Gather ten or so women around a table at a cozy local eatery to celebrate a friend’s book launch and you’ll hear plenty of exciting buzz. Ask those women to share their own stories about how the author being feted has touched their lives and you’ll learn a lot about the power of words to empower women. That’s exactly what happened when a sprinkling of Ethel Lee-Miller’s friends came together over breakfast to toast her new book Seedlings: Stories of Relationships (see Soaring Seedlings).
One woman talked about Ethel’s kindness in reaching out to her when she was working on a memoir. At a key moment, Ethel invited her to join a group of like-minded writers so she could find encouragement and constructive feedback. With their help, she went on to complete and publish the book she envisioned.
Another woman talked about Ethel’s wonderful suggestion that she join Toastmasters so she could develop the public speaking skills she needed to build her organizing business and become actively involved in a her industry’s professional association. Toastmasters proved pivotal to Ethel’s developing the poise and confidence to share her love of writing through readings and presentations — and she knew it would help her friend in her own chosen field.
I talked about Ethel’s warm, welcoming speaking style and the encouraging way in which she shares advice on her writing process. She always talks honestly about writing as both a labor of love and a calling that needs to be nurtured with discipline.
Then being a storyteller, Ethel gave us a glimpse into the power of one tale called “A Rose for Karen” in Seedlings. After readings, several people told her how this story about alcoholism had touched them. What a gift: To write a moving narrative about a father’s relationship with his daughter and then to learn that it has had emotional impact and perhaps even made a difference in people’s lives.
So let’s be sure to celebrate our own writing endeavors and help our fellow authors celebrate milestones on their writing journey as well. For whenever we do, we honor the power of the word to uplift and transform. And let’s remember that as writers, there are many ways we can share our love of words and give others a helping hand. To find out more about the inspiring Seedlings, visit: http://www.etheleemiller.com. Bravo, Ethel — write on!