In our perpetual rush to illuminate the night and protect our species from danger, we risk losing the simple, yet transformative power of stargazing.
An expansive inner shift occurs when we look into the night sky and imagine all the “what if’s” of our universe. Storytelling is born from such moments.
It’s through the sharing of our stories that we seek to connect the dots between the stars—and one another. While some burn bright and others dim, at our core we are all made of the same stuff.
Jennifer Sloane grew up in New York City and spent many of her early summers upstate in the Adirondack Mountains. As an only child with a vivid imagination, NYC was the perfect place to fall in love with the Arts and the Adirondacks were the perfect place for stargazing. The cultural diversity of the city and the profound beauty of nature shaped her worldview and led to a lifelong familiarity with the paradoxical nature of the universe.
Whether contemplating in the UN Meditation Room, falling under the spell of the Unicorn in Captivity at the Cloisters Museum, hiking barefoot in the Adirondacks, or lying on her back mesmerized by the starry night sky, Jennifer’s youth begged for a deeper understanding of the interconnection between all things.
It was the time spent lost in the world of books and listening to the whispers of the stars—all those in-between spaces where mysteries revealed themselves—that enabled Jennifer to chart her course through life.
Throughout her journey, writing has been Jennifer’s most faithful companion. It began with poetry (her first poem was written at the age of seven for her grandfather) and later developed into short stories, where she eventually collected her fair share of rejection slips. At Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, Jennifer wrote a series of articles on biomedical ethics for the local newspaper, co-authored a bibliography on the University’s library holdings, and assisted in editing her Theology professor’s works. As far as her education went, Jennifer adhered to Joseph Campbell’s advice and followed her bliss, taking creative writing classes and focusing her studies on comparative theology and ethics.
Just as Jennifer felt her life began to make sense, it took an unexpectedly dramatic turn when a tick—no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence—bit her. She was living in the Midwest, finishing her degree at Lourdes University, and fighting the battle of her life with Lyme disease when Campbell’s hero’s journey became all too real.
Jennifer was a voracious reader, but now she couldn’t finish a paragraph before the meaning of the words slipped from her grasp. Textbooks were indecipherable tomes and she feared that she wouldn’t be able to complete her degree. Synchronistically, Jennifer’s love of Art came to the rescue and she was able to complete a Bachelor of Independent Studies with honors—and enough credits for a dual major in Theology and Fine Art.
It was somewhere in the midst of that hero’s journey that Jennifer became a firm believer in forming new neural pathways. With hard work and time, words returned to her and writing became her long-lost best friend. A mythological story about the transmogrification of a shooting star took shape and Jennifer followed that tale for many years, writing, rewriting, and practicing her craft.
Eventually, that story grew into the Nel Mezzo series. So, that business about stargazing and its transformative power? Jennifer believes that it’s all true. And she knows that it’s never too early or too late to begin the adventure.
Jennifer now lives on the Gulf Coast of South Florida with her dog, Dylan, and close to her children and grandchildren. When she’s not writing, Jennifer acts in local theatres and plays with photography. She continues to relish in the art of stargazing and writing the stories that are impatiently waiting to be told.