Monday, December 5, 2011


Dear Readers,

I did it. I moved over to WordPress. I've been spending a lot of time 'over there' because that's where Let ME Out is perched; I've learned some of the ins and outs and decided that the best thing for The Artist's Loft would be a change in scenery. For someone who doesn't like change, I am sure stirring things up in my life and I figured, why not overhaul everything?

I'm hoping that this change means I can offer you a better, more entertaining and interactive blog. I have dreams for my first blog-baby and I hope you join me over at our new space. The name is the same, but we're going to take the game up a notch or two.

As I settle in to the new space and become more familiar with all the neat tricks of blogging, these are some of my hopes and dreams:
  • to showcase some of my own photography
  • to review books I am reading, artist events I am attending (this may mean a merge with The Artist's Review...stay tuned!)
  • to post vlogs (video blogs!)
  • to share my adventures in cooking and baking
  • to tell you stories about my experiences with motherhood
  • to share my yogic journey
  • to explore my love of music...rather, to resurrect it and give it more of a spotlight
  • to have you pop over to Let ME Out and see what I'm doing there on a professional level
  • to participate in blogging challenges
  • to highlight my freelance writing publications
  • to recommend my favourite blogs to you

Thank you for being with me for as long as you have - I hope you make note of the slight change in address and visit frequently. I have a Follow button all ready to go for you to sign up for blog posts via email.

This isn't goodbye - it's see you soon.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The End, The Beginning

As you know, I didn't really do NaBloPoMo the way it was intended. I didn't blog every day in November to these random, and honestly not entirely enticing, prompts. But it was a good exercise; it brought me back to this blog that I have been missing for some time. Now that I have been hanging out in the blogosphere and seeing what can be done with blogs, aesthetically and content-wise, I'd like to spend more time here, spruce her up a bit, give her the love and attention she deserves for being my first blog-baby. I just went back a couple years and read some posts from then. I was thick in the midst of an emotional forest and this blog made it a safe and even beautiful hike through. My goal is to have this blog represent all the different parts of ME: the writer, the musician, the yogi, the mother, the wife, the friend. I'm still getting in touch with some of the parts of ME that were buried under external expectations and my own mistaken beliefs. Hopefully this blog will evolve as I do and can continue to be my companion.

As for NaBloPoMo, I learned that if I don't feel like writing to a handed-down prompt, I won't do it. Or I'll do it but it'll be a shoddy job. So, was it a waste of time? Not at all; it was a good lesson. I'm starting to come into my own as someone who can't be forced or feel obligated to do something. If somehow I manage to convince myself that I just need to get it done, it'll end up being less than my best. At the same time, trying something new, even if I kick and scream in protest the whole time, can be an experience worth writing about. I'd like to try NaBloPoMo again next year. I just hope the prompts are more exciting. In the meantime, I'll be looking for other blogging challenges.

Certainly, hanging out more here at The Artist's Loft has been an excellent reminder of what kind of writer I am and what kind of writer I want to be. I still have such a long way to go in shaping that part of ME but the journey is a thrill. Anyway, let's see where this goes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Bottom Drawer Shopper

I'd like to say that I shop for the special people in my life with enough time to keep the experience pleasant and easy. If I know someone's birthday is coming up, or Christmas is around the corner, I may start thinking about things they might like a couple of months in advance...but then next thing I know, the big day is just a night away and I'm stuck in that oh-great-the-thing-I-wanted-to-get-her-is-no-longer-in-stock situation. I have gotten better as the years have gone by. If my daughter is going to a birthday party, I will make sure to get the gift a week in advance. And here we are on November 25 and I am heading out this afternoon to shop for Christmas presents. I will however, likely wrap them the day I am going to deliver them. I love giving gifts and feel especially happy when the gift I select is truly meaningful to the recipient...I just have shopping issues that go far beyond the scope of this post.

My mom used to buy generic gifts and keep them in the bottom drawer of her dresser. Beautiful unopened bottles of perfumes lined that drawer, along with scarves, shawls and those toiletry gift bags. You know the ones that go crazy on sale right after Christmas? Yup, she'd stock up and then if some unexpected event came along or people turned up out of the blue from out of town or she felt it was a gift-giving occasion (sometimes she just gave gifts for the sake of it!), she'd have plenty of selection right in her very own bedroom. These weren't gifts that people gave her that she was trying to recycle. She would buy them with the intention of giving them away. I used to think it was super weird and chalked it up to one of her crazy quirks but I totally see the usefulness in this...and I admire her even more for her generous heart. Underneath that seemingly odd practice, was a woman who just loved to give. She just liked to be more prepared than the average person for when the time came!

They say in time you become more like your parents - well, let's see about that. I'd have to clear out the bottom drawer of my dresser first!

