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Ten Mile native authors poetry collection

Thursday 7 July 2011

From US newspaper The Lincoln Journal Inc.:


Laura Clay Newlon
Laura Clay Newlon

Ten Mile native authors poetry collection

Managing Editor

HUNTINGTON - Laura Clay Newlon, a native of Ten Mile in Lincoln County, has just completed a collection of poetry that has been in the works for a number of years.

Speaking to The Lincoln Journal last week, Newlon said that she had been working on the book, Words On Paper, since 1995. This is her first publication.

“I have loved writing since I was a child. I mostly wrote short stories. But, I always enjoyed reading poetry, especially in grade school. I didn’t start writing poetry until 1995.

Guyan Valley High School student Newlon left Lincoln County in 2000 and now lives in Cabell County. She later attended Ashland Business College. She is the daughter of Manuel and Gusty Clay and the sister of Edward, Jessie, Harold, Bobby, Joyce, Vickie, Dwane and Timmy. Newlon has two sons, James and Joshua Webb.

Newlon described what had motivated her to assemble the collection of poems. “I was bedridden, with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for a number of years. About a year into having the condition, words to these poems seems to just come to me in a rush. I could not wait to grab my pen and put the words on paper. That’s what gave me the title of my book, Words on Paper. It was a gift from God to me, to share with others,” explained Newlon last week.

The writing has been a source of great joy to Newlon. “Even when it’s a sad subject, it’s a joy for me to capture what is in my heat. To get that into words, looking back at me from the page, is a great accomplishment to me, as well as being a precious gift.”

The collection of poems spans the eleven years from 1995 to 2006. However, Newlon says that in 1996, God revealed to her that the collection would become a book someday, but in His time. She added that she has a number of other poems that are not included in the collection. She has no definite plans to write another book, but has ideas the might one day lead to a second publication.

Describing her debilitating medical condition, Newlon said that CFS is an immune disease similar to multiple sclerosis or lupus. “It affects the whole body. I had a severe case, with CFS seizures. Other symptoms include heart palpitations, brain fog and weakness in the muscles. It can get to the point at times that you can’t walk.” Newlon also described other ways in which CFS sufferers are affected by the disease. “Sufferers can develop swollen lymp nodes in neck and under the arms. Also, nights sweats, chilling in the day time and severe balance problems dizziness and tinnitus can affect sufferers. Some become  sensitive to light, sound and smell and to most medications. Add to all that the nausea, low blood pressure, fainting, extreme fatigue and you get an idea of how debilitating the disease can be,” said Newlon.

The first years are usually the worst, Newlon said last week. “During my first year, I could not watch television or even read a book; my brain could not absorb what I was watching or reading. It was very frustrating to me,” said Newlon. She described herself as one of the pioneers of this disease, given that in the early 1990s, most doctors did not believe it existed because it was new to them and had not been taught in medical school.  “They have since come to the realization that, not only does it exist, but that it can be a severely disabling condition. Thankfully, I am no longer bed ridden or housebound. But I still struggle with CFS every day. It’s a battle, with some days better than others. You learn to live with it and still find joy and peace,” concluded Newlon.

The book is currently available at and will shortly be on sale in book stores. Newlon plans to do a book signing later this summer at a local Christian book store.


The above originally appeared here.



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