Design Yourself 09: Storytelling Miniseries – Time Travel

Today we kick off our 4-part miniseries on storytelling. In our Kick Off Episode, you will learn about the power of owning your role as life author and learn about how different leanings in time affect the way we interpret and react to events around us. Sharon provides a quick snapshot of what each Time Stance (Past, Present, and Future) looks like in practice and the importance of being able to move from one stance to another. She also geeks out a bit on the the genre of autobiographies (hello, English major) and some lessons that we can all pick up from the self-proclaimed “genius” of Gertrude Stein. Finally, she integrates throughout the episode questions your can leverage to step into your own genius and begin the practice of writing your own story. Enjoy!

  • The book I quote early on in the episode is Paul John Eakin’s How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves. This critical theory was one of the building blocks in my college thesis on Gertrude Stein and the genre of autobiography.
  • I discuss in this episode some of the imagery that Stein uses in this book to great effect. Below you find two images that she used as visual clues to the “real” author behind this autobiography.

Exhibit A: Cover art. (Side note: I’ve often contemplated getting this small circle image as a tattoo. Just saying.) 


Exhibit B: The frontispiece photograph by Man Ray, Alice. B Toklas at the front door. Sure, Alice is in the light, but Stein and her desk are filling the dark edges of the page. 


  • Wisdom from Grandma Lipovsky:

“Don’t wish for the future, that’s wishing your life away.”

  • The quotes I shared by the fabulous Ms. Stein:

“A very important thing is not to make up your mind that you are any one thing.”

“Let me listen to me and not to them.”