Women in Print 2018

The 15th annual WOMEN IN PRINT was held in the Saxe Room at the Worcester Public Library on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The three local authors featured this year were Maria Salomao-Schmidt, Maria M. Vazquez and Venice R. Garner-Moore.

After the audience had enjoyed an assortment of refreshments provided by the Events Committee, WWHP Vice-President Chantel Bethea introduced the authors with the comment, “The theme of the evening is empowerment,” as all three authors embraced this theme in their writing. At the beginning of the evening only two of the authors were present, Maria Salomao-Schmidt and Maria M. Vazquez.  Ms. Bethea invited both authors to sit side-by-side and invited Maria Salomao-Schmidt to speak first about her life and what inspired her to write her book.

Maria Salomao-Schmidt

Ms. Salomao-Schmidt, who was born in Portugal, has faced many challenges throughout her life including an abusive father, the sudden death of her daughter and a recent battle with breast cancer. She believes that her struggles have shaped who she is, and values the people she met along the way while coping with these struggles. It took her ten years to write her book, Finally Full of Yourself: Unlocking Your Spiritual DNA, which was published on the eve of the 2016 Presidential Election. Ms. Salomao-Schmidt was one of the very last guests on “The Oprah Show.” She discussed her work in the field of energy healing and later in the evening, taught the audience three one-minute meditations as a demonstration of this work.

Maria M. Vazquez

Maria M. Vazquez also has endured difficulties in life, including a great deal of physical, emotional and sexual abuse during her childhood in the Bronx. She also fell off a five-story building at the age of ten and was told she would never walk or dance again. She worked hard to do both and still teaches dance to this day. After her accident, Ms. Vazquez put in the effort to truly find and love herself. She claims her book, Super Sparkly Everything: How Connecting to God and Personal Responsibility Brought My Life from Struggle to Sparkle, lived within her for ten years and then the story came pouring out of her over the course of sixty days. She starts each chapter with a story from her life and then follows it with tools and techniques of how she copes with the tough times and turns them into something positive. She uses a conversational tone, as though she’s talking to a friend. Ms. Vazquez does weekly videos on YouTube giving tips on how we can live our lives in order to make our lives a little bit better each day. She ends each video with the same statement: “Have a super sparkly day!”

Chantel Bethea

Chantel Bethea invited each author to read a passage from her book and then gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions. We learned that both authors are self-published. They believe they have been able to maintain the ownership and authenticity of their work by self-publishing.

At the end of the Q&A session, Venice R. Garner-Moore arrived after a challenging journey to Worcester to discuss her book,   Embracing My Difference. Like the previous two authors, Ms. Garner-Moore has experienced trauma in her life and commented that she needed to embrace her own trauma and family issues to live a life true to herself. She is now a therapist and a life coach and uses her own struggles to help others reach their full potential. Her movement is called Embracing Your Difference.

Chantel Bethea commented how interesting it is that although the three authors had never met before WOMEN IN PRINT, they have such similar messages of empowerment and helping others learn to empower themselves. She closed by saying, “Once you have that crown on, you will know yourself and can teach others how to know themselves.”

We thought this was the end of the evening, but WWHP President Pam Bobay surprised us by introducing Linda Jones-McCarthy to sing a song she had just written that day about Abby Kelley Foster. Ms. Jones-McCarthy has written several historical ballads and songs but had never heard of Abby Kelley Foster until February 2nd when she was singing at Hezekiah’s in Leicester, and Fran Langille and Mary Oroszko from WWHP asked if she’d be willing to write a song about Abby. Ms. Jones-McCarthy immediately started doing extensive research and even took a piece of stone out of the stonewall at Liberty Farm! She performed her new a cappella ballad “Little Abby Kelley Has a Voice” to a lilting Irish style melody. It was the perfect ending to a unique and inspirational evening!

Published Date: 
September 25, 2018