Posts Tagged ‘protagonist’

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:

https://franceskakugawa.wordpress.com/category/caregiving/  Frances Kakugawa

http://www.writeradvice.com/ywmtdw.html  B. Lynn Goodwin

http://www.normandoidge.com/  Norman Doidge, M.D.

https://www.michaeljfox.org/  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.

Sincerely,

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

http://lovemadeofheart.com/

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/user/teresaleyung

 

 

 

 

 

 Coach Teresa says: “Fortify Your Platform with New Tags for Your Books and All Your Writings.”

How do you attract new fans?  When your friends and colleagues brag about you?  Yes!   What else?  How do you help your prospective fans find you?  By making your name synonymous with the issues / themes / subject matter you write about?  Yes!!  After all, when folks need something, don’t they go to search engines and type keywords and key phrases (aka “tags”) to find what they need?  Those folks will find you through the tags associated with your name!

Here’s an excellent examplelet’s look at author Wendy D. Walter and her tags.  Wendy writes fantasy / adventure stories for young adults / teens.  Her protagonist is fourteen-year-old Ambril Derwyn.

I hosted Wendy D. Walter (author of Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith) in a live-blog event on January 5, 2013.  Nineteen fans (old and new) showed up to greet her and cheer for her and to ask questions.

Thank you, Anne M. Beggs, Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Christopher Wachlin, Deborah Taylor-French, Diane LeBow, Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, Eugenia Budman, Eve Visconti, Janine, Jean Morrow, Kate Farrell, LakshmiLove, Linda C. McCabe, Margie Yee Webb, Maria, Tera, Thonie Hevron, Yolande Barial, for participating on January 5th, 2013!

To see complete questions and answers and  comments from please click on: http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/please-help-me-welcome-author-wendy-d-walter-to-this-live-blog-appearance/

To read my interview with Wendy, please click on:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/coach-teresas-interview-questions-for-author-wendy-d-walter-ambrils-tale-the-return-of-the-dullaith/

Here are some tags associated with Wendy D. Walter’s writings

  • Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith
  • father’s death
  • half-truth
  • ancient Celtic magic and nature-based magic
  • introverts
  • Global Warming, rising seas, raging storms
  • Utah in the middle of winter
  • taking on the bullies
  • fictional California town Trelawnyd
  • fantasy stories
  • monsters
  • young adult Y/A
  • secret warriors
  • human morality

Thank you,Wendy, for having written a compelling story. What a page-turner!

Look for more “tags” in Wendy D. Walter‘s answers to the questions asked by fans:

“My all time favorite writer is Jane Austen. It’s been over 200 years since she was first published and her stories still enthrall me. From her books, I learned that the most important thing a writer can do is to make your readers care about what happens to your character and to never underestimate your reader.”

“I’m also a great admirer of Diana Wynne Jones, my favorite fantasy writer. She also never underestimated her readers and gave us incredibly intricate and original stories. Her books are often funny as well!”

“And that is why Ambril’s Tail has a very robust plot, with lots of twists and turns and strives to be humorous as often as possible!”

“Some of my characters are right out of my imagination, but some of them have roots in mythology. The Aunties, for instance, are the seers of the story, who share one pair of glasses. Perseus runs into three crones who share one eye and a tooth in one of his adventures, but groupings of three witches/hags/seers appear in all sorts of ancient Nordic and Germanic stories as well!”

“The Cerberus, the guardians of the underworld, is one of my favorite Greek legends.”

“I’m not sure why this is, but if you take a simple bullying exchange off the playground in our world and give the characters fangs and fairy wings, the issue becomes much clearer. In fantasy, we get a bit heavy handed at times and tend to make our bullies actual monsters (it’s more fun that way). Also, as bullying is an obvious abuse of power, it works well within worlds where it’s clear who the good and bad guys are, at least most of the time! Check out the Q & A Teresa posted on this blog for more on bullying: http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/coach-teresas-interview-questions-for-author-wendy-d-walter-ambrils-tale-the-return-of-the-dullaith/  Bullying appears to be a behavior that some mistake for strength, particularly the immature (of all ages).”

