Creative Rebel Manifesto


Do something small to begin living the life you
imagine. Start today. Write down your Bucket List, and start
DOING it. Do the easiest stuff first, if that gets you going. You’ve got
this. Step out of the norm and be wildTake
risks in your creative life. Think you
can’t write or paint? Do it anyway. You’ll be
amazed how much better you get when you
keep at it. Create adventure. You can make
anything fun. Be grateful and kind. Less is More.
Take care of your body, mind, and soul.
                                             Meditate daily, even for three minutes. Carve
                                             your own path and lead the way. 
                                             Let criticism roll off with a smile. 
                                             Keep the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary.                                                          Embrace your weirdness. Be proud.
                                             Be a rebel.

My Unasked-For Thoughts on Writing



Writing is fun.

It's easy and I get nothing but pure pleasure from sitting down to write every morning, right after I wake up and feed my unicorn.

Scratch all that. Writing is fucking hard.

Why anyone would want to be a writer is beyond me. I believe the only reason there are writers in the world, is because a true writer can't NOT write.

A writer can't help but want to write down dialogue they hear between strangers. Yesterday I was waiting for my son to come out of a Target bathroom. A male employee walked past me toward the Employees Only door. Before he could enter, about five other employees came out. The male employee smiled and said, "Hey, I'm your new co-worker. It's so amazing to meet you!" and he hugged every employee standing there.

I had to write that down. Had to. I wanted to know more about this guy who shows up for work on his first day and ecstatically hugs his new coworkers.

I kinda wanted to be his friend.

Is he always like that? Did something great happen to him that morning to make him so happy? Or does he suffer from depression and it takes everything in him to appear happy every day?

Whatever his story is, a writer will walk away thinking about it and making up crazy scenarios. It's in our blood. And even though it comes naturally to us, it's still fucking hard to do every day.

I'm Not Weird. I Swear.

Our family tends to do things a little differently that most people we know. My husband and I didn't like working 9-5 jobs for a few hundred dollars a week, so we both quit and started our own cleaning business. People said we'd fail. They said we were crazy for quitting our jobs and taking a chance. We've had our business now for eleven years and make way more money than we would at "normal" jobs.


Now, after a few years of deliberating, I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to continue house cleaning forever. I've decided to quit within the next year or two to concentrate on expanding my creativity, and seeing where that takes me. So far I have many wonderful options I'm exploring.


We can't have kids so we decided to become foster parents to adopt. This was not a road I dreamed of going down when I was a kid. Fostering can be extremely rewarding, difficult and frustrating. But all of our tears and frustrations were worth it for the beautiful day in August of 2009 when we adopted our son. 


We don't like the school systems so we homeschool. We've taken lots (and lots) of flack for this, but we don't care. We do what's best for our family. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but it is definitely for us and we love it. 


My husband has always wanted to move out of state. I've always been the one to resist, saying I didn't want to leave my family. But something has shifted in the last eight months (I seriously think it's the work I've put into our Facebook page, Learn to Live Simply and Creatively, where we encourage and inspire people to live the life they want and be the best person they can be). We are now planning on moving to Colorado, hopefully next summer/fall. We've never been there but will be visiting this August to check out towns and neighborhoods. This will obviously be a huge deal for all of us, moving across the country, but we are really excited.


When I look back at all of the "odd" things we do, I realize that I've been looking at it wrong. We're not weird for the things we do. We just see changes that we want made and we do them. We didn't like working 9-5 so we created our own company. We couldn't have biological kids so we adopted. We didn't want to send our son to school, so we homeschool. We don't want to be those people in their 80's who regret never moving away from their hometown, so we're (planning on) doing it. 


I've never regretted one thing that we've done, and I will always be proud of us for taking the chances we've taken. I think if more people stopped complaining about their life and started taking steps towards changing it, they'd be much happier. YOU are in charge of your own happiness, no one else is. 



Jumping In

Yesterday I had some sort of crazy inspiration strike me. All I wanted to do all day long was doodle and color. I ended up getting three things done, and they weren't too bad for a first time. 

My goal is to make e-courses, workbooks, calendars and more with my own doodle/drawings included. I still need lots of practice, but it's so much fun it definitely doesn't feel like work. I may try adding some water colors once I'm done with the colored pencils. I just have to figure out how to get it all into the computer, then be able to type on it. 

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

Something pretty cool happened today. I had an appointment with Law of Attraction Life Coach, Linda Armstrong. I was nervous about calling because I didn't really know what we'd talk about. She knew some of the things going on in my life now because of a form I filled out before hand, but there wasn't anything specific I had in mind to discuss. 

I can't remember how I had found Linda, but I remember emailing her a few months ago about the law of attraction and what it means to me. She kept in contact with me, and I eventually signed up for a free session. 

She asked me a lot of questions about where I see my life heading, and our conversation mostly stayed around the plans my husband and I have. She did a meditation session with me (my first ever), and it was amazing! I'm definitely going to do more meditating in the future. 

On top of becoming a creativity coach, I've been contemplating becoming a life coach as well. I didn't realize there was such a thing as a law of attraction life coach. She told me about her training and where she studied, and it sounds perfect. I feel like there was a reason I wasn't finding the right place to train for life coaching...maybe the place she studied at is the right one for me. I hope it is. 

I felt a very strong connection to her and the things she was telling me. A lot of what she said was just confirming what I've already been feeling. And she also gave me some great tips on how to move past some doubts I was having about possibly moving, and how I'll be able to get certified (since it's so darn expensive).  I can't wait to implement her techniques and learn more about the law of attraction life coaching.

What Moves Me to be Creative

I've been messing around with my blog title, and what exactly it is I want my blog to be. I was working (cleaning) the other day, and thinking about what it is that gets me in a creative mood. I normally listen to podcasts all day at work to make the time go by quicker, but that day I was listening to music. And it suddenly hit me that music is my muse. I can listen to almost any song and get a story idea from it. Sometimes it's just a scene that flashes in to my head, or an overwhelming feeling of how a character is feeling. But songs almost always give me inspiration and a story. 

When I write, I love to blast my music. I usually favor the 70's rock era, but I'll also listen to pop, 80's, grunge, Sinatra, Indie, movie scores...you name it. It all depends on what type of mood I'm trying to create in my story. If I'm working on a scene with fast-moving dialogue, I've played AC/DC on a loop to help. And it does. It's hard to write slowly while listening to AC/DC. 

The title idea Rockin' the Creativity came to me while I was working, and I'm still rolling it around in my brain to see if I like it. 

I think I do.



  

Wake Up & Get a Life!

 Since I clean houses all day, I have a lot of time to think about things. Over the past few months it just sort of hit me that I'm not doing what I want. I mean, I make good money, really good money for the short amount of hours I work each day, but it wasn't what I wanted to be doing.

Something finally snapped in me and made me realize this is it. Not to get all cliched on you, but this is the one life we have. And I'm already just about half-way (God willing) through mine. Which leaves me with about forty years to do what I want. I spent the last 25 years working at jobs I had no interest in. Why? Why didn't I wake up back then and do something about that? I don't know, but I'm doing it now. 

And so should you. 

I've always done this thing of asking people I meet what they do for a living, and if they truly love it. Most people say they don't. My next question is, why aren't they doing what they love? Their answer is usually they don't know where to begin, they're too invested in their current career, or they just don't have the motivation. 

Well, wake up

Imagine how great it would feel to wake up every morning excited to go to work. 

I have yet to feel this, but I'm working on it! Every day I'm doing something to work towards my goal of quitting cleaning and being creative all day!

I'm not saying quit your job tomorrow. But think. Think about what it is you'd truly love to do every single day.

Then start researching it. 

The only one holding you back is you.




