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Terri Lyons

Terri Lyons

Terri Lyons, a Philadelphia native and graduate of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. After twenty five years in the corporate environment, Lyons’ intellectual and spiritual famine left her craving an interest in the performing arts. With her emphases of history, music and spirit, she gives a voice to the range of humanity that struggles to be heard and rejoices in the journey called life.

Terri began performing original poetry at open mics and cafes in the tri-state area as well as narrating plays and MC for a variety of occasions. She has presented Spoken Word and short lectures for luncheons, graduations and empowerment events for youth and women.
Terri began writing as a hobby to escape the day world. Her first book, Let Me Tell You What Mama Said captured her mother's story of growing up during the Great Depression through the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. It was followed by her second book, Take it from the Top capturing her parents' entertainment career across the Delaware Valley during the 1960s and 70s. By that time she had amassed a huge file of poetry and prose about history, life, humor and critical thought published in two books of poetry; Mood Swings and Midnight Alley.

Presently, she engages audiences around the Delaware Valley with storytelling and prose emphasizing the importance of family at the kitchen table. Her edgy, at times humorous recollection of her family history blends with the larger black experience. It was the inspiration behind her first play entitled, ‘Kitchen Table Chats.’ Terri won first place Award for ‘Best Storytellas in Town’ Contest for her essay ‘Dimensions in Music’ and has written several articles for About Her Business and Lifestyle Magazine.
She has published her first novel, Puzzles, a passionate historical timepiece of tribulation and transcendence and a book of prose entitled Escapades, capturing the Spirit of Philadelphia.

Her current work, Light of the August Moon highlights the historical journey of African Americans from the end of World War One leading up to the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.
In addition to facebook, Terri is also on Pintrest, LinkedIn, and Blogspot.

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I Shall Not Want

Diary of a love story

Priorities are tested when career, love and passion converge upon a beleaguered spirit and transcendence is the great reward.

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Memoirs
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
49,600 words
100% complete
0 publishers interested



Overview

Pressure builds as a young woman has had enough with suffocating corporate structure, mergers and acquisitions and endless chatter of meaningless events. Social contradictions and insidious injustice that have been normalize as matter of course fortifies her pursuit to review history. Writing is the one place where she can speak truth to power and her writing evolved into powerful prose that other people were just beginning to notice.

Everything seemed to crash down at once when her father's Dementia worsened and her mother's health declined. An  only child, the only pursuit of priority was to care for both while trying to maintain sanity and keep her job.

Even in the most difficult situations, moments of humor and wonderful memories can take the edge off painful realities. An inheritance of social exposure and familial wisdom from the kitchen table were feasts of spiritual nourishment and guidance. The twin pillars of pain and despair brought birth to an inner strength and determination that may not have come to fruition without enduring such a journey.

My parents and I were very close. They gave me a life filled with exposure and excitement. It was difficult to be reduced to the small controlling corporate world where conformity denoted success and even worse how control reached into almost every crevice of personal life. I was able to create and maintain a space of sanity by sharing memories with them and now, as time has passed, those memories have their place in history. My father's failing health following by my mother's decline was devastating. It seemed like I had nothing left. My patience for fatuous reforms constantly taking place at work burned out my last nerve, but I refused to believe that there were no other options.That's the family I came from. That's what kept my spirit alive.What do you do when you don't know what to do? I Shall Not Want navigates through that place to resilience and purpose.

Competing Books

36 Hour Day is a book about care, prevention and management of dementia. It highlights how to care for patients when they can no longer stay at home. My story gives a view from a child visiting a parent with dementia and watching the decline while the love lingers on.

How to Care for Aging Parents is an excellent book for family care giving tips ranging from social workers to institutions; filling in resource gaps to give the best care possible. My story is focused to the personal sacrifice given to accomplish the same goals.

Almost like Home: Navigating the Nursing Home Maze is filled with practical information and guidance to educate the reader on how to take care of their loved ones. 

Caregiving, captures the difficult journey caring for loved ones and resources for assistance.

 

I Shall Not Want is a love story capturing some parts of the books listed above, but it is a love story of how one person somehow managed to love, endure and then create a new life honoring her heritage. It takes the reader through the everyday struggle and the lonely midnight's when nobody else is around.


Audience

My primary target are people who are either caring for a loved one, coping with the pressure of care giving or with their loss.  It gives a voice to the tender moments of love and frustration; a voice to the humor that often goes along with a senior personality. Endurance is strengthened and wisdom is acquired even when it seems like everything is falling apart. I Shall Not Want confirms they are not alone. 


