Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Creativity throughout cancer - Marijuana remedies among former principal's publications

Published:Monday | September 4, 2017 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew
Amina Blackwood Meeks (right) with Ann-Margaret Lim (centre) and Gloria Malcolm-Foster.
Gloria Malcolm-Foster during a Read Across Jamaica session.
The cover of Gloria Malcolm-Foster’s novel ‘Mout Mek Fi Chat: a collection of Jamaican Proverbs, Idiomatic Expressions, Words and their Meanings’.
Gloria Malcolm-Foster (right), two-time winner of the Best Overall Writer in the JCDC Creative Writing Competition, with her husband.
The cover of ‘High Grade: The Jamaican Marijuana Facts Book’, by Gloria Malcolm-Foster.
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The past 10 years have been eventful for writer Gloria Malcolm-Foster, also former principal of the Buff Bay All-Age School, Portland. In 2012, Malcolm-Foster resigned and returned to her husband's hometown in Trelawny, because of abnormal levels of frustration.

"It was a debilitating feeling; I would have constant headaches or feel dizzy, as well as I developed low blood pressure," said Malcolm-Foster. Being a principal required a lot of time and energy.

That same year, she discovered a lump while conducting her own physical checks. Nonetheless, when Malcolm-Foster visited the doctor, no lumps or even an indication of cancer were confirmed.

In 2013, Malcolm-Foster emerged Best Overall Writer in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's annual

competition, receiving gold and silver medals for her poems, Sometimes and Jack and Jill, respectively.

"Writing is something I am passionate about and make it my duty to enter the competition most years, including the work of my children," said Malcolm-Foster.

"I would spend nights writing, which probably took a toll on my health."

Although Malcolm-Foster could not manage her other responsibilities, she continued to write and encouraged her family to exercise their creative writing skills. In 2013, at 13 years old, her youngest son, Chadwick Foster, was was the contest's fifth most noteworthy writer.

Malcolm-Foster has acquired a new life outlook and does not allow the illness to block her from writing. She has written many short stories, poems and books during her illness such as The True, True Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Mout Mek Fi Chat: A Collection of Jamaican Proverbs, Idiomatic Expressions, Words and their Meanings. She has even published a book about remedies and recipes using marijuana called High Grade.

"I don't feel persons are doing enough to raise awareness on the disease, and there is a sort of fear associated with the topic, from the fears of the patient to the people around them. But I am trying to cope and my family has been supportive," said Malcolm-Foster.

The JCDC's Creative Writing Competition hosted its award ceremony recently, but she was unable to make it to the ceremony to collect the awards for Best Intermediate Poet and Best Overall Writer for the second time around. In spite of feeling ill, the main reason for her absence was transportation.

Malcolm-Foster is currently seeking a reliable avenue to publish and sell her books.