Monday, December 08, 2008

Guest Author: Lisa Dunster Moeller

JK: Hi Lisa, I want to say thank you for visiting today, and bringing us some sweet inspiration this Christmas season. Everyone welcome author Lisa Dunster Moeller!

First off, I’d like to thank J.K. for the opportunity to guest here on “Immortals to Die For”. As a reader I am a huge fan of romance and the paranormal and I enjoy visiting this site to find information about the latest and greatest good read. I too am a writer, but my current project doesn’t fit with the existing theme of this blog; at least it doesn’t on the surface. I want to talk to today about the need in society for all of us to make deeper, more meaningful connections with the people around us. I believe there is some romance in that idea, and I was able to convince J.K. to let me find out if you, her readers, agree with me. So let’s find out together!

I reached a time in my life, not that long ago, when I felt like turbulence and tragedy were going to be the norm forever. I suffered through the pain of divorce (not very romantic, I know, but stay with me here) all the while watching my beloved grandmother be devoured by Alzheimer’s disease. I was struggling, and although there were people around me who loved me, I still felt surprisingly alone. I felt as though the people who had been through the same things I was going through were the only people who really understood me. It was the connections with those people that made the difference for me; they were the ones who helped pull me through.

Oftentimes I found more comfort from a near stranger who had been through what I was going through than I did from the people closest to me. (I don’t however want to discount the love and support I received from the people in my inner most circle; without them I don’t think I could have found the strength to breathe during those dark days.) But it was those connections that came when I least expected them, from the people from whom I had never expected to find comfort, that I was the most amazed by.

The more I pondered the idea, the more I realized just how many life experiences there are that literally require having lived through them to be able to understand what a person in the midst of them is going through. Then I wondered: how many people out there are missing the chance to connect with others who know what they’re feeling? Yes, there are support groups for almost everything, but they’re not for everybody. Without them, how are people connecting? I mean really, truly, deeply connecting with one another.

Then I got an idea. What if I tried taking the art of journal writing, something that has always brought me comfort during difficult times, and used it as a tool to encourage people to connect with one another? What if I asked people to look for the things they share in common with others and ignore the little voice that often pops up first and identifies our differences? Interesting questions don’t you think?

Those who know me won’t find this next part surprising at all; I plowed forward like a wildebeest, refusing to see anything but the possibilities in my idea. I couldn’t see how anything bad could come from asking people to share their own experiences in order to help others, to connect with one another on a level that goes beyond the surface. The world needs more connections. A great disconnect is slowly taking over our world, something we have created in order to protect ourselves from the overwhelming amount of bad news. Deeper, more meaningful connections could only help to bridge the gap of that disconnect.

So I became a wildebeest with an idea and a vision, a vision for trying to make the world a better place. What could possibly be more romantic than that? Yes, a little delusional maybe, but still romantic. I poured all my time, energy and money into seeing that vision through. The result: the Common Threads Journals series. I invite you to check them out and let me know what you think. With or without my books, my wish for you is the same…go forth and make meaningful connections.

Lisa Dunster Moeller, a Northwest native, was raised in a small town by loving parents who instilled in her the importance of service to others. Still a small town girl with a big sense of her responsibility to the greater good, Lisa works as an administrative specialist for a municipal police department in Washington State while managing the family pumpkin farm along with her husband. She also volunteers for various charities, including the American Cancer Society, and is active in her community.

Before you go...I'm being featured all week at Candy Ready's blog, so be sure to stop in


J.K. Coi said...

Hi Lisa! I find your books intriguing, but I have to admit, I'm not quite sure how it works. Can you explain how we would use them? Are they a collection of journal-like stories, or does it teach us to journal ourselves? How do we use these books personally to connect with others?

Lisa Dunster Moeller said...

Thanks for the question. The books contain tips and ideas to help inspire the users and give them guidance if they are not familiar with journal writing. From there the book is an open slate for their musings. The idea is that they will pass the book along, encouraging others to journal on the same theme.

In the case of "Healing a Life Unraveled" the theme would be determined by the first user. The theme could be divorce, the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, the loss of a loved one, or any one of the many experiences that leave you feeling like no one knows what you're going through. People will gain comfort from being able to release their feelings onto paper. Once the first user is done with it, the hope is he or she will pass it on to someone else going through a similar difficult experience. As the book travels it will have the potential to gain the wisdom of experiences from different perspectives, offering comfort to each new user and creating connections through the sharing of true emotion.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Lisa,

It sounds like you've hit on a great way to help people cope during trying times.

I'll admit I'm more likely to murder someone on paper, weaving it into my plot :-) but different things work for different people.

B said...

What a great idea Lisa! I have loved sharing my copy of the book and am happy to see you spreading the word!