The latest from neuroscience!

Ask someone how old they are and they’ll surely give you the number of years they’ve been alive. Ask them how old they ‘feel’ and they’ll give a different answer, either much younger or older possibly depending on how their day’s going. We could also look at our age as expected years remaining. By this measure, a 65-year-old woman ≈ 60-year-old man. Then there’s our biological age (sometimes called functional age), which can only be determined in the lab, despite what your smartwatch tells you. …

Emotion is the skilled writers business

Readers need an emotional connection.

As a writer, you are dealing with human emotions.

Since humans are wired for empathy, it’s the emotional connection between you and the reader, which is arguably the most important element in your short story article. How to hone this skill is the question most novice writers want to be answered? But there’s no easy answer because like any skill you might try to master, creating an emotional connection with your audience is multidimensional and complex.

Nevertheless, you must! When you’re in the business of creating compelling stories in as few as 1500 words, it’s necessary to know how stories…

Living well

Narrate, explore, and relate

A human eye embedded into the globe
A human eye embedded into the globe
Keeping one eye on the world.

It seems easier to be cynical and disillusioned these days than to have hope. I know I get quite disaffected by the problems in our world and some days, even for an optimist like me, it’s hard to stay positive. Yet to maintain hope for the future we are told to focus on the positive, count our blessings, be mindful, don’t be a ‘victim’, strive for happiness, and if we heed economists, the antidote to everything is to seek more wealth.

Despite all our valiant attempts, it’s still hard to stave off despair, and to make matters worse we must…

Resilience and culture

A philosophical view of creativity

Underground cave with pool of water
Underground cave with pool of water
A shaft of light reveals a beautiful hidden pool.

Every one of us has an untapped source of creative potential. It’s the part of us hidden or suppressed for any number of reasons. It is the creativity buried in a cave or crushed by overwork and lack of silence—the creativity seeking light.

For some of us, our creative instinct is suppressed because it is tabooed by the dominant culture and for others, it is simply ignored and neglected. Sometimes our creativity is looted and driven underground by an invisible hand, where its natural phases are forced into unnatural patterns to serve commerce. Or, when we are harassed and hurried…

Or, how to de-sanitize your writing and give meaning to life’s garbage!

Image purchased from

Publishing a personal story on a blog, or perhaps in a memoir, can feel like running naked through a crowded street. It takes courage and a willingness to expose the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you want your audience to clap your daring and effort, rather than run away, then it pays to master a few techniques to bring your stories to life.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Three simple steps to outline a powerful story.
  2. How to create an original metaphor.
  3. How to confidently include emotions and vulnerability.
  4. The necessity of including strong verbs.
  5. Three more…

It’s easier to ‘get lucky’ than you think!

Two women sitting on a park bench paying no attention to each other
Two women sitting on a park bench paying no attention to each other
Pay attention and have more life-changing chance encounters.

Do you pay homage to the ‘goddess of chance?’ In Greek mythology, Tyche was the goddess of fortune, chance, and fate (good and bad). Anything that couldn’t be readily explained from floods to seemingly effortless wealth accumulation, was attributed to her. Even today it’s common for those starting a business venture to say “it will take hard work and a few lucky breaks”. But how often can what we call ‘luck’ be completely attributed to accident or fate?

Most of us, I included, will happily regale stories of lucky chance encounters that changed our lives. There’s something uplifting about the…

Part 1: Women with courage and strength who inspire wellness and living

Beauty and grace shine through the power of purpose and pride.

Strong older women who strive to live life to their potential, abound and they have something in common. As their lives advanced past 60 they did not retire to reminisce about the good ol’ days. Instead, they forged on confident with the possibility that their most glorious achievements were yet to come. Their strength and power do not come from wealth, position, or brute strength. Rather it is an innate, quiet, humble power that comes from a…

The real secret to aging well is creativity and complexity

I am not a cow!

Why do dairy cows come to mind when I think of how older people are often perceived? I think it has something to do with the processes of pasteurization and homogenization. What I mean is that we often put, or expect, our older folk to go ‘out to pasture’ (yes, I know I’m playing on the word pasteurize) and we homogenize them (no play on the word) by lumping everyone over 60ish into one basket labeled: Past Best Before Date.


Pasteurizing is a “partial sterilization of a substance … that destroys objectionable organisms without major chemical alteration of the substance”…

Embrace living so you don’t die!

Image by [and Max Muselmann:]

I’m a lover of metaphor and what more distinctive metaphor for living a unique and creative life than ‘designing one’s own casket’. Forget the cheap, reproducible, “aging sucks” piece. Out of the wreckage and debris of my life, I’m going to create a one-off masterpiece—my design! My journey!

Death gives aging a bad name

There’s something empowering in the idea of “life as a creative journey!” To know that my path is not predetermined. …

Join the etiquette rebellion

Two people letting go of each others hand
Two people letting go of each others hand
Letting go of the handshake. Purchased from

COVID, necessitate we abandon the handshake, at least for now. I’m one person who’s thankful for this small mercy; although many think otherwise. Will Leitch provides a nostalgic and male view of the handshake and argues why we should save this particular bit of social etiquette. On the contrary, I’m all for letting it go to the place where many other outdated customs are laid to rest — historic nostalgia!

The social significance of the handshake

The origin of the handshake isn’t known for sure but some say it might have originated in the 5th century B.C. in Greece when it was used as a symbol…

Jen Gippel PhD

Mother of 3 | Ph.D. Finance, MSc Creativity Studies | Combining science and personal experience I write about Creativity, Writing, Finance, and Life.

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