Monday, November 26, 2018

Re-release of The Absence of Anyone Else

This is just a short post to let you know that The Absence of Anyone Else has been released as a second edition, just in time for Cyber Monday! It has a new cover, book club questions, and a forward by Cassie Premo Steele, author of The ReSisters. You can follow the link below to order your copy today!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Say Yes to Green! My Collaboration with Hippocampus

The synchronicity, or as it's called in the new Deepak Chopra book I am reading, SynchroDestiny, of life never ceases to amaze me. If you pay attention, you learn that coincidences are generally anything but that. They are actually minor miracles, little nudges and pushes to get you on the right path and, once you are there, remind you that you're on it.

Back in the spring, I met a lovely lady at our local Farmer's Market selling natural beauty products. We had a great conversation and I bought some of her goods, which I very much enjoyed. I also followed her on Facebook (Dittany Nutt)  and Instagram, because we live in the digital world and it's what we do :-) And I also wanted to be in the loop of new products and such that she might be posting about, or given that she's a pretty cool person, I thought she might be posting about some pretty cool stuff in general. Which she does!

One of the posts that caught my eye was a skirt she had purchased from a company called Hippocampus. The skirt featured a drawing by a child, and as a former elementary school art teacher,  I thought that was very cool. I followed the link to the site and saw designs by adult artists as well, and almost on a whim, I decided to send a query to them, asking "Hey, are you interested in any new artists for your company?"

The result of that query, sent on a whim after just happening to see a post about the company, is the skirt below, based on my artwork titled, Say Yes to Green!

I'm not including any photos in this post because I want you to click on the links, and see not only the skirt featuring my art, but also all the other amazing items they offer!

This is very exciting opportunity to me and I owe it all to the little series of events that led to my discovering Hippocampus and to the events that led to creation of the artwork...I'll share the story of that next time!

Finland, Home of my Heart

My son and I spent summer in Finland and during that amazing time, were able to meet in person Mari Penanen, author of Finnish lifestyle blog,

Below you will find the link to the blog I wrote for SaimaaLife, aptly titled Home of my Heart. This just covers our adventures in the Lappeenranta area, where we stayed for a bit of our trip. There were so many others in and around the Helsinki area as well. But I will cover those another day!

Finland, Home of my Heart

Be sure to follow Mari's blog for insight into Finnish culture and lifestyle and suggestions for visiting the area (which I do highly recommend!)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Standing up to Live

Tallinn, Estonia, 3am

"How dare one sit down to write...when he has not yet stood up to live." Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was 3am in Tallinn, Estonia, and the white night was too mesmerizing for sleep. Couple that with the time difference in the States, or rather, my corner of the States, which had led to a flurry of text messages from abroad during the wee hours, and you had the perfect recipe for a sleepless night. Which could become a problem, because....

...I'm not a night owl. To the great annoyance of many who know me, I'm a early bird. Though I have my moments when I stay up past the bedtime of most nine-year-olds, truth is,  I like to go to sleep early and wake up early. There's a few reasons for art school, I worked several jobs and was generally exhausted by evening. If I didn't rise at dawn for a little time in the studio before heading to class or one of my jobs, I would't have any time in the studio. Rising early became, in my mind, interlinked with determination, dedication, success...

Fast forward a few years, and I'm parenting a young child solo, while working a full-time job and a couple of freelance jobs to make ends meet. I learned an entirely new definition of the word 'exhausted.'  Rising early then became, in my mind, interlinked with sanity, self-care, a window of time to myself, just to breath a little...

Now, the young child is a teenager and I've managed a balance between work, home, and all the other things I fit into my days. But the early bird in me is still going strong. Even during this 10-week vacation, I rise around dawn, no matter what time I go to sleep.

Morning coffee in the window of the Hotel Metropol, Tallinn, Estonia
I find myself apologizing for it a lot when I am in the company of others. It seems I'm always tip-toeing around, trying not to make any noise, wanting to be courteous, but tired of lying in bed wide awake, waiting on everyone else to stir about. But regardless of the motivations that set the pattern into habit years ago, rising early has just become part of who I am. And while habits can be broken, this isn't one I want to break.

This works for me.

"How dare one sit down to write...when he has not yet stood up to live," is one of my favorite quotes by Emerson. I found myself thinking about standing up to live this week, how I do it each day, and I've come to believe that rising early is simply one of my ways. It's not a big thing, but apologizing for how we stand up to live...well...that might be dangerous ground to tread. That might be a big thing.

Everything we do in the course of a day has the power to set plans into action. In preparation for pending life changes, I cleaned out some files this week, purging old papers, receipts, bills, letters. Opening space, clearing paths for the new. I also removed supplies for crafts I no longer do, purging a shelving unit and several storage bins, opening a lovely space, and freeing myself of the burden of creative guilt that came from looking at the unused supplies. Dreams change, after all. Sometimes standing up to live is a bold move; sometimes it's baby steps. Sometimes it's something as seemingly mundane as the ritual of pre-dawn coffee in a quiet house, an open book in the hands and a bouquet of flowers on the table.

Today, for the first time in a while, I sat down to write, thinking about how, each day, I stand up to live. I often say, I'm a work in progress - I think we all are. But however I choose stand up to live each day, one thing is for certain...

Morning kahvi (coffee) in a Moomin mug, Hytti, Finland
I like doing it early.

No apologies.