Friday, March 31, 2017

Orin Davis, Ph.D. the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and the Chief Science Officer of Self Spark, joins Janeane Monday at 9:30am pst to talk about his research in Positive Psychology, his role at Happify and Happy Brain Science and more!

Did  you miss Dr. Orin Davis on today's show? Listen here!

Orin Davis earned the first doctorate in positive psychology, and is a self-actualization engineer who enables people to do and be their best. His consulting focuses on making workplaces great places to work, and his research is on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring. In addition to being the principal investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory and the Chief Science Officer of Self Spark, he is a startup advisor who helps early-stage companies enhance their value propositions, pitches, culture, and human capital. Dr. Davis also serves as a science advisor at Happify and Happy Brain Science, and is an adjunct professor of business, psychology, entrepreneurship, and creativity. He writes and speaks avidly about human capital, creativity and innovation, and positive psychology.

Melanie Brooks joins host Janeane Bernstein to talk about her book, "Writing Hard Stories - Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma."

Did you miss Melanie Brooks on today's show?


I am a writer, teacher, and mother living in Nashua, New Hampshire, with my husband, two children, and yellow Lab. I grew up in the Canadian Maritimes, and the deep ties to water and rugged spaces that live in me are rooted in that background.

I graduated with a degree in English from Gordon College and then earned a Bachelor of Education from Dalhousie University. I later earned a Master of Science for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire. I began my career teaching high school social studies and then went on to teach middle school English. After my children were born, I began teaching college writing. I currently teach professional writing at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts, and creative writing at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire. I completed my MFA in creative nonfiction through the Stonecoast Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine.

I love words. And I love to play with words on the page. My head is a busy place. An endless film reel plays in there, its frames alive with images and moments, actual and imagined, that I’ve tucked into the folds of my memory. I watch them over and over again, shaping and reshaping, ordering and reordering, trying to make sense of them, searching for the story they want to tell and the language with which to tell it.

Unpacking experiences of life and loss is at the core of my writing. When I was thirteen, my father was infected with HIV after receiving tainted blood during open-heart surgery. He died of an AIDS-related illness ten years later. The complicated nature of his disease and the grief of his death have had a lasting impact on me. My writing is the vehicle through which I'm learning to understand that impact. The stories filling the pages are helping me to better understand myself.

I first read about Melanie Brooks in Poets & Writers Magazine. Her book, Writing Hard Stories, grabbed my attention and I just had to invite her on my show!

Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma

"An inspiring guide to ennobling personal stories that travel to the dark sides of life."
“Writers of all genres will glean golden nuggets of advice about writing and living from this book, while all readers, because they, too, have unique personal stories, will be comforted and inspired by the everyday and creative struggles of some of their favorite authors.”
- Booklist
"[I]t unearths gems of insight, especially about the natures of truth, memory, subjectivity, and fact, and about what memoirs can mean to readers. And it leaves no doubt about the strength required to confront old ghosts."
- Publishers Weekly 

In Melanie's own words
Two years ago, I began writing a painful family story that has now become a memoir, A Complicated Grief. Writing into the memories of this part of my life left me with some difficult questions: What does it take to write an honest memoir? And what happens to us when we embark on that journey? Would I survive the process? I decided to approach the writers whose memoirs moved me and ask these questions. Their replies – honest and soul-searing – comprise Writing Hard Stories. This book profiles my conversations with some of our country’s most prolific writers including: Alysia Abbott, Richard Blanco, Kate Bornstein, Edwidge Danticat, Mark Doty, Andre Dubus III, Jessica Handler, Richard Hoffman, Marianne Leone, Michael Patrick McDonald, Kyoko Mori, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Sue William Silverman, Kim Stafford, Abigail Thomas, Jerald Walker, Joan Wickersham, and Monica Wood. These writers invited me into their homes, into their lives, to share the intimacies of finding the courage to put words to their stories. Their candid descriptions of their own treks through the darkest of memories and the details of the breakthrough moments that opened up their stories gave me the mooring I needed to keep writing my own.

Kate Trumbull-LaValle, Director of Ovarian Psycos, calls in to "Get the Funk Out!" on 4/3 at 9:00am pst!

A documentary directed by Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle

Did  you miss Kate Trumbull-LaValle on today's show? 
Listen here!


Ep MainBased in the heart of Los Angeles' Eastside, and building upon the legacy of the Chicano/a and civil rights movement, the irreverently named Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade are a ferocious and unapologetic group of young women of color, cycling through the barrios and boulevards of the Eastside, committed to collectively confronting racism and violence, and demanding and creating safe spaces for women.


