Category Archives: blog

Amazon bestseller!?

Fun news alert! My book, “Wear Gratitude (Like A Sweater)” was #99 out of 100 on Amazon’s bestseller NATURE POETRY section! Woot! See photo below. 

And for those of you who missed it, a dear friend came across a Nonfiction Best Seller’s List at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT last year and my book, “Wear Gratitude Like A Sweater” was listed at No. 12! Wow! What an honor for my book to have hit bestseller status and share shelf space with one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Kolbert and her book “The Sixth Extinction” as well as Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”. After a bit of a scramble (What!!? My book was on a bestseller list!?) we discovered that the list was compiled by IndieBound an organization focused on collaborating with independently owned bookstores to promote newly discovered writers. Thanks IndieBound!

A big thank you to my publisher Rock Point Publishing and Quarto Gifts and my amazing editor.  

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Love wins.

YES. The last words spoken by Justice Kennedy in today’s historic ruling are moving and worth sharing:
 
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The constitution grants them that right.”
 
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HANA’S TATTOO

It isn’t often one can say something they made has been cataloged on another person’s skin (and not just any person, but the dearest of friends). Check out the beautiful handiwork of Noel’le Longhaul in conjunction with one of my images from the 365 days of gratitude project. Some of those images became cards, some became pages in the book, and some were part of the 2014 calendar, but this particular image was featured in all three! So here’s to Saint Francis de Sales; may we find the nourishment we need all around us this spring, and may we bloom right where we are planted in this moment! 

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BE YOURSELF.

Wise encouragement from 19th Century Irish poet and author Oscar Wilde. It’s a welcome reflection: BE YOURSELF. And as Wilde points to, with humor, who else could you possibly be? I once told a friend that there are many days I feel exhausted being ME. She responded with her steady wisdom, saying, “It sounds like you’re exhausted resisting who you are.” Yes. That’s it. I am often amazed at how much mental energy (thoughts, moods, emotions) go into comparing myself to others, falling short over and over again and solidifying the belief that I am not OK exactly as I am. If I could let go of this belief, BEING MYSELF would feel easy—-like lying back on the grass and yielding to something natural, familiar, safe; like being carried by the wind or the beauty of others, but feeling clear that my basket, my carrier, is a place where I can just be ME. 

TOGETHERNESS.

Post-valentine’s day wisdom for all kinds of togetherness…(even me with me). Grateful for the ever-wise, kind, observations of 13th Century poet Rumi* (CORRECTION: this is actually a Khalil Gibran quote. He was a 20th Century Lebanese poet, writer + artist. Also a wise, kind observer. My apologies!). 

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The value of taking a break.

In the creative process, and in all kinds of work, we often overlook the importance of taking a break. This week, Aaron Becker, a local illustrator from the Pioneer Valley (who has relocated to Grenada, Spain for the year….) and winner of the 2014 Caldecott Honor Picture Book for his magical book Journey, wrote eloquently and honestly about reaching a momentary creative limit and the importance of finally take a break—maybe for just a few days or a week, but a break nonetheless.

In my experience, hitting a limit (thoughtfully, and with awareness…) can be as inspiring to our work (and the longevity of our creative life….) as finding those ‘terrific stories’ and ‘lovely brush strokes’ he writes about in his blog. Each time I take a break in the midst of working, especially when it’s a bit earlier than I think I need one, I’m always amazed at how refreshed and resilient my mind feels when I return to working.

 

Heather Maloney + 2015 calendars in the house!

Yep, it’s Heather Maloney in the house again! She’s running a KICKSTARTER campaign this month to raise funds for her next album and I’ve just donated FIVE 2015 calendars to her campaign rewards! For $55 dollars, you’ll get the NEW as-yet-unrecorded album (indie music at it’s poetic, mesmerizing best!) signed by Heather AND one of my 2015 calendars, signed by me! Woot! Heather is straight up A-MAY-zing. Check her music out HERE if you haven’t discovered her yet. Thanks for supporting local, home-grown art + music, folks. We can’t do it without you. 

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OnTrend first annual craft fair, Hadley, MA

Look who stopped by my booth at OnTrend Craft Fair this weekend! Miss Heather Maloney! Thanks to all old friends and new who came out and said hello! Special shout out to some of the lovely makers I enjoyed meeting: Gemma Farrell Ceramics, Pressbound, Sarah K Benning, Zoe Tilley Poster and Freckle Paper ‪#‎ontrend ‬‪#‎local‬ ‪#‎craftfair‬ #pressbound #sarahkbenning 

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amanda blake: this is all i know

Kicking off my newly named ART + WORDS life and studio blog with the work of Amanda Blake, an artist based in Madison, WI. She paints portraits of people experiencing moments in time, alone and together, in nature or empty spaces. Her color use is what draws me most. All kinds of pink and blue and dark blue and green. She weaves flowers, patterns, stripes, and polka-dots into her figures, their clothes and the landscapes they inhabit (which are full of birds and blooms and wide, starry nights). There is something slow and quiet in these pieces, too. A sense of space. Her prints and original work are for sale in her Etsy shop: this is all i know. 

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