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Friday, December 2, 2016

So, You Want to Write a Memoir

I have written several novels and have published two memoirs, my memoir Starving Girl and my mom’s memoir The Memory Catcher.  

My mom author and researcher Sarah Hinze and I being 
photographed for our local newspaper.  2103

I find reading and writing memoirs meaningful to the things I know to be eternally true.  I feel as we do simple, yet extraordinary things, our personal stories are magnified and meaning is everywhere.  Here are a few tips to get started:

1)     Find the most meaningful part of your story.  For me, it was my first 30-days of fasting.  I wrote in real time, but much of my memoir looked at past experiences.  Look through your blog, facebook, old journals, photos, etc.  Find your angles, quirky unusuals, meaningful life lessons, etc. See if you have one life experience bigger than the others.  What are the common themes?  What part of your life is your best story? 

2)     Don’t get too stuck on dates.  Most biographies do not read like my book, where dates are the start of each chapter, but do try to start a chronological path of each meaningful experience.  Think of Erin Brochovich, Julie and Julia, Eat Pray Love, Wild, The Glass House, etc.

3)     Don’t get lost in the details, at first.  The details will come later.  Be very general, but once you have your outline finished, I want you to put yourself right back in that scene and think of your emotions.  Emotions are the best teachers.  At this point, I want you to get specific.  More ideas will flood your mind.  Keep going.  Go detail crazy. Think of your senses.  Bring in past experiences that might be significant at this point.  Your input has no boundaries.  Ask yourself questions.  Research your own ideas.

4)     The start of your book should be a gripping, emotional story to pull the reader in.  The event maybe didn’t even happen during your “best life story”, but it is a monumental experience that opened your eyes to what?  Love?  Adventure?  Commitment?  Overcoming?  Whatever it is, and you probably haven’t written this scene, start digging to get it done.

5)     I kept my baggage out of my book.  This doesn’t mean I’m not revealing or even vulnerable, but I tried to focused every story on strength, overcoming and self-discovery.  No preaching and no gossiping.  I spoke very kindly of my loved ones, because I love so many of the people who make their way into my book.  I made a point to not reference “You.” Or make generalizations about what most people might think or do.  Everything I wrote about was written from the “I.”

6)     Pray like the dickens.  God has asked us to journal, to keep a family history, etc.  Although writing a memoir is not the same as writing in your journal, please know Heavenly Father will help you ( But you already know this.)

7)     If you don’t think you can write about a certain scene, write it anyway.  If it’s something embarrassing, revealing, shocking, emotional, write it generally.  Think of scenes you’ve read in other books like the scene in Wild when Cheryl had to shot her mother’s horse or when Elizabeth Smart wrote about her rape in My Story.  When I wrote Starving Girl, I imagined everyone close to me reading it.  I had to remind myself most of the people I know won’t even read my memoir.  I had to write the story for me and there were certain necessary scenes I had to make fit.  Second of all, your story is intended for a bigger audience.  Be silly, don’t take yourself too seriously.  Write it for your own sake and decide later if you have the courage to include it in your memoir.  For me, in the writing I found the courage to overcome.  

8)     Write and then, we-write.  Edit, write and re-write.  Write, put it away, work on another scene, then go back and read your previous work.  Rinse and repeat, ok, don’t rinse.

9)     Keep a log of ideas.  I would be out on a walk or folding laundry, and an idea would come to mind.  You don’t want to lose any of this.  I would speak into my phone and email my ideas to my computer.  Don’t think, “Oh, I’ll remember it later.”  This is a trap.  Take your ideas seriously.  Invest in yourself.

10) Listen to motivational talks.  Be inspired.  Read memoirs.  Listen to audio books.  Study your favorite authors.  Research their lives.  When people ask “What do you do?”  reply, “I’m an author.”  Start looking at yourself differently. 

11) Ask yourself, “What is it I want to say?”  What do you wish was out their in literature?  Have you found it?  Write the book you’d want to read.  Say the things you’d want to hear.  Be the voice.  Be strong in your convictions (without preaching). 

