Janina has self-published her memoir, A Child Lost: My Life’s Journey from War Torn Europe to Proud American. It is an inspiring story of how Janina, born in 1936 in Lithuania, had her comfortable life with her parents and brothers shattered by World War II, leaving her an orphan child attempting to survive in the hellish ruins of war torn Europe.
Janina was a student in Susan Omilian’s From Memory to Memoir: Writing Your Life Story classes over the period of several years. She has written an inspiring story of her courageous journey to survive not only World War II and be reunited with her family, but also other struggles and trials while living in the United States after the war.
For more information about Janina’s book or to obtain a copy, email email@example.com. Click here for more about Janina’s journey.
When I was a girl, I loved summertime reading. I’d ride my bike to the library on a warm summer morning, spend a lot of time picking out my books and then ride home, the books in my basket on my handlebars. I can’t recreate the leisure and pleasure of that time in my life, but I can have my selection of summer reading all picked out by the first day of summer, which is today, June 22nd. See what I’ve got on my list so far. What are you reading this summer?
Mists of Avalon
This 1983 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley I read many years ago, but I am revisiting it this summer as an audio book. And I love it again! It’s a retelling of the King Arthur legend, but this time from the point of view of the women behind the throne, including Arthur’s mother, Igraine; his half-sister, Morgaine (also known as Morgan le Fay, “the Fairy”) ; his aunt Viviane, the Lady of the Lake; and his wife, Gwenwyfar or Guinevere.
I am also loving again the 2001 TNT-TV movie of the same name with Angelica Houston as Viviane and Julianna Margulies as Morgaine. As I watch it again and re-read the book, I am still fascinated by the women characters and how their stories had been lost or misinterpreted by male story tellers until Marion Zimmer Bradley brought them to life with all their strengths and flaws. It’s also a story about the movement from the Goddess-center spiritual belief to the God-centered religious beliefs of today in a good part of the world. Zimmer Bradely is a great writer of historical fiction, which I hope to write someday … soon!
Little Women and Me
This is a YA (Young Adult) book by Lauren Baratz-Logsted that I just started reading. The main character, Emily March, writes an essay for school assignment to describe one thing that she’d change about one of her favorite books.
Emily’s favorite book happens to be Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, which is also my favorite book ever. In this new story, Emily mysteriously gets transported into the 1860 world of the March sister and attempts to right some injustices in the March family. What happens next? I’m still finding out about that. But I love the idea of this book. What would happened if in a magical mystical way, we could enter the fictional world of the characters we love? What a great idea for a book! Why didn’t I think of that?
Her Fearful Symmetry
This is the latest book by Audrey Niffenegger, the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, a book I loved. That book was about time traveling and so she had the narrative travel in time, too. It was fun to see how she did that as a writer. Because of the narrative style of the book, it was hard to imagine how it could be made into a movie, but it was in 2009. The movie (of the same name) which starred Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, was a good rendering of the book and it made parts of it more understandable.
I’m listening to Her Fearful Symmetry as an audio book but I also have the book in hard copy, too. Sometimes I like to “hear” the book and also “see” it on the page. In this story like her last, Niffenegger is a master of point of view shifts and strong character development. This one is the story of a set of twins, who beget another set of twins, hence the “symmetry” of the title, I think. I’m still getting into the book, a vast web of characters and much of the novel is set in London, a city I love. So I’m into this book!
WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS SUMMER? Love to know. Enjoy!
One kind of writing prompt that I like to use is to start with a quote. Here is a stimulating quote from Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life, a memoir that was made into a movie with Leonardo DeCaprio and Robert DeNiro. Read it first and then choose one or both of the prompts to write from.
You are invited to post what you wrote in the comments below.
QUOTE: “One of the things that draws writers to writing is that they can get things right that they got wrong in real life by writing about them.” – Tobias Wolff
PROMPT: Write about something in your life that you wished had gone another way, something that felt wrong at the time and how you might have wanted it to go differently.
PROMPT: What have you learned, given that it did go the way it did? What was the opportunity for you in your life? Where has this event taken you as a person? How has it shaped your character?Read More
Ever wonder. . . if you were in the right place at the right time? Maybe not. Maybe, like Oprah and JK Rowling below, you are supposed to be somewhere else so your big opportunity will show itself.
Before she penned the “Harry Potter” books, Rowling worked as a secretary for the London office of Amnesty International.
She would spend most of her day writing stories on her computer, and when her employers discovered how she was spending her time, they gave her the boot.
She was given a day time position shortly after (which was considered a huge step down in the news world), and turned the opportunity into the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”
San Diego, California was the site of the 16th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma that I attended from September 11 to 13, 2011. It was an excellent, inspiring conference, one that I have been attending and presenting at since 2003.
This year, I was with my good friends, Kathryn Tull and Anita Swanson, and we all had our books to sell! Here we are at the book signing after our morning workshop presentation on Tuesday, September 13. Kathryn is on my left, Anita on my right in the photo above.
My book, The Thriver Workbook: Journey from Victim to Survivor to Thriver! sold well at the conference and was very well received. I also showed the Thriver video at the conference and everyone loved it! (Check the video out on my YouTube channel youtube.com/susanom1).
Kathryn’s new book, The Next Bold Step: Learning to Love and Value Yourself, And Know That You Matter, was also available for sale at the conference as well as Anita’s book, Slow Hope. Anita is currently working on a new book.
There were other amazing speakers and presenters at the conference including Mildred Muhammad, former wife of the D.C. sniper, John Muhammad. Her book, Scared Silent: The Mildred Muhammad Story, was also available.Read More