A Field Guide To Now

A Studio Update: Guest Posts + A Soonish Art Tag Sale by Christina Rosalie

I'm guest posting over at Maven Circle today ~ about self image, and that terrain between being and doing. It felt so good to have the creative constraints of a topic to write to, and to explore something that feels very fresh and true to where I'm at right now. I hope you go take a peak.

Also, I wanted to give you a quick heads up in case you've missed a few other recent guest posts and reviews about Field Guide To Now:   An Interview With Thea Coughlin   A Warrior Woman Interview on Forest Of Stories   A review over at Scoutie Girl   Many more glimpses, guest posts and giveaways to come super soon!

Also stay tuned for my second ever Studio Tag Sale. It's happening. Very soonish. Be among the first to know when it goes live--and get other goodness and inspiration by subscribing to my newsletter (on my sidebar for those of you who are reading via RSS.)

xoxo, Christina

A Field Guide To Now: Starting Now by Christina Rosalie

"I want you to know that this is the way things almost always begin: innocuous and small; a note jotted down on a napkin, a phrase that circles around in your head for days, a feeling you cannot ignore. This is when you must pay attention. This is when you must do whatever you can to begin. Let this book be an invitation. Leap with arms flung wide toward the heart of your life." -- From A Field Guide To Now


So this is the part where it starts feeling real. Where things are happening. Real events, with people I know and love, and people I've never met. One such event is tonight, and if you're in the area, I hope you'll join me for my book release party!

And if you're not, tomorrow kicks off my blog tour with a review over at Scoutie Girl. More details to come.

Just show up: What I learned while writing my book by Christina Rosalie

One of the questions that I keep getting asked is: "how did you make it happen?" The book. As a mama of little boys. In graduate school. In the midst of a career change.

All of it.

And I've been thinking a lot about that; about what actually went into the process of dreaming something, and then dreaming it real, gradually and with persistence, despite the fact that nearly everything in my life suggested that making a book was a ludicrous idea. I mean really, who sets about the dream of making a book with a infant in tow, and a career up in the air?

That's something I was asked at least a dozen times when I started out, and I lived daily with the fact that the whole thing might fail.

Still I showed up: willing to fail, and willing, also, to ask for help.

More than anything, that is what I hope readers will get from A Field Guide To Now.

  I hope they'll read it both as proof, and as a reference manual for achieving extraordinary creativity under ordinary circumstances.

Because really, truly, the biggest things begin with the smallest of creative acts.

  ...And both making the book, and the book itself are about the practice of showing up.

Showing up daily with intention.

Showing up with notebook in hand.

Showing up with eyes wide open.

Showing up even when you don't feel like it.

Showing up even when all you accomplish somedays is simply the act of showing up.

  What will you show up for today?

Upon returning -- Squam Art Workshops Love by Christina Rosalie

Oh Squam. I am so grateful, so wonder-filled, so satisfied.

  It was such a gift to spend time with the brave, strong, gorgeous women whose days overlapped with mine last week beneath the ponderosa pines and red maples and birches of New Hampshire, and on the docks beside the loon-filled lake, blue against a bluer sky; cloud tossed and sun kissed. Being there among those beauties filled my soul and re-grounded me deeply.

  It was just the right combination of pure solitude and true companionship. It was both the experience of being seen—really seen—and also of having time, finally, after a whirling, confusing, busy summer, to finally sit alone at the end of a dock, listening to acorns fall into the lake from the trees above, and watching the ripples spread from each epicenter, until I found my own center: re-reading my journal until I caught up with myself, caught my breath, and found my pulse.


And now I’m back.


Really back. Here, now, in this space after an inadvertent break from the Internet that had as much to do with doing some really big growing this summer, as it did about being wildly, failingly busy (which was also the case.)


* * * A quick book update * * *


I sold out of the books I brought to the Art Fair. That felt really good. *Grin.*

And the next few weeks are full: with adventures and readings and a book launch party here in Burlington, and a blog tour (soon to come.) And tomorrow I'm making the long trip down to Boston--to read at the Trident (one of my favorite bookstores ever)—and back. I'm excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. If you're in Boston, I hope you'll come!

