The BRAVE Interview #9 April 2017: Charlotte

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE interview with Charlotte!

Who are you? I am a Registered Nurse, a Mom to 3 adult children (where has time gone?!), and a 5 month Golden Retriever named Charlie. I was born and raised in Maine, and have lived here ever since. I live in the small town of Limerick, Maine, a quiet country town.

What is your ‘one brave thing’? My One Brave Thing?  Let’s see. I have done a few brave things up to this point in my life, but the one I’d have to say that tops all was taking care of my terminally ill brother. He was 51 yrs old when diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, mets to the brain. His wish was to get home to Maine to die. I had no choice but to be brave, and honor is wishes. It was a very difficult, emotional time.

When did you do it?  In June 2007, my brother called me from the hospital in Florida, telling me he was very sick and needed me to fly down to help him.

Where did it occur? Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

How I made it happen: flew down, packed up his apartment.  I rented an RV, and found portable oxygen, filled his meds and things for the trip. Right out of the hospital, we were on our way home to my house. It was a rough ride in the back of an RV. I stayed back there with him, while my fiancé and my brother’s friend took turns driving. I wasn’t sure my brother would make it all the way, but he said he was okay each time I asked. I had spoken with hospice while traveling, and I got things set up for when he arrived. My bother lived only 5 days here, but made it to where he wanted to be, and that was home!

It is an honor to print your story, Charlotte, and I thank you so much for sharing it with us all!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites.com!

The BRAVE Interview #8 March 2017: Jennifer Greiner

Here is #8 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How, (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jennifer Greiner. 🙂

jen-greinerWHO are you? I am Jennifer Greiner, a strong, individual woman who knows what she wants and works hard to get it.  I am passionate, caring and considerate.  I am professionally a therapist but also an essential oil and hula hooping enthusiast! Part of my identity has become being a significant other to a first year Med Student.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing (so far!!)? My One Brave Thing was starting my essential oil business, Green Thinking.  It is something I have never done, nor have ever particularly wanted to do.  It was very scary for me to jump into selling products to others that I, myself, love.  Not only did I just start Green Thinking, I was also adjusting to a big transition: moving to a new state and vicariously beginning medical school.  Thank goodness I was brave enough to launch into this wonderful endeavor as it helped keep me busy, adjust and gain a wonderful new community!

WHEN did you do it? I officially started Green Thinking at the Saco River Market on October 29th, 2016.

WHERE did it occur?  The Saco River Market had just changed locations from Saco Island to a church in Biddeford, ME.  It was an adjustment for the whole Market and was crushing after that first market day, to learn that we would be moving to another new place, 40 Main St., Biddeford.  I could easily empathize with other vendors as it was normal for me to move around and wait a while to get used to a place.  I have been able to easily settle into our new space, as I believe, so has the rest of the market.


HOW did you make it happen?  
 Pretty easily, looking back on the year.  I had been making my own products for myself for months.  I had tested them out and shared with friends.  When I learned of the Saco River Market, I went down there to speak with them about becoming a vendor.  I printed out the application, sent it in and discussed that I would start at the end of October.  Then it was the scramble to get products made, labels on and purchase a table!  I was able to make it all happen and be ready for that first market.


WHY did you do it? 
One of my many passions is essential oils.  I want to share them with everyone and teach how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle, to help elevate your life and live naturally, chemical free.  I’ve always admired market vendors and was eager for the opportunity to become one myself.  I consider myself a people-person and looked forward to talking with and meeting new people to immerse myself in my new community.  I am so happy to have persevered through my One Brave Thing to feel successful and accomplished!

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kreads@gmail.com.

 

Being BRAVE is catchy!

I was trolling Facebook recently, after working on the next “The BRAVE Interview” for my blog (coming in March, 2017). I must be primed to see the word ‘brave’. You know, like when you’re pregnant and suddenly you see pregnant women everywhere?

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So I couldn’t help but notice this page with Being Brave with Abbie McG emblazoned across the top.

Since I chose BRAVE as ‘my one word‘ in 2015, I’ve been all about the brave.

I created the “One Brave Thing” group on Facebook, a private group for anyone who has read my book (One Brave Thing), where we support one another’s efforts to do brave things.

I launched The BRAVE Interview Series on my blog at kwrites.com, where once a month I invite a reader of my book to discuss ‘one brave thing’ they have done in their own lives.

I acquire ‘brave’ jewelry wherever I find it. This ‘brave’ bracelet is from The Shops at Cape Neddick in Maine.

