WILLIAMSBURG — “I felt like I needed to tell my story,” said Carolyn Reaves. “I’ve listened to a lot of other people's stories.”
Reaves, a Williamsburg native, former middle school art teacher and University of the Cumberlands professor, recently finished her first book titled, "Who’s the Girl in the Mirror?"
Reaves has more than 45 years in the education field under her belt. She has also spent a lot of time educating herself, in fact she was the first in her family to earn a doctorate.
With chapters named "What We Did for Fun", "Choose Your Battles", "Hairdos I Will Never Forget", "Catching Chickens" and "Picking Blackberries," Reaves tells simple, relative stories of her life. The stories begin with her earliest memories as a young school girl and travel through present day.
Writing the book turned into therapy for Reaves who lost her father in August to Alzheimer’s disease.
“I thought it was time for me to tell my story,” she said. “I did that for me, just to kind of get that out.”
The book is made up of both humor and truth. You’ll likely laugh but you may cry, too.
While Reaves writes about the time she gave herself a haircut and standing with her nose in a circle at the chalkboard, she also writes about her son-in-law who committed suicide. It’s important for Reaves to add a touch of serious to her random thoughts because she feels with the high rate of individuals who are struggling, they need to know there are people who care about them.
The book is available for purchase online or in hardback. Reaves said it can be purchased on Amazon.
She admits, it wasn’t so much something for her to make money off of as it was something for her to put out there for her kids and grandkids to have to look back on.
Friends and family members have been giving her positive feedback so far, often times telling her they can’t put the book down.
One of Reaves' stories came from her dad’s brother. She said once he read the book, he told her he had many other stories to tell her. Reaves said that might be cause enough for a second book.
Reaves advises to write from the heart and add a little humor when you can, adding that it’s OK to laugh at yourself.