Posts tagged Kerry Schafer
The Creative Power of a Beautiful Question with Warren Berger
Why? What if? How?

Why? What if? How?

What the heck is a questionologist? Why should you be one? What does a four year old girl possess that you need to have? How can asking the right questions empower our creative lives and improve our relationships? What questions should you be asking? 

Listen to the podcast for the answers, and for even more questions! 


Anchor FM


Apple podcasts 


Radio Public

Then check out Warren Berger’s fascinating new release, The Book of Beautiful Questions, and stop by his website, A More Beautiful

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Scratch and Sniff Inspiration: a conversation with Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor
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The most awesome thing about hosting a podcast is that I get to hang out with my guests and talk about creativity and writing. And one of the primary things I brought away from my conversation with Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor is that I need to write books that require really fun research.

And I mean really fun, as in hanging out on the Cote d’Azur, visiting French parfumeries, and even taking perfume making classes! Clearly I write the wrong kinds of books. Research for Everything You Are took me to Seattle, where I got lost (briefly), sampled many different coffee roasts, explored the lobby of a hospital, and took a long walk in a park. All of this was fun, but not like hanging out in France and learning how to make perfume.

Of course, writing historical fiction requires a lot more research than I usually get into, and both Heather and Hazel are meticulous and professional about the research they do for their books, so immersion on location is necessary. In this case, with Meet Me in Monaco, a novel that unfolds around the events of the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier of Monaco, the decision to structure the book around a special fragrance designed for Grace by a struggling perfume maker is nothing short of brilliant.

As a side note, the quest of the character Marie to create an exquisite perfume that will not only fulfill her personal desire for the ultimate fragrance but also save her floundering business reminds me very much of how it can feel to be an author. For Marie, inspiration often comes from the scent of everyday things: a leather jacket, tobacco, a field of flowers.

Smell may be the most powerful of all the senses for evoking memory and emotion, and the use of fragrance in Meet Me in Monaco has served the book well, eliciting endorsements like this one, from Kate Quinn, NYT bestselling author of The Alice Network:

A fragrant French bonbon of a book: love, glamour, perfume, and paparazzi all circling around the wedding of the century...”

We joked about the book being born of “scratch and sniff inspiration,” which I honestly think we all could benefit from. Next time I’m stuck in my writing, I’m going to go on a sensory tour just smelling things and see what happens!

You can listen to our conversation on my Creativity Quest podcast at any of the links below. If your favorite podcast app isn’t included, do a search - chances are good you can find and follow Creativity Quest on your favorite podcast site.


You Can Re-write the Story of Your Life

Even if you’re a writer, it may have escaped your notice that writing can completely change your life. And I’m not talking about writing that runaway bestseller that earns you a gazillion bucks and a blockbuster movie (although how cool would that be?)

I’m talking about writing to build healthy relationships, improve your physical or mental health, maybe even become a better human being and figure out who you are as a human on this planet.

Meet my friend Lara Zielin. A few years back, she experienced a personal and professional crisis that sent her reeling, but then she got this big ah-ha moment and realized writing could help her find her way again. Within a year of that realization, her life and heart had been transformed, all because she’d put pen to paper.

You can read the book she wrote about that journey, Author Your Life, right here among other places.

Lara loves this work so much she has put together a FREE online summit called Author Your Life: How to Use Writing to Kick Fear in the Teeth, Send Obstacles Packing, and Create the Life You Want.

I’m honored, humbled, and super excited that Lara invited me to be part of the summit, along with 20 other experts, to discuss the power of writing to change everything.

In the summit, I’ll be on my soapbox demolishing the myth that creativity and writing are frivolous. Writers need to write! Even if you don’t think of yourself as “a writer” or “a creative” it can still be an amazing, heart-healing power in your life.

