Enjoy this coveted interview with lifelong artist, Howard Loring! Howard is an actor, printmaker, painter and sculptor, as well as the author of both novels and short stories. Married, he currently resides in the Southeastern United States. He can be contacted via his Facebook Fan page.
Howard Loring’s Time Traveling Adventures possess a unique application of his chosen genre, and so they defy classification. His writings, including this example, combine Hard Science Fiction, compelling Historical Drama, engaging Mystery Tales and true to life Love Stories. They are Epic Fables, simply told but also broadly applied, covering larger, universal human issues.
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Melissa: Hello everyone and welcome to the Untold Tales podcast! Today we are doing another special episode of The Untold Tales podcast where we interview one of our popular authors and we ask them questions and today we are talking to Mr Howard Loring. He is one of our popular authors with a podcast and I'm verifying this with apple podcasts and Spotify... so that's my personal opinion but it's your opinion too. So, we're really excited! So you may not know this but Howard has authored seven of the untold Tales podcast short stories and this includes episode 66 the crazy old Sandman episode 68 clash of the redheads episode 74 reversing gravity and episode 76 dinner with the doge. So thank you so much for being here Howard I really appreciate you.
Howard: You're welcome absolutely!
Melissa: So what you may not know about the Untold Tales Podcast is that Dr. Jeffrey A. Robinson literally goes through hundreds... sometimes a couple hundred of stories every month... and he reads them and he vets them for a podcast and one of the reasons why Howard is on our podcast is because again and again, he has demonstrated excellent storytelling high quality stories plots are amazing his characters are amazing and we're going to get to ask him some questions uh you guys wrote in some questions for him and so I'm going to ask him some things I wanted to know and I'll ask him some things that you guys wanted to know and we'll have a great time! So, are you ready or what? Okay so set aside about 30 minutes for this episode and um we're gonna ask Howard some questions and I'm going to pick at him like a tiny enthusiastic storytelling vulture. So, hopefully you enjoy the process before we get going. One of the questions I wanted to ask you Howard is there anything right now that you are promoting or anything that you'd like to call attention to and what you're working on?
Howard: Well no but as from a personal standpoint, I just signed up for the Multiverse convention which is in Atlanta I think it's in October and you know I used to go to a lot of conventions and the pandemic put the kibosh on that yeah this is the first convention that I've uh you know so yeah it was a pretty you know it was a pretty good deal for me.
And on another personal level, I installed some bees yesterday so some bees yeah bees. I've been a bee keeper for 20 years and my bees froze last year it was so uh you know I'm just a it's a hobby with me and uh I like giving honey away that is so cool nine degrees uh last year Gordon which was unheard of oh no so talk about Paradox and it froze my bees so I had to get some new bees.
Melissa: Oh my gosh that's terrible
Howard: Yeah so yeah I installed some new bees that was New Life and so I yeah that's what I've been doing here for the last couple of days is getting my bee yard in order that the colony.
Melissa: I don't think we ever asked you that question! I find that fascinating because I'm terrified like literally one bee will be will send me indoors for the rest of the day like I'm so scared of bees!
Howard: Well so I play guitar and often I'll sting myself in my hand because I can play very well when I you know because it frees you up uh bees are not like wasps you know they uh actually they they sting people on purpose. If you have MS or uh our honey bees interesting honey bee venom is very therapeutic. I can play very well when you've been stung it uh hands so that is a lot of uh this is beside the point but I've got a lot of YouTube videos where I play guitar and talk about my books uh on uh YouTube where tonight where I transport people back in time on city buses and things so you know that's has to do with my books so...
Melissa: That is so cool! Well we'll link it to the show notes uh in this episode so people can go check that out. that's fascinating!
Howard: I've got dozens of uh YouTube videos where I transport people back in time on city buses and return them to their current reality safely it can very calm around the bees they'll come around you that's the key if you're interested make bad movements they'll they don't like that!
Melissa: Well that's a question that nobody wrote in because nobody knew that! So now you have a a new trivia question whenever we ask during our gaming sessions in the coming years you can remember Howard Loring is a beekeeper! Cool.
Howard: For a long time!
