The Elemental Press

Write from the Inside

is an e-zine for writers with heart


Yes, that means YOU!

We  are all writers, we all have heart and there are many forms to practice ...

letter writing, journal writing, story writing, your own "story tale" 

and much, much more.


The intention of this e-zine is to provide inspiration, information and stories to aid in: 




Published by Lissa Ann Forbes



You can look forward to the next issue of Write from the Inside on June 19, 2005


ISSUE #24: May 29, 2005

Do You Stop Short?

  • What is your reaction when you see someone at the highway exit, begging for some change?

  • Do you bother to find out the names of those who serve youfood servers, the folks at the copy service, cashiers at the grocery store. Do you call them by name?

  • Have you ever thought something nice about someone and neglected to mention it?

Recently, I was out to dinner with my writing friend, Shirley. As I sat chatting and enjoying the best Chinese food in town, I noticed a woman with short snow-white hair, glasses and a turquoise top. Although I was enjoying my friend's company immensely, my gaze continued to gravitate to the charming, classy lady at the next table. She reminded me of my Mom, gone for many years now. I made a decision. As Shirley and I left, I stopped to in front of the woman who had caught my eye, "Excuse me, I didn't mean to stare at you, but you are a stunning woman and remind me of my mother who died nine years ago." Tears welled up in her eyes behind the thick wire-rimmed glasses and with a gentle smile she said, "Thank you, that is very nice of you." I made her day and she made mine.

  • Try ittell the stock clerk at your local WalMart that you realize we take for granted how all those items get on the shelves, perfectly aligned, for us to come find exactly what we need day after day and thank him for the terrific job he does.

  • Observe what happens when you do. Notice the look on his face. Listen to his response. Contemplate how it might boost him up.

  • Pay attention to how it makes you feel. Then get it all down on paper so you can remember.



"To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own."

Abraham Lincoln (1809—1865)

United States President




Donuts in the Garbage Pail


by Lissa Ann Forbes


Sometimes it's good to write about yourself as if you're someone else. You then have the freedom to imagine what it might be like to do things you don't normally do, to think about things you've never considered. It gives you the opportunity to be creative.


Unwrapping the silver strip at the top of his fresh pack of Marlboro Light’s, he walked toward the garbage can in front of the small town quick mart. As he threw the plastic wrap and piece of silver paper from the cigarette pack in the trash he noticed the circles of white wrapped in plastic.

            His stomach grumbled having missed breakfast. He thought of the waste. Contemplated his shortage of funds. He remembered these powdered sugar mini-donuts were his mother’s favorite. His mouth watered to have a taste, but he walked away, climbing into his car to enjoy the springtime warmth and sunshine on the drive home.

            His concern was, where did they come from, who had touched them, how old were they? Suddenly, his thoughts shifted. A homeless man or woman would not consider these things. They would be diving into that barrel with nary a thought but to fill an aching stomach.

            He imagined, what would it be like to be without a home? The picture unfolds in his mind.

            The first day’s not so bad. It’s spring. I take a walk until I find a park where the flowers are in bloom—red tulips, yellow daffodils, and a carpet of white alyssum. And oh, those beautiful trees with the pink blossoms. I sit on the park bench and watch the children play and listen to their gurgling laughter. Then take a nap on the green carpet that stretches out before me.

            When I wake up, there’s a little blonde girl in a pink shirt and purple shorts sitting beside me on the bench. Her big blue eyes sparkling, "Would you like to share my cookie?" she asks. I don’t want to seem overly enthusiastic, but I say, “yes, that would be nice” because it's possible this will be dinner. It will be dark soon and I will have to find a place to sleep.

            I wonder, how did this happened? It seems like just yesterday I was living the life of Riley. I had a home, a car and plenty of food—in fact, I had plenty for my friends too. But I lost my job, couldn’t get work even though I tried diligently—for a while. Then the demons crept in. Those little black creatures that climb into your brain when you’re not looking. The ones that say, see I told you you’d never make it, I told you no one would hire you with your outdated skills, no one will see what you’ve been trying to build in that garage carpentry business. The demons ate away at my confidence, at my sense of capability, ate away my dreams. And now I’m just a speck that the world sidesteps in its whirling quest for bigger, better, faster.

            The sun sets against the mountains. It’s bright yellow light turns to orange, then pink and just as the sun hides behind the top peak of the expanse of those magnificent Rocky Mountains, a swirl of purple appears.

            I have only the clothes on my back—blue jeans, T-shirt, socks, shoes, underwear, a denim shirt and a flannel-lined windbreaker. And a backpack, notebook, pen and water bottle and one dollar in change in my pocket. I must find a place sheltered from the chill that comes when that glorious sun goes down. A place they won’t kick me out of for the vagrant I’ve become. I must keep moving.