12) Do not seclude your audience by clinging to certain religious or cultural differences.  Be more general with these ideas, as they might turn certain readers off. 

13) Keep the flow.  Once a story ends, end it.  Do not analyze things to death.  Allow the reader to fill in some of the gaps.  Don’t write, “My husband is the best.”  Instead, write about a time he proved he was the best.  Show, don’t tell.

14) Allow us into your mind.  Let us hear the pros and cons.  Let us hear your inner battle, the courtroom drama, etc.  The inner growth and struggle is a key part of the story.

15) If you have written on your blog or kept a journal, many of your stories are already in their first–draft format.  If possible, use some of your past writings to propel you forward and think, “I’m so glad I kept this stuff written down.”

Remember, every rule can be broken if necessary to share your story.  So, there you have it.  Writing your own memoir is a thrilling, rewarding journey that I think more women should experience.  Your life story has real villains and heroes, adventures to unknown destinations and gripping accounts of overcoming.  Email me at if you have any questions.  Happy Writing.

Find it on Amazon and Kindle.

Find my book trailer on youtube by clicking here.

Find The Memory Catcher here.

Book trailer here.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

30 Days of Kindness to My Husband And More

I wrote my memoir Starving Girl in 30 days.  I didn’t think it could be done, after all, I’d spent years and years writing my other books, many of which were still unfinished.  What was different about Starving Girl?  I created an exciting dramatic experience in my own life and the story line followed.  

The bottom line was I needed a challenge, presented in my day-to-day living.  Something big enough to inspire me into a new exciting reality.  With that in mind, I started on my next 30-day challenge.  Why 30 days?  Because 30 days is a good base number to form a new habit. (Read here for more ideas about that). 30 Days of Kindness to My Husband was born. 

Like my first 30 days of fasting, 30 Days of Kindness to My Husband was thrilling, but the story behind it was more subtle than 30 days of fasting.  It started first with intention and in a beautiful dance of will, my actions followed.  From day one, I say my husband Derek different.  He was my focus and like a flame in the darkness, I became more aware of his presence.  My every day actions became more narrowed on him.  Before, I’d rush through conversations, a sort of “Get to the point,” perspective.  After all, I’m a busy girl and if I allowed it, our dialogue could be all business:  What are the kid’s schedules?  Who’s picking which kid up where?  Did you call the plumber?  Did you see where I put my shoes?  A marriage should not be a business partnership, even if only for moments at a time.

My husband is such a gift.  In a world full of ill intended, even arrogant men, he is a serving, loving, adorable gem.  I didn’t mean to take him for granted, but I did.  So how did writing keep me on task to change my habits?

It started with my wedding photos.  I pulled out my wedding album and randomly started looking at us.  This was going to be fun.

During my 30 Days of Kindness to My Husband, I found clues everywhere suggesting I could do better as a wife and kept mental notes.  So many aspects of me had slipped, including my patience.  Quick wit could be one of my literal gifts, but over the years it had turned into unintended insults and my tongue snapped like fingers at a jazz concert.  I didn’t mean to be so opinionated, but wasn’t it obvious I knew better.  Small tasks like driving turned into me offering suggestions and pointing out discrepancies.  Just wanting to help was an unnecessary evil.  If I had not set my goal to put kindness first, I’m not sure I would have noticed Derek’s larger-the-life patience, his awareness of my needs, the children’s needs and the purposeful way he provides for our family.    

            I started to see the story everywhere because Derek and I were the story.  His voice became more pronounced and I noticed his deep tones.  One night, when he reached for my hand, I actually had butterflies in my stomach and it reminded me of the romance we’d experience while dating.  I started sending him texts like “I love you” and “Hurry home.”  Always full of compliments, Derek would tell me I’m beautiful and I actually started listening to him.  His words meant something and if he spoke it, I respected him.  After a week of this, I finally felt the pure joy of his compliments.  The words “You’re beautiful,” entered my mind with such love, I could feel my perspective shift.  I was becoming how he saw me.  

With little effort, but a great big thing called intention, I had changed so much.  I loved who I’d become.  My need to be heard and be right all the time had gone away.  In its place was more trust, patience and love. I was surrounded by goodness and practically tripping over my blessings.  Derek’s love for me was life-changing and it was about time I took notice.

The last weekend of the 30-day challenge, Derek was out of town and I missed him terribly.  I thought of those who have long-distance relationships or couples who live apart because of military service.  How did they do it?  Like while fasting, I kept myself busy with the baby and household projects.  That night, I put the baby on my bed to change him into his pajamas when I noticed it – a yellow rose on my pillow.  My story unfolded again and the depth of love in my life was almost more than I could handle.  Derek’s presence was everywhere and I took this beautiful symbol of love to heart.  I would never go back to who I was before the 30 Days of Kindness to My Husband.  Kindness was the gift that kept giving.  How was I going to keep up with all the love coming back to me?  Now that was a challenge I could handle. 

The last day of the 30 Days of Kindness to My Husband, I did something I hadn’t expected.  I said to Derek, “I’m sorry.”  With tears in my eyes, I asked for his forgiveness.  Like a giant teddy bear, he wrapped me up in his arms and told me that was unnecessary.  He didn’t need me to apologize.  I was his perfect wife and he saw me for all the good I was.  Even still, I needed to say it and now, I’m on a new, fresh path in my relationship with my man.  

Now, in this world of girl-power and modern-day feminism, I’m sure somebody could read about my experience and deem me subservient and passive, but let me assure you this is not the case.  Girl power is wonderful, but not when used to dominate.  Feminism is important, but there is still a certain grace we as women carry that needs to be accentuated, not squandered. 

For the last ten years, Derek has taken me on a date almost every weekend.

The truth is, being a writer I've create worlds and stories in my mind, but living out these experiences, even these challenges is something I’m just now realizing I can be doing all the time.  I have loved the new windows of exploration, the journaling and watching the story unfold.  My next 30-day challenge, 30 Days of Service Toward My Children.  During Christmas time, this is going to be uniquely special.  I can hardly wait to get started.   Who’s with me?  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Where Would I Be If Others Would Not Have Risen

10 ½ months of intermittent fasting, and my life is totally different than it was before.  

Dancing with my nieces at my nephew's wedding.

Three distinct things have changed:

1) I have learned to live in the present.  It’s not a perfect science and there are times I still struggle with procrastination or rush, but if I stray, I recognize it and through gratitude (and sometimes hunger), can bring myself back.  I think of others more.  I have fought the good fight and the pressure to feel sorrow for myself or to think I can’t do something difficult has diminished tremendously.  

2) My inner-voice speaks to me with love and patience. Again, not a perfect science, but no longer do I have a negative inner-dialogue.  It’s as if my soul and physical self are finally in alignment. Yeah, they love me!!  I love me!

3)  Food has fallen down the list of priorities and I’m eating for my physical health, not for my emotional needs.  If it wasn’t for intermittent fasting and prayer, I would still be stuck in a mind and body that was doing its best, but most days found ways to sabotage my success. I’ve recognized food addiction and negative body image and because of prayer, could tackle these huge obstacles with success.  Because of this, I've lost weight.

A key component to my experience has been the words and testimonies of others.  I’ve read the scriptures, talks by my church leaders and personal experience from those who’ve over come all sorts of obstacles.  Between my daily runs/walks and time in the car, I have met some amazing friends through YouTube and other audio sources including authors, motivational speakers, spiritual leaders and entrepreneurs.

