Round Up

I’ve been a little behind in sharing recent happenings (I’ve been in an editing hole, making the final tweaks on the most challenging and exciting book project of my career… more details soon, but the release will be April 10, 2017). Some exciting things have happened: I released my latest book, Low-Fat Love Stories, I’ve received five IPPY 2017 nominations, and Method Meets Art Second Edition turned two, and is going global.

At the end of 2016 I was thrilled to release Low-Fat Love Stories, which is a special project. It’s my first collaboration with a visual artist, Victoria Scotti. Victoria is a deeply talented visual artist and collaborating with her was a magical process. After Low-Fat Love was released five years ago, I was inundated with emails from people telling me about their stories of low-fat love. People lined hallways at book talks and conferences to whisper their most intimate stories to me. It was a very humbling experience. I wanted to honor the stories people were sharing with me so I decided to collect new, formal interviews and directly ask people about a dissatisfying relationship with a romantic partner, family member, or their own body image. Each one focuses on a woman’s experience with what I call “low-fat love.” That was the impetus for Low-Fat Love Stories which is a collection of sixteen short stories and visual portraits that Victoria and I call “textual-visual snapshots.” I conducted interview research with women ranging in age from their twenties to seventies who come from all different kinds of backgrounds and circumstances. The stories focus on settling in relationships, the gap between fantasies and realities, relationship patterns, divorce, abuse, childhood pain, spirituality, feeling like a fraud, growing older, and daily struggles looking in the mirror. They are written in the first-person with language directly taken from each woman’s interview. They are quite raw, and we think will prompt visceral responses. As a collection, the stories and arts set you on an emotional rollercoaster and illustrate the different forms “low-fat love” may take, and the quest for self-worth in the context of toxic popular culture. It’s meant to validate peoples’ experiences, often those we are too afraid or embarrassed to share, and to empower readers in their own lives. We hope readers get one simple message: you are enough. We also hope arts-based researchers, creative arts therapists, and others find value in the new methodology we developed. In order to assist practitioners who wish to use or adapt our approach, we included a detailed discussion about the methodology at the end of the book, along with the complete interview guides used in the project. Please check-out some of the interviews I did about LFLS, as well as a piece I wrote about “writer’s block” and the creative process:

I’m humbled to share my work has received five IPPY 2017 nominations (Low-Fat Love Stories has been nominated in three categories, and Blue in two). To me, awards are not a measure of worth– we must value our work independent from external judgment. That is the only way to be a scholar or artist. True to the muse. However, it’s obviously lovely and as these books are quite special to me I’m particularly touched. I’d be lucky to receive an IPPY some day. Further, books are the result of the work of many behind-the-scenes whose names often go unknown, and so I’m delighted to share these nominations with my publishing team at Sense Publishers.

Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice Second Edition turned two. The best news it that I have secured deals for foreign translations in Chinese, Korean, and Polish. There’s no question that this book changed my career and my life. It’s the labor of love that has given me my scholarly community (the greatest colleagues in the world), and countless other blessings and opportunities. There’s no greater compliment then people wanting your book in their language and so I’m honored and humbled beyond words to see MMA2 go global. I hope this further legitimates arts-based research within the global research landscape. My commitment to ABR has never been stronger.

As for what’s next… I’ll be on the road this spring doing several talks and book signings (please check the “Appearances” link under the “Presentations” tab for details). Looking forward to connecting with friends, colleagues, and readers. The big news is that the book I’ve been mentioning for years, the culmination of everything I have done in my entire career, will be released April 10!!!! I’m BURSTING to share details (very soon). This book, it’s simply everything to me. I truly hope it’s of value. More soon. #AllWaysOfKnowing #SecretBookProjects

Love and Light,

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