Entries Tagged as: winter

Mother Holle, Guest Post by Joel Le Blanc

February 8th, 2012, Comments (9)

Mother Holle

Sometimes it is really difficult to remember what ever bewitched me to begin on the creative road. Most people who attempt to turn their creative pursuits into their career know the feeling -- when maximum effort yields minimum rewards, and the numbers just don't ever seem to add up to more than a handful of small beans.

It's at these junctures that I slow down my troubled mind and return to the things that move and inspire me and make my spirit dance. Ever since childhood, that thing for me has been fairy-tales. Stories of myth and magic and dark forests and witches. Like a bramble of blackberries, fairy-tales wrap their way around my heart and mind, thorns and all, and perform the most important task -- they remind me about the things I care about.

One such story that has recently helped to inspire me to keeping going on my creative endeavors is the Grimm's brothers story of  "Mother Holle." This is a lesser known fairy-tale, but it is based on ancient Germanic folklore about a crone goddess known as Hulda -- a sort of patron spirit of children, the art of weaving, and the seasons.

In the Mother Holle story, we are introduced to a woman with one daughter and one step-daughter. As fairy-tale fate would have it, the daughter is lazy and selfish while the step daughter is hard working and kind. After a brief but painful encounter with a sharp spindle, the industrious step-daughter falls down a well by accident and finds herself in a strange meadow she does not recognize. While exploring the meadow she encounters a talking loaf of bread and a talking tree, and completes tasks for them both.

Lastly, she encounters a old house and an old woman with large, fearsome teeth. This is Mother Holle. The old woman puts the girl to work in her house -- but unlike many other stories of witches, this old woman treats the girl kindly, feeds her well, and asks the girl to shake out the feathers from her blanket each day. Whenever the feathers from the blanket are shaken out onto the breeze, it snows in the real world.

Finally the girl requests to go home, and Mother Holle guides her back -- but not before rewarding the girl's industrious efforts with piles of gold.

After the girl returns to her family, her step-mother sends the step-sister down the well to repeat the adventure, hoping to get even more money from Mother Holle. However, the lazy daughter is idle once she arrives, and refuses to do many of the tasks given to her by Mother Holle. In return, Mother Holle covers the girl with black soot and sends her back home.

Often stories and books come to me when I need them most; speaking in silent whispers, "Open and read me!" when there is something relevant in the pages within. That is what happened with the Mother Holle story just recently.

For the first time I am realizing, this story is more than just a moralistic tale about working hard. It's about being authentic and honest about who you are, and what are your reasons for doing what you do. Sometimes work is difficult. Sometimes being a creative professional is hard. Sometimes it really does feel like you are shaking out the feathers of a freaking heavy blanket.

But if I am just being a creative person (a writer and a poet and sometimes painter), for the money, then maybe my motivation is too shallow to carry me through the bad times. If I am writing and making art just because I love to write and make art, I will continue to do just that -- and whatever financial rewards come to me will be a wonderful and welcomed bonus; the icing on the cake to a flavorful and happy life.

And if I am steadfast and hardworking and honest with myself each step of the way, who knows what small beans might turn into?


1. Surlalune Fairytales; Frau Holle (Mother Holle) A German Tale; 2003

Joel Le Blanc is a freelance writer, poet and medical herbalist. He has published articles on health, alternative medicine, literature, art and food, and is currently completing a BA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Canterbury. Joel runs a blog for creative people wanting to learn more about natural and alternative medicine at The Wormwood Files.

Winter Guest Post by Julie Jordan Scott

December 30th, 2011, Comments (10)

What would it be like if Winter never draped her leafless, cold, dreary days on your creative landscape?

Before you rejoice at the thought, hear me out. Let’s look at how Winter is a time of year that sets the tone for the rest of your artfulness simply by ebbing and flowing along with the shorter days and colder weather.

I know how it is to not have a snowy season AND I know how it is to live in a land of snow days, ice storms, gloves and layers of clothes.

Winter feels different in most of California then the way it feels in the colder states.  This difference oftentimes impacts our creative process.

Here in Bakersfield, we are frequently wrapped in cold dampness and thick, unfriendly fog. This morning it was 33 degrees. At some point overnight, frost left its trademark on my windshield.

Would you think it strange if I told you I envy the parts of the world that get sheltered by the cold?

Winter offers many gifts for Creative Souls.

Remember some of them with me: Winter offers the privilege of cocooning. Winter invites snuggles, it requests us to look inward. Winter says, “Gloom and less light are not only permitted, they are an important part of our creative process.”

