Life in Georgia

Christian living according to M. Scott Peck and me, an imperfect Christian

By Joy A. Kennelly

Man, I must really be in an introspective, sharing mood because I feel like writing about something personal again because it's on my heart.

My friend and I often joke there's a real epidemic of the "Christian Ghetto" which is very prevalent in Christian circles. I'm all for "fellowship" (Christianese for hanging out together either at church, Bible Study, fun activities, or whatever) and enjoy it on occasion myself as it's Biblical. We're encouraged to spend time together to build each other up.

But when that's the only people you spend time with, I can't do it.

Did it growing up, and now...

I grew up with a strict Christian father who believed in us attending church 5x a week - three times on Sunday, Bible Study on Wednesday and a social activity with Christian church friends on Friday. Christian Missionary Alliance and Baptist background too, so you fully grasp the religious foundation my life was built upon through my early years.

I see right and wrong very clearly as a result. Life was black and white and being grey is still something I seek to achieve. As a result of my upbringing, when I left for a year of Bible school I admit, I felt guilty at first when I skipped Sunday evening services, but also free of the religiosity of it once and for all.

Ironically, it was also in Bible school where I had my first drink of wine, and witnessed my first affair. I was so sheltered growing up I felt completely inequipped for the real world for many years after and made lots of mistakes. Everyone does, but when you're naive and so sheltered, it's not good.

I feel my dating a non-Christian, pot smoking, alcoholic boyfriend for three years after that time was simply the rebellious acting out other people experience in high school. 

My adolescent rebellion was just delayed.:)

That said, I know I was also protected from a lot of mistakes I saw friends make because of my sheltered background. I've never fought alcoholism, drug abuse, porn addiction or any of the things that are visible as societal ills. My issues are more covert and common place. Doesn't mean I'm perfect though. Far from it!

I try to work on myself every day through scripture reading, prayer and discussions with Christian friends. Doesn't mean I always get it right, but I'm getting better at it slowly, but surely.

Progress not perfection, right?:)

That's why when I see so many Christians out here spending all their time with only other supposed Christians and only doing Christian activities, I don't have much in common and wonder if they even know there's verses in the Bible that state:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23, especially in the paraphrased version of the Bible, coming from The Message, "Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized-whoever.

I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ-but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!"

Romans 12:2 also says "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

There's such a thing as choking on Christian fellowship when we're called to be "fishers of men" (more Christianese, I know. Weird, right? It's in the Bible though: Matt. 4:19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men.")

However, my favorite verses are these:

Matthew 5:13-16 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

The irony of Christianity in CA, one of the most liberal states ever, is that those who attend church really believe in it and want to live a better life. It's not because all their friends are doing it, it's a social good time, or it's easy to be Christian out there. It's hard.  

According to statistics, only 18% of people profess Christianity in CA vs. 48% here in GA.

Living a Christian life in CA is as counter-culture as you can be. It's not sexy, fun or cool like it can be out here in GA. It's a life-defining relationship that requires devotion, discipline and constant effort to live a blameless life because you're surrounded by so much heathenism it's easy to succumb.

I know. I've succumbed.:)

But I've also repented and gotten out of it with great effort and support of other Christians to pursue a more Godly life too. 

You really do know Christians by their walk. You can't hide it. You either are a Christian, or you're not.

Out here in GA, it's a little easier to hide since everyone goes to church and then lives however they want. There's no societal pressure to live to a higher standard because as long as you're hearing Andy Stanley's sermons and participating in Christian activities, everyone assumes you're pursuing a Godly life.

There's basically no difference between being Christian and not. No accountability unless people actively seek it out which happens rarely, if ever.

This kind of religious lifestyle has its good points and its bad. It's like the old saying though, standing in the garage doesn't make you a car. Or the verse that says, "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."

Christian living is living a life that's different even if it means not sleeping with your boy/girlfriend though it feels so good. It means not getting drunk even though that also feels good. It also means not gossiping about other people because it's a fun, social activity everyone's doing and if you don't, you're kinda out of the loop.

M. Scott Peck has written two books I highly recommend reading. For those of you not familiar with who he is, Peck "was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978."

I've always been an avid reader since a child. I even won a reading contest in elementary school for reading the most books in my grade. I tested at the 17th grade reading level in the 3rd grade and received 40 out of 40 in a comprehension test then too. Also as a child, I memorized the most Bible verses in order to win a trip in a bi-plane.

Can you tell I'm competitive and like winning?:)

When I attended college I was able to get out of taking a class because I'd already read the 20 books assigned on the topic. I choose a topic or author and then read everything until I'm bored. Then I move on. 

Thus, I read M. Scott Peck's first book, The Road Less Traveled, after high school which I related to and enjoyed. It deeply impacted my life, as have all the books I read. There's a saying, what you read today will be who you are five years from now. It's also been shown millionaires read an average of one book a month.

Just thought you'd like to know.:)

Here, according to Wikipedia, are the basic tenets of Peck's first book:

"In The Road Less Traveled,[6] Peck talked of the importance of discipline. He described four aspects of discipline:

  • Delaying gratification: Sacrificing present comfort for future gains.
  • Acceptance of responsibility: Accepting responsibility for one's own decisions.
  • Dedication to truth: Honesty, both in word and deed.
  • Balancing: Handling conflicting requirements. Scott Peck talks of an important skill to prioritize between different requirements -- bracketing."

I just had to read his next book, after the deep perspectives I found in this book on spirituality and psychiatry. The concepts I read have carried with me throughout my life.

Here's the description of People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil

"With his classic best-selling book, The Road Less Traveled, Dr. M. Scott Peck has introduced over three million readers to an integration of the deepest insights of psychiatry with those of religion.
In People of the Lie, an absorbing and equally inspiring companion volume, Dr. Peck utilizes the same approach to probe brilliantly the essence of human evil. People who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. Peck demonstrates the havoc these People of the Lie work in the lives of those around them.
He presents, from cases encountered in his psychiatric practice, unforgettably vivid incidents of evil in everyday life. This disturbing, fascinating book offers a strikingly original approach to the age-old problem of human evil."
You can read more about him and his books here:

Now the part of the book I related to the most was his description of spiritual development based on his practice and knowledge of human nature which is copied below:

"The Four Stages of Spiritual Development

Peck postulates that there are four stages of human spiritual development[12][13]:

  • Stage I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a will greater than their own. They are extremely egoistic and lack empathy for others. Many criminals are people who have never grown out of Stage I.
  • Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind faith in authority figures and sees the world as divided simply into good and evil, right and wrong, us and them. Once children learn to obey their parents and other authority figures, often out of fear or shame, they reach Stage II. Many so-called religious people are essentially Stage II people, in the sense that they have blind faith in God, and do not question His existence. With blind faith comes humility and a willingness to obey and serve. The majority of good, law-abiding citizens never move out of Stage II.
  • Stage III is the stage of scientific skepticism and questioning. A Stage III person does not accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. Many people working in scientific and technological research are in Stage III. They often reject the existence of spiritual or supernatural forces since these are difficult to measure or prove scientifically. Those who do retain their spiritual beliefs move away from the simple, official doctrines of fundamentalism.
  • Stage IV is the stage where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature and existence. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand patterns in nature and develops a deeper understanding of good and evil, forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love. His religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through blind faith or out of fear, but does so because of genuine belief, and he does not judge people harshly or seek to inflict punishment on them for their transgressions. This is the stage of loving others as yourself, losing your attachment to your ego, and forgiving your enemies. Stage IV people are labeled as Mystics."

