quote du jour ~gaiman

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

~Neil Gaiman

 

yes, but…

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It’s funny. You go through your life (intuitive person that you are) following your inner guidance, listening to that still, small voice…until. Until the still, small voice tells you something you don’t want to hear, something that, for whatever reason, scares the hell out of you.

That’s when all that allowing yourself to be led, all that going with the flow, all that surrendering to the call flies right out the window. Suddenly, you’re having a knock-down, drag-out fight with your inner guidance, digging in your heels and saying, “Yes, but…” or even “Hell, no!” Well, that was me about six months ago.

Except for a few stories I wrote in my junior high language arts classes, all the writing I’ve ever done has been non-fiction: journalism (mostly dance reviews and features, a few gardening articles), marketing copy, press releases, business and fundraising letters, grant-writing, blog posts, etc. etc. However, last fall, I started a freelance writing job that involved writing short articles for children, including short fiction pieces. I was surprised to find that not only were the fiction pieces easier to write than I’d expected, but I also enjoyed writing them, and the client seemed to really like my stories.

Great, right? It’s always nice when you enjoy your day job.

Then, sometime around the beginning of March, I started getting this (for lack of a better term) “nudge” from my inner guidance. The nudge was saying, in so many words, “You need to be writing fiction.”

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a wish granted

“Be careful what you wish for…”

I suspect we’ve all heard this phrase at some time in our lives. Something positive comes into our life that we wanted, but it comes with stuff we have “deal with” in order to have it, stuff we probably didn’t thing about when we asked for it.

Over the last six months or so, the pieces of my life have arranged themselves in such a way that I’m living the dream of a lot of folks out there: working from home, with virtually complete control over my schedule. However, I’ve found that setting your own schedule is a lot harder than I thought, and I’ve been struggling. Lately, I’ve been trying out different schedules in an attempt to establish some sort of daily routine that allows me to get my work done and also get in exercise, meditation, grocery shopping, etc. I still haven’t found the perfect formula, but I’m getting closer.

In 1995, when I started my clothing design business (which I did from home the first four or five years), I was still doing other jobs
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homemade christmas

Last week, my friend Peter shared his sister’s blog post about Christmases when they were growing up. In the post, his sister mentioned that his parents had made a lot of their Christmas gifts, and it reminded me of my favorite Christmas gift ever, which, to this day, has never been topped.

I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but I was young enough to be playing with Barbie dolls. That Christmas, I had asked Santa for some new dolls, “Tammy and her family”—which included Tammy, her mom and dad, and a brother and sister.

Anyway, my parents (AKA “Santa”) decided to make a dollhouse for me to go along with my new Tammy dolls. They went out and got cardboard boxes, cut off the lids, turned them on their sides and attached them to each other so that they formed a house with four rooms—two up and two down. Mom got wallpaper samples and covered the “walls” of the rooms, and she made sofas and beds out of shoeboxes, even sewing bedspreads and pillows for them. They used my Barbie dolls to measure stuff for the house, which is where the problem came in. Continue reading

quote du jour ~cameron

Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if…

If we had known who we really were.

~Julia Cameron, The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart