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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Experiments in incandescent living

When Halley’s Comet swept across the sky in April 1910, New York Times society reporters implied that to live life to the fullest you simply had to attend a rooftop viewing party. I’ve never cared about staying on top of the trends, but I do enjoy stargazing with a glass of bubbly; so I have reappropriated the “comet party” as a metaphor for living the brightest, most festive version of your life. You want to light up a room, but not in the way people usually employ that phrase: I’m talking about bringing joy and clarity to everyone you meet, and reveling in that effervescent feeling you get when you’ve made yourself useful.

I write novels for readers of all ages and occasionally blog about books, travel, art, and needlecrafts, but this site is mostly for exploring the connection I’ve discovered between ethical veganism and creativity. To that end, I’m working on a follow-up book to Life Without Envy called A Bright Clean Mind: Veganism for Creative Transformation, forthcoming in August 2019. If I’ve piqued your interest, you can subscribe for updates!

Recently on the blog...

10/04

A Bright Clean Mind Corrections and Clarifications (Please Comment Below!)

My new book on veganism and creativity will be out in the world very shortly, and as I line up promotional whatnots I’ve been thinking a lot about something author Maya Gottfried said in our conversation that appears on pages 226-229:

Even as vegans we’re not perfect—a book we write that’s totally vegan may not be reflective of other values we develop in the future, and it’s always going to be that way. We just have to acknowledge that things have changed and move on from there.

I have made mistakes in this book—I have no doubt of it!—but at a certain point a writer has to know when to let go. I’m publishing this post to acknowledge the issues I’ve already spotted (and will add to this as needed), and also to create a space for readers to articulate any questions or concerns they may have. If you have any constructive feedback to offer, I prefer that you offer it here, publicly, so that other readers can benefit from your perspective and reply with any reactions you may inspire. (Please note that I will not approve or respond to any anti-vegan defensiveness, no matter how subtly you manage to articulate your hostility. Arguing with you is not a productive use of my time.) Thank you in advance for your input!

Future “transparency reports” will serve a different function: reporting the amounts I’ve been able to donate to animal rights and vegan social/food justice organizations (20% total from each royalty check, a different charity or charities each time).

If you’ve arrived at this page because I have referenced your work in A Bright Clean Mind—whether you are vegan or “future-vegan”—I would be glad to send you a copy. Email me with your address.

Now on to the corrections and clarifications:

A Note on the Illustrations

I am not at all happy with the print quality—it does not do right by the artists—but there is nothing I can do about this beyond requiring a QC safeguard in all future publishing contracts for illustrated books.

Recalibrating Your Language

I ought to have included the singular “they” in this callout. My apologies for the cisgender brain blip!

FOMO or Faux Moo?

After I turned in the manuscript I found out that according to the Food Empowerment Project, FoMu does not use Fair-Trade chocolate. (If you click here you’ll see them listed under “Cannot recommend but at least responded”). I decided not to cut the chapter because I believe the message outweighs my embarrassing hypocrisy. I’ve emailed the owners for an explanation and will add an update here when I have one.

Jane O’Hara

When you check out Jane O’Hara’s Sacrifice on page 109 (click here to see it properly), do note that her Instagram handle is now @janeoharaprojects.

Where’s Wilbur?

It didn’t make sense to mention this within the chapter (it would fall under “TMI” even as a postscript), but I would like to clarify that after I wrote it Chrissy and I decided we’d both be happier not being friends, and as a result I am no longer volunteering at either Maple Farm Sanctuary or Unity Sanctuary. To the best of my recollection I volunteered four or five times total, which isn’t much, I know, but I hope to volunteer again at these or other farm animal sanctuaries when I eventually have my own car (getting there by public transportation just isn’t realistic, alas).

“Vegan for the Future”

My boyfriend tells me this phrase does not make sense given the animal-centered definition of veganism, but I don’t see why I can’t be “vegan for the future” as long as I am also for animal rights. (Otherwise, yes, one would be eating a plant-based diet as “an environmentalist for the future.”)

The Back Cover

Especially-careful readers will note that sixteen vegan artists have been interviewed in this book, not fifteen. We caught the error too late not to delay printing, but it will be corrected in the event of a reprint.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.