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Brent Thomson Prepares To Run The World’s Highest Marathon

Brent Thomson

By Pamela Burke

TWITTER: @ThomsonBrent

It’s a cool, overcast morning in the Marin Headlands when runner Brent Thomson sets off for her 6AM jaunt. But hers is no ordinary undertaking. She’s sprinting 20 miles over hills and tough terrain to prepare for the highest and hardest run of her life–the 26.2 mile Everest Marathon on December 2.

“When you put yourself in extreme situations and you come through them, it makes you so much stronger.”  Brent Thomson

The race starts on Mt. Everest in Nepal at 17,200 feet and ends 6,000 feet below. It’s a helicopter ride in and a 30 mile trek to the starting point. Brent’s approaching her sixtieth birthday but doesn’t give much thought to the age factor. For this Senior V. P. at Pacific Union International, a real estate firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, the morning run is a piece of cake.

Brent Thomson | Photo by Elliot Karlan

Photo by Elliot Karla

It may be cake to her but the rigorous exercise program would give a lot of athletes severe heart palpitations. She runs 18-26 miles every Saturday and 6-10 miles two days a week. Then there are two days of rigorous CrossFit training with just one day of rest. So how and why does she do it? We set out to find an explanation for Brent’s latest ultramarathon goal… [Read more…]

Commentator Keli Goff Has Her Eye On Politics

Keli Goff

By Stacey Gualandi

Twitter: @keligoff
Facebook: KeliGoff

She has an eye for pinpointing the hot button issues in today’s political discussion. Commentator Keli Goff has been called “fearless” and “a breath of fresh air” since she emerged from the 2008 election as a voice for the hip-hop generation.

“I feel I’ve done my job best when someone says they didn’t know about something until they read my column and took action…” Keli Goff

If you follow politics, you’ve read her editorial blogs on The Huffington Post and loop21.com or listened to her on radio and TV shows across the country. She has an opinion and isn’t afraid to share it.

GQ Candidate Book by Keli GoffNow Keli’s experience in following Presidential campaigns and elections has inspired her first novel “The GQ Candidate,” a page-turning look into the inner circle of an unlikely man running for president, an African-American who was raised by a multi-racial family.

She comes by it naturally; after all, her passion for picking presidents began as a preteen. With the 2012 election campaign underway, I wanted to check in with Keli to see what’s on her mind these days… [Read more…]

Author Carole Brody Fleet On Changing The Face Of Widowhood

Carole Brodoy Fleet

By Stacey Gualandi

On Facebook: widowswearstilettos
On Twitter: widowsstilettos

In 2000, Carole Brody Fleet lost her beloved husband Mike after a two-year battle with ALS. In an instant she was on her own, broke, raising an 11-year-old daughter… and a widow at only 40.

“The face of widowhood is not what everybody thinks. It’s women in their teens, 20’s and beyond…” Carole Brody Fleet

But she wasn’t alone. When she realized that widows wear stilettos too, not just black, she set out to help anyone feeling the emotional shock and devastation of widowhood. Her book “Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow” provides a comforting, informative guide – with just a hint of humor – to those widowed too soon.

Carole Brody Fleet

Carole’s book

Now her book and website inspire 3 -4 thousand letters and emails every month from widows all around the world.

Don’t miss The Women’s Eye Radio Show interview with Carole on Sept. 10 at 10AM PST 1480KPHX.com and the rebroadcast Sept. 11 at 3P PST.

Carole and I share similar experiences, having both lost our fathers to cancer in our early 40’s.

But I also wanted to reach out to her to understand my mother’s loss, and what it means to move forward after losing your spouse, your confidante and your best friend… [Read more…]

Author Laura Munson On Making Choices And Her HAVEN Writing Retreats

Laura Munson

UPDATE 6/20/17: Laura tells us that her Haven Retreat is still open for registration in the fall. Check out her website if you are interested and want to visit her in a beautiful part of the world!

UPDATE 6/12/13: Laura is booking her Haven Writing Retreats for the rest of 2013.  Check them out if you are looking to enhance your writing skills in an inspiring Montana setting. 

UPDATE 9/11/12: Laura’s Events on her Website: Writing Retreats in Whitefish, Montana from 9/19-23 and 9/26-30

By Stacey Gualandi/June 22, 2011

Facebook: lauramunson
Twitter: @lauramunson

Author Laura Munson never thought she would be called a revolutionary. But her first book, “This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness,” sparked such a reaction from readers, she is still feeling the love over a year later.

“Never did I think I’d star as the main character in my first book.” Laura

Laura Munson and StaceyThis Montana-based writer’s overnight success was actually 20 years in the making. Her essay in the “Modern Love” New York Times column about what happened when her husband told her he didn’t love her anymore, touched such a nerve, her story went viral, which led to this best selling book. The paperback version has just been released.

When it comes to marital distress, Munson is an unlikely role model. Instead of reacting, or over-reacting, Munson chose not to take it personally. I had the good fortune to meet Laura recently in Los Angeles at the More Magazine Reinvention Convention. I wanted to find out how she discovered true happiness and ultimately kept her marriage intact… [Read more…]

Lee Woodruff On Family, Her Foundation And Flannel PJ’s

Lee Woodruff

By Stacey Gualandi/May 22, 2011

Twitter: @LeeMWoodruff
Facebook: Perfectly Imperfect

UPDATE 1/29/16: Bob Woodruff: The Unexpected Life

UPDATE 11/6/13: Next “STAND UP FOR HEROES” event tonite. Learn more here.

UPDATE 8/30/13: Lee’s piece on CBS This Morning: From Sargeant to Sous-Chef–Program Trains Veterans in the Kitchen

UPDATE 4/28/13: “Those We Love Most,” Lee’s first novel, is out in paperback! Click here for signing and speaking events.

UPDATE 10/26/12: The Bob Woodruff Foundation’s STAND UP FOR HEROS event is Nov. 8, 2012

UPDATE 9/6/12: Review in USA TODAY of Lee’s first novel, “Those We Love Most”

UPDATE: 2/1/12:  Lee’s blog reports that she’s just finished the manuscript of her first book, “Those We Love,” which will be out 9/11/12

UPDATE 1/9/12:  Lee Woodruff joins ‘CBS This Morning

Author Lee Woodruff knows what it means to overcome adversity. Five years ago, her husband ABC anchor Bob Woodruff, suffered a near-fatal brain injury from a roadside bomb while reporting from Iraq. It has been a long, yet successful road to recovery. And in the process, she has become a voice for brain-injured soldiers returning from war.

“Things happen in life and we need to reach out and seek help.” Lee Woodruff

Lee WoodruffLee and her husband wrote In An Instant, an instant bestseller about healing from such a horrible event. They formed the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help raise awareness, money, and assistance to those troops in recovery.

In her follow-up book, Perfectly Imperfect, A Life In Progress, she humorously tackled the subject of everyday challenges. Lee also speaks tirelessly to people all over the country. This Good Morning America correspondent will be one of the hosts at the More Magazine Reinvention Convention in Los Angeles on Monday.

I have recently had to “reinvent” myself, so I was very interested in talking with Lee about how to move forward, how to find inner strength, and how to embrace flannel nightgowns. I’ll explain…

[Read more…]

Sarah Brokaw On Fortytude, Fear, And Facing 40

Sarah Brokaw

UPDATE 5/7/15: ‘Awful’: Tom Brokaw’s Daughter Recalls Hearing About Her Dad’s Cancer Diagnosis; he said on his NBC Special tonight that his cancer is now in remission.

By Stacey Gualandi/March 30, 2011

Twitter: myfortytude

Sarah Brokaw has hit a nerve with the 40-and-older crowd with her new book “Fortytude – Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life through the 40’s, 50’s, and Beyond.” Facing the big 4-0? She says have no fear.

“Having Fortytude means realizing that while you can’t control what happens, you can control your reactions.”

Yes, Sarah is related to that other famous Brokaw. Tom is her father. Her mother, Meredith, is a successful entrepreneur. Yet Sarah navigated her own successful path. By 30 she became a licensed psychotherapist and certified coach, but like so many women, she wanted to marry and have a family.

Sarah Brokaw

Sarah’s personal story inspired her to write “Fortytude.” She interviewed hundreds of women from all walks of life for the book. Of course, being in my 40’s, I knew this book would speak to me. Not only did it speak to me, it shook, slapped and snapped me right into a new way of thinking!

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my 40’s so Sarah addressed my personal problems, or “sparkling moments” as she calls them. Now I’d like to share our stories with you… [Read more…]

Dalia Ziada Blogs To Help Bring Democracy To Egypt

Dalia Ziada

UPDATE: 3/1/11: Dalia to speak at the Women in the World Summit, NYC–March 10-12

DALIA ON TWITTER: @daliaziada


Dalia Zaida is a human rights’ activist and popular Egyptian blogger. Her writings before and during the current uprising provide insight into the causes behind the revolt and the confliinterview-dalia-ziada-7069ct between pro and anti-government groups.

“I wish my country be the best country in the world. And the only way to make this happen is to first bring democracy and apply it.” Dalia Ziada

Time Magazine called this translator, researcher, lecturer, and poet a champion of Muslim Rights. She’s the recipient of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Journalist Award, 2010.

Dalia Ziada

Dalia in Time Magazine

When I saw in the Daily Beast how passionately Dalia took to the streets to protest and read her blogs, I wanted to track her down to ask her about her experiences during these tumultuous times in Cairo. In spite of her chaotic life right now, she took the time to answer my questions… [Read more…]


“Egyptian Journalist Told CNN: It’s an Uprising not Chaos”–1/30/11

Mona Eltahawy

UPDATE:  1/20/12–Women Leaders Swap Experiences at Yahoo “Change Your World Day” in Cairo

UPDATE: 11/25/11–Mona Eltahawy On Being Detained

UPDATE: 11/24/11–Mona Eltahawy Alleges Sexual Assault in Egypt Detention

Mona on Twitter 2/11/11:A million thanks for millions of kind thanks from all over! So happy entire world is celebrating with us! Wonderful global moment! #Jan25

Mona Eltahawy has been blogging, tweeting, and writing about conditions in Egypt from America as events have been unfolding. You may have seen her on CNN, the BBC, MSNBC, and many media outlets giving her thoughts about the situation in her homeland. When CNN referred to the rioting in Egypt this week as chaos and unrest, she was the first to insist that they call it an uprising or a revolution. (see video below).

Mona Eltahawy: Photo from Leil-Zahra Mortada

Women of Egypt by Leil-Zahra Mortada/Facebook

Mona emphatically states that her people want freedom and that this is an historic moment. The Tunisians’ quest for liberty unleashed Arab imagination and made them see that they could do it. She says that this is the best time in her life and to be mindful of the positive.

Take a look at what Mona had to say to CNN and follow her reports for a passionate Egyptian’s view on conditions in her country and her hopes for the future.

On MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show Mona declared that it’s too late for President Mubarak. She called the revolt “Egypt’s Berlin Wall.” Her people want dignity and moral support, she says, and are asking not to be rescued. The huge gathering for the “March of Millions”, the biggest crowd in Egyptian history, is an indication of how much the people want new leadership.

UPDATE 2/2/11–Mona on Twitter: ” Felt bad at short notice but this is historic time. They terminated my visiting prof contract. I choose #Egypt revolution.”

UPDATE 2/4/11–Mona gave an interview to NPR today on Women’s Vital Role in Egypt

After the week of protests in Egypt, Mona continued her television appearances on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday. At 43, she reiterates that she’s the happiest she’s ever been. She believes that freedom fever will spread, that their “Berlin Wall” which she equates to the Mubarak regime, will fall.

UPDATE–2/11/11–Mona is interviewed on the Dylan Ratigan Show after Mubarak resigns; she says that today is their “Berlin Wall.” They want to look over that wall now. The beautiful, peaceful revolution makes it clear that they want civilian rule. Now is the time for regular Egyptian people to be in charge. They’ve been under the military since 1952. She’s confident that her sisters and brothers will free themselves from military rule.

UPDATE–2/11/11–Mona appears on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC and reacts emotionally to the resignation of Mubarak and talks about how she feels on this historic day.

There are more amazing photos on Facebook of Women of Egypt and sawtalniswa.com like the one under Mona’s picture that are being collected and shared by Leil-Zahra Mortada. Read the Atlantic’s editorial on “Why the Kiss Picture is So Radical” and see the incredible photo of an Egyptian woman kissing a riot police officer.

Here are more pictures of Egyptian Women protesting: amazingwomenrock.com. Time.com has a terrific slideshow of photos: Islam’s Soft Revolution Led By Cairo Women.

To give you an idea of the level of revolt in Egypt and the tremendous zeal of its people, take a look at this video that’s been circulating in huge numbers on youtube. It’s by Tamer Shaaban and is called “Egypt January 25.”

The Los Angeles Times on 2/10/11 includes an amazing video of a crowd singing which is captioned “the National Anthem like you’ve never seen it sung before.” It’s included in a story about the new wave of citizen journalists who have been chronicling the unrest.

Here’s a video two hours after Mubarak’s resignation. It’s called “The Revolution Victorious.”