Tag Archives: memoir

Happy Spring 2021

My little Martisori treasure chest (Image courtesy of the author)


I am taking a little break from my series of blog posts and readings from my books today to honor a Moldovan tradition — Moldova is where I originally come from — and to wish you a happy Spring!


Mărțișor — A beautiful Moldova tradition

We celebrate this day by giving little signs of love and friendship to members of our families, friends, teachers, and colleagues. These small tokens are called Mărțișori (singular: Mărțișor). In the picture above, you can see my current collection. Some of them I got from my family and especially my sister — she once brought a whole bag of them for me to share and keep. The other I made myself over the years and kept one from each year’s collection as a token to remember and maybe to reproduce at another time.

Here is how Wikipedia defines Mărțișor:

Mărțișor (mərt͡siˈʃor) is a celebration at the beginning of spring, on March the 1st in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians.”

I featured this tradition in my first book, a novel based on a true story of my late father, Mihail Ichizli, The Truth About Family:

” I remembered well how we would all sit together braiding red and white threads into strings, and making little men and women or flowers from the same wool to bind to the ends of the strings. We would give these special talismans, or little Marches, to each other and the teachers on the first of March. Our teachers would have a host of Mărţişori decorating their jackets and sweaters for the whole month.”


This year’s Mărțișor project

In the past years, I created various designs for the Mărțișori I gave as little gifts to my family. This year, I tried something different and turned it into a little art project. I took a coloring block of postcards and colored only some of the fields with red color, leaving all other white. Then I added one or two Mărțișori on each card.

Here is the result:

This year’s Martisor project/art (Image courtesy of the author)


Capture your family traditions in a story

We all have these beautiful traditions from where we come from. If you ever considered writing a memoir or a fictional story based on your family’s or your own story, then I invite you to feature those traditions inside. They will add color to your creations and bring light to the whole story.


If you need help

Sometimes it can be daunting to start a project featuring your family’s or your story. A memoir can appear daunting to write. I feared writing one for many years, although the wish was significant.

A novel based on a true story might get you going. It did help me. The Truth About Family was a blessing to write; it healed many wounds and brought my mother and me even closer together.

Whatever style you choose, here are a couple of resources that can help you:


If you would like to work with me to help make your memoir or novel describing a personal to you story a reality, you can reach out to discuss how we can collaborate through one of the channels listed on my contact page.

If you are interested in checking out my experience with writing memoirs and novels based on a true story, then take a look at these:


Happy Spring

All there is to say now is to wish you Happy Spring 2021! We all need the hope the Spring seems to bring with it in these insecure times.

Here’s the little Mărțișor picture I created for my mother this year. And here it is for you!

Happy Spring and Happy Mărțișor!

Martisor, the symbol of the Spring (Image courtesy of the author)

One Minute Read from the Gameful Healing


Here is the fifth blog post in a series featuring videos on YouTube, where I read from one of my motivational books for one minute.

In this video, I read from Gameful Healing: Almost a Memoir; Not Quite a Parable (Book 2 in Gameful Life series).

I am reading the extract from chapter 28, “Perfume.”

Here it is if you want to read along, prior, or afterward.


Excerpt from the Gameful Healing

My story with perfume turned out to be very similar, but maybe a little more “ancient,” to the one with sorbitol.

I loved bragging about my sensitive nose. I wanted to have special abilities, like my father and sister, and I wanted something unique, shared by no one else in my family.

My father had incredible eyesight. Once, in Algeria, driving at night along a road with no streetlights, he stopped the car, got out, and disappeared into the darkness, returning with a black umbrella. My mom still wonders how he could have seen the black umbrella lying there, while driving past it. She often recalls this “incident” when thinking of my father’s extraordinary eyesight. We used this umbrella for many years afterwards, including after returning from Algeria to Moldova.

[A side-story: As a child, I lived in Algeria for three years. My father was a guest-lecturer in the physics of semiconductors at Annaba University in Algeria between 1979 and 1982. He died scarcely half a year after our return to Moldova. Thus Africa, and especially Algeria, have a special place in my heart because most of my memories of my father — I was between 6 and 9 years old then — were gathered there.]


The next step

If you want to find out how I support myself in healing and dealing with my multiple health conditions by turning my life into fun games, then I invite you to read Gameful Healing. It can support you on your journey of healing and well-being. Knowing that we are not alone is always helpful. To look at the book and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or this image below:

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to my page, Optimist Writer, on ko-fi for $5 a month, and besides supporting what I do, you will also get access to all my motivational books, which I share there once a month or each time a book is out. Right now, you can get access to four of my books there — one upon subscription or one-time support and three in the posts solely for subscribers. Gameful Healing will appear later this year or sooner upon explicit request from the subscribers.

I wish you a beautiful and gameful day!

How to Tell Your Story With Joy Instead of Blame

(Image by the author)

All of us had and have up and downs in our lives. And many have various health conditions, either physical, mental, or both. Some of these are hereditary, and we might want to tell our children or share with our loved ones about our experiences and feelings.

But how to do it without blaming circumstances, other people, or ourselves? Is there any way to do it without getting a very bleak, dark, and dramatic outcome?

In fact, there is. Writing a memoir is one such possibility. I recently wrote and published one to share my experience with varying and changing health conditions with my children, should they ever experience something similar in their lives. I called the book Gameful Healing: Almost a Memoir; Not Quite a Parable. It is Book 2 in the “Gameful Life” series.

I resisted writing it for some time, tried to write it as a fiction book until I realized that simply telling the truth, my truth, was enough. I could tell it without blaming anyone or anything, allowing myself to see my story through the lenses of the experience, feelings, and memories I gathered up till now. In the process, I discovered and re-experienced many beautiful, warm, and joyful moments too.

Approaching the writing process as one of my favorite games and adjusting its design so that I couldn’t wait to engage in working on the book was of big help and enormous fun.

Now, I am not afraid to write memoirs and share various bits from my life, either in long or short form, such as this little post. 😀

If you need help with putting your story into words with joy instead of drama and blame, I suggest you contact me at this address to discuss how we could work together:

E-mail: vib@optimistwriter.com

If you want to test my writing in this genre, first, check out my book Gameful Healing: Almost a Memoir; Not Quite a Parable.