The latest installment from the 100 Books Project comes all the way from Stockholm, Sweden, where a wonderful Book Fairy named Charlotte helped me spread the Ordinary Sparkling Moments love across the Atlantic. Books 13 and 14 were sent to Charlotte, and within 24 hours of receiving her email with all the juicy details on where she left the books, this email arrived:
My name is Elvina and I am 17 years old and my younger sister found your book nr 14 last week here in Stockholm and she gave it to me to read. Now I have done so and it was a very different kind of read, like looking into a diary! Your words and art got me thinking about documenting my own life! I love to take pictures but never thought of using them in a diary before. Now I will start experimenting with my own words, color and photos, thanks to you.
My best friend is reading it now.
Keep writing books!
Maybe she found the book pictured above, or maybe she found this one:
Either way, it was a thrill to receive another note from someone who found the book, and I am so grateful for Charlotte's willingness to be such an integral part of my project. It was her offer to do this for me that inspired the idea of the Book Fairies, so all credit goes to her, which is yet another beautiful twist to this story. Like any dream in action, surprises are everywhere and gifts come out of the blue.
A few more Book Fairies are still out there across the globe, and I'm getting ready to head back east where I'll leave a trail behind me. Onward the project goes, outward it expands.
2. This photography project in Africa is powerful, moving and beautiful.
4. Liz Law's jewelry makes me swoon.
5. I loooove Nyee Moses' self-titled CD, and loooove her hair.
6. And Taffy Underhill gives me BIG LAUGHS.
When perusing movie selections, I think my husband and I both feel a little...misunderstood. He loves the big action blockbusters, especially apocalyptic science fiction, and I lean towards the quirky indie films that have that grainy film quality and killer soundtracks. How we make this work in our marriage is that I see a number of films on my own and I see a number of films I'm not particularly interested in so we can enjoy a night out together. Every once in a while I can convince him to see something he might otherwise never choose to see - and every once in a while he'll actually like it - but more often than not I'll decide that, hey, why not sink into some mindless entertainment from time to time?
Last night was one of those nights where I entered the movie theater thinking, "Time to say good-bye to two hours of my life!" and I left feeling happy I was proved wrong. We went to see Star Trek, and I actually loved it. Plenty of action, spacey special effects, a fun cast and interesting enough story even with a few holes here and there. I was never a big fan of the TV show, but I still loved seeing how each of the main characters came aboard the Starship Enterprise, and loved the scene where they played Sabotage by The Beastie Boys. Hearing that song reminded me that every once in a while I need to put that on full blast in my studio and dance like a maniac.
Not only did I enjoy the movie, but I also found a new geek crush: Spock. He has that certain something I tend to swoon over in TV & film characters....a unique, seemingly unflappable confidence despite having physical characteristics that are usually associated with the guy who never gets to go to prom. Not only do my geek crushes get the girl, but there was never any doubt in their minds this would happen. That's what I love about them - their belief in themselves and their willingness to put their hearts and beliefs on the line for the sake of their dreams. I know that I am romanticizing, exaggerating and creating stories behind stories, but my geek crushes deserve a little embellishment - their personalities are strong and endearing and I can't help but want to cheer them on (and OK, I'll admit it, totally make out with them too). A few of my other geek crushes:
So there's a new crush in town, and he has pointy ears. Is this, as Spock loves to ask, illogical? Perhaps so, but since when does love make sense?
As regular followers of my blog know, I have written extensively about the unique challenges that accompany having an online presence. Trying to promote my work, share my experiences in a meaningful way, stay true to who I am and make connections with my online colleagues isn't always the easiest of tasks, but it is a worthwhile journey that has opened new pathways to creative souls all over the world. My dear friend Marisa Haedike and fellow inspiring blogger has just introduced her new e-course, In the Fish Bowl, to teach participants how to maneuver through all the trials and tribulations of building a creative presence online. I've invited her to be a guest blogger today to talk about her course, what inspired her to create it and what her secret to success is. Welcome Marisa...
Some people are content doing the work they were meant to do privately while others feel compelled to transform that work into being a voice in the world; I've always leaned towards the latter. And believe me when I say that if you get within earshot of me, there's a really good chance I will start asking you about your dream, and will do everything in my power during our time together, even if it's mere minutes, to convince you to follow it.
I believe in dreams coming true. It's what I do.
And to be honest, I think one of the early passions behind starting my own business was so that I could confidently tell others that it's true: You CAN make a living do work that you love.
