Fragments of Experience: Sandra Lynn Manigault

Sandra Lynn Manigault is a wife, mother, grandmother, dedicated educator, author, artist, dance enthusiast, and transformational speaker. The experiences she has had in these roles are reflected in her books.  These include The Book for Math Empowerment (1997), Fragments of a Woman’s Life - a Memoir (2000), The Children’s Book for Math Empowerment (2002), and Vanessa - a Love Story (2016).

Sandra Manigault taught mathematics at Northern Virginia Community College for twenty years, and prior to her tenure at NVCC she taught in Fairfax County Schools, and community college and public school in New York.   Her groundbreaking book, The Book for Math Empowerment, an unusual approach to alleviating math anxiety, was conceived after she attended a transformational teacher’s conference in Vail, Colorado.  Originally designed to assist her students at NVCC who were struggling, it was expanded to empower adults returning to college, parents, and teachers.

Her approach to teaching was to show students how math is structured, the unique role that vocabulary plays in comprehension, the necessity of memorizing sequential processes, and of believing in one’s inherent abilities.  With this in mind her book begins with affirmations, which she believes are critical for having a positive mindset about the subject of math as well as oneself.  With the right mindset Manigault believes students can do anything they put to their minds.

The Children's Book for Math Empowerment was written to empower a younger generation of potential scholars and designed for children in grades five through nine.  Used properly it can transform young minds while helping them understand how a teacher thinks as well as how to maximize their own potential.

In a creative writing class Sandra’s unique memoir Fragments of a Woman’s Life was born.  It is written thematically as opposed to chronologically, and is a collection of personal essays. Whereas many memoirs are somewhat autobiographical in style, Sandra’s is a collection of moments and memories and focuses on family, work, writing, and poignant observations about life.  In two unique essays she describes how it felt to observe segregated beaches and communities as a nine year-old visiting North Carolina, along with the pride she felt while listening to her father sing in a choir in the same town forty years later.

Sandra, in Fragments…, candidly reflects upon her own children several times, most memorably in reflections about her son as he was studying for his Ph.D., and in a letter to her daughter as she was performing in college. She closes Fragments of a Woman’s Life with essays about the creative process and a sermon she delivered in her father’s church many years ago.

In 2016, Sandra took the plunge and published her first novel VANESSA - a Love Story.  This work is exemplary of excellent women’s fiction, and in spite of its title is not the typical romance novel.  Although Sandra has thoroughly embraced the novel as a genre she enjoys, creating fiction has proven to be a much different experience.  If she were totally candid she would say that writing fiction is a journey of trust: One must allow oneself to be guided differently when producing fiction.  She produces her fiction linearly, which is not the process she used for her non-fiction works.

Although Sandra’s career started with the study of music in New York City at the acclaimed High School of Music and Art, and after a stellar teaching career, she now writes books, she is not finished.  Her fifth book and second novel is in process.  To learn more about Sandra Manigault visit her website and blog, sandralynnlegacies.com.  Her books are also here at your local library.