About Felicity Keats Morrison

SABC Radio Talks, Adding Value to Literacy Development
Talk for radio – Felicity Keats Morrison -August 2013 and to date.

Why help as I do?
I am a writer myself and a teacher and I love what I do. You might say it is my calling. I love to see people develop their talents and find a way to follow a dream.
I have always had a social conscience and done voluntary service. At the age of 10 until I was 17 I was a girl guide, and later a girl guide captain for 7 years.
Their promise is : I promise on my honor to do my best for God and my country, to help other people at all times and to obey the guide law. This is a serious promise. Being the best we can and doing work at the highest level seems a good choice for a life. During my life as voluntary work, I drove an ambulance once a week, ran an outdoor society, a photographic club and the school magazine when I was a teacher.
So when I found out some of the secrets of successful writing, and discovered right brain creative writing, I was happy to help others. For instance, in my early years as a writer I sometimes had writers block, when I sat staring at a blank piece of paper with no words coming out. This feels terrible. Once I knew how to overcome that, through right brain creative writing, it was great to be able to help others. On my writing courses, I have writers write and read out before they leave so that they felt successful and overcame the fear of the paper.
A love of writing bonds people together, young and old, no matter the language or the race. I had a physical pain, much like childbirth, when I was working at a particular novel with a time slip. Set in the mountains in Fouriesburg it involved a time slip between the san and modern man. I had that pain until the book was eventually published. No other book has created a physical pain but I know it can exist. I also understand when books halt half way through and the writer can’t carry on. Often it is because the left brain has been interfering in the story so the creative side halts. Knowing these tricks of the mind means I can help others in their dreams of writing. I have written three adult novels under a non deplume and many stories for children and books on right brain writing.
Television has captured the story of dancing pencils and we have been on SABC1,2 and 3 and also on etv. It is only through meeting Nhlanhla Nxele and training him to write a novel using his right brain, that Ukhozi and SA FM radio got to hear about me.
My speciality is the ability to shift people from their left critical brains to their right creative brains. I have worked around the country successfully with school children and higher education specialists and teachers. Now comes the time that I have been asked to take my successful right brain methods down to unborn children, toddlers and early childhood development. Hence our new book, written by my once pupil Mariam Akabor, now a successful creative writer and journalist, and myself called Mind for change.
This book is actually about transformation, the shift from left critical brain to the right brain, giving us the use of a whole brain. It is a life skill, can help with problem solving, better use of language. I guess I love it because it introduces me to all kinds of people, of many different cultures. A waitress at a restaurant recently whispered that she knew me. She is from Nongoma and I trained her when doing a journalism project for the MDDA. She still wants to write so Nhlanhla invited her to the once a week blue moon club at the SABC.

