R e s o l v e
January 2011, Issue 5
FYB Readers' Resolutions
We asked our readers for their 2011 resolutions and got back so many responses!
Jump the end of this issue to read what the FYB community has to say about:
Purpose & Achivement
Health & Wealth
Enjoyment & Enrichment
Balance & Peace of Mind
Loving Yourself & Others
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A Gentle Manifesto for a New Kind of New Year's Resolution
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
by Raquel Pidal
I’ve never done well with resolutions. I’ve optimistically tried the usual list of self-improvements involving exercise and diet and professional success, and year after year I’ve failed at these worthwhile yet weighty endeavors. I’ve had enough of failure, real or imagined, and I’ve finally decided traditional resolutions are not for me.
My first resolution-free year was 2010. I almost feel like because I didn’t begin 2010 with any grandiose expectations for personal greatness, things just started falling into place. I accepted what the universe threw my way and ended up with a new and ideal job, a new and spacious apartment, a clean bill of health, a satisfying hobby, and an engagement to the man I love. All because I decided to wait and see what would happen.
A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that rather than make resolutions each year, she instead compiled a list of things she wanted to learn more about each year, with no specific timelines, goals, or specifications.
This led her to many happy months of reading and learning about things like musicians, periods of history, and social and cultural issues of importance to her.
What I love most about her idea is the implication that as December 31 melted into January 1, she saw no need to fix herself. She saw it as an opportunity to learn, to enjoy, to fill another year with knowledge and experiences that would enhance her life. Not to fix it, but to enhance it (make it even better than it already was―because it was already good!).
Perhaps the reason so many of us fail at our resolutions is because so many of our resolutions imply that we are flawed and must make changes in order to be acceptable. What a depressing way to start the year!
Instead, try a gentler approach:
You are fine just the way you are.
You deserve to explore things that will only make you feel better about yourself and your life, not things that imply how flawed you are.
I now firmly advocate approaching anything new in a manner that makes it a positive experience. Choose the attitude that you’re doing this out of desire, not because you there are terrible problems with your core self that need correction.
For too many years now, I've scolded myself come January 1 that I am too fat, don’t eat a balanced diet, should be exercising numerous times a week, should have a precise budget, should save more, that I should be this, that, and the other.
This year, I decided to stop should-ing myself to death. I stepped out the shower, looked in the mirror, jiggly bits and all, and felt genuinely happy with myself.
I smiled and said, “You’re all good, just as you are. What are you going to choose to do―what do you want to do―to have a good year?”
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Achieve Your Goals
Step by Step
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
by Sandy Farnan
Two years ago I decided to ride the MS150: a 150-mile bicycle ride for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Okay, I didn’t just decide to do the ride―which was a distance I had never ridden before―I also committed to training for it, because no goal, big or small, can be achieved without first breaking it down into smaller steps or milestones.
As you stare down that list of New Year resolutions, be mindful of creating smaller targets that help you toward your ultimate goal. For example, a person doesn’t wake up one day, decide to become CEO of a company, and then actually become the CEO the next day. Likewise, a person who sets out to write a novel doesn’t get from blank page to published title in the blink of an eye.
Just like any marathon runners or endurance athletes would, I started training in advance, beginning in March, for a ride that would take place in October. I had to build my stamina and the distance I was able to ride. My first ride during a cold, foggy March morning was 10 miles.
Each week I increased the distance I rode, building up to a late-summer 55-mile ride from the suburbs to the city and ultimately, to the 150 miles I rode in October. I would have never been able to ride 150 miles without first riding 50, or 30 miles.
Get a Buddy
One of the best things I did to help myself stay on course was enlist a friend. My buddy and I trained together and held each other accountable to the training schedule.
This seems obvious for those who resolve to go to the gym, but it can also be applied if you wish to learn knitting, write a novel, or get a promotion. With goals that involve crafts, art, or a lifestyle choice like exercising, you can join a local affinity group for support.
If you’re gunning for a promotion, find a mentor either in or out of the company or a friend with a similar career trajectory with whom you can brainstorm ideas. A buddy can help you stay accountable to the commitment, endure the trials and tribulations that are sure to arise, and celebrate your achievements.
Give Yourself a Break
When I was training, I inevitably encountered some thunderstorms, so my biking buddy and I had to call off our rides more than once. Similarly, you may have made a schedule and plan, but you also should go easy on yourself when you just can’t find the energy or time to fulfill your mission for that day.