My Vision Board


I made my first-ever vision board the other night. Not only was it fun finding the right pictures, printing, gluing and decorating (with glitter glue, of course), but it’s awesome to look at when I’m sitting down to write. It’s a constant reminder of what I want and what I’m working towards. Every picture on there means something to me. Whether it’s where I want to live or work, or what I want to become. I can’t not feel happy and excited for the future every time I see it. It makes me want to make a bunch of them and put them all over the house. Or, at least bring one to work to remind me why I’m cleaning houses every day.
If you’re interested in making one (or two) for yourself, here’s a great how-to link: How to Make a Vision Board. On Oprah.com you can make a virtual vision board. I haven't tried this because I like doing it myself.  If you make one take a picture and send me the link. I’d love to see what you did!

Why This Blog Sucks



It’s new. And blogs that are brand new are not as good as they will be in the future. I think George Washington said that.
My goal for this blog is to inspire you to be creative. Lots of people think they’re not creative, but that’s not true. Everybody is creative. Everyone. If you can pick up a pencil, or a paintbrush, or scissors and glue, you can be creative.
Within the next year I am going to be studying creativity and how to teach it. I am going to become a certified creativity coach, most likely through Kaizen-Muse, along with taking a caboodle of other creativity trainings.  I am beyond ecstatic over this new journey in my life, and can’t wait to begin learning.
And not only am I planning on starting an online coaching business, but, if all goes well, I’m going to co-own a creative expressive arts studio with my soul sister in the future. We are hoping to make a big move so we can have this studio together. Have these ideas and possibilities rolling around in my head all day while I’m cleaning houses, is what gets me through.
So stick around and watch it all get better.

How to Be Creative Without Being a Freak



Okay, that may not technically be possible. But the good news is, I do have advice for those of you who think you may possibly be creative, and have an urge to draw, or paint, or to try some 
funky journaling ideas.
I love to draw and paint and I’m horrible at it. And I used to care. I used to think, what if a REAL artist sees me doing this and laughs. Or, worse, a friend or family member! And I used to think the same thing about writing first drafts of my novels (which are always the worst!). What if I die before I finish my first draft, and my family actually thinks this is how badly I write?
And I always had this crazy urge to play with stickers. Like, just stick them all over the notebook I’m using for my novel ideas, stick them onto crazy journal entries I randomly decide to write, and, the best, combine all my painting/drawing/sticker sticking ideas into one in a Smash journal-type of book. (I have yet to make up my own name for creations like this, but it’s coming. I can feel it.)
So I listed some of the fun things you might want to try, even though you’ve never done anything like it. And I mentioned the friends and family who might jump out from behind the curtains to make fun of you. Now here is a delicious piece of advice (that I got from Goddess Leonie and my dad) when you hear your friends voices in your head laughing:
Fukem. 
Who cares what other people think? Be happy and excited to be YOUWhen you’re creating, don’t let anyone else come into your head, unless you’re creating something for them. So, stick your stickers, paint your paintings and draw on the walls. Just be sure you’re creating what you want to create! Let your freak flag fly, and if anyone judges you for it, fukem.

Creating Out Loud



My life is shifting. It’s been on a slow upward climb for some time now, but I didn’t realize that until recently. We have lots of amazing stuff going on over here, and this web site is just the beginning of one of them. 
I have been cleaning houses for our business for eleven years. And for about the last seven years, I’ve desperately wanted to do something different. I am creative. I love all things to do with creativity. And, good Lord, cleaning toilets all day long is not creative. It’s boring, tedious and hard work. So I’m going to stop cleaning toilets (not mine, of course. That would just be yucky.). It’s going to take some time, but I’ve got a plan.
And it involves creativity.
Lots and lots and lots of gloriousdazzlingradiant creativity. ☆

When a New Character Won't Shut Up

I've been happily plodding along working on my YA novel about two sixteen year old girls. I have the entire thing mapped out (but I'm not afraid to go off track), and I've been writing every day. I love my characters, plot and ending.

Then, out of nowhere, a new character and story pops up. Not only is he unwelcomed, but he's a HE! I've never written a male main character before, and I had no intention of doing so.

I was in the car one day with my five year old, when he asked me a question about our family life. I could have answered one of two ways: I could have given him an I-don't-know-now-stop-talking-about-it-answer, or I could be honest like I usually am when he asks questions. I went with honesty, and as I was explaining I started to wonder if I was telling him too much for an almost-six year old to comprehend.

