Archive for the ‘Creative’ Category

Crossing Over

{Time to let go and run wild! Photo taken by Desire to Inspire contributor Pixie Campbell.}

Expectations ~ they can make for many a perfect, sparkling fantasy in the wide expanses of my imagination, where the anticipation of how something is going to look, feel, taste, and happen can amplify unfettered. I use the phrase “I am looking forward to….” a lot, and if I’m using it, it is in relation to some kind of longed-for, hoped-for, planned-for experience:

“I am looking forward to the day this project is finished.”

“I am looking forward to the dinner I have planned with my friends.”

“I am looking forward to the day I can teach Tilda to fold laundry.”

Such imaginings are not inherently bad, but I have learned the importance of keeping them in check. I’ve also come to realize that no matter how much I try to manage these particular ribbons of thought, they are going to find a way to unfurl without my even noticing, until the day I physically step into whatever moment I have been looking forward to and run smack into a situation that looks nothing like I thought it would. Whether I decide an actual outcome is good or bad is irrelevant; the more important point is that it is different, often times wildly so, than what I had so carefully (or perhaps unconsciously) sculpted in my mind.

The glaring exception to this occurs when I travel. In no other circumstance in my life am I better adept at releasing expectations and literally going with the flow. Because I consider travel, particularly overseas, such a wondrous adventure, I am always more open to the twists and turns that each journey is going to offer me. It is not only fun and exciting to get my passport stamped, it is also thrilling to let go of so much of the control I delude myself into thinking I have under my own roof.

Ever since I signed a contract with North Light Books for the publication of my forthcoming book ~ Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World ~ I have considered it a journey of sorts. It has been a journey of writing and collaboration, where my work has been to explore and then (hopefully) clearly express some of my most deeply-held values with the help of nineteen amazing contributors. And it is the kind of project that, if I had not been especially vigilant, could have become so weighted down by expectations that when it came time to release it to the world, it might have hit the earth with the thud instead of gently setting off like a heron.

I do not know where Desire to Inspire will go. I do not know whether or not anyone will like it and I can’t predict whether or not it will lead to more book projects. With its now mere-days-away official release date*, I feel like I am getting ready to board a proverbial airplane (or rocket ship, or magic carpet, or what have you) with the book in hand, where an unknown adventure awaits us.

Whenever I go on a trip, the officially crossing over from journey preparation to journey commencement occurs when I get through the security screening at the airport. Once I’m through the scanners with ziploc baggie re-packed and shoes back on, any and all mental or actual to do lists melt away. I have done what I can do and prepared as much as I can, and if I’ve done my work, my only task from that point forward is to enjoy myself. In just a few days, Desire to Inspire will begin shipping from the North Light warehouse, and then the journey begins. Whatever happens will happen, and I’m just along for the ride.

* The official release date from North Light is November 22nd, so it should start popping up in bookstores and on Amazon 2-3 weeks later!

Christine Mason Miller is an artist, writer, and explorer from Santa Monica, California. The official book launch for Desire to Inspire will be held there on Thursday, December 15th. Click here for details and let her know if you’d like to join in the fun!

the wonderful world of instagr.am

I am, without a doubt, very late to the instagr.am party but now that I’m here, I never want to leave. I haven’t been this excited about something since the Arcade Fire played a surprise show in a Montreal mall parking lot for my birthday. Ok. So it wasn’t technically for my birthday but it coincided with my birthday and it was AWESOME. Like instagr.am. But with sound.

Two years ago, I set aside my digital camera in favor of film photography (I was also quite convinced, at the time, that I would never own a mobile phone). I had been searching for that certain nostalgic feel in my photos and ended up finding it in a roll of film. However, the thing about film photography is that I have to lug my beefy Pentax everywhere I go, which poses a challenge when I’m at some posh restaurant with a little clutch purse and all I want to do is snap a photo of my grilled red mullet fillets with tarragon veloute on a bed of sun blushed tomatoes & chives mash (because when do I ever get to go to posh restaurants?). This means that I have been missing out on capturing moments. Many many moments since I’ve arrived in England. And moments are so important to me right now, with a looming departure date. Which is why instagr.am is rocking my world, people! My camera fits neatly into my pocket and I can take it with me everywhere I go. Snap, apply filter, upload. Instant joy! The only downfall of instagr.am is that it is reserved for iPhone users, which is truly unfortunate because I wish every single person had the opportunity to play along. If I were Oprah and had a favorite things show, I would totally get an iPhone for everyone in this audience because I am seriously hooked.

Instagr.am is my new happy place. You can find me there almost every day. It’s also proof that you don’t have to own the most expensive camera gear on the market to take a good picture. All you really need is to be so drawn to something so beautiful that you feel compelled to stop, compose and click. Because these moments? All these moments come and go so quickly — might as well stop and press the shutter and make them last a little longer.

Jeanine Caron is a regular contributor to Gypsy Girl’s Guide.

Timing Is Everything

It’s entirely likely that I am a raving lunatic. Just a few days ago I formally declared myself a writer which is sort of true. Apart from eating and butchering a romantic language I spend most of my time tick tacking away writing silly stuff on the internet. Of course it’s not actually a career or even a job, more of a hobby gone wild.

I’m not one of those people who started writing because they had some calling to do so. I left my job on a Friday and the following Monday morning I started writing. I just sat down and started typing. And truth be told I can’t even type very well so these doodles take about 12-14 hours to actually take shape. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little but not much. I certainly never thought I’d ever write for a living and so far I must say that while the hours are great the payscale needs some work.

When I was in high school I did one of those career aptitude tests and the results suggested two careers for me, military commander or florist. Hmm, creative yet obsessively neat with a tendency towards spiky hair, not far off I’d say. But really I wanted to be a performer, sketch comedy preferably; too tall. I wanted to be a music producer; too afraid of the required cocaine use. I wanted to own an art gallery; too afraid of artists. I wanted to be a gardener; too fond of clean nails. But mostly the one thing I always dreamed of was owning a bookstore.

Every time I see that movie You’ve Got Mail with the world’s most beautiful bookstore, I see myself standing behind the counter chatting to my devoted customers about the latest and greatest novel. On cold rainy days I’d serve hot chocolate, pour myself into a tufted velvet armchair and read until closing while some poor minion I’d hired did all the work. On Thursday nights I’d invite vain and insufferable authors to read from their work and there’d be wine and foie gras on toast triangles served on antique silver trays. But I have my dream life already now don’t I? I’ve escaped from the prison of hospital life and things couldn’t be better right?

Enter the lunatic. The other day I read that the last independent bookstore in Newfoundland (my homeland) is for sale. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here I am finally free to do whatever I want and The Bookery in St. John’s, where local geniuses like Lisa Moore and Michael Crummey shop, is on the block. Well bloody hell. Never mind that I’m a world away and have not a cent to my name, that store could be mine.

I’m always two steps behind the times it seems. Books are becoming the 8 track tapes of our time and all I want to do is buy a bookstore. I suppose it’s a step in the right direction. Last week I was wanting to audition for the part of Rhoda the snappy sidekick on a new show that I just know will be a smash hit. What’s your dream job?

Bobbi French is a regular contributor to Gypsy Girls Guide