She loved the things I made.
It didn’t matter what it was. Macaroni glued to a paper plate. A play my brother and I performed for her and Dad. A painting. An outfit. A song.
She’s why I keep making, keep creating. Because she told me the world needs to hear what I have to say.
She’s the only one to have ever read the first half of my unfinished and decidedly terrible first novel. The only one to lament my never finishing it.
Many years, countless creations, and three novels later, I have something new to give her. A story. And a song.
A story that feels as though it were harvested from my own body, untangled from my sinew and cut away from my bone.
So, here is the beginning. The first chapter of 13. It’s written and ready. All that’s left is for me to speak it into being.
For you, Mama.
Clashwood Ep 1
This is the first draft of the narration track to my upcoming podcast. Feel free to subscribe if you’d like to stay in the know.
I’ve been working hard for several weeks, just trying to get up my nerve. I started this new project and, while it’s not the project itself that has me second-guessing myself, it’s the name of it.
If you’ve read through my blog, you know I like to make things. All the things. All. The. Things. I’m interested in fine arts like drawing and painting, writing, photography, music–specifically composition and vocals, cooking, crafting, gardening, yarn art, and on and on and on. I have this curious mind that just won’t stop until I’ve tried my hand at making all the things.
Well last year, I decided I needed to focus this blog on my writing (it’s my greatest dream to be a writer full time) and move all the other projects to a new place. I wanted to do it this way because there is so much here that is personal, so many thoughts and memories that I’ve typed into this particular space while batting away tears or laughing out loud. They’re all home here. I can’t imagine writing all of that into a new space. Somehow (yup, I’m probably just crazy), I just don’t think it’d be the same.
I used to not think too much of cacti. They can seem so off-putting and well…prickly.
But now, I think of them as these beautiful miracles that survive the harshest of conditions. Not only survive but thrive–flower even! Seems there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
I’ve been working on a few little illustrations (I always forget how much I love sketching until I get back into it!) and thought I’d give you a sneak peek. The finished color illustrations will be–oh no, hold on. I’m gonna make you wait until next week’s announcement for that. 😉 Come back next Saturday!
The pencil sketches:
And all inked in, ready for color:
She loved Christmas Eve. Christmas was always so much fun, so lovely, but Christmas Eve was extra special, magical in a way that only the holiest of nights can be.
Most of the day on Christmas Eve was spent finishing up in the kitchen on all those handmade goodies–cookies, candies, gingerbread, and hot cocoa mix– before we delivered baskets of them to neighbors and friends in the afternoon. Then the four of us, Mom, Dad, my brother, and I, would gather at home.
Christmas trees are my thing. My thang, y’all! I’ve had some favorites over the years, my Scandinavian tree, the Woodland theme that got featured on RealSimple.com, and last year’s cheery Vintage Tinsel tree.
This year I went a different way. And it has a lot of meaning to me. Every bit telling my story.
Little white birds floating somewhere between heaven and earth. Free. Resting in the fact they’re taken care of.
Red berries and bare winter branches.
Tiny white lights and tiny silver ornaments that reflect that light.
Mexican wedding cookies, also known as Russian Teacakes, also known as You Can Eat the Whole Plate Before You Realize it Cookies. They’re like shortbread biscuits rolled in fluffy sugar. And of course in my recipe, I throw a little extra Christmas inside.
I love making presents. Even if I’m giving a gift that I’ve purchased, I almost always give something handmade, as well. It’s just that little extra “I love you” that makes giving so special. If you need an idea for something you can make, this tassel necklace is inspired by one I saw from Anthropologie a few years ago and is super easy.
To make it, gather your supplies: embroidery thread or fine yarn in the color(s) you like, some cardboard pieces about the size you want your tassels to be, chain, jump rings, scissors, and small pliers.