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October 2018 at Writing Your Life

TEA 2018 Lunch Bunch

My Write Your Story four-week class at The Villages Enrichment Academy wrapped up this past week, and I will sincerely miss spending Thursdays with this enthusiastic group. You were such great writers, and I’m thrilled that so many of you have already registered for the next class in January.

If you live in or near The Villages–you need not be a resident–check out my two January 2019 classes: Write Your Life (WRI02102) and Life Stories: Read, Write, Review (WRI03101). No previous writing experience is required because I believe: The only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all!

 Register at any of the recreation centers or contact The Enrichment Academy at 352-674-1800.

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Writing About Possessions

Last Saturday marked the final Art as a Pathway to Memory session at Orlando Museum of Art. We focused on possessions and the stories they hold. Participants brought some intriguing objects to write about.

Harold Tassel

I thought Harold Tassel’s prompt response was particularly sweet, and I wanted to share it with you. Read it here.

Thank you to all who spent their Saturdays in the galleries writing with me the last two months. It has been a joy.


Norma Beasley
Fetish Necklace
Chris Flocken with her fetish necklace
Moriah John

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Last weekend, I gave two presentations at the Florida Writers Conference, enjoyed the company of many Writing Your Life friends, and celebrated their successes at the Royal Palm Literary Awards.

In Moments Make Memories, pictured aboveI discussed how to take the smaller moments in your life and turn them into larger stories. I also presented a workshop on one of my favorite electronic editing resources called Grammarly.

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Hearty and heartfelt congratulations go to three friends of Writing Your Life who took home prizes at the Royal Palm Literary Awards. Hearing your names called over the microphone was music to my ears.

Peggy Best, recently featured in a newsletter article here, took home second place in the Published Biography category with her book Unsung Hero, available from and Barnes & Noble.

We are so proud of you, Peggy, and can’t wait to see the great success your second book, Dandelion Daughter, will have when it’s published later this year.

Margaret Best and Writing Your Life editor, Teresa Bruce






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Congratulations to Gary Pinnell whose largely autobiographical novel, The Most Invisible Boy, won third place in the Unpublished Historical Fiction category.

This book is near and dear to my heart, as some of it was written in our First Saturday Writing Workshops, which Gary attended for years.



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Barry and Melody Dimick

Finally, a round of applause goes to Melody Dean Dimick for her book, What Lies Beneath, that was awarded first place in the Unpublished General Catch-All category. What Lies Beneath is the story of a high school senior in a Central Florida town who fears she cannot escape the literal and figurative borders of her survivalist dad’s chain-link fence.

I first met Barry several years ago at an FWA conference when he set up an interview with me to talk about his desire to write his memoir. A ten-minute session turned into a half-hour, and Barry left inspired to write, and both he and Melody signed up for a Writing Your Life. Now, Barry is nearing completion of his memoir. I am so excited for you both.

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Patricia Pierce and Diane Goshoff, friends of Writing Your Life

What an invigorating weekend I had, celebrating and honoring Florida writers of all ages and stages of their writing lives.

Laura Chase

I also spent time with Laura Chase, former Writing Your Life class member and author of Grasshopper Girl: From Fear to Faith and Grasshopper Woman: Medium in Trainingboth available on Amazon.


Congratulations to all for being the amazing writers you are.


I enjoyed another wonderful morning writing in the galleries at Orlando Museum of Art with some of the most amazing people.

At this session, we focused on portraits and writing about the people in our lives. It was a powerful experience to look at a person portrayed in paint and learn so much about that person simply through the details the artist chose to include.

It was a real light-bulb moment for all of us when we realized we have to help our readers visualize the people in our stories with the words we choose to use just like the artists told their subject’s stories with what and how they chose to paint.

Many thanks to OMA docent Lee Bruno who filled in for David Matteson and helped us experience the paintings and not just look at them.

I can’t believe we only have one more session of this program left. I hope you’ll join us on the 27th. Register today!

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Congratulations to Debi Duggar who just finished the first draft of her memoir, Most Likely to Wear Leather. Debi’s book focuses on riding her Harley-Davidson motorcycle named Bessie solo to forty-nine of the fifty United States. Now, we’re diving into editing her manuscript, so her book will be ready for sale early next summer.

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What a great turnout we had at my presentation,
Creating A Story Around Your Genealogy Research, to the Central Florida Genealogy Society on Tuesday. I shared tips about how to build an engaging story around family history research using the example of a master, John Philip Colletta and his book,

Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy & Its Aftermath. Here’s to breathing new life into the stories of long-gone relatives!

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I’ve had the great pleasure of teaching many classes filled with amazing people and amazing stories in the twenty years since founding Writing Your Life. I have another fantastic group I’m working with now in The Villages as an

Jane and Foster purchased five-year journals and started writing in them before class even started. Awesome!

instructor for The Enrichment Academy. Twenty-four eager faces greeted me at our first session on October 4, and their excitement about writing life stories has continued to grow every time we meet. In response to an assignment, everyone showed up with their three-ring binders and tabs, ready to break down a life-sized story into manageable pieces. Way to go, TEA class members!


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