Tag Archives: Bogarts Book Exchange

Finding Your Future



My son has written a book. My son is an author.  Looking back through the years, this is something I never imagined I would be saying and writing about.  But he did, and I am, and I’m so very proud of him.

Let me give you a brief history of how this came to be, as it’s a path full of twists and turns. From the age of 5, when he first started playing basketball at the Y, my son was all about sports.  He was a natural athlete, and seemed to thrive on the routine, the practices, the games, and at a young age, decided he wanted to make this his career.  His dad and I went to every game, drove all over the place with a van full of boys, sent him to basketball camps, and even put him on a plane to go to Las Vegas to play.  He received scholarship offers for college and ended up going to a great junior college that sent all of their players to Division I schools to complete their degrees.  We always told him that making it in sports was not a certain thing and to make sure he had another goal along with that dream, and he chose Communications, working towards being a sports announcer.  He was thriving at his college, first time away from home, getting good grades, working in the College President’s office, President of the Minority Student Group, and working towards his basketball dream.  But at the end of the school year, the summer before he would have been the starting point guard, he was injured, not by basketball but rather by a local kid who was part of a group of kids there to tour the college and participate in some college events.  The kid had a knife and my son’s dream ended in the parking lot of the school, a life changing injury that forced him to come home.  He could have died in that parking lot.  I’ll never forget the phone call that I got, telling me what happened.  He recovered physically, and eventually mentally, but his dream for basketball never recovered.

I remember worrying all of the time about his future. He lived and breathed sports, basketball, and had a real shot at playing professionally.  That dream was not to be.  So what would take its place?  He continued with college, changing his major, but nothing seemed to be a good fit until finally he changed to Health Promotions and found himself loving that major.  This started him on a path of health and wellness and brought about the change of life that he needed.  He changed his diet, became an advocate for healthy eating and taking care of his body, wrote a health curriculum, became a personal trainer, and began a new dream. During this time, he also changed as a person.  He began reading, a lot, studying philosophers and redeveloping his own philosophy. He became more spiritual and looked into himself to grow and find new meaning.  He wanted to make a difference.

About this time, he and his girlfriend made a trip to Lilydale. For those of you who don’t know, Lilydale is a camp and meeting place for Spiritualists and Freethinkers. It’s in upstate NY, set on a lake with a Victorian ambiance, attracting thousands of people annually.  There are workshops and speakers, mediums and spiritualists, and the calm, wooded setting is seen as a place to connect with nature while recharging your batteries. “People come here for a lot of reasons”, stated Susan Glasier, executive director of the Lily Dale Assembly.  “They come for private readings, the workshops, or they just come to be”.  While there, my son prayed to be used for something bigger than him and described the trip as “spiritually amazing.” He spent a good bit of the first day in the library, a spiritual media library, reading and thinking.  He visited various prayer spots, sat in the sweat lodge where he participated in the music, holding the “shaker” and made an affirmation-“Please use me to help the world.  I’m ready.” He also felt the presence of his grandfather, my dad, who told him to pursue something from childhood.  He and his grandfather were very close so this feeling of his presence meant a lot to him, giving him a feeling of peace.  My son was always a spiritual person, even as a child, so this trip was a reawakening of that spirituality.  He also liked to write and actually won an award for poetry.  This was possibly the meaning from his grandfather.

After returning home, he continued to read and think and one night, while lying in bed, he saw the word “Future” in his mind, got up to get a pen and began to write. For two days he continued to write, calling out from work, and completed about 85% of the book. Finding Your Future” was born.