When I read it back in college, I was still in Stage 2, but now feel like I've continued to evolve in my faith to a different level. I don't "need" Christians to know my faith. It's part of who I am and I've studied it, tested it, and lived it. My dependence on God is complete and full. I don't need to prove anything to anybody because I know who I am in my faith.

I do enjoy hanging out with Christians, don't get me wrong. I just can't handle hanging out only with them! LOL

I love all kinds of people and artists especially. That includes filmmakers, musicians, fine artists, graffiti artists, fashion designers, models, actors, and anyone who expresses themselves creatively. They see the world through different eyes and reflect it back to us in ways we may not have considered.

If I had to give up hanging out with all the quirky, funky unusual people you find in a creative environment, I would die. I love them!:)

That's why I may not always be found in Christian circles, part of Christian groups on Facebook, or disecting my faith online with other Christians. Been there, done that. It's not who I am, nor who I want to be any more. 

I remember the admonition Ann Landers quoted by Eleanor Roosevelt in one column oh, so long ago: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

So, if you care to engage me a discussion of politics, ideas or anything other than who's dating who, who's saying what about whoever, what the Bible says about men and women's roles, then I'm all ears.

I may even hang out with you or your group more.

But if not, not really interested. I've got too many other interesting people I want to get to know and learn from who are open-minded, truth seekers, and growth-oriented. 

And with that, I'm off to Passion City Church to learn from spiritual people I admire and respect. Next week I'll be with other kinds of people and looking forward to it!:)

My thoughts on friendship and other thoughts on life in Georgia this holiday week.

By Joy A. Kennelly

I don't know if other writers do this, but I compose what I want to write in my head before committing to print. I organize my thoughts, explore the topic mentally as I walk or drive to figure out what it is I'm trying to express. Then, I sit down and write it all out.

If I don't blog, then it bothers me until I do express the thought. Sometimes it takes awhile to pull together the over-riding theme, but then once I do, I just add to it piece-by-piece until it's a coherent whole.

One time I was so caught up in my mental transcribing I drove right past my exit on the freeway. Maybe I'm the only one, but to me, figuring things out in my head is the first step to actually writing.

Thus, when I woke up this morning and my mind was filled with thoughts of friendship and what it means to me, I knew I had to write it down to make my mind stop whirling endlessly on this topic.

I've been taking care of a good friend ever since her surgery on Monday and as a result, we've been through things together on a more intimate level than spending time at fun events that don't require much thought or care, just companionship.

It's at times like these it's easy to feel helpless, out-of-control and beyond the inner strength normally drawn upon to keep it together. Completely natural. I have experienced times like that too and am always grateful I have quality friends I can count on who have my back when I need it most.

Fortunately, we managed to pull it all together and got home eventually to rest, but even then, trying to figure out five different prescriptions prescribed to counter-act the allergic reaction when you're stressed out, exhausted, emotionally and physically drained with no help from your physician is exasperating beyond belief.

I am a very strong person having lived through so much in my life, but even I began to falter due to lack of sleep and the effort of being strong for someone else who needed me. I had to call my mom for advice because I was so sleep-deprived and didn't think I could manage to do what was right for my friend and stay.

I needed my mom's objective, caring insights to make the right decision as only a mom can do.

Fortunately, having been through numerous surgeries herself, she assured me I needed to stay there and be there for my friend even if I felt I didn't have anything to offer, because my friend still needed me.

I'm glad I did. We both were able to finally rest and now she's on the road to fully recover finally.

As a single person without many commitments or responsibilities beyond myself, it's easy to become selfish and self-centered like I see so many other singles become unknowingly. I never want to be like that and with my parent's training and example of selfless giving, have tried to live a life of service even though I'm the first to admit, I haven't always succeeded.

That's why I knew, in that moment of time, my mom was right. I needed to be there for my friend even if it meant foregoing time with social friends, skipping the fireworks, BBQ's, and other festivities surrounding the 4th of July because being there for my friend in her time of need meant more than any holiday fun.

Holidays come and go, but true friends are rare and special. Hang on to them tight and cultivate them lovingly because as a single person, friends are your family and life support. It's better to be "inter" dependent than independent I'm learning. It's ok to admit you need help and can't do everything on your own. Just be careful who you share this part of your life with however.

What I found interesting reaching out to friends I've met here for support during this experience is the kind of response I received. One girl, whom I have considered a friend in the past, but more and more see as simply a user, when asked for a ride to participate in an event she invited me to yesterday, totally blew me off as she usually does.

It used to hurt, but now that I see her for who she really is, it doesn't. I realize this is a fair-weather friend who will always be there if I offer her something for free, invite her to join me for a free dinner I've won, or invite her to a cool special event I've been invited to attend, but isn't willing to give in return unless it suits her, which unfortunately, it rarely does.

As a result, I've stopped doing anything with her for the most part, even skipped her birthday party because I don't need this "Southern" friendship any more. I feel sorry for her actually because a life of selfishness will ultimately catch up. Once her children are grown and out of the house she'll be left with nothing but herself to deal with. 

It's so easy to avoid introspection when you're constantly filling every free moment with activities and church, but the rubber hits the road when all you have is yourself and God. Since losing my car in a terrifying accident which left me unharmed, but killed my car, I've had plenty of time alone to think and grow in who I am as a woman and as a friend.

When friends you think are friends turn on you when you're helpless due to an injury and lack of transportation in a city like Atlanta, it really makes you pull back and consider who you allow into your life more carefully. I never had this issue in CA, but here in the South it's much more common to feel guarded because of the false veneer of politeness that veils every interaction and friendship.

People are much more passive aggressive and dishonest about how they feel about you because it's how this culture has been cultivated and taught to behave. Never reveal your true feelings, never act like anything is wrong, and remember, life is always wonderful.

It's lovely, isn't it? 

Well, sometimes it's not. Sometimes life is hard, difficult, stressful, frustrating and real. And it's in those hard times when you really see who is real and who is not. Who is a real friend, and who is not. And it's in hard times when you realize what is important in life and what is not. 

It's not attending events, being seen, taking pictures doing charity when you're not living it, or simply having fun with someone, it's sharing your life on a deeper, more meaningful way that makes all the difference in the world.

It's being there for someone when your whole being wants to be somewhere else, and then once you make that decision to stay, realizing you're so much happier and content being right where you are because it's right.

That selfish friend aside, when I reached out to other friends here for help and support, they responded kindly and were available if needed which was comforting. God has been throughout this entire recovery experience and we know it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I was pleasantly surprised my friend felt good enough to go see fireworks after her new pain meds kicked in and we drove close by to a park celebration which was perfect. We ended up parking in someone's drive, watching the fireworks from a distance, and what was cool, became a gathering point for other people to stand and watch with us.

