And then my mother died …

It seemed important to note that something significant happened since the last time I posted here.

Thinking very seriously about giving up on this particular learning curve and going back to Blogger.

Yet, I feel that I have to somehow *finish* things here. Primarily by completing the transfer of my notes from Brave Girls Symposium.

I acknowledge that my thinking has become very muddled these last few months.

Haven’t yet assimilated the new reality of a world without a mother.



Reposting so I remember to revisit …

come away with me High in the Sierra Madre Mountains in the state of Guanajuato waits the 400 year old colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. You will find rich traditions where old and contemporary converge to inspire with its abundant offering of art, culture and charm. San Miguel sits on a hillside, with inspiring […]

via Intimate Visual Journaling in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Post by Rebecca Brooks. — Orly Avineri

Notes from Brave Girl Symposium, Part 1

It’s been a long road. Symposium was back in July. I left with all good intentions, as is usually the case, but wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of demands when I returned home. More than the usual, beyond the pale. But it hasn’t left my mind. And I still have those projects ahead of me with a stack of supplies to finish.

Meanwhile, there are the notes. I had started morning pages (from Artist’s Way) back in May. By the time I made it to Symposium, I used the same notebook to write my ongoing notes about what was about to happen, and then what was happening. After returning to morning pages in December, I used the last of the notebook to complete tasks from Artist’s Way. So it’s TIME to move those notes aside and mark the notebook *completed*.

First, there was my entry on July 4, 2016 —

Tomorrow I go to Idaho for Brave Girl Symposium. Back then, I thought this would be good for me, healing. Now I guess I’m trying to say this great reluctance must be classic resistance and I need this and everything will be okay when I get there. I’ve got to make it peacefully through this day. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. I will pack. Fill the birdfeeder. I need art supplies. And ones and fives. Bank’s closed. I don’t know what to write. Must stay calm. Must stay focused. It’s okay okay okay.

Unfortunately, I didn’t always write down who was speaking, where the notes were from, but I’m going to do my best here to piece it together. I want to remember. I need to remember. I want to talk about symposium here and now.

After the welcome and intros, the first speaker was Orly Avineri, a wonderful beginning and just what I needed to bring the event into focus for myself — to get calm within myself and know I was in the right place at the right time. She began by talking about a little girl she had seen cartwheeling at the library, full of abandon, dress flying over her head as she performed cartwheels with happy, proud abandon. As she spoke, I felt myself as that child. In the library that day, she was pleased to watch the joyous child. Until the child’s mother spoke, admonishing her for showing her underwear, shaming her. And just like that, I felt myself as that child again. And now. The child living joyously and freely in her own skin until learning to feel ashamed of being seen at all. Anyway …

Avineri then said, “It’s really a miracle that I’m standing here.” She went on to tell her story. And these are the notes from my book —

  • Just because you’re born in a certain place doesn’t mean that’s the place for you.
  • There are places that silence you and places that don’t.
  • — the visceral changes as the story evolves —
  • — started talking seven years ago —
  • Nature and making art was the safest thing to do.
  • Would go away to other homes. “You know, other homes.”
  • Art is an excuse for connection. It’s a language.
  • Find a language you can speak until you’re ready to talk.
  • Our stories need to be fluid.

I could stop to go through these notes now, but if I do, I run the risk of not finishing what I’m hoping to do. That is, transfer ALL the notes. But I hear her now saying, “You know … other homes.” I do know. So many other homes. The woods, the water, anywhere but here. Meanwhile, I’m still finding a language I can speak. I still bathe myself and my spaces in blue so I can eventually find my voice and allow it to echo from every mountaintop and every valley. Until my voice is there each and every time it’s needed.

Next, there was Kallie Maughan, one of Melody Ross’ grown children and author of Where Our Petals Touch. My notes say:

  • Laugh at the pompous.
  • Now you’re free to do something else.
  • I want to know if you can stand in the center of the fire with me.
  • Love is the answer.

Actually, I don’t know if those first three were from Kallie. But they were in my notes after Orly, so I’m taking a guess and putting them here. “Love is the answer” was most certainly from Kallie because I wrote it in/on the schedule right by her picture along with the title of her book. And I just found this beautiful video of her 4-year-old daughter, Melody’s granddaughter, reading the book. LOVE the illustrations and the meaning is underscored by the sweet, clear voice that’s reading:

That was the end of the first evening, Wednesday, July 6. I could talk about the day, the evening, things I saw — but what I think I’ll do (maybe) is come back in later with photographs. Yes. That would be a good way of organizing those photos as well. But it will obviously take longer than anticipated to transfer these notes. Offering myself grace and permission to complete these notes in my own time this week.


Notes to Self

— mindfully productive —

These will still make rainbows.

What’s my intention here?

I do and I understand.

Synchronicity speaks.

