Category Archives: Personal History

Thoughtful Thursdays – #154 – The Need To Be Right

Standard

I admit it. I like to be right. Everyone does.

However to demand others see things our way is actually wrong. The need to be right all the time comes from the fear of losing control and credibility and feeling threatened. That is a real uncomfortable way to live.

“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” – Pema Chodron

Here’s 5 negative results of insisting on being right all the time.

  1. You will not be open to other possibilities.
  2. You see others in a condescending and belittling manner.
  3. There is no open dialog.
  4. You will end up alone and isolated.
  5. It is disrespectful to others.

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.” -Anthony Robbins

Here’s 5 positive results of letting go of being right all the time.

  1. You become kinder and accepting without feeling threatened.
  2. You become more compassionate and understanding.
  3. You can communicate better.
  4. You will be open to new experiences.
  5. You will have the willingness to be wrong.

“You can change your beliefs so they empower your dreams and desires. Create a strong belief in yourself and what you want.”- Marcia Wieder

If we can, for just a moment, become detached from the need to be right and listen to another’s opinion we open ourselves to deeper understanding and acceptance. Being detached to having it your way will also eliminate judgement and resistance.

So be considerate to others by being confident enough to live without the need to be right. You will be happier, unafraid to make mistakes, kinder, willing to learn, humble and brave enough to build character.

Happy— I Don’t Have To Be Right All The Time— Day.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursdays # 139 – Following Your Dreams

Standard

I can’t stand broad generalizations about what to do with your life. Most of the time these phrases are tongue in cheek sayings that mean nothing because there are no specifics. In the case of “Follow Your Dreams”: of course it’s true but my dream is different from yours.  What is meaningful to you is not meaningful to me. So what to do.

  1. Be specific about what your dream is.
  2. What are the steps needed to fulfill that dream.
  3. Believe it’s achievable.
  4. Decide on a timeline to get there.
  5. If you need help, ask for it.
  6. Stay focused.

I am sure you could flesh this out to fit your plan. Instead of “Follow Your Dreams”  how about “Let’s Make A Plan”.

I like that.

Happy planning.

Pain

Standard

The point of pain is

to show you where

you undervalued,

overlooked, ignored,

abandoned, ignored,

postponed, neglected,

deferred, forgotten,

cast aside, shunned,

disregarded, uncared for,

despised, unwanted,

dismissed and unloved

yourself.

Stop doing that. Please.

Music Is Healing

Standard

There is a ton of information out there about how the power of music is healing. Music has had a healing effect on me too. When I started meditation I listened to groups like Bliss and Carmen Warringtons meditation music. My favorite listening music is Jazz. Each has it’s place and I have been touched and healed by music in amazing ways.

Here’s my take in the subject.

1. Rythum is primal. The beat of a drum can be hypnotic or wild. Depending on the movement emotions can be intense or calm.

2.Tone is the rate of vibration of a sound. Tone has an effect physically and psychological effect on our being. Tone has the invisable effect that words can’t touch.

3. Melody is a group of notes put together to form a score. A melody can produce emotions, inspire imagination , bring up urges, effect our bodies and its functions.

Everyone listens to music and is influenced by it.

What most people don’t realize is that music touchs a higher level consciousness that is beyond worldly concerns.

It’s the times when you hear a song or hear lyrics that resonate in a place in your being that has no words. You could feel elation or serious sadness, love, empowerment, peace or centeredness.

Music has been called forth to be the language of the gods. It’s the language of the heavens and the universal language of the earth.

Musical sound is on the level of thoughts. Incognito but felt. Sound is the bases of the universe. There is sound everywhere whether you are conscious of it or not.

You have a choice to pay attention or ignore what sounds are effecting you.

In the store, in your place of worship, dance, in nature, on a seaside, on your radio, anywhere. Classical, Jazz, Tribal, Popular, Ethnic and many more.

Music is there just listen.

 

 

Moira Allen – Editor – Writing-World.com

Standard

moira allen

Moira Allen is the Editor and creator of Writing-World.com for close to 15 years. She is an expert in teaching about the business of writing and honing the craft of writing.

I have followed her website for a few years now and she has graciously let me pick her brain with my own questions and her website is an education in itself. She has now generously granted me this wonderful interview.

Moira is honest, pragmatic and grounded in her approach to writing and the business of writing. She has much to teach us.  Let’s welcome Moira Allen.

PSW: Your love of words show in your newsletter. How did you decide to be a writer?

MA: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories in my head. But even that, is think, stems from the fact that I came from a family of readers. So “stories” were something that were just a natural part of my life. They were all around me: my mother read to me from as early as I can remember, so I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t being exposed to “storytelling”.

I grew up surrounded by books, and by the notion that books and reading were important. I could nearly always manage to be left alone to “do my own thing” if I were reading – or at least pretending to read – because the family considered reading to be one of the most worthwhile things that one could do. Often, however, I’d be hiding behind a book and actually making up my own stories and acting them out in my head

It simply seemed natural, then, to want to start writing those stories down when I became more able to do so. And that’s when I ran into the magic of non-completion – I worked on the same “novel” for years! When you’re young and constantly growing and changing, your ideas of “the perfect story” keep changing too, and I’d get to about chapter 4 or 5 and decide to start over at the beginning. (Unfortunately that tendency hasn’t really gone away…)

I’m sure I flirted briefly with other ideas about “what I would be” when I grew up – I recall discarding “ballerina” fairly early. I know for quite awhile I was sure I wanted to be a naturalist, but mainly because I enjoyed reading what naturalists wrote about nature and animals, and I wanted to write the same types of things. I got cured of that when, in college, I worked at a zoology museum and found out that today’s naturalist did quite a lot of cutting things up.

But I think all along, I was pretty convinced that “when I grew up” I wanted to be a writer. I still do. But then, I’m still waiting to grow up.

PSW: How has your writing talent help you grow creatively?

MA: I think writing changes how one sees the world. I know that many people don’t imagine writing as being an “active” type of career. But it’s certainly a mentally active one! It changes one’s approach to looking at just about anything, because it becomes difficult to look at something without automatically starting to think about how one would describe it or explain it to another person.