You may have missed a night of writing or a meeting with your support group. You may have even had a misstep at work on your envisioned goal to the next rung. But hiccups happen in all aspects of life, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Expecting perfection will set you up for disappointment.
If you miss more milestones than not, it’s time to question your commitment to the ultimate goal, because it may be that you need to change it.
Proof Is in the Planning
A skyscraper isn’t just built. A movie isn’t just made. A degree is not just given. Significant planning and scheduling always occur before any big goal is met.
You have to dig into the ground before you build above it. You have to shoot each frame before you have a full-length motion picture.
You’ll never get from point A to point B without covering the ground in the middle. So take those New Year’s resolutions or whatever dream you’ve been longing to achieve and break it down into smaller, more doable milestones. Planning will make reaching your goal that much less daunting and that much more achievable.
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A Bird in the Hand
LOVE WHAT YOU DO
by Nina Alvarez
It’s a quiet Saturday afternoon. Soft flurries fall outside my window. Snow is piled up against the house across the street and its deep red shutters reminds me of the pair of cardinals I saw this morning, festive against the black and white winter forest. I let myself get quiet. I don’t want to forget about the birds.
Three years ago I stepped away from my anxiety-ridden life to heal myself using all the philosophical, psychological, and spiritual self-development tools I could find. Born into a mind-centered culture and naturally a mind-centered person, it took me a long time to learn that a significant part of the process of healing is returning to silence and stillness. Silence in my heart and stillness in my thoughts.
So when my friend called me this week and told me she was picking me up Saturday morning at 8 am to go to her “special place” and that I should “bundle up,” I thought I don’t like getting up early and I don’t like being cold, but this is probably something I need to do.
After only four hours of sleep, I roused myself from bed, half-hoping she would cancel. But of course she arrived, bright and beaming. We picked up hot coffee and egg sandwiches and drove to Mendon Ponds Park, a 2,500-acre woodland in Upstate New York.
As we stepped onto a snowy path leading through the woods, she stuck her hand in a bag and pulled out black oil birdseed.
“Stand here and put out your hand like this.”
I mimicked her, holding my palm flat up, like a bell boy waiting for a tip. She made a phishing sound to bring the birds―a low whistling, like wind stirring up leaves.
I stood in my pose for so long I started to feel the cold seeping into my toes. Then out of nowhere, a little, fat chickadee appeared, clutching my pinky and plucking a seed from my palm. As quick as a wink it flew away.
One by one, more chickadees came and grew bolder, taking two or three seeds and staying longer. A tit mouse even flew up three or four times and a red-breasted nuthatch flirted, making a couple dashes toward us then changing his mind each time before perching. The cardinals never came close but dotted the scenery with cheerful, piercing color.
My friend smiled and sprinkled some seed on my head. I had forgotten about it when suddenly I felt a small weight over my knit hat. Seeds knocked into the coffee I was holding. We laughed as more birds encircled us and fed from our hands and hats.
I didn’t notice the cold anymore. My thoughts were quiet except for the wonderment. How had I forgotten about this?
The reason I tell this story is because it completely resolved the block I had with writing this month's article. It was a topic I had assigned to myself: a piece on finding happiness in your present moments no matter what. I wanted it to balance out the focus on future goals that I knew the rest of this New Year’s issue would have.
But no matter how much I tried to be present and mindful and no matter how eloquently I can discuss the concepts around mindfulness, I couldn’t really get there until this morning in the snowy forest, next to a good friend, feeding the bird in my hand.
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The Art of Alignment:
by Raquel Pidal
On January 6, Daphne Berwind-Dart celebrated five years of running her own business as a bodyworker practicing Rolfing. Rolfing is an original and scientifically validated system of body restructuring and movement education. The overarching goal of Rolfing is to restore the body’s proper alignment, which is accomplished through gentle manipulation of the body’s fascia -- the highly malleable connective tissue matrix that envelops the muscles and gives the body its shape.
I met Daphne when I began having Rolfing sessions in her Cambridge, MA office. Her work with me has helped me improve my posture and has alleviated pain associated with a years-old ankle injury. I sat down with her to find out how she restructured her life by restructuring people’s bodies.