So meaningful have these relationships become, so necessary where they to lift me up, so essential to my own personal growth and well-being, I had to finally ask: where would I be if others would not have risen?  What if Oprah Winfrey would have decided, “You know what, it’s just too hard.”  What if Corrie ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place would have thought, “My story isn’t that important.  Who am I to think I can write?”  What about Elizabeth Gilbert?  Had she blocked her creative energy I would have never been able to listen to the incredible Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear.   And Brene Brown, her ability to see how shame and vulnerability co-exist to make us stronger.   Tig Notaro, an incredibly talented comediam, Ann Lamott and her memoir Bird by Bird, and Mary Karr and her book called The Art of Writing Memoir.  Cheryl Strayed wrote her story Wild almost 20 years after she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.  What if all these talented people would have given up or not even tried?  My mom has been most influential as well as my author friends.  I had the opportunity to meet Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight and I could have cried.  

Actually, I did cry when she walked out on stage.  Her creativity ability is so inspiring and I’ve listened to her interviews as well.  Mother Teresa, Lila Rose, Martin Luther King, Abby Johnson, Reggie Littlejohn, various people who spoke on TED talks on and on these beautiful people, and others, rose to their creative challenge and came alive. If not for them, I would not have healed.  I needed constant companionship along this journey through stories, personal experiences, music, art work and motivational talks.  Thank you.

If you have something to say, say it.  Be brave.  Share your truth.  Come forward.  Take a stand.  Be more than you ever thought possible.  Take risks.  Be vulnerable because I need it.  I need to hear more, be inspired every day, learn and grow from you.  I love stories.  I need stories.  I need you.

I hope my memoir Starving Girl helps others.  

Availabe on Amazon and Kindle.

I know it’s helped me.  Fasting pushed me out of my comfort zone and onto a path of fulfilling my life’s dreams.  

Find it on youtube by clicking here.

I could not have down it without the help of others, many I may never have the chance to thank personally. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Loving My Baby Is My Perfect Expression

I know I’m not the only one who sometimes needs someone to hold on to.  Having my baby Canyon in my arms, rocking him to sleep, playing, giggling, comforting him when he’s hurt, all these experiences literally change me physically.  I can feel it.  A part of me grows and stretches yet also feels secure, validated and incredibly loved. 

Sometimes I feel expressions of joy and gratitude to such an extent that I actually need a baby to kiss.  There is this desire to express myself through loving and taking care of him.  Mothering him is my expression.  His perfect head has received too many kisses to count.  His little body, the way he wraps it around my hips when I jolt out the door, how he fits so perfectly into my arms like a jockey ridding a rickety horse, I just love every minute of it. 

He has started kissing me and those kisses are full of drool, but also an innocent passion.  He loves me without words, only through actions.  He kisses me with eyes wide open, his little pouty breath warming my cheeks and we lock lips.  I tend to be a worrier, a bit scatter-brained, overly optimistic, have high expectations of myself, am task minded and on and on.  This little baby makes me be present, grateful and focused on giant moments of split-second heart-warming experiences. 

He’s a baby.  My baby.  I paid such a price for him.  At first, I didn’t think I could take on such a task of another baby, and here’s what I have to say to anyone considering an abortion, please hang on.  I promise, with all the complications and personal obstacles, with all the work and uncertainty, to get one of those kisses from my baby I paid such a high price for, it is worth it.  Even as he sleeps, I watch and wait, ready for more of everything he has to offer.  From his articulate baby babble to the primal way he needs me, if my arms were empty I would be searching my entire life to fill them with something meaningful.  A baby is impossible to replace.

Don’t let the world tell you anything is more important than your baby.  I’ve had more help with this baby than any of my other children.  People step up.  I could never do it alone.  I have teenagers and a baby and everything between. Raising teenagers while raising a baby is like steering a ship while piloting a plane, but each child plays a critical, perfect role in our family.

My husband and my kids are the number one reason this baby is so happy and well-adjusted.  They are constantly reaching out to him.  Each has there own “special”games, songs and experiences.  I could never provide the education, life lessons and personal development to my older kids the way this baby does.  

