Beauty Everywhere: A Portable Gallery by Jolie Guillebeau

Jolie Guillebeau,

We all have stories we are born into, stories we are handed along the way, and many of them aren't easy.

But some people rise above the hard stories, some become more than the stories other people started for their lives. Jolie Guillebeau is one of these people, which makes her one of my personal heroes. I've said before that the story you are writing with your life is the most important thing about you, and the story Jolie is writing every day with her life is a story of resilience, courage and hope. I'll be honest: witnessing her do it sometimes takes my breath away.

Jolie's work, her friendship and her life are living proof for me that there is another chapter after this one, and that even the stories that others start and we are given are stories that we have the opportunity to end however we choose. That we can rise with grace and even sometimes with frailty, but in the rising is our strength. In the rising is our courage.

Now you can have a whole collection of Jolie's stories, which come alive through her words and paintings, as your daily companion as you bravely write your own.


This is a limited edition collection, signed and numbered by Jolie. When they're gone, they're gone, so order yours while you can.

BONUS: Order before next Wednesday, 5.2.12, to receive one of Jolie's 5x7 fine art prints FREE with your order.

Beauty Everywhere: A Portable Gallery by Jolie Guillebeau

*100 Daily Paintings and the stories behind them

*8.5 x 5.5", Full-color throughout  

*92 pages, Double wire bound

*Unique easel-style back allows for easy display

$45 USD, ships free worldwide

Update: Listen to Jolie's interview on the Retrospective podcast (Released 5.15.12), where she talks about rewriting the stories we've been given and her journey as an artist.

Retrospective: A New Podcast...and Maya Stein!

If all the people I know and love lived here in my neighborhood, I would host a party every Friday night so you could meet one another and hang out. You would be so inspired and happy to know each other, as I am every single day.

But we live near and far, and we will likely never be all together on a Friday night. So I'm creating this new podcast series as an attempt toward the next best thing.

It's called Retrospective, and it features in-depth conversations with artists, authors and visionaries about the places in which we find ourselves and the stories that brought us here. It's an inquiry into our experience of journey. But at the heart of it, it's an introduction between some of my favorite people in all the world.

It's coming soon to iTunes and all that jazz, but I can't wait for everything to be 'just so' because my first interview is with poet Maya Stein and it is a very time-sensitive conversation about her latest project, Type Rider. Here's the video trailer:

Yesterday I went in to meet Maya on the Highline Canal in Manhattan. She was here in town, and she's been setting up writing stations here and there, even though the official Type Rider trip doesn't launch for another few weeks. I wasn't sure how it would go over here in New York--would people be curious, or too cautious to investigate?

Just those few minutes I witnessed there, with passerby being drawn to her blue typewriter like bees to blossom and Maya conversing with them in a space of pure welcome, held so much beauty and humanity that I was all tears under my sunglasses. I wanted a video camera or some other way to capture the quality of playfulness and adventure that was as tangible as the warm sun on our cheeks. Some way to bottle it up and give it to you like the best present ever.

I do have this to offer you, though: a heart to heart chat, friend to friend, with Maya herself.

There are only a few more days to fund the Type Rider project--please help us spread the word.


Maya Stein is a poet, feral writing instructor and adventurer. She is the author of Spinning the Bottle and The Overture of an Apple. On her blog you can sign up to receive one of her original 10-line poems in your inbox every Tuesday.



Click the link below to play the episode in your browser (it may need a couple minutes to load), or right-click (or control-click) to download it into your library. I have individual files of each of the poems she reads to share with you, but it looks like I need to post those separately. Look for them to be added in the coming days (along with ways to subscribe to this new series.)

Ritual & Rhythm by Caren McLellan Gazley

Many people probably dream of someday writing a book, or have some version of that aspiration on a list somewhere. Caren McLellan Gazley has dreamed of many (other) things, but she wrote this book for one simple reason.

I asked her.

It's been my delight and honor to introduce people to Caren in retreat and workshop settings, where her no-nonsense, candid manner endears her to all. I hope to gather again many more such times in the future, but in the meantime I wanted people--near and far--to be able to hold some portion of her story and her hard-won wisdom in their hands.

Caren at a Brooklyn Patisserie in December

From leading faith-based communities to their current humanitarian work in anti-human trafficking, Caren's partnership with her husband, Phil, and their journey together have taken them all over the world. She’s cultivated tried-and-true, practical-as-your-mama’s-good-advice wisdom about how to stay sane and even thrive in the midst of passionate work, parenting, community, and even devastating loss.

