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Dear Writers/Caregivers/Advocates for Loved Ones,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here . . .  I see how helping a loved one/being an advocate is so much like writing a book.

My papa has been diagnosed with Parkinsonism by his neurologist. If Papa is telling his story, he would be the first-person narrator; if I’m telling the story about him, then I would be the third-person narrator.

A book (story) consists of one main character (also known as “hero” or “protagonist”) or multiple main characters and other characters (other archetypes), a subject matter that is discussed repeatedly (“theme”) and at least one plotline (“what happened?”). The merging of these elements helps the writer show the hero’s journey.

Helping a loved one/being an advocate consists of at least 2 protagonists (YOU and the loved one) and other archetypes (physicians, healthcare and social service providers, other family members and friends, neighbors, coworkers, vendors, . . . the stranger who gives up her/his seat on the train for you), themes (the cause for help and advocacy and the related issues), and plotlines (the interconnected events associated with all the characters).  Who will be the most transformed in the story?  The loved one?  You the caregiver/advocate? The person who is most transformed would be the main character/hero/protagonist.  Perhaps both people will go through great transformation.  Two protagonists!

I am writing – I keep a notebook for whenever I visit my papa or when I do something on his behalf- gosh, there are so many little “subplots” to keep track of! (Is this Papa’s third or last session with the physical therapist? Mary and I need to witness the exercises so that when the P.T. closes the case, we would be able to coach Papa. Did he say he wanted another heating pad? Oh my, there are at least 18 model to choose from.   Gotta review friends’ advice about what is a comfortable bed and also Consumer Reports. Then Papa has to “test drive” some beds. You just can’t shop for a mattress the way you shop for a pair of shoes.

MATTRESS SHOPPING TIPS (from Sealy’s website)

  1. Plan to spend at least one hour in the store.
  2. Wear loose clothing and easily removable shoes.
  3. Test out mattresses in groups of three for easier comparison.
  4. Lie on each mattress for 5 to 15 minutes to let it fully adapt to your body.
  5. Don’t feel rushed. It’s ok to ask for privacy.

I would add:  Bring your own pillow so that your neck is supported while trying out mattresses; maybe bring an extra pillow case too.

And, I am reading the book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D.  Chapter 2 is titled “A Man Walks Off His Parkinsonian Symptoms”  . . . how John Pepper has been able to reverse the major symptoms, the ones that Parkinson’s patients dread most, those that lead to immobility. He’s done so with an exercise program he devised and with a special kind of concentration . . .

All the “characters” in Dr. Doidge’s books (The Brain’s Way of Healing  and The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science) and in Dr. Victoria Sweet‘s book (God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine) are guiding me on my journey as an advocate for my father.  And, I just know that my mom plays a huge role in helping me.

I thank everyone who has given me her/his time, energy, and prayers.

Here are links to websites I’ve relied on lately:  Frances Kakugawa  B. Lynn Goodwin  Norman Doidge, M.D.  Michael J. Fox Foundation

Special thanks to Margie Yee Webb, Frances Kakugawa, Penny Manson, Debbie Ramos and her daughter Melanie who went out of their way to help me research specific items and to Mary, my sister Maria Leung, Linda Harris, Sue, Janet, and Elaine for being there in person.


Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan












Author & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out. Enjoy your writer’s journey.”







Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says:

“What is the purpose of creating a writer’s platform?  Your writer’s platform hooks attention from readers who care about the issues, subjects, themes that you write about.  What does your name stand for? When you make your name synonymous with what you care to write about, you are helping your fans find you.”

Example – Here’s my platform statement:

“I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, use my novel Love Made of Heart, essays, short plays/monologues to encourage adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their loved ones.”

My friends, colleagues, and fans know this about me and my work.  These wonderful people think of my name when they see or hear the words “mental health,” “mental illness” and “stigmas.”

Recently, author and documentary movie producer Margie Yee Webb gave me a print edition of an article written by Julie Samrick because Margie saw some keywords in Ms. Samrick’s piece (“Community partners work to end mental health stigma”) that are also in my platform statement. Thank you, Margie dear.