He’s our family’s peacemaker.  We all strive to be better and do more because of him.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I wondered what type of child I would have, how I would learn and grow from such a life-changing experience.  At times, I was discouraged and didn't see how it would all work out.  I’ve read, re-read and loved Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  If you have not read these books, you need to.  They are so rich with enormous wisdom and highly entertaining.  I have been listening to their on-line lectures and a theme I’m finding is in order to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

I can’t travel to Italy, India and Indonesia.  I can’t hike the Pacific Crest Trail.  Little did I know having Canyon would be my 1,200 mile hike and my year-long international travel.   Canyon would push me out of my comfort zone.

My baby is my Mt. Everest, with all the training, dreams, set-backs, visions, occasional oxygen mask and life-changing accomplishment that comes with it.  At the peak, he is my beautiful view of the world of the world, my breath-taking scenery and the wind blowing through my hair.  He is my PhD, my higher education and confirmed thesis. 

The world tries to convince women they can only do one or the other. Since I’ve had this baby, I’ve written a memoir, taken charge of my health, gone cliff-jumping, signed up for comedy/improv classes and more.  I did not have to choose between my baby and other experiences life has to offer.  I can do both.

A baby is worth it.  A living, breathing, one-of-a-kind baby is more dynamic and diverse than any experience the world has to offer.  My baby makes me better.  My baby is my beautiful teacher.  My baby smiles and I have seen heaven.  When we dance, when we cuddle, when he toddles towards me with an open picture book I feel a love that expands the cells in my body.  Breathing reminds me I’m having a physical experience, but the love I feel insists the experience is much, much bigger.  

Click here to see it on youtube.

Click here to see it you youtube.

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Finally Here - Jester Z Improv Night

Tuesday, November 8 will be a good day to laugh. 
I've learned how to be more spontaneous, lighten up and think outside the box.  
Thank you Jester Z, it's been so much fun.

Tomorrow's the big day. Tuesday, November 8th will go down in history as the day I did my first stand-up comedy act. I know, I know, nothing else is going on, so come to my FREE event at Jester Z. 7:00pm. No excuses.

Jester Z is located at Mesa Riverview, 1061 N Dobson Rd #114, Mesa, AZ 85201 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Day I Wore A Belt

When we were in Flagstaff this summer, I did something I never thought I’d do again.  I wore a belt. 

The “belt-wearing experience” was one of the many celebrations I’ve had on my journey of intermittent fasting.  It’s symbolic of a much greater blessing. 

In my book Starving Girl – my 30-day experience with the miracle of intermittent fasting and prayer, I write about the moment I realized my belly fat was taking over my life. 

My baby was about six months old and I was in the place where I could still make excuses to myself.  Yes, I was unhappy, unhealthy and living in denial, but I’d just had a baby.  Deep down, I knew there was nothing I could or would ever do about my belly fat.  Nothing in my closet fit, except if it was stretchy.  I sang praises to the yoga waistband, the clothing that made me feel like I was going to work out at any minute, even if I didn’t. 

It was during this time I had an encounter with my belly fat.  It was heartbreaking to realize how out of control I was.  It’s no surprise this experience started at Goodwill.  I wrote: 

