Author Robert Anasi and the power of personal evolution

Robert Anasi photo by Nadia Lesy

Robert Anasi photo by Nadia Lesy

Writer, journalist, experienced boxer, newlywed, father to be, and author of The Gloves: A Boxing Chronicle  as well as his recent book The Last Bohemia:Scenes from the Life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Robert Anasi was born, as he says, into a blue-collar Irish Catholic family, and has traveled a personal path from gentle and book-loving through disappointment and violence back to gentle, book-loving and loving.

I invite you to listen to Robert talk about growing up, relationship mishaps, his personal journey, his writing, views on a changing Brooklyn, his take on his own violent side and how boxing helped him control his darker impulses. And, his love letter? Well, he is, remember, an author who records place and event through personal views of those experiencing them, newly wed to an exceptional woman, and awaiting the birth of their first child. As love letters to unborn children are an art all their own and a definite record of place and time, we can only assume it will be a love letter of significant personal and historical importance down the line.

Michele Spitz a woman of her word

Michele Spitz

Michele Spitz

The most unusual thing about Michele Spitz is, well, everything. She is, indeed, a woman of her word donating as she does her voice to various charitable causes. Her pace is vigorous, her love of the arts all-encompassing, her love of humanity inexhaustible, her energy level ever elevating, her spirit indomitable, her generosity boundless and her organizational abilities enviable. And, as a bonus she has a voice and a laugh that resonate safety.

All this serves her immediate goal to make the world visible to the blind, because Michele sees no reason that a disability should be cause for anyone to be left out of anything at all. The world of beauty, after all, is meant for everyone. She is living proof that there is no end to what the heart can hold and what persistence can accomplish. I invite you to listen to Michele tell her story and what it takes to be the voice of sight and tell it in a voice you will not forget.

Her love letter? See why it may be to her mother.

Sandra Foster Lovas’s poem to her mother – a gift of love that lasts forever

Sandra Foster Lovas and her mother Kathleen

Sandra Foster Lovas and her mother Kathleen

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and a perfect time to share a poem that Sandra Foster Lovas wrote on the occasion of her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Sandra was raised, in her words, in “kind of a Norman Rockwell family lost in the mid 20th century.” Hers was a privileged family whose main privilege was love, a love worth putting to paper as a gift custom designed by her for her parents.

Listen to Sandra read this beautifully written poem to her mother to see how the power of specific memories and everlasting love keep a spirit alive.

Sandra Foster Lovas

Sandra Foster Lovas

 

The Mother’s Day gift from your heart to hers will be a gift that lasts forever. It will be a gift to her for all of her life and to you all of yours.

Joy Loya who outgrew his prison cell says he is defined by optimism

Joe Loya photograph by Max Cherny

Joe Loya photograph by Max Cherny

Joe Loya, author of The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber, does, indeed, have a story to tell. And, tell it with stunning power and grace he does. It is a complicated life of love, loss, tragedy, the eventual end of brutality that was the beginning of criminality and then full circle to taking charge of his own now joyful life.

Joe’s life is a lesson in what defines a successful and powerful manhood and a vivid example of what intelligence, goodness and a loving nature can do to heal deep wounds, to dissolve anger. Joe’s insights are remarkable, and his ability to laugh a gift as extraordinary as his life. His love letter? Plural, and they cannot help but be as powerful a statement as all of Joe’s life. I invite you to listen to an astounding story told by one exceptional man.

David Fitzgerald’s personal Book of Mormon

David Fitzgerald at Sutro photo by Allison May Kiputh

David Fitzgerald at Sutro photo by Allison May Kiputh

Looking for truth is a brave undertaking helped by an unwavering desire for historical honesty, diligence, enormous personal charm an open heart and mind, an adventurous spirit and a sense of humor. Enter David Fitzgerald who continues to talk about his search for religious truth. He is back on Love Letters Live to talk about his second book, part of a complete series called The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion. Book one is entitled, simply enough, The Mormons. Combative? David says with a smile, “No, provocative.” David talks about and writes about that fascinating thoroughly American religion that started in Elmira, New York. I invite you to listen to David talk about what he sees as the problematic history of the Mormon Church and why Christians who did not like his first book Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All just loved this book on the Mormons. David has the rare gift of being able, as a non-believer, to talk to believers about their religion and be taken seriously.

Wonder Woman Weezie Mott

Wonder Woman Weezie MottWeezie Mott, bright blue eyes and red hair, is a smart, energetic, creative and accomplished wonder. One of 5 siblings, “a wonderful sister and three outstanding brothers,” still a smile in her voice as she talks about this family she loves. From her first visual memory of tea with her mother, those wonderful older siblings, the death of her mother when Weezie was 5, being sent to boarding school where the food was “horrible” from the age of 7 until the 8th grade “when I got to come home and throw my uniform away”, adamantly declining the prospect of life as a nun, world travel, life as a nurse, life in the navy, falling in love, staying in love, motherhood, Cordon Blue cooking school in France and much more right up to now.

