“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
― Anne Frank
The Lighthouse Wave appreciates that writers change the world one word at a time. Writers have the ability to inspire, motivate, touch lives and even change history. Their words flow in poems, songs, essays, blogs and are a tool to brighten a day and change the world. The following are writers that I know who are living The Lighthouse Wave! Be inspired by their stories then go out and shine for others – Denise
New York Times Author, Craig Johnson, Mentors Others
Craig Johnson is the author of fifteen novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which is the basis for television show Longmire. His novel, Hell Is Empty, was chosen by Library Journals as the Best Mystery of the Year and was a New York Times best seller.
I met Craig and his wife on June 7, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, IA at an author’s series event (Figure 4.5). The event began with a short film showing Craig at his home. After the film finished, Craig sauntered on stage to speak, garbed in a green long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, scuffed brown boots and a cream colored 10-gallon hat. He was charming and captivated the audience with his humor and wit.
Craig mentors many other writers and has attended “an awful lot of writers’ workshops over the years like the Jackson Writers’ Conference and The Willow Creek Writers’ Conference. It’s a lot of work simply because you have to read people. I believe you don’t have to but I feel as though you’re not going to be of much help to somebody if you’re not reading their work so I’m a big one for that” (C. Johnson, personal communication, June 25, 2019).
The Outlander’s Diana Gabaldon Gives Back to Others
Diana Gabaldon is an author from Arizona who is known for the Outlander series of novels. She gives back to others by supporting. multiple charities. In 2017, Diana supported hospice with a book department launch. According to The Outlander website, Diana’s charity of choice is NPH USA. She has been noted saying, “If you donate to a charity and save a few kids, 20 years down the line, there will be more people who exist because of you. In other words, you should consider your actions fully.”
Author, Laureen Knudsen, Cured Herself From a Cancer Diagnosis and Shares Her Healthy Secrets With Others!
Friendship is one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon mankind and I was lucky enough to be given the gift of Laureen Knudsen – my lifelong friend. We met in the ninth grade and have been best friends ever since. She is a true and loyal friend who I admire for all her strength, honesty, compassion and intelligence…the list could go on forever! Here is a page from her blog that I hope will inspire each of you as she inspires me every day:
“I appreciate you all following me and reading my blog. I started it because I wanted to help people who were searching for a healthier balanced life including food, beauty products, work-life balance, and fun. I love creating party designs and have quite a few posts about how to DIY your own party. I also have a lot of health posts, including healthy recipes. The healthy posts are due to my need to keep myself alive. Yep. As hard as it is to admit, daily I work to sustain my health so I won’t sneak into the cancer range.
Eight years ago, I went to my doctor for my annual exam. I have thyroid and blood pressure issues (that is for another post) and I needed to have my blood drawn to make sure my medication levels were good. I mentioned I was tired so my doctor also ran my Sedimentation (Sed) rate. The Sed rate is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Usually your Sed rate is under 20. A reading of 100 is a sign of serious illness. Mine came back at 92….92! I was shocked and scared. What was going wrong in my body?
The doctor sent me to a cardiologist and after weeks of heart monitoring and other tests we determined my heart was good. So I was sent to a Rheumatologist. Maybe it was arthritis or a joint issue. I could deal with that. Weeks of tests again showed nothing. But the Rheumatologist had one more test for me, which was a blood test. I don’t think I will ever forget the day of my appointment with him for the results. This was an in-person kind of result, not a phone call. He told me I might have a blood/bone marrow cancer so he was sending me to a Hematology Oncologist. I think my world stood still. Blood cancer? Bone marrow cancer? If I was going to get cancer why couldn’t it be something that they could remove? I was 42 years old. I was in the prime of my life. I was just a little tired. Isn’t everyone a little tired?
The Hematology Oncologist did all sorts of test. He redid the blood tests, took x-rays of every bone in my body, tested my kidneys, and sent me for a bone marrow biopsy. I was just under the cancer levels for multiple myeloma and was pretty much told that the disease would progress until I had cancer and then I could discuss treatments. I was sent to places that specialize in treating severe cancers and who are supposed to provide hope. I received no hope. Don’t get me wrong, my Hematology Oncologist is wonderful but they are taught that there are no cures for certain things. Something about this diagnoses made me curious. Our bodies want to work correctly, and mine was not. If I gave it the right stuff, whatever that may be, why couldn’t my body fix itself?
Doctors had no cure, so what did I have to lose? At the time, I read that MM is caused by either exposure to chemicals or a virus. I couldn’t do much if a virus caused this, but I could control my chemical exposure. So began our purging of our cleaning products and our food. My husband started cooking and would cook only organic food. We researched and cleared out all toxic chemical from our cleaning products (vinegar is wonderful).
I added only clean things into my body while doing all sorts of cleanses to get the toxins out (contact me if you want the details, I am happy to share). And guess what? It worked! My numbers stabilized. I went from having blood tests every 3 weeks to now, once a year. My numbers still go up and down (up is bad) but I have remained stable. YEA ME!
