A little slice of life as it's happening right now...
Playing: With two boys there is always Minecraft happening in this house, and moving them off the devices to get them outside means we are either talking about Minecraft strategies or enacting Minecraft scenarios in real life, mining diamonds, slaying zombies, and crafting things like swords and armor and chests. Usually I really have no idea what the kids are talking about and I just enthusiastically play along as best I can ;) Tball has been a fun diversion for Alex and a funny introduction to team sports for the little one (and the rest of the team) who really has no clue about what's going on. It's like a mini live version of the Bad News Bears and endearingly hilarious, like when Athen cried with indignation because "he hit the ball at me!" and decidedly wants to be pitched to instead of having to use the tee - it's a steep but funny learning curve.
Listening: I've added two new podcasts to my playlist this spring, Jen Lee's Retrospective and Amy's Creative Mom Podcast. Both are rich in narrative and truth, one from the angle of "story" as an underlying theme of life and creative work, and the other digging into the complexities of balancing motherhood with the creative impulse. I've actually listened to CMP in the past but the shows aren't updated regularly, and was pleasantly surprised with a couple of recent new ones. I also plan to re-listen to an episode from last spring that I loved (called Heart rocks). Retrospective is so full and juicy and I listened to all of the past episodes indulgently and with great fervor, and thought more than once that I'd love to go back and listen again with a notebook in hand to capture all the resonant bits and pieces. There are so many there that feel so relevant and ripe in this moment.
Creating: I'm working on the production of the G&G zine, and giddy with excitement over all the goodness that the first issue will be filled with. One of the hardest parts of this project is staying on track with my own unique creative vision and trying not to be influenced or get caught in the comparison game with other publications - there are so many great ones out there, and more up and coming, and I know if I just stay true to my core ideas and voice it will more than good enough. I also just bought a mixed media art journal, my first official one, and I'm excited to dig in and start filling the sturdy pages with color and words. I've only ever used pieces of paper here and journals and notebooks there, so I thought it was time to have one place to capture this work. It is also helping me towards some layout ideas for the zine and a possible next project idea that is brewing.
Working: I am beginning the processes of building a simple but cohesive brand portfolio starting with postcards and packaging. I've also been looking around for opportunities to show and sell my work as well as possibly teach. I am being really selective and careful initially, as it's really important to me that these venues to really speak to me and the tenor of my work, while looking into a variety of things to experiment with and experience. There are several opportunities I have in mind, and I'll keep you posted as these come together! As far as outside employment, I am still looking for the right complimentary job and have realized that I'd like to do something that I don't usually do on a daily basis, like PR and business admin. Ideally, I'm looking for a different creative outlet, an interesting and people oriented position that ultimately is something that adds stability and interest without piling on more complexity and work overflow into my already full life since I definitely plan to keep holding space for my own creative pursuits. Fingers are crossed that I'll eventually find the right balance.
Connecting: I'm excited to be connecting and collaborating with some really amazing women this summer, some for the zine project (I'll be announcing contributors soon!) and others for ecourses and other writing projects, as well as immersing myself in the local art scene. I also have decided to host a few fun and informal creative gatherings here on the island to help build local creative ties and make space for face-to-face time, that is not business related, and so important. I'm deciding between a few retreats for the coming year (finally put myself on the waiting list for Brave Girl Camp!), also a creative practice that I am hoping to make a habit as that immersion nurtures my creative spirit in a way that nothing else does.
Exploring: The local farms have opened and market season is in full swing, and there are several (some new) that I am hoping to wander through like the Dover Art Market, SOWA and their new market in Salem in the fall. I'm still searching for a vintage Polaroid to play with and will be popping into antique shops and fleas as well. As a family, we plan to do more geocaching and my oldest wants to do some castle exploration this summer too, and the fishing trips have already begun (which for me translates into sitting in a grassy spot in the sun with my camera and a book). We also hope to make it out to Peaks Island, and our usual summer haunts along seaside boardwalks and beaches.
Celebrating: It seems most of our family members were born in the spring and summer months (including all 3 of my boys in June, July and August - I can hardly keep up!), and with the many holidays, cookouts and gatherings planned as well it seems every weekend is filled with some kind of get-together amidst birthday candles, fireworks or celebratory fanfare and I'm at the post office mailing happy packages to far away family. A niece will be also born next month (yet another spring birthday!), and a seaside family reunion of sorts will be happening soon as well.
This wishful life is abundant and good <3