So what is this book about? I think it’s many things for many people. It took years to write, and rewrite, the language changing as my son grew as a writer.  And as he grew and expanded his thinking, the book morphed into its present form. It’s the kind of book that makes you hold a highlighter at the ready, to underline phrases you want to read again and again.  It contains chapters that are pertinent to some while not to others, so it’s also a book that you may skip around and read a chapter that has meaning to you, to go back to later, to reflect, to even change your thinking. It focuses on love, family, life, environment, our growth as people but also as beings connected to each other.  The timing of this book is perfect as our nation divides under the new “leader” so it can also be seen as a manifesto to bring us back together.  Each chapter begins with a quote, with the first being from Lao Tzu, “To lead people, walk behind them”, and other notables such as John F. Kennedy, Dali Lama, Socrates, Tupac Shakur, all giving a positive path forward in life.  If you are looking for positivity for women, the chapter on “Women” explains the extreme importance women play in our society and the respect we are due, pertinent to the #MeToo movement; “Health” shows us the necessity to treat our bodies in a respectful manner, and “Old vs Age” begins with a quote by Sophia Loren, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity your bring to your life and the lives of those you love.  When you learn to tap this source you will have truly defeated age.” I find this chapter personally pertinent as I age and plan this last third of my life, trying to stay relevant and valued though sometimes feeling invisible. I want to use my talents until the end, not just wait for life to be over.  It’s harder to feel valued at this stage of life and my son and I have had many discussions about aging, staying positive, and continuing to build a life.

This book is also somewhat of a family affair. My niece proofread, as did I.  My brother-in-law acted as advisor for publishing, formatting, lay-out, printing, the technical side of book writing.  My other niece created the “Autore” logo and my grandson is on the cover.  It was wonderful to have their support and encouragement, and it was so exciting when we realized that this book was finally ready to publish.


As his mother, I of course am going to encourage you to go to Amazon, type in Finding Your Future, and buy the book. But also as a reader and a writer, I think that you will find great value in this book.  We all are looking for our future, no matter our age, gender, religion, or ethnicity.  We all want to find happiness, success, purpose, but sometimes need a little guidance.  Let Finding Your Future give you that guidance.


If you live locally, there will be a book signing on June 16th, 11:00 AM at Bogart’s Book Exchange on High Street in Millville, NJ. You can meet William and have him sign your copy.  The book is also going to be used by local youth groups, as a book club read. He is in NY this weekend, promoting it.  And there are more books to come. This won’t be the last you will hear of William Autore.  My son, the author.


Ya Gotta Have Friends!

Ya Gotta Have Friends!

SAMSUNG  When I first started this blog, it was one of the ways that I coped with the divorce and rebuilding my life. It helped me put things in perspective and explore my feelings, and figure out how to rebuild my life. I enjoyed writing and loved the feedback that was so positive. So now my life is back together, sort of, and I still want to write so I have to find a new direction.  There are a lot of mommy-bloggers, fashion-bloggers, and food-bloggers and I really don’t have enough to say to just choose one topic.  I know that successful bloggers find a niche but I think I’m going to be more of an everything-blogger and just write what I feel like at any given moment.  So you may see a post about food, fashion, or grandma stuff, but you also might see a lot of other topics as my mind wanders around.

I think today I’m going to write about friends. Throughout my marriage, I tried to bring couples into the mix, going out together in groups or 2 and 2, but it never worked out the way I hoped and as time went on, our social life revolved around basketball and baseball with our son, going to all of the games and sitting with the other parents. Occasionally there would be group picnics and we always had fun but it seemed that there never was time to get any more involved than that.  We did a good bit of traveling because of these sports so it filled up the time that we might have spent socializing in free time.  During this time, I drifted away from my close college friend and my girl time revolved around work, going out to lunch regularly, attending meetings and trainings together, and it sort of filled that friend roll.

Upon divorce, I realized that there wasn’t too much happening in my life beyond work. My son was grown, no more sports, and I realized that I needed to expand my life.  My son and I are friends, and talk about many different things, even working together on different projects, but I needed more than that.  By this time, my college friend Kathy was back in my life and we were doing our best to get together regularly, but this was limited by jobs and different days off.  We were able to pick up where we had left off, one of those friendships where you went through a lot together, knew each other’s secrets, and had a long history of friendship.  We met around 1968 and were suite mates in the dorm, becoming best friends for 50 years now.  But one person isn’t a circle so I had to decide to get out of my comfort zone and make some more friends!

