Catch Eileen Doyon on the #PirateBroadcast
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Russ Johns 0:01
Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Yes, we are having the pirate broadcast today. It is a holiday for some people, but we are here regardless of holidays, days off, and events and everything. So it's all about today. It is all about storytelling and how we craft our stories in our lives. How events in our lives can craft our stories. I think that along the way, we kind of have these things that happen for us. Then we, all of a sudden, have these things that we can talk about and share. These shared experiences become who we are and what we become, as well. So, today, we have Eileen and we are going to be talking about stories, crafting stories. She's an author, a storyteller, and just an overall awesome pirate. You're a pirate now, Eileen, how are you doing?
Eileen Doyon 1:23
Oh, I know. Thank you very much. I'm honored and excited to be here. Thank you so much, Russ.
Russ Johns 1:28
Well, it's amazing to me to think that the #piratebroadcast has been going on for nearly a year, five days a week, every morning, just like clockwork. I think that it's really about the individuals that join in and I really love highlighting people that are doing something interesting, and I'm passionate about storytelling. It's not necessarily the first thing I go to by default when I think about creating; however, I do love and enjoy it. I want to talk to you a little bit about how you got into storytelling. I know there's a backstory there and how you crafted your journey. What prompted you to become more involved in storytelling? Walk us through that journey. Let's find out a little bit more about Eileen.
Eileen Doyon 2:28
Sure, thank you. Well, I'll speed up my story a little bit. In the 80s, I lost my mom and my brother within four months apart, just starting out in my career, devastated but, one teaches you how to handle that. It wasn't out in the open like it is now, with helpful information like yourself and other things on the internet. So what did I do at that time? I just dove into my career. I worked all the time. I was very successful in the career that I had started. I was the only girl in the family and the youngest. I was Daddy's little girl, I loved my father dearly. I'll probably shed a tear or two but loved him more than anything else. We're two peas in a pod. So my dad ended up passing away in 2011 of lung cancer, and it was horrific. If anyone has lost someone to cancer or whatever, it is horrendous, tore my heart, right out of my body. At that time in my life, I didn't know how to handle it. I knew I was in a dark place. My husband knew I was in a dark place. So I Googled it and Google said to journal and I know that you had spoken previously to one of your guests last week in regards to journaling and how important it was. So I did that for two weeks. Because of my personality, I said, well, this is not working. I'm not cured.
Russ Johns 3:53
It's not instant gratification. That's probably my problem.
Eileen Doyon 4:01
I said to Danny, my father was a veteran, he was a marine who fought in Iwa Jima when he was 17 years old. His boots hit the shores of Iwa Jima. I never knew about my dad in the war because they never talked about that, the greatest generation. I wish I knew. Three months before he died, I found out that he was an in Iwa Jima 31 days out of 36. My heart was just devastated. My husband and I do a lot with veterans today, as much as we can. So I said to my husband, I'm gonna write a book about my father. We'll dedicate it to the veterans and I looked at him and I said, no one's gonna read it, but me and you, right? He said, that's right. So I did some other things. I said, what if I feel like there's other people that must feel like this, Russ. They have stories to share about their dads. So I reached out to people that I went to high school with because our dads all fought in World War II and they said, Oh, my God, it's great idea. So I put a book together and never intended it to go any further than that. My uncle passed away of lung cancer about six months later and I inherited my grandmother chandelier. Anyways, make a long story short, I said if I this chandelier is so important to me, because it reminds me...brings back memories and stories of growing up as kids in the holidays. So I said to Danny, I'm going to do two books instead of one and he said, that's great. The feedback and everything I got from doing these two books, I said to my husband, I think I have something here. So I came up with Unforgettable Faces and Stories as my title for my books because I wanted it to have a vanilla umbrella, if you will, so I could tell all kinds of stories. So thus, Unforgettable faces and stories was born. And probably a few weeks before my book came out about dad's, daughters, and dedications, I received a small package in the mail. My cousin had cleaned out the family home and found my dad's dog tags and a medal. I knew that was a sign that I was doing the right thing. That was my journey. I look for signs because I'm a true believer that we have signs all through our life. We just have to be open to see that.
Russ Johns 6:21
Yeah, we have to understand that there are things in our lives that are there to teach us. There are things that are there to guide us, a lot of our longer journey. So you found the backpack and you've already kind of formulated two books in this journey. Underneath the heading of is it Unforgettable?
Eileen Doyon 6:48
Faces and Stories.
Russ Johns 6:49
Faces and stories. I just want to make sure that I get it right. So you could continue that story further and further?
Eileen Doyon 7:00
Correct. I've done eight books under that title so far. It's been awesome because it gives other people an opportunity to tell their story about a particular theme. And two of my books, Pet Tales and Letters to Heaven, we're on Amazon's bestsellers. For the books, I went through a self publisher, and then the four of them, four through eight, I did on my own. I like to have more control, if you will. I learned from the inside things that I, wished I could have done differently when I first started, but at least I took a step to do things and...