FYB: Where did you work before you became a Rolfer?
Daphne: After college I had been considering going back to school for a graduate degree in English Literature, but when I was offered a job at a public relations agency I decided to put the grad school decision off a little longer and get some more substantial work experience. I ended up working in PR for almost three years before deciding to become a Rolfer.
FYB: What was it about the PR job that made you realize it was not the right work and/or environment for you?
Daphne: At first I was very attracted to the strategic nature of the work and the fast pace of agency culture. But my eagerness to succeed quickly translated into extremely long workdays and a lot of anxiety. I had a hard time with the politics -- the imperative to take constant care fit nicely into the well-defined executive hierarchy.
Moreover, I become increasingly uneasy with the disconnect between my own interests and values and the interests and values of the agency and its clients. In a corporate environment, there is nothing more powerful than the bottom line. As an entry- to mid-level account executive you have very little say about which clients you service.
I also came to realize that cubicle culture just isn't for me. It wasn’t just the poor lighting and the blandness of the modern workstation. Sitting at a desk staring at a computer for long hours really started to wear on me. I needed more movement, variety, and personal interaction in my workday.
FYB: Why did you decide to pursue Rolfing as a career?
Daphne: I'd experienced Rolfing in college and knew right away that there was something special about the work, but at the time I was tangled up in my literary studies, so I didn't think of it as something I might do myself.
It wasn't until I realized I wasn’t cut out for corporate PR and accepted that I didn't have the patience for a PhD that I started thinking about Rolfing as a possible career choice. My experience as a client had been profound: not only did Rolfing cure my chronic back pain, it caused me to wake up in my body and feel more connected to myself and others.
So I began reading about the work and about Dr. Rolf's life and became interested on a philosophical level. I was particularly drawn to the tenets of the human potential movement and to Dr. Rolf’s conviction that the health of any community is inextricably linked to the health of its individuals, body and mind. I liked that Rolfing was both helpful to others and an art form in itself. It promised to challenge and fulfill the whole of me: head, hands, and heart.
FYB: How did friends and family react when they heard about your plans to make such a drastic career change?
Daphne: My parents were definitely concerned. They worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a viable living doing something most people had never heard of. Some of my friends were surprised that I wanted to pursue something so “alternative,” but my close friends were very supportive and even impressed that I was making such a big change -- and taking pretty big risks -- in order to be happier and healthier.
FYB: How did you go about becoming a certified Rolfer?
Daphne: There are a couple of schools that teach Structural Integration (the generic name for this work) but I chose to go to Dr. Rolf’s original school, The Rolf Institute (logo on left), which owns the rights to the (admittedly unattractive) term Rolfing.
The Rolf Institute’s basic training is spread out over three intensive units, which are roughly two months each. The school requires that students take a certain amount of time off between units to practice what they’ve learned, do some research, and write case studies. I took the minimum amount of time off between units, completing the training in a year, but many students choose to spread it out over a longer period of time.
FYB: What risks were involved with your decision to make this career change? Did you have any concerns or fears about making this career move?
Daphne: The biggest risk was financial. The Rolfing training costs about $20,000 and I paid for it with a loan. The risk, of course, was that I wasn’t going to be able to make enough money, especially in the first couple of years, to start paying back the loan on top of business and personal expenses.
I will admit, the first year was tough. It takes time to build a practice, and for the first six months I had to find temporary part-time work to make ends meet. But I learned to live very frugally, and I put a lot of effort into affordable marketing (such as flyering and donating sessions to community auctions), and eventually the business took off. I haven’t yet paid off all my debt, but I've been able to make steady progress while continuing to invest in growing the practice. Now business is booming. I’m making more money than I would have if I’d stayed in PR.
FYB: How did you know you had made the right career move?
Daphne: The Rolfing training itself was so interesting and inspiring that even before I started my practice I felt pretty sure I was on the right track. But the life I started as a bodyworker in private practice couldn't have been more different from the professional world I’d left, and some of the changes were challenging.
I’m a person who needs a fair amount of structure in my life, and suddenly I had a lot of time to structure for myself. But once I found my rhythm, and the discipline to stick with it, I noticed that I was a happier and healthier person. I found myself looking forward to work and regularly leaving the office in a good mood.
FYB: What things do you like most about your Rolfing career?
