Elise Crawford was born on a cold and wet November day in the Motor City the year U. S. troops were sent to prevent the South Vietnamese government from collapsing, during election week the year the Voting Rights Act was signed into congress, the year Kellogg’s introduced Pop Tarts, and the year that the first close up photographs of Mars were taken. Elise moved with her mother and younger sister, Jenny, to Seattle in 1968. Although not formally educated as a writer, Elise has been writing creative fiction since she was eight years old. Elise holds several Associate of Arts degrees; one in Liberal Arts, two in Social Sciences, and one Technical. Throughout her college education she maintained her membership with the Phi Theta Kappa honor society while raising her two children single-highhandedly and working on the college campus part-time teaching college level English to fellow ESL students. Read more . .
Elise and Roberto reside in western Washington with their cats Lucky, Martin and Foxy. Their CEDAR-AL business continues to flourish and prosper. Her son Dale is retired from the United States Navy; he currently works part time as an ISO certified Vibration Analyst with a balancing service company and is studying for an Engineering degree. Dale’s son, her grandson, Corbin is just a little over a year old and cute as a button. Her daughter Lexi works fulltime in a local bank. Elise’s partial memoir, A Promise Kept, was her first book. Elise is currently writing the first half of her memoir to combine with her first book as a completed autobiography. In addition, she has the framework to begin writing a based on a true story novel, embellished with a fictitious flair.
On a personal note: In June of 1998 I was the first in my family to graduate from college, mind you I had two small children, didn’t drive, and lived just within the poverty level, without family support nor qualifiable for any assistance. Shortly after graduating from college, I landed my first job, learned to drive, bought a car, and gave the green light to a man who had asked for my hand five years before. I had everything I ever wanted. So blindly happy I threw caution to the wind and moved with my children in with my betrothed.
Within just a few months my reality crashed to the ground, the love of my life was murdered by a passenger on his bus, the day after Thanksgiving, 1998. It was all so unfathomable that I could not wrap my head around the fact that he was gone, not until seven years after the fact. We lost everything. Widowed, alone, and homeless I had to start all over again.
I came to terms with my grief through writing. As I wrote I became inspired to transform my journal into a book; a book to empower and give hope to other survivors of tragic loss. With perseverance and that mission as my driving force, I diligently stayed the course right until the very last page. It was a long road from chapter one to the last page. It was a journey that was usually solitary and the process of writing and rewriting was often long and tedious. And then I took another risk. I quit working full time to pursue my dream, October of 2005.
A friend of mine, now soul mate, who believed in my vision, gave me the reins to a small business he had just sitting around so I could support myself as I wrote. Without any formal writing or business education, I poured every ounce of my energy into the business and my book. In just under four years I taught myself how to use a computer and the necessary office software to write and to build the business, I learned about designing labels, marketing, our products are sold in over 40 Western Washington retail stores as well as 4 in Florida, and sales, how to use a cell phone, how to create the overall look for the business, learned about bookkeeping, customer service, and everything else that has to do with creating a successful business. I have also created, and recreated three times now, a website for the business that makes sales nationally and internationally.
The business has increased the profit margin well over 100% percent. With nearly every spare penny from the business, my book was published April 29th of 2009. I created a website for it as well. My book was rewarded Reader’s Choice Award Gold Medal 2010 and I was featured as Author of the Month June of the same year with the National Association of Professional Women. I am empowered by the reviews I’ve received and have learned that my story is much more than what I had intended it for and am currently creating a second edition of my book. I also am creating two additional books; both are fiction but based on true stories. I am just amazed at how far I’ve come, how much I’ve accomplished, and the power of faith. I believe I’m not only an inspiration for my own children, especially my daughter, but for other women who feel as hopeless as I once did. If my story makes a difference in at least one person’s life, then the struggles and sacrifice to get where I am today were not in vain. I am proof that life goes on after death, after children, and after 40.