The new year is already ten days old, but I still wish people a Happy New Year when I encounter them. Starting the new year with positive wishes seems only right.
You’re invited to attend a Local Authors’ Fair on Sunday, November 13, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Camarillo Public Library in Camarillo, California. I’ll be there to present The Spirit of Villarosa, a true suspense story that I coauthored with the late Horace Dade Ashton and his son Marc Ashton. The book debuted on June 28, 2016 and has received much praise for its compelling father and son tale.
I will also share my award-winning memoir, What Lies Within, with area residents who wish to meet local authors and read their books. If you’re in the Ventura County area that day, please feel free to drop in and introduce yourself. I always enjoy meeting my readers.
On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the Friendship Connection #1 invited me to talk about how individual histories become part of all history at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura, California. On a sweltering fall day, I shared my past experiences collecting oral histories for the Museum of Ventura County and presented excerpts from these interesting interviews. I also spoke about what an honor and privilege it was to help other people tell their stories in book form.
My own memoir, What Lies Within, grew out of these experiences. After all, if I could write others’ tales, why couldn’t I write my own? I did. But it took nearly ten years from when I began writing my book, a memoir of my early years, until it debuted in 2013. I squeezed it in between client projects and work for my professional organization, the Association of Personal Historians, Inc.
One project I began as a subcontractor in 2003 became my second longest writing achievement. A combination memoir/biography written by Horace Dade Ashton and Marc Ashton grew into a challenging series of tales that I helped tell. Based on recordings that the late Horace Ashton left behind and Marc Ashton’s story of his kidnapping in 2001, the book became The Spirit of Villarosa: A Father’s Extraordinary Adventures; A Son’s Challenge. This book was released on June 28, 2016, and I feel fortunate to have been part of this amazing true-life tale’s writing team.
I read excerpts from both books and answered questions about them and my life. Afterwards members purchased copies of the books, which I gladly signed.
Writing can be a lonely profession, so I really enjoy the opportunities I get to share my work by venturing out and speaking. It felt wonderful to be welcomed by such a warm, receptive audience.
My mother Ruth Berger was born 110 years ago today. It seems only fitting that I will address a women’s club to talk about What Lies Within, the book I wrote about my childhood as a tribute to my wonderful mother. (She was a very private person, and I’m not sure she would approve my tell-all story, but I think she might be proud.)
“Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.”
Cicero, 80 B.C.
On this Memorial Day weekend we remember those who served our country and honor their sacrifices with moments of silence, prayers, flags, and ceremonies. We remember.
Memorial Day also brings personal memories for our family. On this Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, I remember my brother, John. He often joked that had we met in high school, we probably would have dated, as we had so much in common. We’d look at each other and laugh, thinking this scenario sounded too much like a Hollywood script. But we didn’t meet in high school or even know of each other’s existence until we were in our mid-fifties. (more…)
How we title our work often pertains to our story’s theme. The working title for my memoir What Lies Within was Silver Lining for nine years. Shortly before publication, the movie Silver Linings Playbook premiered. My book dealt with my early life and focused on adoption, abandonment, love, loss, and resilience. Silver Linings Playbook depicted mental illness, loss, and love. The film and my story differed greatly, and I did not want the works confused.