Today’s guest is my good friend, Cynthia Meyers-Hanson. Cindy is a school teacher as well as the author of several amazing books that can be found on Amazon Kindle. When I read Cindy’s non-fiction book, Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down, I couldn’t help but appreciate the courage she demonstrated while caring for her mother, and then sharing her experiences for the benefit of others. When I asked Cindy to participate in an interview, she readily accepted. I compiled my questions based on her first book Mom’s on the Roof. She graciously responded with answers straight from the heart. I presented the first half of her interview in July when I asked the question, Your favorite phrase is “I am surviving!” Cindy, what gave you the strength to cope and to recover? You will find her amazing answer here:http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com/2012/07/todaysguest-is-my-good-friend-cynthia.html
Today is a presentation of the second half of Cindy’s interview.
GAIL: Cindy, at one point, you asked yourself, “How can I die someday in an accepting manner when she (Mom) is rejecting God so loudly?” Your story is a study in acceptance, your mother’s and your own. How did you learn to accept?
CINDY: Above all, once I admitted that I am 1% unsure of ‘life after death’ or that a ‘master mind’ exists- then, the higher probability (of 99% sure of a God controlling my fate) kicked in. Plus, my mom eventually allowed the very short conversation that she was truly dying to occur between us. God supplied the rest through the things He orchestrated before, during, and years after my mother’s death. Still, admittedly, as a human, I have my doubts. In fact, when my book was abandoned by the original small publisher, I put it to rest. It didn’t rest in peace; God reincarnated it after the new millennium. Strangers that knew some of the people that had copies of my first printing called, wrote, or e-mailed me to buy copies; this all happened in a few months span. With the beginning of online indie publishing and PODs, I found and researched a few ways to get that book back in print. God forced my hand; He pushed me to accept my fate as the writer because I’d developed a ‘love hate’ relationship with that title. WHY? I’m human, and I was disappointed that the book only sold 1,000 copies or less in 1994-95.
What revived interest? It started with a call from my electrolysis’s secretary. He son died tragically in a car accident, and my book was recommended to her. I had NO copies left expect my personal one. The media I used to write the tale was very out of date and on the wrong computer devices as well as in a format way before Word Perfect or MS-WORD. I manually retyped one chapter at a time e-mailing the sections to her. Other people got forwarded copies until the demand built beyond my e-mail capability. At that time, I found a POD with good reviews and low costs to the indie author, and that book went indie.
Again, the sales were dismal and fleeting. However, when my ‘human will’ remained stubbornly against reentering the writing field, God had His say. He sent people with incredible stories. I felt compelled to help those souls compose their books as well as more and more of my own stories. My desire was to spread His good news but I hoped to carve out a living as well. To date, I am still as poor as a church mouse. However, I write because I am driven- mostly in the spirit. Most of my books, even my fictions, are based on facts and ‘the moral of this story’ ideas.
My most compelling thought that keeps my stories alive follows. ‘If I had not copyrighted my first book in 1994, how could the book prove itself even without my help? God had a plan much larger than I understood in 1991 and 1994-95. Or, even today!’ Like my readers, I want to see how my story ends (in Paradise?) and whether or not John ever arrives to my life!
GAIL: The captivating title of your book, Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down, has an equally charming history that had me laughing and crying each time I read the passage (I just reread it to refresh my memory, and there I go again!) Your father’s sense of humor shines through in this passage. With the tragedy and loss in your family, how has the maxim ‘Forgive, Forget, and Love’ helped you, and how can it help for others?
CINDY: Another thought I have ‘over analyzed’ follows. Anger, revenge, grudges, and any temperamental thoughts are slow versions of suicide. They waste precious time and consume your soul. Thus, I try to reset my bad feelings when they occur! Its self-preservation! ‘Don’t worry (too much); be happy!’ I strive towards that ideal but I fail, some days. In the end, only kindness matters! I love that song by Jewel, “My hands are small I know but!!!” Where there is someone without a voice, there I will proceed….to tell their or my relatable story as well as listen for their and God’s feedback!
Meanwhile, my first book’s title or Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down is based on a joke; dad used to tell it. It is an old, recirculated one. It means the best way to tell you mom died is slowly so you can adjust to that idea and then see the miracles. However, it can mean other things such as mom shouted or babbled her message of God and love from the rooftops. It can mean that I could not stop the inevitable, so I let go and let God guide us to my mother’s death. I love layered meanings!