“And there is a great male main character called Ygg. My beta readers all chose him as their favorite character!”

Ambril’s Tale is for the 10-14 marketplace, just right for middle schoolers!”

Get your copy of Wendy D. Walter's book or ask your library to carry it!

Where to Find the book Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith:

http://www.amazon.com/Ambrils-Tale-Return-Dullaith-ebook/dp/B008EALE3A/

Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith at Barnes and Noble

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/174750

“Book 2, Ambril’s Tale, Riding the Cursed Shoots, is coming out in March, 2013!”

 

Cheers to Wendy D. Walter, protagonist Ambril and everyone she cares about!

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, to materialize your dearest dreams.”
http://writingcoachteresa.com

As author of Love Made of Heart, creator of Love Made of Heart gift items and the “Talking to My Dead Mom Monologues,” Teresa encourages writers to speak out (in print) for those who cannot speak for themselves.

As coach and author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW , Teresa says: “Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, make your name synonymous with the issues you write about.”


 

 

 

Coach Teresa, what happened on Feb. 16, 2012 at San Francisco Writers Conference?

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here . . . this is what happened from my point of view. Tell me and my colleagues your point of view by submitting comments to this blog post.  How? Click on the blue title bar of this post, scroll down to get the boxes, fill in boxes and click on “submit comment” button.

I took BART into The City and then MUNI #1 to meet co-presenter & colleague Mary E. Knippel.  At 6:00pm we were to deliver BE YOUR OWN EDITOR at the San Francisco Writers Conference at the Mark Hopkins Hotel at top of Nob Hill.

Authentic details for writers who want to get to the top of Nob Hill: If you off-board BART at Embarcadero station, come up to street level that is closest to Drumm Street. Walk northward on Drumm, then westward on Sacramento Street (a one-way street). At Sacramento St. (near Davis St.), you’d catch the MUNI #1 bus that travels westward on Sacramento Street. $2 fare (driver gives  y0u a transfer that’s good for 4 hours).

The ride is about 10 blocks or .7 mile (through Financial District and Chinatown, and up the hills).  If you’re concerned about not knowing how to push the bell or pull the cord to request your stop, ask the bus driver or fellow passengers to look out for you. Off-board at Mason; walk a block southward on Mason to get to California St. (California St. is parallel to Sacramento St.).  Wait for signals to cross the street.  There you are–at the International Mark Hopkins.

As soon as you step onto the bricked courtyard, courteous hotel employees will greet you.

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Linda Lee and Jane Glendinning among the first to arrive to help make SFWC THE writers conference

 

Story Consultant and Writers' Platform-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan happy to present at SFWC again

presenters Mary E Knippel & Linda Lee solve mystery over their luggage at Mark Hopkins

 

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I saw Laurie McLean, Barbara Santos & Richard Santos, Nina Amir, Neal Sofman, dear mentors Michael Larsen & Elizabeth Pomada, Stephanie Chandler and other colleagues.  Our session was to begin at 6:00pm.  Among the writers who attended our session “Be Your Own Editor” were memoirist Jing Li,  journalist and novelist Don Hudson and Margie Yee Webb (author of Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings)!

Thank you, Patrick, for setting up the microphone–the room was long–without the microphone, the writers sitting in the back would have had difficulty hearing us.

