Toby Dorr
Episode 31

Episode 31

Toby Dorr: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Fierce Conversations with Toby, the show where we discover the silver lining in life’s most difficult stories. I’m your host, Toby Dorr.

Toby Dorr: Susan, thanks so much for joining me on this episode of Fierce Conversations with Toby. Before we start, can you tell me your favorite color and why?

Susan J. Godwin: All right. Hey, Toby. Um, without a doubt, green. Uh, I’m a fine artist. Oils are my favorite medium and greens go on forever.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: I see, uh, when I’m driving, for instance, I almost see as if it’s a canvas and I feel lucky to, to be

Toby Dorr: Yes, that is, I, I know when I was painting in watercolor, I would be driving and I’d look at a tree and say, now what colors would I mix to get the color of those leaves, you know, or what colors would I mix to do that cloud? Because I just think colors are so beautiful and we take them for granted sometimes, but when you look at them with an artist’s eye and you think, how would, what would I mix to create that color, it just.

Toby Dorr: makes it like a 4D world.

Susan J. Godwin: you still painting at all? Do you have

Toby Dorr: I’m not, I wish I was, I haven’t picked up painting again since I got out of prison, and I don’t know why, except that, you know, I don’t have my paint, and paint is expensive, so, and I’m pretty particular about the brand of watercolors. I like Winsor and Newton, and they’re expensive, and I just haven’t, but I keep saying I’m gonna pick it up again, and so maybe now’s the time I should.

Susan J. Godwin: I’m giving you homework. I used to

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Susan J. Godwin: That’s your homework.

Toby Dorr: Okay. All right. I accept. Yeah. Yeah. I’ll, I’ll get something done. So I loved painting with watercolor. Now I think I paint with words more, but, uh, you know, I’m still have a creative outlet, but it’s just isn’t watercolor, but I’m going to give it a shot again. So

Susan J. Godwin: Homework.

Toby Dorr: yes, homework. So, Susan, what’s the hardest decision that you’ve ever had to make?

Susan J. Godwin: You know, I’ve obviously been thinking about this. Um, When I decided to leave my first marriage,

Toby Dorr: Um, yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: Over 30 years ago, but I knew I would be changing Jesse’s life, my daughter, forever. And I had always wanted her to have the perfect childhood, as if,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: and, and doing that, and, you know, well that just crumbled for her.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, that’s tough. You know, of course, I left my first marriage too, but in a very dramatic way. Uh, so it was obvious that I wanted to leave, but even Knowing that I needed to leave did not make getting divorced easy. It’s still like a big ripping apart of your life and everything, you know, and it is a huge adjustment.

Susan J. Godwin: you know, it shouldn’t be called breaking up, because that implies a quick break. It’s more like a taffy pull.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, it is kind of like a just a stretch into a new life. Yes, that’s right. I like that. I like that visualization. So tell us about a significant event in your life that knocked you down and how did you pick yourself

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah. Uh, I, I, I write about it in my book, uh, uh, to some extent.

Toby Dorr: And let’s introduce your book here. So I’ve introduced it in the introduction, but let’s go ahead and talk. There it is in your hands. So tell us a little bit about your book. It’s called rain dodging.

Susan J. Godwin: A scholar’s romp through Britain in search of a Stuart Queen.

Toby Dorr: Wow.

Susan J. Godwin: I was lucky enough to have a term at Oxford when I was working on my second master’s through the Bread Loaf School of English. And. I was, um, introduced to Queen Mary of Modena. She was the queen consort to James II. And, um,

Toby Dorr: Was James the second Mary Stuart’s son or was James the first Mary Stuart’s son? I mean that, you know,

Susan J. Godwin: yeah, Queen Mary was, no, no, it was James I. James II was the brother of Charles II, the merry monarch. And he was Rain for three years. He was deposed and they fled to France. Um, but anyway, uh, so, um, in the studies, I came across Mary of Modena, who had a female court of writers in the late 17th century. So unusual.

