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A Weekend In the Life of this Writing-Career Coach

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here, wishing all writers new vitality to write and promote your work.

On the evening of May 2nd, 2012, I received my sister’s text-message “Nayati is home!” (kidnapped boy had been released, thank God!) I text’ed back “Get some rest” because I knew she must be  exhausted (joining forces and taking action to help find Nayati, conducting class, and comforting her own students).

That evening I got onto facebook to broadcast the news of Nayati’s safe return, called friends who don’t use facebook, and updated my webpage and blog posts. Thank you, Everyone, for your powerful prayers.

The next day (after a long sleep), I went about my day with a lighter heart.

So, I wrote cards (created by Rosemary C.) to Elaine M. (retired teacher), Luisa Adams (author of Woven of Water), Vicki Weiland (developmental editor of nonfiction books) and Lori Hope (author of Help Me Live)

I sent Bardi Rosman Koodrin scoring sheets for the “Immigrant Experience Writing Contest” which I created and sponsored. I understand that winners from all the writing contests through the San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Division will be published in Carry the Light San Mateo County Fair Literary Anthology 2012.

And, I continue to read Mary Jo McConahay‘s mesmerizing memoir Maya Roads: One Woman’s Journey Among the People of the Rainforest.

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Linda Joy Myers made it possible for me (Teresa LeYung-Ryan) to attend Lynn Cook Henriksen's book launch at Joyce Turley's, and, when we arrived, I was tickled to see Patricia Morin and my dear friend Lynn Scott (right)!

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Another dear friend to me and my sister!  Jonathan was able to go to Norway Day Festival to cheer for my client Carla Danziger too.

Jonathan and Teresa LeYung-Ryan at Fort Mason Center for Norway Day in San Francisco. Cheers to Carla Danziger!

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authors Irene Berman and Carla Danziger talk to fans at Norway Day Festival--photo by Coach Teresa

Carla Danziger, Julie K. Rose, Astrid Karlsen Scott, Norman Ronneberg at Norway Day Festival

Karin Stahl with Carla Danziger author of Hidden Falls

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Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan with featured author Carla Danziger and journalist Cindy Warner at Norway Day Festival

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Jonathan and Teresa LeYung-Ryan cheer for authors Irene Levin Berman and Carla Danziger at Norway Day

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Italian French Baking Company in North Beach, San Francisco

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Teresa LeYung-Ryan and pal Michelle enjoy dining at North Beach San Francisco

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   I emailed my publicity sheet to colleague Laurel Anne Hill who is helping Bardi Rosman Koodrin.  “Teresa LeYung-Ryan and California Writers Club colleagues will be at Author Day June 16, 2012 at the San Mateo County Fair

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My pal Elisa Sasa Southard (travel writer and certified tour director) called to schedule our next work session. Our conversation reminded me to post these links:

http://valerieleeworks.wordpress.com Valerie Lee is the author of The Jade Rubies. Here’s a book review by Robert A. Garfinkle of Valerie Lee’s book The Jade Rubies.

Jonathan Fung‘s film Hark is a powerful story that will raise awareness of human trafficking and change lives.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/index.html Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex or forced labor. They are young children, teenagers, men and women. Trafficking in persons occurs throughout the world, including in the United States.

http://www.polarisproject.org   Polaris Project’s client services department has been providing survivors of human trafficking with the support necessary to rebuild lives and regain hope for the future.

NPR’s Talk of the Nation

Polaris Project’s Executive Director Bradley Myles discusses human trafficking in the United States, the NHTRC and what you can do if you suspect some one is being trafficked.

Here’s my webpage with links to The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Stamp Out Stigma, and BringChange2Mind.org

Sincerely,

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

http://writingcoachteresa.com

Coach Teresa has helped over 1,000 writers.

As editor/story consultant, Teresa LeYung-Ryan identifies themes, universal archetypes, front-story & back-story in clients’ manuscripts.

  • Teresa has built her own platform happily. Her first novel Love Made of Heart is used in college composition classes; recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association; and archived at the San Francisco History Center
  • Teresa’s 10-minute play Answer Me Now has been selected to be part of the 2012 Redwood Writers Play Festival. Tickets to June 29, 30 and July 1 performances will be on sale as of May 1st through the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA

Coach Teresa’s Blog is abundant resources for you.

