a mosaic of updates and offerings


Well now I told you it’d be today or tomorrow, and the way it looks right now, if all goes according to plan, you’ll be back here tomorrow for my first Red Phone Story.


A Rhonda update: Rhonda continues to be silenced by a computer and talk-to-text software that refuses to play nicely. Her husband is tenaciously working on it, though, so stay tuned. And hey, thank y’all again for continuing to leave affirming comments for Rhonda.


You don’t want to miss these posts:

My friend and writing partner Julie Daley has written several thoughtful, elegant posts of late filled with beautiful, affirming, peaceful, healing words.


My friend Angela keeps us updated on her precious dogs while she pens her memoir behind the scenes. Whether you like dogs or not, you’ll want to visit and read about Max and Gracie.


And last but definitely not least, I want to be sure you know and help me spread the word about this:

Alana Sheeren and I met via the ethers a couple of years ago. She tweeted out a question about schooling young people, and being somewhat passionately opinionated about this, I tweeted a reply. We tweet-chatted a bit more, and a friendship was born. Since then, Alana has experienced the loss of a stillborn son named Benjamin, and she writes frankly and fearlessly about the unimaginable grief she’s lived in the past year at her blog, Life After Benjamin. Her words have fortified, comforted, assured, and amazed readers, and now she has more to offer those who are grieving their own particular loss.

Alana created a beautiful ebook called Picking up the Pieces. It’s filled with luminous stories of grief and growth penned by women you might know or have heard of. It is truly, as so many others have said, “a gift of musings and magic,” and I hope you’ll finish reading, then trot right on over and download a copy for yourself.

But that’s not all our Alana has been up to . . .

In her newest book, One Hundred Names for Love, Diane Ackerman writes:

“There is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss.” Yes, that felt right. An atmosphere of wrongness. I was stirred by the power of Lewis’s grief. And yet, his experience, despite his referring to it as “mad midnight moments,” didn’t lead to madness. His was a mind that could cushion itself when faced with trauma, without becoming callous, neglectful, or numb to soften the pain. Despite not knowing if what he felt from moment to moment would pass or last forever, he entered fully into his shifting states of violent rage, self-pity, longing, heartbreak, cynicism, without losing the ability to think about what was happening to him. That took courage, I thought, living with the suffering in a mindful way, as an artifact of being, neither good nor bad.

Knowing firsthand that “vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss”, knowing firsthand about “living with the suffering in a mindful way,” Alana is hosting a Picking Up the Pieces Retreat Retreat in beautiful Ojai, California on September 25-29, 2011. She’s gathered an impressive group of resource folks, and a schedule to provide balm and healing for the bruised and grieving soul. If you are grieving, treat yourself to this special offering designed to support your body, mind, and spirit. If you know somebody who’s grieving, promise you’ll tell them about it and encourage them to go. If you have any questions or comments, if you’d like to contribute in some way, email AlanaSheeren (at) gmail (dot) com today.


  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for the round up and details of all the goings-on! And thank you for sharing this space with the incredible stories and works for others. It so speaks to your blog new mission statement. (I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to call it …) 🙂

  2. Meredith

    I know two women who could benefit from that, and I’m going to pass the word along right now.

  3. 1little light

    I didn’t know you read Life after Benjamin.., 
    what a wonderful mosaic of thoughts and wisdoms…

    • whollyjeanne

      Thank you, Sugar. I take it you read Life After Benjamin, too? Such a brave, compassionate woman, our Alana. xo

  4. Theresa

    I’m wondering if there are any updates on Rhonda. I’m sorry if I have missed any posts that have been made. Her story deeply touched my heart and I think of her and her family daily. 
    Thanks so much for any information.

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