I grew up a wolf. I was raised by children. — Simone du Beauvoir



I have an idea! The novelty is that it’s just One Big Idea at a time, this time. My marbles shoot out in all directions, short attention span — until a few of the marbles eventually collide and start a cohesive set of thoughts.

Notes to self: What was the origin of “Casa de Loca”? Was it specifically the etsy shop? Tie it together. Tie the stories together — via wordpress, etsy,, and so on. Line it up. Move it in the same direction. Pay attention! Focus.

Somewhere I read about prioritizing time in the studio. Just being there, showing up x hours per day.

Homework: Go back to the studio and photograph that broken family tree from Momo’s wall. Piece it together, photograph, play with wordpress design options, Focus more.

Day 2 + 3 = Here I am!

Okie dokie, so I’m behind. But I’m here! After so many hours yesterday, somewhat more motivated and cheerful when arriving today. I’ve got the two new prompts in e-mail (days 2/3, yesterday/today) and maybe I’ll go back and address those topics later. Otherwise, I’m counting it good just to be here. And NOW I’m going to test that little button that says “Add Media” — here goes —


Well, that was FUN! Time for snow cones and aimless wandering on back roads.

P.S. Another new thing — I have hit the “edit” button to go back in and add tags. Doing all the good today. Next up: Figuring out the “categories” space just under the tags.

Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World

Hello World.

I’ve been sitting here at my desk all day (seriously, it’s been over 6 hours) just drinking coffee and looking around. Now I’m hungry and really wanting to get in there and start dinner. But !!

But it’s Day Two and I haven’t posted Day One yet.

Same thing happened the first time I tried Blogging101 a year ago. Posted once and that was okay. Then I posted twice. And flipped out. Completely lost momentum. It was a simple question, but I somehow managed to channel some extremely painful stuff. Little did I know.

Showed up on Monday morning in July, all excited and ready to BEGIN. Discovered that registration had closed. So what changed between July and August? Nothing. I’m going to now chill out and enjoy the process. Already, I like the word count thing in the corner of the pane.

Deep breath and start —

Who I am and why I’m here: In a nutshell, I’m learning WordPress. I’ve used a lot of other platforms, and it seems to be the similarities that are tripping me up. Similar, but not the same. Of all the platforms I’ve used, this intuitively feels like it will do whatever I want it to do. No more bypassing templates with my own html code — this’ll work for me as well as with me. Not sure why so intimidated, but it’s sure enough time to get going on this thing.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

I keep numerous personal journals along with other blogs. Why so many journals? Because I choose what I need for the writing I’m doing. Channeling of any kind is always a real consideration, so it’s become necessary to provide context clues for myself. Then I go back through, tear it up and turn it into something new. Discovered the world of mixed media several years ago and it’s changed the way I look at my practice. I love paint. Sometimes I don’t start because I fear I’ll never stop.

This blog has been sitting here doing nothing for several years, so the idea of topics has changed frequently. It was/is an Etsy store. However, there’s been a sea change — an evolution. I still haven’t been able to attach to the name, but the original idea is somewhat the same. Topics? Well, at one point I wrote “deconstruction zones” in the tagline — I also think of the lifting or breaking of curses. It’s immense. It’s huge. I will focus and I will describe it. Later.

No thoughts as to who I might connect with. After years of online business, I realize it’s beyond even my imagination.

What does it mean to “blog successfully”? The blogging world has changed dramatically since the earliest days on Blogger. The answer for me is ORDER. In a year, I hope that I will achieved some form of order to these thoughts, this art. I will be able to focus. And if I lose myself for hours through channeling, there will be some feedback out there for the experience. And -that- gives me plenty to think about.

Hopefully, I will be back to tackle Day Two shortly.

Tagging and publishing. No looking back.

The NaMos are Coming! The NaMos are Coming!

Dear Self,
Please reread the parts about getting involved and then JUMP IN. You can do it. It’ll be fun. Don’t worry whether it’s good or bad or meaningful — You’re not trying to win a prize. You’re just learning how to blog on WordPress. Come back when you have more time and have a look at the layout for embedding permanent links. Woo hoo!!

The Blog

November is one week away, and that means NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are, too!

If you’ve been thinking about reinvigorating your blogging or are finally ready to stop procrastinating on that book you’ve always wanted to write, these two great events (and communities) can give you the jolt of motivation you need.

NaMo what now?

NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are short for “National Novel Writing Month” and “National Blog Posting Month,” respectively. In the first, writers commit to writing a 50,000-word novel between November 1 and November 30; in the second, to posting every single day in November.

310,095 participants started the month of November as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

NaNoWriMo 2013 at a Glance

Although the two events are separate, they share a history: NaBloPoMo started in response to NaNoWriMo, when a group of bloggers who lacked the time or inclination to write…

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