I also believe that the more people live the lives they want, the happier the planet. As soon as I began Creative Thursday, I knew my mission for it was to one day become a vehicle to encourage others to follow their dreams, especially creative ones. So here I am. It's time for me to share what I've learned with you. Everything I've listed above is what has inspired my new e-course: In The Fish Bowl :: Life as an Artist.Online
This is an e-course for artists that will cover a range of topics from making a living, marketing and maneuvering online, while staying true to who you are (which I tend to think of this as one of the most important parts).
There's so much to say on all of these topics, especially the one about being true to who you are, so I will do my best to keep this brief. If you are here reading Christine's beautiful blog, then chances are you are a creative who is already quite familiar with the online world. While the internet continues to move at the speed of light, it is becoming increasingly evident that in order to keep up - especially if you are also an online business - you will have to decide what you want your place to be in this world. This does not mean, however, that you have to compromise your artistic and personal vision to be a part of this fast moving stream. It actually means that now, more than ever, you have to become crystal clear about what your vision is. And then you have to remain fiercely loyal to it.
Life online is about transparency. And much like a fish in a fish bowl, it's about finding contentment within that transparency. It's no longer just about sharing your work, it's about sharing yourself. As Christine mentioned in her introduction above, developing an authentic online presence and all that accompanies this is not always the easiest of paths to travel, yet a willingness to travel it can open you up to opportunities you didn't even know were possible.
Developing supportive communities, your own "fish bowls", both online and in person are what will help you navigate these waters. With this e-course I hope to be the beginning or addition of that community for you. As I get students signing up from all over the world, I realize once again just how connected we all are. The opportunity for us to learn from one another is like no other time before, and the more we learn from each other, the more likely we will all create and live the lives that make us truly happy.
In closing, Christine asked me about my secret to success. Oh the pressure :) Of course there is no one answer to this question, because there is no one answer to what success is. So, first and most importantly, you have to define what success means to you, and check in on that from time to time, because you'll find that your definition may change as you grow. Take time to discover what you love most in life, then you have to believe in yourself. You have to know where you are going, even if no one else knows or sees it yet. You have to stay dedicated to that vision no matter what, and it goes without saying that you want to be gracious, genuinely kind, supportive and loving to others along the way. Follow your heart, remember not to take it all too seriously and have fun, because it's all a journey - one that will always continue to evolve.
Thank you for having me Christine ~ and I hope to see you all "in the fish bowl"!
Register for Marisa's course right here.
“God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity still in the cloud, the oil still in the earth. How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.” ~George MacDonald
Once I decided my method of surreptitious gift giving was going to be more one on one than the first few books during my visit to Tokyo, I never left our hotel without at least one book in my bag. The day after I gave two books to the lovely artists I met in the Ginza, I had to catch a bullet train to Sendai where I was to meet my husband later in the day after his meetings. Now I'm pretty good at navigating the Tokyo subway system, but all bets are off when it comes to Tokyo Station, which is the main hub for what seems like 4.2 million different rail lines. If you happened to be there last month and saw a blonde chick with glasses walking in circles with a glazed look in her eyes, that was me, except on the day I headed to Sendai when I had a lovely guide showing me the way.
My husband's colleague had generously arranged for someone to meet me at our hotel to take me to the proper platform, and just before I boarded the train bound for Sendai, I pulled out a book and gave it to her. Just like the day before, the reaction I got was one of giddy surprise, and I found out the next day that she had shown my book all over her office.
A couple of days later my husband and I were having tea at the bar of our hotel. The bartender working was a woman we had chatted with the day before, when we learned she had recently returned from a trip to the states. We were enjoying our last bit of time in Tokyo before we had to head to the airport , and what do you know - I had one book left. As we were paying our tab, I handed her the book, told her it was a gift for her, and she couldn't believe it. She was working, so couldn't open it up right away, but it was the perfect ending to our trip and that chapter of the 100 Books Project.
Next Chapter: The Book Fairies
Also: My latest interview is up at Tranquility du Jour!
1. I got a couple of goodies from Hi Tree at Unique Los Angeles, and they just make me smile.
2. Check out The Oxford Project.
3. Four original prints by yours truly are now on exhibit at Artstream Studios. You can see them online right here. (From that page, click on "Next" to see all four in a row.)
4. "Best Tribute Ever" indeed. She's my new hero.
5. My first column over at In the Wish Studio is up. This is the first of what will be monthly essays on this most inspiring site.
7. Oh my gosh, this is getting out of hand, but I just watched the latest from Justin Timberlake on SNL and have to share it. Don't take a sip of your coffee while you watch this, or you'll spit it all over your keyboard.