Kate Trumbull-LaValle (Director/Producer) is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who first began in the field of social justice media as an educator and media maker for the Media Arts Center San Diego and the San Diego Latino Film Festival. She was associate producer and assistant editor for Renee Tajima-Peña’s No Más Bebés (2015), which profiles the history of Latina women coercively sterilized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 1970s, and aired on Independent Lens. She directed the short documentary, Abaayo/Sister (2012), an intimate portrait of two Somali friends caught in a cultural tug-of-war and is a UC Berkeley Human Rights Fellow (2010) and graduated with an M.A. from the Social Documentation Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

MON 03/27/2017 at 10pm EST (check local listings)

If you missed the 03/27/17 broadcast premiere on PBS,
you can can watch the online stream on

FILMMAKER PRESS CONTACT: After Bruce PR // 562.881.6725
tracy@afterbrucecom // 503.701.2115

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ellen Tadd, an internationally known clairvoyant counselor, educator, and author, joins host Janeane 3/27/17 at 9:45am pst to talk about her latest book, "The Infinite View - A Guidebook to Life on Earth."

If you missed Ellen Tadd on today's show, listen here!

Ellen Tadd is an internationally known clairvoyant counselor, educator, and author who has been teaching and counseling for more than forty years. She is widely respected for the integrity of her work, the accuracy of her perceptions and guidance, and the clarity and usefulness of her teaching.

Shortly after completing her freshman year in college, Ellen had a remarkable experience in which she was able to contact her deceased mother. Her mother’s presence and message healed Ellen’s childhood trauma of denying her clairvoyant and clairaudient gifts and transformed her view of the world. Very soon after this awakening she began to have contact with guides and teachers from spiritual realms who provided her with an extraordinary education.

Tadd is the author of three books: The Infinite View soon to be released on March 28, 2017, The Wisdom of the Chakras, and Death and Letting Go which appeared on the Boston Globe bestseller list.

“Do not be caught in the limited perspective of life, for it has continual turmoil and uncertainty. If you venture deeper, you will see that there is a growth plan in operation for all individuals…”

Written by internationally revered clairvoyant counselor and educator Ellen Tadd, The Infinite View is a spiritual classic in the making.

“The Infinite View offers a wide audience a deep yet practical way to connect to spirituality. I love this book.” — Giselle Bundchen
People often lean towards either trusting their gut or relying on their analytical mind, but Ellen Tadd urges readers to consider a new approach that allows both emotions and the intellect to be guided by wisdom. Through describing how the Spirit, soul, and personality are integrated, she guides readers in deepening and expanding their perceptions to discover practical solutions to everyday challenges.

According to Tadd, Spirit is the God Force that animates and empowers us and suffuses everyone and everything. But while Spirit is conscious and communicative, we haven’t been taught to look for or listen to it. In fact, most of us have been conditioned not to look or listen. When we choose to attune our conscious mind with Spirit, we find ourselves able to engage life with greater clarity—even when it tests us through illness, death, loneliness, anxiety, or fear.

The Infinite View offers tools and insights needed to achieve this attunement. Drawing on her personal narrative, as well as the experiences of her students, Tadd helps readers transform their understanding of themselves and the world around them.

“The first piece of wisdom in Ellen’s guidebook for life on earth is a priceless gem: go deep within the silence of your own being, and pay attention to what you hear. She invites readers to connect with their own guidance by suggesting oneness practices, synthesizing the spiritual and human condition, and shifting perspective to view life through a spiritual lens. The Infinite View is a warm and compelling read about dimensions of life beyond the ordinary. —Edward Viljoen, author of Ordinary Goodness

“The Infinite View is an amazing book that explains many of the mysteries of life and offers the reader tools and approaches to manage the journey through this life and beyond. Ellen helped me, the son of a renowned guru, understand and sort out how I fit into my dad’s life and success and understand my own soul’s path. —Scott Blanchard, Principal and Executive Vice President, The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Pam Jenoff, author of The Orphan's Tale: A Novel Paperback, joined host Janeane Monday at 9:30am pst

If you missed Pam Jenoff on today's show, listen here!

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

“I read this novel in a headlong rush, transported by the relationship between two vastly different women during World War II: a Jewish circus aerialist and a teenage runaway with a baby. Deftly juggling secrets, lies, treachery, and passion, Pam Jenoff vividly brings to life the agonizing choices and life-or-death consequences for a hardy band of travelers under Nazi occupation.”

—Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train.

“In prose that is beautiful, ethereal, and poignant, The Orphan’s Tale is novel you won’t be able to put down.”


“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel.”

—Library Journal

“The Orphan's Tale is a compelling and beautifully told story about the power of female friendship, with all its complications.”


“A gripping story about the power of friendship to save and redeem even in the darkest of circumstances, The Orphan’s Tale sheds light on one of the most colorful and inspiring stories of heroism in Nazi Germany. This is a book not to be missed.”