At Goodwill, I walked over to the jeans rack.  With high hopes, I scanned through the jeans.  I was looking for specific qualities.  The jeans had to be stretchy, low rise and fabulously trendy.  I found three pair that looked like they should fit, and purchased them.  Later that night when everyone had gone to bed, I went into the bathroom and tried on the jeans.  In the mirror I stared, horrified the first pair didn’t even fit over my hips.  It was like my stomach and rear end were having a battle of the bulge contest.  Sure, I was aware my stomach had issues but my backside too?  Ok, I could handle this.  Sometimes sizes ran small, and I convinced myself this was the problem.  I tried on the second pair and wiggled, stretching and pulling, until they barely moved past my hips.  The button and buttonhole were nearly a foot apart.  I thought of the construction equipment that dug up and rebuilt roads.  It would take the chains and hook of such equipment to bring the zipper and button together.  Another hit and miss, but the last pair, the biggest pair I’d found, had the best stretch in the fabric. I pulled the tight material up my thighs.  I sucked in air and postured my body straight and stiff, pulling at the zipper as it reluctantly inched up.  Although I felt my back jar out of alignment, I continued.  I was going to win this battle or lose my mind.  The button dug into my thumb and forefinger as I manipulated it into the buttonhole. I’d done it.  The jeans fit.  Never mind the enormous fat and skin from my belly that hung over the jeans like an udder from under a cow’s belly.  With the jeans forcing my belly fat “up and out,” I lifted it with my hands, amazed it moved, pliable like stretched taffy.  My belly fat—why was it there?  Why did it need to be there?  How had I acquired it?  Should I name it?  Was it always going to be there?  Every other part of my body had purpose, but the belly fat had absolutely no purpose.  Yet there it sat, overflowing out of my hands like an Italian chef kneading pizza dough.  How many shabby chic dressers would I need to sell to pay for a tummy tuck?  Out of my peripheral vision, my rear end waved. “What about me?” it seemed to say.      
These were the three jeans that had been taunting me ever since.  Of course I’d never worn them, and I was too unorganized to take them back to Goodwill, but it was more than that.  I wasn’t going to let them win.  I had not known how or when, but the jeans were going down, so I’d kept them.   

I’m happy to say after just a couple of weeks of intermittent fasting, all the jeans from this horrible experience fit. After three months of intermittent fasting, the same jeans (and many more) were donated to the thrift store because they were too big. 

Donated jeans.

Going through my closet, giving away clothes that don't fit anymore.

Now, every time I wear a belt, I feel an enormous amount of gratitude.  

Well, there's that belt again!

My journey with intermittent fasting is far from over. but this small victory means my belly fat didn't win.

Here's my before and after picture of my journey, so far.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Can I Speak Kind to my Husband for 30 Days?

I’ve had this nudging in my heart for several months and I feel like I need to act on it now.

Can I speak kind to my husband for 30 days?

It’s not that I speak unkind to him.  We have a very loving relationship, but the thing is I can be sassy.  I can be easily offended and quick to react.  I have time for everything else, but often not for him.   

This morning, my husband kindly said to me, “Honey, you’re so beautiful.”
I hadn’t combed my hair yet.  I was wearing a baggy dress that fit me during my 9-month of pregnancy, and our baby is one.  I was in a rush to get the kids off to school, but this comment made me pause.  My precious husband still takes me breath away.

“How many times have you said this to me?” I asked as he took me in his arms, although I probably knew the answer better than him. 

Definitely thousands, maybe tens of thousands?  How many times have I believed him?  Maybe never.

“Not enough,” he answered.  

You see what I’m up against.  This man is a good man, a great man.  If Derek and I were in a kindness game, where the points were kept on a scoreboard, he would be winning by at least 1,000 points  I just can’t keep up with him.  He’s sooo good at being kind!

My prayer is 30 days of kindness will help me change and will empower me as a woman and as a wife.  This experience will not suppress my opinion (yeah, like that would ever happen), but inspire me to speak more positively and express myself to my husband with more patience and love.  I’m also hoping I will be able to take his praise, his compliments and his love and finally believe in him, in us, with all of my heart. 

This will not be easy for me.  I’m built a certain way.  When I’ve had a difficult day, I tend to vent.  When the house is messy, I tend to blame.  When I’m tired, I get grouchy. 

What will it take for me to be more in control of my feelings, my reactions and my surroundings? 

Commitment.  Prayer.  Faith.  Love.  Encouragement. 

Do you want to try this with me?

Remember, a righteous woman will stand up for herself.  I would never want anyone in an abusive relationship to submit themselves to their husband, but if you can relate to what I’m saying – in other words if you are sassy too, do you want to try this with me?  I know my husband is not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.  I want to celebrate him with all my heart. 

Today is October 28.  This 30-day challenge will take me through Thanksgiving, which I can already feel will make for a very powerful Thanksgiving. I am grateful for my husband.  The last day of the challenge will be Sunday, November 27, then we can all go back to being sassy and headstrong (just kidding)!

