Art is a gift to be received and shared and comes in many many forms. Paint, Cook, Travel, Poetry... you name it, if you're sharing creative energy, that's an Art. ~Steph

Friday, February 26, 2010

Musically Speaking - Elise 5000

There are some people so dedicated to their dreams and so focused that you know without doubt they will accomplish what they set out to do. This young lady, Elise 5000 is one of those people. According to Elise she was born to do music. She is full of energy and music and definitely heading in the right direction.

Hi Elise. So let’s start with how long have you been singing? 

I've been singing for quite some time now since childhood and participated in the honor choir in elementary school which was audition only as they picked all the best singers for the entire county to compete on state and national levels. I've been a recording artist since I was 16. I had a deal with an indie label. There I learned how to produce music and record in a professional studio setting.

Elise how old are you and where did you grow up?

I'm 22 years old going on 14!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I grew up in the middle Georgia area in a small military town called Warner Robins GA!

Who were some of your influences growing up?

My influences are Jodeci, Aaliyah, Al B Sure, Michael Jackson, Mary J Blidge, SWV, Timbaland, Missy, The Neptunes, Zapp, Dru Hill, Teddy Riley, Brian Alexander Morgan, Mariah Carey, Beyonce/Destiny's Child and many more.

Was it always your dream to be a Music Star?

Yes! ALWAYS! I cant imagine doing anything else.

 What was it like when you realized this was really happening?

It was amazing! Before I decided to go hard at this music, I was depressed and I couldn't figure out why. It had been months since I had written a song and I was just going to settle for a career in radio which was the easier choice. Well, I broke up with my boyfriend (thank GOD) and finally had time for me. I locked myself in my room with my keyboard and started writing and producing. I felt like I was coming back from depression. I felt alive again. So I traveled to a friend’s studio to re-produce my composition on a Digital Audio Workstation and recorded the record. That was the turning point in my life that pulled me out of depression and taught me about myself. That was the birth of Elise 5000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What inspires you to Sing? 

I have no idea! Well, lots of things inspire me. The movie Avatar inspired me a lot! Listening to other great artists, visiting a new and exciting place, good vibes and energy, happiness, beauty, art, emotions, feelings, moods all inspire me. EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN inspires me! Good books, new thoughts that I may acquire. Anything and Everything. But I think it is GOD touching me. A fragment of the Universal Mind speaking to me and sharing with me pieces of the universe! Each and every song is a gift from God. Once I'm finished making a song (especially a really good one) I say "Thank you God for that gift".

This is one of the headlines I found about you? “Elise 5000 Named Cakewalk’s “Your Music: Anytime, Anyplace” Songwriting Contest Winner!!!” Talk to me about that. Did you amaze yourself by beating out over 4000 other contestants? 

I did amaze myself because I totally didn't expect to win. I just entered something in just to be doing something. I'm glad I did too! ;)

I listened to ‘Star’ and actually danced my way around the laptop and had to come back after the song was over LOL. I got almost a funky disco pop snappy thing going! What would you call your style of music?

I haven’t really thought about what I call it. Hum....Let me make up something now! Um... Well it is really like a funky pop. The "Star" record is meant to be sort of electronic pop, experimental, but with an urban flare! I try not to categorize my music. I hate being in a box!

You also have a song called ‘Everybody Else’ featuring T-Pain. Did you write that song? What was it like collaborating on that?

No I didn't write that record. A very talented songwriter called Secret Da Songwriter wrote my lyrics however I did write my part of the hook: "huh?, Yeah, foreal?, Ok, that's whats up" If you wanna consider that writing! It was fun working on that record I had a blast vocally arranging that one. It’s so me and I was in the moment with that record! Shouts to T-Pain! He's a beast! I can't wait to work with him foreal!!!

What’s in the works for you?

Major mixtape coming up! I’m so excited about it! Album coming soon! More hot singles! More hot music! I just want to make people happy with my music!!

 You do Elise. And I’m sure they’ll be happy about it for a long time. Thank you!

To learn more about Elise and her music be sure to visit her website

Sunday, February 21, 2010

D. Gulley, America's Discount Trendsetter

D. Gulley Trendsetter, Fashionista, Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist, Host of The Discount Trendsetter Show. This busy lady is a bundle of motivation, advice, experience and inspiration for all. Her experience fuels her show and she gives creative and inexpensive instruction and tips for living in style without spending a fortune. She covers everything from meal tips to fashion tips and more.

Hi D, thank you for giving this interview. Is the Trendsetter Show your Dream path in life? What lead you down this path of Creativity and wanting to provide people with valuable Discount information?

Yes, The Discount Trendsetter Show is my dream job and career. When I graduated from college with a degree in Accounting, I actually wanted to be an Actress. I eventually moved to California to pursue this goal. Along my path, I felt God's calling to do something that would motivate, inspire, and encourage individuals to succeed in life. Over time, I created The Discount Trendsetter Show to serve as an outlet to bless people through financial literacy and money-management.

Where did you grow up? What was the Fashion Trend like when you grew up?

I grew up in Arkansas. Let's just say the fashion was very southern. Everything had to match. For example, my mother would wear a red suit, pair it with a red purse, red shoes, red gloves, red panty holes, and red makeup. LOL

My son was very serious about his appearance as even a very young boy. And still carries on that way. (Secret, transferring an Alligator from one shirt, does not a LaCoste make. He knew at 5! LOL)

Were you a creative and/or fashionable child?  In what way?

Yes, I was always a discount fashionista. Since my mother was so colorful with her garments, I always kept my fashion style modern. I would wear a lot of natural colors like: browns, blacks, blues. By the time I was twelve, I was making my own clothes. I also would save my money and buy designer items on sale.

What experience do you have in the area of money management?

As a former accountant, I know the importance of money-management. I am a firm believer that it's not how much money you make but how much money you save that makes you a true Fashionista. I shop for bargains for everything I need in life. Rather it's shoes, clothes or groceries.

You have episodes from Saving Money on Make up to Closet Organization.  There’s even an episode on turning a Pillow Case into a Drawstring Skirt! Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas for The Discount Trendsetter Show oftentimes from my own life. The information I share on the show is from experiences I gone through or things I know other people have made mistakes on. Just recently, I watched a reality show and a young lady was being interview for a job with her breast hanging out. This inspired me to do some upcoming episodes entitled, ‘What to Wear on a Job Interview and What Not to Wear on a Job Interview’.

As we know, economic times are really wearing folks down. What are some of your best Money saving Food Tips in these times?

