Book Signing – 3/3/18 Madison, WI

Super excited to be doing another book signing and this time with two amazing women, Julie Wood & Susan Young!

Book Signing

Julie Wood is an author, teacher and national presenter on youth entrepreneurship. She has presented on entrepreneurship education, youth entrepreneurship, business operations, productivity and technology at local, regional and national conferences including: National Association of Small Business Development Centers, Chamber of Commerce events, Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference, WI State Training Conference, WI Transition Improvement Grant Conference. She has been hired to teach youth entrepreneur camps for kids ages 9-15 and has trained numerous teachers in basic entrepreneurship skills and the Biz Ops Game.

Eseedling.com

Susan Young runs the speaking and training company, Susan Young International. She works with people who want to harness the power of change to improve positivity, engagement, and communication.

SusanSpeaks.com

And well, you all know me 🙂 – Tiffany Rochelle (- Bybee)

InsaneRoots.com

Thank you all for your support, it means the world to me. If you are in the Madison area, I hope to see you there!

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A Relevant Reflection

Exciting news! I am just about finished putting together the timeline for the Insane Roots book series! So far it is looking like there will be at least four additional books. I am down to the last two journals!!

Sadly, I stopped consistently keeping a journal around 2008, so hopefully my memory doesn’t fail me filling in the gaps between then and starting my blog 🙂

Anyway! I found this little gem in one of my journals from 2002 and I thought I’d give you a little teaser…

Without giving too much away (hopefully), I wrote this when I was living in West Seattle and dating a man I almost married. There is a huge crazy story there, but you’ll have to wait for book #3!! Teehee.

It was untitled, but the first thought that came to my mind was that it was a relevant reflection, so I changed it!

A Relevant Reflection

February 9, 2002

Mr. Serious Man,

Why so sad?

Your eyes are turning that lighter shade of blue.

These are the times I fear for you.

Are you pondering a million questions?

Lost to the answers.

Perhaps… you think too much,

Or should not think alone.

Clarity comes from the ability to clear your mind.

Do the answers really matter?

The day is at hand!

If you waste it by thinking of tomorrow,

You’ll never enjoy today.

And as time goes on,

You’ll never know the true joy,

In this crazy beautiful life.

 

Getting Back in the Groove

Let the new chapter begin!

Since September, my life has been in transition. I have had so many things going on that it has been hard to get back in my usual groove. I used to blog two to three times per week and most of the time I didn’t struggle much with what to write. A lot of the time, I would wake in the morning bursting with things to say. As if they had spent the whole night bubbling to the surface. More recently that has not been the case. Call it a rut if you will, but whatever is going on, I needed to find a resolution.

I think a lot of it is that I have been traveling so much. I am never in one place for more than two weeks before it is on to the next. It was exhilarating at first, but after three months I am over it. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling when it involves exploring the places I have never been.  But let’s be honest, I had my fair share of that growing up with my mother.

Perhaps that is why I somewhat treasure the routine, those quiet moments in each day that hold familiarity and comfort. Waking at dawn, conversing over coffee or a simple pause to catch my breath. I have great respect for those who can manage such a busy lifestyle. I guess you never know until you try and now I know that it is just not for me. Traveling once every two months, sure, but every two weeks? Ya not my cup of tea! However, I value the experience, for without it I would have never known.

I hold great excitement for the months to come. For I have redefined my life. I have taken charge just as I said I would and everything finally seems to be falling into place. And now, it is time to get back in the groove!

What a better place to start than to pick up where I left off in the research for my 2nd book. Three months ago I wrote to you in regards to the challenges I was facing Playing Detective.

My mother is still currently missing as she was during the time the second book takes place. Not a word from her to anyone in over 4 months. At the end of Insane Roots: The Adventures of a Con-Artist And Her Daughter, she had left for what would end up being over 4 years, one of her longest disappearances. It is almost as if the timing could not be more perfect, as if we have come full circle.

I know that if I do see her again, it will not be for many years. And much like now, pinpointing her whereabouts will be dependent on determining what name she was using at that time. And not until after her reappearance will I be able to back track through court records and sift through her aliases to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Unlike my first memoir, this would be the first time she had left me behind by choice. There are no memories to fit together, no stories from relatives or friends to help formulate a picture of that time.

The only information I have to start with is the day she left and a rough estimate of the day she reappeared. So far, I have managed to link several names to corresponding lives and a multitude of stories she has told me over the years. I created a timeline of my own life during that time already in which I plan to incorporate these findings.

