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

Provisional Confidence is LIVE!

My first online course, Provisional Confidence for Writers, is now live on Teachable! I explain the genesis in this three-minute YouTube video:

A few notes on this and future offerings:

  • There will be more where this came from—the Bright Idea Kit, which is a more in-depth course on generating “original” ideas—and you can check out the workbook preview (inside my new resource library) by signing up for my newsletter.
  • “Too much useful content” is a splendid problem to have, but I don’t want to contribute to anyone’s feeling of overwhelm. Every course or webinar I put together will be something that feels necessary—something my readers have asked for. (Comment on this post if you have a request!)
  • I’m working on making my course materials as accessible as possible: accurate closed-captioning, transcripts in a sans serif font, etc. (I did use a serif font in my worksheets, but I’ll be using sans serif from now on—once I’ve finished The Bright Idea Kit I’ll circle back and re-design the Provisional Confidence worksheets.)
  • I will not show up in your inbox every day for a week because consumer psychology dictates that you will be more likely to purchase the course (it annoys the snot out of me when people do this!) I sent out an email announcement, I will do at least one Instagram promotion, and then (as usual) I’ll be on to the next thing.

Here are the three goals I set for 2020:

  1. Put out my first online course (because I have been talking about this for at least three years. IT’S TIME!)
  2. Write 200 messy pages of the new [time-travel!] novel.
  3. Publish a manifesta envisioning the retreat center I intend to create (hence the name “Comet Party Summer School”).

At first I figured I’d publish Provisional Confidence and get back to novel-writing, saving the Bright Idea Kit for 2021, but I think I can put out a second course and get that messy first section of the manuscript drafted. Let’s see if I can deliver on the Bright Idea Kit in time for Preptober and bang out my pages during NaNoWriMo (that’s “National Novel-Writing Month” for the uninitiated, “Preptober” being the outlining and such that happens during the month of October).

Oh, and did I mention the online seminar I’m developing for all the vegans who’ve told me that A Bright Clean Mind isn’t for them because they’re “not creative”?! Somehow this will all get done in between working the best day job I have ever had!

Big love to my friends Neil Kramer, Nova Ren Suma, Dr. Giavanni Washington, Elizabeth Duvivier, Heather Demetrios, Rebecca Mahoney, Chantal Schreiber, McCormick Templeman, Joelle Renstrom, Jason Atkins, Erin Callahan, and Steve Saranga for inspiring me to get this thing DONE and out into the world! 💕💕


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 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.


Clever, Lovely, and Absolutely Thrilling

Here is a collection of kind things readers and reviewers have said about my books over the years. I made this for a Youtube video I’m working on called “How to Write a Book Worth Reading” (there’ll be a text version on Medium as well), and this is my cred. (I may frame it for those inevitable days when I don’t feel so confident!)


A Bright Clean Mind preorder bonus!

Oh, hello! I’ve had a knitting-and-sewing post sitting almost-finished in my draft folder for ages, and I will get to that soon—in the meantime here’s an excerpt from and fun little preorder bonus for my next book, A Bright Clean Mind: Veganism for Creative Transformation:


A Forest on My Shoulders

Oh, hello! It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about a craft project, so I do have a bit of a backlog. (Also, how wild is it that this blog is over TEN YEARS OLD?!?) There’s a chapter in my next book about making my own clothes, so I really needed a good pic of my most recent FO: a lace shawl in Vegan Yarn Albireo, a fingering-weight blend of bamboo and organic cotton. The color thrills me to the bottom of my soul!
My friend Dan and I spent the day in Newport recently, and he was kind enough to take these photos on the cliff walk. Newport is one of those places you’ve got to admit is deservedly touristy. We did a lot of browsing in the shops (including an antique mall in an old armory), paused for a round of delicious cocktails, drove by the Newport mansions on Ocean Drive, and wept and gnashed our teeth when we discovered a local vegan restaurant had closed.
I used to think shawls were old fashioned in a way that wouldn’t work for me, but after seeing so many beautiful ones at Squam and online over the years, I eventually changed my mind. I wanted a garment I could feel embraced by, and I don’t care if that sounds corny. A shawl is perfect for a cool summer evening, and in the fall and winter you can wear it more like a scarf.
A few project notes: I don’t necessarily recommend the pattern I used even though it’s a nice mix of easy lace and even easier garter, because if you’re going to charge for a pattern like this (and you should, don’t get me wrong), you need to include stitch counts. That’s just basic. Thank goodness another Raveler took the time to count and write them out! And of course, the yarn was an absolute dream from start to finish. (I adore Heidi so much I’ve interviewed her for Tenderheart.) For full details, see my Ravelry project page.
Still need to identify this plant! [Edit: a kind reader informed me that it is Canadian goldenrod.]

