One of the newest books in the internationally acclaimed Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise has a 32804 connection. “Think Positive for Kids: 101 Stories about Good Decisions, Self-Esteem, and Positive Thinking” includes a submission by College Park resident Teresa Bruce.
“Think Positive for Kids” offers encouraging, real-life “lessons for kids of all ages” in ten areas: trying something new, doing the right thing, accepting differences, developing self-esteem, handling bullies, appreciating family, making real friends, making good choices, being responsible, and being grateful.
Teresa’s story, “The Visitor’s Secret,” shares the priceless, unforgettable lesson her mother taught about confidentiality when she was a kindergartener. “My mom,” she says, “was the kind of person others sought out when they needed a listening ear and a zipped lip. Her words and example showed me how — and why — to guard others’ secrets as if they were my own.”
Although the events of her story happened in Kansas, where Teresa’s family lived for two years, her roots are here. “My mom’s parents moved onto Carl Terrace in the late ’50s, following my great-grandparents who lived just outside of what is now College Park. My parents bought their house here in ’74 and my husband and I bought ours in ’96.”
She adds, “When I was young I thought it odd that Mom and Dad often expressed how happy they were living so near church, schools, grocery and drug stores, and my grandparents. As an adult I understand why they loved College Park.”
A member of the Florida Writers Association, in 2011 Teresa alluded to another benefit of 32804 life in “The Inevitable,” a short story selected for publication in “FWA Collection Volume Three — Let’s Talk.” In this seemingly serious yet light-hearted story, one of her characters speaks to the reliability of car maintenance and repairs by “Bob,” referring to Bob Patterson’s College Park Sunoco.
About her published stories, Teresa says: “I’ve been excited, honored, and humbled each time I’ve gotten a ‘Congratulations, you’ve been selected’ email for my FWA submissions — three years in a row. When Chicken Soup told me I’d made the final cut I was beyond excited, beyond ecstatic. I walked around with a silly grin for weeks, but I didn’t tell anyone outside my immediate family until the contract was signed. Then I could no longer keep my own secret!”
“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids” is available through Barnes and Noble and other major book retail stores, as well as through Amazon.com, beginning October 29. (Some proceeds benefit the charity A World Fit for Kids! To learn more, visit www.worldfitforkids.org.)
Visit Teresa’s blog (“What to Say When Someone …”) at TealAshes.com or email her at writeTLBruce@gmail.com.