—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife.

R:\New York PR\Fiction PR\Heather Gudenkauf\Little Mercies\Images\HG Author Photo - photo credit Morgan Hawthorne.jpgTHE ORPHAN’S TALE (MIRA Books; February 21, 2017), the powerful new novel from international bestselling writer Pam Jenoff, blends two little known aspects of the human drama that was the Second World War into a heartrending story of friendship and survival. Set amid the unconventional world of a traveling circus, the novel brings together two women—both refugees from their own pasts and each attempting to live under the radar during the Nazi incursion. Forming an at-first tentative bond, the two resilient women learn to trust and rely on each other even as the threat of exposure closes in.

Noa, a sixteen-year-old Dutch girl, is banished from her home when her father discovers she has become pregnant by a German soldier. With nowhere else to turn, she enters the Nazi-run Lebensborn program, accepting care and shelter in exchange for the promise that she will give up her Aryan baby for adoption by a worthy German family. But, surrendering the baby proves devastating for Noa, and afterwards she lives in quiet desperation as she ekes out a living as a cleaner at a railway station. One day, in a railcar, she discovers dozens of Jewish infants who have been rent from their mothers, bound for certain death. On impulse, she steals one of the babies and flees.

After spending a near-fatal night in the freezing forest, Noa and the baby are discovered by the denizens of a circus and given sanctuary. In order to stay with the troupe without rousing the suspicion of the local Nazi authorities, Noa must be given a part to play in the show, and it is decided she will fill a vacant aerialist’s place. She is put in the charge of Astrid, the star trapeze artist, who at first has nothing but disdain for this amateur. Still, she is surprised by Noa’s determination and innate talent, and Astrid has sympathy for the girl’s plight because of her own circumstances. The daughter of a rival circus family, Astrid is Jewish and alone in the world. Once married to a German officer, she has been disowned by her husband and, like Noa, has found welcome refuge in the sheltered, nonjudgmental world of the circus.

As the circus moves across Europe, out of Germany and into occupied France, Noa hopes that she can find the means of escape to save the baby, whom she has named Theo. Yet, in this turbulent time of mistrust and betrayal, no one can be assured of safety, and the secret pasts both women shield return to haunt them and threaten their safety. Loyalty and friendship may not prove enough to save them.

“A gripping story about the power of friendship to save and redeem even in the darkest of circumstances,” says Melanie Benjamin, New York Timesbestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife. “Jenoff expertly performs a pirouetting tale worthy of a standing ovation,” adds Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children.


Pam Jenoff is the author of The Kommandant's Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as seven other novels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are based on her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Actor Scott Patterson, known for his role as Luke Danes in "Gilmore Girls," shares all the details about his love of music and his latest music project, SMITHRADIO, Monday March 27 9am - KUCI 88.9fm and streaming on!

If you missed today's show
featuring SMITHRADIO'S Scott Patterson,
listen here!


Scott Patterson formed his first band in third grade and started writing his own material at thirteen. Since that time he's compiled well over 500 songs that cover all genres and styles. His newest band - SMITHRADIO - is a power blues/rock group that has already garnered rave reviews after just three concerts. Influenced by the iconic, big arena sound of the early seventies, SMITHRADIO offers searing guitars, big beats and passionate vocals along with heartfelt ballads.

SMITHRADIO released their first single “HAHA SONG” on November 23, 2016 and it debuted at #1 on the iTunes Indie Rock Chart and stayed there for several weeks. SMITHRADIO’s second single “FORGOTTEN HERO” will be released on 3/17/17 and Scott will be giving a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the song as well as from the sale of new limited edition hoodie to a charity to help those who suffer with PTSD. 

INTRODUCING the new single "FORGOTTEN HERO" by Scott Patterson’s band SMITHRADIO! SMITHRADIO will debut this song live during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX at Rachael Ray's Feedback House Party on March 18th! You can download “FORGOTTEN HERO” on iTunes (now available for pre-order), along with Google and Amazon beginning on March 17th, right from our website SMITHRADIOBAND.COM .
Website and Social Media Links:


@ScottGPatterson  #HAHASONG now on #Spotify! 
Check it out! @ScottGPatterson #SMITHRADIO #ScottPatterson @Spotify #NowPlaying #GilmoreGirls

Monday, March 20, 2017

24TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES WOMEN’S THEATRE FESTIVAL HONORS COMPOSER MEGAN CAVALLARI ON MARCH 23RD! Host Janeane Bernstein chats with Megan Cavallari tomorrow on KUCI 88.9fm before this great honor!

The 24th Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival will honor composer Megan Cavallari with the Integrity Award on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7 pm at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre.

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival empowers women artists to engage and inspire communities through the production of multidisciplinary solo performances and education outreach. The Annual Festival honors the achievement of extraordinary women in theatre. The Integrity Award is presented to an artist or individual who has brought credibility and dignity to her work.

