Home » Up Close & Personal » Up Close and Personal with Jeff Bauer, author of ‘Folds in the Map: Stories of Life’s Unlikely Intersections’

Up Close and Personal with Jeff Bauer, author of ‘Folds in the Map: Stories of Life’s Unlikely Intersections’

Jeff-Bauer-7Jeff Bauer is a community organizer, public policy advocate, and writer based in Saint Paul, MN. His blog, onlybiggerthinking.com, has been read by nearly 10,000 people from over 50 countries. Folds in the Map is his first book. In addition to his work as a writer, Jeff recently lead a successful advocacy effort, in his role as Director of Public Policy at The Family Partnership, to pass a nation-leading Safe Harbor law in Minnesota to protect children from sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. He lives in a tiny house on St. Paul’s West Side with his wife, Diane.

His latest book is the inspirational/essay book, Folds in the Map: Stories of Lifes Unlikely Intersections.

Visit his website at www.incitefulpress.com.com.

Visit his blog at www.onlybiggerthinking.com

Up Close


The thing about me is that I … believe that most people are basically kind and that they will, often in the most difficult of circumstances, take care of each other. I believe this is fundamental to our nature as human beings, even though it gets buried under layers of dysfunction, drama, and noise. It is truly who we are.

When I first get up in the morning, I … make coffee. Nothing happens without coffee.

The most important things in my life are … my wife, my friends, and my family.

I love to travel to … anywhere and everywhere! I’ve been blessed to have the freedom and resources to travel all over the country and all over the world. Through these adventures, I’ve discovered two places that I hold as the most special and sacred. One is a mountain village in North Vietnam called Lao Chai village and the other is a towering cliff on the shores of Lake Superior called Palisade Head.

In my spare time, I … work extensively on efforts to end child sex trafficking. I was the lead legislative advocate on Minnesota’s historic Safe Harbor Act in 2011 – a law that ensures sexually exploited children have access to the safe shelter and supportive services they need to heal and reclaim their lives.

One thing I learned about life was … nothing is owed and nothing is guaranteed, not even our very next breath. Living with passion and urgency is a choice we can make every single day.

The sole mission I am on this earth is to … never have a sole mission. The purpose of this life is to live as many of its rich and varied experiences as possible. We make our lives so small when we become so certain of ourselves. Answers are way too static and stagnant to catalyze our growth. It’s the questions that keep our eyes and our hearts open.

One little known fact about me that might surprise you is … I’m a certified Search and Rescue worker. If you’re lost I can find you.

My favorite time of day is … early morning, just as the sun rises.

I love to write about … the places where our lives overlap with others in strange and beautiful ways. I think these intersections contain some of life’s most powerful and poignant lessons. This idea is the basis for Folds in the Map.

The most difficult aspect about writing is … letting go of expectations and trusting the process. While I was writing the first few stories for Folds in the Map, I would spend hours agonizing over how to get to the conclusions that I wanted. I already knew where I wanted to end up, but I over-thought the ways to get there. The result was that my writing ended up feeling contrived and stilted, too sure of


Title: Folds in the Map: Stories of Life’s Unlikely Intersections
Genre: Inspirational/Essays
Author: Jeff Bauer
Publisher: Inciteful Press
Pages: 150
Language: English

Folds in the Map is a collection of essays and stories by emerging author Jeff Bauer. In these pages, he embarks on an earnest, touching journey to discover the places where we feel most connected as human beings – to each other, to nature, and to the world around us. From the bottom of a bomb crater in Laos, to a refugee camp on the Sudanese border, to the side of a Panamanian volcano, and back home again to the frozen January streets of Minnesota, Folds in the Map is a moving, intensely personal exploration of shared experience and unlikely intersection.



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