Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From My Mailbag

Here's a sampling of some of the inspiring notes I've recently received:

66-year old Lorraine Conway, a middle school teacher from Newtown, CT, e-mailed to share the news that she's excited to be starting piano lessons this week. Her interest was piqued after reading an article in her local newspaper about a nearby studio that accepts students of all ages. She took lessons once before, but only for two years when her son was in preschool. (He's now 44!) She's always telling her eighth graders to "go for the gusto" and thought she should do the same.

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I also exchanged e-mails with late-blooming artist Kelly Rae Roberts. I had read about her on the decorating blog Decor8 and was drawn to her work. She writes: "I didn't discover that I was an artist until I was in my 30s. . . . Once I made that discovery, I completely changed careers." To read her story and see some of her paintings, visit her website: http://kellyraeroberts.com.

Note: The pictures above show different angles of the cover of Kelly Rae's new book: Taking Flight: Inspiration + Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings, which is currently ranked #665 on Amazon and has a total of 45, 5-star ratings. Sounds like a great read.

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Another Kelly, Kelly Sonora, e-mailed to let me know that she mentioned my blog in an article she'd just published. If you're divorced and looking for some practical help and inspiration to get back on your feet, I recommend taking a moment to check it out: 50 Divorce Blogs to Find Advice and Comfort in Hard Times.

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Heather Summerhayes Cariou, author of the bestselling memoir Sixty-Five Roses, which was released in the U.S. in January of '07, sent me this note a while back:
Dear Prill - Perhaps you'll remember that at Skidmore [where she and I attended an International Women's Writing Guild conference together] I was working on a book about my sister and me. It was published in Canada last year and went on to become a bestseller. The Globe and Mail chose it as one of the Best 100 Books of 2006. For more information on the book. . . visit my website at www.sixtyfiverosesthebook.com. . . . By the way, I'd love to see you back at Skidmore, teaching a workshop this time! - Heather
Note: I've read many memoirs, and Heather's Sixtyfive Roses, along with Jeannette Wall's The Glass Castle, are my two favorites. Both have been optioned as movies.

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72-year old Susan Culp wanted to share the news that she's just published her first book: 50 Frogs, 5 Babes and a Bulldog. "I am finally realizing a dream come true!" she writes. The book is a comedy about five late bloomers looking for men. Culp confesses that it's a fictionalized account of her actual dating experiences via the Internet. To add to the fun, the story also features an English bulldog named Winchester.

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And finally, Barbara Techel, a frequent commenter on this blog, writes:
I bloomed at the age of 41, though really I suppose that's not too late. But for someone who used to be painfully shy, I've made big leaps and bounds in my life. Sharing my story has become my way of giving back in hopes that others can change their lives too. . . . In my heart I wish I could put all the joy I feel in a bottle and give to everyone. But I know that to experience true joy, one must be willing to go get it. . . .

In December 2004 my chocolate lab, Cassie Jo was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Her diagnoses was a pivotal moment in my life. . . . My love for animals runs deep and it's hard to find the words to express how I feel. The realization that Cassie Jo was going to die soon was like hitting a brick wall for me. . . .
To read the rest of Barbara's inspiring story and to access her blog, go to www.joyfulpaws.com/aboutbarb.


  1. Hi Prill,

    Thanks for including my blog in your links! I also just wanted to let you know that I mentioned this post here.

  2. Thanks to you, too! I always love going on your blog and checking out what you're reading.