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Massive help to be pointed in the right direction

"I reached out to Eden for some guidance on a book idea I was developing, and she signposted me to some excellent resources.

When you don't know what you don't know, it's a massive help to be pointed in the right direction, and know the important thing to watch out for.

Thank you."

S Kennedy

The Dyslexia Gang Part 3

These are the symptoms and signs of Dyslexia as described by The British Dyslexia Association

Frequently late - occasionally missing important events altogether - and misjudging how long it takes to drive somewhere - yep that's me, unless I set an alarm on my phone to leave really, really early I will be late. I genuinely do not understand where the time goes, you start putting your shoes on, and the next minute you have lost twenty...

Problems with time management - a poor sense of time - find it difficult to plan time - frequently run out of time doing a task or fail to plan enough time for all the things that need to be done for the task to be completed - see above, also note when I thought I could write eighteen courses, edit the same, polish, record the audio for, design the companion sheet for sixteen of the courses, and get them to the website technology type genius lady to get online and pretty in six weeks. And was late delivering, twice.  

Can’t remember numbers - phone numbers, pin numbers, timetables etc - need to write a phone number down immediately to remember it. Again

Poor memory for anything number related like dates and facts - everyone who knows me knows that I say if you don;t see me write it down assume it won't happen.

Trouble understanding graphs or charts - can’t recognise the meaning of symbols - I bought a lovely craft kit, but turns out it has the mother of all charts, and so I open it, look at it, and put it away again. My cross stitch charts I expand to 10x and do them in little sessions marking off stitches as I go.

Difficulty remembering what symbols mean or linking numbers and symbols to directions - see above

Hard to understand even very simple spoken maths equations - I stopped my maths education at long division, Mrs Roper, fourth year juniors.

Get different answers to same Math problem and need to check work over and over again to be confident of getting the right answer. see above.

Gets lost easily and misplaces objects around the house - ask my husband about this one (if you have an hour to spare).

Difficulty working out change or a tip, use fingers to count - cannot see the problem with counting on my fingers

Trouble recognising patterns and sequencing - I think I'm alright at this, others may disagree

Motor functions - trouble learning dance steps or athletic movements or anything that requires you to move your body in a certain sequence - tried to learn ballroom dancing, jive, did GCSE Dance, and  despite practising the two dances I made them both up on the day, I did not pass well.

Struggles to keep scores in games and loses track of whose turn it is - yep

Difficulty remembering names and facial recognition (Prosopagnosia) - if you appear out of context that can hardly be my fault, I have, for some time, campaigned for name badges for all without success. 

If the majority of these fit you - congratulations, you are officially part of the most creative section of the population whoop whoop

I did the very involved test on The British Dyslexia Association website, which has given me a headache, and says that I don't fit the markers...so that's interesting, and Dyslexia experts care to comment? 

The Dyslexic Gang Part 1

Welcome to the Dyslexic Gang Part 1! for Dyslexia awareness week I really wanted to share some stories of the achievements and wonderfulness of my fellow Dyslexics and those with Dyscalculia.

So if you, or your child, partner or friend has recently received a diagnosis take heart! they have just joined an exclusive tribe of wonderfulness. We are amazing people! and I hope that we can encourage people who have either condition. Differently-abled can be a fantastic thing!

As you know I am a Dyslexic blogger and author, speaker and creativity coach - which is why all my books are formatted to be accessible to those with Dyslexia and literacy issues with a larger than average more regular shaped font, wider spacing between lines,  shorter paragraphs, and bold titles to show where new stories start.

But this blog is all about Ashley and her son Adam, told by Ashley their story starts in the 1970's...

“When my son first started school nearly fifty years ago he struggled to learn to read. Each year he got further behind his peers. I can’t remember when I first heard the term Dyslexia but by the time my son reached age eight or nine it was clear to me that he definitely had a problem with reading and I decided to find out more.

The British Dyslexia Association sent me some leaflets that convinced that he had Dyslexia. But when I spoke to the head teacher at his school he was completely dismissive saying that ‘I don’t have disabled children in my school’. His father was also dismissive thinking that our son just needed to work harder.

By ten he struggled to read a book even though he had intellectual curiosity and had problems with his short-term memory. His father insisted that he went to the grammar school where he had to learn French and German, unfortunately this led to his becoming clinically depressed as it was impossible for him to learn either.

Finally, at age twelve with his reading age at around eight, his father was persuaded to let him be tested, and it was clear that he had Dyslexia. His father who had also always had issues with spelling - despite being a successful company director - then also decided to be tested, and found that he also had Dyslexia!

There wasn't really any help and support available in mainstream education, but my friend who was a primary teacher helped him with some extra tutoring. I was delighted when my son went on to study building and fulfilled his dream to become a stone mason, it's an unusual, technical, and demanding job, that he adores! he has had the honour of  working on some of the most famous churches and cathedrals in the UK.

I went on a trip to a Cathedral with my friends, and looking up and admiring the stone work at a particular point I was able to say "Adam carved that piece!" seeing things that my son has created that will last for hundreds of years makes me a very proud Mum indeed".