The best advice I would give someone on his or her groceries would be to only purchase what you need. I have been guilty of walking into a store and buying items that I saw just because I could. Now, I make a shopping list. If the items are not on my list, I will not purchase them, period. Sometimes, you have to practice control.

What is being a Personal Shopper about?
As a personal shopper, I get to shop for other people. Sometimes, clients will pay to find gifts for them or pick out a new wardrobe. Each job is different.

Let’s talk Money Saving Fun! What do you do to have a fun yet affordable time?

I like to search the internet for Free movies. I don't have cable because I watch all the shows I like online, especially Project Runway. Lifetime Network posts the full length episodes online every Saturday.

What is your favorite experience as a Trendsetter?

My favorite experience as a Trendsetter is helping other people look and feel good about themselves. At first, I assumed everyone knew how to dress. Now, I know this is a weakness for some people. We all have strengths and weakness. Fashion and coordinating looks is just something that comes natural to me. Now, cooking is a whole another story. LOL

What Inspiration would you offer to people trying to stay Sexy and Savvy in hard times on a budget?

I would tell people to be true to themselves. Oftentimes people go into debt trying to look like the celebrities or other people they know. I don't keep up with trends. I buy and make clothes that are timeless. This means I can wear them for years to come and still look HOT.

You can find out more about D and her show by visiting her website at and you can see her show at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


One of my favorite things about being able to do these fascinating interviews with the wonderful colorful people I've met along the Journey is the information gleaned from them. There are so many facets of life and people that we are unaware of unless brought to light.

Recently someone mentioned to me 'Kundalini Yoga'. Of course being the inquisitive or even nosy (LOL) writer I am, off I went to investigate. What I found was many forms of Kundalini. However, the descriptions and explanations I found were short and not really informative. So what a better way to find out than through an expert. Fortunately I didn't have to look far.

Meet JJ Semple. JJ is the Author of several written works, a teacher, student, and so much more. Thank you JJ for giving me sharing with us.

Steph: First, I’d like to thank you for this interview and congratulate you on the work you’re doing. The Internet is a pillar of popular communications, now and for the future. Thank you for finding a creative way of using it.

JJ are you a Healer, Therapist, Coach, Consultant?

All of the above. I don’t see a difference. They’re just different ways of communicating and energizing, some one-on-one, some with groups. The most sincere of these attempts to instill a sense of self-reliance in the individual and/or to introduce him/her to various practical processes for self-improvement.

Today, I am now primarily a writer, speaker, and teacher. That is, I try to communicate proven notions of self-reliance and self-improvement to the widest audience possible. For thirty years I dealt with individuals and small groups; now, having assimilated enough hands-on practice and knowledge thanks to my Kundalini experience, I am widening my message though books and through the Internet. From time to time, I still work with individuals and with small groups because I love it.

What message? The only way we can truly realize our human potential is by changing the negative aspects of our human nature, those aspects that keep holding us back. Kundalini, a dormant energy resource within each of us, is the most powerful means of accomplishing this. What’s more, it’s free of charge. It doesn’t cost anything to activate this energy and make it work for us on an individual and collective level.

JJ, please describe ‘The Kundalini’ and how it works?

Kundalini is misunderstood. I recently created a website dedicated to clearing up the confusion. I’m still adding content, may never finish. That’s the beauty of the Internet; you never run out of cyberspace.

Most people have some notion that Kundalini is the biological Life Force energy dormant in our bodies. It’s a couple of words thrown together. I copied this off my website. There are so many similar definitions. None of them are really satisfying. It’s not fully possible to define a phenomenon like Kundalini without experiencing it. It’s like trying to define death. You need to feel it happening in order to understand it.

At this stage in my life, however, the evolutionary aspects that Gopi Krishna focused on interest me most. Kundalini is a biological reality, a scientific fact. Nature included it in the body for a reason. If it didn’t serve a purpose, evolution (big E) would have eliminated it. That’s what Evolution does — eliminates the unnecessary. In this case, eliminating Kundalini would be tantamount to eliminating all future human evolution, all future improvements to the human species.

For Kundalini is responsible for every evolutionary change in our species. Moreover, it’s the key to our future evolution. It’s the future of our brain and our DNA. The neuroplastic changes produced in the brain through Kundalini are transmitted to future generations through DNA. That’s how we have evolved so far; that’s how we will continue to evolve. By the incremental changes in DNA that took place in the brains of exceptional people being passed along to future generations.

Kundalini is a scientific fact, not just some spiritual mumbo-jumbo. It’s part of a very successful early school of scientific research, one the ancients performed in the laboratory of their own bodies. And it produces measurable, quantifiable results, albeit in the metaphysical, instead of the physical, realm.

Most people don’t understand that Kundalini is “available” to them, don’t know how to activate it. They don’t know that Kundalini was once actually active in their beings, that it is responsible for their bodily substantiation, that they can re-activate it. Getting this series of facts across to a larger public, at the same time dispelling some of the popular myths about Kundalini, is a long-term task.

What is your experience in this field?

I activated Kundalini in 1972, almost 40 years ago. It was a full and permanent awakening, a rare phenomenon. Five years later, I visited Gopi Krishna in Kashmir to discuss my experience. At the time there were very few books on Kundalini. In fact, the experience was widely misunderstood — what caused it, what effects it induced, how to manage it, how to live with it.

Gopi Krishna is the father of modern Kundalini research and the only other person I’ve met whose Kundalini was active day and night from the time he activated it through meditation until the day he died. His book 'Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man' is a masterpiece. It’s a memoir and a how-to, a guidebook for activating and living with Kundalini. And it took him 30 years of living with Kundalini to be able to write it.

The same thing happened to me. Once Kundalini becomes active, so much happens, the individual’s brain changes so dramatically and so continually, it takes time to assimilate everything. Like Gopi Krishna, I needed years of living with Kundalini, years of adjusting to the changes it induced in my being in order to write about it.

Not that I was inactive during that period. I spent a lot of time working with groups and a lot of time cataloguing the various changes within my body and being. They are described in my books.

Gopi Krishna liked the fact that I had used 'The Secret of the Golden Flower' as a meditation method for awakening Kundalini. He told me that a safe, repeatable method for activating Kundalini was needed and charged me to continue making a reliable, repeatable version of Golden Flower Meditation accessible to all. I have spent the last 40 years doing this.

What is the Golden Flower?

