Monday, November 14, 2016

Dyslexia: Discovering, Overcoming, Accomplishing By Erin Lockwood





I grew up a very busy kid. My alarm went off at 4 AM. I was at the ice rink practicing with my pair partner hours before most kids even woke up for school. After four hours of practice, my mom would drive the forty five minute commute it took to get me to school. My academic day began at 10 AM.

Every other month, and sometimes every month, I was taken out of school for a week to compete around the country (and sometimes two weeks when we competed internationally). My hard work paid off for many years when my partner and I placed at national competitions and competed against the best in the world. I didn't have much of a social life outside of ice skating but I had a really big support system.

One time in middle school, my homeroom teacher had the class make a banner welcoming me home after a successful competition. Sometimes my teachers would get more worked up and excited about my accomplishments than I did. You see, I never really dreamt of winning Olympic gold. That was something my mother cared a lot more about than I did. My dreams revolved more around college. I didn't know where I wanted to go. I just knew I was destined for higher education.

I didn't take P.E. like most other kids. In fact, I've never set foot in a school locker room. I never took a foreign language or an elective course in middle school or high school. All of those extra credits were made up through our local community college home courses. So, basically, my mom says "She's an ice skater -- there's your P.E. Foreign language? She's traveling to Germany next month and she'll do a report." I never saw any of those courses, nor did I do any work for them. My mom felt I was doing so much as it was, she basically took care of it for me. What kid would argue with that? I didn't.

As for the few courses I took at my high school, I was behind on the material but nobody seemed to care. My parents, my teachers, they all thought I was so busy working hard with training, they didn't notice that I never read The Scarlet Letter... or any other assigned book. And why would they notice? I was a B student.

But really, academically, I wasn't a B student. I was intuitive and manipulative. That's what earned me B average grades. I would stay an extra five minutes after class and talk to my teachers about upcoming tests. I could get a feel for the questions that might come up and what kind of answer they're expecting. I participated in class discussions even when I didn't know what I was talking about.

Don't get me wrong, I did homework. I at least attempted to read the novels assigned, but nothing seemed to absorb for me. Math was my favorite subject. It felt so much easier than all my other classes.

I finally got the courage to tell my mom and coaches I wanted to quit ice skating when I was a senior in high school. I couldn't wait to be a normal kid before going off to college. I had a rhythm with my teachers already so nothing changed for me when it came to studying and testing. It wasn't until I started my freshman year at the University of Oregon when it really hit me... and hard.

An F! I was failing one of my courses and getting poor grades in the others. The lectures were too big for me to manipulate my way through the material. I couldn't get to know my professors well enough to to gauge what kind of answers they're looking for on a test. It was a rude awakening. I stayed up hours trying to read my textbooks but I couldn't process any of the material. It was beyond frustrating.

I knew I was smarter than that. I knew I was where I was suppose to be but something was wrong. My parents listened to my cries and they helped me get tested for learning disabilities. My result: Extreme Processing Deficit. Otherwise, known as dyslexia. Oh ya, that's what this  is.


Having a learning disability awarded me some perks, or extra help. I got a note taker and extra time for tests. Honestly, I only used a note taker once. I quickly learned it was just as hard to process someone else's rushed handwriting as it was a textbook. But just knowing made a difference. I thought about what I was good at and how those skills can compensate for other areas where I wasn't as strong. I'm extremely organized, I'm very social and I'm very intuitive. I joined study groups and discussion groups and used what I learned from them and put the information on flashcards. I used highlighters and wrote side notes in my textbooks - I didn't care that I couldn't sell them for much after my course was over. I went with my gut. I learned to trust myself when taking tests. I re-read and re-read until I could process the questions but stopped over analyzing.

I ended my freshman year on the Dean's List. I didn't just make my parents proud -- I made myself proud. And best of all, I learned a lot about myself. I developed skills, born from a disability. I was absorbing information in this world a different way, but just as efficiently.

I went on to graduate from the School of Journalism with many semesters of being on the Dean's List under my belt. I was a legitimate A/B student.


It took me several years to find my passion. I spent many years being a housewife and stay-at-home mom, but eventually my passion found me. My tireless mind needed to put pen to paper, or nowadays, fingers to keyboard. I wrote Angles - Part I of the trilogy and I plan to write in three different perspectives (9 books total). It has been an incredible journey to get to where I am today. I wouldn't change a single thing about my personal story.

Please go to www.erinlockwood.com for more about the Angles Trilogy and me, the author.

Angles
Part I
Erin Lockwood

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Date of Publication: November 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-48358-239-9 
ISBN: 978-1-48358-240-5 

Number of pages: 290
Word Count:  71,500

Book Description:

Cara and Sam are destined for each other, we know it the first time we meet them, and everyone else seems to know it as well. But life constantly interrupts and prevents them from taking the next step.

It doesn’t help at all that Cara is in a codependent platonic relationship with Theo. Cara is forever the damsel in distress and Theo is the enabler who thrives on being needed all the time. When Sam enters the scene, it disrupts the equation between the two. Theo and Sam have a chequered history behind them and share a love-hate relationship; hate being the dormant emotion.

But destiny is a funny thing, and by the time fate is done with these characters their lives will never be the same again.

Excerpt from Chapter 2

“By the time I get back to dancing with Dean, I feel something, someone, watching me. The feeling I felt before my speech is stronger now. There’s something consuming my surroundings—an invisible, sweltering blanket over me. As soon as I have the chance, I look around and try to find the source of this feeling—the burning eyes I can’t see, yet, but I sense are focused on me.

I casually scan the room between dips and twirls.

My breath catches. There they are—the eyes I’ve been searching for. A man, a gorgeous man, in a perfectly tailored suit is staring at me. It’s no mistake. Now that I see him, I know his eyes are the source of this feeling I’ve been having.


There are worse people to have stare at you. He might be a little older, but he’s very attractive. He wears his dark brown hair slicked and styled up and back. It looks soft enough to run my fingers through and short enough to create a little edge to it. His blackish gray suit blends in with his olive, tan skin. Every part of him is dark and smoky, except his eyes. His turquoise-blue eyes are so bright; they’re like headlights shining at me. A lighthouse warning me not to come too close or my boat will crash. ”

About the Author: 

Erin Lockwood grew up in Castro Valley, California and attended the University of Oregon, where she graduated in 2003 with a degree in journalism. From there she moved to Denver and spent the next seven years searching for the love of her life and building the family of her dreams.

It wasn’t long until, with children starting preschool and more time on her hands, Erin refocused on her career, beginning with a successful entry into the world of residential real estate as a Realtor. Free time was spent reading book after book (and binge-watching the subsequent films) in the New Adult genre. Feeling hopelessly in love with her husband, she wrote him a short story leading up to their fifth wedding anniversary. That’s when she discovered her tireless passion to share her experience of falling in love through fictional characters. That story evolved into the first novel in the Angles trilogy.

Erin still lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Phil, and their three children.



Twitter: @anglestrilogy



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1 comment:

Erin Lockwood said...

Being an author is one way to really put yourself out there. Sharing my ice skating video takes that to another level. I'm proud but shy. I'd love to know what people think. Thanks for sharing, Roxanne!