We at Writing Your Life are so proud of our authors, and we’ve had the great privilege to work one-on-one with amazing people who wrote amazing stories. Some had never written before. Some had first languages other than English. Some were surprised to win awards for their books; we weren’t surprised at all. Scroll through a few of our authors and learn more about them and their work.
A Dream Called Kristy…a true story of a young mother’s struggle through grief to find healing after her baby’s death.
Experience Becky’s story of loss, healing, and dreams fulfilled. Loss of a parent means the loss of the past. Loss of a spouse means the loss of the present. Loss of a child means the loss of the future.
Hopefully, this book will help to heal the heart of a parent who has experienced the loss of a child.
Becky McGregor’s book, A Dream Called Kristy: My Story of Loss, Healing, and Dreams Fulfilled, won a silver medal at the Florida Authors and Publishers Association’s 2019 President’s Book Awards in the autobiography and memoir category.
In this book, you will discover:
- how persistence and fiery determination enabled Norma to achieve her childhood dreams and live a life of purpose, passion, and peace,
- how finding and embracing the god of her heart helped Norma meet life’s challenges, often through leaps of faith,
- how climbing life’s mountains gave her opportunities to learn and grow, build endurance, develop perseverance, and embrace empathy,
- how, with the soul, there are no good or bad experiences—all serve our spiritual evolution.
Randy Pausch once said, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” This book illustrates how Norma played her hand.
Margaret “Peggy” Allyn Greene Best
Margaret Best is a dandelion child, and her book focuses on memories of growing up as an army brat during the Cold War Era (1947-1969) and how the principles she learned shaped her life.
The book is appropriate for teen to adult audiences interested in learning about children of the military. All dandelion children will enjoy this book as they remember their storied pasts. A special section explains how the reader can help today’s military children.
Dandelion Child: A Soldier’s Daughter (March 2019), won a silver medal in the memoir/autobiography category of Florida Writers Association’s 2019 Royal Palm Literary Award Competition.
William “Bill” G. Dresser
Born in 1937 in a small, Western Massachusetts town, Bill Dresser grew up in an era when men went to work at the local paper mill or tool company, women stayed at home, and children walked to school, went fishing, made friends for life, and caused their fair share of mischief.
Bill’s life was marked by significant turning points—the death of his father when Bill was only nine years old; a move to New York City as a teenager; recruitment into the United States Navy; being the first in his family to graduate from college; employment with New York Telephone Company, which turned into a thirty-two-year career; the births of his four daughters; and marriage to artist Claudia King Powell in 1977.
Sometimes called Wild Bill for his risk-taking or reasonable adventures, as he prefers to call his actions, and the outrageous belief that work should also be fun, Bill hopes you enjoy the eight decades of his life captured on these pages.
Captain John B. Mitchell Jr., USN (Ret.)
Captain John B. Mitchell Jr., USN (Ret.), a 1965 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, served early sea tours aboard three destroyers and commanded a minesweeper.
After several shore assignments and his Executive Officer tour, he assumed command of USS Fahrion (FFG 22). This marked the first of five consecutive tours in Mayport, Florida, including Commanding Officer Naval Station Mayport and Commander Destroyer Squadron 12. Mitchell retired in 1995.
Sail around the world with John Mitchell as he describes his at-sea and ashore adventures during a thirty-year Naval career encompassing the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, and everything in between.
Read his vivid portrayal of life aboard U.S. Navy warships during both conflict and peacetime as he relives his career from Ensign to Captain aboard seven ships, making seven extended deployments in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operation.
Experience Mitchell’s progression of responsibility, culminating in two ship commands, coupled with the thrill of exploring exotic ports of call in both the Orient and the Mediterranean. Observe the awe and respect Mitchell exhibits for the Sailors who worked with and for him during those thirty years.
Entertaining, informative, patriotic, humorous, and thought-provoking, this memoir takes you to sea for months at a time while avoiding the risk of becoming seasick!
