslexic. They finally understand who they are and their place in the world. Everything now seems to make sense and their negative educational experiences are not due to their ‘stupidity’ but of others failure to believe in them. They believe that success will make them feel complete. We must continue to promote a culture of life-long learning (Dearing & Kennedy Reports: 1997) as the scars of dyslexia, the years of hidden emotional damage, will not evaporate. We must never accept apparent limitations but strive only to unlock barriers. (Whitacker: 1995)

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

When I studied for my Dip H.E (J.N.C) Youth & Community Work. I failed the first year which further compounded my own destructive self believe that I would not achieve. An internalized form of emotional self-harm took over and I volunteered myself into a psychiatric hospital. I later re-sat the first year and successfully entered the second. Upon completion I was awarded, by tutor nomination, the college Trust Fund Award for outstanding achievement. This award was met by the comment of my step-father: “You’re still looking for excuses for being stupid then”. Upon later graduation with my B.A Hons Community Studies 2.1 my mother added: “Anyone can get a degree there”.

S=Support

Support can mean a multitude of things to a multitude of different people. In reference to this proposal it means supporting the dyslexic to reach their full potential. To ignite the flames of enthusiasm in the learning process. We must recognize the disabling effects of dyslexia for all and not just on the problems of creative dyslexics. Support must not mean only placing value on ability but in accepting the whole person . It can be the provision and engagement of specialist staff to facilitate learning or the supply of specialist information technology and software solutions to assist on a practical basis. For some, support goes beyond the need to address the condition of dyslexia itself. It will consist in the engagement of psychological services to re-address the psychological and emotional harm or damage caused by dyslectualism itself. S- Support is where the dyslexic accepts the help and guidance of others and in doing so acknowledges that in order to prevent the repeat of previous failure, assistance is required. It is also the acknowledgment that dyslexia can often be the symptom of much more complex issues that lie beneath. It is essential that we offer only unconditional positive regard in creating individual value and building self-esteem. In accepting the dyslexic for who they truly are . For some support may merely consist of a positive attitude to their development, encouragement and/or a focus on their strengths. The words ‘good luck’ before an exam, though simplistic, too, are considered as support. A word of caution must however be given; children and adults from ethnic minorities are historically generally less likely to be diagnosed with dyslexia or offered support. . A situation that has not improved over the following decade. . Dyslexia is even harder to diagnose when English is not a first language .

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

My diagnosis hit me hard. I was crushed – I felt that my whole life had been a lie. A sense of pointlessness and self-doubt took over. My ability and creativity had taught me to sing, my diagnosis had now struck me mute. I loved studying, I loved student life, and I had discovered who and what I wanted to be. But now having failed and with the uncertainty of acceptance to re-sit, I fell into a very deep depression. It is not fair to associate this singly to diagnosis, many issues were at the fore during this period of my life, but it was certainly the final straw that had broken the camel’s back. The one single thing that brought me tremendous pleasure was taken away. I was now out of university and would probably not achieve my ambitions to be a professionally qualified Youth & Community Worker. My salvation was in the knowledge that those who knew me, my tutors, unanimously recommend that I be allowed to start afresh, post diagnosis and re-sit my first year. This is support at its most crucial level: the knowledge that others believed in me when coupled with the awareness that others beyond this circle, took pleasure in my failure.

I remained on the ward of a psychiatric hospital as a voluntary patient for 2 weeks. An environment which was wholly inappropriate to the needs of a patient suffering from reactive depression. I discharged myself when I had awoken one morning to find another patient, of this open ward, masturbating beside my bed. Despite engaging with mental health services as an outpatient at various times; the help I required was never made available to me.

The absence of specialist counselling staff with knowledge of the impact of diagnosis on the dyslexic learner must also be considered as dyslectualism. Psychological preparation of the dyslexic must surely take place before diagnosis is supplied.

I also wish to cite another example of dyslectualism within this stage:

I received a grant for computer equipment and associated specialist software following diagnosis and the opportunity to re-sit my studies was offered. This from the local education authority: Calderdale M.B.C. The supplier of this equipment was a local independent I.T store. The scanner was found to be faulty and returned for replacement. The supplier refused to replace the item and unreasonably insisted on a repair. This lead to friction and argument. Several weeks passed and I found that the scanner had still not been repaired and/or returned to me. I decided to simply afford the repairs myself as it was urgently needed to facilitate my studies, to my dismay they refused to hand it back. Under the legislation provided by the Theft Act 1968 I returned in the presence of a police officer to remove my scanner from the store. The proprietor insisted that ‘this was a different scanner’ – so unable to prove ownership I returned home empty handed. A claim placed within the small claims court awarded in my favour was followed by non-payment. A full financial refund for the equipment was not supplied until a bailiff personally visited the store to seize alternate assets. This process exceeded three months in duration.

L=Learning

As dyslexics we are unique. Often considered to be essentialists, (McKeowin, G: 2017). There is not one mold that fits all. We have strengths and areas for improvement that exist from within our prior knowledge of our own condition. We need to be valued (Burns: 1982) Ability and education will vary significantly within individuals. Fundamentally socio-economic conditions, social class and the provision of state or private education will impact directly on the outcomes and successes of the creative dyslexic. Gender, culture and ethnicity and the social expectations of the dyslexic within the family or community structure will also impact. Learning opportunity must be appropriate to individual need and the individual’s own expectation and not of peers and professionals who seek to act in the dyslexics own interests. No matter how well intentioned, this leads to disempowerment. Dyslexics cannot be empowered by others, only by themselves. Greater self-esteem leads to value and therefore later empowerment. .

If the dyslexic learnt in the same cognitive way and methods of non-dyslexics then surely we would not be dyslexic at all. We do learn differently, identifying and establishing systems that work for us. Techniques and strategies that is unique to the individual. Whilst tinted paper or coloured overlay may be beneficial too many, it is quite useless to others. Assumptions on what works best cannot be made and the dyslexic learner must be fully involved – empowered – within their own learning process.

If I had a penny for every time a person has offered me ‘a cure’ for my dyslexia I would indeed be a rich man. As if a note pinned above the cooker will remind granny to turn off the gas and cure her of dementia…

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

I had always dreamed of becoming an actor. Still to this day I long for the stage but accept that it will never be. I cannot remember lines: reading them a million times will not work. I have no short term memory. I cannot multi-function. The term idiot board within the film industry offers a very clear welcome to the dyslexic to join the profession. As a successful singer/songwriter, despite penning my own works and having performed them hundreds of times, I still require my lyrics in front of me to perform. It is impossible for me to sing, play and remember simultaneously. Within the learning process there must be an acceptance of I can’t. The old adage ‘there’s no such thing as can’t’ has no place within the dyslexic cognitive/learning cycle. As an adage is a proverb or short statement that is generally believed to express the truth, can there ever be an adage that is more contradictory and incorrect in relation to dyslexia? I, like most dyslexics, have very disturbing memories of school life. I would cry myself to sleep every Sunday night in fear of attending school the following morning. I would always fail my spelling test supplied on Friday night as homework or my times tables (I never progress passed 3) that I was required to recite in front of the whole class. Monday morning was routine – an hour stood in the corner because there is no such thing as can’t. There is no better way for the teacher to focus the attention of the bullies than to assist in the identification and ridicule of the class retard.

Note: The word ‘retard’ is used here for effect. A disgusting, derogatory word that I use within my own sub-culture to identify myself. Dyslexic children can display behavior that leads them to be labeled as autistic or of having a learning disability . Just as any oppressed group through sexuality, ethnicity or gender takeaway the words of power from their oppressors, I have re-claimed it as a badge of honour. This may be hard for a non-dyslexic to digest or for those who fail to understand the true reality of specific and/or learning difficulties, but I am comfortable with it as a label of self-identification. It does not give others the right to use it against me. My interactions throughout life, especially my daily disorientation, (Davis: 1994) have informed me that this is what I am – none more so than within the field of creative writing.

E=English

It is the use of such a derogatory word above that starts to develop the focus of this research here in E – English. Why is the dyslectualist so obsessed with correct usage of the English language? English as an evolving language changes, it’s not untouchable and can be altered. Why does a grammatical, punctuation or spelling error detract from the essence of what the writer is expressing? Fundamentally why should the creative writing of a dyslexic be judged on its poor literacy quality and not on the merits of the culture it carries and portrays. Especially when we consider that below ability dyslexics, those who tend not to write and draw attention to themselves are often eliminated from such criticism . Allowances are made for all other disabilities, but when it comes to dyslexia and the English language – there can be no excuses. Good grammar matters. Or does it? Dyslexic adults display creativity; this is true. They show enhanced visuo-spatial skills. However more research is needed as the more creative a dyslexic is the easier they are to diagnose .

Do dyslexics perceive the important use of correct English differently? Do we really care? When we read and come across a mistake within the text do we react in the same way that the non-dyslexic does. Personally; mistakes have no impact on me at all, though to be fair, I don’t see most of them. They do not detract from or remove any sense of enjoyment from the text itself. Indeed: I find poor grammatical structure to be more authentic; I have read countless texts on the recommendation of my partner, who as an avid reader, finds to be simply wonderful – with a reaction of utter boredom. I find English in its correct pure form to be dull and unexciting. Can we not write as we speak without pretentious use of words many have never heard of? Do other creative dyslexics share this point of view or should the highest acceptable standards of English be preserved at all cost, even if this means at the cost of our own identity and/or creativity. Indeed; if non-creative dyslexics were open to the same scrutiny, included with all other poor reader groupings, special creative skills would probably never be identified. .

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

The Ridings School, Halifax (UK) was featured on BBC television and other outlets as the result of a school wide teachers strike. The school was created out of a merger of two low achieving secondary schools within white working class housing estates. The behavior problems of its pupils became so challenging that the teachers refused to teach until a large number of permanent exclusions took place. The media termed the school ‘the worst in Britain’. After much intervention and after the strike had concluded, I found myself employed as a Compact Plus Adviser. A youth worker who would provide alternate education to 77 of the most unruly. 77 children whose teachers were not prepared to teach. My own experiences of persistent non-school attendance and later achievement were viewed as a positive role model to the learner’s. That’s why I got the job, and I am delighted with the many great achievements of the children concerned.

I regularly wrote notes to the head of school, a head who had been awarded a CBE for her own achievements in turning this dysfunctional learning environment around. My notes would always be returned via my staff pigeon hole with my mistakes highlighted and underlined in red ink.

X=X (symbolic illiteracy)

X- Symbolic illiteracy is where I believe the creation of a dyslexic sub-culture starts to exist. X is symbolic of the cross used on documents as a signature confirming ones illiteracy. Here the dyslexic enters a period of self-realization and political awareness. Dyslexia becomes political – a struggle for power over one’s own identity. It is a rejection of the traditional norms and values that constrict us and the founding of our own resistance. No matter how hard we try we still have dyslexia. Society’s narrow focus on raising academic achievement causes depression and we fail to emotionally thrive. Our experiences create mental health problems in later life. . Focus on literacy and basic skills provision fails us. We are not stupid, we are dyslexic. Regardless of the amount of time we have spent ‘learning English’ to satisfy the needs of the system, it makes no overall difference. Motivated and activated, the dyslexic starts to fight back, s/he now challenges the perceived or actual inequality and discrimination around them. Unhappy children cannot learn (Ghouri: 1999) but as adults we learn to fight back.

They may disengage from striving to reach good standards of English as imposed on them as unobtainable and pointless, preferring to concentrate on developing their own unique writing styles. They write for themselves now and not for the approval of a dyslectifying audience. This is the birth of a movement of creative writers with dyslexia, dyslexia becomes a secondary label and they are proud of their achievements and identities as ‘creative writers’. But it is a disorganized, vulnerable and un-unified movement at the mercy and whim of institutionalism. After all; school is a place where we learn to be stupid .

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

Of the 28 mainstream and well-established professional book awards available for British Literature produced in the UK, ranging from The Costa Book Awards, The Booker Awards, The British Book Awards (the Nibbies) or the T.S Elliot Prize, not one category recognizes the achievement’s in literature of dyslexic writers. This despite multiple opportunities afforded to most other minority groups. A movement within dyslexic sub-culture as a reaction has started with festivals such as Dyspla (it showcases the talent of people with dyslexia) and RASP Books (Rebelling Against Spelling Press), a small independent publisher of likeminded dyslexics who are “interested in developing and publishing works which celebrate of all that dyslexics can do in writing. We are especially keen to take on manuscripts that experiment and play with traditional form and structure” Ref: . But today, we as a community still remain a long way from home.

I=Institutionalism

The creative writer with dyslexia realizes at this stage I – Institutionalism that they are powerless. We may well have already given up trying in school in the belief that we are not brainy, this negative self-belief compounded by endless testing in which we continually fail . That recognition and approval of our work/s depends on the approval of the literate elite. Publishers will not accept unsolicited works directly from them and agents have no interest in ‘substandard literacy’. On rare occasions where one’s work manages to penetrate the inner circle is must first have been heavily edited through the services of professional proof-readers. There work is no longer their own and is judged alongside the high standards of ‘normal’ others. The language and sub-culture of the dyslexic perspective on creative writing has been removed. The text has become sterilized. Poor literacy does not sell.

Self-publishing sites such as Shakespir have opened the door to dyslexic creativity, but it remains there at the mercy of a traditional readership that requires certain literacy standards of it. Dyslexics can be high achievers and very creative; there are positive aspects to dyslexia. .

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

Agatha Christie, John Irving, WB Yeats, Jules Verne, George Bernard Shaw, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Lynda La Plante, among many other notable and famous creative writers, are literates with dyslexia or of a specific learning difficulty that manifests itself with indicators of dyslexia; profound, mild or otherwise. They have all had their work tampered with to meet high standards of literacy at the cost of the works original authenticity. Can you imagine how priceless an original work by the self-proclaimed “extraordinarily bad speller” Agatha Christie would be worth and the beauty in discovering it in its original undisturbed format? In tampering with these writers original creations we have done nothing less than re-coloured Van Gogh’s sunflowers and tweaked Beethoven’s high range frequencies. Indeed: have we not returned to the unacceptability of ‘The Black and White Minstrels Show’ – where painting the face of a white man black becomes morally acceptable?

A=Acceptance

A – Acceptance is the ultimate goal of this research. To identify and demonstrate that discrimination is active and institutionalized. To challenge at its very core the over-editing, tampering with and alteration of dyslexic writers creativity in order to satisfy the literacy standards of a non-dyslexic readership. That when an author states, usually within a brief biography on the inner pages of their work, that s/he is dyslexic, judgement on literacy should not be the central issue. It is not our experience of failure that is damaging but our perception of it . We need to encourage and engage readers and publishers to enter into dialogue with dyslexics in developing an acceptable code of conduct that is negotiated and agreed, not enforced. To challenge the way readers perceive our work and value its contribution to the wonderful exciting world of contemporary literature. Fundamentally: to allow our voice within the literary community to be heard and to encourage publishers to accept us as a minority group. We do not want false praise; we easily recognize praise that is not valid to us. .

If creative writers with dyslexia are to be welcomed into the world of productive, ground-breaking literature, it is essential that we create the conditions of non-judge-mentality that welcome their inner-creativity. Given the similarities between the concept of re-framing and that of attribution theory , we interoperate our experiences as helpful . To engage them in the process of creative writing, a process of acceptability of their condition that ultimately leads to equality and diversity in reaching their full potential. “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease”. Sun Tzu: Ch.6, 6^th^ Century BCE. We MUST bring down the wall!

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

As I published the final finished edition of my epic ‘The Gabrielites – Meat: Memoirs of a Psychopath (The Definitive Edition: 312,080 words) late last year on the self-publishing site Shakespir, I was contacted by a reader. The enquiry had nothing to do with dyslexia but clarification of a few points of interest as contained within a previous and related novel. I recommended that the new edition would clarify and satisfy any curiosity and the enquirer duly purchased and download it.

Time passed and the reader offered to proof-read the download for me. He too was a creative writer and was irritated by the countless mistakes he found. Despite intensive proofing over a four year period by myself, and the involvement of three other non-dyslexic proofers, plentiful mistakes; grammar, punctuation and spelling remained. Aware of my dyslexia (it was not an act of dyslectualism on his part) but a genuine, sincere and supportive offer of assistance to bring the work up to the ‘necessary acceptable standard’. After all, Shakespir ‘reserves the right to remove poorly formatted works’ and its errors had already drawn the attention of other readers as previously discussed. “I soon discovered that as a dyslexic learner there would be a great deal of pain in a word based society ”.

This volunteer spent three months, refusing to accept any reward, bringing my errors up to standard. I soon came to view him as more of a mentor than of a proof-reader. Solid advice and clarification of grammatical rules cascaded down to me. I welcomed this support and for which I am/remain eternally grateful. He has offered to help with future further releases that I create. Though we have never met, I consider him a friend. Had he been a school teacher of mine perhaps I would have been encouraged to engage.

It was during one clarification of grammatical ruling that the misconception of my specific learning difficulties invited the following exchange. My new author friend is deaf; so I used the following analogy. You can explain the rules as much as you like, and I do most sincerely welcome and take onboard everything you say to me, but; if I don’t see the mistake how can I know there is a mistake. In discovering the mistake, I can then understand it, but it won’t prevent the same mistake occurring again. As a man with loss of hearing, I can tell you that I’ve been ringing your door bell for 20 minutes. You know now that you didn’t hear me and perhaps this is frustrating for the both of us – But in telling you; it isn’t going to make you hear me the next time…

Dyslectualism is evident in the misconception of dyslexia as a condition, a condition created of brain damage. It cannot be cured.

Allow me now to discuss the theory of Consequential Impact Rating. As described earlier the Theoretical model of Dysletualism is the fundamental key in measuring a consequential impact rating (CIR), so let’s re-visit that theoretical model. Remember that dyslexia is a condition ‘usually’ created from brain damage and cannot be cured. I say usually as some evidence exists of acquired dyslexia through emotional disturbance or imjury. “Acquired dyslexia in previously literate adults is most commonly the outcome of one of a variety of neuropathologies including dementia, stroke, neoplasm, multiple sclerosis, and migraine” . Though this manifests itself as dyslexia – it should be viewed as a separate distinct psychological condition. There will be much, much more about this later as the dissertation/book evolves!

Consequential Impact Rating:

I wrote late into the night and attempted to create a workable framework from which to build. I had originally conceived that: CIR exists of eight stages. 8 is the highest impact score and 1 the lowest. 1 is evidential of dyslextualism but with little impact on the psychological and personal (practicable daily-life) development of the dyslexic creative writer. 8 is dyslectualism that has an acute effect on the psychological and personal development of the dyslexic creative writer where legislation is unlawfully breached.

My original frame work was built around the following, but you will see later that I have reviewed and revised this initial framework. I had previously written;

The following are ‘initial’ working definitions only; they should be considered as fluid and not fixed. A ballpark approach to measuring the consequences of discrimination; that is based on the perception of the dyslexic. They are open to interpretation and subject to later review and scrutiny.

1: Dyselctuaism is so subtle that the dyslexic or perpetrator is unaware that discrimination has taken place. There is no psychological harm and the incident is free of practicable barriers to participation.

2: Dyslectualism is present to such a degree that psychological harm impacting on the self-belief and confidence of the dyslexic come to the fore. Self-doubt in own ability is activated but barriers to participation are not hindered. Crucially, the perpetrator is not aware of the harm they are causing.

3: Dyslectualism is present to such a degree that psychological harm impacting on the self-belief and confidence of the dyslexic are evident. Self-doubt in own ability is activated and a belief of inferiority within the dyslexic starts to dominate personality. At this stage the perpetrator may or may not be aware that their actions are causing harm. Barriers to participation are not hindered.

4: Dyslectualism is so evident within the action that the dyslexic shows signs of frustration, discomfort or emotional distress. Barriers to participation may or may not be hindered but a sense of exclusion now exists. The perpetrator may or may not be aware that their actions are causing harm but harm (psychologic and practicable) is/or may evident: either to the dyslexic or perpetrator in facilitating the dyslexics journey to reach full potential.

5: Dyslectualism has now placed obstacles or barriers in place. The dyslexic is actively prevented from progression or the attainment of their full potential. The perpetrator may or may not be aware that their actions are causing harm but harm (psychologic and practicable) is/or may be evident: either to the dyslexic or perpetrator in facilitating the dyslexic’s journey to reach full potential. In educational environments and employment situations there is enough evidence of difficulty to suggest assessment for a specific learning difficulty as reasonable. A problem has been identified though the cause as yet may be unknown.

6: Dyslectualism is evident either to the dyslexic or the perpetrator. A sense of unfairness exits. It is reasonable to conclude in power based relationships that discrimination may be taking place. Diagnosis may or may not have taken place, nor psychological harm be evident but it is there. Confidence and self-doubt prevail in the dyslexic.

7: Dyslectualism is evident either to the dyslexic or the perpetrator or both. Unfairness and inequality exists. It is reasonable to conclude in power based relationships that actions are discriminatory and action should be taken to redress the imbalance of power. Diagnosis may or may not have taken place, nor psychological harm be evident but acute psychological disturbance is probable. Confidence and self-doubt prevail to such a degree that the dyslexic believes that they are intellectually inferior.

8: Dyslectualism is considered so serious that statute anti-discriminatory legislation is broken, acute psychological harm may or may not have occurred but the dyslexic is actively prevented from reaching her/his full potential. The perpetrator is liable for their actions in law.

Note: CIR does not concern itself with the reason for dyslectualism, only on the impact that occurs. Whether an intentional act to blatantly discriminate is undertaken or accidental institutional error born out of ignorance of the condition, no matter how well founded the intention, the consequences to the dyslexic remain the same.

I have now revised CIR to include 4 positive stages and 4 negative stages. This was in consideration of the two references I have been given in support of my application. It soon became obvious that there was nowhere to place them within CIR theory if positive enabling experiences occurred. So I now return with a different model that recognizes empowerment and acceptance equally to that of the negative impacts of dyslectualism itself. I will use these two references as example thereafter.

4: Dyslectualism is so subtle that the dyslexic is unaware that discrimination has taken place. The incident is free of practicable barriers to participation though psychological harm and self-doubt are activated in the action. Crucially, the perpetrator is not aware of the harm they are causing.

3: Dyslectualism is present to such a degree that psychological harm impacting on the self-belief and confidence of the dyslexic are evident. Self-doubt in own ability is activated and a belief of inferiority within the dyslexic starts to dominate personality. At this stage the perpetrator may or may not be aware that their actions are causing harm. Dyslectualism is so evident within the action that the dyslexic shows signs of frustration, discomfort or emotional distress.

2: Dyslectualism has now placed obstacles or barriers to participation in place. The dyslexic is actively prevented from progression or the attainment of their full potential. The perpetrator may or may not be aware that their actions are causing harm but harm (psychologic and practicable) is evident. There is enough evidence of difficulty to suggest assessment for a specific learning difficulty as reasonable. A problem has been identified though the cause as yet may be unknown. It is reasonable to conclude in power based relationships that discrimination may be taking place.

1: Unfairness and inequality exists. Dyslectualism is so evident within the action that the dyslexic shows signs of frustration, discomfort or emotional distress. A sense of exclusion now exists. Dyslectualism is considered so serious that statute anti-discriminatory legislation is broken, acute psychological harm may or may not have occurred but the dyslexic is actively prevented from reaching her/his full potential. The perpetrator is liable for their actions in law.

Note: the numeric order is now reversed. At stage five; positive actions of empowerment and enabling are activated to counteract the negative.

5: Unfairness and inequality exists. Dyslectualism occurs due to the failure to recognize the condition despite signs of a cognitive versus intellectual deficit. The dyslexic shows signs of frustration, discomfort or emotional distress and does not reach apparent potential. Action to investigate cause is not actioned or measures to remove barriers are not put into place. A sense of exclusion now exists in the absence of positive correctional measures to eliminate or investigate the cause of discrimination. Four and five are considered as neutral phases; here a problem exists but that problem is exasperated by the failure to act.

6: Dyslexia is identified (through diagnosis or awareness) and action is taken to re-address inequality. The dyslexic is offered support and is mutually engaged in the decision making process. The perception of discrimination is challenged and recognition of strengths and ability allows for an environment of value and appreciation where the dyslexic begins to grow; creatively.

7: There is full understanding of Dyslexia and recognition that disability is created by social conditions and not of the condition its self. Differently able replaces the previous negativity of un-able. Dyslectualism is challenged and barriers to opportunity identified. Institutionalism still requires that the dyslexic mold themselves around the requirements and standards of others. The condition is accepted but not the person.

8: Dyslectualism no longer exists and an environment of total acceptance predominates. There are no attempts to remove dyslexia from the dyslexic but to embrace it as a creative force. The dyslexic it accepted for whom and what they really are; they do not have to hide their condition and are free to fully embrace it without negative connotation or consequence from others. They are fully activated and empowered.

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p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

[
Figure 1: Example of Consequential Impact Rating (CIR).]

Referee One:

In understanding how CIR measurements can be/are used within my research let’s look at the first example in use. The first reference supplied to me from my employer in application for the PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster Universty.

As founder of EnglishClub.com, an educational website for learners and teachers of English as a foreign language, I confirm that Jonathan Taylor has worked with us for over five years.

Jonathan has been instrumental in creating songs for English learners, which he writes, plays and sings himself. He has an intuitive grasp of the needs of learners in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation and level. He is highly creative and always professional.

In all the projects we have collaborated on I have found Jonathan to be dependable and conscientious, and particularly resourceful in the planning and creation of teaching/learning content.

I’m happy to provide further information if required”.

Referee one has provide a glowing reference concerning my ability. Positive, simplistic and straight to the point. Despite knowing about my dyslexia, having published an online interview with me about it for site users to access, it is not mentioned. Referee one clearly demonstrates that in his opinion, dyslexia is not of concern in relation to creativity and study. Referee one has not undertaken PhD study and the relationship with me concerns songwriting. There is no engagement between us concerning visual literature, but sound. Referee one’s perception of my ability is based on my ideas and creativity that finalize themselves into an audio production and not that of the written word.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. x
<>.

Figure 2: CIR Reference One.

In my opinion this reference within the framework would receive a CIR of: A8.

In sharp contrast, dyslexia is the overriding concern for Referee two;

Referee Two:

I am a retired consultant electronics engineer (since 2008). During my career as a professional engineer, I published just under one hundred technical papers and two text books. Post retirement, I have self-published eleven e-books, nine under my own name and two under a pseudonym.

My contact with Jonathan Taylor, henceforth referred to as JT, is an unusual one. I have never met him (he’s British but lives in Bulgaria) but over the last six months or so, he and I have exchanged well over five hundred e-mails. Let me first explain and then comment on his suitability for your PhD programme.

My older son and his wife are nomads. They travel the world writing up their exploits in a travel blog. In September 2016, they visited the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria and wrote about two unexplained murders supposedly committed there in 2012. My curiosity was piqued and I researched the alleged murders and discovered they were probably a hoax but my research led me to JT’s e-book MEAT: Memoirs of a Psychopath.

I downloaded and read the e-book. The content is horrific (I likened it to novels such as Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho or Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird or to movies such as Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986, John McNaughton, director) or Man Bites Dog (1992, multiple directors). It turned out that MEAT: Memoirs of a Psychopath was part of a much larger book, The Gabrielites: Meat: Memoirs of A Psychopath. The Definitive Edition 2016, described as a multi-genre book of ten different inter-related stories covering history, crime, erotica, children’s story, radio musical, horror movie script, mystery, romance, psychological thriller, cooking, and contemporary narrative. I read The Gabrielites…, all 312,000 words, and two things struck me about the work. The first was the diversity of writing styles coupled with an ability to develop a plot and tell a story. The second was the amazing number of grammatical and other errors.

Almost every sentence contained an error or two—spelling, punctuation, verb tense, speech marks, use of italics and bold, homophone (I loved the Coy Carp), style changes, incorrect capitalisation, factual errors, ambiguity, … the list is endless. The high incidence of errors perplexed me. I’m an author. I check and double check my writings, constantly referring to reference books and websites—dictionaries, thesaurus, the grammar of English language—and I couldn’t figure out how JT had managed to write a multi-genre literary work without checking and correcting the errors. That was when I decided to e-mail him in September 2016 and contact was established.

It turned out that JT is seriously dyslexic and not capable of spotting the errors in his writing. I offered to sweep through his manuscript cleaning up the errors as I spotted them. He claimed that two people had already looked at and corrected his book but, quite frankly, they did not do a good job. I read and corrected many errors but (a) I am not a professional proof reader or copy editor, and (b) I know I have not caught all the errors in his book. I didn’t charge for my copy-editing services but the manuscript merits at least a second sweep and I’ve run out of time. But I like to think the book is much better now and readable without the constant irritation of tripping over a grammatical, style or factual error.

During the course of my amateurish proof-read and copy-edit, I communicated many times with JT and, on occasion, suggested ways by which he could use Microsoft Word’s Find and Replace tool to search for and correct many forms of errors to which he is prone: Nazis versus nazis, for example, or variations in spellings. He is not a power user of Word’s finer features, such as Find and Styles, but if he were he could avoid or automatically correct some of his more common errors. He would also benefit from maintaining and using a personal style checklist to at least create a uniformity of style and automatically check for regular errors. I don’t know what you have planned for him if he is accepted on the Creative Writing programme but “The use of Word to assist dyslexic authors” would certainly be a huge benefit to him.

In summary, I am impressed with JT’s ability to create an interesting narrative and to weave multigenre stories into a coherent tale but he needs to work hard to overcome the problems caused by his dyslexia. He knows this, which is half the battle, but it will be a struggle for him to understand and apply the disciplines of writing that come much easier to those of us who are not so afflicted. I hope this helps. Please contact me again if you think I can help further”.

Referee two, who later will become known to you as Proofer 4, focuses on my dyslexia and its connection to multiple errors. The relationship between us is clearly defined and based purely on the presentation of the visual word; literature. We see that Referee two is an author, an avid and informed reader and crucially, has studied at PhD level. Aware of my profound difficulties, I do not view his focus as negativity but one of support. He is clearly aware of the difficulties this will present to me. It is honest, frank and extremely detailed. I do not see anything that could result in rejection from the course based on this reference. Though the need for tutor awareness is abundantly clear.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 3: CIR Reference Two.

In my opinion this reference within the framework would receive a CIR of: S7.

DYSLEXIA

Let’s now revisited that framework and rate the examples that I had given;

D=Diagnosis

The example I gave of dyslextualism at this first stage was:

Despite an obvious ability and contradictory learning profile/spike, I was advised by my lead tutor not to pursue music technology / education at a higher graduate level”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 4: CIR Diagnosis One. Note: that although the example is used within the framework at the diagnosis stage of the framework, CIR here reflects impact on learning.

DYSLEXIA

Y=Yearning

The example I gave of dyslectualism at this first stage was:

This award was met by the comment of my step-father: “You’re still looking for excuses for being stupid then”. Upon later graduation with my B.A Hons Community Studies 2.1 my mother added: “Anyone can get a degree there”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 4: CIR Yearning One.

S=Support

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

My diagnosis hit me hard. I was crushed – I felt that my whole life had been a lie. A sense of pointlessness and self-doubt took over. My ability and creativity had taught me to sing, my diagnosis had now struck me mute. I loved studying, I loved student life, and I had discovered who and what I wanted to be. But now having failed and with the uncertainty of acceptance to re-sit, I fell into a very deep depression. It is not fair to associate this singly to diagnosis, many issues were at the fore during this period of my life, but it was certainly the final straw that had broken the camel’s back. The one single thing that brought me tremendous pleasure was taken away. I was now out of University and would probably not achieve my ambitions to be a professionally qualified Youth & Community Worker. My salvation was in the knowledge that those who knew me, my tutors, unanimously recommend that I be allowed to start afresh, post diagnosis and re-sit my first year. This is support at its most crucial importance: the knowledge that others believed in me, coupled with the awareness that others beyond this circle took pleasure in my failure.

An environment wholly inappropriate to the needs of a patient suffering reactive depression. I discharged myself when I had awoken one morning to find another patient of this open ward masturbating beside my bed. Despite engaging with mental health services as an outpatient at various times; the help I required was never made available to me”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 5: CIR Yearning One.

I also wish to cite another example of dyslectualism within this stage:

I returned home empty handed. A claim placed within the small claims court awarded in my favour was followed by non-payment. A full financial refund for the equipment was not supplied until a bailiff personally visited the store to seize alternate assets”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 6: CIR Yearning Two.

L=Learning

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

I would always fail my spelling test supplied on Friday night as homework or my times tables (I never progress passed 3) that I was required to recite in front of the whole class. Monday morning was routine – an hour stood in the corner because there is no such thing as can’t. There is no better way for the teacher to focus the attention of the bullies than to assist in the identification and ridicule of the class retard”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 7: CIR Learning One.

E=English

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

I regularly wrote notes to the head of school, a head who had been awarded a CBE for her own achievements in turning this dysfunctional learning environment around. My notes would always be returned via my staff pigeon hole with my mistakes highlighted and underlined in red ink”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 8: CIR English One.

X=X (symbolic illiteracy)

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

Of the 28 mainstream and well-established professional book awards available for British Literature produced in the UK, ranging from The Costa Book Awards, The Booker Awards, The British Book Awards (the Nibbies) or the T.S Elliot Prize, not one category recognizes the achievement’s in literature of dyslexic writers”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 9: CIR X = Symbolic illiteracy One.

I=Institutionalism

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

Agatha Christie, John Irving, WB Yeats, Jules Verne, George Bernard Shaw, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Lynda La Plante, among many other notable and famous creative writers, are literates with dyslexia or of a specific learning difficulty that manifests itself with indicators of dyslexia; profound, mild or otherwise. They have all had their work tampered with to meet high standards of literacy at the cost of the works original authenticity”

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. .CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 10: CIR Institutionalism One.

A=Acceptance

I cite the following example of dyslectualism within this stage with this example:

Aware of my dyslexia (it was not an act of dyslectualism on his part) but a genuine, sincere and supportive offer of assistance to bring the work up to the ‘necessary acceptable standard’. After all, Shakespir ‘reserves the right to remove poorly formatted works’ and its errors had already drawn the attention of other readers as previously discussed”.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. .CIR: Consequential Impact Rating |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 6 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 7 |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 8 | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. D=Diagnosis |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Y=Yearning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. S=Support |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. x | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. L=Learning |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. E=English |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. X= Symbolic illiteracy |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. I=Institutionalism |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. A=Acceptance |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.  
<>.

Figure 10: CIR Acceptance One.

——-

METHODOLGY

Let’s consider the overall methodology as dictated by Hammersley (1986) and Hammersley et al (1995) in finding the correct approach. I am not pursuing a quantitative approach as the question is not one of how many children have dyslexia or the incidence of dyslexia in adults . I am not concerning myself with numbers but with the perceptions of creative writers with dyslexia; and others. “It appears that there are specific ways in which (at least some) dyslexic writers think differently; a form of thinking and working that others could learn and use for themselves. For example, these are all possible tactics: using stream of consciousness and forgetting about making sense in the first draft; playing with non-sequential forms; making unusual connections; writing around a subject until one gets it; trusting the redrafting process; seeing the “sugary”, and the “random shaped lumps of sweetness” (Loncraine 2011 in Tondeur: 2017) Whilst quantitative (positive ethnographic traditions) research focuses on observation, it does not explain why people will react differently in different situations. Qualitative (anti-positivist) approaches as described on the spectrum of Carr & Kemmis (1986) are chosen as they will allow me to examine the creation of unique realties based on our own interactions with others. “A hypothesis is an educated guess regarding what the researchers expect to find” Study.com: 2017. And whilst I expect to find a perception of discrimination against creative writers with dyslexia I realise that dyslexia will differ cognitively from individual to individual and so will the barriers it creates; such as perceptions of race, gender and social class are interpreted differently by the individual. . Notably low expectations and self-esteem can result from conscious/unconscious racism .

