About Mary Beth Coudal

Happiness is an inside job. I am working hard to stay happy.

I’m a teacher and comedy writer.

My 7 Rules are:

1. Pile on the people

2. Escape through literature, art, and the movies

3. Remember your hoops of steel (priorities)

4. Grow a secret garden

5. Expect the best, love what you get

6. Live every day as it were your last

7. Embrace uncertainty

I started Boot Camp For Writers, to support college essay writers and memoir writers, and offer writing retreats. I founded Coudal Creative, a content and marketing agency, serving up digital media and old school charm.

My email is MBCoudal@gmail.com

What are your strategies to create a happy life? I’m looking for ideas.

14 thoughts on “About Mary Beth Coudal

  1. Mary Beth, Your writing and the way you wrap your words around your thoughts is beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us.


  2. Mary Beth,

    I “cyberstalked” you via your posts on Richard Beck’s “Experimental Theology” blog. Take courage. God is with you as you love your husband. As a VA Chaplain, my work with Vets with Parkinson’s has blessed me, but it can still even after all these years be a terror.

    Christopher Cross’s words might help as you think of your husband:

    When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
    I know it’s crazy, but it’s true
    If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
    The best that you can do …..
    The best that you can do is fall in love. . .

    For me, when I am at my loneliest and most vulnerable, I take solice in these lines from T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” (I’ve quoted them on Richard’s blog before):

    For most of us, there is only the unattended
    Moment, the moment in and out of time,
    The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
    The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
    Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
    That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
    While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
    Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
    Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
    The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.

    May God give you blessings and peace!

    George Cooper

    P.S. Because you enjoy literature, I listed my dormant blog. I have three pieces on Dante in it. Maybe they’ll be helpful for you.

  3. Hi Mary Beth,

    Just wanted to say hi and welcome from a postaday blogger. Will look out for your posts through the postaday FB group.

    – Kim 🙂

  4. Pleasantly surprised by your profile. May you stand firm and grow stronger day after day as you strive to achieve a ”happy, meaningful, productive life”! Thanks for sharing yr motivating thoughts.

  5. Hi. I also have a husband with Parkinson’s disease. I must say I am having a really difficult time with his “nastiness” at times. Do you find your husband being unnecessarily ‘nasty’ in his tone sometimes, often?
    My husband is 54yo, and has had Parkinson’s since 1998. He had DBS surgery. He is extremely stubborn and refuses to accept that he can no longer do certain tasks. Then he gets very frustrated, and takes his frustration out on those around him.
    And I find it getting harder to ‘look the other way’, and just contribute it to the Parkinson’s. I believe he knows what he is doing, and that he should just stop being unkind.

  6. Hey Marybeth, love your blog. I have also taught unruley kids and, while frustrating, I loved the creative challenge of it. How much more satisfying to “catch” a reluctant student than to get a response from a well behaved one. Sure, you have to work much harder to inspire the tough ones but sometimes great, cool, unexpected teaching practices come out of that. I’ve done a ton of creative things in my life but teaching on your feet and throwing out what you thought you’d do and coming up with something they and you like to do can be exhilerating. I combine all the arts as you seem to do in your overall life. I get them taking photos which inspire the writing and vs vs, writing in slide show format, with accompanying visuals, telling time limited stories all true, There are bad days when you fail miserably but they are made up by the good ones when you click.

    Re: pursuit of happiness– I am trying to let more of that wash over my life too. As a guide, I have rediscovered Maira Kallman’s “And the Pursuit of Happiness” written after the horrible young death of her artist husband and soulmate and still in mourning for her mother who had survived the Holocaust. Very inspiring book, so honest and heartfelt and funny too. Her drawings are precious. She too likes to combine illustration with written word. I love her


  7. I apologize to you for trying to ruin someone else’s happiness. I read your comments and the comments from other people. I guess it’s the January weather and loneliness. And trying to stuff this loneliness with food. It’s so hard to get away from yourself and from negative thoughts!

  8. Hey ms. Caudel, it’s ron’s Sister- delighted to catch up on yr fam pics- u are an amazingly digitized lady! What can I say, as I am still a champion of silver prints:)) happy holidays, wanted to tell you I was amused when u announced that 1 of yr daughters ( I still remember us ALL playing monopoly of SOMETHING W AVIVA AND JOHANNA—) and then u wrote how one of yr pumpkins was off to GRINNELcollege and now ?!?!? It’s goodby? Has she graduated or W H A T? Funniest part is that this American history teacher both Ron and I had at AB DAVIS high school in famous mt.vernon ny had just practically GRADUATED from there when they hired him to teach history in our h.s. Ronnie trailed me his ( beloved) sister by 3 yrs but he the new teacher surely got tenured… he had to be the youngest teacher. Ever hired as all the other ancient dudettes(!) were in their mid 69’s and about to croak w their American daughters of the revolution club- and they complained big time about left leaning immigrant boys like my bro for not buying their poppies! I KID u not. My father went in for a full blast confrontation w my ( and later ron’s Homeroom teacher from the same club- )she was already 65 and ancient history ( imagine framing it today, as I write you from this still hippy yo yo prospective- )of course my bro don’t remember such amazing and earth shaking gossip- so GRINNELCalways ended up being this mystery college in my newly Americanizing consciousness- even if I did end up going to NYU, and Ron to u of Wisconsin! Do hope aviva of Princeton now still hangs w them lovely girls from the first floor and upped the gossip by several noch’es— I am surely impressed and delighted to see yr wonderful family intact and thriving… best, Ruth.

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