Words that Heal, Words that Hurt

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from author/artist, Melissa Foster.  I just finished reading Melissa's book, Megan's Way, a mother/daughter journey through life, death and the paranormal, which held me captive all weekend.  I had to squeak in time to read between helping my daughters care for their little ones, but I finally finished on the train ride home from New Hampshire.  (At which point, I began her other book, Chasing Amanda...more on that book in a later blog.)

Megan's Way touched me on many levels.  There is the intrigue of secrets shared, discovered and hidden.  There are the bittersweet moments between best friends, parent and child and lovers.  There is the heart-pounding tension of a parent's worst nightmares.  All of which builds a story that captures the reader's attention, satisfies the senses and leaves an afterglow of satisfaction.

The following is a short video promotion of Megan's Way.

The Healing Power of Words, by Melissa Foster

You’ve hardly had any sleep, your hairdryer is on the fritz, and your favorite skirt won’t button. You’re having a rough morning, to say the least. You finally drag yourself into work (ten minutes late, because it’s one of those days), and you find a sticky note on your computer that reads, “See me” written in your micro-managing boss. You roll your eyes and think, Great, now what? As you walk to his office, you’re role playing in your mind—Your boss is going to fire you. What have you done wrong, besides being late and looking like a bag lady? Oh yeah, there was that report mishap, you remember, the one that was never written? That’s it, you’re fired. You’re sure of it.

You open the heavy wooden door, wishing it were glass so you could see his face before entering, gage his mood. Once inside the office, you stand up straight, hoping the pin you’ve secured your zipper with doesn’t suddenly pop off and fly across the room. Is it hot in here? Your boss doesn’t look up from his computer, just motions to the chair in front of the desk. Gulp! What seems like an hour later, yet is merely minutes, he looks up and crosses his arms across his chest. You’re sure he’s giving you the once-over, silently confirming the decision to fire you. He smiles and leans back, relaxing. Bastard. He’s enjoying this.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you for weeks,” he says. “Your reports have been superb—accurate reporting, detailed, and wicked funny.”

After you pick your jaw up from your lap, your heartbeat slows to a more normal pace, the tension in your cheeks, which had been scowling, dissipates. You can breathe once again.

The power of words is tremendous. Words can life you up or send you spiraling into depression or anger. Words can be whirled into viscous swords or softened into a warm embrace, all with a simple change in tone. The written word can be just as powerful as the verbal. Take the “See me” note from above. Had the note said something as simple as, “Can we chat around ten?” or “See me J,” it would have conveyed a much friendlier message.

Everyday we make choices in how we’ll convey ourselves to others. Sometimes we do this with facial expressions or body language, and other times we do this through spoken words. The next time that you are rushed or stressed, think before you speak. Is your tone conveying the message you want to relay to others, or are they taking the brunt of your bad moment? In writing, I suggest trying the same tact. Review each sentence for punctuation—a simple comma can change the tone of a line.

Words can heal and words can hurt. Choose your words carefully.

About Melissa

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of two novels, Megan’s Way and Chasing Amanda. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and WoMen’s Literary Café, a literary community. Melissa is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan’s Way. Melissa has written for Calgary’s Child Magazine, and Women Business Owners Magazine. She hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa is currently working on her next novel, and lives in Maryland with her family.

Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.
Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Visit Melissa’s website, www.MelissaFoster.com

Many thanks to Melissa for being a guest here, today, as well as sharing her book.  Please visit Melissa's website for more information on her books.


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Jen said…
I am going to get both books! They sound like great reads. Thank you for sharing your space with Melissa so we could all learn about her!
Thinkhappy said…
Hi Jen, thanks for the support! I hope you love the books. Megan's Way is now a free ebook on Amazon and Smashwords (all formats), and we're running a promotion for Chasing Amanda 99 cents! Both are being optioned to film, too. Definitely a "pinch me" time of my life!

Great to "meet" you.

Anonymous said…
I just downloaded and started reading Megan's Way last night. Yes I agree with Melissa about the power if one's words. Definitely be careful how you use them!
Hi, Jen! Thanks for stopping by...I hope you enjoy the books as much as I have.

Stay tuned for more from Melissa in the weeks ahead!
Watch what you say and how you say it...Wiser words have never been shared!
Thanks for stopping by Jeneen!
Thinkhappy said…
Words by Design, thanks for downloading Megan's Way. If you enjoy it, I'd be most appreciative if you'd leave a review on Amazon. I'm going to pop over to your blog and take a peek:-)

Thinkhappy said…
Thank you, Linda, for being such a gracious host. I really enjoyed meeting a few of your followers and I look forward to remaining connected into the future.
Kathy Riccillo said…
Any words, how they are used, and tone of voice definitely change the meaning of what we say. I remember in one of my classes, we did an exercise with a simple sentence to show the differences when written or spoken. It's true we can often hurt with our words, but they can also be used to heal someone's pain, and that's when they are magical.
Melissa, your books sound interesting, and thank you for having Megan's Way as a free e-book. I can enjoy it and later leave you my impressions.
Linda, thank you for sharing another author with us!
Hi, Kathy! Great to see you here. Yes, using words to heal others pain is magical. I know you will enjoy Melissa's book.

Hugs, Linda
Kath Fearing said…
Melissa, It's so true that a simple comma in a sentence can subtly change the meaning. That's why I often read what I've written out loud to make sure people are going to read it the way I intended it. Good luck with your writing. Always an inspiration to read someone else's perspective.
Hi, Kath!

Your words ring so true. I also read things out loud to hear them. Although, sometimes, that doesn't work because I might stress a certain word more than someone else and that changes the meaning.

So, I opt for writing with loving-kindness and trust that all will be well.

Hugs, L
Thinkhappy said…
Dear Kathy and Kath,
Thank you for visiting Linda's blog. I love that these kinder blogs attract like minds. Words are so powerful, and far too often, they are used to hurt others. When I think of all of the children who are yelled at and spoken to harshly, and the spouses who endure verbal abuse, it sickens me. The least we can do is use our words for kindness.
Thank you both for checking out my books. I hope you enjoy them and take the time to let me know your thoughts afterwards.

Linda, thanks for the heads-up. I don't like to miss comments, but sometimes I have it on my list to stop by and my list grows quickly, pushing it further away. I hope you will continue to help me with reminders:-)
Great post. Very pertinent, not only to us as writers, but to us as members of the Internet/text messaging age.

Because I deal with my editing clients mostly via e-mail, I'll sometimes spend ten minutes (or some other stretch of time that feels unreasonable to me) on a simple e-mail just to ensure I convey the right tone. I think they appreciate it, though. :)

Thanks for the post, Melissa.
Dear Lauren,

I completely agree and have also agonized over an email for tone. I have made it a rule not to send emails for some things, working, instead, to find a way to speak face-to-face. Skype has made that much easier!

Blessings, Linda

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