Tue | Oct 15, 2019

Disability leads Denise to her purpose

Published:Monday | January 21, 2019 | 12:07 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

Life changed for Denise Salmon after she was involved in a major car crash in Fern Gully, St Ann, on May 6 in the year 2000. It left her with one leg.

However, Salmon has been determined not to be held hostage by her circumstances and has become a published author who, in December 2018, published her second printed book.

Recalling her ordeal after the car crash, Salmon said she had to find avenues to fend for her family despite her new reality. She sought training as a creative writer and a children's writer, and is currently signed to LMH Publishings. She also sells her work through the online platform Fiverr, selling lyrics for songs, jingles, slogans, among other creative works.

"I spent approximately 10 months in hospitals, undergoing many surgeries. I had to be sent abroad for extensive treatment, but I was still left disabled," Salmon explained. "I began writing when I simply wanted to do something with my time, and started liking it more when the first thing I wrote was published in a magazine with my photo on the cover," she told The Gleaner.

"However, I got very excited when my first book was accepted by Pelican Publishers, so I decided to do a course in creative writing and writing for children at the Philip Sherlock Centre at UWI (The University of the West Indies, Mona)," she said.

 

A PLACE OF WANTING

 

She noted that the book, titled Marcus Garvey and the Tainos in Canoe Valley, came from a place of wanting young persons to connect the past to the present in a creative way.

"I have noticed the problems that are faced by Jamaicans every day, the crime and the lack of unity among some families. I believe all the efforts that Marcus Garvey and other heroes made to help Jamaicans to have a better life have been forgotten by many persons," she said.

"The plans he had for his people were great and they are still good plans. I think it is time for us to help the children to be more aware of what their great hero wanted them to have," she continued.

Salmon added: "This will help them to aspire to be just as great, or even greater than the hero who made such great plans for his people. We should tell our children about the hero's plans, so they can start understanding how important it is for them to even try to walk in his footsteps."

She explained that the book targets children between the ages of four and eight years old, and is available at various bookstores, gift shops, and both major airports.