Barbara Sher’s Idea Party


How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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3,742 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. I wish to make and sell artwork.
    My obstacle is I cannot do it all alone.
    I tried. The online thing, posting on social media and growing an email list. Not my personality, it feels exhausting. I thought getting into an art gallery would be the best solution, only all I have approached so far, turned me down, not their style or paintings too small. Getting into art fairs is not possible for me, because I do not drive and beyond, but let’s not get into too much detail.

    Before I moved to Toronto ON, I was in BC Canada and sold a lot of paintings in a couple of places displaying local art, but too cheap. Eventually had to move back to the city and get a job. Now I do some painting, but the marketing is mission impossible. Here is my website: in case you’re wondering.

    I feel stuck. If you see something I don’t, please let me know. Much appreciated.

    • Good day Cristina!
      Your questions are valid! Your online site looks fine to me, lovely paintings, and well presented. I myself have not done any online marketing, but through art and fashion fairs in Germany, I have met and become friendly with several artists and designers, many of whom face similar challenges re; selling their work.Rent for studios etc in Germany is high, and many can only succedd if they show their art at fairs or make sales online, or at galleries.One lady- a photographer of landscapes-had the clever idea of selling her scenery photos framed and called her photography ” Meditative pieces for a calm mind in troubled times”.She contaced interior decorators and other professionals who help people with interior decoration and mrketed her photos as interior decoration.Then she designed a vey attractive website with a text about her philospohy of life and went on to explain how research shows that having pictures of scenery in one’s environment have been shown to provied positive effects on mood and well-being.Very cleverly done, I thought-(she asked me for help in finding poems about nature).Apparently this sales pitch really helped promote her work and customers liked the idea of ‘scenery as interior decoration’..This is just to get you thinking whether you could present your work with a new angle or target a certain kind of customer-ie,(brainstorming here)..”If your grandparents are shut in due to the pandemic, why not give them a gift of beauty? (Ie, a painting of a rose).Let your loved ones know they are in your heart…ETC..Hope this makes sense…Catherine

      • Catherine, your still lifepaintings are lovely, I very much enjoy how you capture light.

        Zoho is a social media all in one place site. It is affordable. It allows a business to create a post and send it to the five main social media sites at the same time. The sites are linked to the zoho account. Every comment that a reader makes will show up here and makes it VERY easy to respond without running around to all your accounts.

        I find it easiest to just share your plans for the day and people will relate. This is easier than feeling like a blog needs to be kept up or content has to be generated. One post a day is fine, consistency is more important than quantity. Also, there is an app at Google play that will place a Zoho button on your internet header that makes it even simpler to share ANY webpage.

        I hope this idea relieves the feeling of burden around social media. Or you can hire temp employees online and pay for an hour of social media a week, but they will need access to your passwords on social media accounts and some direction.

        • Thank you James, yes, some of the social media posting can be automated and that helps save time. I’m doing my best to keep up with it, even though I have not tried Zoho and one post per day is a far cry from what I’ve been able to achieve. It does feel good when people respond and engage with the posts. I found an art gallery selling regularly to be even better however, and wonder how I could possibly find such a place. or help them find me.

      • Thank you Catherine, you’re right and that is a valuable marketing strategy. Might you have the artists website link by any chance? I’d like to take a look. Working with interior decorators also appeals to me, because it would be less isolating, doing it all alone is not that much fun after a while. I’m wondering though how could I do less marketing and leave it to somebody who may be better than me at it…

        • Hi, I must check for the lady’s site…if i find it I will let you know! As other posters and Ms Sher say, it helps to get connected with others and i wonder what fairs are being held near you.Ie i have often gotten tons of information just by visiting big international design and fashion fairs.The pandemic may mean that many fairs are virtual only, a big shame.But my idea is that you could join an assoication for interiot esign or even general home decoration professionals, or find professional groups of people who design and decorate hotel lobbies, dentists and doctors waiting rooms, etc. Often i wonder where hotels get the artwork for their rooms and guest toilets etc. if you can find where these people congerate yu could introcude your self and send them a CV a sample of your work.You could turn it into a game, like how many emails can you send out and how many answers can you collect.There is a wonderful book by a lady called (I think) Susan Page, she wrote a book for singles who want to get married, but her advice re: coping with romantic rejection holds tru for the world of work: if you get a no, move on, the yes is around the corner! Hope this is not too long and boring…let us know what develops! Catherine