 

 

 

 

Poetry Day with Hoops a Dayzee

For Poetry Day my friend the poet, hula hooper, and secret mermaid Hoops a Dayzee has written this exclusively for us – enjoy! 

I don't think there really ever was a particular point,

That I realised I was a poet, 

I have always loved to play with words, 

And never been afraid to show it. 

Maybe I learned from my teachers at school, 

Or my Uncle Dave who is really cool. 

He writes a lot and I love his work, 

Never fails to make me giggle with all his quirk. 

But as long as I can remember i have loved to rhyme, 

Sorry I cannot pinpoint a particular time. 

 

I hate to say it but I don't read that much, 

I like my poems to have a personal touch. 

My inspiration comes from within myself, 

And rarely from a book on a dusty shelf.

 

I think I must be rather self-centred

As some humour and darkness comes when my soul I have entered. 

I love to make people smile and laugh, 

But sometimes my mood gets a little bit dark. 

Current events also inspire us, 

And it doesn't get much darker than this killer virus. 

So the mood of my poetry really depends, 

On the mood I am in and on current events. 

 

I know when a poem is complete, my friend, 

By a feeling I get when it comes to the end. 

Its like putting together pieces of a jigsaw, 

There is an empty space where I know it needs more. 

But when all the words are in the right place, 

I get a warm feeling and a smile on my face. 

 

Sometimes I get words going round in my head, 

Or I'll think about a subject that needs to be read. 

Funny events will occur that can't go unheard,

Things happen to me that are rather absurd, 

So I write down my thoughts and take it from there, 

And some of them I cannot help but share. 

 

Just do it. Put a pen to paper and write with your mind, 

The results will surprise you, I think you will find. 

Think of a subject and take it from there, 

Anything from a spider to what happened at the fair.

You will no doubt write and then scribble bits out, 

But that's what the process is all about. 

The best advice I can give is 'just play around' , 

The words you are looking for are there to be found. 

Throw in a rhyme, a palindrome or a pun. 

Enjoy the process and have some fun. 

Pictures For Writing Prompts

For all those who access their inspiration visually, here are some picture writing prompts, work through them one by one.

Sometimes it is a better idea to choose a picture that unsettles you, or that you do not like.

 

dance hall ww2

fallen tree trunk

train bournemouth

indeginous dancer

derelict house

coping with grief

Cinereous vVulture

farm from above

dungeon entrance

crumpled paper

Royal Marines

old map of norfolk

car on fire

sinking boat

people in snow

Noah Purifoy

 

Dio De Los Muertos

arizona stampede wild horses

feline hyperesthesia syndrome

vintage-mugshots

knitting

mossy jungle

 

It’s here!

Hello gorgeous friends, today's the day, you can buy your paperback copy of Laughing at Myself direct from my publisher! It's released on Amazon and all good retailers worldwide from August 2020. So this link is super special!

Laughing at Myself released today!

Laughing at Myself is a collection of stories based on events in Eden's own life, and given her humorous, candid, witty twist. With stories such as Wheel of (Mis)fortune, Cataracts Toilet, Death by Frisbee and How to Take Your Driving Test, this book will make you laugh, and give a sigh of relief that you aren't the clumsiest and scattiest person in the world after all.

https://www.lulu.com/en/gb/shop/eden-gruger/laughing-at-myself/paperback/product-rr77g6.html

 

Receiving Reviews

Getting the first reviews of your new book, product or service is always a slightly nerve-wracking moment, was all that work worth it? Will they like it? And don’t get me wrong there are always people who don’t like something; but as long as the reviews are generally positive, I’m a happy bunny.   By the way I don't pay for reviews, and you shouldn't consider doing it either, it's unethical.

Laughing at Myself isn’t available on general release as yet, but here’s what the reviewers have to say so far; 

“I just read Eden's book 'Laughing At Myself', which is a delightfully cringeworthy, humorous book of short stories that is written so well that I couldn’t help but picture myself as the character in most stories, particularly the one about the elderly cat’s bladder issues, as I had to literally question the author whether the story was based on the time it happened to me. It wasn’t and I was evilly relieved that I wasn’t the only person that cats had decided to use as a litter tray. 

The whole book made me feel grateful that I am not the only person in the world that gets myself in an array of embarrassing situations, and I happily laughed at the characters’ misfortune. 

I read the book over three mornings and found the writing style easy to read due to the ease of flow and the large type intended for dyslexic readers. I am not dyslexic myself but did find the format easier to read than a regular font. 

I also particularly enjoyed the story about the size 6 shoes on size 4 feet, and the one about the driving test. I won’t give any more away as you need to read it yourself. 

I very much look forward to reading future work from Eden. Well done!” written by Wendy Harding

“Just finished reading this, great book! I have loved reading LAUGHING AT MYSELF … so many of the stories I could relate to in way one or another … feeling like an awkward teenager at times and especially the perm ? didn’t we all have a disaster hair-do during some stage in our lives? ?? 

The book is easy to read, episodic, the type of book you want to read on a rainy day, with a cuppa and a biscuit (or three). It’s important we can find humour in some of the hiccups life throws at us, and Eden’s book reminds us of that. 

