Wednesday, June 27, 2012

From Dyslexic Artist to Published Author - Guest Post & Giveaway

Paula Rose Michelson facilitates a monthly Writers Workshop and is the author of Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, a 6-book saga. She's also a wife, mom, grandmother, and founder of LAMB Ministries, which helps women recover from trauma and abuse.

Paula has offered to do a giveaway. Check out the details after the post.

Below Paula shares her struggles with Dyslexia. Please welcome her, and draw inspiration from her story.

"Paula, please come forward."

Aware that I had not written the expected autobiography that constituted one-third of my semester's grade, I cringed. At fourteen, I knew I had nothing noteworthy to write about. Now, my seventh grade teacher would hand me a failing grade. If only I'd handed in the paper mom corrected.  What a fool for throwing a semester's work away and starting over, especially since I never understood the difference between words like to, too, or two.

I stood and began the longest journey of self discovery I’ve ever taken. While I told myself how brave I'd been to write about what mattered to me instead of the mundane: I was born on, I live at, drivel in an autobiography, my confidence fled before I could look up and face the teacher.

Whether it was my self talk, my profound belief that I'd been true to myself, or the fact that a merciful God had taken pity upon me, I did not know. What I did know was the teacher smiled at me. I stood there staring at her, unable to speak. The bell rang, she dismissed the class, and asked me to stay.

Miss White handed my essay back to me. “Never have I given a student an A+++ for content and an F- - - for mechanics.”

This single sentence set the rudder of my life in a new direction. Looking back, I realize a paradigm shift occurred. Before I looked upon myself as not quite good enough. Years later, I learned the issue plaguing me was called, "Dyslexia," a learning disability that affects the ability to read.  Thanks to Miss White and God, it didn’t matter because I knew I had abilities and could use them.

Giveaway Details:

1) You must be a Follower of Christian Writer/Reader Connection.
2) The giveaway is open to residents of the United States.
3) To enter, comment on this post and leave your email address. 
4) Deadline: Saturday, June 30, 2012, at midnight. The winner will be announced on Sunday, July 1st, and notified by email. 
5) Paula will send the book out as soon as she receives your snail mail address.

Writers: What kind of obstacles have you overcome to make it this far in your writing journey?

Readers: Do you like reading about author's lives and struggles? Why?


DenaNetherton said...

My writing journey started late because my parents held impossibly high standards for anything we composed. Their critiques of my writing hurt so much that I turned my attention to my music. But by my forties I'd accumulated so many stories in my head they just had to come tumbling out. It's lovely to see my characters take shape in print version. Please enter me in the drawing. Dena's email is

Dorothy said...

I love hearing about writers who struggle with literacy issues and end up published. I think I've heard people with dyslexia are more driven than most people. Many famous creative types and entrepreneurs have forged ahead against great odds to succeed. Congratulations to Paula on her wonderful journey.
Dotti :)

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Thank you Susan, for highlighting this. Yes, I think we can learn from each other's struggles. It inspires, it is uplifting, it proves that ALL things are possible with God!

Jessica Nelson said...

I love when teachers step in and change the course of a student's life. Thank you for sharing!

Loree Huebner said...

Hi Susan! Hi Paula!

I have always had a bit of Dyslexia. I struggled with certain letters when I was a child. I'm also right-handed, but do things as if I'm left-handed. I grew up back in the day when some parents and teachers "made" you be right-handed. I probably should have been left-handed.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Dena - I'm glad you were able to find an outlet for your writing.

Hi Dotti - Many are actually brilliant, but the disability hinders them from reaching their full potential.

Hi Marja - I'm so impressed with Paula's courage and tenacity.

Hi Jessica - This teacher probably has no idea what an effect her words had on Paula. I tried to contact a former teacher one time only to discover she'd passed away.

Hi Loree - I also struggled with a mild form of dyslexia during elementary school. With prayer and a dedicated teacher, I was able to overcome it.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Susan, thanks for the intro to Paula! And Paula, thanks for sharing a bit of your journey and encouraging us!

I would love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks so much.


Paula Rose Michelson said...