Daphne: The thing I like most is the freedom and independence I have. Being self-employed has obvious risks, but the reward of having almost total control over my time and energy is well worth it. I also really enjoy the Rolfing process of transformation. It's very gratifying to facilitate positive change in people’s lives and to witness the direct results of my efforts.
FYB: What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of making a drastic career change?
Daphne: If I could do it all over again, I would save more money before taking the plunge. Financial insecurity is very scary, but I got through the tenuous early years by constantly reminding myself that change is never easy. As long as what you’re pursuing is something you really enjoy, and as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can’t really go wrong. Of course not all endeavors work out. But you can’t beat yourself up if you really gave it your best shot. The much more damning situation to live with is never having gotten up the courage to try.
To learn more about Daphne and Rolfing, please visit her website: www.cambridgerolfing.com
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by Raquel Pidal
If 2011 is shaping up to be a busy year for you, and you favor a hard-copy paper day planner over a digital one, the BusyBodyBook could be just right for you.
This organizer, which can be purchased online in calendar or academic year formats, was designed by a mom who needed to keep track of her family members’ schedules, but it can be used by anyone who’s balancing multiple aspects of life like planning an event, running a business, and tracking appointments and social events.
Each week appears as a full-page grid of five columns, faced by a page that includes a lined checklist column and a blank column for notes or doodles. In my planner, I labeled the headings in the weekly grid for “Work,” “FYB,” “Wedding,” “Me,” and “Jeremy” (my fiance). I found it immediately helpful to see how my week looked in my various roles.
This comprehensive at-a-glance look made it easy for me to plan events around days that already looked full of other commitments and even helped me decide which nights called for quick-and-simple versus time-consuming dinners. The weekly grids are small and somewhat narrow, so I found that I had to write in smaller print using abbreviations.
But the ease of seeing my week laid out and the ability to elaborate on tasks in the accompanying checklist made up for this. The format has helped me to plan ahead more efficiently and anticipate my time needs, and even though the year is young, I already feel that I am better managing my time and projects.
The BusyBodyBook has a sturdy plastic cover and helpful extras like month-at-a-glance pages and pages for noting the following year’s important events. It also has folder pockets, a bookmark, and pages for notes and contacts in the back, including perforated to-do list pages. The book is spiral bound and lays flat, and it measures 7”x10”, which means you can’t just toss it into a small purse, but its comprehensive features make up for this.
Check out the BusyBodyBook website to see examples for using the planners in various ways: tracking client projects, scheduling school assignments, and even achieving personal goals. And if you’d like to try before you buy, you can download and print some free sample pages from their website, which also includes extras like weekly menu-planning sheets and larger to-do lists. For busy parents and professionals who want to stay organized and need lots of information all in one place, the BusyBodyBook comes highly recommended.
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FYB Readers' Resolutions
"I want to do my human revolution so I can grow and glow and be the strongest and happiest woman alive."
-Cybele, Washington DC
"I am determined to be happy. I've read that being happy is a choice. I've been happy over the last few years. Since happiness is a choice, I'm going to choose happiness more often. This will lead to a whole lotta good stuff for me and everyone else I come in contact with. I'm affecting world peace in a way!"
–Stephanie Levnadoski, Salt Lake City, UT
"I was talking to my mother the night I returned from a work trip, complaining about an annoying woman who sat behind me on the flight, and then I complained about returning to a huge workload, and then I complained about a rude woman behind me in line at the supermarket. She interrupted me and said, 'My New Year's resolution is to not talk about or listen to anything that's negative, so I guess we won't be having many conversations.' Good one, eh?"
-K. D., Boston, MA
Purpose & Achievement
"My resolution for 2011 is to live with purpose. I want to make decisions based on my goals and desires, and not simply because it's the way it's supposed to be."
-Amy Bassett, Lakeville, MA
"2011 brought me to a new location and a new stage in life, giving me the opportunity to tackle my 'personal development' list. This year I will be writing regularly, on my blog and in a personal journal, because we all know practice makes perfect. I've also resolved be a better Clark Family CFO--budgeting, couponing, bargain shopping, debt slaying, and saving."
-Justina Clark, Lincoln, NE
"This is my year of 'when,' not 'if.' By saying 'when,' I've already decided that I will reach my goals because if it is entirely possible and within my reach. It is only a matter of my actually doing so, as opposed to 'if,' which would automatically cause me to question if said goals can, and will, likely be achieved. The answer is simply yes, because 'if' is not part of my daily vocabulary anymore. For example, this is the year when I reconnect with my love of writing and will continue to write on a regular basis. Because this is a life goal, I'm already on my way."
-Kris Wong, Philadelphia, PA
Health & Wealth
"Definitiely living in the POWER of NOW and losing weight―eating right, thinking about exercising is more on my mind. By end of March- I should be down two sizes- at least 10lbs. lighter and able to do pull ups again."
-Karen, Webster, NY
"Lose the baby weight and fit back into my old clothes, and go back to church on a regular basis."
–Kristina, Chicago, IL
"I have two resolutions, although I haven't really been thinking of them as such―more like plans.
#1 is to have saved up almost half of my goal for a down payment on a house by the end of the year.'
#2 is to be in shape enough to run another marathon, which I have kicked off by finally seeing an orthopedist and starting physical therapy for my runner's knee and IT band syndromes (the cost of which I expect will interfere somewhat with resolution #1, but we do what we can)."
-Allison Otto, Arlington, VA
"My new year's resolution is threefold: cleaner, leaner, greener. I resolve to do my part around the apartment, and not just wait for my husband to freak out and ask me to start picking up after myself to do it.
Leaner is just a continuation of the healthy choices I've been making lately. I want to continue eating plenty of veggies and getting in some physical activity. I don't resolve to lose 20 pounds or something that seems like I'd be setting myself up for failure, but I think it's possible and plausible to resolve to make better choices every day.
And finally, greener. We recycle at home, but we definitely were still buying bottled water. I bought reusable water bottles and got a new filter for the Brita pitcher. I'm trying to phase out the chemical household products and phase in more natural stuff. I'm just trying to take a few more small steps to reduce waste."
-Nicole Pittman, Jamaica Plain, MA
Enjoyment & Enrichment
"I bought an acoustic guitar last year but have been so busy, I didn't really do anything with it. This year I plan on actually learning to play it."
-Nicole Yates, Philadelphia, PA
"My resolution is to pursue only the things I love. I look at it more of a lifelong resolution than a yearly one, but I am going to aggressively pursue the professional opportunities, hobbies, and life experiences that I really want. I've seen so many people be unhappy at their jobs, and it's just not worth it. I am lucky to work in a field that allows flexibility in my professional and life choices, and I'm going to take advantage of it. In August I am going to quit my day job and start working for myself so that I can travel and live outside of the U.S., two loves/dreams that I've had for a really long time. Also, I want to get rid of a lot of my belongings and consume less―basically, own less and buy less stuff."
-Lauren S., Boston, MA
"1) Read books by Jose Lezama Lima, Enrique Vila-Matas and Fernando Pessoa this year.
2) Steep myself in Portuguese literature/culture while working on writing a novel in which Portuguese culture plays a big role. The first thing I cooked in 2011 was a recipe from Jean Anderson's The Food of Portugal.
3) Read one novel in Italian. On my bedside table are Elena Ferrante's La figlia oscura and Alessandro Baricco's Seta. I will be happy if I get through either one before 2012.
4) Cook one new recipe a week. I'm trying recipe #3 of the year today! And then I have my life-long resolution of exposing my daughter to at least one new city per year. I think we're going on the road in March if I can square things away with my airline miles."
-Anna K., Jackson Heights, NY
"Write in some form every day. Be consistent with Looks & Books (blog). Read more books, at least 10 classics. Find a consistent workout routine. Read at least two articles from the New York Times every day. Be conscious about what I’m eating. Start my own life in New York. Take a class. Keep in touch with the people who matter."
-Jill D’Urso, Brooklyn, NY
Peace of Mind
"I am resolving to do 5 minutes of silent meditation twice a day. A friend and teacher of mine said the results within one year will be very great. We'll see, but what could I possibly lose by adding 10 minutes of discipline, awareness and quiet to my day?"
-Audrey, Seward, AK
"Same as my last one. To honor his temple of both mind and body (getting in shape, eating right, getting on treatment for ADD, applying for school)."
-Ash Pierce, Bucks County, PA
"My focus word for the year is relax."
