Posts Tagged ‘families’

Talk about writers collaborating and having fun… Barbara Whittaker, GM of The Axe & Palm Café, Stanford University, created a literary series and invited yours truly Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart, to kick-off the new program on November 12, 2009. Dear friend Elisa Southard, author of Break Through the Noise: 9 Tools to Propel Your Marketing Message, showed up to take photos and video. What a delightful evening.  My hubby was there to record and cheer.

Teresa LeYung Ryan shows Chinese word for "love" and Barbara Whittaker holds Teresa's novel Love Made of Heart

Teresa LeYung Ryan shows Chinese word for "love" and Barbara Whittaker holds Teresa's novel Love Made of Heart

Stanford students Natalia, Chana Rose, Zach with Teresa LeYung Ryan (middle) and Barbara Whittaker (right)

Stanford students Natalia, Chana Rose, Zach with Teresa LeYung Ryan (middle) and Barbara Whittaker (right)

small photo Lyle Ryan & Teresa LeYung Ryan photo by Elisa Southard

Lyle Ryan & Teresa LeYung Ryan

Stanford students Natalia Birgisson, Chana Rose Rabinovitz and Zach O’Keeffe read scenes with me. These young people made a deep impression on me.

David, thank you for setting up P/A system; Anthony, thank you for tranforming space; Scott (Barbara’s hubby), thank you for helping with sound-check. Friends who couldn’t attend, thank you for sweet  emails and voicemails.

Stanford students & The Axe & Palm Cafe staff are memorable characters.

The heroes & heroines at The Axe & Palm Cafe with Teresa and Barbara, photo by Elisa

The heroes & heroines at The Axe & Palm Cafe with Teresa and Barbara, photo by Elisa

Everyone at Stanford who contributed their time and energy also deserve praise.

QUESTIONS that I answered:

  • Is Love Made of Heart autobiographical?
  • Where do you get your ideas for stories?
  • What other genres do you write?
  • What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
  • You write about sobering subject matters; what do you do for fun?

A portion of the proceeds from book sales was donated to Save-the-Libraries.

Thank you, Barbara Whittaker, for further promoting literacy and sharing your brainchild with us!

Stanford student Mitchell Holt represented Marketing Dept. with authors Teresa LeYung Ryan & Elisa Southard

Stanford student Mitchell Holt represented Marketing Dept. with authors Teresa LeYung Ryan & Elisa Southard

http://www.youtube.com/savethelibraries  Click on “Chandra’s Story”

Beloved libraries are homes and community centers for kids, teens, seniors, job-seekers, you and me–anyone who needs a place to access books, resources, the Internet, and, especially librarians’ expertise.
Visit: http://savethelibraries.spaces.live.com/

We can all help and have fun at the same time.

In Oakland, CA?

1.  Attend any portion of the June 30, 2009 meeting, 5:00pm–late evening

Oakland City Council Meeting
Check   http://savethelibraries.spaces.live.com   for change in meeting time

City Council Chambers at Oakland City Hall
1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza
1 City Hall Plaza (the building with clock tower)
Oakland, CA 94612

2.  Tell friends about:  http://savethelibraries.spaces.live.com/

3.  Attend the next Save-the-Library advocacy meeting:

6:00 to 8:00 PM, Oakland Main Library-West Auditorium.   125 14th Street, Oakland, CA

http://savethelibraries.spaces.live.com/

The words “Merry Christmas” sound like music, and, I like saying them myself. Yet, those two words also represent hard times for many.

Growing up in the late 1960s Christmas meant reassembling our 3′ aluminum tree, decorating it with silver and gold-tone tinsels and red tinfoil balls. We were new immigrants in San Francisco. One year, a relative told my mother (in Cantonese) to take us to Emporium. This aunt said to me: “Professionally wrapped presents, in bins marked for boys and for girls and sorted by age.” I was the oldest (and had learned English quickly the first year in school–third grade), so, I felt it was my duty to interpret and to voice my vote to MaMa that she should take the three of us to this department store and let us each choose a wrapped gift. So, the next day while BaBa was at work, MaMa counted coins for bus fare and took a ten-dollar bill from the cookie tin (our family piggy bank), bundled me and my brother and sister in wool coats and scarves, and off we went onto the #15 bus. Emporium was one-and-a-half extremely long blocks from the bus stop. Inside the store, my cold face warmed up instantly. We rode the escalator all the way to the sixth, or, was it the seventh floor? Excitement would have been an understatement. I saw tables and tables of presents– lovely boxes, wrapped with Christmas paper, possibly containing dolls or dump trucks or Tinkertoy kits or porcelain tea sets or any number of toys that my siblings and I had seen at the Woolworth toy department.

MaMa did not speak English, but, the signs on the tables did not require knowledge of the language. Big signs: “$5 per gift” and “$10 per gift.” A sick feeling was churning in my stomach. I looked up at my mother’s face. Her expression reminded me of the time the driver told us that he had to return his bus to the yard and that we all had to get off. A saleswoman came up to us. She looked at my mother in a strange way. I wondered if it was because MaMa was wearing a thin coat, not like the other mothers who had big coats, with fur collars. “Merry Christmas,” the woman said. I had my smarts that moment. “Let’s go,” I said to my siblings. I led the way as we descended the escalator, all the way to the first floor. “Woolworth’s toys are better,” I said to our mother. She smiled. That sickly feeling in my gut was gone.

Looking back . . . we were poor, but, we three children never had to wear tattered clothes or shiver inside our apartment or go to bed hungry. BaBa had a job and MaMa was home for us.

I’ve been fortunate. Many families haven’t been. Many families still are not. I salute organizations that help families-in-need. Local. Statewide. National. International. Do you know about others?

  • FESCO — the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition — is a nonprofit organization comprised of over 30 churches and community members in the Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and San Leandro, California area…reaching out to serve homeless families with food, shelter, clothing, counseling and links to community resources. http://www.fescofamilyshelter.org/
  • Western Service Workers Association 510-832-2111 Oakland, CA. WSWA helps thousands of low-income workers during the holiday season with “Pledge A Turkey Campaign”
  • CARE’s Work Last year, CARE programs improved the lives of more than 55 million people in 66 countries. CARE not only feeds the hungry, we also help tackle underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient. Recognizing that women and children suffer disproportionately from poverty, CARE places special emphasis on working with women to create permanent social change. http://we.care.org

Cheers to the heroic folks at these organizations! Christmas is just the beginning of winter. May we all be fortunate and continue helping our communities through winter and into following seasons.

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