I'm glad that you overcame issues that many don't!

Yours in Messiah,
Paula Rose Michelson

Paula Rose Michelson said...


The Lord has blessed me with many godly role models who affirm my writers journey and me. I'm privileged to count you amongst them.

In Him,

Paula Rose Michelson said...


Inspiration is within and around us! Writing Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing was a faith journey I would have never selected, yet the blessings so out weighted my issues that I looked forward to the process. Now my joy is complete, for I get to praise God for all He did!

Paula Rose Michelson said...


I must admit that I hadn't thought about, or spoken to anyone about my issues until recently. As far as I know this issue was a shameful secret.

However, when I finally did share, I discovered that everyone has to overcome something.

For us believers this can be a joyful experience that shows others what having a personal relationship with Messiah is all about.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Paula,

Thanks for your wonderful post! I'm so glad we met. (Thanks, Dotti for introducing us.)


Paula Rose Michelson said...


It sounds like your experience was similar to mine. Given my age, it may have been that there was no diagnose for dyslexia, or it might be that not knowing what to do, I was never told that I had a problem.

While driving and greeting lost my friend, who was with me mentioned her dyslexia. A few weeks later, I received my editors spiced change sheet and noticed that she had asked the woman purifying the text into its final book form mentioned my dyslexia.

At the time it was a blessing to discover that this issue that I could never understand had a name. Now I pray that I will be invited to speak about overcoming issues so we can glorify God.

Paula Rose Michelson said...


Thank you for suggesting that I use this opportunity to show outlets that when we offer ourselves to God's service, He can take us to the very place e never wanted to go so that others can see Him.

After my last post, which I texted, I noticed some typos due to texting.

Paula Rose Michelson said...

As soon aa my last reply posted, I noticed more texting issues, and need to mention that since my computer is being worked on, texting is the only way I can post right now.

Dyslexic, or not, seeing poorly edited text makes reading what was written difficult, that's why I'm glad to have a great editor!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Paula,

I don't text at all, but I can understand the difficulties. Some of those phones have such small buttons and are difficult to see.

Susan :)

karenk said...

an excellent posting...thanks for the chance to read this story :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen K -

Thanks for entering the giveaway!

Susan :)

P.S. I have a 2-part interview coming up with Paula. Both will feature a giveaway.

Anonymous said...

MY name is Kristin I was diazoa with dyslexic in the third grade. I am now 46 and have two dyslexic daughters. I love to write but I can get so frustrated when the words I want to use I can because I can't spell them and I have to use the ones I can. Thanks for doing this.'

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristin -

Thank you for sharing your struggles with dyslexia.

Spelling is sometimes a challenge for those who don't have this problem. While spell check is helpful, it isn't perfect.

Example: If you use the word, "choose," but it should be, "chose," spell check won't pick up the error because it's an actual word.

I suggest you write from your heart, use a quality dictionary and Synonym Finder (words that mean the same thing), and then have someone go over it.

Thanks for commenting and entering the giveaway. I'll be doing a 2-part interview with Paula next week. She's doing a giveaway with each post.

Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. how much we all need to read this .. and those words from Paula and her teacher ..

Praise our abilities and help us through our challenges (if we're prepared to help ourselves.

Excellent read - thanks Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I'm privileged to know Paula through the Internet. Her story inspired me, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Susan :)

Paula Rose Michelson said...

Dear Susan,

As a newly published without I was concerned that sharing my dyslexia might cause dime readers to choose a different book. When I asked Messiah what I should do the answer clarified for me that my issue was not the problem it was my shameful feeling I'd be found wanting.

I'm glad that I agreed to write what you requested for I have gained more than I gave to those who visited your blog. For in their sharing I have finally realized that if we allure the world to judge us we will never be hole or believe that who we are is enough. Yet the opposite is true for while w were yet sinners Messiah died for us!

Paula Rose Michelson said...

Please forgive me for not responding promptly, and thank you for your interest on my story and Casa de Naomi. I've been blessed to discover that while writing, editing, and seeing the book published God directed every aspect of this journey just as He directs your lives.