We all have a playlist, the one that works perfect for whatever it is you are doing, or how you are feeling. Bad day at work? Make it loud and angry. Heartsick? Make it soulful and melodious. Working with a Bebe? Make it Disney tunes. In the car alone? Songs you sing bloody loud and think you sound A-MA-ZING!
I am a huge SPOTIFY fan, so I thought I would share my playlists with you!
Morning All! Today is World Wildlife day, so make sure you check out the videos & messages posted by UN World Wildlife Day AND your local flora and fauna protection agencies.
About World Wildlife Day 2017
The UN World Wildlife Day (WWD) is the global celebration of the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants on our planet as well as an occasion to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to both wildlife and people and the plight of many threatened or endangered species. World Wildlife Day is celebrated annually on 3rd March, the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Listen to the Young Voices’, with a focus on connecting young people around the world to explore what wildlife conservation and protection mean to them and instil a responsibility in them to take action for the future of both wild animals and plants.
2016 was a weird year. It was full of ups and downs, creative blocks and breakthroughs, of learning all new mindsets, both in my work and personal life, and it definitely ended with a bang! As some of you know, I had a baby, born January 1st. The ultimate new year’s gift!! Definitely a new beginning, wouldn’t you say?
2017 is going to be about patience and growth. Honestly, my new year’s resolution is more of an evolution.
With all these changes, I decided to update my website and blog to more accurately reflect what I enjoy: writing advice, short stories, poetry and books. More about the creative lifestyle while also caring for a baby. More learning about nature, the environment and hiking (once again, with a baby).
Unfortunately, my posts will probably remain sporadic as I only have a couple hours of work time with a new baby, but I hope to maybe pick a day that works best for posting, then maybe just auto-post that day. I’m still working out the bugs.
I have a couple ideas ready for future posts, and, also, will update the writing tips post and the book list post. Maybe get the courage to post some of my short stories…..
Alright, well lets move it along then! I need to get back to writing a poem/short story for my writing group!
I usually link all my art to nature. I do landscape & travel photography, both my books have strong ties to mother nature, and it’s where I go to get most my ideas or clear my head. Its my muse and sanctuary. But, since becoming pregnant and developing symphysis pubis dysfunction (terrible name, I know), which is just lots of pain in the hips, back and legs, I haven’t been able to do much hiking. Or walking.
It began to feel like I was having a creative block, no great ideas coming in, and not much going out. The loss of having adventures hiking to the mountain top, around desolate lakes, in dark, ethereal pine woods, made my mind become dull. Pregnancy can be tough enough without your work, your passion, weighing down on you as well. Until I began reading Twyla Tharps The Creative Habit. She labels these times where your “creativity fails you” as ruts, “when you ‘re spinning your wheels and staying in place”, because that is literally what it felt like to me, both mentally and physically!
Before, I was driving my sports car, laughing madly, creating art as I cruised along. I was driving like Cruella and…. I hit the ditch. Now I’m stuck, because old rear wheeled sports cars don’t come out of deep, slick mud easily.
I was so stuck.
I may have also begun to feel a little sorry for myself, considering nature was the setting and an important theme in my books, AND in my LANDSCAPE photography LOL! UGGG! I was just so creatively depressed. I am sure many can relate with that sense of staring at the black page/canvas/etc.
I knew I had to switch gears. Twyla Tharp’s book made me see a little clearer. She writes,
“A rut can be the end product of bad timing. For some reason you are out of sync with the world. You can have the brightest vision with the most mind-blowing idea, but if the world isn’t ready for it you can spin your wheels for years”.
It was like a an epiphany, I was trying to finish my fantasy book (soooo close to being done!!) and prepping a second book that I planned to use for NaNoWriMo, both of which were closely tied to nature, but I couldn’t go and gather more ideas, more feelings, more information without the stark reminder that I was house bound. These books were just not a reflection of me in this time period.
Another section in The Creative Habit is about having an organizational system for your projects. At the beginning of every endeavor, she opens a box.
“I start every dance with a box. I write the project name on the box, and as the piece progresses I fill it up with every item that went into the making of the dance. This means notebooks, news clippings, CD’s videotapes of me working alone in my studio, videos of the dancer rehearsing, books and photographs and pieces of art that may have inspired me.”
What a fantastic idea. So I copied it. I put works in progress for my photography in folders, labeled clearly, saved for another day on my hard drive. I bought simple folders and moved my two books into them and filed them on my shelf. I know where they are, they aren’t just hidden away, lost causes from another life, but just put on hold. Still visible and within easy reach should I want them. Then I moved on.
And a funny thing happened. I started seeing beauty in simple objects. I wandered around my garden. I used different filters and styles to create photographs. And, slowly, I began creating OTHER things.
I’m finding ideas in the city now, instead of just nature. I take myself out for lunch more often and people watch. On weekends I go sit at my favorite coffee shop and daydream, write, and, again, people watch. I even take my writing with me when I go to the Doctors,
which, wow, can you EVER eavesdrop. Nurses gossiping, people running into friends (or frenemies), drug rep’s sales pitches, couples whisper fighting. Its brilliant. I NEVER would do things like that before, and I feel like It has opened up a whole new world of dialogue, insight, ideas and understanding for my art. I even go for car rides with my husband when he’s got running around to do, just to sit and listen to music, enjoy the drive, relax, LOL! (And, yes, the dog comes too, because us cooped-up free spirits need outings when we can take ’em!)
I even have a new book idea for NaNoWriMo, an urban fantasy/murder mystery ghost story. Its still developing, so I’m sure I won’t make the 50,000 words for November, but, really, its all about the spirit of forcing yourself to write daily. To rally yourself for a creative endeavor, where at the end you can congratulate yourself for at least trying, having fun, joining a community and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
I headed out to Squamish, BC a while back for the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference. I was really looking forward to this event since I am trying to learn more about marketing for my art business, but also for my day job, were I run all the social media. Another reason I was so excited was that I had never been to Squamish before, and I was pumped to check it out. I was advised to drive down the long way from Kamloops, via highway 99 and that was the best advice I could have gotten for this trip! What a stunning drive!
The CIMC was really interesting, and the speakers were such great sources of information. My favorites were Christina Crook (Joy of Missing Out) and Vicki McLeod (Main Street Communications), Katie Schaeffers (brand.LIVE), The panel on Influencer Marketing and Kristin Auger (Salesforce). All their insights were fantastic and I felt like I definitely came away with a different mindset regarding my work. And, I am definitely going out to buy The Joy of Missing Out. The venue was at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park and it looks like they are going to have it there again next year.
View from my room
The stunning view from my breakfast spot in the hotel
The conference had special rates going for certain hotels and I stayed at the Executive Suites and I would HIGHLY recommend them, what great service all around, from the front desk to the restaurant servers. They had so many stories and information/advice on Squamish. I travel a lot, and nothing is better than when people are passionate about where they live or actually care about giving great service and showing the tourists around town, etc. It makes the stay so much better, as I am sure all of you can agree.
Since I was there for the conference, I didn’t get out for a major hike, but I did go out to the spit, and rode the gondola before I drove home.
I cannot wait to head back to Squamish one day and do all the hikes out there!!