Cancellation still leaves authors with reason to smile

"Global Woman Summit" "Choosing to Smile" Chilliwack Washington

A cancelled conference turned into a serendipitous weekend for Choosing to Smile authors.

Last week Glenda Standeven and Michelle Rickaby headed to Washington, D.C. for the Global Woman Summit where they were up for the 2011 Woman of Courage award.

The conference, however, had been cancelled after the authors had already arrived due to security issues.

“We were disappointed it had been cancelled, but being true to Choosing to Smile, we thought we’d make the best of it,” said Standeven.

Did they ever.

While touring the Smithsonian, they introduced themselves to the Capital police officer on duty. In conversation, they mentioned that their conference had been cancelled.

“Well, he told us that he thought we should have a very special tour of the Capital and that if we came back at 10 a.m. on Monday, he would give us that tour,” said Standeven, who at first was skeptical.”

“But he was there the next morning. We got a private tour through the senate. We were out on the senate floor where nobody goes except senators – we were just feet away from where the vice-president sits.”

And because it was Columbus Day, they were also able to tour the Jefferson Library, which is only open to the public two days of the year.

There, Standeven asked the librarian how they could get their book on the stacks. The librarian informed her that the Jefferson Library was full, but that Choosing to Smile sounded perfect for the Library of Congress.

“Two of our books are now in the Library of Congress,” said Standeven. “That would never have happened had the conference not been cancelled.”

Despite the conference being cancelled, the event’s organizers still held a meet and greet, as several people had arrived in D.C., like Standeven and Rickaby, prior to receiving notice of the summit’s cancellation.

It was there they met radio personality Linda Rivero, who has a weekly show exploring feminine energy around the world.

“She wants to interview us for a show that will air in Seattle in November,” said Standeven.

They also met a woman from Northern England who reminded them of their dear friend and co-author, Julie Houlker, who past away earlier this year.

“We felt like our little Julie was right there with us … that she had orchestrated this from the other side.”

And on top of all that, the Chilliwack authors had also won the 2011 Woman of Courage award for their book Choosing to Smile, of which they were notified of at the end of their trip.

“Julie would just be so thrilled with this award,” said Standeven.

Choosing to Smile is a self-published book about Standeven’s, Rickaby’s and Houlker’s lives with cancer. After it was published last year, it started a global movement for those who face adversity and still choose to smile.

For more information, visit the website www.choosingtosmile.com.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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