One couple had the most amazing white lab named Winston who was so mellow despite everything going on around him, it calmed my friend as she was able to love on him and ignore her situation for a little while. Then a family joined us who had run the Peachtree race in the morning and just wanted to chat. Another woman who had been tearing up the street after her dog got away, joined us later after capturing her to spend time with us too.

We all enjoyed sharing the moment knowing this is what you do on holidays. The most amazing thing too, was learning two of the women were nurses. My friend was able to ask questions about her condition which eased her mind and helped her know what else to do to aid in her recovery.

That was the God shot we both needed.

It was great and why I love the 4th so much. Sharing time with people you'll probably never see again, but because of your bond as an American, this holiday is special regardless and we're in it together.

For one day a year, politics, religion, and race don't matter. We are unified as a country to celebrate the uniqueness and independence we all cherish as one America.

I love that.

I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of living in Atlanta, GA and feel I've grown through this new life experience in many ways. I don't have a false perception about the reality of my life out here, nor expect anything from anyone any more, but am always happy when I'm surprised by grace.

I also own the fact I made this life choice and it's up to me to make the best of it. Friends have always told me you need to give a new place a year to feel comfortable and know how you really feel.

I'm still sorting my feelings out, but know this year has been special and something I will always remember. If I leave, I will carry friendships with me I will cherish forever.

It's not the place, the life experiences, the car you drive, or the place you live, but the relationships in your life which make a place a home, a life worthwhile and a quality memory.

That's all. Just felt like sharing.

Hope you're enjoying your week too. God bless. 

Life in #Atlanta and @RealMenCook fundraiser featuring @Baisdenlive, @RepJohnLewis and many more #AfricanAmerican #Charity

By Joy A. Kennelly

Always tell when I'm happy because I feel like blogging. Now that I've wrapped up work for my International Celebrity Stylist client, it's nice to have a little free time before the next opportunity. Couple things bubbling which are promising.

I've also moved to a much nicer neighborhood in a beautifully furnished house with a very sweet, respectful room-mate who's hardly ever home which makes life great too.:) 

Even my daisy plant is happier and keeps blooming as if it too agrees.

2012-06-19 12.08.48

Now that I'm ITP (Inside the Perimeter) vs. (OTP) Outside the Perimeter which in LA is like living in the South Bay vs. Hollywood, I'm much happier too because it's so much faster and easier to get to events and places I want, or need, to go. 

Traffic in Atlanta is sometimes worse than LA and every little bit of time you can shave off really helps. It's the difference between going out and staying in sometimes.

Just off the phone with a friend who was debating on whether to join me at an event launching Aeromexico's flights between Atlanta and Mexico City tonight. When he heard it might be Downtown he wasn't interested claiming too much traffic, but then as soon as he heard it was closer after all, said he'd consider it.

See what I mean? LOL


Recently I was invited to participate in the Real Men Cook Atlanta event honoring Fathers on Father's Day at the Georgia World Congress Center which was a real treat. What a fantastic complex near Phipps Arena. I liked the walkability between the different venues and as I left, enjoyed seeing an Atlanta Hawk mascot posing with fans outside.

2012-06-17 15.24.01

Radio Host Michael Baisden (pictured left) came and shared how much fathers mean to children which I felt was especially poignant when so many children nowadays are growing up fatherless. Here he is talking about it with the press at his book signing after.

Atlanta treasure,  Congressman John Lewis (pictured below) has been serving as Honorary Chair and cook for many years which I thought was really amazing and wonderful given his government responsibilities.  No wonder he's so beloved!:)2012-06-17 15.47.49

A fantastic drum line lead us into the hall boistorously and loudly which was a lot of fun. Such precision and control!  2012-06-17 14.55.11

Sweet father's serving delicious soul food to all of us were part of this wonderful fundraiser as pictured here. 2012-06-17 14.56.46

I'm hoping to receive better shots from the organizers, but couldn't wait to share because it really was special. We don't have events like this in Los Angeles that I recall which is one of the reasons I was curious to attend and learn what it was all about. 

Plus, I'm a sucker for real soul food cooking.:)  2012-06-17 15.26.13

Here's the official Real Men Cook description to give you the depth and breadth of what they're doing for men around fatherhood here in Atlanta, and across the nation:

The Crusade
Real Men Charities, Inc. presents Real Men Cook events as a national crusade to positively change the way 
the world views men in relationship to their families and the community.

The crusade includes events, which take place all on the same day, Father’s Day; in Atlanta, Chicago, Benton Harbor (MI), Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, DC.

The Crusaders
Volunteer cooks are the most valued crusaders in this movement to change the world. Local managers, nonprofit partners and radio partners are also essential to Real Men Charities, Inc.

2012-06-17 15.20.35 2012-06-17 15.32.10

2012-06-17 15.52.02















The Reality

Can an Event Change the World? Day by day, year by year, first by claiming Father’s Day in major cities and with national media attention, myths are destroyed, hope is restored, perspectives repositioned, appreciation is expressed, examples are magnified, young men strive to be real men and mature men stand up to be counted; families, no matter the configuration, begin to celebrate themselves and those who try to make a difference. 

Women love it.  2012-06-17 15.39.44

No Child is Left Behind
No child need feel empty on Father’s Day. Families attend the event and women are the number one purchasers of event tickets. Entire families celebrate beyond the biological father, and grandfathers, brothers, coaches and teachers. Reflection is placed on real men past or present. Children are celebrated, activities are planned for them and during the campaign, they benefit by the positive images, messages and role models, who happen to be every day men making a difference.

So, there you have it. How I spent Father's Day and other tidbits.

Hope you enjoyed the read! 

@GoldenGlobes South Coast Style Party wrap-up! Thx 2 @JFPresents @Caribou_Coffee @Cellar_56 @lilcakebakery @Joxasa @prohibitionatl Massage by Pace and everyone who attended too.

By Joy A. Kennelly

Finally!:) Here's the wrap-up of our Golden Globes Party South Coast Style. I decided spur of the moment to host a Golden Globes Party South Coast Style with someone I met after seeing no one else was doing one in Atlanta. I moved here from Hollywood where you celebrate every awards show and felt we needed to celebrate here too.

Within a week of working hard, we nailed down Jerry Farber's Side Door private night club in the Landmark Diner, a Golden Globes girl, celebrity guests, and wonderful sponsors who included:

Caribou CoffeeLittle cake Joxasa mobile logo Cellar 56

Landmark Diner  Massage by PaceProhibition
 (We still have to schedule our private VIP Cigar party at Prohibition for those who won this contest. Can't wait!:)

Here's the final official Golden Globes Party South Coast Style invitation to give you an idea of all the fun details of our event:

Image (2)
Over 50 guests attended and everyone really enjoyed the great meal Landmark Diner prepared; the fun raffle prizes donated by our wonderful sponsors for best costumes and other contests; the impromptu singing by our Golden Globes Girl, India Hopkins, performed during one of the many commercial breaks; meeting our celebrity guests, Actor Tony Vaughn 

and Actor/International Model Billy PayneBilly & Tony; mixing and mingling with all the other film and TV fans enjoying the Golden Globes; and experiencing Jerry Farber's Side Door nightclub overall.

