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Writing Projects

I'm currently seeking representation and traditional publication for the following projects. 

Raising Unicorns, nonfiction (in progress)

I’m in the process of writing a nonfiction book proposal for a book tentatively called Raising Unicorns: Learning, Growing, and Thriving While Raising a Medically-Complex Child. As I write this book, I am asking you, my readers, for help. 

This is the book I wish I had when Maggie first started having seizures, let alone her official diagnosis of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. It’s a survival guide and self-help book. It’s a resource and a roadmap. It’s also a collection of personal accounts from countless other families who have gone through the experiences of raising a loved one with a complex medical condition with a questionable prognosis. It’s a community in a book, the recognition, and realization that what you are going through has been shared by others. It contains hope, connection, and practical next steps about how to handle real challenges. 

What I would like to know, as I work on drafting and proposals, is what you would want included in such a book. What questions can I research on your behalf? What help and support should I include? If you are an educator for special needs families, what advice can you offer? If you are a medical professional, what should families know? My intention is to help families navigate the realities of raising and advocating a medically complex unicorn with compassion, love, and strength.

If you'd like to contribute to this book, please click here (bit.ly/3ECyjXT).

Image by Claudio Schwarz

Magnolia in November, memoir

In November 2018, Maggie Forisha was diagnosed with epilepsy. In November 2019, Maggie's diagnosis deteriorated to a rare and serious seizure condition called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) characterized by a damning prognosis of arrested development and medication-resistant seizures. Written from her mother's voice, an English teacher pursuing Educational Leadership, Magnolia in November is a memoir of a mother striving to give a voice to her nonverbal daughter while also seeking her own.

Although Magnolia in November is a memoir of the personal struggles of a single family, it also strives to give voice to the voiceless. There is a market of women who desperately want to be seen and heard, especially after putting their careers on hold due to the pandemic. There are countless teachers who are gagged by the terms of their employment from raising serious issues that plague education in the public sphere. There are bibliophiles who are alarmed at the recent movements to ban books and suppress free speech. Many communities of silent Christians recoil at Christian Nationalists hijacking the public perception of faith. There are marriages that struggle with gender roles and what it means to be equal partners. There are families struggling daily with the simple realities of parenthood, let alone the complications of navigating the medical and educational services necessary for neurodivergent and medically complex children. Magnolia in November strives to give voice to more than just one child. 

If you'd like to read Chapter 1: Maggie's Diagnosis, click here. (https://www.vanessaforisha.com/post/chapter-1-maggie-s-diagnosis)

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 Hazelnut, children's picture book

Hazelnut is a children's picture book striving to help one sister understand her older sister's medical condition. Written in simplistic language for early readers, this book can be adapted for classroom conversations and parent discussions about the medical conditions of a loved one. 

https://www.vanessaforisha.com/post/hazelnut

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The Book of Maya, poetry collection

Inspired by the works of Walt Whitman, Silvia Plath, and Maya Angelou, The Book of Maya is a 30-poem collection that features an assortment of poetic techniques and explores complex issues such as identify, faith, nature, and love. 

Image by Xuan Nguyen
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