I learned jesting from dad but I learned coping with life by employing humor from my mother. She had a tough life and never blamed it on God. She was so much like Job. For example, she used to joke that she married dad for better or worse, and she got the worst! Mom told me that she stayed married to my father to give him a normal family life- as much as humanly possible. Dad was bipolar and a hard soul to live with but dad prospered with mom’s help. He committed suicide once his helpmate left for Heaven. My mother warned and God prepared me for his bad decision; I survived it all as a result!
GAIL: Your story deals with death, afterlife, and Heaven. You must have met skeptical people in your life who say that no one knows what comes after, whatever “after” means to them. The word MIRACLES also has many interpretations. What does A MIRACLE mean to you?
CINDY: Soon after publishing my first book, I did a book fair at the library in Helen, Florida..That is the town next door to Cassadaga, Florida- which is a spiritualist town. Some people looked at the cover of my book and went for my throat. That was one of two times that I came face to face with vampires; I’m joking, maybe. Even so, that day, I sold books. However, that experience made me wonder about people that tell you their minds are open or they are spiritual but go immediately after you in an attacking manner if you have an alternative point of view about the nonphysical world. I asked myself, ‘Are they really all that open to others’ thoughts or just their own? Why do they feel the need to attack before completing a civilized conversation?’ Time taught me NOT to argue with people with closed minds.
Besides, I didn’t write my first book to prove anything! I wrote it to tell the amazing tale of mom’s terminal death. I believe she spoke with God, and He is proving His Theory that He exists- with or without my help.
Meanwhile, to me, miracles are events that might happen arbitrarily but the pattern is so vivid that you know there is an order- a higher order- and a source for their randomness. The timing is so precise that even if it’s a natural event it’s unbelievable that it happened as precisely as it did. It can only be expressed in the word Miracle! There are small miracles and larger ones; they happen all around us. An individual just has to open their eyes to the smallest random events and see their intricacies in their timing.
For example, I was born legally blind in the right place at the right time. A doctor asked to experiment on my eyes; now, I see. Was it random? I discuss my miracle story in The Vision. In hindsight, all these well-timed events in my life from my blindness to vision, from my mother saying God cares and loves us to my near arm amputation, and so on help me see and understand how random events are well-planned. They are for lack of a better description MIRACLES. There has to be a Higher Source orchestrating it all.
By the way, my book reveals that even Death is a miracle. For an example of this logic, you’ll have to read Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down.
GAIL: I am curious about another of your books, The GNAW Project. What does the acronym stand for and how did this project come about?
CINDY: The book entitled The GNAW Project is not about vampires! It was a high school class project. The picture book came about because I taught ‘At Risk Kids’. Due to that life experience, I totally get the movie The Blind Side; I taught many students like the main character, the street boy. As a teacher, I decided to show my kids more than how to read. I tried to teach them how to fish. They wrote a book; and their classes read it to pre-school aged children on their campus. The book sold but mainly to me. I bought copies for everyone involved. My wealthy friends donated to their cause as well. In spite of meager sales, the students had pride in their stories. I paid for the copyright for the student’s work so that local charities may earn from their efforts one day.
By the way, GNAW stands for ‘Granola, Nuts And Water’ or ‘Granola, Nuts, Apples, and Water’ depending on who you ask. The title has dual meaning! We are so hungry it GNAWs at our stomachs, or we want to help others in poverty so badly that it GNAWs at our souls. Meanwhile, those teens imagined raising money to feed home pantries or other students’ book bags with those nonperishables. The students felt empowered instead of needy even though their book never turned a true profit.
Years later, I still give to their cause via two local churches in town; I feed their kin. In other words, proceeds from that book and my personal cash still fund their idea. I believe that even if it inspires other communities or people to pitch in and help that the book served its purpose. Meanwhile, I have gotten feedback and helped others weave blankets in their towns as well as heard that others are writing books with their students. That’s encouraging because we are teaching the poor how to fish.
