The timeless/spaceless mid zone of creative process and chatting with the dead…

There is a beautiful part of my creative process that I cherish- the part that allows me to dialogue with my parents as if they are here in my kitchen, sharing coffee and offering advice and dialoguing on the cold case.  I had some magical moments the other day as I pulled out old binders…

Mamma.

  Karin Thorsen September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 Because you are only a seed, chestnut tree, autumn, earth, water, heights, silence prepared the germ, the floury density, the maternal eyelids that buried will again open toward the heights the simple majesty of foliage, the dark damp plan of new roots, the ancient but…

In harmony with the currents of life… #jellyfish

I was contemplating the word acceptance this evening and decided to look up symbolism. I came across a charming reference to the jellyfish: Jellyfish’s medicine includes – sensitivity to water energy (emotions), understanding of the value of floating rather than swimming through trying emotional times, proper use of softness (not being rigid), ability to become untangled from…

Getting out of my own way.

I was down and dark in January- been down and dark before- but this time I was dipping down a little too low.  I am blessed that I was able to communicate that to my nearest and dearest and have the difficult conversations and be met with love and support. I want to be here.  To…

The heart of it.

Practicing being heart-fully present and health-fully detached.  And checking in regularly with my own heart journey. Getting up a bit earlier.  Gentle time before facing each day.  Then practicing stepping into the day with OPEN boundless bountiful boundary-full HEART. And always reminding myself to nurture the heart of my passions and gifts. “I’m filled with burning passion to experience life…

Can we look at sad rants in our journals in a new way?

No doubt my collection of 300 + journals, sketchbooks and image-idea files are filled with more sad rants than with positive day-to-day activities. For many of us, our journals are a safe harbour in which to deposit racing thoughts- a place of privacy in which to address the darkness that we all struggle with from…

What makes me feel rich is…

A bowl of eggs in the fridge A bowl of fruit on the table A jar of random trinkets: Small details Watching approximately 40 herons playing in the wind outside my window.   Herons represent an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that an individual doesn’t need great…

The 5 W’s. #Molly #GraphicNovel #Process

Working on Molly. Keep at it. Revise manuscript. Organize the collected research. Walk around the lagoon.  Think think think.  Massage the timeline. Spend hours in the coffee shop.  Keep massaging that timeline. Rewrite introduction. Add it to the private presentation site. Work on treatment and elevator pitch. Review the theme of the month: committed choice. Spend hours,…

Ponderings on the “idea.”

As a creative, I find it as important to make time for input as well as make time for creative output. And allow myself some stupor time- doing nothing— doesn’t happen often.  Tried today.  To just stop for a bit, but instead I was distracted by my thoughts- thoughts that have been swirling in my head…

My personal #Chakra #SelfCare #CheckIn #Toolkit

I can’t help but love the magical thinking that happens when considering the chakras! The 7 Chakras are the energy centers in our body in which energy flows through. Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it’s important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to…

Opened TextEdit to find a surprise note to self…

  Prepping for a session tonight with young women, around the theme of sisterhood using collage techniques, I opened TextEdit to collect pertinent quotes that may inspire dialogue tonight. An untitled document opened with a note I wrote to myself from my future self last year. Dear me, You now stand fully naked, fully present,…

Using Braid Theory to explain triple timeline. #Molly #graphicnovel

It has taken me years to create a structure for Molly that could combine two stories that run both parallel to each other and have intriguing connections. Massive research needs to be formatted in a cohesive way, yet allow for a compelling narrative. Currently, three timelines run through Molly  and eventually braid together converging in…

Sunday morning coffee shop musings.

Journal entry January 24, 2016 Write out goals –> no, write out PLANS. What is the difference between goals and plans and by writing goals as opposed to plans, am I not being BADASS enough? (Thank you, Cat Webb, for defining me as a badass and being a constant source of empowerment.  Check out Cat’s extraordinary…

Now her ghost wheels her barrow…

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O! Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! She was a fishmonger and…

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it. Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started. I have been collecting soul…

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain… Birds, metaphors, graphic novel, experiments

— Central to my graphic novel is the intensity of anxiety and severe depression while drowning in circumstance, highlighted through the metaphor of birds. — — Here are some experiments from the past weekend:      I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,  And Mourners to and fro… – Emily Dickinson

2015 reflections and 2016 intentions.

