Lowell Fewster

Lowell Fewster

In his 2019 memoir, Journey Without Maps: Discovering My Way through the Peace Corps, the Church, Social Justice Ministry & Photography, author Lowell Fewster tells how he was one of the first U.S. Peace Corps contingents in Nigeria in the early 1960 and how that experienced shaped his life. As an American Baptist minister, Lowell has been a pastor, campus minister, seminary administrator and regional church leader.  He and his wife, Julie, attended Susan Omilian’s “From Memory to Memoir” class in Windsor, Connecticut and both produced memoirs.  Lowell wrote of working with Susan:  “Essential help in the creation and writing of this memoir came from Susan — teacher, writing coach and editor. I took her memoir-writing class three times.  (I hope I finally got it right!) Susan has encouraged me, shown me the way and enabled this memoir to become a reality.”


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Set a vision for the NEW YEAR for your “Thriver” writing journal

susan-transparentFrom Susan Omilian

Thriver Tip of the YEAR!

Instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions that you quickly forget,  write about where you want to be at the end of  the year.
 Before you write, close your eyes, if you are comfortable doing that, and imagine you’re moving from the present moment to another one at the end of  the year.  Keep going into next week,  next month to end of the year.

See yourself in that place when all that you wanted to accomplish this next year is complete and you are happy, healthy and feeling good!

Let yourself be in the moment, noticing where you are,
who you are with and how it all feels. 

When you are ready, open your eyes and write in your journal or notebook describing the vision you have for that moment at the end of the year. Write as if you are in the present… “I am sitting now on the deck of my new home overlooking the ocean.”  Whatever!



Read this “vision” piece aloud or to yourself
at various times throughout the year!
You’ll be surprised where you are at the end of the year!  

* Taken from an exercise in Entering the Thriver Zone. See below.

 Purchase  Entering the Thriver Zone: A Seven-Step Guide to Thriving After Abuse

With interactive writing exercises & inspirational
success stories, Entering the Thriver Zone
gives women a “road map” to break
the cycle of abuse in their lives.
VISIT THE STORE for ALL Susan’s books at www.ThriverZone.com/shop
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Janina B. Nawarskas

Janina B. Nawarskas
2013 November Janina's Lost Child book signing event 11 14 012 cropped

Janina Nawarskas, Author

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.

2013 November Janina's Lost Child book signing event 11 14 022cropped

Janina’s memoir

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.






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Writing Prompt: Writing from Quote

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.

Good writing!

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?

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Writing Tips & Gossip

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.

Good writing!!


JK Rowling

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.




When Oprah was starting out as an evening news anchor for Baltimore’s WJZ-TV, she was fired for becoming too emotionally involved in the stories.

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.”



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