Susan J. Godwin: And I wanted, I wanted to find out why, how did that come to be? So that was my quest. And, um, The book is, I think of it as a triple helix. Um, it is part royal history, royal Stuart history, with a large feminist tint to it. Memoir, irreverent memoir, and my travels through Britain. Spaces. A lot of

Toby Dorr: So you’ve got a lot of things bundled into that, uh,

Susan J. Godwin: going on, you know?

Susan J. Godwin: I, uh,

Toby Dorr: yes. Yeah. And so you talk about, uh, I, I like this. So you told me that your book was a fascinating account of the late Stuart monarchy, the progression of feminist history and the unexpected connection between the two.

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah, I don’t want to give anything away, but,

Toby Dorr: Right.

Susan J. Godwin: in my research, I find a strong connection, um, to Mary of Modena and the early, um, and early European feminism.

Toby Dorr: hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: You know, it’s so much fun when you find something you were not looking for when you are young.

Toby Dorr: yes, it is, and I love history. I just love history, and historical fiction is one of my favorite things to read. Um, and, you know, back in Renaissance Europe

Susan J. Godwin: hmm.

Toby Dorr: I mean, being a woman was kind of a handicap. There were strong women, you know, of course, Queen Elizabeth and Eleanor Ab Aquitaine, and there were some others, but they always had to fight against the men in their lives in order to have any power for themselves.

Toby Dorr: And I think we have come a long way. And so it’s interesting to me that you found a group of women writers way back then.

Susan J. Godwin: I know. I was so excited. Um, I rushed my professor with a book idea and he created a bibliography for me to pursue once I got back to the States. I did, but I, I wanted to, I needed to sense Mary’s spaces, um, to get into the book in the way that I wanted to. And so I was able to return. And yes.

Toby Dorr: Excellent. I think that’s beautiful. Yeah. And did you, did you say you went to Oxford? Did you actually physically go to England and go to Oxford?

Susan J. Godwin: Yes, I was there for a summer term in Lincoln College, one of the many colleges, and it was paradise for me.

Toby Dorr: Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: I still, I look back at it so

Toby Dorr: know,

Susan J. Godwin: go back, but you’ll

Toby Dorr: I have two master’s degrees myself. And I would just keep going and going and going if I could, because it’s, I just love it. I just love it. Uh, I was recently contacted by a current Oxford student who is doing her dissertation on women and the death penalty.

Toby Dorr: And, you know, she called to get my input to it. And I’m really excited. My name won’t be mentioned because she’s interviewing people anonymously. But. Part of my feelings and thoughts are going to be in her dissertation, which is just makes me so excited to have a voice.

Susan J. Godwin: know it’s there.

Toby Dorr: Yes. I’ll know it’s there.

Susan J. Godwin: must do a copy.

Toby Dorr: Yes. Yes. I’m definitely going to. And hopefully she’s going to be a guest on my podcast as well. We’re trying to get that worked out too. So that’ll be fun. That’ll be fun. So, uh, let’s get back to our question about the significant event in your life that knocked you down and how’d you pick yourself back up?

Susan J. Godwin: Well, I was, uh, in my mid twenties. I think I was just twenty five. And I had just ended a relationship with a young man. I’d gone to high school with him, and then hooked up with him later. And, um, in my, in my book I named him Crazy David, because I was, I was dating a normal David at the time. Anyway,

Toby Dorr: Ah,

Susan J. Godwin: Crazy David faked his death, and then he, and then he showed up at my door in the middle of the night, uh, a few weeks later, and took

Toby Dorr: and did you think he was dad?

Susan J. Godwin: I did.

Susan J. Godwin: I did. And I was, I was blaming myself. I mean, he, I had received an envelope from his family, I thought, and he was, he had definitely blamed me for everything, and I was just, uh, guilt, man. I was, I was really, I was suffering to be in the show. And it was like, it’s like he had risen from the dead and he took advantage of that.

