Linda Henderson is well known to Coastal Repertory Theatre audiences. Her rich soprano enhanced stage musicals while her warm, wry personality brightened the backstage.
She also had a gift of reinventing herself. She worked in business and made jewelry, frequently holding sales of her earrings, pendants and bracelets, from her Half Moon Bay front porch in time for the holidays.
Often she was joined by husband Chuck, who matched her in warmth and passion for the stage. Now, 17 months after Chuck passed away in May 2010, she is zestfully cherishing life, which means traveling, socializing with friends and tackling things on her to-do list - such as writing.
Henderson puts stories from her life, wisdom from experience and the desire to help others into "Living Without Fear," her new book. The 76-page paperback is self-published through Balboa Press.
The book is illustrated by Henderson's eldest granddaughter Jess Swanson, who is studying art in San Francisco.
"We all have losses in life," she said thoughtfully, citing her husband's trauma when one of their dogs died or her own process when he passed on. "You have to put your love somewhere else."
She describes the book as self-help, also including a biographical sketch of her life and quotes from well-known people. There is also a poem, "Levels of Love," by her mother, who also recently passed away.
This is not Henderson's first foray into writing. About 20 years ago she wrote a novel, "The Interview," which dealt with homelessness and, she said, also sought to reach out to help people.
"I would like to help people in their losses," she said.
This new book, she said, covers people and the many things that they love and may lose or have to compromise: parents, animals, love of life itself, of activities like traveling.
"We all have losses," she said. "How we handle it is how we will have quality of life."
Henderson's book can be obtained by emailing her at email@example.com.