Tag Archives: memoir

I’m not really a writer

I ran in college. As exercise. Well, really as anorexic over-exercise. I never liked it. I hated it in fact.

Over the years I would try running now and again and realize I still hated it. Really hated it. I swore I would never run.

Then my older child started running, and I started running so that we could run together. Then I kept running. I now run at least a couple times a week, and I have two friends I run with most of those times. They’re both way stronger runners than I am. In fact, I refer to them as runners, and me, well I only admit that I run. I’m not a runner; I run with my friends who are runners. No surprise, they correct me. They tell me I am a runner.

Last Wednesday was my (first of many I hope) author event. It was a wonderful event put on by Daralyse Lyons, the transformational storyteller, who has written twenty (yes twenty) books. The event also featured two really cool authors, Helen W. Mallon and Heidi Doheny Jay. You MUST check out their work! Heidi interviewed over 400 men and shares their perspectives on sex and relationships. Helen writes fiction that reflects true life – to talk about the things that we can’t talk about, and you can download her short stories, free of charge, on any device through True Courage Books. These authors are all fascinating and inspiring to listen to…and read.

The first question from Daralyse, “Why are you a writer?” I believe I answered third. My answer? “I don’t see myself as a writer; I just wrote a book.” (Well technically two books. I’ve published a book for work – The Power of Thoughtful Leadership – that is a compilation of posts from my Thoughtful Leaders blog. And most of those I write.)

So I run but I’m not a runner, and I’ve written two books and I’m not a writer. Funny huh? At least I’m honest about the weirdness in my brain.

The other funny thing about my writing and my memoir? I’m the first to tell you that I don’t have many memories from my childhood. I often ask my brother, “What happened then?”

All that aside, my (hopefully first of many) author event was Wednesday, and it was tons of fun. I used my spectacular line, “the best seats I ever had at Madison Square Garden were at my mother’s wedding, and the best cocaine I ever had was from my father’s friend the judge.” I told the great story about getting lost in Greenwich Village when I was about eight and I refused to cross against the light at 8th Street and 6th Avenue. (Ask my brother how old I was. He’ll remember.) And about how when I finally found Broome Street Bar where my dad, Danny, was bartending, there was a strange bald-headed man behind the bar instead of Danny. (It was Danny. He shaved his head one night while drunk.) And about how a few months later he showed up at my school play with a bald head, a top hat, a tooth-gap in his mouth because he’d lost a tooth in a bar fight, and a tooth earring hanging from his ear because he’d made the tooth into an earring.

At the end of the night someone said to me, “I can’t wait to read your book. It sounds hilarious.” I’d never thought of it that way.

I also (huge smile) had numerous other people tell me they couldn’t wait to read To the Moon and Back and two people who bought The Power of Thoughtful Leadership and asked me to autograph it for them.

It was a really, really fun night. And maybe I am a writer. I’m soon to be a (twice) published author.

PS – Dara is hosting another Storytelling and the Stage event on May 3. It should be at least as amazing!

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

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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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