One of my subjects of art last Winter and throughout the year has been a tulip magnolia tree standing in the corner of my neighbor’s yard. In January, I started nature journaling and she became one of my first practice sketches. By spending time sketching this tree, I got to know her quite well. In April, when I visited Western Massachusetts, I saw Tulip Magnolias just beginning to bloom. What a joy to see this highlight of early Spring twice!

It made me wonder what happens when a Bakersfield Tulip Magnolia experiences winter versus when a Massachusetts Magnolia loses her leaves.

Last week I visited the tree again, to get a closer look.

I was surprised and a bit saddened by what I saw.

The tree is almost bare of last year’s leaves yet while some leaves from last Winter/Spring valiantly hold on, a strange alternative phenomenon is happening as well: buds are beginning for the Winter/Spring bloom.

There is no time to pause between one season and the next.

This sweet Tulip Magnolia never gets adequate rest.

It doesn’t get to rest in the hollow hand of winter. She doesn’t get to rest her tree limbs on a frosty shoulder.

She doesn’t get to pause at all. She instantly drop one set of leaves and begins developing  the next set without a break at all.

There was a poignancy I felt, unexpectedly, as I visited the tree the other day. What started as excitement and fascination turned into an inexplicable sadness.

How often do we make the mistake of rushing from one art project to another without waiting for our spirit to reflect, to pause, to wrap ourselves in the wonder of what is, what was and what is coming next. Not now, but soon.

In Winter, we have a tendency to become contemplative. We allow darkness to help us sleep longer and more deeply under heavy quilts while wearing heavy pajamas.

If you have been resisting this profound pleasure of the Winter season, why not try it now?

Why not trade your practical shoes for wooly socks and sit by the fireplace under a blanket.

Stare into it and allow yourself the time to sketch without worrying what project your sketch will become.

Breathe slowly as you jot new ideas, allowing them to take root before you push them to blossom too early.

Enjoy this quiet time of reflection. Allow it to work its way into your work.

You may find Spring comes too soon this year as you come to enjoy the power of rest, the power of quiet, the power of allowing yourself the space to contemplate your art fully.


Julie Jordan Scott is a Creativity Coach, Poet Performer and
Mixed Media Artist who lives in Bakersfield, California.
She is the owner of Writing Camp with Julie Jordan Scott
where she inspires writers (and those who want
to write) to take their creative process to the next level.

Winter Guest Post by Mindy Tsonas

December 28th, 2011, Comments (7)

Planner Makeover

one of my favorite things about looking ahead to the beginning of a new year is cracking open a brand new planner! over the years i have tried every digital and paper planner on the planet (i've even tried creating my own planner from scratch) searching for just the right layout and tool. it seemed that whenever i love the pretty cover or the size, the interior pages weren't laid out quite right. either the design was too structured with not enough to play and dream, or the design is just too simple and did not allow for room to compartmentalize all the different areas of my life.

a couple of years ago, i found and fell in love with Planner Pad, and this baby changed my organizational life! it's funnel-down format is perfect for creative projects from idea to implementation, with lots of room to personalize it to fit the structure of your life. go check it out! seriously.

the one thing this planner does not have is a pretty cover. so i wanted to devise a fun and easy way to make it look like Me, and this simple makeover is what i came up with. really you can use this for any planner or journal you want to redesign. it works like magic! you will need: your planner 1 sheet of plain white sticker paper decorative scissors your favorite collaging supplies a glue stick regualar scissors your favorite matte or gloss medium (optional: a corner round punch) the steps are so simple! first, trim the sticker paper to fit 1/4 of an inch within the size of your planner cover. to decorate the left margin i trimmed off another 1/2 inch with decorative scissors (or trim to whatever size you need to cover the ugly writing or whatever is on the cover of your planner). next i used a corner rounder to round the two right side corners just for a better fit and cleaner look.

once your background paper is ready, you can collage away on top of it! use magazine clippings, postcards, vintage paper, or whatever else you have handy to make the cover really reflect you! you could even decorate your cover to reflect the word you chose for your word of the year! have fun with it, and be sure to use plenty of glue! i used little bits from lots of goodies sent to me by wishstudio friends :) finally add a coat or two of finishing medium and let it dry. you may need to add a new coat once or twice throughout the year if things start to peel.

when your cover is all done, all you have to do is peel the backing off the sticker paper and adhere it to the front of your planner like one giant personalized sticker! voilla! so fun and easy. i love having the perfect planner and a beautiful cover. stay tuned to the wishstudio where i will post my new 2012 planner!

my planner from 2011


mindy tsonas is the creative director and hostess of the Wishstudio Co-op, an online and local creativity studio in the Boston area. she is a lifestyle designer, a heart-centered artist and a mother of two boys. a dreamy visionary and contemporary bohemian, she loves to craft unique ideas that bring people together and inspire them to embrace the very best in themselves and in one another. with passion and creativity, she believes in your stories and the everyday magic of how life and love connect us all.