Cavallari has worked on more than 50 film scores as performer, arranger, conductor or composer. She has composed for the L.A. Kings; has worked on 25 television shows; 16 stage musicals; and written hundreds of songs, jingles and assorted musical offerings.

In a world dominated by men, Cavallari’s critically acclaimed musicals have played at such theatres as The Mark Taper Forum, The York (NYC) Barrington Stage, 5th Avenue Playhouse (Seattle), The Ordway (St. Paul), The Under the Stars (Houston) and Living Arts Centre (Toronto).

Cavallari has won three ASCAP Awards, a BMI Award, two IRNE Awards, two Cynopsis Media Award, two Telly Awards, a FAHF Humanitarian Award, a Yip Harburg Award, a Founders Day Award, a Vollenberg Grant and has two platinum albums.

She recently launched The Talk Foundation Project, where she records the thoughts and observations of children with life-threatening and chronic diseases. She also faces the challenges of raising a twelve-year old daughter with juvenile arthritis.

Barnsdall Gallery Theatre is located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90027. Please visit the following website for further information and tickets:

Agustín Fuentes, Notre Dame anthropologist shares his latest book, "The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional."

Listen to my conversation
with Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes, Notre Dame anthropologist discusses how our capacity for creativity is what has made humans exceptional.

Creativity: it’s the secret of what makes humans special. Agustín Fuentes, professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at University of Notre Dame, brings us this optimistic assertion, that we are defined as a species by our unique capacity for creativity and collaboration, in THE CREATIVE SPARK, a sweeping overview of the history and continued legacy of human creativity. Weaving fascinating stories about our ancestors, Fuentes explores how creativity has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, for good and for bad, over millions of years, defining and refining what it means to be human.

Agustín Fuentes will discuss:

· The history and trajectory of human creativity, from selective foraging and hunting to the marvels of modern technology.

· The unique relationship between humans and dogs, the only domesticated animal that shaped our evolutionary path even as we shaped theirs.

· What set the stage for modern warfare, and a controversial explanation of large-scale human violence.

· Evidence that men are not inherently more violent and women are not inherently more domestic.

· The dark side of human creativity—how social constructs such as race, gender, and nationality incite conflict at levels not seen in other species.

· Actionable and concrete steps we can take, individually and as a community, to harness our own creative power when it comes to food, sex, art, science, and more.

As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in.

About the Author:

Agustín Fuentes is a professor and the chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology and a National Geographic Explorer. He has contributed to Psychology Today, Huffington Post,, and He is the author of Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You, and winner of the W.W. Howells Book Award. He lives in Indiana.

About the book:

A bold new synthesis of paleontology, archaeology, genetics, and anthropology that overturns misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself, answering an age-old question: What made humans so exceptional among all the species on Earth?

Creativity. It is the secret of what makes humans special, hiding in plain sight. Agustín Fuentes argues that your child's finger painting comes essentially from the same place as creativity in hunting and gathering millions of years ago, and throughout history in making war and peace, in intimate relationships, in shaping the planet, in our communities, and in all of art, religion, and even science. It requires imagination and collaboration. Every poet has her muse; every engineer, an architect; every politician, a constituency. The manner of the collaborations varies widely, but successful collaboration is inseparable from imagination, and it brought us everything from knives and hot meals to iPhones and interstellar spacecraft.

Weaving fascinating stories of our ancient ancestors' creativity, Fuentes finds the patterns that match modern behavior in humans and animals. This key quality has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, both for good and for bad. It's not the drive to reproduce; nor competition for mates, or resources, or power; nor our propensity for caring for one another that have separated us out from all other creatures.

As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in. Agustín Fuentes's resounding multimillion-year perspective will inspire readers—and spark all kinds of creativity.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bestselling author Subir Chowdhury joined host Janeane Bernstein Monday March 20 at 9:15am pst about his book, The Difference - When Good Enough Isn't Enough.

What are the Simple Characteristics that Separates Good Companies from Great Companies, “Good Enough” Organizational Cultures from Exceptional Ones?

Did you miss today's show with Subir Chowdhury?
Listen here!


When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

Renowned management consultant for Fortune 500 companies and bestselling author of The Power of Six Sigma and The Ice Cream Maker, Subir Chowdhury is best known for having transformed the quality of the products and processes at many of the world’s leading manufacturers over the past two decades. In THE DIFFERENCE: WHEN GOOD ENOUGH ISN'T ENOUGH, Chowdhury tackles an issue that has haunted him for decades in his work with many of the world’s largest organizations. Why is it that some companies improve only incrementally, while others improve one hundred times that? After all, the ideas and training are the same. What is the difference?