You will find that the questionnaire is semi structured as some control is required over the direction of the interview . More in depth interviews will be generated from the data recovered and other sources to allow for an investigative approach into the contributors real lives. “There are certainly specific ways in which lexics can “be given hope saport and practakell help” to join “dislecksick culcher”. . It is hoped that unique case studies of other dyslexic creative writers can be identified and analyzed as the research develops. Hutchinson in Sherman and Web: 1988. It is essential that own feelings, perceptions and experiences be examined in developing an illuminative qualitative methodology . The nature of the question requires that a better understanding of the complexity of dyslectualism be understood and that such a qualitative approach will examine the individual perceptions of dyslexic creative writers in identifying discriminating alongside other qualitative findings. .

Just as my own personal judgments, opinions, circumstances and ability has changed over the years, so will that of my research contributors. Of this I am aware. This approach must observe what it intends to. Sprinthall et al: 1991. “At the centre of this body of work is the notion of “dyslexic” as 3D thinker: listening and observation becomes “reading”; declarations or speech become “writing”. The DIV (The DIV: Dislecksick Intelligent Vi-jon, a play on the word ‘div’, which in the UK slang means ‘an idiot’ or ‘stupid) both represents and exposes the inner workings of the dyslexic ‘3D thinking’ experience”. Phillips: 2006. In avoiding any assumption of leading or bias , the questions have been left as open to personal interpretation as possible, and for both dyslexic creative writers and non-dyslexic writers to contribute equally. Unless stated otherwise all information supplied will be treated as confidential. It is hoped that contributors whom wish to contribute further beyond the questionnaire will volunteer themselves forward for more intensive investigation into own personal circumstance and experiences. Carter: 2004. Audio recordings will be maintained where this occurs in semi-structured interviewing and will not be published without consent. Transcripts of interviews in edited form will build further on issues identified from the questionnaire.

I cite the following example of the existence of a dyslexic sub-culture within creative writing that indicates that a unique voice is offered:

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sportswriter, Richard Ford (USA) is a dyslexic. He views his dyslexia as an aid to reading, creating a sense of thoughtfulness in his approach to literature. He says: “being slow made me pore over sentences and to be receptive to those qualities in sentences that were not just the cognitive aspect of sentences but were in fact the “poetical” aspects of language…those qualities in language are as likely to carry weight and hold meaning and give pleasure as the purely cognitive, though of course we can’t fundamentally separate those things, although the information age does its best.” Bachelor’s Degrees Online: 2017.

In her essay (Tondeur, L: 2017. Dyslexic Writing: Reflexive Practice as Authentic Methodology), Tondeur focuses on two dyslexic creative writers; Rebecca Loncraine and Melanie Hunter. Loncraine she notes is widely published; Forgotten Letters (2011) and Everything is Spherical (2014). I am introduced to a new word within Tonduer’s texts with reference to the term neurodiversity and it is Loncraines’s “articulately about the experience of dyslexic writing” in describing her inability to “name “the thing” she is conceptualizing” that draws my attention. Tondeur, L: 2017. Neurodiversity concerns the dyslexic experience as a strength to thinking in the creation of creative writing.

I can describe the thing in real detail, all the / smallest, most important bits of it. But I can’t / name it, can’t tell you who made it […] And I look like a fool with no memory, / with no real grip on the world. (Loncraine: 2011)

Memory is highlighted by both Tondeur and Loncraine within the essay which itself is interesting as I have found little in my books about dyslexia and its connection to memory. Little seems to have been written in this regard as if memory is considered a different condition separated away from that of dyslexia. (Ref). The connection between short term memory and confidence is apparent. “It was only when I began this research project and I had my official diagnosis, aged 41, that I understood that dyslexia affects the short term memory”. Tondeur, L: 2017.

In the introduction to Loncraine’’s work; Forgotten Letters, Tondeur notes how Naomi Folb (editor and writer) describes how she perceives dyslexics as they; “describe the way they “think” as “seeing”, so that they say things like: “I see the whole” and what they mean is: that when they think, they understand the idea or the shape of something in all its complexity”. (Folb 2011).

In approaching this work A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing, I had no knowledge of other dyslexic creative writers, and; had I not submitted an application to Lancaster University to pursue further study would not have come across the works of Tondeur, Loncraine or Hunter. Immediately I draw comparisons that ring true for oneself and convince myself further that a dyslexic sub-culture of literary talent does exists. The experience of appearing the fool in a pool of alternate thinkers is a shameful waste of talent as Tondeur hints; but I see no reluctance by these talents to protect their works from editing and correction. The overall censorship of the final product is over shadowed by the process of dyslexic creativity.

Tonduer also writes that; “In the introduction to Forgotten Letters, Naomi Folb says of the writers collected in the volume that “apart from being dyslexic [we] have little else in common”. This I find hard to believe and this work I hope will later identify that commonalty of the scars of dyslexia, abuse and turmoil of negative experience that directly impact on our creativity. Is it dyslexia that changes our way of thinning or the experiences that have resulted from it? Indeed; is there a link between dyslexia and personality disorder that inform the darker side of our creativity…

Melanie Hunter is also a focus of interest within Tondeur’s essay. Her work (Be Loud) was featured as part of Dyspla festival; 2013. Tondeur explains that it was “…an installation that involved actors performing several monologues in an exhibition space, and the audience wandering between each of them”. The performance challenged her thinking, “I found myself wishing that other people who teach Creative Writing could have seen it, because I have given this advice to students, in the same emphatic way many times, and so have my colleagues, to the extent that it seems like sacrilege to challenge it:” Tondeur: 2015.

Hunter stated: “Never”, she said. You’ll NEVER be a good writer if you’re not a reader. No room for argument. […] It would be very easy to believe her. . I explain later on in this book why I do not read and the reasons I did not declare this to Lancaster during my application; but it seems that other dyslexic creative writers are themselves non-readers in the widest sense. I see that I am not alone in my belief that you do not have to read the work of others in order to present your own. I relate immediately to the words that Hunter “feels uncomfortable and unguided when it comes to printed material”.

Tondeur states that she; “reacted as a dyslexic person, because, although I love reading, I have also struggled with reading. Not with literacy, but with reading small text, tripping over words, re-reading sentences, sustaining my concentration, getting to the end, being expected to read quickly, trying to read too many books at once, and, with texts I don’t connect to somehow, I find it almost impossible to stop my mind wandering around the page, what I describe as being “cardboard minded”, as if the pages themselves are cardboard and I am being forced to eat them”. I love the phrase cardboard minded as used here in this most eloquently put description of dyslexic reading. She states that reading is harder when ‘tired or overwhelmed’ but we disagree when she adds “whereas if I am in love with a book, I am so immersed in it that it becomes more like a lover than ink on a page, and I’ll follow it anywhere”. I feel somewhat jealous of her relationship here, in that mine is one of hate. I do not love reading; in fact I cannot think of any greater a torture. When I think about reading I think about water-boarding. However; the phrase to follow it anywhere as if it were a lover does ring true of my songwriting. It is all about the emotion. And I am in love with writing.

I’m returning from the carcass of this title to amend, reflect and add. This process of my thinking you will come to understand as you read on. And I’m aware that quotes should be used to highlight a particular point. I read within the PhD guides that they should be directly from source and note re-quotes from other titles; fundamentally they should be short, succinct and to the point. But in writing this book I have the freedom I require in the following. Hunter sums up her process of creativity most beautifully, and in a way and manner I could not, so why would I tamper with it? She says (in Tondeur: 2015); “The written word is not the only place to be moved by the creation of a beautiful, flawed character, or lost in a powerful journey. […] I want to tell people not to believe her. Especially those like me: the non-readers who write anyway […] inspired by story, spoken word, a visual world, the world of feeling […] if it hurts, and if the words scramble in front of you, stop. Look around and be inspired by other things”. . That is perfection. It is descriptive writing at its very best. It is me. I will talk later about this ‘world of feeling’ that I create from as a non-reader.

Tondeur explains that these word too, as a tutor, ‘kicked her in the chest’ and goes on to say: “I will be far more cautious using the Creative Writing teacher’s adage that all good writers read”. And it seems that there is misunderstanding about the uniqueness of dyslexia within the dyslexic community. A sense that even dyslexics are guilty of dyslectaulism at times but she learns from this encounter and develops from it. She notes: “I have had so much pleasure from reading, amounting, as I say, to a love affair with some books, that Hunter’s narrator didn’t convince me, even though sometimes “it hurts”. Again I remind here that I did not declare to Lancaster that I was a non-reader because I felt that given all of my brutal honesty thus far, this would be a step in truth too far. Those teachers of creative writing would simply fail to understand that reading and writing are two separate distinct worlds for the dyslexic. Tondeur concludes; “That said, the emotional impact the performance had on me was more to do with the way the monologue celebrated a dyslexic perspective, and the way it championed visual culture and spoken word over printed text”.

The dissertation created from this research will raise and answer the following questions where substantiated:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What is dyslexia and is it a barrier to participation in creative writing?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Does it impact on full and equal participation in the creation of new literature?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Should readers and publishers alike change their attitude toward the creativity of dyslexics and adopt a code of practice/conduct created through greater understanding?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Should dyslexics be recognized as a minority group within the creation of literature which has its own unique voice to offer?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Does active and institutionalized discrimination (dyslectualism) exist within the world of creative writing or should dyslexic writers conform to the norms and values of their readers?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Does a subculture of dyslexic creativity exist within creative writing and if so, how does this impact on what and how they write?

These questions can be examined and where possible answered using the following methods:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Substantial access to key reading relevant to the field of creative writing, English literature and dyslexia.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Interviews with writers, both professional and otherwise who have dyslexia.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Interviews with potential creative writers who have withdrawn from writing because dyslexia has created a barrier to participation.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Interviews with teachers of English and others such as readers, editors and proof-readers of literature who view the preservation of the English language in historic and traditional forms as fundamental.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Interviews with publishers of literature, both mainstream and sell-publishing outlets.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The creation of an interactive website/blog where wider participants of this research may freely contribute to the questions raised.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The collection of empirical data collected through questionnaires supplied to online outlets such as EnglishClub, the Plain English Campaign, Shakespir, The British Dyslexia Association, The Dyspla Festival and RASP Books – and other portals that access students embarking on careers in English and/or creative writing.

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p<{color:#000;}. Critical self-reflection on my own experiences as a dyslexic creative writer and the identification of commonalities that may exist with others.

CHAPTER ONE:

Don’t Raise Your Voice: Raise Your Argument!

Just as I have used previously the old adage that there is no such thing as can’t, which is a value judgement based upon ability of the áble’ communities, another comes to mind that relates to the self-esteem of/and empowerment of the dyslexic. It is: “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission”(1) Eleanor Roosevelt. I like many have known this quote for many years, but as I search for the origins of it (I had believed it to be from within her biography, “This is My Story”), I find no such quote at all. Indeed it is by all accounts a historic misquote. The online site Quote Investigator gives a very detailed account of references to it but concludes that, although she may have used word based variants of it in speeches that had inspired its creation; the quote itself is not hers. “Thus, from the beginning the phrase was credited to Roosevelt. However, no supporting reference was given in the magazine, and the quote stood alone at the bottom of a page with unrelated article text above it. (3) Quote Investigator, 2012, p.1.

I nearly made a huge error here and had I not checked my belief in its origins, I would never have realized that it was ‘probably’ not hers at all. I have now re-edited my former writing and removed the title of her biography from my reading list as I realize to cite from it would be a significant inaccuracy. Critical reflection for the dyslexic writer has to ensure that we get our facts correct if we are to be accepted as valued contributors to literature.

Having continued looking further into the origins of the Roosevelt quote I came across a thread on Yahoo Answers entitled: “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent: how do you reflect on this?”

There is much discussion but of the contributions supplied to the developing online conversation the following particularly caught my attention;

You have the freedom to resist people who are trying to make you feel bad about yourself, if you realize that you have this freedom. And it’s important to remember that and act on it.

Of course, your “consent” to someone who’s trying to tell you that you’re inferior may be given unconsciously. Someone may be able to attack your self-confidence through your subconscious mind, or when you’re not paying attention, or when you’re too young and feeling too vulnerable to know what your enemies are up to.

And so without you consciously agreeing with them, they may be able to make you feel bad. But you’re liberated from this psychological crap when you recognize that you get to define who you are, and that you don’t have to listen when other people are putting your down”. (2) Andy F: Yahoo Answers: 2009.

First; before we examine this value judgment, we must deal with the obvious, or at the very least, what seems obvious to me as a dyslexic: referencing systems.

British academic institutes, traditionally, rely on a referencing system called Harvard (also known as Parenthetical Referencing). This system requires that a reading list (the books, journals, magazines, documents or websites that you have used but not cited) and your references (direct quotes and/or references to the information used from those sources) are listed in alphabetical order. Parenthetical referencing has two central styles; 1) Author–date as preferred by the American Chemical Society and the American Psychological Association (APA) or 2) Author–title or author–page favoured by the Modern Language Association (MLA). The latter is predominating in the field of arts and the humanities. Wikipedia: 2016. “Harvard usually only requires the author’s surname and date of publication, with page numbers provided if a “short direct quotation is included” (Jones, 2013, p.62)”. Nottingham, 2017, p.1.

The above Harvard definition is taken from the University of Nottingham’s guide to students. The bold text that appears after the citation (direct quote) is my acknowledgement that this is not my work and a reference to where this citation (another author’s work) can be read by readers of the text used. The direct quote can be found on page 1 of the Academic Support, Student Services guide (What are bibliographies and references?) of the University of Nottingham which was published in 2017. Within the same guide, guidance to students is supplied on the use of citations, advising that they should be short, contextual and demonstrate (underpin and/or backup) only the argument that you as the writer wish to give. Therefore I need reference what I have read and now said only as: Nottingham, 2017.

For many the point above is obvious, that I am teaching granny to suck eggs; that the mere explanation of referencing is even laughable. But as this is a reflective work that seeks to inform and inspire both dyslexic creative writers and non-dyslexic writers alike, it is necessary. I managed to complete my National Diploma in Music Technology without ever using or understanding referencing systems. I achieved much more by being allowed to work to my strengths . Upon my progression into higher education (Diploma H.E (J.N.C) Youth & Community Work) it became a major stumbling block that led to my failure to succeed within my first year.

Referring systems alone can be view as institutionalized dyslectualism. Upon citing, it is required that we, as dyslexics, now combine these references into our Bibliography (our full list of sources used) at the end of our work. Whether it be an essay, dissertation, project or assignment. I, and most dyslexics (ref) (Garner; 1998. (I) find it extremely difficult to organize ourselves in alphabetical order. Of course, after some labour and much confusion it is achievable, but it’s not a pleasant experience. For me such things (including mathematics and foreign languages), equate to an electronic food mixer being turned on inside my brain. My digit scan is indicative of short term memory which is significantly reduced under stress . I cannot hold calculations in my memory whilst doing something else. By the time I have worked out where the reference should be placed within the order of the bibliography, I have already forgotten/lost what the reference was (forgotten needs to be clarified as it is suggestive of poor memory). I use bad memory often in describing my condition as it is easy for others to understand. We all know to some degree what a bad memory is and how it affects ort lives. However: it does not help us understand dyslexia in that in reality it is not forgotten but misplaced. Forgotten implies a permanence, misplaced implies a temporary loss. Dyslexia can be viewed as a neurological condition caused by nerve cell damage to the fetal brain. .

The memory is there somewhere in the mind but cut off from access. That report you seek, that you know is in the filing cabinet somewhere but for the life of you, you cannot retrieve or find it. The message that so often appears on your computer screen: missing shortcut. Both the file and the data from these simplistic examples still exist. In the previous paragraph I inserted the letter I in brackets. Avid readers may not have noticed it at all; readers with dyslexia may have noticed it immediately. It all depends on how you read. Most are not really reading at all but recognizing the shape of words as they elegantly glide across the text. Their brain tells them subconsciously what they are seeing and interprets shape into memory. The dyslexic may however be connecting the letters in singularity or as phonetical connections. Visual and auditory processing mechanisms are damaged in some dyslexics. (Stein & Talcott: 1998) (Ref). It has long been recognized that dyslexic medical practitioners (Doctors particularly) make less errors when completing prescriptions or reports than non-dyslexics. Difficulty with literacy skills can be and is frequently overcome. (Mcloughlin: 1994) (Ref). This due to the awareness of the condition and the need to be precise at all times. In a nutshell; more care is taken over detail than the non-dyslexic who skims and glides confident as s/he pens in the belief that they do not make errors. If we are aware of how our own minds work we identify our own unique strengths (Reid: 1998) (Ref). Maybe this helps to explain why my book, despite being proof-read countless times still contained errors.

After I have proofed it many times, though reflectively in the most part as I wrote it; the first non-dyslexic to then proof-read it in entirety was a semi-professional author of creative writing and non-fiction. Thereafter it was an avid reader (a medical practitioner: nursing) whom had recently completed a proof-reading course and wanted firsthand experience for her portfolio. Thereafter again; it was proofed by my partner; an avid reader who always picks up on errors in books (and continuity errors in films) and finds them most annoying. All three were graduates and fluent in the English language.

When Proofer 4, the reader who offered to proof-read the published version I have spoken of earlier accessed it, it still contained countless errors; punctuation, grammar and spelling. Proof reader 4 is Dr. Proofer 4, my friend and mentor and an author himself. He has three degrees; a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering, MSc in Electronics, and PhD in Computer Science. In one of his emails to me he said: [_ “…I did the best I could with your book, I know I did not catch all the errors. With my own books, I read and re-read quite a few times and every re-read I find one or two more errors. I find that I catch most (95% say) errors on the first read but the remaining 5% takes time to find. Because of its size, I only read your book once”. _] Proofer 4.

After Proofer 4 had concluded proof-reading I did indeed find a mistake on the very first page where it read ‘countess’ in place of; countless. As the book was littered with errors as he had said in a much earlier email – “I note that you are dyslexic and thus may (or will?) have difficulty spotting these errors but the book suffers considerably from them and they seriously detract from the impact of the book. Employing the services of a good copy editor will certainly enhance the book” – I consider he has indeed done a most sterling job! [Ibid.
**]Given his background in aeronautical engineering, electronics and computer science, is he working at a much higher tuned level of attention to detail than those who previously read my book or does his deafness play an important role? I feel that I must write to him and ask for clarification, as I will with the other proofers concerned. Why? – Because this returns me back to the letter ‘I’ that I bracket and spoke of.

The ‘I’ indicated interruption. I was mid-flow of my sentence when my partner asked me to buy shopping. I was the indicator of the exact place of that interruption, where I finished writing and left the keyboard without continuing. “Can you buy dog food, get gas, water” etc. “when you take me to work,” She said. I replied as any dyslexic would, “You need to write me a list or I’ll forget”.“You can do that, you can see I’m in a rush to get ready,” came the reply. “I can” – I retorted, continuing; “but not midsentence”. A dark cloud of silence fell upon the room.

I left the room and keyboard in search of a pen, I duly asked what to buy again, and completed the shopping list. There was a delay in leaving the house because of course, within minutes, I’ve already lost the shopping list and have no memory at all of where it is. I eventually find it after emptying every pocket and there it is, in the middle of a very, very, very small wad of bank notes. Eight to be exact; at a value of two Bulgarian leva each. At today’s exchange rates that is (ballpark figure) five GBP.

Upon dropping her off at work, I realize I haven’t brought the gas bottle which I need to refill for the kitchen boiler. Multi-tasking is impossible; it’s one thing at a time only. Quite simply; not everything said goes in (McLoughlin et al: 1994). Self-organization is in peril when one has to think of more than one thing at a time. Finding the shopping list, finding my driving documents (a legal requirement here in Bulgaria, they must be with you at all times whilst driving), finding the car keys, clothes and hat, and then my shoes, and remembering the gas bottle all at the same time – It was never going to happen! “Where are my shoes”, I asked, “By the fire, you haven’t looked”, being the predictable reply. “I did look, I didn’t see them,” my very predictable return.

The point here is threefold. First: The dyslexic creative writer like any other writer must not be disturbed. We are lost within our own imaginations unaware of what goes on around us. But perhaps for most dyslexics when that thought process/chain is broken it is then lost –missing shortcut and unrecoverable. All writers perhaps hate interruption but they recover from it, they remember what they were writing to a much higher degree than the dyslexic. The interruption is irritating but not catastrophic (McPherson: 2015) . For the life of me I cannot remember what I was going to say at the point of I for interruption. That I as an indicator was placed ten paragraphs ago is now realized by me. I am aware that I have drifted of task, which was the focus on bibliographies, and have randomly ranted into my computer for those ten paragraphs. Interruption is in itself dyslectualism.

As a follow on tip to ‘just write’ – I would stress the huge significance of a quiet, remote, away from others place to write. Buy a garden shed! We must control our own learning and adopt a full on student centered approach to our creative writing. (Gibbs: 1981) (Ref).

Second: I have had to write these, now 11 paragraphs, before returning to bibliographies so I do not forget what I wanted to say about interruption. Your frustration with me is the result of authentic, genuine dyslexic creativity. I can only hope that you enjoyed the journey with me. I have decided not to cut and paste the following re-continuance about bibliographies (to follow) as I want you to understand how my mind is working as I write. And too, thirdly: I realize that I must explain why Proofer 4s deafness could impact on his precision for detail (I forgot). Is he working in a world away from distraction and perhaps isolated by silence, where the others were in environments of noise. Is Proofer 4s attention to detail due to his chosen vocation, one of exact precision and the others, were they skimming and gliding through the text as if purely enjoying the experience of reading? We will have to return to this point later as only they can supply the answer.

Bibliographies; I think that I have demonstrated how alphabetical order presents a problem within my memory, the problem of multi-tasking thoughts. The Harvard system itself could therefore be considered as dyslectualism. Let’s focus on an alternative; the Wikipedia referencing system known as superscripted footnote numbers, although following the Harvard system within bibliography creation, uses a simple number at the end of the citation. Clicking upon the number hyperlinks you to the source. Fantastic! Technology in the empowerment of dyslexia creative writers cannot be underestimated. Though hyperlinks are useless in printed formats, this system has a place. Rather than trying to remember the author’s reference citation; for example: Jones. 2016, the digit 16 as it may be the 16th citation allows me to immediately locate it within the bibliography. I do not need to read through a list of 27 authors whose name is Jones, containing multiple different first name initials in alphabetical form, and at the same time remembering the date as well. By the time I’ve located ‘the’ Jones in question – I’ve forgotten which Jones I am seeking, causing quite a degree of frustration as I return to the text reference time and time again in an attempt to remember. A outer margin of numbers is so easy to navigate as 16 will be after 15, 15, after 14 and so on. There is no need for the authors surname to be in alphabetical order at all. Surely what matters most is that the reference is contained in the bibliography and that it is accurate and correct.

I experimented with it earlier. “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission” – (1) Eleanor Roosevelt, (3) Quote Investigator and (2) Andy F: Yahoo Answers, at the opening of this chapter. The reason (3) appears out of numerical order and before (2) is because I returned to add the citation after completing number two. On hindsight I decided that in order to further explain this historical misquote a quote itself was required. In fact if I had finished the work and had reach number 147, I could still return and cite (147) after (1) or even before it. All that matters is the need to easily access the source, without confusion or discomfort from the reading (bibliography) or reference (citations) list as required. Meta cognition allows for my own learning strengths . In academic terms, it is rare that a tutor or marker will scrutinize your references as they are already, by the very nature of their profession and vast subject experience, aware of who said what in relation to your academic reading. From a generic reader’s perspective, it offers the opportunity to investigate what you have said further, and from your own standpoint – it demonstrates a further understanding and resourcefulness of your contribution to the literature.

This system as used by Wiki (Wikipedia) works much better for me but I recognize that one system doesn’t work for all . I have one major problem however, in that as I continue to write, I cannot remember the last number I used and find the need to scroll up the text to locate it. If the numbers appear of out numerical order this soon becomes quite an impossible task; I need to write down on paper next to me the last number used and amend as I proceed. The central point here is that it does not matter which system of referencing you use (and there are many), the one that works best for the dyslexic writer is the one of their own choosing. To rigidly insist on one in preference to another, to ensure we are all singing from the same hymn sheet, is in itself institutionalized dyslectualism. In allowing us to find our own way our difficulties become less obvious. (Hampshire: 1981) (Ref).

On January 30th, 2017, I held in my right hand, the hand of my partner across the dinner table, and with my left I clicked the mouse that hovered over the submit application icon. My application for the PhD Creative Writing, with this gesture of good luck, was submitted to Lancaster. I have/had spent three solid days from dawn until dusk preparing my application; the personal statement and research proposal that introduced or should I say inspired this ‘new book’. I always follow another old adage: hope for the best and expect the worst. A good philosophy that, coupled with a delightful sense of humour, keeps me sane and has prevented me from stepping off the planet on many an occasion. Since submitting, I have continued to write furiously, I would be delighted and thrilled to be accepted onto this course but my self-doubt informs me that I am not good enough and that of course they will reject me. That somehow as I have failed to prove my ability I have lost their respect (McCormacke: 1995) (Ref). With the icon pressed, I immediately received an automated reply saying that my application had been received. This in itself allowed me to move on more closely to the book, this book. If I don’t get in then I am sufficiently motivated now and engaged enough to continue working on my theoretical perspective on dyslectualism. I always try to find the positive in the negative: just the application process alone aloud for the spur of new creativity needed to write. With rejection here I re-channel that energy into a new book and I’m having much fun just writing it. I find a difficult balance between achieving and self-fulfillment, mixed with my low self-esteem and general feelings of failure .

Yes: I expect to be rejected. A PhD (Philosophy Degree) intimidates me, I know I have lots to say and wouldn’t research on the subject of dyslectualism be utterly fascinating, but I’m not an academic and have never sought to be. I know my place and I don’t feel that I belong up there with ‘them’. A PhD would give me the title of Dr. though I’m not sure that I’m up to it. I am driven by the need to succeed but haunted at the same time by the reality of failure. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Is it better to have undertaken the PhD and failed than never to have tried at all? If I was certain I would fail I would prefer not to have tried. I am terrified of the ridicule of others that re-enforces my sense of uselessness. They won’t comment on my success, they will laugh at my failure. I could dictate to you now the words of my parents, almost verbatim, without them uttering a word three years in advance. The creation of this book therefore becomes and is my parachute. I revert to being a child seeking unconditional acceptance .

Yesterday, after submitting my application I received a second email from the FASS team at Lancaster. I didn’t open it though I told my partner I had received it, whilst she read in bed next to me. “Why not?” – she asked, and I replied that I was too nervous, that it would probably be a rejection. After all to reply so quickly must mean my application had not been seen passed or beyond the submissions office. In my mind I decided I must be under qualified for the course – the reply must be an immediate thank you but no thank you. This had to be the reason, I had followed all procedure correctly and re-checked my application several times for errors, I found none. “I don’t have an MA – this must be it!” – I thought; though I have two professional qualifications at Masters level that took four years to complete. My P.G.C.E (Post Graduate Certificate in Education with qualified teacher status) and my Advanced Professional Diploma in Mentoring. The credits add up to 360 (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) and are the same as my Honour’s Degree. A Master’s degree can be as little as 180. Warwick, 2017. But non-the-less, this must be the reason they are contacting me so soon. Low self-esteem and self-blame now enter stage left .

I was prompted by partner to open the email this morning, a day later. “I’m still on my first cigarette and coffee”, my reply; and then after preparing myself logged into my Google mail account. The one thing that stood out during the application process was the ease of use of the online application process developed by Lancaster University. From a dyslexic point-of-view it is commendable. Straightforward with clear instruction/explanation and stress free. As Lancaster has “…over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK”, Lancaster: 2017, it is clearly designed to meet the needs of applicants whose first language is not English. Anxiety affects the educational performance of us all, even when no other difficulty is present. It is clear that the site is designed to be as learner stress free as possible (Gaudry & Spielberget: 1971) (Ref).

But today I find myself confused from the email I have just now read;

“Dear Mr Taylor

Re PhD Creative Writing April 2017 (reference number)

We have now reviewed the reference which you provided (name)

Unfortunately we are unable to use this document because the reference needs to be emailed directly to us from the referee.

Please could you upload a replacement document as soon as possible… Until we receive another version, we may not be able to progress your application further.

If you have any queries please feel free to contact us by replying to this email.

With thanks and best wishes,

[Faculty Admissions Team (Postgraduate)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University”]

And I have duly replied;

Hi FASS

I thank you for your email and such a quick response.

I am confused: when completing the form I was given the choice of supply myself (from applicant) or direct from referee. My referee wrote the reference which I copied and pasted from email and uploaded via the myself option as a document.

You have advised that I supply a replacement document, but this too will be from me and not direct from the referee as the email seems to ask. I confess I don’t fully understand what appears to be a contradiction.

I decided it was easier to amend the application and just click the ‘direct from referee option’ as is the case for my first reference. Though, I find the option to do so is now disabled.

Please clarify exactly what you are asking me to upload? Or release the lock on the edit function.

Thank you, Jonathan”

My confidence is somewhat knocked as I simply do not understand what is required of me; I am left will little hope of acceptance if I cannot understand such basic instruction and I am aware of my feelings of difference . I have received a polite automated reply confirming that my reply will be dealt with as soon as possible, and acknowledge that there is high demand at this time.

I am baffled – though received a prompt polite reply without delay;

FASS PG Office: Feb 1 (2 days ago)

I can see that the email was sent to you directly but the referee needs to email it to us directly at this address and then we can accept the email.

If you upload a reference yourself it would need to be signed by the referee and either on official letter head or officially stamped…”

I reply again;

It will be easier to re set the page to ‘direct from referee’ in that case… The referee is currently in Thailand but available by email. Could you please do this asap and let me know that the request has been sent…”

It is obvious that prompt courteous replies and office efficiency is not an issue but there does seem to be a communication problem. After all, communication is a two way process. I acknowledge that my low self-esteem and self-blame often lead me to be over critical of others (Butler & Hope: 1995) (Ref). At the point of application would it not have been easier to say this? That whilst I am free to upload as a document, my reference, it is required in a certain format. What has been said makes perfect sense; that it needs to be ‘on official headed paper and signed’. Though that is not what I interpreted or understood from the process. I had said in reply; “Please clarify exactly what you are asking me to upload? Or release the lock on the edit function”. Clarification is clear – but action to unlock the page is not. I’ve had to reply and ask again and this all feels like a waste of time over something very simple. I’m not sure who is misunderstanding who now. Is it not obvious now that I do not have an official headed-paper signed reference and that if I had, that is what I would have sent originally? Is it not obvious that the easiest way to resolve this small problem is to re-set the direct from referee tab? I await the next email…

It arrives on 6th February;

“[_ Further to your application for the PhD Creative Writing April 2017 programme, please see below a summary of the supporting documentation you have been asked to supply: *Reference (A satisfactory academic reference) Awaiting documentation Reference (A second satisfactory reference) Not suitable for consideration”. _]

It would appear that a simple instruction to reset the ‘direct from referee’ option is not going to happen. I respond again; “Hi Fass, As per by previous reply which sadly has not been actioned – please re set the application option to allow me to request direct from referee, thank you…”.

I now get a positive response;

Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for your email.

An automatic reference request has been sent to the referee as requested.

Kind regards,”

I can’t help but feel I was a little rude in my polite though direct reply which said; “As per by previous reply which sadly has not been actioned”, so I reply and acknowledge my gratitude; “Thank you very much, sincerely appreciated”.

As a dyslexic I lack confidence and hate confrontation, as simple a matter as this is, it feels uncomfortable for me. I always change my own behavior to allow me to deal with mental stress . An unnecessary waste of all of our time and I cannot quite understand who miss-understood who. Though as the dyslexic I am left thinking it is me. (Ref). The following day I note success; My application is under consideration as the reference has now been received: “Your application for the PhD Creative Writing April 2017 programme is now being considered by the Faculty Admissions Officer, …and we will be in touch with you further by 03 March, 2017”.

This is a huge relief to hear. The inclusion of this example of misunderstanding cannot be considered as dyslextualism; that would be frankly ridiculous, but it is essential to include as an example of the consequences of distraction. During the process, from the initial stages of application until today, acceptance of my submission into the system, I have written 39,000 words. Every time I check (and reply) my emails, I am pulled away from my concentration. I return, as you can see by the appendix references, to cut and paste as the conversation develops. Note: These appendices are not included in the published version. I am frustrated by the realities of life, but I am more frustrated with the interruptions to my creativity. We return now to the text as it was and these difficulties will later become more apparent to you. A short term memory problem is associated with most dyslexics .

Between returning to this text today and adding Appendix 10 & 11, I had continued to write the following. The process of adding references and citations to the bibliography and other sources of use to my appendix happen at the time. My bibliography, references (citations) and appendix are just below. Perhaps ten lines, out of site but easily found by scrolling down. As I add a reference source to my text, I add immediately below. This aids memory, I all too easily forget who said what, but this also means the very process of adding them within the Harvard system one at a time alphabetically is much easier. I have a naming speed deficit which results in words I know being hard to find . I just can’t find my words. Countless titles requiring organization later, or the completion of a bibliography post writing will cause me much chaos. As I write, I express opinions that will later require backing up. I am aware that I must add evidence to support opinion and develop the thought into a much more complex academic insight. I am carcassing only at this stage – laying my foundations upon which to later construct the house. The poorer the quality of concrete, the more likely the house is to fall.

The word carcassing is seriously upsetting my MS Word spell-checker,
it’s shouting at me off the page in red again. I usually avoid such difficult words to spell which therefore directly impacts on the width of my text or written vocabulary . I have no idea why, maybe plumbers jargon is not acceptable. The term means to install water and waste pipes as necessary before the super-structure is put in place. Downstairs waste pipes below the concrete, water pipes behind the plaster board and radiator pipes behind the skirting board. You are not installing all of the pipework, only that which will be covered over by joiners and plasterers as they work after you. The fixing of the toilet or radiator in place will come at a later time after the joiners/carpenters and plasterers/tilers have themselves finished.

Where I want to return and add references later I place after text in red; the bracketed word (Ref). You find them now in black only to satisfy the publishing needs of Shakespir. This may be one or several references at the same point, at this stage it doesn’t matter. Just the acceptance that they are necessary will suffice for now. What is more important to me at this stage is the development of the argument itself. If I dealt with each point as it was developed, I would easily be distracted from ‘rant-mode’ and lose my developing thread entirely.

Things that come to mind as I write but one’s that I do not have the ability to consider at the time are simply added below as a shopping list, above the bibliography, just one or two lines. They are prompts. Currently I have three and here they are;

Email Lancs application received and email reference / don’t understand

Add stages of consequential impact rating

Chapter three: the truth whole truth nothing but the truth

I have dealt with the Lancaster University email but leave it to remind me that it is not as yet concluded within the text. Whilst I wrote I found the title of the next chapter: Chapter 3, The Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth. It is ‘add stages of consequential impact’ that I now move onto. I will continue to add to the shopping list and delete as necessary as I write.

Here; another point too comes to mind and I must write it now before I forget. Whilst studying I was always confused between the difference of Aims and that of Objectives. I still didn’t get it despite much attention to lecturers that sought to explain it as an academic principle. “It really is this simple” – I was later told by a colleague; The Aim is to write the shopping list, the objective is to buy what’s on it. (Ref). Association with other things aids me immensely. “These associations are known as mnemonics”. K5 Learning: 2017. A vicar wears one collar and two soaks has allowed me to never forget how to spell NECESSRY. There is one C and two Ss. And here, merely writing two Ss has inspired the next thought…

I had no idea (couldn’t remember) what the correct term for this word association aid is. Google is a wonderful aid for the dyslexic, so use it. Keep your search simple, type in a question, phrase or sentence that accurately reflects what you want to know. Therefore I entered: “to remember spelling by associaion with thbgs” (it was not necessary to correct my spelling) and immediately multiple pages were found that supplied the definition.

Back now to the two Ss (and yes: I am aware that I have not explained consequential impact rating as I am again off on my sub-cultural rant and will return to it soon).

I hate Nazis! – An expression that is concurrent throughout the theme of my creative writing. I type “define nazi” – and google delivers.