John Mitchell’s book, Seven Ships: A U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer’s At-Sea Career, won a silver medal at the Florida Authors and Publishers Association’s 2018 President’s Book Awards in the autobiography and memoir category.
The provocative prompts of writer Lezlie Laws and alluring photography of artist Julie Dunsworth combine propel the practicing writer into self-exploration, vivid language, and strong storytelling.
While each prompt is useful as a free-standing exercise, the author has created a sequence that moves the practitioner deeper into the creation of compelling character and strong scene.
In addition, her introduction provides ways for using the prompts as a focus for personal retreat, or as a daily practice for observing personalities closely to mine stories from personal experience.
She calls upon the arts, the Buddhist tradition, and mindfulness practices to attune the writer to strong visual imagery and deep appreciation of both the beautiful and the troublesome qualities of human nature.
If you thought there was something you could do to make your day happier, more productive, more fulfilling, would you do it? Regularly and with devotion?
The TIA Method Journal offers you just that: the capacity to see more of the goodness all around us. It’s not a trick or a wish or a vague hope- it’s a dedicated practice for seeing and experiencing the extraordinary beauty of the world.
This is my story, starting with my birth October 20, 1956, in Cyprus, an island located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Until I came to the United States on December 6, 1976, I lived in the southern seaport of Limassol. Limassol is an urban area that boasted of more than one million residents in 2013, although the population was about 658,000 when I lived there.
This book is the story of my life growing up in Cyprus, including my arranged marriage, my arrival in the United States, my move from Connecticut to Florida, and everything of note in between. I also give you a taste of the rich culture, traditions, and food of Cyprus, which I hold so close to my heart.
My humble beginnings made me who I am today, and I will never sever the strong roots that still bind me to my first home. I pray to remain humble and kind the rest of my life.
Terri Clements Dean, PhD
Terri Clements Dean, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and author of Traveling Stories: Lessons from the Journey of Life and its companion workbook. Traveling Stories Journal: A Guide to Discovering Your Own Life Lessons. A former anthropologist and perennial student, she has extended her studies into the fields of philosophy, belief systems, gender knowledge, and psychology with a particular focus on symbolic systems. She believes that wholeness is our birthright and that life is a journey toward claiming our deepest, best selves. She is also a woman who loves stories!
Traveling Stories is a collection of teaching stories drawn from Dr. Dean’s travels, her psychology practice and her life, that provide answers to those questions in a manner that gently guides and that is at heart profoundly hopeful. The stories focus on the ways in which life’s lessons make their way to us in the small things, in the unexpected, in the struggles, and in the ordinary. They hope to teach, to inspire, and to help the reader discover the next step in his or her unique journey. Together they assure that the lessons are all there to be learned: all we have to do is be impeccably honest with ourselves, pay careful attention, work hard at what we learn, and trust the process.
There are really only four questions: • Who am I? • Where do I belong? • What matters? • How do I live my life? Consciously or unconsciously, we spend our whole lives trying to answer them. Traveling Stories: the Journal is a companion book to the popular Traveling Stories: Lessons from the Journey of Life. Designed as a guide to help you discover your lessons, the Journal provides a framework for enriching your life with valuable insights.
Barbara Schnorr Sotire Powell
Barbara Schnorr Sotire Powell is a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother who, upon retirement, decided to delve into the validity of a family legend. Was Grandma really a gypsy? This genealogical search segued into a memoir of her life, a series of short stories written in hopes of giving her children and grandchildren a sense of family history.
Today, Barbara enjoys crocheting, poker, writing, traveling, and is an avid reader. She also volunteers for the Cancer Society as a driver. She resides in Palm Coast, Florida with her husband Bruce.