Has she slowed down? Not at all. She runs a cooking school of her own now, and for the past 20 years has taken her students on the kind of European culinary tours no travel agency can even offer. Motoring With the Motts. Weezie’s love letter is one she wrote decades ago about her own upcoming marriage, a girl-to-girl confession of deep love and more. Still going strong at 92 and says, “I’ll always be a redhead!”

To listen to Weezie, with her candor and laughter, talk about her life in the past, the present and the future is to know how limitless life can be.

Love the second time around does not diminish the first

Love the second time around does not diminish the firstHow does a person continue, one foot in front of the other, when a spouse dies? The difficulty in living day by day without the person we thought would be ours forever is overwhelming. The doleful task of “moving on” with life can be paralyzing until we realize that there is room for more than one love in one heart.

We have here, in her own words, the story of a woman whose husband died after a long illness, and she eventually fell in love with a wonderful man only to learn that a second love does not diminish the first. Actually, she says her first husband found the second for her. To listen to this double love story is to be assured that love is a thread through life that need not be severed.

David Fitzgerald finds atheism in his search for truth

David Fitzgerald photographed by Brooke Armstrong

David Fitzgerald photographed by Brooke Armstrong

David Fitzgerald is the author of Nailed; Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All, and The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion Book One: The Mormons and is now working on a third. His very titles are what you might call combative until you hear David so sweetly call them provocative. His topic is one we all know about, or think we do, yet atheism, as it is turns out, is more complicated than you might realize. David is a an atheist on the hunt for truth about Jesus. He wants people to think.

Raised as a devout Baptist by parents who live a life strongly based on that faith, David never questioned one precept. He was happy in his religious life, content with his beliefs and a thoroughly cheerful, emotionally open fellow. Then one day he had a conversation with a young woman who told him something he never knew about another religion. One simple fact, and that was all it took for David to realize he did not know enough about enough. So he started to question, read, and research and follow the trail of truth he could find. His goal was simple enough, to get to the truth about the life, times and accomplishments of Jesus. The goal may be simple, but the path to knowledge takes some careful mapping.

To listen to David talk, with his usual extreme intelligence, openness, and light-hearted good humor about his journey on the route to demonstrable knowledge is a lesson in too much to describe here. I invite you to do yourself the favor of hearing David talk about life as an atheist in his own words and voice. He is still happy in his (non)religious life, content with his new beliefs and still a thoroughly cheerful emotionally open fellow.

Beth Wellington’s love letters as art

Beth Wellington, San Francisco artist, poet and jewelry designer

Beth Wellington, San Francisco artist, poet and jewelry designer

Beth Wellington a Marketing Manager by day and in her heart at all times a poet, artist and jewelry designer, is represented by the City Arts Gallery in San Francisco, which is a cooperative over 100 artists. It was as a street poet with typewriter poised to do impromptu works for passers by that led to her exhibit on love letters. The show was called Love Letters Written and Unwritten, and its presentation was 60 of her poems fastened to ribbons and displayed in the window of the gallery. She was surprised at the zeal with which viewers surveyed this presentation, at how they engaged with the work. I was not in the least surprised. Many of the words given to her as a starting point for her poems revolved around love and relationships. And, love, as you have surely heard, is what makes the world go ‘round.

Beth’s creative core coupled with her practical faculty generates art you can take into your daily life. I invite you to listen to Beth read some of her poems, talk about honest expression of affection, love and what it takes to put yourself out there on the street with naught but an old fashioned typewriter, a smile on her face and an open heart. Her approach to life and love is one of courage,  her candor and humor heartwarming, and her attitude an assurance that offering love is a plus to any life. 

David Friedman Broadway composer, conductor, author, speaker, television personality is in SF

David Friedman Broadway composer, conductor, author, speaker, television personality is in SFWhen there is more talent than time, what is a person to do? Aha, you do what David Friedman does. You do not let time, doubt, pounding heart or tomorrow’s to-do list stand in the way. You do what David does. You do not dawdle in the past or future; you live in the moment.

David’s main career, should you feel the impossible need to categorize, is as a Broadway, film and popular song composer for many of our best-loved singers, conductor, lyricist. You would think this would be enough, but there is more. He is equally successful as an author of The Thought Exchange and public speaker, and is  a regular guest on the Today Show Everyone Has a Story Series with Kathie Lee Gifford on which he writes a song each month and performs with a current Broadway star on the first Thursday of each month. He travels in his realm of public speaking. And, he has time for a family and social life!

May I invite you to listen to David talk about The Thought Exchange, his metaphysical system for paying attention to the signs your body is sending you and finding your way to living a sensational life. David’s life is, as you can see, sensational and then some. Visit David’s website for information on his work, his shows, his music, and his speaking engagements like the one in San Francisco California right now this weekend where you can take part in his music and his motivational speaking, which he does with compelling candor, inimitable wit and the ability to present the complex as utterly accessible. His love letter? To himself I hope.