Monday, January 18, 2010

Make Good Use of Your Time

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got."
~ Lee Iacocca

Coach Sherrie says: Know that I use good quotes whatever their source. Even if someone is not a good person, if their quotes help us, good people, then at least something good came out of their life. ;-)
P.S. This is not very Kaizen. Maurer would say that thinking like this brings up fear. No matter what your goal is, it should be done one small step at a time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Step At A Time

"The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the stairs... one step at a time."
~ Joe Girard

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Write A Memoir In 12 Easy Steps

How to Write a Memoir in Twelve Easy Steps
by Lorilyn Roberts

All of us have lived through dramatic times of ecstasy and pain. For the sensitive and sensate person, memories of these events are etched in the psyche and have molded us into who we are. A memoir is a way to touch at the heart of those feelings and allow them to be shared with others.

A memoir is different from an autobiography because it takes a “snapshot” of certain events in a person's life. A memoir tends to read more like a novel. Usually a memoir is written in more colorful language than an autobiography and only relevant information is included—not everything about a person's life should be shared.

So how do I get started, you may ask? Here are twelve steps I followed in writing my memoir of adoption in Children of Dreams.

1. A memoir should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. There should be a problem, a conflict, and a resolution.

2. It might be helpful to pull out old pictures, diaries, and objects to bring to memory the experiences you are writing. If possible, go to the scene and relive the events in your mind.

3. Allow your feelings to flow freely from your mind and heart—they may be painful, terrifying, hurtful, crazy, or not understood, but to write a good memoir, you must bring the buried nemeses to the surface and write with passion.

4. Listen to music that will transport you from your surroundings to the time and place of the memoir. I like classical music, but anything that stirs your emotions and allows your mind to be absorbed back into that moment will work.

5. Don't do any major editing until you've written all that you can remember. Worry later about clean-up. If you edit too soon, you may change something that is important.

6. Expect to feel like you are going crazy. Your feelings may create powerful emotions that are buried deep, but when you write those hidden passions and distorted thoughts on paper, it can be cathartic. The story may even write itself and come to a resolution you never thought possible.

7. Make sure you validate facts. A memoir is based on truth, so dates, times, names, people, and sequence of events are important. Otherwise, your credibility may come into question if something you have written is shown not to be true. It may be necessary to change names or locations, and this is acceptable provided you put a disclaimer at the beginning.

8. A good memoir is rich in color—metaphors, similes, descriptions, dialogue, and feelings will make your memoir come alive.

9. After you've written around one hundred pages, take some time to reflect on what you have said. Then put it aside for a few days, don't look at it, and come back and re read it. It will be easier to spot things that need to be revised or rewritten. Save deletions for later.

10. Be kind to yourself. Writing a memoir is a very personal, gut-wrenching journey.

11. After you have written the rough draft and edited it as much as you can, including deletions, give your memoir to some trusted friends for feedback. You may see a pattern in their comments, and that's a good indication of what needs further revision. Don't be shy and seek a professional editor if needed.

12. Never give up. Never, never give up. Need I say it again? Never, never, never give up.

Why write a memoir, you may ask?

First, the memories are important to you. The intimate details will soon be forgotten if they are not written down. The memoir validates your experience and gives meaning to your life. Your memories become a treasured journey for others to learn from and enjoy.

A memoir can be a gift to your children, your parents, your friends, your country, and the world. Only you can tell the story that you've been given, and other people's lives will be enriched. Most of all, if you're like me, you will be set free from the past and empowered to write your next story.

You will be changed and healed in ways that would not have been possible without writing your story. Having gone through the journey twice, you will be wiser. Perhaps you will touch others in a way you couldn’t have imagined because the “gestalt” of your experience is universal. Most importantly, you will have accomplished what you set out to do, and that is to write your memoir.

I say it again, never give up. It will be worth it when you have finished.
by Lorilyn Roberts

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sarah Smile: The Story Behind the Song

"Sara Smile"
From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story behind the Song
By Daryl Hall

Written by Daryl Hall
Recorded by Daryl Hall & John Oates

All of my songs are either autobiographical or sometimes I'll take bits of experiences or observations and put them together. This is one of the songs that is completely autobiographical.

I had a long relationship with Sara Allen and her family. I lived with Sara for 28 years. At the time I wrote this, we were living in a small apartment in New York City. We had no money, so John was living in the same apartment. This was at the beginning of my career with John (Oates) as Daryl Hall & John Oates.

I was on the road and inevitably, when I am on tour and writing, I tend to write about not wanting to be on the road. This is more than a love song. I like to call it a love postcard to Sara. It was like, "Having a shitty time on the road and missing you."

It's a very succinct and short lyric, but each phrase meant something to me -- and still does.

The song is about living our lives together, yet individually. It's about the essence of a relationship, and at the end of the day:

And when you feel you can't go on
I'll come and hold you
It's you and me forever

The song became the third single from our first album on RCA, "Daryl Hall & John Oates" in 1975. Its success came out of the blue. Our first two singles weren't terribly successful so this was our first bona fide hit.

The record got a lot of R&B airplay, beginning on a station in Ohio and spreading throughout the country. It was a big radio hit. I was most surprised when I heard it on pop radio once it crossed over, since it didn't sound like anything else being played on pop radio at the time. That attests to its permanence.

It's a heartfelt story. It's the real thing. Time has passed and I'm not with Sara anymore and I feel badly knowing that when "Sara Smile" comes on in the supermarket, Sara has to run out of the store. Songs remain but relationships change.

"Sara Smile"

Baby hair with a woman's eyes
I can feel you watching in the night
All alone with me and
we're waiting for the sunlight.
When I feel cold you warm me
When I feel I can't go on
you come and hold me,
It's you and me forever.

Sara smile,
Won't you smile a while for me, Sara?

If you feel like leaving
you know you can go
But why don't you stay until tomorrow?
And if you want to be free
you know all you have to do is say so.
When you feel cold I'll warm you
And when you feel you can't go on
I'll come and hold you
It's you and me forever.

Sara smile,
Won't you smile a while for me, Sara?
Sara smile,
Oh won't you smile a while, Sara?

Oh won't you smile a while, Sara?

Words and Music by Daryl Hall and John Oates. 1975 by Unichappell Music Inc. Copyright Renewed. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.

Creativity Coach Sherrie says: I don't know, but I'll bet Sarah stays and smiles and sings along. How many of us have a song to remind us of a relationship? To me, it is a testament that whatever their feelings now, they DID have real love for each other at one time. ;-) <3

Success Is . . .

"Success... it's what you do with what you've got."
~ Leroy Van Dyke

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Second Chance

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.
~ Harrison Ford