Everyone has a special talent or skill in life; it's up to that individual how they choose to use that skill.
Those who are skilled in the art of communicating a valuable message through literature are among my favorites. Particularly, those who are able to take a powerful message and make it even more powerful with the stories they tell and their choice of words.
That brings us to a young lady that I would like to introduce you to. Meet Delali Norvor.
Delali is 18-years-old and just recently became a published poet.
The National Eyes of an Urban Pariah is about a girl under the alias of "Urban Pariah" and her reflective look into the current events that she witnessed in her American backyard.
Baptized in GXLD is about a nameless teenager who is the son of a preacher dad and a First Lady mom. He goes through a phase where he finds out that Christians are not perfect and that we are all really natural born sinners.
Baptized in GXLD is now a short film that will be premiering this year online.
Delali's third book of poetry is called Mother Nature, My Kinship & the Dolphins, will be released this year in addition her first novel; The Nostalgic Nostalgia of Natalia.
I recently had the good fortune of talking to this extraordinary young lady about her passions, motivations, and despite her battle against Cerebral Palsy, how she has emerged as a brilliant woman who gets by with her intellect, savvy and grace.
How did you find the inspiration and most of all the discipline to do three books in short succession?
Well, I wasn't really inspired to write books. It all started during my junior year when my teacher signed me up for a writing contest for which I won second place. At the same time, I was in the process of applying to colleges and I noticed my extracurricular activities weren't that impressive, so I decided to publish my writings so I can add "published author" to my college resume and since then, the publishing world lured me in, and that is how I managed to write three books in short succession. I wasn't really disciplined, but maybe I was motivated.
What was your motivation?
My motivation was to write eye-opening stories that speak of reality and what society is going through today. I wanted to have a platform where I could put what I witness every day into words, sentences and paragraphs, which became stories.
What do you want hope readers will gather from these stories?
I hope my readers will pick up the messages of reality and imperfection. We are living in such a world of manufactured perfection that we are being deluded to think that one is superior than the other and one is inferior than the other. I want to remind my readers to be less judgmental and more understanding of diversity in this world we exist in. It's more like societal diversity. No, social diversity (chuckles). I always say "societal diversity" because it sounds nicer than "social diversity" but to be politically correct, it is "social diversity."
You are so intelligent, it's absolutely astounding.
Thank you so much (chuckles).
How do your parents, family and all your friends feel about your accomplishments? They must be insanely proud of you.
They are and I couldn't be more overjoyed. They have seen me grow up before their eyes and witnessed the struggles I overcame with growing up with Cerebral Palsy. They always taught me that my disability does not limit who I am and what I can accomplish. They preached that message to me all the time, and now I'm a living testimony of their message.
What can you tell us about your latest book and it's more than relevant message about texting while driving?
Oh yes, sure! The Nostalgic Nostalgia of Natalia is about a girl named Natalia who got into a coma after a text and drive accident; throughout her time in a coma, she is narrating her interesting but sadistic life she has lived. What makes it interesting is that I have woven the social issues of America into her own personal problems she is facing. One of the social issues in this book is obviously texting while driving among our teenage beings. I heightened the issue by allowing you to fall in love with Natalia -- that you have a deep connection with her, and it allows you to have emotions as you read.
That sounds so deep and moving. You must be a heavy thinker.
Thank you and yes, I have to admit, I am. I think I'm just socially aware or socially conscious, if you will.
Social consciousness is such a rare thing these days at any age, let alone your age. How old were you when you started writing?
I know right. I have been told that countless of times and I just tell them that I'm a 36-year old woman trapped in an 18-year-old body. I think I started writing when I was in second grade, but I never really took it seriously or looked at it as a "talent."
Would you say that writing is your passion? Are there other things that you want to do with your life?
I wouldn't really call it a "passion." I think it's just me contributing to society by poetically alerting them on what is going on with us and our existence through the stories I write. Yes, I'm looking forward to introducing polaroidF, a startup, to the world. polaroidF is your personal GPS whenever you are in a shopping mall and can't find what you're looking for. I'm hoping we can release it later this year and debut it. I also want to go to law school and become a lawyer. I have always wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was in second grade so I'm looking forward to accomplishing that and also turning a lot of my ideas into entrepreneurial ventures.
Tell me about your battle with Cerebral Palsy and how you overcame it.
I overcame it with confidence, ambition and just reminding myself I'm just as worthy as everybody. I always reminded myself of the positive traits I possess and I lived with the motto that "not everything lasts forever; you may be down and only see darkness right now, but you will be uplifted and see the light someday."
Was there ever any difficulty in school with other children?
Because I was smart and possessed the intelligence that is required for every human being, I was put in mainstream classes and I was the only disabled student in every class I had. So, I had a more than challenging time fitting in. My classmates didn't understand how I could be "different" from them and still be able to do well in academics or even do better than them. They just couldn't function to understand it and I think it got worse when I skipped 6th grade and went straight to 7th grade in middle school.
Was there ever antagonization as a result?
Yes, but you can call it "subliminal antagonization."
So, it was never the blatant stereotypical antagonization?
It wasn't blatantly physical, but it was emotional antagonization like emotional abuse, you know. They stopped talking to me; I was ignored when I approached them and they weren't really friendly with me.
How did you overcome such hurtful treatment?
Wow, it was so hard to overcome that, but my mom always told me to take it one day at a time and it wasn't going to be my situation forever. I used to get annoyed when she said that, but it taught me perseverance.
Be sure to watch the first trailer for the short film based off of Delali's book, Baptized in GXLD right here.
Picture and Video Courtesy of Delali Norvor