It’s that time of year to reflect and lay out intentions. What a journey 2015 was.  It was the year… [DELETE.] I had written several lengthy paragraphs reflecting on 2015 and laying out a detailed list of intentions for 2016.  I almost posted it last week.  Then again yesterday. But this morning I delete it….

I thought my achy body was grief but perhaps it is birth.

Journal entry December 26, 2015 The surprise Christmas release by LCD Soundsystem epitomizes my achy-boned, sentimental, full of love and nostalgia, time to transition Christmas. I both celebrate and honor and am in awe that this was the first Christmas without both my kids in the same room or even the same town. I want to…

To live until we say good-bye. Tobey: Jan. 14, 2000-Dec. 23, 2015

December 23, 2015 3:52 PM As I write this, I await my brother to pick me up to take Tobey to the vet.  I awoke yesterday with a painful heart, knowing it was time to help Tobey let go. 6:36 PM I said goodbye to my sweet Tobey at 5:45 PM. So much love and…

Magical thinking and Christmas knickknacks.

Christmas is here- magical time of year.  One of my favorite and one of the hardest.  So true for many of us.  It’s a time of joy and connection, of reminders of loss and longing, of financial hardship and worry, a time of creating and sharing and giving… I love surrounding myself with old Christmas…

“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”

I revisited Brideshead Revisited last night and was struck, more deeply than usual, by Waugh’s opening line: “Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…” Why did this opening line stand out?  I’ve been trying to find the right quote, the right words to help me reflect on my current dip into…

And so, the vulnerability shakes set in…

Hi. As you may know, I’ve been fully immersed in process in the last month or so- working on my book presentation for my agent to shop around, and I have LOVED the process, trying to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s.  Exciting to be at the next stage.  Ready to share.  So ready….

I write of what I cannot speak- the truth.

I write it over and over wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak- the truth. I write all I know of it and then I throw the pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it. – Moira Buffini Ah, Molly is speaking.  Sitting here with me. What an incredible time…

it should be a nightmare, but somehow, it isn’t. Instead, I am filled with curiosity…

I am a bit lost these days.  Spinning in place the last few weeks.   I know the spinning comes from diving into the past for a certain personal project.  The triggers pull the rug out from under me. And so I freeze, bite my nails, feel exhausted. Yet at peace… strangely.  For I am ready. I…

For me, art has no end- there is no end product… A drawing by my father.

I was staying over at my brother and sister-in-law’s place the other day, spending delicious time with my niece and nephew. I went to the downstairs washroom to wash my hands after Halloween costume mayhem… … and came across a drawing my father, Roar Thorsen, had  done in 2011: Oh, how I adore this piece.  It…

Turning point: reflections on triggers. Part 2- (re)discovery

This week I have been exploring triggers in my life– their roles as fodder for creative work, their potential to help in self-development and their ability to create turning points. Recall: Part 1- archives Part 2 (RE)DISCOVERY As I mentioned in Part 1, a random journal entry may bring me to my knees. I was organizing my studio the other…

Turning point- reflections on triggers. Part 1: archives

Last New Year, my brother and I brought home all my journals and artwork from storage.  We recently brought home all the family photo albums and objects.  I love being the family archivist.  I love seeing the heirlooms showcased in my kids’ collections and in the extended family’s homes.  I love that the next generation…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 7 of 7: Reviewing

I have been diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting Part 5: Enhancing Part 6: Addressing…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 4: Prioritizing, consolidating, connecting

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping TODAY: PART 4 OF 7: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting So once you have…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision TODAY: PART 3 OF 7: Stream of consciousness mapping In your journal start writing out…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 2 of 7: the Big Vision

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? TODAY: PART 2 OF 7: The Big Vision You may recall my journey with mindmaps using:   Right-brain entrepreneur Jennifer Lee…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Recall: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Today: Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap? Mindmaps (or mind maps– but I prefer the one word version) are essentially visual diagrams. Wikipedia definition: A mind…

Mindmap tutorial week on the blog!

Getting ready to dive into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! What to expect: Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: The big vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting Part 5: Enhancing Part 6: Addressing Part 7: Reviewing What you…

Recycled sock craft: dead crow. #Graphicnovel fundraiser. 