Melissa: That's right he's no novice, he's no novice. So I'm sure to thought certified or certifiably [Laughter] well very cool well so let's get let's get going on the questions so that we can kind of like dig deeper into into your process into your past and hopefully you know what we can expect from the future. So okay um so I'm interested to know about your background are you a single child or do you have siblings where did you grow up?
Howard: Yes I come from a giant family a huge family and uh they're all storytellers okay uh we have uh a lot of uh living history in our family and uh you know I remember my grandfather talking about his grandfather who was in the Civil War and uh you know uh my family is very funny. Everybody in my family tells a good joke and if you tell if you can tell a good joke you have a perfect sense of timing.
Melissa: That's right
Howard: If you can tell a good story then whether or not you understand classical myth if you can tell a good story your employed missed yeah I'm kind of the weird sheep in my my uh my father was a uh it was a doctor he was an imminent surgeon he was in college when he was 15. he had a double major my mother went to the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago so she could spit on Juilliard people you know if she wanted to she yeah qualified to conduct although she never did she was a a esteemed music teacher for 50 years and was teaching music until she was 94 years old oh wow she had a long career that's that's something to Aspire to I I'm always thinking about my longevity as well so that's encouraging to know that you know she was able to continue there's five siblings in my family they're all creative they're all funny and uh not all of them read but they're all creative in other ways a lot of them do you know some of them do I was going to ask were you born in Georgia is that where you were no I was uh born in South Carolina but my family both sides were from Tennessee oh okay and uh uh actually from Memphis and 13 Generations in Memphis since before there was a state of Tennessee in fact one of my earliest ancestors Drew off the lines he was there when they stopped the boat in the bend in the river this is Anderson B Carr and they said they were going to build the city of Memphis there in Memphis and uh family lived on this land for 13 Generations uh we only sold out about 10 years ago 12 15 years ago I can't remember my aunt was the last one that lived there how did you know that how did you know 13 is there a log like did somebody keep that right we all know that family history that was uh I'm an old southern family there's people in my family and everybody is named after somebody else because that's the way you do it I have an ancestor who was a two-star confederate general William Wayne Lauren in the Confederate Army yeah I live in uh outside of Atlanta now and uh the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia outside of Atlanta he was he held a flank at the Battle of in a saw Mountain he was in five of the eight battles or there were six or eight battles of the Atlanta Campaign he was in uh like five of the battles before he got shot in the chest and it took him 47 days to uh get over his injury and by that time Atlanta had fallen and he went up to into he was in the Battle of Nashville and then he went into North Carolina before they you know the Confederacy finally gave up.
Melissa: Did Billy did he leave a diary? I mean you said 47 days he recovered. I mean like I I don't know anything past my grandpa and and they came from Puerto Rico, I know very little about my family!
Howard: My family's been well researched my aunt was a probate lawyer and she that's out of the family wow I did a lot of research on my dad's side of the family uh but then again I remember I remember my grandfather talking about his grandfather you know I was uh it's a southern thing so that's why I love history yeah well it shows it shows because you just keep writing his history history it's in your blood I mean that's what you write about I'm not older um you know I read a lot of history and once I realized it was a thing I became interested because you know as a child I was very inquisitive but once I got older it I suddenly became aware that there was stuff I didn't know and why what is that all about I gotta know everything yeah I mean you don't have to figure it out you just go read somebody who else already is figuring to watch so that's why I love history that's awesome when I started writing books I already knew a bunch of the history.
Melissa: So did you go did you go to school to be able to write did you get a degree in writing or is that something naturally that just came out of you as a result of your upbringing?
Howard: No I actually I went to a church school I went to a small church school and I majored in science I have a degree in experimental psychology okay and I'm an Avid Reader and uh I made a living being an artist and I always thought I would uh write a book one day and you know I was a printmaker and I was a sculptor and I was you know I did all these artistic things for living so one day I started writing a book and it you know I wasn't really serious and I would pull it down and work on it and put it back and you know got to do I would choke uh people parts of it or I would give little pieces to friends of mine and finally they said well you know what are you ever gonna do anything you know ask them all that yeah my father bro where it said the end it was horrible it had to run on sentences my theory was you know write it and then fix it you know right of course so that's what I did uh they said well you got to publish it I wasn't going to publish I was doing an intellectual exercise to see if I could do it so then I self-published it and I said a little you know a little bit about the next you know like the fact what you know yeah well I didn't want to want more the people want more I didn't wanna I didn't want to write a a sequel the the first one took a long time the second one it came pretty quick I wrote it in like six months.
