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.
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.
You’re one of my favorite months. You’d be my favorite but you’re gone too fast. That’s why November beats you, because I still have you to look forward to when it’s only November.
I love the cold. Cheeks red from it. Cuddles to get warm. Coffee and cider to fight the chill. Kitties warming my lap, fuzzy socks, blankets made by people I love.
I love how people want to be nice. They want to give, to remember those who don’t have enough and make sure they do. We call and visit our family and friends. We even send them real-life, actual post-office-delivered mail!
So much to be thankful for. So very much.
You guys. For supporting an artist. For saying, yes, art does have value! For supporting me.
I have such beautiful people in my life. My family. My friends. Seriously amazing friends.
I have basic necessities that so often get taken for granted. And I have so much more.
I’m a creator. Not everyone gets to be one. Not everyone wants to, haha! But I’m so glad I do on both counts.
Thank you, Lord. For blessing me. For your faithfulness. For loving me, even when I don’t love myself. For renewing my dreams and nourishing my soul. For being everything you promised you would be.
Today I choose to think about wishes and hope. About compassion and understanding. Faith and believing in a beautiful tomorrow. I choose to think about ways to serve, ways to care, ways to love. Empathy and grace. And never having to wish for more wishes.
She loved maple nut goodies. And French Burnt Peanuts, too. Dime store candies that are easy to find and never melt on road trips.
So many road trips we took. Visiting family, going on camping trip vacations, and sometimes, just driving. Those were my favorites. And when the candies would most often come out.
I don’t know what kind of magic spell she cast on that purse but there was always something sweet to be found in one of the corners. After we ate cheese and crackers from the mini cooler that often sat on the backseat between my brother and me, we’d eat those little candies and play the license plate game, or the find-the-alphabet-on-the-billboards game, or I Spy.