THE DIFFERENCE reveals that what distinguishes one organization from another is its culture— its people. The best processes and training programs in the world will not succeed, unless organizations nurture the skills, loyalty and passion of the people who make up their workforce—from the C-suite to the shop floor. Drawing from examples in his own life and career, Chowdhury illustrates why having a “caring mindset” is essential for both personal and professional success.

What is a caring mindset and culture? It is one built on what Chowdhury calls “STAR” attributes: Straightforwardness, Thoughtfulness, Accountability, and Resolve.

Illuminated with stories from his consulting work and his impoverished childhood growing up in Bangladesh, Chowdhury encourages each of us to be the difference in our lives.

A powerful guide to living a successful life and career, THE DIFFERENCE will inspire you to care more deeply about what matters most, at work, at home and in our communities.

SUBIR CHOWDHURY is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and consultants, who works with Fortune 500 companies to improve their processes, operations, quality and performance. His clients saved billions of dollars by deploying process improvement methodologies. He is the bestselling author of The Power of Six Sigma, and The Ice Cream Maker. Chowdhury lives in Los Angeles. For more information on Subir and The Difference please visit or follow him on Twitter (@subirchowdhury) and Facebook (@subirchowdhuryauthor).

Ellen Hopkins, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath, joins host Janeane Bernstein Monday March 20 at 9:00am pst!

Did you miss Ellen Hopkins on today's show?
Listen here!

Thanks for listening! Follow Janeane here!

Ellen Hopkins—who has been called “the bestselling living poet in the country” by—has over four million books in print, many reaching #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Her latest book, The You I've Never Known, is out now and host Janeane Bernstein will be sharing details on this latest work!

For the first time in both verse and prose, Ellen delivers a “deeply personal” (Publishers Weekly) novel where a teenager discovers uncovers a startling truth: her mother didn’t abandon her. Her father kidnapped her. In the vein of NBC’s This is Us, we follow the story of a teen mother (Maya) and daughter (Ariel) looking for the missing pieces in their lives.

The real twist? The author has experienced a kidnapping like this first hand!

The book is not just a thriller, but also tackles issues of love and sexual identity, in an emotionally deep way. As Ariel navigates through high school, she explores her sexual identity and develops relationships with both a male and female character.

Ellen Hopkins has been writing for Young Adults for 13 years, and is one of the first YA authors to continuously tackle tough issues successfully. She feels it is important to reach the teen readers that demand a story that’s deeper than just fluff, something that they can hold onto and that helps them understand that they are not alone in the world.

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

I was adopted at birth and raised by a great, loving older couple. I grew up in Palm Springs CA, although we summered in Napa and Lake Tahoe, to avoid those 120 degree summers. After my adopted parents died, I did find my birth mother, who lives in Michigan with my half sister.

I studied journalism in college, but left school to marry, raise kids and start my own business--a video store, before the mega-chains were out there. After a divorce, I met my current husband and we moved to Tahoe to become ski bums and otherwise try to find our dreams. At that time, I went to work for a small alternative press, writing stories and eventually editing.

When we moved down the mountain to the Reno area, I started writing nonfiction books, many of which you can see here. The rest are viewable on my personal website. I also continued to freelance articles for newspapers and magazines.

All that has changed, with the publication of my novel, CRANK, which has led to a valued career writing YA novels in verse, all of which explore the more difficult situations young adults often find themselves in. Will I ever write one in prose? No doubt! But, for the moment, writing novels in verse fulfills two needs: writing poetry and writing fiction. The combination is so interesting!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Isaac Lidskey, former Saved by the Bell star-turned-entrepreneur, shares his journey of becoming blind…and then learning to see with “Eyes Wide Open”

On Wednesday March 15, 2017, host Janeane Bernstein chatted with former Saved by the Bell star-turned-entrepreneur, Isaac Lidsky, who shared his journey of becoming blind…and then learning to see with “Eyes Wide Open.”

Listen to their conversation here!

In his popular new TED Talk "What reality are you creating for yourself?," former Saved by the Bell teen star-turned-entrepreneur Isaac Lidsky recalls how the sales person he waved to in the store was really a mannequin, and how he reached down to wash his hands and realized it was a urinal and not a sink. He learned of his diagnosis at thirteen: Retinitis Piegmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that would lead to his blindness by age 25. After initially believing his blindness signaled the end of his independence and achievement, Lidsky found other pathways of perception, turning his life around with his Eyes Wide Open philosophy. He graduated from Harvard Law School, worked as a law clerk under the guidance of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and eventually became a highly successful entrepreneur and family man.

In his new book EYES WIDE OPEN: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Cant’s See Clearly, Isaac Lidsky probes the many facets of perception, detailing the neuroscience of sight and drawing on his own experience to show how our perception shapes—and often limits—our reality.

