New book from local author a breath of inspiration

STARKSBORO — Starksboro author Ellen Michaud’s new book, “Blessed: Living a Grateful Life,” has Addison County written all over it. Dripping with vibrant imagery and drawing from a wide range of local examples, “Blessed” is a call for women to rest their minds, open up their hearts, listen and realize the beautiful flow of spiritual light that runs throughout themselves and the world.
A nationally recognized author whose work has appeared in The New York Times, “Readers Digest” and “Prevention Magazine,” Michaud agreed to write an online column for the Curves women’s health club franchise when cofounder Diane Heavin approached her in 2006. The name of her column, which she still writes, is aptly named “Blessed.”
Illuminating the magic of everyday life for women, the column planted the seeds for her new book. When a friend at “Readers Digest” asked her to compile her writings into one volume, “Blessed” — the book — was born.
“I didn’t realize how many people I was writing about from this area until after … but when I did, I was stunned at all the incredible people in this community,” Michaud said. “Bristol, Middlebury, South Starksboro … there are people doing incredible things here, and they’re not doing them just in their towns, they’re doing them around the world.”
Inspirational tales to empower women weave seamlessly throughout the book, drawing from stories such as female cheese makers in Monkton to compassionate Bristol mothers who led a movement to put thousands of beautiful hand-sewn dresses on the backs of HIV-positive widows and orphans in Zambia.
“This book is about celebrating women and showing women the incredible beauty that they have, the deep spirituality of their natures, the incredible goodness of who they are. And, encouraging them to sit in thought and listen,” she said.
By taking a minute to calm the mind, sit in silence and listen, Michaud believes that women can effortlessly find joy and meaning in life.
“As you become aware of quiet sounds, you also become aware of your internal response. And, my understanding is that these incredible blessings that we are finally able to see when we take the time are the whispers of God,” she said.
On Saturday, May 7, Michaud and local friends will read stories as a special Mother’s Day event at the Barnes and Noble in South Burlington. This summer, she’ll hit the road and head to California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida for book signings that her publisher, “Reader’s Digest,” has organized.
As for Addison County, she said that she’s open to invitations.
“To be perfectly honest, I’m not used to (promoting a book),” she confided. “I’m a writer’s writer — I love to talk to people and I love to write.”
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected].

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