The Golden Flower I know about comes from the book of the same name 'The Secret of the Golden Flower'(SGF). The term is also used in a dubious new-age context, something I know nothing about. The book is another matter. Complied in 8th Century by Chinese adepts, it is a manual on raising Kundalini. The terminology — the Chinese, Hindu, Taoist, Tibetan influences — may vary, but the secret techniques described in the book lead to the same end.

I used the book as a basis of my practice to activate Kundalini. After, because most Westerners find the wording in the SGF opaque, I modernized the method for today’s practitioner. My books contain valuable information on the secrets behind the Golden Flower.

How and when did your Journey lead you down this path?

Good question. I consider the journey as important as the destination. In fact, my book 'Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time' is not only a memoir and a how-to, it’s also a detective story.

A childhood injury deformed me. If it wasn’t for the accident that caused my injury, I might never have discovered the amazing transformative power of Kundalini. The extraordinary factor in my case was that my injury occurred when I was very young, so young I actually suppressed all memory of it.

Years later, when I was thirty-four, a stranger handed me a book entitled 'The Secret of the Golden Flower'. It was a serendipitous moment, the beginning of my recovery process. I didn’t realize it at the time. In fact, I put the book away for over a year. Sometime later I picked it up and began practicing the method of meditation in the text. At first I thought I was wasting my time.

But the method was for real. Not only was it for real, this ancient method turned out to be the safest and most complete Kundalini method I’ve run across in my forty years of research. Anyway, upon awakening, the Kundalini recognized my deformity and immediately began to restore my body to its original state, the state of perfect symmetry that existed before my accident.

It took a lot of detective work to unravel the mystery. I spent a lot of time getting to the bottom of my condition and finding a means of correcting it.

On your site it says ‘Kundalini is the source of creative energy’. Can you give a short description of what that means?

First, let’s understand what’s meant by the term creative. Kundalini triggers creative effects in many areas. Would you call autonomic self-healing creative? I would. In the sense that it starts a process of removing limitations and enabling. The individual discovers new talents and capabilities never before explored or realized.

Would you call 'overcoming addictions' creative? I would. Kundalini brings about an entirely new “human being;” brain chemistry is altered. The mind matures. Creativity and self-discipline flourish. I had never written a book or directed a film. Gopi Krishna never spoke German (German came to him spontaneously). Friends of mine never wrote, acted, painted, or composed music. Not until they awakened Kundalini. Once it happens, creative powers start to appear spontaneously.

What’s more, Kundalini changes the whole decision making process, introducing elements of logic and clarity into an often too emotional process.

'The Secret of the Golden Flower' talks about the Conscious and the Primal Spirits. The Conscious Spirit is the state we’re born into, one governed by the five senses and by emotion. The Primal Spirit is the eternal, immutable power of nature. It doesn’t know the alphabet or multiplication tables; it is the creative force of nature. Once you re-awaken Kundalini — something every individual can do — the Primal Spirit replaces the Conscious Spirit. It’s our job, should we desire to realize our full potential, to reawaken the Primal Spirit, the source of all forms of creative energy.

Please talk to us a little about your books 'Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time' and 'The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death'

'Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time' is a memoir, a how-to, and a detective story. How can a book be all three? Well, my first concern was to make the book readable. According to my reviewers, I have succeeded. It’s written in the first person and moves quickly. Readers tell me they can’t put it down. Nevertheless, I knew my biggest challenge with a book that moved quickly was to find a seamless way of integrating meaningful content. I decided that telling the story of my Kundalini awakening contained more than enough content. After all, it began at my birth. I realized I couldn’t leave anything out; I had to tell my life story warts and all, and do it in under 200 pages. The book is 186 pages.

In 'The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death' I changed style and voice. Why? My first book read like a novel. In the second, I needed to step back from the process itself as an actor and take a critical look at it. Some readers couldn’t identify with this new approach; I’m not sure I could have done it any other way. You can’t please everyone. The two books go together; the second is a continuation of the first.

The backward-flowing method is the secret meditation technique. I consider it to be the secret of life. Why? It’s the third step in Golden Flower Meditation (GFM), the most reliable, safest means of awakening Kundalini. Why do I also say it’s the secret of death? Because GFM links up with 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead'. Mastering Golden Flower Meditation and its key backward-flowing sublimation technique prepares the individual to overcome the obstacles to accepting death (as described in 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead', in order to facilitate the whole death-rebirth cycle. The Circulation of the Light talked about in 'The Secret of the Golden Flower' is the same light encountered by those who have undergone near death experiences (NDE). If one can experience this light, know and understand its eternal purpose while still living, how much better will he/she be prepared for the actual moment of death and the challenges posed by navigating the afterlife?

What are the benefits of the Kundalini and Kundalini Meditation to ones personal health and healing?

GFM delivers pretty spectacular results. As in Ponce de Leon — Fountain of Youth-type results. On the back cover of 'The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death', I list the effects gained from mastering Golden Flower Meditation: Triggers autonomic self-healing mechanisms capable of correcting defects due to neural degeneration
Rejuvenates the brain and the body as a result of intense activity; Retards the aging process; Reverses self-destructive and addictive behavior; Heightens and enhances consciousness through the awakening of various metanormal effects and powers; Refines the being to the point where the individual is able to effect a release from Karmic bondage; Clearly demonstrates that the ego spirit persists after death; Facilitates the transition into the next state of being.
What is Diaphragmatic Deep Breathing? How important is this Breathing method?

It all starts with breathing.Breathing is the most important exercise you’ll ever do. Unfortunately, most people don’t breathe correctly. 'Diaphragmatic Deep Breathing represents the crucial first step of the Golden Flower. Kundalini Meditation method, a step each practitioner must learn before attempting the backward-flowing method.

You also do a Podcast. What is it about and Where can the readers find it?

The Golden Flower Podcast covers a variety of Kundalini and Golden Flower Meditation issues, many of the same issues covered in my books and on my website. However, the spoken word format has a decidedly different impact. Listeners tell me they like the Podcast because the setting creates an intimate effect.

You can subscribe to my Podcast through iTunes or through Podcast Alley.
My next multimedia project is a foray into ITV — Internet TV. I’m planning a high-quality (HD) ITV interview & commentary show. We’ll discuss the scientific aspects of human potential as well as its metaphysical aspects.

I created a spoken word CD for Diaphragmatic Deep Breathing'. The exercises in this CD are set to Universal World genre music I composed and arranged. Golden Flower Meditation uses the nervous and respiratory systems to trigger a host of metabolic and somatic activity in the human body, especially in the internal organs. Through Golden Flower Meditation, the nervous system is stimulated such that the natural chemical substances of the body are recombined and used for self-healing, rejuvenative purposes, and greater overall awareness. But it all starts with breathing ...