From there, that means that one is on longer simply a passive observer of life. One is always looking deeper, looking around corners, looking for meanings, looking for patterns. Sherlock Holmes accused Watson of seeing but not “observing”. I think that as one becomes a writer, one moves from simply seeing (“oh, look, pretty lake”) to observing – and interpreting. (“How would you describe the color of the water? How does the sun strike it? What is the impression or feeling that it gives you – warm sparkles or a sense of cold dread at the bottomless depths? Who’s in that boat out there? Is that an innocent family outing or a murder about to happen?”)

One of the things one seeks to do as a writer is to take what one sees (or imagines) and enable another person to see it. That extends to seeking to enable another person to see things that no longer exist – e.g., the world of the past – or things that have not existed yet – the future, another planet, etc. Writing enables us to see “creatively” because we want to be able to express, creatively, what we see.

PSW: What is the best way to practice the writing craft?

The one that works for you. Seriously. I am SO not a fan of articles that say to be a good writer, or a successful writer, you “must” do this, that or the other. You’ll have one person saying that it’s best to get up at 5 a.m. And write while you are “fresh.” Another advocates writing in the afternoon. One person is convinced that you must writer detailed outlines; another believes in flash cards; another in “clustering,” another in flying by the seat of the pants.

There have been many mantras about writing that be passed around the community. Basically, the writing community tends to latch on to a piece of advice and , because it was uttered by an “expert,” it’s taken as gospel and passed on as such, over and over and over again. For awhile, for instance, it was considered absolutely vital that a writer maintain a journal. You just HAD to have someplace to jot down your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, etc., every day. I can remember reading article after article extolling the importance of journaling. I don’t see that advice very often anymore – it seems to have become less “in fashion” – but for a time everyone just simply “agree” that this MUST be THE thing to do.

Similarly, the piece of advice that gets passed around constantly is that you MUST write EVERY day. Then there are lots of pieces of tangential advice that try to handle the fact that, let’s face it, most of us CAN”T manage to write every day. So we’re told that we should, but… as long as we just write 100 words or 500 words or a journal entry, we have “fulfilled” the requirement. No one tends to question who came up with the “requirement” in the first place.

The problem with these “best way” recommendations is that when you aren’t doing it or cannot do it or think it’s a total waste of time to do it (can you tell I never got “into” journaling?), it’s easy to feel that you’re not doing “everything in your power” to be a writer. And if you’re not doing “everything” that you should be doing, you must not want it enough, and if you don’t want it enough, maybe you’re not REALLY cut out to be a writer in the first place!

So… the best way is YOUR way. If you find that your way isn’t actually working for you, then it’s up to you to examine what you’re doing and develop a system that works better. One of the first steps in that exam is to make sure that you’re not trying to follow someone else’s way, and failing to understand why THEIR way isn’t working for YOU.

PSW: What is your typical writing day like?

It usually involves quite a lot of NOT writing. I do not write every day. When I do, and I’m really settling into it, there ‘s a lot of “to-ing and fro-ing.” I sit down. I try to concentrate. I get up. I walk around. I get coffee. I put on the laundry. I sit down. I drink the coffee. I write a couple of paragraphs. I get up. The coffee is gone; need more. I pace the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil. I make more coffee. (Oops, laundry needs changing now!) I sit down. This all takes usually an hour or two, and then finally like a switch gets flipped, and I hit the “zone” and just keep typing. THEN, I could probably type for hours. I will usually write 1/2 to 2/3 of my piece and then go back to the beginning and start rewriting it – perhaps because I can’t really write the end until I’ve made some necessary modifications that occurred to me as I moved forward. The end of whatever I’m writing needs to flow logically from the beginning – so if, halfway through, I’ve seen a somewhat different direction, or I didn’t like the way I was expressing something, then I need to go back and do my next pass from hat point and try to push the flow all the way through to the finish.

And then I need more coffee…

PSW: What is it like being in the writing business?

MA: It’s a bit of a combination of wonderful and terrible. It can be wonderful, because there is no good reason to be in this business if it isn’t something you love. And so, wonderfully, you’re doing something you love. But it can be terrible because you’re in an incredibly competitive business – there are more active writers out there today than ever before in history. So it can be extremely frustrating, and I think more writers are feeling the pinch of frustration today than ever before. Ironically, our worst competition isn’t “good” writers, it’s “bad” writers. If you pick up a poorly written book, and you’re new to reading, it’s going to turn you off to the process – so every writer is harmed by the plethora of truly bad, unskilled writing that is flooding the market place through “do it yourself” and free venues.

Another hazard in the “writing business” is that many people assume it’s about “writing” and forget that it is, also, a “business.” that means all the issues of “doing business” apply. If you want to get published, you have to learn how the publishing business works. You have to learn how to find markets, develop appropriate submissions, track income and expenses, track submissions and maintain your writing AS a business. Creativity is only one ingredient in a successful writing “business”.

PSW: Your newsletter is an education in itself. How many years have you been sharing this information?

MA: Writing-World.com was founded in 2000, so it is about to head into its 15th year. The website itself offers more than 600 articles on just about every aspect of writing of every level of expertise. The newsletter is just a small part of that. Writing-World.com is one of the largest, if not THE largest, sites for writers on the web today, with the largest archive of material and one of the largest visitor rates.

Before that, I worked with Inkspot, which was in every sense the “predecessor” of Writing-World.com. Inkspot was one of the first and foremost “communities” for writers on the web, with a host of resources for writers – it was one of the first out there when the Web was still shiny and new. Prior to that, I had set up my own little “advice” site called “Tips for Writers” – I eventually transferred all that material over to Inkspot, and then to Writing-World.com. Writing-World.com was born from the ashes of Inkspot, which was “killed” by a new owner, and we were able to inherit a lot of the material that had formerly been posted on Inkspot. We just went on from there!

PSW: Do you recommend a writer to specialize in one type of writing?

MA: No, not really. I think it’s too easy to assume that you do only one thing, or like only one thing. Getting out into the “writing business” often means getting out of your comfort zone, and writing for types of publication you might not have imagined working with. It means learning to write different lengths and even different styles. There are different requirements for magazines, newspapers, online publications, blogs, etc, – and one thing tends to lead to another.

By exploring and pushing your boundaries, you may discover that there is some other aspect of writing that you never imagined you’d be good at – and you find that you like it even more than what you THOUGHT you would be writing. In a world that tries to pigeon-hole people, it’s silly to pigeon-hole yourself! Don’t ever assume, “Oh, I’d never be any good at that,” or “I’ve never done that, so I couldn’t do it.”

