I’ve been writing all of my life, since the day I could hold a pencil in my hand and learn to spell. It’s something as natural to me as breathing. When I was a young child my stories were nothing more than a few sentences and a crayon drawing at the bottom of the page.
Through high school and college I could be found sitting on the beach like a Bohemian hippie, writing lyrics and poetry. There were nights you would find me in the hallway of my dorm, hot pot of instant coffee and me sitting against the wall with a notebook writing through the middle of the night while all the other college students were asleep.
During my marriage and raising children I began keeping a journal about my feelings of being a wife and mom. I wrote poetry and journal entries which would become short stories.
I was always writing something.
Yet until a few years ago whenever someone asked what I did I would say I’m a mom. I was a Sunday School teacher, a soccer mom, PTA mom, Cub Scout leader and a Brownie leader. There was never a mention of “I’m a writer.”
It’s funny how you can write and write your whole life and never say you were a writer.
Until my first book was published.
Well, even when it was published I still would say “I write books.”
It was my close high school friend, Rich, that said to me one day: “Why don’t you say what you are? You’re a writer. You’re a published author. You’re exactly what you wanted to be.”
Wow…I never thought of myself as that.
There’s really no definitive answer “why” I never said it or thought it; I spent most of my life raising my kids, so to think of myself as someone other than that seemed like a foreign concept to me.
Yet the truth of the matter is that I AM a writer. I AM a published author. I AM a lyricist.
And I’m even more than that.
I’m a writer who uses her words to heal and help others and try and make a difference in the world.
Writing is a part of my everyday life and as much a part of me as breathing is.
And as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I can use my writing to share my experiences with others; to help them through a difficult time; to let them know they’re not alone.
Writing is my voice that I want to be heard.
Writing is my heart reaching out to love the world.
Writing is my soul that shares it passion.
Writing is my passion and my dream come true.
Writing is the one way I know to reach out to people. It’s my way of helping, sharing and making a difference in one life and one day, I hope, the world.
My name is Anne Dennish.
And I’m a writer.
And it’s a very good thing…for me.
Wishing you love and light,
My last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned From My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was born over two years ago while lying on a radiation table for breast cancer.
I’m the type of person that loves meeting people because every single one of us has a story…we ARE a story! Some may not believe that, yet as a writer, I know it’s true. I was out to dinner with my love one night, along with his cousin and his love, and a table full of people I had never met. Yet by the end of the night, I knew them well.
You see, that’s the beauty of paying attention to people and speaking to them, yet more importantly, LISTENING to them. They were laughing at me last night when I said that the whole night of conversations was indeed a story!
So it’s no surprise that “Waking Up” was born; the idea may have begun on a radiation table, yet the stories were already taking shape in my mind, and for the last two years of writing it, more stories were born. Every story is true; most of them are of my personal experiences, and there are a few born out of situations with someone else who graciously allowed me to write about it
Yet, here’s what that one moment that woke me up was: “breast cancer!”
Yes, I had been on a spiritual journey for years, but finding out I had cancer was a big kick in the ass! I realized that as much as I had learned over the years, the lessons were far from over. Breast cancer changed my life and how I live it. That tumor was all the things I never said out loud, all the pain of allowing people to treat me badly. It was everything I never said that I should have, so I made a deal with the cancer: “I’ll open my mouth and use my voice, I’ll make better choices of who I surround myself with, I’ll rid myself of people and situations that make me feel less than good, and I’ll take all of this and write about it to help someone else as long as you leave my body when the time is right.”
I guess the cancer agreed with the deal, because it held up its’ end of the bargain. I did all those things and it left me the day they cut all that stuff out of my body. They did more than a lumpectomy on February 21st. As cancer and I were about to say good-bye that day, I could hear it speaking to me. Sounds crazy, but it wasn’t really. It said: “You’ve done the work and I know it wasn’t easy. I’m sorry to have had to come and visit you, but this journey is over. Remember the lessons, remember to love yourself, and finish up our deal: tell your lessons to everyone you can reach. I’m counting on you.”
Well, in a strange way, chemo may have healed my cancer, but my cancer healed me. It taught me more than I could imagined, and since then, I spread the word, I keep out as much drama and stress as I can, and I walk away from anyone or anything that tries to control and manipulate me. Cancer didn’t abuse me as much as some people have tried to, and I’m smarter because of all of it.
“Waking Up” is so much more than a book; it’s my heart and soul that simply wants to make a difference in someone’s life. Life get’s shorter as we get older, and my goal is to live everyday to the fullest, to show love and kindness to someone who needs it, and most importantly, to make someone laugh and smile.
Struggles will always happen in our lives, yet it’s your attitude and perspective that will handle it and teach you more than you could have ever imagined. After all, “we don’t become who we are by chance; we become who we are by choice.”
Love your lessons, whether you like them or not, because in the end, miracles happen!
“Chemo healed the cancer but the cancer healed me.”
Wishing you love and light,
Today I celebrate the one year anniversary publication date of my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer.”
I began writing it during my journey with breast cancer. It began as a book of my quotes, which eventually turned into short stories, the topics of which are many: love, family, children, addiction, sexuality, relationships and more. Each story was based on my own personal experience or that of someone close to me, and yes, they’re all true stories.