My first new friend was Rocky, my little Yorkie. Rocky was one of the first things I did just for me and he filled some of that alone time that I had to adjust to.  I loved that dog like no other pet I ever owned and mourned his death for a very long time.  Truth be told, I’m tearing up now.  I always had a pet, both single and married, but this little dog got into my heart in a different way.  Perhaps because of the emotion of divorce, perhaps because of the circumstances, but in any case, he was a little friend that I loved. However, not much conversation going on with Rocky so I kept trying to find ways to make new friends, much harder as an adult than as a kid.



Next came the knitting group, something else that I never would have done married; just no time. I met Carla, Ray, Ellenbeth, Karen, among others, and this was something I looked forward to every week.  We met at Bogart’s Book Exchange and spent a few hours a week knitting, crocheting, drinking coffee, and buying books.  I managed to get there every week for about a year but then for some reason, it got harder to achieve and after a while, I gradually stopped going. However, I’m trying to get back to it and yesterday, I finally got there and while the group has changed a bit, and Bogart’s is in a new location, it was so great to be there.  I’ve missed going.  I won’t be able to go regularly but I’m hoping that yesterday broke the ice for me and I’ll continue.

I’ve also managed to hold on to some friendships from past work.  Women from Headstart are still part of my circle and we actually met for lunch a few weeks ago.  Several others are my Facebook Friends, and while we don’t see each other we keep in touch in that FB way.  At my last job, I managed to bring several of my friends to my new job so we still talk regularly.  And of course, there are the new friends at work now, and we occasionally go out to lunch after monthly meetings, but everyone has so much going on, and truthfully, most of these people are younger so are at a different place in life, and are busy doing their own thing.  I love the connections that we have, but we all live in different areas and don’t see each other outside of work.  And that’s OK.

I also have to mention Facebook Friends. I’m so happy that I’ve reconnected with high school friends and went to our 50th reunion in the fall.  And I’ve come away from that with some new friends, looking forward to seeing their posts and in some cases, getting together.  I also have made new friends on FB and while we don‘t meet, they are new in my life and enrich it.

Meetups are also something I’ve used to try to make more friends but that never seems to work out as the most interesting meet ups are too far. There are very few in my area and while I’ve thought of starting one, I finally decided against it and started Coloring and Coffee, again at Bogart’s, where we meet the last Sunday of the month and spend a few hours with adult coloring books, coffee, and socializing.  It’s a small group but Bogart’s is a small coffee house, so that’s OK.  If I made it a meetup, it would involve dues, and maybe a different location, so I don’t want it to change and like that it’s close to home.

So you might wonder what’s missing. I feel blessed to have so many people in my life but the one thing I don‘t have is a travel friend.  I think there’s some gypsy in my soul as I love to see new places.  I could take a road trip every weekend, given the opportunity and the time, and am a great navigator and car packer.  I learned from the best, mom, who made the lists of supplies every time we traveled and kept track of the maps and costs for every trip we took.  I actually have one of her notebooks from our trips and she tracked every dime spent when we traveled to Niagara Falls and Watkins Glenn, among others.  And Dad was the packer, loading up that station wagon, the old Plymouth, packing every suitcase, cooler, and supplies like it was a puzzle to fit together.  We never arrived with something we forgot at home, because those lists were detailed!

Life seems so much busier than it was growing up. Perhaps this is why it seems harder to make friends  I remember my mother having groups that she met with, the Cousins Club (female family that met once a month), her Sorority, and when she and Dad retired, a group that they traveled with, mostly couples, but they were never home.  I feel like I’m going to have to work part time instead of retiring because most of my friendships come from work, but at the same time I yearn for the freedom from work, so this is something I have to figure out.  I don’t want retirement to be isolated and lonely.  I want to be busy doing things with others, having fun, being productive, enjoying the freedom I’ll finally have to do what I like, but I also want to have other people be part of that.  So I’ll close by saying, if you live in south Jersey, give me a call!  Maybe we can become travel buddies or start a club, or just get together for coffee.  The possibilities are endless!!