My life is like many women spinning plates in the air simultaneously.
Unlike many, I enjoy it. I think my talent, personalities and chutzpah are the reasons that I succeed. I would like to encourage others to tap into their talents and courage to do things that they did not think they could do. Balancing priorities, looking at opportunities and taking chances is what I like to write about in my books and on my blog.
I’ve been a storyteller forever. One of my earliest stories was telling girl friends about a curse on my family involving a swan. I was so convincing that my little sister believed it. On my blog I generally tell true stories. In my fiction there’s an element of truth as well as my creativity.
One of my talents is to accomplish things in areas that I know little about, probably because I ask good questions. (Or as my mother would say too many questions.) For sixteen years I worked for a division of McGraw Hill subsidiary that provided financial data. I didn’t know a balance sheet from an income statement when I started and yet I eventually oversaw a department of 46 people using annual reports on a daily basis. I left a great salary behind to write the Great American Novel. It’s still coming just wait.
My creativity and sense of humor have served me well over the years. It’s not easy to keep the attention of 60 campers, age 7-12, for an hour daily for an entire week but I did by acting out the time I broke my nose and how people came to my rescue. I can tell stories either on paper or on stage. I can make people believe in what I tell them by keeping it real.
The characters in my story are believable people. Becca Williams in Mosquito Madness and Postcards from Me has to deal with bullies and feeling different than others. A Different Kind of Christmas and Other Stories tell about characters going through hard times but seeing the good in others without being overly sappy. (How many Christmas stories use the F word in the first paragraph as did Friends of Animals, Lost Souls and Suckers Center Kate Sullivan in Every Woman’s Tale deals with trying to forgive herself and her husband for things gone wrong in their marriage.
Besides writing, I like to talk. I have facilitated classes on change, on happiness, on developing empathy in kids, and mental health issues. Again, I use humor and experience to get ideas across to others. My Aunt Elsie used to say I was the Carol Burnett of the family. I don’t think she meant it as a compliment but it was a great one for me.
I like to believe that I am believable. I have to start with myself. I believe that I can make it as a writer and take my books to more people and maybe even the big screen. I believe that as a plate spinner, I can have multiple projects going at once even while I devote time as a youth director and now as a caregiver and cheerleader for my mother-in-law who had a stroke. I even find time to run.
Sometimes plates get dropped. Deadlines aren’t met. Priorities get shifted because of demands. Frustration of not meeting goals is something I struggle with, but all in all, they are my goals. When they shift it’s generally for a good reason. While the frustration may stop me for a bit, eventually I get going again. And I keep going. I keep having fun and taking steps in the right direction.
Besides writing to amuse myself (there’s a draft I have going which has a transgender angel talking to a Trump like character), I want to make a difference. The first time I realized it was when I ran a 24 hour basketball marathon to raise money for Nothing But Nets, a group which fights malaria in developing countries. I did it to keep a bunch of 7 and 8 super th nosupersub grade boys out of trouble, but it led me to learning about malaria in Africa.
One of our participants wore her Buzz Kill shirt to work that day and a colleague from India asked her what was behind it. She explained what we were doing and the woman from India didn’t know Americans cared. That was the beginning of the book Mosquito Madness.
I now serve on the Council of Champions for Nothing But Nets advocating for the eradication of malaria. I care. I want to show people ideas that will tap into their hidden empathy. I believe if my stories can shed light on a problem and make someone aware of someone else’s situation, I’ve made a difference. I want women and children to believe that they can make a difference.
I want to be to publishing what Paul Newman is to salad dressing and philanthropy. My writing published through my company Booklanthropy attempts to connect readers of all ages to new ideas and causes. A percentage of my profits go to causes I believe in. I hope that I inspire others to make the changes they want to see in the world
Or at least try. And have fun while they do it.
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