I am a writer, artist, and mother pursing the Creative Life. I spend my days in the Santa Cruz Mountains homeschooling my two kids, knitting, spinning, drawing, writing and dreaming of owning my own homestead someday.
I can’t remember the first journal I used. It may have been in second or third grade. All I know is once I started, I have never been without one. There have been breaks in my writing, but putting pen to paper is one of the things I do. When the words pounding away in my head get to be too much, I can come here and spill them out onto the page.
I’ve had cheap composition notebooks, fancy hand stitched leather beauties, Moleskines, glittery diaries with a unicorn on the cover and a key to keep my ten year old secrets locked up tight.
Lately, starting my day writing instead of checking Instagram has proved centering. The method is Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages if you want to look it up, but it’s been around for a long time. I had gotten away from journaling first thing in the morning to get sucked up into the internet and see what other people were doing with their mornings.
Now, I don’t think I could start my mornings without my journal, a pen, and a cup of coffee.
Many times, it’s not even what I write.
It’s the act of writing.
The feel of the pen in my hand.
The way the ink stains the smooth surface of the page.
Creativity to me is a life style need. I don’t think of it as a choice. I’ve lived through short periods of time in my life where I did not create, and the maelstrom of depression which accompanied those times were scary.
I never want to live through those times again.
Then, three years ago I watched as one of my own children started to spiral into a self-loathing no seven year-old should have to go through.
He was struggling in school and it was bleeding over into everything else he did. His teachers and specialists as the school tried to figure out what was wrong. I sincerely believed they did try to help. But nothing seemed to help. He struggled and tried. Homework each night was a cycle of tears, anger, and anxiety. He began to hate school, and I began to hate sending him.
At home he was hesitant to do things, especially anything new. He assumed he would fail. My happy little boy was being replaced by an angry one.
Then, we moved to California.
I had always wanted to try homeschooling. My husband and I read the works of John Taylor Gotto, John Holt, and Rahima Baldwin. We even did it for about a month and a half during the move from Georgia to South Dakota. But never fully. We never fully committed to making a real go at it.
In researching neighborhoods and schools prior to the move to California (mid-school year mind you) we realized that California homeschooling laws and the resources available to us in the South Bay Area made this an ideal chance to give it a shot.
So we did.
I wish I could tell you it was all rainbows and moonbeams, but no. We’ve had a lot of deschooling and trail and error to go through before we found our stride. We chose to unschool and follow our own path since my son was already “behind.” Now I know he was just not developmentally ready for some of the things the schools were trying to make him do. He just needed time. My daughter has thrived with homeschool. She was already doing advanced courses before we left Florida, now she gets to really dig into what she wants to learn.
Unschooling can mean different families, even to different kids within the same family. Indeed, that has been the case with my kids. But I am so glad we made the decision. I wish now we had made it earlier. My son still struggles with a lot of self-doubt and anxiety in new situations, but he had learned he is capable and he has learned to love learning again.
Disclaimer: I firmly believe childrearing and whether or not to homeschool is a decision best left up to each individual family. I wanted to share my reasons here for why we chose to homeschool. Please be respectful of our decision. I do welcome any respectful questions or discussions.
So, one of the souvenirs I brought back from the cruise is a sprained wrist. I’ve had sprains before, but this one has proven to be painful in more than one way.
It is a bad sprain. Probably aggravated from what it was originally by the fact that I did not get it in a brace until I got off the cruise ship.
But what is really hurting is the way this sprain has thrown a wrench into my writing. It hurts to type. These blog posts are just about the limit of what I can do with it, and I am scared to push it much more because I want it to heal fast.
The novel I started in November is still waiting for me to finish it. My plan had been to come back from my vacation and use January to complete the first draft. Just do a single-participant NaNo.
You know what they say about the best laid plans.
I know I can still write it out longhand, but the times I have tried have felt…awkward.
The flow just isn’t there.
I started the draft in Scrivener, and I enjoyed the software enough to buy the full version (with my NaNo winner discount!) I am hoping to be able to get back into it in February. I am not really able to dictate my writing. My hands are my best tools for storytelling.
My plan had been to do 1,500 words daily for January, but now I’m thinking I may need to throttle it back to 750 words in the first week of February and see how that goes.
…there was a very lucky nine year old girl (the one behind her sister) who travelled to distant lands and saw wondrous sights and wondered if she could one day grow up and go back to those distant lands to study the history of these ancient people.
Unfortunately, she was told to turn her attention away from such silly thoughts.
She was told that all that could be found was found.
She was told all that could be known was known.
She was told, it was foolish.
And so, she turned away from these foolish thoughts and silly dreams.
Decades later she watched documentary after documentary showing the new discoveries being made of those ancient people she had longed to study. This made the young woman she had grown up to be very sad, and so she vowed to listen to no one else about how and what to do with her dreams. Eventually, she met a man who felt the same way and encouraged her to follow her dreams, no matter how silly they may seem to others.
She never went back to that distant land, but she is living happily (ever after.)
Trying to come up with a topic every day for this uncategorized blog is not coming easily. For years I have read blogs from artists or homeschooling moms, baby blogs and CrossFit ones. I love having an insight into people’s everyday lives. It is one of the reasons I wanted to do this blog.
But there also seems to be this tremendous pressure to monetize blogs and make them look super curated and artistic.
I’m not sure that is me.
I just want to share a little bit about myself, and make connections with readers and bloggers.
My life is not super fancy. I don’t have a gorgeously decorated home. I live in a tiny 800 square foot cottage in the mountains. I’m a true homebody unless I’m traveling somewhere. I love to craft, but I’m not a guru in any one discipline. Probably because I love to do all the things, so I never get really good at any one thing. Hell, I’m a beginner or dabbler in almost all of the things I do.
I can guarantee anyone who comes here will mostly see ramblings about my day and photos when I remember to take them. They will see me write about fears and insecurities (a lot). They will read about my attempts to make art, both in writing and through textile and visual means.
And they will see me document the life I want to make for myself.
I am embarking on a journey into the Creative Life.
It is a world I have watched, standing outside in the cold, with my nose pressed against the glass, and longing for the warmth within. I would tell myself that was for other people, people who were “good at it.” Even as I tell my kids that they have to start and make mistakes before they could develop the skills they wanted, I never let myself hear my own advice.
It has only taken forty-two years to give myself permission to live that creativity.