Susan J. Godwin: Um, I hate. Yeah.

Toby Dorr: pretty tough. So, who has been your most important mentor?

Susan J. Godwin: D. DEE, without a doubt. Capital DEE. Uh, I was, I was lucky enough to return to teaching Toby, uh, after my studies. And I taught middle school English at the most wonderful school in Nashville, the University School of Nashville. And DEE was my colleague, uh, my mentor. She taught social studies and I taught, uh, English.

Susan J. Godwin: And, uh, so we were on the same team. And I panicked at the thought of her retiring. She was quite a bit older than I was. And so I tried to soak up like a sponge, her wisdom, her creativity, her perspective on learning, all of that. And so by the time she did leave, I was ready. I was ready to be, uh, the teacher she would have wanted, she’d wanted me to be.

Susan J. Godwin: I mean, she’s still here. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina. I need to go visit her, but she was definitely my mentor. Yes, indeed.

Toby Dorr: Isn’t that the best, uh, indication of the success of a mentor when the mentee is ready to stand on their own and blaze a trail?

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah, oh gosh Toby I get these lumps in my throat talking to you.

Toby Dorr: Yeah,

Susan J. Godwin: she’s special.

Toby Dorr: That’s pretty

Susan J. Godwin: Hi Dee! Yeah

Toby Dorr: Yes, that’s pretty cool So tell us about a turning point in your life that propelled you in a new direction

Susan J. Godwin: Well, when I was having all of that drama and, uh, ensuing therapy, by the way, uh, I promised myself that by the time I turned 30, I would, I would have left Cleveland. That was my goal, uh, when I was 25. And when I was 28, April got in my car and I left in the middle of a snowstorm.

Toby Dorr: Oh, wow

Susan J. Godwin: In early April, a snow storm, and I started shoveling myself out of the driveway.

Toby Dorr: Wow. Had you lived your whole life

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah, except for college, I had. You know,

Toby Dorr: Yeah, that is, that is pretty, uh, definitely pushing yourself in a new direction to just pick up and leave and go somewhere altogether new without a plan. So, yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: saw my best friend from then, who now lives in Traverse City, Michigan. And, um, You know, and we were talking about the past and, you know, of course, my moving to California and she was in San Diego, so we were able to, you know, tight. I can’t even remember why I’m bringing her up, so let’s move on.

Toby Dorr: So how did you end up in Tennessee? What pulled you to Tennessee?

Susan J. Godwin: So in California, in L. A., I was cocktail waitressing at the world famous Palomino Club, and I waited on Manuel. And he was, and still is, the designer to the stars.

Toby Dorr: wow.

Susan J. Godwin: especially every male performer in country music that you can think of he has designed for. So I fell for him. Uh, the timing was horrible. I had planned to leave L.

Susan J. Godwin: A. but he was so different and unusual and we ended up marrying. We ended up having our baby. So that was definitely a turning point. Moving, moving to California.

Toby Dorr: Oh,

Susan J. Godwin: if I had stayed in Cleveland, I don’t know, I think I’d just be living the same life. And so it was to leave, and it was hard. I left with a broken heart, in fact.

Susan J. Godwin: Uh, it was integral, and my life is completely different. And I would teach, I would tell my students as young as they were. I mean, you just never know what, you know, we would, we would, we, I would be doing the Road Not Taken with them,

Toby Dorr: Yes. Mm

Susan J. Godwin: but I would say, you never know, you know, the way you go, how it will turn out.

Susan J. Godwin: And I would tell them some stories, um, and you know, they would be sitting there listening. So it’s true, it’s really true.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, yeah, I think it is true. You know, I don’t know how I ended up outside of Washington, D. C. It was such a fluke, but

Susan J. Godwin: doors

Toby Dorr: my husband’s son was going to take a job here and we decided to all move together and share a home because We wanted to be there for the grandkids But I have been discovering over the last two years that I’ve been here what an opportunity it is for me to be right here at the head of government and and have Want to have such a voice on criminal justice reform and reentry issues and and doors are opening in those areas and it’s just It’s just beautiful.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, it’s just beautiful how I comes together.