A Field Guide To Now: It's here! by Christina Rosalie

Guess what?

It's here.

If you pre-ordered my book, it's on it's way to you. (And if you were a Kickstarter backer, it's on its way to you too, with lovenotes, and backer rewards and tremendous gratitude.)

I am giddy. I am terrified. I am excited...

And I'm proud. It's damn good writing, my friends. Truly. It think you'll love this little book of mine, for all it's worlds and words and wonderment contained within it.

It's a reference manual for being right in the thick of things--and proof that making an extraordinary life from those moments as they unfold is possible...

Go! If you haven't, order your a copy. A blog tour is in the works, and so is a New England book tour. Stay tuned... and join me... won't you?

* * * Also, did I mention giddy? (And terrified.)

This is BIG.

One of the biggest things I've done: Put my heart right there on the page, and then send it out into the world.

* * *

If anything, A Field Guide To Now is an adventure guide, and also a survival guide. It's about the hardest, messiest moments, and also the most wild, and beautiful, and grand.

Life is like that, isn't it? One moment follows the next, and if you're in each moment, extraordinary potential unfolds.

Yes. This book is about about the potential of right now. And about becoming whatever you are meant to become. It's about leaning into the moment until being becomes becoming; util ordinary becomes extraordinary; until now yields to the future that you've made.

Are you in?

Get your copy.

Life In The Present Tense: A Field Guide To Now ~ Thanking my backers by Christina Rosalie

I'd want to start this week off with sharing (finally) many of the incredible Kickstarter Backers who made this book dream of mine real. These are only the folks who have an online space to share with the world. Together with many others, they believed in this idea when it was just a glimmer in my eye--before I had any kind of real plan, any proposal on paper, any chapters written; when the whole thing consisted of a handful of drafts and a heart full of longing.**
I can't even describe how powerful it is to have people back you. How it makes things real, how it makes you be accountable and your very best self. How generosity is at the root of so much: abundance, success, inspiration, joy.

Thank you.

There is so much talent and creativity and passion and goodness in this list of bloggers and creative entrepreneurs, and they fill me right up with inspiration + gratitude + joy. Have fun perusing. You'll be so delighted.
1017 100 Proof Stories Airstream Dreaming Andie Edwards Annie Denison Barb's Evolving Project Bead Tree Becoming Megsieth Beverly Reverlry Blissful Thinking Brickhouse Studios Bring Yourself Catching Days Cayden J Coco & Lafe Coffee Stained Clarity Daily Fieldnotes Dawn Smith Designs Dream Dust Do What You Love Dust Of Europe Film Project Elayna Alexandra Elisa Elliot Everyday Glimpses Flyover People Hashi Works Hysterical Mommy Network Imaginations Everything In The Violet Hour Inosculation Jorun Boklöv Johanna Hoerrmann Julies Little Joys Just My Digital Stuff Last Crumb Laura Two Tina Learning To Walk In Heels Leonie Wise Lesley Dahl Life On The Green Line Like A Radio Listening & Speaking Little Elm Little Potatoes Liz Lamoreux Lizardek Lylium Magpie Days Magpie Girl Meadow Lark Days Meat Revolution Melissa Brott Photography Michael Kershner Mindy Schroder Molly Sutton Kiefer My Creative Space Oink Tails Paul Frank Perils Of Caffeine In The Evening Phriday Filosofy Pixie Campbell Positively Organic Rosa Murillo Scatterbeams Seeking Equipoise Shameless Self Promoters Slightly Scrappy Shona Cole Solomon Shiv Soulful Owl Some The Wiser Stefanie Renee Story Lamps Sunday School Rebel Superbeck Susan Kruse Susanna Crossman Tara Bradford Photography Terri Rambo The Learning Curve The Life and Times of a Kiwi-Mumbaiiker This Joy Ride Timothy C. Flood Trying To Stay Focused Wet Fresco Photography Wood Smoke & Lingon Berries