Thank you so much JJ for educating us on The Kundalini. Wishing you many more years of Color, Peace and Kundalini!

To find out more about JJ, his books and his teachings visit his FaceBook page at JJ on FaceBook or visit these sites:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Dawn of a New Diva - Renaissance Austin

Meet Renaissance Austin - Artist, Designer, Poet, Dancer, Singer, Dreamer, Entrepreneur. This Queen of creativity and style is indeed Fearless and Living In Color.

Renaissance, one of my favorite parts about being born and raised in Los Angeles has always been the colorful people and Art and you definitely personify that! 

Thanks so much!

First of all, I love your name Renaissance Austin, Talk to me about that.

Gladly! Renaissance Austin for me is like going from Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe. It's an artistic name that embodies completely who I am and I believe it was destined for me. Considering that I record music and perform every now and then, I was always toying with the idea of what I would name myself artistically as many artist do. As I played around with my own name and being dissatisfied I finally went to the dictionary to look up the word renaissance as the Italian and French Renaissance periods I love greatly, the French Baroque period being my favorite. I discovered that it meant "rebirth" representing these time periods where love, music, poetry, the performing and visual arts, and freedom was so high, thriving, and all worth living for. It was perfect and exactly who I was. To me, it was the divine rights of passage crossing over into a greater part of myself that will impact the world through my artistic creativity!

I had a blast growing up in Los Angeles. Childhood was sweet! For the most part it was just me and my twin brother being raised by my father actually which was very rare because I didn't know any other children who were raised by a single father, so I believe that my upbringing was quite unique to began with. He was very, very smart and as my older sister says, on the edge of genius, an odd ball, and a computer wiz. Growing up we had about 7 computers in our home, tons of books, school materials, and plenty to eat! My dad was a great cook who had spent 9 years in the navy as a chef. You see I love talking about him. He was a biker previously, but by the time my brother and I were born, he didn't bike much, but would take us on the motorcycle for a couple of rounds around the block. I think we were like 6 years old! LOL. He worked at the mechanic shop around the corner from our home taking us with him and it was great. He had wonderful friends that took really good care of us. I remember climbing through cars that were being worked on and one friend in particular that came with his pet snake. It was huge and I was so fascinated. He put the snake around my neck and I knew that I wanted one of my own because I wanted to be like Michael Jackson! LOL

I tell you, being raised from the male perspective is highly interesting. Every Saturday was beach day. We would go fishing at Playa Del Rey, El Dorado Park, or Redondo Beach. My brother and I would leave my dad as he tended to the fishing poles and run off to the other side of the beach or play under the bridges pulling mussels of the rocks and grabbing crabs. Those were the days where kids could run off and parents not have to worry about them. (I sound old now LOL). We were just like regular children playing on our block with other kids on the street, playing with bugs, riding bikes, climbing my neighbor's avocado tree. Those were the good days, the beauty of the 80's.

I was still much more shy than my brother and I figured out early on that I was sort of peculiar, different from the other kids, and as we started growing older I would stay to myself more, dreaming, visualizing my life, reading, writing, all of those things. Overall it was a very sheltered life within the city, but what I loved most were the road trips to Vegas or just taking a Sunday drive after church, with no traffic by the way, that allowed my imagination to go beyond the city limits...

Were there heavy influences there for you as far as your Art and Creativity are concerned?

Indeed there are many. My grandmother and designer uncle are my two greatest influences when it comes to fashion, sewing, and crocheting. I don't remember this story, but my grandma tells it all the time how I would try to sew on the sewing machine when I was like 4 years old. She says I would make the sounds and try to make the fabric move but my feet weren't long enough to touch the petal. So I really believe that family I was born into is where I was meant to be. I would flip through all of my uncles sketch books and by the time I was 11 I was already sketching my own designs. The greatest lesson that my grandma taught me was quality and to always make sure the inside looks just as great as the outside. A person should be able to wear an outfit inside out. That's how well it should be made, so I try, with every piece that I make, to implement that golden rule. It's a must and you can never get around it. It's definitely the influence of "excellency".

Is this what you always wanted to do?

That's an interesting question because what I've always really wanted to do was sing, and yes, I do sing, and record, perform, and do some small traveling, but I believe that all of this other creativity is like icing on the cake. I actually never imagined I would be crocheting, knitting, and running an online shop. But with more mature thinking these days and looking back, I realized that I was on that path anyway. So I understand that there are some things you can dream about and visualize that don't always take place and there are some things that you don't dream about all and they do take place. Because my father was a single father, so many women would give him trash bags full of clothes for me. I would rummage through those bags excited to see what was in them. Many of them were too big, so that is where I would began altering things by hand and redesigning them to fit my taste and I was younger than 10, you see! I would pull curtains off the window and make skirts. But did I ever think or dream I would be a designer? Not at all! But here it all is right before me and I accept it with enthusiasm and grace.

Renaissance you do so many things. What are they and of them which is your favorite?

I think I do almost everything that has to do with the visual and performing arts. One day I will pull out an old video of me dancing on VHS for crying out loud and put it on YouTube! I haven't danced in a few years now, but I do dance, sing, write songs, poetry, and stories. I love sci fi the most. I am really good at choreography, hairstyling, and makeup. I paint and have used my paintings in designs that I've sold in the past. I am a photographer and most of all I love to inspire through all that I do. That's the greatest skill. And of course my favorite is singing.

Are you self taught?

I am self taught on a few things, not on all. I was taught to crochet at the age of 8 by my Grandma. I caught on so fast that I just took it and ran with it. Once you know the basics, learning other stitches and techniques come very easy. Singing for me is a natural gift, but I always believe that natural should still be honed too. I took a couple of voice classes to have a better understanding of what I was doing and to come out of my shyness. Rhythm and dance come very easy to me but again, I've had some of the best instructors in military drill, ballet, modern, and jazz dance, teaching me discipline and perfection. When I picked up knitting and I just decided to learn really quickly just to be on Knitty Gritty on the DIY Network! I watched a couple of videos on and voile! It was more simple then I thought. I also believed that already knowing how to crochet played an important factor in learning how to knit. Same as jewelry design and assembly. I am still learning new techniques every day, but I always take into consideration what my grandma tells me, "learn everything, learn it all".

You’ve been on some Television shows. What are they? What was that experience like?

