Our U.S. Navy ensign taking in the Tall Ships at Duluth.

A great, BIG end-of-Summer SALUTE!

This past weekend, I sojourned to Duluth, Minnesota to visit the Tall Ships, and had the privilege of meeting a few of our  U.S. Navy fighting brave, including ensign Blake Ramsdell and Alex Isakson (pictured above).  They had impeccable manners, were full of enthusiasm and optimism, and I couldn’t help but feel like a very proud Auntie.

This led to meditating on how We the People are a little bit like one giant, extended family, and thinking a good deal about my Grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran James ‘Jim’ Richards.


Jim- who in later years preferred to be called by his middle name, Grahame- was a World War II recruit who served as chief announcer and program director for Armed Forces Radio on Leyte.  The Battle of Leyte (part of the Pacific Campaign) is perhaps most famous for being where General MacArthur– aided by the Navy, U.S. Army and native Philippinos fighting for their lives- landed and took back the island from the Imperial Japanese Army  in 1944.

As we finish editing the Men At War chapter of In Praise of Men  this weekend, my gratitude and thoughts are with all of those who served, who currently serve, their families and with our Navy, who shall always be especially dear to my heart.

Last, if you donated (or chose a perk/perks equal to… ) $100 or more to the book publishing campaign, look for an invitation to read the Author’s Edit of the first 1/3 of In Praise of Men this Wednesday!

With Bright Blessings,


PS:  If you purchased a perk or perks that were under $100, but want to qualify for this week’s preview: I’ll honor your original amount, kick in a $15 credit, and additional donations and/or perks to reach the qualifying $100 may be located @: www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men-book#/



Wherever you might be at this precise moment: HAPPY FRIDAY!

After six+ weeks of polling as well as re-tallying votes following a tie between #1 and #6, layout #1 has won Cover Wars.  HOWEVER, a brilliant thing happened a few weeks back:  Bradford Richardson– the ridiculously talented Art Director for various Coen Brothers endeavors- offered us an exciting concept.  Since Bradford is currently a very busy Romantic Comedy screen writer, I feel incredibly grateful that he momentarily came out of retirement to conceive something wonderful for In Praise of Men.

Bradford’s vision: everything in full color (as opposed to the current black, white and red); instead of the textured marble-meets-leather background: dirty, tattered blue denim (akin to the dungarees in the artwork we originally aimed to obtain: indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3); the title in a mostly handwritten cursive font (love letter-esque), and perhaps a bright red lipstick kiss somewhere (since it’s a By Women For Men Book).

After pitching Joseph and meditating on the concept for a few weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that Bradford’s idea would speak volumes more than mine (whether as an eBook, Paperback or an Audiobook cover), but before a final decision, would like to know what YOU think.  For your perusal, here’s a few posters Bradford helped create.


Obviously, Joe’s in charge of artwork and would be the one executing Bradford’s vision; if we choose to pursue this, we’ll launch a smaller scale fundraiser to pay Joe for the extra hours involved (and hijack Bradford with a pleasant surprise!) here: indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3#/.

-It’s important to understand that if voting “Yes!” re: Bradford’s concept, you need not contribute a penny more (unless you want a SERIOUS perk upgrade) as there’s a sea of folks we haven’t reached out to yet (our Twitter and Facebook have nearly doubled over the past 8 weeks).

On the topic of upgrading: between cover art licensing as well as death-related delays (see Dearly Beloved), we’re roughly 2.5 months behind on our estimated pre-release date.  Hence, I’m going to upgrade everyone who donated $5 – 50 on the original campaign to the next level perk and anyone who donated $100 or more will be upgraded to a free preview of the Author’s Edit of Letter To The Reader and the first three chapters in the coming weeks!

Last but not least, my recent interview with African novelist Marius Gabriel (a.k.a. Romance writer Madeleine Ker) has been published on Queen Mob’s Tea House.  I hope you’ll enjoy it and your entire week… ❤




With Love + Thanks,





Hello from Minneapolis, where summer’s kiss is upon us…  Where orchids and lilacs bloom relentlessly as boats race back and forth on Lake Harriet, Calhoun and Mark Twain’s Mississippi.  ‘Tis truly a sight for sore eyes that have been staring at this computer screen, micro-editing a certain book endlessly…  😉

As mentioned in our Indiegogo update, we had a slight snafu concerning the cover art for In Praise of Men.  Corbis- who owned Lunch Atop A Skyscraper– was acquired by Getty Images on May 2nd, and licensing costs have since doubled.  For more detailed info, please visit:  www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3#/

-Please vote for your favorite cover in a comment below or email me directly!

With Gratitude,


elder PRN
Dearly Beloved,
First things first: apologies for the radio silence.

Next, the truth.  Two weeks ago Thursday, I put a pot of coffee on, fired up my laptop and began typing here when my husband (Simon) gave me a terrible reason to pause.  He relayed something shocking he’d read online; I- not quite believing it- messaged a few people, then paced our apartment nervously.  As we anxiously monitored the Internet for developments, a confirmation text arrived: someone dear to many of us had died.