Alec’s Favorite Vegan Recipes

Readers of The Boy From Tomorrow will notice that Alec and his mother are newly vegan—as Mrs. Frost says, “if you have to make two major life changes, you may as well make three.” So here’s a recipe round-up! Some dishes are mentioned in the novel, and others are just recipes I imagine Alec and Danny would enjoy as much as I do.

Weekend Breakfast

Pumpkin pie pancakes from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet

Fruit salad: banana, pineapple, mango, strawberries, blueberries, with whipped coconut cream (GF)

Chickpea-Flour Omelette (with tomato and red onion) with tempeh bacon and hash brown haystacks (GF)

Weekday Lunch

On a sandwich: “chuna” salad, tofu “egg” salad, peanut or almond butter and fig jam, or Tofurky deli slices with lettuce and tomato  (to make GF, omit deli slices and use gluten-free bread)

Carrots with hummus; a banana or apple; and a leftover cookie! (see below) (GF)


Tater-tot casserole (it’s healthier than it sounds, especially with a side salad) (GF)

Pizza from scratch (with marinara, caramelized onions, pre-sauteéd mini-bella mushrooms and broccoli rabe, and tofu ricotta)

Macaroni ‘n cheese (add peas, chopped tomatoes, and/or broccoli to make it healthier)  (to make GF, use gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs)

Classic chili with cashew sour cream and cornbread (GF if using gluten-free flour in the cornbread)


Spicy Roasted Chickpeas (GF)

Baba ganoush with pita chips (dip is GF)

Banana-peanut butter smoothie: frozen over-ripe bananas, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla powder, almond milk (GF)


Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles

Lavender-chocolate cupcakes (using maple syrup instead of honey) (GF)

Chocolate Cake to Live For

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gingerbread People (GF)


Mrs. Frost’s Veggie Chili

Does the Internet need another recipe for veggie chili? NOPE! But I’m planning a kid-friendly vegan recipe round-up as part of my resources for The Boy From Tomorrow, and I figured it would be better to tell you exactly how I make it rather than linking to some recipe I’ve never actually tried. This chili is as minimalist as I can make it, mild while still flavorful; I don’t use a spice mix, just chili powder and cumin with a pinch of cayenne. It’s basically the chili of my childhood with soy crumbles instead of ground beef, and in this version, there’s enough salt in the (store-bought) veggie broth that you don’t have to add any. If you’re skipping the soy crumbles, add another tin of beans or a cup of green lentils (which will require extra water).

Serve with Gena Hamshaw’s no-fuss cornbread recipe. Simple cashew sour cream recipe to follow.

Vegan Chili

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 onions, diced
1 ½ tsp. chili pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp. ground cumin (or to taste)
pinch (or more) cayenne pepper
2 large potatoes, diced
4 cups veggie broth
2 bell peppers, diced
2 15.5-oz. cans of beans (black and kidney, but any kind will do)
1 large can (28 oz.) of crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 package soy mince crumbles (I use Light Life)

Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent, adding spices and stirring well. Add chopped potatoes and continue cooking. When potatoes have softened, add the veggie broth followed by the rest of the ingredients, and simmer for a good while. The more times you reheat the pot, the tastier the chili will be! Serves 8-10.

