Congratulations to Paradise Valley Community College’s Creative Writing Student Amy London whose micro non-fiction piece “When the Salve Stopped the Bleeding” earned national recognition in The Naisona’s Writing Prompt Tournament #6. The Nasiona is a distinguished, volunteer-led organization with multiple media outlets and publications that celebrate diversity and focuses on telling the stories of those who feel marginalized by others. London’s piece placed in the top six and speaks to the theme “When I Learned I was Different.”
“This is an incredible honor and quite honestly completely unexpected,” London said. “So much of our gifts and talents are like that: we give them as they come through us, often having no idea how or when they will be of service for others.”
London is an award-winning writer and storyteller, who turned to creative writing during her recovery from a traumatic brain injury she suffered in 2015. Living with chronic pain was debilitating in every sense of the word. “There were times during my treatment, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t drive, and I had a hard time talking,” she recalled. But she could write, and did she ever.
For the past several years, London has pursued her writing career with more vigor and attributes writing to saving her life. “In a sense, it’s like coming home,” she explained. “It brought me back home to who I am. For so long, I was living how I thought others perceived me. Now I am beginning to live my true self, which is depicted through my writings.”
London, who has a website featuring many of her articles, essays and blogs, said she finds writing a soothing outlet. She often begins her writings from a quote, a memory, or something someone has said to her or in front of her that resonates. For The Naisona tournament, the prompt was “When I Learned I was Different.” London said she immediately connected it to identifying with her sexuality. London, who has always been a very private person, said she began identifying as a lesbian in the 1990’s, however, only recently began exploring the topic in her writings.
“What surprised me most was not the subject matter, but my willingness to write about it. I have always kept that part of my life very private. But something inside of me said it was time, so I set aside my fears and started writing. I am just the instrument for what comes through and it’s so important not to trap or filter those feelings… This award means my words provide something for others, and I believe that is why we create. We are destined to create - whether it be a meal, a painting, moving around our furniture - when we don’t create we die a little bit inside.”
London is currently working with Ryan Stone at PVCC through an independent study class on a memoir about her experience following her accident.