Like an Orange

By Wallis Eates

A collaborative graphic novel about brain injury survivors incorporating their words and pictures.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

What's in a Brain?

Hello all

First of all I'd like to say a massive thank you to all my new backers since my last update - welcome! It is so encouraging whenever I see I have a new supporter and it spurs me ever further on. Your generosity is much appreciated. Also, another big thank you to everyone who tweets and retweets. Being human and 50/50 extrovert/introvert I always have a certain amount of anxiety when hitting that 'Tweet' button, but so many of you always make me feel really glad I did. It means a lot, not least because it gets further reach for those BRILLIANT people I met at Headway!

In fact, this week my tweet about Dolores extended very far indeed. For those of you who missed it, Dolores was told by a surgeon that her brain grows tumours like Seville grows oranges (which is partly why 'Like an Orange' is called 'Like an Orange'), and she just went right ahead and became a painter. I could never tell how she felt about this comment, or what the intention was of the surgeon who said it. Is it flippant or beautifully expressive in place of something dry and daunting? 

My guess with Dolores is that she would think the latter. The abundance of fruit has got to be better than cold facts and figures, right? I really enjoyed spending time with her, she was so kind and always so positive about everyone and everything. You only need to look at those pink flowers of hers in the image below to get a sense of her vibrancy. I did the drawing of her in the middle, and she coloured in the top. One of Dolores' stories that I will hone in on for the book was the fact that she grew up being called lots of different names. Identity is a key theme in 'Like an Orange', and one that I look forward to exploring in many ways. Would a Dolores by any other name be as sweet? Definitely!

Before I go, I'd just like to share that today I happened to buy an orange that had gone rotten inside. The irony, synchronicity, weirdness - whatever you want to call it - was not lost on me. It reminded me of the tumours in Dolores' brain, the reality behind the metaphor that she has had to endure, and that her positivity is no mean feat. 

Till next time, why not check out Dolores and the other artists' work here? Over an orange for your vitamin C of course...

All the zest,



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