As I began to put the book together to send to the publisher, I had a last minute thought, which would prove to be the most helpful to some people: I included my breast cancer journal. It was an up-close, personal and very intimate look into my journey with breast cancer.
It took over two years to write “Waking Up,” and when writer’s block was slowing me down as I neared the end to finish it, a friend offered me the use of her Malibu beach house. I took advantage of the offer and went out there in October of 2015, spending a week writing the last few stories of the book. I had no distractions while there, unless you count my view of the ocean, which was sitting at the bottom of the steps of the house. It was a dream come true to be on the water, watching the waves, listening to the sounds, and being able to walk the beach under a beautiful sunlit sky everyday. I miss that house so much, yet the memories of that time there remain. The last story I wrote for my book was written on the deck of that house and it’s called “Voice of the Ocean.” I finished my book, packed my bags, wrote my name in the sand of that Malibu beach and flew home.
The cancer journey ended, but the book hadn’t. It took another year to complete it, and while I was frustrated over the time it was taking, I knew that there was a reason why. I’d find out that reason in February of 2015 when I met the love of my life. He has been my inspiration and my muse ever since, and many of the stories are born out of our love for one another and all that I’ve learned since I met him. You can see why I believe so strongly that “everything happens as it should, when it should, and how it should.”
“Waking Up” was published one year ago today, and of all the things I’ve written over the years, this was truly my most valued piece. What started as a book of quotes turned into something different, yet my intention was always the same: to make a difference in someone’s life. And judging by responses I’ve received during the last year, I’d say that I did.
Thank you to all of you who have supported “Waking Up” throughout the last year! It means the world to me and I couldn’t have done it without you!
Reach for the stars, catch your dreams, and live your life to the fullest!
Dreams really do come true…and that I can promise you!
Wishing you love and light,
Copies of “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” can be purchased online at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and in most Barnes & Noble stores.
“Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn,sending us on the journey of a lifetime. We may not end up where we dreamed, but we will always end up where we belong.”
I wrote that quote years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite’s.
The funny thing is that we all have dreams, and while some may not come true, we do end up where we belong, and that’s in another dream we never thought possible or saw coming!
That’s my life now. I’m doing things I dreamed of, yet the Universe is handing me dreams I hadn’t imagined; but here I am, in this incredible journey! I sit in more gratitude than I can imagine, and have blessings beyond what my mind can even believe at times…but it’s all true, it’s all here, and it’s all happening!
Last night was incredible as Sutton Thomas and I were interviewed by The Coast Star! We had a blast doing our interviews, and the night brought another new chapter to our
lives…one of friendship, love, and incredible music! As we all sat talking together we realized how connected we all are, and that we were all brought together for a reason! The Universe definitely has a plan, and all of us are excited to see where this new adventure takes us all!
Here’s a few of the pictures that Sutton’s wife, Lisa, took of us during the interview last night! Much thanks to her for taking them!
Enjoy your journey, my friends, and have faith that everything is happening as it should, when it should, and how it should.
Wishing you love and light,
As I sit here this morning having my coffee, I’m feeling overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude. In two days I will be having my first official “book signing and launch” for my new book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer.” Wow…it’s all happening so fast, yet more importantly: it’s really happening!
You would think as a writer I could express all these emotions with ease, yet at this very moment I’m finding it difficult. Not because I’m feeling anything negative, but because I’m feeling everything positive.
I’m feeling loved, supported, excited, blessed and more grateful than I could have ever imagined. So many people were a part of the reason that this book was written from my friends to my children to my love, Rob.
I sit in awe of how much my life has changed in the last year. A year ago I was still trying to get this book written; I was single and sure that love would never find me; I was a one year breast cancer survivor; and I was trying to find my niche and my life purpose.
This morning the reality hit me knowing that in that year my book has been published, that love found me, that I’m now a two year survivor, and that my niche is in writing. My life purpose? Well, I believe it’s to make a difference in someone’s life; to make them feel less lonely, to help them heal, to help them love themselves. If I can do that for just one person, I will know that I made a difference.
Breast cancer. In a family with no history of having it, I was the lucky one, so to speak. Yet as I receive posts and messages from women going through the disease and from those blessed enough to have survived it, I know why I was chosen. I was chosen to have breast cancer, live through it, and tell my story in the hopes that it will help someone else going through the journey with it.
I love my life, and while far from perfect, I sit in complete gratitude to God for all that he’s blessed me with. I’m grateful that I was given the gift of being a writer, of being able to touch someone with words; I’m grateful for having met Rob, because through him I’ve found myself a part of two beautiful families that I would never have thought possible; I’m grateful for my children, his children, and his granddaughter, because they have all taught me so much and there’s no better love than that from a child.
Count your blessings as often as you can…every day, all day. Be grateful you have another day to make a difference in your life or someone else’s life. Sit in gratitude and love for all that life has gifted you, and you will be amazed at how many more blessings will fall into your life. Smile from your heart, smile from your soul, smile because you are loved.
Wishing you love and light,
Author of “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures with Life and Breast Cancer”
Available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com