        • Hello, re the website of the photographer, she has changed it a lot (guess she got new ideas) but you can look. Her name is Ana Pabis and she got married so it might be Ana Pabis Guillaume. Very creative. Catherine

    • Maybe you could live-stream yourself while you make your art? Periscope is easy to use, you just need a smart phone and their app. Lbry/Odysee… twitch – there’s a few platforms where live streaming is possible…some of these live streams can happen simultaneously. It’s called “multi-casting.”

      You could set up a donation place on or just have a donation button on your own site for people who want to sponsor your work by a “buy me a coffee” sort of thing every month.

      Many empty mall spaces are available right now. An artist friend used to temporarily rent these spaces, sharing with other artists, and run the “popup shop” during the Xmas holidays for only a few weeks with their art in it. Not sure if this approach would work during a pandemic…

  2. I made the decision to leave my husband of 14 years, and am looking to branch out on my own. In a week, I have already secured a job at my brother’s company for $40k a year which is decent money for sure. My next obstacle is finding housing that is between this job and my husband’s place as the kids will be staying there due to the excellent school system. Also before winter, I will need to secure a more reliable mode of transportation.

    My credit is just below 700, so not too bad. However, I have no savings at this time. I have an excellent work history but had quit my previous job in July due to Covid concerns. I also have a very good renting history, but it had always been with him.

    I’m looking to rent an apartment (1+ bedrooms) for under $1500/mo in the central Massachusetts area. And looking for a vehicle that is under $2,000. Both of which I would like to have done by Dec 1st.

    • I am so sorry your marriage has broken down, Melissa, but happy to hear you have a decent credit rating and rental history and a good job. Your two-month deadline seems like a doable one. I am not in Massachusetts, but Central Massachusetts sounds like a very large area. Are there any cities or towns you might want to be near? Worcester seems to have lots of choice in this range, and you can have TWO bedrooms for less than $1,500 in Fitchburg.

      About cars, I reached my breaking point after my first husband died when I was 34, and I opened Consumer Reports to find the car least likely to break down on me. I did not care how it drove or what it looked like or even what it cost, and all of Honda’s line were at the top of that list. I have been driving Honda Accords, which happen to be a very comfortable ride that looks good, for the 34 years since. I have broken down only twice in all that time, and one of them was brake line vandalism in a very sketchy neighborhood, not a mechanical or electrical failure. Hondas are on these lists of the most reliable cars to buy for $2000 or less.

      • Thank you Patty. I’m not preferring big cities like Worcester as they’re “slumlord” places typically. And even if not the location is bad neighborhoods. With my kids staying with me part time, I want a nice area. The issue I’m having now is that with my new job only paying $800 gross a week, I don’t qualify for the income requirements on apartments.

  3. I want to join a community in which we forage, grow and hunt for our food and just generally depend on each other for our survival. If that isn’t possible I want to at least find my tribe. I want to wake up around people I trust. I’m lonely and understand that humans have evolved to live in communities like the one I mentioned I just can’t find anywhere or anyone to do it with. Any help would be great 🙂

    • Check out Intentional Communities. You can find all types of community living. You can also start your own on there and like-minded people can find you

