What do you do when the love of your life for 25 years goes on a Harley road trip with his brothers, calls every day to check in, but then doesn’t come home? Since 2008, Claudia Wright moved to Morro Bay, published a book, and reached out to 482 new friends.
“While golfing, Jim told his brothers he was tired,” said Wright. “He was 51. He had a heart attack.” Although a successful graphic artist, his wife and family of three were unprepared financially. “I couldn’t afford the mortgage. At one point we were homeless, but together we made it. The boys had scholarships for college, but losing their dad was tough. We had to pay three years for Toby.”
Formerly in management with Starbucks of Chandler, Arizona, she was a stay-at-home mom working on a book concept. Toasted: The Perfect Toast for Every Occasion had an advance from a publisher. Memories of her grandparents’ toasts, sparked the entrepreneurial idea. Wright planned to publish traditional and custom toasts for all occasions. When her publisher was bought out, her book idea was shelved.
She doesn’t know how they got her resume, but Apple Store called. Their second offer was appealing with Jim gone. She accepted a district manager position that ultimately transferred her to Mission Viegjo, CA. She requested San Luis Obispo to be closer to her daughter in Monterey.
“I needed to jumpstart my life,” said Wright. “One night I discovered www.Meetup.com. I thought there might be others around Morro Bay wanting to hike or go to the movies. I created the group ’50 Years Plus Active Singles.’ We are 482 members with no defined structure but to show up.”
Meanwhile, rights to self-publish her book Toasted were returned. She recently had a book signing and wine tasting at Coalesce Book Store where STAX Wine Bar pour three sparkling wines and Wright demonstrated several toasts for her attending friends and readers.
Living in the heart of wine country, Wright has pitched her book to other wine bars and wineries. “It’s a pocket-sized book and I’ve included pages where wine tasters can keep notes where they’ve tasted and which wines they prefer. I’m can customize the book for the wineries or a wedding party to have guest memory books of toasts.”
Besides STAX Wine Bar and Coalesce Book Store, Opolo Winery, Central Coast Wines, and Saucelito Canyon Winery are a short list of supporters. www.toastedtoasts.com.
“My children encouraged me to follow my dream,” said Wright. “My goal is to get the book into the hands of people celebrating life. Let me share my grandmother’s Scottish toast…Cheers to life, love, money and the time to enjoy it all.”