Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Unleash Your Story- Teresa Bodwell

Historical Western Author Teresa Bodwell put this post together.

Unleash Your Story—August 31-September 28

If you've ever curled up with a good book and felt transported to another world—the Old West, the future, Regency England, the dark underworld where vampires roam—you know something about the power of story.

A story can make you laugh or cry—sometimes both at once. It can provide temporary relief from grief, sorrow, pain or worries. Stories are not just escapes, they can inspire, encourage and give you the fortitude to face the challenges reality throws at you.

Stories do not merely tell of magic, they are magical. Writers and readers tap this force daily. Like Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet in a suit and glasses, they appear ordinary in their sweats and bedroom slippers. But the power to touch lives sparks at their fingertips as they type the words and turn the pages.

Make no mistake—the story starts with the writer, but the reader completes it. Together readers and writers unleash the story's power to change the world. The changes may be small—one child helped to sweet dreams when his mother reads Goodnight Moon, or a single young person deciding to go to law school and fight for justice after reading To Kill a Mockingbird. The power of the story spreads and grows with each reading.

Now imagine hundreds of readers and writers working together to unleash their stories. This is the concept behind the Unleash Your Story: Make a Difference write-a-thon/read-a-thon. Readers and writers together harness the power of story to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. and 70,000 worldwide. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. This same mucus obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. To combat these issues people with CF depend on many drugs and supplements to survive.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation works to find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for this fatal illness. (Information from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website

Last year Unleash Your Story raised over $11,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our goal this year is to more than double that amount to $23,000. With your help we can reach this goal! Each participant sets a reading or writing goal and asks friends, family and fans to donate to CFF in support of their goal. It's sort of like a walk-a-thon, except there is no knocking on doors or wearing out sneakers. Instead you sit in your favorite reading or writing spot and crank out the pages!

Unleash Your Story runs from August 31 through September 28, 2009. Our fearless leaders in the 2009 campaign are Lori Wilde , Pacesetter Author and Michelle Buonfiglio , Pacesetter Reader. We'll have fun prizes for those who keep up with our pacesetters as well as incentives for reaching certain reading, writing and fund raising goals.

Visit or write to to learn how you can Unleash Your Story to make a difference for kids and adults living with the harsh reality of cystic fibrosis.

What: Write-a-thon/Read-a-thon for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

When: August 31-September 28

How to participate: Register, set a reading or writing goal, set a fundraising goal, form a team or work as an individual, contact friends, relatives and fans and ask them to donate in support of your goal. Then get busy unleashing your story!
It's a great cause and one every writer and reader could help with. Paty


Helen Hardt said...

Hi Teresa -- I met you at the Romancing the Rockies conference. In fact, I just started reading Loving Mercy. Thanks for supporting such a great cause!


Angela Breidenbach said...

I love that this shows the life and concerns of writers as every day people. You do a great job of explaining this unique opportunity.

Thank you, Teresa.

Teresa Bodwell said...

Thanks, Helen.

Hope you enjoy the book.

As you know from the conference, this cause is dear to my heart because one of my close writer buddies has two young children with CF. I hope we see a cure in their lifetime. That's my idea of a really happy ending!

Teresa Bodwell said...

That's right Angela--writers are ordinary people with everyday concerns. Like my friend Lori who wakes up each morning to face a day of getting her kids ready for school, walking the dog, doing the laundry and writing. And on top of that working on daily treatments to keep their CF under control so they can live ordinary lives for as long as possible. As far as I'm concerned that is a heroic act.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post. My readers, loving books and taking this effort to heart, formed the Kilted Lassies team. Like one of them said, "It's not often you get to do something you love and help a good cause at the same time."


Teresa Bodwell said...

That's great, Sandy. Here's hoping the Kilted Lassies meet all their goals. :-)

Merline Lovelace said...

Teresa - Great post! You're absolutely right in that together writers and readers can -- and do! -- change the world. Hope you more than double your goal.

Geri said...

Teresa, you are a saint to do this, and I wish you the best success this year! Writers are the most generous people in the world.

Teresa Bodwell said...

Thanks, Merline and Geri.

I agree, writers and readers are really generous. Our motto is, with a lot of people each doing a little we can reach a big goal. Last year we had participants who raised as little as $25 and others who raised over $1,000. I like to think that all of us had some fun in the process--read some good books and reached some writing goals. That's what it's all about.