You may also find that the type of writing you’re comfortable with, or assume you WANT to do, is not one that will lead to a “successful” writing career. This is a career where flexibility and versatility are real advantages.

PSW: What advice do you have for new writers?

MA: Let’s go back to the issue of being aware that “a writing business” is a BUSINESS. You wouldn’t imagine going into any other business without learning the ropes. So don’t imagine that you can be truly successful as a writer without leaning how the writing and publishing business works. A lot of writers feel that their job is just to be “creative” – and then they hope someone will tell them how to take the next step (e.g., find an agent, find a publisher). But the thing is, you’re competing with the ones who DO go out there and do the research, read the articles and the books and the blogs. If you aren’t one of them, you don’t have a chance. The person who is prepared and educated is ALWAYS going to come out ahead of the person who says, “I just wrote this great book, but I have no idea what to do next, can you help me?”

The wonder of today’s online world is that writers have access to unimaginable volumes of information for free that, in my early days, you had to pay for! If you wanted to be a successful writer 30 years ago, you had to subscribe to a writing magazine or two, you had to buy books (lots of books), and you might want to take classes at a real-world night school. Today, most of what is in those books and classes can be found online for free. And yet too many new writers aren’t taking advantage of that.

So educate yourself. Find out what the writing business is about, how it works, and how to make it work for you . Don’t be scared off by the horror stories that you hear about how “no new writer can ever get published.” EVERY writer who is published today was a new writer at some pint. Of COURSE new writers get published! They get published all the time! That’s how they stop being “new writers.”

When you DO hear horror stories, identify the source. Are you being told “you don”t have a chance with traditional publishing” by someone who has a vested interest in convincing you to buy THEIR product or service? Are you being told this by someone who wants validation of the path THEY have chosen?

Finally, I supposed perhaps that most important attribute a new writer can have is PATIENCE. We live in a world where instant gratification is considered not only the norm but some sort of divine right. I want to be published – next week! Why SHOULDN’T that happen? Traditional publishing – the kind that gets your book in front of hundred of thousand of readers rather than literally, a few dozen – DOES take time, patience, frustration (lots of frustration), research, and more patience. Too many writers today are settling for what they can get NOW, rather than hanging in there for the far greater reward that comes from enduring the frustration, the disappointment, and the passage of time. Great writers don’t settle – they endure. We aren’t taught “endurance” much anymore, so those who will are those who win.

Moira Allen, Editor
Writing-World.com

Author of “Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer,” “The Writers Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals”

Moira teaches us that with a little courage and persistence you will win in the writing world. Her practical advice you too can live your dreams. Thank you so much Moira for sharing what you know so well and your words or encouragement.

For more information visit: Writing-World.com

Melissa Goscinski – Modern American Singer

Standard

melisa goscinskiMelissa’s journey as a talented musician has not been easy nor linear. She is quite young to be in the music industry but her phenomenal voice is opening doors for her career. Melissa is committed to her path and it shows in her lifestyle. Her work has been influenced by Aretha Franklin, Miranda Lambert, Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse, Adele,
Jeff Buckley and so many more… She is an American Idol contestant for than once. Let’s find out about her unique life.

I have the great pleasure to introduce to my audience Melissa Goscinski who is the lead singer of Violet Skies. Her genre is Americana/Soul/Rock but just writing the words describing her work is not enough. At the end of the article I will put the links to some of her music. Melissa has also recorded her first EP.

PSW (Purely Simple Words): Welcome Melissa and thank you for taking the time to talk to me. How old were you when you started singing.

MG (Melissa Goscinski): I was singing since I was about two. But I was really discovered when I was 12 accidentally by my elementary music teacher Ms.Weltz.

PSW: When did you start studying music?

MG: I started studying professionally about 12 – 13 years old. I discovered I could really sing when I was about 11 early 12. I started with teachers when I was 13. I am trained in classical opera. I haven’t been in vocal lessons for a while but I am going to start up again because I was recently diagnosed with vocal nodules.

I am doing therapy with a vocal therapist and various doctors. I do vocal warm ups three times a day to get rid of them ad if that doesn’t work then surgery is the other option. But I haven’t been singing for a while and that is really sad.

PSW: How long have you been on break from singing?

MG: I have been on a bread since June 27. the day after the school term ended I went to the vocal doctor because I was experiencing vocal hoarseness and got tired very quickly, then I would get laryngitis were I couldn’t speak, I knew something was not right. So they they were. The nodules.

PSW: How long has it been since you sang classically?

MG: I haven’t been singing classically in 6 years but I am with a band and we started together since 2010. We do Covers. We do rock music like Aerosmith, Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Adele and some new stuff. When I am not preforming I work with kids. Between my day job and singing it was stressful and I guess it got to me.

PSW: Where is your day job?

MG: I am a para professional for the Board of Education in NYC.

PSW: Do you want to be a teacher?

MG: No, I need to find a job to help my mom out. My friend recommended me at her school and I got the job. That is how that happened.

PSW: How many days a week do you work as a para professional?

MG: I work 5 days per week, I am not permanently hired yet but there is an opportunity to work as a substitute in one school for a whole year. But you don’t bet paid vacations. I work in on High School and one Elementary. This year I worked with kids 4-11 and last year 15-16 year olds.

PSW: Did you finish college?

MG: No not yet. I was a music major and I took a year leave of absence but I want to go back for Media Studies for a back up plan because I want to stay in this business. I know goal of achieving stardom is extremely hard but I came to terms, and I know I love the business so much I would do anything whether to work on the front line or behind the scenes.

PSW: Tell me about your experience singing with Jennifer Hudson. I understand it was a contest.

MG: My mother had knee surgery and was in the hospital. She was watching TV and saw a contest on the Today Show in NYC. She called me and said I had to get on it right away because it was the last day to enter. I had to video record myself singing “And I am telling you” which is the Etta James song but Jennifer Hudson sang it in Dream Girl. I did record the song and it is on Youtube and sent it in and didn’t think anything of it. Two days later I got a phone call from a Manhattan number and it was the Today Show asking for me. They didn’t believe I was the same person because I sing like a black person but speak like a little girl. They asked if I could sing a little over the phone for the. So I did. They said they were really impressed with my singing and invited me to be one of the finalists in the competition. There was myself and three other contestants.. I remember being picked up in a private car really early in the morning and driven to the Today show. It was a wonderful experience. Jennifer Hudson picked the winner a surprisingly she chose me.

