By Teresa Ambord

Writing business articles is my bread and butter. But writing about my family, my friends and my pets… that’s my joy. So the first time Chicken Soup for the Soul wanted to publish one of my stories I was beyond excited. I’d been published before, in books and magazines and online, but to me, Chicken Soup was the Holy Grail.

That first story was called “How I Got My Brother Mitch.” I wrote it in response to a call for submissions, for an upcoming title, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul. It told the story of how when I was a teenager, my parents opened our home to a teenage boy in need. That boy became my brother, and 45 years later, he’s still an important part of our family and a wonderful man.

Seeing that story published was exciting for me as a writer. But perhaps more important to me, it was also a way to honor my parents for being the kind of people who would reach out and change a life.

Soup Cruise

Since that first story, I’ve been blessed to have about a dozen more personal stories published in other versions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. And the money… well that’s been nice too. Several years ago I started putting that money into a travel account. And in 2013, I used some of it to take a cruise to Alaska, with my sister, Sharon.

Shortly before our cruise, I found a soup bowl that had the words “Chicken Soup” written on it, so I bought it and packed it in my suitcase. Then I had Sharon take a picture of me holding it, in our ship cabin, as a way to commemorate our Chicken Soup cruise. Now we’re saving for a cruise possibly to Nova Scotia, for me, my sister, and my bowl.

Christmas Story

This year, I am blessed again, to have a story published in Chicken Soup’s Joy of Christmas book. It tells the tale of one scary night just before Christmas, when my parents woke to find they’d been robbed of every single gift they had under the tree. That was bad enough, but then the fear grew far worse. To find out what happened, read the story, entitled “Having Mercy.”

New and accomplished writers who have stories to share should check out, and take a look at the “submit your story” section, to see what they’re currently seeking. You just might find a home for your personal story… and start saving for your own Chicken Soup cruise.