"Many years ago I had a decision to make: pack up and quit, or figure out a way to maintain my energy for the long haul." --Caren in Ritual & Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self Care

In Ritual & Rhythm, Caren chronicles her self care journey, sharing her struggles, challenges, and all she's learned along the way. She reminds us that body care IS soul care, and that all we do for ourselves benefits everyone around us. Through the practical examples she shares, we learn how to craft our own daily or weekly rituals for taking care and find nourishment as our everyday living unfolds inside their rhythm.

at The Integrate Retreat in The Rockies

"When my self care journey began, what I most needed was some deliberate time apart for myself. Time that required nothing of me emotionally or mentally. Time without expectations from others. And so I created a safe place in my kitchen."--Caren in Ritual & Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self Care

Caren playing with color after dinner in Berkeley

In a world of Do More and Go Faster, and in the face of human need that can stretch like a bottomless ocean before us, this book is the permission we've been waiting for and the guidance we need to find our way into a lifestyle that goes beyond surviving, into a realm where things like thriving, sustaining and flourishing carry the day.

Special Bonus: Everyone who orders Ritual & Rhythm before next Wednesday (4/11/12) will receive a full-color printable pdf featuring four of Caren's most-requested recipes, designed by Liz Kalloch and written in Caren's own handwriting.

We are thrilled to officially release:

Ritual & Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self Care

by Caren McLellan Gazley

Photography by Andrea Corona Jenkins, Design by Liz Kalloch

Paperback, 48 pages

$28 USD, ships free worldwide

Scenarios USA: Support good work. Be a reader.

At the 2010 Scenarios USA Awards and Gala with friends Assistant Professor Jennifer Kaplan, SUSA Director of Education and Outreach Ernestine Heldring and Rob York, SUSA Director of Media Production and Distribution

Earlier this year I jumped at the invitation from my friend Ernestine to attend the Scenarios USA Awards and Gala and learn more about her work. I met teen writers and educators and talked about one of my favorite subjects: empowering young people to tell their stories in a way that impacts society and culture. The awards ceremony made me cry. I don't know anyone else who is doing work like this--using film as a vehicle for under-served teens to talk about issues that are relevant to their lives and to pioneer a new kind of education about core issues like gender and power.

In addition to their curriculum which is taught in three regions of the U.S., every year Scenarios USA hosts a writing contest for teens. The winners are joined by Hollywood filmmakers to make short films that are shown around the country--at festivals, on television and in classrooms. They need 1000 readers to give 90 minutes of their time in February to make these young writers' dreams a reality. There are still some vacancies for the 2011-2012 Selection Committee, and I invite you to join me and register before the December 31st deadline.

You can watch Life’s Poison, written by Angileece Williams in her sophomore year of high school here. Learn more about Scenarios USA and take just a minute to sign up to be a reader today.

Christine Mason Miller: Creating from a Place of Joy

Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World, photo by Christine Mason Miller

I was happy and honored to interview Christine Mason Miller about inspiration and comparison, working inside our intentions and of course, her new book, Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World. Christine is someone I respect and enjoy, and I could have talked to her all day.

Photo by Thea Coughlin



This has been nothing but a process of joy.

You can decide, I'm not going to let anxiety be a part of this.

And it's carried through every process of the book . . . every part has been about joy. Only joy. What I've learned is, you can decide. You can choose joy and step into that, and it's there waiting for us at every moment.


I picked out the juiciest parts of our conversation to share with you here. (Click the link below to listen, or right-click to download.) If you enjoy our interview, please share it.

Missing Mel

Mel and me, yesterday on the stoopIt's our farewell visit, but I can't really wrap my mind around it because it feels like every other day. Like every other day when the kids are running on pure bliss in the bedroom or snacking from a shiny silver bowl around the kitchen table, Mel and me sitting on red stools and talking of ordinary things as if they are not going to be on the other side of the world soon. She asks if I'm ready for the show tonight and I shrug, saying I haven't really rehearsed because we're playing it loose and making it up as we go on this one. She teases me a little, the way only people who really love you can. She tells me about what happened at the dentist office and we both feel that ache you get when you're worried about your little ones. I tell her I finally found a gift for my husband for Christmas.


I don't have many friendships that span all my many worlds. School/playground friends who are also artist friends who are also storytelling friends. Only this one, and I felt spoiled with it the whole time.


We're both travelers, and we know the hard parts about leaving like a recipe you've learned by heart. Maybe this is why we don't say the things that don't really need saying—like what a gift it's been to be together for this season. How nothing in the world is as good as red stools and snacks in shiny silver bowls and friendships that catch stories like What Happened at The Dentist Today.


We say, send me that picture, and, I'll email you that link. And, we'll see you soon on Skype. And when it's time to go, we go, even though it aches all the way home.