I believe that everyone’s life story is worth telling. I help you tell yours in a way that honors and encourages you today and creates a legacy that inspires others for generations.
From birth, I was destined for a path of listening to and preserving stories. For as far back as I can remember, I sat at the feet of wise and witty elders. My parents revealed my path to me in different ways. My mother often took me to the nursing home where she worked, and I’d toddle into the rooms and wait for people to tell me stories. I heard some doozies!
My father taught me by example that showing genuine curiosity in others got them talking about the things that mattered most to them. He may have had only an elementary education, but Dad understood our universal need to be heard and accepted. Everyone adored him for his genuine friendship.
Why I do what I do
I love to see the light go on inside a person when they share their story out loud, or hold their memoir book in their hands for the first time.
I call this experience memoir magic and I am privileged to see it all the time.
What it’s like to work with me
Some people say I’m like a glass of Prosecco: Full of bubbly cheer and able to draw out your best stories. We’ll chat like old friends, even if we met just moments ago.
No matter how we work together, one-on-one in my writing workshops or retreats, or as I bring your manuscript to the world through my publishing imprint, I will be your partner in giving voice to your life story. I help make the process less overwhelming than trying to write alone.
If your story has some difficult aspects, I help wrangle your fear.
If you lack confidence, I am your cheerleader.
Not everyone needs the same kind of support through their writing journey, but it’s likely I’ve got experience with whatever you need. I'm not a therapist but I am a healer of the soul through writing, and my students find working with me to be meaningful and curative.
I am also a great secret-keeper. When we work together, confidentiality is paramount for me and everyone on my team. What happens at The Cheerful Word stays at The Cheerful Word.
Why do I write?
I love the freedom writing gives me. Freedom to heal from the cacophony of the world within and without, and freedom to express my silly or serious take on the world around me.
I couldn’t always write, so I cherish the gift that it is for me today.
As a child, I attended classes for “special children” through third or fourth grade because I could not read or write at the same pace as my peers. I was removed from my regular classroom for about half the school year and placed with others who were also “slow,” as the phrase was back in the 1970s. I continued to be a slow reader and writer throughout my elementary education, though writing was my connection to my heart and budding spirituality. My scholastic confidence took a beating in my freshman year of college when my creative writing teacher failed me in the only course I loved.
My first year was a gigantic failure, resulting in probation and hopes to stay in school if my grades improved in my sophomore year. With a change in majors to public communication, I took a public speaking course and not only overcame the fear of hearing my own voice, but learned to write and speak persuasively, from the heart. Mr. Bryski lit a fire in me that has never gone out. I am deeply grateful for his insight and encouragement.
It is my intent to light that same fire of courage and possibility in others to share their stories.
Writing is therapy I could rely upon anytime. And hilarious memories, had I not written them down, might have been lost to the folds of my gray matter, pressed together and forgotten like so many linens at the bottom of a cedar chest.
Today, I harness my love for words and the lessons I learned to help you write and share your life stories, to honor and encourage you today, and help you create a legacy of inspiration for generations to come.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know a bit about me. Drop me a line, I’m here for you.
In the News
Sam was featured as a success story on Building Business Women, a community of women who support, encourage, and coach one another into building successful businesses.
Sam is author of How to Survive Dying, A Journal of Hope for Family Caregivers. Her writing also appears in the book From Surviving to Thriving by Dr. Amy D’Aprix, an author known for her numerous articles on elders and caregiving. Sam’s career has included managing a staff of medical editors, serving as a consultant designing and managing training and development departments, and co-owning a successful technical writing and public relations firm in Buffalo, NY. She maintains a home in Hendersonville, North Carolina with her husband, Fred after returning home in 2019 from three years working and traveling in from Wiesbaden and Eschenbach in der Oberpfalz, Germany while he worked as a civilian for the United States Army.
The mission of The Cheerful Word is to honor, encourage, and inspire individuals, families, and readers across the world with the stories of our lives.