Russ Johns 7:40
I think that's called experience.
Eileen Doyon 7:45
Wisdom, wisdom, wisdom
Russ Johns 7:47
Wisdom. I love this idea. Not everybody has the fortitude or the patience to write a book. It's a journey in itself. I've published. I've been an Amazon best seller. I've gone through that journey. I know that there are probably several other books in my head that could come out and it does take time, it does take effort. So I guess my thought process is where does this journey take you next? Is it just continuing to write these books and pour out this information to share these gifts that people have brought to the world and that present that they've delivered to their loved ones?
Eileen Doyon 8:42
Great question. That's the question that I asked myself as I was moving forward. I was coming out with my eight book, Patriots of Courage: Tributes to First Responders, and love LinkedIn. I've met so many people within LinkedIn and a lot of them I would reach out to them and ask them if they would want to do a story. The people that I met doing this book was just incredible. That was in 2018 and I started to say, I think I'm being...what's the word I want to use? I think I'm being prepared for my real mission. I didn't know what it was. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, right after my book came out. So I said, I'm going to take a little break for a year because I was doing a book a year. And my husband actually, because of his personal situation, he ended up coming out with a premix cocktail drink that's in the New Hampshire outlet stores. I only say that to say, okay, well, I'm going to help him now with his things with social media because I'm also self taught with that and that's such a huge piece of business success. I was going through my Facebook feed one time and this was in the beginning of 2019. I had Christy Gardner who is an army vet. She's a double amputee. She had written about her service dog in one of my books, my fourth book, Pet Tales. That was in 2014, but I stayed in touch with her. Throughout the years. My husband and I, she plays sled hockey. My husband and I have gone to several of her sled hockey games, and very inspirational. I saw a Facebook feed that Steve Hartman, On the Road series did talk to her. It's a little over three minutes and I cried and I cried and I cried. It talked about how she took she took a puppy that was born with a defective paw, front paw, that didn't know what the fate was going to be. And didn't know what the breeder was going to do when she said, that puppie is like me, I want to give that puppy a chance to do something with his life because...I had to learn to walk and prostate legs with my life, and I got in touch with her and said, hey, Christy, I'd love to do a children's book about you. What do you think? And she said, sure. I've never done a children's book before in my life. I had no idea what to do, how to do it and I put it out there because sometimes they say you speak it, you do it. I'm going to do a book and I wanted my mission to be to help Christie get make money to help other service people. She does trains puppies for veterans and first responders and Lucky, was her puppy number 10 that she's done. It's been an incredible journey. Of course, the book comes out in March when COVID hit, and that was a huge experience in itself. We had found out at the same time, my husband had Lymphoma and so we were doing those all at the same time. He's doing fabulous now, by the way. It's very good. So there were a lot of things going on in life, but this gave me direction, and it's going to help so many people. Like I said, this is kind of a dedication to my dad. I wanted to do something that would fill in a void with him that he could be proud of me for what I've done. It's veteran oriented, and helping people and it's about puppies. So, that is what I'm doing and I do have a long term goal that I'm looking to do. I want to do an animated film about the book.
Russ Johns 12:49
Well, that's a beautiful process. I know that, tying those topics together are heartfelt and they make such an impact on so many of us. I recently lost my father and he was in the Korean War and he used to tell stories all the time. I always anticipated that I'd share those stories on occasion and it's really heartwarming to know that once we get to our experiences, when we can articulate those experiences, there's always a story involved. There are things that people have done, that we will never know about because they haven't been to the place where you are and been able to extract those stories from the individuals that you're connected with. One of the things that I want to do with the #piratebroadcast is expand that opportunity for people to share their journey, their story, and why they're doing it and what's taking place in their world just like this and hat's off and applause and gratitude for your efforts and what you're doing here because I know that even a small impact makes a huge difference in the big scheme of things. I know that there are so many people that can be impacted by what you're doing: pet lovers, kids, service people, people in the military, first responders, all of the individuals that are involved or are going to benefit from some element in your story. I want to shift gears and talk a little bit about the structure and how you approach the story. Because that's the story arc and some of the elements in telling someone's journey in real life is not the same as writing a Disney movie, where it's fantasy and you don't always have the hero and the villain. You have challenges and you have these conflicts and things like that. So how do you craft the story? What's the process you go through in order to develop these stories to the point where they get on the page?