My original plan was to write the book in tandem,  by using journal entries from my younger self partnered with the “adventures” of my mother.  The basis of this format was drawn from the fact that the journals I kept at that time were essentially a letter to my mother, hence the working title: Dear Mom.

However as the writing process continues, I am not quite sure that this going to work. First of all, have you ever read a teenage girls high school journals before or your own for that matter? It can be very sobering. Granted, I was going through a lot at that time, but if I am being honest, I was extremely dramatic. I guess we all are at that  age though!

Anyway, I decided after the first few pages that perhaps my original plan was not the best one. I still like the idea of including some of the journal entries to give the reader the raw sense of what I was feeling at that time and how I overcame it, but maybe just not all of them.

Then comes the challenge of finding out just what my mother was doing during the time she was missing. I think that maybe I should just keep my focus on that for now. After all, once that is done then all I really have to do is put it all together and write from my heart. Which is what comes natural to me and gives me the greatest joy.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. I contacted the US Marshall’s office about getting a list of aliases, but no one ever called me back. Not surprising considering they most likely have more important things going on. Although she is a federally wanted fugitive, so I thought they might consider it helpful to have someone else on the trail 🙂

Either way, I am not going to rush it. I am sure it will all fall together when the time is right. So for now, I will just keep pushing forward.

Public Speaking…Check!

Thank you all for the words of encouragement for Wednesday’s book reading, my first! It went really well and I was able to loosen up enough by the end to really enjoy myself. It was uplifting to see the excitement in the audience after I finished the first story, My Crazy Mother. I barely finished asking if they would like me to read another when hands started popping up, followed by attentive eyes and a stereo exclamation of “Yes!”

My hands and voice lost their shake as I opened the pages to the next selection I had picked and began. After reading the title, I noticed a woman flipping the pages of her copy of the book so I said, “For those of you following along, it’s page 76” and we greeted one another with a smile. I had to hold the excitement back. Not only were people here, but they are engaged! This is exactly how I had envisioned this moment for so many years. I knew if I could find the courage to face my fears, my life would never be the same.

A friend of mine sitting in the front row said I spoke with confidence and pride as I read the lighthearted tale of my trip to Disney World with my foster family. By the end of the passage, I didn’t want it to end! I just wanted to keep reading! Which is so funny considering how terrified I was to do it at all…haha!

After the reading came the really fun part! The discussion of the book 🙂 We filled up the remaining hour with a question and answer session that basically turned in to story time with me as the lead.  I told them funny stories about my child and they shared treasured moments from theirs. It was great!  There was one particular woman in the front row who was very touched by my story and applauded me for having the courage to write it. We talked about my mission to empower others and she told me that meeting me had inspired her. It really touched my heart and gives me great hope for the mission ahead.

It was another moment I will never forget. The collection of which will continue to fuel my desire to uplift and inspire others for as long and as much as I can 🙂

So thankful!!

 

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Well, I have my first speaking event for Insane Roots this Wednesday at Tattered Cover in Denver and I am not afraid to tell you that I am a bit terrified. As most of you know, speaking in front of a crowd is not in any realm of my comfort zone! So although I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and a part of me is super excited, the other part of me is shaking uncontrollably lol.

I have done a lot of signings over the last six months and I am feeling very comfortable with those, but I never really had to speak to more than a few people at once. This time it will be all eyes on me! I know it is a part of publishing a book and a necessary fear to overcome, but that doesn’t make it that much easier to do.

Luckily, I have practice reading my memoir aloud as I finished recording the audio some time ago. I am not so worried about that as I am about the fact that I will be the center of attention. Something, I usually try my hardest to avoid.

Some time ago, I wrote about the prospect that perhaps part of our purpose in this life is to challenge ourselves to face our biggest fears. I remember asking, what if the only way to achieve our greater purpose is to overcome what terrifies us the most?

My truest desire is to help others empower themselves despite the many challenges in their life. I know in order to do that, I must first empower myself to spread the message. What better way to do that than to share my experience, to speak from my heart to anyone willing to listen. If I let fear hold me back, than I am not teaching a lesson of empowerment, I am reaffirming fear of the unfamiliar. And in all essence, I am a hypocrite.

So I will stand up tall, hold the microphone proudly and step graciously outside of my comfort zone.