Floyd Ellson, a member of The Greatest Generation, was an ordinary man who lived in extraordinary times. He was born five years after the Wright brothers took that first historic flight and lived to see a man walk on the moon and live in space for months at a time. His education began in a one-room country school; he rode a horse to high school and later lived through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. In his lifetime, he witnessed the invention and evolution of radio, television, telephones, calculators, computers, and cell phones. He often quipped that he was going to write a book about his first hundred years for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He lived to be 104 years old. These are his stories.
Margie Carter Woods
Born in Lakeland, Florida, surrounded by two extended families—her biological family and her church family—Margie Carter Woods grew up among strong role models, both male and female, with a strong Christian heritage, and strong Southern traditions.
As a fifth generation Florida Cracker, Margie’s Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her happiest times were spent in the simplest ways—sitting in wooden swings with her grandmother or Bigmama or sisters or cousins on the front porch; with her gloveless hands, digging up potatoes from the rich, dark dirt on her Bigmama and Bigdaddy’s farm; walking to the city swimming pool; dancing at the Teen Midway.
Those treasured memories can only be equaled by the years spent, watching her two children grow up amid their joys and successes, accompanied by some challenges here and there.
She is now experiencing the most wonderful gifts of a long life—grandchildren.
Richard “Dick” Davidson
Richard (Dick) Davidson is retired in Florida. He has been a practicing attorney for more than thirty-eight years, supervising the daily practice of law in various locations. After his graduation from Princeton University and Cornell Law School he migrated to Syracuse, New York, and then left there for Orlando, Fl to open a new office for his firm. More chapters of his life then followed, and the many adventures evolve as vivid memories related in this book. He now enjoys life with his family, including seven grandchildren, and continues to pursue many interests.
Danny “Del” Placides
Danny Placides has written more than one hundred business-related articles for magazines and newsletters during his long career in institutional food services management, but this is his first full-length memoir. Since his retirement as a business consultant/educator, he has become an avid runner and resides in St. Cloud, Florida.
Born in Warren, Pennsylvania at the end of the Great Depression, just before the outbreak of World War II, Jean DeLong grew up with a hunger for adventure and continued her quest when she moved to Florida in 1966. Her many passions include writing her childhood memories, art and photography as well as living life to the fullest with her partner Bob and faithful companions, Jack and Dana- short for Crackerjack and Dyna-Mite.
Loyd Gilbert Gilley
I lived in a very special time and place that most of those who lived there have forgotten. Or, due to time and age, they cannot remember how wonderful it was. And those who have come since do not realize what happened, how it happened and how very special this time and place really was. It was a time before electricity, running water, indoor bathrooms and telephones.
Before I forget, I want to I tell my stories for the benefit and education of my children, grandchildren and all the generations that are to come. The message I want to pass on is that the essence of life and happiness has absolutely nothing to do with material things but has everything to do with loving and caring for each other.
Marcie O’Niell Little
Marcie O’Niell Little considers herself truly blessed in all ways. She grew up amid loving parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles in the small South Louisiana town of Franklin. In this memoir, Marcie recounts stories from her childhood, fun times with dear friends, lazy summer vacations on Grand Isle, college days and the excitement of living in New Orleans during the early 1940s where she met the love of her life- her husband Ross. Marcie and Ross made Franklin their home and enjoyed a blessed life, watching their sons- Rusty and Patrick- grow up in the shade of this majestic live oak.
Bill Johnson spent much of the last three years researching, reading, visiting significant locations and talking to people who had knowledge of the Johnson family in America. You hold in your hand the results of his efforts. Read about five generations of Johnsons, beginning in the mid-1700’s and ending with the man called Heavy- early aviator, World War II veteran and Bill’s father. Walk back in time along the Unicoi Trail through Tennessee and Georgia and follow the family to Arkansas and Texas and traverse the globe on board one of the hundreds of planes flown by Heavy.
Norma Heffron is a retired elementary and preschool teacher from Clermont, Florida, who began writing after discovering Writing Your Life Classes offered at a senior center in Orlando. Motivated by these classes, her collection of family photos and memorabilia and her genealogical research, she began writing her father’s story.