The choice to live a creative life is powerful, but not always for the faint of heart. Oh, but those of us who are brave enough to choose that path find powerful rewards in the depths of our soul and in the quality and beauty of our daily life. If there’s one thing every creative person eventually learns, though, this kind of living can feel a bit isolating unless we find other makers to connect with and learn from.

As humans, we are all naturally curious about how people DO it. What is life like behind closed doors those of us who must create?

The pages of Modern Creative Life will not tell people step-by-step how to do something, but we invite them into our world as a witness so they are inspired to be true to living their own life in an artful and creative way.

Our Mission

Modern Creative Living honors the pursuit and practice of joyful creativity. We believe that the creative arts enrich our everyday living, enhance our environment, create lasting connections, and sustain our souls.

How it Started

Modern Creative Life is the brainchild of Debra Smouse and Melissa Bartell and Becca Rowan, fellow alumni of All Things Girl, a successful eZine that ran from 2001 to 2015. After closing All Things Girl, we each wanted a new venue to share in the fellowship of other makers. We wanted a place where we could dive into the creative lives of our fellow women (and men) and be inspired by the way they manage their daily lives while nurturing their creative needs.


Editor in Chief – Debra Smouse

DebraSmouseBioDebra Smouse is a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle, author and life coach. She resides in Dayton, Ohio where she practices the art of living with the Man of Her Dreams. Her book, Create a Life You Love: Straightforward Wisdom for Creating the Life of Your Dreams was published in December 2015.

From the time she learned the words and sentences created stories, Debra fell in love with writing. Though she no longer lives out of a suitcase, she still has a Gypsy Soul and a lust for travel. She never passes up an opportunity for a great glass of wine and shared stories.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee or creating something delicious in the kitchen. Connect with her at her coaching website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Goodreads.

Executive Editor – Becca Rowan

becca_rowan_bio_may2016Becca Rowan lives in Northville, Michigan with her husband and their two dogs. She is the author of Life in General, a book of personal and inspirational essays about the ways women navigate the passage into midlife.  She is also a musician, and performs as a pianist and as a member of Classical Bells, a professional handbell ensemble.

If she’s not writing or playing music you’ll likely find her out walking with the dogs or curled up on the couch reading with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) close at hand.

She loves to connect with readers at her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Editor at Large  – Melissa A. Bartell

Melissa A. BartellMelissa is a writer, voice actor, podcaster, itinerant musician, voracious reader, and collector of hats and rescue dogs. She is the author of The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Holiday Tub.

You can learn more about her on her blog, or connect with her on on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.



Regular Contributors

Bella Cirovic


Bella Cirovic is a photographer and writer who lives with her husband and daughter in the suburbs outside of NYC.

She writes on the subjects of self care, body love and nourishment, crystals, essential oils, and family life.

Follow her on Instagram.

Catch up with Bella at her blog: She Told Stories


Cathleen Delia Mulrooney

cathleendeliamulrooney_bioRestless. Sleepless. Book-lover. Wordsmith. Deep roots.  Prodigal heart. Teacher. Guide. Wanderer. Witch. Tea, tarot, hot baths, stitchcraft. Curator of narrative relics, remnants, & curiosities.

Cat is also a freelance writer, editor, and teacher.  Her poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and reviews have appeared in a variety of online and print publications. She has been teaching writing at the college level since 2000, and has facilitated creative writing workshops in elementary schools, high schools, prisons, and private organizations, as well as workshops exclusively for women to write their body and tarot-based narratives.

Through her Queen of Cups Tarot community, she offers private, group, and online tarot readings. Find her online at http://cdeliamulrooney.com and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/queenofcupstarot/

Christine Mason Miller

christine_mason_miller_bioChristine Mason Miller is an author, artist and guide who lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Buy her book on Amazon. Go on Retreat . Hire her as your Mentor.

Fan her on Facebook. See her on Instagram.

You can follow her adventures at www.christinemasonmiller.com.

Jeanette McGurk

jeanette_mcgurkJeanette McGurk is a Graphic Designer who entered the world of writing through advertising. She discovered writing a lot of truth with a little fluff is a lot more fun than the other way round. Now that she is no longer spending time making air conditioners, tile floors, IT and Botox sound sexy, she writes about the unglamorous yet wonderful moments of life for people like herself; in other words, anyone looking for interesting ways to put off cleaning and doing laundry.

She is a curmudgeon and doesn’t Twit or Instagram. She has heard the blog is dead but since she has finally figured out how to do it, that is the museum where you can locate her writings. http://jmcpb.blogspot.com/.

Jeanie Croope

Jeannie_200After a long career in public broadcasting, Jeanie Croope is now doing all the things she loves — art, photography, writing, cooking, reading wonderful books and discovering a multitude of new creative passions.

You can find her blogging about life and all the things she loves at The Marmelade Gypsy.



Julie Terrill


Julie Terrill is a photographer and writer with a passion for travel. For ten years, she’s told stories of empowerment through the lens of her camera in an array of unique landscapes, environments, and projects – from a shelter for children rescued from trafficking in Thailand to Faces of Courage, complimentary portrait sessions she offers to cancer patients in her community. She is a photographer and facilitator at Beautiful You and Soul Restoration retreats.

Connect with her at: JMTerrillImages.com


Kelli May-Krenz

Kelli May-Krenz BioKelli May-Krenz is an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator with more than 20 years’ experience. Her ability to capture, express and visually communicate the needs and visions of her clients has produced designs and promotional materials for everything from independent boutiques to Fortune 500 companies.

Her new stationery line, Pearl Button’s World, recently debuted at the National Stationery Show – where two of her designs were selected as finalist for Best in Show – and she has been featured in an array of print publications including Somerset Studio, Art Journaling, Somerset Life, Somerset Memories, Somerset Apprentice, Room to Create and Uppercase magazine.

Connect with Kelly on Facebook and Instagram.

Kolleen Harrison

kolleenHarrisonbioKolleen Harrison is a creative living in the beautiful Central Coast of California.  She is the Founder of LOVEwild and Founder/Maker of Mahabba Beads.  Her passions lie in nurturing her relationship with God, loving on her happily dysfunctional family, flinging paint in her studio, dancing barefoot, making jewelry (that is so much more than “just jewelry”), and spreading love and kindness wherever and whenever she can.

You can find her popping in and out at LOVEwild.org or MahabbaBeads.com

Connect with Kolleen on Instagram.

Melissa Cynova

MelissaC_BioMelissa Cynova is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. You can Look for her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, from Llewellyn Publishing in January 2017.

Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her husband, Joe, and two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

She is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

Sue Ann Gleason

Sue Ann Gleason

Nourishment guide, SoulCollage® Facilitator, and ‘wise business’ strategist, Sue Ann Gleason is a lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination, and a champion for women who want to live a more delicious, fully expressed life. She has been featured in Oprah and Runner’s World magazines and numerous online publications.

When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, Sue Ann can be found sampling exotic chocolates or building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes.

You can connect with her in a few different places. Delicious freebies await you!
nourished living | wise business | instagram

Interested in becoming a Regular Contributor? Email us at ModernCreativeLife@gmail.com

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