Things I would like to do for the rest of my life

RaydaJ By RaydaJ, 28th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

Realizing a childhood dream of becoming a writer and then years later win the Sunday Times Literary Prize.

Writing a coping mechanism

Having reached 65 and having written ten novels, two film scripts, and directed a movie Confessions of a Gambler, I can say that I have achieved a childhood dream – and as a Muslim woman, quite a feat in then apartheid South Africa. I was convinced as a child that I would not like working in a 9 to 5 job in an office and because of my rotten childhood, I scribbled and read a lot not knowing that it was a coping mechanism in those early years.

The Canadian years

I left for Canada, married an immigrant, where I started to learn many lessons. 27 years I stayed. A crucial day came in my marriage when a publisher in Canada, after examining a draft version of the story I was busy with asked me to make some changes and the book would have a chance. I was so excited, but I was the only one. My then husband said that he wanted me to give up writing. His brother added to it by throwing a quarter on the table and said, 'thanks for the coffee'.

Hard decisions

I kept my name, packed my bags, and left. It was the beginning of my journey as a writer. I have written ten books, written and directed a film as well as playing the lead. I am extraordinarily happy in my life here in South Africa, and then just a month ago was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. I was shocked. It took weeks to believe that I had this disease. I particularly feared getting dementia. Yet I am writing almost two to four thousand words a day. My brain is sharp. I eat brain food. I try a little exercise. Sometimes I have to sit for a few seconds when getting out of bed, but that is all right.

Writing to give information

At first when I got the news I was angry with God... then realized what a gift I had received. It was not cancer. It was not my heart. It was all the anxiety over the years that had given me Parkinson's. For the last few years I have been very preoccupied with God's gift and what I could do to give back. Surely, I have realized my dreams. I came to the conclusion that I was given the gift of writing to give information - to help someone who is struggling with an illness and could find an answer somewhere. I have a new script that has to be directed, but I am not ready yet to do it. My brother and son tell me all the time to give up this 'nonsense' writing and get back to my eleventh book which is only 15 pages long at this time.

Receiving the diagnosis was a gift. I have time to sell my house and, wrap up my business and head for the bright or not so bright lights of New Jersey where I will stay with my daughter and grandchildren and DJ Dirty Harry who is a music producer and a fabulous husband to my daughter for my remaining years. I am a lucky woman indeed. God has blessed me.


Books, Directing, Filming, Literary Prize, Novels, Parkinsons Disease, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar RaydaJ
Published novelist of ten books, dozens of short stories, and hundreds of articles. Will focus on health which has many areas, and on parenting.

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author avatar Karman's Kreations
28th Apr 2012 (#)

It is Quite difficult to find that you have a disease that will in the end take from you who you are. It is so refreshing to find that you have found a way of sharing that which you know ~ writing ~ with the world. Leaving behind you greatness.
I am glad you chose not to accept the quarter and move forward with the life you have lived. Congratulations on your successes. You are an inspiration.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
28th Apr 2012 (#)

I think THE PRIZE, would actually be writing the book on your fight with this horrid disease.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
29th Apr 2012 (#)

Good show Raydaj. Love you for your stance in life, I too am battling some serious illnesses but am madly in love with life. Your tips have inspired me to start writing a romantic true story which I once mentioned to you. God Bless

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author avatar RaydaJ
30th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you Karman, Peter and Tranquilpen. You don't realize what these letters mean to me. I am writing already since four this morning. I write for six sites and just also joined Knoji... and have only started my 11th novel which my publisher is waiting for. I only wrote 14 pages so far in between articles... my book is about a woman who is diagnosed with Parkinson's. Thanks guys... and very heartwarming. Writing helps.

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