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Just determined to get on living her life to the fullest

by
October 04, 2017

HI-TECH WORDS: Using Siri as a ghost writer, 23-year-old Bella Claire has overcome a raft of challenges to produce her first novel. Photo: Luke Hemer

BELLA Claire knows the power of technology.

The 23-year-old also knows the weight of a disability.

But as she sits across from me perfectly articulating what she wants to achieve and how she got there you wouldn’t know.

Although she never thought of herself as determined, once I placed the word into her mouth, she couldn’t stop saying it.

Giggling every time she then described herself as just that.

And the Rochester woman, now preferring to go by her pen name, is about to publish her first novel, Blood Bond.

Bella is diagnosed with ADHD, schizophrenia, dysgraphia, aspergers, depression and anxiety — or the show bag as her mum likes to say.

She finds it hard to retain information, write coherently and read full sentences.

But this hasn’t stopped her reaching her goals.

And this is largely thanks to a relationship with Siri.

Yes, the Apple voice recognition technology.

‘‘Siri has allowed me to write my novel,’’ Bella said.

‘‘I speak into the technology and it converts it to text for me.

‘‘I have always told stories and have a creative mind it is just hard sometimes to put that into words.

‘‘I am just lucky I have grown up in a time of technology. I started out with a recorder and now I can just say what I want into my phone and technology does the rest.’’

Starting off with illustrations, which resulted in a published book when she was just 16, the transition to words wasn’t easy.

In fact, it took seven years.

‘‘If it wasn’t for technology and my editor Jacqui I don’t think I would have ever gotten the novel out,’’ Bella said.

‘‘It took a long time.

‘‘But I never gave up. I was never allowed to let my disabilities hold me back.’’

Bella remembers at one point in her life feeling anchored.

‘‘I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere when my friends and sisters were,’’ she said.

‘‘They were all going off to uni or getting jobs and I wasn’t.

‘‘But my dad said a quote once and it really stuck with me — you have to be brave to move forward.

‘‘And this is something I ran with.’’

Brave is now forever inked into her left wrist.

Along with keep going on her collarbone.

‘‘I have a lot more self-confidence now and by publishing this book I hope to really break down the barriers society holds for people with disabilities,’’ Bella said.

‘‘If I can do it, why can’t everyone else.

‘‘It doesn’t have to be writing a novel, it could be anything they ever dreamed of — there is always a way to achieve it.’’

Bella is a confident young woman who wants to see a world where being different isn’t different.

‘‘Having a disability or illness doesn’t make you different,’’ she said.

‘‘You can do everything everyone else can do.

‘‘And that is why I really want to push myself when I launch my book.’’

She wants to read a page of her book aloud at her book launch.

‘‘It is something that I am really going to struggle with but I have been practising and I know I can do it. I am really determined.

‘‘And there is also something very special happening at the launch.

‘‘I am dedicating my novel to my sister Rebecca.’’

Bella said without her sister’s support she wouldn’t have gotten to where she is.

The book will be launched at the Murray River Tea Rooms Moama on Saturday from 1pm.

Finger food and drinks will be provided.

RSVP by text to 0402 544 381.

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