PSW: Did you sing with Sherri Shepard.

MG: Yes, one of the guys in the band knows her. He is a producer at the ABC show the View. She was having a house warming party and invited my band to preform. I was a wonderful experience plus I met a lot of nice people in the audience and met May Pang who is now my friend.

She invited me to her birthday party in October, and a Memorial Day BBQ. She is always inviting me to her awesome parties and recently I asked if I could ask her question about the musics industry. She is generous in helping me and is really a fantastic person.

PSW: I listened to your album online and it is beautiful.

MG: Thank you. Rich Guerzon produced the album. He wrote the lyrics and composed three of the songs. On the other two songs I wrote the lyrics that he wrote the music to. We haven’t seen each other lately because I am on break from the vocal nodes however I am still writing the songs that come into my head.

PSW: What Advice would you give to someone who wants to be a singer like you?

MG: That’s a good question. Vocal lessons once a week. A large repertoire so that at any given moment you can sing and audition for someone on the spot. Something that can really show off your talent. This is something I still work on. I have been to American Idol audition a couple of times and got to go a couple of rounds but didn’t make it.

PSW: Do you recommend being persistent?

MG: Once you give up that is the biggest failure. No matter how many times you get a “no” you have to keep trying because eventually someone out there will believe in you. If you have a really big talent they can’t deny that.; even with this nodule thing I am still learning and speaking to people about the music business. I am told my voice is outstanding by some and others will not acknowledge it. You don’t need them they need you . That’s my new motto that I keep repeating to myself. Be positive and it is hard in the field. I am humble and I am willing to learn.

PSW: How did you meet the band you are in?

MG: It is strange the way things happen sometimes. My mom works at the post Office and one of her friends delivers mail. He heard that one of his mail recipients wrote jingles. He spoke to the guy and said he knew of me and suggested he listen to my amazing voice. My mom’s friend gave him all my contact information. The guy did listen to my youtube recording and emailed me immediately. The man’s name is Glenn Sherman and he asked if I could write with him on a few things.

I was busy at the time but he called me and told me of a band who was doing a wedding and said I could benefit if I sang with them to make some money. So I agree. These guys are older than me and have been around for years. I had no idea what I was walking into and thought it was going to a karaoke CD instead it was serous band stuff. After a while it became a regular gig. We played in lots of different place in New York. Band member Rich Guerzon started wiring and I have been singing it. I have been with them four years. It’s an interesting story. I kind of just walked it on it.

I am lucky I walk in to opportunities like this all the time. Like meeting Sherri Shepard and other who know other contacts. And it is becoming a whole circle. Luck so far is on my side in some ways and not on my side in some ways.

PSW: Is there anything else you would like to add?

MG: I am working on getting better, and writing new tunes so stay tuned. And lastly I want to mention my Mon has been completely supportive of me throughout all of this. I can’t go without saying that. Thanks Mom.

Melissa is the essence of persistence. Her message is to keep learning, keep going and thank and acknowledge those who have helped you along the way.

Her band Voilet Skies consists of Melissa and John Ferry on percussion, Rob Cafaro on Keys and Vocals, Mark Magliaro on Guitar and Vocals and Rich Guerzon on Bass and Vocals.

Her future is bright and she is an inspiration to anyone who wants to be persistent.

For more information about Melissa go to:Violet Skies on Facebook.
For Youtube videos type in Violet Skies..
And here is her email: Violetskymusic@hotmail.com

World Blog Tour – 21 Century Marketing

Standard

I have been invited to participate in the World Blog Tour. Here’ show it goes.

The World Blog tour is a concept of paying it forward. Someone invites to to join in, someone else invites some one else and so on. Essentially it is a chain letter for blogs. The objective is to bring do a good deed by mentioning other peoples work. You also must answer the same questions below. I want to thank my fellow writer and personal historian Deborah Perham of A Lifetime Legacy for inviting me on the World Blog Tour. Be sure to check out her blog: alifetimelegacy.com.

What am I currently working on?

I am currently working on interviewing inspirational creative people who have overcome the challenges of running creative businesses and lifestyles. I am also writing positive thinking and inspirational pieces. Creative writing like poetry and free association come up occasionally too. I love the feeling of passing insights to my audience and my objective is to validate each and every one of our authentic lives. No life is the same but we are the same in generalities. Often we don’t know about other peoples struggles so writing and sharing them has a healing effect and hopefully motivate change in a positive direction as well.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of This Genre?

I am not sure how it is different other than I am the one saying it. Those who need to hear what I have to say will be drawn to my work. I started writing with gusto just a few years ago and I loved it so much I have been running with it ever since and have not looked back. Writing is healing for me and words have such power. The power to heal or destroy. My words are intended to heal.

Why Do I Write What I Write?

I write to validate, validate, validate. I know what it feels like to not be listened to or validated. It is extremely important to me that whoever I am dealing with knows I hear them. It is so frustrating when you want to be heard and no one listens. I do this through writing. So as a public service on my blog I do a lot of interviews to give back to those who have inspired me and pass on the information for others to be inspired.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

My entire writing process is based on free association and stream of consciousness. I have an idea and just write till I feel it is enough and then I edit or change. I don’t censor myself I just let my mind take over. I have been amazed at what I write. I found an essay I wrote a few years ago and I was amazed and the depth at which I wrote. The words just flowed. It was like someone else wrote it.

Shout out to some impressive people I have the pleasure of knowing.

Deborah Perham of A Life Time Legacy who is connecting generations through her personal history preservation business. Her website explains in depth how to keep the memories and your life alive for generations. Her dedication and enthusiasm for personal history is unending. Check her website: alifetimelegacy.com.

Karen Sackowitz of Karen Sackowitz Communications who is a professional writer and personal historian in the business of consulting and business services. The written word is gracefully put together for your business. Brochures, web content, social media messages are just a few of the services her company provides. Check out her services at karensackowitz.com.

Linda Villano of SerendipiTea who has the best tea importing company on the planet. Yes the planet, she imports tea from all over the world including exotic places like the Azores and Guatemala. She is generous with her knowledge and is focused on creating a great product and reducing the carbon footprint. Visit her website for a tea education: serendipitea.com.

Martie McNabb of Memories Out Of The Box who will create a unique personal history book for you without words. She is a visual artist who puts all your old memorabilia into a chronological book with your lifes story in it. It’s the kind of book to pull off the shelf, grab a beverage and tell the story with your own words. Visit her website:memoriesoutofthebox.com.

