Voice of the Bay

Author Linda Carvelli Shares Her Experiences to Inspire Others

Her memoir, Perfectly Negative, How I Learned to Embrace Life’s Lemons Lessons, recounts her battle with cancer


After a series of tragic life changing events, including three family deaths, a divorce, a job layoff and her own breast cancer diagnosis, East Bay resident Linda Carvelli discovered a new way of looking at the hand she had been dealt. Realizing her own emotional survival could be one of inspiration to others facing overwhelming grief and loss, she became a Board Certified Life Coach and pursued a goal to write a book resulting in her memoir, Perfectly Negative, How I Learned to Embrace Life’s Lemons Lessons.

A Cranston native who spent 20 plus years in technology business management in the finance industry, Linda received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Bentley University and a Masters in Business Administration from Bryant University. She lives in Warren with her husband Peter, step-teens Jake and Julia and dog Enzo Vino. Linda co-facilitates Sisters in Survival, a support group for cancer survivors and their caregivers. August marks her 14th year as cancer survivor. When not writing or working with her clients, Linda enjoys time with Peter out on the fairway.

Linda will be doing a book signing August 5 at the Alayne White Spa in Bristol and September 10 at Barrington Books. Perfectly Negative, How I Learned to Embrace Life’s Lemons Lessons is sold at Barrington Books, Barrington Books Retold and Amazon. Linda is available for speaking engagements and book club discussions and can be reached at Linda@LindaCarvelli.com and www.LindaCarvelli.com.

In the early ‘90s I took a course through work on how to use the Franklin Planner and we had to make a one-year, a five-year and a ten-year goal. For the ten-year goal I put down “I’m going to write a book.” Never did I imagine it was going to be a book about my life. Over the years I had taken some writing courses and workshops and I had an essay, “I Miss My Breasts,” published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey. But when I got laid off I took the year to write and it was the best thing I ever did from a healing perspective. Most days I would go to the gym, workout and shower there and immediately head to Coffee Depot with my laptop and I would write and write and write some more.

We go through things our whole lives and never really stop and look back at these things that have happened but when I did I could see the dots connected. I had terrible things happen to me and I would never diminish those things but I started to see it all differently. It pushed me towards being a life coach. I want to help people when they are going through these terrible things. I feel I now have the compassion and empathy to work with people because I have experienced it all.

I had always been a very analytical and logical thinker in my profession and because of my background in risk management in technology I was always trained to think in a pessimistic way to be prepared for the “what ifs” but here I am now telling people that you can learn from mistakes and tragedies. This book is for all ages and anyone who is overcoming obstacles. One of the reviewers said, “I thought this was going to be depressing but boy was I wrong.” This carries over into my work as a life coach seeing obstacles as opportunities. You don’t welcome these tough times but I now know I can learn from them. Why did three of my immediate family die of cancer and I am still here? I am going to be a 14 year survivor this month and I know there was a reason I was left here and that is for me to get this message out there.