Eileen Doyon 15:18
Sure. In my previous books, what I did is I took a common thread, one of it was, the second my life changed forever. Our life can change in a second. It can change in a positive or a negative. That's the other good thing that I love because each person I would reach out to, someone that something struck me by what they posted on LinkedIn or Facebook, I actually started getting a lot of referrals. I have people from six different countries that have written in my book, but something struck me, so I would ask them and I would leave that up to them Russ, whether that story is a positive or a negative, because we've all had those things in life that have affected us. So I give them an itinerary of what to do, but I really want it to come from their heart, I really want them to tell their story because they know it best. I don't do very much tweaking at all, just a little bit in the grammar or because, not even the editing, because sometimes when you're trying to tell a story, you have to tell it a certain way, in that person's voice. I get photographs from them that go along with the story and then I work on putting them together. I had used Amazon to do my books and put that together and then I participate and tell a story in each of my books, except for my most recent one, Patriot of Courage. So I'm not sure if you wanted to go over that piece or with the children's book that I just did, but but previously... and the people that I have met and the stories, Russ, that people have shared with me, have been incredible. I have everyday people, and I have people that have high credibility. So I am honored to have that. All of those people in the books, we all learn from each other. We all learn something from each other's experience because that's what life is all about.
Russ Johns 17:32
That is what life is all about. I want to share a little bit about some of the people that are here in the in the pirate community. Shout out to them. Jennifer is here. Good morning. She's an awesome individual that does knitting. Sheri Sainte Marie, way to be here today with a great topic of storytelling. Thank you so much, Sherry. Appreciate you. Hiett, good morning. Happy Labor Day! Happy Labor Day to you, as well. Hiett, I know that you and Rob have been connected and are having conversations. Kenyatta, good morning pirates, #RussJohns and Eileen, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Sarathi, Namaste to all on this the happy evening/morning to all, Russ and Eileen. Thank you so much. Kevin Dieter says, Kenyatta, what a fantastic last name! So fantastic.
Eileen Doyon 18:31
Jennifer actually wrote in my one of my books, a couple of my books, the first person that you talked about, Jennifer. I've met and I'm friends with so many people throughout the years. Good morning, Jennifer.
Russ Johns 18:44
Yes, so I know that you're probably connected to some of the pirates here and they're all good people and it's really fantastic. Let's talk about the the first responder a little bit. The book that you're writing about the the first responders is because 911 is right around the corner. I'm not sure if everybody can relate to that. But I think that most people can. Many people can because it changed a lot of things we're doing today. I was a first responder. I used to be a firefighter and EMT at one point in my scattered career. I wasn't in the military, but I was a first responder and it means a lot to be able to assist people and help people in that capacity. I just want to make sure that everybody remembers that. We have to remember what it's like to be in an emergency, have a crisis and have people that help because we just recently this year, the hurricanes and things that devastated Louisiana. It's tragic and I just wanted to make sure that we honor the individuals that are out there helping, lifting the water, carrying the supplies and everything else that goes along with that. So maybe we could dive into that. Then then we wrap up with the stories about the kids, as well.
Eileen Doyon 20:27
Sure. Patriots of Courage, it was incredible because I do have a lot of stories about firefighters, actually. Police. People that I approached, Russ, they were so appreciative because they don't really have an opportunity to talk about their loved ones. In a book, in a story, they have their stories in their mind and it's not something that you just carry on in a casual conversation, unless someone asks you about it, like yourself. I get it and, to be with people who have lost their husbands, have lost loved ones, wives, sisters. People that are so proud to be a third generation police officer. The heart that these people have, the soul that they have, the commitment to the brotherhood, the sisterhood, and to have one person say, thank you. I am amazed... everyone that I could see that is a first responder or a veteran, my husband and I go up and say thank you for your service. Thank you for your service. We all need to do more of that. The responses I get are incredible. I have gentlemen that fought in the Korean War, tears come to their eyes. I'm in a grocery store and I thank them and no one's ever done that before. Officers now that I come in contact with, thank you for your service. Thank you for what you're doing firefighters because my mom and I were in a fire and and she was burnt pretty bad. So you recall things that people, that firefighters did or medical people did, because they were there on the frontlines for you. They're fighting on the frontline. It's amazing. It's amazing.
Russ Johns 22:38
There are a lot of people that are still on the frontlines right now. We're living in kind of a challenging time in history, and a lot of change taking place. I think, really, more than any other time I can remember or recall, is resiliency is the power that brings most effectiveness to your day. Just make sure that you have an opportunity to reflect on what is going on and how much gratitude we have for the things we we have around us and be ready to be flexible and in our future because we don't know what it looks like, around the corner. I think that those people that are putting themselves out there every single day, I mean, the police officers and the first responders and the medical teams that are in there, it's just amazing. If you've ever spent any time in an ER, thank those people because they work tirelessly and they work on so many different things back to back, time after time. It's just so impressive to watch at times because I don't think we can appreciate some of the things they have to go through in order to accomplish their job. So, yes, it's nice to get somebody to walk up and say thank you for your efforts.
