Fourth Age Salon: “Mapping Out Your Life” Workshop

Wednesday, May 6 @12:30

Current OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) members age 75 and above are warmly invited (and encouraged) to join us for a Fourth Age Salon, “Mapping Out Your Life”, on Wednesday, May 6, 12:30-1:30 PM, via Zoom. Our guest speaker will be David Marshall, who, along with his wife Kate, has co-authored nine prompted journals about love, communication, and growth, including My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future.

Life Mapping invites us to be intentional about our future, perhaps especially when our future has limits. Marshall will give us a framework and tools to examine what has been most important to us in the past, and how to make sure that we define and plan for future goals. We will participate in warm-up exercises asking about our talents, what makes us happy, and what we’re grateful for, then will sketch out the beginning of a plan. There will be plenty of time for your questions.

Fourth Age Salon’s are free and open to current OLLI members age 75 and above. 

Gratitude: A cure for insomnia, high blood pressure, asthma…everything?

Nancy David Kho spent a year writing thank you letters to people who helped and inspired her in some way. I gobbled up her reflections on the experience in a 12/15/19 San Francisco Chronicle essay, “What I never expected was how profoundly my thank-you letter writing would impact me, permanently changing the way I moved through the world and deepening my relationships with the recipients of the letters.”

Kho adds, “I later learned that neuroscientists consider an authentic expression of gratitude to be one of the most effective way to reset the parasympathetic nervous system; studies say  it improves the quality of sleep, decreases, blood pressure and can even improve asthma control.”

She wrote letters, you can write little books with our journals!


Do you love the fresh new covers of our bestsellers The Book of Myself and The Book of Us as much as we do? Both guided journals, with new designs – inside and out – as well as updated content are ready to ship on September 10, in plenty of time for the holiday season.

Many people give The Book of Myself: A Do-it-Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions to their parents or grandparents to encourage the older generations to write down their life stories to pass on to future generations.

And The Book of Us: A Journal of Your Love Story in 150 Questions is just right for couples, either new or longstanding, to celebrate their relationship.

In service,

David & Kate Marshall

New Covers

PSSST! TOP SECRET (not really): Hachette is working up some brand new covers and interior designs for The Book of Myself and The Book of Us. We’ve refreshed the content several times, the interior color once, but the designs have stayed the same. We’ve loved them, but after 20+ years, it’s time to freshen up. For one thing, with a large share of books now sold online, titles need to be LARGER. For another, sometimes a girl just wants new clothes for a new look, right? Not ready for the reveal yet, so stay tuned!

Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life

LIFE MAPPING WORKSHOP, Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 (5:15-6:30 pm): Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life: A Life Mapping Workshop. We’ll be drawing from our book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future. We’ll be giving some background , then working on both Ten-Year Maps and Whole-Life Maps together. Come explore your future with us!

Kate & David Marshall

Hospice Specialist

David found this heartwarming story today about a hospice specialist in Ohio using THE BOOK OF MYSELF: A Do-it-Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions with her patients to help draw out stories from their often very interesting lives. She says it shows her patients that she’s interested in them on a personal level, and that families are always grateful, and sometimes surprised, by the stories she shares with them. Well done, Melinda!

Read story here.



Talking About Love

Not gonna lie, I had a belly full of butterflies about going on American Family Radio, but “Living Life with Lauren” hostesses Lauren Kitchens Steward and Pat Montegue made me feel right at home.

We had a good ole chat about keeping love central in our lives, parenting kids who love wearing Spiderman pj’s, and more. Ton of fun! Have a listen.

The Book of You cover


Top 10 Reasons to Use THE BOOK OF YOU to Love Your Kids

Remember David Letterman’s Late Night Top 10 lists? I miss them. Here’s a new one –

Top 10 Reasons to fill out THE BOOK OF YOU: For My Child with Love (A Keepsake Journal) for your son or daughter

#10: to get out the crayons and draw stick figures and decorations, all in the name of parental love

#9: for an excuse to pull out those toddler photos that make your heart melt

#8: to apologize for that ONE time you made a parenting mistake

#7: to relive some sweet/ridiculous/proud moments from your son or daughter’s childhood

#6: to plant seeds for experiences you want to have with your child in the future

#5: to finally try your hand at doing one coloring page

#4: to give a big thank for the gifts and help your son or daughter has given you or others

#3: to revive that parent-cheering-wildly-in-the-audience feeling

#2: so your son or daughter can pull your love off the shelf whenever they need to feel it

#1: so your child never doubts your love

How Family Ties Keep You Going, in Sickness and in Health

Time Magazine (February 13, 2017) reports in The View Health section that strong family ties are linked to improved longevity, sibling relationships are a boon to well-being, and spousal interactions can have big benefits. Based on recent studies by scientific experts:

“Interactions in our relationships impact us more than we think.”

“Older adults who said who said they felt ‘extremely close’ to family members on their list had about a 6% risk of dying in the next five years compared with about a 14% risk of death in the same time period among people who didn’t feel as tight with their family.”

“…Young people who considered their relationship with their brother and sister to be positive had fewer depressive symptoms compared with those who didn’t get along with their siblings.”

“On days when (married or co-habitating couples) had a pleasant, positive conversation, the partners felt less lonely and more intimate, and fell asleep faster, than on days when they didn’t.”

These studies support what we already intuitively know, that deep and long-lasting relationships with loved ones are among our most valuable treasures in life.

See the full Time Magazine article here.



Book Cover

Oh, I sooo wish we could show you the cover for our new book right this instant, but we’re not ready for the big reveal yet. The book won’t be available until next spring, but the publisher just showed us the cover and IT’S ADORABLE!! Working on the interior design of the book now…


Storytelling Makes You Happier in Life and in Love

“Storytelling is one way couples bond when a relationship is young. But between long-term partners, the conversation often becomes mundane. Psychologists say it is important to keep telling and listening to each other’s stories,” according to a 7/4/2016 Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth Bernstein.

So true. Also true – your stories can be told aloud or in a guided journal: What I Love About You and The Book of Us for love stories and appreciation; or Picture of Me and The Book of Myself for stories about you that maybe you’ve never told.


Wall Street Journal article: Why Good Storytellers are Happier in Life and in Love


Review: What I Love About You

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…

“It is impossible to truly tell someone, how much you love them, especially since it relates to the matters of the heart, and all of us aren’t linguists with long train of words to express our emotions. But if…you always find yourself at a loss of words, then this book is the perfect thing. It uses a simple fill in the blank approach to open the doors of expression. You can just fill in all the blanks and give it as a personal gift to remember you by.” Review on this site.