A Field Guide To Now

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...

in this moment by Christina Rosalie

Just stopping in quickly to say hello this morning with these photos from my sunny, sunny bedroom... and to nudge you to go play. Do one thing. Today. You'll be so happy. (Promise.)
I'm finishing a big milestone for the book today (later than I'd hoped. Typing with fingers crossed makes things difficult.) And it feels good and terrifying and true to my heart. I wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to jinx it.
Today I'm crushing on this sweet song.
Reading the archives over at Slow Pony Home.
And swooning over every single afternoon here.