Definition of Nazi

1: a member of a German fascist party controlling Germany from 1933 to 1945 under Adolf Hitler

2: often not capitalized

a : one who espouses the beliefs and policies of the German Nazis : fascist

b: one who is likened to a German Nazi : a harshly domineering, dictatorial, or intolerant person ”. Merriam-Webster: 2017.

I paste the quote and immediately scroll down to add to my citation to the bibliography in the appropriate place. The spell-checker rejects in red again. I have typed Mirriem, so I return to the site to double check. The spell checker-insists on the use of just one R. Miriem (one R) is a recognized surname, but experience tells me not to trust the spell-checker to replace the text with the correct word, it is a guide only to inform that ‘something’ is wrong with my spelling somewhere. So I now re-check the site for the third time. The spelling is Merriem – two RRs but with an E following the capital. As I now check for the fourth time I notice another error; it’s spelt Merriam! Imagine how much time that has now taken me? Welcome to the world of the dyslexic creative writer!

I am annoyed by b) within the definition of Nazi. People who are obsessed with the correct use of English are not Nazis. Perhaps ‘Grammar Totalitarians’ would be better? Just a thought and maybe something to return to later. I now put a note to remind myself of this below. I now have two return points;

Unimaginable bloodbath of suffering.

English are not Nazis. Perhaps ‘Grammar Totalitarians’.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. – Yes, interruption has occurred. “Have you lit the fire lover”“Is that a hint?” my reply. I am aware that I have been selfish, it is cold! This is Bulgaria with the coldest winter since… I can’t remember, but trust me it’s cold. As I clean out the ashes and fetch the logs my mind repeats constantly: SS,SS,SS,SS… And as I now return the insertion of the bracketed letter (I) has thrown my text off margin. I don’t know why and it irritates me; I try to fix it but give in. Do I spend ten minutes trying to fix it, do I simply remove the (I), or do I continue with SS,SS.SS,SS? I decide to leave it until later (though on this occasion leave it for you as an authentic example, in the full knowledge that Shakespir may/will reject it when I try to publish it). That in itself is direct dyslectualism; they will (probably as experience tells me) insist that all margins align, removing the very point of example that I want to use as authentic empirical research at the point it genuinely occurred within my writing. I hit the return key, and instead of returning to my outer margin it now gives me a second numbered bullet point – (II). Ahh: the penny drops; it thinks I am using Roman Numerals!

Sod it, I just deleted the (II), and success, I’m now back to my outer margin. Relief! A thought now occurs though and I’m off focus again (I mustn’t forget, – SS,SS,SS,SS).

Computer technology and software for the dyslexic is the most empowering experience but why has MS Word become so complicated to use? At the time of my diagnosis I used MS Works. It was so user friendly and I dearly miss it. I feel the need now to add (Ref) here. I’ll look further into this and see if there is evidence to support this statement. I’ll add to the shopping list and return later.

MS Word become so complicated to use?

Unimaginable bloodbath of suffering.

English are not Nazis. Perhaps ‘Grammar Totalitarians’.

And here to labour my point the ‘f*uching margin has moved again and I can’t even spell f*cking correctly! The use of the expletive (I have just wasted even more time finding out how to spell ‘expletive’ as even the angry red spell-checker doesn’t know what word I seek), serving only to put across to you my frustrations. That electric liquidizer within the brain, a most uncomfortable and unpleasant experience has now been turned on full speed and I’m getting angry.

I realize, having been forced by MS Word to now break away from my writing, (in search of a cigarette and coffee to calm my mood), that my partner has now left the room. So involved with the text was I, I have no idea of the world around me. I go to find her and see if everything’s okay. I feel bad!

She’s in her office working, marking student assessments online. She too is a teacher and sat in front of her computer working away. “Is everything okay?” I ask – “Shush, I’m working”, the reply. Oh, the hypocrisy (irony) of it. I leave the room hastily saying, “I only came in to say I love you”. As a dyslexic I am over-sensitive, I know this and seek reassurance continually. I love her to bits; we’ve been together for 20 years and I cannot imagine life without her. She’s now back in the kitchen where I am writing, telling me all about a piece of work a student has submitted. The student hasn’t answered the question and I receive a full point by point blow of accounts as I am again interrupted mid-sentence. Oh the hypocrisy (irony) of it; yet again.

The SS (Schutzstaffel) meaning a protection Squadron; “…was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP; Nazi Party) in Nazi Germany”. Wikipedia: 2017. They were not very nice people, human vulgarity at its very worst and (Ref) were responsible for the brutalization, systematic torture, and genocide of millions. Note the (Ref) point for later return. And by the way; 1948 was the coldest winter in relation to the fire lighting scenario many lines above which I now cannot find. Too; whilst we are talking about Nazis, Shakespir demands to perfect my formatting before consumer release is not the only problem I have discovered as a creative writer. Shakespir facilities only new work by new authors’ and my attempt to publish a recent anti-Nazi work was therefore not acceptable to them. Mein Kampf: Adolf Hitler for anti-fascists needs explaining: I agree! “If we held a minutes silence for every victim of ‘The Holocaust,’ we would stand in silence for eleven and a half years…

Let me sow this seed: don’t be fooled by charitable versions. Whilst (some) retailers may shake responsibility for ‘dirty profits,’ handing over their financial cut to charities; the publisher (in the vast majority of cases) remains paid in full. Do you even stop to think who that publisher or ‘random uploader’ is? And do these ‘charities’ ask themselves just where has this donation come from? Let me put it another way. Ian Brady (The infamous Moors Murderer & child killer) also published his own autobiographical work. Though banned in the UK, it is still easily available elsewhere. The murderous couples ‘first date’ was to watch the film . Many sources state that Hindley recollected that it was ‘King of Kings’. Should Brady’s book too be sold for charity? Can you imagine ‘a child welfare trust’ accepting the proceeds of its sale? Isn’t that the most abhorrent thought!

In publishing this ‘anti-fascist’ version, I expected a tirade of hate from the far-right. I expected the liberal minded amongst us to sit on the fence; as if awaiting ‘consent’ before they felt able to comment on it. And too I expected criticism from anti-fascists who do not share in my point of view. But what I did not expect was a reluctance on the part of ‘retailers’ to support it. I ask them all to reconsider their position on this, and to please re-publish this work at every opportunity: free of charge. Mein Kampf must be de-financialised: profit must not be made from the genocide of 6 million”.

Today; January 22nd 2017, the book still remains unpublished. It seems that some literary works are untouchable unless profit can be made from them. I don’t add this to my shopping list or waste time on referencing as this is beyond the research I seek on the barriers to creative writers with dyslexia; it is irrelevant. Maybe someone else would like to look into this as a research project concerning Holocaust Profiteering?

In the meantime Mein Kampf for Anti-fascists remains a work in progress. I have had much time to reflect and still feel a passion to continue what appears to me, a just cause. I had originally included a press release here but Proofer 4 rightly convinced me that it was quite irrelevant. “I would delete all this discussion about Mein Kampf and the battle with Shakespir from your essay.  What does it have to do with dyslectualism? The discussion is not relevant to the main subject”. (Proofer 4) – So I return, delete and edit this section at a much later date 21st March) before publication

And I soon release that the title is very misleading to readers and does not convey the message contained: a condemnation of the work. “The title suggests the work is an explanation of Hitler’s views for non-believers. Compare the title ‘Mein Kampf: Adolf Hitler for Anti-Fascists’ with “Simple Meals for non-Cooks”.   What does the title convey to you?  It suggests that your work is an introduction to Mein Kampf for those who have not read the original book but want to know more about Hitler’s ideas.  A better title would be “A Critique of Mein Kampf” or “Mein Kampf Dissected and Discredited”; something that conveys criticism of the contents rather than support of the contents.” .

Title appears to be everything I learn. And when I return to it later I feel that the title should clarify exactly what it is. Therefore I may probably title it Mein Kampf: Book of Hate. In the interim only the audio book version remains available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/hmHN87YN2ec

Proofer 4 also takes the opportunity to discuss the title of this new work: A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing: Dyslectaulism & CIR (Critical Reflection and Barriers to Participation). He says: “Dyslectualism is a new word.  It’s your invention.   Someone browsing Shakespir who comes across your essay will read the title and wonder what dyslectualism means.  They may be intrigued and dig deeper into the description of your book or they may just shrug their shoulders and say “I don’t understand the title” and move on.  In an earlier comment I made about two weeks ago, I said that the word occurs five times before, finally, on page 16, it is defined.  You replied that this is how you think and so didn’t want to bring the definition forward.  I urge you to re-think this decision.  Would you buy a book with an unusual word in the title that even when you Google it or look in a dictionary is not defined?   By all means use it but define it immediately the first time you use it on page 2.  And don’t use it in the title”. . Again good solid advice is offered by my mentor. I accept it on hindsight and you will have noticed that the new word is defined now, immediately upon its first use.

Similarly, Consequential Impact Rating; also in the title.  What is that all about?  Consequential Impact Rating is not defined until page 29!  So, immediately you have raised two barriers to a potential reader by using unfamiliar and undefined words in the title.  If it was me, I would simplify the title to: A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing*: *]*Critical Reflection and Barriers to Participation”.(Ibid)*] It is done!

SS,SS,SS,SS – yes, we have now returned but I need to add yet another point before I forget. Should I not be accepted for the PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, I feel that it will not be as disappointing to me as it would have been yesterday. I have engaged with my keyboard and my thoughts are flowing. This is a genuine, chaotic and confusing testament to dyslexic creativity – that sub-culture I seek to identify. Our own unique voice within literature. It’s pure, authentic, genuine and untampered with (as yet). Would the reality of my world come across in the same way as it does here? What I see as a new insightful and thought provoking inspiring book, as it would within an academically sterilized dissertation? I think not. (Ref). So which is more important, the book or the Phd? As I write now it has to be the book.

I never ever managed to remember the grammar rule for dear sir, dear (name), yours sincerely and yours faithfully. That was until I created my own (wait, I can’t remember so now scroll up to find that new work I learnt minutes ago and now forget, there it is) mnemonic. Existing mnemonics are great, such as the vicar wears one collar and two socks, but often it aids memory better if we create our own. This is the choice of the induvial in whatever works best is best. The SS are bad, therefore to start a letter and end a letter with two Ss is bad. It’s that simple for me. Dear sir cannot end yours sincerely.

Another I use is to remember the word tinternabulation, and Google now immediately recognizes my misspelling as; “showing results for tintinnabulation. Search instead for tinternabulation”. Google: 2017.

There is no way on earth I will ever remember the spelling but I can remember the definition, which is actually very useful when spending time with the local pub quiz team. It’s great to know a word that the non-dyslexics don’t as it gives you a sense of acceptability. The dyslexic is always to ready to see themselves as different (Miles & Varma: 1995) (Ref). The conspiracy theorists such as the 9/11 Truther’s have come to know this all too well: That knowledge is power. That if you know something somebody else does not, especially a secret, you will soon get the attention you crave. This regardless of fact or truth, post-truth or the utter garbage that you yourself choose to believe. People say what others want to hear (Bell: 1993) (Ref). For myself, I feel the need to say that I am not a Truther, but use the term for effect. Also I have finally got to use the word ‘post-truth’. I’ve wanted to use it somewhere for quite a while as it has been declared by Oxford Dictionaries to be its; “2016 international word of the year… (BBC: 2016), and is (was) the newest word to enter the modern British dictionaries. Success! Definition: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” .

Tintinnabulation (I) is the sound of ringing bells. As a child I grew up in Monmouthshire (now Gwent) and not so far away from Tintern Abbey. A favorite haunt of the classic writer William Wordsworth (RCHS: 2017). Wordsworth penned his poem, ‘On Revisiting the Banks of The Wye during a Tour (July 13, 1798)’ from the hillside above the abbey, but of focus here is the mnemonic of associating Tintern Abbey with bell towers. Tintin (Tintern) & nabulation (Abbey). It’s just a phonic-phrase that works for me and always has. Since first discovering the word Tintinnabulation during my music technology diploma many years ago, the association has never failed me. Forget trying to remember the spelling, Google can do that, but I highly recommend this system as personalized ( I can remember the word I seek now but yet again my spelling of mnenphonic appears in angry red to suggest I use monophonic, so again I re-scroll up the text) mnemonic as an memory aid to dyslexics. Yes; my memory and difficulty is really that bad.

Why a condition such as dyslexia should be defined by a word that is so hard to spell has always been a mystery. Word blindness, as defined as the condition in the 19th century , is much easier; but it is an anagram of ‘daily sex’, and that helps at least to remember which letters are in it. As I’m 50 years of age now, the need for daily sex is long past. Something happens to you in middle age and the need to enjoy friendship; love, warmth and tenderness, coupled with experience of life and interaction take over. Just yesterday my boss informed that I was always suggested that I am now old. I would say not so much old but an awareness of my impending death. If I am lucky I have but 25 years left (Abaris: 2017) (Ref) and this reminds me daily that I am not immortal as I felt within my youth. Many writers have put pen to paper since school hood, and certainly at the very least, the creative ones at high school. I always found it difficult to express myself in writing (Sterling et al: 1998) . I discovered ability if I have one and that is a matter for others to judge, in my late forties. I am aware that I have so much to write about in such a short period of time.

I finalize this chapter having hopefully succeeded in giving you a brief insight into the world of dyslexic creative writing. I say dyslexic creative writer and not creative writer with dyslexia as dyslexia is my identity. It is what I know I am judged on first, in a world of literature, and not my expressive writing its self. The disability in this case comes before the person (Shakespeare et al: 2001) (Ref). Though brief, now with your help it will become the book I seek to write over the coming weeks, months or if need be, years.

Having broken away from my writing as the realities of real life and having to go to work overtake me, and now upon return, I end with a last example. As I sat to the back of the glass during a co-taught English lesson today, I scribbled a few thoughts down on paper. On this occasion the only paper to hand without drawing attention to my distraction was a shopping list in my back pocket. One written by my partner earlier that afternoon. Keeping a note book and pencil in the back pocket is an excellent tip for the creative writer, to pen those moments of creativity down in order to remember later. I have such a book – but as ever, I have forgotten to bring it with me.

There were only three items to remember on the list; beans, pepper and tobacco. As I walk through Lidl, one of three supermarkets in our local town, I spend ages circling and re-circling the vegetable aisle. For the life of me I cannot find any peppers. Eventually, the penny drops, it’s pepper not peppers!

I buy 5 packets of black pepper powder taking advantage of a special offer. The beans, 6 tins of backed beans eventually located. Usually I would buy the beans from Kaufland next door, so had no idea where the beans were today. There is apparently a system where supermarkets group products together where one, the consumer, would normally expect to find them. I have no such system. Though it must be said that remembering to buy tobacco is easy; addiction is always the best aid to my memory.

I return home. “Pepper in a grinder- I told you, we had an entire conversation about it. This isn’t what I told you to get”. The greeting of my partner, and I have no memory of any such conversation. I’ve no idea which one of us is the forgetful one, but I usually remember what I have forgotten on later conversational prompt. It’s pointless arguing, I cannot prove who’s right either way. She places her hands on my shoulders and says “From now on I’m going to talk to you like a five year old”. I reply; “that’s one for my reflective journal“You can do so” – she concludes.

It appears to me that there is enough qualitative material within my own home to conclude this book! I read back the chapter concluded aloud, it is littered with mistakes I had not picked up on previously during countless proof reads as I wrote. Read your text back aloud – it works – Though I do read very slowly. (Gilroy: 1995) (Ref).

[CHAPTER TWO
**]

I can’t remember which font/case I used so now scroll back to the title of the previous chapter – there it is, and I start again. I add the following to my list below my ongoing writing: Chapter headings are in lower case. Also my justified text keeps centralizing as I try to move it up towards that heading. I’ve wasted too much time already trying to resolve the problem, I can’t fix it and frustratingly I give in. I’m left with a larger gap between the chapter heading above and paragraph one than I require, I’m happy leaving it as an example but I am all too aware that Shakespir will reject it as bad formatting. My work will be tampered with!

The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth

Proofer 4, now friend and mentor gave me some good advice about using ‘&’ instead of ‘And’ in text, but I cannot remember what it was. What I do remembered is what he said about the benefits of MS Words find and replace function. I’ve got used to it and yes, find and replace is an invaluable aid to me. I’ve no idea how I’ve coped thus far without it. Though; I have found that I must find and replace words individually as ‘replace all’ causes grammatical chaos. There was also solid advice provided to me concerning using apostrophes to emphasis words such as I have done here with ‘replace all’. I can’t remember that rule either, but essential it was pointed out to me that I do it too often. I will be returning again later to Proofer 4s feedback within this chapter.

I am aware at this stage that my word count is 22,947. That inspires me on. It has been an easy painless process so far and I have got great pleasure and joy from the very act of writing these 20,000 words in its self. Writing, creative writing does not present any barriers, the problem arises with reading and I am aware too that I am working backwards; quite unconventionally. The driving force is the word count, not because it implies that what is written is good, it can be thousands of words of utter garbage – but it keeps me motivated. Once I have accomplish something everything else soon becomes irrelevant, which is indicative of my extreme self-critical thinking (Faelton & Diamond: 1989). If you have no legs, when fitted for the first time with artificial limbs one counts the mileage walked, not detailed study of the countryside around you as you go; if you understand?

The PhD dissertation in presentation of my finding’s must be 80,000 words. I’m in smug mode, that’s just one book and that will be very, very easy! The reality is however that in producing this book/dissertation first, many will say that that should be the very last step. Having identified my topic for research, I should then read, buildup my references in support or against, conduct the research and then write the dissertation based on those findings and reading. That would never happen. This book becomes my focus, this book itself identifies to me the reading I seek and spurns the quantitative or qualitative approach I need to identify. I am here stretching the canvass only – I shall return to paint the picture later. As I return here to this point some days later, I have started to build further on the methodology that you have read at the beginning. I am reminded of a term I hear on the news today “filter bubble’- A phrase coined by the FaceBook founder; Mark Zuckerberg . Wiki now provides the spelling of Zuckerberg for me. A filter bubble is the access to opinions only that one already agrees with. This carcass is in many ways just a very big mind map. Mind maps themselves are essential tools in approaching the subject – they work! .

As a dyslexic I am an essentialist and require a multi-sensory structured approach (Hornsby & Shear: 1993. Bramley: 1993) . I cannot, it is impossible for me to devour countless books and remember their content. I have to focus on the essential only and the points I raise here in this draft allow me to identify my reading list. It is specific, appropriate and limited. That is the reality of the matter and of my condition. Too; it allows me to identify people who can help and I must acknowledge and accept that help or I will fail. I know my own limitations but I also know how best I can work and approach this. Where I have entered (Ref) above after essentialism, that informs me that I must contact a friend, a psychology lecturer in the UK, and ask for a recommend/directed reading list on that subject. Throughout university I was supplied with directed reading which empowered me greatly, it gave me the start line from which I could then run forward building up speed as I went. I return to this paragraph today (26th. Feb) to acknowledge that I have used the work of Avice Turnball extensively in homing in on that directed reading. I also find I have a case study from my former college days conducted by Avice (my former learning support tutor) which I will enclose later.

I don’t see anything wrong with working backwards as long as it does not pollute, flaw or add bias to the research conclusions themselves. If I am forced by ethical considerations to do it in a more conventional way, this work will quite simply not exist at all. I cannot find any reason why, as I write, that my approach will somehow invalidate the topic at hand. On the contrary it will enhance others understanding of dyslexia as a disability and stress the connection here again with a commonality in poor memory of dyslexics . I add (Ref) again to direct me to investigate these considerations further and add the following analogy to help others to understand.

If you desired to ascend a mountain but could not due to a medical condition or disability; then descend instead. Catch the mountain railway to the top of Mount Snowden and walk back down. You experience exactly the same route, but now that journey becomes achievable to you.

An old student friend from my by-gone college days of the past, a dyslexic, has just the other day handed their own PhD dissertation in. This prompts me that they can offer invaluable support to me through guidance and tips that lead to success. Whilst Proofer 4 is an invaluable source of literary and grammatical guidance, it is this person that will have the direct empirical experience of writing their dissertation that can guide best at this point.

I break away to write to them via FaceBook:

February 2^nd^, 2017.

[_ Hi ***** _]

Congratulations on the submission of your Phd dissertation, you are a wonderful inspiration to us all. I realize that you do not know what your grade will be but hope that you’ll help me in offering guidance.

I too have applied just recently for a PhD in Creative Writing. I don’t know if I’ll be accepted, it’s early days, and my own self-doubt as a profound dyslexic prepares me for laughter out of the building.

Regardless, I am busy writing my tenth novel; A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing. The book will be written irrespective of my studies. I wanted to ask you a few questions if that would be okay?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Why did you choose your research topic and what influenced this decision?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. How difficult was your PhD and what problems did you encounter as a dyslexia along the way? Were you supported?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Upon submission of your dissertation, how do you now feel? Are you happy to have finished or disappointed not to continue further? Crucially do YOU think you have passed?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. If you do not pass, how will this impact on you? Would you regret starting it, feel any sense of discrimination or brush it off as a good experience and move on?

Your comments will be published, anonymously if you wish, and any feedback is most sincerely appreciated. No matter how brief or detailed – but the more the merrier!

Thanks, and sincerely looking forward to your input if you are agreeable…

Jonathan”.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is essential, and that’s why I chose the title as this chapter’s heading. If we are to offer others an insight into our condition we must first be honest with ourselves, brutally honest about ourselves and that requires a warts ‘n’ all approach. Yes; I will value any input the reply may generate, but when you read between the lines, a firsthand look at her dissertation will be extremely enlightening. I don’t know what her titles are, but knowing X as I do it will concern disability and discrimination. That’s my gut feeling. I’ve never seen a PhD dissertation – the biggest question I have is what the hell does one look like? I can’t ask directly if I can see it but it will be interesting to see if X offers. Will X guard it safely away from others or will X share it as a vital resource? Has X had it professionally proof read or does it exist in original form? I would offer to share it, undoubtedly, in supporting and inspiring other dyslexics; but will X? We will wait and see. As children tests expose us, the dyslexics to very early failure, and we switch off very easily .

I soon received a reply. X will think about it. Great; I ask X if I may use some of the comments noted in the reply email I have just received, as one or two line quotes, they in themselves here are very interesting. X says, though most politely; no. I’m completely nocked back and I reply; “Okay, cool, no worries. And thanks. If you change your mind remind me later”.

I’m surprised and somewhat knocked for six. I suddenly realise that this isn’t going to be anywhere near as easy as I had imagined; that dyslexics themselves don’t want to contribute. “Is it personal?” – I think? Self-doubt sets in. X doesn’t like me. But it can’t be that, if that was the case then X wouldn’t have connected with me again to start with. X is the only dyslexic that I know personally who has completed a PhD and that avenue of research for now is closed down. I’m wise enough to know that think about it’ means’; thanks but no thanks, don’t call us we’ll call you. Then over sensitivity sets in. I opened my email with; “Congratulations on the submission of your Phd dissertation, you are a wonderful inspiration to us all”. I expected an acknowledgement that Xs contribution is for my tenth book, but no comment such as; “wow; ten books? – is made. It seems that I am always the first to boost others confidence in offering recognition of their achievements but the last to receive it. And I have to remind myself continually that dyslexia does impact on my low self-esteem [* (Hampshire: 1981. Miles& Varma: 1995. Faludy & Faludy: 1996. Simpson: 1979). *] Of all the people I thought would be interested in challenging disability discrimination; this was the one. Flabbergasted and deeply disappointed I return to the text to ensure no identification of this person is possible, even replacing gender pronouns with X. Their instruction is polite but clear: Reading between the lines X doesn’t want to know.

I return here the morning after to review the text I wrote above yesterday. I am still very confused. I decide that the text should remain as it identifies many areas that I had not considered. After a good night’s sleep I am left with the following questions; what went wrong with my approach, were the questions off putting and/or does X simply want to now (with a PhD), move away from or distance themselves from their dyslexia? Does such a level of achievement lead to denial of one’s condition? Questions I can consider in future approaches to others.

In wanting to see a PhD dissertation; this brings me to plagiarism. It’s wrong and dyslexics must not do it. It undermines us completely and removes that authentic sub-culture that we offer. Concerning any potential study I put it as simply as this; if it is not earned it has no value! Stealing is not acceptable and damages our cause. We are differently able, we are not thieves. “Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work”. Wiki: 2017. Any writer, regardless of dyslexia or not, should be aware that academic institutes will check and will find you out (and rightly so) using software based systems such as the SmallTools (2017) online plagiarism checker. This tool is free, instant and very reliable.

I have intentionally used a quote to define plagiarism from Wikipedia in order to elaborate another useful point; is it okay to source from Wiki? Academics will generally say not . Anyone can contribute to or edit text onto/from Wiki. A lot of comment has no academic value at all and is personal, biased and un-researched or value based discussion only. “Lancaster lecturer Dr Catherine Easton says students must develop an ability to analyse the nature of the source material within Wikipedia, adding that the educator should ensure there is “a strong, continuing focus on the need to support academic work with references to acceptable scholarly sources” . Though: for me it has its uses. I have enough intellect to separate the fact from the fiction. Wiki alone offers invaluable reading lists that quotes are directly attached to, for us to pursue in later reading. A host of experienced volunteers, many themselves academics, do rigorously check content. Where content is not backed up you will frequently see the term: citation needed. This in itself tells you that you are using an unreliable source of information. Other articles are thoroughly researched, cited, backed up and uploaded by academics themselves. Indeed; they may be authors of the in-print (printed) titles previously published elsewhere. So whilst Wikipedia does require scrutiny, it does for the dyslexic hold value. Further reading of the original source used is definitely required. I checked the source of the definition and it is supplied from the Oxford English Dictionary: “the wrongful appropriation or purloining and publication as one’s own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas… of another” (Lands: 1999).

Wiki has worked hard to prevent false and malicious content since a hoax that occurred during 2009; but be warned that it does still exist today. Journalists worldwide were fooled by the hoax at the time. Shortly after the death of the French composer Maurice Jarre, an Irish student created a fake quote. A quote that journalists then went on to use within their newspaper obituaries. “Wikipedia plans to restrict anonymous edits for biographical entries about living people by the end of this year. “Flagged revisions” will still allow anonymous users to submit changes, except that such submissions will require editor approval before going live” (Live Science: 2009). Wiki today continues to strive for higher standards having recently banned the UKs Daily Mail newspaper as a credible source of referencing saying: “Based on the requests for comments section [on the reliable sources noticeboard], volunteer editors on English Wikipedia have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’ .

And remember, these days through the emergence of self-publish author content controlled online sites such as Shakespir, and in-print sites such as Lulu, anyone can now publish a book. “Shakespir is a global ebook distributor serving authors, publishers, readers and major ebook retailers. Shakespir is ideal for publishing novels, personal memoirs, poetry chapbooks, short and long-form fiction, and non-fiction. If you’ve written it, we want to help you share it and sell it!” (Shakespir: 2017).

I use Wiki as a primary resource for my fiction novels. Sometimes you just need a date or a brief sentence for readers to believe in your authenticity. I read, formulate my own thoughts and use what I have learnt. Proofer 4 picked up on a section of text within my novel concerning The Voynich. “The description of the Voynich Manuscript was lifted almost verbatim from the Wikipedia article although your interpretation of it (the Gabrielen language) was novel. Wikipedia is a great source of information but be careful of accusations of plagiarism”. Proofer 4: 2016.

I had, on hindsight, been somewhat lazy here and valued the advice. I decided to leave as it was but cite it. A citation presented in such a way that it now added to the overall chaotic story line. Find and replace fails me here as I look through my book for the necessary quote. I now, after much confusion, realise I am searching the wrong book. I then find it; “To think Gabriela hated Nazis and fascism to the point where she failed to see herself within its ideological frameworks. She was not a genius. Any fool can rewrite from the public domain although an acknowledgment to Wiki under the commons share alike license is appropriate. We don’t want to be accused of plagiarism, do we?” Taylor: 2016. P777. Even the perception of plagiarism can lead to creativity. I concluded that paragraph with; “WikiPedia – that’s where the word of God came from”. And there’s a first for me. I’ve now got to use my own name, publication and quote within my citations list. It feels good if I’m to be honest.

Publishing does not give the work credibility but academic scrutiny thereafter . Despite obvious barriers for the dyslexic creative writer, both outlets do, at least, allow us to enter the world of self-published literature beyond the control of established publishing houses. Shakespir allows you to upload and publish your book on their Shakespir page for inclusion in their catalogue. They supply to all major retail outlets such as Barnes and Noble, (and I’m now just laughing at myself for having spelt Noble as Nobble…) but before this can happen it must be approved for inclusion in their ‘Premium Catalogue; – And they demand very high universal standards of format as the example below shows.

Book Conversion Results for PING: Pre-Installed Navigational Guidance by JRP Taylor (JRPTaylor): Your book has been updated. Congratulations! There were no AutoVetter errors! Your book is now in the queue for review by our vetting team”

Later:

Unfortunately, “PING: Pre-Installed Navigational Guidance” has been flagged for requested modifications that will help it gain entry into the Shakespir Premium Catalog. Inclusion in the Premium Catalog enables distribution to retailers such as iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd and library platforms such as OverDrive and Baker & Taylor Axis 360.

Please visit the “PING: Pre-Installed Navigational Guidance” Premium Catalog Status to learn details about the requested modifications”.

And eventually (with Proofer 4s much needed help):

Congratulations! Your upload or update for “PING: Pre-Installed Navigational Guidance” has been accepted into the Shakespir Premium Catalog. This will begin shipping out to retailers. Shakespir ships approved books and updates out to most retailers same day (often within minutes or hours), and to Barnes & Noble once daily on business days. Price changes do not require Premium Catalog review’’.

It can be and for me certainly is a daunting experience, and without the help of others I repeatedly fail to satisfy the formatting requirements. Highly tuned I.T skills are needed alongside your creativity. Skills alas I do not possess, but I am learning, a steep learning curve along the way. The best part of it is that Shakespir is free.

Lulu is much more straightforward. Although they too offer eBook publishing, the print-version service is the one I have previously used. You simply download a template and cut and paste you book into it. Upload and away you go. Readers can order your printed copy in ‘real’ book form; with cover and pages that can be held in the hand. I’d like to look more into perceptions of what a real book is, print versus eBook formats, so I leave (Ref) here again to remind me to return later. Lulu too has a policy of quality approval before they will supply your book to both readers and retailers. This is straightforward: “If you are publishing a print book for distribution, you must purchase and approve a proof copy of your book before it can be submitted to retailers”. Lulu: 2017. I ordered 4 printed copies of my book before I was eventually happy with its visual layout. But unlike Shakespir – I am in control. I as the author approve its quality. It is also great to have a record of your books evolution in its various stages as history of your creativity pathway.

As I scroll below to add citations to my reference list I notice that R and S are in the wrong alphabetically correct order. As I correct this I then notice; Qaanol: 2005, Urban Dictionary (The), and realize that I have no idea how to cite websites. Is it the site name or the author, in this case, which will come first? And in correcting the spelling of realise above I am offered realize with a Z. Unconvinced, I try to alter my spell checker to British English and soon find that the reason I am using American English is because I have no choice. British English is not offered. I’ve no idea why my version of Word is restricted so I decide to leave the S instead of Z as spelling for now. Help is again required to download an app/update that will allow for UK spellings. I am left as ever; clueless.

I am surrounded by books, I have hundreds. I love touching and holding them. Just looking at them is sufficient to bring me joy; history, sociology. psychology, politics, geography, and theology and so on, the list is quite endless. A large home library that I have collected over the years and mainly from college/university second-hand library book sale days. I have just FIVE fiction novels. Yes, that is not an error, just 5. The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, The Complete Novels of George Orwell, Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace), Richard Adams (Watership Down) and George Orwell (Animal Farm). As the latter is contained in the Complete Works, then technically I now only have 4 fiction books. The latter Animal Farm printed in 1966, the year of my birth, and now somewhat tatty. It is the only possession I have that was my father’s.

To be frankly honest with you, and not a revelation I would offer to Lancaster University, is that I cannot read fiction. I don’t and never have. I offer some homuor on the consequence of truth below;

A job candidate sits before the panel in front of them during the interview. “What is your key area for development” – they ask. “I need to work on my honesty – I always tell the truth”, the candidates reply. “Surely honesty is a strength, why would you see that as a negative?” they ask, most intrigued.

“Ï don’t give a sh*t what you think”, came the candidates (final) reply.

I can maintain reading for a maximum of 20 minutes before I tire. Reading is not pleasant; almost painful to the point of torture. I have dyslexic absences mid text likened to that of a petit mal . Books are a source of information, obtained in blocks, and put down to be picked up again later with page corners turned and key text underlined in pencil. Fiction has always been a problem in that I cannot remember what I have read. I find it too complex to retain in memory. I turned the page and have no idea of ‘who or what’ character the book now talks of. There is absolutely no joy for me in reading fiction. The irony being that I have applied for a course in creative writing and do not read creative writing. Do you think that if I told Lancaster this I would ever be offered a place? No: certainly not. But here, as you may well laugh, you see dyslextualism at its very best. If I were blind could I still not paint? Would you prevent me from joining your art class because of my visual impairment? I think not . After all; Lancaster is a course on writing and not reading, and have I not proven already that I can write? I know that I can access key reading texts in my own way. Recommended texts, directed texts, and with the advent of technology most are supplied to me as online texts. I am no longer required to spend painful hours turning the pages of a traditional book, highlighting in pencil key paragraphs as I go – as I did 18 or so years ago. Dyslexics have a right to fully inclusive learning (Tomlinson:1996)

I get such a hard time here in Bulgaria given my poor Bulgarian language skills. I try, I really do but I just don’t pick it up. I’m very slow at it and speak as if I were 3. When asked how long I have lived in my host country and reply, since late 2010, they generally (Bulgarians) cannot believe how bad my language development is. The more nationalist in the outlook of the enquirer, the harder time I get. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been confronted with the words: “If I lived in England you’d expect me to learn English wouldn’t you?” Well no, actually I wouldn’t. I’d expect you to try, do your best, but I certainly wouldn’t judge you on any inability. Those that pick up languages easily do, those that can’t don’t, and it would all depend on own circumstances. You try to engage in informed conversation. You explain that English is a world language that you, as a Bulgarian, have been exposed to and learning since the day you were born. The very first time you watched Cartoon Network and everything else thereafter; Google, Facebook, DVDs. You have subconsciously been exposed to the English language from birth – it’s not new to you. And all of you learn English formally from the day you start Kindergarten under Bulgaria’s ‘national curriculum. I on the-other-hand am exposed to an alphabet and phonics that make no sense at all, as a dyslexic, much later in life. A new language that I have never been exposed to previously in the UK. You get so frustrated in the end trying to explain your dyslexia that you just give in, and yes; I was met with the reply in one such interaction: “so you’re a retard!”

If being a retard helps you define me then I can live with that. At least my bad memory is consistent . At least recognition of my condition is finally acknowledged. You on the other hand are just an ignorant bully. Bullying, yes, it is bullying and batters you daily, my self-confidence is damaged, I think I’m doing really well but it’s never good enough and I just want to quit. I am expected to be fluent and that is never going to happen. It makes an issue of something that shouldn’t be of issue at all; my dyslexia. And the greater the stress you put me under the worse my memory becomes . It’s boring and annoying; that every media interaction I have concerning my creativity, the first question will be; “why haven’t you bothered to learn Bulgarian?” The implication is that I don’t try, though we are having the conversation in English. Everybody speaks English and I’m here to teach English. It’s no-longer a matter of communication but an ideology of nationalism. I try to engage and find that, “if you live in Bulgaria you should speak Bulgarian”, is the general sentiment. I respond as an internationalist and EU federalist that I am in Bulgaria yes, but living in an EU member state and English is the language of the EU. If I were a travelling sales person would you expect me to learn every language of all 28 EU member states? “The European Union has 24 official and working languages” . I do my best but best will never be good enough. It’s a point of principle for them and never has my dyslexia been accepted as a valid reason for my Bulgarian language difficulties. So I give in; at the end of the day I don’t need to do I? And you have learnt English, not Welsh, Irish or Gaelic – because everybody speaks English regardless of the ability to speak their alternate native tongue. I explain that I grew up in Wales, but I can’t speak Welsh, I explain that my partner is Scottish and that she cannot speak Gaelic – but it becomes pointless. I have enough difficulty recalling vocabulary in my mother tongue, what you are now asking of me is simply impossible; if you want me to learn best then let me relax into that learning (Miles: 1993. Wolf & Segal: 1999. Gilroy: 1995. People win an argument by reducing you down to their level, they win on experience of that alone. It’s taken me 50 years to learn English and I’m still learning it.

