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An important theme in Embracing Your Story is accepting your past. Facing the shame, pain, guilt, trauma, etc. that you may have experienced is necessary for growth. Alisa is often asked during her workshops "But HOW did you overcome your past?"  Her advice became the companion book, Creating Your Story which provides a blueprint for looking at your life and making changes. This personal workbook guides readers through life planning and character-building. We each have the power to build the life that we want if we are willing to do the work. 

About the Author

Books in the Embracing Your Story Series

Building the Life You Want

How a Journal Can Lead to a Book

For anyone who is interested in writing a non-fiction book about their life story, Telling Your Story will get you started.  Filled with writing activities, thought-provoking questions, and goal-setting tools, the book will help you stay on track. Planning your thoughts and ideas is made easier with this story starter journal to spark your creativity. For personal support, you are also invited to engage with Alisa's blog about her writing journey. Readers can share their stories, offer tips, and get advice from others who are attempting to tell their story.

Alisa Smedley has always enjoyed writing and telling stories. Her book Embracing Your Story is based on her childhood growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. Alisa experienced an amazing journey as she wrote her first book. Her blog shares the steps it took to go from a dream to a published work. Based on the lessons that she has learned, Alisa hosts workshops for future writers as well as community book signings. 


In her professional life, Alisa is a correctional education consultant known as Coach Smedley. Her specialty is training teachers, case managers, and librarians to work in jails and prisons. Alisa has spent over 20 years working in correctional facilities and community corrections. Her work with incarcerated men and woman prepared them for release back into society to live their next chapter. Today she travels across the country speaking at conferences and hosting training events.



Starting with my baby photo these images of my family tell our early story. My mother was fifteen when she got pregnant with me. We lived on a short street on E. 80th Street & Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. There was a dead end alley at one end of the street and a cemetery at the other end. The view from our front porch symbolized the hopelessness of our situation. 


My mom struggled to finish high school before having my little sister when she was nineteen. Her graduation from Cuyahoga Community College was the beginning of our movement toward the positive side of the number line of life!  


The pictures of my dad show him during his 15-year-incarceration and at home after his release. Read the book Embracing Your Story: How to Build a Great Life Out of Hardships to hear the rest of our journey.     - Alisa

Embracing My Family 


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