“I began writing in a journal about five years ago to explore and express my thoughts and emotions as I considered changes in my life,” said Elarde. Slowly, bravely, she shared some of her journal entries with friends who encouraged her to share her work more broadly.
“It takes courage to let it out,” said Elarde. “The little validations I received encouraged me to expose more of my writing so my words wouldn’t remain silent.” In addition to her own journey, she writes about the transitions that people go through at pivotal points in their lives.
“The Umbrella,” a short story based on a close friend’s interaction with a homeless man in Detroit, was published in the Michigan Women's Forum and Michigan Journal in 2010.
On Monday, Nov. 25, she’ll be at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, signing copies as a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven.
Elarde submitted “A Simple Answer” to Chicken Soup for the Soul last spring and was thrilled when she received notice that her story would be included in the book.
“It is such an honor having your work published in such a familiar title like Chicken Soup for the Soul,” said Elarde. “In so many of these stories, we find our own story. When we go through difficult times it helps to feel the connection to others and a story does that.
Read some of Elarde’s work on her blog: A Star In My Hand.