Thursday, November 29, 2012

Struggling To Write?

Recently I had a dear friend ask, "Liz I find it so hard to write when I am dealing with so much in my personal and work life. How do I just put everything aside and take the time out to write?" I don't know if my answer would work for her or anyone else because we all use our own technique. However I do know that if I do not set the time aside in advance then I would never get any writing done. When I wrote my first book 'If You Played In My Playground' I completed 13 Chapters or so on Mat Leave. When my Lil Captain was sleeping I would grab my paper and pen and write away. I also got a lot of writing done at night when the house was quiet. However, yes I do know what it is like to go through personal trials while trying to finish a book. In the midst of my writing I went through a very painful separation / divorce and believe it or not, I did not pick up my pen to write for a year and a half. I could not bring myself to think about my childhood pain when I was dealing with my adult pain (lol). But that should not have been an excuse. I learned after that year and a half that the best time to write is when your going through trials and tribulations. It was and is the most therapeutic thing you could ever do. If your a writer of course. I will share 3 things with you that I learned at Humber College while taking some writing courses a couple years ago: 1. Create a large calendar that you can hang up in the space you often write at and where you can see it in your face without having to look for it. From Monday to Sunday write down the times you will set aside to write. So if your going to write from 10pm-11pm on December 6, write it in the box. But you must try and keep the time consistent everyday. 2. The absolute best time to write is between 4am-6am. I know your probably thinking huh I am sound asleep! Set your alarm on and Just Do It! 3. Decide on the length of time you want to write for. Most of the best selling authors would set their daily agenda to write 30 minutes "everyday" and never miss a beat. I am currently writing my second book, the sequel to my first one and I have been struggling with setting time aside to write only because I am also developing a self healing workbook that will go with the first book. But I realized this week that I have got to go back to my old method with the calendar. You have no idea how much it works. I even set my alarm last night to get up and write and I did :-) Writer Jennifer Hudson Taylor says it best "I don’t have answers that will work for everyone, and at times, I don’t know how I did it. All I know is that prayer and faith gave me strength when I had none. When worry wanted to consume me, God prevailed and I was able to find a few moments here and there when my characters took me to another place in time. I mentally escaped. When I couldn’t sleep, I wrote. When I couldn’t concentrate, I put on earphones and lost myself in music that helped me escape to my time period. When I was too tired to write, I slept, and ignored the guilt. When my house became too suffocating, I went outside and wrote. When my desk became the wrong place, I changed my environment by writing in the closet in the wee morning hours, on the steps, and wherever I could find a corner. I didn’t worry about edits, writing with perfect research, or getting it perfect. I merely wrote and concentrated on getting the first draft down. When the pain and confusion was too much, I prayed and cried out to God. Remember, God is THE answer to everything—even writing through tragedies. For Jennifer' full article log onto Whatever you do just keeping on writing!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hope and Purpose for Women and Youth At Risk

As a motivational speaker, author of 'If You Played In My Playground' (a memoir) and Founder of The D.e.v.a In You Group (a self development and counseling organization for women and youth at risk), I have had the privilege to speak and facilitate workshops at various High Schools, conferences and organizations, drawing strength from my story and own personal experiences.
December 26 2011, I survived a major brain surgery that nearly took my life but in the same breath it transformed my life and gave me complete understanding as to why I am still here; to make a difference in the lives of women and youth at risk who have lost hope or simply given up. There are many disfunctional obstacles that I have survived over the course of my life, and I believe that that it was not by accident. My only desire in this "new life" is to spend my time inspiring women and youth to heal and push themselves, strive to do more, be better and get ahead. As long as we are breathing, nothing is impossible.

As a workshop faciliator for women and youth at risk, I am currently developing a a self help workbook that will be offered to high schools and organizations as a book package (together with my memoir) in hopes to achieve funding in order to reach as many young people and women at risk as possible. I have met with school principals, teachers, libraries, counselors and community program coordinators who are also willing  to add the book package to the school libraries and their facilities, knowing and believing the impact it will have in the lives of the individuals in their communities and high schools in the GTA and Peel Region area.
As a self published author I am not able to give my books away for free as it is very expensive. I currently limit myself to giving away 2 books per workshop and it leaves a deep void in my heart knowing what my book will do for individuals struggling in their personal situations. I trust that you will help me make this project possible so that I can leave these individuals with a book package that will transform their lives forever.

The workbook is a self help journey through the many issues women and our young adults are facing today.

Workbook topics include:

  1. Understanding All of Me
  2. I am Worth It
  3. It's Just My Story
  4. Drama Free Living
  5. From Pain To Purpose
  6. My Playground
The workbook leads readers toward a life with hope and purpose through exercises and strategies for overcoming family and social obstacles. It is a survival guide to navigating themselves through challenging times and becoming leaders of their own future.

When I am out there presenting and speaking to women and youth at risk, there are two things i see and identify with; myself and potential.

What will they achieve from this book package?

They will be able to identify the similar situations that they are currently facing, and once they identify that, they are provided with a sense of hope in knowing that nothing is impossible.

