My name is Cindy Kershaw. I live on a beautiful lake in Ct. I am the mother of 5
children, all grown, and 5 grandchildren. I’ve been divorced once and widowed
twice, so I’ve spent a good part of my life as a single parent. I’ve always
written, but My Good Grief is my first published book. I am very involved with my church, and spend a couple of days a week at a volunteer job. I have a very full and interesting life!
Tell us about your latest book
My book, titled, My Good Grief, is about my experiences with grief and loss, told through my stories and my poetry. It’s a book about the amazing way joy and sorrow are intertwined in this life. It demonstrates our ability to be alright no matter what life deals us. I tell about the death of two husbands and a younger brother, and my
unswerving faith in the way life unfolds. My experiences with cancer,
alcoholism and AIDS are related in the book, along with a triumph over my
sorrows, and a return to joy.
How did you get started as a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was 14 years old. I feel that I’ve always been a writer
because I just love to write! Hundreds of journals and notebooks are a
testament to that. After the death of my husband, I met a friend from my past
who asked what I’d written. I was writing about my husband’s death at the time,
and he encouraged me to publish. He thought I should publish my poems, but
instead I wrote about the stories that surrounded and prompted the poetry.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts with a cup of coffee, a journal and pen in hand, and then,
weather permitting, I go outside by the water (I live on a lake) or out in my
canoe, and write! I’m a seamstress, although retired, so my day often has a sewing project. Two days a
week I go off to a very fulfilling volunteer job. I’m always knitting or
crocheting there, something I do everywhere, including outside on the deck, or
inside in the evening. I also love to visit friends or family, so when I’m out,
I include that in my day. I usually take a walk in the afternoon when I’m home.
I love to sit outside on my deck in the nice weather, until dark. Even then,
when the sky is filled with stars, I often linger longer.
Describe your desk/workspace.
My computer is on an old desk in a small room. The room has shelves and bureaus,
filled with the supplies for my many creative endeavors. The walls and shelves
contain favorite photos of my children, grandchildren, other pictures, and
memorabilia. An old braided rug, made by my mother-in-law, graces the floor. A
solitary window, with sheer flowered curtains I made, faces south and lights up
the room. I still love to sit outside with a pen and large yellow lined pad,
and see my words spill out on paper, but later I go to my little room and
transfer them to my computer to store.
The Invitation, The Dance and The Call, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Writing from the Heart, by Nancy Slonim Arione
Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott
Your Heart’s Desire, by Sonia Choquette
Tell us 3 Interesting/crazy things about you
One of my very favorite things to do is to walk the sandbars at the shore, because it
always clears my head and reminds me of how small I am in relation to the
Universe. I’ve done this all my life. I have changed some with the years, but
it remains constant, always the same.
I love to go out in my canoe, and sit in the middle of the lake, at night when the
full moon is out, lighting up the whole sky!
At 67 years old, I still clap my hands with glee and jump in the air when I’m
“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the
company you keep in the empty moments”.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation
Best and worst part of being a writer
The best part about being a writer is that writing all the time and getting your
thoughts out of your head and down on paper, keeps you from ever having an
ulcer or being stressed!
The worst part about being a writer is the editing process, and getting rid of
words you’ve written. It’s often painful to part with them but must be done to
make your work interesting and readable to others!
Advice for other writers
Don’t worry about context or progression of passages of writing when you’re creating.
Just write without a thought about what it will eventually become or look like
as a finished product. Correct and edit later!
Tell us a story about your writing experience.
My hope in publishing my book was that it would be an inspiration to others who
were going through the grieving process. The very first e-mail I got proved to
me that I had done that. A man who had just lost his wife was given my book by
a friend who knew my son. The man wrote the friend and said if he ever met the
woman who wrote the book, to tell her it had been invaluable to him and that he
thought she was an amazing woman. The friend told my son, who forwarded the
e-mail to me. The uncanny part was that the man had worked for my son, and
didn’t know that I was his mother. My son wrote and told him so, saying also
that, “Yes, I was an amazing woman.” The man was astounded, told my
son he’d always thought he was a great person, and added that he hoped his
children thought as highly of him when they grew up.
My book is available on my website, www.cindyannek.com