After canoeing 230 miles down the Yukon River, the author woke up speechless. A stroke had taken her words. In a phonetic approach to speech recovery, her impaired brain developed methods that enabled her to speak, read and write again. Her story tells of strategies that can help others and takes the reader into her aphasic mind providing fascinating insights into the workings of a damaged brain driven to regain normalcy.
The prospect of writing a first book is a daunting proposition for anyone. But for the author, without a fully functioning brain language center, it was a formidable challenge. The prospect of sitting inside at a desk spending hours writing a book had been the furthest thing from her mind. She'd rather have spent the time being active outdoors.
From the author, "It is a paradox, telling this story. How can one really express the experience of wordlessness when one cannot speak or write? When one's mind has an empty place void of words? To best portray it, this story should be told silently, on empty pages . . . wordlessly."
The author was raised in Boy Scout Camp Bradford, a 1200 acre woods near Martinsville, Indiana with her two sisters. She graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Recreation and Outdoor Education. She held various positions in youth camps and the Minnesota Outward Bound School. She has been an outdoor education teacher, a taxidermist's helper, a Girl Scout of America district executive, a cross-country ski and canoe instructor and a merchant. She and her husband, with their two sons, operated their family owned specialty sporting goods store, Base Camp, in Bellingham, Washington for 31 years until their retirement.