I had a great afternoon. For five and a half hours, two colleagues and I represented the St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) at the first annual Gateway to Publishing Conference and Convention put on by the St. Louis Writers Guild. So much fun to get to visit with people interested in our organization, not to mention meeting other authors. It was simple just visiting with people coming by our table. Of course, we walked around, too.
What’s so great about that? I asked them their stories, got them to talk. I love it when they don’t even realize how much they are telling me or that I even initiated it. Stories, the reasons people write what they do, are powerful. Their stories behind the stories they write add richness and understanding and power.
Like one author, Lorenzo F. Gonzalez, who at the age of fifteen was fighting in the Cuban Revolution supporting Castro. I won’t relate his whole story — it’s in his book To Return To Cuba — but to hear him talk about his opportunities to go to Hungary and then see the dissolution of the revolution in Cuba into a cruel dictatorship and then to escape from Hungary to Sweden and eventual freedom — well, to hear him tell it in his thick Cuban accent, so vivid, so passionate. It burned in his eyes.
When I wrote this morning, I had no idea what the afternoon would hold. To be honest, I felt like I was doing my duty as one of the board of directors of SLPA. Before I left, I wrote my Morning Pages about the development of my short nonfiction book explaining my philosophy about Ego and Heart. I simply shared part of my journey in terms of making decisions about titles and pitch lines. I wasn’t too enthused about it, but it’s what I had to offer.
In fact, I was a bit discouraged because I had suggested if anyone had an opinion about any of the titles I shared as possibilities they could let me know. No one did. So, either they all sucked or nobody cared. Poor pitiful me — if I allow Ego. But I won’t more than this comment because based on my Heart operating system, I know I have a story, one I partly share in those few pages, a story that holds power for not only me but also some who would venture to read and know and explore and discover Self.
I will tell you this: some of the authors at the conference, if I just walked past their table and read their little blurb or saw their book titles on Amazon, I would pass on them. Not that they don’t have merit, but that it’s nothing any of us have not heard before — well, Sr. Gonzalez from Cuba may be an exception to that. As I sat there this afternoon after speaking with several authors rather extensively, it struck me that I should not be so quick to dismiss others’ stories in written form from short descriptions. Their personal stories, communications add depth and texture.
It’s true that I do not have very much disposable income; however, I probably have less time than money, which would keep me from buying everyone’s books. But the stories. We all have stories, stories that we should share. We are not all writers, but we are all humans with lives filled with experiences and emotions that hold value far beyond us.
I could, at this point, head in a dozen different directions; however, I feel I should come to a close here. I want to make a plea, one that has nothing to do with possible book titles or pitch lines. I call to you, implore you, to reflect on your life and discern the value for yourself from your own experiences.
Share stories that have evoked intense emotions from you, high points, low points, turning points. You don’t have to write them, but fix them in your mind. Then, consciously address your core Self, Heart, that you are ready to share if the opportunity comes. I think you will be surprised. I can guarantee you that I would listen.
Ultimately, the value from this afternoon is the blessing of our lives to one another, whether it’s in the published works of authors or in anyone else’s life. I will tell you this thought crossed my mind when one of the hotel workers came by to inform us of some things. “What is her story? She seems like she really cares.”
We all have them. We should reflect on them, frame them in our minds if not in some other form, and be ready to share them in love to others, because I, for one, know that I would benefit from your story.
Your story would help me understand you, empathize with you, engage in your life, give me insight into how your experiences shape your beliefs. What value! Heart value! We need this today.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!