• 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.

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

– Michelle Sedas

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

– Madam C.J. Walker

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

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

– Joseph Cambell

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”

– Mae West

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

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

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

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.”


In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

– Steve Jobs

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

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

– Winston Churchill

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

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

– William James

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

– Corita Kent

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.”

– Anna Pavlova

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

– Martha Beck

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

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

– Helen Keller

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison


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.


Andrew Carnegie

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.”


Andrew Carnegie

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!