Big thank you to all our sponsors, Jerry Farber, Jed Fearon, Landmark Diner, Scott and Priti, Jay & Teddy, and everyone else who helped. We feel this first-time event was a huge success and thank everyone for coming out too!

Here's a pictorial essay of the evening for your viewing pleasure.  Sign

Room  The Goods  Jed & Jerry


Door  Tony & IndiaCostumes 

Couple2Cute girls Couple3 

Couple Diva Marilyn

David & Scott Angela Gail & friends 

IndiaLeg Me2

Gail Video Jenny & Rob2

Group Lauren & Friend Food line 

CrowdSinging TV

TableMonkey Monkey2


Likemind Atlanta Gathering of Creatives at Octane Coffee + Little Tart Bakeshop on Friday, Dec 2 at 8am. Coffee kindly provided by @SchoolofHumans


Atlanta, GA
Normally held the third Friday of every month, Likemind Atlanta’s informal gathering of creatives in all industries will be held December 2 from 8am - 9:15am at Octane Coffee + Little Tart Bakeshop. Likemind Atlanta is sponsored by School of Humans, a multi-platform entertainment studio, located in Decatur, GA. 

Brandon BarrThe gathering is co-hosted by School of Humans' Head of Branded Content and Digital Media, Brandon Barr, a digital storyteller with a wealth of experience in the digital media, advertising and network broadcast worlds, and Chris Wojda, director of brand planning at Definition 6. 

Likemind is a casual, once-a-month coffee gathering of creative professionals in all industries which currently meets in over 50 cities worldwide. Likemind caters to young professionals in advertising, media and design who are products of the age of personal blogs, warts-and-all YouTube videos and viral marketing.  Likemind Atlanta meetings are held the third Friday of every month through May at Octane Coffee + Little Tart Bakeshop, move to Steady Hand Pour House near Emory during the summer, and then over to Octane Coffee Westside in the Fall. 

SOH_LOGO_300x300School of Humans create, write and produce awesome shows, narratives, and films, sometimes with an equally-awesome brand partner baked right into the heart of the story; this entertainment is then spread across multiple channels: broadcast, online video, the social web, mobile — anywhere audiences gather. They call it the human channel. 

School of Humans' award-winning production and development team has worked with Discovery, Science, ESPN, CBS, Food Network, and Turner as well as many of the world’s largest brands including Coca-Cola, GE, Toyota, American Airlines, Kodak, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Barclays and AT&T

For more information, please contact School of Humans Publicist, Joy Kennelly, via email: jkennelly (at) schoolofhumans (dot) com or phone: 310 714-2077.


Remembering Steve Jobs through the eyes of Walt Wilson, former Apple Managing Director, and me, a birthmom

By Joy A. Kennelly

This morning I attended the 20th Annual High Tech Prayer Breakfast which they claim as the largest networking event in Atlanta, GA with 1600 people in attendance and also, the earliest, beginning at 6am till 9am (I've been up since 4:30am to get there on time.:)

I had no idea what to expect, but since my friend, Curt Cain of iHealth Technologies, Inc., had invited me, I wanted to attend. We grew up in the same church in Manhattan Beach, CA and recently re-acquainted when he and his wife invited other CA "ex-pats" to a dinner this past week.

I have always felt a sense of family with other Christians because no matter how much time passes, there's a spiritual bond which ties us together no matter where we are, or what has happened. I really don't know how some people get through life without a spiritual component to their lives when I find such encouragement, support, and Godly love in my Christian life experiences. I know I couldn't make it living out here in Georgia without my faith in God and Christian friends. 

This morning's prayer breakfast was very inspiring to me on many levels as a result.

Back home in Los Angeles I have attended numerous tech conferences, networking mixers, seminars, and parties, and not once have I ever seen a spiritual aspect included. What a refreshing difference to meet CEO's, CFO's, Venture Capitalists, CTO's and more who are also following God and willing to be visible in this public realm by inviting men and women who have never heard the gospel to attend.

In light of Steve Jobs' passing, who I consider one of America's most brilliant innovators, it was very moving to hear Keynote Speaker, Walt Wilson, speak. He had been an early employee of Apple serving as the Managing Director of U.S. operations "as the company grew from just a start-up to a globally-recognized corporation with $5 billion in revenues."

Talk about a powerful way to start the day!

The host committee had gathered together to pray for Steve, his family and the prayer breakfast the night before when they heard the news of Steve Jobs' death. Walt said he had prepared a speech a few months back, but threw it all out at 3am.  He had planned to share what it was like working in Silicon Valley, working at Apple and his career, but felt what he had originally prepared wasn't appropriate after last night. 

Walt called Steve "My Boss, my Mentor, and my Friend" who had a thirst for excellence and never measured his success by market share. 308945_10150318205808310_631373309_8060384_199202705_n
He said Steve always wanted to the be BMW of the tech world and then revealed BMW really only held a 3% market share which was surprising to hear. 

What set Apple apart is it was always about computing, not the computers. It was about advancing technology more than anything else. Walt said Steve didn't care what anyone on Wall Street thought, or anyone else for that matter, which drew a laugh from the crowd. Walt also shared Steve always protected his family from his own celebrity which I admire. 

Walt shared only one personal anecdote of his experience working with Steve because it was difficult to speak so recently of someone he obviously cared deeply about. I would quote it, but want to preserve some of privacy of the breakfast.

However, I will share with you briefly Walt's story because it was fascinating to learn he had only graduated high school and served in the United States Marine Corps for three years which must have been great preparation for working alongside Steve Jobs.:)

He is currently "the founder and chairman of  Internet ministry Global Media Outreach (GMO). He was previously co-founder, chairman and CEO of Exclaim Technologies, Inc., an applications service provider in the business-to-business Internet market. Before that, he served as senior vice president and corporate officer of the consulting group Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), a $16 billion, U.S. global corporation with 600 offices worldwide, employing over 100,000 people."

Pretty impressive, eh?

I've been attending numerous events this week; the Georgia Production Partnership monthly lunch meeting where I heard Comedy Writer, Dave Drabik of Fine Line Productions, speak; Inc and United Healthcare's holistic living panel seminar entitled Helping Businesses Grow Strong featuring Michael Tavani, co-founder of ScoutMob (mobile deals for the local curious), Sean Cook, CEO of Shop Visible, and CEO of Petrus Brands, Inc, Chris Morocco (Shane's Rib Shack and Planet Smoothie) which were great.

I've been meeting more CEO's and influential people here in Georgia faster than ever happened in CA. Hard to believe I've really only been here a little over two months after all.:) 

Have to admit though, although these other speakers were fantastic, informative and entertaining, this morning's breakfast spoke to me on a deeper level due to the spiritual component. When you consider Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address on living and know he died last night, it really puts life into perspective. 

