Stories

Below is a roster of featured Dare to be Fabulous stories and contributors. Many of these stories are being considered or adapted for the upcoming book and are currently unavailable to read online. However, stories with audio or video clips are still featured in full. (Those formats are indicated by the titles). Peruse the excerpts, and enjoy!

Gloria Steinem

ON SELF-ESTEEM by Gloria Steinem

It was the late sixties, those days that were still pre-feminist for me. I didn’t question the fact that male journalists with less experience than I were getting the political assignments that were my real interest. Continue reading ...

WHY I BECAME A BUDDHIST by Pema Chödrön (a story told on video)

In this short video, Pema Chodron candidly and humorously shares the story of her broken marriage and how it ultimately led her on the path to Buddhism. Continue reading ...

BEATING THE COLLYWOBBLES by Ingrid Newkirk

Of course, I am no stranger to speaking up—but on this occasion, for some reason, it was different. I was dog-tired, the seating area was crowded with strangers, and I was in a town where hunting was so popular that children got off from school on the first day of deer season. Continue reading ...

TALKING TO THE DEVIL by Dianne Reeves

Ironically, one song in particular Endangered Species, which I wrote with a good friend, seemed to sum up the situation with which I was now faced – recording for a record executive that not only did not understand jazz, but had no affinity for my personal artistic style of jazz. Continue reading ...

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S FIRE by Caroline Paul

Join me now at a fairly typical fire. That’s me, crawling down a hallway. I’m hauling hose, but you can’t see me because the smoke is so thick. I can’t see me, either – not my hand in front of my face, not the beam of the flashlight on my shoulder, not the floor beneath me Continue reading ...
Ali Rushfield

A COMEDY WRITER’S STORY by Ali Rushfield

In 2001, when I just started out working in TV comedy, I worked in one of the most difficult writer’s room there is, Judd Apatow’s, on his show, Undeclared. It was difficult in the way you want a writer’s room to be difficult—everyone was so good at what they did, it was hard to make a dent. Continue reading ...

MRS. SPOOK, SPAIN, 1965 by Lillian McCloy

Frank was suspicious that Boris was a double agent, working both sides, as it were, so he asked for my help one evening. The plan was as follows: Continue reading ...
Alcoholic Anonymous

THE FABULOSITY OF SIMPLICITY by Alcoholic Anonymous

He was baffled and horrified by the amount of alcohol I was consuming, but he was devastated by my lying about it. It all came to a heartbreaking showdown that got me into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1997, where I gratefully remain to this day. Continue reading ...

MEET A MUSLIM by Moina Shaiq

It was standing room only and it was pretty overwhelming. I invited people to ask me any questions that they might have. No question would be off limits. I wanted to let them know that I am an ordinary American, just like they are. Continue reading ...

FULL CIRCLE by Terri Lyne Carrington

Due to the fact that I am a drummer, playing an instrument predominantly played by men in the male-dominated music world, I have had to be fearless and daring; otherwise, I basically would not have gotten anywhere in this business. Continue reading ...

REVEALING MY SECRET: I HAVE PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA by Rebecca Chamaa

Sure, living with paranoid schizophrenia is difficult, but so are millions of other things. Cancer is difficult. Diabetes is difficult. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are difficult. Who is to say which challenge is harder? Continue reading ...

PANTY HEADED MAMA by Wickham Boyle (a story told in audio)

”Panty Headed Mama” is a humorous story, told in audio, about a personal "aha" moment. Continue reading ...

THE LAWMAKER by Rocio Ortega

Respect is paramount in my family. Not only respecting the elders and our traditions, but - most important for me as a Hispanic teenager - respecting my father, "the lawmaker." In a traditional Mexican family, this respect is not only expected, but demanded. Continue reading ...
Alison Levine

ON THE EDGE by Alison Levine

I knew what it was like to get the snot kicked out of me high up on the summit ridge in a storm. And I wasn’t afraid of that this time around. I knew what my risk tolerance was, and I knew what my pain threshold was. Had I not had that failed experience eight years prior, I very well might have turned around when most others did...

WHAT I NEVER EXPECTED by Molly Caro May

Pregnancy may have knocked me over, but I had labored like Wonder Woman. If the upswing trajectory followed, postpartum would be manageable, maybe even a breeze. Continue reading ...

