Jo is a dual citizen and has lived half her life in California (Pasadena) and half in Canada (Alberta & British Columbia) so she’s familiar with life and environments in both countries. She’s also well-traveled internationally.
Jo is a published author with Bantam/Doubleday and has written for a number of publications including The Hollywood Reporter, West Hollywood WORKS Magazine, The Armenian Reporter, and a variety of magazines. She was a featured poet on CBC Radio, presenting her poetry in honor of Emily Dickinson along with famed Billy Collins.
Jo honed her craft writing for a variety of non-profit organizations: Self-Realization Center Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and CLARE Foundation a Recovery Center in Santa Monica to name a few. She has a Bachelor of Education/English Major and Masters Coaching Credential, has taught in schools & colleges, as well as maintained her own business—Jo Nelsen Coaching—for over a decade. Her archive of Sunday Stories, offering inspiration and valuable content for writers, numbers over 100.
Raised on a beautiful prairie farm, her love of nature is deep while having written for The Hollywood Reporter and other publications made her familiar with the world of celebrity stories.
Jo was contributing editor for 2 hardcover releases: “Cantonese Yankee**”** a biography of a young man sent by Imperial China to New England to study Western science, written by his granddaughter Louise Tang. And “21st Century Singer” written by a USC voice faculty member. Jo was also hired to write the preface for two art books.
In addition to writing, her background is in the arts—a classical singer, pianist, and art docent which makes her sensitive to the rhythm and flow of words. She understands the sound of text on paper and the power of creative imagery. Making the text run smoothly is just something that’s intuitive. “Something I hear in my head,” she says. While living in Los Angeles she performed regularly with the California Philharmonic Chorus at Disney Hall. Her view of the world is varied and enriched.
She’s had madcap adventures too, such as working as a private eye, known as The Singing Detective, canoeing the Yukon River twice (450 miles), and singing in Carnegie Hall and the chorus for Aida in Tokyo Dome.
She lived many happy years in Pasadena, CA where she was a docent in the Virginia Scott Gallery at the Huntington Library, Art Galleries, and Botanical Gardens, and enjoyed singing with the LA Philharmonic Chorus at Disney Hall. Presently she resides in Vancouver, Canada to be near her daughter and young grandson.
Jo published “A Tribute to Mothers” based on her one-woman show and recorded a CD of original songs and stories. But nothing gives Jo more satisfaction than guiding clients to greater self-confidence and skill through writing for their business and their life. https://gumroad.com/l/jonelsenmwcaffiliate
“Jo, I absolutely love the blog you wrote for me. And that’s why I’m the photographer and you’re the writer! Writing is just not my thing.” (Captured Images by Barbara)
“… there is only one of you in all of time. Your story is unique. It will never exist through any other medium but you, and if your story is not shared, it will be lost.” ~ Martha Graham
I have a deep respect for the challenges, the resiliency, and the beauty of the life you’ve lived. And even the comedy. I love capturing that on paper—for you to share with others as an honest and memorable story!
I’m passionate about recording your personal journey in your voice. With my background in music, acting, and writing for so many publications, I have a knack for capturing and inhabiting different personae. It’s fun for both of us, and it’s an undertaking that adds incredible depth and meaning to your life—seeing it in print.