Cashew Sour Cream

This recipe is tweaked from DIY Vegan by Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman (they offer the garlic and mustard as a suggestion for extra zing, but I say these ingredients are essential; add even more if you want!)

1 ½ cups raw cashew pieces, soaked in hot water (the longer they soak, the less you’ll need to process them)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. mustard
½ tsp. salt

Drain soaked cashews, preserving ½ cup of the liquid, and blend well, adding remaining ingredients. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour to let the “cream” firm up, and the flavors mingle. Yields a full pint jar and is also delicious on baked potatoes.



Compassionate Creativity Beta Coaching FAQ

When I announced that I’d be offering a creativity coaching beta program early next year, several lovely people replied to communicate their interest. I’m going to keep this group small so I can give you more bandwidth, and so that you guys can actively learn from and inspire each other. Here’s what you can expect from this six-week program beginning Monday, January 8th:

  • weekly presentations followed by Q&A and informal group discussion (75-90 minutes total; if you can’t attend live, you can watch the replay any time)
  • fun assignments to integrate each module, usually a combination of journaling exercises, worksheets, and trying something new (in or outside the kitchen)
  • Recipe roundups based on you and your family’s preferences and needs, meal planning resources, and personalized suggested reading lists
  • a private Facebook group to make it easy to share questions, experiences, and resources with your cohort

Now it’s time to tell you “the catch”—it’s the awesomest catch ever, though. In order to participate in this six-week program, I’ll ask you to commit to a vegan diet (or as close to it as you possibly can) for the duration. I experienced the most amazing boost in productivity that has continued uninterrupted since the day I went vegan (going on seven years ago), so I can tell you that adopting a more compassionate diet will enhance your creative output and outlook big time.

Got questions?

What does my diet have to do with my creativity?

Apply to the program and find out! Seriously, though, I’ll explain this in my first presentation. In the meantime, read this post and watch this video of slam poet Saul Williams explaining why he required his students at Stanford to eat vegetarian for the semester.



I’m really interested in trying out a plant-based diet, but what happens if I cave and eat a slice of my mother’s meatloaf? Will you kick me out of the program?

I will not. Let me tell you about my friend Teri, who set a goal of eating vegan during the week we spent at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps on Squam Lake in New Hampshire, eating three meals a day in the dining hall. At one point she articulated that she was so tempted by the macaroons on the dessert table (which were made with egg whites) she didn’t think she’d be able to resist, and I said, “If it’s between eating the macaroon, feeling guilty, then going back to eating meat and dairy, and eating the macaroon and returning to eating vegan at breakfast tomorrow, then go for option #2.” I haven’t felt a single craving for non-vegan food since I stopped eating eggs and dairy almost seven years ago, but I do understand that for many people, “weaning” oneself off animal products is the more sustainable method. I simply ask that you make a good-faith effort. I’ll provide you with all the resources and support you need (unless you need official nutritional or medical advice, which I am not qualified to give you, though I can refer you to someone who is.)

Can’t I just try Meatless Mondays, to start with?

I totally acknowledge that going vegan won’t be as seamless a transition for everyone as it was for me. That said, it is much too easy to bolster our current habits and worldview with a framework of self-reinforcing excuses. I’m looking for a six-week good-faith commitment from you. If you embarked on a new relationship, you probably wouldn’t say, “but I can date other people while you’re at your bowling league on Wednesday nights, right?” If you started an exercise regimen, you wouldn’t work out once or twice a week and sit on the sofa eating junk food all the other nights, would you?

If you’re feeling more stressed than excited at the prospect of going plant based, then it’s probably safe to say you’re not ready for this. Don’t worry, I will offer some version of this program again, and in the meantime, remember that every resource you could ever need is literally at your fingertips. Google “vegan 101” or “easy vegan recipes.” When you throw up your hands and say “this is just too complicated,” notice how you are buying into one of the narratives of mainstream carnist culture. The livestock, dairy, and pharmaceutical industries profit from you eating the same foods you always have.

This program sounds like a lot of work for you. Why is it free?