Tiffini Minatel-Schreiber of Tiff’s LIC (k) Dogwalking and Playgroups, LLC who is a successful and compassionate business owner. She is one of the original dog walking business owners in Long Island City, NY . She loves dogs and it shows in her professionalism and commitment to the dogs left in her care. To contact Tiffini visit her facebook page.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing each one of these extraordinary women. You can see their interviews on my blog: purelysimplewords.

Pass it on. World Blog Tour-21 Centruy Marketing. Thanks again to Deborah Perham for inviting me.

 

Contests I Have Won So Far

Standard

7/14…. 6 e books about being a better writer by  Linda Formicelli of Renegade Writer.

 

8/14….1 Kindle copy of Low Country Bribe – The first in the series of the Carolina Slade Mysteries by C. Hope Clark.

 

 

 

Linda Villano – Owner of SerendipiTea

Standard

linda

As we turned the corner of Northern Blvd and Plandome Road in Manhasset, New York the church on the corner was a familiar site. I had not been here in many years but immediately recognized the store front we needed. Along with my daughter, we came to see my friend Linda Villano who has created the best specialty tea company on the planet. Yes the planet. I say that because I am an avid tea drinker my entire life and tried many specialty teas which kind of makes me an expert. As we entered the smell of store was radiating fresh mouthwatering tea from all over the world. On display were some of the basic necessities for brewing fresh tea. Tea pots, cups, sample packs of tea and tea cloths.

There is a wall filled from floor to ceiling with every tea and tea blend that Linda created. Customers can come in and sample the tea or mix and match for an interesting creation. I have mixed and matched myself. I blend Eve’s Temptation with Berry Blueberry for a caffeine free fruity lift. My other favorite is Congo Bongo that has coconut and chocolate and black tea for when I need a boost.

Nearly 20 years ago Linda and her husband Tomoslov started with their love of tea and an opportunity. Their team work gave birth to SerendipiTea. The company imports tea from all over the world including countries previously unknown for their tea gardens. Linda works her magic buy creating unique tea blends and has a thriving wholesale and retail enterprise. To her many credits SerendipiTea’s website was nominated for “Best Tea Retail website” by the World Tea Awards (2014) and the proud winner of two American Tea Championship awards (2013)

After heartfelt greetings and the usual formalities, we sat down to talk about teas. Her huge oak desk has her computer, lots of paper and is stained with many previous steaming cups of tea. Linda stepped out of the office to fill two infuser tea pots. As a master tea server she came back with well worn tea cups and tea pots. Each clear glass pot looked as if it had seen many brews steeped in them.

Linda told us she is serving 2 blends: One is a Faux Coca which is a caffeine free based blend of Rooibos, Chocolate & Spice, the other one is called Buccaneer which is a south Indian black tea base blended with Rooibos chocolate and vanilla and coconut for my daughter.

Get ready for an education and welcome Linda Villano of SerendipiTea.

Purely Simple Words (PSW): Here we are in SerendipiTea’s home base with the beautiful and talented Linda Villano. What got you started in the tea business?

Linda Villano (LV): Oh boy that’s a long story but I will shorten it. SerendipiTea was started in 1995 that is close to 20 years ago. Which is shocking to me. My former partner and husband was from Australia, he was of Slavic background so drinking tea is an everyday occurrence. So we had tea in the house all the time. My husband thought it was an abomination to have tea in bags. So we used loose tea. I didn’t know anything but tea bags. I am from an Italian background we drank coffee and tea was for when you were sick, and I didn’t know anything but tea bags. So it was an education for me in the beginning just in our home.

My husband was working for a Japanese department store called Felissimo. On the top floor of the store there was an art gallery and tea room. He managed the art gallery. The tea room was a traditional Japanese tea room but not just Japanese teas were sold, there were teas in general. So he would go to the tea room, talk about tea, chime in when there were tea programs…eventually he became known as the Tea Guy.

He met a woman who had a bath and beauty line who asked my husband to develop a line of tea and candle products. He came from a retail background and I came from a restaurant background (my family had restaurants). So we started to experiment with different varieties of tea. The woman was not committed to the line and we already had the foundation so we created our own company. It started in our fifth floor walk-up on the upper west side of Manhattan. Before we knew it we had a business. We started in the food service area and specialty kitchens. Eventually we opened a retail line.

It all happened by an incredible accident. It wasn’t anything we planned. It was serendipity.

PSW: How many different types of tea blends do you have?

LV: In tea there are 5 main categories of tea: black, white, green, oolong and pu-erh. Tisanes are Herbals, florals, botanicals, etc. Everything that is not tea. Some tea is re-packed the way they are received. Others are used in blends. The blends represent about 30 percent of what we offer, blends can be both tisane and tea.

PSW: How do you name your tea blends?

LV: Darjeeling for example, is a growing region, Ceylon tea is from Sri Lanka is a growing country. Names of certain teas are what they are. The blends, the ones we make here are named by how they feel, taste, smell, but it should make some sense for example Fiji is a lush green tea with pineapple and papaya…tastes & smells like what I imagine Fiji to be!

Once Upon A Tea was our first chocolate blend. I created this caffeine-free blend for my friend’s daughter who was under two years old. She liked to sip tea from her mother’s cup, her mom was concerned about caffeine. This has a little chocolate in it, good for kids.

PSW: All of your products are organic and there are no machine used for weighing, measuring and packing is hand done plus your packaging is bio degradable. Everything is hand made , home made and fresh made and that is a very unique thing. Most shoppers go to the grocery store and buy boxed teas. However loose and fresh tea is very different and your product is the real thing. How did you learn so much about tea?

LV: When we started there was no tea education. No formal tea class. Everyone in the industry at the time learned from each other. We are known as the specialty tea industry. In the specialty tea industry now there are a lot of tea training options. And through the Tea Association of the USA there are intense certificate programs. It takes years get to the level of a certified tea specialist. The tea world is different now. Which is a good thing because as tea became more popular here in the US the consumer became more educated about tea so education had to keep up. The same thing happened in the wine industry. There are tea geeks that are passionate about tea, there are meet-ups, tea swaps, tea programs, tea groups, tea books, there’s a whole world of just tea drinkers, sharing information, and knowledge. There are some tea courses that are not very reputable. Check them all out before you enroll.

PSW: What countries do you travel to, to pick up your teas?