The crow guides my healing journey. It gives me the courage to enter the darkness of the unknown and to let go of fear. The crow reminds me to laugh, live and love fiercely as I embrace my life’s mission.  According to folk lore, finding a dead crow implies good fortune awaits.  I feel they…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 9: Frida and the magpie portrait

I’ve been celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo (plus some additional posts here and there) in some form/medium or another. It may be a…

Limited edition hand-embroidered print sale #graphicnovel

— I am making available 10 hand-embroidered prints entitled Who is it that can tell me who I am? featuring an original image from my graphic novel, Molly. —  — The print captures the moment a crow, the magician of the forest, adorned by a child’s skull as a crown, looks, with intense curiosity, into Lost Lagoon…

Happy birthday, Frida! Frida No.7:  Fetal Frida Sock Doll 

Frida Kahlo b. July 6, 1907         See Frida No. 1-6: LINK

Pay attention to the birds: Part 6- Starling

Ah, the birds— and their delightful ways— this time of year in particular.  I just LOVE watching them! And I love when I feel something extra special in a particular moment that makes me stop and pay attention. The other day, I observed a flock of starlings.  I know many people call them rats, greasy…

“Dear me…” Write a letter to your younger self.

What would you write to younger you today? There is so much I want to write to that little anxious girl.  I haven’t written my letter yet, but it will come.  For now, I give that little girl a knowing nod and whisper- you are perfect as you are. We have outgrown our container and…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 5: “I have wings to fly…” coloring page

I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I am creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise. I…

IXQUEL: interpretation through drawing and embroidery. Deeper portraits.

 Certain people in your life– even though you may not have met them in person- only through the ether- get right into your heart. Ixquel is one such person. What a pleasure to dig a little deeper and to interpret her exquisite beauty and spirit through drawing, embroidery and symbolism. To let the process unfold…

“Crime Scene” creative process #graphicnovel

   — “CRIME SCENE” Testing chapter heading visuals for: Molly, my graphic novel. Creating on nickels and dimes. ‪ “… even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell.” – Pablo ‪Picasso‬ I can’t stop despite money worries and fatigue-inducing insecurities… Can I pull this off?…

Little Brown Mouse Journal Ramblings

   Little Brown Mouse Journal Ramblings I have been told in the past that I think TOO BIG.  But I have come to realize, I may not be dreaming BIG ENOUGH. * why, oh why do I question [everything]? * *so embarrassed * I have been too timid, too small, too local, too shy… I…

Sock sparrow. #recycledcraft

    My personal therapy is randomly picking up an old scrap, grabbing needle and thread and seeing what happens. In this case, I was donated a cozy pair of wooly socks and their color just told me- make a sparrow.  Recall: Pay attention to the birds: SPARROW “The sparrow reflects self-worth.  If a Sparrow totem…

Pay attention to the signs. Badger. #alignment

    The image of the badger has been playing in my mind the past few weeks.  I really have no idea why.   But in the spirit of trusting the signs, I play along. Badger symbolism:  (SOURCE) The badger symbolizes aggressiveness, reliance, self-expression, holding ones own, link to the underworld and the magic and…

What happens when you open yourself up? #journal #truth

April 28, 2015 What happens when you open yourself up and share some painful truths?  Say that you are with a (safe) person and the door opens to have the conversation. What happens first? The heart beats a little faster. And your breath gets more rapid and shallow. Perhaps the bile rises a bit in…

Pay attention to the birds: Part 5- Sparrow

— Bliss- walking my old dog slowly, oh so slowly, in our West End neighborhood listening to the sweet song of the white-throated sparrow.  Miraculous. I walk with a smile on my face.  I am filled with self-love for truly the first time in my life.  I know my own worth and I can sing…

Write for 10 minutes without stopping. #journalexercise

I feel tired, excited, more peaceful- but tired and worn.  I am indeed— worn out.  Maybe it’s muscle memory.  Anniversary grief catching up.  This time last year- JEEEEZUS. Accepting, surrendering, packing, moving, bankruptcy, no money.  That week with no home.  The incredible support from family and friends. “You need  to finish your book here,” the…

Why receiving a NO from @writehedgebrook was a YES.

