• November 2015

The Resilience Issue

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” writes artist and author Vivian Greene.

That quote is one of the little inspirational plaques that adorns my office in Richmond, VA, which is filled with similar sayings to remind me of what I know at the core of my being: Resilience rules.

I believe actress Diane Lane said it best when asked how she’s stayed resilient through the ups and downs of her decades-long career: “It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling. The key is having an appetite for going toward the light. When the light is harder to find, you have to pedal even faster.”

In this month of giving thanks, we feature 16 columns on the art of bouncing — back from adversity, forward to the next big business opportunity, and sometimes in place when you just don’t know what to do.

To guide you in the process, we turn to beloved children’s book author Sandra Boynton (pictured here). In this month’s interview, we focus on “Frog Trouble,” a CD-songbook that hit the New York Times best-seller list just weeks after it was released. Scroll down to find out what keeps her creative juices flowing, how a chicken helped her convince a handful of country music stars to play with her, and how she deals with “Frog Trouble.”

Also in this issue:

  • We welcome our new client, chef and premier cooking teacher Ann Butler, and learn more about how she is helping America’s kids to cook real food with her company, Edible Education.
  • And, if you find yourself sitting in traffic — again — you may not be feeling so resilient. In fact, you may be fantasizing about where you will live once you retire. Egan, Berger & Weiner CFP® Howard Pressman suggests not rushing into your decision. “The notion of a true paradise may be misleading, so be sure to identify what’s most important to you in your idyllic locale.” Click here for key factors to consider.

We leave you with this parting thought from one of our favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Wood:

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things! Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs! They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! Images of Tigger, public-domain

Happy Thanksgiving! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • founder, Inkandescent PR

Got Business Troubles? Sandra Boynton Teaches Us to Sing Away the Blues


Hang on to yer hat, cowpoke. One listen-to and read-through of Sandra Boynton’s illustrated country-music songbook/CD combo “Frog Trouble,” and you’ll be humming your way through the day.

By Hope Katz Gibbs Publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine

When it comes to embracing the art of resilience, it’s wonderful to look to successful people who continuously reinvent themselves. Such is the case for illustrator, author — and now songwriter — Sandra Boynton.

Created for children ages 1 to “older than dirt,” the fun yet poignant title “Frog Trouble” is Boynton’s fifth foray into merging music, words, and art. Like the others she’s created with keyboard player Michael Ford, it’s likely to become a certified Gold, and an award-winning New York Times best-seller.

This collection of ditties is packed with star-power — including musical performances from Linda Eder, Brad Paisley, and Dwight Yoakam — and the message of the book is as charming and iconic as the lyrics and illustrations by Boynton herself. From “I’ve Got a Dog,” to “Deepest Blue,” and “More Frog Trouble,” this 64-pager is filled with wit and wisdom — as well as lyrics and sheet music so readers can sing and play along.

We wouldn’t expect anything less from the successful artist and author, who has been writing books and drawing charming animal illustrations since the 1970s. “I love illustrated books, and I’ve always been smitten with records, so I guess it was inevitable that I’d eventually want to put the two together,” Boynton tells us from her home office in Connecticut. “I think I’m happiest in a recording studio, working with great singers and musicians. Making a record is pretty much the most fun a person can have. Though drawing confused hippos is way up there, too.”

How did the native of Orange, NJ, make her way to the recording studios of Nashville? “If you love recording, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in Nashville,” she believes. “And y’all might even start saying ‘y’all’ without even realizing it.”

Boynton admits that snagging stellar singers as Eder, Paisley, and Yoakam for “Frog Trouble” wasn’t easy. “It took foolish optimism on my part. But they all said they really loved the songs, so that helped.” To seal the deal, Boynton sent each country star a gift of a stuffed animal (Mr. Chicken, to be precise). “Surely there’s nothing so persuasive as receiving an unexplained stuffed chicken,” she says.

Being clever about accomplishing her goals has long been Boynton’s style.

As an undergrad at Yale, she started designing gift cards and Christmas cards, which her Uncle Bill, a printer, made copies of. She then trudged around to various East Coast stores selling them. The cards took off — and so had her love life.

“Jamie McEwan was a tall, swarthy, and cheerfully subversive Yale wrestling captain/1972 Olympic bronze medalist when we met,” shares Boynton, who married and moved with him to a farm in the foothills of the Berkshires. “Then we collaborated on four perfect children and two quirky books.”

