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Everyone has a story. Here’s mine:

Who am I?

I am Loraine R. Dégraff, a wordsmith (amongst many other things).

What do I do?

A wordsmith is really just a fancy name for a professional writer so . . . I write.

What type of writing?

All types, really. I do commercial writing, children’s story writing, self-help (and other) articles, travel guides, business guides, poems, plays . . . You name it. I am sure I can write it.

I enjoy working with words. To me, they are like pieces of a complex puzzle. When placed correctly, they exhibit an absolute and complete image. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but the right word creates a perfect picture.

How did it all begin?

In the words of Fraulein Maria of The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start); when you read you begin with A-B-C.”

That’s it. It all began with an early love for reading and writing. By the time I was in 3rd grade, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Life, however, can be a web of confusion. It has a way of becoming quite sticky, thus deterring us from our goals and aspirations.

What happened?

I lived my life and became entangled in many things. Some profitable . . . some not so profitable. I also discovered that I had a myriad of other interests.

Such as?

Such as art, photography, music, theatre, choreography, gardening, travel – just to name a few. I pursued all of these interests in some form or fashion. I also had to make some very important decisions.

Such as?

Such as . . .

  • College I attended Duke University as an undergraduate and received a B.A. in mass communications. I also attended Pratt Institute, obtaining an M.S. in communications design.
  • MarriageIn 1988, I said “yes” to Pierre-Richard Dégraff and meant it even when the preacher said “’til death do you part.”
  • ChildrenI have been blessed with 4 daughters and a son and providing their educational needs through home education has been a blessing as well as a challenge.
  • Spiritual development The decision to become a born-again Christian has added tremendous depth to my life and given me a true sense of direction and purpose. Life is still a challenge, but is no longer an endless web of confusion.

Is this where the personal development bit comes in?

You got it. At least, it sort of begins here.

When I became a born-again Believer I became intensely concerned about my own personal growth and development. One day, I heard a preacher exhort on the life of Daniel, a stalwart Old Testament figure. Daniel had an “excellent spirit.” That exhortation inspired me and continues to inspire me. I have since adopted that standard (excellence of the spirit) as a motto and challenge for my own daily living.

Upon further examination of Daniel’s life, I saw how having an “excellent spirit” opened many doors for him physically, spiritually, and even financially. (Read Daniel 6:1 – 3). I was sold.

And the writing?

After the birth of my son (2001), I felt a burning desire to dive back into my writing. (It’s embedded within me. What can I do?) I applied and was accepted into the Institute of Children’s Literature. I completed the program and received a diploma with recognition for advancement. I took other courses and studied different forms of writing. I began freelancing to satisfy the writing bug and to help supplement the family income.

Events and Discoveries

Once I really began to push my writing forward, a number of things happened . . .

  • In 2006, I discovered the power of the internet and how it could help me become a more effective and productive writer. So began my study of internet marketing.
  • In 2009, I decided to put into practice what I’d learned about internet marketing and began brainstorming about a communications site catering to the natural health field. Why natural health? You’ll have to read about that when the site goes up.
  • In 2010, I wrote The Complete Guide to Growing and Using Wheatgrass: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply — Including Easy-to-Make Recipes (Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc, 2011). This is a self-help guide for improving one’s health (and possibly wealth) using wheatgrass as a medium.
  • In 2011, I launched simplywheatgrass.com as an online promotion for the book as well as a platform for highlighting recommended wheatgrass products.
  • In 2011, the decision to create a home base for my work brought Loraine’s Place into creation at lorainedegraff.com.
  • In 2011, I decided to get involved with AWAI (American Writers and Artists, Inc.), the world’s premier authority on the training and development of top-notch copywriters. I began their Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting to further my commercial writing skills and, with the help of their Build Your Website Express Seminar Series, was able to build and officially launch writingthatspeaks.com. (This is the site I’d been brainstorming about since 2009).
  • Upon contemplating the decision to create a home base, the vision and direction of Loraine’s Place became clear a home-like interface sharing the importance of personal development for living with oneself and interacting with others.

Am I a real connoisseur?

Well, that depends on your definition of connoisseur. I have made it my life goal to perfect the fine art of “right living” of overcoming headaches, heartaches, and hardships in the process and helping others do the same. It’s a heartfelt endeavor that calls for tremendous personal growth, delicate discrimination, and genuine compassion. I think that makes me real enough.

What’s up ahead?

Up ahead includes a plan to launch PerformtheWord.com, a showcase of Christian skits and plays and a portal to challenge believers and non-believers alike to a higher spiritual lifestyle. I would also like to dust off my children stories and get them in book form.

And after that?

Who knows? But, that’s enough about me. The important thing is that I am back to writing and I am finally moving forward one word at a time.