I’ve started a facebook page called 30 Days of Kindness to my Husband.  I want all of those who attempt this nearly impossible, but God-worthy goal to share encouragement, suggestions, personal growth, challenges, photos and so forth.  My man deserves this and so do I.  I want to be my best self and for me, it starts in my marriage relationship and it starts now.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Mother's Attempt to Ban Partial Birth Abortion

My parents have moved to London for six months. You can read about that here. I should be fine, right. I have a loving husband, six amazing children, brothers and sisters, amazing in-laws and friends, but lately, I’ve noticed something is missing. It’s quality time with my mom.

There’s a tiny hole in my heart. It reminds me my mom is not here. 

If I acknowledge it, I can feel it grow weepy, even pitiful, but I’m trying to move on, stay busy, share love, see the big picture so I can move past this tiny hole before it grows too big.

My mom and I text and we’ve talked a few times on the phone. When she calls, it’s like a dam releases in my heart. I tell her my goals, my dreams, my experiences and she lovingly listens, encourages, oooohs and aaaahs at my ideas, reminds me I have special things to do with my life and that I am her “little humanitarian,” a term I hold dear to my heart.  The first time my mom called me a humanitarian, I felt like I’d been given a noble calling.

My mom has spent her life searching and manifesting for ways to feel God. 
My mom with my daughter Eden in 2002.

She’s a mother, one of the most beautiful paths to feeling God’s presence I can think of. She’s a wife, nurturing a commitment of love that will last an eternity. She’s a writer, a deep thinker, one who asks questions and finds ways to answer them. She’s also a doer. Even against the odds, she follows her heart.  Here is one such example:

In 1997, my mom had an impression she should go to Washington D.C. during the partial birth abortion hearings, following which Congress would vote regarding the legality of this horrendous “medical procedure.”

Partial birth abortion was a new term, although not a new procedure. The public was not aware that these types of abortions were taking place, let alone legal. Many in Congress wanted to ban this “frankensteinian” procedure.

Partial birth abortion takes place when a woman is in her third trimester and the baby is viable.  In other words, the baby could be born premature and survive, but is aborted before taking its first breath. The mother is fully dilated, the baby’s head crowns when the abortion doctor inserts a sharp scissor-like instrument through the soft spot into the infant’s brain, killing the baby before it ever has a chance to let out its first cry. As long as the baby has a foot still inside the mother, “it is not born” and the procedure is legal. If the baby is outside the mother, the procedure is murder.

In 1997, my parents were struggling financially, but with careful budgeting, my mom found a way to pay for the flight. She knew this wasn’t a time to sit and watch history take place around her. She needed to be bold and she would do it. She wanted to share with law makers on Capitol Hill her books on prebirth studies, providing solid evidence that unborn children are alive. She contacted her Congressman, with whom she was acquainted, and told him she wanted to share her research, with him and others. He was familiar with her books, particularly Coming From The Light (Simon & Schuster) and agreed that it was a good idea.

She scheduled her trip and once in D.C., stood in line until she was finally allowed entry to listen to the debates by United States Congressmen and Senators. Standing in line, there were people around her screaming and yelling, “Don’t stop partial birth abortion.  It is a women’s right to choose.” She remembered thinking, “It feels like a hole has been punched in the wall of hell and these people came out to fight for the right to kill innocent children.”

Once inside the building, she saw one of the most valiant of all warriors for the unborn, Henry Hyde, a U.S Senator from Illinois. He walked past her, not knowing who she was. She handed him a card she had prepared before leaving home with a quote she had written down that he had previously said, to perhaps use in her talk:

When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that terrible moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought as Cardinal Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates there, you are there alone standing before God, and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. [By contrast], I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard very beautifully and very loudly in the next world and I think they will plead for everyone who has been in the [pro-life] movement.
They [the aborted] will say to God, “Spare them, because they loved us.” And God will look at us and ask not, “Did you succeed?” but “Did you try?”