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I also try not to hide from any chances I get to be brave in my own life now.

So, coming full circle, of course I will be watching Abby McGilvery’s Being Brave TV episode!

The BRAVE Interview #7 February, 2017: Jennifer W. Smith

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with author, Jennifer W. Smith. ENJOY!

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Who is Jennifer W. Smith?

I put my family first, so I’d start with I’m a wife and mother.  My next top three answers: I’m a novelist, a world traveler, and a foodie. I live in a cozy New Hampshire town in a busy household including a blue-eyed kitty and a collie who looks just like Lassie. I’ve had other careers before I became a fulltime writer in 2015. I’ve used my experiences from when I was a flight attendant and interior designer to inspire my story ideas.

What is my One Brave Thing for 2016?

Well, if you asked me my brave thing for 2015, I’d have said publishing my first novel, Flying Backwards. In 2016 I published two books, The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl, but I’d say the One Brave Thing was pushing myself to maneuver—and conquer—the digital age to produce all aspects of publishing my latest books—mainly book cover design. The cover is critical. It’s the first thing a reader sees. If the cover isn’t appealing they won’t bother to flip it over and read the back. I worried that I’d be unsuccessful, but I was determined to give it my best effort. Let me state, my skills were basic at first. I’m happy to report that after all the puzzle solving I’m pleased with the final products.

Why did you do it?

So why make my own book covers if I could just pay someone? Well, I love design in general. As I mentioned I’m a former interior designer by trade. Also, I spent a decade taking photos and documenting my family’s life in scrapbooks. So a part of me thought it would be fun and creative. Besides, I found it difficult to explain what I wanted my cover to look like to someone who hadn’t read my story. I paid to have the cover done for my first novel Flying Backwards. I explained what I wanted, and I do love the cover, but it’s not perfect. For example, in that story the main character is an international flight attendant and the airplane on the cover is a domestic plane (it should have four engines instead of two). I know it’s a tiny detail. But the control is what I like—and it is kind of exciting and fun.

When and how did you do it?

I spend loads of time the whole year reading and watching YouTube tutorials about how to produce a successful book cover. Who knew fonts had so much impact! It took me a while as I tried different programs, but eventually I discovered which ones worked best for me. My fellow friends and authors recommend sites where I could purchase photos or fonts. I also stumble across Derek Murphy’s book cover design tutorials which helped me immensely. After vastly improving my MS Word skills, I managed to produce book covers for my Broken Water Series, which include The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl. I was able to manage 95% it, but I confess, my husband helped with the file conversions. I may have shed some tears of frustration throughout the learning curve, but it was worth it.

Where did you do it?

I learned, and continue to learn, right from the comfort of my home. After I got used to navigating the internet—I realized the world is at my fingertips. With dedication to succeed, I’m grateful to live and thrive in this modern age. This is a usable tool to become self-published. I hope I inspire other budding authors to give it a try.

I always love to hear from readers. Please check out my website at JenniferWSmith.com for book trailers, release updates, events, blogs, and more. Also, you can read the first chapter of The Rare Pearl, Book One in the Broken Water Series for FREE. You can find me on Twitter @authorjenwsmith and Facebook at AuthorJenniferWSmith.

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The BRAVE Interview #6 January 2017: Linda Buoncuore

Hello! Here is The BRAVE Interview for this month. ENJOY!

lindaI guess it’s not the biggest thing anyone has ever done, and of course many have already done it, I am sure.  I am an introvert in many ways. Going to work everyday in sales is a challenge for me, as many people are not very nice, as this society has changed so much. I brave going to work everyday, and holding my composure to many that think that the world revolves only around them. I used to work part-time, but now I am full-time, which makes it harder and sometimes tiresome to trudge through the day-to-day occurrences.  Retail is not easy, and it’s not my dream job, but I get through it.

The winter time is the hardest time for getting to work, as I have to catch a bus, and I have to walk a half mile down a steep hill to get to it at 5am. Luckily, the weather has not been too bad. I worry, as I have broken my ankle twice in my twenties, same ankle, the breaks an inch apart, and I fear falling, and getting hurt again, but I go. I know I am tougher than that, and do not let my fear control me. I just leave a little earlier, so I can walk a little slower. 

Each day I have to sell, sell, and sell memberships and warranties, as well as the products themselves. Not a very easy task. It seems you have to put up a front, almost to a point where you have to give so much to get very little in return. As I feel there isn’t much of an initiative to sell them.  I try not to lose myself, and my integrity, to do this, and it can be a battle at times.