Chapter Outline

Chapter 1 In My Solitude

Dread overshadows the joy of a New Year. While clearing away everything Christmas, Terri reflects on the year that has passed and not looking forward to what may lay ahead. Layoffs are looming. Structure is changing and it is not for the better. She finds solace in her escape to write. There has to be more to life than where she is right now. Her heart is heavy with her Father's sickness and she keeps a close on her Mother. One tortured step at a time she cautiously awaits what 2010 will bring.

Chapter 2 Shall Obey Thy Will

That's it. First the company says everyone has a fair shot toward a promotion and then they say people will be forced into tiers some of which could endanger their employment status. Frustrated, Terri locks into her world during a department meeting and writes out the disgust from her heart. Holding on to sanity the telephone rings at her desk requesting her to attend a meeting with staff caring for her father. That evening, she comes home to Mom, sick and in need of professional care.

Chapter 3 Forsaking All Others

Some hard decisions have to be made. Terri has lost weight, lost interest in her job and is petrified of loosing the only two people who have ever really loved her. She is back and forth from the hospital to see about Mom, to the nursing home to see about Dad; to work praying for strength and endurance. She cannot seem to find relief or assistance anywhere except in deep prayer. She's told by doctors that her mother cannot be left alone and then informed that her father has passed.Something has to give. Her mother, so thankful and appreciative of her daughter's care confirms a decision that has been on her mind for some time. Terri submits her two week notice.

Chapter 4 The Sap is Falling

Terri finally completed her manuscript and managed to self publish. People love it. She recites her poetry from the soulful basement of her heart. She tells stories of history that isn't heard anymore to the delight of people from around the city. She won the Black Essence Award. It all occurred just in time for the decline in her mother's health. Hospice comes to the home. Terri is on duty when hospice is not watching over her through the night with love and care. The day finally came when Terri brought breakfast up to her mother and found her body in bed.

Chapter 5 Refuge and Strength

Terri sold her home to be with Mom and then left her job to care for mom.Underweight, ravaged with grief and feeling alone, a change slowly took place. She has learned so much about herself, about people and the relationship between strength and weakness. She spends time alone reflecting upon years of wisdom that was shared at the dinner table and tender moments of conversation. She wipes her tears and carries a wealth of spiritual inheritance into the next phase of her life.

Chapter 6 An Elegiac Moment

Hard to believe that an entire year has come and gone. The New Year Bell is about to ring. It is the last year she had with her parents and a new year is waiting to see what she has to offer. Terri takes her love and her pain, her wisdom and her joy to the world. She can touch people to help them heal. She can articulate what they feel giving voice to the soul that few are willing to openly discuss. Reciting prose, telling stories and engaging her audience in critical thought capturing the range of humanity, she's found where she needs to be.



About the Author
Terri Lyons is a Philadelphia Native and a graduate of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.After twenty five years in the corporate environment, her intellectual and spiritual famine left her craving an interest in the performing arts. With emphasis of history, music and spirit, she gives a voice to the range of humanity that struggles to be heard and rejoices in the journey called life.

Presently, she engages audiences around the Delaware Valley with storytelling and prose emphasizing the importance of family and the kitchen table. Her edgy, at times humorous recollection of her family blend well with the larger African American experience. It was the inspiration behind her first play entitled Kitchen Table Chats. Terri won first place award for 'Best Storyteller in Town' with her essay, Dimensions in Music and has written several articles for About Her Business and Lifestyle Magazine.

Terri published her first book in 2008, Let Me Tell You What Mama Said capturing her ancestors from the end of slavery through The Great Depression and World War II. She followed up publishing Take it from the Top, a Philadelphia story capturing social struggles and accomplishments of the 1960s.

Terri has published her first historical fiction novel, Puzzles, a third book of poetry, Escapades among her library of work and is presently working on another historical profile entitled Light of the August Moon, capturing the American journey from the end of World War One through the Civil Rights Movement.
Marketing and Promotion
Word of mouth has proven to be a powerful marketing tool. Speaking at Women's luncheons, support groups and believe it or not, Nursing Homes have all been beneficial to bringing attention to the story. It ebbs and flows through social media peaking around Mother's Day. It has the most support upon people who are dealing with such tribulations and offers a source of comfort enriched with a taste of humor.
I plan to increase attention though various media engines while strengthening my current circuit of promotion.







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