Live Your Legend Challenge #5 – The Elevator Pitch

Doesn’t everyone love a good story? As a writer, an artist and a budding public speaker, I am constantly thinking of the next story to tell.  I write from the heart and I find that personal stories resonate with others. I enjoy writing for others too, like today’s post on the NFED blog. My best speaking performances happen when I share a story that will touch your heart, make you laugh, and later, have you thinking back and wanting to find out more about the topic.

I have dreams of one day appearing on that round red carpet, doing my very own TED talk. I can see myself standing in front of an audience of school children, as part of an anti-bullying campaign, or as a motivational speaker. Of course this would also be supplemented by colorfully illustrated children’s books, and an autobiography for the older crowd.

While I’m certainly not the first person to share their own story in hopes of educating or motivating others, I know that since my own story has so many facets, I am adaptable to many different situations. I’d like to use my storytelling abilities to help others share their stories too. Not everyone feels confident writing or publicly speaking about their experiences, but with my skills, I could be their voice.

What stories do you enjoy hearing? How can I help you share your story?

Throwback Thursday: If I had 3 Wishes

In first and second grade, my teacher encouraged us to make books so we could practice our writing skills. At the time I was very impressed with myself because I wrote a lot of books. In looking through these “books”, 30 years later, I am amused by the fact that very few of them are actually finished. I would start off very excitedly and a few pages in, I would literally drop my pencil and move on to something else. The foreshadowing was unrecognized at the time, but looking back, it is quite telling.

Currently I’m working on scanning all my childhood paraphernalia, as it is starting to disintegrate into dust (construction paper is not meant to last). God knows I’ll probably get 1/3 of the way through and lose interest – in that regard, little has changed since second grade.

I do intend to share some of my early childhood creations, starting with this gem:

If I Had 3 Wishes


Obviously I wanted long hair and a full set of teeth…


Mrs. Bush was the best!


My cat, named Bunny, disappeared one day and we never saw her again. Sad. Also, it would have been nice if I could look more normal so other kids wouldn’t make fun of me.


My neighborhood was full of old people and it sucked.


Who is this, RIngo Starr?


Look at the sad pioneer woman!


And her sad woodcutter husband!


He’s about to get his 3 wishes! But aww, that’s the last page of my book.

If there’s one thing I wish Mrs. Bush would have taught us, it would have been storyboarding. Maybe I was just out that day. But to this day I struggle to plan things out – preferring instead to jump in and get started, only to find out that I’ve run out of paper (or time, or budget) before I could finish my story.

Perhaps one day I will learn!

Who I am and Why I’m Here

Hello! Happy New Year!

One of my objectives in 2016 is to improve my blog by posting more often, posting more interesting content and reaching more people. I also want to take the time to read other people’s blogs and make some blog buddies. (If that’s a thing… if not, I’m going to make it a thing.)

I recently saw that WordPress was offering a Blogging 101 course, so I jumped at the chance to join it. Even though I have been blogging here for over two years, there’s always room for improvement.

My first assignment on Blogging 101 is to write a “Who I am and why I’m here” post. It’s funny because lately I’ve been thinking that my reasons for blogging have morphed a bit since I first started on WordPress. I’m thinking about revamping the whole blog to make it more appealing to a wider audience.

Who I Am

I am a 30-something year old woman who has always had an itch to write. Thanks to an encouraging first and second-grade teacher, I began writing “books” at a very young age. I wrote about going on a whale watch with my parents. I wrote about our whole family being sick with the flu (complete with illustrations of each one of us with our tongues hanging out of our mouths). I need to do a post about those books. Noted.

When I was 10, I got my first diary for Christmas and soon began chronicling my life. This habit continues with me to this day, although I definitely don’t write as often as I used to. I make up for it by blogging and sharing my thoughts with whoever wants to read them.

I’m also really into art. Basically I like to create stuff, one way or another.

Aside from the fact that I like to write/create, I happen to have a rare genetic disorder called ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia clefting syndrome, or EEC Syndrome. You can read about what it entails in About EEC Chick and What is EEC?

Why I’m Here

I started this blog in 2013 because I was inspired to create a personal account of my life with EEC. I had some childhood situations I was eager to share and process through writing. I wanted to be an example of someone who grew up with EEC and lived to tell about it. I wanted kids with EEC to be able to read my blog and realize that someone else had been through what they’re going through. Etc. Etc.

I did all that and it was pretty great. Sharing long bottled-up stories, like the emotionally scarring day at the water park, or the middle school angst related to not fitting in was actually therapeutic for me. It was almost like a burden had been lifted by sharing those deeply emotional stories.

I also got great feedback from parents with kids with EEC. One mom even printed out my blog posts so her son could read them! It was so cool to hear that. Probably the coolest thing that happened thanks to the blog was meeting the Claire family. They found my blog while researching EEC, which their unborn son had been diagnosed with in utero.

After I wrote all the big things about EEC, I started writing more about my normal life. In 2015, especially, I began writing about things like trips I took, projects I was working on and musings about life. I’m afraid that because of this I may have lost some of my earlier readers. Yet I did gain new readers with the travel blog aspect.

So that’s where I’m at right now… considering whether I should modify the theme of the blog, or start a whole new blog where I can focus more on creative writing and art… I just don’t know at this point. So bear with me please, as I figure it out!

This was a huge amount of detail for “Who I am and why I’m here”, but I guess it’s complicated!

10 Minute Write

In one of my high school English classes, the teacher often started class with a “10 Minute Write” based on something we had been reading or discussing at the time. 

These pieces of writing were never anything spectacular on their own but often served as a rough draft for something else. I loved having the opportunity to just sit quietly for 10 minutes and let my hand do the talking.  (I basically spent any free time writing or drawing anyway!)

I was thinking that perhaps I’ll start doing that here. I need to find some good prompts that I can pull up and use as inspiration on the days when I’m not ruminating on anything in particular. Yes, my friends, I do sometimes take a break from rumination. 


I wrote this in the back of my business card because that was the only paper I had in the car. What kind of a writer am I?

As you read my blog, is there anything you would like me to write more about? A while ago I was asked to write about dating and I confess that I’ve had a hard time getting that post off the ground. I did write something on the NFED blog about dating but I cringe when I read over it. I don’t know why it is such an awkward topic for me. Perhaps I need to investigate that further with my therapist. Hah. 

But really. If there’s something missing here please let me know. I will do my best to answer any questions or to share my experiences on the topic.

Please post in the comments section or email me – heatherNFED at gmail dot com. 

Peace, love and happiness to you!