December 19, 2014: Dear Katarina, Thank you so much for applying for a 2015 Hedgebrook residency. We received 1,466 applications for 2015 and are able to offer 40 residencies. Though your application did not advance into the final round this year, we want you to know that your work resonated with our reviewers. Sending your work…

Touch me life, not softly. #journalentry

How will you take on this week? Last week was truly full of too muchness, too fullness, too many extremes, but at the same time, I was grateful for the intensity. It helped me clarify what was truly important. There was output and connection, there was trauma and fear, there was despair and elation, and…

A week of triggers and difficult conversations. And authenticity.

There were many triggers this week, both personally, professionally, and financially, that led to a multitude of emotions- most especially anxiety. Triggers that give rise to deep-rooted memories and default reactions. Anger directed at self. But I was delighted to find that I also defaulted to the “don’t know mind” technique and that I allowed…

As I walked the labyrinth, I repeated the mantra: the question is…

Journal entry- at Xenia Retreat Centre inside the Sanctuary after walking the labyrinth on December 29, 2014 [unedited] @ Xenia with Laura.  What a treat!  Thank you! She picked me up at 7:10 –> Ferry –> breakfast at Snug Cafe. My hands now cold, limbs frozen, toes frozen, numb and painful.  Reminds of being on the…

INNER CRITIC Series Part 4 of 6: CAUTERIZE #journalexercise

The inner critic is always worth a revisit.  I have broken the series into 6 parts: 1. RANT 2. JUDGE 3. INVESTIGATE 4. CAUTERIZE 5. TEASE 6. EMBRACE Each exercise starts with a journal entry and/or mindmap.  Then we look at the emotions that come up as we share openly.  I encourage you to experiment by…

I know in my heart though, this is healthy grieving. I am processing.

I dreamt of my parents last night. On awakening, I was drenched in that deep sweat of walking through symbolic dream time. My mother passed away November 8, 2008 and my father October 25, 2012, but in this dream my mother was still alive as Dad was nearing death. I was in my parents’ home…

INNER CRITIC series Part 3 of 6: INVESTIGATE #journalexercise

The inner critic is always worth a revisit.  I have broken the series into 6 parts: 1. RANT 2. JUDGE 3. INVESTIGATE 4. CAUTERIZE 5. TEASE 6. EMBRACE Each exercise starts with a journal entry and/or mindmap.  Then we look at the emotions that come up as we share openly.  I encourage you to experiment by…

Inner Critic Series Part 2: JUDGE #journalexercise #mindmap

INNER CRITIC SERIES PARTS 1-6: The inner critic is always worth a revisit.  I have broken the series into 6 parts: 1. RANT 2. JUDGE 3. INVESTIGATE 4. CAUTERIZE 5. TEASE 6. EMBRACE Each exercise starts with ajournal entry and/or mindmap.  Then we look at the emotions that come up as we share openly.  I encourage…

Notes from the kitchen table… #journalexercise

Journal exercise: Take time to listen. Sit with pen and paper and write down all you hear.  ALL.   BE PRESENT. I was sitting at my kitchen table the other evening, sewing.  The apartment to myself except for sleeping pets.  I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings. I had, what I can only call, a…

“Hey over here- over HEAR!” Bathtub musings. #journal

This that this that I throw you the unknown This that this that Hey over here, over- HEAR! Cart on a cup over rocks in a bird’s stomach Soaring crashing Overview- over this view, so over this view But not you and you but them. Not this not- this right here. Clear clear I love this. This! Right here….

Shhh brain… Shhh… How I wind down.

Too much output this week. Leading to lots of thinking and reassessing. Squirrelliness. Harumphyness. But enough is enough. Weekend work done and I stop in to ease the racing thoughts with a walk in the cemetery with my dog… Wind down with some doodling… A pot of coffee on a Sunday night… A conversation with…

Contemplating death, loss, hope, acceptance…

Release Leap of faith Acceptance Peace Honorary Karin Roar Life rough on the seas Sacrifice Mother father daughter love Death Release Hope Promise Defence Loss Rose Thorn Thorsen Memorial Cycle Allowance Honor New beginnings Immortal Bud Blossom Farewell Dedicated to my mother Karin September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 and my father Roar August…