Also heart-filled gratitude for the following inspiring + generous bloggers who shared my project with their readers:

Ali Edwards: Giveaway

Boho Girl: Giveaway

Do What You Love: Interview

Liz Lamoreux: Nine {An Interview}

Magpie Girl: 1Q Interview

Susannah Conway: My Creative Life {Interview}

Wishstudio: A Book You Can Help Bring To Life

** (If you are a backer and I didn't include you on this list, it wasn't on purpose! I had a few broken links and a few outdated URLS that I couldn't trace. Please please send me your URL if you backed this project and would like me to add you.)

How summer passed while I was becoming the work by Christina Rosalie

I didn’t realize I’d missed it until I was standing at the window by the wood stove looking out over the hills that have shrugged off nearly all the amber and vermillion leaves of autumn, revealing the skeleton crowns of sugar maples and birches and alders, that I’d missed summer.

The tall wild grass in the fields bends over now, like praying nuns, each rustling frond keeping the secret prayer of burrowing beetles, ants, wasps. The fields have begun to turn brown. Wood smoke hangs in the air. The corn, late to ripen, has finally been cut.

And all the while that it was lush and green, I was indoors, with terrible posture and paint on my jeans, or in class, or traveling to and fro with one or the other boy in the car. Going, doing, going.

I didn’t realize how fast it the season was passing: The greening, the long days, the light, until now, with pumpkins on our window sill waiting for carving, I realize, it’s dark by five; and when we leave for school at 7:30, the sun is just barely climbing above the familiar cleft of the mountains in the East.

So. This is how a summer passes. This is how days pass, one after the next, with effort, with hunched shoulders, with focus, with forgetting. This is what it means to do the work of making; to create until you forget the locus of the present, and orbits inward, inward, toward the source.

There must have been evenings when I lingered with blush wine in a Ball jar in a lawn chair out the back door, but I cannot remember them. I only remember the way the mess in my studio rose and ebbed, drafts spread everywhere, or paint and snippets, and spilled sumi ink.

I look back and realize I had no idea what I was doing. I look forward and realize the same.

This is the realness of creating.

You can’t know the outcome.

There is no guarantee of anything. There is only the act of doing the work, becoming the work.

What I know now is that there are a hundred things I will do better next time (and this will be true for every book I’ll ever make, I’m certain.) I’ll have more clarity of scope, for one. I’ll ask for feedback sooner, instead of holding my drafts and art to my chest like some sort of secret too precious for the world to know.

But whatever way, the one thing that won’t change, that cannot change, is the way that close to the quick, nearing the end, the work consumed me. There is no other way.

And so summer slipped by, a lost season of fluttering grass and weeds that devoured the garden. We had a tomato blight. I barely noticed as the red fruit suddenly rotted on the vine. I accidentally planted some sort of gorgeous cousin to the sunflower: rambling, enormous, with fiery orange flowers that took over an entire bed and bloomed and bloomed. Even now, this late in the month, there are still some blooms left, and when I go to cut them in the early evening, I find bees dormant for the night on every single one. I stare at them and I stare at the flowers and I wonder where both came from. I stand with my sharp knife, and wonder briefly if the bees are dead.

lean in, and blow hot breath on their tiny, perfect bodies and watch as the warmth spreads threw them, and slowly they move antennae, abdomen, wings. They can only be here, in the midst of what they are doing: gathering the season’s last pollen, the promise of honey, and as the sun sets they grow torpid, in the midst of things. This is how it goes. Each day happening so fast, yet while I was in it, each day lasting forever into the hours of artificial light and pre-dawn blue. An eternity of repeated effort.


Not many of you answered my question in this post about doing the work that you love every day, but it’s a big question that I’m digging into in my own life and would like to explore here with you.

What happens between projects, when you feel your creativity ebbing, or your life becomes so full of other things (babies, work, whatever.) How do you make room then, for creativity? I’ve been working on a little project each day this week, exploring just that question that I’ll share tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts...

