“Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid.” — Tracy Malone

September 2020: A Note from Hope — It is with an open heart that I share with you today the launch of the website for our newest book from Inkandescent™ Publishing, “Why Divorce: 5 Reasons to Leave” —

First, I want to share a quote by Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, who seems to tie together the focus of this issue of Inkandescent Women magazine, and my purpose for penning this book. She said of her decision to end her marriage: “I didn’t exactly want to get divorce. I didn’t exactly not want to. By then my marriage had become like the trail in that moment when I realize there was a bull in both directions. I simply made a leap of faith and pushed on in the direction where I’d never been.” 

Talk about putting on your big girl panties.

That is exactly what we are doing, and invite you to, as well, as we launch the September 2020 of Inkandescent Women magazine: What’s Next for Entrepreneurs. Our cover girl is all-star business maven Micaela Brown, a serial entrepreneur who is brutally honest and humble as she shares her tale of how her company is struggling during the pandemic — and how she’s choosing to cope with it. As my collaborator Cynthia de Lorenzi and I interviewed her, I was reminded how hard it is to know what to do when you are 100% in charge of your life. Whether’s its the business you birthed and are struggling to keep alive, your decades-long marriage that needs some serious CPR, or decisions about whether to send your kids back to school 6 months into a pandemic — my go-to mantra is a quote a friend shared with me that was originally penned by Tracy Malone: “Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid.”

That has certainly been the story of my life since I turned 50 (in 2014) — the year I decided to leave my husband. As you’ll read on the website for my new book project,, it was an impossible decision. Both my husband and I have been managing our freelance businesses since we married in 1995. Decades ago, as we sat on the floor in our suburban home drinking our morning coffee and discussing our assignments for the day, he quipped that we were Gibbco. He couldn’t have better nailed the crux of our relationship. We were awesome business partners, and parents (to this day we will say the exact same thing in the exact same words, frequently at the exact same time, to our two kids). But the thing that I longed for most was a deep intimate connection, international travel, play, and full-throttle joy. But, he was my beloved, my first call, the man whose neck still smelled so sweet when I kissed it. How could I make him join me in a life that I desperately wanted, knowing that wasn’t the path that would make him happy?

How do you divorce your best friend? You don’t. Instead, I buried my frustration and did what most journalists do: research. I began collecting data and informally interviewed friends about their relationships in an effort to figure out what are good reasons to leave a marriage? When do you give yourself permission to live the life of your dreams — all of them, not just the ones that society deems worthy and appropriate? It took from Thanksgiving 2005 to November 1, 2014 for me to take the step toward moving out of our home; then it took another six years before the papers were signed. Poignantly, with the poetry that seems logical to a writer and artist, our divorce was final on our 25th anniversary.

So why am I writing Why Divorce? It was the data. In those years of talking with friends and colleagues about their relationships, I found that so many who were struggling in some way. Many found the courage and reason to stay, while many more decided the best solution was to leave. And everyone who was struggling told me the same thing — they wished they could talk to others in their shoes to know they were not alone. My mission and purpose is to share those case studies, offer advice from experts and resources to ease the pain — first on this website, and then in a printed book and ebook. So what do you think?

Are you ready to share your love story? If so, I want to interview you! Organized as case studies of the 5 reasons that seem to sum up the big issues (abuse, addiction, adultery, abandonment, angst) I have so far interviewed nearly a dozen people who have had the courage to share their experiences with love, loss and the courage to let go. My goal is to feature at least 40 women and men in the book, for in qualitative research this sample size gives power to the finds (called the Central Limit Theorem, I thank my statistics professors in the positive psychology program at Claremont Graduate University for educating me about what this means!). If you are game to share your story of divorce, follow this link to take the first step in the interview: fill out the questionnaire.

Calling Divorce Experts: Being that my only expertise in this area is that I’ve gone through this process myself, I have interviewed pros in a variety of industries who help with the divorce process — divorce attorneys, therapists, child psychologists and psychiatrists, financial planners, Realtors, and more. If you are an expert, or know someone who should be featured, let me know! I’m currently looking to speak with mediators, as well as sex therapists, coaches, and other guides who can assist our readers. Click here to meet the folks I’ve talked with so far. And click here to set up a time to talk with me, or shoot me an email.

Parting Thoughts: Last but not least, the end of the book project features additional stories, poems, and intimate thoughts that folks have been willing to share about their experience with the divorce process. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been brought to their knees during this experience, and often that inspires creativity. I call this section, “The Divorce Diaries,” and invite you to send me your words of wisdom that you’d like to see included in this section.

In advance, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening yours to receive this idea, and for sharing your thoughts and experience with the people who need the courage and support to do what they know they need to do, even when they are afraid. With love, Hope