I received a vegan lifestyle coach certification back in 2013, but for the past four-plus years I’ve been focused on book projects. Now I’m finally ready to move into this new phase of my professional life! By participating in this beta program, you’re helping me hone my content for future (paid) programs as well as a book I’m writing about veganism and creativity. Some testimonials will be nice to have, too!

I’m already vegan. Can I still participate? 

Yes! While this program is geared toward making veganism feel do-able for (current) omnivores by exploring the creative benefits of compassionate eating, it’ll still be helpful for current vegans in terms of moving through creative blocks, creating a solid foundation for a new artistic practice, or adding another dimension to your animal-rights advocacy work. And your knowledge and insight will prove invaluable to everyone else in the program.

Want in? Look for the application link in the email update I’ll be sending on Monday morning (December 11th).



Email Marketing and “Authenticity”

The notion of marketing myself and my work really squicks me out. I regularly entertain fantasies of reverting to my dumbphone, dismantling my website, and living in a cabin in the woods with a kitchen garden and a 19th-century water pump. No more social media. If you find my work, great; if not, oh well, it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t need to be a bestselling author, somebody with “clout”—it only matters that I’m using what I’ve been given in a way that feels authentic.


This mindset is problematic for several reasons. First, of course, it espouses a sort of reverse-snobbery, as if every person making a living using social media has had to “sell out” for the privilege of working at home in their pajamas whenever they feel like it. Sure, lots of people have sold out. But there are also plenty of people who are using new platforms and technologies to share a useful and inspiring message, and we discount their efforts when we point only to those who are using manipulative marketing techniques to sell and up-sell their coaching packages, online courses, et cetera.

Secondly, it is very possible to skip out on undertaking one’s Scary-Big Work under the guise of humility. That is essentially what I am doing when I say I don’t want to collect anybody’s email addresses, I don’t want to network, I don’t want to promote or sell something people don’t want or need. Not only am I “playing small,” but I am preemptively dropping out on those who could actually benefit from my experience and insight—and that includes people who haven’t been born yet.

I can talk about not hiding my light under a bushel, but I’m only one of many people I poop out on when I engage in cowardice-masquerading-as-modesty. This is not the same kind of pretension you see in Facebook and Instagram ads in which entrepreneurs brag about making a six- or seven-figure income online—creating an enviable persona to get people to sign up in hopes of getting what they think you’ve got—but it is a pretension nonetheless.

So enough of all that. I’m giving myself permission to state my desires, loud and clear:

I want to inspire people to grow into the most fulfilled, most vibrant, most loving versions of themselves.

I want to help my students expand their capabilities: their literacy, their creativity, their compassion for all creatures.

I want to cultivate joy in the hearts of everyone I meet, in person and online.

And yes, I want to make a comfortable* living doing it—every cent exceeding “comfortable” funneled directly into hands-on philanthropic projects. As artist and creative consultant Rachael Rice writes, “Can we imagine the impact of our work beyond those who can afford it?”**

That is my dream. And to live my way into it, I’ll need to use the Internet with integrity (which I already know how to do!) and without false humility (which I shall continue to work on!) So—gulp!—I’ve started an email list. To sign up, just click here (although there is also a neat little link at the tippy-top left corner of this page). I’ll send you updates roughly once a month—with new-book news, of course, but also scrummy vegan recipes and practical advice on rejuvenating your creativity. Over time there will be an expanding emphasis on social, animal, and environmental justice projects—and if that sounds heavy, well, you can choose not to look at it that way. I believe that everything we do in this life, we must do for one (or ideally both) of the following reasons:

  1. To be happy [provided it’s not at someone else’s expense; eating bacon most definitely does not qualify.]
  2. To grow into ever-more-loving versions of ourselves [see above!]***

To clarify, this isn’t the same as subscribing to blog updates (but thank you very much for signing up for those!) Newsletter content is pretty fresh, meaning that you won’t find much of it elsewhere on Comet Party. I won’t be reposting the recipes I share in my emails, though some of them will appear in books (!!) later on. Even more exciting, next year when I start taking on beta coaching clients (probably five max), it’s the list I’ll be looking to—because if I’m going to work with someone for free in exchange for critical feedback (and hopefully a testimonial), those five have to be people who already appreciate and support my work! (And you’ll hear all about the aforementioned philanthropic projects when the time is right.)