A Bit Of Both

I do love being alone. Most of my preferred activities are ones I can do solo: reading, writing, and watching movies. There is something to be said about spending time alone, knowing that you are able to do whatever you want without needing to accommodate anyone else's preferences. Watching a movie on your own means not having to compromise on movie selection. Even sports - practicing yoga or swimming - are so much less stressful for me than say a team sport where I have to live up to certain expectations, play by certain rules and compete with other people. In my early college years I had this fantasy of living on my own, in a beautiful high-rise condo overlooking English Bay in Vancouver. I would come home from my high powered executive job, open the door to my haven, toss my keys on the table in the entrance way, kick off my shoes and aaaaaaahhhhh, do whatever I wanted to do for the rest of the evening! I would read or listen to music or curl up on my couch with a movie and I'd be in heaven.

But then, in my imagination, the phone would ring or I'd check my answering machine. People! And they want to do things like go out for dinner (love doing this!), go to a poetry reading (also enjoy!), or dancing (love this but haven't done this in soooo long!). While I enjoy my alone time, I also enjoy the company of others. And despite rolling my eyes at my husband's movie choices sometimes, there's no better way to end the week than tucking ourselves in under a blanket and trying to stay awake through an entire movie!

My life is quite different from what I had imagined it would be during those early college years. Save the picket fence I'm pretty much as suburban as it gets! I don't dress in business suits (thank God - why did I ever think that was appealing?) and generally don't even dress before 10:30am when I have to pick up my daughter from preschool! When I come home from anywhere, I don't get to just throw myself on the couch or sink into a bubble bath to unwind...and I probably need to do those things more in this life than I would have had to in the life of a carefree single in the city girl! So, my quiet time is short, far between and precious. But then so is the time I spend with my family (when everyone's behaving) and whatever's left over for socializing.

I don't think I could choose one over another long term. I need the alone time to recharge, feel grounded, work on my writing etc. but I also need the experiences of being outside of my head so that I have something to work with when I'm writing and so that I can feel fully alive. Yin and yang. It always comes back to that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Song That Takes Me Back

As I've mentioned in a previous post, almost every song I've ever heard will remind me of someone, some place, something and take me right back there. That's why I can't listen to music and write. I'll write about one of those songs now.

When You Say Nothing At All by Alison Krauss is the song my husband and I cut our wedding cake to and also a song we have been known to belt out while driving in the car (a cappella, no less). We even karaoked to this gorgeous number at a local pub - not so gorgeous, both the pub and our singing. But we love it! It makes us smile, especially if we nail the harmony. It's so much fun to be able to let loose like that and just enjoy the act of singing; it makes a road trip that much more fun. Even if we are just going to the store. We sing a lot of songs together, even ones we don't really know the words to. But this song is our favourite and it just so happens we do know most of the words.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lucky Me!

I'm kind of not enjoying these "extreme" kinds of questions. The happiest, the luckiest...does anyone really know? I am going to have to start reading the blogs of other NaBloPoMoers and see how they are responding.

Anyway, the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me hasn't been one specific event but rather the fact that I have somehow come to the realization that everything that has happened in my life, even the really crappy things, has actually been done FOR me and not TO me. True, I still have plenty of moments when I ask why, why, why?? But somewhere deep down inside me is the knowledge that I am being looked after by some unknown force or forces, that brilliant angels and guardians and ancestors are wrapping me in love and light, no matter how dark my dark might get.

I think I'm pretty lucky to know that in my bones, in my heart and even in my head when I let it get there. I am lucky to have had the love that I have from both my grandmothers and my mom: 3 amazing women. I'm lucky that I still have my maternal grandmother. I'm lucky that in some ways I still have the women I have lost. Like I said, crappy things have happened but I have learned from them fairly well, I think.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Business Of Passion

Yes, I can say that I am pursuing a passion project; my coaching/writing/speaking business Let ME Out (see the page on this blog) was officially launched in July of this year and it's been moving at a fast pace since then. I think that's because it's something I've been gearing up to for years.

The time I spend blogging for Let ME Out, developing workshops, coaching clients, and reading is really fun for me! I've never had this experience of something that is considered "work" to be enjoyable! It's not easy but I'm not swayed by the challenges because I actually want to keep going, keep learning, keep trying, keep reaching. And this enthusiasm is spilling over into other parts of my life which is what I think pursuing your passion is supposed to do! Hence, building a business around helping people remember and release their most passionate, creative Self!!

It's not my only passion project - I have many other projects I'd like to spend more time on, mainly to do with my creative writing. I'd like to write a book for my daughter, and some memoirs, and contribute to magazines and anthologies. I'd like to write to release my Self, not just help others do the same. Otherwise I'd be like a smoking, drinking, garbage-eating doctor. It wouldn't make sense. So helping others is helping me way more than I expected! In fact, it's pretty much a "what came first" scenario. I'm not sure whether my helping others is helping myself or whether helping myself is helping others. Kind of a nice cycle to get caught up in, though.