Isaac Lidsky will share how his journey taught him to:

· face fears in moments of crisis or extreme change and shape his own reality;

· focus his viewpoint when it came to so-called “weaknesses;”

· tackle the perception of luck;

· listen with “eyes wide open” to better understand what others are communicating.

Isaac Lidsky shares how to live with freedom from self-limitations and to lead life with deeper awareness, understanding, accountability, and success.

About the Author:

Isaac Lidsky has an eclectic resume. He played “Weasel” on Saved by the Bell: The New Class; graduated from Harvard College at age nineteen with a degree in mathematics and computer science; graduated from Harvard Law School and served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg; transformed a struggling $15 million concrete subcontractor into an industry-leading $150 million business; and founded Hope for Vision, a nonprofit that funds the development of treatments for blinding diseases. Lidsky was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare degenerative disease of the retina that caused him to gradually lose his sight. Lidsky lives Florida with his wife and four children. Learn more at

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jake Shimabukuro, one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument, joined host Janeane Bernstein on KUCI 88.9fm Monday March 13 at 9:00am pst!

If you missed Jake on today's show, listen here!


Photo by Daylin Pelletier


Jake Shimabukuro can still vividly remember the first time he held a ukulele, at age four. It was an encounter that would shape his destiny and give the world one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument. He is an artist who has drawn comparisons to musical titans such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.

“ My mom played, and I kept bugging her to teach me,” he recalls. “ So one day we sat down on the floor and she put her old Kamaka ukulele in my hands. I remember being so nervous. Then she showed me how to strum the strings and taught me my first chord. I fell in love with theukulele immediately. From that day on, you had to pry the instrument away from me in order to get me to do anything else.” That first brush with musical fate took place in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where Jake was born and still makes his home. Growing up, he studied and played a number of other musical instruments drums, piano and guitar. 

“ But none of those instruments spoke to me the way the ukulele did,” he says. “ There was something about the uke that was different. Music was my passion, but I had no idea that I could make it as a musician. I always thought that maybe I’d be a school teacher and incorporate music into the classroom, rather than being on a stage performing in front of people.” Of course, Shimabukuro would end up performing on many of the world’ s most renowned stages.

Starting his career in Hawai’ i, he took his inspiration from some of the islands’great uke players Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. But he quickly expanded his scope from there, drawing influences from across the musical spectrum. “ As I got older,” he says, “ I realized that I could also learn from guitar players, drummers, violinists, pianists, singers and even dancers. And then I started to observe athletes. Athletes are artists too. I was heavily influenced by people like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan - applying their philosophy and intense, mental focus to music performance.”

As a member of the group Pure Heart, Shimabukuro became a local phenomenon. From Hawai’i, his fame next spread to Japan. He was signed to Epic Records (Sony/Japan) in 2001 as a solo artist. It was the start of what would become a deep catalog of solo albums, noted for their dazzling fretwork, ambitious repertoire and wistful melodicism. And in 2005, Shimabukuro became an international phenomenon when a video of him performing the George Harrison song “ While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube. 

“ At the time, I didn’ t even know what YouTube was,” Jake laughs. “Nobody did, especially in Hawai’i. But I had some friends who were going to college on the mainland and they sent me a link to the video. By the time I saw it, it already had millions of views. My name wasn't even on it then. All it said was ‘Asian guy shreds on ukulele,’ or something like that. 

That’ s what opened up the doors to touring in North America, Europe, Asia and beyond. It was a big turning point for me.” By adapting a guitar hero anthem for the ukulele (Eric Clapton had played lead guitar on the Beatles’ original recording) Shimabukuro made a significant statement: The ukulele, with its humble four strings and modest two-octave range, is an instrument limited only by the imagination and creativity of the person playing it. Along with his own original compositions, Jake became noted for his solo uke arrangements of such varied pieces as Queen’s “ Bohemian Rhapsody,” Schubert's “ Ave Maria” and Leonard Cohen’ s “Hallelujah.”

“ A lot of those are just songs that I really love,” he says. “I’ d sit at home and work out how to play some of them on the ukulele. A lot of it is for my own curiosity. I always wondered, ‘ Man, what would “ Bohemian Rhapsody” sound like on a ukulele?’ And then it’ s my stubborn nature not to give up until I’ d figured out how to do it.”

Widespread acclaim brought high-visibility collaborations with a widerange of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel, and Marty Friedman.
Jake Shimabukuro has topped Billboard’ s World Music Chart on numerous occasions, and has sold out prestigious venues and festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Wolf Trap, Bonnaroo, SXSW, and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He even playedfor Queen Elizabeth II at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool,
England. Shimabukuro’ s busy touring schedule 140 dates a year is complemented by a rich and varied catalog of albums that capture the many moods of the uke. 