It is marvellous to help for instance the teens in this country discover their right brains. The right brain is our ethical side; many find they have been making mistakes and their lives could go in a better direction. I have told those teens that they are the future of the country, the leaders of the future, and that they now have the power of the pen and to see they use it for ethical reasons. They take this seriously and even in doing this we are sowing seeds for a better country.
I do have a niche publishing side and we mostly publish after a large training. We take the handwritten stories home, read them all and select stories with values that could help other children. This way we will improve the country as children read what other children write. As the right brain is the ethical higher side of mankind, the stories they write have some truth about them which is passed on to the reader.
If we can get children reading and writing the standard of education will improve. Currently we are almost at the bottom of the world in literacy and maths and really at the bottom in economic development.
Patents and new inventions lie in the territory of the right brain. By learning to make friends with this big lateral often sleeping partner, we end up by using a whole brain, not just half – the left brain. This will make a big difference in our educational standards as well as in future inventions.
We have a NPO (Dancing Pencils Literacy Development Project) which is mostly sponsored by me personally. DPLDP with audited accounts and a bank account. Set up to give books written by dpwc to disadvantaged schools to encourage reading. There is a need for these books written by children and there is also a need for sponsors when we could do so much more. The website is dancingpencils.co.za/non profit.
To be able to read and to write are the most valuable attributes in anyone’s life. Right brain training is delightful. Children are free to investigate the ideas that flow off the top of their heads without fear of criticism. This grows confidence and self esteem. The right brain is a place where dreams start. So a child can grow a desire to do something for the country that helps him or her in the process. They right brain will show the way. It may be rather bumpy but that is all part of growth. Of development.
I do this because of the excitement of who I am going to meet next. In 2013 we go to Ingwavuma on the Swazi border, a very rural area in Zululand, to train 20 children and 4 adults. Next week it is a high school in UMzinto with a film maker also present. We went to to rural Estcourt, Bergville and Ladysmith, sponsoring workshops for 300 learners and 60 teachers over 3 days. And each week for 3 years I trained maximum security prisoners in Westville prison who have finished 2 books of short stories and one of poetry and then wrote a total of 40 novels. The film maker would like to make a documentary of those interested in sharing their stories, along with me who went weekly into the jail.
Small children can also benefit. We want to start a children’s university in Umkhubane in Chesterville and they will learn right brain creative writing and drawing.
I am a writer – I have been one for 50 years. To be a writer is highly exciting. To be a published writer is even more exciting. Writers artists and poets tell the future to the world. Ethical writers will bring you a better world. Because people follow what writers tell them. It is a great opportunity to help our world to develop ethical writers and using the right side of the brain we are in our higher mind or God mind. Young people telling other young people a better way of living through story writing will inspire them to improve their lives. This is not only good for the writer but good for the reader as well.
In 2012 I as partner to the office of the premier’s priority projects we trained 2000 learners and 400 teachers in 20 different rural areas around KZN. Very exciting and I did tell the new young writers that they had the power of the pen, they were the future leaders of the country and to see they used the pen for ethical reasons. Pen is mightier than the sword!
In 2013, as dancing pencils we have proposed a similar project for 20 township areas around KZN. We sent to proposal to Lotto and obtained a number indicating that they would assist. We also had a lot of radio coverage in 2012 for this project which was exciting for children and their parents and gave good impetus to the project. We are aiming at making writing COOL by giving top story writers a chance to visit the cape town book fair next year under sponsorship. We await sponsorship to begin the project. These schools will also get published books that come from the best writing done by their children at the training’s. This is because the right brain is about heart and feelings and does produce publishable work immediately.
We can be the best country in the world if we turn around our literacy levels. We are almost bottom of the world n literacy, maths and of economic development. Yet we have everything = manufacturing, mining, good climate and wonderful happy people of many different cultures.
By learning a shift to the right brain even these bad results could improve. It is about transformation, each of us transforming to a better side of ourselves and living in that way. Still enjoying life but being conscious of what we think and what we say, and improving on this.
It is better to have children who want to read rather than forcing them to read what doesn’t interest them. We have a niche publishing side, just for our talented writers, and we maintain the voice of the writer. We correct spelling and punctuation but let the writer tell the story in the way he or she wishes. We make writing fun for children by not criticizing the writer who will write about his or her issues. Rural areas the issues are very different. It is peer pressure, poverty, rape, drugs, no parents. But when children see they are taking a wrong route that could ruin their lives they do opt to improve their choices.
In 2012, 57 new clubs from deep rural areas developed under a trained mentor as a result of the partnership with the office of the premier. We did ask them to submit stories from their clubs on a disc but we had phone calls from deep rural areas such as Dumbe where teachers said, we want to belong to DP but we have no facilities. No computers, no internet cafes, so we accepted masses of children’s handwritten stories which my small team typed and edited and typeset so that the clubs got just one copy each, there being no sponsors other than me as a private person.
This was a wonderful initiative with children gaining life skills and this year we have put in place a similar project to train in 20 township areas around KZN, this time reaching a smaller number of teachers and children, but this would still light a fire in each of these areas that could spread to other schools. Many schools need exciting positive motivation and nothing is better than right brain creative writing either for the whole school or for specialist dancing pencils writing clubs set up under a trained mentor.
I have trained some 1500 mentors around the country, but only a few are running writing clubs with publishing as an outcome.
I am proud to say that I am developing an internet teaching site and through it I have trained one mentor in Gauteng in Tswana university who runs a writing club and each year has published a book done by a writer in his club.
I guess my love is to work with creative people – artists writers teachers and poets – as without art this would be a colourless world. Our dancing pencils teaching and writing clubs are my family and are especially dear to me. We can make a much more exciting world as television, videos, newspapers, posters, adverts, all depend upon the creativity of writers and artists. Our right brains are very important not only for ideas but for direction too!

Thank you,
Felicity Keats Morrison
uploaded by Ayanda Hlabisa
Junior Marketing and Communications
felecitykeats@gmail.com
031 464 1556/ 079 256 6725

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