            It’s dark now. My stomach rumbles, but I’m still strong. Just need a bit of rest. I hide in the alley behind the coffee shop I used to frequent in my affluent days. Hoping they’ve thrown out some muffins or cookies or nut bread they had left over at the end of the day, I pick through the dumpster and hit pay dirt—leftover quiche, two whole pieces—a bit squished but it looks edible. I curl up in the dark corner and shovel in what I have salvaged.

            Unfortunately, I know tomorrow won’t be better. More of the same stretches out before me like the never-ending highway that disappears into the horizon.

            He arrives home with the resolve that this will never happen to him. It’s time to get cracking; make those follow-up phone calls he’s intended to make for weeks to potential clients, finish the projects that are leaving money on the table if not completed, and think about alternatives to letting his life slip away, threatening to break him. He doesn’t want to be that homeless man of his imaginings. He’s got far too much to offer this world. And how they would be missing out.



Reading Resource:  Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski


Yankoski and a friend, Sam, chose to make an unlikely journey, since they were both relatively affluent college students, as homeless men through five American cities; Washington, D.C., Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix, and San Diego. Mike captures some poignant details of life on the street, how it is to be shunned because of how one looks, how one smells, and what one doesn't have. He shares the extent of alcohol and drug addiction among the homeless as well as the frequency of mental illness. He talks about searching for food, a place to rest, and bathrooms and water. Things most of us take from granted. But his overriding purpose was to determine if one could still have faith in God when one has nothing. Yes, how easy it is to have faith when you have all you need. But he learned that ultimately his faith and prayers were answered.


Although, a rather simple account of his experiences, I found this book enlightening and inspirational. Even though Mike and Sam experienced hardships that I can't imagine enduring, there were moments of grace, when they received abundantly, whether it was money for playing their guitars and singing, or simply because another human being saw a need and chose out of true kindness to answer the call. On occasion a meal was provided or a collection was taken up at a church to provide for bus fare to the next city. Something to contemplatehow often do we stop short, turn away or close our eyes. This book opened my eyes.



Is it time to record his stories? 

Here's a good place to start.

Add a custom journal to the Write from the Inside Booklet and a Can Your Life: The Key to Self-Preservation  audio tape and you get a Catch Your Life Stories Starter Kit. The booklet and tape will help trigger memories, show how to capture the details and entertain and inform, and the journal is a place to get it all down


For details click here: 

Product Details/Pricing

Please be patient while downloading.


To view this document you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader V.5.0.5 or higher. You may download it using this link:

or calling 303-885-0652

Write from the Inside booklet: 14 Triggers for catching those ever elusive, fleeting thoughts, insights and memories—36 pages of memory sparkers for writing life stories. $10.00 ea.

Can Your Life: The Key to Self-Preservation          1-hour audio tape: tools including a guided meditation and stories from my own life to inspire, motivate, entertain and inform on the craft of catching life stories and creating a life treasure. $15.00 ea.

What folks are saying: 

"Although I have heard or read many of the stories, I loved hearing you tell them. YOU DO GREAT WORK!" 

—Beth Crosby, Key Partners, Rock Hill, SC

"Your voice and presentation are wonderfully apt for this type of outreach, Lissa, and your positive message(s) can only be of help to those who receive your tapes." 

—Bruce Washburn, Goose Wings Passages, Greensboro, NC

A place to keep your memories ...

Order your very own journal TODAY!

Have a custom journal made 

especially for YOU or a loved one!

Visit the web site:

Are you ready?

Have you been writing your stories along with me?

I can help you create your 

Life Legacy Book

Visit the web site:

Contact me with any questions:

Do you need a speaker for your service club or association? 

I'd love to speak to your group about Catching Life Stories. 

Call me TODAY to set a date. 303-885-0652

Your privacy is important to me. Your email address will not be distributed to anyone without your express written permission. Period. 

Please feel free to forward this e-zine to friends, family, and colleagues. Brighten their day. Give them something that will inspire them in their personal lives, their creative lives, their careers.

Copyright © 2005 Lissa Ann Forbes. 

All rights reserved.


laf (Lissa Ann Forbes)
Publishing History, One Life at a Time
The Elemental Press
PO Box 49, Lafayette, CO  80026
(B) 303-926-1890, (C) 303-885-0652

Custom hand-bound 

life legacy books and journals
"The possibilities are endless ... you can get what your heart desires."

Member of the Association for Personal Historians  

Member of Toastmasters International

Local chapter, Speak with Ease, Lafayette, CO


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