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I am a writer, editor, columnist and keynote speaker who infuses creativity into everything I touch. Imagination and appreciation spark my pursuits from managing corporate publications and authoring books to owning a traveling consulting business and successfully leading the fundraising efforts for multiple nonprofits as their development director.

There’s also a fair amount of “go for it” in me.  Years ago I was an ABC-TV affiliate station news director in Bakersfield, California.  Without any previous training, I seized the opportunity to write, produce and direct a television documentary about children and TV violence styled after the award-winning 60 Minutes. More recently I went for it again and established Imagination Now in 2012, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching children to believe in the power of their imaginations and how to use it for real-world successes. Read story here

Where do I get my inspiration?

Cheryl Russell PortraitNature plays a big role whether it’s as an observer or I am living in the midst of it in what I call “Mother Nature’s Disneyland.”  My current writer’s loft with tree views from every window is a manifestation of a childhood dream when I sat in my favorite walnut tree pondering what it would be like to live in one. Living in an ocean view beach house was also on my bucket list and gratefully fulfilled–twice!  In 1980 I left my job to see nature on a bigger canvas and headed around the world with me, myself, and I. To this day, that life-changing journey speaks to me in untold volumes.

Words are my passion. Through their power I am energized and vitalized. Recently, I created a calendar in celebration of word power. It was hard to narrow my favorites down to twelve. Magical topped my list and in no particular order, the other eleven are: Imagine, Magnificent, Yay, Light, Love, Dream, Laugh, Believe, Create, What If and Thank You.

A priceless source of inspiration is from all the teachers in my life, official and unofficial through their writings and other media. Authors, motivational speakers, and great thinkers have all taught me plenty through their words.  It is impossible to cite names or specifics, however, there are a couple that I simply must acknowledge–two of my high school teachers. Miss Helen Kunde taught me the science of writing (grammar and punctuation) and Mr. John Ewing taught me the art of writing, a formula known as MI plus Three. That’s code for main idea followed by three supporting ideas.  Much gratitude and BIG gold stars to each of you.

My appreciation is immense for all that I have experienced in life, for today, and for all the tomorrows. All I can say at this point is…to be continued.