You Never Know When Your Voice Will Come In Handy

I received an odd request. To help a friend write kitten bios.

Not the kind of thing that happens every day, right?!

Glen is a friend from Toastmasters, and was a member of my first Authentic Performance: Fundamentals of Acting Class. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uZAuecAkYU  We hadn’t seen each other in years and Glen moved to Arizona earlier this year. Yet he remembered my writing style and voice, and how much I love cats.  

This is how it went down. Glen was walking with his real estate agent’s assistant and her dog, when the dog found a litter of kittens only two or three hours old. The mother cat had apparently been spooked by the landscaping going on and was nowhere to be found. Glen decided to bring the kittens home…having no idea what he was getting himself into.

He bought a bottle-feeding kit from https://www.petsmart.com/. The tiny fur babies needed to be fed every two or three hours, then eventually weaned to solid food. One of Glen’s greatest information sources was Hannah Shaw, The Kitten Lady. http://www.kittenlady.org/

Once the kittens were six weeks old, and could be adopted at eight weeks, Glen reached out to me to help create snappy titles and bios so the kittens could find their best adoptive human parents. How humbling! And how much fun!

It was a collaborative project between me, Glen and Valerie, who had already started on some of the verbiage. Here’s just one of the kitten bios.

THIS SUPER STAR KITTEN SEEKING ROCK STAR PARENTS!

Is your home incomplete without that special super star kitty? Then, paws down, you need to hear about (and applaud, please) Winnie. Winnie is the incredibly smart one of the litter. She’s independent, and immediately took to solid food without even being weaned. While quiet and gentle-natured, Winnie is also playful. When she’s not off exploring the house on her own, she loves to snuggle on your lap for long naps. Winnie is an eight-week old female who was raised by a human from the day of her birth. The right adoptive parents will provide her with the necessary vet appointments, shots, spay/neuter, and be her forever parents in her forever home. 

What does this have to do with your voice, you might ask?

Glen remembered my creative voice (written and spoken) and love of animals. I was the first person he thought of to help create kitten bios, something I’ve never done before. It was a lot of fun, and I helped kittens and humans in the process.

When you honor and hone your authentic voice – voice what means most to you in the world – you will be remembered. Perhaps someone will ask you to speak at a graduation ceremony, write something in honor of a loved one, or sing for their wedding.

The invitation comes because that person trusts your authentic voice. And that trust and invitation feels really, really good.

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/ Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Creating How Abella Found Her Voice: Guest Post on Nancy Christie’s THE WRITER’S PLACE Blog

I’m honored to provide a guest post for author, writer, speaker and blogger Nancy Christie, whose PERIPHERAL VISIONS AND OTHER STORIES was recently named an Indies Foreword competition Bronze award winner! Congratulations, Nancy!

Before Abella, I wouldn’t have called myself a fiction writer. I’d played around with truly terrible short stories in my 20’s, took a class through The Institute of Children’s Literature when I was in my 30’s, making a few stabs at writing children’s stories. Then I sent a few pages of something to an accomplished writer, a friend of a friend. This writer, Floyd, was so brutal in his appraisal of my pages that I shut down for a while. Granted, they were bad. Really bad, looking back. I hadn’t learned the writing craft, certainly not with fiction. But the thing that stung the most, I still remember, is how he said my main character talked to her pets as an insane woman would.

I talk to my pets that way. Did then. Do now.

So, it was with some trepidation that I started on a fiction writing journey in my mid-50’s.

Read the rest right here:

Interview on CallumConnects

Guess what? Master entrepreneur Callum Laing, who focuses on collaboration in lieu of competition, invited me for an in-depth interview. It was published on The EnterpriseZone website, as well as all CallumConnects Social Media Channels, Thursday!

Here’s a sneak preview (as I’m writing this, I don’t know how much editing was done) before you check it out right here: https://enterprisezone.cc/laura-handke-teacher-at-lake-oswegos-transformational-voice/

What’s Your Story?

I’m a “recovering claims adjuster” who wanted to start singing again. I took my first Transformational Voice® class in 2009 and fell in love with my teacher, Linda, and the holistic and compassionate Transformational Voice® process. (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.) This system is a mind/body/spirit approach to vocal training, working with the entire person, not just their vocal instrument. I became a certified teacher in 2012, quit my day job in 2014, and have been teaching and writing ever since!

What Excites You Most About Your Industry?

I get to help people bring their inner voices and creativity into the world. Many people have experienced shame, embarrassment, surrounding their voices; whether being told “you can’t carry a tune”, or believing that public speaking or singing is somehow for the “talented, gifted few” who were just born with a fantastic stage presence or gorgeous singing voice. Excuse my “French”, but that’s just a pile of…

Thanks for keeping me in your inbox and on your read list.