Melissa: Wow and then I wrote another you know I mean so they're not sequels but they all relate and they all explain each other?
Howard: Yes they all fill in the back story. Yeah like one big story yeah exactly in any order because they're all contained and right more you read them the more you understand the total and the way you read them the sequence in which you read them depends on how the backstory is revealed you say oh that's the guy and the other thing you know that's the one that was another book not only that you know you know I didn't set out to write time travel or sci-fi
Melissa: One of the things I've noticed in your writing is a Segway you write about a lot of redheads and I was wondering because one of your most popular uh episodes on the untold Tales podcast is Clash of the redheads and um I'm curious was there a love interest there was a red hat or or something like that that encourage you to write redhead stories or what's that all about?
Howard: Well I write epic Fables the plot is secondary Internet it's not really what the people do internet right now the people change in an epic because an epic is universal so when you read an epic you relate to it because it's about things that happen to everybody yes and that's why we still have a Greek and Roman stories and all kinds of they're pervasive in our culture because they don't they're Universal they don't change right wow and the rules of uh uh of myths which I use you know they weren't thought up by somebody you know or some Egghead uh you know they were honed over time and these are the rules because they're what work Homer didn't invent the rules of myth home were used what was known to the best effect and he did it very early on so onwards known as a genius you know so the rules of myth work because they they were hunged over time or have you ever seen a movie that didn't you know the photography was great and you know a lot of people didn't work for you?
Melissa: Yes absolutely the myth is all screwed up and we just didn't click you know but if you used myth well see myth myth tells the back story without having to you know because it uses things that are myth is unconscious or it can be.
Howard: Right! You know, Little Orphan Annie nobody has to tell you she's in bad trouble because she's an orphan right and you know you already know that she's on her own and she's a girl child she's a child so she's vulnerable so this is played over and over and over again Dorothy Gale of Kansas in The Wizard of Oz's endorsing girl child Christmas Leia in Star Wars which is way in the future she's an orphan girl child you know you're already drawn in you don't have to say this girl is in you know it's it's subconscious.
Melissa: That's right it draws you in! Is that why all these Disney people don't have moms because I'm always telling my daughter why why do they always lose their mom like what is it with the mom you know like can somebody keep their mom and lose their dad like you know because as a mom I'm always just like why is the mom always out of the picture and what you're saying is that that is the formula of myth that is effective.
Howard: Yes yeah so why would I I'll write epic things so their fables they're very simply told that they're ethics so they're layered so they have one of the good and evil right and wrong so when I was starting out I needed simple things for my characters one of them was big he was a giant big guy well almost thin thin tall man yeah it was a red uh oh and he added one on the ten the tall thin guy and so my characters are in all the books so you see so the clash of the redheads has the tall thin uh time traveler and the red-headed woman time traveler and they go see Thomas Jefferson who was a redhead.
Melissa: I didn't know that how did you know that do they say that in the history books I don't ever remember knowing that fact about Thomas Jefferson?
Howard: Oh yeah he was so famous for being redheaded and all of those pictures are he's redheaded interesting I wasn't paying attention I was I was intrigued yes yes But to answer your question when I was uh first running the the first novel and I was looking for and idealized uh uh beautiful love interest I went back to my first love who was a redheaded girl.
Melissa: I knew it!
Howard: Actually yeah
Melissa: That's awesome that's awesome and you know - fiery redhead... who can resist? I mean it's just who can resist it? I mean thank you so much for for that explanation that's that's really really a cool journey. I'd like how you weave all that together and you stay true to it and you're writing um what made you want to get started writing and most importantly why did you submit to Untold Tales?
Howard: Actually you know I'm in many uh social media groups uh like uh like on Facebook uh Mark Neuffer, okay. Mark yeah he's another Untold Tales author it is yeah well we he and I started corresponding and he said you know your stuff is pretty good you know and he said you need to submit to this podcast uh because this guy he scrutinized this very heavily and he's looking for good stuff and he's having a hard time finding stuff that meets his criteria and you can you need to submit. So I was very flattered because I sent two stories and a good doctor wrote me back and he's he said these are very interesting and we're going to bump some people and we're going to get these two made and do you have more and I set uh a couple more and he said while these are interesting! Below on we've had more and so yeah he's been very he's been very flattering and uh it's very nice that I've had so many uh done and they've done expertly professionally and you uh I couldn't be more pleased. I've told you before through emails that uh I couldn't be more pleased to do one of my books.
