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  • Katy Berritt

Dyslexia and the Author Brain

You probably don’t know this—and why should you—but I'm dyslexic. You might be asking yourself, how does a woman who is dyslexic manage to write a coherent sentence, much less an entire book?


Dyslexia isn’t always what people think. I don’t see a b when it’s really a d, and I don’t reverse words so I see redrum when it spells murder (remember that in The Shining? So creepy!) but it does create problems.


A little history. In first grade, my teacher, having spoken to me and gotten to know me, recognized I was pretty smart (not bragging, just a fact) so naturally assumed I'd be in the top reading group. Only, you know what? I couldn’t read. I just couldn’t. Nothing on the page made any sense to me. It was all alphabet soup. So, guess what? I got bumped down to the next level, and then bumped again.

Sigh.




I didn’t learn to read until the end of 2nd grade and that was because, in the classroom was a book all about dinosaurs (Remember my blog about being a tech dinosaur). Anyway, I was fascinated by dinosaurs, so I took the book home and I made myself learn to read. Now, you are probably wondering, "Why didn’t she just make herself learn to read in first grade?”.




The thing about dyslexia is your brain only does something when it’s ready to do it, and for me, that was second grade.


Now, of course, I read just fine but it still creates problems, mostly in respect to making mistakes. Sometimes, no matter how often I read something my mind doesn’t read what’s really on the page. It reads something else which causes me to misinterpret the information and then make a mistake. Sometimes I misread instructions and F them up royally. Sometimes I just screw up in general by not reading instructions at all.



What does this have to do with anything, you ask?

Well, I am going to take my recently published book The Candy Capers (on Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble) to the Brooklyn Book Fair where I will hopefully sell a few books and get my name out there. So, in preparation, I decided to order a few things from VistaPrint as giveaways.


First, I created a flyer with an excerpt from the book. But, of course, I didn’t read the instructions so when I left the page and came back, my work was gone…disappeared…somewhere in the ethernet never to be retrieved.


Oh, well, I have nothing but time to redo it, right? Not! But I finally got that right and put the flyers in my order bag. Then I wanted a tote bag showing my book cover. Ordered that, received it, only to realize that I hadn’t put my author name on the bag and the book cover wasn’t legible enough for anyone to read it, so kind of useless as advertising for my book. So, I ordered another one.


Lastly, I ordered bookmarks. So excited when I receive them and put them in my revised Candy Caper tote bag to take to the book fair (which is October 2 for anyone who is local).

Task done, or so I thought until I decided to order totes for my sister and daughter and saw I had put my Instagram address as my Facebook address on the bookmarks that had just been delivered. Into the trash, order new ones and pray they are correct.



Bottom line: the real problem with my brain isn’t necessarily about reading. It’s about how expensive dyslexia is.



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