IN VINO VERITAS by Ginny Lambrix

I had to convince the French owner of the company, Jean Charles, that I could be completely happy in grubby clothes, with dirt under my nails. My Colgate friends would have been so proud! I think I even said "I can be really dirty" and then turned eight shades of red as I back pedaled. Fortunately the opportunity was granted. Continue reading ...

WALKING ACROSS AMERICA IN MY 90TH YEAR by Doris “Granny D” Haddock

Well, was that me? Old Doris? It was not the Doris who had sat meekly among them a year and a quarter earlier. Even at my age, I had changed quite a bit. For the first time in my long life, I was clearly not afraid of what someone might think of me - I cared more about the issue than my vain self. Continue reading ...

FINDING MY VOICE by Renel Brooks-Moon

I've been in the business for over 25 years and it's not easy to see my male counterparts make more money than I do, and be treated with a great deal more respect and professionalism. But I stay true to myself and keep on pushing, and so far it has served me well. Continue reading ...
Jo-Anne McArthur

LOVE MADE VISIBLE by Jo-Anne McArthur

It's summer in the Antarctic and on sunny days I can venture out onto the bow of our Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker, to let the warmth penetrate my bones. Continue reading ...

PLAYING THE CANCER CARD by Simon Chaitowitz

So no, I'm not into pretending that cancer isn't horrible. But the Big C does have one little perk that doesn't get publicized much. And I'd like to make sure that no cancer "survivors" guilt-trip themselves out of using it. (Like yours truly, until recently.) Continue reading ...

LE BAISER (THE KISS) by Ann Walsh

As I turned the calendar to February, I reflected on the kisses and the people that have been part of my life and conjured up the memory of my ultimate dare to be fabulous kiss. Continue reading ...

TRUCKIN’ by Johanna McCloy

When he graduated to the 18-wheeler, it felt like we’d become freeway royalty, bouncing with soft air suspension above everyone, in big comfortable easy chair thrones. The first couple of times we rode in those trucks, we'd inevitably break into British accents, pretend waving as if on a parade, "greetings to the minions." Continue reading ...

HER NAME WAS HONG by Jill Robinson, MBE

There can be no more proud or joyous feeling than to look into an animals' eyes, knowing that you have made a difference, rather than turning away, ashamed, at each new vision of despair. Continue reading ...

I SAW MYSELF IN THE MIRROR…IT CHANGED MY LIFE by Michele Maggiora

I made the decision to stop, many times. But I kept at it; the ritual of dyeing my hair. I have colored my hair since my twenties, long before I started to gray. Continue reading ...

HOW DOES A FLOWER DARE TO BLOOM by Ilse Noir

I was growing deeper and deeper into a funk. I stood there, wanting so badly to just jump in the lake. What was wrong with me? Why was I frozen with inaction? Continue reading ...

FEAR CITY by Penny Ross Burk

The traffic going up Route 81 was a little heavy but pride kept me on the highway and passionately directed. I was scared to death, an introvert flying down the road trying to function in an extrovert's world. Continue reading ...

MOIST: A JOURNEY OUT OF CHAPSTICK ADDICTION by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Since discovering lip balm at age ten, I put it on my lips between 50 and 100 times a day. These are real numbers, by the way, not fuzzy math. Continue reading ...

GOLD MEDAL MERMAID by Kelly Crowley

When you're the odd kid out at a small Catholic grammar school, you're destined to get picked last for every kickball game. In my tiny class of 17, the odd kid out was me. Continue reading ...

VIEW FROM THE TOP by Nalini Nadkarni

I have a great job; I climb trees to study the rainforest canopy. My journey to understand trees started early in my life, when I climbed the eight sturdy sugar maples in the front yard of my home in suburban Maryland. Continue reading ...

ISN’T THAT FABULOUS by Jenna Jolovitz

I knew no one, and no one knew me. I was completely anonymous. So I did it. Like a banana, I peeled down the top of my tank suit (Did you really imagine I owned a bikini?) and into the water I went. Quickly. Continue reading ...
Sohini Chakraborty

AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN by Sohini Chakraborty (a story with video)

The traditional way of life in India is that children continue to live with their parents or their families until they are young adults, usually until they marry. I was single, and I wanted to stay single, but I also wanted complete independence. Continue reading ...

ROLLER DERBY: THE NEW SELF-HELP SPORT by Laura Madson, aka Pippy Longstalker

Let me introduce myself. My name is Pippy Longstalker. My number is 36aa and I skate for the Dominion Derby Girls. Continue reading ...