    • Dear Kimon,
      There is the Directory of Intentional Communities, or at least there used to be. It was an enormously thick book listing Intentional Communities all across the U.S. and some in Canada. More and more stuff is going on line now. It is important to actually visit the ones you’re interested in and scrutinize them pretty carefully before joining. I once was a supporting member of a group sort of like that. They had 80 acres or more of rural property, and at one time, under the lead of a highly talented head gardener and permaculturist, grew about 80% of their own food. They also kept chickens, which were part of their food supply, and one year, at least, guinea hens and a goat or two. They were very strongly bonded by their spiritual beliefs that they held in common, and I firmly believe that bondedness is a very important factor in alternative communities, instead of one person believing this way and another some opposite way, and another not wanting anything to do with either of the other two. That stuff doesn’t work too well. Then, the organization that I knew had their own press. A couple of the people who were leading it were talented writers and speakers. During those years, 9 books or more were published. They also had a bookstore in a nearby town, and they had a glossy-covered magazine that came out quarterly. They also had a very interesting mail order catalogue, and kept adding items to it all the time. These operations happened in the nearby town. On the mountain and at the farm where they were, they worked very hard to teach all kinds of classes, from survival to permaculture, to all kinds of things relating to their spirituality. One of the leaders became such a popular and engaging speaker that he was gone 97% of the time, traveling around the world on speaking engagements. There were many supporters from around the world. It was great while it lasted and is now defunct. Even the best alternative communities come and go. There was a core group of about a dozen or so people who did all the work that was required to run all this. Everybody was pretty well fed, from the farm produce, 100% employed, and 100% housed. My preference is a community with common bonds who work together on the attainment and accomplishment of a mutually shared dream. And have figured out how to be independently economically viable for all its members. I have seen other communities where there was no bonding, no shared dream other than merely living together, and there was no economy for the members at all. It was each person go out into the world and get a job and fend for yourself, just like living in the dominant society. When I visited, there was an attorney who was living in a fancy house that she had designed and built, and another struggling woman, living in the woods just down the hill from her, in an old school bus. That woman had just fled a domestic violence divorce and had no underpinnings under her, whatsoever. And the community wasn’t going to help her. It was up to her to figure life out for herself. There was no bondedness in that group at all. It turned me off that there was this one person with a palatial house on the hill and the other, just down the hill in the woods, with the old school bus and a little shanty out of scraps of wood that she’d been able to rig up for herself. No bonding or caring whatsoever, it seemed. Every man, woman, cat and dog for him or herself! To me, that’s not a community!
      So they vary widely, and most do not seem to have developed any kind of economics that works well for the members. Most of them are lacking in this regard. And it is a necessary point, or sooner or later, the community collapses. The greatest example of an alternative community that I have ever seen is the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland. It is an amazing success, started by Peter and Eileen Caddy in the 1960’s and was still going strong in 1987 when I visited there. They get visitors from all over the world, and as far as I am concerned, are the flagship of all alternative communities. Of course, if you aren’t British, you can visit but not join. In spite of having a strong Scottish-Irish background, which is half of my ancestry, as an American, I cannot go back to Scotland and become a Scottish citizen.
      They don’t have enough jobs for their own citizens, they say. A British citizen, who belongs to the Commonwealth, might stand a better chance.
      As a nature expert, I can comment that in this country, foraging is pretty much a thing of the past. For years, I have taught the general public about Ethnobotany: Native American uses of native plants for food, medicine, housing, clothing, and possessions. The thing is, in most areas it is illegal to forage. Plants cannot be gathered from state and national parks, and in lands controlled by the Forest Service, if one is to do more than a little berry picking, one needs a special permit to gather anything. On a tract of land that some friends of mine owned, 93 acres, and attempted to start an alternative community, there was some gardening to some limited extent by one of the households, but certainly not enough to keep them in food. One thing to be aware of is the growing season–in certain regions, there’s only a 60-day growing season, if that, and this heavily limits what a person can grow. The community consisted of three households at first, and they made the mistake of allowing someone to join who had a serious case of alcoholism and was of no use to anybody, and a detriment to the community. Another of the households wanted to withdraw and left, losing their shirts and all the money that they had invested in the community, including the building of their house. Leaving one household. At that point, the community collapsed. Community building is one of the hardest things to do, with many pitfalls. Regarding hunting, you need to be a very good hunter and know your state’s hunting seasons and regulations and be willing to follow them.
      I am a person with similar longings, and the older I get, the stronger those longings become. I agree, we are not supposed to live alone, or cooped up in little houses or apartments. It takes a minimum of 9 to a maximum of about 23 people to set up a community, and as far as I know, something–some commonality, some higher purpose, needs to bond them, beyond merely wanting to live in community. And then, there needs to be some economic game plan that will provide good economy for all members, not leaving some struggling and starving while others live like kings and queens. And the economy needs to be independent, and community-owned, so that it isn’t a matter of just every member going into town and getting a job. Or else you might as well just live in town! The community that I used to be involved with was a good example. It was founded in the mid 70’s and flourished until at least 1992, and beyond. Findhorn is the best community I have ever seen. They are pretty incredible. The things that pull communities down are people who are into alcohol and drugs, and people who do not want to do any work, but just lay around and dream, and contribute little to nothing. A few such people showed up at the viable and hard working community that I knew. There were a dozen or so in the core group, and they all worked very hard. There were a few slackers who didn’t even want to wash their dishes after they had eaten a meal. These were quickly asked to leave, and usually didn’t last a week. If the people aren’t working together on a mutually shared dream, things quickly fall apart. And the people need to be really serious and willing to commit to a clean and sober lifestyle. I think you have been given enough information to get at least started now on some further research. Good luck!

