This past Sunday, November 11th, I had the pleasure of being part of For the Love of Story, at Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek, Arizona. Ten authors from around The Valley shared their autobiographical short stories and excerpts. Even though the group rehearsed prior to the event, I was still stunned and inspired by all the talent in the room.
My piece was taken from the memoir I am currently writing about my journey as a caregiver to my mother Jinx, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease in 2014. It was titled, “With a Little Help from my Friends,” and was about the cast of characters I embodied in order to take care of my mom. Leading up to the live reading, I felt like I was on the verge of getting sick. Luckily, I was able to hold back a raging head cold until the show was over, so my characters weren't sneezing and blowing onstage!
First, I would like to thank the brilliant Nancy Gutfreund. Nancy is the Originator & Director of For the Love of Story. After years as a psychotherapist, she became devoted to the value of sharing personal stories in public venues in hopes of creating empathy, kindness, connection, and home. Boy did she accomplish that with this event! Not only did she coordinate a lovely, community event, but she brought out the best in every author with her professional but loving encouragement. In German, her last name translates to good friend, and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to describe her.
Next, I would like to congratulate all the other authors from Sunday. It takes chutzpah to put one’s story out there, and they handled the pressure like seasoned professionals.
Finally, I would like to thank my family for all their unwavering support. Up until this event, I had not revealed any of my memoir with them, but even so, they have always believed in me. Seeing their encouraging faces in the audience meant the world to me.
All in all, I can’t say enough good things about the experience. It has left me feeling inspired and more motivated than ever to finish my memoir.