At Home with Personal Growth & Writing Author Jill Jepson


Jill JepsonJill Jepson is a traveler, professor, and transformational life coach, and the author of three books and over 60 articles. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago as well as degrees in writing, psychology, social science, and Asian studies. Using her extensive travels to places as diverse as Guatemala, Syria, Siberia, and Afghanistan, her writing explores spiritual traditions, history, culture, personal growth, and the writing process. Through her business, Writing the Whirlwind, she offers coaching and online workshops for writers, activists, and others. You can visit her website at

  1. Writing as a Sacred PathWhere do you live (city, country)? Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  2. What is the weather like? It’s Minnesota. Summers are short. Winters are long. It’s cold.
  3. Have you lived there very long? Eight years.
  4. Would you rather live somewhere else? I love it here, but I miss the ocean and the mountains, sometimes painfully.
  5. Are you married or single? Married.
  6. Do you have kids? No.
  7. Where were you born? I was born in the rural farmland of Central California.
  8. What was your childhood like? I grew up in a small, hot farm town surrounded by dairies and orchards, with the rolling Diablo Mountains on one side, and far to the east, the Sierra Nevada. It was California, but unlike anything people think of when they think of California. It had more in common with a small town in the Midwest than with the Bay Area, which was only 80 miles to the west. It was very religious, very conservative, very small town. I found it excruciating.
  9. What was it like growing up as a teen? What did you do for fun? I was a bit of a misfit. I managed to alienate a lot of the kids at school, just by being a little odd, and a bit arrogant. I loved the arts and science and hated sports and, for the most part, school. I played the piano and the guitar and acted in school plays. I spent my adolescence praying for high school to end so I could start college. Once I did, my life blossomed.
  10. Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? I have a little nook on the third floor of my house. It’s where I go to meditate, to think, to be alone. But I like every room in my house. My husband and I bought our home just a few months ago, and we’re both in love with it.
  11. Do you have an outside job? I’m a college professor–I have a Ph.D. in anthropological linguistics. I also run a business that offers workshops and transformational life coaching. I work with writers, activists, and caretakers to help them live the fullest, richest, most satisfying lives they can.
  12. What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? Read.
  13. What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Every morning, I have a “monkey smoothie”: banana, peanut butter, soy milk. Delicious!
  14. Do you have any pets? Four cats and two dogs.
  15. Pepsi or Coke? Mineral water with pomegranate juice.
  16. Favorite time of year? Autumn.
  17. Does your car look better than your house? My car’s an ancient beater with stickers all over the back bumper advocating animal rights and a vegetarian lifestyle. My house, on the other hand, is spacious and full of light. My house looks way better than my car.
  18. What’s on your mousepad? My mousepad is designed to look like a miniature Persian carpet, with a complicated design. It even has a fringe. It came with a label that didn’t say “mousepad” but “mousecarpet.”
  19. How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? I let the answering machine pick up. If it’s not someone asking for money, I call them back.
  20. What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Which cat is sleeping on me?
  21. Chocolate or vanilla? Definitely chocolate.
  22. Do you like to drive too fast? No.
  23. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? I sleep with two of my cats and my husband. There’s no room for anything stuffed.
  24. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? Jane Goodall. I have a deep admiration for her. The way she’s lived her life, the work she’s done for animals and the environment. I’d love to meet her someday.
  25. If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be? I’m already doing it: writing and coaching.
  26. What’s under your bed? Cat toys and huge dust bunnies. More like dust hippos.
  27. Is the glass half empty or half full? Definitely half full.


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