LV: I actually just got back in May from Guatemala. This is a surprising place to import tea from but we have been importing tea from Guatemala for four years now. They are also suppliers for cardamom. Usually it’s the big five India, China, Taiwan, Ceylon and Japan that’s where most of our teas come from. But we also carry tea from Kenya and Tanzania. I have not been to the African countries yet. But the others I have visited. I visited the Azores Islands 3 years ago which is part of Portugal and in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, half way between here (USA) and the Portuguese coast line. These are a series of islands that are absolutely beautiful. I was on the big island of Sao Miguel where there are two remaining tea gardens. The tea is great and different because of where it is grown and the salty sea air. I like finding teas from grown from unusual origins.

PSW: Do these companies come to you or do you find them?

LV: Both. The Guatemala garden reached out to us. Other companies have as well. The gardens in the Azores I had known about from a good friend of mine, Pearl Dexter the founder/past owner of TEA Magazine. She introduced me to them.

PSW: How do you think you have grown by having your own business?

LV: It’s a lot of responsibility. Shortly after we first started we moved from NYC to Connecticut because we needed space. I am familiar with Connecticut because I went to school there. We knew we could get more if we went to Connecticut as opposed to staying in NYC. Because it was just me and my husband we could take risks and we could wing it. When we started to take on employees it really changed the dynamics, I realized I was not just responsible for my business and making sure it is reputable. But I was taking on someone else’s livelihood. And I had a responsibility to them as well. What I do now, Tomoslov is no longer with us, is for everybody’s sake. I make calculated decisions and I weight everything very heavily. If I invest in something or make certain purchases, I am conservative by nature but when it comes to the business I am more so to keep the business solvent. My mantra is not to rule the world but to put out a good product and make sure everyone is happy. Then we can all do nicely.

PSW: What is the best part you like about the tea business?

LV: I love to travel. I love experiencing different cultures. Just the relationships we have with the growers in other countries is really enriching, it’s really important in order to maintain a sound existence you must be able to see things through other peoples eyes and experiencing life through other people perspective helps in so many decisions making situations. Just in the office here we have folks from Latin America, India, Tibet, Columbia, USA we have a really nice mix of people. We are an international microcosm as it is. We are different origins under one roof. In an ideal world this is how we should be. I enjoy interacting with other cultures because it takes me out of myself.

But I also love working with the tea, the blending process. This part is really, really fun so is the writing. And social media, like FB. Even though sometimes it drives me crazy. And once in a while we do shows where we get to interact with customers. Since we are wholesalers primarily we really don’t interact with customers so when we get the chance to do the shows and it’s really fun.

PSW: Is there anything that drives you nuts about running this business?

LV: there is plenty that drives me nuts. Doing payroll, taxes, the nitty gritty number crunching. What is moving and what is not. It is all a necessary part of what you have to do when you have a business you have to see every aspect of the business and it gives me a snap shot of what is going on. It is not my favorite thing. I am not a numbers person. To me that part is effort.

PSW: What are your business plans for the future?

LV: One of the things we did about 4 years ago was add a line of tea bags. It was necessary because many of our customers are cafe customers and tea house customers that have fast service like , morning rushes and they kept asking for tea bags and unfortunately we lost a few customers because they went with companies that had tea bags. A number of years ago a certain tea bag became available. (Linda shows us a triangle shaped tea bag). I know there are many types of tea bags available out there some are nylon, some are paper with staples but one became available that is made out of plant based material and over time it is bio-degradable. That was my biggest concern.

All of our packaging is post-consumer recycled content and biodegradable, we are considered artisan and boutique because we do things by hand. When you are so close to a product you see if something is not right or is inconsistent. No machinery is used and no energy is being wasted. So when the soilon tea bags became available I thought “someone is sending me a message” and we have to do it. We introduced a line of tea-bags in bulk for food service a few years ago and it’s only increased our sales in this sector. We just finished the Fancy Food Show which is a big trade show at the Javits Center in NYC for Gourmet Food. There we introduced a retail line of the tea-bags.

PSW: Which teas to do put in the tea bags?

LV: We have twelve kinds: everything is organic, Breakfast Tea, Darjeeling single estate, Earl Grey, Black and Blue which is a black tea with blueberries, Marsala Chai, China Green, Jasmine Yin Hao, which is a green tea with jasmine, Passion and Envy, which is passion fruit with straight green tea. Strictly Strawberry which is a caffeine free strawberry fruit blend, Peppermint, Chamomile, Coco Loco Nut which is a rooibos, chocolate & coconut blend.

PSW: Is the majority of your business in wholesale, trade shows or retail?

L. LV: The majority of our business is in bulk wholesale I would say that 75% of our business is food service. Selling to restaurants, cafes, tea houses, any one who uses our tea to serve customers. This is how we started. I feel comfortable in that business I grew up in that business. I am comfortable in and out of restaurant kitchens, that was natural. It was easier to grow the business in the food service area. We have a website and I probably don’t pay enough attention to making it more successful but it does OK , I know it could do much better. And that is retail based for the end consumer. We do have a retail line that we wholesale to places like Dean and DeLuca and Zabars and other specialty food stores. That’s the segment I am really trying to focus on with places like Fresh Direct, they carry our line. But that is the segment I am trying to figure out to expand because we are New York based and we are recognized in the NYC five boroughs, lower Westchester, and Connecticut. We have good representation on the West Coast and have a broker who has been working with us since 1997 who is great.

In the middle of the country people tend to carry us places. So if someone has worked in a restaurant here and moved out West they tend to take us with them I think if we do more exposure in retail shows people will know about it and ask for us and hopefully will increase sales overall. So that is where my focus has been these days.

PSW: Are most of your sales in the US?

LV: Yes the majority. We also have representation in Japan called SerendipiTea Japan. Also a sister company SerendipiTea Australia which is my late/former husband’s brother. He started this company 7-8 years ago, I buy the tea for them because they are basically not tea people, they understand marketing and placement and great sales. We have a long time customer in Seoul South Korea, she a former Julliard student who drank our tea here in NY and opened a tea house in Korea when she returned. We have a customer in Denmark of all places. They just find us in the oddest ways. There’s one here and there.

PSW: Would you like to add advice to anyone who wants to be in this business and what have you learned about being in business?

