Janet Gallin

I was raised in the clear air of the Hollywood Hills in the days when pregnancy tests involved the death of rabbits, before "smog" was a word, when street parking was plentiful and empty weed-filled lots dotted Wilshire Boulevard. I tell you this only to say I am no newcomer to Planet Earth. I don’t like to brag, but I do think experience is worth something. My time in San Francisco started 52 years ago with U.C. Berkeley, graduation, marriage and work as a juvenile probation officer for Alameda County. Life morphed from one stage to the next; two daughters (I wanted ten just like them but was advised not to be greedy), a stint as a fund-raiser for non-profits, single motherhood (hardly my goal, but I discovered that taking responsibility is uplifting and changes daily routine into endless adventure and infinite-loop joy) and then twenty-five years ago a lovely remarriage. I have always been hooked on the miracle of both spoken and written communication and a sucker for clarity. And, I lean toward the bright side of any story. So my course finally became clear. Writing that reflects a life in its truest light; the good, the bad, the funny, the sad and always the hopeful. I have for the past 24 years written personal and family histories most often in verse form (harder to write but easier to digest) to put the thoughts and feelings of others onto paper, written speeches, obituaries, eulogies, roasts, entertainment pieces, and guidance in writing emotionally difficult letters. But all work and no play makes Janet a dull cookie, so there is dancing (clogging - American percussive), playing the violin (badly but con brio), cooking, entertaining, reading, friends, family and my two heaven-sent daughters who have by example taught me most of what I know about life. I hope I have taught them half as much. For the past many years, I have hosted a radio talk show called Love Letters Live and have written a column for the Examiner.com by the same title. The joy of letting others shine is incomparable. I am very grateful that I have been able to translate this into a life's work.

http://www.lovelettersquad.com/

Articles:

Condolence Letter on the Death of a Pet, 24 Sep 2013

The Eulogy as Love Letter, 20 Feb 2013

The Magic of a Love Letter to the Dying, 06 Feb 2013

Losing a Friend, Finding Her Son Years Later, 05 Jul 2012

After Husband’s Suicide, Joy of Living Eventually Returns, 05 May 2012