I must digress…  O.U.A.T. (Once Upon A Time), in a galaxy far, far away, I did time as a music personality (Lolly Pop), the star gate into which was a tiny video stint with Prince.

Story condensed: During the mid-1980’s, I knighted him my fictitious big brother; arriving in Minneapolis in ’94, I was lucky enough to be cast in Get Wild, which- when paired with hard work- would change my life.  There’s more of course, but I probably won’t be qualified to pen that book for another decade.  Something deep will surface at some point, but I’m just not ready to swim through that sea yet.

Now, speaking of points: all that followed led me here, to this precise moment with you.  So…  THANK YOU.  Thank you for tuning in.  Thank you for caring.  And as several of you transitioned here from my life in music, THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOYALTY.


Last…  My friend Brian Gallagher (Prince‘s saxophonist circa NPG; also one of the founding members of Greazy Meal) likewise very suddenly passed away in March.  You can read a bit about his life here:  www.startribune.com/brian-gallagher-of-greazy-m….  While Brian was an infinitely talented musician and songwriter, he was also an amazing Dad to three beautiful, smart as well as loving children (Ava, Cesar and Magdalena), whom he would have given ANYTHING for.  He loved to paint, cook, landscape and laugh.  Brian is survived not only by his music, but by his parents, sister (Kristin), children, his partner (Gina), by his nieces, nephews, friends and co-workers.

Given the unexpected ascension of these two bright souls, I’ve needed time to reflect.  It’s been a surreal month to say the least.  It is my hope that you’ll forgive delays pertaining to In Praise of Men, and know that things will be back on track shortly.

Brian-Gallagher-378x300Brian and Prince, circa ’95/’96 (?)




Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln Presiding – Just Two of The Gents Featured Below.

Hello Friends,
It is with great enthusiasm that I write to you on this misty Thursday morning from Minneapolis.  Tiny bulbs are beginning to push their way through the soil in Loring Park, threatening impending splendor.  Despite the looming clouds and pre-April showers, Spring has arrived!

Before the big reveal, a few disclaimers:

  1. While this list (and In Praise of Men) is predominantly concerned with the past century, a handful of candidates date back to the 1800’s.  Their deeds continue to reverberate in our present, which is why they’ve been noted below.
  2. Several of the names below won’t be familiar- some are only “famous” in the eyes of their neighbors, friends, families and/or immediate communities.
  3.  You’ll likely wonder why several well-knowns are absent (Einstein, Dr. King, Bruce Lee, Steven Hawking, Dr. Seuss, etc.).  There are SO MANY MEN I’d love to add, but have chosen to focus on role models who debunk outdated myths about the opposite sex.

Thus: after years of collecting candidates (there were originally 120!), months of research, raging Facebook debates, a public poll and A LOT of private vetting, I humbly present…


01. Abraham Lincoln
02. Alan Turing
03. Albert Schweitzer
04. TIE: Alexander Graham Bell & Elisha Gray
05. Arthur Janov
06. Barack Obama
07. Bernie Sanders
08. Chris Kluwe
09. Christopher Reeve
10. Clyde E. Ogle
11. Cochise
12. [14th] Dalai Lama
13. Davide Martello
14. Derek Sivers
15. Desmond Tutu
16. Dwayne Johnson
17. Frank Shankwitz
18. Fred (Mr.) Rogers
19. Henry Dunant
20. James “Jim” E. Sullivan
21. Jeffrey Gettleman
22. Jimmy Carter
23. TIE- The Kelly BrothersScott & Mark (Astronauts)
24. Kofi Annan
25. Kyle Carpenter
26. Levar Burton
27. Lewis Howard Latimer
28. Martin Prechtel
29. Michio Kaku
30. Neil Armstrong
31. Neil deGrasse Tyson
32. Neil Strauss
33. Nelson Mandela
34. Nikola Tesla
35. Paramahansa Yogananda
36. Paul Newman
37. Paul Wellstone
38. Peter Tatchell
39. Pope Francis
40. Richard Feynman
41. Robert Bly
42. Ronald Mallet
43. Robert O. Fisch 
44. Russell Means
45. Stuart Franklin
46:  TIE: Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith (Tears For Fears)
47. Theodore Roosevelt
48. TIE: Paul Hewson, David Howell Evans, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton (U2)
49. Wing Young Huie
50. Winston Churchill

Honorable mentions: William Gibson, Buckminister Fuller, Neil Gaiman, and anyone else who I may not yet be aware of that should be on this list.  We’re expanding the above for the in-print edition, so when the book arrives, I hope you’ll take time to read up on each of these gentlemen- especially the ones that you’re not familiar with.

With Love,

PS: If there’s some sort of unscrupulous conduct by any of the above listed that I’ve somehow missed, please email me (brookercalder[at]gmail) ASAP, with subject header: URGENT- RE: 50 MAGNIFICENT MEN.