      • Hi Mary Ann Leberg,
        Your post is really fun to read, I enjoyed your insights! i just want to add that for some people, Alaska has been sort of The Last Frontier (in North America) and when i spent some summers in Anchorage, i met people from many backgrounds who had moved to Alaska to lead self-sufficient lives. But as you pointed out, you need a lot of skills and knowledge to make it in the Alaskan is not paradise, you have to accept limitations (freezing, dark winters, mosquitoes in summer, etc).yet if you have the skills, iyou can still lead a pretty autnomous life up North.Best wishes Catherine

      • Hi Mary Ann Leberg,
        Your post is really fun to read, I enjoyed your insights! i just want to add that for some people, Alaska has been sort of The Last Frontier (in North America) and when i spent some summers in Anchorage, i met people from many backgrounds who had moved to Alaska to lead self-sufficient lives. But as you pointed out, you need a lot of skills and knowledge to make it in the Alaskan is not paradise, you have to accept limitations (freezing, dark winters, mosquitoes in summer, etc).yet if you have the skills, you can still lead a pretty autnomous life up North.Best wishes Catherine

    • I prefer a community that doesn’t have “intentional” on the front end of it, one that integrates others into a circumstantial socialization that leaves their level of participation voluntary.
      I have checked out quite a few “Condo-munes” that have sprung up from models originated in Europe. They’re called “Co-Housing.” What makes them different from traditional condominiums is they have all have expanded common areas such as workshops, restaurant spaces, craft and mechanic areas, etc. that were built depending on the community’s needs at the time.
      When I went visiting many different co-housing places in the San Francisco Bay area, the most harmonious was called “Frog” something… co-housing, located in (Sonoma, Calif.)
      This property included some business street units. It had, as well as a free restaurant shared by work trade of its community members…a carpentry workshop, music studio, veggie garden, playground and mechanic car maintenance areas that were also shared. There were also some rental units, so you could experience the community before you bought into it. That’s the way I’d go. The size was around 25 units – maybe a hundred people of all ages.

      • Oh yeah, I got a chance to do a bit of research. I found the co-housing property example I used – it is called “FrogSong” in Cotati, California. Here’s its link describing it:
        Of course, my memory of it is not particularly correct, only general. At this link you can understand how it’s structured. The other advantage is this arrangement has been going on for quite awhile now and it is a stable community.
        As you can see from the description, it’s in a urban area, so the ability to grow food is under-represented.
        But the whole concept of “co-housing” I find appealing. You might check out co-housing as a template for what you seem to want and choose one that has more property for growing food.
        Many “commune” type places have quite a bit more lifestyle and belief commitments connected to them that seem unsavory to me.

    • just rolled out a program that established meet-up groups in every single county in the U.S.A. They ask $7 per month to cover the cost of online fees, etc. but waive the fee for those who are not cash-rich. Btw, lots of opportunity at this time for teachers who no longer want to work in private or public schools. This group is research-oriented, brainy, pro-civil rights via legal remedies (not violence), strong on old fashioned family values, but with think-outside-the-box creativity, optimism, and a relentlessly idealistic can-do attitude. AND they emphasize making in-person, offline local connections! Their focus is on education, communication, connection, community.

