New Release: There’s No Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing!

The Inspira team is excited to announce the launch of author Christopher Gilbert’s book, There’s No Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing (catchy title, right?), released in May of 2018. Seriously, as our team worked on this book we all had numerous little “aha” moments as we became more aware of the “little things” we and other people often do–or are at least tempted to do–in the course of a day.  Even things like where we and how we parked that day in the office parking lot! (Oops.)  It’s how we all conduct ourselves in the little things that can have big impact in our communities, cities, and world.  That’s the message of this book.

Dr. Gilbert (aka Chris) has a Ph.D in Organization, Management, and Leadership Ethics, and teaches ethics at the University of Washington in Tacoma. He also has over thirty years experience in organizational development serving as a strategic facilitator and leadership and operations consultant.

Within the sphere of higher education, Dr. Gilbert has served as COO for Bainbridge Graduate Institute and global faculty at the University of Washington and educational institutions in the US, China, Switzerland, Iran and the Russian Republic. Whether providing a keynote speech or facilitating a workshop or team coaching session–or writing a book, for that matter!–Chris brings a unique blend of practical experience and accessible personal connection into all of his work.

There’s No Right Way To Do The Wrong Thing is an exploration in how we can all make better choices for a better world. It’s full of great insights and a lot of laughs as Chris tells humorous stories (sometimes about himself) about the ethical mis-steps we all navigate in life.  It’s a great book, and we hope you’ll check it out!

Arlyn Lawrence is the founder and senior editor at Inspira. One of her favorite things about her job is the many things she learns while editing our authors’ books!

Writing Workshop Success!


It was a day of recognizing dreams and putting them into action. For our Inspira team, hosting a writing workshop has been a long-time dream that finally became a reality. With tested principle and strategies, we have brought over two dozen books into print. We wanted a way to make that expertise available to authors who are not quite ready for the full menu of our services, but wanted some tools to get started on a dream of their own: writing a book.


Last Saturday, we hosted part one, “So, You Have a Story: Now What?” Wanting to honor our name, Inspira, we chose the beautiful and inspirational Gig Harbor Marina as our workshop location. While it wasn’t exactly sunny, the sky was clear and the harbor view was the perfect backdrop for our participants to get inspired.

“This workshop will be a success,” Arlyn began, “if each of you leave feeling inspired to write a book and equipped with the tools to do so.”


One thing we think is unique about Inspira is that while all our clients are authors, they are not all necessarily writers. We believe that each client, workshop participant, and person (that means you, too!) has a unique message to share, and a unique sphere of influence with which to share it. We specifically reach out to those who may not be writers, but have a powerful message that deserves to be in print. This workshop’s participants included fiction writers, businessmen and women, faith leaders, and community leaders with wisdom and stories to share.

The workshop covered how to establish your book’s objectives (this is key!), developing a plot (fiction) or outline (non-fiction), getting your ideas flowing, titling, the components of good writing, and how to refine your manuscript. It was a full day! Many people came into the room doubting their abilities, and/or felt overwhelmed at different moments throughout the day. We were able to assure them: this is a normal part of the writing process! Fear, uncertainty, and doubt come with the territory. Successful authors make peace with this and just keep writing!



In the afternoon we took a break for lunch at JW’s Trolley for some fish and chips (the best food to fuel a writer!) Then, refreshed by the ocean breeze, it was time to put pens to paper, and write. The silence was filled with pens scratching and keyboards clacking, and an atmosphere of excitement grew in the room. As the participants shared what they had written, there was a palpable sense of “we can do this.” It is a beautiful thing to have a room full of people passionate about their dreams. However, it is even more beautiful to have a room full of people actively pursuing their dreams, equipped with the confidence and know-how to do so. “Thank you for such an encouraging and practical workshop,” said one participant. “I am excited to see these dreams in print!”

At the end of the workshop, each and every person said they felt inspired and equipped to make their dream a reality. With our criteria met, we consider the workshop a success!

We invite you to join us for part two, “Steps to Publishing Your Manuscript” on Saturday, September 24th at the Gig Harbor Marina. Visit for more information.  

Post by Kerry Wade, Assistant Editor

Fathering the Future


Last Saturday, several of our Inspira team had the honor of attending the 14th Annual “D.A.D.S.” Fatherhood Banquet and the launch of our client Marvin Charles’ new book, Becoming Dads: A Mission to Restore Absent Fathers.

Marvin is the founder and executive director of D.A.D.S., a community based organization dedicated to walking with men in supportive community, and helping them navigate the relational and legal barriers that separate them from their children and families. Over the past ten years, Marvin and Jeanett Charles, along with their team at D.A.D.S., have worked with 3,222 men to bring them back to their families!


Becoming DADS: The Mission to Restore Absent Fathers tells Marvin’s own powerful story of redemption and restoration, providing absentee fathers with a message of hope and a vision for the future, as well as practical support and resources. Through this book, he hopes to educate people on what the real issues are that compromise families and energize the cycle of abandonment and fatherlessness.

