If you know Cher G. from The Chicago Files, then you know that you’re in the company of one talented lady. If you don’t already know her then I suggest you check out her blog. It’s there that she shares her photographs of Chicago, as well as uplifting words. Recently, she told me that her story When the Blind Taught Me to See was selected to be a part of the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy” and I couldn’t be happier for such a caring woman to receive this honor!
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The Chicken Soup series is known for its inspiring tales. So, interviewing Cher about being part of the latest book in the series makes sense, don’t you think? With the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy” officially releasing TODAY, let’s get to the interview with Cher right now, folks!
Hi Cher, thanks for being here today! I’m wondering, where did you get the idea for the short story?
My idea came from the collective experiences I’ve had volunteering at Blind Service Association (BSA) here in Chicago. I started thinking about the incredible people I’ve met at BSA, and how they have significantly impacted my life for the better.
It’s ironic that my initial intention when I signed up to volunteer was to help others; as it turned out, they have given to me much more than I could ever give to them. Putting this all together was the reason I wanted to write the story.
Great to learn the inspiration behind your story, Cher. How does it fit within the ‘Think Positive, Live Happy’ theme?
My story appears in the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul book. My story shows that we can choose to create happiness by taking a positive approach to life, regardless of our individual circumstances.
For example, in my story, I write about blind and low-vision folks attending a play. Despite the fact they cannot ‘see’ it in the same way a sighted person would, they enjoy it in other ways. Having something called a “touch-tour” before the play allows them to feel where the props and furniture are on the stage.
With the accompaniment of a person providing extra information to them during the play (via headphones), they know where an actor is at any given time.
What was your writing process like as you wrote your story?
I began my writing process by acknowledging I changed my thinking based on what the blind and low-vision folks taught me about happiness.
From there, I wrote about some of the ways I witnessed people at BSA bringing happiness to themselves by participating in the world, and not standing on the sidelines.
That must have been emotional to write. Speaking of emotion…
Can you describe the moment when you found out you would be part of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy’?
Talk about a surreal experience! I received an email with a subject line that included the name of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book I had submitted my story to.
I then froze and couldn’t think clearly. It felt as if my hopes and wishes were virtually staring at me on a computer screen. And then, I cried as I was (and am) so incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
You’re so deserving of it, Cher. I’m curious, have you always wanted to write?
Yes, I really have. I’ve always said I can’t draw, Math is definitely not my friend, and science is an epic “fail” for me.
But writing, that’s my passion.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to write what interests you. Think about the things that you genuinely connect with, and start putting those thoughts into words.
Don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t “sound” quite right. Writing is something that can take time and lots of patience.
I also think that reading what you write out loud is a huge help in revising your words. There is something about “hearing” what you’ve written that brings more clarity to it.
What’s next in store for you with your writing career?
Currently, I’m finishing revisions on my first children’s book, “Laura and the Disappearing Stars.” I’m hoping to be ready to query potential literary agents (for representation) in a couple of months (crossing fingers).
When can readers get a copy of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul Think Positive, Live Happy’?
This Chicken Soup for the Soul book publishes on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019. The book is available through Amazon in the US, Canada, and the UK.
It’s also at barnesandnoble.com (and in stores), indiebound.org, and in Canada at Indigo.com (and in stores). Lastly, it is available directly from the publisher Simon & Schuster.
Is there anything else you want to add, Cher?
I want to say thanks so much to your readers for taking the time to read about my publication story. I also want to give a special thanks to you, Christy, for providing me with the opportunity to share my words with your readers. Thank you!
It’s a pleasure to have you here, Cher! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.
Get your ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul Think Positive, Live Happy’ book now
If you’re looking for an uplifting read and want to support Cher at the same time, pick up your copy of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy” today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and more.
It’s a collection of story on overcoming challenges and counting blessings. So, I’m thinking it will make a terrific Christmas gift!