Thank you to each writer in the room!  Here’s an offer to you if you were in our session on Feb. 16, 2012 –  I’ll be happy to read and give feedback to the first 2 pages (double spaced; pages numbered; manuscript title and your full name in the header) of your manuscript.  Email me: your full name; your project’s genre; list of your themes.  Then I’ll let you know when would be the best time to email me your first 2 pages. I’ll arrange my schedule so that I can focus on one writer a day.  My email address is at gmail.com  My User Name is:  WritingCoachTeresa


Session hand-out for Mary E. Knippel & Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s presentation BE YOUR OWN EDITOR

 

 

Mary E. Knippel & Teresa LeYung-Ryan
Being Your Own Editor
Ensure Your Manuscript 100% Ready For the Next Step
•    hire a book doctor/developmental editor OR
•     pitch to agents or acquisition editors OR
•     be  your own publisher

fiction / narrative nonfiction / prescriptive nonfiction (“how-to” books)

YOUR NAME: ______________________________ Your Project: ________________________________

Tool #1   Grounding Reader with the three Ws (Who? When? Where?)
Tool #2   Hooking Reader from first page to last with core theme and “What does Protagonist want?” (in prescriptive nonfiction “What does Reader need?”)
Tool #3     In Fiction & Narrative Nonfiction (both genres are forms of  “story-telling”) Who are your protagonist, antagonist, and other archetypes?
Tool #4    In Fiction & Narrative Nonfiction (front story / back story)
Tool #5    Foreshadows  Metaphors   Recurring Images
Tool #6    Authentic Details
Tool #7   Monologue   Dialogue   Vernacular
Tool #8   Misspelled words; misplaced modifiers; other frights

and 15 minutes for Questions & Answers

Thank you, dear mentors Michael Larsen & Elizabeth Pomada, for inviting Mary and me to deliver our signature presentation “Be Your Own Editor”!

Thank you, dear Birgit Soyka author of To Drink the Wild Air, for bringing your camera tripod!

Thank you, dear Margie Yee Webb, author of Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings: Insight and Inspiration for a Wonderful Life, for introducing Mary and me, for taking photos, for having written the purr-fect gift book and letting me show in our session how every page of a prescriptive nonfiction book ought to contain inspiration, wisdom or a metaphor.

Thank you, Camille Thompson, columnist at SanRamonPatch.com, for your gracious help, making our session an enjoyable one.

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Margie Yee Webb (author of Cat Mulan's Mindful Musings) cheers for story consultants Teresa LeYung-Ryan & Mary E. Knippel in their session BE YOUR OWN EDITOR

Camille Thompson greets conference registrants and presenters Mary E Knippel and Teresa LeYung-Ryan BE YOUR OWN EDITOR session for SFWC

 

 

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authors & story consultants Mary E. Knippel & Teresa LeYung-Ryan use classics to draw examples for BE YOUR OWN EDITOR at SFWC--photo by author Margie Yee Webb

authors & story consultants Mary E. Knippel & Teresa LeYung-Ryan give 8 tools at BE YOUR OWN EDITOR packed house session SFWC–photo by author Margie Yee Webb

 

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authors & story consultants Mary E Knippel & Teresa LeYung-Ryan attract writers at BE YOUR OWN EDITOR packed house session SFWC-photo by author Margie Yee Webb

 

 

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testimonials from Mary E Knippel & Teresa LeYung-Ryan's BE YOUR OWN EDITOR session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: "Wearing your 2 hats as a writer---to polish your manuscript and to build your platform---can be as fun as riding a San Francisco cable car."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Across the street at the Fairmont Hotel –  LEARNING & the BRAIN Conference–Connecting Educators to Neuroscientists and Researchers

Vehicular traffic was blocked off in the area because President Obama was to speak at the Masonic Auditorium that evening!

Coach Teresa here took the cable car to go home and pack for Day II of San Francisco Writers Conference.  Please see next post.

Sincerely

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

“Reach out, not stress out, to materialize your dearest dreams!”

http://writingcoachteresa.com
author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

As editor/story consultant, Coach Teresa helps her clients polish their manuscripts by identifying themes and archetypes.

Her novel Love Made of Heart is used in college composition classes. Thank you, Teachers & Students!


 

September 5, 2011

Dear Lynn Henriksen,

I miss my mom so so much. Your inviting me to guest-blog is a huge gift and I thank you. Today is Labor Day. I salute you, your mom, my mom, and all moms who labor/labored with love and hope for their families.