On Making A Book (Part 3): Where words + images converge by Christina Rosalie

Once the words were done, I threw myself into the unfamiliar, beautiful, terrifying territory of illustrating. I was wholly, utterly, entirely consumed. I spilled india ink twice. I wore the same jeans for a week, paint accumulating across my thighs. I skipped class. I considered only this: How the images I was creating might tell a little more of the story. How they might be a hook, a glimpse, some kind of emotional spark of evidence that might help you find your way into the moments I was describing and also into your own. I imagined making every postcard just for you: 22 notes from me to you about ways to be right here, to fall in love with this life, to hold on, to keep on, to become, be present, persist.

It was harder than I thought: To say just exactly what I meant to say with images. To get the right lines, the right metaphors, colors, shapes, words, gestures down on the 4x6 canvas of a repurposed postcard. Words are so much more precise and unambiguous. Illustrating is like writing poetry: It's all about gesture and suggestion, nuance and hue.

Each time I finished a piece I would instantly fall in love with it or hate it... then lapse into a state of doubt, hanging it on the wires spanning the wall above my desk for a couple hours while I worked on other things and eyed it warily. Sometimes I'd look at it with new eyes and certainty; other times I'd scrap it and start again.

It was so incredible and scary and amazing to start, and start again. To make some terrible pieces. To make some pieces that made me proud. To become fixated on a piece and have it throw off everything: Becoming too precious, so that all the other pieces following it would feel derivative or contrived. To question everything. To commit to something. To find the right lines, the right color of a moment captured.

I discovered I was capable of more than I imagined. This is always the case, I think.

You are always more capable than you imagine. It's buckling down and pushing through and doing, doing, doing the work you say you want to be doing that is So. Effing. Hard. But oh, so rewarding.

I discovered how much farther I could push, under the creative constraints of a deadline and the requirement of producing a cohesive body of work. There is something to this--the creative constraints part that I want to explore more here. I'm also going to be devoting some upcoming posts to exploring the relationship between word + image. It's a powerful one, and one I would love to explore in conversation with you.

If you haven't read the comments from yesterday's post, you should. Such amazing leaps of courage + faith + joy.

Today I want to ask you: When have you pushed yourself past a point you believed yourself capable of?

Making a book (Part 2): Finishing and starting by Christina Rosalie

I want to tell you about finishing at 3a.m., when every last image was uploaded, processed, and correctly named, and every combed over.

The house so quiet that it seemed to hum. Coyotes called when the moon came up, and later owls. A pair of screech owls in particular held a caucus: One shrieking to the other from the branches of dark trees—some kind of ruckus promise people don’t usually hear.

Each night for a week I watched the sky go from black to indigo in the pre-dawn hours, slept less than a handful of hours, and then woke to continue again, because the night hours are the only uninterrupted hours around here (when the only sounds are of dreams, and wind pulling around the house, and wild animals doing what they do.) Then, on a Wednesday night, finally, I was finished.

I went to bed quietly, folding into the pocket of warmth beside T like a small origami bird, with no one awake to witness those first moments just after I hit "send." And in the morning I woke to coffee and fried eggs and little boy yelling and the fact that I was at the beginning of something utterly new.

A new voice. A new angle + slant. A book for your hands to hold next fall.

There are so many things I want to tell you about the messy, beautiful, exhilarating process--and about what's next: The ideas and dreams and plans to come. On Monday: A post about creative constraints and the process of illustrating the book...

But for now, simply this: I couldn’t have survived without Coffee. Or chocolate (in terribly copious amounts.) Or hot showers. Or my small legion of superheroes: T, my in-laws and two friends in particular who, on their respective coasts, nudged and encouraged and pushed me to be my biggest, bravest, truest self.

And YOU.

You, the wanderers and wonderers who come here with bright words and big hearts. I'm so grateful, always for you and your comments. Tell me: When was a time you took an enormous leap? What did it feel like? What happened next?