Then I started wondering about him at fifteen and being neurotic and worrying about things too much because I told him too much when he was a kid. BAM! I had a character. That night I tossed and turned in bed as the male character told me his name, where he lived, and what his parents were like. I finally had to get up and find some index cards to write stuff down. Then I fell asleep.

Now I have THIS kids story practically writing itself every day. I'm taking notes like a good little writer, but I'm trying to refrain from actually writing anything until I'm done with my current ya.

I'm not complaining, believe me. I'd much rather have characters throwing themselves at me than feeling like I'm a brain dead writer who can't come up with anything.

Has this happened to you? How do you handle it? Have you ever had the urge to write about something/someone unfamiliar?

When Your Characters Surprise You

You always hear to let your characters tell their story and see where they take you. I used to think that sounded like a bunch of weird, writerly mumbo jumbo. But it's been happening to me lately.

I've been working on my young adult novel every day (a miracle in itself). I get anywhere from a thousand words to one sentence, but I make sure I get something down. Since I've always had a hard time finishing stories and holding my interest in them, my main goal with this novel is to just plow through the first draft until the end. I'm writing bad, bad embarrassing stuff like you're supposed to in your first draft. I'm not allowing myself to fix anything. I'm just writing.

And a cool thing just happened. I was writing a scene with my main character (a sixteen year old girl) eating breakfast with a couple of woman she'd just met. I had no idea where I was going with this scene, I just knew I wanted one of the woman to drive her to her next destination. While eating breakfast my mc asked how the two woman met, and they each gave such a funny response that I was actually excited to learn how they met. And I had to stop writing for the day so I still don't know. But that's a great feeling to look forward to what my characters will tell me when I get back.

My Top 5 Reasons Why I Homeschool

I failed sixth grade. And it wasn't much of a surprise considering my parents got divorced that year, and our home life was anything but stable. One of the things I specifically remember about attending sixth grade in my new school, was asking the teacher to teach more about a subject and him telling he he wasn't allowed. In my first sixth grade class we studied Europe in great detail. For some reason I loved, understood, and craved to know more about everything Europe. (I say "for some reason" because I ended up being a bad student the rest of my school years. That was the one time I was really interested.) When I got to my new school and it was barely touched on before moving on to another subject, I protested. I wanted to know more. I would have even been happy relearning everything I'd already been taught about it. But it couldn't and wouldn't be done. It wasn't allowed.

This is a perfect example of why I love homeschooling. Here was a kid who wanted to learn more than they were willing or allowed to teach. Below are my top five reasons I love to homeschool:


  1. When my son was interested in the Titanic, we spent weeks studying books, movies and documentaries on it. I will never tell him he can't learn more about a subject he is interested in. I'm lucky and thankful that he's so into big things for a five year old like space, evolution, God, and a few things I can't even wrap my brain around. But we will study his interests and learn as much as we can about whatever he's into.
  2. Nothing beats one on one teaching. Not only does it provide instant feedback, but everything we do is tailored to fit his needs. Our school is planned around him...what he likes, what he's interested in, what he'd like to try, etc. 
  3. Being a writer I'm huge on creativity. I love nothing more than my son and I getting our art supplies out and creating something. Whether we work on our art journals, makes cards for people or just wing it and put stickers all over a sheet of paper, I love being creative with him. And teaching him at home lets him be as creative as he can possibly be. There's no one here to tell him his time is up and he has to move onto something else. He can draw all day long if he wants. And when we were working on our 8ft. New York City drawing, that's exactly what we did. 
  4. I don't think for a second that kids need to be surrounded by kids their own age all day long. I love the fact that my son is learning social skills towards people of all ages. He introduces himself to kids, shakes men's hands, and high-fives the ladies:) He's learning to look people in the eye when both he and they speak, to not interrupt and to be polite. I've seen him hold doors for strangers, pick up things off store floors and put them on shelves so people don't trip, and pick up a garbage can when someone ran over our neighbors'. This is all without being told. 
  5. My very tip top reason that I love to homeschool is...I get to spend day after day with my son. I couldn't imagine sending him off for six or seven hours a day (and I know he feels the same way). I feel like the luckiest mommy in the world to be the one to teach, explore, and hang out with him all day.
Obviously I know homeschooling isn't for everyone. Lord knows I get enough eye rolls when people learn we homeschool. But I also know there are a lot of people out there who want to homeschool but don't know where to begin, or they're afraid they'll mess it up. But if you feel that calling, do it. Just try it. The very worst that can happen is it doesn't work and you end up sending your kid back to school. But don't be like so many people I've met with grown kids who say they always wanted to but were too afraid. My Bug is only five and a half, but we're having the time of our life together. Every day.