Sincerely,

Teresa

“What Does Your Protagonist Want?”

By  Teresa LeYung-Ryan, aka “Writing Career Coach & Manuscript Consultant Teresa”

“If you’re writing a novel or memoir, what does your protagonist want?”
“What are your themes and who are your archetypes?”
“If you’re writing a how-to book, what are the issues?”
“Do you want to build your platform to attract agents, publishers, and fans/readers?”

These are the questions I ask when writers hire me as their coach.

For many writers, the first question (“What does your protagonist want?”) is not an easy one to answer. What does your main character want when the story opens? As the story moves forward?

For memoir authors, the protagonist is the Self. You the author lived your story and you know the outcome; now is the chance to engage readers via story-telling techniques and show them what you wanted and how you went about getting (or not getting) what you wanted.

For novel authors, oftentimes the protagonist (or another major character) is modeled after the author; what the protagonist wants is also oftentimes a recurring theme for the author.

In the opening scene of Love Made of Heart (my autobiographical novel about an adult-daughter struggling to understand her mother’s mental illness ), protagonist Ruby Lin asks herself: What have I done? (as she watches police officers escort her mother from her apartment).

Ruby wants her mother to get well; she wants to return to her routines; she wants to forget her past; she wants a wise elder who listens and doesn’t judge. As we get to know Ruby, we find out what her “big wants” are—to find love and forgiveness.

I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of the novel, did not have a maternal grandmother. How I used to fantasize about a kind and wise Grandmama to run to! Writing fiction gave me the luxury to give my protagonist something I never had, so, I created the elderly neighbor Mrs. Nussbaum (embodying the mentor and ally archetypes); she would listen to Ruby and not judge her.

In the introduction of Lynn Scott’s memoir A Joyful Encounter: My Mother, My Alzheimer Clients, and Me, the author reveals: I needed money. I was sixty-seven and living thinly on Social Security… As we read on, we meet the other characters/archetypes and see how they help the author get the “big want” (what money can’t buy) . . .  a spiritual journey to her mother’s love.  Lynn Henriksen’s review of this same book ends with “… Scott’s book made me laugh, cry, and wish I could have my mother back for just a day, even one more hour.”

Aah, to have Mom back for just a day, even one more hour. That is exactly what yours truly wants right now.  I’ve been ill (coping with symptoms from wheat-intolerance) and I yearn for my mom’s hugs and encouraging words: “All will be fine, my darling daughter.” But, I can’t get what I want on a physical level; Mom died over ten years ago of metastasized breast cancer.

My biggest angel is my mom, and, I ask her to help me on a daily basis. “Mom, I want to feel well.”  My muscles and sinuses were hurting; fatigue overwhelmed me; then, when depression moved in . . . I knew that I needed to be an active protagonist. I stopped eating breads and anything made with wheat flour (and that include flaky pie crusts, almond tea cakes, Challah, tortilla that hold a burrito together, Pad Thai, and pasta).

My mastermind colleague Lori Noack reminded me that wheat is in soy sauce (gosh I eat a lot of Chinese food too) and in marinades and salad dressings (yikes).  LN, thank you for your encouraging emails!

Next, I went to see a Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner. Heather Richmond said “Teresa, the foods you’ve been eating are ‘damp.’ To treat the ‘dampness’ so that you’ll feel better, not only am I advising eliminating wheat from your diet, I’m also recommending eliminating soy as in tofu and corn.” No tofu and corn, in addition to no wheat?  Oh my.  Heather had explained that wheat, soy and corn are the top three most genetically-modified foods in this country.

Mrs. Nussbaum’s voice (my inner Wise Self) stepped into my head.  “Making a lifestyle change calls for perseverance. Go easy. Go gentle.  I’m proud of you.”

I tell my clients “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams.” I too have been reaching out—by telling my friends about what I want—to feel energetic again. I will need their moral support (to cheer for me when I turn down a slice of bread, a fresh croissant or homemade pizza crust).