I was sorry that I’d finished it, it was like I was getting to know Eden more and more and then it was the end ☹ I hope there’s another in the future.” Written by Clare Drew 

This delightfully hilarious, sensitive, witty, brave, forgiving and loving read is not to be missed. The author’s magical simplicity is a clever invitation, not only to be thoroughly entertained, but Gruger reintroduces ourselves in a whole new light. 

Laughing at Myself is a beautifully easy read that you won’t want to put down. Gruger skilfully guides you effortlessly through her narrative, while giving you all the details the reader needs to put themselves in the scenes of the story. Each short story flows into the next. Equally if time to yourself is limited, (and hiding from my 3 children at home during lockdown is only successful for so long), it is a book you can delve into for a quick visit, be entertained and come back to it again later... again and again. It will never fail to put a smile on your face. 

As Gruger continues to introduce herself as she skips through her life’s encounters, you are left laughing out loud as you get to know her ‘Bridget Jones meets Calamity Jane’ character. The amusing references are endless, but... “Yet another time in my life when something I found funny, everyone else thought was idiotic”... resounds throughout. 

I was left feeling not only amused, but quite elated. Encouraged to look at the humour within ourselves, our own vulnerabilities, to recognise them, greet them, open heartedly, and laugh away. Perhaps we can admit a little piece of this author is within all of us, and Gruger does a superb job of introducing us. 

Gruger will leave you awakened, with a renewed awareness, as she teaches us those good solid life lessons... laugh at yourself, laugh with others, find the humour in life, forgive ourselves and ultimately love ourselves and the life we live. 

The only criticism you will have is being left wanting more. Not just more tales of Gruger’s adventures, that goes without saying. But intrigued to find out more about each scenario, to share the further depths of Gruger’s thinking and humour. Where will each experience take her next. You want more than that peek, you’ll want to be experiencing it with her, get to know her better. She’s your potential best friend you haven’t met yet. And there’s a hell of a lot of catching up to do!” Written by Vida Warby . 

It's worth remembering that not everyone can like everything, and that's ok, if someone doesn't enjoy one of my books, as long as they are constructively critical it's all useful. For these reviews I am very thankful, Laughing at Myself will be on pre-order to subscribers only for the next two weeks, and in six weeks it will be available worldwide! there will be more books to come after this (and with a much shorter waiting time), I promise, you can always check into my blog for your Eden fix. 

TTFN, Eden :-) 

New subscribers gift

I mentioned it on Facebook etc, but it is always worth reminding people here on my very own blog.

All new subscribers to my blog by the end of Sunday 19th April will be given one of the all new and sparkly stories from my new book Laughing at Myself, which isn't even out yet.

And it comes with an added little surprise

TTFN Eden :-)

Cheeky preview

Just because, here's another little cheeky preview from my second book Laughing at Myself

On the day I booked in my regular hairdresser was away, but I wasn’t worried, these ladies were all professionals, I sat in the chair, took off my spectacles, and settled into a very soft focus world. Three hours later I put my glasses back on to find I had the tightest perm that anyone has ever had, reducing my hair to about a half an inch fuzz all over my head, it was also dried out and crunchy to the touch, two qualities that hair should never really have.

It couldn’t have looked more ridiculous if I were wearing a joke wig, in shock I paid, stumbled home and was greeted with my mum’s tactful “what the f**k have you done to your hair?”. This surprisingly did not help me to feel better about my hair monstrosity, and I phoned the shop to complain.

“It just needs a deep condition”, said the lady who wasn’t my hairdresser, “perms can be ‘a bit drying”. She suggested a wax conditioner, (which I attempted to buy in several shops without success, deciding it must be the hairdressers equivalent of tartan paint). I suggested coming in to see the manager. The next day I went into the manager who said she thought it looked really ‘nice’ funny then that she didn’t have the same hairstyle herself then wasn’t it.

They didn’t offer to do anything, even when after explaining I had asked the ladies to do a light body perm, and they had told the trainee which rollers to use (the smallest rollers invented, the sort that would make pencil look on the flabby side).

At the point when I was almost immune to people’s sideways looks of horror at work, in shops, cafes, and on the bus frizz ease was invented, and although it took two hours to apply and blow dry straight, it turned my hair from crunchy poodle, to Lego helmet hair. Which at least gave me another option.

Let me know what you think

TTFN Eden :-)

Sneak peak

Here's a sneak peek of Catarracts Toilet from my second Laughing at Myself, which is (I promise) on it's way...

Being the fabulous daughter in law that I obviously am, what else would I do when mum in law needed to get to a check-up before her cataracts operation but offer to drive her to the hospital? she was having her first check up with a specialist to see whether her cataracts were ‘ripe enough’ to operate on (I think this expression is gross, but it is the real one, so there we go). We arrived with plenty of time to spare before the appointment so that she had time to ‘settle in’, which translates into had time to take her coat off, pop to the toilet and then chat in the waiting room for a bit. The chatting part is very important, although her husband is still around, she tells me that after 46 years you really are in need of some fresh conversation.

If you want to hear the rest of the story I'll be reading it for you very soon :-)

TTFN Eden :-)