Writing Yourself into Immortality

When I start to write something, I suppose I want it to change me, to make me into something not myself. And while I'm doing it, I really have the feeling that this time, at the end of it, I will be other than myself. Of course, every time I end a book, I look down at myself and I'm just the same. I'm always disappointed that I'm just the same, but not enough to never do it again! I get right back up and I start something else, and I think this time - this time - I really will be transformed into something other than this tawdry, ordinary thing, sitting on the bed and drinking cold coffee. When I write a book, I hope to be beyond mortal by the time I'm finished.

--Jamaica Kincaid, born on this day in 1949


White Hot Truth

I got the call from Danielle LaPorte when I was 37 weeks pregnant, early last April. She was writing her new book, and it needed to be done by July. Her description of her book lit up all my circuits. Self-help rooted in compassion instead of criticism? Calling out our addiction to self-improvement? A playful, lovingly contrarian view of New Age spirituality? "And," she added, "it's coming out more personal than I expected." Yes, yes, yes, and hell yes!

“Feel free to bail on me once the baby gets here,” she said before we hung up, but I knew I wouldn’t. I had to work with her, timing be damned. They say you should write the book you want to read -- well, I wanted to edit this book for the same reason.

I gave birth, our collaboration process ramped up, and I edited her book with newborn on one breast and laptop propped on the other side. I sent my suggestions with newborn photos attached. She didn't blink when I replied to her email at two in the morning.

I had the privilege of working with her words and ideas while sloshing around in my own milky postpartum bliss. Fertility abounding everywhere. It was just the best. A total honor.

Tomorrow, her book baby will be born. "White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another" (link in bio) is an invitation to take our spiritual selves a little less seriously, in the most sacred way possible. Danielle blends her signature wit, wisdom, and irreverence into a highly readable book that will help you breathe easier on your path.

It's a gift to all of us who could use some hilarity in our humility, whose sacrosanct could stand to be a little scruffier.

Happy book birthday, D! Thank you again for the pleasure of being on your team. May your book fly off the shelves and touch the heart and soul of each reader! 

Photo by @aboynamedvu
And you can now find my editing self on Instagram at jennifergandinle!



Forget The Fork

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.

--Emily Post, born on this day in 1873


A Spot of Hope

America did not invent human rights. In a very real way, human rights invented America.

--President Jimmy Carter, born on this day in 1924


Lately, I've been considering the connection between our country's current upheaval and how this country was formed -- through genocide, colonization, slavery, destruction of families and civilizations. Sometimes I wonder if America was doomed from the beginning, and what possible future we could create with such a birth.

But this quote gives me space for a gentle breath. As we know better, we do better. Perhaps human rights and its champions will carve a future America based in peace, interconnectedness, and respect for the earth.


When You Hang Your Flowers Up to Dry

It's time for another photo post, because words can't effectively sum up where I've been since I last posted in April 2015.


photo by Vu Gandin Le, Gandin + Le Studios

(photo by Vu Gandin Le)