Winter Guest Post by Tammy Garcia

December 27th, 2011, Comments (2)

"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again."
Lewis Carroll

white art journal page, 9x12" cardboard, gesso, fluid acrylics, neocolors, collage

I'm honored to guest post on Creative Every Day! Leah's CED and AEDM are creative anchors for me each year, and I so appreciate all of the energy that Leah puts into these challenges.

The idea behind this loose art journal page is to give the feel of waiting for the bus on a cold, cloudy winter afternoon in Pennsylvania. At the time, I worked as an auditor in a costume of charcoal grey suits, silk scarves tied just so, small gold hoop earrings and a gold brooch. A brown leather briefcase overflowing with audit papers and red + blue pencils and flowcharting stencils. Standing on slushy, sludgy sidewalks with nothing to do but watch the world go by. Before cell phones and angry birds, before twitter, before the ipod. Before I created art. Before I was entranced by a camera lens. Waiting to hop on the over-heated bus, to loosen my scarf and tap my feet in the slushy puddles on the floor. Looking out at department store windows with Christmas displays of miniature trains. It was all so real, so gritty, my normal.

waiting for the bus
white ear muffs
charcoal suit
cloudy streets
silver buildings
store windows
reflect cars
whizzing by
and my bus
trudges up
and the
slushy puddles
under my boots

{you can find me at daisy yellow}

{I'm Tammy Garcia, mom of two; a self-taught artist and photographer living in Texas. I paint in acrylics and watercolors, art journal, make stitched journals and draw mandalas, You'll find quirky inspiration at Daisy Yellow, including Art Journaling 101, Creative Experiments, Kick-Start Journal Prompts and a fiesta of other creative fun.}

Guest Post by Maya Stein

December 23rd, 2011, Comments (6)

On Creativity and Patience

the canvas


Enough has been said about that blank space, the pause

of possibility pointing to a still-unnamed story. We don’t need

another poem about potential, or the way we bend at the knees

toward the dark tunnel we hope might lead to greatness. Instead,

I want to celebrate the opening mark of the pen, the infant half-inch of paper

glued to the upper right-hand corner. The inaugural dip of a soaked brush

that lays a line of paint down flat. The “yes” that finally tilts the doer

into doing. This poem is for that plucky charge into the gauntlet, the dogged push

through all those voices arrowing critique. This is for the stroke that bursts the bubble

clinging us to fear. The hand that reaches in not for beauty, but for rubble.


I always think art lives in us long before it comes out of us. Things take time to percolate, to take shape, to find their edge and expression. A poem can be inside of me for days, for weeks, before I finally throw my line into that great river of mystery and fish the words out.

Now, for example, a poem by the title of “crooked mouth” is swimming around in there somewhere. I’ve had those two words swirling in my mind, and occasionally when I’m driving or doing laundry or taking care of the grocery list, a little thread of the poem they’re containing reveals itself. I know…that is to say I trust…that at some point, enough threads will appear that it will be time to sit down and sort them out. And what I ALSO know and trust is that to hold myself hostage in front of my laptop before the poem is ready to be birthed is an exercise in futility and self-flagellation.

I have come to understand each poem, each work of art, is a being all its own, gestating for an indeterminate amount of time before it’s ready to materialize. I never know how long it’s going to take, only that time is the decider here, not the urgency of a blog that needs an update or a literary journal that’s bearing down with a deadline or the fact that it’s a quiet house and raining outside and a cup of coffee is to my right and what better setting to make the writing happen?

There are certain kinds of work for which imposed deadlines make me hustle in a good way, intensify my focus and powers of imagination, wrangle my skills expediently. But personal creative work is a different animal altogether, and I’ve learned that what’s required of me to write - more than a dazzling display of linguistic acrobatics or an impressive vocabulary or a large body of knowledge about poetic form - is the simple act of patience.