Thanks so much for reading this, everyone, and big love to my brilliant friends Dr. Giavanni Washington and Joelle Renstrom for helping me through this evolution (and to Elizabeth Johnston for lighting a fire under my desk chair).

* I define “comfortable” as enough to cover basic living expenses, occasional domestic and (backpacker-style) international travel for work and adventure, and regular contributions to a retirement fund (not that I see myself retiring EVER, but you never know what might happen in the future. Gotta be prepared!)

** I had my ideas (and some very rough plans) in place years before reading that blog post—inspired by my experiences in India and Vermont and at Yaddo and Hawthornden—but Rachael distills my motivations more directly than I have yet been brave enough to do.

*** After writing out these two basic reasons-for-living, it occurred to me that I have simply reformulated the Golden Rule. Yessssssss!


Squam Fall 2017

I’ve been home from Squam for a week and a half, but I am still totally basking in the afterglow.


I was on the support staff full time this go-around, but there was time each day to go for a swim. The weather was glorious. G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. I have never gotten to spend this much time in the lake—swimming every single day apart from the Sunday we arrived—and I felt so very lucky for that. I did indeed sleep on that screened-in porch every night; I kept thinking the temperature would plummet (when I slept outside in Vermont at the end of September 2010 I remember shivering no matter how many layers I put on), but I was perfectly snug. From my pillow I could see the moon shining through the trees, and in the morning I opened my eyes to the rising sun glimmering on the water.

Pine resin sticky in my crazy cropped hair; pond scum between my toes. Bliss, I tell you. BLISSSSSSSSSSSSS.


This was quite possibly the most special retreat since Elizabeth first started organizing them, because she announced after dinner on Friday evening that our friend Meg Fussell would be taking over as retreat director next year. You can read more on how that decision came about on the Squam Art Workshops blog. Meg is an utterly delightful human being. She has the magic combo of organizational prowess and social finesse one would need to rock this gig, and I’m so excited to watch her put her own stamp on the retreat and continue to expand our creative community.


Giusita, Teri, Giavanni, me, Elizabeth, and Meg. Photo by Amy Gretchen.


I expected to make myself useful (this was the first time I got to drive a golf cart, but it definitely won’t be the last, heh!), celebrate with friends old (as in longstanding) and new, enjoy the lake and the woods and the loons and the stars like I always do—but I did not expect to feel quite so inspired or quite so loved by people I am only just getting to know. You’re going to hear a lot about my new friend Dr. Giavanni Washington in the months to come: she is an intuitive percussive healer and coach who regularly hosts sacred circles and retreats for women of color in the LA area, but her work really is for everyone. I have no doubt that we have known each other many times before, but even so, it’s kind of mind-boggling how quickly someone can become one of your dearest friends.


I love a pretty mess! #theultimatesquam #squamlove #squamlake #squam2017 #newhampshire #travelgram #art #collage

A post shared by Camille DeAngelis (@cometparty) on

There’s a good bit more I could write—isn’t there always?—but I’ll just leave you with this. On Saturday night, across the road from the art fair, our friend Em Falconbridge was doing her doTERRA “oil fairy” goodness while her daughter Yindi was offering hand massages using said oils, and Giavanni set up her space for oracle card readings, all in the same warm inviting room.

Yindi didn’t have any “customers” yet, so I went over and asked for a massage. I told her that I used to do the same for my grandfather, and that I was definitely going to cry while she did it, and she was so sweet and kind to me. I am getting quite comfortable with crying in public, let me tell you. Afterward I asked her if she was taking tips, and she gave me this incredulous look—imagine “nooo!” said by a ten-year-old girl in the most adorable Australian accent.

It was healing, and I was grateful.


I’m PERCUSSING! Photo by Lauren Teller.

(All blog posts on Squam Art Workshops.)


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.