See What Quitting Facebook Can Do

Ok, so I know it's only been four days since I deleted my Facebook account. But I have to say...I don't miss it at all. At least not yet. My husband thinks I will in a few weeks.

We'll see.

I'm still planning on coming back in July. (Even though my awesome friend started a Bring Back Lisa Miles page on Facebook.)

So far this week I've:
  • Joined the YMCA -- This is something I've been wanting to do forever and we finally did it. We went yesterday and today with our friends. Yesterday was the first time I've ever left my five year old in a play area without me right there, and he did great! Although he did have his best friends with him, so that helped.
    • I've used the treadmill, bike machine and one of the exercise rooms with equipment. Afterwards we take the kids into one of the play areas or swimming. Of course, all that great exercise I've been doing was probably just undone by the chocolate chip pancakes I made for lunch today.
  • Been writing on my current WIP -- After putting it aside for a few months, I'm finally back on the writing bandwagon and working on my ya novel. It feels good to stare off into space about my story again.
  • Came up with a new memoir/fiction idea that I'm tossing around. I feel like it's a story that needs to be written down, I'm just not sure if I want to fictionalize it or have anyone read it.
  • I'm also tossing around the idea I have for my next ya  novel. I haven't written anything down on it yet, mostly for fear that I'll start on that one and forget my current one. But it's bubbling up there.
And there have only been two times where I've thought about posting on Facebook. One was the other day when I saw two pregnant woman sharing a cigarette, and the other was when my son said something funny:

                         Me: Daddy bought a new grill.
                        Him: What's he going to do with you?
                        Me: With me, what do you mean?
                        Him: If he bought a new girl, what's going to happen to you?

And that's it for my four days without Facebook. Hopefully I'll have alot more added to that. If I'm not to sore from working out to crawl to the computer.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I learned a lot. About myself. I learned that while I might be able to go, go, go and have plans all day every week day, I will eventually burn out.

In the beginning of the summer I was taking both boys to the YMCA almost every day. Then we'd either go to my girlfriend's house, to the library, out to lunch or all three. Little by little I found myself getting home later every day. Then one Friday I stayed home. And, bam, I discovered something. I'm a homebody. I love being home. I got so much done that day and couldn't believe all of the time I had to actually do things around the house. And my relationships didn't suffer. My girlfriend and I still text or talk on the phone fifty times a day.

A few weeks ago the brakes went on our van (while I was driving with both boys in a downpour on the expressway), and I was stuck home for over a month without a car. During that month (without a choice), I slowed way down. We took nature walks, started art journals, made a Spiderman Web across our living room,  and lounged around under tents we made reading books by flashlight. I cleaned out the craft room, school room, three of the bedrooms, three bathrooms and a bunch of closets. I donated bags of clothes, toys, and household things to Goodwill.

I joined two homeschool co-ops for the Fall, but we're only going to go to one for classes. We'll use the other for field trips. Bug is finishing up karate at the YMCA this Saturday, and decided he wants to continue by earning his belts. We're signing him up at the karate academy where he'll take karate twice a week. I wish it wasn't twice a week, but I'm very happy he's so into it.

Instead of making sure our week is filled with play dates, library trips, museum trips, the zoo and everything else, we do one or two things a week and play the rest of the time.

This past summer I learned probably my most favorite lesson of all. The art of slowing down.

Fall Cleaning Under Way




Last night I worked on my art journal while Bug was at Sports Camp. 