Susan J. Godwin: Can I

Toby Dorr: Well, I I have I Have been invited to several different seminars and with different re entry groups and I actually was invited to a meeting of the re entry commission for the Washington dc metro area and Uh, there’s a lot of people in this area who are, have movements to make these big organizations that really can step in and help people re entering society and, you know, I, I, I become, they’re, they’re becoming my new network and I’ve been showing them the workbooks that I’ve created and the book that I have and the programs that I teach and it’s all just kind of coming together.

Toby Dorr: So,

Susan J. Godwin: so happy.

Toby Dorr: think I’m where I need to be.

Susan J. Godwin: your passion project. I’m so

Toby Dorr: Yes, it is.

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: certainly is. It’s amazing how doors open when you just follow where your heart takes

Susan J. Godwin: You know, whenever I hear that phrase, I think of Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music on the bed.

Toby Dorr: Oh, yes. Uh

Susan J. Godwin: my favorite things with the children.

Toby Dorr: That’s so true. That is so true. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: sun Roses.

Toby Dorr: Yes, I love that. I love the whole, the whole, uh, movie. So I think that’s beautiful. Was there ever a time you really felt imprisoned? And what did you do to liberate yourself?

Susan J. Godwin: Well, it was my, um, first marriage. Uh

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: uh. I thought if I didn’t leave, I would get cancer and die. I really

Toby Dorr: Oh, really? Wow. Just a toxic environment?

Susan J. Godwin: just, it was so unhealthy for me.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm

Susan J. Godwin: so I left and I moved into, I have, I have a picture I’m going to show you.

Toby Dorr: Okay.

Susan J. Godwin: Okay. You see that?

Toby Dorr: Oh, yeah, I see that. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: That’s what I moved into.

Toby Dorr: where was that?

Susan J. Godwin: It’s in still in, um, uh, south of Nashville, about 50 miles.

Toby Dorr: Oh, so you came straight from that marriage to Tennessee. That’s where you got called to

Susan J. Godwin: Um, I was married. We came to Tennessee together

Toby Dorr: Ah, okay. Okay.

Susan J. Godwin: and uh, I just, I was so unhappy and I didn’t, I didn’t want to hurt my daughter, you know, that’s what I didn’t want to do.

Toby Dorr: hmm. Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: I, I didn’t want to get cancer and die either. I, I was really in a

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Susan J. Godwin: stuck,

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: stuck. Yeah,

Toby Dorr: I remember when I first met him, I was just a mess because I was trying to fix all these things in my life, you know, fix my sons and fix this and fix this, and, and he said, Toby, you can’t be of any use to anybody until you fix yourself. So really that was a gift to your daughter, to leave a situation where you felt.

Toby Dorr: I’m

Susan J. Godwin: I can,

Toby Dorr: happy and,

Susan J. Godwin: thank you for that. I mean, I think I’ve been a positive role model to her.

Toby Dorr: Mm

Susan J. Godwin: In a handful of ways, but I hadn’t thought about it, about my marriage in that way. Thank you.

Toby Dorr: Well, you’ve showed her that if you’re in a situation that isn’t good for you, that it is okay to leave. And, you know, heaven forbid she’d find herself in a situation like that, but if she does, she’ll know that she doesn’t have to stay. And so many women don’t know that. So many women stay.

Susan J. Godwin: fearless, man.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Toby Dorr: That’s excellent.

Susan J. Godwin: the gift that both of her parents wanted for her. Not just

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: also.

Toby Dorr: That, yes. That’s good. That’s good. Yeah. I think that’s really important when someone divorces and they have children is that you do your best to keep the children out of the mess and let them have relationships with each parent. Yeah. It’s, it’s hard to do.

