Posts Tagged ‘Denim Day’

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here to encourage you to wear your 2 hats as a writer — work on the craft and your platform at the same time.  Pursue more and more resources . . . by visiting my website and this blog on a regular basis.  If you are not in the vicinity of the events I blog about . . . please look at the names of the people who are referenced in my posts, go to their websites by clicking on the links I provide or your keying their names in a search engine.  The people  I blog about will lead you to their colleagues, and so on.  More ways to build your platform?  See the exercises in Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days.  I can help you polish your manuscript and coach you on platform-building – click here.

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Coach Teresa says: “You can write any genre that hooks you. Just write.”

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Just recently I remembered that in a college English class, the teacher gave us this assignment… to write about any book or story we had read in class. She had said: “No rules. Just give me a 3-page paper.”  I didn’t want to write a summary or a book report, so, I wrote a monologue (a speech–what I would have said if I were Othello on Judgment Day). The teacher gave me a B and wrote next to it “Creative.”

That was three decades ago.

Since then . . . I have:

  • taken a 10-week course “Writing Children’s Literature” and have written 2 children’s stories; someday I’ll publish them. [ rewards: learned how to craft a story for any age group; formed a critique group with 3 classmates--we met twice each month for 10 years ]
  • taking my counselor’s recommendation to read Maxine Hong Kingston’s memoir
  • received an award for my fiction [ rewards: joined California Writers Club which opened my networking world ]
  • found my agent for my novel Love Made of Heart and she landed a contract for me with Kensington Publishing Corp. New York [ rewards: being represented by respected experts in the book industry and receiving advance praise from celebrated authors before publication of my novel]
  • written and delivered keynote speeches for Denim Day and Take Back the Night during Sexual-Violence-Awareness-Month on behalf of the folks at Community Violence Solutions [ rewards: making my name synonymous with subject matters I write about; speaking out for folks who cannot speak for themselves;  ]
  • writing President’s Message for monthly newsletter of California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch [ rewards: building my name as writing-career-coach and advocate for writers  ]
  • sold my signature article “The Perfect Pitch” to Writer’s Digest [ rewards:  gaining recognition as an expert on how to pitch to agents, acquisition editors and publishers ]
  • submitting short pieces and getting published in San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle [ rewards: making my name visible to general readership ]
  • started my own publishing company and launched my workbook Build Your Name Beat the Game which a year later became Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days [ rewards: being Coach Teresa who provides a 22-day program for writers to make their names synonymous with issues they write about ]
  • on January 8, 2012 when I presented”Writing-Career-Make-Over with Coach Teresa” at California Writers Club– Redwood Branch, I heard that  Linda Loveland Reid was sponsoring the 3rd annual Redwood Writers Playwriting Contest.  The entries had to be 10-minute pieces.  Hmm… I would like to write a 10-minute play.  So, the following week . . . I wrote the play in 30 minutes, but, it took several weeks to rewrite (after receiving critique from Lynn Scott).  Answer Me Now (a 10-minute monologue) is about a middle-aged woman asking her dead mom a question. [ rewards: I will get to hang out with directors, actors, producers, set designers, theater folks and theater supporters ]

Playwright Teresa LeYung-Ryan and Creator of Redwood Writers Play Contest & Festival / Playwright / Novelist Linda Loveland Reid. Thank you, Linda!

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: "Thank you, Elisa Sasa Southard, for going to awards ceremony with me even though you have so much to do after having led Washington D.C. and New York City tours for students!"

Thank you, Sasa!  I’m on Cloud Nine and I plan to stay there/here . . .  long after the performances at the Redwood Writers Play Festival of  June 29, 30 and July 1, 2012.

The 4 shows will be at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA:

June 29, Friday at 8pm; June 30, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; and July 1, Sunday at 2pm.  Tickets will be on sale starting May 1st, 2012.  $16 per person.

the 9 contest winners: Elaine Maikovska, Harry Reid, Jean Wong, Amanda McTigue, Nancy Lockard Gallop, Malena Eljumaily, Elizabeth VanPatten, Teresa LeYung-Ryan; Gene Griffith was not at awards ceremony

Again, thank you, Linda Loveland Reid, contest judges Lennie Dean, Natasha Carter-Yim, Michael Fontaine (who couldn’t attend the awards ceremony), Redwood Writers, fellow playwrights, Lynn Scott, Elisa Sasa Southard, my MaMa, and my friends who send me good wishes.

