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Posted by on in Reaching out to others
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After twenty-six years as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and five years as a forensic expert on work-place disability, I figured I’d paid my dues and “retirement” would be my next step in life. Then, the opportunity to start writing my memoir, From Tears to Triumph presented itself, so instead of retiring and perfecting my ever elusive golf swing, and working tirelessly on intricate West Coast Swing and Line Dance moves, I spent three years writing the memoir and then thought it was time to retire. However, writing and publishing a book, I discovered, is like giving birth and there’s much to be done once the book pops into the world. So…for the last thirteen months I have been on the book promotion/marketing/speaking turnpike. From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope is selling, lives are being touched and the message of God’s grace and mercy is being...
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The Northern California Publishers and Authors (NCPA) association presented their 21st Annual Book Awards on April 27th. I am ecstatic to report From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope won 1st Place in the memoir division and 1st Place for Cover/Design over all genres. This is the second 1st Place award in the memoir category – with From Tears to Triumph taking the Gold Medal in the national Illumination’s book contest in January of this year.   A few days after the NCPA awards ceremony, I prepared my notes and heart to speak at the Writer’s Network breakfast meeting with my topic being, “Five Things You Need to Know to Become an Award Winning Author.” To add flavor and extra value to my presentation, I asked one of the NCPA independent judges for insight into a judge’s mind when reading/critiquing and judging books. His response follows: “I hope...
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Posted by on in Writing, Publishing, Marketing
Does God Use The Internet? I was washing out the bathtub recently and a question came to mind. Does God use the internet? Silly question? Well, I believe God speaks to us and in many, many, diverse ways. He spoke to Moses via a burning bush. He spoke to whole countries via prophets. He spoke to me via a still small voice when He directed me to go to Costa Rica and help street girls. So? Does he also use the Internet? Since sitting down to write From Tears to Triumph nearly three and a half years ago, I have reunited with FOUR people who played major roles in the book - all because of the Internet. It’s amazing. It’s a blessing. My thoughts were being “attacked” one afternoon while I sat at my computer writing the chapters about the girls in The House of Hope.  “What did you ever do...
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Posted by on in Reaching out to others
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 Someone recently asked me about my “mission.” At first I thought, “I’m not involved in any mission work now,” but after thinking and musing and praying about the question for a few days, a light bulb came on. I’m a Christian. Of course I have a mission. I have a mission and you have a mission, too. Yes, during the days of The House of Hope, as described in my memoir, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope, I had a well-defined “mission.” I directed a halfway house and advocated for street girls, runaways and underage prostitutes in Costa Rica. I was a bona-fide “missionary.” But when I returned to the United States, I became a “civilian” as it was—an ordinary go-to-church-believe-in-Christ Christian. I devoted my life to my family and also to my clients when I began work as a counselor. Was that my “mission?” I...
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Posted by on in Reaching out to others
I walked into my formative teen years with several "issues." I was clueless they were issues so had no way to deal with them, nor was I mature enough to find help for the issues I didn't know existed. Does that make sense? How many young people today are in that same boat? We look at these young people from an adult perspective and can quicly identify that they are "troubled."  Maybe we need to look at them and realize that although WE know they are troubled, they don't, and if they do know that "something's not right," few know where to turn for help. Here is a list of the issues I had accumulated by the age of eighteen and wore inside my being: Obesity driven by an eating disorder; Low self-esteem resulting in self-image problems; Little self-value - therefore looking to men to validate me as a person; Co-dependent; Being...
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After three years of writing, re-writing, editing, polishing and publishing, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope has popped into the book world! It's a story with a strong message of hope and faith. Have you or someone you know made bad choices in life and wondered if life would ever be “normal” again? Have you had your heart torn out and your shattered dreams lying in your young hands and wondered if life was even worth living? Maybe you’ve wondered what it would be like to leave your sorry past behind and join a group of peaceful hippies, promising peace and love? Is there triumph beyond the tears? Is there hope in the midst of despair? Join me on my journey to hope      Travel with me through the moment when life wasn’t worth living and then into life in a radical religious commune.  Accompany me to...