On making the book (Part 1) by Christina Rosalie

I’m not sure where to begin: at the beginning, or at the ending, or right here, this morning, when I woke to the moon just slipping between the branches of the trees along the edge of the field, and Venus, a little higher up like a diamond against the pale lapis blue of the dawn sky. This is what I know now: that after a week where I stayed up so late I saw the brightening blue that comes before the dawn each day: the way the sky changes from dark to bright, the way the world begins to swell then with the sounds of birds, the way the trees shake off their silhouettes and begin to rustle and flutter with all the dimension of bark and branch and turning leaf.

The hills now are flame the way they turn each fall, and I stare at them in wonder, in awe that somehow together we’ve arrived here: Me and the hills, in fall. That the summer passed I have only this evidence: The garden entirely overgrown with weeds this year. The bright red peppers glowing like sparks among the two-foot high tangle of radishes grown to seed; the Mexican sunflowers offering a hundred yellow centers to the bees: bumble and honey and ground bees all coming and going with an urgency now, storing the last pollen they can find to turn to honey to stave off winter’s length and bite.

That summer came and went, I have only this: a six and a half year old with two missing teeth, and a two and a half year old who talks in full sentences and is afraid of owls and hot air balloons and loves to bring me pretend cups of coffee. “Are you writing again Mama?” he asks. “You want some more coffee?”

That summer came and went, I have only this: a six and a half year old with two missing teeth, and a two and a half year old who talks in full sentences and is afraid of owls and hot air balloons and loves to bring me pretend cups of coffee. “Are you writing again Mama?” he asks. “You want some more coffee?”

The monarchs have left the fields; and when we drive, we pass fields where the vines have dried to brown in the first hard frosts of the season, and the pumpkins lie exposed and orange like so many dots in a Serat painting. The hills are turning to flame. At night owls call, and coyotes wake us. In the morning the grass is drenched with dew or frost.

And I am here, at the beginning, at the end, right here in the heart of a vibrant autumn, and I finished the book.

I made a book. (And Yes. I totally got goosebumps writing that.)

I created an entire body mixed media work, turning my studio a storm of snippets and spilled India ink and gel medium and postcards and so many empty coffee cups. I spent the past three weeks working intensely

I want to write more about that process this week—because it was a glorious, immense undertaking that brought manifold lessons about what is possible, about creative constraints, about accepting help, and about urgency and drive and passion.

It split me open, gave me courage, terrified me, and made me absolutely certain of this one thing: This work is exactly what I am meant to be doing.

More tomorrow...Really, truly, excited about being back here.

{I am still here} by Christina Rosalie

...Finishing this book.


Getting paint everywhere.

Discovering + remembering what it means to be an artist like this: Courage. Revisions. Messes. Risk. It is time consuming. All consuming. It is terrifying. It is transformative. It is glorious. It is exhausting.

(Hoping to be finished Monday.)

What I really need now is good music to paint to. What have you been listening to that you love? Please share!

I am in labor by Christina Rosalie

It feels like I am in labor, to be this close with the manuscript.

So close. But still, not there. Not where it needs to be. The final chapters dogging me, not quite right, not quite what they need to be yet. It's like some part of my mind is sabotaging me into this stasis: Like if I never finish, I won't have just risked everything, given everything I have.

Today the air is still heavy with humidity even after dark, and I keep circling, circling, trying to find another angle, another entry point to the words, to what I am trying to say, to what remains to be said.

The hardest part is that the whole thing is so many words. I get lost. I have to print the whole thing out and spread it about in fluttering sheaves across the floor. My studio is strewn, in shambles, with drafts. Some cut apart, taped together in new directions. It's like conducting an orchestra, this final compiling: Making each chapter vibrate in tempo with the next.

I'm experiencing some serious mental kickback. Exhaustion. Frustration. I second guess. I doubt myself. I read, re-read. Give up. Feel euphoric. Feel terrified. I'm at the same point just before transition in labor, where during the birth of both boys I yelled, "I can't do it. I can't."