In the crafting arena, I was a knitster on Knitty Gritty and had the opportunity to meet Lily Chin. She was so wonderful to me, very positive, and upbeat. The experience was really great and inspiring. For singing, I've been on numerous shows on both MTV and VH1 networks, such as, Next, Celebrity Fit Club, Flava Flav, who is actually one of the sweetest men you could ever meet. He actually brought tears to my eyes with his positive words and appreciation of us being there. I was on a wedding show and have sang at number celebrity weddings with coverage in US magazine. I have one commercial under my belt and look to do more. The experience for me is like home. The stage, lights, sets, and being around costumes and props feel more like home to be then being home sometimes! It is where I am able to fully express myself artistically and display my gift as I was meant to.

You have an Online shop. Are there plans for other businesses?

Yes, I have lots of plans for other business ventures. I am looking to expand my music more and am very excited about that. After selling online for 2 years now and seeing that Etsy has a music section, a section I never really thought to go after, I am now looking to use that section very heavily. I look forward to doing a lot of fun things with my favorite music genres, house music, R&B, relaxation, Soul, and Pop. I am planning to record my poetry, create CD's and poetry books to accompany the CD. I am very, very, happy to get this other expression of me out there for the world to enjoy. It's very difficult right now in music, labels have pretty much crumbled and Artists have to find their own way and go back to grass roots and that is what I am doing. 

What colorful things can we expect to see from you in the future?
Everything that I have to give is what you will see from me. I leave no stone unturned. I am expanding my Etsy shop even more and will eventually have vintage pieces, mainly clothing, and jewelry. It's a true passion of mine. I've spent my whole life shopping in thrift shops while my peers were going to the mall. So far I have my Body Knit collection and the new Goddess collection. I am working on a California collection as well which will be more lightweight yarn, ribbon yarn, and lightweight dresses and a line of lingerie and swimwear.

I will be creating a bridal line of crocheted dresses and accessories for the earthy, simple, but queenly bride. My sister keeps on insisting on this one dress that we saw in a magazine a couple years ago, so influences from that particular dress will be included in the California collection. My brother who is a driving force in my business and who just finished a wonderful fashion class helps me design for our men's collection. We have finalized the new designs for crocheted and knit hats, 70's inspired knit skinny ties and bow ties, and cardigans and sweaters, both knit and crocheted.

I will be expanding my YouTube channel greatly this year finally being able to get more crochet and demonstration videos uploaded. And because it is a channel, I have organized shows to display every talent I have, mapping out my show called "Blue Light Sessions", a music show. There will be a dance show, craft show, and a round table discussion show for those who have a voice and can talk about their experiences and the current times bringing solutions on how understanding can bring all people together no matter what "pedigree", upbringing, or side of the tracks you come from. So I really look forward to invited guests, from musicians, producers, writers, and activists.

What Inspirational words do you have to share with us Renaissance?

I will say, live your life to the fullest and with integrity. Don't be afraid of anything. If you are holding off learning a new craft or haven't tapped into your creative side, which I believe no matter what, everyone has one, then do so now. Every decision we don't make, but the ones we can make, think them through well, but do not prolong them, set your heart on it and go for it. Whether it was the right choice or wrong one, you learn from it and then in the learning you receive what was right true...Live with a good and pure heart, love what you do, be patient in what you don't love doing because it's not forever. Life is a journey, so keep driving!

Another fun and fabulous interview! Life is full of so many wonderful colorful people. Thank you so much Renaissance.  Be sure to update us on all of your fun upcoming wonders! 
Live In Color!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kate Magendie, Wordy Goddess!

Kathryn Magendie is a writer, editor, and Co-editor/publisher of the Rose & Thorn. Her short stories, essays, poetry, and amateur photography have been published in online and print publications. Magendie lives tucked in a cove at Killian Knob in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. Her debut novel Tender Graces was released April 2009; her second novel Secret Graces will be released April 2010.

 This lady is funny and full of light and color! Check her out.

Kate, before we get busy here… I found this description of you on your website. “She was born a West-by-god Virginia Hillbilly (and proud of it)” LOL. For a Southern California girl with no ‘Hillbilly Knowledge’ to speak of, what does that mean?

I’m proud of my mountain roots; proud to say I was born in the Appalachians, and even though I had to spend a lot of my life away, I’m finally Home. The mountains and its people simmer in your marrow. You can’t deny it, can’t move away without regret and longing, and mountain love can’t be scraped from your skin—you are who you are forever. There are stereotypes of Appalachian People, of course, but that is used to their advantage when necessary *grin* and really, Mountain people couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of them. Hillbilly can be a derogatory word on some people’s tongues, but only because people have decided to picture a moonshined bearded toothless no good uneducated sonufagun because they think it’s funny. 

You’ve had a book published, Tender Graces: A Virginia Kate Saga and are soon to release your second, Secret Graces. Who is Virginia Kate?

Virginia Kate is a woman who more than anything wants, needs, to find Home, Place, and a Belonging. She daydreams a little too much. She listens to spirit-voices. She worries about those she loves. She both repels and is drawn to her “Women-Kin” and their heritage, their legacy. She fights against being like her volatile and passionate momma. And she is compelled, though ghosts and spirits and her Grandma Faith, to be the storyteller.

Are the ‘Graces going to be a continuing Saga?’

Well, there is at least a planned third book that hasn’t been written yet, but I do have thoughts about books that involve Virginia Kate and/or her kin. I just don’t know how far I will go with it, or if Virginia Kate will decide the third book is enough and she’ll become quiet and reclusive, telling me, “Enough now.” I am fascinated by the characters, though.

Grandma Faith is a compelling woman I’d love to write more about. I’ve had a few readers wonder why I didn’t give enough information on her—believe me, I want to, but she’s a spirit and spirits take their time in letting loose their stories. I guess I’ll see where things go, and how far back I want to go, as well, to dig into Grandma Faith and her kin. Grandma Faith’s story won’t be easy to tell—it will hurt and hurt a lot. Maybe I’m avoiding feeling her pain.

I do have a novel written that is unrelated to VK, but no matter what or who else I write, Virginia Kate will always be special to me; I love her. 

What were you like as a child?

I think I was lonely. Thank gawd for libraries and books! I think, too, I was never comfortable in my skin, that I was lacking in some way. Of course, I say this from the distance of an adult looking back. My childhood thoughts and memories are muddled and fuzzy—my brain doesn’t retain memories that I can recall like a movie, as many people seem to be able to do.