You can join this free event by registering right here:

And when you do, you’ll hear incredible experts using writing to unleash change as well as practical how-to advice so you can put this into practice yourself. This includes how to use writing to:

• Silence your inner critic
• Face fear and get un-stuck
• Connect to your community
• Embrace and high-five your authentic self
• Change the story you tell yourself about work

And much more!

Register now if you’re ready to grab a pen (or a crayon or whatever) and get your breakthrough.

The Magic of Letting Go: How Forgiveness Helps Your Writing

Over the last few weeks I've been engaged in a new process for me: forgiveness.

If you had asked me a month ago if I had things to forgive, I'd have blinked at you and said, "I don't hold grudges." (I really excel at denial.)

When my Dreambook Planner asks me every Sunday as I'm looking ahead at the new week: "Who do you need to forgive?" I often leave that space blank.

That's because I've been focused on who I need to forgive in my current every day life. And it's true -- I am pretty good at practicing forgiveness in the here and now. When something comes up I usually take care of it. But it has not always been so.

As I began working through an online class I'm doing (Money Bootcamp for Women by Denise Duffield Thomas and it's FANTASTIC if you happen to have any money hangups) I encountered an entire module on forgiveness. When I got into the work I realized I was dragging around years of baggage over hurts both large and small. It kinda felt a bit like this:

Thing is, I didn't even know they were there. I was so used to working around them that I thought the whole time I was free.

So I started a very simple practice of repeating the forgiveness mantra Denise teaches (I'm going to share it with you in a minute) whenever one of these people or incidents popped up. No pressure. No need to feel a certain way, or wait to forgive perfectly.

The name would come up. I'd repeat my little mantra, let it go, and move on.

I'll admit there were tears involved around some names and situations. But it felt so amazing to release all of that weight and let it go.

So then I started thinking. The act of forgiving is really for US, not for the person we forgive. In fact, in this forgiveness practice, those people are never even going to know whether we forgave them or not. It's all about clearing away all of that clutter. It weighs us down and holds us back. It can present as chatter from our internal critic.

And there is one person, sometimes the hardest to forgive, who needs to know I've forgiven her. And that person is - myself. She needs to know that I forgive her everything. All of her inconsistencies and faults, failures, and foibles.

I need to forgive her for years she wasted, for not always doing her best work, for procrastinating and avoiding, for missed opportunities and falling short of goals.

This, my dear one, frees up so much energy to move forward into deeper creativity, deeper relationships, and more joyful living.

The mantra is simply this:

I forgive you.
I'm sorry.
Thank you.
I love you.

(Note: You may have some people in your life, or in your past who have done heinous things to you and maybe they don't deserve to be forgiven. In that case, this kind of forgiveness may seem insurmountable to you. Remember this, though: Forgiveness is for YOU. And YOU deserve to be able to let it go. Sometimes it helps to start very small. Sometimes it helps to have a professional person to walk through this work with you.)

I plan to continue this forgiveness work on a daily basis, but this does seem to be the perfect time of year to focus in on it and give ourselves the gift of beginning the new year free and clear.

So, I'm running a free online Clear & Create group on Thursday, December 13, to take us through the process of letting go of our own perceived failures and creating intentions for 2019. This is an interactive Zoom room session involving guided imagery, free writing, and letting go of old baggage. I'd love to have you join us!

I’m also taking this work deeper as part of a brand new coaching package that will transform your creative process - and your life - within the space of 30 days. I believe in this so strongly I’m offering a guarantee.

You can get a free taste of how this works in the Clear & Create group, so I hope to see you there!

Creativity Quest: Becoming the Fear Whisperer

I just recorded my first ever podcast for Creativity Quest, my brand new adventure with Authors on the Air. I honestly had so much fun figuring out how to do all of the components of this, including a crash course in how to add in the music track and everything. Honestly? I was scared to do all of this, but it ended up being a ton of creative fun!

I’d love it if you’d give it a listen and then give me some feedback. It would also be awesome if you’d share with a friend.