My supplies.


Bug loves to have his Legos all over the table and couch during the day. Unfortunately he kept them there all night. I had to have him put them on the shelves near the fireplace instead. Clutter drives me crazy!


For the past year we've lived here we've had blue drapes in our bedroom. I actually happen to like drapes because they're so heavy and block out the light. But they were old fashioned and driving me crazy. I decided to take the brown curtains from Bug's room and buy clips to hang them up in ours. I wish we had one more panel for each window, but it looks much better. Plus, I've been sneezing like crazy around here lately, and I'm wondering if it's dust. I washed the white sheer curtains behind the brown ones. They were very dusty! Looks like I'll be doing a Fall cleaning on each room pretty soon.


And Bug's room looks so BRIGHT now! 


This is our upstairs bathroom. I've wanted this folksy shower curtain forever and finally splurged and bought it. Now I just need to pain the bathroom.

Sensory Bins & Art

I bought big containers at Target this week ($7.99) and expanded Bug's rice, and waterbead bin. I love having the larger bins (I added more waterbeads and rice to each), and he'll sit for an hour and play. We also colored the older rice last year. It was super simple and a lot of fun.



Yesterday we sat outside at our table again and worked on art projects. I'm still playing with watercolors, and Bug finished making his time capsule he got as a birthday present. 



My watercolors are nothing fancy but I enjoy doing them and coming up with new ideas.

We also made a giant tent in the living room yesterday. We had some friends over and they enjoyed it, too.



Then later we walked around Park Ave and had dinner at Jine's, then my husband and Bug had ice cream at Abbott's. After, we walked around Parkleigh and I drooled.






Wednesday

Creative Rebel Manifesto


Do something small to begin living the life you
imagine. Start today. Write down your Bucket List, and start
DOING it. Do the easiest stuff first, if that gets you going. You’ve got
this. Step out of the norm and be wildTake
risks in your creative life. Think you
can’t write or paint? Do it anyway. You’ll be
amazed how much better you get when you
keep at it. Create adventure. You can make
anything fun. Be grateful and kind. Less is More.
Take care of your body, mind, and soul.
                                             Meditate daily, even for three minutes. Carve
                                             your own path and lead the way. 
                                             Let criticism roll off with a smile. 
                                             Keep the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary.                                                          Embrace your weirdness. Be proud.
                                             Be a rebel.

Thursday

My Unasked-For Thoughts on Writing



Writing is fun.

It's easy and I get nothing but pure pleasure from sitting down to write every morning, right after I wake up and feed my unicorn.

Scratch all that. Writing is fucking hard.

Why anyone would want to be a writer is beyond me. I believe the only reason there are writers in the world, is because a true writer can't NOT write.

A writer can't help but want to write down dialogue they hear between strangers. Yesterday I was waiting for my son to come out of a Target bathroom. A male employee walked past me toward the Employees Only door. Before he could enter, about five other employees came out. The male employee smiled and said, "Hey, I'm your new co-worker. It's so amazing to meet you!" and he hugged every employee standing there.

I had to write that down. Had to. I wanted to know more about this guy who shows up for work on his first day and ecstatically hugs his new coworkers.

I kinda wanted to be his friend.

Is he always like that? Did something great happen to him that morning to make him so happy? Or does he suffer from depression and it takes everything in him to appear happy every day?

Whatever his story is, a writer will walk away thinking about it and making up crazy scenarios. It's in our blood. And even though it comes naturally to us, it's still fucking hard to do every day.

I'm Not Weird. I Swear.

Our family tends to do things a little differently that most people we know. My husband and I didn't like working 9-5 jobs for a few hundred dollars a week, so we both quit and started our own cleaning business. People said we'd fail. They said we were crazy for quitting our jobs and taking a chance. We've had our business now for eleven years and make way more money than we would at "normal" jobs.


Now, after a few years of deliberating, I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to continue house cleaning forever. I've decided to quit within the next year or two to concentrate on expanding my creativity, and seeing where that takes me. So far I have many wonderful options I'm exploring.