Click on underscored text to jump over to referenced websites. To submit questions/comments to this article/post:

  • Click on the blue header (title bar) of this post
  • Scroll down until you see boxes and fill in the boxes (you do need an email address to submit questions/comments; if you have a website/blog, do promote it  by keying in the address)
  • After you fill in the boxes, you might want to keep a copy of your question/comment before clicking the  “submit comment” button. Thank you!

Coach Teresa . . . starting a new format with my blog posts

Since I wear 3 hats, as writing career coach & author who helps you Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days / editor & manuscript consultant who helps you identify themes and archetypes / novelist of Love Made of Heart who encourages adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families, I wish to divide my post into 3 sections.

As 22-day Platform-Building Coach:

Promote yourselves by linking your names & your projects to these recognized events.  According to Chase Calendar of Events,  November is:

  • Adoption Month, National
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Month, National
  • American Diabetes Month
  • American Indian Heritage Month, National
  • Aviation History Month
  • Banana Pudding Lovers Month
  • Diabetes Month, National
  • Diabetic Eye Disease Month
  • Family Caregivers Month, National
  • Georgia Pecan Month, National
  • Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month
  • Inspirational Role Models Month, National
  • Lifewriting Month, National
  • Long-Term Care Awareness Month, National
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • Marrow Awareness Month, National
  • Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month
  • Pet Cancer Awareness Month
  • Pomegranate Month, National
  • PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month
  • Vegan Month
  • Today November 16, 2011 is United Nations: International Day for Tolerance
  • the fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.
  • November 11, 2011 is Veterans Day

Every month is relevant to marketing your literary work. Day 19 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days demonstrates the beauty of linking your name to a date that is celebrated or recognized for the entire month–you’ll have a whole month to re-use one piece of writing.

 

As Editor & Manuscript Consultant:

Give yourself reasons to plot & write and replot & rewrite!

November is National Novel Writing Month (founder is Chris Baty)

Write Nonfiction In November (founder is Nina Amir)

December is International Plot Writing Month (founder is Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer)

Read or reread a book – I’m reading Nothing Can Scare Me Now: Managing Breast Cancer So It Doesn’t Manage You by Juliane Cortino (a colleague at Women’s National Book Association)

 

As author of Love Made of Heart:

I found “Veterans and Mental Health: We Owe Them Better”  blog post by Mike Fitzpatrick, NAMI Executive Director

Last year, more than 1.2 million veterans were treated by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) health care system, about a third for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That is an increase of about 25 percent from four years before, as troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Washington Post reports that approximately 18 veterans die from suicide every day. Yet in survey released in September, the VA reported that 70 percent of its doctors, nurses and social workers believe the system lacks the staff and space to provide adequate mental health care. More than 37 percent said they cannot schedule an appointment for a new patient within 14-days.

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Mr. Fitzpatrick,

Thank you for writing this post to shed light on what we can do to advocate for better care of our veterans and their families. I linked your post to mine dated November 16, 2011 http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/ so that my blog fans can get resources for their loved ones. My beautiful mom (not a Veteran but was an orphan during World War II) suffered mental illness all her life and I use my writings to honor her. In September I met NAMI Sonoma County board member Ron Shaw at the Sonoma County Book Festival.  Rosemary Milbrath, Executive Director at NAMI Sonoma County, has contacted me and I hope to deliver my Heroes, Tricksters & Villains interactive workshop to the Sonoma County community in California in 2012. Sincerely, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart; mental health advocate

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I hope to see you when I’m at these forums:

  • Thursday December 1, 2011 at Women’s National Book Association get-together at San Francisco Public Library Main Branch
  • Sunday January 8, 2012 at California Writers Club–Redwood Branch “Writing-Career-Make-Over with Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan”

Please click here for details.

“Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

 

 


In his blog post of October 21, 2011, literary agent/consultant/author Michael Larsen says: “Every word in a nonfiction proposal has to be right. The sample chapter has to be as enjoyable to read as it is informative. The proposal has to generate as much excitement as possible in as few words as possible. But even that may be a small part of the challenge for arousing the interest of agents.”

Michael quotes Jack Canfield and fellow agent Rita Rosenkranz:

Chicken Souperman Jack Canfield says: “A book is like an iceberg: Writing is 10%; marketing is 90%.”

Rita Rosenkranz says: “… publishers aren’t buying promise, they’re buying proof.”

