Tag Archives: memoir

Thank you Ms. Freeman wherever you are

My teacher in fifth and sixth grade was Ms. Phyllis Freeman.

I think she was the first person to teach me to use Ms. She created a new grade for me, A-WD – “A With Distinction” because I’d gotten too many A++s. Whenever we asked if we could borrow her tape to fix our papers in class, she’d give us the tape, and then she’d come back to us ten minutes later to ask us for the tape back, because we’d asked to “borrow” it. She taught us modal verbs using the phrase, “I can, I may, I will, I shall, I must love my teacher.

I loved my teacher.

And I think she loved me.

Then when I was in sixth grade, and my life imploded, she somehow figured out, and she went out of her way to protect me and to actively love me more.

I don’t remember how or when I began to call her “Mom” (not around any of the other kids, of course), but I did. I don’t know if she knew, or how she might have known, that my mother had left us, but she stepped in to be my mom. She gave me extra hugs and affection, perhaps trying to fill my void and my need for hugs and affection.

When I spoke loving of the Unification Church, she never corrected me or chastised me. When the other kids made fun of me or questioned me after I praised Rev. Moon while presenting a New York Times article about his speech at Madison Square Garden, she quieted them or redirected the conversation.

And when I wrote a passionate essay about the beauty and joy of a weekend workshop at the Church’s estate in Barrytown, New York, her written comment on my essay was “The Unification Church is very lucky to have a loving member like you belong to it!”

How she was able to remove what must have been her disapproval of the Church and of my mother’s (and my) involvement from her interactions with me, I’m not sure. How she was able to treat me with love and kindness when she must have wanted to wrest me from the situation, the surroundings, and the people whom were taking over my mind. She had known me (and my mother) during fifth grade and must have watched in horror when I returned to sixth grade, having found the Messiah during the summer, a changed person with changed beliefs.

And yet all she did was love me. And protect me. And teach me not to “borrow” tape. I wish I could find her to thank her personally.

Thank you Ms. Freeman wherever you are.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I’m nauseous again. It’s a good thing.

I’m getting used to it I guess. Each new phase is nauseous making, and then I breathe through it and it lessens. A little bit.

This time it’s the cover we’re working on. Should it have a picture of me? Should it have a picture of a moon? Should it show New York City, the East Village? Should it be symbolic and not realistic?

It’s making me a bit nauseous. Again.

The good news is I remember I felt this way when we played with possible titles. And then we found the right one, and we knew. I felt this way as I spoke with publicists and marketing experts. And then I partnered with the right ones, and I knew.

The good news is that as soon as I felt the nausea seeping in, I remembered that I’d been through this before. That it’s scary…and exciting. That it’s overwhelming…and exhilarating. That it’s daunting…and fun.

I’m having fun. I’m having fun with the choices. I’m having fun envisioning the outcomes. I’m having fun with the process.

I know the final goal is a book – a book that inspires people and changes lives. Hopefully a book that finds its place on a few bestseller lists.

But the current goal is to enjoy the journey.

And to not be too nauseous. At least not for too long.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Please welcome To The Moon And Back

My memoir will be published in September. The final manuscript has been handed in. The title has been set. And I’ve convinced the publisher that we should aim to be a New York Times bestseller. I mean, why not?

Please welcome:

TO THE MOON AND BACK
A childhood under the influence

Excited doesn’t begin to capture where I am right now. Thrilled. Pumped. Charged. And still a little bit nauseous.

There are many more, many more, steps to be taken and decisions to be made. I’m ready for all of them and plan to take them one (or two) steps and decisions at a time.

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t kick up a bunch of old (and new) fears. “False Evidence Becoming Real,” I keep telling myself. “Just breathe through it,” I keep reminding myself. “This too will pass,” I repeat internally as I wait for the physical tension to release and the joy and ease to seep back in.

I’m remembering to have fun with this. I’m intending to enjoy it. I’m knowing that I’ll figure it all out as I go along, and I’ll find people to help me when I can’t. I’m mindful of the fact that – just like my kids’ childhoods – this book birthing stage will pass me by if I don’t pay attention and stay present. I’m looking for reasons to smile and to play. I’m letting myself imagine the best outcomes and plan for success.

My next steps are to (more) figure out publicity and ask for author endorsements. Daunting and compelling, all at the same time.

Please welcome:

TO THE MOON AND BACK
A childhood under the influence

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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