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1. spread awareness about the realities of brain injuries through creative work.
2. provide a forum for those who have experienced brain injuries to express their own realities.
3. showcase brilliant writing.
This is a continuation of the Flooded Blog Tour A Creative Anthology of Brain Injuries. The Kickstarter campaign has begun! Show your support!!!
As a special treat to readers of this blog, I present to you our second guest of the day. I know, I spoil you!
Victoria Griffin is the creator of ‘Flooded: A Creative Anthology of Brain Injuries‘ and she’s here today to talk to us about this brilliant project and why everyone should donate to this brilliant Kickstarter campaign.
Thanks to Victoria to taking the time to chat to us today.
Welcome to the blog, Victoria, what is ‘Flooded‘?
‘Flooded‘ will be a creative anthology of fiction and creative nonfiction devoted to brain injuries. It will be approximately 80,000 words and will include work of all styles and genres. The anthology is not merely meant to showcase memoirs or personal stories—though they will undoubtedly play a role. Brain injuries take many forms and are often difficult to describe. That’s why the…
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Former Softball Player Creates Creative Anthology Devoted to Brain Injuries Knoxville, Tennessee – October 6, 2016 – In January of this year, author and Campbell University softball player Victoria Griffin sustained a severe concussion that would last four months. The injury stripped her of basic abilities–reading, walking, speaking—and took her final season of college softball. Now, she is using the experience to fuel the creation of Flooded, a literary anthology of fiction and creative nonfiction devoted to concussions and brain injuries. In order to fund the project, she is launching a Kickstarter campaign October 11, 2016. The bulk of funding will go toward contributor payments, editing, and design. She hopes the anthology will provide an outlet for victims of brain injuries to express the emotional realities so often glazed over in favor of statistics and facts. She also sees the anthology as a tool to educate those who have not experienced brain injuries–and those who will in the future. Supporters can become involved with the project as ambassadors, sharing updates about Flooded with their social media networks. Find out more about Flooded at victoriagriffin.net/flooded
*Where did you grow up?
I grew up in East Tennessee, near the base of the Smoky Mountains, in a little town called Claxton. It has one red light and no post office, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Nice. I haven’t trekked to much around the Smoky Mountains, but I’ve driven through it *many* times.
*How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I’ve got a folder of stories from the first grade that make me wonder how many horror flicks my dad let me watch as a kid. My first publication came during my junior year of high school. I’d say that was when I truly decided writing was going to be my life.
That’s great, Tori. You’re going to have to share some of those stories with us!
*What do you love most about it?
Writing has a way of giving you control, while completely stripping it away. As a writer, I decide characters’ fates, and yet it often feels like transcribing a story that has already happened. I love creating in a way that feels like discovery.
I love your take on this. There is something about creating these fates and destinies that’s so satisfying.
*Can you tell us a little about the brain anthology?
Flooded was inspired by my own experience with TBI and my subsequent realization that concussion and brain injury awareness are seriously lacking. The anthology will consist of fiction and creative nonfiction about brain injuries, with the purpose of spreading awareness about the reality of brain injuries’ impacts on people’s lives.
This project is very special and I’m glad you decided to participate in it!
*Explain your goals for the Kickstarter campaign and how we can participate.
While this anthology is devoted to concussion awareness, it is also a literary undertaking. I will seek out the best work by talented authors, and I believe they should be paid appropriately. The main goal for the Kickstarter is to make sure that happens. The funds will also cover editing, layout, cover art, etc. to produce a high-quality anthology. Of course, you can participate in the campaign by pledging to the project (and getting some sweet rewards), but you can also participate by spreading the word. Sharing the Flooded story with your friends, family, and social media networks is greatly appreciated.
This is exciting! Can’t wait until the final product comes about. But the great thing is we can participate in the process!!
*How do you view writing after experiencing a major concussion?
Of course, the experience impacts my work—as all experiences do. But the greatest change since the injury is how grateful I am to be able to write. During those four months, I was physically unable to write. Language was painful. I couldn’t understand words being spoken to me, let alone create them myself. Now, to be able to tell stories and follow my passion means so much more than it did before.
Wow. I’m just glad you’re ok. But I’m even happier that you emerged with more passion for writing!
*Has it changed how you write?
I have become much more interested in representing myself and my culture in my work—as a brain-injury survivor, a woman, and a southern Appalachian. The concussion helped me to realize how powerful writing and storytelling is. Losing the ability to write or read for four months made that abundantly clear. I suppose I feel more responsibility, now, to use my writing in an impactful way.
This is powerful. Love it.
*How has it affected your outlook on life?
I’m not sure I can express how much the injury changed my outlook. I lost absolutely everything that makes me who I am—down to my emotions. My family told me after the fact that my eyes were dull and dead-looking. I have been symptom-free for four months, now, and still just stepping into the sunshine gives me more happiness than I can describe. Reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music. I am grateful to be able to do these things. My perspective has shifted. To be alive, breathing, and not in pain is a miracle to me.
The other massive change in my outlook is a result of the people in my life who took care of me during that time. We’ve all had someone care for us while we’re sick. This was nothing like that. These people dropped their entire lives to make sure I stayed breathing—literally. A friend stayed with me when I was afraid I would stop breathing during the night. Coming to help me while I was stuck on the stairs. Shielding me from the lights and sounds that shut down my system. Pulling me out of buildings when I couldn’t move. The list goes on. At the same time, I saw the absolute worst in people. Those who actually tried to hurt me while I was helpless to defend myself. So I learned, and I will remember, to hold tightly to true friends and loved ones and to let the others go. The only people I need in my life are the ones who love me enough to hold me up when I’m falling, and I will never stop telling them how much I love and appreciate them.
This is very moving, especially hearing how they cared for you in your lowest times. Love motivates a true friend to hold you up when you fall. Very sweet indeed.
* Post-concussion, what are you most grateful for?
The people who were and continue to be there for me.
Hey, you can’t beat that.
*Can you name up to 5 things that helped you through this difficult time?
I’ll name a few things that helped me post-concussion, after the symptoms subsided. Because to be completely honest, there is nothing in the world that could have helped during the injury.
1. My friends and family
2. Reading and writing
3. Having a clear picture of where I wanted to be in the next year, of the person I wanted to get back to being
Excellent. I’m glad you pulled through, and hats off to all those who lent a helping hand.
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