I returned to build on this point as I am now proof reading the existing text from the beginning so far. Yesterday (16th Feb.) I engaged in a most interesting though not surprising conversation with my younger TESOL students from a local high school. All were ethnic Bulgarian. Our text book topic was a London Street called Slough Green Road and it was multi-cultural in presentation. It was about the many foreign residents all living together on the same street and sharing their experiences of their new British lives. As the conversation developed I ask; “what does Allah mean? – And they all replied without hesitation; “It’s the Muslim’s God.” Investigation found that they all believe that Muslims worship a separate God, one that has no connection with ‘their’ Christian God. I soon go into youth work mode and explain to the mixed gender class of 15 and 16 year olds that it is the same God, and examine the commonalties of the three great monotheistic religions; Islam, Christianity and Judaism. They understand that Jesus is a Christian prophet but that Mohammed – he is ‘their’’ God. I find I have much work to do in correcting these huge misunderstandings of the Islamic faith. But am I really surprised given the overall nationalistic ideology of this modern EU member state? Despite the fact that; [_ “As of 2011 there are 588,318 Bulgarians of Turkish descent, roughly 8.8% of the population” ] (Wiki: 2017) living in the country, it is still illegal to speak Turkish in a public building. Too: this 8.8% are not allowed to learn their native tongue in high school where they remain until 19 yrs. of age. There is no provision made to learn Turkish until joining university. Recent attempts by the education secretary to change things led to his immediate dismissal. [“Borisov asked Tanev to resign due to systematic problems in the education system and proposed controversial changes to the school curriculum which had not been subject to broad public discussion”_] .

One has to understand the history of Bulgarian liberation from the Ottoman yoke; an imperialist Islamic occupation that exceeded 500 years. But Bulgaria was liberated in 1878 – but the anti-Islamic mindset still prevails to such an extent that school students are taught nothing of its immediate neighbour (Turkey) or of its culture. To suggest that Bulgaria is Islamophobic is putting it politely at best. German is taught in all schools though that occupation is much more recent in Bulgaria’s history. However Bulgaria was an Axis power during WW2. Can you imagine not being taught German in UK schools ‘because of the war’ that was over 70 years ago? The point is that my inability to speak Bulgarian will always be held against me as I am viewed as ‘not Bulgarian.’ I often feel that Bulgaria’s accession into the European Union was one of purely economics and to be seen as going through the necessary political motions. Any notion of ‘federal togetherness’ as Europeans doesn’t exist.

Dyslectualism is never more prominent than when you are constantly judged on a daily basis by what you cannot do, and not what you can do very well. You soon get to know that nobody likes a smart arse, you’re the retard but you can do what they cannot, and some people just can’t handle the successes of people with disabilities so they have to attack and bully, but never to encourage. This is about their insecurities, not ours. Diagnosis for dyslexia at an early stage is paramount here in that we must not be allowed to think of ourselves as stupid . But woe betide the dyslexic that fights back for then it’s you who has a chip on your shoulder and thrown out into the dinner party of public ridicule.

I auditioned a few years ago for the Bulgarian TV series and mirror format to the British version; Bulgaria’s Got Talent. It was at a time that one of my songs, The Rakia Song, was at its height and receiving much media interest; TV, press and online (I’ll come back to what influences my creativity at a later stage when I attempt to define creative writing). All four judges spoke fluent English. Three were native Bulgarian’s and the fourth, an ethic Turk. I was greeted in Bulgarian, on camera in front of a full audience, in Bulgarian. I replied with what I would describe as basic language skills and then in English explained that I could not speak Bulgarian. The lead judge continued in Bulgarian – what could only be described as public mockery. I kept smiling and continued to politely reply; “sorry I don’t understand what you are saying”. The mockery continued.

I was told that the questions would be asked in Bulgarian but I could reply in English. And then that the questions will now be asked in English but I must reply in Bulgarian. Hilarious isn’t it? – And this folly went on for probably ten minutes. I imagine they were after good broadcast material with me as the central victim of their comedic cruelty. The audience however loved the performance. The previous act had been booed off-stage with the stamping of feet I heard above me (I had heard and felt this from the proximity of the green room below). Being already extremely nervous and now terrified in realising that I had probably made a huge mistake, I just wanted to leave, to creep away quietly off home unnoticed but I had found my courage and had gone on stage. My fears weren’t realized and the audience loved the song which was performed in English. Upon completion I was asked to perform a second; this time I chose Vseki den (Bulgarian: Every day), another original of mine that was delivered in bi-language presentation. The verses were in English and the chorusing in Bulgarian. As the very point I got to the chorus in Bulgarian, one by one they hit the buzzers to stop me – All but the ethnic Turkish judge, a woman who was herself as singer. I got to finish the song. All that mockery about not speaking Bulgarian and then as soon as I did, they didn’t want to hear it. I realized that the show had nothing to do with talent, but is born out of ridicule of the performer to increase viewer ratings. My calmness, control and politeness was not providing them with the material they needed. The only positive memory I had of that day was two free nights in a very posh hotel and the comment of that one lone panel member; this in telling me that I had a beautiful voice. The television company and/or producer had allowed me through the audition stage to come here that night just for comedic value. There was no intention to even listen to my work. I fear for young talent thee days as Dominic Peckham explains; “The X Factor is responsible for turning pupils off singing lessons, saying they now “expect to be ridiculed” when appearing before adults” .

I did have a conversation with a fellow dyslexic over the summer about these such kind of programmes and he could not understand why anyone would audition for them in the first place. I guess as he is not a musician he would never understand but I tried. As an employer he had minutes before patted his support worker on the back with the words; “she’s one of the best workers we’ve ever had”. And there it is. We all want recognition for good work, it boosts our confidence and in the office it is expected as the norm. If you want a productive creative and happy workforce you need to say thank you occasionally for a job well done. These programmes offer many, the only opportunity they have to show case their work. Just as employees, artists in any form seek recognition. It’s not about fame but the opportunity to build a successful career in which I am then free to do what I want to do best. Fame allows for this; and these programmes do get you noticed.

As a reader you may find what I say to be unreasonable concerning my development of the Bulgarian language, so let me now put it another way. Given the multitude of television, press and online interviews I have given in relation to my song-writing, I’ve never been asked the obvious question; “why can’t I read music?” People just assume that you can, If the songs are good, therefore I must be competent in music. I can’t read books but I write books, I can’t read music but I compose and perform music. It is a hard concept for a non-dyslexic to understand, I can only hope that this book aids in that understanding.

Other people’s perception of you is everything when hiding one’s condition. As I have said earlier; I would never inform my TESOL students that I am a dyslexic. They know that I am a graduate and that I have qualified teacher status; I suspect they just assume that my qualifications are in English. Some research into their perceptions of me is, I feel, required. I’ll return to this point later.

I recently watched the film; Everest (2015). IMDB: 2015. I very much enjoyed it and would highly recommend for a Sunday afternoons viewing. Despite my inability to read fiction; I do love a good film. Films bring much inspiration and I am an avid movie buff which is unsurprising given my ‘visual thought processes’ common in dyslexics . Sometimes you hear that one line; a sentence in dialogue that then inspires a whole new story. I scribble down notes as I watch. During one particular American action movie (I cannot recall the title) I hear a discussion, dialogue between police officers searching for a sniper. We are used to the Hollywood sniper’s barrel to be then found extruding from the window ledge of a high building, the closed net curtain drifting in the wind as it wraps itself around the barrel. Occasionally; lifted enough by the breeze to reveal the killer in wait behind. But; in this particular dialogue the policeman explains that in reality the sniper would never do this; s/he will be back in the room and the barrel never in sight to reveal the killers hiding place from which that fatal kill shot will occur. I pick up on this new insight and use it as an analogy for my own fictitious killer. There is no gun and she is not a sniper; I use it to illustrate her taunting, her arrogance and contempt for the officers that are searching for her. Such an example of this technique in action can be found in Memoirs of a Psychopath. “The Sniper: I think that’s a good title here. The sniper never extrudes his barrel beyond the window frame, no, in reality beyond the movies he remains way back in the room totally hidden out of sight” Taylor: 2016, p774. The text then confirms the analogy presented; “To think that Gabriela believed that God would always protect her. Gabriela – nothing more than a deluded psychotic. A monster amongst our midst”. Ibid.

I am aware of the quote “Good writers borrow, great writers steal” – but have no idea where it originates from, I search, as I did for Roosevelt previously, and find the outcome to be the same. It’s believed to be born of Oscar Wilde (Good writers borrow, great writers steal,) Pablo Picasso (Good artists borrow, great artists steal) and/or T. S. Eliot (1920): “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal” Creativity Guru: 2010. So; again I am at a loss but regardless of original source it makes a very valid point. When is it plagiarism, when is it borrowing and when is it simply creativity in action? I do not consider my movie line literary prompts theft in anyway, just inspiration gained from another writer’s theme. I heard a cracker in the BBC’s production of Taboo last week and must at some point build upon it. It was awful, tacky to the point that one cringes but so familiar and funny. James Keziah Delaney: “Do you consider this a woman you would want to sleep with?” he said; to which the reply was, Dr George Cholmondeley: “Oh yes, definitely, but she is far more important to me than that, she is a woman that I would think about whilst I masturbate!” (BBC: 2017) Okay, it’s not verbatim but you get the idea. As a young man there was many a girl whom I’d liked to have slept with but there was only a very select few good enough to fantasize about. I’m quite sure that every man in the country who heard the narrative as broadcast that night broke into public laughter; much to their partner’s dismay.

Having enjoyed the film Everest so very much, I checked out documentaries on the subject using YouTube. There I found many documentaries on many different disasters over the years concerning the mountain. One (Dying for Everest) was particularly insightful in regard to the success of people with disabilities. (YouTube) 2007.

Mark Inglis in 2006 became a world’s first; “…more than 100 people have scaled the mountain already this year – but Mark Inglis is different: he has no legs… Inglis, who lost both his legs to frostbite more than 20 years ago, is the first double amputee to reach the top of Everest” . It was a hugely inspiring success to others with disabilities but I find the documentary is not concerned with achievement but only in matters of discrediting of the climber. As Inglis ascended they had passed by a British climber; David Sharp. Sharp was in serious trouble having taken the decision to ascend alone without oxygen; and found to be unconscious in the death zone (above 984 feet) where oxygen becomes extremely limited. He had also taken the decision not to carry a two-way-radio, unable to contact base-camp controls in difficulty; he had found himself now perilously close to death. 39 climbers passed by Sharp that day on route to the summit and an enraged Edmond Hilary was later quoted to say: “The people just want to get to the top…They don’t give a damn about anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die… in my day such behavior would have been inconceivable. Sharp had been left on the mountain to die (De Spiegel: 2006).

Despite 39 (40 as quoted by Inglis) other climbers being on the same route ascent that day, it was he who faced the most serious allegations. He, having been the first amputee to summit Everest returned home to New Zealand in disgrace. “A dead mountaineer, a double-amputee guy, plus Sir Hillary – sounds like a good story, nobody is asking for verified facts” (Inglis, M: 2006) (Ibid). His achievements were met by Hillary and the media with dismay and disappointment despite Inglis’ insistence that Sharp was beyond help when he himself had passed by. “It’s almost impossible to describe the “Death Zone”. It’s an alien place… Each step takes an incredible effort, and in the end one can only focus on oneself”. Ibid. Having watched the documentary with initial disgust in all that climbed that day, I then found myself back tracking in agreement, that Sharp could not have been saved by Inglis and that Sharp alone was responsible for his death – And had others engaged in vain to save him they too would have shared his fate. I was left with the belief that he (Inglis) was attacked for his success and not his actions. Most climbers’ dream of Everest, many try and most fail. Here we are presented with the almost impossible, unbelievable achievements of a climber without legs. The climbing fraternity is never going to accept it. Nobody likes a smart arse – especially a disabled one.

I am aware that today, over five hours, I have written a further 3000 words. On reflection later it had soon become 6,000. This in its self keeps me motivated to continue. I’m on a roll and regardless of the quality of my text as scribed here, thoughts are pouring out from within me. I feel that at least half of that time has been spent on proofing and editing as I go. Just as I find my songwriting has for years previously, which just comes to me effortlessly, at 50 I find the same of my writing. That doesn’t mean it’s good, it’s just an acknowledgment of my new found ability. I now adding text to paragraphs above and then returning here.

During a cigarette and coffee break I check my emails for a reply from Lancaster in regard to my reference problems. I’m saddened that there isn’t until I then realise its Saturday. I see that I have a document to check for a student, I had forgotten and had promised to return it Thursday. I break now frustrated mid flow to do it. The internet connection in the village has been reliable all day, just as I try to download the file it now drops. I believe they call that Murphy’s law but I can’t check as I’ve now got no internet! That in itself is a reminder that I need to pay the bill that is now overdue to the service provider. It’s 3.55 pm – surely they wouldn’t disconnect me this late in the day… but this is Bulgaria; they probably would. My partner equally frustrated by the loss of her crime documentary on YouTube tells me across the table, as she embroiders away; “They better not have cut us off – they do like to cut us off at weekends”. I’m reminded that this is true, having been cut off several times before. And then; for some reason that my considerations of the correct phrasal form of Murphy’s Law remind me of what kept me awake last night, in bed. I have used the word irony on two occasions and it should have been hypocrisy. Using find and replace again, I return to correct it. I’ve left irony in brackets to demonstrate my error – you may well have picked up on it already as you read?

I wanted to move on to references here but without a connection I am at a loss to download the files needed from my Gmail account. Undeterred I’ll return to that later and concentrate on something that doesn’t require technology. If I break away from writing now I feel I will not find the motivation to continue and will certainly lose track of my thoughts. I am starting to feel overcome, stressed and mentally tired.

And I interrupt this paragraph here to add a matter that is completely unrelated, though interesting.

My partner, in absence of her YouTube crime documentary, has now turned the radio on. “Is that too loud? – She asks. I reply that I had no knowledge that she had even turned it on. “How can you work with such noise, I couldn’t, I’d be totally distracted, I need silence” she adds. I explain again; “I’ve no knowledge of anything that goes on around me when I write. It’s not that I’m not listening, I just don’t know you are speaking to me”. She then picks up the ashtray by mistake to take a sip of coffee from it. Clearly radio and conversation combined are a big distraction for her.

I ask her why she doesn’t write a book, she’s creative, an avid fiction reader and acclaimed photographer. She tells me that nothing sounds more boring. “What would I write about?” – “Anything”, I say, “just write, and the book will come”. I am informed that it would never happen because she as a perfectionist would agonize over every word. I wonder if the avid fiction reader, such as she is, has a higher expectation based on the literature she accesses; that reading itself becomes a barrier to creative writing. A sense that she must aspire to the standards of her favorite authors; and that’s an interesting one for I as the non-fiction reader have no preconceived standards to which I must. And bye-the-way, we’ve not been cut off. The internet God has now delivered unto us a definition of Murphy’s Law; “the principle that if it is possible for something to go wrong, it will go wrong” .

As I have returned to my keyboard the following day, and having revisited CIR to make necessary and essential changes to my framework the obvious has now dawned on me. When developing my Consequential Impact Rating framework concerning a liquid measurement of discrimination applied to the dyslexic; I didn’t do the most obvious basic thing. I didn’t check if such a theory was already in use. I beat myself to death in my own stupidity. I’m seeking to develop a model by which I can identify the consequences of dyslectualism that may already exist. Let me rephrase that, not a model of dyslectualism already in existence but one that may be apportioned to disability, racism, sexism or homophobia and it’s consequences on the individual. I could pretend that this crucial event never happened but that would be dishonest. Honesty in my development and a true account of my learning journey are paramount here. So; hands up – I admit it!

I troll the internet; “please, please, please don’t find anything” – I demand of Google. This was my idea and I want to keep ownership of it as vital to the success of my book. A new different approach; when CIR and/or Dyslectualism is entered into the search engine I want this book to be the first hit! There is both good and bad news; but at least I can’t be called a plagiarist. I question my ability to do a PhD at all. I find nothing concerning disability or dyslexia, no reference to measurements of consequence within social sciences at all except for medical trials. I download the PDF entitled; Accounting for Impact? How the Impact Factor is shaping research and what this means for knowledge production. It concerns research planning until the later stage of publication of findings; “Even with initiatives against the use of impact factors, scientists themselves will likely err on the side of caution and continue to provide their scores on applications for funding and promotion” . Impact Factor and Accounting for Impact are common terms in research; though they centre on the production of evidence. With no reference to the impact of discrimination as an unmeasurable human perception and no reference to CIR (Consequential Impact rating) as a phrase in use, I return my confidence in the CIR theoretical framework with a note to self; sometimes reading first is better than reflexive reading on what I have already decided. Be careful: It’s better to assume someone elsewhere has already done something you want to do and therefore check first, than waste time finding out on hindsight that you are going to be accused of stealing somebody else’s ides.

The following day, re-inspired but still somewhat disillusioned by X’s email concerning their PhD submission (earlier you will have noted I returned to comment on it more directly), I find something positive to focus on. I design and complete the brief questionnaire to investigate my TESOL student’s perceptions of me. Having asked them all if they are happy to complete it during last week’s lesson, they assure me that they are. It’s now printed and I look forward to handing them out in tonight’s class. There are three classes of interest, all ethnic Bulgarian and adult. Monday (1 class) and Wednesday (2 classes). This starts to re-focus me and lift my spirits again. Aware of my over sensitivity I must work hard at not taking disappointment in others as a personal reflection on myself. Though I confess I want to know more about Xs quite unexpected negative response. I feel the need to email and ask directly – “why don’t you want to help me with this book?” But as I am asked not to use anything X has said already, what would be the point? Learn to move on!

I want to know if their perception of me as their English tutor (native speaker) identifies with who I think I am. I believe that my strengths are conversational English and vocabulary building; coupled with a sensitive approach to clear concise explanation. I can easily put examples into sentences and offer solid easily understood definitions. With explanation, the questions are (were) as follows;

Student Perceptions Questionnaire.

Tutor Jonathan Taylor.

TESOL: *****Language School:

***** . February 2017.

Your answers will be used to collect data for a new book and will be published. Circle one answer for each question only.

Your data is supplied anonymously. If you are not happy to proceed please circle declined below.

For confidentiality reasons during publication, I have removed the name of the language school and location. The completed questions will be held or made available for scrutiny if required. Students are informed that data is for a new book and will be published. The please circle option ensures that students cannot be identified and that confidentiality is maintained. Students are not asked to give their names or offer written text that would allow me to identify who completed which questionnaire. It was later clarified (as they were supplied) that all questionnaires would be shuffled by a class member before being given back to me. All questionnaires were completed in class.

1)Are you happy to complete this brief questionnaire? Please circle.

As all 3 classes are intermediate (B1 & B2) I see little mileage in splitting the results. Equally as this is just a quick survey about the perceptions of my older TESOL students and not directly related to the questions of the wider intentions of this book, I have grouped all three together. 20 questionnaires were handed out and all 20 were completed.

a) Yes (use my answers) b) No (will complete but do not use) c) Declined (I do not want to complete)

Answer ‘a’ is used to inform me that I may use the students anonymous data but b is also essential. Students may initially be happy but after completion change their mind. The answer is easily altered on hindsight. c Allows me to later identify a questionnaire supplied but not completed. No justification of declined is required.

[* 100% answered: Yes - use my answers! *]

2) What do you consider to be your level of English? Please circle.

a) Introductory b) Pre-Intermediate c) Intermediate d) Advanced

This is an important question in that students can decide what they consider to be their own level and not that as grouped by the language school. Many have high conversational levels but lack awareness of grammatical structure, spelling and punctuation. The text book level they are working at in class does not therefore necessarily reflect their spoken ability.

6 answered b) Pre-Intermediate = 30%. 12 answered c) Intermediate = 60% and 2 answered d) Advanced = 10%.

Yes: I had to Google search to remember how to calculate percentages!

3) What is the highest English language level qualification of your Tutor? Please circle.

a) Introductory b) Pre-Intermediate c) Intermediate d) Advanced

This question will inform on students perceptions of me as their tutor. As their native speaker I do not have any formal English qualifications other than an introductory initial certificate in teaching basic skills and a TESOL certificate of awareness in teaching English as a foreign language. Possessing both qualified teacher status and post graduate qualification/s, my specialist/core subject is not English. It is generic teaching in youth and community work with disengaged, disaffected and/or reluctant learners.

2 answered c) Intermediate = 10%. 18 answered d) Advanced = 90%.

4) What is your highest academic qualification (in any subject)? Please circle.

a) High School b) College c) University Degree d) Master’s Degree e) Doctor

This is to clarify any difference/discrepancy in English level and actual academic level in Bulgaria. It is my feeling that most will be qualified at Degree level if not at Masters.

1 answered a) High School = 5%. 1 answered b) College = 5%. 6 answered c) University Degree = 30%. 12 answered d) Master’s Degree = 60%.

5) What is your Tutor’s highest academic qualification (in any subject)?

a) High School b) College c) University Degree d) Master’s Degree e) Doctor

Again; this identifies student’s perversions of their tutor. Will there be a discrepancy between what they identify as my academic level in comparison to my English qualification level?

13 answered c) University Degree = 68.42%. 4 answered d) Master’s Degree = 21.05%. 2 answered e) Doctor = 10.52%.

Note: One questionnaire did not supply an answer to this question so percentage is calculated at 19 answers in total.

6) What is the most important factor for you as a student of English? Please circle.

a) Grammar b) Punctuation c) Spelling d) Vocabulary e) Conversation f) All of these

This is to be considered a leading question as I suspect all will answer option f – all of these. Some however may have specific topic interests, especially those that have previously identified themselves as intermediate or above in regard to conversational skills. They main reason for inclusion of this question is in preparation for the following question.

6 answered e) Conversation = 30%. 14 answered f) All of these = 70%.

7) What is the most important factor to you concerning your native English tutor? Please circle.

a) Grammar b) Punctuation c) Spelling d) Vocabulary e) Conversation f) All of these

Here: I want to identify where my strengths are perceived to be. A question as simple as ‘how good is your teacher’ is not going to give me the results I need but this should be considered as such a question without being too obvious to them. I would immediatly say that my strength in relation to these students is e-conversation. Will they circle f- all of these? a, b & c are certainly not strengths of mine.

1 answered c) Spelling = 5.26%. 10 answered e) Conversation = 52.63%. 8 answered f) All of these = 42.10%.

Note: One questionnaire did not supply an answer to this question so percentage is calculated at 19 answers in total.

8) Do you have a disability or medical condition that affects your learning? Please circle.

***a) Physical disability b) Learning difficulty c) Learning difficulty d) Physical impairment e) None of these

This question is offered purely for discussion. I feel certain that students will ask me at this stage for definitions of each term. In supplying definition and discussion, they will be more informed and able to answer the real question that follows. Though I offer lose working definitions below so there should be no need. No attempt at political correctness within these decisions is attempted; they are merely simple stereo-typed examples that students will understand.

2 answered c) Learning difficulty = 10%. 18 answered e) None of these = 90%.

Here my dyslexia again leads to error. Despite countless efforts and proof readings, question b) and c) state learning difficulty when b) should read learning disability. The error is not repeated in the following question and the definitions clarify meaning. I feel it is reasonable to assume that students realized this error before answering.

9) Does your Tutor have a disability or medical condition that affects his learning? Please circle.

***a) Physical disability b) Learning disability c) Learning difficulty d) Physical impairment e) None of these

This is the real question; are students aware that I have a learning disability which directly affects my literacy levels. I have never told them this; but have they realized/picked up on any obvious signs of it in the time they have spent with me as students since September 2016 (some since 2015). The correlation between this question and question 7 is where I feel I will gain a sense of what perceptions they have of me. How well have I managed to hide my difficulties?

1 answered c) Learning difficulty = 5%. 1 answered d) Physical impairment = 5%. 18 answered e) None of these = 90%.

I am not surprised that one student answered that I had a learning difficulty here and this is easily explained. I also teach her 15 year old daughter in a separate class whom is aware of my condition. Much conversation took place with this younger group concerning ‘doing well and working hard at school’, in which my difficulties were identified and used as example of later achievement. It is reasonable to assume that she had discussed her lesson with her mother afterward. Also; one student answered that I had a physical impairment and given the basic definitions given, the fact that I use glasses for reading can easily explain this.

[Definitions:*] A physical disability such as restricted movement. For example: the use of a wheelchair or walking aid. *A learning disability which significantly reduces an ability to understand new or complex information such as Down’s Syndrome. * A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia affecting reading and writing skills. * A physical impairment that affects your sight (blindness) or hearing (deafness).

THANK YOU very much for your help!

It is important to note that as a native speaker of English I co-teach with Bulgarian teachers who are graduates in English. Although they teach / deliver the lesson predominantly in English – clarification of a grammatical rule for example will often be given in their native tongue: Bulgarian. The sessions are split into two hours. The first with a Bulgarian speaker and the second English conversation with myself to develop and build on what was delivered in the first hour (we are not present in the class together during each other’s session delivery). When I am teaching I have text books in front of me that aid my memory. My primary role is conversational English; encouraging them to participate and practice English language skills. A question such as; who makes the best English Teacher, a Bulgarian with English qualifications or a native speaker without – would be far more valuable in gauging how good they think I am – but as this would be divisive and inappropriate, it cannot be asked. I’ve no intention of killing the goose that lays the golden egg by drawing attention to the fact that I am an unqualified dyslexic.

The purpose of this brief exercise is to see if my dyslexia is a barrier to my teaching delivery. It is my belief that students do not have a clue that I have a specific learning difficulty. Quite the opposite; that I am a good teacher that students are very happy with. Just as I have done when required throughout life, I hide it and hide it very effectively. The dyslexic develops highly tuned skills in this regard. The more educated or successful you become the harder it becomes for other people to understand. Once you have succeeded you are cured: dyslexia in the mindset of others then evaporates into ether. The successful dyslexic is viewed from two popular sections; you are either a liar or a cheat. Someone with reduced levels of reading is not expected to succeed . There are times when you choose to manage your condition or hide your condition. Being a dyslexic in education is tantamount to being gay in the church. The dyslexic student in college is a best practice targeted asset, who later, as a dyslexic staff member then becomes a liability. “Are teachers really still required, in the 21st century, to be models of perfect, marble-made fonts of knowledge and effectiveness? I have tutored a small number of dyslexic trainee teachers, but that was an exception to the norm. By sheer statistics alone, I must have worked with (and perhaps am presently working with) colleagues who are struggling in secret” . It’s their way or the high way.

I say this because I have over the years had countless problems with the preparation of lesson plans, schemes of work and overall paper based lesson records that must meet the frameworks of the education provider, in turn meeting the high standards of records required of examination bodies and inspectors such as OFSTED. They will give no ground: if you are a dyslexic teacher you are cured and a round peg will be most determinedly rammed into a square hole. I have never been cut any slack for my condition which has made teaching a most unpleasant profession. It seems that it is a profession of bureaucracy and paperwork and little to do with teaching. I have never had a complaint made against me by any student under any circumstance in what is now a career spanning 25 years inside the classroom.

I have never been warned, discipline or dismissed ever; except that is for one very strange encounter at Bradford Grammar School. I was employed by many teaching agencies over the years, and on this occasion I was sent by Just Teachers (Skipton; North Yorkshire) to this former grammar school, but now in fact a mixed comprehensive that kept its title in name only. It was the day that the Crossbow Killer was attending Bradford Crown Court for his first hearing in regard to his brutal murderess killings of local prostitutes. You may know already that Bradford has had its fair share of sick killers including the infamous Yorkshire Ripper; Peter Sutcliff. I was to cover a year 7 class, 11 and 12 year olds of mixed ethnicity and gender. Despite the lesson plan being supplied by the absent tutor; the class was a hive of discussion about the murderer, and obviously they asked me many questions. I broke away for 5 minutes only and explained that I’d answer their questions and then expressed the need to settle down and re-focus on the lesson at hand. I can’t remember now what subject it was but math’s rings a bell.

I explained who the ‘Crossbow Killer’ was (Stephen Griffiths) and the crimes for which he was accused . I was asked; “what is a prostitute?” – To which I most appropriately fielded the question by saying “that’s something that your parents may want to explain”. That very evening I received a phone call from the agency asking why I had said to the class; “put your pens down, we’re going to talk about prostitutes”. Utter garbage of course, and the agency completely took on board my factual account of what had actually in reality happened. They informed me that they had spoken with the head of school and explained that; [_ “this is not the Jonathan we know”- he wouldn’t have done that”. _] Despite having worked for this school on countless previous occasions I was asked not to return. My attempts to speak directly with the head in person and by telephone were declined – Though I remained employed by the agency. I look back on this event as a spineless act of cowardice by an ignorant totalitarian head that clearly does not treat his staff team very well. The reality is that supply tutors have no legal backing or voice, that students, schools and agencies alike treat them like garbage on zero hour contracts and with no backing of our representative trade unions. This event was fundamental in my decision to quit the UK and pursue outside interests.

My last teaching experience before I removed to Bulgaria was a long term contract, a few month at a pupil referral unit in Shipley. I loved it! Pupil referral units are basically behavior management centres for students at risk of permanent exclusion from education. These were my kind of kids; difficult, obnoxious and off the rails. The brief to get them back into their mainstream schools equipped with a better attitude to their learning. The problem was that I had been placed by the agency to replace a teacher who had been suspended for misconduct. I’ve no idea what that misconduct was.

Almost immediately I am confronted with a most uncooperative support worker who resented my very presence; she was the partner of the suspended tutor. What a minefield I had walked into. She would spend all day tittle-tattling back and forth complaining about pretty much everything I did, but I had a great relationship with the head who dismissed it all as utter nonsense. However the support worker was best friends with the assistant head whom I soon found to be most unpleasant. This assistant head had been updating the computers and had left all the classroom doors open to allow easy access to the 7 systems as downloads installed. My classroom was adjacent to the woodwork and technology rooms with access through a door located in my main base room. I was covering all technology lessons. She had said to me that she was updating the system and asked that I did not shut down the PC in the technology room. Fair enough – but I soon forgot! In absence of a piece of paper saying “do not shut down” – that’s how easy it would have been to remind me, I did.

I returned to my base room to find all inner doors unlocked and wide open, the electricity supply to the woodwork room left on at the main isolation switch. No staff member in attendance I did the instinctive thing and isolated the main supply. I am clumsy; indeed Chacksfield notes that a clumsy dyslexic or one with visual dyslexia would often be diagnosed as a dyspraxic . Upon realizing what I had done I apologized to her – she hit the roof! Stomping around the unit whilst cursing me publically at the top of her voice. Two other members of staff witnessed the outburst and complained about her conduct to the head. I merely explained to him: “Yes I forgot, sorry, but I did the right thing; had we had a child cut of his finger with the electric bench saws we’d be having a very different conversation now wouldn’t we?” I made a genuine dyslexic mistake but she was guilty of gross misconduct.

Regardless: during the last team meeting before the summer term break, she informed me in front of the entire staff team that there was only one job and as the unit currently had two supply workers: the work would go to the other. And then the head gave me a card and present signed by the entire team (except her and best mate) thanking me for my hard work thus far. Incidentally the suspended staff member whom I was covering for was, after investigative hearing/s, now permanently dismissed. I brushed myself down, smiled politely and invited them for a farewell drink. I think this completely knocked them sideways, they were expecting a row and all they got back was kindness (they didn’t arrive in the pub as invited but that was not a surprise). The decision to move to Bulgaria was already taken, I owned a house their already and was just using supply work to buy my time until a job came up. I took up a position as entertainer for the holiday company Balkan Holidays – and I was soon off!

My TESOL students have informed me that 90% of them believe that my highest English language level qualification is advanced. That my academic qualification’s are; University Degree = 68.42%, Master’s Degree = 21.05% and Doctorate = 10.52%. And of my dyslexia, given the explanations supplied; 95% have no knowledge of it. It is undoubtedly clear that my dyslexia is not a barrier to teaching and classroom delivery of English language as far as they are concerned – and they are paying for the lessons!

The reality is that I do not have a single English qualification, not even a GCSE. I do not consider my City & Guilds; initial certificate in teaching basic skills as a subject qualification, nor my TESOL cert; as they are both concerned with delivery and not subject knowledge.

The following; ‘My First Day at King Henry’ is the only surviving piece of work I have from my entire school hood. The only reason why I have it is that it was found pushed inside an envelope that contained my only two ever school reports. It’s interesting here for two reasons; one - it is probably my first ever piece of creative writing and two – it shows how scared of school I was at such a young age. I was severely bullied; Lepkowska later notes that 50% of schoolchildren are bullied at school but being ‘çonfused’ led to bullying that involved extreme abuse and excessive violence . More importantly it is a key indicator of my undiagnosed dyslexia. Not so much literacy because actually it isn’t that bad, but the content between the lines it gives away. I always found school, like other dyslexics, to be a complete waste of time .

During my last year of Junior School (and I had had several) I undertook my ‘stream’ test in preparation for the following school year at comprehensive. King Henry V111 (Abergavenny: Gwent) was a huge Welsh comprehensive school with over 1,800 pupils. A mini-bus would pick us up from various small villagers and drop us off on the main road (the old A40). Thereafter a coach would collect us on route through to town and school. The downside was that it meant a very early morning, but the upside was that after the mini-bus had dropped us off – it provided for a great opportunity for me to walk off and not board the later coach. Thus spending the day skiving school in various locations which I would usually hitch-hike to.

I did so badly in that stream test that I was put in a very low class; a class for remedial education as it was known then. I had not been assessed for different learning styles as one would have expected . However my time in 1K was short lived as within a few weeks the class tutor, Mrs. Weeks, had insisted that I be moved into a higher stream. I was then placed in 1V – average, mainstream and mixed ability. This story was obviously written about my first day but at a later date as it is headed 1V. You’ll notice my birth name here is Jonathan Taylor. It is quite apparent that even at the age of 11 there was a notable mismatch between my intelligence and the schoolwork I produced in contrast to the stream test undertaken.

Only two school reports were ever completed as by the third year at age 14 I was a complete non-school attender. I had run away at 13 to find my father where I briefly attended William Lovell Secondary in Boston: Lincolnshire. I can date this only because I remember having my 14th birthday in Boston. You’ll notice that the school reports are now headed Jonathan Ferriman. At this point I had adopted my step-fathers surname. My father, having been years in absentia from my life, randomly visited the school to see me during my third year and was disgusted to find that I had now changed my family name. Something he would never forgive me for. Now knowing where he and two elder brothers were I left home in that same year to go and live with him. My third brother was already under the care of the local authority.

There is a consistent theme; my work does not represent my ability and I must try harder. Frequent absence is identified. Themes that then continue the following year though here, it is noted that I make no effort. A very disappointing report as I am capable (apparently) of so much better. There is a tendency for teachers to focus on the bad and not the good . I did however manage to enter 3V the following year and was not dropped back into my original remedial classes. These reports, coupled with a psychologist’s report that I will discuss later, seem to make it abundantly clear to anyone that I had a problem that needed to be investigate.

It is Proofer 4 who offers the best insight into my difficulty as follows but first I had to ask;

Hi Proofer 4! I hope I find you well.

This is the first of two questions – there may be more if you feel happy to answer them?

In proofing my novel you identified many mistakes that 3 avid readers has previously missed.

Proofer One only read the original title: Meat Memoirs of a Psychopath. A semi-professional author and avid reader. A tutor of Creative Writing. Payment was by gift of a hand stitched quilt cover to the value of 125 GBP”.