That kind of close.

Today this was my distraction: Looking for awe in simple things. In the color green. In the gulls on the wind swept air. Now, back at the page.

When doing the work you love gets hard, what gets you through?

HELLO, I MISSED YOU! I'm back from my offline adventures. Some highlights: by Christina Rosalie

Hello friends!

Thank you for holding this space for me. Your comments when I came back on line a few days ago made my heart smile so very wide.

It was spectacular to take time off from the online world. To write, and write, and write. To notice things at a different pace. To fall in love again with dictionaries, with the sound of quiet, with paint on my fingers and my jeans. To feel fully focused, fully here, with only this intention: To write well and daily. To pull chapters together into a symphony of moments. To make sketches of illustrations still to come.

Now I'm back online, back to school on Tuesday, back to the pell mell pace of things. This September is crazy busy. I'll be contributing to a blog I love next week; finishing a piece for the fall/winter issue of Kinfolk (swoon!); finishing the illos for the book; prepping for a panel discussion on digital storytelling at the Burlington Literary Festival... and sort of holding my breath until it's all over....

In October I'm planning some lovely (and really big) changes around here, and finally, finally the rewards for my dear enduring Kickstarter backers who have waited more than a year now for me to send these goodies out... And the interview series here that I've been wanting to launch for so long. Super goodness. So excited.

Between now and then, I have so many photos to share from the past two weeks, and so many small stories: About tooth fairies, and rainstorms, gallery openings, quick summer meals and the process of making illustrations for the book...

Now it's your turn... Tell me: The 5 very best things that happened in the past two weeks. Go!

On making space for the work I am doing: by Christina Rosalie

Hello friends!

My semester ended today, and fall is in the air even though it's August still. You can feel it in the way the breeze is cool coming through the open windows in the morning, and the light is golden and slanted as it angles across the mountains after dinner. Twilight is already coming earlier. The corn, even though it was planted late because of the rains, has grown and grown through the hot July days, and is shoulder high now: fat ears with silken tassels waving on every stalk.

Between now and the beginning of next semester I have just exactly ten days of time that have nothing in them save for my book. Ten brief late summer days to finish the chapters that still refuse to be finished, and to revise and revise until the whole manuscript sings; then I'll send it off to my most trusted readers for one last look through, with a week or two on the other side for revisions.

And somewhere in that time, all the illustrations that have been slowly gathering, piece by piece on the wires I have hanging above my studio desk, need to come together too.

And all this feels momentous and utterly amazing. I sometimes still need to pinch myself to confirm: this is my life. I'm doing what I always dreamed of doing.

Still, it also feels completely overwhelming and daunting... Because, oh my, I am finishing the essays and illustrations for my first book! And there's more than a wee bit of pressure around it all.

And now I have ten days of time now that are just for this glorious daunting work and I've decided that I must use that time as wisely as I possibly can. I have been feeling spread awfully thin, and especially so in the digital space where I spend so much of my time learning and creating and absorbing. And I know how distracted I become under the urgency of deadlines, to slip down one rabbit hole after the next here: filling my mind with the snippets of news and headlines and information and inspiration.

So I've decided to take the next ten days off from the internet.

I've never done anything like this. The last time I didn't have a consistent internet connection was in 2004 when blogs were things people only talked about in whispered conversations or not at all, and people had no capacity to imagine the iPhone and the way it would transform us into a culture of being "always on."

I'm actually afraid of doing this.

I'm afraid of disconnecting. There are already a host of voices clattering in my mind: What if you miss something important? What if you miss out on some opportunity? What if you're forgotten? What if your readers stop reading? What if your twitter followers stop following you? What if your friends stop emailing, commenting, caring? What if you're not missed at all? These are the voices in the head of a girl who is always on, always connected, always engaged in the field of digital media. This is where I do my work, share my stories, and connect to my tribe.