I say “simple” but patience is often anything but. In a world where quickness is king, it’s uncomfortable and even terrifying to have to wait for anything, and it’s easy to feel pressure when other people around us are birthing a multitude of creative projects, painting and publishing and putting their work out there as if it took no effort at all. The dizzying landscape of creativity that’s floating out there in the world can bring a false sense of immediacy and pressure to producing quickly. And so taking any time whatsoever can give us the feeling that we are falling behind, which in turn creates the worst kind of self-flagellation of all, that we are not enough.

But patience isn’t idleness. It’s not laziness. And it’s not impotence. I see patience as a vital limbo between ideation and fruition, a necessary field of space and energy where a lot gets decided, where the architecture of our work begins to assemble its bones, and where we are subconsciously sifting through our material and locating the heart of what is asking to be expressed.

It’s true that for some people, the time gap between when an idea moves into tangible form is very short. And it’s true that some ideas will take less time to be actualized than others. But I’ve found it vital to listen more closely to what my poems are telling me by giving them more space and time to find their voice. Because when the moment comes – as it inevitably does – for the piece to emerge at last, it’s more like an assembly, a transcription, a threading together. There’s a peace to it. A communion between inner and outer worlds, the fishing line taut and ready to reel the mystery in.


MAYA STEIN is a poet and creative nonfiction writer. She has published two collections of personal essays, "The Overture of an Apple" (2003) and "Spinning the Bottle" (2004) and, most recently, "Enough Water," a collection of poetry and photographs (2006). She has been published in a number of print and online literary journals, including Margins Magazine, Culture Star Reader, and cleansheets.com, as well as the anthology "Lust For Life: Tales of Sex and Love." Most recently, she appeared in Six Word Memoirs' "It All Changed in an Instant" and also won first prize in Alimentum’s inaugural poetry contest. Her weekly "10-line Tuesday" poems reach nearly 900 people around the world. Maya also recently completed "Tour de Word," a two-month traveling poetry project that brought writing workshops to children, teenagers, and adults in 25 states. Maya facilitates writing workshops online at www.feralwriting.com. Her poetry can be found at www.papayamaya.blogspot.com.

Winter Guest Post by Kimberly Wilson

December 22nd, 2011, Comments (2)

Hollyday Tranquility

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year - abundance of tasty treats, festivity, and a sense of gratitude in the air. The white pine garland and balsam fir wreath are hung, silver and white doves cover our living tree, and colorful cabbage have been planted to replace our fall mums. May the month ahead serve as a beautiful bow to tie around 2011.

Hollydaze have a bad reputation for the hustle and bustle and accumulation of unneeded goods. However, as we move into this sacred time, my goal is to infuse it with an ongoing splash of tranquility and I encourage you to try the same. Among the sparkle, scent of pine, and gift giving, it's the perfect time to practice the yoga tenet of svadhyaya (self-study). Here are my top 8 tips for staying tranquil this hollyday:

1. Indulge in yin yoga. This sacred, slow practice is a delight for calming the spirit and opening the body. One of my favorite poses is butterfly and here’s a how to: http://blog.kimberlywilson.com/2010/02/tranquility-butterfly-pose.html.

2. Gift mindfully. Bake cookies for your office. Pack gifts in reusable tote bags. Give experiences - opera tickets, yoga classes, spa treatments, museum tickets, lectures. Go handmade. Shop locally.

3. Indulge in self-care. Get a massage. Take a mental health day. Light a candle. Soak in the tub. Do legs up the wall. Keep up your yoga practice - even if it is one sun salute a day before falling asleep. Oui, it counts!

4. Give back. Donate to favorite causes. Adopt an orangutan. Visit a nursing home. Sponsor an animal. Host a toiletry drive.

5. Savor the simple things. Shop online to avoid crowds. Sip tea. Bake pies. Simmer apple cider. Light a cranberry candle. Give hugs. Savor holiday treats. Smell invigorating peppermint oil. Host an intimate dinner gathering.

6. Just be. Spend a few moments in meditation. Sit still. Observe your breath. Rest in butterfly pose. Nap. Take a savasana just because.

7. Reflect on 2011. Light a candle, pull out your journal, sit with your thoughts, and muse on the lessons and highlights of 2011. Do you recall your New Year's intentions? How did they play out?  What do you want to see unfold in 2012? Life is crafted by all of our daily choices. Watch last year’s end of year review: http://blog.kimberlywilson.com/2010/12/tranquility-du-jour-tv-end-of-year-vlog.html

8. Get crafty. Knit a scarf. Bead a necklace. Create bath salts. Upcycle an old tee. Bake brownies topped with sprinkles. Frame a favorite photograph from recent travels. Paint. Dance.