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Here is his speech in its entirety because it's so powerful:


As Walt continued to speak, he challenged us to think about where we will spend eternity. If you died today do you know? He reminded us of the verses, Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." and John 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

If you've wanted a fresh start, forgiveness of your sins, or simply to surrender your life to God because whatever you're doing isn't working, please consider asking Him into your life. He will answer you when you call upon Him. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I Peter 5:7 and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

I hope you do, but if you don't now, know God is there whenever you need him. I can tell you He has brought me through so much. I was personally touched to learn Steve Jobs was adopted since I'm a birthmother who has a 12 year old son I placed in adoption at birth. It was one of the hardest experiences to live through in my entire life.

When I see TV shows like Parenthood which recently mocked the sacredness of this experience in an episode called, "Hey, if you're not using that baby;" or see Glee's portrayal of a birthmother plotting to get her adopted baby back; or hear Grey's Anatomy recently wove an abortion subplot into their storyline, it grieves my spirit.

So much so, I wrote Ira Schreck of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP who represents Jason Katims, to express my dismay. Here's a highlight to help you understand why this image of birthmothers and adoption in general needs to change:

"As a birthmother of a twelve year-old son I placed in adoption at birth, I was shocked and devastated to see one of the main characters asking a teen-age mother if she could, “Buy your baby.”

I admire how sensitively Jason Katims has handled Asperger and am writing to request he and his staff present adoption in the same sensitive manner. Children in adoption are not bought and sold. They are not cavalierly “given” away. They are thoughtfully, painfully, delicately “placed” with a family a birthmother considers will offer a better life for their child they feel they cannot offer at the time of their pregnancy.

 Please consider the ramifications of treating a human life so callously. Parenthood has the opportunity to present a side of adoption rarely seen on TV if done correctly. I would strongly urge Jason and all those involved with the success of this show to consider researching adoption through such resources as: and before writing any further episodes."

I have yet to hear a response and have avoided other episodes because that one was too painful. But to those in entertainment who write stories about adoption and/or abortion, consider this thought if you will...

What would the world be like if Steve Jobs' birthmother chose to abort him rather than choose adoption? He has impacted all our lives and he's just one of many talented, creative people who was adopted.

Here's a list of more famous adoptees and birthparents I bet you didn't know about:

Adopted Persons

Andy Berlin - entrepreneur: chairman of Berlin Cameron & Partners
Anthony Williams - politician
Aristotle - philosopher
Art Linkletter - comedian
Bo Diddley - musician, performer
Buffy Sainte-Marie - musician, actress
Carl-Theodor Dreyer - Danish film director
Charlotte Anne Lopez - Miss Teen USA
Christina Crawford - author
Clarissa Pinkola Estes - author
Crazy Horse - Lakota war chief
Dan O'Brien - decathlete
Daunte Culpepper - football player
Dave Thomas - entrepreneur: founder of Wendy's
Debbie Harry - singer 
D.M.C. - hip hop artist
Edgar Allan Poe - poet, writer
Edward Albee - playwright
Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady
Eric Dickerson - athlete
Faith Daniels - news anchor
Faith Hill - country singer
Freddie Bartholomew - actor
George Washington Carver - inventor
Greg Louganis - athlete
James MacArthur - actor
James Michener - author
Jean Jacques Rousseau - philosopher
Jesse Jackson - minister
Jesus - adopted by Joseph the carpenter (Bible)
Jett Williams - country singer and author
Jim Palmer - athlete
John J. Audubon - naturalist
John Hancock - politician
John Lennon - musician
Langston Hughes - poet and writer
Larry Ellison - entrepreneur: chief executive of Oracle
Lee Majors - actor
Leo Tolstoy - writer
Les Brown - motivational speaker
Lynnette Cole - Miss USA 2000
Malcolm X - civil rights leader
Mark Acre - athlete
Matthew Laborteaux - actor
Melissa Gilbert - actress
Michael Reagan - author, talk show host
Moses - Biblical leader
Nancy Reagan - First Lady
Nat King Cole - singer
Nelson Mandela - politician
Patrick Labyorteaux - actor
Peter and Kitty Carruthers - figure skaters
President Gerald Ford - politician
President William Clinton - politician
Priscilla Presley - actress
Ray Liotta - actor
Reno - performance artist, comedian
Sarah McLachlan - singer
Scott Hamilton - figure skater
Sen. Paull H. Shin - politician
Sen. Robert Byrd - politician
Steve Jobs - entrepreneur: co-founder of Apple computer
Surya Bonaly - figure skater
Tim Green - football player/commentator
Tim McGraw - country singer
Tom Monaghan - entrepreneur
Tommy Davidson - comedian
Victoria Rowell - actress
Wilson Riles - educator

Birth Parents

Andy Kaufman - actor

Clark Gable - actor

David Crosby - singer

Faith Ireland - judge

Hank Williams, Sr. - country music legend

Kate Mulgrew - actress

Joni Mitchell - singer

Roseanne Barr - actress

Mercedes Ruehl - actress

Strom Thurmond - politician

Notice the list of birthparents is much shorter? There is so much stigma surrounding adoption perpuated by past and recent Television shows, and the media, which I hope will change soon. Use the resources I mentioned in my letter, and to write truthfully about us please.

It's also time we acknowledge there are three choices when faced with unplanned pregnancy, not just two - abort or be a single parent. 

If Steve Jobs adoptive parents hadn't first adopted him and then supported, loved and encouraged his individuality just think how all our lives would be different today. Embrace the third choice and allow Steve Jobs passing to signify more than just his technological advancements, but also the power of love.

Because when it all boils down to it, every human needs to feel loved. Even those who are unwanted, unplanned, or inconvenient.

Give life, give love a chance.... Adoption is a choice too. It's extremely painful, but you get through it and your child then has the opportunity to be a world changer, perhaps another Steve Jobs. You never know, right? 

And that's all she wrote. Have a great day. I was planning to cover the Driven Music Conference, but felt compelled to share this with you first after my experience this morning.

Today's the day though!:) Stay tuned. 

My experience speaking at the Rome International Film Festival wrap-up & #Rome, GA sightseeing photo essay

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently I was invited by North Avenue Post Director of Marketing, Tracie Kriete, to join Georgia Production Partnership's "Plugged in Producing" Panel (say that fast three times:) at the Rome International Film Festival, considered by Moviemaker Magazine as “one of the outstanding film festivals in the southeast” and “one of twenty film festivals worth the submission fee.”  Theatre2

Now, for those of you who have never heard of Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), it is a "not-for-profit coalition of companies and individuals who are active in the state’s film, video, music, and interactive game industries. (They do) whatever it takes to promote film and television production in Georgia. You might say that the most important achievement to date has been our contribution to the Georgia tax incentives bill.  GPP has worked tirelessly on the formulation and passage of, what is officially called, The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act of 2008."

Now what does this mean to you as a filmmaker with a budget of $500,000 or more? You are eligible for a transferrable 30% tax credit for qualified production and post-production expenditures if you shoot in the state of Georgia. I don't know all the details, but you can learn more if you click the link above. I do know it has turned Georgia into one of the top five TV and film production locations to shoot however.

