A New Life! Retirement at its Best 75

A Bitter Pill to swallow

Rejections. No one’s life is without rejections. Or am I wrong? During my 18 years in Pasadena, California, during the time I worked in modeling and acting, the rejections were many. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” was the word. Every rejection stung a bit: I was not good enough for the job. Eventually, I got used to it and focused on the successes instead.

Then, in 1992, a publisher in Canada published my first book, In the Shadow of the Sun. It was based on my mother’s secret camp diary, which I translated when I got it in 1985. It was the first book in North America in the English language about women and children’s camps in Southeast Asia under Japanese oppression. That was a happy time, after several rejections by American publishers.

More books followed after I did more research, and I am proud of what I have accomplished, culminating in the Audiobook of Rising from the Shadow of the Sun in 2018. I hope you have read my book or listened to my audiobook. And I hope you have written a review and put it on Amazon. If you didn’t, you can still do it! Reviews mean a lot to me. Of course my dream was to have a movie made, and I tried, but could not reach any producers – agents are always blocking the road to the famous. So I had to give up that dream. These days I am a Keynote Speaker with a very interesting presentation. The next presentation coming up is for OLLI, at NCSU. It is basically word of mouth that gets me new presentations, and I am happy that I can continue to tell my mother’s story to members of Service groups, churches, Senior centers, book groups, schools and so on, in the area where I live, for audiences large and small.

When an author in Canada published a book with parallel stories of her parents, her Dad (whom I met in 1995 on the Missouri) under the Japanese, her Mom under the Germans, I put it on my website under Other Books. The more survivor stories about those years in WWII, the better! Then, when she was planning to travel to Florida for a presentation, I suggested I would join her and we could present our stories together. She wrote, No. My manager will not allow it. That shocked me deeply, especially when during the following months the news spread that a movie was in the making. She had reached the ultimate dream of any writer – with the help of a manager and a publicist and more. She had a platform before she started the book, she is a motivational speaker in Canada. But she did not want to have any competition whatsoever. Competition? I wanted to join forces. Ours were parallel stories in my book!

It still makes me feel extremely sad. Not only because her book will be a movie soon, and not because my book is a less important story, but because of the fact that I could not reach that goal between 1992 and 2019. I simply could not afford to hire managers to help me do it. It will take time to get over this, I’m sure. It hurts.

Since 1985, I have worked hard to get to where I am: 5 published books and one of those an audiobook. And an interview with CHINA TV in Washington comparing my book with Unbroken. I wish I had all the reviews that Unbroken came up with!

Yet, I did my very best, and my very best should be good enough. Mamma would say, so on we go!

It’s a wonderful Life!

Until next time,




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