A creative loophole: by Christina Rosalie

That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over. Why? Me with my arms outstretched, feet in first position. The chromosome half of us don’t have. Second to last in the alphabet: almost there. Coupled with an L, let’s make an adverb. A modest X, legs closed. Y or N? Yes, of course. Peas sign reversed. Mercedes Benz without the O.

Y, a Greek letter, joined the Latin alphabet after the Romans conquered Greece in the first century—a double agent: consonant and vowel. No one used adverbs before then, and no one was happy.

~ From Y, by Marjorie Celona, originally from the Indiana Review, republished in Best American Non-Required Reading 2008.

How can you not be inspired, like I was, reading this, to pose and consider everything remarkable about a letter? Maybe your first initial, or your last. I'm on the lookout every day for opportunities like this: to slip through an open doorway, an imaginative loophole, a slight tear in the fabric of all that right now insists. Because everything is happening at once, as it always is. Everything converging. Projects, deadlines, discoveries, presentations. It’s easy for me to just put my head down and run hard without stopping, without looking, without pausing for a handful of moments to practice doing what I love the most. And I found this to be the perfect thing to do today, mid week, now, on the seventeenth of November, with the world blue and brown and quiet with the promise of snow, amid everything else.

At the back door there are leaves that the wind’s tossed up in heaps, brown and crackling under our feet as we make a bonfire with friends, roast marshmallows and press them between crumbly graham crackers with chocolate; drink cappuccinos, and watch the children play. They take rakes with bamboo tines and heap the leaves until one or all of them are buried, laughter rising up with the sparks toward the night sky that is full of ink and diamonds; such a mess of grandeur, are the heavens above us.

The children turn on the porch lights; four boys in hats, leaves eddying up in the dark. Their shadows are eerie and huge across the grass, and then up in the sky, the waning gibbous moon, a pregnant C up there with the spilled milk of the universe, the faintest shadow of its darker side also there, barely illuminated: a C in reverse.

C: The letter that is at once the contents and the container, the balance of negative and positive space, the curve of palms, cupped, holding a bowl, and also the shape of the bowl. It is curiosity, and the top bit of a question mark in reverse. The final slight line in a pair of parenthesis, the pause of a comma, the arc of a story, a a smile turned on it’s side. It is the consonant that invokes creativity, the third letter of the alphabet, the symbol for chemical concentration, the speed of light in a vacuum, the abbreviation for carat, century, constant, cubic. It is the first note in C major, and the way my name begins.

It's your turn!


Take 5 minutes. See what you can write about a letter. Or share a link an image or post and I’ll be sure to take a peak.

This is true: by Christina Rosalie

Listen. What you hold with your hands is everything.




What you hold are hold the fragile wings of something that arrives in the night and then slips away, leaving only its slight carbon footprint on your sill; or the small body of a sparrow that’s just hit the window. Or maybe you hold the runaway tug of your dog’s leash; or the runaway tug of your heart.

You might hold the hand of the one you love; or your face in your hands; the heft of your child’s body, his head thrown back with laughter; or the weight of emptiness in your palms pressed together in prayer.

What you need to know is that what you hold can be a anything. What counts is intention. What counts is reaching out. Taking hold. Accepting. Offering.


Spend today taking note of your hands: of the artful way they pick up a pencil, wipe tears from a cheek, flip eggs, type, caress, create. Of how they translate the world for you; the way they’re the bridge between what’s inside your heart, and what you make of it. Of the way they feel held in another’s hand, or pressed into dough, or submerged in water. Imagine the joy you can hold; the possibility you can ask for and accept, like a boomerang tossed and received.

Start with this.

Today I hold the last of autumn’s leaves; papery now, and wind tossed; my coffee frothy and warm; scissors for cutting Sprout’s long bangs; the excitement of new possibilities; a brush dripping with aqua ink; the soft cotton of shirts, ready for folding.

What do your hands hold today?


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.)

Thunder cupcakes by Christina Rosalie

IMG_5058 Make these. They are the perfect accompaniment for thunderstorms, especially when made and eaten with little boys.

* 1 8-ounce package cream cheese * 1 large egg * 2 tablespoons sugar * 1/2 teaspoon salt * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract * 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

* 1 cup all purpose flour * 3 tablespoons sifted unsweetened cocoa powder * 3/4 teaspoon baking powder * 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt * 1/8 teaspoon baking soda * 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar * 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature * 2 large eggs * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract * 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted, warm * 1/2 cup whole milk

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl. Add egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until almost smooth. Fold in chocolate chips (I was generous with these!)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Mix wet ingredients together then add dry. Fill cups 1/3 full. Then plunk a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese + chocolate chip mixture into the middle of each cup.

Bake cupcakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan, then in the fridge~ I think these cupcakes actually taste better cold than warm...though some might beg to differ.

* Recipe originally from here.

Also, I am just loving these beautiful photographs.

Inspired by: by Christina Rosalie

IMG_4842 Hi. Wednesday. There was sun today for the first time, literally, in weeks. Tell me this, Internets, is it sunny where you are? And if so, is it often? I'm starting to get itchy feet. Hankering to be somewhere else maybe. Some place with more sun, more... I don't know. If I were foot loose and fancy free I'd be tempted to do this. I've always wanted to write a story about big rig drivers. Cool, right?

Really though: do you love where you live? Tell me about it!

Also today: lots of revising and forward progress. Writing is a crazy making profession for sure. So much terror and doubt is there, every day, waiting in the margins, in the click of the space bar. During breaks today I was inspired by her beautiful aesthetic. And also this breathtaking art.

This super cool journal also caught my eye today. I love when image and story and news and ideas collide. It's how it's like inside my head.

Speaking of things that get inside my head--I loved reading this story in particular because it reminded me somehow very much of The Year of Silence by Kevin Brockmeier in the Best American, which was originally published here. I wish I could find a link for you to read it online--because then you'd see what I mean about these two pieces connecting. This picture in particular, of Sao Paolo stripped of visual pollution is just what I pictured when I imagined a city stripped of sound. It's serene and calming and yet...I like a mess, which is why I liked how Brockmeier's little piece ends immensely.

And finally, because I adore lists and am a total sucker for good food, Travelers Lunchbox delighted me so much today. Particularly this list of all foodie lists. My short list of to die for food off the top of my head: cherry pie, pasta from Mezzaluna, lime gelato in the Piazza della Signoria, affogato, oysters with white wine and garlic butter.

Runners up: root beer floats, hot chocolate from Quebec served in a bowl, majool dates, fresh raspberries, steak frites, unagi sushi, raspberry sorbet, licorice, dark dark chocolate, caramel apples, dry packed scallops, Oh lord, I have started something I cannot stop. What are your top five and your runners up?