Melissa: Absolutely! I would love to do one of your novels I just get engrossed by the characters and I love to just dive in and you know sometimes I'll even get you know some some of you authors throw some things that may like accents and words and things that I basically can't even say and I'll hire somebody to help me figure it out to give you a great product. So I'm curious? What's your favorite story that you ever wrote and it doesn't have to be on the podcast but what's your favorite story that you ever wrote and did it have a personal uh meaning to you?
Howard: Yeah actually probably the best thing that personally was gratifying me was something that was not published I wrote a piece for my mother on her 90th birthday and also wrote something from my brother-in-law on his 80th birthday and uh they were both pretty funny and they uh you know nobody read them except for people in my family when I was a kid. I had this box turtle in the house and I tip him in the bottom drawer of my oh my God that's normal oh my gosh if I was your mom what what no you know I had older brothers who had snakes and you know that oh my gosh and so you know one day the box turtle was gone and you know I knew my mother let him lose some she got it for a hundred years she denied it you know and so I won't be peace about the Boxster it would have stumped the house. you know? I mean so and then I wrote this piece for my brother-in-law he was an imminent uh surgeon as well as uh when I first met him my sister started dating him in college he was in medical school she was in nursing school they went to Duke and so we grew up there at a meeting it was uh two of my brothers and my mother drove up there and my sister and my mother huddled over in the corner and they come and they say uh well we want you to meet him but he's with his land partner and they're in the cadaver room freak you out and I was like 10 years old and I was like are you kidding you know I want to go please it's like a Frankenstein movie we go into this big thing and it was like seemed to me like there was a thousand totals I'm sure there was like several dozen but it was dark it was in the evening there were all these covered tables and over in the corner there was this one table with a light on it and these two guys and I was like all right you know it would walk and sort of it was like a parking lot where there was something and you know I was so disappointed because they had a sheet over everything all the table said sheets but I figured that we would see the dead guy that he was working all in his arm was exposed they had a sheet over him and they had like forceps in his arm they were dissect in his arm anyway I wrote a story about the first time I met him you know it was pretty funny!
Melissa: That's funny! so any suggestions for new Authors coming up like uh how to find their style maybe or just the writing process in general like what would you tell a younger author wanting to begin writing?
Howard: Well I'll take the old adages are true uh you know they uh I'll always heard several things you know write what you know find your own voice and never stop well you know when I started writing I didn't think I knew much and uhbut I did I knew you know and uh I didn't think I knew much and turns out you do write what you know even though you don't think you do and uh you and if you'd never you know I'm pretty hard-headed so I'm pretty stubborn so you know if you if you want to write and you get frustrated and you get you know. People here's the thing I've written all these books and I'm never once and this is only for me I'm not telling people to do right but I'll start it out each of my books with one idea one strange cook one weird idea and I went with it I never wrote an outline not once and I know people who are obsessed over outlines who write pages and pages and pages. He had been an editor of the Chicago Daily News and he was like 90 years old at the time when I was writing my first book and I I went to him and I said I'll have a little problem here because you know it's kind of convoluted and stuff and he said well give me an outline I said well uh you know it's kind of you know the other day and he said that's bull I could do the Old Testament toothpaste. Okay y'all that's not me you know so my advice if you're stuck or what you know if if you decide that your artwork that you want to express your art and words. If your palette is words then paid until satisfied and never give up until you're slightest and you can always change what's on the page but if you never started chat change anything yeah well if you think about it odd infant item and never put page anything on the page then you'll never get any if you spend all your time thinking about it you'll never get any so you know if you wanna spend your time making an outline that's fine if you know but sucking on the page and my first book I just wanted to get to the point where I said the end I'm with that and I've fixed it you know yeah and I went through a couple of additions first you know yeah and I mean it took a while yeah I think a lot of a lot of people are paralyzed by the creative process because they want it to be perfect out of the gates and art is messy.
Melissa: I mean, I got asked the other day about my narration process because maybe you see on Instagram you know narrator sort of flawlessly executing the paragraph after paragraph and you know for me it takes me a good half hour just to get warmed up in the story and the narration I make a lot of mistakes I start over again almost every time I step up to the microphone I like it takes me a minute to get my bearings but but if I if I got paralyzed and didn't do anything because I'm like ah this is going to take too long I suck you know I would never I would never audition I would never produce anything you get a process as you're in action but if you never start because you're paralyzed it's not going to be good then that kind of does a disservice don't die with your music in you.
Howard: That's what they say right? well I would write and uh if I got stuck I just reread what I wrote get unstuck I was writing short stories I had this idea that I would write intellectual and historical Epoch changing things in history right well I was going to trace all of his so here's a thing and here's the thing and here's the thing and here's the thing so I had a bunch of short stories and uh they should listen you know these are the stories that are on the uh podcast so they're you know the the one uh about the Sandman yeah that's that's a really popular one the crazy old Sandman right or the general General mechanics of warfare I think okay well that's uh that's 400 BC yeah all right well all right so I had all of these things and I realized I had a giant Gap okay in in the timeline because they went from way back to Modern Times and so it had taken me x amount of time to write all of these and I had a gap and so I wrote the red hat clash of the redheads to him because the one about the redheads is about science right so they're trying to codify what science is that's what it is so the one that comes after that is the one about Einstein so where he's at dinner where he's a little boy and it's science is already they know what science is and the one before that is about Henry VII yet dinner with a doge where they're talking about the you know they're one day they're going to figure out signs okay so I needed something in between so it took me longer to write the redheads than it did to write all of the other short stories oh really oh that's amazing I don't know because I wanted it to be good I guess you know well you know it's still you know and the history of it and the history of it you wanted to make it relevant right to that point in history of what they would have known about right so that so that nobody yells at you how unplausible that story could be right because well I already knew a lot of the history yeah I knew that uh uh you know Jefferson was in fossils I knew you know so every all of the short stories that have been done I pretty much knew all of the history already because I read history right now I had to check it check some of the facts and maybe some of the yeah I did look out what Mastodon meant!
Melissa: Oh yeah! I remember. Yeah that's the funny part of this people need to listen to that that was really really funny like when you you're like really I was taken aback when I read it I was like okay interesting and the way that it came up in the story was really funny too because of the time and men and women and and propriety and all that kind of stuff was really really what she's a fiery redhead she's a fiery redhead she'll say it she'll say it right that's good that's funny so some people know you only as a short story writer but I heard that you write novels so can you tell us a little bit about that.
Howard: Yes, I write novels uh on the uh elastic limit of time which the elastic limits is Target for time travel which according to my theory so so the elastic limit you have to understand the elastic limit in orbital in order excuse me to time travel because you have to manipulate the elastic limit uh in order to the hardware manipulates the elastic limit which permits Tantra right it's also a metaphor for your imagination so my first book is beyond the elastic limit which is beyond your imagination how cool so the second book is piercing the elastic limit which is blowing your imagination yeah exactly my third book is tales of the uh elastic limit which is stories of your imagination okay so uh I like uh books on the elastic limit of time so uh they're epic fables as I said they are simply told that they are layered like an onion so they're very simple and then simple and then simple they get bigger and bigger and bigger and then it's like a cast of millions and it's like it blows your mind it's like uh and it's uh it's like the tiniest atom to like the billions of universes and they're all sort of like moving in a similar fashion and it's like it's so consistent right yes it's so consistent yes well they're it's the Multiverse into itself they're they're historical fiction but that's you know that's not the point they're they're epics they're Universal everybody can relate to them.
Melissa: You know everybody has been unlucky in love, everybody's hated their job but you know it's uh and uh that's what it's about so you can hate your job in the star Fleet and you can hate your job as an indigenous you know forager and you can hate your job as as ant in a colony yes and uh you know which by the way A Bug's Life was the way my way in to to voice over that's what really sparked my interest in willing the whole in the whole industry yeah the the movie A Bug's Life about basically him hating his role in the world I really identified with that.