Susan J. Godwin: I had to fight myself the time I was

Toby Dorr: huh. Yes. Yes,

Susan J. Godwin: why don’t you call your father, I would say. Because he came to her much later in her adulthood. She said, Mom, I know what you were doing.

Toby Dorr: that is great. So you’re, you talk about some major themes in your book, we’ve touched on them a little bit, but I’m just going to touch on them some more and you can expand if you’d like. So we talk about feminist history, women’s struggle for intellectual freedom, 17th century Women accepting aging women acknowledging intellect and server surviving child abuse

Susan J. Godwin: Can I talk about aging for a minute?

Toby Dorr: let’s do

Susan J. Godwin: Um, I call it the age of invisibility, and, you know, it’s almost like magic. You cross over into this land of being invisible. Um, it was hard for me, um, and, you know, it, it was hard for me. So, uh, you know, and, and those of your listeners. Who are in that spot, I’m sure, can relate to that. And it’s hard, because it’s part of your identity. Or it can be part of your identity. It was mine, and uh, for good or bad. And so, uh, you know, when your looks start, I don’t want to say fading, but changing.

Toby Dorr: Changing. Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: Um. It takes some time to adjust.

Toby Dorr: Yes, that is true, especially in a society that we have today where looks are such the center of everything.

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah. You know, when you’re at the counter, um, let me see, let me think of a store. Let’s just randomly say, you’re at the perfume counter at Dillard’s. Do you have a Dillard’s? Or Macy’s? Yeah.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Macy’s. Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: nobody waits on you. That’s, that’s kind of what I’m talking

Toby Dorr: Oh, yes, I see. Now, the interesting thing is that in my life, um, I felt invisible when I was in my 20s and 30s and 40s and I feel like I found myself now in my senior years, which I am loving, you know, I mean, I’m telling you, there’s bad parts like my hands hurt all the time. I have arthritis in them and they ache and You know, stuff just doesn’t work the same way it used to, but I have found, um, freedom in my golden years, which really aren’t golden, because, you know, I can say now, you know what, I’m 65 years old.

Toby Dorr: I’m not going to do that. I don’t care. I’m just not. Uh, but I think it, you know, it’s really a, um, intentional. Acceptance, I guess. And, you know, I told my husband this morning, I wish my hair would turn all gray. What’s taking it so long?

Susan J. Godwin: Mm hmm.

Toby Dorr: of interesting but um, I think I found freedom in my older years because now I wear no makeup at all. I just, I don’t style my hair. I just wash it and let it do its curly thing and I just feel like I don’t have to live up to anybody’s standards now because I’m past that. So. You know, I’m finding it kind of liberating.

Susan J. Godwin: I turned,

Toby Dorr: So it’s interesting to hear that other people don’t.

Susan J. Godwin: well, I turned 70, uh, in October, right after my book is published.

Toby Dorr: Oh, wow. My birthday’s in October too. I’ll be 66. So we’re four

Susan J. Godwin: What’s your date? What’s your date?

Toby Dorr: The first, October

Susan J. Godwin: I’m the 26th and so I’m going to be 70 when my book is

Toby Dorr: Yeah. 70. I don’t know how I feel when I turned 70, because, you know, I keep thinking back, like. My grandma died when she was 70 and she was old and my dad died when he was 72 and somebody else died when they’re and like that gets to be the time and it’s like, ah.

Susan J. Godwin: it is happening. It is

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm

Susan J. Godwin: of a dear friend. And it just, I just found out yesterday. It’s, and you just, it just pops up everywhere. People that you know or you know. But, um, I feel so proud that I am going to be 70 when this book is published.

Toby Dorr: Yes, that’s an accomplishment for sure.

Susan J. Godwin: want other women to know, and I’m speaking to women.

Susan J. Godwin: Uh,

Toby Dorr: Yes,

Susan J. Godwin: this

Toby Dorr: and I would never have guessed you were 70. I thought you were younger than me.

Susan J. Godwin: will just look a little closer. 1953, um, I think that was the year Queen Elizabeth sent it to the throne.

Toby Dorr: Oh, really? Well, that, that fits perfectly for you.

Susan J. Godwin: My nickname is Cabbage, which it was what her Philip called.

Toby Dorr: that’s right. It is. Uh huh.

Susan J. Godwin: since college, and I love

Toby Dorr: That’s really interesting. I love that.

Susan J. Godwin: but I do need

Toby Dorr: I love

Susan J. Godwin: to know, you know, that there is, there is life after 70. I need

Toby Dorr: There is. There is. And, you know, I think I kind of changed the way I look at things now, too. I think I appreciate things more because I’m kind of starting to realize that, you know, when I see something that’s beautiful or we go somewhere that I really love, it’s like, you know, I may not have this opportunity again.

Toby Dorr: I have to start thinking about, uh, appreciating what I have on this day because we’re not promised, you know, endless number of days.

Susan J. Godwin: do that more, I think. I don’t think I do enough. I certainly, you know, see beauty, um, and love it, but I, I haven’t thought about holding on to a snapshot, per se.

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm? . Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s pretty important. And you know, I’ve come to really love poetry as I get older. And I think the beauty in poetry is what it doesn’t say. It’s the spaces between the words that you can fill in in your head, and that’s kind of how I see the world. It’s just like this place where I can see something and interpret it a certain way in my mind and make it part of my experience.

Susan J. Godwin: and you you all want to make it a better place in the in those holes like

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. That’s true. I like that, too. So, you talk about your work focuses on 17th century women,

Susan J. Godwin: Mm hmm

Toby Dorr: you compare them to 21st century women? Do we have it easier? Do we have it harder?

Susan J. Godwin: they have no rights none

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: and I Mentioned in my book. There’s a pretty famous pair of sisters the Mancini sisters who had to run away from their marriages, you know, and it it wasn’t like There was a room at the inn for, for women running away, you know, it was

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: so different back then. So, uh, I just can’t compare, really.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: don’t know,

Toby Dorr: So, you would, would you choose today?

Susan J. Godwin: yes, I don’t know that I could have survived back then. I don’t know if I had the strength.

Toby Dorr: You know, not only did they have No rights, but it was a hard life. You had to, you know, keep warm by a fire, and you had to do physical labor, and you had to, you know, children died all the time, and I think it was a difficult time to be a woman, but I think that just goes to show us the strength that women have, that they persevered on through hard times, and are now, you know, fighting for equality, and

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah,

Toby Dorr: are getting it.

Susan J. Godwin: there are women I mention in the book, um, who paved the way. Which, you know,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: interesting. Not kind of. It’s interesting

Toby Dorr: Yeah,

Susan J. Godwin: you spend all that time on it.

Toby Dorr: yeah, and your book is going to be available on Amazon and in your bookstores, correct? And you’ll have a link to it on your website, and we’ll put a link on our show notes,

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah, um, uh, bookshop. org. I love to push to plug because that way you’re supporting your local bookstore of choice. Uh,

Toby Dorr: that’s a great idea. I like that.

Susan J. Godwin: bookshop.

Toby Dorr: I’ll put a link to them in the show notes as well. So I think that’s beautiful. And I, you know, I have, I have worked with you on a couple of projects in the past two or three years. So I know some about your story, but I can’t wait to read the book. So I’m really looking forward to it.

Susan J. Godwin: And by the way, are you still designing websites? Do you still own that company? What

Toby Dorr: I don’t do a lot of them, but

Susan J. Godwin: was the name of the company? Okay.

Toby Dorr: just now it’s just through my own self, just tobydoor. com. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: Toby was wonderful, I mean, you were so wonderful to work with, because you were collaborative. I needed, I needed some

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Susan J. Godwin: control on color, and color was something that was so important to me.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, I, I love

Susan J. Godwin: you were wonderful, and I thank you for that.

Toby Dorr: well, thank you. Thank you so much. So, what’s one question you wish I’d

Susan J. Godwin: You know, I just I just approached this, um, as, as being completely open to whatever you tossed my way. So, I don’t have a feeling that you left anything out. Um, just, you know, good luck to you and thank you for everything you’ve done for me, um, present and past. So,

Toby Dorr: Yeah. And I can’t wait to see what your book does and how it goes out into the world and, and, and educates women. I’m really looking forward to that.

Susan J. Godwin: I’m anxious about it, you know, I, the release,

Toby Dorr: Yes, I can relate to that. I can definitely relate to that.

Susan J. Godwin: and advertising.

Toby Dorr: Uh huh, you know Writing a book is hard work and it takes a lot of time and I used to think when I got my book done That was it. But oh, no, it’s not because marketing the book and sharing your story and doing the author events That’s a whole different ball of

Susan J. Godwin: We met through Women in Publishing. And, um, you know, I don’t know if it’s allowed to just say, they have a summit every March. And,

Toby Dorr: Yes, absolutely. So, they have the Women in Publishing Summit. It’s a virtual summit. It’s not a physical summit, which works perfectly because women from all over the world can attend. And they have different seminars. several day seminar, three or two or three or four days, and they have different, uh, speakers that talk about different facets of publishing.

Toby Dorr: And I found it to be so, I found my publisher through that summit.

Susan J. Godwin: and you are in touch, right? With some of your cohorts? Aren’t you in a group

Toby Dorr: we have an underpod group that is just, you know, we were put together during that seminar, that conference, just randomly. And we decided we were going to click and make this work because we were all working on memoirs. And it’s been two and a half years. We still meet every week. And in fact, in two weeks, we’re getting together for our annual four day retreat.

Toby Dorr: That we all go through together

Susan J. Godwin: time?

Toby Dorr: They’re all coming here to washington dc And we’re renting a historic town home A townhouse and we’re doing some things around here But last year we went to maine and rented a big cottage on the beach So we have to consider when we put something together that It has to be a place that people can fly into easily and, you know, we had a lot of great ideas but they all would require like a three or four or five hour drive once you landed at an airport somewhere and that just doesn’t work.

Toby Dorr: So, Catherine, one of the, yeah, Catherine who’s in my, uh, our author pod, she lives on the other side of Washington D. C. from me and we get together once a month and, and help each other with our writing. And we’re kind of hosting this and we’re really excited because we put together some really fun things I think for us to do.

Toby Dorr: So we’re looking forward to it. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: Is Pat gonna be able to come with her knee or no? Is she in your?

Toby Dorr: Uh, Pat, no, Pat’s not in our group. Pat gold.

Susan J. Godwin: Cool.

Toby Dorr: that who you’re talking about?

Susan J. Godwin: I thought

Toby Dorr: Yes. No, she’s not in our group, but I do. Actually she’s on, she’s one of my podcast guests too. So I’ve interviewed her for the podcast, but yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: Now, we are in a together and I’ve, I’ve met with Pat a couple times. We’ve been able to meet.

Toby Dorr: Yes, I’ve seen that on Facebook, that you’ve gone to some of her author events, which I think is awesome.

Susan J. Godwin: all good, man. We

Toby Dorr: Yeah, she’s pretty great, but she’s coming up on another episode of my podcast, so I can’t wait to share her story too. So, is there a question you’d like to ask me?

Susan J. Godwin: Well, I would like to hear more about the activism in Washington, but I don’t know that, is there a particular question I can ask about that? Or I guess I would like you to keep updated if that’s possible.

Toby Dorr: Yes, I’ll do that. I’ll do that. And so the, the commission that I went to that I was invited to. Come to um, they meet in front of congress and talk about issues So when congress is contemplating some criminal justice bill They’re invited to come and and give a perspective from the point of view of incarcerated people.

Toby Dorr: So you know, I Am not going to join that group because I feel pulled in a little bit different way But I’m still in contact with them So if I you know something comes up like perhaps the death penalty, which I have a very strong opinion on um You know, I can still get involved when something like that So I just love the opportunities and the doors that are opening here.

