profile

Suzy Ryan Knotz ⭐️ Author & Artist

⭐️ Celebrating Happy Gotcha Day for Jen & Rewriting Your Own Story 🎉

Published 4 days ago • 9 min read

June 8, 2024

Happy Gotcha Day for Jen!

One year ago today this itty bitty big black dog walked into my life

So, it's been a hot minute, but I dove into a project in January I can't wait to share with y'all - especially since I realized what today is and want to ask you to join me in wishing a one-year Happy Gotcha Day to my super precious Itty Bitty Big Black Dog Jen!!!!

One year ago today my angel boys pooled together to send this tiny snuggler my way. Every one of my cats were bigger, and even Nemo as a puppy was bigger than this 8 pound cuddlebug.

She has definitely helped me realize it was high time to move into this next phase of my life applying my creativity in a way that feels very serendipitous that I'm channeling into the telling of uplifting stories in my Dog Cove Chronicles series of novels about transformation with sweet romance and feel good stories of humans and the pets who love them.

The funny thing about that to me is that I've been writing or telling stories since at least third grade. Writing has been a forte of mine for as long as I can remember, and I've mainly used it for nonfiction - or so I thought.

In school, reciting facts is boring, so you weave them into a story to either persuade toward whatever the goal of the essay assignment was, and it came easily to me. Working with the public face to face for so many years, I'd use that superpower to help reframe something that a person would share as bumming them out into a positive.

The nickname Suzy Sunshine came from that specific story-reimagining ability to find the good in things, the positive, the light in the darkness.

I absolutely identified with that most of my life and still do.

And whether people were telling me all along I was a good story teller and I just don't recall it, I can't say.

But, in the last year, each time someone mentioned that they liked how I helped them past something by reframing it and helping them visualize a new path, it actually started sinking in.

Only 50+ years in to have that little ah-ha revelation, but better late than never, right?

In the loss counseling I did for many years without actually calling it that, I would talk to folks about "fictionalizing one's memoir" so that they could stop dwelling on the pain or trauma of the past they kept reliving and keeping fresh in their mind making them a wreck and instead create a new story, a parallel universe of sorts.


For example, depending on how long you've known me, you might have heard me share that 25-30 years ago, journaling her feelings was a thing one woman told me her therapist had her doing this but she didn't think it was helping her at all get through her stages of mourning.

So, I asked her what she was writing, and she told me it entailed how much she missed her late husband, how sad she was, and burrowing deep into the sad rabbit hole stuff. Every morning she'd start this way for the past few months because "journaling" was going to help.

Holy crap, right?

I asked her if she had any happy memories about her husband, and she looked at me like I was crazy and said yes, of course. So, me being me, I asked her why doesn't she write down the happy memories and see if that doesn't help.

Fast forward to: Yes, it helped and she and I laughed about that V8 moment a lot afterward.

Sorry, but not sorry to her therapist at the time, but duh. What we focus on is literally what we focus on. Not a big fan of rehashing your unpleasant memories constantly when there are a ton and half of happier ones you can choose, right?

Got a pet you love? Hello? Start there to put an instant smile on ya.


Where was I? Fictionalizing your memoir. Right.

After you choose to remember happy memories that really happened over the crappy ones to start feeling better in the now, we move on to fictionalizing your memoir to conquer the world as your own superhero.

The new story you create lets you have complete control over the script and a situation can be handled differently, an outcome can be reimagined, a total jerk in your life can get their comeuppance - all in the safety of one's imagination to give the one creating the new reality in their mind a sense of closure and feeling more in control over what life has handed them.

There is a lot of power in the stories we tell ourselves, something I know everyone has heard before.

There's always somebody out there claiming they're a genius who cracked the code for whatever magic trick they're peddling at the moment - for a limited time at only X price, of course.

Well, because y'all are actually on my little old mailing list and some of us have been internet chatting going back to 2020 at this point, I will give you a crash course for free because when you realize that we as animal lovers all do this already for our pets, you will hopefully get the ah-ha moment that you can do it for yourself as well - and help your loved ones do it as well.

Ready?


We hear all the time that thinking differently makes you feel differently.

How do you WANT to feel is the first question to ask.

How DO you actually feel is the next one.

What issues, conditions, circumstances, anything under the sun, things got you on the park bench you're on of feeling right now? Probably a bunch. List them out somewhere in just a few words each like you are titling the Thing because we're gonna check them off the list as they get addressed.

No details needed since you already know them and this is just to put the note down. Yes, jotting it down somewhere is an action step. Do it. Go ahead. This isn't going anywhere and will wait until you find an old notebook you're okay with tossing out when you're done with it later on.

Okay, that's the ladder and the rungs you climbed or descended to get to the DO FEEL you're at.

You likely have in your mind the faces of people integral to those moments from each of those ladder rungs. You don't have to name them. If it was a jerk, just put Jerk (or whatever more descriptive expletive) next to that list item.

Trust me, I saw Beetlejuice, too, and there's a reason we don't mention certain people's names any more. Ain't tryin' to summon those demons.

Okay, pick the one Thing on your ladder from the list that you feel the most emotion about and start with that one. Chronological order isn't important.