Eileen Doyon 24:10
Russ Johns 24:11
So, on the kids, that's a completely different side of the equation. I think it's really challenging to talk about first responders in one chapter, and then jump over to a children's book. That's a completely different approach in the way we we tell a story, what we articulate and the ideas that we have to formulate in this story. So how do you shift that far? In in the way the book is structured?
Eileen Doyon 24:43
Well, my book is based on a true story. So, that is easy for me and I've seen it. I know Christy, personally. Actually, we're having our first book signing next weekend on the 12th.
Russ Johns 24:56
Eileen Doyon 24:57
I'm very excited, it's outside, social distancing masks required, very excited. I think when I was looking for my true mission, what am I? What am I being exposed to do? I think that this encompasses everything. I think because Christy, herself, is so inspiring, She was in a very dark place, suicide oriented. That trend from World War II came up to her at one of the veteran facilities and talked her into looking into sled hockey. So he took 10 minutes of his time to talk to her and say thank you for your service. Life isn't over, life can go on. You've got a hiccup, but you can get through it. And she did. She is inspirational for other veterans that are disabled or even people, first responders that have a situation. Sometimes scars aren't visible scars. Sometimes they are inside and non visible. She understands that and there are so many people that follow her and that have a following. It was very easy to shift over because my mission that I saw in front of me is so strong.
Russ Johns 26:31
It's almost like it's pulling you forward and it's like this compelling thing. For me, it's the #piratebroadcast. This is the mission I have. I should have, could have, would have been gone many times in my life. I'm here for a reason and it's like being able to highlight and tell stories, and shine the light on other people along their journey. I understand and appreciate how you can feel and, in telling these stories, it's so important for us to get that out and share that information because there's so many people out there that deserve and need a little bit of recognition just to get through whatever they're processing, what their goals are and their mission in life.
Eileen Doyon 27:26
I don't know if you're familiar with sled hockey or not. But what they do is you're actually like in this little bucket and it has an edge on it, a blade on it. And wow, some of them have missing limbs and they're out there and they have teamwork. They have a mission, they have a purpose. To see all that and to feel all that when you go to a game, and I just want it to be exposed more so that people out there, we need to be cheerleaders for them. We need to be able to offer that to other veterans. Christy is our captain of the US warriors. They play internationally. She was training for Tokyo Olympics when COVID hit. They had chosen her to go out. She was being trained in California and ready to go to Tokyo, but then everything hit and yeah, but just to give others an opportunity. That is strong and I am being pulled towards that. That's good verbiage.
Russ Johns 28:32
I just really appreciate what you're doing. I'm a fan of storytelling in many capacities. Intentionally, I'm drawn to one and then, intentionally, I go after people because it's an art and a craft that we can continue to improve and help others tell their story and articulate their journey. I think it's an important part of who we are and what we're doing. It's in our DNA. So, I just applaud you for your efforts. Thank you for your enthusiasm and assistance in this journey for others along their way. So, thank you.
Eileen Doyon 28:32
Russ Johns 28:34
I appreciate that. So, I know it's Labor Day and it's Labor Day weekend and I truly appreciate that you took the time to jump on the #piratebroadcast here today and share a little bit about the stories. Jennifer's here. She says, thank you for the first responders. She says, congratulations on the book. Thank you veterans. She's a shining light. I know she's a bright star in the universe here. Martin says, good morning pirates. It's a great day. And then Jennifer says, I love you so much, Eileen, Tawnya Scott, #RussJohns, Rick Shearman, Libby Joyce, Elizabeth Joyce, and just so many people out there, thank you all for the mentorship. I know that speaks volumes, Eileen, so thank you so much for what you're doing and continue your journey about telling stories.
Eileen Doyon 30:25
Well, thank you so much. It really has been an honor Russ, thank you very much.
Russ Johns 30:31
As we wrap it up, is there any any words of wisdom that you want to leave in the pirate legacy?
Eileen Doyon 30:40
Yes, someone shared this with me in a story that they wrote in my book and you have to look at pain as a gift. She used that a lot and I bought it because pain is a gift. You have to figure out how that gift is going to fit into your life, but that's what makes us shine. That's what makes us stretch, grow. Because we have to be appreciative to others and we have to feel pain to really feel with our hear. I will use that personally for me. When she said that in her story, I said, oh my God, that's the secret of life. Yeah, from pain is a gift. You have to figure out what that gift is.
Russ Johns 31:30
Yeah, I believe that.
Eileen Doyon 31:32
Yeah, we have to.
Russ Johns 31:35
Well, thank you and now that you're a pirate, join the pirate community. If you're not connected with Eileen, connect with Eileen. Reach out, tell her Russ sent you. In a personal message, so she'll know where you're coming from. Like, not a random connection, it's a pirate connection. Hopefully you can enjoy the day because as you know, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and I want you, to #enjoytheday. Thanks, I appreciate you.
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