Cynthia Still, VA

Critically Acclaimed Writer

Cynthia penned her first book during childhood, and she’s been writing ever since. Now a published author with Macmillan, she’s ghostwritten four memoirs and co-authored two health books—one with Dr. Seymour Diamond. Although she’s provided writing and editing for six publishers and fifteen book manuscripts, Cynthia’s first love is memoir writing. “Personal memoir is a priceless legacy,” she says, “because every life has a unique storyline worth sharing. So what’s your story?” Cynthia will help you tell it with a one-of-a-kind narrative you can share with family and friends.

As a Story Terrace writer, Cynthia interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Camping on the Beach

It was wonderful to grow up in Winter Park, Florida, with four older siblings and parents who took us fishing, boating, or camping nearly every weekend. On one of these family forays, all seven of us spent an entire week camping at Turtle Mound, just south of Daytona Beach. The area had been protected from developers and no high-rise hotels or beach-front vacation houses blemished the pristine sand dunes.

But getting to our little patch of seaside frontier wasn’t easy. After unloading our Chevy Greenbrier van on the shoulder of highway A1A, we had to lug seemingly endless loads of gear to our campsite just inside the last line of dunes. Sinking up to our ankles in the hot sand, we trudged impatiently through the searing heat. Then suddenly—through a cleft in the white hills in front of us—we caught a glimpse of brilliant blue, and a gust of cool, salt-scented air drove away our complaints.

Shirts and shorts were torn off, and flip-flops were kicked aside in a heap. Racing for the sea like wild ponies, we charged into the surf to brace ourselves against the cold force of the breakers, then belly-surfed through the foaming water again and again. When we’d finally had enough, we headed for shore and the canvas beach umbrella Dad had already set up to provide shade from the blazing sun. We let the warm sea breeze dry us as we buried our bare feet in the soft, cool sand. As the salt dried on our skin, Mom pointed out lines of pelicans sailing overhead or the curved fins of porpoises rolling beyond the breakers.

At dusk we hunted blue crabs in the shallows with flashlights, then cooked them in seawater over a driftwood fire in a big Saltine cracker can. Later, when night fell and stars bejeweled the sky above us, and the line of surf gleamed white in the moonlight, we drowsed around the campfire. We would lean, sheltered, against my mother, as she told one of her whimsical, unpredictable “Willy” stories. “Once upon a time,” she would begin, “there was a boy named Willy who refused to take a bath…” Our family fire created a cocoon of light that held back the looming darkness and the ominous, booming sound of the breaking waves just beyond our circle. I felt loved… and safe.

Get in touch today to work with Cynthia!