Did you know Denzel Washington is coming to Georgia with Director Robert Zemeckis to film Flight? Or that Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are coming here to shoot Us and Them? Also, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock and JLo have been here shooting What To Expect When You're Expecting.

Pretty fun, eh? But I digress. Back to the Rome International Film Festival and our experience visiting the city of Rome, GA

DowntownI convinced my CA2GA girlfriends, Brenda and Anne, and my new screenwriter friend, MH Witten,  All of usto join me for the day and this gorgeous building below was our first view of the festival site. There is such history in Georgia we love driving anywhere.

Heritage hallWhen we arrived in the room where we would be speaking, initially I was worried my friends would comprise the entire audience, but pretty soon people started trickling in and we ended up with a good-sized crowd.

Here's the pictures and bios of our moderator and my fellow panelists in order of our appearance:


Moderator: Tracie Kriete, MSM:Tracie is the Director of Marketing for North Avenue Post.  She has worked in the digital landscape since 1997. Her expertise lies in social media, search, SEM/SEO, video, display, sales strategy/execution, oine marketing, and graphic design to name a few.  Currently she is on the Speaker Series Committee for GPP, MembershipCommittee for AIMA, Membership Committee for DMA, Founder/President of WIIM, and freelances online reputation management for a variety of clients.

Panel6L.C. Crowley: L.C. Crowley is a writer, producer and director with a diverse background in music videos, television and lm. In 2006 he produced and directed the feature-length documentary Birds of Eden, which explores therole played by African-American spiritual music in the tiny Alabama hamlet of Gee's Bend. He has also directed commercials for a wide range of brands including Coca-Cola, Toyota, AT&T, and General Electric. 

Crowley now is based out of School of Humans, the bi-coastal entertainment label he founded in 2009. There, Crowley has executive-produced, written and directed myriad projects including Funny By Nature, featuring Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garafalo, and Judah Friedlander in conjunction with General Electric. And Stu You Should Know, a multiplatform series for Discovery Networks starring hit-podcasters Josh and Chuck. Crowley has also directed several music videos, recently helming the critically-acclaimed "Close To You" for popular indie-rock artist Ben Sollee.

David Warren: David is an Atlanta based producer and location scout. He is a Texas lm school grad who did time in LA with Spelling and Hallmark. In the "ATL" he made his bones producing for Cartoon Network. Some highlights were the Adult Swim Launch Campaign, The Star Wars: Clone Wars Launch Campaign, and the doing time in a haunted prison with the Scooby Doo Villains. Currently, he is juggling commercials, features, and television series and developing three original reality series.  

Joy Kennelly Joy A. Kennelly is an Award-Winning Social Media Strategist, Producer, Personal Publicist and Founder of The Joy Writer. Using her expertise in social media on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Hootsuite, etc., she has successfully integrated and incorporated over one hundred additional regional online social networking sites into publicity for numerous clients in entertainment, travel, technology, and fashion, as well as, in promoting and supporting numerous political candidates and social causes.

Joy began her publicity career at Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) marketing the visual effects team of THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. At SPI, she founded, produced and began serving as the Executive Director of the Short Pictures International Film Festival (SPIFF) for four years. 

SPIFF began as an internal screening event for SPI employees and quickly grew into an internationally acclaimed film festival. MTV, HBO, and William Morris agents scouted the films she personally helped select and screen. Many films which premiered at SPIFF went on to appear at other prestigious film festivals around the world, including Cannes Film Festival. She also produced an online film festival called ME Fest for Penton Media which drew 100,000 hits in less than three weeks in 1999.

Joy has presented classes and produced seminars on social media at The Musicians Institute, American Cinematheque, and at conferences throughout the US. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA. 

(Since this is my blog I allowed for a little longer bio because some might not know my film background and I am qualified to discuss producing, especially from a publicity standpoint. The others credits stand alone. I think these guys on my panel are about to become huge if you must know...)

What I enjoyed about our panel discussion is we all came at this topic from different perspectives (branded entertainment, TV producing, film) and together we were able to provide a wide spectrum of information many appreciated hearing. 

Panel4 - good Everyone is so talented and humble here in GA I really enjoyed the entire experience. The gentleman speaking to us above is the Film Editor for Paste Magazine. That reminds me, I need to touch base with him!:)

(I will also have some exciting news to share very soon regarding one of the panelists too! Stay tuned.) 

PanelHere's all of us with the Festival Director, Harry Musselwhite, after the panel discussion. Casting Director, Shay Bentley-Griffin, who is a board member of the Rome International Film Festival and GPP, was also in attendance and it was a pleasure to meet her after reading about her involvement in creating GPP in the September issue of Atlanta Magazine. (Click the link for the full story.)

I also enjoyed the interaction that occurred with the audience during our talk. Even MH, my screenwriter friend, had a chance to contribute her insights on participating in a Burbank, CA screenwriting pitch fest. I was surprised to hear how many people who attended her event weren't even in the business, but wealthy people wanting to get involved in film.

Don't they know the risk?:) And where are they now?:)

Very interesting filmmakers in the audience too. One guy (whose email I have misplaced - please email me again if you're reading this!) began making films after his sister died two years ago. He just submitted his first documentary to Sundance. Good luck!

Another was a high school student who had won an award for his film and was heading off to college on a full scholarship. Many others were accomplished and had produced numerous films too.

Award-winning filmmaker, James Kicklighter, was in our audience too. Check out his credits on IMDB: Impressive filmmakers coming out of Georgia, I'm telling you!

What I enjoyed about the Rome Int'l Film Festival was there also appeared to be many first time filmmakers whose films were accepted which we watched later on in the day. They may not have been tightly edited or the best produced, but the fact their voice was being seen and heard was cool.

Festival brochuresThere were also a few very well made films which we especially enjoyed. Click here to download the program for the entire roster. Many zombie films (which, us being girls, skipped.:) and more which looked entertaining if their trailers on the official site are any indication.

Grow! was all about sustainable farming and was very interesting. A wee bit long, but it was a topic I enjoyed learning about. Had no idea it even existed, but apparently it's huge and my new friend from the panel, David Warren of Maglev Media, actually is pitching a very cool reality show concept on it.   Another documentary we enjoyed watching was Fanning the Fire. If you like bluegrass, then you will enjoy this one too! Very well-made. After exploring Rome's main street drag and enjoying dinner at one of their famous chicken wing places, we popped into the Zombie after-party for a few minutes before heading back home.

After-partyNow, if you're curious about what Rome, GA looks like, continue on because I'm going to post my pictorial essay from here on. Enjoy! 

TrioThis is the three of us CA2GA girls in the lobby of the renovated theatre. It had a distinct smell of smoke due to there being a fire there a few years back apparently. Beautiful old-style theatre. One of the attendants, an older African-American woman, kept saying, You girls are Charlie's Angels. You're Charlie's Angels.:)

Mary HelenHere's MH enjoying the shops. Such quaint stores and restuarants! She and I met at my writing group and since she's pursuing screenwriting I invited her to join us knowing she'd appreciate the opportunity. She drove too which was an added bonus since she knew where to go!:)

TheatreBuildings Buildings2 Buildings3 Brenda and anne Bulldogs Me Restuarant Window2 Window Skate Beer Me2 Anne Buildings4 Tattoo Buildings5 All in all, it was a wonderful time with new and old friends speaking the language of storytelling. 

Don't miss "Summer in the Shade" at Grant Park - last day is Sunday, August 28 11am - 6:30pm #festival #in

By Joy A. Kennelly

Today my friends and I hit the unique Summer in the Shade Festival at Grant Park, Atlanta's oldest park, which was very fun. Lots of great jewelry (make sure to visit our friend's booth, Christine Chandler Designs - look for the mermaid logo), clever and interesting art, yummy food, kid's activities like face painting, dress up, performers and lots of sponsors giving away free goodies.

Rather than talk about it only though, here's my pictorial essay for your viewing pleasure... Go tomorrow and if you do, tell our friends Christine and Trace you read about them in my blog.:)

PondJust an example of the beauty of this park. Love all the trees and pathways.

AnnieFoodWide variety of food vendors available too. And for those who like food & wine festivals, there's always Corks and Forks sponsored by Lincoln. 

Corks & forks

Corks & forks3 Corks & forks2 Corks & forks4 Me KidsThis was one of my favorite booths because it was so artistic. The owner makes the most unique eco gifts for kids and adults. Aren't they adorable? Check out Sharon's website here: and her book, Sweater Renewal.

Continue reading "Don't miss "Summer in the Shade" at Grant Park - last day is Sunday, August 28 11am - 6:30pm #festival #in" »

Atlanta vs. California Part II and Fashion's Night Out Atlanta coming soon... @FNOnyc can't wait!

By Joy A. Kennelly


Last night was fun spending time with LA friends who have moved here before us and were celebrating a milestone birthday. It's nice to affirm we've all made the right decision and to hear stories of how dead it is back home in LA for others in the entertainment industry.

I don't know when those who still live there and want to work in film and TV will realize this fact, but Atlanta is slowly, but surely, becoming the new Hollywood what with 12 films in production this September alone and 23 TV productions considering bringing business to Atlanta too now. 

Ever since other Southern states have ended their tax incentives (dumb move which they will realize after it's too late), all the work is shifting here and those of us established, or becoming established, will stand to benefit the most once everything truly ramps up.

It's been interesting to hear the perspective of locals who feel like outsiders are coming in to take advantage of them by virtue of the fact this is a work-to-hire state and there is no union involved. I disagree and said so, but unless you've lived outside your comfort zone to experience something new it's hard for people to understand all movement can be forward movement if you go with the flow.

That's what I'm learning to do out here. Things move a little slower, people speak slower, there's a genuine interest in holding real conversations; there truly is something to Southern hospitality which I've experienced everywhere I go; men are Southern gentlemen who open doors, hug hello and good-bye, and stand aside to let us ladies enter elevators; and lights take forever to turn green.

My only pet peeve out here are the lights and traffic at rush hour which I thought for sure I'd left behind once and for all. I may have to call John Lewis and ask him to look into this issue.:) I met him during Jane Harmon's pre-Inaugural breakfast gathering and look forward to connecting with him again down the road. Also, want to meet the rest of our state representatives because it's nice to know you're in a state where real issues matter and business is supported.


I love the fact there is a dynamic fashion scene too. Just researched all of Atlanta's Fashion's Night Out events and love the fact there are going to be some red carpet events and other high-end fashion shows I will hopefully be sharing with you soon. 

I was beginning to think my days of attending red carpet, fashion, and celebrity filled events had drawn to a close now that I've moved here, but am pleasantly relieved to see that is not the case. It just takes a little bit to tap into, but it's definitely here and probably even more high-end than Los Angeles simply by virtue of the fact it's East Coast and closer to NY.

Here's a link to my previous fashion coverage of all the LA Fashion Weeks I've attended over the years in case you're curious what the LA fashion scene is like: and for video coverage check out my last Actress client, Yari DeLeon attending Sue Wong's private garden collection this past March: 


Can't wait to see and participate in Atlanta's fashion scene! 

California vs. Georgia - NO Comparison. #GA RULES!:) #in

By Joy A. Kennelly

After reading this article on the latest insanity imposed by CA legislators (a crime for hotels to have flat sheets - read the full article here: NANNY STATE MADNESS: CALIFORNIA‘S PROPOSED ’FITTED SHEET’ LAW)

I realized this epitomizes what I hate the most about CA and why I left even though I'm a 2nd Generation Native. Sheer madness of over-regulation, over-taxation and a myriad of other issues best stated by friend, Jody Eldred, here:

"I am SO glad they are FINALLY addressing this. It has been ruining our state. Illegal immigration, crime, a ruinous business climate, borderline bankruptcy, housing foreclosures, some of the highest unemployment in America, horrible schools, amoral values run amuck, the porn industry capital of the world, climbing abortion rates, torn up highways and streets... these PALE in comparison to the valiant efforts of our state legislators in this noble cause."

My thoughts exactly. 

It's soooo nice to be living in a state that has it's government head on straight and leave behind a state that is like an immature, out-of-touch teenager who thinks the world revolves around their every thought.

Oh, and let's not forget the desire to be the first green state and in so doing, driving business out of LA in droves, raising taxes, creating the third highest unemployment in the country, and a state that doesn't have a budget, is deep in debt to the tune of $26 billion, raids city coffers to pay for what they can't afford, and has no leadership.

Those of us who grew up in CA remember the first time now Governor Jerry Brown was in office and know he has no better idea of how to lead this state now than when he did the first time! Even Gavin Newsom agreed with me which was an anomaly since I would normally never agree with anything he says.

Here's an excerpt of my Letter to the Editor of the LA Times which never ran, but holds true even today: "CA has been primarily a Democrat-run state for many, many years and we wouldn't be in this mess if there wasn't such a state-imposed government chokehold on the ability of businesses to operate here.

I'm a 2nd generation native CA and grew up in the 70's with a father who believed in solar energy, raising our own food, recycling, composting and everything else eco. I remember our state as one everyone wanted to come to and CA being called the 'Golden State.'

Since that time it has progressively (and I use that word intentionally) gone downhill. Recently, a potential celebrity facialist client explained the reason she wanted to hire me to market her business was because 30% of her rich clientele had left the state.

We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, businesses are fleeing to TX, AZ, and anywhere else they aren't taxed to death, both of my sisters have left and my parents and many others have, or plan to, leave also.

Governor Brown, as someone bought and paid for by the unions, those of us ... in CA look forward to the time you truly act independently and make the tough decisions to pull our state away from the brink of disaster."

It will never happen, but one can dream right? Now on the flip-side, Georgia has the following going for it:

"Domestically, our state tax rate is very competitive, and state law mandates that Georgia’s budget is continuously balanced. Both the legislative and executive branches of state government has worked for years to create and maintain an excellent environment for business growth and success. 

Examples include passage of the single factor corporate tax apportionment, integrated plant theory for sales and use tax exemption, improvements to the existing BEST Job Tax Credits and the creation of new tax credits for strategic industry growth. 