Those stories were “The Story of Grump and Pout,” and “The Heart of Cool.” Dozens of books by Boynton followed. Then, in 1996, she met her professional partner, Michael Ford. “We’re a very lean team,” she explains of her collaboration with the Pennsylvania-based music man. “I write all the lyrics and most of the melody, and from there, Mike and I create each song together in our own small New England music production studio, with Mike playing scratch instrumental tracks on keyboard and helping with all the technical stuff, which he’s masterful at. I call him The Computer Whisperer.”

What is Boynton working on next? She’s reinventing an old classic. “I re-researched, rewrote, and re-illustrated my 1982 seminal work Chocolate: The Consuming Passion, which Workman Publishing just released last month.” And, she has started working on a new album of infectious-beat dance songs, which is tentatively titled, “Hog Wild!”

How can you stay as clever and as buoyant as Boynton? Here are six tips to keep the bounce in your flounce.

Resilience Training: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ability to Bounce Back

If you’d like to become more resilient, consider these tips, courtesy of mayoclinic.org.

1. Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Establish other important connections by volunteering or joining a faith or spiritual community.

2. Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.

3. Learn from experience. Think of how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify positive and negative behavior patterns — and guide your future behavior.

4. Remain hopeful. You can’t change the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.

5. Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing, or prayer.

6. Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan, and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event, or loss, know that your situation can improve if you work at it.

Click here to learn more.

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”


Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leon Joseph Suenens

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
 Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

– Sonia Croquette

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”

– Steve Jobs

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.”

– Lord Chesterfield

No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”

– Martha Beck, from "Leaving the Saints"


3 Books to Help You Keep Bouncing Back

What makes one system break down and another rebound? That’s one question Andrew Zolli answers in “Resilience.”


Cooking School

Ann Butler Helps Kids Prepare the Sweetest Dish on the Thanksgiving Table: Cranberry Sauce

Kids are big helpers when it comes to making this Thanksgiving favorite.



Harnessing the Future of Technology

What are the 12 values driving consumer demand for technology? Future In Focus CEO Michael Vidikan gives us a glimpse into the future.



November Happiness: Keep a Contented Heart

November brings us ideas on how to cultivate a lighthearted, loving, and kind spirit.



12 Low-Cost Suggestions for Welcoming New Hires

It costs time and money to replace an employee. Here are 12 ways to set the stage for a new hire’s success.



The Grateful American™ Foundation Takes Us Inside the White House

The White House Historical Association was founded in 1961 through the efforts of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. William Bushong, the chief White House historian and VP of the WHHA, shares the organization’s history, mission, and vision for the future.



Got a Minute? Five Hacks to Combat Workplace Distractions

Don’t let “Got a minute?” derail your deadlines. Here’s why so many of us like interruptions — and ways to stop them from interfering with our work.



Networking for Nerds: 11 Tips to Help Reluctant Networkers Make Connections That Pay Off

Whether you are an introvert, socially awkward, or just a networking newbie, fear not.


Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Glenwood Gibbs
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Editorial Interns
Meet our 2015 team

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Richmond Photographer Kim Brundage Helps Women Shine — From the Inside Out

“I empower women of all ages to feel beautiful and confident through photography.”


PR Rules

Resilience Rules When It Comes to PR

So you’ve started a company, and you have big ambitions for it — but you don’t have a PR budget to match. Here are ways to be resilient despite the odds.



Give Thanks for Being Resilient

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” — Jamais Cascio


Inkandescent Radio

Need a Pick-Me-Up? Children's Book Author Sandra Boynton Is Happy to Help!

Yeeeee-haw! Sandra Boynton goes Country! With three Gold Record albums and a Grammy nomination to her credit, Boynton now brings you “Frog Trouble,” a CD and illustrated songbook of her new and wildly original Country songs. And they’re sung by an amazing roster of Country Music’s biggest stars.



Finding Paradise: How to Locate Your Perfect Retirement Destination

For anyone fantasizing about retiring while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to work, CFP® Howard Pressman offers tips on what to consider when deciding where to retire.


Speakers Bureau

Gina Schaefer Opens Her 11th Ace Hardware Store

Owning 11 hardware stores in Washington, DC, isn’t what you’d expect Gina Schaefer to say she does for a living. But she and husband Marc Friedman proudly stand at the helm of a small-business empire.


Inkandescent TV

Warm Up This Month with Pumpkin Muffins

As the weather chills this month, warm up with pumpkin muffins — the perfect snack that kids can make for an after-school treat, and for your Thanksgiving feast. Chef Ann Butler shows us how.


Truly Amazing Women™

Change Agent Mary Waters

“It has been a wonderful ride,” says powerhouse Mary Waters, who died Oct. 25. “My wish is that every woman enjoys her life as much as I have.”


To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!