Toby Dorr: So I feel like I can really make a difference

Susan J. Godwin: That is fantastic. Were you in Kansas? Was it Kansas where you were before?

Toby Dorr: Yeah, Kansas City.

Susan J. Godwin: See, now this wouldn’t have happened in Kansas.

Toby Dorr: No, it wouldn’t have. It certainly wouldn’t have. Yeah. You know, and there’s parts of me that really want to go home. You know, I miss Kansas City. I especially miss being able to watch the Chiefs football games. And, you know, yesterday they weren’t here because Baltimore’s team was playing, so they aired that game and it’s like, I just want to be home.

Toby Dorr: But, you know, I’m making some differences

Susan J. Godwin: about the Royals? Are you a baseball fan? I

Toby Dorr: I love, I like the Royals too, but I’m really a football person, but yeah, the Royals and the Chiefs, both I root for both of them, but football’s my

Susan J. Godwin: I still watch almost every Cleveland baseball game on my laptop.

Toby Dorr: Oh, yeah, I bet. Yeah. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: a, it’s

Toby Dorr: I didn’t think about trying to find them on my laptop. I’m gonna have to check into that. So

Susan J. Godwin: to MLB, go to MLB TV

Toby Dorr: Okay.

Susan J. Godwin: and you can sign up for next year. And you can watch every game.

Toby Dorr: Well, I’ll have to think about that. I’ll have to see if that might work for

Susan J. Godwin: Not too expensive.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, cool. Well, what’s one word that inspires you?

Susan J. Godwin: Oh my gosh. One word that isresilience.

Toby Dorr: Resilience. That’s a powerful word. I like that. Yeah.

Susan J. Godwin: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, resilience is a good one.

Susan J. Godwin: It’s an important word. Yeah.

Toby Dorr: dodging does when it makes its entry into the world here. Your podcast is going to air after it’s already released, but.

Toby Dorr: Uh, for those who are wondering, it’s like about a month away from being released. So we’re really excited to see that come to fruition. And, uh, what an accomplishment, you know, every time one of the women that I’ve met through different groups, I’ve joined gets their book published. It just feels like.

Toby Dorr: Almost like the birth of a child. It’s so much work and effort went into it and so many hopes and dreams and, and then here it is. And it’s, it’s just beautiful. So congratulations on your publication.

Susan J. Godwin: Toby.

Toby Dorr: You’re welcome. Thanks, Susan. We’ll talk in a little bit.

Toby Dorr: Thank you for joining me on Fierce Conversations with Toby. Your support and listening means so much to me, and I hope today’s conversation makes a difference in your world. If you would like to support this podcast, there are many ways to do so. I found these ways tend to help the most in getting our message out into the world.

Toby Dorr: Number one, subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you listen to, or watch this podcast. If you can leave a five star rating or a like on this episode on YouTube, that helps even more. And if you leave a comment or a review, that helps the most. The next way you can support Fierce Conversations with Toby is to join our Patreon at patreon.

Toby Dorr: com slash fierce conversations. All tiers come with a downloadable digital gratitude journal created by me and membership in a private Facebook group that I also lead. Most importantly, 10 percent of all proceeds from your subscription will go directly to donating my workbooks to women in prison.

Toby Dorr: Finally, sharing the link to this show with your friends, family, and anyone who wants to listen is appreciated more than I can say. Thank you again for joining me today and supporting this show by listening to it and sharing it with friends. Fierce Conversations is created and hosted by me, Toby Dorr, produced by Number 3 Productions.

Toby Dorr: The theme song that you’re hearing now, Groovin was composed and arranged by Lisa Plass. Lisa also plays the flute for the theme with Carolyn Parody on piano and Tony Ventura on bass. Find out more at tobydorr. com. This is Fierce Conversations with Toby. Escape your prison.

Verified by ExactMetrics