Addeah Palmer realises her dream
Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
The power of words is outstanding, and being a writer is dedicating one's own life to those words. Bound together, words form sentences, abstract metaphors, poems, articles and collected works, beautiful ones; and sometimes, words can change the world.
Being a writer is not knowing when your words will be heard or read. It is not being sure whether you can turn that fantasy into a career. However, for Addeah Palmer, her dream is finally a reality with the official publication of her book aptly titled Macca Tree Manns.
Her journey is far from flamboyant, growing up in Pipers Corner, Westmoreland. However, her strong upbringing courtesy of her grandmother, Nellie Evans, paved the way for Palmer's passion and drive to be successful as an individual and also as a writer.
"I had to go to school even when the bus was on strike. In my grandmother's mind, I had to be at school. She also taught me to put God first and study hard because education is the key to success," Palmer said.
Palmer, who is quiet and reserved by nature, attended the Unity Primary School in Westmoreland, and passed the then Common Entrance Examinations for Frome Technical High School. She had few friends at the time, but recalled that at lunch time, she and her best friend, would sit under a big tree in the schoolyard and have conversations about any and everything.
Way of passing time
Her grade nine teacher, Pauline Reid, opened her eyes to the wonders of writing and since then she was smitten. Reid taught English language and English literature and motivated Palmer. "I realised writing was something I really enjoyed. Being so introverted, writing was my way of passing time, and it soon became my voice," Palmer said.
"I received very good grades and I even wrote outside of class. I could fill an entire exercise book with words and when I did, I gave them away. I gave one to a friend who is now deceased and it was his favourite thing. Recently, my aunt showed me one I had given to her. Their interest further helped to motivate me and it became more than just passing time," Palmer said.
Also a graduate of The Manning's School, where she completed studies in the arts; European history, literature and history, Palmer went on to obtain an upper second-class upper division honours bachelor's degree in history with a minor in human resource management.
"While growing up, I had many ambitions. I wanted to become a singer because of the luxurious kind of life I associated with it. I wanted to work in a bank and I even wanted to become a model. But one thing has stayed true from that time - writing," Palmer said.
The Macca Tree Manns is mixed with intrigue and written from a contemporary Jamaican experience. Palmer said the book was written with students in mind, however, she is not limiting her readers to that niche market.
'The language is patois, which many persons would understand readily. It is also entertaining, but not too far from the truth. The setting is also natural as it was done in my home parish of Westmoreland," Palmer said.
Macca Tree Manns is the first of many titles for Palmer, and she is in the process of penning yet another intriguing volume. "I see myself publishing a few more books. Ultimately, what I want to get more involved in is film, and I have already written a script. I also write poems, some of which have already been published," Palmer said.
Palmer is also motivated by the accomplishments of Jamaica's athletes on the international scene and hopes one day to add to the growth of brand Jamaica. "In the same way Usain Bolt and many other Jamaicans have used their natural abilities to bring attention to brand Jamaica, one day I hope to use my talent to bring my country recognition in a very positive way. They are all motivators, and when that time comes, it will indeed be an honour for me," she said.
Palmer is currently a senior credit officer at the Police Co-operative Credit Union, a position she has held for eight years. Macca Tree Manns is being published by Expedite Printers and will also be available online.