GAIL: One of the questions in my FAST FIVE Author Interview is: If Paris is not an option, then where would you most like to spend your time writing and why. Cindy, you were given the opportunity to visit France and wrote of wanted to return. Has Paris remained a dream vacation spot for you?
CINDY: Funny you should ask about Paris. I’ve been there twice in my lifetime. The first time, I lost my luggage. The airline got my clothes to me just as I was heading out to London. The second time, due to ‘Euro Chip’ issues, I rode the rails like a starving hobo because my plastic cards would not work to get me cash, food, or accommodations. I already owned a month of rail passes so I had a place to legally sit and stay out of the elements. Meanwhile, my sense of humor, about my two disastrous forays into Paris culture, is in a work in progress called My Warped Tours. Now that I am home safely, it’s a comedy of sorts! Recently, I wrote that manuscript to use up some notes. Plus, I wanted to write a feel good book or my fiction based on facts. I unleashed my sense of humor in that work in progress.
In spite of my problems, part of me belongs to Paris. My grandfather was French Canadian Indian; so I have blood ties. I speak broken French. PLUS- I always wanted to be special; so I used to say I was born July 4 quietly adding the ‘teenth’ part of 14th of July. When I took high school French, I gave up my birthday in French, and the teacher began dancing while chanting Independence Day or their Bastille Day. I knew I gave her the 14th date, so it dumbfounded me. I was born on Independence Day- just in the wrong country? Much later in life, I got to share my birthday in person on that second trip to France. It was fun to see their fireworks on my special day but they shut down their world for a week! Thus, I could not get into a bank to explain my ‘Euro Chip’ issues; that made me a hobo! All the misadventures are categorized in my future book where I poke fun at my traveling misadventures in France as well as other places in this world.
In spite of it all, I’d go back to that country. I want to get to Lourdes; cash flow and time constraints cancelled that side trip during my hobo daze and days. Now, I have a reason to go back to France; I need a full arm healing! Plus, I’d love to see the land between Italy and France as well as Monaco and Nice. If I had time and ready money, I’d go to my roots or Le Harve as well. Plus, I’s love to see my other ‘blood line’ countries a well; I need to win the lottery or sell some more books!
As far as where to write? I love island life; the balmy breezes call my name. I’ve been to some Pacific Islands such as Hawaii as well as Atlantic ones such as Puerto Rico. I’d like to see the Greek ones with the white building such as in Santorini. I’d get my travelling pants on and visit there if money was no object. Would I write book two of My Warped Tours or anything while touring, again? It depends on what happens!
For now, I get to write in Florida. It’s a bit muggier, and there are no mountains to climb to speak to the Heavens. But- there are rooftops left to explore! It is almost Paradise, which brings me back to my first book. I write when the spirit moves me; I write to tell my side of the story. If I prove something in the process, my goal is more than accomplished.
Speaking of journeys and where I might go before completing my ‘bucket list,’ I have had a couple near death experiences but didn’t kick the bucket, yet. I had an ‘out of body experience’ at age 16 while sick with pneumonia and one more recently. Also, God sends me personal visions in dreams and other messages. In fact, one or more of my dreams centered on Hawaii or The Big Island. I had a vision and then saw the actual place at Disappearing Sand’s Beach. Plus, I told a friend I’d leave her cliff messages then saw the pumice greetings on that island. How did I know that culture before arriving? God only knows!
In my opinion, ESP or to know something ahead of schedule can be mystifying but it may drive you insane. Believe me that second guessing all of mom’s prophecy from Her Marker has been a juggling act. Trying to make sense of images, dreams, visions, and messages can rack your brain! Sometimes, surprises are better! Either way, God is the good news in most of my writing especially my nonfictions. I hope you’ll take a peek at my fifteen or more books and come on buy.
My author name for nonfictions and children’s literature is: Cynthia Meyers-Hanson
My pen name for fictions or novels and so you know when I’m fibbing or embellishing is: Sydney S. Song
Main author page: http://mchanson714.weebly.com/index.html
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/cynthia-meyers-hanson.html
Book Sale Sites:
AMAZON (paper backs & kindle books): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mchanson714
SMASHWORDS (e-books): http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=mchanson714
Lulu (hard covers): http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mchanson714
OOPS I think I forgot my YouTube Book Trailer link in that document. It is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf9czVQvkgI.