So, I guess my brave thing is going to a place everyday that I am not even sure I want to be at times, and do what I am supposed to be doing there, though wishing I was somewhere else.

Trying to figure out what my next step should be to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the people I work with, and I do like some of my customers, but I am an introvert, and it’s not always easy for me to be someone I am not sure I really am.

Thank you so much, Linda, for your candid and honest expression of your brave thing. 

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kreads@gmail.com.

The BRAVE Interview #5 December 2016: Jeanne Emerson

Here is #5 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jeanne Emerson!

jeanne-emersonWho: Hi. My name is Jeanne Emerson.  I’m a grandma, gardener, artist, yogi, retired social worker and grieving mother.  I’m fortunate to live in a peaceful and cozy home in southern Maine…it is my sanctuary.  I am calm here, reflective, often tearful and recently, joyful…again.  And, I’m about to celebrate my 65th birthday.  WOW.

What:  I never really thought that I would feel brave about this but I do.  My one brave thing is to allow the feeling of joy back into my life.  My son Scott died three years ago.  He was 35 years old, funny, handsome, loving and very artistic.  His death came as a shock, no preparation…but even if I had been expecting it, it still would have been a shock.  No mother could prepare for this.

When:  The call came at 8:45 on a Tuesday night. (Tuesday has become my least favorite day of the week ever since).

Where:  I was home, the phone rang and the police officer had the nerve to say, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son is dead.”  How could he say something like that about my child??  I hated that officer at that moment.  I couldn’t spare any compassion for him then, no ability to care about how awful that call must have been for him to make.  Compassion could and would come later.

Why:  I’ll never know.  I won’t know why Scott died at such a young age, with so much more to offer, so much more to experience.  (please believe  me, I have driven myself to extreme exhaustion trying to understand).  But here’s what I do understand…healing can happen, life does in fact go on (as much as you may not want it do)…joy can enter again.

How:  This part of the interview is perhaps the easiest to explain.  My joy has come back because of trust.  My husband, Tim, my son Matt, family members and very precious friends believed in me.  They trusted me when I was a wailing mess on the floor, they trusted me when I couldn’t get through a conversation without crying, they trusted me when I couldn’t eat, sleep or get out of my pajamas, they trusted me when I would sit and stare, unable or unwilling to talk.  Somehow they trusted my process, that I just had to go through this my way (albeit dramatic and probably frightening to witness), but trust they did.  AND, miraculously, bit by bit, I started to live again without my son (well, without him in the way I knew him before his death….this is another interview but I KNOW that he is still with me, guiding me, encouraging me in my artistic pursuits, laughing with me and still loving me).  I feel very brave for laughing, running, playing, creating and loving.  This is my most important brave thing….so far.  

Jeanne, thank you so much for your brave, powerful words. ❤

Check out Jeanne’s designs at FOUND in Kennebunk (42 Main St; 207-604-5009) and on her website: emersondesigns.net

The BRAVE Interview #2 September 2016: Jody O’Farrell Breton

Hello and welcome to my new series: The BRAVE Interviews! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’!

Welcome to Interview #2! Here we go!

**UPDATE: Jody’s new business website is right here: http://www.essenceofspiritceremonies.com/

Who:  My name is Jody O’Farrell Breton. I am a (newly) retired (by choice) Respiratory Therapist. I am also an Ordained Interfaith Minister, Ceremonialist and Energy Healing Practitioner. And a tree hugger and a lover of all things earthy 🙂

Jody Brave PhotoWhat: I retired! After participating in a spiritual event in May I made my decision to resign from my career of 35 years and forge ahead on my own as a professional chaplain.

When:  August 5, 2016

Where: My last full-time employer in South Portland, Maine

How:  I contemplated, dreamed, obsessed, cried, prayed and journeyed on the decision. Oh and discussed it ad nauseam with my husband. Then one day when my stress level reached critical mass at work I came to the decision not impulsively but calmly and with great conviction!

Why:  I realized that I am more than a Respiratory Therapist; I have skills and a calling that will not quiet itself. I know that the Universe continually presented me with obstacles to remaining in the status quo and opportunities to spread my wings and fly!  Re-invent myself….yes!

Jody’s business is Essence of Spirit Ceremonies. You can reach Jody by email: essenceofspiritweddings@gmail.com

NOTE: Missed Interview #1 with Kathy Eliscu? Just click on her name to read it now!

 

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