…have been filled with creative goodness, only not in the art room messy paint brush kind of way. Here are seven things that have given me cause to smile.
1. Olivia made a second batch of carrot cake cupcakes. They are downstairs in the kitchen right now, calling to me. There’s pineapple and coconut mixed in, along with the carrot. Cream cheese frosting on top. Yum!
2. On Sunday, we had a family day at Snowshoe. What a pretty drive! I squealed when I saw the snow on the mountain tops! I am like a child when it comes to snow. I love it! But, oh my, I thought I was ready for the cold. I thought I was dressed warmly but the wind on top of the mountain was BRUTAL. It unwound our scarves, took our words, and reddened our eyes. There is a nice row of shops and restaurants, like a little village, at the tip top. I would have loved to take my time and enjoy meandering through, but instead the wind chased us into a pub where we had lunch and warmed up. I added a sweater layer and got some hot tea before heading back down a bit to the tubing area. Not as windy there, thankfully. We were able to relax and enjoy. How wonderful to put my hands in the snow, to kick up my heels, to let my eyes rest on the big stretches of white! Heaven, I tell you! Olivia and her friend tubed until they couldn’t tube anymore. It was a day trip that we plan on doing more often. The next visit will be in the spring, maybe when my hubby’s band plays (they played there twice last year in the village), to walk the nature trails and maybe, maybe, do some ziplining. Or most likely, I will stay rooted to the ground and take photos as they fly by. We will see. I may surprise myself with bravery. 2013 feels like it could be that sort of year. There is also an observatory nearby and a mineral springs that has to be checked out. And soon. “Taking the waters” is a big part of the book I am working on so I must see for myself what the fuss is all about.
3. In homeschooling news, we have taken a detour from our purchased curriculum (Oak Meadow) and are reading about India for Geography Club. And reading Anne Frank’s diary for our mother/daughter bookclub. The latter has Olivia so inspired that she has been writing nonstop in her own diary. The sight of her scribbling furiously stops me in my tracks every time. I stand there beaming at her until she looks up and gives me either a smile or shoos me away. Let’s just hope she is not writing about me in the same way as Anne wrote about her own mother. My heart would break!
4. And while flipping through an old notebook, (old as in 1999) I ran across a copy of The Desiderata. Do you know this poem? I used to read it daily. I’ve never read it and not felt good afterward. So, I taped it to the inside of my current sketchpad after I shared it with Olivia. It’s what a friend of mine would call a “soul vitamin.”
6. Writing news: I’ve had a slow start to the novel revision but I’ve a bit of time tonight to work on it. I can’t wait!
7. Also reading: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin. I found out about it at Lesley Riley’s blog. (thank you, Lesley!) I love the sharing of good information!
And now, I am off to make the most of my solitary hour and half. To Revison Land, I go.
* for packages (see above image) that land in a big wonderful surprise on the porch and incite much ohhing and ahhhing! a hug and the biggest of thank yous to the awesome misty mawn! the GORGEOUS print is on the mantel, the journal at home, here beside me as i type (i will place found poems on the creamy, painted pages.), the cards are all around the kitchen so that i can enjoy them every single day! misty is the kindest, most generous kind of soul but many of you probably already knew that. i was lucky to get in on her pay-it-forward post on FB. soon, very soon, i must think about working on making and gathering my own goodies to send out as i have finally found my list of names and addresses from months ago.
* for the joy of writing outside in the cool early a.m. and doing my morning pages though I really didn’t feel like it.
* for summer break and trampolines and lemon tea
* for pretty yellow zucchini blossoms
* for impromtu lunch picnics on patchwork quilts which turn into lazy afternoon reading sessions. i finished up “the haunting of hill house” and worked on a short story. olivia started “the secret order of the gumm street girls.” i don’t know much about olivia’s book other than magical shoes are involved but that is enough for me.
* for re-discovering Questionaut, a computer game that I don’t mind my daughter playing. It is visually breathtaking and is oh so clever!