Let me explain the quilt; I am broke (most of the time) and without funds to pay for professional proofing, gifts were given instead – as I felt I must pay something!

Proofer Two read most but was not supplied with 3 of the later shorter titles; Ping, How to Breed Chickens in Iowa and The Man Who Buried Himself. Having completed a proof reading course. Payment was made by gift of a Toby Jug valued at 80 GBP.

Proofer Three read the book in entirety upon completion. It is important to note that this was my partner. No payment was made.

As Proofer Four (who declined any gift in lieu of payment); 1) why do you think that you are able to spot ‘‘obvious errors’‘ that others did not? 2) Do you think that your hearing impairment (deafness) had an impact on your ability to concentrate?

Thank you! V. best, JT”

In cutting and pasting this email I correct five mistakes that I had not noticed when I had sent the original email. In proofing later I notice another two.

Highly organized and most helpful as ever Proofer 4 soon replies.

You asked … 1) why do you think that you are able to spot ‘‘obvious errors’‘ that others did not? 2) Do you think that your hearing impairment (deafness) had an impact on your ability to concentrate?

The answer is “none of the above”. Here’s why…

Since the early ‘70s I’ve been writing, first, technical papers and books and, second, e-books and blogs on a wide variety of topics. I’m an engineer (educated to PhD level) and thus trained not to make mistakes and to take great care over the details. My number one son and his wife (the nomads who visited Buzludzha last year) have used me as a proof reader for their 300 or so travel blogs they’ve written and posted since they started their nomadic career eight years ago. I have read and still read books written by first-class authors (John le Carré, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, John Updike, Bill Bryson, Booker Prize authors, experimental authors such as Cormac McCarthy and Chuck Palahniuk, etc.). Finally, I am a keen student of the English language and have around twenty books on various aspects of the language sitting in a bookcase in easy reach of my desk. I’ve read them all. In short, I am an experienced writer and a very keen student of our language.

I also check, double-check, and triple-check everything I write, even an e-mail such as this, before I release it. I keep notes of errors I’ve made in the past and I use Words Find facility to check for such errors. (I’ve advised you to do the same.)

All this experience is what I brought to bear when I read your book. I can spot a solecism from ten metres away. For example, see the highlighted errors in your e-mail below. It took me less than 45 seconds to spot these nine errors. (I timed myself!)

The bottom line is I’m highly tuned for spotting grammatical errors and the engineer in me will check facts if I have any doubts (such as when you got Stalin’s year of death wrong).

So, it’s nothing to do with my hearing impairment. I wear hearing aids all day every day and thus noise will distract me just as it does you.

I liken my skill to that of a professional musician. I am sure that when you are playing in a group you can spot a wrong note the instant it’s made. Unfortunately, you cannot correct it at the time, unlike my ability to correct the written word, but I am sure you will practice the piece again until all the notes are correct and in the right place.

That’s what I do! I correct errors (“notes”) as I see (“hear”) them.

Next question?”

I LOVE Proofer 4! It is the last sentence that inspires me to continue. “Next question?” I immediately see that he’s excited by this and wants to contribute further, I do not feel that I am burdening him. I give it a CIR: A8 for total acceptance of me. Noting that I have another email from Proofer 4, I send a courteous message; “Hope all is well and thank you for your invaluable help. Just a quick note to say that if I don’t immediately reply it is not my intention to be rude, not at all. I am 40,000 words into the new book, due to my dyslexia and poor memory I cannot multi-task, I have to deal with each issue/email as I write or I just get lost and confused. I’ll be back soon and thank you, JT”. Again as I cut and paste I correct three mistakes that were not seen went sent. Though underlined in red, concentrating on others things, I press send having forgotten that I must correct them. There is a mismatch between what Gmail identifies at the time and MS Word thereafter; which is interesting.

Proofer 4 and I are two parallel extremes. I make countless mistakes and have decided not to care too much, Proofer 4 doesn’t make mistakes and takes it very seriously. Obviously 4 will make mistakes from time-to-time but finding them is of paramount importance. “It does take years of practice and many many thousands of written words to identify these kinds of errors but if it’s any consolation, I still make mistakes and my wife, my three middle-aged children, my sister, and my various cousins take great pleasure in telling me about it they spot the mistakes before I do”. Proofer 4.

I am concerned more with the value of the text. It is interesting that hearing loss is not considered as the factor in an ability to find mistakes, but a fine attention to detail. Our brains are polar opposites and this is why such input is vital. We are the two extremes of creative writing. In political debate, though as unpleasant as they are, the far-right are essential. As too are the extremist left. Given the notion of free speech and democracy opposing extremes are heard that allow us as the sensible majority to find ourselves somewhere in between. It is education that challenges ignorant prejudice and not the stifling of debate.

During summer I spoke with a fellow dyslexic who I met during an adventure holiday organized for participants with learning disabilities. In Bulgaria; with the participants from the UK. We talked about Holocaust Denial. Should it be illegal? I say yes and he says no; though we are both committed anti-fascists. His position was that you cannot make stupidity illegal. I am of the opinion that with free speech comes accountability. The conversation remains with me to this day as I still haven’t made a final conclusion on the matter, but fundamentally it did challenge my thinking. The important matter is that I am always challenging my own beliefs to such a degree I often never find an answer that I am comfortable with.

Proofer 4s comment above on musicians is what jumps out to me. It’s a good point. Musicians always hear bum notes but don’t we all? Do you have to be a musician to spot the mistake in such a case? Music is mathematical, a language, but it is received; auditory. Random unrelated frequencies that create the note are considered as noise. And we can all decide what particular genre of music we each consider to be noise considering what we each find pleasant. But there is a formula; just as Mathletics dictates, 4 + 4 = 8, the chord of C is created from C + E + G. In perfect harmony with each other they are perceived as a nice sound, not noise. The brain finds pleasure from it and not irritation. Yes; even as a musician I find that I had to Google the notes that make up the chord of C to aid my memory. Just as I know the definition of words but cannot remember the spelling, I can play guitar effortlessly and not know what the scale or chord is created from. I can work it out but it’s a slow process involving counting the position on the fretboard. Songwriting is not formulaic to me but a matter of this sequence of chords works well and this one doesn’t, that sounds nice and brings me pleasure whilst the other ‘sounds awful’.

We don’t need musical training to hear the mistake. It is obvious to most of us musician or not. Reading aloud to myself enables me to hear my own textual mistakes but only when the rhythm is wrong, ie, a note/word is missing or Word has replaced an error with an irrelevant word. It does not aid spelling. In proofing text Proofer 4 found mistakes that others had not. As all musicians will hear the mistake, it appears that all readers do not see the mistake. Did the previous proof readers not see the errors that 4 did or merely did they not realise that it was an error? This has to depend on one’s own level of literacy and asks the next question; how many mistakes within the overall word count of the text are acceptable to the average reader? (Ref). Again I add ref to remind me to build on this further at a later stage.

The Red Dragon (Thomas Harris) was found to be ‘full of mistakes’ by my partner as she read through and I remember her being very irritated by them. This too such an extent that she would regularly inform me of them as she read in bed next me. It appears that readers are forgiving of errors that will be inevitable in novel of thousands of words but only if below a certain percentage. I wonder what that percentage is? Again, the prevalence of naming speed deceit in the dyslexic doesn’t help . I start to feel somewhat overwhelmed with the enormity of the original question and how much work will be involved in answering that question. For the first time I doubt my ability, my intellectual capabilities in being able to offer something of substance. I’m not an academic and this seems to be becoming far too academic for me to handle. My diagnosis statement for dyslexia said I was above average intelligence, (whatever that means) and fundamentally it did enable me to fully understand my past (Riddick et al: 1997) but I certainly don’t feel very intelligent now. I have perhaps taken on more than I can chew, a task beyond my grasp and now becoming for the first time here, aware of the amount of work that this is going to be. Is there a difference between what writers think is acceptable and that of their readership?

I need to add these questions to my original ones now some 40,000 words ago (as I build on the carcass further today it now becomes some 67,000). Very questions that have now led to burnt toast. Though the tofu burger survives the onion rings too have suffered as the toast did. I am reminded of the recent BBC news coverage concerning burnt toast as a carcinogenic. As a heavy smoker this doesn’t concern me quite as much as the question above and I eat. My partner says to me: “Here; you can have the cremated bits”.

Over dinner I think about this; If there is an acceptable level of error that is agreed by both writers and readers, regardless of any discrepancy between the two, that must say that mistakes are inevitable. If this is so then inevitable must mean acceptable. If that is the case then it is both inevitable and acceptable for the dyslexic writer to make more mistakes than the non-dyslexic. If equality and acceptance is to be achieved for the dyslectic creative writer then it becomes black and white, surely? Dyslexia is less visible as a disability, this is true but it does come to the fore during creative writing. Dyslexics are protected by legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act: 1995 (enforced in full: 1999) but it is the Human Rights Act: 1998 (enforced in full: 2000) that offers us the greatest protection . Either mistakes are okay or not. Does a typo or printing error have more acceptance than poor literacy? If it’s inevitable that I will make many more mistakes than others then surely that should be not only accepted but welcomed by readers? Today there is much more awareness for diagnosis and support than I had received during my schooling but little understanding of the condition still prevails . Certainly during my childhood, I attended school at a time where I was forced to write with my right hand in preference to my left. Today this no longer happens. Enforced changing of hand is detrimental . At the very least it made basic everyday school tasks much more difficult (Julius: 1999) and explains my appalling handwriting skills to this day. Interestingly Julius notes that in 1964 only 6% of school children were left-handed compared later to 15% in 1999.

Proofer 4s feedback is invaluable now in allowing us to move on and examine those mistakes.

[CHAPTER THREE:
Warts ‘n’ All]

17 September, 2016

Foreword

This is not a review of The Gabrielites…. As I read the MOBI file version, I noted and duly highlighted a number of grammatical errors (solecisms). On completion of the reading, I went back through the highlights and compiled this list of the errors, sorting them into categories. One of the problems doing this with an e-book is that I cannot refer to page numbers to help you find and correct the solecisms and so I’ve inserted small bits of text copied from the book to show the error in context. Assuming the original book exists as a Microsoft Word file, or similar e.g. Open Office, you should be able to use Word’s Find and Replace feature to locate and correct the error. Note: in several cases, there are multiple instances of the error e.g. the misspelt word ‘publically’. I would suggest you make more use of a reputable dictionary to check spellings”.

One infuriating aspect of MS Word is the way that it replaces words as I type – auto correct. I have sought help and guidance on disabling this annoying and most irritating function but failed. I have to now live with it. Many words that I find in a sentence that are completely out of context are as of the result of auto-correct. I would advise any dyslexic to remove it before they start. This paragraph is an example where I misspelt ‘find’ and it was replaced with the incorrect from: ‘found’. Now grammatically incorrect the red line to inform me to correct it did not appear. I notice too that grammatically is auto-replaced with: frantically. As I write I must look at the keyboard, I cannot remember the layout, so return to view screen upon sentence end. I poof read and pick up on the obvious auto correct changes. Auto correct changes the word form as I write, which at the time I do not see. It is infuriating and ultimately when mistakes are brought to my attention by others, I realise immediately that this is an auto-correct error that I have not noticed, not an error that results from my dyslexia.

The use of a reputable dictionary is interesting and it prompts me to act. I use the inbuilt Word system that is clearly not bombproof. My partner uses software called Grammarly and I have broken away to download it. My partner finds it to be more accurate and user friendly. Importantly she tells me, it’s an add-on / extension to the Chrome browser and works across all writing formats. It will automatically open when I write emails, documents or emails. I decide to put it to the test and have avoided it thus far as it becomes one more thing to have to remember. For me, though not good, MS Word is easy because I have used it for over 30 years. I am met with the words; “A few reasons you’ll love Grammarly: Instantly fix over 250 types of errors. Context-optimized synonym suggestions. Works anywhere you write”. We’ll soon see about that won’t we? Grammarly: 2017.

My brief experiment with Grammarly has failed me already. I notice the free version is limited to 100 grammar rules, the premium paid version allows for 250. So does that mean I’m getting less than 50 per cent of it? I don’t get far enough into the process to find the answer as the install Grammarly function is blocked by my anti-virus software. Suspicious of what the download may contain I retreat and cancel.

I note that you are dyslexic and thus may (or will?) have difficulty spotting these errors but the book suffers considerably from them and they seriously detract from the impact of the book. Employing the services of a good copy editor will certainly enhance the book.

The next few paragraphs contain brief comments about each major section of the book.

PING: Pre-Installed Navigational Guidance

Based on events centred on Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning and Edward Snowden and presents a history of mind control by secret societies such as the Illuminati now controlled by the Gabrielites under the control of Gabriela 13. Parts of this chapter come straight out of Wikipedia e.g. David Icke’s theories, the history of the Illuminati. There is also confusion/inconsistent use of A.R.A.T (is it an acronym?) and Arat (the name of a person).

The description of the Voynich Manuscript was lifted almost verbatim from the Wikipedia article although your interpretation of it (the Gabrielen language) was novel. Wikipedia is a great source of information but be careful of accusations of plagiarism”.

As I have previously discussed, I do rely heavily on Wiki to build fact into fiction. Though; when does rewriting text become plagiarism? Clearly Proofer 4s attention to detail requires that he examines the origins of the text and immediately finds similarities from the source. I have not ever denied this and openly admit it. Clearly my re-wording approach requires work and the production of the Voynich paragraphs were somewhat lazy in effort on my part. As you know I later worked this into the story.

So here I now copy the text from my book and thereafter the text from Wikipedia as sourced.

My paragraph as contained within the novel reads;

The Voynich is an illustrated codex which was handwritten in a previously unknown and until now, a never translated ancient language. Being written on vellum has allowed the manuscript to be carbon dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438) and believed to have been composed during the Italian Renaissance in the north of the country. It was discovered by a Polish book dealer, Wilfrid Voynich, in a Jesuit monastery during 1912, following a sale of antiquarian religious manuscripts. Many pages remain missing, but of the 240 that remain intact, it is notably the only existing handwritten copy of any purist Gabrielen language. Text flows from left to right and most pages have illustrations”. Taylor: 2017.

The Wikipedia text read;

The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and it may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance.12 The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.18. Some of the pages are missing, with around 240 remaining. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams. Some pages are foldable sheets”. Wikipedia: 2017.

It is apparent that the text and source are the same and that only a little re-wording has occurred. I have been lazy. I fully understand that this paragraph could be considered as plagiarism, though it is not the same. I don’t feel that this detracts from the credibility of over 312,000 words that remain but it is to be avoided in future. Clearly at the time of writing I did not think that anybody reading a fiction novel would be interested enough to leave the story to substantiate facts within it: I was wrong! A steep learning curve into the enquiring mind of readers.

Roadkill recipes

Entertaining and very inventive but I’ll stick with more traditional fare, vegan or otherwise”.

Roadkill Recipes is a cook book. It is included in the novel as a free supplement with a twist. The flesh is human. As the work covers all genres the psychopathic killer decides that a cookbook is missing and required as part of the overall narration. Now, interestingly, if I was going to be accused of plagiarism one would expect it here. I remember at the time of writing my partner said “You didn’t write this, you can’t cook”. True – I searched online for varying recipes that had meat as ingredients that could easily be replaced with the human organ substitutes. I do feel that a degree of re-wording within fiction is acceptable from cookery books as sources too. They are just sources that help the writer build the story, they don’t make it.

Meat – Memoirs of a psychopath

(I’ve noticed a mistake – No capital P[_)_]

I did not re-read this section. Here are my earlier comments, slightly enhanced.

I’ve an open mind and a tough exterior but I did find some of your descriptions of sex-‘n-murder tough to assimilate. I likened these descriptions in your book to some of the written descriptions in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho or Jerzy Kosinki’s The Painted Bird or to certain scenes in movies such as Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986, John McNaughton, director) or Man Bites Dog 1992, multiple directors) or even the horrific and brutal 10-minute rape scene in Gaspar Noé’s non-linear 2002 movie Irréversible. MEAT is more of the same only worse!

The religious overtones that began to creep in halfway through the book intrigued me. I am an atheist and it was interesting to see how a psychotic killer such as Gabriel 13 could justify his actions using the words of God, Jesus and his disciples. But, this is not new. We see it all the time these days with the actions of those who murder and maim in the name of some god such as Allah.

I hiccupped at the plethora of solecisms – grammatical errors, typos, and so on. I forgave such errors in the sections written by Gabriel 13 assuming they were deliberate to emphasise the way Gabriel 13 thought and articulated those thoughts but I had a harder time forgiving such errors in Dr Cerys Davies’s analytical sections. Here was a professional person, I thought, who would be expected to be able to write without such errors but there they were. Retrospectively, of course, it is revealed that Dr Cerys Davies’s sections were in fact written by Gabriel 13 and so excusable after all but this retrospective view didn’t occur until right at the end of the book and thus the nagging feeling of “that was a stupid error” persisted throughout the book and detracted from its enjoyment, if that’s the right noun to use about reading your book.

As to the plot, I was intrigued enough to stay the course. (Remember, I read the book primarily to see if there was any mention of the so-called murders at Buzludzha.) The structure of each chapter of the book – first Gabriel 13, then Dr Cerys Davies – is relatively novel and I enjoyed the end-chapter analytical sections. I am not a clinical psychologist so cannot comment on the correctness of the analyses but nothing jarred with me. I also enjoyed the out-of-the-blue punchiness of some of the lines – “I took her eyes out with a screwdriver.” That came from nowhere and took me by surprise.

There is a sense of enjoyment here even though it is not a work that Proofer 4 would normally access, but good comparisons with other such literature were made. I love horror, it is my favourite genre and to have it likened to the above list is not a bad one. They were all very successful titles of their day. There are two very noticeable comparison with other readers here. The first is that the unedited text of the killer and that of the Psychologist are one and the same. Corrinne McMahon (2013) said the same thing. That mistakes from an iliterate killer were forgivable as read but not from a psychologist who is expected to know better. The fact that the reader discovers later that the killer is the psychologist did not make these errors forgivable. Here I see that for both Corrinne and Proofer 4, the errors are more important than in maintenance of the authenticity of the character. For me, if the character is the same, the text they have written must be the same. I can’t help but wonder that if the psychologist’s textual elements were perfect in contrast to the killers, would this have been later picked up on as unbelievable within the plot. A sense that they could not be the same person as they both wrote differently. A point that the original Proofer One and I discussed as far back as 2013. He believed then that the psychologists offerings should be far more clinical in approach; I maintained that the killer would not / did not have this level of education so rejected this solid but not acceptable to theme advice.

The second noticeable comparison is the sentence; “I took her eyes out with a screwdriver.” My partner felt that this sentence was the most powerful in that random expressions of extreme violence have more impact than deeply analytical ones. That reader’s imagination filled in the accounts and not a detailed blow by blow account. Violence does increase enjoyment in the text and has its place but imagination beyond it allows the reader to control to what degree this violence takes place.

Memoirs of a Psychopath was the first novel I wrote for two fundamental reasons. Horror being my favourite genre and that my mentor at the time. Proofer 1, was a horror writer. We had a shared interest and I felt that horrific as it was, my work would be accepted. My partner found it to be too much. That page after page of gratuitous violence was unreadable. The psychologist’s analytical sections were added after the memoirs were completed as I came to believe that I needed something within to tone it down, to allow for pause and breathing space in-between chapters. I was the writer, she was the reader, and this compromise between the two positions seemed to work best.

How to breed chickens in Iowa (Beginning)

A well-told story, a bit methodical and, in places, plodding”.

This short sentence tells all; it is somewhat boring. As you will notice Proofer 4 identifies it with – ‘beginning’, and there is a very good reason for this. It was one of the latter titles I wrote and worked (wrapped) around the larger narrative. I was aware that I had not covered the romance genre and sought to create a Mills & Boon-esque title. It is written from the perspective of a young girl within the story and her romantic fantasies. It is delivered in three parts between the other titles for very good reason. It is a nice story but that is all – at this stage. There is a dramatic twist that soon reveals itself which is anything but boring. I felt that the slow predictable pace served well in developing the later revelations of parts, 2 and 3. I recall from an earlier email that Proofer 4 found this approach hard at first. A book split in three amongst other titles was hard for the reader/s to remember. I stuck to my guns; if the book is created in real time amongst all of the others included by the characters concerned it would be delivered accordingly; it therefore has to be split to be authentic. I feel also that such an unconventional approach offers a unique delivery of what is to unfold. After consideration I believe proofer 4 changed his thinking.

Please take care of Bethany

This was a good detective story, gradually unfolding into the truth. I enjoyed it. Incidentally, there were very few solecisms in this section. Clearly, someone had gone through the grammar for you. I spotted a 1930’s (should be 1930s), Bomber Commands’ (should be Bomber Command’s), some mum/Mum and dad/Dad confusion – see later, some I and me confusion – again, see later, multiple instances of Nazi’s when you meant Nazis (plural), the wonderfully misspelt terra-firmer, one-tone instead of one ton, some who versus that confusion (see later), plus a few other errors”.

Bethany was my second novel. Proofer 2 and 3 both read this title before Proofer 4 had accessed it – And Proofer 4 notes this improvement so many errors had already clearly been corrected. As the second novel it neutralised the violence of the first. It was my Yin and Yan approach to anti-narrative writing. That one story was so abusive it therefor had to be mirrored with one that was beautiful, kind and forgiving. It pushed my creativity into opposing areas. Meat – Memoirs of a Psychopath had to be balanced with something wonderful, where love conquers and wins, where hate has no place. Proofer 4 enjoyed it, and I’m please as this is my favourite title. I don’t say best, but certainly favourite. Many story lines are backed-up with military history and equipment specification; this too I obtained from Wikipedia (and countless other sites) but it is not noticed here. This seems to suggest that if the reader is sufficiently enjoying the plot, then perhaps they are not distracted by discovering truth in its validity. Ping was the final novel, was my laziness in re-wording sourced text simply a matter of boredom and eagerness to finish before ready I wonder. An over hurried attempt to cement the whole thing together.

The mistakes are genuine. One-tone instead of one ton is most definitely the mistake of MS Word auto correct!

There was a different approach to this work than that of Ping. Ping is purely an academic work that seeks to prop up the other stories that preceded it. To make the conspiracy more believable with the support of related existing fact, with a twist. To prevent the reader from being able to separate fact from fiction as they read was its only purpose; a believability in the text as delivered tying all together as I wrote. Bethany was a love story, a thriller. My second favourite genre has to be a good old fashioned war story in which the more Nazis that die the better. Sorry to be so frank but it’s the truth. One of my all-time favourite films would certainly be Saving Private Ryan. Documentary wise crime and criminology are on an equal par with war history. In Bethany my creativity took over in places absent in Ping because I believed I enjoyed writing it more. I was creating a story and not writing for the sake of writing. Also my own families experience during the war are built into the plot. Characters are built upon my (now deceased) uncles and aunties. That notion of self-ownership and life-plunder has to have improved the quality of the story as I had real people upon which to develop a fictitious story. I will talk more about this later when I approach the subject – what is my creative writing?

The Holy Order of the House

Finally, the section that revealed “the truth” about the two French photographers, Achille Pinet and Marrok Brideau, and the shrine in the depths of the building. I did wonder if Achille Pinet and Marrok Brideau were anagrams e.g. Patience Hill or Anthill Piece (Achille Pinet) and Buried Ark Roam or Abroad Murkier (Marrok Brideau), or maybe people you know (I searched the list in the Acknowledgements but found no match)? It’s a thought.

(I soon find that Proofer 4 thinks too much – And that’s not a negative thing. It was this paragraph alone in feedback above that inspired the end of my novel. The secret location had been finally uncovered by an anagram solver. I used all of the above within the novel’s conclusion).

I was also intrigued by your explanation of the Dyatlov Pass incident having recently watched the 2013 movie Devil’s Pass. Needless to say, your account of what happened and what caused the deaths of the trekkers differs from that advanced in the film but both make for a great story”.

I hadn’t watched this movie and soon did. Along the lines of the Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity; it was delivered as believable victim generated fiction. You start to believe that it is true though you know it not to be. Memoirs of a Psychopath had stuck to this very principle from the beginning. I wanted to start a new conspiracy theory and this I did very well. Evident above; Proofer 4 seeks to find the truth about the murders at the site of Buzludzha; murders that are born of my book. But; the book is born out of existing local rumour, and so on. By the way, I found Devil’s Pass to be a great film and quite believable until the end where it all starts to get a little silly. I personally wouldn’t have used that ending but I would recommend it as quite a cracker (If you like that sought of thing).

Porthole: Paris’ Revenge

This chapter was mostly error free but I did not find it particularly erotic. I too have had a go at writing erotica and it’s very difficult. Just describing the act of sex, however innovative, however offbeat, however brutal, is not necessarily erotic. What makes it erotic is the build-up, the anticipation based on character build, the situation, the surprise, the nature of the sex. I found the idea of the ship, RMS Fantasia, telling the story interesting but the actions of Jacque (should that have been Jacques?) and Paris predictable and, dare I say it, a little boring and the ‘cum’ versus ‘come’ wordplay repetitive. Although classed as vulgar slang, cum is a noun and a verb in its own right.

Proofer 1 had also written erotica, although his crime detective series was his favourite work/s, and as he actually makes more money from sales of his erotica: I thought as my third title, I’d have a go too. And this is where the idea of a novel in separate genre across all main genres was probably truly born. Proofer 1 and I both believed it would and could be a world’s first. The gauntlet was down but as erotica it has clearly somewhat fallen short. The advice here is solid though my Carry On film approach did not sway Proofer 4s opinion of my overuse of cum in place of come. I agreed that these could be removed; they simply didn’t work, just as the Carry On films themselves, that kind of slap stick 60/70s humour no longer carries.

It’s interesting that this was mostly error free. Did Proofer 2 and 3 enjoy it more I wonder? Incidentally Proofer 1, just as proofer 4 would later become, was built into the story at this point as a character! It’s just my way of saying thank you.

The Isabella Question

No comment.

“Was it really that bad? No Jonathan: stop being so negative, let’s rephrase that to wow, was it really that good? The Isabella Question is not a separate title but a chapter that serves to link two separate novels together, a bridge that allows the reader to cross into another story and genre that still makes sense, that what they read next remains in context. It appears in The Definitive Edition only where all of the novels now collide into one book. What I still believe to be a world\s first in contemporary literature. But you will answer that question later I hope?

Communists in outer space

This section could do with a radical pruning. It is far too long and requires great stamina on the part of the reader to stay with it to discover the de-atomisation activities of the Gabriela Sect in the laboratory/nuclear plant underneath the Buzludzha basement.

In this chapter, you consistently spell Friedrich Engels surname as Engles. If he were a member of the Gabrielites Sect, he would surely be after your skin!

Also, you state somewhere that Joseph Stalin died in 1954. He didn’t. He died in 1953”.

This was my attempt at science fiction driven by my interests in history and politics and my fourth title. Reading this feedback started to make me believe that I should create an abridged version of The Definitive Edition. A version that focusses on the best parts of my creativity only. Proofer 4 would later support this idea and I am still thinking about it. In reality it pains me to delete anything I have written so an abridged version would have to co-exist alongside the Definitive Edition. We’ll see. Proofer 1 would often get his partner to view his work and if she dictated that it was poor writing he would delete and start again. I always thought this to be dishonest as it was only one person’s opinion. I’ve always felt that a genuine writer who truly believes in their own work should write for themselves. It is for readers to find a writer that they like rather than the writer to write purely to find an appreciative audience. I say dictate because it annoys me that anyone would call anyone’s writing – bad writing. Because you don’t like it doesn’t make it bad. I use an analogy of music; I may think that a song is crap, that’s just my opinion. I don’t like it. It doesn’t make it have less value than what I like and enjoy listening to myself. It was proofer 1 who inspired me to write with the words just write; but in seeking his partners approval there seems to be a contradiction to this advice here.

Proofer 3 felt that this novel needed a glossary of terms to aid the reader with countless new words, events and characters. Proofer 4 disagreed. It was pointed out to me that sci-fi novels don’t generally have glossaries. Being new to all of this I had no idea, here the problem seems to me to be one of delivery. Too much historical content and lacking in overall plot. Good solid advice is again taken on board. I don’t know who the Stalin mistake belongs to, me or Wikpedia…

How to breed chickens in Iowa (Continued)

No further comment”.

Great, nor me…

Meat – the musical

My hard-of-hearing problem prevented me from listening to the musical but the script was reasonably error-free”.

I was saddened when I read this part of Proofer 4s feedback. I tried to imagine a world without sound; that means no music. That would be devastating. I am unaware to what degree this impairment affects Proofer 4, and do later discover in separate communications that use of a hearing aids is made. Too; I consider my songs to be much more acceptable than my novels and would like to have proofer 4 comment on them as this radio play is I feel dated but funny. Proofer 4 makes no reference to his hearing impairment being an obstacle to his creativity, though the personal sale of his extensive CD and Vinyl collection become evident later on. He demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of music that clearly equals his depth of knowledge in literature.

I thought about the following; as a creative writer which loss of sense would most affect me? Hearing obviously as I would not be able to play guitar at all. Sight would also impact as I wouldn’t be able to read my lyrics so then couldn’t perform, and they’d be no more writing. Touch would also prevent my creativity given the sensitive nature of the guitar fretboard in producing sound. I’m left with taste and smell which although loss ofwould be tragic, I would be able to write. I imagine that for other writers taste and smell would be essential in use of adjectives. Though seemingly irrelevant here within the wider text, the thought did cause much consideration and I realized that dyslexia, even though hugely disempowering was not the worst of inflictions that I could have been born with. I asked myself; born dyslexic or loss of hearing later in life, make the choice – I chose my dyslexia.

In over 500 emails that Proofer 4 and I exchange as time went on, there was never a sense of anger or frustration, but of acceptance of hearing loss. In contrast I have never truly managed to accept dyslexia. Today I search Google for a simple explanation of the difference between a PhD and an MPhil. I realise that my dyslexia is not going to allow me to do the PhD, it’s unrealistic and unobtainable. I’m starting to lower my ambitions and investigate MPhil routes instead; for the first time. Something I should have done much earlier I feel.

The Gold Star Kid

The Gold Star Kid was a gentle story with a predictable ending but enjoyable nevertheless. In the introduction you introduce Frank Dailey who then becomes Frank Daily two paragraphs later. You also have trouble between mum and Mum – see later.”

The Gold Star Kid & The Dream Angel was my first attempt at a children’s story. To be honest, of all of the books that I thought would generate interest, it was this one. It was inspired by the true story of Myles Eckbert, but not based on; though the first comment I received in its regard was negative. I search my emails to find it, sent via FaceBook and received into a non-friends subfolder, but fail to now locate it. It was to the effect of “why have you written a book about Myles without asking for permission?” to which I replied; “if you’d read it you would see that it is not about Myles”. As I had received positive emails for the work from Myles’ mother (Tiffany) I dismissed the comment as that of a self-appointed guardian firing from the hip. Though the overwhelming sense of; can’t people just have something nice to say – prevailed. I was disappointed in the way it was received. It was my intention to create a series of Gold Star Kid books, but deflated, I now lost interest. It’s something to return to later perhaps.

The man who buried himself

Very interesting. I raced through this story in order to find out the answer posed by the title. Did the unseen Vicar bury himself and, if so, how did he do it? It’s a great story with a great dénouement, and virtually error free. With a bit of tidying up of the computer virus explanation, this would rank alongside a Sherlock Holmes story—how did the murderer escape from the locked room that contained the dead body and which can only be locked from the inside?”

I was thrilled to discover that Proofer 4 had liked this particular title. This was my last bar one – Ping being the final. I can gain a sense of excitement in his feedback here where enjoyment is evident. To be likened to a Sherlock Holmes novel is quite the encouragement to continue. In fact as I re-visit the feedback here to comment within this new work a penny now drops. Forget sending the Epic multi-genre work out to publishers; just send this one. As I have discussed, Bethany is my favourite book but I had always believed this story to be the better, And; the more I write the better that writing becomes over the test of time. So I consider that this title had 8 practice runs beforehand.

Notably; Proofer 4 does not offer false praise as you can see, so when a pat on the back arrives as it does, you know it to be a genuine opinion. Maybe I have a future as a crime writer…

Something Midsummer Murders-esque…

Surge: the movie script

I’m a big fan of horror movies—click here— and this script would make a great horror movie”.

I’m wondering what the click here means and feel the need to revisit the source document and: click here. I’ll be back soon. Now back; I’d completely missed this link first time round. A link to Proofer 4s blog in which he most hilariously tells you how to survive a horror movie. That’s dyslexia for you!

Surge was another work that linked separate genre book sections together. And now I think about it I can’t actually remember how many books I’ve written but The Definitive Edition includes so much additional work that that too is considered a separate title. I’ve avoided over information here, just introductions to the main feedback that follows but I will explain more in the next chapter concerning my approach to creative writing.

I start again to recall how much work I put into this book and how completely wacky it all is. Yeah: I am proud of it!

How to breed chickens in Iowa (Conclusion)

Sometimes you spell Trigger (the horse) as trigger. The name should always be spelt Trigger. Similarly with Blaze, not blaze. Also, you often mention the Broadmoor’s (possessive) when you mean the Broadmoors (plural) but it’s ‘… Broadmoors’ thundering feet’ – see later.

Interesting as I know a name always begins with a capital and cannot help but blame these obvious errors on MS Word auto correct again. This is definitely not a mistake I would make but a replacement that I would not notice.

Also interesting is that no comment is made concerning the twist chapter. The point at which the plodding Mills and Boon goes biblical; literally. I thought it was a unique approach but here it is not picked up on. After all it’s the best bit.

I’m working this as I type. Thoughts…

Her Holiness Gabriela 13

No problems”.

Good: it’s not a wise man that messes with Gabriela; as readers soon discover!

Layout of the book

I found you section headings confusing and serving no purpose: pre-chapter headings, chapters 44 – 46 before chapter 1 et seq. I also disliked the fragmentation of some of the stories, particularly the three-part presentation of the Chickens in Iowa story. Nobody can read this book in one sitting (it’s 308,000 words long—getting close to half the Bible in word length) and you are asking the reader to carry who’s who/what’s happened so far/ knowledge in their head over what may be a considerable period of time. A normal reader will need a good memory in order to read your book! Or will make notes as I sometimes do.

In general, non-linearity in either books or movies leaves me cold. It’s as if the author, or director, is deliberately setting a barrier to the enjoyment of the book, or film, for no other reason than he or she can. Flashbacks and jump-forwards are fine where they fit and reveal a plot twist but random non-linearity just causes a headache!

This is really difficult in that I cannot reject solid constructive criticism but I am left with the feeling that the overall point has been missed. Though that’s my opinion, which is of course biased as the author. Here I gain the perspective of the reader first-hand and what is said has to be true. It is a massive, chaotic and very confusing read. The abridged version is on the way. But this structure is its uniqueness and I never considered it to be a barrier. Clearly it is and this needs addressing, and as I and Proofer 4 discuss many changes hereafter, I find that at the end of the day I keep the structure as it is. There are multiple titles, many of which I created simultaneously as the book developed. The characters are instructed to write and write they do; all in real time. I guess I consider the confusion to be part of the overall fascination of the books creation. In taking it away I take the uniqueness of the book with it. If the story unfolds as it says in the book then this structure has to be maintained or it becomes unbelievable. It is what it is because of the way it was created.

Readers have a way of reading and readers expect a certain traditional format. Perhaps it’s time they found a different way to read. It’s a huge decision, re-structure to find an audience or stand with what I believe as its author to be correct.

In the section Part 4 The Gabrielites you made reference to page numbers. Page numbers are irrelevant in an e-book”.

This is true and I hadn’t really thought it through. It seemed to me that eBooks don’t need page numbers, but equally it doesn’t matter if they’re there either. The reason was simple. I have one master file from which I edit that serves as both eBook and print version templates. Instead of having to edit two separate files, one that fits all purpose seemed like a good idea at the time; point taken and it is accordingly removed.