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/ Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Five Tips to Give Your Speeches Vocal Variety

These five tips to give your speeches vocal variety are from a 10-minute speech I gave for Toastmasters. It’s one of my most-watched and most-liked YouTube videos. I hope you enjoy it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd6fKLlop08

1. Choose topics you are passionate about.

2. Use personal examples.

3. Focus on your audience, not yourself.

4. Read your speech aloud and edit based on your own reactions.

5. Rehearse with emotion.

Thanks for keeping me in your inbox and on your read list.

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/ Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

A Play Date in Carlton, “A Great Little Town”, Oregon

The sign says it as you drive into Carlton, Oregon, population 2,180 as of the 2019 census. “Carlton, A Great Little Town,” destination of my May 14th play date.

My first surprise was how many vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms are in between Lake Oswego and Carlton. Oregon has become big wine country, yet – not having driven this exact route before – I was a bit shocked! https://yamhillcarlton.org/wineries/.

My second, how easily I found free public parking! I walked around for about an hour looking at shops, houses, the different styles of architecture, and flowers and blooming trees. Many people were out on their front decks as it was a sunny day of 72 degrees F.  

There were so many good restaurants on the “main drag”, but I went with simple, choosing a chicken bacon ranch salad to go from the Carlton Coffee Company. While walking earlier, I’d asked a boy, about 13, if there was a park, and he pointed me in the right direction. I took my salad, Cheetos, and bottle of water to the park and ate my lunch on a picnic table under the shade of a 100-year-old Blue Atlas Cedar tree. The salad was yummy. A slight breeze was blowing. I later stuck my head back into the coffee shop to ask if the dressing was house-made. The woman said it came from a seasoning packet they mixed with buttermilk and a bit of mayo. I told her how delicious it was, and she said, “I owe you! I forgot to add the cheese. You were out the door before I remembered!” I assured her the salad was wonderful without the cheese.

Unfortunately, the Carlton Bakery was completely out of macaroons; otherwise I would have picked up a small bag full to bring home and share with George.

The Rough Cut Soap Co. https://roughcutsoapco.com/ was my favorite “retail therapy” destination. I loved this shop and walked out with a bar of grapefruit and basil soap, a pair of earrings, and a gift for someone I won’t mention because she might read this blog!

And…I couldn’t leave Carlton without stopping in at one of the tasting rooms and getting a bottle of wine to bring home. I had just two small tastes at https://tendrilwines.com/ as I was – after all – driving. $30 is more than I normally spend for a bottle of wine, certainly not $100, and both were delicious. I bought the Child’s Play pinot noir from the winemaker himself, who has been in the industry for 30 years. This reminded me of when I met Jerry Lohr, one of my father’s best childhood friends, at the https://www.jlohr.com/ tasting room in San Jose, California.

It was a fun play date in Carlton and was good to get out of the rut and go somewhere new.

And after it was over and I’d had my wine with the pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy and steamed broccoli I’d made for dinner, I realized what my soul really wanted on my play date was somewhere I could be alone in nature.  

I’ll do that next time. Soon. And if you need a fun play date in a great little town, spend some time in Carlton, Oregon!

Thanks for keeping me in your inbox and on your read list.

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/ Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

I Need a Play Date! Do You?

Oh my God. I’m cranky. Irritable. My body feels tense. I only remember laughing once all day today. And it’s not because of taxes!

Of course. The inner knowing came to me last week and I didn’t honor it. I need a play date! With myself. What Julia Cameron might call an Artist’s Date.

When I was married and stepmother of three sons from 1994 – 2006, as the boys grew older and moved in with us as teenagers, I made a point of taking a quarterly retreat. Every three months I’d pick somewhere to go for a long weekend…the Manzanita coast, McKenzie River Valley…just to get away and recharge my spiritual and emotional batteries. I always came home a happier person.

Last year, I – like you – was forced to stay home most of the time because of the Covid-19 virus. My creativity happened to open up during this period as I wrote the book I’m proudest of (Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/ ) and co-wrote my first play.

Other than that, and perfecting a couple of new bread recipes, I have been totally in a rut. When was the last time I went somewhere I’ve never been before? When was the last time you did?

Do you need a play date? Or a full-on vacation? Please schedule one with yourself and tell me all about it.

I made a play date with myself for May 14th, the same day my newsletter is coming out. I’ll write about my play date in the next blog/newsletter. Until then, here’s a note about a play date I had back in 2018, almost exactly three years ago. https://laurahandke.com/simply-authentic-your-soul-voice-is-calling-get-out-of-the-rut-make-a-play-date/

Thanks for keeping me in your inbox and on your read list.

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/ Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)