  4. I want to home school my son staying on an amusement park.
    My obstacles are
    1. I don’t own an amusement park
    2. I have only one source of income

    • Dear Appiah ,
      I don’t understand your comment. Are you looking to be a live-in caretaker of an amusement park? Are you in the United States or some other country? Around here, in Western Washington State where I live, there are amusement parks. There is someone on my mailing list who owns and runs an amusement park. But he doesn’t live there. He lives several miles away. There is a very large amusement park just north of here about 10 miles. But it’s a business, and no one lives there. What part of your dream is the most important piece to you: homeschooling your son or living at an amusement park? Could you homeschool him elsewhere and then frequently visit an amusement park with him? Can you do a search and look up all the amusement parks, say, within a 300 mile radius of where you are now, and contact them all, and see if any of them have or want a live-in caretaker? Or if any one of them want a caretaker, period? Live-in or not?
      Sometimes getting pieces of our dream is better than not getting any of it.
      Also, I am an educator, Board Certified by the Washington State Board of Education in English, K-12. Board Certified educators are rare. An ordinary teaching credential expires 5 years after the teacher has taught, here in Washington State. But Board Certified educators’ credentials never do. I have had my experiences with tutoring students who had been or were being home schooled. For some people it works and for some it doesn’t. There was a dyslexic woman who was attempting to home school her children, and it was a disaster. You need to be very articulate, with an excellent command of English and possibly math, or your child will be better off in public school. The last student I tutored who was being home schooled was going from the 8th to the 9th grade, as far as his age was concerned. He had dyslexia and also one of the worst cases of ADHD that I’ve ever seen. But we were making some reading progress, using my special methods. When I tested him, I discovered that he was three and a half years behind. He was reading at the 5th grade level! Trying to catch him up within a few weeks so that he would be ready for high school in the fall was an impossibility!
      The reason I asked you where you are living is this: I don’t know how it is in other states, but here in Washington State, at least, the schools are mandated to come up with an IEP–Individualized Educational Plan–for each student, which is how they will be educated, to the best of their abilities. In fact, I’m pretty certain that this is federal law, in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. I have not been teaching in formal classroom settings since that act was passed. So children have IEP’s; each child does, and the schools are held accountable for accomplishing the education of each child according to the IEP for that child. There is much to do with testing under the No Child Left Behind Act, and there is much argument that education quality is poor, because all students do is cram for those tests. However, they do get educated and do graduate. So this is what I recommended to the parents of the boy with dyslexia and severe ADHD, who was three and a half years behind in school. I could tutor him until I was blue in the face, and his probability of catching up would be very poor. He was definitely not a candidate for home schooling, and he needed to be in school. Public schools are free up through the 12th grade.
      The bottom line is we need to ensure that our children get the best educational opportunities and the best education available to them. Parents need to be ready and able to home school their children, and not all children are candidates for home schooling.

      I hope these comments of mine have helped. You are getting expert advice from an educator on this.

      Is it possible to

      • Continuation of my comment–for some hideous reason, the computer cut me off! Is it possible to find out what the public schools can do for him, depending on whether you live in the U.S. or not? Just because a person can get access to home schooling materials does not mean that the home schooling will be a success. Two factors are critical: The parent should not have un-mastered learning disorders standing in their way of educating their child, and they should have an excellent command of English. The second factor is that children with serious learning disorders, especially multiple learning disorders, are not candidates for home schooling. These things hurt the child more than they help.
        Good Luck!

      • An IEP is only for a child who has been determined to need special education services. Every child where I live (Florida) has a PMP…(Progress Monitoring Plan). Level 1 means the child needs no interventions. Level 1 Intervention means they need mild interventions. Tier 2 means they are getting specialized interventions, and Tier 3 means they are getting 30 minutes a day of specialized interventions. If Tier 3 interventions don’t work, they are referred for testing, and if that show eligibility for special ed interventions, they get an IEP. An IEP is ONLY for students who need special education service. 504 plans are for students who don’t need an IEP, but may have health issues, such as ADHD, that inhibit learning. 504’s can provide some accommodations, such as extra time on tests, or more frequent breaks.

