JONESTOWN SURVIVOR – AN UPDATE

MY NEXT CHAPTER

JONESTOWN SURVIVOR: An Insider’s Look was published in March 2010. I had written much of it in my head over the years, but finally put it on paper and published it. I’d anticipated that I’d be able to take a breath. That didn’t happen, exactly.

I was first able to talk openly about my survival in about 1998, when I reconnected with fellow survivors for the 20th anniversary of the deaths in Guyana. Since then, I have been interviewed in every media forum. I was “driven” to clarify everything about the people of Peoples Temple. And, afterwards, it was never good enough.

Five years ago, I started writing my book, and just over two years ago, I published it. It turns out that my mission was not to empty my head. Rather, it was to clean out the heads of others. I had put things I needed to say on paper. But what if no one knew my book was around? I had to become my own publicist. Since March of 2010, while still teaching my 6th graders, I have traveled around the country visiting universities, libraries, Quaker venues, service clubs, writing events, conferences, and friends’ homes to tell my story.

I continue to speak at libraries, universities, social networking clubs, writers’ events and conferences, as well as participating in the Occupy Movement, Human Rights’ groups, and Voter registration drives, as well as teaching my 6th graders. Life is busy, and extremely exciting and fulfilling for me these days.

As I do more university events, I am finding that I speak a lot to audience members who are also survivors of their own tragedies – from PTSD, serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or other catastrophe. They tell me that they find great inspiration when they hear my story. I am inspired by them. I have developed many new friendships. That may be my new direction.

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