The theme of this year’s D.A.D.S. fundraising banquet was “Fathering the Future.” The banquet honored fathers who have taken the steps necessary to provide a future for their families. The men who took the stage shared their stories of their own fatherlessness, addictions, and court battles. All of these men chose to stand up to the cycles of hurt and pain in their communities, turn their lives around, and give back to their children.


“D.A.D.S. provided me with hope again,” said one father. “They listened and educated me. They heard my story with an open heart; they understood my emotions. They took my hand and walked step by step with me, shared tears with me, and celebrated my joys and victory.”  At the end of the banquet, the full house of committed D.A.D.S. supporters gave a record $200,070—nearly half the organization’s budget for the year!

The keynote speaker for the evening was Jeff Kemp (another past Inspira client). Jeff is a former NFL quarterback and is the author of Facing the Blitz: Three Keys for Turning Trials into Triumphs (published by Bethany House). He used the biblical story of Gideon to describe the mission of D.A.D.S. Just like God called Gideon a brave man of valor when he was still in the winepress, D.A.D.S. speaks identity and purpose over men before they recognize it themselves.

After the banquet, Marvin hosted a book signing for Becoming DADS. It was exciting to see this book in the hands of people who care passionately about this cause. We can’t wait to see the continuing impact of Marvin’s story, this book, and D.A.D.S!


To order and find out more about the book Becoming Dads, visit Marvin’s website at Learn more about the work of D.A.D.S. at

Post by Kerry Wade, Assistant Editor 

Out and About at the NAEA Conference – March 2016



It was a joy and privilege to speak and exhibit for What I Wish I Knew at 18 at the NAEA Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in March. Doug and I represented LifeSmart Publishing there and were thrilled to meet the 600+ educators and administrators of alternative high schools from states that included New York, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and more.

I was especially inspired by keynote speaker Tara Brown’s talk (“The Connection Coach”) during the Saturday morning session of the conference. She emphasized the importance of social/emotional learning, particularly with students who have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences. If you’ve seen our What I Wish I Knew at 18 Leadership and Life Skills curriculum, you know this is EXACTLY our approach to building the leadership, life skills, and workplace readiness skills young adults need to thrive!

I taught a workshop on Thursday afternoon entitled “Equip Them to Thrive, Not Just Thrive” and was pleased to have a full house of enthusiastic participants. Each received a free copy of the book and curriculum.

We met a lot of terrific people at this conference, which was our first foray into the alternative education realm, and have been rewarded with some substantial curriculum orders just in the couple of weeks since we’ve been back. We’re looking forward to a bright and fruitful partnership in this dynamic, impactful demographic of educators!

P.S. The nearby beach was a nice extra bonus! 😉



LifeSmart Leadership Series: Leadership for a Lifetime

(This post originally appeared on

Arlyn Lawrence and Dennis Trittin speaking to high school seniors at the FCCLA National Conference in Washington, DC, July 2015.
Arlyn Lawrence and Dennis Trittin speaking to high school seniors at the FCCLA National Conference in Washington, DC, July 2015.

Where will they go from here?

It’s a question every parent, educator, and mentor has likely pondered as the children under their guidance prepare for their launch into the real world. They’ve offered love, security, wisdom, and training and have left indelible marks on these young adults. They’ve contributed to their leadership foundation, and soon the strength of that foundation will be put to the test in the game called “life on your own.” Many, if not most, of these young people will be landing in a new environment, awestruck like Dorothy when she entered the land of Oz.

As authors of What I Wish I Knew at 18 leadership/life skills resources, we are honored to prepare tomorrow’s leaders with the wisdom and strategies they need to successfully transition into adulthood. Through our contacts and speaking engagements, we’ve partnered with many people and organizations who are deeply committed to training up the next generation. One of our favorites is FCCLA—Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.  FCCLA is a national Career and Technical Student Organization that promotes personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education. In the past four years, we’ve participated in their national conferences as exhibitors and speakers and always leave inspired by the well-rounded leaders they are building. We wish every student at every school could participate in their programs!

At this year’s FCCLA national conference in Washington D.C., we received a special invitation to speak to high school seniors who will soon begin their adult futures. We delivered our talk, “Leadership for a Lifetime,” to a packed house of motivated students ready to take on the world! We shared nine essential leadership themes that will serve them well in the near future and throughout their lives.

Inspired by their feedback, we decided to share these leadership concepts in a nine-part series beginning next week. It’s our hope that this blog series will serve you as parent, teacher, mentor, or student, and that you’ll spread the word to others in your personal and professional spheres. We’re all in this together!

Our leadership theme for next week: VISION. Catch you then!

~ Dennis Trittin and Arlyn Lawrence`

Authors of the What I Wish I Knew at 18 Leadership and Life Skills course and Parenting for the Launch, LifeSmart Publishing