ABOUT THE BOOK
After she’s left at the alter by the love of her life, Esther is both heartbroken and hardened. However, a chance encounter with Ganesha brings back a sense of calm she thought she’d never have again. Over the span of twenty years, Ganesha is her constant companion and spiritual guide through a string of hardships, including a loveless marriage, three childbirths and persecution for her Jewish faith during WW2. Weaving Eastern beliefs and perspectives with Western realities and pragmatism, Guesthouse for Ganesha is a tale of love, loss and spirit reclaimed that will uplift readers and inspire them to seek out their own spiritual journeys.
Judith Teitelman has straddled the worlds of arts, literature, and business since she was a teenager and worked her first job as a salesperson at a B. Dalton/Pickwick Bookstore. Life’s journeys took her from bookstores to commercial fine art galleries to the nonprofit arts and cultural sector, in which she has worked as staff, consultant, and educator for more than three decades. Throughout this time, Teitelman continued her pursuit of all things literary. Guesthouse for Ganesha is her debut novel. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three beloved cats.
When I meet new people and they ask, “What do you do?” I typically respond by saying that “I’m three-pronged.” Firstly, I’m an Organizational Development Consultant specializing with arts and cultural organizations and individual artists. I’m also a longtime educator, teaching all aspects of nonprofit management and Entrepreneurship—The Business of Being an Artist. And, lastly, but most definitely, not least, I’m an author of a recently published debut novel, Guesthouse for Ganesha, a tale of love, loss, and spirit reclaimed. All three parts are interwoven and meld seamlessly.
In essence, I’m an educator who is committed to working in partnership with my clients, students, and readers. I believe true teaching and learning is a partnership, and I know I reap as much as I sow.
I listen. Closely. And observe. Also closely.
Basically I want to “Keep On, Keepin’ On.” Throughout my adult life, I’ve been fortunate to follow my interests and passions, both professionally and personally. I want to continue consulting and teaching and writing and reading and dancing and traveling.
My most recent biggest success is seeing my debut novel, Guesthouse for Ganesha, to publication. The journey has been 18 years, betwixt and between everything else going on, and I’m immensely proud of its evolution and the outcome.
There are always challenges. No matter the size or extent, it just takes information and strategies and, often, inventiveness to move beyond them.
I love quotes. I use them in my consulting practice and teaching all the time. The following is the quote * that was given to me when I was 22 years old and has remained on my refrigerator door, albeit different refrigerators, since then.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
• When I was first introduced to this quote, I was told Goethe, a particular hero of mine, coined it. However, in more recent years, I learned that William Hutchison Murray, a Scottish mountaineer and writer, more likely said it.
I’ve had the great good fortune to have some amazing, generously supportive and extremely insightful teachers and mentors, going back to High School and beyond. Two in particular, my High School English teacher and History teacher, were especially impactful in my life: one taught me to write—anything and everything—and the other taught me to think expansively and question.
Asia and Southeast Asia—this part of the world never ceases to compel and inspire me. To date, I’ve travelled to about 16 countries in this region.
I’m not much of a collector, per se, but there are a few things I’m obsessed about:
Russel Wright pottery (in brief, Wright was “an American Industrial designer who, … beginning in the late 1920s through the 1960s, … created a succession of artistically distinctive and commercially successful items that helped bring modern design to the general public.”) In addition to many other objects, he created dinnerware that continues to delight me and that I use daily.
Homemade soap. I love to find and collect this wherever I travel in the world.
Thank you notes. Both giving and receiving.
These aren’t “current,” per se, as they’ve been consistent throughout my life as far back as I can recall. My cats and travel must top the list, along with art (creating and viewing), reading, writing, yoga, dancing, walking, hiking, cooking, and hanging out with friends.