The career of cerebral palsy patient Wong Yun-yuk, 42, has followed the difficult path familiar to most writers, enduring many rejections from publishers before finally getting a deal. But Wong has needed an extra dose of courage to keep her goal of being a writer alive: her condition affects muscle control, and she has to endure great pain to write. Although Wong can think and comprehend like other people, a severe oxygen shortage during her birth left her needing assistance with everyday chores. Our interview required a translator's help because her speech is difficult for the untrained ear to understand. Her book, a volume of poems, is due for publication next month. 'I write to prove that I am not useless,' she says, at the Spastics Association of Hong Kong's Chai Wan workshop. 'I was happy enough to be able to work at the centre. But now my book is going to be published. I am very happy about what I have achieved.' The first step on her road to becoming a writer came when she was a Form Three student. Encouraged by a Chinese teacher, Wong began to write articles for newspapers and magazines. 'I wrote short articles about love and social phenomena for the Readers' Digest, Breakthrough magazine and many newspapers. But I have been rejected so many times. Only one article was published. It was in 1981 in Ming Pao.' Her friends sometimes suggested she publish a book, but she did not take the idea seriously until two years ago, when workers at the association helped her to find a publisher. Wong likes to write poems about life and love. Her favourite writer is Taiwan's Chyong Yao, renowned for romantic stories. Wong says her ideas come from that writer's books, her friends' experiences and her imagination - no doubt inspired in part by her idol, Jerry Yen Chen-shu, of Taiwanese boys' band F4. 'I like Yen Chen-shu and his movies because he is very handsome,' she says shyly, showing off a watch bearing her idol's icon. Although excited about the publication of her book, she says: 'I wish my mother could be here with me.' Her voice becomes shaky and her eyes fill with tears. 'I was a wayward child and always did what my mother advised against. I didn't know how much she loved me until she got very sick.' Her mother died last July. But with the association's support, Wong still maintains a positive outlook towards her life. 'I hope my poems can inspire people. After they read them, I want them to be more positive about life.' For details about Wong's book, contact the Spastics Association of Hong Kong at 2558 3212.