I awoke this morning inspired by a new story and have already lost interest in finishing this book: A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing. That’s the very nature of my mind, I bore easily and am always seeking the next thing. I’ve got a great story whirling around and around and if I don’t start it I will forget it. The same accord as I was writing the first book Meat, Bethany was created alongside it and I found myself writing two separate novels side-by-side simultaneously. It worked for me and wasn’t confusing as the two books bounced off each other and interrelated within the wider plot. The idea I have is not connected; a standalone comedic farce entitled; Ski Krushevo. I open up Gmail and write a draft email to myself, but I do not press send. There it remains and I go back and forth adding ideas to the Ski Krusehvo shopping list.

I’ve been knocked back for the PhD and a former dyslexic fellow student does not want to contribute to my research. I’m left thinking what is the point? Is anybody actually going to read this new book? But every reason to go is a reason to stay and I will finish this work in the hope that others will later contribute. The more I read about my difficulties the more disheartened I become and I need something positive to happen to keep me motivated and focused. Finishing it will be that positive happening so I brush myself down and continue.

Here Proofer 4 identifies what exactly those difficulties are;

Grammar

Multiple spelling mistakes:

Buzluzha (Buzludzha), definatley (definitely), Brittons (Britons), publction (publication), pychopath (psychopath), decedents (descendants), Common Wealth (Commonwealth), Thetons (Thetans), heroine (heroin), fifthteen (fifteen), bed side (bedside), mange (manage), Royal Airforce (Royal Air Force), David Cameroon (David Cameron), transmittion (transmission), quasie (quasi), comer (coma), East-Coast (East Coast), tuff (tough), terra-firmer (terra-firma), confidents (confidants), Brain (instead of Brian), honourary (honorary), alter (altar), assent (ascent), Yurals (Urals), Kalofar (Kalofer), most (one instance that should be moist in Porthole), tort (taut, also in Porthole), pass time (pastime), decent (descent), Engles (Engels), marihuana (not incorrect but more commonly spelt marijuana), Walsall Pack (Warsaw Pact, but you may have written Walsall Pack deliberately?), circum navivigate (circumnavigate), riffles (rifles), grated (granted), birthrite (birthright), re-actor (reactor), reviously (previously), un-answered (unanswered), Euro-pol (Europol), grammer (grammar), wood Pidgeon (wood pigeon), non-the-less (nonetheless), Coro (Corrie is the usual abbreviated form of Coronation Street), thread bare (threadbare), over enthusiastic (over-enthusiastic), sub-terrainium (subterranean), on route (en route, French), ruck sack (rucksack), Bride’s Maids (bridesmaids), Gloustershire (Gloucestershire), man made (man-made), Civil war (Civil War), sister hooded (sisterhooded), Devine message (Divine Message), there after (thereafter), publically (arguably correct but the more usual form is publicly, multiple instances), down-loads (downloads), back-out (back out), nauseas (nauseous), Crime stoppers (Crimestoppers).

The list seems endless, some will be typos, others auto correct but most are yes, poor spelling. The writing is easy and for every hour of writing at least two more are spent proof reading and another perhaps on editing. Writing is only 25 per cent of my time. Clearly I still miss masses of errors; you can only imagine what it is like before Proofer 4 corrected them. Maybe the volume of error is so great that Proofer 2 & 3 simply couldn’t cope and switched off as they continued to read.

Confusion between:

now and know (‘Did you now Bradley was gay?’, ‘How do you now this if…’, ‘Especially as know no-one else was interested…’);

of and off (‘… bounced of a tower…’, ‘Turning of the transponder…’);

new and knew (‘The pair new Clara Stinchcombe… ‘(knew));

there, their and they’re (‘We killed there two highest leaders…’, ‘Perfect, perfect,’ replied Paris, their so very perfect…’, ’… my wardrobe, and their at hand…’ );

site and sight, (‘… was soon put out of my site as he went on…’);

you and your (I shall ensure you hopes and visions…’, ‘ waste nothing of you roadkill…’, ‘… that’s all over you fucking shoes, man’);

to, too and two (‘… kidney soup seemed too work…’, ‘… you too are now love birds…’);

I and me (‘… she was just a year older than I.’ (I should be me.));

whom and who (‘A highly trained and skilled aviation mechanic whom had written…’ (Whom should be who. The mechanic is the subject, not object, of the sentence. But in this sentence, ‘Millions starved to death, 10 miilion of which were peasants…’ the which is better written as whom and in the sentence ‘… hands of a charity organisation who raised money…’, who should be that);

of and off (‘I guess I’m kind off midway now.’ ‘Alex calmly steps of the tower…’)

were and where (‘My first question was, where they authentic?’ (were)”

Most of these are obvious now when I see them. Again auto-correct of my poor spelling has replaced the incorrect word in several cases – but you would think that when I read back I would notice; I do not.

Confusion between when to use Dad versus dad, Mum versus Mum e.g. ‘Obviously mum and dad are married.’ (Should be ‘Obviously Mum and Dad are married.’) When you are using the word ‘Dad’ to refer to a specific person, it’s standing in place of their name, and thus, like their name, would be capitalized. When you’re talking about dads in general, it’s a common noun. (Snagged from http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/44846/when-should-mom-and-dad-be-capitalized”

I understand that when used as the name a capital is required. Though confusion still exists in understanding within the sentence when it is a name.

Incorrect words used in a sentence e.g.

‘… we don’t need to thick any more…’ (think);

‘ … this before simply vanishing front the skies.’ (from);

‘… suddenly bare left to a south-westerly…’ (bear);

‘… that a PINGer was fitter on that jet…’ (fitted);

‘Volkswagen had recently fallen fowl of the law…’ (foul);

‘.. all bare witness’ (bear);

‘… using kitchen role.’ (roll);

‘Poor over your red wine…’ (Pour);

‘Isabella’s madness, her decent into chaos… ‘(descent);

‘Aids to Joseph Stalin…’ (Aides);

‘… reduced capacity model: a prosteishy sputnik…’ (I had no idea what ‘prosteishy’ meant but a Google search unearthed a Wiki article that explained the word – simple in Russian);

‘… the only non-EU member grated full membership.’ (granted);

‘every single meat eating fucking maggot on his planet – dead.’ (this);

‘Core, it’s a bit of alright… ‘ (Cor);

‘… but to this old copper’s disappointed, he soon…’ (disappointment);

‘And my eyes took the site of the dress ‘ (sight);

‘… but he refused point black to even talk…’ (blank);

‘… but who will attend to the Pire (fire);

‘… so not to disturbed it and frighten…’ (disturb);

‘… that she is a millionaires then…’ (millionairess);

‘… did the famer find it…’ (farmer);

‘… inside the rota blades…’ (rotor);

‘… and soon witter away her funds…’ (fritter);

‘… it’s jut after 6…’ (just);

‘… stairways to two upper tears’ (tiers);

‘As the years past, …’ (passed);

‘… would soon start to que up to buy shares…’ (queue);

‘… we soon fund ourselves in the midst…’ (found);

‘… more frightening then anything the enemy…’ (than);

‘The waiter summoned a made to the table.’ (maid);

’… but we also saves trees!’ (save);

‘She secretly writes erotic (Porthole)…’ (erotica);

‘She’s got a think for cowboys.’ (thing)

I have to be honest, I had no idea it was as bad as this. Perhaps now I get to understand Corrinne McMahon’s initial point at the beginning of all of this. Sorry for being so harsh on you Corrinne! Think (not thing) for cowboys is auto-correct yet again as several above are (not an excuse, I still didn’t pick up later on the re-corrections). Words like bare instead of bear are down to me and witter instead of fritter are local colloquialisms – I do say witter away my cash for example, it doesn’t mean I’m using the word incorrectly. However; it does mean (probably) that I’m the only person in the world using it. I still have the habit of saying Skellington instead of Skeloton; somethink instead of something or umberella instead of umbrella. I had a conversation with Proofer 1 over the term; ment. Auto-correct has now just changed it to meant so I have re-typed it as ment again. “I ment my bike” – I repaired my bike. “Have you ment it yet” – have you repaired it yet and so on. And I still use words such as littler and prettier as a comparative form. They are just words stuck by habit from childhood. I know they are wrong but it’s a hard habit to break. Proofer 1 had never heard of the word; ment.

Misquotes “Keep your friends close but your enemies even closer” is attributed either to Sun Tzu (The Art of War) or Mario Puzo/Michael Corleone (The Godfather, Part 2) but not to Adolph Knigge. Sweetbreads are not testicles. They are from the thymus and the pancreas.

Now this is intentional and not an error. I deliberately attribute misquotes to others to build the conspiracy. To make the reader believe that that is the true origin of the quote and not who they had previously thought it to be. It’s just part of the story – fiction masquerading as fact or fact masquerading as fiction.

In trying to write the word masquerading here (mascarading), spell check is not offering a correct form. The conclusion is, my spelling of the word is so bad spell check has no idea what I am trying to say. I am offered the alternative: mascaraing. Which is obviously and completely the wrong word.

At times it is evident that proofer 4 is so acute in finding the errors, deliberate errors become included – though they are few. We talk much about errors but I later give proofer 4 full editorial controls over corrections. I feel that if they, deliberate errors do not work within the text, then they are best removed.

Confusion between the apostrophe used to show possession and the plural form of a noun e.g.20’s (20s), readers (reader’s or readers’), York’s’ failure (York’s failure), 30s (‘30s, short for 1930s), worlds good (world’s good), ‘The new player’s had arrived…’ (players), 1970’s and 80’s (1970s and ‘80s), ISILs growth (ISIL’s growth),’ … todays’ conversation…’ (today’s conversation), ‘… there’s’ so much we can do…’ (there’s), ‘… and intestine bacteria’s can be…’ (bacterias),’ … saving the lives’ of the wagon trailers…’ (lives), Nazi’s (possession implied) instead of Nazis (plural), CD’s (CDs), ‘… those member’s of the live studio…’ (members), ‘… no buses or taxi’s locally available…’ (taxis), ‘… the Broadmoor’s thundering feet…’ (Broadmoors’)”.

Of all of the useless punctuations within the English language it is this little ba*tard that causes me the most serious problems. I know the rules; I just still never get it. I have NEVER mastered the art of the apostrophe! Is there a reason we actually need it? Can’t we just abolish it? I am reminded of a grammar aid I use to teach; let’s eat grandma versus lets eat grandma. Shall we have dinner together grandma versus grandma’s flesh will be very tasty! Lets eat grandma now being rejected by the grammar checker as if my lap top objects to the consumption of grandma’s human flesh…

Unusual punctuation. You often use a semicolon when all that is required is a comma or not even a comma e.g. ‘Every day ever since; I woke up to dread, that impending delivery of ‘Part Four’. (Every day ever since I woke up to dread that impending delivery of ‘Part Four’. No commas are required in this sentence.)”

Missing question marks e.g. ‘Killing and flesh consumption is so efficiently mechanised, isn’t it.’

Incomplete sentences e.g.’ To my long suffering partner. The photographer; Nicola Miller.’ (In the Acknowledgements) Should be ‘To my long suffering partner, the photographer Nicola Miller.’

Multiple instances of unconventional capitalisation within a sentence e.g. ‘Our mission in Syria was surveillance only – That was the brief.’ (Our mission in Syria was surveillance only – that was the brief.)’ ‘… was watching the Golf on TV…’ (‘… was watching the golf on TV…’).

Use of that instead of who for a person or a group of people e.g. ‘A man that identified …’ (‘A man who identified…’), ‘… and also those that had declined to join.’ (‘… and also those who had declined to join.’), ‘… French soldiers that were also stranded…’ (‘French soldiers who were…’), ‘Those that had taken the opportunity…’ (‘Those who had taken…’)

Mis-matched noun and verb e.g. ‘Network-based techniques provides … ‘(provide, not provides),

False negative e.g. ‘Why hadn’t neither the crew nor advance aircraft …’ (‘Why had neither the crew nor advance aircraft…’)”

This part of the feedback is particularly difficult to assimilate as it reflects the way I talk, and I write as I talk. That dyslexic sub-culture rant to which I previously refer. The false negative above is a clear error; as is provides not provide. Proofer 4 has very high standards and, not being a fiction reader, wonder to what degree the commonality of these mistakes are in other non-dyslexic works. I return to the thought; how many mistakes is too many mistakes and this I must find out. If I were to aspire to Proofer 4s literary level I fear I would never write anything. Though a professional proof reader would later correct those errors for me as Proofer 4 so kindly would go on to do.

Final comment

The book makes use of many unsolved mysteries (e.g. Dyatlov Pass incident, Voynich Manuscript, …) and ongoing events and conspiracy theories and weaves an interesting story from many different threads written in different styles (a multi-genre composition). It is also clear that you have a fascination with the UFO-shaped Buzludzha Monument in Central Bulgaria. At 308,000 words however, it is a daunting read and I would strongly recommend you look at ways of reducing the word count. I would also reconsider the layout of the book to see if a more orderly time-ordered sequence with conventional chapter headings would help the reader to more easily build the overall story. And please think about using a good copy editor to correct the many grammatical errors. Your book would be much better if it were shorter, relatively error-free and better organised in its time line”.

I completely agree and an abridge version is the way forward but can I bring myself to do it? I may have to just give it away to others as I did to Proofer 4 to edit. I’ve invested so much time and work into every title that to lose anything would be sacrilege. I imagine how the crooners and stylish divas of the 1950s felt when rock n roll came along in refusing to accept this musical bastardisation of the norm. Maybe it’s time for a different kind of book that too breaks traditions. Something out of the box that pushes those expectations. Anti-narrative writing that is not intended to be enjoyable but shattering. I struggle with what I want and what others expect. I agree with Proofer 4 wholeheartedly but react against the change most staunchly at the same time.

Disclaimer

I too am an author but not a professional copy editor although I do copy-edit my own works. I do not claim to have found all errors in your book, only the ones that glared at me when I read it. I hope you find my comments and suggested corrections helpful not only with The Gabrielites book but in all future books coming from your fertile mind and active finger tips.

Good luck, and may the Gabrielites never find your secret location”.

A disclaimer was never needed and the comments weren’t just helpful but invaluable to me. My sincere gratitude is beyond measurement. Whilst my dyslexia will never be cured my understanding of the reader’s perspective is established. Proofer 4s inspiring thoughts have already impacted on my writing approach and will continue to do so. Not just what I have read here within the feedback but also the excess of 500 emails that Proofer 4 and I go on to exchange later and hereafter. Fundamentally it draws attention to my errors and I realise how utterly disabling dyslexia for a creative writer is. Even I didn’t think that it had this many errors.

I end with further words of wisdom supplied by Proofer 4. Yesterday I mentioned in an email’; …“not a single FB friend has ever shared, reviewed or downloaded any of my books”, to which the reply came: “I have, but I’m not a Facebook friend! There has to be a moral there”.

I leave my shopping list in place for you, two down one to go!

Chapter headings are in lower case – yep go it! Cut and paste this to next chapter as reminder!

Snakes and ladders – not done yet, would be good as final sentence maybe…

Perception of English teachers TESOL – completed and added!

[CHAPTER FOUR:
You Haven’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!]

Today; 9th Feb. I was awoken to the BBC news and the work of Durham Universities Dr Adriano Reis e Lameira findings on Orangutans. A fascinating insight into the communication system of the ape, our closest living ancestor and the apparent developmental link to human language evolution. “We were basically using the orangutan vocal behaviour as a time machine – back to a time when our ancestors were using what would become [those precursors] of consonants and vowels.” BBC.com: 2017. – From which I concluded that given this new world of literature and writing I have now discovered – I am an Orangutan. As: dyslexics are considered to be an essential part of human evolution preventing the human race from losing the necessary holistic and spatial skills associated with dominant right brain hemisphere (Stein in Newnham: 1999.) – Now doesn’t that make me feel special – I’m unique!

Also today I received two very shattering emails (not actually shattering at all, more disappointing but I think shattering sexes it all up better). The first from a publisher who having reviewed my book, said;

Thank you so much for submitting to us at Three Rooms Press! We read with interest your submission of MEAT; however, after much consideration, we do not feel it is right for our list at this time. We wish you all the best of luck in finding a home for your work elsewhere!

Sincerely, the Editors”

I hadn’t actually sent the submission but the introductory synopsis hoping that they would then want a submission. The guidance required the first three chapters of a novel, but as mine is ten novels each in separate genre, this I felt needed explaining first. Regardless; it is no; and that comes to a blow for all writers who seek recognition I guess. This is my third rejection (technically two: it’s complicated) in two years. Clearly I’m not a prolific submitter but wait until something interesting provokes me to try.

My first was to a small independent publisher (Carpet Bombing Culture) in the UK who politely informed that they found it to be “too confrontational for their catalogue” – or words to that effect. The second was to the epic’s wing of Penguin-Daws; New York. They actually never said no, I’m still waiting but as it’s been 8 months or even more, I get the message. They received the whole book as a posted printed bound copy (a Lulu self-print version) and they signed on delivery to acknowledge receipt of it. Despite a few follow ups, nothing was ever heard from them again. Between me and you I think they’ve lost it. Maybe it will turn up under a floorboard 100 years from now and then become recognized as a lost work of genius. Fingers crossed on that one. Three Rooms Press was my third submission – they clearly loved it enough not to want to read it.

And as I later read through this I am reminded of a job interview I attended in Battersea (London) after graduating in 1999. A mental health project run by the local church that needed a youth worker cum sound engineer to work on audio projects with their participants. I really wanted that job and I’m still waiting to hear whether I got the job or not: they forget to let me know! I guess that was no too… After all; it’s been 18 years now!

I have submitted to a fourth publisher RASP only this week having discovered them purely through writing this book. Had I not started this then I would never have heard of Rasp (Rebelling Against Spelling Press). Rasp are only interested in the works of Dyslexic writers – (but) I have a feeling they have closed down as their online presence is near zero and my email has not received a courteous, ‘thanks we’ve got it’, reply. I have an afterthought now (27th. Feb) later as I read this through agin. The book is very disturbing; not for the faint hearted at all, but I think with the addition of this, A Dyslexia perspective on Writing, it may put the work in a clearer light. I think I’ll try those publishers again maybe.

With three rejections under my novice writer’s belt I feel sad today. That’s the truth. My partner informs me that J K Rowling got rejected stacks of times which perks me up a little and I remember that EMI didn’t sign The Beatles because guitar bands were a thing of the past. I’ll keep trying. “JK Rowling has offered hope to aspiring authors everywhere, after revealing that the first literary agent she sent the manuscript of Harry Potter to responded with just a slip of paper rejecting it” . Some articles say she was rejected 9 times and others, 12, but regardless – there’s hope. However: I note to self that psychotic killers are hardly Harry Potter! What has proven most interesting is that now, prompted to try again, I came across a publisher called Novum. They were seeking literature that ‘The Man Who Buried Himself’ seemed quite perfect for. A Sherlock Holmes-esque work as described by Proofer 4. I submit my manuscript and soon receive a query to ask if the work has been previously published elsewhere. “Only on Shakespir as a self-published edition” – I reply. I then later (March 6th) discover;

Thank you once again for your manuscript submission.

Unfortunately we have to inform you that we cannot publish your work because it does not match the standards of our publishing programme. We cannot accept and support works, which have been published before.

If you have further manuscripts, please feel free to send them to us. We will be pleased to receive and review further works.

We ask for your understanding and wish you all the best!”

And that has come as quite a bombshell. Being quite the novice to all this I had not considered that in self-publishing, publishers would then, later, not consider such works. As all of my novels have evolved over the last 5 years, I have self-published them and re-uploading better edited versions as I progressed. A warning to others who self-publish is evident. I re-think my whole strategy and decide that I will send this work ‘Á Dyslexic Perspective’ as the reply is polite and inviting. Maybe as this has not as yet been published and explains and accompanies the previous works; it is worth a second attempt…

I have good news and bad news. This recent re-submission to Novum Publishing returned a negative response. They said;

Thank you for the submission of your new manuscript. Unfortunately, we cannot publish this work because of the offensive language. We ask for your understanding and wish you all the best!”

I reply;

[_ Hi ****, thanks for such as quick response. But please could you clarify what the offensive language is; I am very confused by this point. It would help me greatly in future approaches. _]

Thanks and very best, JT”

And feedback was soon forthcoming:

Thank you for your e-mail. Well, the word “fuck” is used 620 times, “shit” is used 85 times, “bitch” is used 45 times, “cunt” is used 52 times… Furthermore, the book is way too long, it has too many pages and it does not match the standards of our publishing programme.

Kind regards,..”

That’s a bit harsh I think. It’s not one book – it is twelve – and the swearing only occurs in the initial horror (Meat: Memoirs of a Psychopath) novel. He is a psychotic killer after all… They clearly put their emphasis on searching for profanity rather than actually reading the synopsis and manuscript as supplied. It is all explained very clearly! But good news too: A major global publisher (a household name) after recently having received a sample of the first three chapters of The Man Who Buried Himself, has asked now for submission of the whole manuscript. I know it’s early day’s and that that in itself doesn’t mean it will be published; but it does help in demonstrating that it is good. Fingers crossed! I’m sure I started to discuss all of this previously and elsewhere in this title but for the life of me cannot find it now. See what a holiday does – it completely breaks my concentration! Having woken up the next day (20th March) I realise that by entering the words Novum in find and replace I will locate the original paragraph that I had started earlier. Result! I’ve cut and paste accordingly.

I soon find out that Novum are a vanity publisher as they will charge me / authors to publish my / their new work. There’s the problem – I can’t even pay them to print my book. But seriously: if you are a new author, avoid vanity publishers at your peril. “During the last 25 years I have been instrumental in closing down the 13 worst vanity publishers and – according to an independent report – have with my “voluntary help, guidance and advice, saved or retrieved in excess of £25 million for authors world wide”. Clifford, J: 2009 (In Vanity Publishing: 2009). Clifford offers a wonderful incite and free downloadable guide on the site Vanity Publishing which you will find within the citations list that follows.

Also Lancaster emailed yesterday to say that my application for the PhD Creative Writing is under consideration. A follow up email received today says;

Decision issued: PhD Creative Writing April 2017, Taylor, Jonathan (32139677). Your application for a place on the PhD Creative Writing April 2017 programme has been carefully considered. Regrettably, we shall not be able to make you an offer of admission on this occasion. May I take this opportunity of wishing you well with your future plans and thank you for the interest you have shown in Lancaster University”. So that’s it.

I don’t have a problem with the decision but with the decision if that makes sense. As the text of this book has evolved I have let you now that I feel it would be too much for me. I mentioned that I should have considered the lesser but easier MPhil route instead – earlier on. Though; I would have hoped for some kind of reason for the decision. Feedback is completely lacking and it does seem like a very negative way to react to one’s potential students. At the very least recommendations for other courses would have, I would have thought, been the norm. I’m curious and feel the need to know why dyslectualism in creative writing is not considered as a viable PhD dissertation; or is it me that’s the problem. Only a few lecturers are sympathetic to dyslexics and are not understating of disabled student’s needs . With my confidence seriously knocked, I reply;

Thank you for your email.

As this is my first approach to applying for a PhD I wonder if it possible to receive feedback on the decision? It would greatly help me.

Also, I did mention in the application that if found unsuitable for the PhD route I would happily consider the MPhil – is this a possibility or does this decision affect both?

Your help is sincerely appreciated”…

I await a response as acknowledgement of this email is supplied to me a few days later.

It is my intention to make this the final chapter in this edition; hopefully many of you will complete the end questionnaire and contribute your opinions to a later 2nd Edition. I am very aware that many barriers and obstacles to my writing have been presented but little on the process of creativity itself. And given my difficulties it is fair to ask how that is possible. I am also aware that I may have said a lot without actually saying anything. And I am so stressed today that I am finding it hard to find the most basic of word formations (Yamada: 1998) and even reading back to myself aloud (pronunciation) is proving troublesome .

A mutually agreed target of one song per month for English Club online is usual and as it is now February; I turn my humble home studios heating on. I have a new list as supplied. Josef, EC Founder, in sending this new list has offered some guidance and said;

Just out of interest, I tried to make a “Top 10” list of your EC songs but couldn’t get below 12 :) So here’s what I think are the “Top 12” songs – personal opinion only of course. But I do think they work especially well in terms of language taught and style of music (which I guess is mostly Blues?)

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/alphabet-song.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-be-song.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/world-countries-song.htm+]

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/time-days-of-week-song.htm

https://www.englishclub.com/esl-videos/frankenstein-body-parts-song.htm

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/cw-do-make-song.htm+]

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/time-months-of-year-song.htm

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/writing/punctuation-song.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/colours-song.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/numbers-song.htm+]

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/time-telling-time-song.htm

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/speaking/weather-song.htm+]

That’s out of 36 songs shown at: https://www.englishclub.com/songs/

All the rest are great too, but the Top 12 are exceptional (IMHO).

Without being scientific about it, I think virtually all the Top 12 are based around vocabulary – so this may point the way ahead. Let’s try to keep everything simple”.

Keeping it simple is the key and there is a definite preference for a solid rhythm and blues canvas. I have experimented with other forms, country and reggae among others but blues is clearly dominant within Josef’s Top 12. I have a tendency to overcomplicate as if I were writing a song for one of my own albums and I have to continually reign myself in. Clear vocals, simple vocabulary that a learner understands, coupled with a solid ear-worm are the key to success with these resources. An earworm is a tune that the target audience cannot get out of their heads. We all have one, often to the point of annoyance that just goes around and around our minds despite our attempts to stop singing it.

Also; access to the song on the site by a leaner or tutors of English is one thing, but we want people to enjoy the track so much that they download and share it with others. Building on the online presence and reputation of EC as a free TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other languages) resource worldwide.

So a good solid tune is essential and computer generated music is therefore banned – I use only real instrumentation played in real time; good old fashioned recording. Whilst computers can generated a track in seconds, and work very well with a younger audience of children, it is far too tacky in production and quality for an older target audience of adults.

Equally as I use my own difficulties to gauge the songs simplicity and impact it has to be fun. Learning should be fun and fun in itself engages the learner. I am comfortable with the label of learning difficulty, though others find the word dyslexia to more acceptable so I write for those who consider themselves to be dyslexic . A song that uses vocabulary to tell a story that makes sense to the listener is easy to understand and one that others will enjoy singing. It will be one that sticks in the mind. If it works for me as a dyslexic, it will probably work well for speakers of other languages.

Sadly; one is required to program a drum track as the very first recoding step. In avoiding cheap productions I do not use a computer (PC) with drag and drop sections but a good old fashioned Casio keyboard. Having the song in my mind I can time the length of the drum track and literally sing along as I am recording. Activating change in the rhythm as I sing, such as one would expect from a real drummer who will emphasize certain points, lifts within the composition, to keep it interesting to the ear. A track without change will become boring and monotonous all too easily if care is not taken at this first stage. As the instrumentation will build over the drums it must be right from stage one.

Timing too is essential, not too fast and not too slow. From time to time I have been asked to speed the track up or slow it down. With computer generated music this is easy; but this is not possible with my method as that alters everything; Speed increases alter pitch and I soon start to sound like Mickey Mouse!

Josef added;

Here are some suggestions that you might like to think about:”

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/english-phonetic-spelling.htm

At the time of writing the above song was finished; signed sealed and delivered. Not because it was the first on the list but because it was the first I immediately related to. As a child I was a CB radio enthusiast and member of the local citizens band radio club. We had hours of fun, we used AM sets long before the FM frequency radios later became legal. The fun was its illegality, that continual need to move the site of your set to another location to avoid detection by the Buzzbies: the local detection vans then a part of the General Post Office service. As I immediately related personally to the phonetic code inspiration was easy.

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/cw-island-iceland-ireland.htm

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/cw-lie-lay.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/cw-say-tell.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/cw-bring-take.htm+]

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/male-female.htm+]

(fraught with political correctness problems, but many words (king/queen, bride/groom, monk/nun) should be ok)”

https://www.englishclub.com/ref/esl/Power_of_7/7_Continents_2926.htm

[+ https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/figures-simile.htm+]

Of those above I choose the one that gives immediate inspiration again and it has to be: ‘male – female’. I check the vocabulary list and a song immediately forms in my mind. With a love interest of course (always essential), a man sings to his partner. Obviously the man has to be the singer because my voice is male.

[actor actress air steward air stewardess barman barmaid boy girl boy scout
girl guide bridegroom bride bus conductor bus conductress chairman chairwoman gentleman lady headmaster headmistress hero heroine host hostess husband wife king queen landlord landlady lord lady man woman monk nun prince princess steward stewardess waiter waitress widower widow.]

The list is extensive so needs reducing. I would now work on the principle that 12 are sufficient within one song for a learner to comprehend and this will help me identify six matching pairs. I am aware that I am writing for a multi-cultural audience so avoid words that may be controversial for others. Landlord and Landlady being an obvious case where many may see this as a part of the alcohol trade; and not one of property letting and accommodation. Equally, and although Josef informs me that monk & nun should be OK, it’s not one I would use unless faced with insistence. My gut feeling is that it is best served in a song about comparative religious terminology that encompasses other faiths.

I choose my words based on the understanding that these words have global commonality and definition; King & Queen, actor & actress, hero & heroine, gentleman & lady, bridegroom & bride and host & hostess.

The song now starts to develop into an initial idea;

[I’ll be your host if you’ll be my hostess,
We’ll be King and Queen, I’ll build you a fortress,
I’ll be your hero and you’ll be my heroine,
I’ll keep you safe in the castle we’ll live in,]

[I’m not an actor and you’re not an actress,
I’ll be your bridegroom if you’ll be my bride in a white dress,
I’m a gentleman and you’re are a lady,
Shall we get married on Sunday?]

It’s rough around the edges but the idea is there in principle and as I record I will build from this. I do suffer from attention deficit disorder which is more prominent in people with dyslexia . and at times go off on a complete tangent without thinking things through or following the advice or instruction previously given (incidentally a condition my eldest son has inherited from me. An hereditary link as identified in Pennington: 1991. Sentences will change as better words come to mind (usually as I sing which focuses greater attention bringing me back to task) and the need to fit them appropriately within the given bars of the music. As a courtesy I send the idea to Josef for feedback and change is suggested – keep just the vocabulary and drop the story. Singing aloud to myself I count the bars as the drum track is recorded in real time with sufficient ‘from the top’’ to allow for a complete repeat. The foundations are laid and I construct from that point on.

My own songs released under the Britunculi label are completely different. It’s all about the emotional journey, and if it’s never been done before then entirely the better. When composing if I start to cry, to become overwhelmed with emotion, they tend to be the better songs.

My partner showed me an article that had been shared of FaceBook yesterday. She said; “It’ll make you cry”. And it did. It concerned a walk of honour following the death of a resident in a care home. The article drew on the traditional approach we have as a culture in dealing with death. In most cases a death at a care home or other residential unit is dealt with out of site. The funeral director arriving to collect the deceased from the back door; most covertly. This to avoid undue stress to other residents themselves in their final days or years. But no; here the walk of honour involved the body being removed most publically, through the front door, and where residents assembled to say their farewells with personal tributes to former the friend and neighbour. This has to be the right way, I wouldn’t want my friend to just disappear one day without the opportunity to say farewell, and it gives a sense of value to the life now taken. That this person was important in life and to those around them who want to have the opportunity to grieve publically. That death cannot be denied and we all need to prepare ourselves for such a journey. Tragically sad but utterly beautiful and dignified at the same time I thought; that’s a new song! The Crane Man, a song about public executions in Iran, was created in much the same way. It was a Channel 4 documentary about an Iranian refugee and what I heard was so disturbing I penned the song. And Priest: influenced by child sexual abuse within the Church. I do often write love songs but that’s not where my true emotional investments really lie. I prefer a dark subject to inspire me creatively.

A journalist wrote of me;

Taylor notes with a smile, “At 15 when I bought my first second-hand guitar and amp for £75, my mother said it was a complete waste of money.” Although it’s left unsaid, one gets the feeling she’s probably still eating her words today. Since then, his reviewers have been somewhat more generous. It’s been said he is the possesor of a marvellous dusty, dusky voice full of resonance and beauty’ by local press and a real talent by the British Politician Tony Benn, while fans continue to liken him to Don Mclean, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and even Neil Diamond. Taylor’s lyrics remain consistent in theme, his overwhelming need to lend his voice to those who remain. Whether they’re victims of the Bulgarian Communist Regime (Izvinavi) or an elegy to those lost in 9/11 (if only) and the messages they left behind. Again and again he returns to his subject, in ‘Holocaust Denier’ written after meeting England’s only known Jewish Auschwitz survivor Leon Greenman, his words convey not only the horror of genocide but implore us to remember, should we let it happen again. Both tracks featured on BBC and worldwide radio and for which the British PM of the time Gordon Brown, wrote to thank him. Even the house he now calls home in central Bulgaria, used as a partisan hide-out for anti-Nazi resistance fighters throughout World War, has brought him inspiration in the form of the song ‘Partisan’. You begin to get the feeling Taylor needs this kind of connection to the past and a large helping of tragedy for both sustenance and creativity. Taylor’s music urges us to question why atrocities happen, whether they are individual or collective. He takes tragedy, seemingly internalising the pain and then slowly from his depths comes something beautiful, skilful, deeply memorable and strangely – immensely listenable.” Cursty Hoppe: 2012.

Though this is an old interview I have always considered it to be one of the best in that it actually captures what my song writing is all about. And as I quote it here, I’ve no idea where to put the quote marks that quote her as she is quoting me. Sorry about that; you’ll just have to live with that one! I would dearly like to take the opportunity to pen many pages about my songs here for you but this is not the place. It is not an autobiography but a dyslexic perspective on writing so I resist. I have inspiration for a comedic farce Ski Krushevo on the To Write Next list and also a title called “The Art of Implacable Hostility”. This is the better place for autobiographical content and one for a later date.

My childhood in many ways was good. I had the freedom of growing up on farms and I never went hungry. But that’s it. My parents were brutally abusive and my upbringing lacked any acceptance or love. I was rejected by my mother and never accepted and this impacted severely on my schooling . I was sexually abused on an isolated occasion by a non-family member but that has not had any profound psychological effect on me. The prolonged and systematic emotional and physical abuse of my family has. I am damaged and I am fragile, throughout life falling from one emotional crisis to the next. I find it extremely hard to forge long term friendships . The engagement of professional help has not helped in any way. It is hard to ask other dyslexic creative writers if there is a link between dyslexia and personality disorder as no-one wants to be branded with that iron, but I believe such a link must exist within our sub-culture of creativity for those of us who were brutally abused in our formative years as children. The links between dyspraxia and dyslexia and impact on later mental health have been firmly established . We are the products of our upbringings, for myself one of: “your stupid, pathetic, useless and I’m going to give you something to cry about” on a relentless daily basis. Of course the child becomes disturbed and then acts out for attention: attention needing and not attention seeking. The remarriage and discord between parents directly relates to childhood and adolescent low self-esteem .

Whilst I was thirteen I was assessed as psychologically and emotionally disturbed by an Education Authority Psychologist (Boston: Lincolnshire), due to persistent non-attendance, but no-one looked beyond this for the reasons why. I was not diagnosed with dyslexia until my late thirties. Dyslexia is often misattributed to emotional or behavioral disorders .

As a persistent non-attender, a few of us kids used to hang out with an older man who lived in a bungalow. My father would throw me out on to the street each morning at school time believing he had played his part in sending me out to school. He believed that I had been sent to live with him by my mother in an attempt to – “destroy his life”. He believed that I was clever enough to fool everybody, that there was nothing wrong with me, and that I was not now living with him in an attempt to flee violence and abuse. He was deluded; convinced that I had arrived as part of a secret mission from ‘the ex’ whom he obsessively hated to the point he wanted her killed. As you will read in the book; guns were a big part of our lives and abuse. Parents can often be wrongly accused of contributing to a child’s stress and anxiety by being over anxious (Riddick: 1996. Portwood: 1999) but my parents were anything but; the reality is that they demolished my self-esteem. He, and my brothers upon his instigation, would never use my name; they simply addressed me as – “little shit”. One day he sent me to volunteer myself into care as Social Services had refused any responsibility to take me in previously. I waited all day, sat crying, but no-one was there – He’d sent me on Sunday.