We can't have kids so we decided to become foster parents to adopt. This was not a road I dreamed of going down when I was a kid. Fostering can be extremely rewarding, difficult and frustrating. But all of our tears and frustrations were worth it for the beautiful day in August of 2009 when we adopted our son. 


We don't like the school systems so we homeschool. We've taken lots (and lots) of flack for this, but we don't care. We do what's best for our family. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but it is definitely for us and we love it. 


My husband has always wanted to move out of state. I've always been the one to resist, saying I didn't want to leave my family. But something has shifted in the last eight months (I seriously think it's the work I've put into our Facebook page, Learn to Live Simply and Creatively, where we encourage and inspire people to live the life they want and be the best person they can be). We are now planning on moving to Colorado, hopefully next summer/fall. We've never been there but will be visiting this August to check out towns and neighborhoods. This will obviously be a huge deal for all of us, moving across the country, but we are really excited.


When I look back at all of the "odd" things we do, I realize that I've been looking at it wrong. We're not weird for the things we do. We just see changes that we want made and we do them. We didn't like working 9-5 so we created our own company. We couldn't have biological kids so we adopted. We didn't want to send our son to school, so we homeschool. We don't want to be those people in their 80's who regret never moving away from their hometown, so we're (planning on) doing it. 


I've never regretted one thing that we've done, and I will always be proud of us for taking the chances we've taken. I think if more people stopped complaining about their life and started taking steps towards changing it, they'd be much happier. YOU are in charge of your own happiness, no one else is. 



Tuesday

Jumping In

Yesterday I had some sort of crazy inspiration strike me. All I wanted to do all day long was doodle and color. I ended up getting three things done, and they weren't too bad for a first time. 

My goal is to make e-courses, workbooks, calendars and more with my own doodle/drawings included. I still need lots of practice, but it's so much fun it definitely doesn't feel like work. I may try adding some water colors once I'm done with the colored pencils. I just have to figure out how to get it all into the computer, then be able to type on it. 

Friday

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

Something pretty cool happened today. I had an appointment with Law of Attraction Life Coach, Linda Armstrong. I was nervous about calling because I didn't really know what we'd talk about. She knew some of the things going on in my life now because of a form I filled out before hand, but there wasn't anything specific I had in mind to discuss. 

I can't remember how I had found Linda, but I remember emailing her a few months ago about the law of attraction and what it means to me. She kept in contact with me, and I eventually signed up for a free session. 

She asked me a lot of questions about where I see my life heading, and our conversation mostly stayed around the plans my husband and I have. She did a meditation session with me (my first ever), and it was amazing! I'm definitely going to do more meditating in the future. 

On top of becoming a creativity coach, I've been contemplating becoming a life coach as well. I didn't realize there was such a thing as a law of attraction life coach. She told me about her training and where she studied, and it sounds perfect. I feel like there was a reason I wasn't finding the right place to train for life coaching...maybe the place she studied at is the right one for me. I hope it is. 

I felt a very strong connection to her and the things she was telling me. A lot of what she said was just confirming what I've already been feeling. And she also gave me some great tips on how to move past some doubts I was having about possibly moving, and how I'll be able to get certified (since it's so darn expensive).  I can't wait to implement her techniques and learn more about the law of attraction life coaching.

Wednesday

What Moves Me to be Creative

I've been messing around with my blog title, and what exactly it is I want my blog to be. I was working (cleaning) the other day, and thinking about what it is that gets me in a creative mood. I normally listen to podcasts all day at work to make the time go by quicker, but that day I was listening to music. And it suddenly hit me that music is my muse. I can listen to almost any song and get a story idea from it. Sometimes it's just a scene that flashes in to my head, or an overwhelming feeling of how a character is feeling. But songs almost always give me inspiration and a story. 

When I write, I love to blast my music. I usually favor the 70's rock era, but I'll also listen to pop, 80's, grunge, Sinatra, Indie, movie scores...you name it. It all depends on what type of mood I'm trying to create in my story. If I'm working on a scene with fast-moving dialogue, I've played AC/DC on a loop to help. And it does. It's hard to write slowly while listening to AC/DC. 