I just had a flash of me and this is what I saw: A sepia-toned girl with big wide eyes, wearing a dress and ankle socks; her right hand is up to her mouth, and she is surrounded by gray; her feet are together, and she holds herself quite still; she hopes she is not seen but at the same time craves to be seen—a memory, a lost photo, or what? I’ll let the psychology people figure that image out *laugh* 

These books are very personal to you aren’t they? Your writing is emotional and speaks to me of a personal connection. As many Artist connect with characters and art, it appears that you connect with the entire story.

People ask if Tender Graces is autobiographical, and it really is not. Although, there are some Truths that parallel my own life. The biggest Truth is that my own biological mother gave up her three children one at a time. However, most everything else in TG is made up. It’s that intimacy in the writing, I guess (especially first person point of view)—it makes people feel a personal connection and think things could really have happened. As for Secret Graces, it is even further from my life, as are the other draft novel and my short stories. Yet, I’d imagine there’s really no way to keep out your fingerprint, no matter what you write, or paint, or sing.

How long have you been writing? Was this your Dream Career?

As a child, teachers talked to me about my creative side, but I didn’t hear them. In junior high school I won first prize for a short story, but I didn’t hear that. In high school, my creative writing teacher asked me to bring back to her my first novel; didn’t hear that, either. I ignored the voices, both tangible and inside my own head, that begged me to follow.

I didn’t start listening until my mid-to-late forties, and once I slit open that vein, the bleeding never stopped . . . it’s the most beautiful wondrous blood, thick and red and living.

Yes, this is my Dream Career, and short of death or some other malady I can’t control, no one or no thing will take it away from me.

What got you from writing to publishing? Was it the goal or were you motivated somehow by response or reception to your writing?

To get from writing to publishing is the part where most writers want to stomp and scream and even give up. You just can’t give up. Sometimes you have to alter your expectations, but never give up—that is, never give up if you are good at it, or have something marketable (those two can be, but don’t have to be, separate things in the publishing world). I lucked up with Bellebooks—once they received my query, things happened fast. I love them, and I love that they took a chance on me, especially with the publishing world all rocky and changing. They listen, they love my work (so far so good!), and they placed my words in a book (or soon to be books) that I can hold and smell and read—and that others can smell, hold, and read (unless you aren’t a book smeller- teehee).

Sure, I wrote before I thought I could be published, and I’ll write if I’m not published, but I won’t be coy and say I don’t care if I’m published—dang tootin’ I want to be published! And read! And loved! And admired! *laughing* . . . But, I will say, a big push to my rear-end to start submitting my work was response to my writing. Yeah, I guess I just finally listened. 

I know you live literally ‘off the beaten path’ what’s that like?

The day I moved back to the mountains after so many many years away (I’m not in WVA, but in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina), was the day I sighed a big ole sigh of relief. Home. I literally felt as if I’d been holding my breath and tensing every muscle in my body until I moved here, then my body released the tension—ahhhhh.

My life in this little log house in the cove at Killian Knob in Maggie Valley is serene and beautiful. It suits me, the calm of it, because maybe I’m still that girl standing in the shadows watching everyone and both wanting to be seen and wanting to stay hidden. This natural world, nature, is an important part of my life and what keeps my brain quiet . . . quiet brain being relative to many things. Imagine hearing the creek sing, the critters rustle, the actual sound of bird’s wings in the air, no traffic sounds, and the humming of the mountain. There’s more—but I will go on and on and bore everyone. I’m already blabbervating (as VK says) too much! 

Does living there inspire your writing?

Yes, it does. And my life. I’ll never leave, even when I die. My ashes will be spread here. I hope the other spirits don’t mind if I stay with them. 

People describe your writing as Poetic. And you write poetry?

I am not a poet. Some people say, “Oh quit saying that,” because they think I’m being coy or expecting a compliment that I am indeed a poet. However, I really am not. But, every so often, I have words/scenes that must come out that aren’t ready or will never be ready to be anything other than this snippet, this scene, this dot in time and I need to release the pressure in my head—those are what become my poems. Some do say Tender Graces is one big-arse poem. 

Where can our readers read some of your poetry?

I’ve had some published here and there. One can go to my website to the page “published works” and some of the poems are available online, and some, like in OCEAN Magazine, are only available by purchasing the print publication. I encourage everyone to support online journals/zines and their writers and editors, and support print publications by purchasing a subscription and/or issue—and I don’t mean ones I am in, just in general.

I am also a Co-Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn, an online lit journal, and I understand the importance of readers—these writers need our support, some are brand new to being published and how exciting for them! They’d love to hear from readers. 

Where can we find your book?

In all the usual places—from the publishers Bellebooks, from the usual places online, and in brick and mortar bookstores, and in the library. Although, if you don’t see it, you may have to ask for it—either it sold out (I hope!), or they haven’t heard of me. Support your local libraries and independent bookstores, too—they need us to remember them. I won’t tell you never to go into a Big Chain Store, or never to order from Big Ole Online Place, but the little guys and the libraries need our love, too. 

I’ve also seen some of your beautiful photography. Is this something we can look forward to seeing more of?

I put a lot of stuff out there “for free” on my blog, but I’ve had a few photos published in OCEAN magazine—the only magazine I’ve ever sent photography to, and Diane Buccheri, the editor, has honored me by publishing some of my photos. I do consider submitting more other places, but I don’t know . . . it’s sort of like the poetry thing . . . *she trails off* 

Kate, what inspiration can you offer to readers who have stories in their heart they want to share?

First – take a chance! Don’t be afraid of rejection, for you WILL be rejected. Every one of us has been rejected, and more than once. We all have to work hard at this. There are very very few real “Overnight Successes” out there. Don’t take rejection personally. I know from being on both sides—as an editor at R&T I know how close some people come to being published and are just edged out by someone else. As a writer, I’ve been rejected and have learned to shrug it off and try again, and again, and again (which doesn’t mean I don’t tweak and fiddle with the work in between the submitting).

However, you don’t have to write with publishing in mind—that’s the beauty of blogs, or journals, or whatever forum is comfortable to you. Be fearless. Have fun. Enjoy. Be Real. Tell Truths—and write what you know doesn’t have to be taken literally if you don’t want it to.

You are a Wordy goddess! If you guys get a chance and like to read books that 'take you there' check Kate out. You can find more about her at her Blog Kates Blog! And her Website at
Kates Website.