* for a phone call in which i was told that another art piece has sold! whoo-hoo! what a good feeling when another connects with something created by my hands and heart. i am still a bit in awe over the whole process. and EXTREMELY grateful. kelly will be getting a better father’s day gift this year than last and i’m so happy to be buying it with “my own” money. i was also able to place a book order on Amazon and will be having a bit of repair work done around the house soon. hopefully very soon. and all with “art money.” i am loving this and sending up thanks to the heavens as i write these words.
This past week has been filled with:
*Halloween Goodness. We’ve been decorating around the house and that’s always fun. Olivia immerses her whole self in the spirit of whatever holiday it is and becomes this little ball of energy zipping around the house, this time only stopping to paint a wooden house, read (DRIZZLE by Kathleen Van Cleve), or watch the newly-discovered episodes of Kate and Allie on Netflix.
*Goal Setting and Meeting. Olivia’s also putting in the hours at dance. THE NUTCRACKER will be here before we know it. Olivia’s dance class time is my writing time. It’s good guilt-free “me” time and I usually head straight for a coffee shop after dropping her off, but this week I’m trying something new; this week I’m trying out library writing and so far, so good. See, when I’m in a coffee shop, I have zero willpower over chai lattes and caffeine in the evening is something it’s better I do without. Plus, libraries have the super-cool book ambiance. I’ve found a favorite spot too, catty-cornered between mythology and genealogy. It looks out onto a courtyard. Cozy and perfect.
A few weeks ago I went on a writers retreat. A cabin in the middle of nowhere, and I do mean NOWHERE. (I mentioned on facebook that it was there I saw my first ever shooting star. The whole time felt enchanted, really) There we did writing exercises like this: our own “Where I’m From Poem“s, but we also had time alone to write on our individual projects. When we gathered together that evening we were all inspired and ready to make things happen. We decided that to keep each other on track between meetings we would set goals and check in once a week. My goal was to write everyday for 30 minutes a day. The first week went pretty smooth so I’ve decided to up the requirements a bit and make my new goal 5,000 words per week on the WIP (work in progress fiction story). This doesn’t include blogging and writing in my journal or doing morning pages. Now, this is going to be more of a challenge but I think it’s what I need to actually get this sucker finished. And (hope I don’t regret this later) holding myself accountable here on the blog with Wednesday check-ins. I did a bit of math and if I can stick to this goal (fingers crossed and wearing all available talismans) I will have the project finished sometime around April or May.
I don’t even have the words to express how much just completing this book would mean to me. This story, the characters, have been company through many difficult moments. It kept my mind busy in Mexico, and then during the chemo visits, the lonely, sick times on the couch after those chemo visits. What a joyous thing to see the characters through to the end, a promise kept to myself.
*A Random Act of Kindness. See the abstract there, the gorgeous square piece on the bottom, blue wall. I’ve tried three times this morning to get a good shot of it but it’s cloudy here and not the best for taking photos. I love this piece. LOVE it. It was a surprise, a random-act-of-kindness, from my friend and local artist, Gina Louthian-Stanley. How fun and fantastic is that! Who doesn’t love a surprise? Please click to visit her blog and see more of her amazing work. Gina’s work is soulful and expressive. Haunting. Earthy. I just love everything she posts. We all see different things when we look at abstract art. With this piece I immediately saw a swan and that relates to another story, a fairy tale sort of story, I’ve had in the works and will share all about soon. I placed Gina’s art in a spot where I can view it many times throughout the day. I can see it from the kitchen and now, from the dining room where I sit typing these words.
*Trying a New Food. Can you believe I’ve lived in the South for most of my life (other than my brief stint in NJ) and have never had fried green tomatoes? Well, I just thought that there was something wrong about that, especially being the tomato-lovers that we are in this family, so I picked up four very hard, very green tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Just dip them in beaten eggs and then in flour or cornmeal and fry. Olivia helped with the dipping; she didn’t help much with the eating though. I thought they were tangy and yummy. What do you think, ever had them?