Dreams and Schemes for a Legendary Life

Five Little Reminders to Being a Good Friend

on March 3, 2021

Female Friendships Are Powerful

One thing all my novels have in common, whether superhero stories or historical adventure novels is that they have strong females with strong female friendships. And since it’s Women’s History Month, it seems like a good time to post this. Female friendships are powerful. Five Little Reminders to Being a Good Friend Listen supportively without giving advice on personal matters unless you are asked. Walk by their side through the hard times when there’s nothing to do but be present. Help them laugh when they are discouraged. Catch them when they fall. Remind them of all the wonderful and admirable things about them when they’ve been hurt. Lead with curiosity not condemnation when you think you might have differing opinions… Continue Reading

A Month of Self-Giving

on February 2, 2021

28 Ways to Fill Yourself with Love!

Write down 28 things about yourself that you are grateful for—just about you and what’s going on in your life right now. “I am grateful for my patience…that I made someone laugh today…that I can smile at strangers…that I’m healthy…smart…” Meditate ten minutes a day, imaging sunshine filling every part of your being and shooting outward. Whatever your version of God or universal goodness, ask to be filled with so much love that it pushes all negative thoughts from your mind. Do this every morning. Drink half your weight in water every day this month. It will change your energy and alertness if you haven’t been doing this. Make it special with some lemon, cucumber or a favorite infusion. Get… Continue Reading

How To Be Happy By Doing This One Thing

on January 28, 2020

True Joy and Happiness is Internal

One of the things you find with age, is that your dreams achieved don’t always satisfy you in the way that you imagined they would. In fact, a lot of people around me seem to be suffering from a mid-decade malaise whether they are in their 20s 30s 40s 50s.  It doesn’t seem to matter. Writers call this the midway slump. It simply happens in the middle—no matter what your circumstances. And in books the writer often realizes, it’s because a character is not yet deep enough or connected/in conflict enough with other characters and nothing is driving the external plot. But real life can’t be written away. It requires action. Ultimately, happiness, joy and contentment cannot be satisfied by… Continue Reading

Surviving the Wasteland

on November 14, 2019

8 Tools for Coping with Emotional Upheaval

Introduction I was struck a little by the latest issue of Magnolia Journal. It talked a lot about accepting your flaws and imperfect life as it is—and living a determined life. It was a refreshing change to share some time with other people and their stories as they went through struggles, loss, and most important—transformation. (Thank you writers and determined people!) Transformation is awesome, but you know—it comes at a high cost. None of us are perfect. And no matter how much anyone makes their social media look like they are a rockstar, everyone is going through life’s struggles behind the scenes, often quietly struggling, and usually in isolation. It seems like a lot of people are in the tundra… Continue Reading

12 Leadership Tips from the Queen of Quality

on July 18, 2019

From A Conversation With Martha Stewart

I’m not sure Martha Stewart would want me to call her the Queen of Quality, but “quality” is certainly signature to her brand, and I dub her that with all due respect for an amazing career which among other things, launched the “lifestyle” industry and continues to innovate it. In June, I was in Las Vegas, doing research at SHRM19—The largest convention for human resource leaders in the world, put on by the Society for Human Resources Management. There were over twenty thousand people, and I personally met many amazing and insightful people. One of the first morning keynotes was a conversation with Martha Stewart who was interviewed by the SHRM President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. Martha looked… Continue Reading

Face Your Fear, Own Your Life

on June 4, 2019

Set Yourself Free

I often counsel my students and mentees that all bad decisions are made for one of two reasons—fear or greed. For most people I know, greed is rarely the culprit unless temptation is in the form of gambling or investing. The real enemy if fear.   Fear of submitting a resume and looking stupid. Fear of doing a job interview and not having the “right” answer. Fear of rejection. Fear of being alone. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of standing up to a loved one lest they walk out. Fear of speaking up and being embarrassed. Fear of losing face. Fear of being exposed. Fear of shame. Fear of losing your job. Fear of losing your spouse. Fear… Continue Reading

Living With Goals

on March 20, 2019

3 Tips To Help You Succeed With Your Goals

I’m a very goal oriented person, but when one also has the goal of being a better friend, wife, daughter, etc., how you achieve those goals is sometimes in conflict with our work goals. Too late people realize that work was never the goal, right? I think this is what sends many people spinning into a mid-life crisis. So while I’m about to talk about how to achieve work goals, first and foremost make sure you are living in a way that is true to you. When you are with family, be with them one hundred percent. When you listening to your partner, listen one hundred percent. When you are playing with your child, engage one hundred percent. If you… Continue Reading

The Smallest Table

on January 15, 2019

The Best Way To Connect With Others

In addition to writing, I spent a career as an experience designer—skills that I use today but primarily when I design my life. My expertise was in interactive and participatory design. I did a ton of work on this while at Disney, but it was one night on vacation in New York City, with my husband and our two youngest children, that I realized the best design ever created… The Smallest Table The restaurant was crowded, as most were during Spring Break near Broadway and Times Square. There was a small square table in the center of a very crowded restaurant with a small chair on each side. Our knees easily touched and the length of the table was about… Continue Reading

A 16-Year-Old Talks the 6 Evils of Social Media

on November 2, 2018

Is This As Good As It Gets?

There have been hundreds of blogs about the negative side of social media but the other night, as we hung out at the kitchen table with friends, a 16-year-old shared with me how he thought social media was essentially bad for you. I thought I’d share his remarks as they speak to a failure on the part several generations. First, he admitted that social media can be fun, especially for sharing pet videos and practical jokes (that don’t cause physical harm or injury). But beyond that use, is this noted “time suck” valuable, or contributing to the betterment of humans any way? My young friend answers his own question with a resounding, “NO.” Here are his points primarily in his… Continue Reading

8 Reasons To Be Nice To Your Mom and/or Dad When You’re 16

on September 23, 2018

Survival Tips for Teens

Let’s face it, teen years can be hard—on the parents that is. For teenagers, they get lots of new responsibilities and freedoms, and their parents are financing the fun. It really doesn’t get any better even if you have to take SATs. So teens, if your parents are decent people—you know, they don’t beat you, or lock you in the closet under the stairs—then let’s be real and give them a break. And if they’re not, this blog does not apply to you. Why you should consider being a more fun and engaging housemate… 1 – COMFORT: It just makes day-to-day life more pleasant for everyone. Be polite to them the way you would if they were a celebrity you… Continue Reading