In addition, Georgia is a right-to-work state with a highly skilled workforceworld-class universities and technical colleges. For 2010, Georgia has maintained its longtime Standard & Poor’s rating of AAA, a Moody’s AAA credit rating and a Fitch AAA rating. 

If you want to know how business-friendly Georgia’s climate can be, simply look around the state. It’s home to some of the world’s most recognized corporations, including Georgia-grown Coca-ColaCNN and The Home Depot.

These three native companies are joined by at least a dozen other of the world’s most well-recognized firms in taking advantage of what the state has to offer. Among them: UPS (above), Delta Air Lines, AFLAC Insurance, Newell Rubbermaid, CIBA Vision, Gulfstream Aerospace and most recently NCR."

So nice to live in a state where those in leadership are adults and have business as an aspect to treasure, support and encourage, rather than kill, drive out-of-state, or out-of-business.

If you want to learn more about Georgia, then check out these sites:, and 

I debated between Texas and Georgia, but the reason I went with Georgia is because my friend is here and loved it; I needed more lush scenery than the arid desert-like conditions of Texas; I loved the churches out here having admired them from afar for many years; and I thought I would know within three months whether or not I wanted to stay.

I knew within a week this is where I am supposed to be. It just feels right. I'm dating, there's more opportunities to create and find work, and it's absolutely gorgeous. I love the trees and scenery. My grandmother is from Georgia and a part of me feels like I've come home in some odd way.

What I struggle with now is wanting all my friends in CA to move out here, and then not wanting anyone to spoil my experience because then I would be responsible for helping them acclimate as my friend has me.

However, maybe in time when I feel more settled and ready to be hospitable, it won't matter as much. But until I can drive to the Perimeter Center Mall and not drive around lost for 15 minutes or so looking for a simple store I know is there without having to rely on my GPS to get me back on track, I think for now I am enjoying the freedom from any expectations of the people I left behind.

Sometimes a fresh start is just that. Fresh. No attachments. No entanglements. No past responsibilities to drag you down. No dead end relationships to hurt you any more. No mean people to gossip and attack you any more.

A fresh start with fresh possibilities.

Just nice, down-to-earth Southern people who, upon hearing I'm new to Georgia, say with a warm smile and sincerity in their voice, "Welcome to Georgia." 

Thank you. I do feel welcome here and appreciate your Southern hospitality.

Means a lot.:)

Welcome to Atlanta! My experiences with @samsung #Summer Splash, #Alon Bakery Market, @Comcastcares, @comcastbill @ATTCustomerCare #OC BBQ Bonanza @louiegiglio @Christomlin @passioncity and more...

By Joy A. Kennelly

Well, well, well. This blog post has been a long time coming now hasn't it? Upon arriving in Atlanta I had nothing but internet and phone troubles and am on my 3rd phone now, a Samsung Galaxy, and still experiencing battery failures, GPS screw-ups, and other hassles, but hey, whatever! (Samsung if you're reading this, hit me up. I hate this fast battery drain and need help!:)

Otherwise, life is grand out here in Hotlanta! I love the Southern hospitality and the weather is growing on me.

I do mean, HOT, HOT, HOT!:) It took me almost a week to acclimate and realize the more time I spent in air conditioning, the less time I will spend passing out or dripping wet.:) Temperatures haven't varied much from the 90's except for the occasional rain storm when the weather drops to around 80, but the balmy nights more than make up for the scorching days.

To break the heat, my friend and I decided to hit Sandy Spring's Summer Splash and inner tube down the Chattahoochee River with the rest of Georgia. I believe I heard rumor about 4000 people went? It's the 4th Annual Summer Splash and was so relaxing and fun.

Click here to see the photo album our local Sandy Springs Patch created:

It was so much fun going down the sporadic rapids and just lazily floating down a river with the most beautiful scenery we have seen in a long time. Nice people along the way too. I would have taken pix, but didn't bring my phone because I was worried about tipping over and losing it.

I caught this one at the end though. Isn't this scenery just gorgeous? LOVE IT! I've added more of my pix to the official Patch site which you can click on above to view.Getting out at Paces FerryDespite numerous promises by Comcast and AT & T to have switched our service by August 8, we are still without wireless in the house which has required me to camp out at various cafes around town until August 18.

We dislike both companies' customer service and service overall because they keep changing everything constantly and require my roomie Brenda to sit for hours on the phone while they do who knows what behind the scenes to make the switch, but when you live surrounded by trees you're somewhat limited on your choices.

Comcast Bill and ATT Customer Care help us out here! We can't deal with the incompentence of your companies much longer... Seriously!:)

That said, it's been fun to sit in various cafes and observe how people dress, speak, chat and interact while I'm working. My favorite cafes to date are Alon Bakery Market (seen below, but for the full impact, click the link!:) and Caribou Coffee, which is comfy cozy, and there's always Starbucks too.

Weird there is no Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf out here, but lots of interesting cafes still left to explore. Isn't Alon adorable? Reminds of a much bigger Joan's on Third back home.Alon Bakery

Alon Bakery2
I have been busy promoting our upcoming OC BBQ Bonanza at the Fountain Valley Sports Complex taking place August 18 - 21 across the internet and inviting foodie bloggers and media to attend our private press event on August 18, 2011 in addition to looking for work and exploring Atlanta. 

Bbq1 - smallClick the link here: for more information. We're offering special discounts to military, children and everyone else too. Plus, there's an amazing VIP Rib Village open to the public where you can buy all the ribs, drinks, and sides you want to enjoy in an exclusive area during the festival.

More details here:

If you fit the media/blogger catetory and are interested in covering this as press, please send an email to: vipribvillage (at) gmail (dot) com with a link to your site, your media outlet, what you cover and we'll send you information if you qualify. 

Other than that, real quick, I am thoroughly enjoying being out here. I was getting so bored in CA having grown up there. Now? Everything is new and fun to explore with my two CA girlfriends, Brenda and Anne, who moved out before me. We call ourselves the CA2GA girls (get it?:) and plot all kinds of fun adventures together.

Here's a pic from our recent excursion to the High Museum of Art which I particularly love because it's like art is imitating life, or is it the other way around? You tell me...:)Us at the HIGHWe're still getting asked why we moved out here, but rather than go into everything here in this particular blog, I'm going to write one specifically addressing it later. For now, just know the men are friendlier and nicer; Atlanta is extremely sophisticated and cosmopolitan contrary to the myopic belief in LA; there's plenty of opportunity to create a new life and find work; I've found a wonderful writing group:  lead by a real dynamo with amazing writers and a publishing company attached; the art scene is eclectic and varied; the food is some of the best in the nation; the music scene beats LA hands down; too many quaint towns and homes to see; lots and lots of gorgeous nature; more faith-oriented people than CA by a long shot (19% vs. 38%); there's always something going on and it's the positive change I was needing.

So much happier!:) And with that, I'm off!

Tonight is Passion City Church with Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin and I need a little nappie poo today after my busy week last week.:) Enjoy this song by Chris!