Henry Hyde, a mighty and valiant voice, spoke eloquently and emotionally about why partial-birth abortion should be outlawed. People in the audience were moved to tears. Voting wouldn’t take place for days, so my mom walked the halls of the congressional building, hoping to speak with anyone she could influence. She stopped Rick Santorum and handed him her book. He thanked her for what she was doing and explained, “My wife wrote a book about our baby that died and what that baby taught us about the sanctity of life.”

My mom handed out at least fifty books that day, mostly to interns who worked for congressmen and senators.  Her congressman arranged for her to speak at a caucus meeting in which researchers like her could share their latest findings. Reality set in, but she found courage in the right to life messages of others who had spoken earlier. Several congressmen sent their aides and she spoke to a group of people in a room in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill.

Who does this?  Can you imagine the courage, the gumption, the determination to not only travel across the country, but into the heart of our nation’s capital, not knowing where you’re journey will take you, only hoping something good will come from it.  When my mom and I wrote her biography The Memory Catcher, I started to understand the enormous capacity of her character. 

In 1997, banning partial-birth abortion passed by congressional vote, but Bill Clinton vetoed it.  Partial-birth abortion was still legal.  It was a sad reality.  I remember that day, asking my mom what she would do now that she’d lost.  Would she still be the researcher of the unborn?  Would she still write about prebirth studies?  Was there any hope for those children facing abortion?  I’ll never forget what she said.  With optimism and personal conviction, she said, “Oh, Laura, all is well.  We may not be able to change the laws, but we can change hearts.” 

My mom set the way for not only many children who’s lives have been saved, but for me.  

This is my mom: activist, researcher, believer and most importantly, she’s one who makes it happen.  You think of all the fanfare people expect.  The applause, the standing ovation, worldly success – my mom only wanted to help a baby. There's not much to criticize about that.  You see, she’s had a miscarriage before she ever started writing about the unborn.  Losing this baby and later having a dream about that baby made her ask the question, “Where are our children before they are born?”  With this experience, her life’s mission was born. 

Here she is 30 years later speaking at the United Nations.

I don’t think I’d be on this path if my mom had not moved to London.  If she still lived down the street, I’d be skipping my way over there for lively conversation and the party atmosphere her and I always create when we are together.  My mom is fun and even when we are serious, there is a party going on.  But with her gone, our relationship has changed.  It has matured. Memories mean so much.  Subconsciously, I’m searching for her in my everyday purpose and life calling.  Her example is something I want to emulate, even if just for a moment to feel her near.  Her accomplishments have become magnified.  Because I helped her write her memoir, I am a scholar of her work.  I see this influence in my life and want it to grow.  What talents do I have that can help?  What talents can I develop to carry her tradition on? Saving the unborn is part of my heritage and I beg your pardon, as I take a giant step over political correctness and find my way.  

Partial birth abortion was banned in 2003 by President Bush, but the controversy lives on, because in late-term abortions, this barbaric procedure and similar tactics still take place today.

In my book Starving Girl - My 30-day Experience with the Miracle of Intermittent Fasting and Prayer, I reflect on being raised by an activist mom, facing the reality of abortion after I was sexually abused, and learning how food addiction and negative body image was a cover up for shame and hurt.  

My mom's book The Castaways is celebrating 15 years.  You see, it didn't take long for my mom to ask the question, "What happens to the soul of an aborted child?" Through compelling evidence and research, she attempts to answer that question. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Baby, You're Worth It - A Campaign is Born

It’s one thing to have a choice, but it’s another to have a baby. #babyyoureworthit

Link to video is here or below:

Please copy and paste it to your social media, facebook, etc.

If you like this video, please share it. I want this message to go viral today.

#itsnoteasybutitsworthit #thegreatestgift #womendeservebetterthanabortion #baby
This is my new campaign. What an honor it is to stand up for our littlest brothers and sisters. If you have a baby that is worth it, hashtag


and share their story with a photo or video. Let's stand with our babies and shout to the world their life is worth it.