LV: The tea business is booming. It is a wide open area and if you truly love tea and would like to get into the business. There’s lots of opportunity, you can go to Linked-in where there are tea enthusiastic, FB, meet-ups and you can reach out to your local tea purveyor. You can contact them and see if they need help in any capacity.

Once you are in remember business is business is business, so we are not hanging around talking about tea all day. We are in a business. I love the enthusiasm of tea but if all you want to do is sit around and talk about tea it is not productive the business needs to run and to be successful and to operate it has to run like a well-oiled machine.

I am pretty strict about when we do have tastings. It is usually in the mornings. I will call and invite staff to taste and explain why and what I am doing. I have a library in the hallway with tons of information, books videos, for staff to borrow and increase their tea knowledge. We have periodicals also from time to time we will do crash talks about tea specifically. Enthusiasm about the product is wonderful and necessary, but most of the time it is a business.

Consider I did it at a time when I did not have any major responsibility so I could take risks and I knew I could shift gears and find a job if it didn’t work. Be cautious, plan, have more than one contingency plan. Just in case things don’t work out. Be positive. And hope for it to work out and do your darnedest to make it. There are so many resources available, take advantage of them! And where there is a will there is a way I firmly believe that and I am stubborn as they come. If I am told No it won’t work out I say Yeah you want to try me. You will figure it out, where there is a will there is a way. My other mantra is “Know your limitations”. That is for me to know when to ask for help. You can’t do everything, you can’t know everything. For example, I rely heavily on my accountant to answer questions. I am not an accountant I was never trained in business I come from an art background. So a lot of this is learning as you go along. Sonam (my assistant) is amazing with computers technology and software systems. She is fantastic and I rely on her heavily for a lot of those things. And other things like customer relations. It’s important to know where you need to be bolstered. And look for that in different people especially those who want to go along for the ride.

PSW: So there is no way I want this interview to end. But is there anything you want to add?

LV: I am so glad to see you and happy you are following your dreams of interviewing. It is your turn now. I am thrilled and honored to be one of your interviewees. Thanks and so nice to see you and your daughter.

PSW: Thank you so much for your time and I love you because you have been so nice to us. We will certainly remain in touch.

Absorbing the atmosphere and finishing our tea I sense an intimate family feel, everyone is happy and Linda is generous with her time and knowledge. She is personable and that is one of her greatest qualities besides her knowledge of the tea world. On the SerendipiTea website the knowledge continues. The Shop tab will bring you an extensive array of teas and blends. Click on Tea World and find: Tea Culture, Tea Recipes, Tea and Health, Universi-Tea, Tea Tips and Articles by SerendipiTea.

For more information and happy tea drinking go to: http://www.serendipitea.com
http://www.facebook.com/SerendipiTea
Twitter @SerendipiTeaUSA

Martie McNabb – Personal Historian – Memories Out of the Box

Standard

 

Martie McNabb Profile Picture

 

I met Martie McNabb at one of the local chapter Association of Personal Historian meetings last year. She owns and operates a business in Brooklyn, NY She is a visual artist who tells personal history stories in books (& other display products) using only photos & memorabilia. Her books are created to let the reader tell the story in their own words. Which makes for a better story. Martie has been in business for over nine years and she is graciously going to share her wisdom and insights with us today.

Purelysimplewords (PSW): Welcome Martie. I know you are really busy so thanks for your time.

Martie McNabb (MM): Not busy with a lot of paid work.

PSW: It’s like that everywhere.

MM: It’s a standard thing. It’s the three stages of building a business. Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. Memories Out of the Box is heading into the Profitability stage but we are not there yet.

PSW: How long have you been doing Personal History work?

MM: We are coming up to 9 to 10 years.

PSW: That’s a long time!

MM: Personal Historians in general have a difficult time selling our services. At least people know what to do (as a memoir writer). There are no words (text) in the work I do, except those that are in documents or memorabilia. Occasionally if a client wants it but then they have to do the work. But the majority of my clients don’t have the time to caption anything. They look to what I create as an opportunity for storytelling. They pull the book off the shelf and sit down with their family and they go through it and reminisce and remember and reconnect with one another and that’s where the words come in as part of an individual, family or organizational oral tradition.

PSW: How did you get started as a Personal Historian?

MM: I was a high school Biology teacher in the city here for 8 ½ years. I wasn’t burnt out but I was crispy around the edges. I knew I couldn’t stay doing it. Mainly I love the kids but got burnt out by the administration and politics of education. As we know all the money is going into testing. Companies like Pearson Testing and curriculum companies are making a fortune off of it but the reality of it is you need to train teachers really, really well then you give them all the support they need to become excellent teachers then leave them the Fuck alone.

PSW: I agree with you on that one.

MM: No administrator would go into a cardiac surgeon’s operating room and tell them what to do. Teachers need the same respect. It’s not the money. The money is really good but it was all the other stuff. Anyway I had to leave there and I was just trying to figure what to do. I went back to my first career which was sign language interpreting. Which I still do occasionally if I need cash. Then I said, “What’s next?”

I decided to take a 16 week business class called Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) which met once a week, we had homework. It cost me $99 and they had a curriculum they taught you and had different people who came in and taught you about different areas of building a business. It was an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs too. I was not thinking of one business and around that time I went to visit a friend in North Carolina. I hadn’t seen my friend in 6 years . When I saw her she felt it was so important to tell me that she had become an aunt in that 6 year period. Her twin sister had two girls and all she wanted to do was show me pictures of her nieces. She spent half the visit going back and forth to her bedroom trying to find the right dresser drawer with the right envelope with the right picture in it. It occurred to me, why do we document the heck out of our lives. We take photos, we collect all kinds of stuff that document the things we remember. Touchstones that really make a difference for us. We hold on to them but so rarely do anything with them. They just sit in a box, mainly that’s how Memories Out of the Box came about.

I wondered how many other people have this problem. Needless to say it was a very informal marketing search. There is no known research about it at this point. All I can tell is we can see hundreds and thousands of old photographs at tag sales and flea markets and antique stores, the problem of what do you do with your photos have been around for a very long time. Because they are ending up in tag sales and flea markets and auctions. Someone in whatever family did nothing with them. You find old scrap books from the 20’s and 30’s and even earlier that have nothing in them. Perhaps the first couple of pages have photos in them and the rest nothing. I think the challenge of what we do with our photos, documents and memorabilia of our lives has been going on for a long time. But again I don’t have hard and fast truth of it. I started to think about it and ask people about it and said OK what valuable service can I offer because there seems to be a big need for it. Let me try opening this business. And so I did.