Teresa LeYung-Ryan and Redwood Writers Playwriting Contest Judge & Playwright Natasha Carter Yim. Thank you, Natasha!


Redwood Writers Playwriting Contest Judge & Festival Director Lennie Dean tells Teresa LeYung-Ryan which symbolism in Teresa's play touched her. Thank you, Lennie!


Redwood Writers Play Festival Director Lennie Dean with Playwright/Writing Coach/Story Consultant Teresa LeYung-Ryan and Travel Writer/Certified Tour Director Elisa Sasa Southard



Congratulations! Answer Me Now is a beautiful sojourn of the mother/daughter soul affinity. I continually seek to be the best of the best of my mother: your play is a tribute to that ongoing relationship of mind, heart and healing spirit. Thank you.

As Festival Director, I am thrilled at the announcement of the collaboration between Redwood Writers President Linda Loveland Reid  and 6th Street Playhouse – Craig Miller, Artistic and Education Director. This match will bring the best of both worlds to serve in the enrichment of our community. It is sure to be an event of the year!

I will update as the process of the creation of this event unfolds!

Lennie Dean

Thank you so much, Lennie!

Thinking back to that monologue (Othello on judgment day) I had written for that English class. . . I wonder where that paper is.

You can write any genre that hooks you. Just write.


Thank you, Elisa Sasa Southard, for helping me (Teresa LeYung-Ryan) do advance publicity for Redwood Writers Play Festival at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA


Teresa LeYung-Ryan

As editor/story consultant, Teresa LeYung-Ryan identifies themes and universal archetypes for clients. As author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW, she says: “Make your name synonymous with the issues you write about.” Teresa has built her own platform happily; her novel Love Made of Heart is used in college composition classes. She says her novel and her play Answer Me Now carry the theme closest to her heart: mother-daughter relationship. for Coach Teresa’s Blog and other resources.  “Reach out, not stress out, to materialize your dearest dreams.”




Our mission statements seem to ripple outward, then circuitously flow back to us in order to give us reflection so that our messages take on larger and stronger ripples.

Dear Writers, Colleagues, Mentors, Friends, Family Members,     Vagina Monologues fundraiser for Community Violence Solutions 2010

Director Kathryn McCarty has asked me to ask you to help spread the word about this benefit performance.  Please use Facebook, Tweeter, your blogs, emails, etc. to extend the invitation to your friends who live in the SF Bay Area.  You have my gratitude.

On Monday April 12, 2010, 7:30pm  Let’s pack Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA to support V-Day & our communities at the one-night performance of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. In spite of an already packed schedule, Director Kathryn G. McCarty was compelled to take on this project–a fundraiser for Community Violence Solutions in response to the crime of last October when a former student of hers was gang-raped at Richmond High School.  Kathy said: “I am afraid we are kidding ourselves if we think violence, or apathy to violence just happens in Richmond.  It’s epidemic. .. It’s going to take the entire Bay Area Community to reach out.  We all have to take a stand in teaching young people how to think for themselves. There are alternatives to violence.”   “V” in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina. Tickets through General Admission $40; Students & Seniors $25; buffet dinner & show $65  OR (for half-price general admission tickets). Tell Director Kathy (925) 676-5705 that cast member Teresa LeYung Ryan sent you (if GoldStar runs out of half-price tickets; Kathy can arrange for more half-price tickets). The show is produced by Galatean Players in association with Contra Costa College.

Craneway Pavilion is at 1414 Harbour Way South, in the Marina district of Richmond, CA, convenient to the 580 freeway.

Could you email me as well if you can attend on April 12, 2010?  I’d like to look for you after performance and personally thank you. I’ll be updating my website with photos from rehearsals.


Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart
Here’s the backstory–the ripples . . . In April 2004 Poet and women’s advocate Shirley Itim Melo Phelps had invited me to Community Violence Solutions’ Evening of Awareness; Jackie Speier was the keynote speaker that night. The following year, Shirley, Cynthia Peterson and Rhonda James at CVS asked me to be their keynote speaker for Denim Day and Take Back the Night.

Yesterday April 3, 2010 after my first day of rehearsal of The Vagina Monologues, I came home and found photos from 2005 (when I had delivered  those 2 speeches for Community Violence Solutions).

I am honored to be included in the cast, all empowering women, guided by Director Kathryn G. McCarty who has reconnected me with Community Violence Solutions. In Eve Ensler’s play, the section about “what would your vagina wear?”  I’d say “ultra soft denim” to commemorate “Denim Day” which breaks the dress-code thus breaking the silence about sexual violence.

Teresa LeYung Ryan and Sergeant Sandra Douglas 2005 Denim Day

Teresa LeYung Ryan and Sergeant Sandra Douglas 2005 Denim Day

Here are exerpts from my April 27, 2005 speech at Pittsburg, CA.  (My friend, author Elisa Southard, and columnist Clara-Rae Genser were there that day in 2005, giving me moral support.)

The Denim Day Campaign began in 1999 with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (also known as CalCASA) and the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women as part of an international protest of an Italian High Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans.  I am now quoting from CalCASA:

The justices dismissed charges against a 45-year-old rape suspect because his 18-year-old victim was wearing jeans at the time of the attack. The Court blamed the victim for the rape, stating in their decision that because the victim’s jeans were so tight, she would have had to remove them herself.  The judgment sparked a worldwide outcry from those who understand coercion, threats and violence that come with the act of rape.  The unpopular verdict became an international symbol of myth-based injustice for sexual assault victims.

Women of the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans.  As news of the decision spread, so did the protest movement. Over 120,000 people throughout Los Angeles participated on Denim Day last year.

We are wearing jeans today, along with Community Violence Solutions and the City of Pittsburg, because we want to put a stop to the kind of thinking that says: ‘A victim can prevent rape if she really wants to, including knocking a gun out of the attacker’s hand.’”

Here are some chilling statistics.  I am quoting Cynthia Peterson, director for the Rape Crisis Center at Community Violence Solutions:

Approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men are raped in adulthood………

Under the age of 18, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are victims of sexual assault.

We are here today to say NO to blaming victims.  NO to keeping silent.

We are here today to honor Sergeant Sandra Douglas and the community.

We are here today to WEAR DENIM!

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On a sunny day in November 2009 I was running errands in Berkeley when a newspaper headline stopped me.  “15-Year-Old Girl Gang-Raped”  The last two words made me dizzy and sick.  I stood there, staring into the newsstand. Then the anger rose and I wanted the strength of ten Hercules, to be an avenger for the teenager.  Since that day I’ve been asking my angels to show me compassionate ways to help my community.

Last month, my friend Elisa Southard called Kathy McCarty on my behalf when she heard that Kathy was directing The Vagina Monologues.  Thank you, Elisa, for being there for me in 2005, for being here now as I am reminded that our mission statements do take on larger and stronger ripples.

More about Community Violence Solutions:    Since 1974, CVS has served as the umbrella organization for Rape Crisis of Contra Costa and Marin Counties, while providing a wide range of services to child and adult victims of sexual violence, their families and the community.

V-Day Until the Violence Stops is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.

I had seen The Vagina Monologues 10 years ago when playwright and children’s book author Kim McMillon invited me. Marga Gomez, Rita Moreno and Vicki Lawrence delivered powerful performances in San Francisco. I remember seeing Patrise, owner of Gaia Books of Berkeley, and her friends, wearing red boas for V-Day.

As an author and a community spirit, I, Teresa LeYung Ryan, use my novel Love Made of Heart to:
• shed light on stigmas suffered by immigrant women, men, and children
• advocate understanding of mental illness/traumas to the mind and spread compassion
• help survivors of violence find their own voices through writing

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