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here to say: “The same demands from publishers on authors of nonfiction also apply to authors of fiction. Why? Publishing is a business. Why wouldn’t publishers prefer to invest in best-selling authors and celebrity-authors?  These authors have fanbases. Fans buy books. You too have fans–in your circle of loved ones and friends. The secret is to build your fanbase and fortify it with a platform.  WHAT is a platform? Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumers who are likely to buy what you have to sell. What are you selling?  Your literary work.”

You can sneak preview the 2 exercises for Day 1 from my workbook, Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days, by clicking on this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Build-Writers-Platform-Fanbase-ebook/dp/B005J9ZEIA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2#reader_B005J9ZEIA

 

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

Author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of the novel Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

04 November 2011

Manuscript Consultant/Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here, visiting dear pal Karyn in Australia . . .

I wish to remind all writers to please reward your work with authentic details. Your story deserves thorough research (yes, even for memoirs).

Example: The first time I stepped off the sidewalk to cross a street in Sydney, I was “reminded” by a moving-vehicle where I was (my setting). You see . . . folks here in Australia drive on the left side of the road (What does that mean for pedestrians? What does that mean for other drivers?).

What else about “left” ?  Walk on the left side when possible; on escalators, stand to the left and pass to the right.

Utensils:  fork in the left hand and knife in the right while eating.

What’s the big deal?  It’s a big deal if you have your protagonist as a stranger in Australia or if you set your story in the U.S.A. but your character is Australian (then the U.S.A. would be foreign territory for her/him).

I encourage everyone to conduct research and get proofreaders for your manuscript (yes, even for memoirs). Authentic details hook readers.

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06 November, 2011 I’m back in California. As I think about the messages in this post,  I remember when Luisa, Martha and I conducted:

“Write Your Compelling Story—the Power of Authentic Details”

with Luisa Adams, Martha Alderson, Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Luisa’s memoir Woven of Water is a beautiful example of employing authentic details and plotting nonfiction.

By the way, please check out Martha’s new book The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

Author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of the novel Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

Writing Mentor Mary E. Knippel asks “What gives you sparks in your writing life?”

Hi, Writing Mentor Mary,
As an author and manuscript consultant I get sparks ( for scenes, plot points, metaphors, foreshadows)  by rereading a favorite book, re-watching a favorite movie, observing and taking notes while riding public transit. My dream world also provides sparks. Martha Alderson’s new book The Plot Whisperer gives me sparks.

I love helping my clients identify the archetypes and themes in their stories. Speaking of themes, your helping job-seekers create their “success story & collage/vision boards” gives folks “sparks” to go after what they really want. I tagged you in these 2 posts: Coach Teresa, what’s happening for business owners on November 5, 2011 in Gilroy, CA? and  Coach Teresa, what happened when you hosted Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson on your blog?

 

Mentor Mary Knippel helps job-seekers create their success stories--cheers from Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan--photo by Anne Campagnet-Reed

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

 

Coach Teresa, what happened when you hosted Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson on your blog?

Martha Alderson is one of the seven members of our mastermind group; my previous post included two other members–Job Seeker’s Writing Mentor Mary E. Knippel and Employment Counselor Rebecca Martin.

Hosting an author who is on blog tour (even when the author is beloved Martha Alderson) requires a series of publicity outreach, special invitations, and, of course being present on the day of author-arrival to my blog.

22 writers showed up for Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson!  Please read their wonderful questions about story plotlines and the Plot Whisperer’s helpful answers to authors of novels, memoirs, creative nonfiction.

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/writers-invited-to-camp-out-here-the-plot-whisperer-martha-alderson-to-arrive-october-18-2011-on-blog-tour/

Each writer who participated was eligible for the drawing.  The winner would get a copy of The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. I had each participant’s name on a piece of paper, and all the entries went into a red bag.  After a few shakes . . .  one entry was pulled out.  The winner is Janet Kerr in Canada!  Congratulations, Janet!  Thank you, Everyone, for making my blog a fun place for The Plot Whisperer.

Coach Teresa here to say that  Martha’s new book The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master has motivated me to the point that I’m writing my second novel on public transit. Last night I even missed my stop because I was engrossed reading Martha’s “Some Final Thoughts” in her book. I am on fire writing and dreaming my next novel. Thank you, Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson!