        Hope this clears some of the jargon up! Let me know if there are other questions.

    • What an original dream! I doubt you need to own an amusement park to live there, if the place has living quarters and you can provide any useful services. I’m sure most of them have been hit hard financially by the pandemic and would welcome such a deal.

  5. OK, I’ve done it now! Gone and created more mischief than I can handle. So I need some help here.
    I have just gone and e-mailed everyone on my e-mail list, and they live mostly in geographically distant and scattered places from my house–about starting a Success Team, and needing people to join.
    Which begs the question, how do I set this up electronically? How is it possible to set up a conference call? Or a Zoom meeting? And does Zoom come with its own tutorials to show you how to do this? And what are the costs of these things?

    • Great

      Zoom, freeconference call and Skype and so on have prices and Tutorials on their Websites.
      And as so many people have to use these Tools now, I think there might be many videos also on YouTube.

      But it would be very helpful if you had a real person to practice and test Videoconference tools.
      I am in Germany and did test and learn with colleagues how to use it as participant or Host. Thats why I recommend personal help.
      I hope that you will find some body in your Timezone.

      • Thanks, Astrid. Good points: I am thinking of offering this to a children’s group on an island near here that studies nature, and see if they’d like me to come do something with it for them.

        I think my marketing approach needs to dig deeper into the purpose or value of coming on a tour. As for me, the minute I hear “Ethnobotany Tour” my ears perk way up, something in the core of me stirs, and forget everything else that I was going to do that day except perhaps for an emergency doctor appointment.
        If there’s an Ethnobotany tour going on and I am not leading it, then I really want to go! But not everyone feels this way. And so I do have to hit purpose harder.

    • I recommend that you use instead of Zoom – because people are talking about their life plans, their schedules, their travel plans to be away from their homes… it would be much more reassuring to have privacy.
      Zoom isn’t private at all.
      Right now a bunch of us on Brax. me – we’re all in the midst of studying how works and what it can be good for. Turns out (the mission of Brax is personal data privacy) is going to provide their own secure server for use that’s totally encrypted and protected from the rest of the Internet. Probably it will cost something, but not much. Right now the server use is free on Brax.
      find me on and I’ll include you in our investigations of !!!

  6. Ethnobotany is about how Native Americans have used plants for food, medicine, and to make belongings out of. I have given ethnobotany walks in the past, but once when I relied on getting the event into 6 local arts and events calendars in newspapers and heavily promoted it with about 150 fliers on display in merchants’ stores near where the event was to take place, not a single person showed up. How can I effectively promote an ethnobotany walk so that people will be willing to come? (The skills learned here could be good for promoting other events too, like speaking engagements, for instance.)

    • Hi

      Some ideas
      post it in online Plattforms Like meet-up or Facebook?

      Or check typical Marketing: what ist the purpose or value in participating in your Tours?

      Like reconnecting with nature, being more Independent, health, tradition,

      Or make it for Special groups, like only women or kids, or only Special kind of plants….
      Good Lück.

      • Thanks, Astrid. Good points: I am thinking of offering this to a children’s group on an island near here that studies nature, and see if they’d like me to come do something with it for them.

        I think my marketing approach needs to dig deeper into the purpose or value of coming on a tour. As for me, the minute I hear “Ethnobotany Tour” my ears perk way up, something in the core of me stirs, and forget everything else that I was going to do that day except perhaps for an emergency doctor appointment.
        If there’s an Ethnobotany tour going on and I am not leading it, then I really want to go! But not everyone feels this way. And so I do have to hit purpose harder.