At a meeting, Linda Joy Myers, author of 3 books and founder of National Association of Memoir Writers, gave me delicious rice crackers, wild salmon, and green beans when she found out about my wheat intolerance. Thank you, LJM!

Thank you to all my friends and family members who are supportive of my goals!  My sister sent me a gift card for shopping sprees in “organic produce” aisles.  Thank you, Maria!

These books continue to be helpful as I want to live well in spite of food allergies:

  • Eating Gluten Free: Delicious Recipes and Essential Advice for Living Well Without Wheat and Other Problematic Grains by Shreve Stockton
  • Optimal Healing: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine by Patricia Tsang, M.D.

Heather Richmond is recommending I stop eating rice in the next phase of treatment.  Oh oh . . .

I still want hugs from my mom.  I feel them.  Every morning and every night, in my prayers.  And I give hugs back. “Thank you my Main Angel.”

Lynn Henriksen aka The Story Woman, thank you so much for asking me to guest-blog. You’ve given me a lovely gift—a chance to talk about my mom, knowing what the protagonist wants, and how to reach out not stress out!  I cheer for you, your books, blog, and classes!

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Author, Writing Career Coach, Manuscript Consultant.

Teresa’s blog http://writingcoachteresa.com for resources.

Teresa uses Love Made of Heart to inspire adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families. (the novel is available in libraries, archived in the San Francisco History Center, and used by teachers in college and universities).

She’s also the author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (a workbook to help writers of all genres gain a competitive edge before and after publication. Available as ebook too! Customers of the workbook are saying that it’s useful for anyone who has anything to promote.)

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: "Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams."

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Lynn Henriksen wrote: “Teresa – it was my pleasure placing your guest post on The Story Woman blog! Thank you for an interesting piece and for speaking from your heart as you always do.”

Kate Farrell, Wisdom Has a Voice wrote: “Teresa–What a great post that speaks to how writers think, yearn, and write for themselves, to connect and to share in a way that makes the world a community!”

November 15, 2009

A week ago, I saw a plastic bag of dog poop sitting beside the curb in front of my home. Well, whoever left it there probably had an emergency to take care of (maybe the dog ran off to chase a squirrel and so the human had to run after the dog). No doubt, the following day when human and dog come by on their walk, the human would see the abandoned bag and say to himself/herself: “Oh, look. I’ll dispose of this today.”

Another two days go by.  The bag is now flattened (probably by a neighbor’s tire) and some of the poop has oozed out.
What is it with dog poop in my path?

Last year, dog excrement (sans bag) was sitting on the sidewalk at the corner. I almost stepped on it when I was approaching the trunk of my car to get my walking shoes. After my walk around the neighborhood, I called my Constructive Living Instructor Patricia Ryan Madson. “Patricia,” I asked, “Am I supposed to pick it up?”
Patricia didn’t have to answer. I just wanted to hear the logic:  In practicing Constructive Living, I could stay annoyed (in this case–a neighbor has not picked up after his/her pet) or I could “take care of what’s in front of me.”  My friend Marie Elena Gaspari (also a writing coach) speaks the same wisdom.

Today, I told my hubby about what’s lying on the street.  He offered to dispose of the mess.  I knew “who” needed to clean the mess.
It’s late afternoon now.   I know that when I go outside again, I will see a clean street because I took care of what was in front of me.

As a writing coach, I remind myself that in a story the protagonist has to be the one who takes action or suffer the consequences of being a “passive character.”

How can dog poop help your writing?  Don’t let your protagonist be passive.

The book – Constructive Living: Outgrow Shyness, Depression, Fear, Stress, Grief, Chronic Pain by David K. Reynolds.  Achieve the goal of Constructive Living – to do everything well. Western world Dr. Reynolds had combined two of the most popular forms of therapy in Japan.



Cheers from

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan is the author of 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.”

Teresa’s novel 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.

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