Blog Posts

Creative Flow or Wasteland? Nancy Drew Provides the Clues

By Jean Storlie / January 16, 2024 /

My calendar did not include an emergency meeting with the PR department that entailed challenging negotiations about technically accurate nutrition information versus consumer-friendly language. Although tensions between the nutrition and PR functions predated my tenure … the dynamics were escalating too far. During the meeting, my team (nutrition communications) was criticized for creating dull, uninteresting…

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Tales from Iceland #2: Christmas Traditions

By Jean Storlie / December 25, 2023 /

Happy (or Merry) Christmas!  Sharing a few insights I learned about how the “island of fire and ice” celebrates Christmas … Yule Lads Instead of one Santa Claus, Icelanders have 13 Yule Lads. According to local lore, they live in the highlands and come down from the mountains, one each night for the 13 days…

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Tales from Iceland #1: Democratic Conversion to Christianity

By Jean Storlie / December 19, 2023 /

Few trees. Few people. Many churches. On our first day driving the Icelandic countryside, I observed the ratio of churches to people and asked my husband, “Since Iceland was first settled by the Vikings in the 9th century, wouldn’t they have been a pagan country?” We pondered how Christianity became the dominant religion. By the…

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A Boulder Circle Story

By Jean Storlie / November 29, 2023 /

I vividly remember walking along Boulder’s chill yet vibrant pedestrian mall, mesmerized by the nearby foothills. It was the summer of 1995, and I was six-months pregnant with my second daughter. The Sterling Rice Group (SRG), a creative agency based in Boulder, was convening a client meeting to develop concepts for a new line of…

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Fire Tower’s Vantage Point

By Jean Storlie / August 22, 2023 /

When I looked down and realized that I was twice the height of the treetops, my stomach flip-flopped … my head started to spin. I could hardly manage to hold onto the steel ladder leading straight up to the fire tower lookout. I was in northern Wisconsin with some friends (in my early 20s). They’d…

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The Haunted House: Creating Stories about Places

By Jean Storlie / April 28, 2023 /

My little-girl self was terrified of the deserted farmhouse up a dirt road from the suburb where I grew up in the 1960s. The family who had lived there still owned the land and rented the pasture and barn to local horse owners. The abandoned house seemed to be crumbling into the ground. When my…

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Root Canal Misery to Fur Coat Comfort

By Jean Storlie / February 14, 2023 /

The Chicago wind slapped my face as I stepped out of the dentist’s office on Valentine’s Day in 1988. I’d just finished my first root canal and had no plans for a romantic evening … or any romantic prospects on the horizon. It was 3 pm and I felt lousy. Instead of returning to work,…

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The Day I Met Margene

By Jean Storlie / October 25, 2022 /

I walked into Margene’s Wagstaff’s office in the spring of 1977 wearing a jean skirt that I’d embroidered with flowers and a gauzy peasant top. My hippy garb was out of place with Margene’s prim and proper attire. She wore a coordinated sweater set and plaid skirt with pearls  and classy loafers. We couldn’t have…

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“But He Hates Me”

By Jean Storlie / September 27, 2022 /

In graduate school, I worked as the nutrition coordinator for an adult fitness and cardiac rehabilitation program associated with a university. As a relatively new position in the organization, it lacked established processes. Bright-eyed, naive, and optimistic, I proposed lots of new ideas to enhance and expand the nutrition services. Phil, the director, who was…

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Opportunity Disguised as Loss … Ten Years Later

By Jean Storlie / August 30, 2022 /

Instead of checking my email before work, I called my mom to wish her happy birthday. When I walked into the office, I could tell something was odd. My boss walked past me without greeting or eye contact. Looking out at the sea of cubicles, I noticed that everyone had their heads down. I felt…

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