My objective is to launch a book tour in the beginning of 2013. I will be traveling through high schools and communities;speaking and facilitating workshops where I will provide free book packages to young people and women at risk who are experiencing financial hardships are are unable to purchase the book package

Thank you kindly in advance for taking the time to review my idea / project. It brings great satisfaction to me knowing that there are funding options like this for individuals with BIG ideas that will impact their communities, but are unable to bring their ideas to life due to financial circumstances.

Cost of Printing:

$7.90 per book package (includes memoir and workbook)
700 book packages = $5,530

I have set my goal to $5,000 in hopes to raise more. If I do not raise enough I will put the funds that are raised towards printing a smaller amount of book packages. The books cost $5.90 each to print and each workbook is $2.00 at a total of $7.90 each wokbook package.

What Qualifies Elizabeth?
Recognized as an inspiration to women and youth from all walks of life, Elizabeth is no stranger to obstacles and adversity. A sexually abused child, in and out of foster care and the juvenile system, a witness to murder, survivor of domestic violence and a teen mother, Elizabeth’s enlightening spirit and determination to live life with purpose shines through her love for her  her family and community.

Her trials and tribulations have helped her to empower women and youth through her story, strength, courage and hope.

December 26 2011 Elizabeth survived a major brain surgery that nearly took her life. She is more determined than ever to shine her new-found “voice and light” into the lives of the many women and youth living in darkness.

Elizabeth's quest is to create awareness for people everywhere about the effects of emotional, physical and sexual abuse; providing them with hope that they are not alone in their struggles and life is a precious gift worth living.

I may not know you personally, but your contribution to this project would mean the world for me and the hundreds of youth and women I have the privilege to speak to through my workshops and speaking engagements. Even $10 will go a long way....Don't stop to think about it, make a difference today and be blessed.

Please log on and donate what you can here. 

If you have any questions please email me at

Love, Lizzy

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Yourself Permission To Let Go!

Ok, let's face it; it's time to let go. Of what? You know what. I don't need to have a personal relationship with you to know, because you already know all of things you need to let go of.

Take an evening for yourself and turn on some relaxing / soft music- something that will bring you to a state of inner peace. Grab a pen or pencil, and let your mind drift. Allow yourself to go back into the past, and think of all the things you are angry with yourself and others about. Write them down. You may discover that you have never forgiven 'yourself' for something that happened in the second grade. Yes what a long time to carry a burden huh? After you write them down, read it over and over again, and then burn it or rip it up and throw it away. Throw away the burdens and baggage.

Sometimes (many times) it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. Too often, we demand perfection from ourselves. We punish ourselves for the mistakes we make. It's called self abuse. It's time to renew that attitude.

It took me a long time but I learned that 'mistakes are the way we learn' and if we were perfect there wouldn't be anything to learn. You have got to lighten up and stop treating yourself that way. Most of the time others will treat us the way they see us treating ourselves. Hhhmm food for thought huh?

Forgive yourself. Let it go. Liberate yourself. You deserve the freedom. There is no need for shame or guilt. I lived with it for more then 30 years of my life and shedding it off was the greatest gift I gave to myself! I did that by letting it go. Forgiving others and above all forgiving myself.

Remember how amazing it was to run around freely when you were a child. Go outside to a park, beach or any open space and run around with your hands up in the air- jump somersaults- and give yourself permission to LAUGH OUT LOUD! Find that inner child in you. The one that has been crying for some attention for far too long now. She needs you and you need her.

Make a decision today that you will NOT live in pain any longer. You are the one in control. remember that!

Love, Lizzie

Saturday, November 3, 2012

If You Can Vision It, You Can Attain It!

Yesterday was my last workshop session with the lovely young girls at Naki High School. Just footsteps away from where I witnessed my boyfriend (at the time) murdered when I was just 22 years old. Just two minutes away from Mount Olive Projects. A neighborhood that many people will never step foot into. Although it was my last class with these girls, it will not be my last day visiting with them. Each week as I drove home from our sessions, I realized more and more just how special these girls are to me and the two things I identify in them; myself and purpose.

I had the privilege to create vision boards with them yesterday, and each of them designed a beautiful piece to take home with them. They had never created one before and all I wanted was for them to vision their future and their ideal life. So off they went cutting, painting, drawing, pasting, gluing and visioning. It was an evening I will never forget and one that I documented in my diary.

Most people have never created a vision board and will never know the importance of it until they try it.

There are many things it helps with:
  • Focus
  • Ideas
  • Goals
  • Planning
  • Creativity
  • Vision

You may be like myself and often ask yourself questions like "Which road do I take?”or “Where do I want to go?” or "How do I want this event to look?"
Stop and take a minute to create for yourself a Vision Board for your blog, your brand and  your business, your goals or family.

One of the most affective reasons to create a vision board is because It gives us DIRECTION: Which we all need. A direction defines our character and our beliefs. Most importantly, you are creating this movement towards “something” that you want to achieve or accomplish. With regular focus on your Vision Board, you are orienting your body and brain to move and think in the direction you want it to go.I see it just as important as writing your ideas and goals down on paper. Only, it's created through art so it totally brings your inner vision to life. It is a time you get to spend alone (advised) with your own thoughts and creativity.

If you feel like you don't have a clue what to start pasting on your board, just gather a bunch of magazines together, and your creative thoughts will start flowing. You may even create a vision you thought was not attainable, until now.

Love Lizzy