The Magical Guide to Bliss at the Miami Book Fair, Saturday, November 19th-Writer’s Row-Section D
Arts participation in high school:
Ms. Nocero’s turn towards a writing career was a process that unfolded over time. Always a lover of languages, in high school, she took three years of Latin with Mrs. Lacambra that gave her the solid foundation that she would need to excel. She took four years of Spanish influenced greatly by the passion of Mrs. Ojeda and Mrs. Turner, finishing up her high school career in AP Spanish, as the President of the Spanish Club and the treasurer of the Spanish Honor Society.
While she competed in both Latin and Spanish Forums each year of high school, she was awarded many sobresalientes (excellence) specifically for her theatrical performance two years in a row in La Casa de Bernarda Alba. And in the Latin Forum, she placed third in Advanced Greek Derivatives. When she was chosen to travel to Colombia, South America with A.F.S., American Field Service, during the summer prior to her Senior year, she was able to master Spanish with fluency.
As she reflects back, it was Fr. Ronald Brokaw in her 9th grade English class who gave her the confidence she needed to really take an interest in language through the literary arts. He was probably one of the greatest inspiration in her life in that he saw potential in her and encouraged her to engage in writing as a joyful exploration of personal expression with a critical eye.
Based upon her high school experience, Ms. Nocero decided to get her Bachelor of Arts at Boston College in Spanish with a concentration in Italian. She spent part of her Junior year abroad in Rome, Italy where she was surrounded by the most glorious examples of artistic expression. There, she continued an exploration of her own fundamental appreciation for the arts influenced by the greats throughout history. She returned fluent in Italian with an increased interest in other languages as well. She took classes in French and became proficient by the time she graduated. At Boston College, she focused on leading service projects that looked to make a difference with the immigrant communities in Boston, Mass.
She went on to get her Masters of Arts in International Studies at the University of Miami, with certificates in Inter-american Studies and International Security and Conflict. Gaining more experience writing seminar papers, writing became second nature.
After graduating in 1993, she started a legal career at St. Thomas University School of Law where she assisted her Law Professors with the Research and Writing of Law Review Articles. After graduation, she began to work for the Immigration and Naturalization Service with the Department of Justice. After 9/11, that agency transitioned to the Department of Homeland Security where she continued to work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement as an Assistant Chief Counsel. She gained more experience writing appellate briefs, most notably she was published in a favorable decision for DHS in Matter of Pinzon. She also established an intern program where she instructed and trained over 300 legal interns since 2001 in the practice of immigration litigation, research and writing. She received a performance award from the Federal Government for each of her 16 years of public service.
Professional Career in the Arts:
In the aftermath of the painful loss of her mother, her hero, to breast cancer in 2011, Ms. Nocero went through a very challenging period in her life; a period where grief, depression and anxiety threatened to overtake her. Instead of succumbing to the darkness, over a period of discernment for the next 4 years, she embarked on a healing journey that would lead her on a path where she rediscovered her inner light again. She read voraciously and researched a plethora of sources that offered tools to help her navigate through. She sought out experts in their fields to figure out healthy solutions to anxiety and depression. And, she learned to use writing as a daily practice and a cathartic tool to empower her life.
Instead of keeping what she learned to herself, she chose to risk being vulnerable with others by sharing her journey on a daily basis through insights of the day, something that not only saved her but also brought a message of hope and helped other women as well. In a time where many were disillusioned by what was going on in their lives and in the world, she brought and continues to bring a positive and uplifting message of possibility. As an Assistant Chief Counsel with the Department of Homeland Security, she set up a mentoring program and mentored many students that she hired, both men and women, to help guide them to live with intention and as co-creators as they embarked on their legal careers. She not only started a blog called the Sunrise to My Bliss, she also set up outreach efforts with women’s groups in the South Florida community. She organized a free five part workshop, titled Follow Your Bliss and Realize Your Dreams, in which she shared her unique perspective on self-empowerment by pursuing one’s bliss while setting goals-maximizing the potential for joy by taking care of one’s body, mind, and spirit and visualizing possibilities.
After debuting as a contestant on The Price is Right in 1991 and spinning the wheel stopping on 1$, she knew nothing was impossible. In 2014, she was called to come on down once again, this time to the stage at American Airlines arena by the queen of talk TV, Oprah Winfrey at the Live the Life You Want conference in Miami, Fl. When Oprah grabbed her arm and looked her in the eye saying it is time to live the life of your dreams, she was inspired to finish her first book The Magical Guide to Bliss.
On October 8, 2015, with the tremendous support of family and friends, The Magical Guide to Bliss was published along with the launch of S.H.I.N.E. Miami, an incredible opportunity to network with amazing people in our community. With authors and creators like Pam Grout, Amy Butler, and Janet Woods providing uplifting words of inspiration, her journey as a published author began. In December, after two incredibly successful book launches at the fabulous Neiman Marcus in Miami and at Vanbarry’s Public House in Orlando, Todd Schnick, a fellow class of ‘87 grad from Trinity Preparatory School, graciously hosted her for her first radio interview on his insightful podcast Intrepid.