The older man in the bungalow plied me with alcohol and raped me. Though at the time it would have been gross indecent assault as laws to protect men from rape had not been as then, later revised. I say rape but I really can’t remember it all, I was paralytic through drink. I remember being on the bed and his wiry stubble scratching the back of my neck as he attempt to force entry. He did penetrate me but didn’t have time to ejaculate. The other boys who had been sent for shopping returned ‘early’ and he was disturbed by the doorbell. They carried me home and upon my sobering up – I took a bath. I just have flashes of memory about it. My father would (years later) say to me that everyone knew this man was a pedophile; he knew where I was and what would probably happen, by his own admissions, but did nothing to protect me.

Perhaps now you start understand where such violent life’s plunder within the book has come from? Great sections of it concerning guns, pornography and animal abuse are true. Though not gay, I do believe that we all have the potential to be bi-sexual under the correct circumstance and I did have a very strange and my only consensual sexual encounter with a man when I was 20 or 21. This event coupled with my mother’s third marriage in which a daughter was born inspired the whole Gabriela story line. My mother and step-father worshipped my sister who could do no wrong; but I won’t spoil the story for you here.

Following a total break-down later in life I sought help from the Calderdale Psychological Services Team. I had the same psychologist as my best friend and we had both completed a questionnaire consisting of exactly 99 questions. He lied, which was hilarious in that if you want the truth you need to tell the truth. He’s a functioning alcoholic and said he only drank two pints a day. He got himself diagnosed with a personality disorder and then spent all his time and effort arguing against it. He clearly is very odd but in the nicest of possible ways and wouldn’t hurt a fly. We are best friends. I answered every question honestly; and given my personal circumstances at the time expected a diagnosis for Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. Though what I got was anxiety and depression coupled with suggestive evidence of a border line personality disorder. “Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days. Some people with BPD also have high rates of co-occurring mental disorders, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, along with substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal thinking and behaviors, and suicide”. NIofMH: 2017. To be honest, though not as extreme, this about sums me up – and every other member of my dysfunctional family, and it could be worse; at least I’m not a psychopath like my parents!

I think my best friends problem was the association with BPD and criminology. The general perception that he was an evil, psychotic killer in the making and this is completely untrue. He’s gentle, caring and hilariously funny. I; growing up on farms, became a vegetarian at 13. I’d never heard of vegetarianism nor met a vegetarian but I was aware at a very young age that systematic torture and cruelty to defenseless animals was wrong and unjustifiable. I turned my back on fishing, hunting and flesh farming. I’ve now been vegetarian (often vegan) for 47 years. I too am odd, I’m aware of it and have to evaluate how I deal with things, never acting on impulse but on a deep moral and ethical code of right and wrong. As a socialist I think that if people like me are the bad ones then God help us all. If I do have BPD it has given me nothing but a level of compassion, sensitivity and emotional intelligence and understating that is wholly absent in others.

I never found out; though I engaged to uncover the truth about myself. Returning for a follow up session I was asked to complete a questionnaire that had 99 questions. I said; “We did this last week – don’t you remember?” Given the appalling disorganized state and under funding of the mental health services; and presented with a three month waiting list to engage with a counsellor I gave up. I decided the best policy was to remove myself from the problem; life. I announced to my partner; “I’m going to live abroad, are you coming or what?” Much to my delight she agreed and we have had a wonderful stress free life in Bulgaria ever since. As mentioned earlier; I took on supply teaching so I could work as stress free as possible. As you know now that wasn’t to be the case.

One major upside of never mastering the Bulgarian language is that I can live in a bubble, I don’t have to listen to other people’s endless shit; but you can ‘really tell them that can you? I am aware that I have a degree of dyspraxia as a ‘clumsy dyslexic’ and I do like the isolation that my bubble now provides . I eek out a living through a hand to mouth existence, with both periods of boom and bust. Eke out that is; having now checked the spelling. However life is simply wonderful here overall and I get time to concentrate on my creativity without the turmoil of my former life. I am debt free and manage to hold my head above water. Had I not made this decision to walk away and relocate myself then the books would never have been written. Meat: Memoirs of a Psychopath, a title that you are about to read should you now choose to is in many ways an autobiography. So I conclude with an explanation of how a dyslexic could possibly create such a monster.

My memory is my biggest pitfall so the central character Gabriela is based on my own time line. She is born in the same year, the same place and has the same family structure. This was essential so I could keep track of times, dates and places as the story evolved. The original memoirs centre around real life events, though obviously greatly amplified. Based on serial killers of known study and documentation, she is what I could have become had I not been ‘such á nice guy’. She is my family, parents and siblings to their extreme. She has the characteristics of serial killers as well documented through-out history. There is nothing new here that is not found in the backgrounds of a host of incarcerated killers. Her hatred and violence is that of my mother, step-father and father.

I am forced to question the very nature of such disturbing text. Still awaiting a reply from Lancaster as to the reasons for my non-acceptance, I wonder now if it was content of writing rather than dyslectualism. Proofer 4’s reference in spelling out our introduction to each other spares no punches in describing the extreme violent nature of Memoirs of A Psychopath though this is later put into the context of the other multiple works of differing genre. I was required to send a sample of my creative writing and I chose the story; The Man Who Buried Himself. This was described by Proofer 4 as a Sherlock Holmes novel; I would have thought this to be most appropriate. So today I seek clarification and find much content generated on this matter from American Universities.

As creative writing instructors have discussed how to respond to disturbing or strangely violent student writing in the months since the Virginia Tech shooter’s bloody paper trail came to light, many have pointed to the value of professional judgment. But how does a new teaching assistant distinguish a legitimate artistic exploration of a violent or dark subject from a sign that a writer may be a danger – and then, if need be, respond effectively?” . Here Elizabeth Redden offers valuable insight and reference is made to the Virginia school massacre of 2007 in which 32 students were murdered by their peer. Mental disturbance being later identified from this students own writing. The Crossbow Killer, whom I spoke of earlier was also a student; he was studying Criminology at Bradford University. And it would seem that regardless of topic, those of twisted or warped thinking will be found present across the whole school curriculum. It would be ridiculous to suggest that all criminologists’ whom want to study serial killers are themselves motivated to violent acts themselves. Equally creative writers who write about such things are expressing creativity and not intent. Interestingly though I did find as I wrote the original book I easily fell into a character and was disturb by what I wrote. Though; I stress the therapeutic value in addressing one’s past in finally attempting to exorcising it.

The creative writing program develops the creativity of student writers, which necessarily involves allowing them freedom of expression. Students should not feel that the program monitors and threatens them with disciplinary action for the themes and language they choose. Instructors should not feel that they must take on the roles of therapists or police officers – roles for which they have no professional training. Occasionally, however, student writing can create an unwelcoming environment for peers or raise questions about the author’s mental state, and the instructor may feel the need to address these issues. This guide offers a series of questions to help instructors think through the disturbing elements in student writing”. .

I am probably more aware of myself than most. I believe the frank and honest approach to this work portrays that; in that I have questioned my entire existence and every thought. I have no doubt that I am more than stable emotionally and abhor violence in any degree. I question why serial killers who all share similar childhood neglect, desertion and abuse go on to kill and I, sharing a very similar background too do not. In fact I become a vegan. Readers may make generalized assumptions about a writer’s work but I hope this work puts mine now into a wider perspective of understanding. At the end of the day we all decide what we want to read – no one forces us. I answer the following questions;

Is the creative work excessively violent? Yes. Do characters respond to everyday events with a level or kind of violence one does not expect, Yes. or may even find frightening?nYes. If so, does the violence seem more expressive of rage and anger than it does of a literary aesthetic or a thematic purpose?”No – definitely not! . It is what it is and cannot be read by mistake, clear warnings of its violent content are given from the outset. It is the evolution of a killer; there can be no misunderstanding in the minds of those that then decide to read it. But it is only one work of ten multi genre works that do put the violence into “a literary aesthetic or a thematic purpose”. Interestingly the decision to turn me down took place almost immediately; there simply was not time to read any of this violent content away from the application or indeed the 37 pages of ‘Holmes’ that I did submit. I conclude that disturbing content was not the reason.

I was to be caned one day at school for putting my Vee’s up to a senior member of the school staff team. I was both frightened and happy at the same time. Obviously it was going to hurt but being caned; well that gave you a status amongst your peers that only others could hope to aspire to. It made you important, noticed, and even the school bullies who beat me daily might even now leave me alone if just for the day. Fundamentally; you got excluded which meant no more school for a while: result!

My father would later say to me (after I had gone to live with him to escape from my mother and stepfather to find him); “You should have told them you were excited to be caned as it makes you ejaculate.” There it is; can you imagine a father saying this to a thirteen year old boy? It’s sickening and he was sick. My stepfather himself caning me down the crack of my anus as I lay naked on my bed; I was only 7 then. He still laughs about it to this day.

Teachers do get a hard time; they are expected to be all things to all people, and I have much more understanding of a very hard to balance profession having later entered it myself. Oh; the irony of it all. I was a very bad pupil at times but never malicious with intent. I acted out only for attention from peers being easily led and manipulated. The vast majority of teachers I know, indeed had, are/were good people. Inevitably there are a handful of rotten apples that enjoy cruelty to children but this is found in all professions. One would be my English teacher who was fondly known as Killer Holden! I think the name says it all – I was absolutely petrified of this man. The Education Acts of 1981 and 1993 finally recognized dyslexia as a learning difficulty . I had left school by this point though understanding of an undiagnosed problem was abundantly clear little was probably known about dyslexia by generalist subject staff. But this is not an excuse; teachers can perpetrate appalling harm . I was educated at a time when teachers felt that they were being continually criticized and moral within the profession was becoming increasingly low . Within the following years this criticism would soon be considered by most teachers to be constant and continual . On hindsight of my later years I singly blame bad parenting.

If I had to take one single incident from my life that impacted on my book it would be Dinky. Despite everything that happened in my childhood this incident was the cruelest. Shandy (our family rescue dog) later had a litter of unwanted puppies; two of which we kept. I had a small white and tan spotted puppy called Dinky (after my toy car collection) and my brother a full tan named Winston. Shandy and Winston worried the sheep on the farm one day which resulted in the death of a sheep from heat exhaustion. Dinky was with me that day and not involved. My mother had never wanted my brother and I to keep the two puppies in the first place and soon used the opportunity to get rid of them. She informed the farm owner that it was the puppies that had attacked the flock and not her dog; Shandy. I remember what I said as if it was yesterday: “Why are you blaming my dog for it” – and she replied; “surely you don’t expect me to get rid of Shandy?” Both puppies were put to sleep. Whilst teachers may feel that they lacked control over their professional lives (Cassidy: 1999. Christie: 1999 & Berry: 1999) – my parents were fully in control!

The book is (at times) sickening because it is based on sickness. But you also find hope, love and acceptance. This Yin and Yan approach of love versus that hate and abuse. Sometimes the inspirations that we resist most in our fiction writing are those from our own lives: they seem too specific or mundane to include. But what if we investigated our own lived experience in order to become more creative, treating it as a treasure trove? How would that change our approaches? Louise Tondeur: 2015. It is both good and evil with positive role-models in my life themselves found as characters. Brian Wilkinson is based on a friend, a UNESCO poet with whom we would jointly performed war song and poetry together (Steve Wilkinson), Bullseye Wilkinson, the best rear gunner in the sky is my uncle Norman. He; a rear gunner shot down during WW2 who miraculously survived; the remainder of the crew did not. There are many more with which I will not bore you now.

An amazing coincidence occurs today (18th Feb) and one I simply cannot believe. Talking about this plunder from the past I see a tagged post on FaceBook;

A single a day number 186.

You’re in a record store, the kind that also sell second hand vinyl, or as I prefer to call them pre-loved discs.

It’s dim, slightly dingy, you’re at the back of the shop, you have to resist an urge to scratch. Flicking through, there’s the usual culprits – those records that sold millions, those that you’ve got already nestling next to the ones you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

And then you stop. You lift the record half out of the rack. Only half way. Is it worth a full look?

Your interest piqued, it gets the full treatment. A group you’ve never heard of (Waving Not Drowning), a cover, monochrome, a ghostly figure superimposed over a lake with roots of a dead or dying tree in the foreground.

You check out the back cover, artists (never heard of a single one), instruments (violin, electric guitar, bass and drums), illegible lyrics (at least in this light) unusual on a 12” single.

You gamble.

Back home, you’re about to put your favourite theory to test. The one that says “The quality of the artwork reflects the standard of the music”. I’m seldom disappointed and on this occasion it’s like hitting the jackpot.

Side 1, driving repetitive fiddle, great beat and an expressive female vocal with fantastic range. The title track “It Just Rained”, a wet year in Halifax, do you see grey or silver?

And then I’m blown away.

“Hungry For Heroes” is magnificent folk rock aka String Driven Thing style. “Are we waving or drowning / it’s not so hard to tell / we’ve a bouquet of flowers / from that primrose path to hell / We’re hungry for heroes”.

And then it changes, side two slips effortlessly into an uptempo hook laden “Altered States”, a blurring of fantasy and reality, which side of the mirror are we on?

“Always (had to end this way)”, a reflective relationship song completes the record, high quality songwriting.

You immediately listen again and again. And the joy of this journey of mine is that this is now the ninth play this morning as I type. You just want more.

More “Waving Not Drowing” who were Anna Foster (vocals), Garry Best (violin), Jonathan Taylor (guitar/vocal), Rudi Holmes (bass) and Sam Beazley (drums).

Today’s single is “It Just Rained” by Waving Not Drowning, the link is the whole four tracks joined together, please have a listen if you will. It’s testament to the great, often unheard music that is being made which never gets the recognition it truly deserves.

Waving not drowning”. Cripps, I: 2017.

https://youtu.be/jx3szzXWe6U

In understanding the amazing coincidence I offer Ian a reply;

Sometimes in life, there is an eerie coincidence that you simply cannot explain and this is one of those I find beyond belief. Last night, we had a couple of mates over to the house (Sevlievo, Bulgaria). I went through my vinyl to find a quadrophonic edition of Deep Purple, Stormbringer (as the mate’s father in law is nicknamed Purple – A Bulgarian man and DP fan. I found it, dig out a 12-inch picture disk of Free Bird, a double A side grooved (signed reverse) Kiss 12 inch and an original 45; Friggin’ in The Rigging, The Sex Pistols. They must be worth a few quid I say and decide to buy some Ikea album frames next visit and put them on show. Here; I say, here’s one I can use as a clock – the first record I ever recorded; I pull out one of two copies of Waving Not Drowning – It Just rained! One always mine, the other was my Aunty Eddies and after she died and we sorted out her personals, I kept it again. Put it on my mate Andy says: to which I reply; no really mate, honestly, it really is bad! After a good clean we eventually play it. THEN this morning I find this on FaceBook! How much of a coincidence is that? AND I’m delighted you enjoyed it! The cover was taken at Ogden Reservoir, Halifax, the girl on the front an art student from Hull (Humberside) University where my brother was studying his degree in film & television. It was recorded in Leeds, there is an earlier cassette demo from Hall Place (I think it was called)… The singer Anna wrote the lyrics and I the tunes; then collectively we produced the songs as a band. My brother was the photographer. There were only 1000 copies ever printed; Gary the violinist was unhappy with the quality so no more were made. The studio blamed the manufacturer, the manufacturer the studio and so on. So technically, I don’t know if you noticed, but these editions are seconds… Here are the other recordings (I believe we only ever recorded 8 tracks in total) – On this cassette, I did not write Raven Days or Jenny! That was Anna absolute. Hungry for Heroes re-appears so technically again we did 8 recordings but only 7 tracks… Thank you sincerely, Ian, I’m touched that you took the time to share something from my 30 years ago; the past. Very best wishes, JT.

www. Brittunculi.co.uk”

https://youtu.be/Jxt5BRWB3Ek

And Ian replies;

Thank you very much Jonathan, I’m really glad you added the meat to the bones, a very strange coincidence but a nice one. Life does that occasionally and it astounds me too, always.

As to being “seconds” quality I disagree, there’s some distortion (on the bottom end) but that could be my system. The YouTube link has some drop out on vocals for a few seconds but I can’t hear that on the vinyl.

Music in my view is about the sentiment, the feel, the passion, energy, excitement etc, if we wanted note perfect perfection we would still be listening to classical records.

As you might know, I review for Fatea and Folk North West and one of my bug bears is when the artists themselves (knowing their mistakes) think it’s been a bad gig. Nine times out of ten it’s been brilliant, it’s the audience’s view that really matters and generally speaking artists are too harsh on themselves

And yes I did really enjoy the record!

Thank you too for sharing and the earlier demo’s”

I’m left with the thought today that; if only my readers were as forgiving as my listeners..? If you would like to hear all of my songs from all of my albums in full and free of charge, the link below will take you to them. Simply scroll through the album covers of your choosing. Here you will also find tabs that take you too many other things; including videos and news pieces.

http://jtbulgaria.wixsite.com/brittunculi

I have now finished proof reading from the beginning for the last time; three times in total. I will now return to the text briefly to add some more references from my reading; and now await just one more thing. Dyslexia is a game of snakes and ladders, every step forward results in starting again. I can’t help but think my application for the PhD was my ‘Michael Fish moment’ so I wish to end this title with the explanation from Lancaster as to why my application for the PhD or alternate MPhil qualification in Creative Writing failed. As yet (21st Feb. 2017) I have not received it; so in the interim add my Curriculum Vitae as Appendix 2. Note: In the final published version only 3 appendices are given.

The book was the greatest therapy I had ever received and the joy of writing my solace. Is it unreasonable that I ask you the question; should our work be edited to meet the requirements of a non-dyslexic readership? And only YOU can decide. My gratitude for the selfless hours of Proofer 4s efforts are beyond expression. Without him this new work would never exist and Memoirs of a Psychopath (The Definitive Edition) would forever remain substandard. But it is these two parallel worlds between reader and dyslexic writer that I find myself in and that in itself now dictates the bigger question. It is not criticism but merely enquiry.

I do not know why I am dyslexic. I was born at home in my parents’ bedroom of our traditional iron-framed windowed red brick council house. The birth was very difficult and my mother losing 6 pints of blood nearly lost her life. I feel bad about some of the things I have now said about her when considering that fact. I believe that my brain damage, congenital cataracts and curvature of the spine were caused by lack of oxygen at birth but others such as Stordy believe that such conditions as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and dyspraxia are due to fatty acid deficiencies during pregnancy . Whilst Irlen Lenses (Irlen: 1991) are beneficial to many dyslexics , I find them to be quite useless. Though; I find text printed on cream paper to be much more readable than bright white. And I have to say I absolute hate reading from a PC screen! Use of colour reduces contrast between letters and page which as Stein & Tolcott suggest: shifting the process from magnocellular pathway neurons (the M pathway) to the parvocellular pathway (the P Pathway) . Print distortion does hamper reading for many dyslexics but this is in fairness not a significant problem for myself. Some doubt has been expressed that tinted Irlen overlays are of little use to most and do not reduce dyslexic reading stress .

And of audio dictate software (voice recognition) systems such as Dragon Dictate, the software will recognize consistent speech (Elliot: 1997) but when one struggles with frequent irregular mispronunciations of words, inconsistencies in my speech, it too will not work for me! . I have to be honest; I prefer a good old fashioned computer keyboard which, other than failing to remember keyboard layout, is quite a stress free way to creatively write. I was diagnosed at a very good point in Higher Education; at a time when discretionary disabled student allowances were supplied (although limited) (Singleton et al: 1999) by the Local Education Authorities to dyslexics in higher education. Without my grant for a computer I could not have and would not have succeeded.

If I am to be judged today as some kind of unhinged creative writer then I wish to leave you with a few a thoughts. My experience of ‘normal’ people is far more baffling to me. They seem to lack the very basics of emotional intelligence at times. A former colleague of mine invited to his home one afternoon. I was always intimidated by him because he would be immaculately dressed, as if a cat walk model, wearing the most expensive clothes. I in contrast am a scruff. Greeted at the door by his wife I said: “wow, what a lovely home, not at all what I expected, it’s lived in”. It was clean and tidy and children were playing with toys and the normal expected household stuff was about the place. She hit the roof with me and accused me of suggesting her house was dirty. That was not my intention and I immediately apologized to her. I re-explained myself. Repeatedly I apologized but she just would not accept that although I understood why she thought I may have suggested it; it was honestly not my intention and I was most sincerely sorry. The house was lovely. But the conversation just went around and around and I released that she just wanted to be horrible to me. She seemed to just want to make me feel worse than I already did. I never got past the front door. I have no idea how anyone can live with someone like that. More surprisingly my colleague agreed with her and did nothing to calm matters.

During a commute to work on day was deliberately rammed of my motorbike in a road age incident. The intention was to swerve and force me into another vehicle. The car driver presumably upset by my mid-road filtering through traffic lights. I was okay but the bike was badly damaged. He drove off leaving me lying in the road. The accident happened during rush hour and opposite the Halifax General Hospital carpark. Many, many people witnessed it but no one took the number. I put fliers on all of the cars in that carpark later that day, asking for witnesses to come forward. I soon got a phone call. “How dare you trespass on trust property and tamper with my vehicle”- she said. Confused I asked why she was so upset. Apparently she drove the same colour and model car (a Green Nissan Torrano 4×4) and felt that her colleagues would think it was her. I asked: “Is your spare wheel normally mounted on the back door missing? “No” – she relied. Okay then: “Are you a white man?” – “No” – again she replied (I was aware from her accent already that she was of foreign black origin). “Then why would you colleagues think it was you then?” The conversation just went around and around and despite the fact that this was a most serious offence in which the intention was to seriously harm me, she simply didn’t care. I shouldn’t have touched her car and she wanted me prosecuted! I initially apologized (several times) for upsetting her, explaining that my intent was well founded; but in the end just had to put the phone down.

And one more: I was travelling along the motorway in Bulgaria. After leaving a tunnel exit pulled over as my car was now over-heating. It was mid-July and nearly 40 degrees. Stood beside the car with the bonnet up I heard a crash. A camper van then pulled in behind me. The two German occupants had said that they had hit something inside the tunnel. “It’s an old car door”, I said. “I only saw it just in time myself time but managed to swerve. It must have fallen of a scrap truck”. Eager to help and aware that they were foreigners miles away from home, I scrambled underneath their car to inspect it. There was no damage, no leaks (nothing obvious) and I gave them my business card after I had brushed the dirt of me. “If you have any problems with insurance later do give them my address, I’m more than happy to confirm myself as a witness”. I then asked: “You don’t have any spare water do you?” In the most perfect British Oxford English he replied: “I should certainly say not!” After a few moments of uncomfortable embarrassing silence his wife then added: “I think it’s for his car dear.” Reluctantly he then poured me a bottle of water from his camper van tap! I was left thinking that had I been dying of thirst in this heat – he would have happily driven off.

If such meanness as above is normal then I must concede: I am truly insane.

I am finishing now and leave you with a question. Try and answer question one below: Does Tom like Christmas?

The above was a test sheet in a recent children’s English competition here in Bulgaria. My colleague’s son lost two marks for saying; True – Tom likes Christmas. Apparently that is wrong because it doesn’t say that – But I understand his confusion as I too answered true and in support of his request to get his points back wrote to the organizers. He’s only 10 and as a result of losing these points now made 4th place in the regional school competition. He believes he should be 3rd. I agree but wonder if you do? As a dyslexic I offered the following on his behalf;

Dear Sir / Madam,

I hope I find you well and congratulate you on your educational endeavors for children, this is admirable.

As a teacher and native speaker of English, I wanted to offer some advice concerning a question contained in a recent competition. I hope you will feel able to accept it.

In the recent test, a question asked: Does Tom like Christmas? I understand that some children who answered yes lost marks. I have to say that I too would also answer yes as the context of the question is most ambiguous. I feel it is correct to answer both yes and no given the information supplied in the scenario.

If we set the scene in which a family ‘get together’ is taking place for Christmas and Tom is ‘playing’ then happiness is implicit. If in contrast, we discuss a situation which is beyond cultural norms and values as we expect to find, we must clarify this within the text.

This example may help;

It’s July and Tom’s family are on the beach. Tom’s mum is lying on the sunbed. Grandma is reading a book. Tom and Beth are playing volleyball. His dad and grandpa are fishing.

I could then ask the question: Is the sun shining?

Although this information is not given the answer would be yes as the setting is given as a day on the beach. Culturally we would not be behaving in this way if it was not sunny.

I can simplify this further into one sentence: Ivan is a Priest – And then ask; Does Ivan believe in God?

We do not know if Ivan believes in God or not but as his occupation is priesthood it is implicit. The answer would, therefore, be yes.

I congratulate you on your hard work but do ask that you re-consider the points as awarded in this competition as the children who answered yes and no are both correct.

If I can be of any future assistance then please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you and with very best wishes,

Jonathan R. P. Taylor”

I dearly wanted to leave you with an explanation from Lancaster as to why I have not been offered a place to study creative writing with them on either PhD or MPhil routes. As you have read, they have acknowledged my request; but at the time of ‘going to print’ no reply has as yet been offered. I write to remind them and soon receive a second acknowledgment;

March 1^st^

To FASS

Good morning; could I just gently remind that feedback would be most sincerely appreciated. I don’t want to remake any same mistakes in my next application…

Thank you, Jonathan”

To which a very polite reply is received that very same day;

Dear Jonathan

Thank you for your email.

Apologises that you have not received a response from the Admissions Officer yet, we are currently dealing with high volumes of emails as there is a funding deadline on Friday. The Admissions Officer or the Department will respond to you as soon as possible.

We thank you for your patience.

Kind regards”…

And: It is now the 19th March as I return to finalise and publish. I’ve recently returned from a fabulous photography trip to Romania which took me away from this writing, and I find that Lancaster University have not supplied the feedback as politely asked on two separate occasions on my return; though on both an acknowledgement of my request was received to me. So where does this leave me? I was notified that my application was under consideration by Lancaster University on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 4:22 PM. The rejection notification was received the same day: Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 6:46 PM (Times are plus two GMT: Bulgaria). I don’t know if it was viewed singly or as part of a batch alongside other applications. In allowing for administrative process time it is however very clear that there was not sufficient time given to read my sample writing – at the very least…

I’m aware that as a man I am by my very presence intimidating to some women. None more so than when walking behind them in quiet or dark / poorly lit areas. I instinctively (on principal) cross the road so my presence is not seen as threatening. Or if necessary walk a completely different direction aware of how my presence is frightening to a lone woman. Many male friends laugh at me for this: but I feel that it is the very fundamentals of awareness of and non-threatening behavior. ‘Her perception’ of me is what counts most and I must be considerate of it. Lancaster may have a genuine reason for not accepting me but in not replying with feedback my perception is one of Dyslectualism. I have no evidence or proof of this and I certainly don’t want to levy an unfounded allegation of discrimination that leads to a libelous claim. When you have been through what I have in life you do react emotionally and Lancaster should be aware of how such actions are perceived. There is a very dark cloud over my application process now – why won’t they tell me why I wasn’t accepted? I feel that somebody somewhere doesn’t want to tell me! I met the entry criteria (went beyond it), the work submitted as a sample of my creative writing has now been requested by an international mainstream publisher (it must be good and I referred to this in an edited paragraph earlier) and my proposal was (I feel) interesting and viable – and my references were solid. So what did go wrong? If nothing else, it does bolster my point.

I search the universities site for information on equality and inclusivity and I soon find the flagship ‘Strategic Vision 2020’. It reads; Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision is owned and delivered throughout the University. Leaders and managers play a key role in its delivery and all staff and students also contribute via their day-to-day work and study at the University”. All staff? – I have to ask… The downloadable PDF Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan reads: “Lancaster University’s EDI Plan supports the University Strategy 2020, which reflects our commitment to celebrating the diversity of members of the University and maximising their potential, underpinned by an emphasis on equality of opportunity and equality of treatment”. Lancaster: 2017.

I’m sorry Lancaster but I do not feel you have assisted me to maximize my potential; quite the opposite. I feel that I have made a fool of myself and missed the obvious. For a time I felt that this title was a joke, a laughing stock, and decided to incorporate it into my fiction work, allowing my characters from my novels to complete the questionnaires. To ridicule this, myself (it) and create or turn it into another fiction novel in my Definitive series – But I’ve gone full circle now having worked it all through. No! Something uncomfortable has happened and there is a large question now to be answered. In this day and age it is most unexpected surely for any university to turn down many, many thousands of pounds in course fees (much needed income) without explanation: unless of course they are certain of a prospective student’s failure. I am aware that retention and achievement stats can out-way income in maintaining high reputable standards. Should I receive feedback from the university at a later date: it will be published in further editions.

I have a new plan. In using the work of Tondeur, L: 2015 within this work I note she is a dyslexic lecturer (Creative Writing) at Roehampton University (London). Perhaps, just perhaps, Roehampton have a more inclusive attitude to us as dyslexic creative writers. I looked at their site and find serval PhD routes available. One is most interesting to me: a PhD by publication. There’s more than one way to skin a cat I see and I’ve no desire to go through this application process again. I feel silly. I’ll publish this work, encourage comment and feedback, and hopefully publish a latter 2nd Edn that meets these (Roehampton or others) requirements. I’ve much work to do and a long way to go. With confidence severely dented – I still think that the MPhil route may prove more successful. We’ll see: and I do need your help please. Contribute whatever you can here, including interesting articles and further reading. I most sincerely accept and welcome your help as ‘active reader supervisors’ in whatever way you can offer it to me. Thank you: I am grateful for your support in advance!

Remember: CIR concerns itself only with consequence and not with intention. I therefore award Lancaster University with a Consequential Impact Rating of:

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I may even send them a certificate!

The origins of the word literature are formed from late Middle English: knowledge of books. Via French from Latin: litteratura from littera. These word formations themselves from the word letter: representing a character such as a sound in speech or the alphabet. Literature is often seen as a literary work of superior or lasting artistic merit. Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) or War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy) for example. In reality it is many things; advertising, letters, newspapers, creative writing & factual content, leaflets, handouts or notices. As with Dyslectualism (a new word formed of this title) I sought a new word to examine the creative writing of dyslexics. Adding D to the word English creates: Denglish. But as dyslexia is a multi-language difficulty unique to the individual and not of his/her own culture or origin, Denglish will not suffice. I try adding D to writing to form dwiting, but find that that defines a maneuver in car racing and drifting circles. I’ve got it – Diterature! Remove the L and ad D on iterature: that will do!

So enjoy my diterature (dyslexic literature that is welcomed for its dyslexic authenticity and not judged by its literary errors). I’m sorry if I have played the victim so many times that I should carry my own body-chalk with me, but I’m sure you now understand. Please contribute where you can and help me create an even better version of A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing as this is just the start. Hereafter you’ll find your free version of The Definitive Edition 2016 just to say thank you.

Ronald Davis in The Gift of Dyslexia sums up the positive attitude and recognition we seek in the following end text;

Once as a guest on a television show, I was asked about the “positive” side of dyslexia. As part of my answer, I listed a dozen or so famous dyslexics. The hostess of the show then commented, “Isn’t it amazing that all those people could be geniuses in spite of having dyslexia.” She missed the point. Their genius didn’t occur in spite of their dyslexia, but because of it!” .

Readers Questionnaire

The questions have been left as open to personal interpretation as possible

I have been / I have not been diagnosed with dyslexia. Please indicate.

I am a writer / I am not a writer. Please indicate.

I completed this before reading / after reading the book. Please indicate.

1) What is dyslexia to you and is it a barrier to participation in creative writing?

2) Do you feel that mistakes and errors should not have an impact on full and equal participation in the creation of new literature?

3) Should readers and publishers alike change their attitude toward the creativity of dyslexics and adopt a code of practice/conduct created through greater understanding?

4) Should dyslexics be recognized as a minority group within the creation of literature which has its own unique voice to offer?

5) Does active and institutionalized discrimination (dyslectualism) exist within the world of creative writing or should dyslexic writers conform to the norms and values of their readers?

6) Does a subculture of dyslexic creativity exist within creative writing and if so, how does this impact on what and how they write?

7) As a reader how many mistakes within a single novel are acceptable to you? And please; feel free to add anything else you want to the wider discussion. Quotes and/or further directed helpful reading are most appreciated!

Anonymity is assured unless you state otherwise.

[email protected] THANK YOU!

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APPENDIX:

Case Study: Student T.

Avice Turnball: Bradford & Ilkley Community College.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Background

T is in the final year of a degree. He entered directly into the third year, having successfully completed a Diploma in Higher Education last summer. He is white, in his early thirties, is married to his second wife, has three step children, and two sons from his first marriage.

[_ T did not know he; was dyslexic when he came to college, but was referred to the Learning Support Service: Disabilities towards the end of the first year of the HE Diploma, because he was in danger of failing. He was referred to an Educational Psychologist and found to be dyslexic. However, he had failed several assignment, and then he missed most of the last term of the first year through illness. He returned to college the following September, but had to retake the first year. However, T then had learning support, and a computer, funded by Disabled _Students Allowance, and he gradually improved his marks throughout the remaining two years of the Diploma. He was awarded a college prize at the end of the Diploma, in recognition of the dramatic improvement in his work. _]

I have been T’s Learning Support Tutor since he was referred to the Learning Support Service. He needed a great deal of support initially, but needs much less now. There were no exams in the Diploma, but Twill have an amanuensis and extra time for his degree exams. He found the computer invaluable, although he relies on his wife to type for him while he dictates, as he finds typing, like writing, breaks his train of thought.

2) Comment and Analysis

It is apparent that T would have had a troubled childhood even if he were not dyslexic. T says “it’s a very disturbed family, a very disturbed childhood”. The family was working class and “everyone was too busy going to work, nobody paid any attention to the kids”.

T’s parents divorced when he was 6 or 7, and this was a traumatic time. He describes smashing his precious model planes, collected over years, because he did not want them loaded into the lorry to move when his parents separated. T recalls the “social workers in the report actually wrote down that this was one of the most disturbing divorces they had ever witnessed”. The family was split up after the separation; the eldest brother went to live with the father, while T, and two other brothers lived with his mother and stepfather. Subsequently one brother went into care, and the other went to live with his father. Life does not seem to have improved after the divorce, and at 13 T ran away because “my stepfather and my mother were basically beating me up to make me go to school. And I never got on we hated each other’s guts”.

All of the references that T makes to his parents leave no doubt that he was a desperately unhappy child, with no love or support. T refers to ‘‘years of verbal and physical abuse”, and “self-mutilation and craving attention”. Meanwhile his mother would “shout and shout and shout, and you’d actually be on your knees crying and she’d shout and shout and shout”. Burns (1982) notes that remarriage and discord between parents are related to low levels of self-esteem in the children of the marriage.

T’s dyslexia was not diagnosed until he was an adult, but the effects of dyslexia were felt as a child, and do seem to impacted his already traumatic relationship with his family. When T was frightened to go to school because he could not do the work, his parents used to physically drag him there. Even today T’s relationship with his mother is acrimonious, and is affected by his dyslexia. He says “my mother, completely and absolutely branded me as thick and stupid, she humiliates me, takes the mick, still to this day, even now, they actually still have the audacity to tell me that I’m not dyslexic, that I’m looking for excuses”.

School was “the biggest waste of time in my life” according to T, although “waste of time” appears to be an understatement. T says “I think the fear, was the fear of school”. “I think it was just the absolute fear, because I never wanted to go to school”. Even in the reception class T can remember being put in the corner of the classroom, shaking because he was crying so much. So right from the start of his school career T was afraid and did not want to attend. He was forced to change his hand of preference during his early days at school, and still had difficulty discriminating left from right. He now uses his right hand, and this feels natural, but this forced change cannot have helped an already disturbed child to settle at school.

It is not possible to know exactly what caused T’s fear and eventual refusal to go to school. It is tempting to think that T is a very unusual case, but he is not alone. McCormack (1995) reports a student saying school was “a complete waste of 10 years. I was considered thick and unteachable This was emotionally destroying” (p7), while another says they “played truant constantly because there was no point in staying in a place where you learned nothing” (p7).