        • Hi Mary Ann,
          So I think, that not everybody knows, what Ethnobotany may be,
          What about calling your offer something like

          learn from nature / native people how to stay in wildernss without starving
          what the elders / first nation knew about plants
          another approach to plants
          respectful use of nature

          I hope you get the idea: translate the content to common language / knowlegde of your clients.
          Good luck

          • Thanks, Astrid. My fliers for the event and arts and events calendars advertising have described it this way: “Native Uses of Native Plants for Food, Medicine, Clothing, Housing, and Possessions.” That’s what Ethnobotany is. There may be a better, more elegant way to describe it. We have many plants here now which are European-introduced invasive species which weren’t here at all before the Europeans came. Ethnobotanists are careful to talk about native plants, and not the invasive ones. Sometimes I make exceptions when I know that Native people discovered uses for certain plants that are highly beneficial medicinally. I used to go to certain areas where I was going to give a tour, when I lived in the San Juan Islands, and park my car near the entrance to the area and put all kinds of things, like Native baskets, pictures from large books of baskets and tools, and props to use on the tour, on the hood of my car. This was in summer time, when there were a lot of tourists. People would stop by and ask, “What are you doing?” And I’d reply, “In half an hour, I am going to be leading an Ethnobotany tour. Native American uses of Native plants for food, medicine, housing, clothing, and possessions. Are you interested?” And I had my clipboard along, for them to sign up. This was in a popular, well-travelled area, where there would be a person going by on the average of one every five minutes, or more. And that worked. But now, I don’t live anywhere near there anymore, and the place I tried to do it where no one showed is remote. I did do one there once, and it was people showing up on the spur of the moment who happened to be hiking there that day who came, and I had six of them. But this was entirely due to the luck of the fates and the grace of God. All the advertising I did didn’t draw anyone.
            I did one in a state park up near Bellingham, in Northwest Washington, once. This was advertised through a Free University associated with Western Washington State University, but the Free University has gone out of business, as has the one associated with the University of Washington. They sponsored me and the course description appeared in their catalogue. I got enough of a sign up that way. But those advertising channels have dried up, and the point is, I want to be able to do an ethnobotany walk just about anywhere, anytime, and not necessarily through sponsorship only.

        • Hello again Mary Ann Leberg,
          Your topic is worthwhile (ethnobotany) and i agree with Astrid that doing research on how and where to offer this could be helpful. I belonged to a German-Iroquois Culture Club for sevral years and when we did workshops in Europe on Native American Arts and Crafts, our best results were obtained when we advertised our workshops via established museums and clubs for Native American history. In other words, we asked organizaions which already had a large membership to help us publicize our events and the members already had a definite interest in the workshops topics.Conversely, when we tried to offer the same workshops at universities and youth clubs in cities such as Frankfurt, Basel, freiburg etc only very few pople attended – our flyers did not reach those people with a real interest in Native Americans.What i am saying is that, in my opinion, you could:network-with whatever institutions that might promote ethnobotany-do research on where possible interested persons are residing, and offer your talks in communities where there is an interst(why not try Native American comunities? Ask the elders to help you?)- also, presnt your walks from an angle that appeals and is timely- for example, “How Ethnobotany can strenghten Your immune System-learning how Mother Nature can help you fight off vruses and colds!” etc. Maybe- get support from friends- do a short video of your walk and show it at fairs, church events, health fairs etc to spread the word.Good luck Catherine

          • Catherine,

            That’s really good and useful advice!

            I hope Mary Ann sees it and uses it!


    • How about calling it something other than ethnobotany until the END of your talk – not in promotional materials, unless you’re okay “preaching to the choir”! Maybe make posters start with the words, in all caps, NATIVE AMERICANS make (present tense) delicious food, effective natural remedies, beautiful (mention some of the articles), all out of wild plants! FREE walk for residents of (your county or state) for the first (maximum number of people you can optimally communicate with on the walk) people to reserve a spot. Free surprise gift for the first 10 participants! And the gift can be a booklet you create or object you make that would be BEAUTIFUL and get the recipients further enthused about Ethnobotany. Just PR brainstorming. Also, advertise that there will be a sample/taste and recipes for some ethnobotany inspired treats. Mention colors, fragrances (fruit, blossoms, fall color, butterflies, sky, etc.) and other pleasurable physical feelings (fresh breeze, sunshine, crisp air, deep quiet, birdsong, etc.), and emotions (exhilaration, deep inner peace, well-being, and Nature’s quiet euphoria!). Just brainstorming. 🙂 I wish you greatest success!

