Week 7 the Artists Way – Recovering a Sense of Connection (Inner Child)

Welcome to Week 7 of the Artists Way with myself and Christine!

How many days this week did you do your morning pages? Have you allowed yourself to daydream a few creative risks? Are you coddling your artist child with childhood loves? This week I did my morning pages every day. It’s not always easy, and I don’t always do them right when I wake up. Sometimes, I can’t get them done until I’ve checked off a few other items on the to do list… kind of the opposite of what Cameron wants of us, but I have to also do what works for not just my creative brain, but my anxious, depressed brain. As for “allowing myself to daydream a few creative risks,” um… idk? I live in a constant state of daydream. I’m a writer, for chrissakes. But I am continuing to take the same creative risk I’ve been taking since the start of this program – sharing my work with someone… It feels so vulnerable yet right, and I trust them with my soul.

Did you do your artists date this week? Did you use it to take any risks? What did you do? How did it feel? Artist dates are very hard for me, namely the part where you leave the house. I can set time aside to play, but leaving is very hard for me, This week on my days off, I am going to give in and stay home… Next week is a long week for me, a 6 day work week starting with a clopen and I will be training the entire week… it’s also the week my ovaries will be having a freakout, and I am already feeling the pre-symptoms of that… so I am going to stay here this week and relax and do one of my FAVORITE winding down activities: watching art journaling videos on youtube and decorating the pages of my own journal. So no risks, but exactly what I need.

Did you experience any synchronicity this week? I hate that this is a question every week now. Thank U, Next.

Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your creative recovery? Holy shit, yes. I am grappling with a lot right now, worrying about choices I’ve made in my life, choices I will make in my life, wanting to slap my old self, but having compassion for her as doing what she had to do to survive… I don’t come from money, I don’t come from people who could give me all of these opportunities.. I don’t believe in the bootstraps mentality…but the older I get the more I wish I could go back in time and talk to my younger self. I am an adult and I feel like a lost little kid… but the details are for the morning pages, not here.

I DID connect with my inner child (? teen?) this week. I watched Beetlejuice. I wrote down two novel ideas to work on when I’m done with novel 1. I listened to Alexz Johnson’s amazing music. If you haven’t heard of her, or only know her through Instant Star, please do yourself a favor and look her up wherever you listen to music!

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Jenny Slate is a Little Weird

Jenny Slate drifted in and out of my consciousness for a few years before I really started to fall in love. I think it was Marcel the Shell with Shoes On at first, then came the video of Jenny on drunk history… I read her instagram captions, and look at her pictures and think, what a wonderful, silly, warm, lovely, probably-a-great-hugger lady.

Now, with this Little Weirds, I have fallen deeper and deeper into wanting to be her best friend. You know when you’re writing when you’re high or sleepy and you just kind of blurt out on the page and it’s brilliant and silly and wistful and honest? That’s the voice of this book. It Made me feel all the feels, taught me about being an adult in a weird way… because as much as she might sometimes come across like she thinks she doesn’t have it figured out… she has something figured out, and that’s more than me. J-Slate: A role model. If you’re a Jenny Slate fan you will LOVE this book that reads like a warm cup of tea and a conversation with Jenny. She wrote an insightful, introspective, and ~weird~ book.
“I look up to you because I love the heavenly bodies of the universe and the way I see it, your heart is a planet… Your heart is a planet. I can see that you are from the sky.”
The above quote is subject to change. I received a digital arc as a perk of my job as a bookseller, but all opinions are my own, especially about how amazing Jenny is. PLEASE BUY THIS BOOK!

Week Six – Abundance

Hello Flappers, Greetings Philosophers,

Welcome to Week Six of the Artist’s Way with Christine & myself.

Let’s dive in.

How many days did you do your morning pages?

Almost every day – this is the first week I’ve missed a day of morning pages and I was quite salty about it. But I think part of the program is celebrating your wins and forgiving yourself for your losses. So I forgive myself for missing one day, and acknowledge that I have been hitting my morning pages goal since even before we officially started this. One missed day is not a disaster that will unravel months of positive momentum.

Did you do your artist date this week?

I did – with a twist. I went with a friend to see ARIANA GRANDE! Concerts are so rejuvenating for me! And at this show, my mind wandered the least it ever has during a concert. I enjoyed every moment, stayed in the moment, and just felt in sync with the universe and with myself. This leads me to synchronicity – (Did you experience synchronicity this week?)

Synchronicity is people of all ages and colors dressed in their finest Ari attire and costumes chanting just keep breathin and breathin and breathin. I cannot describe the elation I felt.

I keep having realizations and revelations in life as well that are carrying me through this wave of self discovery. I am loving myself for who I am and for once focusing on expanding and vibing with myself rather than working against myself trying to destroy and change who I am.

Lastly, over the last few weeks, I’ve heard the most customer requests for AW I’ve ever heard at work.

Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery?

