My journey with Doctor Malakoff, Cheryl that is, began with a phone call from a dear friend and colleague asking if I might be available to assist a locally based psychologist in writing a book. Having recently been relieved of duties as Editor of a national magazine and just wrapping up a collaborated screenplay with a Hollywood writer, I welcomed the opportunity. Little did I know what lay in store.
After a pleasant interview session with Cheryl and her husband in her elegant Woodinville, Washington home, I felt I’d done pretty good job of selling my skills, having presented copies of two of my previous books and about a dozen magazine articles; only to learn later that the primary reason for my being selected was based more on my numerology chart than my credentials.
The first step for my research required attending Cheryl’s two-weekend-long seminars to experience first-hand the mechanics of the self-improvement course she taught, titled “The Transformation Lessons,” a somatic and spiritual-based regimen designed to provide embodiment of body-mind-soul balance. This seemed a bit of a stretch to me, having been a trained skeptic; as are most journalists.
One month later, I found myself employing the Lesson’s techniques on a regular basis with positive results. She and I would meet weekly for two-hour interview sessions, each conducted and tape-recorded for accuracy. During each visit, she would graciously provide snacks, ranging from sushi to chocolate-covered Biscotti. What’s not to like?
Over the months that followed, the task of tracing her life’s journey leading to the Transformation Lessons proved more difficult than either of us realized at the start. Problems of intellectual property rights were raised, stalling the project as we were nearing completion. Long story short, we mutually ended the endeavor.
Several months after quitting the Lessons project, Cheryl called, inviting my wife and me to dinner at an upscale Kirkland restaurant. At the meal’s end, she asked if I would be interested in working with her again, this time a collaborative screenplay based on a story she claimed she was “given” many years earlier. Over the next hour, she laid out the elements of what was to become “Prelude”—a story I found too powerful to refuse.
The screenplay took years to complete. When finished, we shopped it around, gaining the interest of a reader at William Morris Agency in Los Angeles. While he liked the story, he advised us that it would be unlikely to gain financing required for a film, suggesting we consider recasting it as a book.
After several months of teeth-gnashing, we agreed that the story must be told, and if it required our tearing it apart and re-writing it as a full-fledged novel, so be it. The effort was immense, requiring years to complete. However, by turning it into a novel, we were free to add new elements, which have greatly enhanced the story. From Cheryl’s perspective, the Universe had a reason for the delays we had encountered; waiting for the right time for the tale to be told.
Over these years working with Cheryl, I have evolved on a personal level to totally embrace the concept of one’s soul journey from one life to the next. I now see the wisdom in the tenets of reincarnation that mirror science’s First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed. While the body breaks down, the energy of the soul must live on; a belief I found most comforting when my wife Julie Lynn Valentine left her body at the young age of 54. As I see it today, she did not just die, she graduated; with honors, I may add.
So, as you can see dear readers, I have gained immeasurably from my journey in producing the book you now hold in your hand, thanks to the patience, the persistence and the vision of my co-author Cheryl Malakoff, Ph.D. Hope you enjoyed the read and received the comfort it has given me.
Other books by the author
Other Women—the Screenplay
The Motorcycle Handbook (Fawcett Gold Metal)
The Moped Book (Simon & Schuster Pocket Books)
Everyone Plays: The Story of AYSO
Multiple Short stories
Articles (Saturday Evening Post, Essence, Multiple In-Flight magazines)
Editor: Costco Connection; Vacationer; Pasadena Business