They say if you savor your moments of joy, they will buoy you when you’re drowning, sustain you when you’re stuck, and prove that following your passions really does pay it forward. So as the ripples of Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate spread, I’m keeping this list for whenever I need a gift.
- I was thrilled to share Peace Pilgrim’s story with hundreds of attendees at the 2014 Alliance for New Jersey Educators annual conference in Princeton on Jan. 24-24. Along with a Peace Pilgrim exhibit table both days, my keynote speech on Saturday morning helped spread the word to many who had never heard of her before and are also passionately dedicated to peace and environmental stewardship. It was a wonderful gathering, as you’ll see in “Whoooo’s talking Peace Pilgrim now?“
- Dorothy’s not the only one who thinks there’s no place like home; it was great to be the guest speaker for the wonderful Belmar Woman’s Club at their monthly meeting on Feb. 7. None of them had heard about Peace Pilgrim before my presentation, but by the end they were converts! And as a nice little bonus, there was a photo in my weekly newspaper, The Coast Star.
- Sixth grade teacher Lauren Griffin started reading the book with her Lakewood NJ class last week (2/13) and called to tell me that the kids “loved it so far!” She said they can’t wait to read more, and are engaging in great discussions about peace and violence. Even better? The school will be offering a free book for each kid who wants one for their own, if they write a letter to Peace Pilgrim. (Peace received tens of thousands of letters during her 28 years of walking.) How cool is that! Can’t wait to go in for an “author” talk on March. 20.
- Despite my anxiety, the Coast Star feature (2/14) has generated kind, generous and helpful responses, including from many FB friends.
- Meeting Peace Pilgrim’s sister, Helene, was a day I will never forget (1/3). Attending her 98th birthday party (2/17) was a thrill, and getting to know some members of the Friends of Peace Pilgrim board of directors was truly wonderful!
- It was fun for all when I was guest author at the non-fiction writing class of Prof. Colleen LIneberry at Brookdale Community College on March 27.
- Seeing one of Peace Pilgrim’s actual tunics, a pair of her worn out sneakers, her black comb and travel toothbrush gave me chills! They are lovingly kept by Friends of Peace Pilgrim board member Barbara Reynolds, who lost most of the possessions in a former home fire, but saved these Peace Pilgrim treasures.
- Nick DiUlio of New Jersey Monthly used some quotes from my press release in a wonderful story about Peace Pilgrim posted online March 12.
- Shared an evening of song, prayer and story with the Peace Pilgrim’s sister, Helene Young, and the Buddhist Peace Walkers on March 19.
- Had an amazing morning with the six graders at Ella G. Clarke Elementary School in Lakewood, NJ, during my first first author talk on March 20. They loved seeing Peace Pilgrim’s tunic and sneakers!
- Set up my very first author table at the “Write Stuff” Writer’s Conference on March 23. Yes, it was a very busy Peace Pilgrim week!
- The annoying spring snow burst didn’t keep the students — or me — from taking about Peace Pilgrim and writing during my second guest author stint this time at the fiction writing class of Prof. Colleen LIneberry at Brookdale Community College on March 25.
- After treading anxiously in the endless waters of PR/marketing, I decided to stop thrashing wildly at any given blog, group or tweet in the hopes of getting my book reviewed, and instead do what makes sense – try to reach the targeted audiences that are a good fit for Peace Pilgrim. No sooner do I give up my fruitless frenzy when I get an email from Friends Journal, the national Quaker magazine asking me to send a copy of my book so they can review it! Yes, the universe at work when you let it. Stay tuned for the review.
- I did my first power point presentation at the Easter Morning Dialogue on March 31 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lincroft, NJ. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place and time to share Peace Pilgrim’s story, and I was thrilled at the response and questions.
- I was at Asbury Park BookFest, with a table and book signing, on Saturday, April 20 from 1-4 pm, and met a lot of wonderful authors as well as visitors to my table.
- I also had a good time at Belmar ARTWALK, with a table and book signing at Beckman’s (10th Ave.), on Sunday, April 28 from 11 am-12:30 pm.
- I spent an afternoon with the 5th and 6th graders at H.W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, NJ, on Wednesday, May 8, sharing her story through a power point presentation, reading a chapter of the book, showing her tunic and sneakers, and discussing a lot of impressive questions. Terrific day!