  7. Hi
    I want to get N trDitionsl performative gente practices in yemen put on the UNESCo list of world intangible cultural heritage. Has someone an idea or contacts. I am an social anthropologist
    Having just contacted UNESCO in germany yemen and Paris waitkmg for an answer.
    Thanks for ideas!

    • Hi Ulrike–

      I don’t understand the first part of your first sentence. Could you explain a little more, please?

      Could you network with people in your anthropologist professional associations?

      Good luck!

  8. I’m not sure if this bulletin is active anymore but I was called to try.
    Goal: To find a literary agent to represent a book that has been divinely channeled.
    Obstacle: The book is very spiritual + short in length, i have struggled to find agents interested in such qualities.

    • I don’t personally know any, but here are some great places to look: (search for the word spirituality to find 3 agents)

      And some advice on the process:

      Remember that publishing is a business. Publishers and authors are partners in a joint venture. Agents get to know what particular publishers want to publish and accept inquiries from authors, so that they can put them in touch with each other, for a share of the author’s money. But it IS a business venture, not a writing contest. Most of the books the publishers invest in fail. Eighty to ninety percent fail. In other words, the publisher spends more money on the author’s advance, the cover design, the interior layout, the printing, the distribution, and all the administrative details than they will receive from sales of the book. They are counting on the other few books to keep them in business. So, they say yes only to books they think have a good shot at landing in that 10% to 20% that succeed. And their business is getting tougher every year.

      Publishers (and agents) are decent judges of what’s likely to sell in the current market and whether or not your book is among the best in one of those current categories. So, unless they are absolutely certain you’ve knocked it out of the park in those two aspects, their big question about your book is this: How many book buyers can YOU bring in? How many people are eagerly listening to you every month? How many people look forward to email or tweets or Instagram messages from you? How many people have purchased your earlier books? Or, in publisher parlance, how big is your platform?

      Almost all of us authors are sent reeling by this question. We expected a writing contest with publication as a prize–or, in your case, a divine revelation with divine intervention to get someone to spend the money to publish and distribute it. We looked for an agent and a publisher to avoid all the marketing involved in self-publishing. And it turns out marketing is just as important as what’s in the manuscript, unless someone with a lot of money to spend looks at your book and thinks it will be THE hot seller of 2022. [This is why we teach a lot about how to self-publish and promote your book in Barbara Sher’s WriteSpeak Online course.]

      I hope that your book finds its publisher and does really well.

    • Maybe you could team up with an artist or a stunning photographer to illustrate the short book you have now with their images?

    • Hi, I’m an illustrator trying to incorporate spiritual subjects to my work. I‘ve doing it in a really subtle way ‘cause I was afraid to be misunderstood by clients or potential clients interested in my illustration work but not interested in the spiritual side of my work.

      All this to say that if you need an artist I would love to hear more of your project.

      Also, have you tried to contact Hay House Publishers?

  9. Dear webmaster,
    The comments on this page are all mixed up and out of order, and the last one, from Maggie on the 11th, I’d like to respond to, but there isn’t even a response button, or not one that I can see, at least, anywhere on here.

  10. Dear Maggie,
    It is high time to go to a criminal prosecutor and to the police and get them to track down this individual, and press charges! That, unless it’s already been done, IS the “Right Next Step!” The guy is a criminal who has made off with the family fortune, and you must do everything in your power to go after him. And prosecute. Sometimes, love, pink light, and wishing just doesn’t cut it at all. This guy’s a criminal, and he’s massively ripped you off. Period. And you can’t let him get away with it. It’s going to take a lot more than visualization and prayer.
    You sound like English is your second language, is it? Are you European? I can’t quite tell what you’re trying to tell us. When you say, “I’m writing for a naturopathic doctor, does this mean that you are in med school, training to become a naturopathic doctor? Or, does it mean that you are seeking a naturopathic doctor to meet your own health needs? And you say that you need more to have home and a life. Does this mean that you are homeless? If so, was the homelessness caused by this criminal rip-off artist? Are you on the streets? Living out of a car? What are your real, present circumstances? These are the beginning points to this business, as I see it. Let us in on what’s really happening to you, and geographically where you are.

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