Into The Wild: Frozen in Time with Jack Hanna

Jack and Suzi Hanna with Julie

Hanna fam
Jack and Suzi 
Jack and Suzi


Last night I saw a client and old friend Jack Hanna. It’s my first time to not be behind the scenes for any artist or show. Was it hard?  Not as much as I expected. He IS such a great guy, terrific father and husband, and that has not changed. It was actually a very endearing time for me.

Can’t even remember all the animals I’ve held, thanks to Jack and his assistants. Suzie (not Suzi, his wife!) has been with him longer than I’ve known him and she was with him last night, along with a few others, all new. If you’ve seen him on Letterman or James Cordon or any other shows, he just has that ‘it’ factor.  Top that with his deep down kindness to all, well he IS one of the Good Guys! Read his books for great fun and to get to know him a bit. You won’t be disappointed.

How do we enjoy our past without looking back with envy for where we were, what we had? I’m not sure, but I plan to find out.  Remember Lot’s wife?  She looked back and she became a pillar of salt, frozen in time. tells us The Hebrew for “pillar” refers to a garrison or a deputy, that is, something set to watch over something else. The image of Lot’s wife standing watch over the Dead Sea area—where to this day no life can exist—is a poignant reminder to us not to look back or turn back from the profession of faith we have made, but to follow Christ without hesitation and abide in His love (Luke 17:32).

Every.single.time. I do what is right God covers me.  It may not be how I choose at the time but thankfully is revealed to me later on.

So, how do you move on?  How do I move on?  With no desire to be a pillar of salt, let’s explore this, shall we?

My next posts will be to explore moving on with you.  Painful, but necessary.

  1. FACE your feelings.
  2. Acknowledge how important the times were.
  3. FACE why they are/were so important.
  4. SAY it out loud to a friend, someone who loved you then, loves you now.
  5. FORGIVE yourself.
  6. CHANGE your thinking.
  7. Change what you SAY, read, watch and discuss.
  8. Discover what you love most.
  9. Find your Center; your peace.
  10. What are you hungry for?

Look forward to your thoughts, and any ideas you can share about your journey to the center.



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Rule #13 How To Love Work, Friends and Life Even on Days When You Want to Run

These posts never seem to end up where they start, just like our own lives.

If we LIVE our lives, there are going to be horrible days.

Friends fight, sisters fight, business associates fight.  But at the end of the day, IF WE ARE GROWN-UPS, friends are friends, sisters are sisters and we don’t walk away, we work through our issues.

Friends in Nashville

friends for blog post

McClain Family Lunch

McClain family lunch

Work is different, we don’t always have to stick around when it’s a detrimental situation.  Especially when it’s a detrimental situation.

This is what happened:  He hit me.  HE. HIT. ME. Jealous, mad about the success of another artist, it was a press release that had nothing to do with him that set him off.   Not the best singer, not even a good singer really, everyone knew his group was so-so.  It was his political acumen that provided entry to places they would be unable to get into by talent.   That should have been my best clue.

Never HIT by a client OR friend before, WHAT was I to do? Sad, but not down for the count, my employees were left to handle the press room.  I left immediately for the hotel, needed space to breathe.  Just breathe, evaluate what happened.

Whatever, where ever I was going to end up regarding this particular client, I knew I had to claim partial responsibility for his behavior.  NEVER told him the truth about his group OR music.  Knowing others watched everything I did, every group  supported at this particular venue, would go to the front row every time they performed. Even acted as if I LOVED, enjoyed their performances.  My first mistake.

They were not good, but maybe I could HELP THEM?  Believing his own press was partly my fault.  Told myself this was being a good publicist, just part of the package.


Why wouldn’t he believe he was just as great a performer as the artist he envied?      I felt sorry for the group, this artist.  My second mistake.

Everyone lost that day.   There was never an apology, never I made a mistake.

Continued to represent artists, events until leaving Nashville, Tn.,  because I really did love, still do love my work.   That NEVER changed.  But I never represented, or promoted that group EVER again.

That day was just one more lesson in Authentic Grace.  I no longer oversold any artist we represented, even to myself.

Now? I make better choices because of that incident, and I am thankful.

….and how is your Monday?  It will be just a terrific as you choose.  Mine too!

P.S.  Anyone ever see Brokedown Palace?   If Clare Danes character can do it, so can you and I.

Brokedown Palace

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Rule #12 Be Willing To Look Stupid

  “I can Fly! And I don’t even need a cape!”   Uncle Si, Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty

This is how I’ve felt the last two days.  I’m pinching myself, since friends closest  know my last year was worst, saddest ever.  Euphoric, I love getting up in the morning and I can barely sleep at night.  My life is returning to it’s fullness.  No, I don’t need a cape today!  Just a way to harness my ideas and plans for the future.

And then, on top of everything else I hear from friends with kind words for me out the Ying-Yang.  Marjie McGraw, Angela Relder and dear, dear Jeanette Thomason…..our laughs are enjoyed always…..I’ll tell you more about these ladies later. (And if you see Jeanette, ask her about the candy dish I gave her!)

Today, I must tell you about a few I work with daily.

My euphoria begins always when I think of Phyllis Hoffman-DePiano, founder of Hoffman Media, LLC.   Today happens to be her birthday. Brilliant beyond, loyal, kind.  It was Phyllis who went to then-unknown Paula Deen and crafted a magazine in her name.  I was and still am lucky enough to be involved.   When I transitioned in Conway, the first person I talked to was Phyllis.  I have been working with her since.  We met by accident during a Nashville, Tn. record company luncheon many moons ago. Bill Traylor told us together we would be trouble.  Loved it then, love it now!

Both of Phyllis’ sons, already really accomplished in their own right, are now involved with Hoffman Media. This spring I had the privilege of meeting Eric and Brian.  Smart, creative, I wanted to then, would stalk them still, if I actually worked in the home office.  I loved meeting them, and love every. single. thing. we accomplish.

Meet Phyllis, sons Brian and Eric Hoffman

PHD and Brian and Eric best one

Meanwhile, in Denver, Colorado, are Mark Story and Scott Stewart.  I’ve known Mark Story and Scott Stewart longer than I can remember.  Scott and I have been personal friends forever, he is really like my brother! At least that’s what Inger Andress, tells me!  But she is right, this is how I feel about Scott.

Mark Story is a long time business associate, he built MPR’s first website when he was ONLY doing tours to Australia.  Now Queenslander World-Wide Tours is just that, World-Wide.  And they don’t miss a beat, they ‘get it’… much that Arthur Frommer, Travel Guru, named Queenslander World-Wide Tours the best at small group travel.  No small thing.

Mark Story and Scott Stewart — Friends Since College Days!Mark and Scott

Lucky me, I work with them on all media related matters.   They do it right…..all the time.  I get to bask in their success!  Visit or find Mark’s personal travel page — Mark has a great post on COFFEE, my fav!

The ribbon cutting below, marks the day I began working with the Conway Art  Museum & School.  Georg Andersen, internationally awarded interior designer created the space. Everything about Conway Art is perfect.  Perfect. Perfect.

Conway Art ribbon-cutting - Nov. 2013

Georg wouldn’t have it any other way, his designs for my house made me weep, they were so beautiful. So imagine this Gallery, infused by wonderful design and the Art.  OH the ART.  It will take your breath away.

Conway Art, LLC, in Conway, Arkansas is within walking distance to one of our three Starbucks. Heaven.

Then, there is Nina.  Nina Ruth Baker, R.N. and Artist.  Conway Art Gallery is her dream.  As a young woman, told she was going blind, she picked up a paint brush and the rest is history…..As I met with different people in town I find their love and reverence for her kind heart similar to what was felt when The Dick Clark came on set of Prime Time Country.  A hush, a genuine reverence for the person.  This will embarrass her, I’m sure — but I want to say – publically, in this forum — just how loved she is by all.  I am already learning so much from Nina.

Nina Baker

Nina Baker

Nina’s Award-Winning piece, Provence Dandelions

Provence Dandelions

Euphoria is not long-lived, I know.  What is long lived are relationships. Good days, bad days and just so-so days.  When I received ‘checks’ before automatic deposit, I would write Thank You under my signature. Every person believing in us is a building brick to our joy.  We must never — I never — want to lose sight of those who’ve been with me through thick and thin.  They continue to make a difference in my life.

Today, is the first time I’ve recognized people who believe in my abilities enough to pay me to work with them on their dreams.  I am willing to look stupid, saying it.  I hope you risk looking stupid too.

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