Tuesday, December 4, 2012

grammar and poetry {on the creative state}

it is abrupt, this desire to make, and it captures me completely when it arrives.

when i am most unexpectant, it seizes me like a bird settling upon my shoulders. claws digging into the warm, soft flesh, and i am lifted away from the house and the children, the responsibilities and distractions.

it is impossible to describe where i am taken, for everything is moving. the ideas like water, moving both towards and away from me all at once.

the images of what could be adrift like clouds before the wind.

my feet beneath me move too quickly to find sure footing, and after i am freed from the crazed bird of making, the only proof that i ever left the mundane is in the maddened scribbles i find laying around on bits of paper.

surely, it is magic, though it seems to be fueled by sunshine and silence. it is not a predictable sort of magic, where i can expect to find it in the same places or be caught by the same manner, nor a trick to be discovered or foiled. not even the sunshine and silence can force it upon me, but they merely draw me closer and closer to those random moments where i am snatched from the routine and drawn up into this dreamlike state.

as i sit in the brightly lit room at the back of the house, my eyes dart about, seeking his shadow, and my ears strain to hear those wings when there is no other noise to be had. but no, these are merely the hallucinations of desire, though i know he stands close by, waiting to catch me unawares.

there is a part of me that dreads his advent, as though he were the large, squawking raven of Poe's nightmare (i do not doubt that on occasion he will appear as such). i despair of his arrival, as the dishes will await my return, and the children will be the call that brings me back. if only i could schedule this flight, and prepare this home for my departure; wash the dishes, sort the laundry, kiss the children and tell them to behave while mommy takes a trip into her mind and workshop.

from the moment my toes touch again to the kitchen floor or i find myself again at the desk, i am bewildered at the house and children, glancing towards the clock as though it will give some explanation for their frenzied nature or the time i have lost between worlds.

i can almost see myself, in that moment, with the wailing infant upon my hip and the toddler harrying at my knees. i am sure there is a sauce pan or cooking spoon in my hand, and my hair escapes the bird's nest atop my head to float around my face. there is some manner of glitter or paint upon my shirt, no doubt it has found my pants, shoes, fingernails, and even my face as well, and my demeanor is either one of complete ineptitude or resigned forbearance. these are the moments i expected, and they completely ground me again in my role as housewife and mother.

it is not as though i wish for an escape; these domesticities leave me breathless in their tenderness, and i yearn to create a haven for my small family. loving them well drives my actions and thoughts, though i am very far from the mother i wish to be.

in those moments apart, when i find myself captive to this creativity, i only hope that i can inspire them, in turn, to be willing parties to their inborn passions. to go freely into those moments and come out again to the responsibilities still awaiting their actions. i do not doubt that they have their own birds, and are drawn away from their chores, only to hear my voice bringing them home again.

these thoughts begin to fade from my mind and i hear again the call of the children, the ticking of the clock, and i have to leave abruptly, though my musings are never really finished. there are thoughts here to be fleshed out, and whether or not it happens is yet to be seen.

it is an appalling thing to think these words may be read and judged, as i must also be as the mind behind them, but i cannot hold them in for fear of criticism. no, i hold them out, in all vulnerability, in the hopes that someone will read and understand, maybe even find a familiarity in them. you, my friend, are the reason why i write.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


it's been a while since i last posted, and many absurd and wonderful things have happened since then.

i had a baby, a month early, and spent the better part of the week in the hospital, which was followed by six weeks off of work while i cleaned house, raised two kids, and cried my eyes out at least once a week.
i actually wrote a post about my birth experience, we'll see if i ever actually post it.

now, i'm back to work, and actually working through a medical transcription editing training program (mouthful there), so hopefully i can begin working from home later this year.
so, life around here has been crazy, and i am waiting for the new normal to kick in. not that it ever will.

we all know that as soon as you get a handle on the current situation, something changes.

though not all the changes are bad.
in august, my husband will begin teaching at a local middle school, and in september, we will be moving to a new rental!

so, that means more adjustments for our little family. :)

i've not been blogging or crafting much, and i don't know if i will have time to keep up with either. some moments, it's a burning desire, and then others, i'd rather just forget about all of it...

while i may never make up my mind about it, most of my energy will still go to my children, and i think that is a worthwhile investment. don't you?

if you don't hear from me, it's because i've got too much to do.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Motivation: the first craft fair

two weeks ago, i attended my first craft fair as a vendor,

and it was terrible.

let me just list a few of the things that went wrong: we woke up to find the keys to the truck locked inside, showed up late to set up in the park, and then had to run to the store for an extra table and table cloth. i had not a single sale all day, and the canopy that i borrowed decided to call it quits in the middle of the afternoon.