Ms. Samrick hooked my attention with a subject matter that I deeply care about.  And, her first line included the name of a powerful advocate whose messages I wholeheartedly support — actress Glenn Close who uses her international fame to shed light on  “ending the stigma of mental illness.”

Here’s an excerpt from the online edition of Ms. Samrick’s article.

Community partners work to end mental health stigma

Posted by Julie Samrick on Jul 7, 2014 Village Life is a weekly publication covering the communities of El Dorado Hills and Folsom, CA
Filed under Featured Stories, News.

“One out of four families will experience mental health challenges. My family is one,” narrates actress Glenn Close at the start of the documentary A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, which was shown to residents at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pavilion earlier this year in an effort to get more people to seek help when they or their loved ones are suffering with mental illness. Fifteen such forums were held throughout El Dorado County so far this year.  “My sister Jessie wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until she was 51 and her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 19,” Close continued.

From Olympic diver Greg Louganis to retired congressman Patrick Kennedy, high-profile individuals spoke openly about their struggles with mental illness in the Mental Health Services Act sponsored film.

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here with another example. 

Ms. Glenn Close’s platform statements for her organization BringChange2Mind  are:  “Change A Mind About Mental Illness” and “Start the conversation. End the stigma.”

You see how simple building one’s platform is? 

For me . . .

  • I write about and I read about “speaking openly about mental illness and stigmas” because I have a personal connection with the subject. I broadcast what I write about and read about with this blog, in social media, my YouTube channel, and in interviews.
  • My friends, colleagues, and fans connect my name (Teresa LeYung-Ryan) with the subject I deeply care about.
  • With help from my friends, colleagues, and fans, I continue to connect with other advocates who also speak openly about mental illness and stigmas, thus, my platform grows bigger and bigger.

Links to Ms. Close’s and many other helpful organizations are listed on my blog page


Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Author Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s platform statement connects with Ms. Glenn Close’s mission statement
Teresa’s book Love Made of Heart: a Mother’s Mental Illness Forges Forgiveness in Daughter Ruby is used in college courses and archived at the San Francisco History Center.  Please ask your public librarian to find a copy for you.

Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan helps writers transform email signature blocks, photos, website descriptions, and YouTube videos into platform statements . . . before and after publication.

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW. Click here for print edition. Click here for Kindle edition. “Reach out, not stress out.”

Subscribe to  “Coach Teresa’s blog” Click here to start.


Dec. 5, 2013 Director Emmanuel Itier so happy to show off FEMME: Women Healing the World movie poster enlarged by Producer Margie Yee Webb - photo by Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart: a Daughter's Journey to Self-Forgiveness

Below is the announcement from Director Emmanuel Itier

Dear Friends:

We are proud to announce that FEMME: Women Healing the World (the movie) has been Awarded  #1 most important film of 2013 among Documentaries  that could change The World. Here is a link:

In January 2014 we are receiving several Awards at the Santa Barbara Pop Up Documentary film festival (  ) and in February FEMME will be celebrated at the Los Angeles Conscious Life Expo with multiple Awards for Sharon Stone and Marianne Williamson ( and a special panel: )
We are inviting you to give FEMME as a “Gift of Hope” these Holidays with a 30% discount from December 15, 2013 until Jan 5, 2014:
Please spread the message of Peace and Love from FEMME through emails and all your social medias.

We Wish you a Blessed Holidays Season and a Happy New Year!
In Oneness,
Emmanuel and The FEMME Team.

FEMME Women Healing the World movie's Fab Four - Margie Yee Webb, Celeste Yarnall, Nazim Artist, Director Emmanuel Itier - photo by 22-Day Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here . . . so very proud of my dear colleague Margie Yee Webb, producer of FEMME and so happy for everyone involved in FEMME: Women Healing the World.


Friday November 29, 2013

Author and 22-Day Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan thanks Stacey Glick, John Scognamiglio and the Folks associated with Kensington Publishing Corp.

I thank powerhouse agent Stacey Glick

Stacey Glick, VP at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

who found insightful acquisition editor John Scognamiglio

John Scognamiglio of Kensington Publishing Corp.

at Kensington Publishing Corp. 

who guided my mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart to the Sales Team, good-energy publisher Laurie Perkin, president Steven Zacharius, Debbie Tobias was Sales Director, Lou Malcangi was art director, by the way . . . booksellers do judge a book by its cover, Libba Bray, who is now a New York Times bestselling author of young adult books, for book jacket copy, Jacquie Edwards for copy editing, marketing team, production team, Jessica in Sales, Michelle who was Webmaster,and EVERYONE at Kensington and their associates, especially Nancy Suib & Anne Shulenberger, and Kensington Publishing Corp.’s superstars Lydia Kwa, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Mary B. Morrison, Mary Monroe, Carl Weber . . .

If not for these people, I would not have had the opportunity to experience the publishing industry from the author’s perspective . . .  which then gave me the credentials to talk about “who” really is the most qualified person to build the author’s platform and fanbase.

I thank you all!

Love Made of Heart (mother-daughter love story) by Teresa LeYung-Ryan













Love Made of Heart  is:

  • a 2002 nominee of the Asian American Literary Award
  • recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association
  • used in college composition, women’s studies, and advanced composition English-as-a-Second-Language classes
  • read by students at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, City College of Sacramento, Lowell High School, and many other wonderful institutions
  • archived at the San Francisco History Center


Teresa LeYung Ryan  uses her novel Love Made of Heart to:

  • celebrate the immigrant experience
  • inspire adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their loved ones
  • help survivors of family violence find their own voices










author & 22-Day Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan cheers for dear friend/colleague Margie Yee Webb (producer of FEMME: Women Healing the World) at the movie screening in Sacramento, CA











Reach out, not stress out.


Author & 22-Day Writing & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan added Helpful Websites & Resources & Guides for Mental Health / Mental Illness / Depression

Dear Writers and Readers,

The hard drive of my computer died and it will be a while until I can access my webpage,-Girls,-Boys,-Teens,-Men,-Families.html   However, because I didn’t want to delay my adding the links to two wonderful mental health resource sites, I created a new page on my blog
The 2 additions are: 

Jennifer Bell, thank you for letting me know about Critical Mental Health Resources for College Students.   I thank you and your colleagues for creating this remarkable forum with links to many organizations in all 50 states and Washington D.C. in the U.S.A.

Author of Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings and producer of  FEMME: Women Healing the World Margie Yee Webb, thank you for letting me know about Active Minds which was founded by Alison Malmon when she was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, following the suicide of her older brother Brian.

I encourage you to submit a comment on this blog post or the new blog page; I encourage your colleagues and friends to submit comments; as you know, comments help cyberspace find “tags” and “tags” help people find you and your resources.

Teresa LeYung-Ryan's book Love Made of Heart shows protagonist Ruby Lin learning about compassionate and self-forgiveness when her mom is 5150'ed -- photo by Cheri Eplin


22-Day Writer’s Platform & Fanbase-Building 

I celebrate you and your role in creating hope and peace in our community!  Please click here to reserve your tickets now and join me!  Our colleague Margie Yee Webb is orchestrating a movie-screening party FEMME: Women Healing the World on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, (doors open at 6:30pm) for 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento.   Director Emmanuel Itier, Producer Margie Yee Webb, Producer & Spokeswoman Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D. & Artist Nazim will attend this extraordinary event!   See you there!
If you cannot attend but wish to purchase or rent the movie, please click here.  YOU are healing the world with the wonderful work you do!

November 4, 2013 Teresa LeYung-Ryan visited Professor Sheryl Fairchild’s Psychology of Women class at Sacramento City College, CA; students are reading Teresa’s mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart

November 9, 2013 Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan presented “Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days” at Northern California Publishers & Authors in Citrus Heights, CA
22-Day Fanbase Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says:
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