Hello  You,

First things first: have you remembered to set set your clock(s) an hour forward?  Excellent.  Now, a quick recap of this past week…

  1.  Whilst Winter is wistfully melting away, Spring is en route.
  2.  I literally *JUST* finished the last chapter! Disclaimer: entire book needs a revision (or three) before handing it over to the editing team. 😉
  3.  Publishing Campaign updates live here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3/x/144809#/updates
  4. Do something you’ve never done before today and check it off your bucket list!



Thirteen years ago today, on February 27th, 2003, one of the brightest beacons of our time- Fred Rogers–  ascended.

As if but months back, I recall briskly strolling home from a writing session at Nina’s Coffee Cafe, only to discover the New York Times article announcing his departure on our dining room table.  The wind knocked out of me, I surveyed the headline to make sure I’d read it right…  I had.  Blankly, I stared out of the window of 589 Laurel Avenue- a house in historic St. Paul that I shared with beautician Sandra Albert, author Von Braschler and actor Dan Fuller- swallowed the lump in my throat, then mustered up the courage to read the obituary of my television Dad.

Tear-stung half way through, I fumbled for the nearby phone, in a weak attempt to call my Mother, who was probably the only person that might understand my impending melt down.  I couldn’t finish dialing on first try, hung up after the first buzz during the second, then deliberately let it ring.  The 27-year-old me was embarrassed, but the kid in me couldn’t help it.  By the time she answered, I was sobbing unintelligibly, whilst silently thanking various Catholic, Roman and Greek deities that none of my aforementioned housemates were around to witness this hot mess.

You see, for many of us Gen-X/Y-ers dealing with divorce and/or Fatherlessness in our families, Mister Rogers was our part-time Pop, Uncle or Granddad.  For others, he was a mentor, friend, tour guide, self-esteem coach, or if nothing else, that familiar, reassuring, smiling face between channels.

After a heart-to-heart with my Mom, I finished reading his obituary, then dragged my feet upstairs, to the privacy of my then-pink bedroom.  And so, one block away from where F. Scott Fitzgerald was born, I dug out what childhood toys I had left, surrounded myself with them and cried myself to sleep.


Of all the bigger pieces I’ve read about Fred, this 1998 Esquire Magazine  cover story by Tom Junod is one of the most touching:
esquire.com/entertainment/tv/interviews/a27134/can-you-say-hero-esq1198.  I also cherish this recently republished New York Daily News article from 1973: www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/mister-rogers-focuses-children-feelings-article-1.2542259.  Reading this coverage of his funeral has also helped me to make peace with it, as rainbows, hearts and coloring pencils couldn’t have been more appropriate, and I’ve always admired Yo-Yo Ma (now more than ever):  http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20030504rogers0504p1.asp.

Tonight,  I hope that you’ll take a moment to remember Fred with me, to reflect on all of the helpful things he taught us, and to re-visit an important episode.  In our adult lives where everything moves at near-light speed and all has changed, this episode is particularly pertinent:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8eEHV-b6WM.

Next, I’d like to acknowledge that it’s partially due to Mister Rogers’ work that I’ve been able to pen In Praise of Men.  If ever any thing’s out of place in your life and you need advice, to see the smiling face of a life-long neighbor or friend, all you need to do is find him on Youtube, or visit his legacy site: www.fredrogers.org/fred-rogers.

Finally, I’d like to spread some good news: Fred is still very much with us, in the countless lives he touched.

Thank you again Mister Rogers, thank you to your family, staff and to PBS.

With Speedy Delivery and Love,


Two of my favorite men in the world, who are featured in our final chapter,
50 Magnanimous Men.


1Norma Jean Baker- one of the bright 20th Century beauties pondered in 

As returning folks know, today is not only St. Valentine’s Day, but the day that we go public via social media!  If you’re visiting for the first time, please accept a warm welcome; if you have any questions, I’ll be monitoring our Twitter as well as our new Facebook group intermittently today (or leave a note below): facebook.com/IPofM.

Should you have queries about the dame pressing this thing, peek-a-boo here:  inpraiseofmendotcom.wordpress.com/about/

Last, I’d like to point out that St. Valentine was a bold and bad-ass gentleman of Faith, who reportedly refuted the Roman Emperor Claudius II.  Here’s a few fascinating things you may not know about him, and today’s holiday, courtesy of The History Channelhistory.com/news/6-surprising-facts-about-st-valentine

Wishing You Love & Happiness Always-


Welcome + Official Twitter

Welcome to In Praise of Men.com!

You can also find us on Twitterwww.twitter.com/inpraiseofmen
-Say hi and follow for daily wisdom from brilliant men, articles of interest and to preview excerpts from In Praise of Men, arriving September, 2016.

As I’ve been working on this book for nearly a decade and would like it to be an interactive experience, we’ve been engineering an app, designing a discussion board, as well as a quarterly video conference.  If you’d like to be a guest speaker, a discussion board moderator or a once-a-month blogger (re: men’s and/or family issues) in exchange for read-it-first privileges and other perks, please message directly via the contact page.

Last, while I’m keeping much about  IPoM confidential until February 14th, you can uncover clues and sneak a few snippets by exploring the Menu tab above or tuning into our aforementioned Twitter.

With Bright Wishes for 2016,