PSW: What do you enjoy most about doing this type of work?

MM: The most difficult part of this work is getting more work. It’s getting the word out to people to say I can do this work, people don’t understand that they can hand me their boxes, bags or key to their storage unit or whatever and I can do the majority of the work all by myself. Without them being there.

The next thing is I don’t spend enough time actually doing the work, because the clients are motivated to do it but it is not on the top of their priority list, especially for my clients basically since they handed it off to me and given me a check. It sometimes takes a little while to get back to me so I can move forward on these projects.

But the best part is when I am finally getting into my studio and start to work on these projects it’s pure joy. Time just stands still and I just get into this space of loving to be a part of telling this story. Of this visual narrative and I get to know the characters, I see where they go and what is important to them, what they do and who are their friends. I see children grow up and the weddings that have been in boxes for 22 years. They finally get into a beautiful book and get delivered to a husband and wife for their 23rd wedding anniversary. It’s the joy of creating the finished display product that is what I love and also it’s just being able to know that when I hand these projects back to my clients they are so thrilled. Many of these people thought about what to do with these boxes for years if not decades. Here when I say it is not a priority. I say it is not a top priority, but it is in the back of their minds and they think they have to do something with these. I have to find those wedding photos, the trips we took or my daughters baby book that I never finished and now my daughter’s is graduating from college. All of these things that were in the back of their minds but they have not done anything with it. The sense of relief they have when it’s done, they can sit down and look through it, share and reminisce. I have had some that were so excited to get the finished book, sit with some wine and go through each page and relish every moment. These are some reasons I love doing what I do.

PSW: Do you put the actual pictures in a book or do you scan them and put the scan in the book?

MM: It all depends on what my clients want and what the end product is. 1. I can take the original photos, documents, postcards, letters cards, teeth, locks of hair,. brochures, maps and all of that put them in a photo safe scrapbook with adhesive that is photo safe and archival quality. This is called a one off. A big challenge for the client is what to do with the originals if they want a digital book. There is still a preservation issue to that. Many of my clients don’t have a lot of storage space so they may never do anything with the originals. 2. I can scan each individual photo and document to create a digital book that can be printed. Either way is fine but I often ask what the clients plan on doing with the originals.

Many clients just want one copy because they know they are not going to do anything with the originals. The best protection for the items is to be in a book. That gives the archive the most probable chance of surviving and being preserved.

PSW: What is digitizing?

MM: Scanning and digitizing is the same thing, most of the books I create are large. Most are 12 x 12 or 14 x 14. They can’t be scanned in a typical scanner. I have a friend who is a product photographer and takes high quality photos. His studio is set up so that he can photograph each page which creates a digital image. I can then have a back up copy to send off to a book publisher or printer and have a copy made.

PSW: You have been in this business for a long time. From where you began to where you are now what has not worked and what have you learned from it?

MM: Needless to say I have had many failures. This is my first forte in owning a business. No one in my immediate family has ever owned a business. My great grandfather and his six brothers started a company back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Other than that it’s been hit or miss on my side. I am primarily on my own. Because it is a new industry and concept even before I knew anything about the Association of Personal Historians I started Memories Out of the Box. There was no road map. There could be other companies out there that do the work I do but I can’t find them. There is one that is similar by a woman in Oregon. Also Taylor Whitney in Albany, NY. But no one does the visual story telling as I do.

My clients are not the type to send their precious items out to be organized/scanned so I decided to open an store in Brooklyn, NY that sold photo albums and scrapbooks and frames, I had classes, workshops and studio space for those who had these projects in mind but no room in their house. Some people worked with me on a coaching basis. I got great feedback from people in the area. As a result I got over 400 email addresses. If I got a nickel for every time I was told this store is a great idea I would be rolling in it now. I did acquire a great client who I still work with. I am working on book 9, 10 and 11.

Unfortunately, the store did not work out for various reasons like the economy and my lack of business experience. It was in essence a “failure”. So what did I learn from it. By living in this neighborhood for 20 years having a store increased my visibility and credibility. I was smart enough to adjust my path to continue the work that I do. Which is all I want to do. I did not give up. I continued to offer my services I learned I hate retail. I learned I can fail, learn from it and make better mistakes next time. I learned to take my financial life seriously. Being CFO of my financial life is new to me and I am learning to handle that.

PSW: Who would you say is the most interesting client you have ever had?

MM: This is a woman I met when I opened my store. She is like a hurricane and has a huge heart. She takes the time to sit down and really listens and connects with you . As I mentioned I am working on book 9, 10 and 11 for her. She inherited a box of stuff from her mother dating back to the 18 and 1900’s that I organized, curated and placed in a book. When her son was 13 I made a book for him. I have seen her family grow. I have taken trips with them, and she is welcoming, friendly, and trusting. She makes me feel I am part of that family and I really love that about her. Hopefully I will be there to do wedding albums for her sons and daughter as we move forward. It is wonderful to be a family’s visual narrator.

PSW: What advice would you like to pass on about having your own business and being a personal historian?

MM: First is you learn important things about yourself, deep things. Having your own business is not like having a job. It’s about starting and growing a business you believe in.

In terms of a personal history business there is no question that it is in the beginning stages and it will grow. We are the life story people after all.

I just connected with Story Corp. They say that they make recordings that go into the Library the Congress so your great great great grandchildren can listen to your story. Sadly I think this does not happen though because Story Corps doesn’t help the individuals preserve the DVD they are given &/or create a tradition that makes sure the family knows that this recording even exists. When I come across CD’s & DVD’s in the boxes I work with I make sure they are included in my end product and backed up in some way so these ancestral voices aren’t lost. Personal Historians are not only concerned about telling or recording stories but also about preserving them for future generations that know that they are there.

PSW: is there anything else you would like to add?

MM: I encourage everyone to check out our Show & Tell events. They are great opportunities to share lives and legacy. It’s a fun event. The events are free too.

Join us online:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/showandtellit
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Show-Tell-it/

PSW: Thank you Martie for sharing your world with us.

Martie is talented and generous with her expertise. Her visual narratives are unique and each one of her creations is one of a kind. She is passionate about everyone not leaving the story of their lives stuck in a box.

To find out more about Martie McNabb, her portfolio, the process she uses, adult show and tell events and her work go to: memoriesoutofthebox.com. (718) 398-1519 Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY