• Reji Laberje

Don't Chain Your Stories!

My adult daughter and I just got back from a much-belated mother-daughter trip to Boston. It's a city we love for its art, architecture, and pride. Don't get me wrong in the words that follow; it remains one of my favorite places to visit. The culture actually shares many similarities with the very things I hold most beloved about my own home area. However, besides the weather claiming two of our three days (something that no one can control), there was what seemed like a citywide renovation/improvement plan underway.

It sounds great in theory and will surely ultimately be wonderful; but, when things like parts of Old North Church, Paul Revere Park, various public gardens, and rooms in our favorite building - the Boston Public Library - were behind industrial looking and uninviting "keep out" signs, chain links, and locks, we felt disappointed. We had gone there prepared to devour the stories just as we did the cannoli from Mike's Pastry! (Although, as you can see below through my daughter's struggle, those began a bit locked away, too!)

Gone were the costumed revolutionaries playing pipes and drums on the Freedom Trail, the colorful flower-lined paths of some of the gardens, and the busts of some of our favorite authors - along with so much more - in various corners of the library. These weren't tourist traps for us; they were stories. The tortoise and the hare at the fountain in the park outside the library had raced away and signs and fences replaced history and entrances.

"How ironic," stated my daughter, "That one of the places where freedom started is now locked up."

Just a couple weeks earlier, I had the great pleasure of taking in the incredible Broadway Touring Cast performance of "Come From Away." (This is not really a spoiler since the show has been around for about 6 years; the true story behind it happened almost 18 years ago; and the reports and writing somewhere in between!) In the musical, there is a single scene in which a very old Jewish man seeks out a Rabbi to share his Jewish lineage, something he had kept secret, even from his wife, for his entire life, as a result of (understandable)post World War II fears. He felt compelled to share with this Rabbi because he was lamenting the loss of so many stories from the world happening all at once . . . the stories of the thousands killed on 9/11.

That powerful moment is what came to mind as my daughter and I were kept from much of the history and art that, on other visits, we literally touched and held.

  • Has anybody ever said to you, "You just HAVE TO tell that story!"

  • Do you have a particular life experience that, when shared, makes you or those around you, laugh, cry, or be emotionally moved in some way?

  • Have you learned something, through tragedy or triumph, that could benefit others?

My question to you is, "Why would you lock up that story?" You don't have to be a lost story! Your fear in its telling cannot be greater than the fear of it being lost forever. Let this be the year you free your tales from their self-imposed bondage.

This coming fall, I'm excited to announce my Book Crash Courses for the first time ever! These courses are held on your choice of Fridays or Saturdays (or you can mix and match), on the second and fourth weekends of September, October, and November. Full-day writing intensives with breakfast and lunch included will cover: Nonfiction Book Writing (leadership, business, self-improvement, etc.), Fiction or Memoir Book Writing (or historical biography), Writing Picture Books, Writing Monologues or Plays (as well as great dialogues and personal reflections in books), Writing Devotionals, and the Business of Writing and Publishing. As if that's not enough, these new courses are coming to you for just $199.00 apiece! (Or, sign up for all 6 at a cost of just $999, saving nearly $200!) For that price, you'll receive 36 hours of intense, customized writing instruction, an incredible creative community, unmatched processes and tools, personal networking, books and resources, and more, all with an experienced writing and publishing industry professional with decades of success.

Together, let's take the chains off of your stories!

Yours in writing,


P.S. Oh! And, in case you were wondering, there were plenty of emancipated enjoyments that my daughter and I got to take in while visiting Boston. The highlights include: Faneuil Hall, Quincy Markets, Codzilla, Little Italy, Boston Public Market, Improv Asylum, Lucky's Lounge, Mike's Pastry, SOWA Art Market and Galleries, Haymarket, Dolce Vita, and - even in its limited way - the Boston Public Library. Here are just a few snapshots (as most of the time was spent IN the story)!


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