In a parallel or alternate universe where you are completely in charge and are the star of your own life's blockbuster movie, how would your character like to rework a circumstance or event so that you come out happy or successful over the Jerk?

What would you say that you wished you'd said or did what you wished you'd done? Guess what? You CAN do that. Right now. How would you reinvent the whole thing?

What would give you the greatest satisfaction? Revenge? Justice? Not talking about just things that were involving a Jerk's bad behavior.

If satisfaction for you means that you wish you were able to be at the bedside of someone you cared about to resolve an issue between you before they passed, then that's what you write out.

If satisfaction for you means that the glass ceiling didn't keep you from your goals and leave a bad taste in your mouth because you instead were headhunted away into a firm where you not only thrived, but won awards and got promotions and all the money you could imagine, write that.

You literally get to rewrite history with your pen, pencil, keyboard or crayon. It's YOUR story to rewrite with the happily ever after ending that YOU WISH YOU GOT to experience.

Pssssst! You know how people read novels and get into the scenes and the characters and feel like they are almost living and experiencing the fiction with them? Think of your favorite books or movies.

That is literally what your quest in this "fictionalizing your memoir" exercise is all about. You write it the way you want it to have happened. You will feel the way you wish you felt as you then read it and experience it. It's your new story of not being a victim of life, but a power-filled master storyteller.

And the experience of that is healing and cathartic, I promise you.

Pretty simple, really. The only thing you have to be willing to do is to give yourself permission to reinvent it as you choose and then spend the time to let yourself work through writing the new version.

Choice is power, something we often feel we don't have. Telling ourselves we have no choice about something is telling ourselves the wrong story. It's one of many little digs to our self esteem that wear us down.

Stop that.

Your old notebook with the new story isn't something you are going to show anybody unless you want to. But the action step of writing it down is very important. Don't have to get all literary about it. Outline is fine if that's how your mind works. You don't have to publish it ever.

But taking action and exercising your mind to describe a new alternate scenario will make a world of difference in your emotional state, which is where you are on the park bench of feeling the stuff you aren't happy about now.

Don't like something? Change it.

Going forward, you will find yourself seeing more alternates in your day to day, making choosing based on you the uniquely valuable sentient human you are more and more powerful. Because too many people live their lives reacting instead of acting by choice.

Choose to embrace your amazing, sparkly self and be the superhero in your own story.

If you have ever adopted a "used" pet, don't you go out of your way to show that sweet little furry soul the love they didn't get in their earlier life?

Why in the world would you NOT treat your own soul the same way by showing yourself that you are not a helpless pawn and can absolutely reimagine the parts you want to erase or rewrite?

It's an action step to take that will let you wrap yourself in the kind of satisfaction and safety of feeling and knowing you DO have choices because you literally rewrote your story for a happier ending the way YOU would like it to have gone.

Now, sitting on your current park bench looking back feels differently.

Does it change reality? Not factual events, no.

It DOES change how you feel seeing the alternative where you are the superhero, though. Plus, you might get new insights about past events that truly DO change your state of reality about the memory, and that is priceless.

Does the Jerk get a say or ever know you squashed them like a bug in your parallel universe? Hell, no. Knowing you were not stopped by their bad behavior because you had and owned the power to write an alternate reality showing them as the villain they are is something to make YOU feel better.

Ain't none of the Jerk's dang business. Probably a miserable yutz in the first place to make them the Jerk in your experience with them, but they can go rewrite their own dang story to get over themselves if that's the case.

If it's still feeling hard, try this: All that you've done for your adopted fur babies over the years, put yourself in your fave pet's head and have THEM rewrite your life story for you the way they wish your previous life before they adopted YOU went.

I'll leave you with that for now.

Spread your glitter generously, my friends - on yourself, too!

Suzy ⭐️🦋⭐️

P.S. - If you'd like to see "fictionalizing one's memoir" in action, I can't wait to share the end of June's publication date of Book 1 of the Dog Cove Chronicles! Dylan is long healed from what he calls the 'short sob-story' of his life's start when Kelly asks about his family and where they're from (she coming from a large family herself). His answer of he has no idea who or where they are makes Kelly uncomfortable as she doesn't want to be nosey, but he laughs and tells Kelly his is actually a Cinderella story. Watching the stars from the bow of his boat, she tells him she loves a good fairy tale, and he decides putting a new spin on his beginning would be cool and sets about re-telling it in a fun and meaningful way that the two of them decide to keep writing their fairy tale together.

⭐️🦋⭐️

It's Never too Late to Get Your Sparkle On!

If my writing is resonating with you, you're my people!

It's never too late to spread your wings and fly, butterfly!

⭐️🦋⭐️

310 Orange Street #146, Ozona, FL 34660
Unsubscribe · Preferences

Suzy Ryan Knotz ⭐️ Author & Artist

Big Black Dog Studio presents: Dog Cove Chronicles!

New end of June 2024: Sweet romance novels featuring animal lovers and happily ever afters for all in Dog Cove Chronicles! ❤️ Positive & uplifting content in your inbox! ⭐️ Putting to good use my 40 years empowering fellow animal lovers of all ages to discover their inner glitter through my signature blend of animal loving, loss & grief counseling, transformational coaching & creative programming. ⭐️

Read more from Suzy Ryan Knotz ⭐️ Author & Artist
Share this post