The local author and recording artist suffers from extreme arthritis, which often leaves her completely immobile. Some days, she can dress herself effortlessly. Other days, it's a challenge.
Then there are days when she can't even do it without help.
Eleven years ago, her health relapsed “in a major way.” During that time, O'Neil would occupy herself with puzzles and word games in bed.
That's when she decided she wanted to make something to help others in similar situations, and the idea of Healing Circle Puzzles surfaced.
Another hospitalization earlier this year pushed the publication date back again, but on Dec. 11, O'Neil was finally able to see her production come to fruition.
“I can't believe I'm holding it,” she said at the book's Dec. 11 launch at Fielding Memorial Park. “I'm just so thrilled.”
Now that the book is published, O'Neil wants others to benefit from it.
“I want to share it on as large a scale as possible,” she said. “People who are housebound may be able to do these puzzles and find relief of some sort.”
All of the puzzles in the book, as well as the illustrations, are centred around wellness and recovery. The word searches are filled with positive and uplifting expressions, and the art on the pages is based on wellness.
Copies of Healing Circle Puzzles are now available from www.passionatepuzzler.com. This month, $2 from every sale will be given to the Canadian Red Cross and $2 will be given to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
For more information about O'Neil and her other projects, visit www.icilehands.com and www.cindyoneil.com.