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

 

 

 

 

October 18, 2011

Something fun going on right now.  A chance to help drive traffic between your site, my site, beloved teacher Martha Alderson’s (of Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple fame) and her publisher’s. Martha’s new book:   The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

You’ve heard of authors going on book tours?  These days, authors go on blog tours too! Tonight Martha will be at Capitola Book Café, but, DURING THE DAY October 18, 2011, she’ll be touring here at my blog!!!  So, say hello to Martha, ask her a question about your plotline if you like… by submitting a comment to this post.  How to do this?  Follow instructions below photo of Martha.  Be sure to key in your URL to broadcast yourselves. I will conduct a drawing by the end of the week and one of you hardworking writers will win Martha’s new book.

Beloved Martha aka the Plot Whisperer! :) Thank you so much for gracing my blog today. I’ve been having so much fun inviting writers to join us today. I’m serving cyberspace green tea and brown rice toast with butter. :) I know you’ll be at Capitola Book Cafe tonight (in body), but, for the next few hours, we get to have you here!!!! Sincerely, Writing Career Coach Teresa

 

Writers, You go ahead and . . .

  • Click on the blue header (title bar) of this post
  • Scroll down until you see boxes and fill in the boxes (you do need an email address to submit questions/comments; if you have a website/blog, do promote it  by keying in the address)
  • After you fill in the boxes, you might want to keep a copy of your question/comment before clicking the  “submit comment” button.

If Martha can’t get to all the submissions on this blog today, I’ll keep track of your submissions and notify Martha so that she can respond within this week. On October 22, 2011 I will put your names in a drawing to win a copy of Martha’s new book!  The winner will get an email from me (at which time you can give me your shipping address).

I am so excited about Martha’s new book; I am a better manuscript consultant for having studied it.

And, Martha’s examples of Energetic Markers have given me the sparks to re-plot and rewrite my second novel.  If not for Martha’s teachings, my first novel Love Made of Heart wouldn’t be where she is today–in libraries; archived at the San Francisco History Center; chosen by teachers in colleges and universities as required reading; attracting a steady flow of readers/fans; being my passport to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. Because I write about sobering issues (mental illness, stigmas, second-hand violence, physical abuse), my weaving the thematic threads and using the energetic markers to knot the threads result in delivery of a compelling story.  Plot Whisperer Martha, I humbly thank you!

 

This is the 5-star review I wrote on Amazon:

The Plot Whisperer is Martha Alderson is Obi-Wan Kenobi of Story-Plotlines

Whether you’re writing your first book or your tenth, you deserve tools to make your story engaging, from first page to last. Also you deserve to gain such tools from a seasoned teacher who genuinely cares about helping authors. In The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson (of Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple fame) shows you how to create a sensational tri-level plotline that carries thematic significance. Obi-wan Kenobi showed Luke Skywalker how to trust The Force; Plot Whisperer shows us (writers & editors) how to grasp Energetic Markers. Alderson says: “Like signposts, Energetic Markers identify four major turning points in every story.”

In every story—be it a novel, memoir, biography, screenplay, essay, or picture book.

I am so excited about this book–for my clients–for myself. I recommend that you gift yourself The Plot Whisperer if:

* You have a story in your heart and want help in seeing the big picture
* You were on a roll writing the first half of your book, but lost energy or feeling overwhelmed in the middle
* You have the first draft or the umpteenth draft of the entire project; and you’re asking yourself “Do I really have a memorable page-turner?”
* You’re ready to pitch to agents or publishers, and, you want that last litmus test

This empowering book helps you acquire secrets of story-structure and gain personal energy in order to survive and thrive the writing journey. The Plot Whisperer gives you hope–after all, aren’t you the protagonist too? May the Energetic Markers be with you!

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Guess what?  Also, I use Martha’s plot methods for my prescriptive nonfiction (how-to books).  Build and sustain page-turning-energy for any genre.

Also visit The Plot Whisperer’s blog – what treasures!

Remember to click on the blue header (title bar) of this post to introduce yourselves to The Plot Whisperer.

You can get Martha’s book for yourself and your dear writing buddies by asking  your favorite bookseller, going to her publisher Adams Media, or from Amazon.  And, when you write reviews on Amazon and other sites, you’re helping yourself build  your platform and fanbase.

“Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”
Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

My client Jodi O’Donnell-Ames checks in every Wednesday via email. She’s in New Jersey; I’m in California.  Whenever a client misses a check-in, I send them a thought:  “Wherever you are today, whatever you’re doing, I send you joyful wishes.”  If I don’t hear from the client after a couple of days (unless I know that she/he is on vacation), I email her/him: “How are you doing?”  Last week when Jodi didn’t check in on Wednesday, I thought about her.  The next day, she let me know about her personal protagonist’s challenges.

Jodi sent me the link to her blog post Doing Time with LYME (what a memorable title!). In her post, she provided a link to her article “Lyme Time” for NJ Monthly magazine.

Spring is upon us. That means an increase in activity for the black-legged tick—more commonly known as the deer tick. This grotesque little creature carries the bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) that causes Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is on the rise in New Jersey, where dense forests and vegetation provide a veritable paradise for the deer tick.

So, I submitted my comment to her blog post:

Hi, Jodi,
You are an engaging writer. And thank you for “Prevention Pointers” in your wonderful article “Lyme Time” for NJ Monthly magazine.

As the weather heats up, so does the risk of Lyme disease—and the controversy surrounding diagnosis and treatment.

I’d like to share other links with your fans. In California . . . http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Pages/LymeDisease.aspx (this site offers information for Spanish readers too)

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7485.html

According to this site–Risk Map of California–http://www.lymedisease.org/california/california_map.html the ticks that carry Lyme disease have been found in all but two counties in California.

Jodi, thanks again for helping others by writing about your experiences and offering resources.
Sincerely,
Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan
author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days

Jodi had used these tags in her post; so will I; that way I can help spread these tags on what I call the “Fabulous Cyberspace Index”  Also, I’ll add the tags “New Jersey” and “California”

health, ticks, information, advocate, illness, lyme disease

Next, I blog about Jodi O’Donnell-Ames with this post.

Then I remember that Jodi was referred to me by my colleague Judith Marshall, the author of  Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever (Judith’s book is recently optioned for the big screen!), through She Writes. So, this evening, I invested an hour to join this exciting writing community. Thank you, Judith & Jodi!  Thank you, Monica Medina of She Writes, for the nice welcome. Also, I commented on Monica’s page by thanking her and linking this post so that she can see Judith’s and Jodi’s names again.

Cheers to She Writes!

http://www.shewrites.com/profile/TeresaLeYungRyan

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

Love Made of Heart inspiring adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families.

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."

***

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!”

Coach Teresa here.  I was looking for dates in September on the Chase Calendar of Events (because I have several friends who were born in September) when I found this:   National Suicide Prevention Week begins (Sept 4-10, 2011). 37th annual. See www.suicidology.org for history, factsheets and media kits. The goal of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) is to understand and prevent suicide.

Chase Calendar for September 4 says:  Happy Birthday! Mitzi Gaynor, Judith Ivey, Beyoncé Knowles, Mike Piazza, Ione Skye, Tom Watson, Damon Wayans

Coach Teresa is adding “Happy Birthmonth! to Jonathan, Lakshmi Kerner, Marie Elena Gaspari and all friend & colleagues born in September!”

 

On Saturday September 24, 2011 please stop by and say hello if you are in or near Santa Rosa, CA.

The Sonoma County Book Festival,  Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA

Please visit us at our booth

Also,  come by the Redwood Village Stage at the festival:

1:00pm Redwood Writers Vintage Voices

1:45-2:00pm Margie Yee Webb & Teresa LeYung-Ryan

2:00-2:45pm Kate Farrell

Maxine Hong Kingston will be on the main stage sometime between 2:30-4:00pm.

Teresa LeYung-Ryan 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. She uses her workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW to help writers of all genres gain a competitive edge before and after publication.

Margie Yee Webb is author/photographer of Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings: Insight and Inspiration for a Wonderful Life, a gift book for cat lovers and their finicky friends!

Kate Farrell is editor of Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother, an anthology that conveys the wisdom and meaning of the deeply bonded relationship.

Coach Teresa here also celebrates September as:

Animal Remembrance Month, World

Be Kind To Editors and Writers Month

Happy Cat Month

Library Card Sign-Up Month

Self-Awareness Month, Intl

September Is Healthy Aging Month

Women’s Friendship Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, Natl (Sept 15-Oct 15)

 

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, writing career coach, manuscript consultant, and

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (customers of the workbook are saying that it’s useful for anyone who has anything to promote)

author of  Love Made of Heart (to inspire adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

Coach Teresa’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/teresaleyung

Look for Teresa on facebook!