Howard: Yeah funny bees and ants and termites uh you know you take a bee or an ant or a termite and you put them in a cage they have Locomotion they can go around they can get sued they can survive but they have no conception of what to do yeah put them in a colony with a million more I like them they know exactly what to do yeah they'll go and build this or they'll go in Florida so that they'll do the other dude it's like a link in the chain it's like a bit in a computer yeah exactly what to do yeah so yeah that's wild so yeah for my books on the elastic limited time or epic fables they're simple but they cover big things they have uh uh true history with real people with uh documented circumstance uh they have uh here I drew up a list because it's so so long uh yeah tell us a list and I can put links to this information down in the show notes okay um written about Julius Caesar Marcus Agrippa and Marcus Claudius Marcellus who were Roman Commanders uh science scientists I've written about or Archimedes Albert Einstein Joseph Priestley uh cuvier who you read about uh uh uh Tudor politician center of the eighth Charles Brandon Robert Cecil Francis Wallson uh Walsingham Henry Percy William pageant William Summers who you've done he was the fool we uh yeah uh John Dudley uh Elizabethan artist uh Christopher Marlow I've written the extensive way about him Shakespeare Edward Allen Richard Burbage American uh Colonial Americans Thomas Jefferson Bishop James Madison William Clark uh classical musicians I've written uh extensively on Robert Schumann his wife Clara Schumann Johannes Bronx uh Joseph Johan who was a classical violinist uh uh Frederick uh White who was uh uh Clara Schumann's uh father he was uh famous world famous uh music teacher Felix Mendelson uh true events that I've covered were the fall of Syracuse which is uh yeah right yeah the Battle of Munda Lord of Henry VII uh sinking of the warship and the Mary Rose uh Elizabethan Politics the Ross modern literature the age of fossils that was the yeah yeah classical music uh and uh classical physics you know uh real stuff but it's that's not what it's about it's about it's about humanity and uh how people it's about how the characters change right now and it's relatable because it's Epic and it's uh yeah I use a lot of classical myth so you're sucked in and you know if if myth is correctly employed it makes you feel ways that you don't understand I mean it creeps you out or it makes you feel good it makes you join you know and uh and you don't it makes you feel ways that you don't understand why.
Melissa: So, we're coming down to uh the end of our time together here in this uh in this podcast episode however Howard Loring is available um all over the interwebs we'll put links in the show notes so that you can follow his work and of course I'm sure we're going to be having more of your stories on the podcast and there's so much fun to narrate I hope they're just as much fun for our listeners to listen to and to discover together so did you have any other parting words for everyone Before We Say Goodbye well I would like to say that uh I've been uh published in a Sci-Fi Anthology this year oh wow congratulations and I was published last year in the uh 2022 uh science fiction novelist Anthology perfect this year in science fiction novelist Anthology and so they take two submissions a year and uh two stories last year and two this year and both of them were accepted on both so amazing congratulations I've been published two years in a row uh and it's an international thing uh this year there were uh I think there were 17 stories from 11 authors and four countries wow and so uh and plus the uh podcast that you were doing and so uh yeah the elastic limit of time knowledge of the elastic women of time is growing yeah I love it well I'm sure everybody will be excited to follow your journey as an author as a person as a beekeeper I'm still like obsessing over the fact that you're a beekeeper I think that's so cool save the bees I have uh YouTube videos and uh I have a website uh which has blogs uh my blogs on it so perfect well we will continue to follow you and your journey thank you so much for sharing your heart for sharing your talent with the untold Tales podcast listenership and watchership if you're watching this on YouTube and um we just really appreciate your time today so thank you so much and we'll see you soon bye thank you very much I enjoyed it immensely bye thank you!
Howard: Thank you!
A lifelong artist, Howard Loring is an actor, printmaker, painter and sculptor, as well as the author of both novels and short stories. Married, he currently resides in the Southeastern United States. He can be contacted via his Facebook Fan page.
Narrator / Co-Founder / Producer
Melissa Del Toro Schaffner is the primary Narrator for ALL the UNTOLD TALES episodes. She is an American Voice Actor and the co-creator narrator of The Untold Tales Podcast. In addition to being in the Mom after 40 club, she wears multiple hats including international best selling author, accomplished Accountability Coach, and creator/ illustrator of the Minority Girl Empowerment Coloring Book “Careers for Little Sisters” (available in English and Spanish). Melissa was also a contestant on the nationally televised game show “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” and shares a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and MBA background with Jeff. Her current mission to inspire one million women to live the life of their dreams.