And because I have so many fears, I know it is exactly the right thing to do. I need to trust that you'll still be here. That the story I am telling matters not only when I'm here telling it, but in the quiet times too when I'm creating new work with every fiber of my being.

I need to trust that opportunities will still find me; that inspiration will come knocking on other doors; that connections will happen in other ways.

Because the work that I am doing to bring this book to fruition is really really important work.

So I'm asking you this: Will you hold this space gently for me while I'm gone for the next ten days?

I'll be back then, with stories to share and magic to tell.

All the love in the world, Christina

Breakfast + Boys by Christina Rosalie

This is the last week of my semester. Then a little more than a week to work on my book flat out before projects for the next semester already resume. Cannot believe summer is almost over. Bean has a loos tooth. Sprout has started talking in complex and lengthy sentences all of a sudden. My book is almost done. Time = flying.

What have you been up to?


A glimpse into my studio right now: by Christina Rosalie

Working on illustrations for the book. Mixed media collage + digital + graphite sketches.


Also: A midsummer migrane; cicadas singing into late evening.; trying to remember to drink enough water + follow garment care instructions for washing; wishing for decompression; wrapping up projects for the summer semester; singing songs to Sprout until he falls asleep in my arms (a rare occasion for us both.)

{in progress} by Christina Rosalie

The summer's half over, and I'm swimming in a sea of chapters. Held down by river stones, the pages of various drafts flutter on the floor as the fan oscillates. Meanwhile I vacillate back and forth believing this manuscript will be complete by deadline and the book will be good; and that I'll never make the deadline, and it's all a pile of crap. Mostly I try just keep my eye on the page, my heart in my words, and my fingers flying.

glimpses + books by Christina Rosalie

A few glimpses of the place where everything happens around here: in the kitchen. I've taken to writing long hand the past couple of days; carrying the chapter I'm working on everywhere, the pages mud speckled and windblown as I try to pull lines of prose together in the thick of things. That's what this life is about, after all. This book too.

Speaking of books, here are a few I cannot wait to get my hands on:

The Recent History Of Middle Sand Lake // Molly writes the blog field | work. Enough said, right? She has an eye with words. A way of noticing. Really can't wait to sink into this collection, like putting my feet in cool lake water.

Delancy // Molly's book A Homemade Life gave me the courage to be bold + simple with food. Butter + raddishes. Chocolate + baguettes. And just as naturally brilliant as these pairings are, so are her words with food. Simply cannot wait for this book about the birthing of the restaurant Delancy.

Contents May Have Shifted // Pam is my hero. My mentor. And the person who made me take my writing seriously. Enough Said.

The Selby Is In Your Place // Because truly, I can spend a whole afternoon perusing The Selby and always, always feel utterly inspired.

And Susannah's yet to be named book, because her words + images fill my soul.

What are you reading right now?

These are things that happen by Christina Rosalie

These are things that happen when I circle back into this present that is mine: sunburn on unaccustomed cheeks; blisters on my palms after an afternoon in leather gloves raking lawn debris; the unexpected delirium of forsythia and daffodils; bumblebees; wet marks on my knees from kneeling to look among the clover.

I cannot help myself: I slip into a neighbor’s yard and pluck a handful of daffodils, carrying them in a closed warm fist up the drive, pulling the boys behind me in the red wagon with the other. I grin secretively the whole way. I smile rinsing dishes; but am near to tears when the red-winged blackbird swoops low across my path. These ordinary things stun me. The way my life folds back around me, and this is where I am: in the thick of spring, at the end of a dirt road, with a restless cat, two boys, and a writing deadline waiting for the evening.

All day the sky was blue; all day it was just me and them; two changeable constants. Mood swings, bare bellied tickles, cookies and milk, sand at the backdoor. Five loads of laundry; sun dappled sheets; jumping on the bed; exercise.

It will be this way all week: just me and them the sky. T is out of town on a business trip so it will be us, making the best of allergies and hilarity; less urgency, but no less full throttle: “look mommy, look! Did you see, did you see?” So this is what I’ve been missing.