Jewel Is Picking Up the Pieces

It was a pleasure speaking with Jewel whose beauty resonates from the inside out. Her recently penned memoir Never Broken is candid and so graciously offers up the idea that choosing, thinking and being happy is a reality for us all. Accompanying the book is her latest album Picking Up the Pieces that takes you on a journey that blends the thoughts and soul of a young girl with the Jewel of present day. – Fresh Independence


Tell us about your memoir Never Broken…

I’ve often been asked in my life how I went from an abusive background, to moving out at 15, to being homeless, to turning things around. So I set out to talk about those things and answer that question. I knew at 15 when I moved out that girls like me end up becoming a statistic. That statistically a girl like me ends up in an abusive relationship, or on drugs, or in a ditch or on a pole – one of those things. I wanted to beat those odds. I had read a lot of philosophy and I read a lot of nature vs. nurture and I wanted to see if I could re nurture myself if I did not like the nurturing that I had received in my home. So I started on a scientific discovery to see if I could learn happiness if it wasn’t taught in my household. I studied nature and read a lot and I learned a lot and I think the most surprising thing for me in the book to express and talk about, was how being diligent and  focused helped me a lot. But I didn’t avoid all the pain that I hoped to. I learned that you can’t avoid pain in life and the thing that kept me safe in life was not avoiding pain, but actually how I handled pain and how I transmuted pain and how it kept me resilient and undamaged from the amount of trauma that I went through in my life. There are very specific things that helped me and I talk about them in case they can  help someone else. I wanted to be honest and transparent in the writing so that people could understand and feel what it meant to heal from it, and that it is possible.

a jewel never broken

You story is a soul filled with character – do you feel you were born with tools already or was it something you had to learn…

Continue reading ...

Michael Noyce- Eau Claire, WI

Featured Video Play Icon

Two-thirty quickly rolled around and we made our way back for the jam. The band soothed their voices with tea and laughter as hearts filled with music and prepared to open up. Upon first listen we were blown away by the composition and rare subtleties that backed Noyce’s enviable tone.

“Both of them [songs performed] are dealing with being with people and negotiating the terrain of being yourself and also kind of understanding them and embracing them and trying to find a way to not feel like you are squashing any parts of yourself, but still be fully in with somebody else. I guess, but that is real cheesy.”


An uncontrollable calm flooded the scene as we wound through the maze of cornfields. It was pouring rain and thoughts danced as plans were on the horizon of change. Eau Claire was our final destination and a new beginning was not only ours. 

Greeted with wet hands from finishing up the morning dishes Michael Noyce peeked behind his blonde locks and innocent charm.

Welcomed into his newly purchased 1930’s home; life was still being unpacked, but musical instruments were set and found place in the front room. We gathered as many do in the black and white tiled kitchen. Noyce has always had a love for cooking and his plentiful spice cabinet proved so.

We planned to go for lunch and to the park before the band arrived for a live session. 

We climbed into the Toyota Corolla perhaps too worse for wear, days earlier returning from a journey to Oregon to visit his grandmother.

Previously, we planned to film in Madison so what brought him to Eau Claire? An end to a relationship, [eyes lit up] the music scene, “I grew up in Eau Claire, all my friends are here.”

Michael Noyce 2

As the sun beamed and we wound down the solemn streets I could not help, but smile to the one source that proved it is okay to admit your admiration for pop music. 

Remarking on the sounds, beats, and engineering, Noyce steered meyself in the direction to believe that this is creative sound with purpose and talent. Light hearted, open minded, caring, and intelligent was evident upon first conversation. Can it really feel this rare to exchange productive thoughts with the generation of now?

We pulled up for a walk at the whimsical Phoenix Park. Noyce walked ahead black levi’s, classic gray sweater in tow with black and white Adidas soccer shoes tied round the middle. Soccer was his sport growing up and laughed mentioning he and a few other kids were the jocks in elementary school. “I was the class clown, I had a lot of friends.” 

As we scaled the bike path of an old train bridge and skipped rocks along the Chippewa river we talked like two summer friends. 

“Have you ever cliff jumped before?” 

“Yes, but I was always afraid of heights.”

“So you would never bunjee jump or sky dive?”

If he had to pick his poison, he would sky dive. I decided to pull a fast one and declare that we were going to go today. He looked in surprise, but I know we could of convinced him. 

On a more practical note: Michael’s Father is from California an Infectious Disease Specialist and Mother a vet from Chicago, most recently introducing acupuncture as means of  treatment for animals. 

He has two brothers and a sister. They introduced him to his first taste of music. A Nirvana tape and Third Eye Blind. In high school Michael found his voice in choir and love for guitar via his teacher Justin Vernon. This is where the real story begins… 

Continue reading ...