The path to this point is fraught with twists and turns, however. I had a bout with depression, weight gain, and slip ups. I will post more about these as time goes on. So please enjoy my blog, my recipes, DIY pieces, and my party designs. I will continue to give information on how I am bringing by body back to health. And finding my new normal, which continues to change.” Check out my blog – http://imagineseedo.blogspot.com/
Penny & Garry Marshall – They Wrote Books to Inspire
Penny Marshall was a great actress and director! She made many fantastic movies like Big, Awakenings and A League of Their Own, been on the popular television show Laverne and Shirley, and now has a very funny book, My Mother Was Nuts. Penny wrote about growing up in the Bronx, getting pregnant and married at a young age while living in New Mexico, marrying Rob Reiner and dating Art Garfunkel. She also shared some very serious life subjects like abortion and drugs. Penny went through some difficult stuff, but she manages to turn all of that into to humor. She lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” In 2009, Penny was simultaneous diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer which she battled and motivated her to write the memoir in order to share the truth about her life and dispel any incorrect gossip.
During her life, Penny spent a great deal of time devoted to charitable efforts including working with BIANYS, the Brain Injury Association of New York State. She supported a number of charities including The Felix Foundation. She also supported the charitable work of The Lakers Youth Foundation. “To stay alive, you gotta keep functioning….whatever it is you want to do,” Penny said.
Siblings Penny and Garry Marshall shared a complementary and loving relationship. At an event in Los Angeles, Garry began the evening by introducing his sister, “Two of my most exciting words in show business – Penny Marshall.”
Garry Marshall was known for his televison hits like The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy, and movies like The Flamingo Kid, Beaches, Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries. He was a writer, director, and producer for more than five decades. In his book, My Happy Days in Hollywood, Garry tells of his early life in the Bronx to his exciting times in Hollywood. He worked with many greats like Henry Winkler’s Fonz, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams, Anne Hathaway, and many others. This hilarious memoir is even more touching when you realize Garry’s personal philosophy was that life is more important than show business. Garry Marshall worked hard as a director and producer while doing charity work in his spare time.
William Shatner Celebrates Life!
William Shatner’s career has spanned 50-plus years! He is known by most people as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek and as the title character on TJ Hooker. William Shatner has overcome his share of hardships to be successful. He built himself up after having very little money, in the 1970’s he lived in a truck bed camper and he continues to suffer from tinnitus from an accident on the Star Trek set.
William Shatner has written a few books but his latest, Shatner Rules, is filled with anecdotes about celebrating his life and work. There are funny “rules” to how he lives his life as he jabs at himself, and former co-stars. Through all the humor, this book is a truly inspired message to say ‘yes’ to life, its challenges and opportunities. William Shatner worked hard to build himself and now he is able to live The Lighthouse Wave and give back to others.
Today, William Shatner lives to give. He sold a kidney stone for $75,000 to benefit Habitat For Humanity. The money was used to build houses for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Also he established the celebrity Hollywood Charity Horse Show in 1990 which benefits numerous charities and has raised more than $1.25 million.
Joan Collins Lives To Give!
The beautiful and ageless Joan Collins is widely known for her role in Dynasty as Alexis Carrington but she had a long career in acting and writing. Collins has many bestselling novels including Prime Time, Love & Desire & Hate, Infamous, Star Quality, and Misfortune’s Daughters. Also she wrote Secrets, My Friends’ Secrets, Joan’s Way: The Art of Living Well and “The Joan Collins Cook Book” and memoirs Past Imperfect, Katy: A Fight for Life and Second Act.
In a documentary called “Brave New World” Joan discusses being raped at 17 years old. She describes being drugged and raped when she was still a virgin by the older Irish actor Maxwell Reed. Joan noted that Reed showed her pornographic magazines and then gave her a spiked drink. “The next thing I knew, I was out flat on the sofa in that living room and he was raping me,” she says. “And what he had given me was a drug. He had drugged my drink. It wasn’t my fault but I didn’t know, I went out with him.” She went out with him numerous times and eventually married him because, “Well I better [marry him] because you know, he took my virginity,’ she says. She notes that, “I really hated him, but I was so filled with guilt, that he had done this thing to me.” She now says that it took a very long time to be able to really trust any man and went on to marry four more times.
Joan has supported numerous charities for many years. In 1982, she spoke before Congress about increasing funding for neurological research. In 1983, she was named a patron of the International Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities. The Joan Collins Wing of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan was opened in 1988. Joan was appointed an honorary founding member of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Association of Breast Cancer Studies in Great Britain and became a patron of Fight for Sight. Joan supports several foster children in India for over 25 years.
Angie Dickinson Writes About Her Daughter’s Asperger’s Syndrome
I met Angie Dickinson as a child and had the pleasure of visiting with her again recently. She is an actress who has appeared in more than 50 films and starred on television as Sergeant Leann “Pepper” Anderson in the series Police Woman. She was married to Burt Bacharach for 15 years and had one daughter named Nikki. Their daughter was born three months prematurely and suffered from chronic health problems, including visual impairment and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Angie Dickinson’s story was a feature article in Los Angeles Magazine and teaches us the joys and difficulties of life with an autistic child. Angie’s story is interesting, humorous, and pensive as she tells of Nikki’s struggle with Asperger’s. Angie has also been involved with hundreds of charity events and even spoke before congressional subcommittees to urge legislators to increase funding for Alzheimer’s victims.