Hello dear friends,
On this New Moon in February, what is moving and becoming in your life? We’ve passed the cross-quarter day of Imbolc, February 2, also Groundhog Day, and Candelaria (Candlemas), all signifying the movement (in the Northern Hemisphere) of winter into the first intimations of Spring. (Maybe. . . here in southern Alberta we’ve just had quite the winter squall, complete with plunging temperatures and plenty of snow.)
To give a quick update, my book Developing Your Inner Life is a Political Act is still being considered by publishers. I sent the proposal to five publishers, and received two “thanks but no thanks”. I have yet to hear from my preferred publishers, though if another month goes by I will assume that they’re not interested. Were that to happen, I then need to decide whether to self-publish or try other publishers. Traditional book publishing has changed to unrecognizable industries in the last 20-30 years, and amazon publishing (that is, self-published print on demand books), along with the ability and necessity of authors themselves to publicize their books, has completely changed how we go about sharing our ideas publicly.
So I’m right in the middle of re-designing my website and strategizing how I might share my ideas/experience here online. I WILL get the book into the world by Fall (at least that’s the plan —- but you know the old saying “Want to know how to make God laugh? Tell her your plans!” So I’d say that’s the intention — I try not to make too many plans!) but will become more active here online so that some of you who might not be interested in a full book can still pick up many ideas on developing a deeper inner life and exploring life’s depth dimensions.
And this is what’s brewing in my life these days: I am actively strategizing and implementing how to move my ideas out of my head into the world!
The photo above is the cover of the current journal that I am finishing up today. I hand craft my own journals and start a new one on every New Moon — following the energies of the building energy until the Full Moon, then closing up projects and resting as we move into the dark of the moon in the few days before we can see the new crescent moon start to increase again. Of course not every project follows that pattern, but it provides a loose plan for how I organize the projects that are under my own control. It’s actually quite satisfying, feeling as though I’m moving in concert with the heavens in a small way.
The mandala is freeform: I drew a circle with a compass, then started at the center point and drew the patterning outward right with my alcohol markers (BIC markers) right on the canvas I used as the cover of that month’s journal. The pattern isn’t perfectly symmetrical — but neither is my life. And they’re both beautiful. Beautiful enough! I love the vibrancy of the bold colors next to each other, and that reinforces my hope to live my life with both intention and intensity.
I use my journals not just to keep my reflection writing, but as a kind of archive, a container to receive, document, and reflect on my daily life. If I send or receive a newsy email, I’ll print it out and paste it in. If I go to a concert or reading, I paste in the program. I start a new one each month because it’s still light enough for me to carry from my downstairs study to the kitchen table, and even to take with me when I’m out and about. They are constructed with Canson mixed media paper, 12 in. by 18 in., folded in half to make my inner pages. Often I take unbound pages and clean my brushes on them or play with watercolors while watching videos in order that my journal innards are already colored and inviting when I assemble the final book. The covers are either plain canvas or thicker watercolor paper into which I sew the two signatures of paper with a very simple pamphlet stitch. There are myriads of fancier and more beautiful ways to make journals, but I find that the fancier the journal, the more I’m afraid to “mess them up.” This suits my use well: beautiful enough, but no perfection needed or expected. I explore without anxiety.
Today I just finished creating this month’s journal, and I hope to show you some photos of that in my next post.
With much love and many blessings,
your mandala is beautiful, even if not symmetrical…how would I know? lol…I can only imagine the trials of book publishing. I just had a nice (but reject) letter for one of my stories..
I so enjoy your ideas and thoughts on journal making…blessings to you in your work….xxoo Carol
thank you Carol. Rejections sting a little, even when you know you’re going to get way more than acceptances if you’re a writer. Sigh! Much love to you, Cat
I love your vibrant mandala and process and timing for your journal making! Book publishing is so challenging, but there are new options that we didn’t used to have. Best wishes on getting your book published!
Thanks, Cathy. Yes, it’s a new world when it comes to publishing. Traditional publishers need new authors to have 250,000 followers in order to justify their investment in the new author. I’m just beginning to be online in a more intense way. Still, it’s not fun to get rejections. (I’ve really only gotten 2; 3 just haven’t responded. . . . . yet. 🙂