There seem to be several factors which affected T. It is likely that a child with such a troubled home life would misbehave, possibly to gain the attention missing at home, possibly to call attention to his violent and abusive home life. These behaviours may well have been exacerbated by being forced to change his preferred hand, from left to right, and finally, T did not succeed academically partly because of his undiagnosed dyslexia. He describes vividly and movingly how he felt at the prospect of having to recite multiplication tables each Monday morning in junior school. He says he “used to go to bed on Sunday feeling physically sick”, because he could never do it. Eventually, T started truanting, sometimes with the tacit approval of the teachers, but T thinks that by the time he started misbehaving it was already too late for him. He says “Yes, it was too late. I just hated school from day one, it was just. I was so frightened to go, that’s what it was, I was so frightened, and nobody did anything”. It seems that although there was contact with social workers and later with an Educational Psychologist, nothing effective was done about T’s dyslexic difficulties, or about the abuse that he was suffering at home.

Who let this child down so badly? T tells us that it was “My parents, school system, dyslexia, or whatever else it is. I think it is a victim of circumstance, but I think it is a very shared thing. It has created me into a very over emotionally demanding person.”. He says he does not think his parents would have treated him any differently if they had known he was dyslexic, but he feels the education system would have. It is hoped he is right, but it seems no one looked further than T’s bad behaviour. Even when he was seen by an educational psychologist at age 13, he was, told that he was “educationally and emotionally disturbed”, but it was not suggested that he might be dyslexic. During respondent validation T corrected this phrase to “emotionally and psychologically disturbed; not educationally disturbed.

Although dyslexia, or ‘word blindness’ as it is known, was identified over as hundred years ago by Pringle-Morgan (1896), it has only been since the Education Acts of 1981 and 1993 (Friel 1995; Remjhun 1995) that there has been more general recognition of dyslexia as a learning difficulty, so it is not surprising that T’s dyslexia went unnoticed. T says “it’s so bloody, blatantly obvious when I look back on it now, it is blatantly obvious. You know, why didn’t they realise this?” There seems to be a parallel here with student J, whose dyslexia was also missed because of low expectations and lack of awareness. T’s dyslexia also may have been missed because of his bad behaviour and troubled family background. Singleton et al (1999) suggest the effect of dyslexia in childhood may be mis-attributed to emotional or behavioural disorder. In T’s case, although this may have happened to some extent, it also seems that the combined effects of his family life and the difficulties of being dyslexic caused emotional and behavioural disturbance. Even with the greater awareness in schools today, such factors could cause dyslexia to be overlooked.

T saw the “disturbed” label as a legitimate excuse for his behaviour, and he felt it gave him “cred” with other pupils. He needed all the help he could muster with his peers who bullied him. T believes dyslexia was one of several causes for the bullying, and as a recent report described by Lepkowska (1999) [_ indicates that 50% of children are bullied at some time in their school career it cannot be attributed solely to dyslexia in T's case. The report found that bullied children were most likely to turn to their mothers for support, which was not an option available to T. He says he was bullied "Because of dyslexia, because I was a loner., Because I stood out, because I was always in trouble, or always in detention, because I hadn't done my homework, or couldn't do the tables, or whatever". There was no one to help T because he was "too frightened to go to the teachers, because we didn't have that sort of relationship, cos they couldn't stand me anyway". _]

T certainly did not have “that sort of relationship” with teachers. He recognises why when he says “I was expelled, suspended, caned, you know, caned for putting my vees up to a teacher, well when you are like that to a teacher, they don’t like you very much do they?”. T may understand now why he was not liked by teachers, but he also says that “As a teacher you are in a very, very powerful position, and you are destroying peoples’ lives. You know that bombardment of abuse is not nice, it is abuse, as if you took them down the street and beat them”. He goes on to say “physical scars you can see, but emotional scars don’t heal and you can’t see them. And it affects everything, your whole life”. So far as T is concerned teachers, schools, the education system have let him down badly. “So really education is shit! You know, it’s that bad, its attitudes”. Saunders (1995) says that teachers can perpetrate appalling harm by using inappropriate methods. He calls this “academic abuse”(p101) and he believes, like T, that it can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

[_ Sadly, even when T thought he had found a friend he could trust, he was betrayed again. Jack was an old man who let T spend time at his bungalow when he was playing truant. Jack got T drunk one day and raped him. "He raped me. You don't have to look sad, I can deal with this like, and he raped me". T was 13. He went on to say "This is the funny thing, like physical things, like physical pain is almost like, becomes an emotion doesn't it sometimes. So if somebody hurts you physically, you actually, oh, start to feel alive". T did not actually tell anybody about the rape because he knew he would get no help or- sympathy from his family. He says "No! Why, no, not with a family like mine". ,So even in this situation he expected no help from his family largely because his parents always felt that he must have deserved everything that happened to him, it was his own fault. To explain this attitude T describes being beaten up at a disco, and his mother and stepfather did not take him to casualty, or even treat his wounds. T recalls his mother's reaction "Oh well I'm sure you deserved it". _]

It is not surprising that T entered into a short lived and unhappy first marriage. He said that he was over demanding emotionally because of his experiences with his parents, school, and friends, and he married his first wife because “all you are interested in is finding somebody to Jove you. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they are”. T says “I hated, I didn’t like my first wife. Horrible she was”. T realises that he is “desperate to get attention and love”. His second marriage seems happier than his first. T says that he is “desperately in love with W, but it’s a very complicated, very painful relationship for both of us. It’s a horrendous relationship, but we are desperately in love, and we can’t sort our problems out because she’s equally got as many problems as me”. He refers several times to W making positive statements about him, and she types T’s assignments for him. Therefore there is some degree of support in T’s family life now, but he still does not have many close friends. He realises this is partly because of his need for love. He says “It’s hard to maintain relationships. Trust, build relationships. Always wanting to be loved, you know, seeking love and attention”. T can make friends easily if he wants, but once he has won their friendship, he does not want them anymore. It seems that anyone who likes or loves T must not be worth loving in return, or possibly he is afraid that they will betray his trust, as Jack did. Butler and Hope (1995) believe such an attitude is often characteristic of those with low self-esteem. T feels his dyslexia has been a factor in many of his disastrous relationships. For example T says “if it wasn’t for the dyslexia the relationship with my Dad wouldn’t have broken down. But then, if my Dad wasn’t such a psychotic nutter’‘. So the dyslexia may be a factor, but certainly not the only one, or even the most significant one.

The main difficulty T experiences associated with his dyslexia, is a very poor memory. Thomson (1990) says that poor short-term memory is usually associated with dyslexia, but long term memory is not usually a problem. T does not actually say as much, but seems to be about to say, that huge parts of his memory have gone when he says “Absolute hate between the two of them (his parents). I don’t, and this is it, I have huge parts of my memory, I remember this cattle wagon pulling up …” Possibly the young T learned that it was less painful to forget some things, or possibly his long term memory is affected as well as his short term and working memory, by his dyslexia.

The ‘absences’ that T describes may be associated with his poor memory. He has been investigated for epilepsy (although he does not talk about this in the interview), and does not have it. T says the absences are “huge”. They make him feel “where’s my life! What day is it”, although T thinks that he is usually able to hide these occurrences from others. He describes these absences, or memory failures, as “more than just forgetting, because everything has gone, it’s like someone’s completely erased your hard drive”. T says that memory is his biggest problem on a practical level; because it causes confusion, and means that he has difficulty understanding things. T describes many situations where he has difficulty because of his poor memory as do several students interviewed by Riddick et al (1997).

Memory difficulties have certainly affected T’s college life. He forgets instructions, does not know which room to go to, or when to go, goes to lectures that were cancelled, and forgets the content of lectures. T feels his memory is even worse when he is under stress, which is in agreement with the findings of Gaudry and Spielberger (1971) and Miles and Varma (1995), and has tried many strategies to cope with the problem, including writing things down, but he forgets to look at what he has written! He has tried using an electronic organiser, but difficulty retrieving information because of poor spelling. During the inter\{iew T loses the thread of what he is saying. These memory lapses cause inconvenience and frustration, and could well seem like incompetence or carelessness to others. It was very heartening to hear that some lecturers are very understanding and helpful with regard to T’s memory difficulties. T says “There’s always little notes pinned up all over the place and I never remember anywhere the boards are or anything. And I do have one lecturer now who puts a note in my pigeon hole”. This is obviously a very considerate person, but the situation could be eased by having one notice board at the entrance to each building, rather than several various places. T feels several tutors have made efforts to help him, although he does not think people generally understand the difficulties associated with dyslexia. The simplistic idea that dyslexia means you cannot read persists, and this frustrates T, particularly because he is able to read reasonably accurately. His ability to obtain information by reading is, however, restricted by his poor memory. T says of dyslexia “I don’t think its anything to do with literacy, that’s just the tip of the iceberg”. He says several times that people do not understand, and he feels that now he has achieved some measure of success that people think he does not have difficulties anymore.

Lecturers have been less helpful about providing handouts and copies of overhead projector slides. These were requested on the Additional Learning Agreement sent to T’s course tutor for circulation to other lecturers and tutors who have contact with T. T feels embarrassed to keep asking, and echoes J’s comment that he feels dyslexia is often overlooked because it is a hidden disability. T feels there should be a “culture” of awareness, whereas currently he perceives “institutional ignorance”.

T has found his computer to be “absolutely fantastic, it’s the best thing that I’ve ever had. It completely liberated my life”. CD-ROMs are useful for reference, and he uses his computer and scanner to fill in application forms. He says that “in terms of resources and things, I feel quite happy. I feel catered for”. He also praises the “absolutely fantastic” library staff, who have been so helpful. In contrast, T has not found the often advocated multi-sensory structured approach (Hornsby and Shear 1993; Bramley 1993) to teaching dyslexia people to be of use. A student teacher gave him lessons as part of her training, which was not arranged through college. T does make use of multi-sensory methods, such as mind-maps , and the computer, so the lack of success may reflect the implementation of the methods, and the relevance to T of what was being taught.

T feels that learning support is important, and feels that people with severe dyslexia will not succeed in Higher Education without it. I was very gratified to hear that T feels I am one of the few who understand his difficulties, although, I am aware that he may have been saying what he thought I wanted to hear . I was not proud of my reply when T asked me how I understood. I said it was because I have a dyslexic son, which although true was not tactful in view of T’s experiences with his own mother. I later apologised, and T said he realised I have a very different relationship with my son.

The final areas which seem important are T’s reaction to the diagnosis, and his feelings and attitudes towards dyslexia, and towards himself. The diagnosis, at age 32, was one factor among many that triggered a severe depression which caused T to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital towards the end of his first year in college. However, now T is glad that he was diagnosed because “it answered so many questions. It all made sense because there were so many things that I didn’t understand. And I feel that I do know who I am”. [* Riddick_ et al (1997) ] also find that students understand their own past experiences in a different light after being diagnosed as dyslexic. At the time though T had very mixed feelings. He felt so many things he had suffered were not his fault, but resulted from dyslexia. Until he knew he was dyslexic he did not feel he had missed out. However, once he knew he was dyslexic he felt he had been sold a pretty raw deal, cos there’s things I want to do that I can’t do, and that makes me frustrated and that makes me angry”. T says he is still not “accepting” of his dyslexia and its effect on his life; he feels “cheated”, but is “resolved”. However, he would advise others to be assessed to find out if their problems are caused by dyslexia, and he feels very strongly that assessment should be available in college as it was for him. [*Singleton et al (1999)] point out that no money is earmarked for assessment of HE students, and that many institutions rely on the discretionary Access Fund. T’s feelings about himself are confused. When he talks about jobs he is sometimes very confident, while sometimes he thinks he does not deserve a good job. T has had responsible jobs in the past, but seems overwhelmed with possibilities of what might have been, and might still be; he mentions many different things ranging from actor, to independent youth worker. T says that “suddenly I’m trying to rush 30 years of life into the next 5”, no doubt to make up for the “wasted life that I’ve had, and also the abuse that I’ve suffered”. T will not always declare his dyslexia when applying for jobs, because he feels it may sometimes disadvantage him. However, he has declared his dyslexia when an application makes it clear there will be no prejudice.

T sees confidence and self-esteem as major factors regarding dyslexia. He says “The problem is confidence, self-esteem, how you think, the way you see yourself, the way you perceive yourself”. As a youth worker he would prioritise these areas when working with dyslexic young people. He shares R’s opinion that Special School may well have been good for him, although he also recognises the argument for integration of people with disabilities into mainstream schools. T would like to “de-school”. He says several times that he was not taught in the way that he could learn, and that he would “concentrate more on self-esteem building. If I could get someone to write .poetry, or to write songs, learn instrument”. However he realises that there are strong forces against this approach when he says “nobody is ever going to agree to teach a child just what he wants to know. Because that’s no good to anybody, really, because we are all fodder”. This rather depressing comment reflects T’s attitude to the education system and society in general. He is rejecting the society that he feels rejected him.

Avice Turnbull. 1999”.

APPENDIX 2

CV – Jonathan R. P. Taylor

(Dates are approximations only)

I have spent my entire career working with hard to reach, disadvantaged and disaffected communities within an empowerment role. I was a generic Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer, eventually becoming a specialist Debt Adviser before becoming the Project Manager at just 21 yrs of Calderdale Dart (a specialist disability advice service.) I have worked for the careers service and social services offering specialist advice and guidance and numerous youth work and educational projects.

 

Possessing both C.G.L.I 730 & P.G.C.E, I have over 26 years post qualification experience in classroom delivery, at both entry and higher level, covering general class and advanced development and delivery. I also offer over 20 years, hands on experience, of delivering entry level training and project work to reluctant learners including project management and team leadership. I offer you impeccable references.

 

As an independent singer / songwriter I have successfully ran my own independent record-label writing, producing and marketing over 18 albums. I am a regular feature on international radio and a household name on Bulgarian TV. A recent work “If Only” was included “by invitation” to become part of the memorial art project within the new 9/11 memorial Museum, New York. I have also contributed musical work to The Holocaust Memorial Trust.

 

Professional Qualifications:

 

TEFL England Certificate – Manchester 2009

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Registered TEFL Teacher.

 

Leeds Metropolitan University. 2001 – 02

Advanced Professional Diploma Mentoring – Pass

Specialist research paper ‘Working with Dyslexic Learners’

 

University of Huddersfield. 2002 – 04

Post Graduate Certificate in Education – Pass

Registered teacher with the Institute for Learning & General Teaching Council. Member of the Institute for learning

 

University of Bradford (BICC). 1995 – 99

Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies – 2.1

Diploma Higher Education (JNC) Youth & Community Work – Pass

’ for Outstanding Achievement, 1998

Registered to practice as Professional Youth-worker with the NYA

 

Huddersfield Technical College. 1993 – 95

BTEC National Diploma Music Technology. Merit with Distinction

Calderdale College of Further Education – 1992 – 93

 

Calderdale College of Further Education. 1992 – 93

C.G.L.I 739 Further & Adult Education Teachers Certificate – Pass

C.G.L.I 928 Initial Certificate Teaching Basic Skills – Pass

Specialism: English with Job Search Skills. Pakistani / Mirpuri Community.

 

Additional Relevant Training & Qualifications:

 

Safety Representative, elected Safety Secretary & Safety Committee. Food Safety & Hygiene Certificate Level 2. Team Teach Competence. Trained HSE First Aider (including outdoor education and motorcycle.) Mini Bus Driver Certified & Passenger Safety Equipment Trained. NCFE Level 2 Stained Glass / NCFE Level 1 Interactive Media. Approved Child and Adult Protection Adviser. 1 Star Kayak and Canoe – Competence Certificate of Outdoor Pursuits. Silver & Bronze Navigation Awards. Bronze Medallion (Outdoor Waters) Life Saver. Advanced Swimmer Awards.

 

Present Employment:

 

ABC; Koyko Koycov Community School (Sevlievo) September 2014 – ongoing.

 

English Teacher (pre-intermediate / intermediate and upper C1/2 advanced levels): Advice, information & guidance within a community education project supporting young and adult learners from the Sevlievo district. Youngest students aged just 3 years, using music singing and guitar in basic education. Oldest students include professionals such as bank workers, dentists, senior clerical workers and council operatives teaching business English. I offer advice, information and guidance on study opportunities and practical arrangements in the UK. I continue to mentor and advise theses students whilst then living in the UK.

 

Additionally to the above I have also undertaken two major English language projects for the local educational authority during 2015. This at Vassil Levski Secondary School teaching English and American Literature, as well as English language cover & also at The Gymnasium College where I was the principal English teacher and mentor for a European Union funded youth exchange programme to Plymouth, UK.

 

The English Club Online (Cambridge) July 2012 – ongoing

 

Audio Resource & Songwriter: Principal ‘song’ writer of learning material for online students globally. Using music and song as a learning resource for learning English. As a key role; I offer information, advice and guidance to students worldwide through the ‘My EC’ portal support pages and group ‘blog’ discussions. You may listen use or download these resources free [+ here+]. As a Professional Musician, singer & songwriter: I have written, recorded and produced 15 solo albums during my 25 year career and collaborated on many other ventures. I am also the author of a further 7 fiction novels. My material has been used by BBC Broadcast Journalists, within radio plays, and as far away as Australia. I am a regularly feature on international and independent radio as well as multiple national Bulgarian TV channels.

Tribal Education 2008 – 2016

Distance Learning Tutor: Assessing, marking and offering advice or guidance on student submissions for a distance learning provider. Specialist subjects being information, advice & guidance and equality & diversity. Providing appropriate feedback and guidance on learner’s coursework. Providing encouragement and practical support on an on-going basis by creating a positive, professional relationship that allows for and underpins the learner’s goals in fulfilling their full potential.

Previous Employment

 

American College Arcus (Veliko Tarnovo) September 2013 – 2014

 

English Teacher: Private residential college, Veliko Tarnovo. Teaching English as a foreign language. Principal citizenship teacher designing, developing and delivering own teaching materials and assessments. Influencing school policy with regards to equality and diversity, bringing this high achieving Bulgarian school in line with contemporary European Union policy practice and procedures. Duties also include significant support and careers guidance to students who are applying to study at foreign universities for example UCAS applications and mock interviews, one-to-one, online (using Skype) and group tutorial activities. Arcus is rated as one of the top ten schools in Bulgaria and accredited by many EU and USA colleges and universities.

 

Essex Prep Sofia 2011 – 2013

 

English Teacher: Teaching English as a foreign language in a private Bulgarian language college. Also proof reader of student academic applications and mock interviews for UCAS applications.

Balkan Holidays (London) Bansko / Burgas. 2010 – 2011

Entertainer: Representative for Bulgaria’s biggest package tour holiday operator. Greeting, entertaining and dealing with problems or complaints. Organisation of a full package of holiday entertainment including Bulgarian folklore evenings, traditional quiz nights, UK Bingo and other off-piste activity. C. 300 clients per week.

Reed PLC & Just Teachers: 2008 – 2010

 

Supply Teacher: Specialism in Citizenship, P.S.H.R.E / Health & Social Care. Teaching all subject areas at all levels across Bradford and North Yorkshire. Extensive secondary and specialist education provision such as pupil referral and EBD. Over 5 years supply experience.

 

Drystone & Phoenix FM: 2007 – 2010

 

Acting Station Manager / Presenter: ‘The Breakfast Show & Drive Time Live Daily. Drystone Radio, Community Radio for South Craven and The Yorkshire Dales. A prime time live programme of local and national news, current and political affairs, local interviews (live and pre-recorded) and general listener led input. Also volunteer Community Radio Broadcaster for ‘Phoenix FM – Calderdale.’

 

Interviewees include: Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), Justin Sullivan (New Model Army), Gary Howard (The Flying Pickets), Graeme Obrea (World Record speed cyclist) and Danny McCaskill (YouTube trial bike phenomenon) plus many more.

 

Bradford College: 2007 – 08

 

Tutor at Entry level 2/3 and level 1. B.T.E.C Certificate: Skills for Working Life. 18 hours per week face-to-face teaching. Responsible for writing assessment papers, I.L.P’s, review and tutorial groups with curriculum planning. Group tutor for core units Business Skills, I.C.T, Sport and Craft.

 

Huddersfield Technical College: Sept. 2003 – 2007

 

Tutor at Entry level 2/3. B.T.E.C National Certificate: Skills for Working Life. 24 hours per week face-to-face teaching. Responsible for writing assessment papers, I.L.P’s, review and tutorial groups with curriculum planning. Group tutor for core units of Information Technology, Health & Safety, Project & Life Skills, Business Enterprise, Maths and Literacy Workshops. I also delivered the option units of Introduction to Email and The Internet & Health & Social Care First Aid. I previously delivered ‘Foundation Focus’ Music Technology & Horticulture at pre entry level.

 

[* UNISON (formerly NALGO) 1988 -2007 *]

 

Health & Safety Representative / Trade Union Rep. I was an active representative of my professional trade unions for almost 20 years. Originally working for NALGO which later merged with others (NUPE, NATFHE) to become what we know today as UNISON. I was elected by branch membership to the post of health and safety secretary whilst working for Calderdale MBC. I attended countless conferences and weekend training courses on the new European directives with regards to health and safety in the workplace. Due to pressures of work I did not stand for re-election as branch secretary but maintained my position as appointed representative. This included health and safety checks and assessments and dealing with departmental and individual implementation and reconciliation as required.

 

SCOPE – Calderdale Community Outreach Team. 2002 – 03

 

Work Adviser & DAPA (Designated Adult Protection Adviser.) A one year SRB funded project. I designed and implemented a specialist training course to meet the needs of long term unemployed people who had disabilities. All participating project members gained fruitful opportunity. I worked closely with the Huddersfield Technical College above delivering training within for their students with disabilities.

 

Joseph Priestley College – Morley. 2000 – 02

 

Youth Development Worker. Working with the Leeds Further Forward initiative and local schools. Negotiation and setting up of specific projects such as woodwork, hairdressing, motor-vehicle etc. Infilling and allowing provision of U16 education in the F.E sector. Specialist support role and ongoing mentoring to school exclusions and persistent non-attendees – and of course their tutors.

 

The Ridings School – Halifax. 1999 – 00

 

Compact Plus Adviser. Another SRB temporarily funded project working within the media termed ‘The worst school in Britain.’ I designed a project based course for one academic year challenging issues such as bullying and harassment, dealing with anger & aggression, challenging racism and discrimination etc. I was also responsible for work based learning and work experience for the students involved.

 

Project Challenge – Halifax. 1996 – 99

 

Youth Worker. Part time employment whilst in full time education. Working with and delivering project based learning in outdoor skills environments. D of E, ASDAN, National Navigation Award Scheme etc. Supported 4 week survival expedition to the High Pyrenees with long term substance mis-users. Developed fundraising strategy and managed International Youth Exchanges.

 

Calderdale Careers Department – Halifax. 1991 – 1993

 

Job Club Assistant. Supporting the Job Club Leader in delivering job search training and skills to long term unemployed people from the Mirpuri community. Undertook my C.G.L.I 730 as internal staff development specialising in Equal Opportunities.

 

Alloefield View & Cousin Lane Children’s Homes 1988 – 1991

Calderdale MBC.

 

Residential Social Worker. Respite and long term accommodation for children in Local Authority Care. Working as groups and one to one with severely traumatised young people aged 5 yrs – 19 yrs. Developing care plans and therapeutic programmes. Role model and life skills development.

 

Bradford MBC (Employment Initiatives Division) 1987 – 1988

 

Project Manager / Advice Worker: Training provider for long term unemployed people. After training participants took up placement in advice, information and guidance centres across the city of Bradford as part of community outreach provision: principally welfare rights.

 

Calderdale Disabled Advice Resource Team 1984 – 1987

 

Project Manager / Advice Worker. Advice, information and guidance centre for people with disabilities, carers and professionals. Voluntary sector project forming part of the ‘DIAL’ network. Significant workload being welfare rights and benefits guidance work. Management of centre and 13 project workers. Also DAMBA (Disabled Adults Mini Bus Association) project management. Additional volunteer and debt worker for Halifax Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Gwent Social Services – 1983 – 1984

 

Community Visitor – Temp. Community Programme. Assisting the elderly and/or people with disabilities with daily living. Shopping, cashing and collecting pensions or medical prescriptions. Gardening and household DIY. One key responsibility was to take a child with multiple disabilities swimming, giving parents respite.

 

Sir Harry Llewelyn – 1982 – 1983

 

Groundsman (The Grange, Nant-y-Derry) Part-time and casual. Looking after the manor grounds, stables and gardens. Laying fires and general household service.

 

[* Llansantfread Hotel – 1982 -1984 *]

 

Groundsman. Youth Training Scheme. First employment following school at post 16 yrs. Looking after the grounds, lawns and gardens. Greeting guests and service. I continued to work here casually after the 12 month training period ended.

 

APPENDIX 3

Before I published this book, a fellow author, Ben Bennetts, read an earlier draft and was quite taken by the many times I asked why “grammar, punctuation and spelling are important…” or said that “I am not being judged on my creative writing ability but on my poor literacy: I am being judged on the basis of my disability alone,” and questioned “should our work be edited to meet the requirements of a non-dyslexic readership?” According, he sent me a short allegorical essay. It is reproduced here with Ben’s permission.

The Footballer Who Tried To Play Rugby

An allegorical tale written by Ben Bennetts

March, 2017

 

Tommy was born a footballer. He played football in kindergarten. He played football at primary school. He played football at secondary school. He was naturally skilled at football and played for the school team, eventually becoming the team captain. When he left school, he played football for his town and, gradually, worked his way up to become a Premier League footballer, earning much praise from football scouts, commentators and managers. His ability to tackle, dribble, pass, control, trap and head the ball, and to score many excellent goals, was lauded by the fans and earned him many cups and other trophies. He became a national hero and role model and moved into a fine mansion with a beautiful wife, three luxury motor cars, and two loving Golden Retrievers. His life was perfect.

Then disaster struck. For reasons that were never fully revealed (but suspected to be linked to his erstwhile family), Tommy was forced to move to a small town in a faraway country. He had to sell his fine mansion and three luxury motor cars; his wife bagged up all her expensive jewellery and left him; and the two loving Golden Retrievers were sent to the Battersea Dogs Home for re-allocation to another loving home. Tommy was devastated: his football career finished. But after he had settled into his new home in the small town and being of stout heart and resolute manner, Tommy took himself down to the local sports stadium and asked if he could play with the team.

“Sure,” said the manager, “but we play rugby here, not football.”

“That’s okay,” replied Tommy. “I’ve played ball games all my life. I am highly talented.”

“All right,” said the manager. “Report here next Saturday at 2 o’clock. We are playing against another team and we are one player short through illness. You can take his place.”

Accordingly, Tommy presented himself the following Saturday, donned his player’s kit and trotted out onto the pitch at 2 o’clock, ready to play rugby. The only problem was, Tommy had never played rugby in his life, never watched it, never read about it—in short, he knew nothing about the game. All he knew was football.

Tommy stood on the pitch with the other players as the opposing team kicked off to start the game. Amazingly, the odd-shaped ball came straight towards him. He easily blocked it with his chest, and dropping the ball down to his feet he started dribbling it up the pitch towards the strange-looking goal with high uprights and no net. It was not an easy ball to dribble however and as the opposing forwards came bearing down on him, Tommy looked to find someone to pass the ball to but found no-one by his side.

This is odd, he thought, and he stopped and looked back at his team players. They were all behind him looking at him with puzzlement written over their faces. The opposing team players were now upon him and before he could say Geronimo, he was knocked to the ground with a bone-crunching force that quite took his breath away.

Peep, went the whistle. A chorus of voices went up.

“Get of me!” shouted Tommy.

“What the hell are you doing?” asked Tommy’s team captain.

“Don’t you know the rules?” asked a team mate.

“Looks like we’ve got a right one here,” said one of the opposing team players.

“Infringement. Not releasing the ball after a tackle,” said the referee. “Scrum down.”

“Wait a minute,” said Tommy, “that’s not fair. What did I do wrong?”

The team captain walked up to Tommy and replied: “First, you should have caught the ball, not chested it to the ground. Second, you should have run with the ball in your hands, not dribbled it with your feet. Third, you should have passed the ball to another team player before you were tackled. Fourth, after you were tackled, you should have pushed the ball back to another player rather than just lie on top of it. Fifth, … Need I go on?”

“Wait,” said Tommy. “Can’t I use my rules, the rules of football, to play rugby? Am I not allowed to dribble the ball up field and then pass by kicking to another player?”

“You can do this but this is not how we play rugby,” explained the captain. “Although some of the rules in football and rugby are similar, if you play rugby using the rules of football, your team mates will not know what to expect of you and the fans will soon show their disapproval.”

“Yes, but… If I get the ball, I can dribble it over the tryline and score a try. Surely the crowd will love me for my fantastic dribbling skills rather than disapprove of my unconventional playing techniques?” said Tommy.

“Well, you can try this tactic,” said the captain somewhat drily, “but it won’t get you very far. The opposing forwards will be on you like a ton of bricks and no matter how good you are at dribbling, you will be flattened within seconds. Plus, of course, nobody on your side will pass the ball to you. Rugby is a hands-on game, literally, whereas football is all to do with the feet. And, the elliptical shape of the rugby ball will make it very difficult to control the ball with your feet even for someone with your fantastic dribbling skills. If you’ll excuse the metaphor, you’ll be batting on a very sticky wicket Tommy.”

“Hmm. So, if I want to play rugby I will have to abide by the accepted rules of rugby. Is that correct?” asked Tommy.

“Yes, that’s the way it is,” replied the captain.

“Why don’t rugby players learn the rules of football and play rugby as if they were footballers?” asked Tommy.

“Because then it wouldn’t be rugby, would it?” replied the captain. “If you want to play rugby, you learn the rules of rugby. If you want to play football, you learn the rules of football. But you can’t use the rules of football on a rugby pitch, just as you can’t use the rules of rugby on a football pitch. That would be silly, wouldn’t it?” replied the captain.

“So, what you’re saying is that even though I am, or was, a famous and highly-skilled footballer, I can’t play in your game unless I learn and use the rules of rugby? I won’t be accepted as a rugby player until I’ve adapted my footballer skills to the rules of rugby?”

“Exactly,” replied the captain.

“Oh,” replied Tommy. “I had hoped that my skills as a footballer would be recognised by rugby fans and that I would not have to adapt my style of playing but I now see that this is not going to happen. I will either have to learn and apply the rules of rugby in order to be accepted by both my team players and the fans, or not play rugby.”

“Correct,” replied the captain. “You need to adapt. Instead of chesting the ball, you should catch it. Instead of dribbling the ball, hold it in your hands and run with it. Instead of passing with a kick, pass using your hands. And so on. Basically, you will need someone to coach you, to help you recognise your mistakes and show you how to correct them. I have just the person to help you do this.” The captain turned and pointed towards the team’s coach who was standing on the touch line, an elderly man clearly well versed in the rules of rugby. “There’s your man,” he said to Tommy. “He’s the team’s coach. It’s his job to help you. Go talk to him. We’ll continue with fourteen men.”

Dejectedly, Tommy walked off the pitch and introduced himself to the coach.

“I need to learn the rules of rugby,” said Tommy.

“I know, I know. I saw what happened. Come with me. I can help you,” said the coach in a kindly voice.

 

Three months later, Tommy was the star player of the town’s rugby team. He acquired a new beautiful wife, a foreign luxury car, and a scruffy rescue dog called Patch from the local dog pound. He now understood why he had to learn and apply the rules of his new game and he strove hard to improve his rugby-playing skills every time he played but he never fully adapted and relied on his coach to help him recover from the occasional mistake caused by his many years of playing football. But, he was content with his life. He was no longer a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. He was an elliptical peg who mostly fitted into the round hole.

 

 

(_)

 

Other books by the author

 

[MEAT: MEMOIRS of A PSYCHOPATH
‘THE DEFINITIVE EDITION 2016’]

Dr CERYS DAVIES et al

‘Meat: Memoirs of A Psychopath, The Definitive Edition’, is truly a world’s first in contemporary literature. Each book contained inside is written by the characters within. Each work is intentionally written in a quite specific and separate genre. This unique publication, ‘The Definitive Edition 2016’, contains ten separate and individually identifiable works including a radio play and musical soundtrack (1 hour 40 minutes) and additional audio book. There is even an accompanying film script which concludes Part Four; the Gabrielites.

Their strong driving narrative concerns the relationship between an ageing, retired police officer, and the sadistic cult leader who now stalks him. The story herein is carried across several books, all self-contained. Each story collides with another developing into a complex plot; but they can also be read quite independently away from the common narrative.

The intention is that this novel be later published by mainstream publishing houses (or independently) as eBook and print versions and released as one volume. However, in later printed versions beyond initial promotional proof copies, it is the author’s intention that it be easily adapted into a continuation series of paperbacks. Accordingly you will find that The Definitive Edition is split into appropriate sections as intended.

The author of this work has also included a download link for the accompanying radio play and soundtrack, ‘Meat: The Musical’, and the children’s story audio book. We sincerely hope that you enjoy this publication. Please note that whilst the children’s story contained is indeed most suitable for minors, the publication as a whole alongside other works is most definitely not suitable for children. Use only the download link provided to obtain the audio version when sharing with children.

If you are a member of the press or media and would like a free copy of this publication for review we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us by using the email as supplied on the publisher’s Brittunculi Records and Books, website.

Brittunculi (from ancient Roman: meaning nasty little Britons) is the independently owned record label and distribution outlet of Odd Jonathan (Jonathan R P Taylor). Thank you for your support!

The following link allows you to purchase the additional title free of any obligation to contribute at the set price of $6.99.

Download The Definitive Edition here

INSIDE THE DEFINITIVE EDITION

This publication is rated 18 and is not suitable for younger readers.[
**]

Pre-Installed Navigational Guidance (PING)[
JRP Taylor (The songwriter Odd Jonathan)
(Contemporary conspiracy/Suspense/Cookery)]

How to Breed Chickens in Iowa[
Chandelle Davies (Youngest daughter of Dr Cerys Davies)
(Country and Western/Romance/Fairy Tale)]

Meat: Memoirs of a Psychopath[
Dr Cerys Davies (The forensic psychologist)
(Psychological thriller/LGBT/Biography)]

[Please Take Care of Bethany
PC Brian Wilkinson (The investigating policer officer)
(Military espionage/Mystery/Historical)]

Porthole: Paris’s Revenge[
DI Andrea Johnson (The senior detective)
(Period-drama/Erotica/Slap-stick humour)]

Communists in Outer-Space[
Isabella Davies (The eldest daughter of Dr Cerys Davies)
(Political revisionism/Sci-Fi/Sociology)]

Meat: The Musical[
JRP Taylor (The songwriter Odd Jonathan)
(Musical/Radio-play/Comedic-farce)]

The Gold Star Kid[
JRP Taylor (The songwriter Odd Jonathan)
(Fantasy/Children’s story/Audio book)]

The Man Who Buried Himself[
PC Brian Wilkinson (The investigating police officer)
(Detective/Crime/Shoestring)]

Surge: The Movie Script[
Her Holiness Gabriela 13 (The death cult leader)
Classical horror/Supernatural/Film script]

- A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing -

END


A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing: Critical Reflection & Barriers to Pa

This work is completed as it stands as an author based self-case study. It is presented as a genuine insight into my world as a dyslexic creative writer born with an utterly disabling learning difficulty.This work is also reflective comment on my journey to create this essay (book), itself inspired by my application for a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. I have to assume that you as the reader have some awareness of or at least a basic understanding of dyslexia; both cause and effect. This Book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It is supplied free of cost on the full understanding that you, as the reader WILL contribute to the research. I ask a simple question here; is dyslectualism discrimination or not? (Dyslectualism, a new word, is here defined briefly as the existence of prejudice and discrimination, and/or antagonism directed against a person with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulty that manifests itself as dyslexia).

  • ISBN: 9781370379392
  • Author: Brittunculi Records & Books UK
  • Published: 2017-03-27 09:36:15
  • Words: 74340
A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing: Critical Reflection & Barriers to Pa A Dyslexic Perspective on Creative Writing: Critical Reflection & Barriers to Pa