Author Stays Positive, Hopeful Despite her Tragedy, Suffering

Bad things happen to everyone, but a local author who has spent her fair share of time in the valleys of life believes that without low points, we’d never appreciate the peaks.

“A lot in the book is talking about being perseverant and confident that there is a higher being that opens the window when the doors are slamming in your face,” said Worthington resident Donna Glanzman, author of The Magnificent Seven Plus One—The Art of Discovering Inspiration from Within.

“If we didn’t have anything bad in our life, we wouldn’t appreciate the positive things,” she said, adding the inspiration for the book came from a speech she gave at an Olentangy High School academic awards banquet.

“I’m a big talker and I love to tell stories,” she said.  “So I started giving speeches.  I did this speech, it did really well, and I was asked to do it a couple more times.”

The book—more than two years in the making—is Glanzman’s effort to help readers find out what’s important to them and then go after it.

The reference to The Magnificent Seven is something the 55-year-old author said relates to the popular western in which seven Americans show the residents of a Mexican village how to defend themselves against marauders.

Glanzman said much like the group of seven inspired the villagers to focus on their importance to their families and friends while learning to protect themselves, she offers seven “imperatives” that have helped her achieve fulfillment.

The Plus One refers to a higher power, and while Glanzman said a sense of spirituality is not a must to derive some benefit from her book, she said it will help readers get the most out of it.

“The whole point is, if they don’t want to believe in God, that’s OK,” Glanzman said.  “But at least they’re looking for their place in life and the best way to impact those around them.”

“The bad things do happen,” she said.  “It’s hard for people who are on the fence about their spirituality to accept that.  I think we are all built with this little bitty hole inside of us that can’t be filled with anything but a higher being.”

Learning from Loss

By recounting her own personal tragedies—including the loss of a sister to suicide and the death of her brother’s 16-year-old daughter in an automobile accident—and showing the positives that eventually came from them, Glanzman takes the reader on an introspective journey.

“I’m a tour guide and hopefully the travels that we take through these eight places will lead the reader to where they want to be in their lives,” she said.  “Basically, what I do is I lay my life out for the reader hoping that through the things I’ve been through, they can grow.

In addition to her experiences, Glanzman draws on other short stories—some from people she has known, some she has heard or read—to serve as modern-day parables.

The book maintains that opportunities for fulfillment are often right in front of us if we just take the time to recognize them.

“There’s a lot of things out there that if we’ll just ask for them or pay attention to opportunities, we can achieve so much more,” Glanzman said.

While most bookstore shelves are filled with self-help help books, Glanzman said hers is different in taking a subtle approach, allowing readers to make their own discoveries.

Road to Success

Glanzman’s successes include recognition as the reigning Mrs. All American and 2003 Ms. Ohio Senior, a career as a public relations consultant which has included work with Dan Rather, Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey, and experience as a motivational speaker.

The avid golfer and mother of three grown daughters credits her success to a strong faith and an ability to see the positives even in the most negative situations.

“My brother loves to say that I’m the only person who would dive into a large pile of horse manure because I know that there’s a pony in the bottom,” she said.

By Scott Takac, Worthington News, August 4, 2004