In January, after she received her first review from Kirkus that praised it as a successful, progressive daily handbook about awareness, creativity, gratitude and fulfillment, she delighted in discussing her book on A to Zen radio with Simone Gers. In February, her first internationally televised interview aired on CNN Espanol in Spanish with the estimable Ismael Cala introducing her to an expanded market in the Americas. In March, she was invited to speak to the Women’s Leadership Committee led by Pamela Kohl with the Florida International Business Association (FIBA) chats introducing her approach to bliss with the business community in Miami expanding her own network.
In April, she headlined her bookstore debut with the artist Hector Prado, musician Valerie Prado and the Columbus Avenue Band, and Stela Rudd at Books & Books. It was an incredible collaboration of creativity expressed through words, music, painting, aromatherapy and sweet wine and dessert called La Dolce Vita. She was subsequently interviewed in Spanish for The Famous Touch also aired internationally on how the written word mixes with spirituality. In May, she traveled to Tampa to participate in the Oxford Exchange Book Fair where she was able to mingle with notables from the literary community.
In June, the Magical Guide to Bliss got her a personal invitation to tour the East Wing of the Obama White House with her family. In July, she participated in the American Library Association Conference in Orlando. In August, she had a great radio interview on the Pete Oshea show prior to participating and speaking in September in Tampa at the 2016 On Pointe Book Fair.
With an incredible team, once again, she chaired and presented at S.H.I.N.E. Miami 2016, Spirit.Hope.Insight.Networking.Event, in October showcasing a day filled with inspirational speakers, workshops and an opportunity to network, reunite with friends and meet new people connecting in a positive way to creatively collaborate and make a difference in our little corner of the world. This year they were able to make an impact on future generations by providing two educational scholarships called S.H.I.N.E. Ambassadors Award to two young innovative leaders in our community who have already and will continue to make a positive mark on this world. And, in November, she will end the year showcasing The Magical Guide to Bliss at the incredibly popular and exciting Miami International Book Fair alongside some of her favorite writers and personalities, Trevor Noah, Maureen Dowd and Broadway actor extraordinaire Alan Cummings.
She is currently working on her second book called My Year of Magical Thinking, the Sunrise of my Soul’s Bliss, a memoir. She is collaborating on the cover with the international artist Hector Prado. She is about to launch both her podcast called “Magical moments” and a for Youtube produced inspirational video called “Journey to Bliss: The Story of S.H.I.N.E.”. She has a webpage on http://www.megnocero.com that features her blog as well as shows upcoming events and speaking engagements. You can also see video of her Books & Books book debut, her Price is Right debut as well as her television interview on CNN Espanol and her radio interviews with Intrepid and A to Zen.
She has plans to translate The Magical Guide to Bliss for her Spanish audience this upcoming year. Her book is for sale on Amazon.com with nineteen 5 star reviews. She is on twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linked In. It is amazing looking back at her experience over the past year. She has accomplished so much while maintaining her legal job by day, taking care of her two children and continuing the writing process and promoting her book. It is for this reason that she is living her words, following her dreams, and writing all about it as her vision becomes her new reality with a career in the literary arts. It was the foundation laid during her high school years in languages and the inspiration from teachers like Fr. Brokaw that opened many doors. It is clear that an excellent education from the beginning is one of the most important tools gained and how grateful she is for an education that provided the building blocks for her success.
Awards and Recognition:
In addition to getting a personally signed letter from the Tony Award winning Lin Manuel Miranda praising her book, she received the Gold award from the Nonfiction Author’s Association, a Five Star review from Readers’ Favorites and an Honorable Mention from The Hollywood Book Festival. In addition to being featured in Kirkus Reviews, she has received excellent reviews featured in the Midwest Book Review and PW Select, a subsidiary of Publishers Weekly. Even the Senior Director of Communications, Chelsea Hettrick from the OWN Network wrote to her thanking her for sharing her continued journey in this world and for being a beacon of light and hope and positive energy to all those she interacts with. She reflected that is was a pleasure to meet people like her and it is their honor to see her flourish. Not to mention, most importantly, all the incredible emails, texts and letters she gets from those readers and now friends and followers who believe in her and invested in her book, over 1000 distributed at this time. Their words continue to inspire her as they share with her how her guide changed their lives for the better.
In addition, she also founded the Give Love Project with her children, Ava and Michael, to teach children -and adults- the importance of giving love. It sets out to teach that even at a young age, all children can make a difference in their world through small acts of love. And in all that she does, she continues the legacy of her mother who taught and empowered her that to create change, you must be the change as a collective of women and men as we all have so much to offer, it is imperative that we work together, so that we all can rise!
The Magical Guide to Bliss at the Miami Book Fair, Saturday, November 19th-Writer’s Row was originally published on Meg Nocero