Member Spotlight by Dodie Cross
Member Spotlight on: NORMANDIE SINGH REILL
“I know a little bit about a lot of things...” After interviewing Normandie, I can attest to that statement by her. She’s been a very busy gal, recreating herself over and over. I called her for a quick summary of her life, and wound up with a novel.
Normandie was born in Chicago and moved with her family to San Diego when she was two years old. She attended Pomona Catholic Girls high school, where she took four years of journalism classes, and worked on the school paper, holding every position possible.
She then attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Journalism and Public Relations. Not enough action for this busy gal, she then switched to the Drama Department. Within a year, the department petitioned the university to make her a teaching assistant, and she soon became the director of PR. So as a sophomore, she had the position of a graduate student. She did playbills, box office, and advertising with newspapers. She was in almost every production while studying to be an actress.
Normandie also studied for the ministry, and became ordained in a metaphysical church in Los Angeles. In 1977, she moved back to San Diego to work with her father, a general contractor, builder and developer, where she supervised construction and sales, and ran her own business as an interior decorator.
In 1980, she traveled to India to meditate, and stayed for six months. While there she met and fell in love. She says she wore a sari and rode on the back of a scooter to her wedding. She has made two more trips back to India.
Recreating herself once more, Normandie took courses and received her CNA for nursing, doing hospice nursing, hospital work and private duty nursing for cancer patients. She injured her back, which ended her nursing career, then decided to go back to work with her father. In 2001, when he passed away, she took over as CEO of the corporation. When the real estate market slowed down in 2005, she sold all her properties and moved out to the desert.
Recreating herself once more, Normandie decided to go back to her writing days as a journalist. She volunteered at JFK Hospital in the Auxiliary Department, as chair of the PR Department creating a newsletter for them. She’s also been published in the Desert Sun, and a nonprofit spiritual magazine called Know Thyself
Normandie tells me she has wanted to write a novel for over ten years and finally is working toward that goal. She’s not sure how she came upon the Guild, but was so excited to find it. “I had an endorphin high the first time I attended,” she said. Her first visit was in November, and she joined in January of this year. “I’ve signed up for novel writing classes and I’m on my way.” I’m sure there’s no doubt she’ll have her novel out by this time next year, at the rate she’s going.
As a new member, Normandie met with Diana, our VP of Membership, and has graciously volunteered to be web editor for our Guild.
“One toe at a time,” she says. From what I now know about this energetic and giving lady, I’m sure she’ll have both legs in very soon.