The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


Practical Kindness (update on Jen Ballantyne)

Last month I wrote about Jen Ballantyne, a woman who is living bravely and honestly with stage-four colon cancer and the knowledge that she may have fewer than three years to live. One visit to her blog and you realize that Jen, also known as Jenni, tells it like it is: the fear, the pain, the confusion, and yes, even the joy.

In my last post about Jenni, I wrote about the "doctrine of substituted love" and encouraged us to bear her burdens of fear and pain. I truly believe that such metaphysical efforts translate into physical results. But it's good to go beyond the mystical and into the tangible realm. Several wonderful women, Bella at Beyond the Map,Meg Casey, and Jen Lemen are orgainizing a practical way that you can help Jenni. They are working to set up an eBay auction. A PayPal donations system is already in place. (See the donate button in the sidebar.) The money will be used to help pay for Jenni's treatment and those forms of care and pain management that will not be covered by insurance, such as acupuncture, massage, and naturopathy. The funds will also help to create a trust for her six-year-old son. These are things Jenni desperately needs, but can't afford. This is help she won't ever ask for, because she is too worried about everyone else. Get the full details on how you can help here. Donated items for the auction are being accepted until April 18, 2008. I'll post an update when the auction goes live.

A friend recently asked me how blogging ties in with my business as a freelance writer and editor. I said that this blog is a place for me to write regularly and showcase my writing style to my potential clients. Some posts, like this one, are more personal than others. Then again, even my essay-like posts usually revolve around a personal topic.

In many ways, I'm not very good at separating out the personal and the professional. My husband, who has mastered his emotions in a way that I sometimes envy and sometimes pity, reminds me that certain things are "just business." And while I try to take this to heart, that's just the problem -- I take things to heart.

I work and play with words because I love them. I tell stories -- yours, mine, and others -- because I love them -- the stories and the people in them. When I edit a manuscript for a client, I want that book to be its absolute best. I take it personally. When I write an article for a publication, I want readers to care about the issues. When I post on this blog, I want to connect with you.

Where does the personal end and the professional begin? For me, the line blurs a little more each day.

So if you're new to this blog and wonder why I'm posting about the story of a woman with colon cancer in Australia, it's because I truly believe that we're all interconnected. Our stories matter, because ultimately, they're all part of one larger story. And I always invite you to tell yours in the comments.

photo credit: icy beauty by josef.stuefer

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add to kirtsy | 2:09 AM


Blogger bella said...

Thanks for posting about our auction for Jeni here.
And yes, we really are all connected, interconnected.

3/25/2008 10:10 AM  
Blogger Jen Ballantyne said...

Oh thank you so much darling girl, you are so supportive of me and I thank you so very much. I too believe we are all interconnected. It has been one of my biggest joys to see the way we have all connected via this blogging. It seems we now have the power to call on like minded souls from all around the world. Where we used to 'bump' into a like minded soul down the street, or taking a class, now things have opened up to us and we can meet 'virtually' but it is no less real, the connection we make with people that we 'click' with is no less real because it is done online. The world has opened up and I think it a truly wonderful thing. Thank you again, Hugs and Love to you Jen B. xxx

4/04/2008 4:54 AM  

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