Part II of interview with Fiona Page
Yesterday, we met Fiona Page and talked about her new children's book, BETTINA THE BOLD. Fiona plans to take some of the stories she told as a professional storyteller in schools and now turn them into chapter books for kids.
Today we'll talk about how her life has (or hasn't changed) after losing her sight and about her memoir, MY NIGHTLIFE IS 24/7.
What have you found that you can still do with no sight that you thought you'd have to give up?
Dance! I love to dance all kinds of dances. I also thought I would never read again because audio books were not widely accepted in 1987. Now there are many options for reading.
What do you miss the most as a person without sight?
The freedom to do what I want when I want.
( I can relate to this as well. No matter how hard we work at maintaining our independence, the bottom line is that life now takes more planning and arranging. Going and doing something spontaneously doesn't easily happen when you no longer drive and/or need someone else for assistance. I struggle with this too.)
Yes, coping with challenges is an ongoing process!
As a visually impaired person myself, I find characters in my stories frequently have vision loss or another disability, or one of their family members has a disability. Do you find a pull toward those sorts of characters in your stories?
My mother was disabled. She had two prosthetic legs. I like to show others that we all have something which is a challenge but it does not make us different because we all want to be accepted and have friends. It only inconveniences us until we find a way around it. I think I will write about my mother now.
Ah, you come by your strength of character naturally, then!
Let's talk about your memoir, MY NIGHTLIFE IS 24/7. Would you tell us about it?
MY NIGHTLIFE IS 24/7 is about going from a being a sighted person to a sightless one. It's also about overcoming challenges with courage and conviction and moving beyond them. You know, we all have obstacles in our lives, some of them we did not choose for ourselves. We can, however, make a choice about how we will deal with those obstacles. I hope it will show others that life does go on.
Was writing your memoir a part of the healing and acceptance process after losing your sight?
Most definitely. I became blind in '87. Life became a whirlwind of learning (using a computer, cane mobility training, daily living skills). It was not until 2000 that I started writing out of desperation--I couldn't talk for two months. Through this long process--years of writing--I realized I finally accepted the "new" me. Accepting my blindness took ten years and then it only came in stages.
(I understand. I call it my "new normal" because what I previously called normal responses or situations all had to change.)
Thank you Fiona for sharing your life story along with your written stories. You are truly inspiring and I'm glad to call you friend.
Remember.... leave a comment and an email address (unless I already have your address!) and there will be a book giveaway late Friday night. I'll post the winner on Monday.
If you're interested in purchasing a copy of BETTINA THE BOLD or MY NIGHTLIFE IS 24/7, you can click here.