OF MEN AND A MACHINE by Anne Singer

You live in a city like New York long enough and you learn to ignore things. The urban cacophony – sirens, horns, music, and that relentless commentary on you and the body you walk around in. You know, those verbal flares men send up that illuminate you in the crowd and alert everyone to the woman over here with the audacity to unbind her feet and venture out

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CLICK by Barbara Stitzer

When I was a little girl, every shooting star, every coin tossed into every fountain, every candle blow of the birthday cake candles resulted in the same wish: to be the same as everyone else. Continue reading ...

DARING TO FOLLOW A DREAM by Aurelia d’Andrea

I didn't have the answers, yet never believed that moving to another country was outside the realm of possibility. But life--and a risk-averse husband--kept getting in the way of the dream. Continue reading ...

THE SUNDOWN DIP by Corrie White

Books fill my bag, but I'll leave them there; sand will surely crawl into pages I haven't yet read.Before me today rolls an ocean, the playful mystery, and the recent thief of my bikini top. Continue reading ...

GO WITH THE FLOW by Karen Wolf

My life's headlines might read like a National Enquirer front page: KILLER BEES ATTACK SAILORS IN VENEZUELAN JUNGLE; HURRICANE FLOYD SWAMPS COUPLE IN NEW JERSEY MARSHES. Continue reading ...

A BODY OF WORK by Kelly Dobbins

I should see a psychiatrist about this because I work my ass off, but I'm uncomfortable going out in public! I'm kind of a freak in public. I joke about this, but it's true. I stay covered up. I'm getting a little more comfortable with it now, but even when it's hot, I'll probably cover up. Continue reading ...

“WE CAN READ!” by Anna Elkins

And there on her doorstep, I had a revelation. When we tell our stories of gratitude—the anecdotes—we create the antidote to the bad stuff: fear, anxiety, annoyance, all the nasty et ceteras. I can testify: it works. Continue reading ...

DEAR TOKYO, MEET YOUR NEXT POP STAR by Kimberly Cooper

So who says a 5 foot 1, pudgy redhead can't go to Japan to become the next pop star singing in Japanese? Well, most people actually. Reactions to my venture were predominantly full of laughter. Continue reading ...

BORN TO ME by Leslie Caplan

As he boarded the plane at midnight, tears fell like a monsoon of emotion flooding the terrain of my motherhood. Submerged in my own fear, my own absolute amazement of his courage, his rite of passage, I took a deep breath. Continue reading ...

AGORAPHOBIA AND ANTHROPOLOGY by Molly Doane

I cannot precisely place the transformation. I feel however that I have less and less interest in what goes on outside of my house. I have no interest in meeting new people. I don't like to try new restaurants. I don't know what this is exactly. A creeping fear or shyness, sensory saturation, diminishing returns? Continue reading ...

SOMETIMES IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS by Sara Arason

One day, though, it occurred to me that what I want might matter. What makes ME happy might be important, worthwhile, acceptable, or, at least, OK. So, with more than a bit of trepidation, I refused to schedule a meeting that would have forced me to cancel my manicure. Continue reading ...

THE WISH BEHIND MY NAME by Miho Aida

I have promoted this film on my bicycle over the last two summers, because I love socially and politically driven adventures. Last summer’s adventure was called “1,000 miles for 1,000 allies.” Continue reading ...

HEART by Julia Butterfly Hill

The root word for courage comes from the French and means “heart.” True courage can only come when we are speaking out or taking action from the heart. For me, this seed of understanding took root and began to grow in December of 1997. Continue reading ...

OH, IT WILL HAPPEN SOMEDAY! by Diana Rissetto

This is why I had slaved and suffered all summer long…to stand under an air-conditioned tent… an air-conditioned tent!!! AN AIR-CONDITIONED TENT!!!!! … with the stars of four of Broadway’s biggest shows. Continue reading ...

THE ADVENTURE OF CHANGING ONE’S WORLD by Tabra Tunoa

I am Tabra Tunoa, Fabulous, Creative, Jewelry Designer, Artist, and Very Courageous World Traveling Adventurer. That's how I like to think of myself…. Continue reading ...

A LIFE-LONG DREAM REALIZED: VOLUNTEERING WITH THE BIG FIVE IN AFRICA by Melissa Haynes

I turned down the job and dared to do what I had wanted to do my entire life. A spark of passion that was ignited in kindergarten while daydreaming within the pages of National Geographic magazine - I would go to South Africa and save the animals. Continue reading ...

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