His most recent CD, Nashville Sessions, is one of his most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging records to date, blending elements of jazz virtuosity with heartfelt melodicism. A husband and father of two, Jake balances his stellar career with family life and community service. He travels to schools around the world spreading positive messages to young people, encouraging them to live drug free and find their passion just as he did at age four when his mother gave him his first ukulele lesson. 

In the time since then, he has played a key role in the current revival of interest in the ukulele. “ When I first started touring the mainland,” he recalls, “everybody would say, ‘ Oh man, I didn’t know you could play that kind of music on that thing.’ But now there are so many iconic artists playing the ukulele, like Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Train, Jimmy Buffett, Michael McDonald, Dave Mathews and Taylor Swift. Even popular cartoons like
‘Peg + Cat’ and ‘ SpongeBob SquarePants’ have ukulele soundtracks. 

The popularity of the ukulele keeps growing every year. And I’m constantly discovering new sounds, styles and expressive possibilities within the instrument through projects like the Nashville Sessionsalbum. By the time we finished that recording, I already had tons of ideas for the next album. I can’ t wait to get back into the studio and experiment some more.”

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Christine Gross-Loh, a freelance journalist and author of The Path, joined Janeane Bernstein Monday at 9:45am pst on KUCI 88.9fm

Christine Gross-Loh
Christine Gross-Loh

Author, writer. THE PATH: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life. Bylines: @theatlantic, @wsj, @guardian, @nytimeswell @voxdotcom

Did you miss Christone Gross-Loh on today's show?
Listen here!

Christine Gross-Loh is a freelance journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and the Huffington Post. She has a PhD from Harvard University in East Asian history.

The Path - NYT and International BestsellerPraise for THE PATH:
“Puett’s dynamism translates well from his classroom theater onto the page, and his provocative, radical re-envisioning of everyday living through Chinese philosophy opens wide the “possibilities for thinking afresh about ourselves and about our future.” His text presents creative alternatives to the stale “confines of our narrative.” With philosophical consideration, our methods of interacting and coexisting may, as the author promises, have the power to better our lives and our relationships. With its academic tone and spirited, convincing vision, revolutionary new insights can be gleaned from this book on how to approach life’s multifarious situations with both heart and head.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“[Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh's] accessible, conversational style introduces anyone with interest to what Chinese sages suggested about giving meaning to our days. Even more impressive, they inspire interest.”

—Huffington Post

“The Path illuminates a little-known spiritual and intellectual landscape: the rich body of Chinese thought that, starting more than two millennia ago, charted new approaches to living a meaningful life. But Puett goes a lot further, creatively applying this ancient thought to the dilemmas of modern life. The result is a fresh recipe for harnessing our natural energies and emotions to strengthen social connection and build islands of order amid the chaos that sometimes surrounds us.”

—Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God

“I read The Path in one sitting and have been talking about it to everyone. It’s brilliant, mesmerizing, profound—and deeply contrarian. It stands conventional wisdom on its head and points the way to a life of genuine fulfillment and meaning.”

—Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

“This is a book that turns the notion of help—and the self, for that matter—on its head. Puett and Gross-Loh bring seemingly esoteric concepts down to Earth, where we can see them more clearly. The result is a philosophy book grounded in the here and now, and brimming with nuggets of insight. No fortune-cookie this, The Path serves up a buffet of meaty life lessons. I found myself reading and re-reading sections, letting the wisdom steep like a good cup of tea.”

—Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss and The Geography of Genius

Each fall, Harvard professor Michael Puett begins his freshman survey of Chinese Philosophy with a promise – if you take the ideas in these texts seriously, they will change your life. Confucius’s Analects, the Dao de jing, the writings of Mencius: Ancient texts handed down over millennia in a land more than 7000 miles away. These texts, you ask, will change my life? Many students, even those bound for Wall Street, say the class has done just that. And we have one better: we suspect they may change yours, too.

In his inspiring book THE PATH: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us about the Good Life, written with Christine Gross-Loh, Puett brings these texts out of the University and into the world, encouraging us to put aside traditional Western ideas about “the good life” and to engage with the philosophies of key Chinese thinkers.

A course the administration thought would barely draw 100 students has, in nine years, inspired such an overflow of requests to attend that it was forced to move to the majestic Sanders Theater – the biggest room on campus – where 700 students now crowd into that hall every semester for Puett’s legendary seminar, “Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory.” It is Harvard’s third most popular class after “Computer Science” and “The Principles of Economics.” And life-changing indeed have these ideas been. For students pressured to push ahead with big pre-set goals and achieve individual excellence, this ancient way of thinking about life seems to them nothing less than revelatory – and a huge relief.