I have not had many ‘issues’ this week. It’s money week and money is usually ugh for me to talk about. But i am feeling abundance. I am feeling privilege. Privilege that even though I worry about money every day, even though my account’s low number makes me uncomfortable, and we have no safety net – even if it was a big stretch for me, the fact that i could afford the privilege of that concert was a big deal and that it was PRIVILEGE. I also was able to get my eyes checked recently. I have insurance but ended up paying out of pocket. Luckily, I don’t need a new pair of glasses. But I was able to feel the gratitude in that even though it would be tight, I could take care of that for myself, or with help from my partner. I don’t yet feel safe financially, but I am starting to feel like I will go up from here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to watch youtube videos about budgeting and manifesting.

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

I read Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls in a fever rush a few weeks ago. I don’t like to comment a lot about “plot” in memoirs because it’s someone’s real life, so I will keep this short and sweet.

I fell in love with T Kira Madden’s writing style right away – nay, I was shocked senseless. OH MY GOD the woman can write. And being the same age, the references to the nineties and two-thousands were spot on, like a time capsule.

I thought the ending of the memoir was both surprising and completely natural… the door has been left ajar for another memoir, but there is also a lot of closure. And I loved when she began including pictures in the book.

I recommend this book for the solid writing, the compelling story, and the voice of the author.

“No one can hurt you the way a mother can. No one can love you the way a mother can.”

Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky 5/16/19

When I heard that Marcy Dermansky had a new book coming out this year, I almost jumped for joy. I have loved Dermansky ever since I read Bad Marie, which changed my reading and writing life for the better. I reviewed Dermansky’s last novel, The Red Car, in December of 2016 if you’d like to read it.

Very Nice sprung out of a short story that Dermansky did for the ill-fated Lenny Letter. I am not sure if the short story was part of an earlier draft of the novel or if the story came first, but while all of the seeds are there, it is just a small taste of the novel.

Very Nice is a spectacular book that has taken the crown as my favorite Dermansky offering. She wrote a novel with multiple fully fleshed out characters/narrators who were all connected to each other in some way. Not at the climax, but for the whole thing; it reminded me of the song Full Circle by No Doubt. And you would think that the book had too many narrators (Khloe was my favorite and I’d read a whole book about her), but it all makes sense.

My favorite line of the book was the last line. Pardon the pun, but it was loaded. It was a surprising ending to a story that caught me unaware at every turn. Dermansky was already a brilliant writer, but she has really taken it to a new level of talent and absurdity here. I have read all of her books. Very Nice is my new favorite and by far the best one in her oeuvre. The only negative is that now I have to wait another few years for another.

 

I received a digital advanced review copy courtesy of the publisher via my job as a bookseller, but all opinions are my own!

Week 5 of the Artist’s Way

Welcome to week 5 of the Artist’s Way with me and Christine, Recovering a Sense of Possibility. I sure did!

How many days did you do your morning pages?

I am proud to say I did morning pages every day, I think this is my longest ever streak. So far is been over 35 days. I’ve been writing a lot in general over the past few days, and decided to start keeping track of my word count on non-morning page stuff, so I can prove to the self-doubter inside me that I work as hard as I play.

Did you do your artist date this week?

As of the writing of this post, I am leaving soon for my artist’s date. I am going to walk 40 minutes to the good Goodwill. I plan to listen to new music (shout out to Marina’s Love+Fear album! And P!nk’s Hurts 2 Be Human. 

Did you experience synchronicity this week?

Yes. A lot that has been weighing on me/life got resolved this week. My friend passed her bar exam!, I got what I’ve been asking and praying for at work, I’ve started writing the second draft of my novel, and I’ve been invited some cool places. Thanks to the work thing, wedding planning will be easier. I am all around a happy gal right now. It feels great to have some weight lifted off my shoulders. But I am also finding out about myself and admitting things to myself. I am having memories. I am confronting things on the page. No wonder I can’t sleep…

Queenie

I love love LOVED Queenie by Candice Carty Williams. Starting off a book with a gynecological visit is – pardon the gross joke – right up my alley.

I first encountered this book on the ARC shelf at work and grabbed it right away. I was caught by the bright orange cover, and I loved the intricate design of braids and baby hairs. The inside of the book was just as beautiful as the cover. I feel that Queenie was misunderstood by some, based off of the reviews I saw. Although a lot of people loved the book, I saw quite a few blame Queenie for “poor choices.” I felt that regardless of the choices she made, a lot of these ‘mistakes’ still would have happened to her.

I personally viewed this story about being about the double + isms Black women face. It touched upon race and sexual violence in every chapter, as well as mental health. Queenie talked about Black Lives Matter and the fight against racism in the US and the UK. Queenie the character is active on tumblr and fights throughout the book to use her voice at the paper she works at to talk about these issues.

And lastly, though this is a very personal note, Queenie helped me process a situation that happened to me in the past, and I thought the candid discussion  of sexual violence was necessary indeed.