Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Writing Equals Details

Update on writing projects:

My head is spinning with projects at this moment! I'll give a brief synopsis of what's happening as of today:

The manuscript for my second novel, Never Say Perfect, is in the hands of a publisher for review. Of course, this could be yet another dead end, but I pray that it clicks with the editor and good news arrives before I have one foot in the grave. I'm really trying to practice infinite patience on this project, as it's been ready to go for some time now.

I am about two to three weeks away from finalizing a book and e-book project entitled 10 Easy Steps to Writing the Life Story of Your Treasured Pet. This is based on information gathered and my experience in helping people write their pet stories. I wanted to make this option available to anyone who would like to capture the special memories of their other "family members." As we know, the devil is in the details, and I am chipping away at the various items on my To Do list that will be necessary for completing the project. Stay tuned!

This fall, I'll be teaching 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University and am in the process of developing a guide for that class and for eventual publication. It will also contain some select stories from former students who have graciously agreed to allow me to share what they have written. I'm excited about this project as well!

"Mr. Burns"...........................Quite a guy!!!

Two years ago, I was participating in a vendor fair at Cooper House and met Faith Robertson, who was one of the organizers of the event. When she found out that I assist people in writing their life stories, she said, "You have got to meet my dad. He has some very interesting stories to tell." At the end of that day, along came Mr. Robertson to help Faith pack up her belongings, and we were introduced. We chatted for a while, and what a charmer he is!!! At the time we met, he was 83 years old and full of spunk and energy. He began to share some of the highlights of his life, and Faith was right--he had some fascinating stories to tell. We talked about how I might be able to guide him in preserving those memories for his daughters, and shortly after that time, our journey began. He recently published "Mr. Burns" and has now held two book signings--one in Canada and one in the Myrtle Beach area, with yet another scheduled in Virginia at the end of this month.

At 85 years of age, he is more energetic than ever and is enjoying sharing his stories with many people who have been waiting to see exactly what he would reveal in his book. He golfs, bowls, enjoys boating, socializing and helping people, and is a huge inspiration to others.

Although his first name is Burns, people have called him "Mr. Burns" for many years. His book tells about the highlights of his life including relocating to Middleburg, Virginia from Quebec, Canada at age 5, serving in two branches of the military, falling in love and marrying his sweetheart, Rachel, owning a business, the births of his daughters, dabbling in thoroughbred horse racing, enjoying community service through his membership in the Lions Club and the American Legion, celebrities he met in the Middleburg, Virginia area, family outings as Washington Redskins fans, the travel adventures that he and Rachel enjoyed over the years, and the various trips he has taken with daughters, Suzie and Faith, in recent times. He doesn't hesitate to give credit to God for seeing him through all of the ups and downs in life.

Burns Robertson was such a delight to work with, and I will always treasure the time we spent together on this project. He reminded me so much of my own dad (1919-1999) and on those occasions when he would utter certain little phrases that my dad used to say, I would just shake my head and smile. Sometimes working with him almost made me feel as though I was being granted a little time with my dad again. Really special.

If you would like to order his book, he can be contacted by email at: or an order can be directly placed through You will enjoy his tales of a fascinating life.

I want to commend Mr. Robertson for seeing this project through to completion and beyond! He is one amazing character, and I hope that his memoir inspires others to preserve their memories as well.

If you are in the Myrtle Beach area and want to learn how to jump-start a memoir preservation project, sign up for my OLLI at CCU course to be held in November at Waccamaw Higher Ed Center!

Troubled and discouraged today?
I Peter 5:7 tells us: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (NIV)
We don't have to do life alone.......

Until next time, don't forget to read my Italy travel posts in A new segment is posted each Monday!