How Jenny Holmgrain (Founder Camp Kesem VCU) Makes Things Happen

Jenny HolmgrainJenny Holmgrain is a college student who is busy mounting her first camp, as the founder and co-director of Camp Kesem VCU. While other students are studying, partying or loafing, Holmgrain is raising funds, recruiting staff and creating a safe haven for kids. 

The student-run chapter of a national organization hopes to host 30 campers—all children affected by a parent’s cancer—at a free weeklong residential camp at Camp Horizons, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a cause close to my heart—both Holmgrain and I lost our fathers to cancer.

Read More


Recommended Reading for Olivia Pope

Olivia Pope

As “Scandal” careens toward its season finale Thursday, I can’t help wondering along with Olivia Pope what her life would be if she’d hopped on the plane to oblivion that Papa Pope offered. What would the gladiator who has so much to lose--a fierce wardrobe, challenging … Read More


My Writing Process

Inspire Be Inspired

A not-quite-midlife crisis sent me back to school last year--VMFA Studio School. There I tried to shed my business journalist skin by enrolling in a riot of short story, poetry and photography classes. The highlights: the heartfelt tutelage of writing instructor Susan … Read More

How Tos

How-To Books: You’re Reading Them Wrong

Woman Reading

I love a good how-to book. Okay, I love bad ones too. Something about the idea of step-by-step instructions fills me with hope and a sense of infinite possibility. I’ve probably bought 200 volumes in the genre, all promising to offer up the keys to eternal happiness, … Read More

Advice and Inspiration for Smart Women

What do women really want? Trust me, it’s not “balance.”

This blog offers a daily exploration of the varied, determined, sometimes misguided, but unfailingly human ways that women pursue meaning and happiness. Peruse the eclectic mix of advice, interviews, trend spotting and social commentary, then let me know what you think.

Here are a few of my favorite posts to get you started:

Come on. Click around. It’ll be fun, I promise!

Maya Smart