The name of my business in the bay area was TLC Educational Center. I ran this business for 10 years. I developed curriculum for students in grades K-8. The main focus of my business was dedicated to working with students to improve their writing. I loved what I did, and never would have dreamed I would leave such a great place.
A little over three years ago I made the decision to leave my business and create a new business. I decided to keep the TLC as a part of my business name because not only are they my initials, but it is what I bring each day to my students.
I will now be starting my third year of teaching this fall here and I am often asked why I have been so successful in starting a new business where I didn’t know one person in the middle of a terrible economic collapse.
As I examine why I am still in business while others have closed shop it is precisely that I live by my initials. I bring TLC to those who are wanting to share their stories but don’t know how. I bring an understanding to them and a kind word. A hug and a smile goes a long way. Because I know what it is like to feel the pain of memories of our lives I think it makes me more understanding. I am confident that those who come to my workshops will find exactly what they are looking for. I have seen friendships formed and hurts healed.
Moving to the desert hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t change a thing. The things I have learned in these last three years are priceless. The beautiful people who have become my students and friends are the best teachers in the world!
I look forward to sharing a new season with all of you!
On July 9th at my Saturday workshop one of our writing exercises was the topic of firsts. The first of anything is usually a memorable experience and very often marks a change in our lives.
Sam was the first dog that I can remember having and one that I will always. It is interesting to note that Sam was not really my first real dog according to my dad. A few years ago I was at a speaking conference for my book Fig on a Stick and when I was up in Seattle I was able to meet up with my dad and step-mom Lee for dinner. I was showing my dad pictures of my miniature dachshund Courtney and that is when I heard the story of my “first” dog. I forget now what he said the name of this dog was, either spooky or midnight, but it was a miniature dachshund that looked just like Courtney! I had no idea until I heard this story!
Here are a few firsts that may trigger some memories for you to start writing about:
- heart ache
- ride a bike
- broken bone
- child born
Try to write a paragraph for each of these firsts and see what it helps you remember. If you have some pictures to help refresh your memory try to find them!
I am working with an online group and we are working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. One of the things I have discovered through working through the pages is realizing my true passion. I have a passion for connection. I love connecting with people in general. I love connecting with my fellow yoga friends at Bikram Yoga University Village in Palm Desert. I love connecting with my students at my various workshops. I love connecting with various people in the grocery store or wherever I happen to be. Connection for me takes place on a variety of levels. Sometimes the connection is brief, at other times a connection can change my life.
I think one of the most amazing writing exercises to work on is looking at your connections. Write your story of how you met your true love. Have you had many loves or just one that you still cling to? Examine the circumstances around your meeting. Write about how you met him/her. Did you know immediately that this person was going to make a difference in your life? If not immediately when did the love grow? When your heart thinks about passion who is the image that is recalled in your memory banks? What about the various friendships you have maintained throughout the years, can you recall your first meeting? Take some time today to travel through your memories and see what you remember about the important people in your life. Focus in and see what you remember. Sometimes (especially if your true love is no longer a part of your life) this exercise can be painful, but travel down the path gently and see what it is that you recall. Let the tears fall if you need them to, it is cleansing and healing.
Do you remember that song “Sugar Sugar”. Someone posted it on FB sung by the Archies. It brought back such great memories. Of course this picture of Courtney has nothing to do with the song, but I love it so I wanted to put it in! Actually she is wearing a davy crockett hat, but it reminds me of a Tina Turner wig.
Want to go back instantly in time when writing your memoirs? Put on some oldies and transport yourself back in time! Who was your “candy girl”? Who is the love of your life that you just can’t forget? Remember back to that first kiss and write about it.
When I was a pre-teen the popular groups were the Osmonds and the Jackson 5. I loved Leif Garrett and had a poster of him in my bedroom. I can remember my sister with her portable radio and I couldn’t believe how fast she could switch between the two popular stations KFRC and KLIV. I can remember we used to call the radio station and request songs. I love the songs of the 70’s.
Who were your favorite groups when you were in high school? I can remember when I was a freshman (the only year that I went to a public high school) and the school dances were all about disco. Saturday Night Fever was a popular movie and guys were wearing their leisure suits and silk shirts…oh those were fun times! Remember the bell bottoms and ditto pants?
Are there songs today that you love listening to? What memories do they evoke for you?
Happy Hollow is a place in San Jose that is a small zoo and little play area for children. My mom took me there when I was a little girl and I of course took my kids there when they were small. This picture to the right is of my oldest son Kent Jr. (now 26) and my daughter, Kristen (now 24).
The pig or hog or sow, whatever it is…I could swear was the same one when I was a little girl. The donkey in the background, yep…same one I remember. I first grew to love my favorite animal, the lemur at Happy Hollow. My daughter was just there recently and she swears they have new animals…hmmm not sure about that!
What are your memories that you remember from childhood? Where did your parents take you for fun times? If you raised your children in the same town you grew up in, did you also take them to some of the same places you went as a child?
Happy Hollow is one of those institutions that holds a lot of memories for me. I can remember sliding down the slides and playing at the park, feeding the goats and even going to the little exhibit where the guinea pigs have little houses on a remote island. And of course, who can forget Danny the Dragon the train ride.
One of my other great memories from childhood is Frontier Village. This was a great place, but unfortunately wasn’t around when my children were born. I went to Frontier Village many times. The place my children went to the most was Great America Amusement Park. When they were little I worked in the guest relations department which means I could bring them to the park a lot! They loved it!
Spend some time writing about your childhood memories and also the memories that you remember with your children!