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Your LifeStory Episode 14


"This is wonderful, Marcia."

Karen C.

"Thanks for so many nice comments. What great publicity for my books."

Elizabeth C.

"Wow, Thanks Marcia, Inspires me."

Gary S.

Blog Host, Marcia Rosen

Author of “My Gangster Father and Me,” will be published in 2024. Also, author of 11 books including My Memoir Workbook, has presented numerous Memoir Writing Programs and Encouraging the Writer Within You Presentations for over 16 years.

This Blog* and My Memoir Workbook is meant to encourage, inspire and motivate you to write your unique story.

Don’t keep your memories hidden or secret any longer

My Newest Book, "Murder at the Zoo" is now available

Leah Rubin: Becoming a Book Editor

My later-in-life career as a Copyeditor and a Proofreader began as a favor to a former friend. I had already taken a couple of writing classes when we became reacquainted after many years. She had written a book and knew my educational background was English and Speech, and she asked if I would edit it for her. While working on her book, I realized how much I loved using my skills to help writers make their writing even better. I started buying books on the subject and signing up for classes, specifically in copyediting and proofreading. During the process, she encouraged me to start my own business, and Your Second Pen was born. The name came to me almost immediately, as I realized that what I wanted to do was not to rewrite an author’s words, but to enhance their own.

To be witness to another’s creative mind is a beautiful thing. Through the creative imaginations of “my” authors, I’ve been able to read about life in the future aboard a space station. I’ve read about romance trying to blossom amidst the treachery of murder. I’ve learned about the first female who served as a lawyer in the early days of our nation. And I’ve cried because of the cruelty of the Inquisition in Italy. I’ve also been privileged to learn about the lives of authors who have shared their memoirs—some for their families, and others for the public., hoping to help others on a difficult path. I’ve even made sense of a dyslexic architect’s legal opinions for current cases! No two books are the same and, certainly, no two authors are the same. I absolutely love my job!

Leah Rubin, Editor. (Par Excellence)

Writing Your LifeStory Hints, Tips, and Advice

How did you live your life? What are the truths about your choices and experiences and why you made them? Who are the main characters in your Life Story and how did they impact on how you lived your life?

Special Feature: The Fabric of Life by Elizabeth Cooke


Nancy was irresistible! With swingy hair, a small compact body and delightful smile, she entranced many in her journey through life. Some men told me she reminded them of Lauren Bacall because there was a mystery to her, a humor unusual in such a beauty, and a ruthless honesty _ but she was never cruel or mean. I met Nancy when our two daughters were tots and we remained friends forever after. She had a house out in the Hamptons - as did I - a husband with whom she was not on very good terms- as did I - and an apartment in New York City. She and I spent much time -with and without kids - and found so much in common.

Ann, her beautiful daughter, had multiple medical issues. Nancy herself was quite deaf, and the two had a relationship that was beyond normal - each relying on the other. Later, they lived together - down in La Jolla, California, later in an apartment on the bay in Seattle, both of which I visited more than once.

And of course, we had Paris - more than once. We stayed at L’Hotel, the former home of Oscar Wilde, near the Academy des Beaux Arts on the Left Bank of the City of Light and enjoyed the ambiance - the elegant food - the specialty Shops - the bistros and cafe life. It was the Quartier where for a time, Picasso lived in a small apartment near L’Hotel. There are still bits of memorabilia he left - a signed menu in a bistro - a postcard from the south of France - little items that the proprietors cherished and would never give up even for a great price.

And always, between us, there was a sense of closeness beyond ‘sisters’ ( I never had one. Neither had she.) It is hard to write of Nancy Regensburg’s demise. She had cancer problems, but it was the loss of daughter, Ann, who died suddenly and too young, that caused tremendous grief. Nancy’s final days were tragic. She lost her daughter, Ann, who lived with her throughout her adulthood. Ann died shortly before her mother did. Nancy found her on the kitchen floor of the Seattle apartment in a pool of blood.

My cherished final gift from Nancy is a black silk top, luxurious and sexy. It has long, full sleeves to the wrists on which the word PARIS is written on each in bright white print down the length of each sleeve.

Talk about texture!

Talk about fabric!

Talk about Paris!

Following is part of my LifeStory:

My Gangster Father and Me (Excerpt)


This is my father’s story and my story, and yes, my mom’s story. It our relationship to each other and how the pieces of our lives fit together. Sometimes it was a good fit, more so between my dad and I, but not always of course. My mom and dad brought their own history into their relationship and as my parents.

Writing my memoir has taken me on an excruciatingly honest journey and forced me to explore the question of my own ambitions and desires. There used to be a phrase running through the fabric of my efforts and gratefully no longer does: “Who do I think I am?” It stalled me at times, doing what I believed were the expectations of my responsibilities of being a wife and mother.

I believe part of the story is about women for generations. We have been told who we can and cannot be, what we can and cannot do. So many women seemed to accept it. I never could. I was in my early twenties when I started my first business and even now, as a senior, I’m still working. Having a purpose matters a lot to me. It’s who I am. I mean, let’s face it. What would I do if I really retired? I hate to cook. I can’t sew, knit, or weave. I don’t like to play card games or mahjong, and I’m too old for the sports I used to enjoy.

Now, in my senior life, I’m reminded through conversations over a cup of coffee with my friends, my age and younger, that we all matter. What you want and who you are matters. We can make a difference at any age. Moreover, as we grow older, we can also share our experience, knowledge and, even at times, a good bit of wisdom. In my mystery series, The Senior Sleuth my senior characters represent my beliefs with energy and enthusiasm. These characters are my voice and reflect my truths.

My dad liked I had a bit of my own tough side. The fond kaleidoscope of my memories often sustains me. The truth of his love and affection for me and for my sons is always with me. Both a blessing and a burden, I learned many lessons from my father, about generosity and determination, about trust and taking risks.

I also learned to be cautious. My dad’s losses affected me. Compared to many others, I have relatively few negative images about my parents and me. They loved me, they loved my children. What is true is I have my parent’s genes, for better or worse. In my life and in my writing mysteries. I still consider the age-old question, are we responsible for the sins of our fathers? There were actions by my father which showed his darker side. My father’s career and lifestyle owned many secrets. Some secrets have become my secrets.

My father was a gangster. It is not a secret!

For more stories about me and my gangster father, check out the book The Gourmet Gangster.

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Patricia Crandall
Patricia Crandall
17 oct. 2023
Noté 5 étoiles sur 5.

I can attest to Leah's editing. She edited my latest book, Murder, Mayhem and Ghost Stories. Excellent work. Marcia's books are so entertaining I breeze through them. She wears many hats well.


Charlene Dietz
Charlene Dietz
16 oct. 2023
Noté 5 étoiles sur 5.

Leah, how interesting to learn about your journey, becoming an editor. You're a lover of stories, and a caregiver to authors. We need intelligence insight and skill to make our work shine, but we don't need bulldozers. You are not one of those. I wouldn't call you only the second pen, but the velvet pen. Thank you.

Elizabeth, how wonderful to have a friend so close to you your heart. I enjoyed the slice of life you shared. These losses really hurt.

Marcia, this is a wonderful blog site. I know your self-examination about your own "secret family life" must have touched your feelings in ways you didn't realize. Still, nothing disparaging can be said about a family who loves…

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