But of course it isn’t only students who feel this pressure to succeed; it’s every one of us. And while our culture rewards ambition, that ambition often leaves us wanting for happiness, for peace, and for reassurance. So for Westerners, to say nothing of Harvard students, when these are ideas are put into practice they may even seem almost subversive.

According to the wisdom of the sages in THE PATH, in making subtle adjustments to way we move through our day, the most dramatic changes can – and will – occur. By engaging with these texts, we can make profound shifts in our thinking, not only about what we can control, but about what success and happiness really are; we can stop thinking about what we’d like to become, and focus more on how we want to be.

Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. He is the recipient of a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH Founder and President of The Foundation for Art & Healing, joins Janeane Bernstein Monday 9:30am pst LIVE on KUCI 88.9fm

Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH

Founder and President

Did you miss Jeremy Nobel on today's show? Listen here!

As a practicing general internist for many years, Dr. Nobel experienced “the front lines” of health care and its delivery. Currently, through his faculty appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Nobel’s teaching, research, and community based projects address the design of healthcare delivery systems that improve quality, cost-effectiveness and access. His work has been the basis of significant improvements in preventative, acute, chronic, rehabilitative, and end of life medical care that focus on understanding what quality healthcare means from a patient perspective, and how best to deliver it.

Dr. Nobel is also a recognized leader in the field of medical humanities, an interdisciplinary endeavor that draws on a diverse range of fields, including the creative arts, to inform medical education and practice. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Art and Healing (, an organization dedicated to exploring the important relationship between creative expression and health and well-being, and bringing those benefits to individuals and communities. The foundation is actively involved in creating a broader societal awareness that arts-based activities can improve health, while simultaneously developing and distributing innovative programs to the field, and promoting an active research agenda. Also a published poet, Dr. Nobel has received several awards for his poetry including the Bain-Swiggett Prize from Princeton University, and the American Academy of Poets Prize from the University of Pennsylvania.

The mission of the Foundation for Art & Healing is to use its position as a “bridge” to create and expand general awareness about art and healing, to bring forward through research and related explorations critical knowledge about art and healing and the relationship between them, and to help make this knowledge available at the individual and community level.

Michelle Poler, Speaker, Youtuber and founder of "Hello Fears" and "100 days Without Fear," joined host Janeane Bernstein Monday at 9:15am pst Monday on KUCI 88.9fm

Michelle Poler


Fear Facer 
Creator of Hello Fears and 100 Days Without Fear

Did you miss Michelle Poler on today's show? Listen here!

Hello Fears"Facing your fears is scary, but living in fear is terrifying."

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela to a family of holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. But when she moved to New York to pursue a Masters in Branding at the School of Visual Arts, Michelle quickly realized that NYC was not for the fearful.

In efforts to re-write her definition of fear, Michelle completed a project where she faced 100 fears in 100 days. At around day 40, the project was discovered by the media becoming a viral phenomenon.

Facing her fears took Michelle to TEDx’s stage where she completed her 100th challenge. This helped her turn a personal project into a global movement, allowing her to quit her job as Art Director in Y&R to pursue her passion.

Michelle discovered that inspiring others to go after their fears was her new calling. She is now touring the world speaking at companies, schools and organizations teaching audiences how to step outside their comfort zones as a way to tap into their full potential.

She is also the founder at Hello Fears, a platform where everyday people get to inspire everyday people with stories of courage.

The following is from and in Michelle's own words.

Thinking about it, living in fear worked out pretty good for me. I got to live a controlled lifestyle where things would normally go according to plan. Until now.

In 2014, I moved to New York City to start a Master's Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts. Trying to control New York was a complete nightmare, but what really pushed me to pursue this project was not the controlled lifestyle I was leaving behind, but the frustration of not enjoying this city and life in general to the fullest. Since the unknown has proven to be so much more fulfilling than the familiar, I decided to face all of my fears one by one being completely vulnerable about it and trying to enjoy the ride.

On October 18th, 2015 I faced my last fear: to speak at TEDxHouston. I not only faced the big fear of public speaking but I empowered millions to step out of their comfort zone and live a life without fear, which is the biggest reward I obtained by starting this amazing initiative. From that day on I decided to dedicate my life to encourage as many people as possible to start living a more fulfilled lifestyle by speaking at schools, organizations and companies all over the world.

I also launched an online platform for everyday people to get inspired by everyday people. Hello Fears is a community of non-conformists who understand there is no such thing as being fearless but appreciate bravery in every way.

If you'd like me to speak at your next event, please contact

Follow me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat: @dayswofear

4/24 9:30am Jessica Borelli, Professor of Psychological Science, co-writes “Nature Meets Nurture: Science-based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids”

Jessica Borelli co-writes “Nature Meets Nurture: Science-based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids” Helping parents improve their parenti...