-Anne, Wilmington, NC
"Resolution? I gave up expecting any improvement a long time ago. But I'm thinking: Live in the moment, don't dwell on the past. (My besetting sin) When I feel the urge to be witty, keep mouth shut and count to 10 first. Make more art and music. Be freer making same. Space (time) important. A friend suggested this one last year: When someone suggests I do something say, "Let me think about that and I'll get back to you," rather than my usual "Yes"... This year she said I should resolve to be an absolute Bastard. Offered to give me lessons. I said, "Let me think about that..."
-Anders Hansen, New Jersey
"Because we so often cannot see our own short comings I asked my family to make a list of things they'd like me do differently this coming year. That way I have a list of things I could work on beside the usual eat healthier, get up earlier to work out, quit smoking, etc."
-Karen, Philadelphia, PA
Loving Yourself & Others
"To be kind to myself and love myself whether or not the world is reflecting these things to me. To be more patient (big one!). To slow to anger rather than quicken to it. To continue to explore my creativity and honor it."
-Rebecca Francione, Bucks County, PA
"In 2011 I resolve to listen, remember and be outspoken. I want to listen more closely to my family, my friends, my team members and my instincts.
At times I think I let things in my life slide because I don't listen to my instincts and follow what I believe is right as closely as I could. I resolve to remember and learn from the past (projects, relationships, mistakes). I resolve to be outspoken about my beliefs (related to what I hear and remember), but do it in a way that is kind and generous.
I want to learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others and not repeat the errors I've made in the past. My motto for this year is 'I believe...' I believe in the people in my life. I believe in my own skills and knowledge. I believe in the skills and knowledge of others. I believe that with the best intentions and efforts we can change things. In the past feel weeks I've seen amazing things happen when I share with people that I believe in them."
-Jenny Kerwin, Ephrata, PA
"This year I resolve to apologize less. Apologizing is just ingrained in me, like a natural extension of my verbal sense of self. I say 'I'm sorry' without even thinking about it probably twenty times a day. Many women are always apologizing for things that are completely out of their control, things that they really don't need to apologize for. But I’ve been working on my use of language this past year because I've come to the understanding that the words we say shape our lives around us.
Given the truth of that premise, think about how demoralizing it is to apologize that often. I don't want to show up as someone who needs to apologize for her presence, as someone who is sorry for who she is and what she does and how the world treats everyone and everything around her.
I want to show up with confidence, I want to HAVE confidence. I want to have the belief in myself that I don't NEED to apologize for myself so much. I don't have to be sorry this many times per day."
-Rhian Lockard, Willow Grove, PA
"I no longer make new years resolutions because I always break them!"
-Vicki S., Williamstown, NJ
"I actually just wrote a blog post the other day about my New Year's Resolutions and lack thereof. Whereas I typically make tons of unrealistic attempts to change small aspects of my life in major ways and fail, this year, I was abroad, relaxed, happy, and said, Why not just free myself of that obligation? Basically, none of the things I’ve been up to are revolutionary– no major epiphanies, no drastic changes of lifestyle. If anything, resisting the desire to enumerate the ways I could improve my life has reminded me of how good I have it."
-Kim Liao, Taipei, Taiwan
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FYB Editorial Staff:
EDITOR & PUBLISHER
Sandy, Nina, and Raquel
Nina Alvarez is a freelance ghostwriter, editor, and social media consultant
. She is also a published poet and short fiction writer
. She writes about her life as a freelance writer at "Notes from the Road
" and her popular poem-of-the-day blog is ninaalvarez.net
. She has a master's degree in English from the University at Albany. She enjoys audiobooks, raw oysters, and all kinds of spiritual development.
Sandy Farnan is a writer, editor, and mother of two working in the Philadelphia area. Her publishing experience includes newspapers, magazines, books, medical, technical, continuing education and web. She has a master's degree in Technical Communication from Drexel University and enjoys yoga, bicycling, nature, jazz and art.
Raquel B. Pidal is Editorial Director of Winans Kuenstler Publishing
and has been the Program and Marketing Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County and the managing editor for Wild River Review. She has also worked as a freelance writer and editor on numerous book and magazine projects, and most recently she worked in publicity at a major university press. She has a master's degree in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and lives in Cambridge, MA, where she blogs about her kitchen (and life) adventures at raqueldishes.blogspot.com
(chickadee in my hand)
(Parisian blue skies)
GIVING YOUR BEST December 2010