it was just worse that i could ever have imagined, and in the few hours that i was alone at my booth, while the husband took the toddler home to sleep, i threw a small, sad pity party in the middle of a crowded park. it started like this: {i can't believe i paid money to sit by myself in a 10x10 square in the park on a bright Saturday afternoon.}

there were lots of bad things to dwell on, but i wanted to feel better, so it wasn't too long before i decided to start a list of things that i was learning from the experience.

there was a last  moment of pessimism before i really changed my perspective, so in the black humor that gripped me, my list started out like this:

1. don't do craft fairs.

i gave myself a wry smirk, took a deep breath, and continued writing.

i knew i didn't have enough products, or any diversity {i only had two prints ready for sale that day}, so obviously those things made the list. i also determined that conversation starters and freebies couldn't hurt to bring traffic to my booth the next go around. one thing i decided to do for the next show was find someone {ANYONE} to stay with me for the whole show. it might be difficult, but i think the company would have made it much more bearable, besides giving me the opportunity to see the rest of the vendors and visit the restroom.

all in all, i learned several things that day, and my little list probably kept me from collapsing into tears as we pulled out of the park later that afternoon. {besides the fact that i knew it would make a good blog post.}

i'm not giving up, as much as a part of me would like to, and honestly, how much worse could it get?
the only thing i can think of is RAIN, and that was on my learning list, too.

if this is as bad as it gets, i can do this.

and that's your motivation for today. even when you are in the middle of a train-wreck day, where it is worse than you had ever imagined, give yourself a moment of despair, and then turn yourself around. if it takes making a list of things to learn, or listening to an annoying good-mood playlist, find something to adjust your perspective and keep going.

tell yourself:

if this is as bad as it gets, i can do this.
and if it gets worse, i will throw a pity party.

just kidding. you'll get through it. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


i am finding that maintaining this blog and really making it what i want it to be is more work than i had imagined. i want to write consistently, and provide interesting content, but there is so much involved that it takes more time and energy than i have right now.

it's not shocking, when i list all my current goals, and then consider the housekeeping and work hours that i'm responsible for, and let's not forget that i'm now thirty-four weeks pregnant.
what's a girl to do?

honestly, i'm beginning to look at how i spend my time. on the best days, it looks like this:

most of my mornings are the same; i wake up with a two-year-old, get both of us fed and dressed and then get to work around the house. sometimes we leave the house, to run errands or play at the park, but there's almost always dishes and laundry before naptime. i'm so lucky, i get to take a nap everyday, though it's short on the days i have to work, and i'm sure it'll will change once there are two kids around here!

work days are hard, as i miss out on the second half of my son's day, and i have to spend four to six hours on my feet, taking care of other people. by the time i get home, both the husband and son are sound asleep, and i am exhausted, my legs and feet aching, and i sink into bed, wishing i had a little energy or time to get something else done.

because i work in the food service industry, i typically work weekend nights, which makes this a four-day cycle of toddler patrol, house cleaning, and work.

{that might be why i just can't seem to get those motivation posts written for monday morning. i'm hoping to find a solution, so that i can continue to post those, it's a good way to motivate myself as well as everyone who stops by.}

even on the nights i'm off, there's still dinner to be cooked, housework to wrap up, and night-time routines to   go through {and i've not even mentioned trying to build my online shop and inventory!}. there hasn't been time recently to do any creative work or brainstorming, and even my reading list is suffering.

{let's not even get started on maintaining my social life!}

i hope this doesn't come across as whining or complaining, i am so grateful that i am home 75% of the time, and i'm thankful for a job that pays our bills in so few hours. i'm proud of myself, that i'm putting in the effort to maintain my house and raise my son, and i love my life, even the challenges that i face. i know i am becoming a better person everyday i put in the effort, it's just hard to see that progress when i face the same chores everyday.

the point  in writing this post is to really look at how my time is spent, and see if i can shape my week to really meet all of my goals.

this blog is one of those goals, and it's going to take some time to have the time and content to share with you consistently. even just sharing like this is difficult, as it comes from a place of vulnerability, but i want to be real, and i'd rather share the simple details of my life than not share at all.

please stay tuned, and keep me in your prayers, as i strive to balance all the things i want for my life and family.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An apology and an explanation

in case you stopped by yesterday and were disappointed not to see a motivation post, i'm sorry. i haven't forgotten or given up, it's just a low priority this week as i am preparing for my first craft fair this weekend.
{say WHAT?!}
that's right, i'm one of "those" people that likes to make things with my two little hands, and i'm actually trying to sell my work this weekend at Arts in the Park
just in case you haven't seen it, i've got a little etsy shop set up, so if you're interested in some hand-printed goodies, you can purchase them no matter where you are.

as for your weekly motivation, never fear, it will be here next monday! i'm also hoping to add a few more regular features, so bear with me as i begin to post more often!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivation 2.27.2012