My hope is that you can temper the hustle and bustle and bask in mOMents of tranquility. These eight tips are about savoring this special time, staying reflective, and indulging your creative spark. As we move into the darkest day of the year, let this be a time to turn inward and reflect. Tranquility awaits.




Kimberly Wilson is an author, activist, and artist currently obsessed with Paris, pigs, and all things sparkly. She is the creative director and founder of Tranquil Space – named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure, author of Hip Tranquil Chick and Tranquilista, and holds a Master’s in Women's Studies. Indulge in musings on tranquilologie through her blog and podcast, Tranquility du Jour.




Winter Guest Post by Rebecca McFarland

December 20th, 2011, Comments (7)

Collage background with a portrait done in acrylic.

The sun setting at five has given me the winter blues, and the question “Why do I paint?” has been bouncing around my brain.  When my mind turns melancholy, I search for the meaning in what I do.   Would I die if I couldn’t paint?  No.  Most of my life I couldn’t draw anything but a stick figure.  Would I stop being happy?  I doubt it.  My life is filled with blessings and joys at every turn.  But then I’m painting…..and there is this moment when time disappears, my mind quiets, and the problems of the day cease to even be a whisper.  Sometimes there is no greater meaning.   Why do I paint?  Because what a shame it would be not to have these moments.


Rebecca McFarland is a self-taught artist living in Los Angeles.  She began painting in 2001 after an inspiring four month holiday in Europe. You can see more of her work on her blog http://rebeccamcfarland.blogspot.com/.


Winter Guest Post by Liv Lane

December 17th, 2011, Comments (2)

As soon as he started dragging
the tricycle out of the garage,
all the shouldn'ts and couldn'ts
flew out of my mouth:
People don't ride bikes in winter.
It's just too slippery.
You might get hurt.
It's too cold.
It's not going to work.
Put it away.

But he asked if he could
please, please just try.
So I watched as he slid
down the steep and icy driveway
on wobbly wheels,
peering back at me
every few seconds,
nearly but never tipping over.
He was so proud to make it down
and wheel his way around the
snowy street.
And it was so sweet
to see him on a tricycle
in the middle
of a winter wonderland.
Note to Self:
I want him to believe
he can do anything
he puts his mind to,
but maybe more importantly
I need to believe he can do it, too.

Liv Lane originally posted this reflection on January 1, 2007 at her Choosing Beauty blog {and her oldest son still excels at doing things his way!}. As a blogger, artist and speaker, Liv uses her creative superpowers to illuminate the good in every day while helping people ignite their passions and purpose. Her popular ecourse, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love, returns January 9th.

Winter Guest Post by Tracey Fletcher King

December 16th, 2011, Comments (10)

I was so thrilled to be asked to do a guest post for Creative Every Day... because I have just finished Art Every Day Month and it was a fabulous, amazing, exciting experience, and so coming off being just a touch high from all that I was feeling pretty special and cool... until the reality of the topic set in... wintering????

The elephant in the room is that it is the middle of summer here in Australia and to make it that bit more bizarre, I live in sub tropical Southern Queensland, which means we don’t really have a winter, and summer is not just hot, it is a stinking ball of humidity and violent afternoon storms that give you a few minutes reprieve, before the evening chorus of cicadas start. I don’t even associate winter with Christmas because we have a Christmas day that consists of bowls of iced shrimp and mangoes and smells of suntan lotion and watermelon, and ends with an evening swim and gin and tonics served in tall ice filled glasses spiked with lemon, while we swat mosquitoes that are the size of small planes... having said all that, here goes... wintering...

For me wintering is about being full of energy because there is none of the mind numbing heat, and it is about being productive and is simply the most creative time of the year... the light is just perfect and rich, and it takes on this amazing golden tone that makes everything look crisp, not bleached out by the heat. The other big plus is that there is no humidity which means my paper stays the shape the manufacturer made it, and both paints and paper actually dry without the use of a fan or hair dryer and it means that my studio is cool and quiet and I can work quite quickly, and I spend all day drawing, painting and take the opportunity to indulge in my love of baking.... 

Winter is a time of no huge demands so I have time to be creative in the studio and the kitchen and the house is filled with smells like cinnamon and lemons and all the magic of fresh cookies and brownies, and just smelling things like that sets my mind to productive time in the studio.... and of course I get to play with my favourite piece of machinery in the whole world... my blue kitchen aide mixer... just getting it out of the cupboard and setting it on the bench at the end of summer signals that all the deliciousness of winter is just around the corner...

Tracey Fletcher King 


I am a painter and teacher who is obsessed with mixed media, contemporary botanicals and all things tea related. I draw inspiration from things around me and like to produce work that can be made into beautiful prints, cards and wearable art. I am wife to Sinus Man, and mother to a 15 year old daughter, who at the moment likes to be called Phantom, and an adorable, thick as a plank, fur baby called Mushu. My work can be purchased by contacting me through my blog while I prepare to enter the online world of Etsy and madeit.com.au early in 2012.

My blog can be found at


Winter Guest Post by Mandy Steward

December 14th, 2011, Comments (7)

Yesterday a friend of mine shared a picture of his piled books for Winter. I felt a surge of inspiration tickle my fingertips upon viewing his picture. What is it about books and Winter? What is it about gathering some of the great authors to "sit with" through the cold months? I feel as though I am a squirrel, collecting acorns and tucking them into the hole of my oak, because when my artistic soul is ready to hibernate, I want to give it something to chew on. Winter does this to me.

I think back on last winter. I rose early. 5 AM. Sometimes 4:30 AM. The increasing amount of darkness that accompanies the winter was my protective blanket to push into vulnerable areas as an artist. "It's safe here," I felt the moonlight saying to me. You can read the novel Wicked and Madeline L'Engle's Walking on Water and there is time to simply ponder what secret messages they are whispering to you. You are cocooned by the warm walls of the Muse, and there is time. A white expanse of time, like the snow that makes everything look equal and tranquil. A heavy sheet of cushioning to freeze time, allowing you the luxury to sit with ideas.

The teal-colored pot on the stove is simmering and soon it will boil, and I will steep my tea. "Winter is for steeping," I think. Letting the creative waters sit still, not stagnant, but still, so the chai spices can swim around a bit and then settle to the bottom, releasing a sort of golden fog stream into the stillness. There is the hustle going on somewhere outside. The rush to buy presents. The urgency to make new year's goals. The necessity of getting family all together in one place to make merry.

"Can one force merry?" I wonder, sidetracked. I am introspective all the time, but all the more so in the winter. I am hibernating deep within my own skin. On the outside I carry on the traditions, but deep inside the winter tells me I am steeping for something great.

I know I have another book to write. I wish it would just come out. I wish it was just a matter of showing up, because I am here in my creative space at 5 AM, sometimes 4:30 AM, every morning. I know I am on the edge of new discoveries, of new ideas, of new ponderings, but the fireplace and my candles are lit in the Winter to remind me I am but warming up to the idea of what is next.

I am watching the shifting reds of burning embers, and I think I'm doing somewhat of a red tribal dance of my own. My body is motionless on the brown leather couch with the child scribbles in ink pen on the side, but beneath the surface of stillness, I know the energy is heating up and when it's time to ignite into flames I will. The artist must trust the winter. The sitting. The dark. The frozen blanket of white. The wait.

Wait and you will know when it is time, right? "Right?!" I ask with increasing anticipation. That's how it worked last winter anyway. I hibernated for a couple months, and then I ended up writing a book by February. Or was it March? Oh anyway, why would this winter be any different? But the doubts. Oh the doubts. And maybe even the pressure. Why do we put such pressure on ourselves? Isn't a joy to create?

There is mysterious expectancy in this place of Winter-trust. What are you up to? One has to wonder of the Muse. And meanwhile our soul pries off acorn tops and nibbles on the nutty flesh of inspirational book piles, tucking it away in our ever-expanding cheeks, knowing (or hoping rather) one day we'll get to wash it all down with a hot mug of chai.

And when that day comes, we will secretively double over in relief that the cosmos have proved we are in fact actually still an artist. One who danced in the embers at moonlight and didn't get devoured.


Mandy Steward is an artist. She thinks you are one too. We are all painting on our own Messy Canvas. She invites you to be purposeful and passionate about what you are painting on yours.

Mandy likes to paint with words. Word pictures that reveal the spiritual that lurks even in the mundanest of moments. But she also doesn't like to limit herself to a medium, so she explodes wherever the Muse leads. Lately that has been in the pages of her art journal.

Mandy blogs at Messy Canvas. She has written four e-Books, including a free one for artists and a brand new one called Tomorrow's Dreams Today. She is also in the process of getting her first book published.