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Posted by on in My Writing Journey
       So, here’s where we stand. From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope is in the INTERIOR DESIGN stage. “What’s that,” You ask?        That is where an interior book designer takes the fully edited manuscript and makes it look pretty! He/she formats the pages, justifies the text right and left, adds page numbers, chooses a font style and font size, adds page numbers (upper right hand corner of page? Middle bottom of page) and headers…while making sure there are no “widows or orphans.” “Widows or orphans???”   It’s a tedious process. Who knew?        Not me. I’m still not sure what widows and orphans are!       I’ve been blessed that Ted Witt, President of the Northern California Authors and Publishers Association (NCPA) and owner of Pretty Road Press offered to do the interior design work at no charge!...
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Posted by on in My Writing Journey
I’m so excited to show off the cover for “From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope.” The cover was designed by illustrator, Yoko Matsu, and the typography was created by Sam Duncan. I highly recommend both of these young ladies.   The back cover reads:   During the summer of 1970, nineteen-year-old Linda stops on the way home from work to talk to a tall, handsome stranger on a San Francisco street corner. That chance meeting changes the course of her life. Linda’s compassionate, gripping, and soul-searching memoir tells the story of her remarkable journey from crushed dreams to the creation of a house of Hope.   Her desperate cry for help brings a spiritual awakening, a two-year life-molding adventure with the controversial Children of God commune, and her decision to escape. By the age of twenty-two, disillusioned but not defeated, Linda follows a tug on...
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IT TAKES A VILLAGE If someone had told me three years ago when I started writing my memoir, it would take this long to write, edit, polish, rewrite, edit, rewrite and edit some more, I wouldn’t have believed them. I’d have said, “Oh, not me … I can do it faster!” NOT. I’ve pretty much completed my work with Linda Joy Myers, from the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). She played a valuable role in coaching, teaching, editing and encouraging me for nearly a year. As I entered her last edits into the manuscript at 4:00 pm on April 28th, I emailed her to say, “I’m done!” NOT. She kindly emailed back, saying I wasn’t “done.” In fact, she said I now need to find a line-editor to go through the manuscript again. Yes, AGAIN—to see if there are any grammar problems, misplaced comma’s, em-dashes, elipses out of place…” (And, yes, I now know...
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After nearly three years of daily feeling, thinking, praying, writing and editing I sent my “baby” to my writing coach, Linda Joy Myers (NAMW) for a complete examination. When she’s through reviewing the 418-page, 104,000-word manuscript, I’ll be one big step closer to the end project ─ a book in my hands (and hopefully yours). I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is bright and shiny, and yet scary. As you know, this has all been new to me. When I started out to write this memoir nearly three years ago, I really thought it would be relatively easy. I mean, after all, it’s a true story and all I needed to do was put my memories onto the written page. RIGHT, but WRONG. Each “memory” comes with a feeling and I had to dig deep and hard to surface the feelings and events surrounding...
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Posted by on in My Writing Journey
From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope   I definitely see a correlation between waiting for a book to be published and waiting for a child to be born.   I've been in Santa Rosa this week with my 21-year-old daughter, Patricia, as we wait for her contractions to start and for her first child, Laila, to come into the world. In those moments when I'm not hanging out with Patricia, bonding, laughing, shopping, walking and planning, I'm on my laptop editing and polishing the final chapters of my book.   I started seeing a correlation.  * Laila is overdue. We all feel she "should have been here by now." * I expected to have my book finished and published by now…"it feels like it's overdue." * Every morning I receive calls, emails and text messages from loved ones asking, "Is there a baby yet?" * Frequently...
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Posted by on in My Writing Journey
UNSTOPPABLE, MY JOURNEY TO THE HOUSE OF HOPE continues to occupy my heart, mind and time. I’ve been “cleaning” and “percolating” in preparation for publishing. As I read through the manuscript, I find words, phrases, paragraphs and whole chapters that although interesting, seem to slow the pace of the story, or aren’t relevant.   Some of these paragraphs and chapters (like when the FBI came knocking when I was sixteen, looking for my boyfriend who’d escaped from jail), will be in the back of the book under “excerpts.”   That’s the cleaning that’s been occupying my time.   Then there’s the percolating. My mind and memory run hot as I ruminate over a word or sentence while walking down the street or trying to fall asleep at night─and a new, better, more concise word or sentence will pour forth, begging to be substituted for said less-concise word or sentence.    Yes,...
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