- I did a book signing in Ocean Grove in front of Patricia’s Boutique on Saturday, May 18 from noon-2pm during the Vintage Car Show & Doo Wop Concert on Main Ave. Met some wonderful people and enjoyed a fun afternoon before the rain sent me scurrying back home to Belmar on my bike. Patricia’s is now carrying Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate, to help spread the word to summer shoppers!
- Maggie McChesney, owner of Jersey Shore Moments Fine Art Gallery & Custom Framing, 209 Hwy 71, Manasquan, invited me to sell my books through her shop as well. She has them on display in her gallery!
- Colleen Reilly, a wonderful teacher at St. Rose Grammar School in Belmar, who thought Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate would be a valuable read for the older students, had the book put on the summer reading list.
- I started the month with a great group of 70 fifth and sixth graders at Spring Lake Heights School (including my nephew, Paddy Brennan:-) on Monday, June 3. They enjoyed the power point presentation and especially were amazed at seeing Peace’s tunic and sneakers.Their questions were thoughtful and engaging, and I was thrilled to get a packet of terrific thank you letters!
- Bella Buddha Yoga, 921 Main St., Belmar, is now carrying Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate! Thank you to owner Brenda Yarnold.
- I spent a lovely afternoon at the annual Peace Pilgrim Pot Luck Picnic hosted by Peace’s 98-year-old sister, Helene Young, at her home. There was delicious dishes, good music and a mix of wonderful people. It was a fundraiser for the Peace Pilgrim Celebration this Sept. 20-22, which will be a terrific weekend of events!
- My talk and film presentation on Peace Pilgrim at the Monmouth County Library, Wall Township Branch, finally happened on Wednesday, June 12 @ 6:30 pm. But despite date changes, technical difficulties and other “mistakes” it was a wonderful, energizing evening that proves Peace Pilgrim always prevails!
- I’ll be doing a presentation for campers at Kateri Summer Day Camp on Thursday, June 27 @ 9:30 am.
- I gave author talk scheduled at the Brookdale Community College Young Writer’s Camp on Tuesday, July 16 @ 10 am, and had a wonderful email from one of the students telling me how much my book inspired her.
- I spoke and presented my slide show to a full room of Belmar seniors at their monthly senior luncheon on Wednesday, July 17 @ 11 am. Love my local friends!
- I headed back to talk to another group of campers at Kateri Summer Day Camp on Friday, July 19 @ 9:30 am. The kids were engaged, fun and full of great questions!
- I took part in the new Book Signings @ Belmar sponosored by The Paperback Exchange held every Sunday in the summer from 11 am – 2 pm. I was there Sunday, July 28.
- I did a reading from Peace Pilgrim: walking her talk against hate at the Belmar Arts Council meeting on Aug. 1 which will feature several authors who are part of the BAC Creative Writer’s Group.
- I took part in the annual Peace Pilgrim Celebration from Sept. 20-22. This great annual celebration of Peace Pilgrim’s life included a Yoga celebration on Friday night, a Peace Walk on Saturday morning followed by a day-long Festival in Peace Pilgrim Park with music, drumming, arts, food and friendship, and a Closing Service on Sunday morning, all in Peace Pilgrim’s home town of Egg Harbor City, NJ, which was named an International City of Peace. The people (including the inspiring Peace Artist), energy, the beautiful weather and the the joyous spirit are things I will always cherish.
- I had a great evening on Sept. 18 as the invited speaker talking about Peace Pilgrim and sharing info on publishing my book at Wednesdays for Women, a wonderful gathering in Lambertville, NJ.
- I was filled with joy spending time with Colleen Reilly’s 6th grade class at St. Rose Grammar School on Sept. 27. The students finished the book as part of their summer reading and were thrilled to see her tunic & sneakers and hear her speak through the documentary video I brought. They had some terrific questions and observations, and also signed the petition to have Peace Pilgrim inaugurated into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and wrote heartfelt actions for peace to contribute to Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. Colleen had a group photo and story in the next week’s Coast Star.
- On Sept. 28, the Manasquan Quakers had a welcoming evening of Friends and those who read their press release in the Coast Star and app.com. I showed my slide show and segments of the Peace Pilgrim documentary, answered questions, signed books and enjoyed meeting everyone there.
OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
- I received the 20th five-star Amazon review, and Amazon/KDP/CreateSpace sales keep coming every month; it’s a wonderful feeling to know the word keeps spreading!
- I got wonderful feedback from a book club that chose my book for their December selection!
- Friends Journal published a wonderful review of my book!