[ Who Does the Dishes Tonight? ] Seen @ SELFRIDGES : LONDON : Oxford Street : England, UK

hey folks, i'm taking a break this week from the nerdy motivation posts, and just wanted to give you a thumbs-up!

most of life is hard work, and i am certain that you are getting a fair load yourself. sometimes, it's hard to believe that any of the small details are worth the effort, or that anyone even notices your work.

rest assured, it is almost always worth it. the single load of dishes, the first blog post, the half-lap around the lake; baby steps add up, and they have value.

i may not know exactly what you're working towards, or how well you're keeping up with your goals, but that doesn't mean i can't encourage you. sometimes, what we need to keep going is a positive word, and i'm here to give you one.

WAY TO GO! keep going, friends.

maybe you've lost track of your progress, or let your goal slide to the side. hey, it's understandable. we're busy people, even on the normal days, and sometimes, forward motion feels impossible.

by this point in the year, most new year's resolutions are forgotten or given up on.

DON'T GIVE UP. take a look at your goal list again, and find a small step you can take today that will move you closer to where you want to be. remember, baby steps add up!

listen, i'll be real transparent here. one of my goals for the year is to blog consistently, and to create new content for myself and for you. it's a tricky thing, because i'm not quite sure what i want to write about, and i'm afraid of coming across as awkward or nerdy.

but i think i'm working through both of those fears, and one of the things that keeps me coming back is the page views and the comments. last week, i had a couple of comments that really encouraged me to keep going.

and now i'm passing that encouragement on to you.

go get'em, friends!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Motivation 2.20.12

5 ball

Do you like to play pool? I do.
I'm not very good, and I don't often win, but if I find myself around a pool table, I want to play.

Whether or not you like the game, it is the perfect example to explain Newton's second law of motion.

I like to phrase it this way: the change of momentum in an object is proportional to the strength and parallel to the direction of the force acting upon the object.

Wow, those are some big words I just used.

Let's see if I can break it down. There are two aspects of motion: direction and strength (you could probably say speed, but i think it makes more sense this way...), and they are both conditional to the force that caused them.

There. That's definitely easier to chew, right?

So, the first part: direction.

When ever an object is forced into motion, it will move in a direction parallel to the force working upon it.
Let's use our pool table to explain. The cue ball is always going to move in a direction similar to the direction of the pool stick.

Now, I'm not great at always getting the ball to go straight, but that's mostly because I can't aim. There is no doubt that the ball moves according to how it's pushed, the problem is just me...

In my life, there are some activities that are pushing me away from where I want to go. As much as I love to read, I know that I have to set a time limit on those novels, because every hour I read is one less hour spent sketching card designs. It's not a bad habit, but it is not the direction I want to be aiming for.

The second part: strength. If you've ever heard "you get what you give," then you have a basic idea how this works. The stronger the force used, the more acceleration you're going to get.

This explains both the ball that only rolls for two inches before stopping, and the ball that bounces over the rail and lands in the floor. The strength of the force will determine both the speed and distance travelled.

I imagine that's why people gear up for large changes in their lives. They pick a date, and put all their energy into starting well. Acceleration is important. That first burst of movement gives you so much positive energy, it makes the goal doable, and that much closer. It may actually keep you going longer.

So, how to use this information to be more productive: identify the forces that are moving you, eliminate the bad ones, and reinforce the good ones.
Oh, and find more good forces.

Okay, time for another example, I guess.
I spend most of the day with my two-year-old son, chasing him through the house or picking up his messes. I absolutely love being home with my son, but I've found that the days I sleep in, just laying in bed, produce days that are unproductive and leave me feeling lazy. The direction and strength of my day's movement is shaped by the way I start it.

It will be the same for you. When you think about your goals, take a look at the environment around you, and consider for a moment all the things that push you around. Your morning habits, your husband's schedule, even your children's needs; see how they affect your daily activities and progress towards those personal goals. Granted, we're not going to be able to get rid of some of these things, but we can shape our responses and even minimize the influences that push us in the wrong directions.

Get rid of the things that push you backwards, and the forces that don't give enough acceleration. For me, I started setting an alarm, and writing a daily to-do list. Nothing holds me back from forward motion as much as being lazy in the morning, and not knowing what I'm supposed to do. Even those two small changes have made a HUGE impact in how much I get done.

You can do this. Whether or not you believe it, I know you can do this. I challenge you this week to consider the things that are pushing you around. Does your love for television keep you on the couch, and away from repainting your bedroom? Does your busy schedule keep you from taking your children to the park? Once you start to look at how they affect you, you can respond more effectively, leaving behind weak and harmful forces, and building up the positive ones that propel you towards your goals.

Who's up for some pool?