Thank you so much Kate.
You are welcome. I so much enjoyed this and your insightful, and fun, questions—you are good at this *smiling*.  So Are you!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Beautiful Artist, Entrepreneur, Renaissance Austin
Raghouse International 


Have you ever read books that can totally bring you into the story?
Kate Magendie, Tender Graces & Soon to be released
Secret Graces

Author JJ Semple, Deciphering the Golden Flower 
The Backward-Flowing Method


D Gulley, Trendsetter
Television Host, Image Consultant, Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist

On the Rise Music Artist, Elise 5000

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mardi Gras

Does your city/town/state have it's own version of Mardi Gras? Looking for pics for a video project. Please share pics of the event and/or you in Mardi Gras mode :-) Thank you, Steph --



Saturday, February 6, 2010


As many of us know, if you use a Social Networking site there are many groups, clubs, events, etc. Because I’m usually in ‘work mind’ I tend to steer clear of many groups etc. But occasionally one does catch my eye. Recently I received an invite from a friend to an online event through FaceBook called ‘Tell Her She’s Beautiful’. I followed the link to the page and was intrigued not only by the story on the page but also the number of RSVPs for attending. At that point it was over 500,000. It is now of 768,000. There’s even a song inspired by this event.

If you read the cover page you’ll see this statement “I’m making this event so everyone can tell anyone that they think is beautiful, that they are beautiful. Just tell them. They don’t hear it enough, and they want to hear it. Tell anyone; tell your friend, your mother, your sister, your cousin, your dog for all I care. Let’s show girls that we don’t care about the standards that they set for themselves and that we like them the way they are”.

I of course had to get the true story behind this event. First surprise, the creator is 17 years old. Intelligent, generous heart and a treasure. Check Joshua Amar out. Links to the page and song at end of this story.

Hi Josh, thank you so much for giving me an interview. Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m 17 and live in Canada. I play many instruments, including guitar. I write songs and paint in my spare time. Sometimes I write stories and transform them into scripts for movies that I plan to shoot. I have a YouTube channel, where I only have one video up at the moment, it’s a music video. I am going into film for University.

What gave you the idea to do this?

About a week ago, I was talking to a friend of mine, we weren't particularly close at the time, but exams were coming up, and we were both just chatting. Eventually we started talking about more intimate things about ourselves, until everything was revealed, right down to our insecurities. I’ve dealt with numerous people before with low self esteem or body image issues, but this friend broke my heart. The way that she thought of herself hurt me more than any other person has. I, being the advice guy, tried to persuade her that she was indeed beautiful inside and out. After talking back and forth for a while, she told me nothing I can say can change her mind. So I told her "you know what this means now? It's my mission to prove to you that you are beautiful."

So right now I am currently on that mission still to prove to her that she is beautiful. Anyways, later on that night, I could not sleep. I woke up and the first thought in my mind was, how can I prove to this girl that she truly is beautiful? It didn't make sense to me how someone I truly thought was beautiful would fight my every word and claim them to be lies. And I thought, maybe she was never called beautiful before. Maybe she doesn't hear it often. So I created the event ‘Tell her she's beautiful’ as an ode to this specific girl, and my multiple other friends whom have never believed themselves to be beautiful. I made the event so people could be reminded that there are beautiful people in their lives that don't get told enough, and they need to hear it. Or one day, they may just make you feel terrible and powerless to help too. Of course I’m stubborn and persistent, so I’m still trying to prove it to her :)

Did you plan this event with other people?

No, it was a spur of the moment thing. I stopped all of my studies, and decided to work on the event, because I couldn't get it out of my mind.

What does it require to keep this movement going?

Quite honestly I don’t know. I didn't expect it to get so large or popular. It was a simple gesture, and I never had plans to make it a year round event. the reason being, beautiful is a precious word, people need to hear it once in a while, but when it's overused it loses its meaning and it won’t have the same impact on the girls. I’ll probably start up a group or YouTube channel to keep the movement going on my free time. Otherwise I don't think I will post the event again until next year.

How do beautiful women inspire you?
Well... my friends are my life. All of my female friends are always there for me, and they care for me and watch out for me and talk to me. I'd do anything for them, including risk my life. Each and every one of my close female friends is beautiful and I’d do anything for them. They are my best supporters and inspiration :) to me, they are my family.

Did you have any idea it would get this big?

Nope, I did not expect over 10 000 invites and maybe 1 000 attendees. There is about 700 times more than that now.

Are you moved by the response?

I quite honestly am. I get around 50 friend invites a day, with messages attached, and I personally answer every single one of them. It really makes me happy when I hear I change lives. Some girls are realizing their worth, having faith in the world, and faith in them. I’ve even gotten messages from bulimic women telling me about their struggle. Some guy even wrote a song for the event. I did too of course, but his just sounds better.

What is your favorite part of this whole event?

My favorite part is all the people that I make happy. When someone shares a bit about their lives with me, and tells me how inspired they are, it truly makes me happy.
What words of inspiration do you have to offer to young women?

Don’t ever doubt yourself. Everyone is beautiful; just some people need to look harder than others. There is always one person out there that thinks you are beautiful, and if anything, that’s what truly matters, because that one person would love you no matter what. There is this band I know, called cloud cult, and they wrote a song called chain reaction, and I believe it applies to this event, the lyrics go as followed:
What you feel makes part of what they'll feel
it’s a chain reaction
Put out fear and they'll feel fear
it’s a chain reaction
Put out love and they'll feel love
it’s a chain reaction
If you tell someone their beautiful, they’ll feel beautiful.

Thank you Josh. You are an inspiration and your movement proves your power. Best of everything to you!

You can find 'Tell Her She's Beautiful' on Facebook

Tell Her She's Beautiful Song

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mark Montano -My Big Ass Interview

 Mark Montano, Designer, Crafter, Creative Force, TV Show Host, Creator of some ‘Big Ass Books’! I could go on and on about this King of Crafts! Mark has made and cemented his place in the world of color and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. He hosts several shows including TLC’s While You Were Out, 10 Years Younger, Style Network’s My Celebrity Home, We TV’s She’s Moving In and his new show coming to FOX TV My Home 2.0.

He’s also created the definitive books on Crafts for life and home (and in a way, healing!) including The Big Ass Book of Crafts and The Big Ass Book of Home D├ęcor.

Mark, I have to admit I’m astounded when I look through the Big Ass Book of Crafts. You truly amaze me with all of the wonderful crafts you do. What got you started on this path?

It's been a passion my whole life. My family is super talented and we never thought that buying something was better than making something. Making it was always just more fun.

With so many on-going projects how do you manage to stay sane?

Who says I'm sane? I live to create and I create to live. It works for me. I get very depressed if I don't have a project in the works.


When you started on this path did you have any idea or desire for it to reach this point?

To be honest, I'm not sure at what point I am right now. I try not to think about it too much. I just keep looking forward, saying thank you for each day that I get to create and try to make beautiful things.

Your books have projects for everyone. Home and fun. What are some of your favorite projects to do?

I love making plates. I have soooo many plates in my kitchen and I don't even cook. I also love making things to wear. I will rip apart any item of clothing and re work it to death.

 Artist, Designer, Author, TV Show Host. What shows are you hosting now and where can the audience see them?

I'm working on a new show now called My Home 2.0 which will air on Fox and on the Fios stations. It's a high tech home makeover show.


You’re tapping into so many creative markets, What’s next for you?

Not sure really. I have a few things on the burner. I'm exploring fashion again, which is fun now instead of the pressure I had in the fashion industry. Many years of my life I showed my collections during fashion week and it took a toll on me. I loved it, but it only allowed me to be creative with fabric and not much more. I need to use glue, straws, wood, all of it!

What types of things inspire you to create? 

The most mundane things inspire me. Give me popsicle sticks and glue and I'm fine. Like a kid that would rather play with the box than play with the toy inside!

Are there any more ‘Big Ass’ books planned for the future?

THE BIG ASS BOOK OF HOME DECOR is on shelves April 1st and I'm already writing the next one. But, that's a secret for now!

My motto is ‘Live in Color’ and I see that you definitely live in color. What is ‘wind down’ time like for you?

I love to read. I read like a crazy person. In fact, sitting in the sun with a good book and a cup of coffee is like heaven on earth for me. It's the only way I can wind down and cool off from all of the fumes from my projects!

Is there any inspiration you can offer to creative people and people who believe they aren’t creative?

EVERYONE is creative. It's like jumping off of a cliff. You just have to do it. You will find your path, but you can't get there unless you start. So just START!

 I agree Mark! Thank you so much for giving us this interview. I'm always excited to see what new project you come up with! The best of Color and Success to you on your Journey!

You can find out more about Mark by visiting his Website
 or your nearest Book Store.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Song in Heart and Pen in Hand... Mari L McCarthy

Mari L McCarthy is a Journal Writing Songbird! She sings and is a Journal Writing Therapist. Mari has dedicated her life to helping others and moves past her own personal health struggles to show others how to live more fulfilling lives through Therapeutic Journaling. Her dedication to what she offers and education in Journalistic Healing is an Inspiration to all who come in contact with her.

Mari you live with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and it appears to take a back seat to the business of living and doing what you love. Talk to us about that. What inspires and drives you?

Certainly. MS according to the medical profession is known as Multiple Sclerosis, I know it as My Self.

I’ve always said that it was my wakeup call to stop running away from myself (when I was diagnosed I was running a management consulting firm, living out of a suitcase M-F, coming home on weekends to wash clothes and repack.) It was the best thing that ever happened to me because it prompted me to sit down and explore who really lived inside my body. Daily I discover more about myself, my talents, my passions. It’s helped me get on a first name basis with my body and now all parts of me are communicating, working through issues, mastering challenges, creating the best life possible for My Self.

It’s a daily reminder to be more kind and compassionate to My Self and to constantly choose health and happiness, to think more positively, to know and grow myself.

Mari, you have a couple of things going on that I’d like to talk about. Journaling and Singing.

I know you have a serious love for both. Does the Journaling and Singing somehow intertwine?

Yes. They are both creative, therapeutic exercises. They’re both about finding and using your voice and using every cell in my body.

How long have you been singing and what was your Journey like getting to the point where you are a recognized and recorded Songstress?

First, I set my goal with my Journal (goals are the mainstay of my life!) to learn how to sing. Through my journaling I found that one of my passions was singing and performing and that the time was right to pursue my passion. About a month later, I read about a local music school that had adult students and I was started. That was about 7 years ago. And the key thing was practice, practice, practice and working through all the crazycrap thoughts and messages I’d been carrying around with me, all the things that I was responsible for, things that I took personally. My singing taught me how to feel again; that singing is more than memorizing music and lyrics. I am a musical storyteller. I feel and share the story.

What inspires you to Sing? 

I don’t know. I feel all kinds of things and I want to share me, myself and I with my inner and outer world. It’s an emotionally organic part of me, I believe

Who are some of your motivators? Barry Manilow and my mother who art in heaven, my inner singer.

I’ve listened to your music and find some it very emotional? Talk to me about that.

Thank you. In learning to sing, I’ve reconnected my body to my brain. I’ve discovered that I do have emotions and that feelings are a great thing, it’s a natural part of me, personally. It’s been so therapeutic…I’ve even remembered that I did have a childhood!

Do you write your own songs? If so, what inspires you to write?

I wrote my first song, “Since Forever” for my most recent CD, “The Barry Thought of You”. It was based on a poem I wrote and read to Barry Manilow when I met him (another goal). Someday I’ll perform it for him (of course another goal). As for other songs, I just keep a Songwriting journal and jot words and phrases, feelings. I’m also taking piano lessons to learn how to accompany myself so sometimes I just play around and see what comes up.

How many CDs have you made?

I’ve made two: ‘A Baby Boomer’s Christmas’ and ‘The BARRY Thought of You’. This year, I made my first music YouTube video.

Are there any CDs in the works?

Yes, this year I’ll release “My Favorite Songs—Then and Now”. They’re Broadway tunes interpreted my way.

You also promote Journaling and have a Blog dedicated to Journaling. Talk to me about that. Why is Journaling so important to you?

It helps me further understand who I am and there’s nothing I can’t do.
It helps me master my life challenges, deal with my demons, set and get better goals, reduce stress, manage my inner critics, think more positively and that’s just the beginning.

Mari, what words of Inspiration would you offer our Readers?

Attitude is everything. You can be, do and have anything you want when you think, believe, and totally trust in your Self. It means creating a healthy, loving relationship with yourself, setting and envisioning your goals and working with your Journal to get unstuck so you can soar.
Thank you so much Mari. We wish you the best and most colorful!!

You can find out more about Mari by visiting CreateWriteNow


(c) 2009 - 2011
Stephanie Jordan, Diviacity

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Please do not copy or redistribute
in any form without writing

The views expressed in these interviews
are soley those of the interviewees.

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