The title idea Rockin' the Creativity came to me while I was working, and I'm still rolling it around in my brain to see if I like it. 

I think I do.



  

Monday

Wake Up & Get a Life!

 Since I clean houses all day, I have a lot of time to think about things. Over the past few months it just sort of hit me that I'm not doing what I want. I mean, I make good money, really good money for the short amount of hours I work each day, but it wasn't what I wanted to be doing.

Something finally snapped in me and made me realize this is it. Not to get all cliched on you, but this is the one life we have. And I'm already just about half-way (God willing) through mine. Which leaves me with about forty years to do what I want. I spent the last 25 years working at jobs I had no interest in. Why? Why didn't I wake up back then and do something about that? I don't know, but I'm doing it now. 

And so should you. 

I've always done this thing of asking people I meet what they do for a living, and if they truly love it. Most people say they don't. My next question is, why aren't they doing what they love? Their answer is usually they don't know where to begin, they're too invested in their current career, or they just don't have the motivation. 

Well, wake up

Imagine how great it would feel to wake up every morning excited to go to work. 

I have yet to feel this, but I'm working on it! Every day I'm doing something to work towards my goal of quitting cleaning and being creative all day!

I'm not saying quit your job tomorrow. But think. Think about what it is you'd truly love to do every single day.

Then start researching it. 

The only one holding you back is you.




Sunday

My Vision Board


I made my first-ever vision board the other night. Not only was it fun finding the right pictures, printing, gluing and decorating (with glitter glue, of course), but it’s awesome to look at when I’m sitting down to write. It’s a constant reminder of what I want and what I’m working towards. Every picture on there means something to me. Whether it’s where I want to live or work, or what I want to become. I can’t not feel happy and excited for the future every time I see it. It makes me want to make a bunch of them and put them all over the house. Or, at least bring one to work to remind me why I’m cleaning houses every day.
If you’re interested in making one (or two) for yourself, here’s a great how-to link: How to Make a Vision Board. On Oprah.com you can make a virtual vision board. I haven't tried this because I like doing it myself.  If you make one take a picture and send me the link. I’d love to see what you did!

Why This Blog Sucks



It’s new. And blogs that are brand new are not as good as they will be in the future. I think George Washington said that.
My goal for this blog is to inspire you to be creative. Lots of people think they’re not creative, but that’s not true. Everybody is creative. Everyone. If you can pick up a pencil, or a paintbrush, or scissors and glue, you can be creative.
Within the next year I am going to be studying creativity and how to teach it. I am going to become a certified creativity coach, most likely through Kaizen-Muse, along with taking a caboodle of other creativity trainings.  I am beyond ecstatic over this new journey in my life, and can’t wait to begin learning.
And not only am I planning on starting an online coaching business, but, if all goes well, I’m going to co-own a creative expressive arts studio with my soul sister in the future. We are hoping to make a big move so we can have this studio together. Have these ideas and possibilities rolling around in my head all day while I’m cleaning houses, is what gets me through.
So stick around and watch it all get better.

How to Be Creative Without Being a Freak



Okay, that may not technically be possible. But the good news is, I do have advice for those of you who think you may possibly be creative, and have an urge to draw, or paint, or to try some 
funky journaling ideas.
I love to draw and paint and I’m horrible at it. And I used to care. I used to think, what if a REAL artist sees me doing this and laughs. Or, worse, a friend or family member! And I used to think the same thing about writing first drafts of my novels (which are always the worst!). What if I die before I finish my first draft, and my family actually thinks this is how badly I write?
And I always had this crazy urge to play with stickers. Like, just stick them all over the notebook I’m using for my novel ideas, stick them onto crazy journal entries I randomly decide to write, and, the best, combine all my painting/drawing/sticker sticking ideas into one in a Smash journal-type of book. (I have yet to make up my own name for creations like this, but it’s coming. I can feel it.)
So I listed some of the fun things you might want to try, even though you’ve never done anything like it. And I mentioned the friends and family who might jump out from behind the curtains to make fun of you. Now here is a delicious piece of advice (that I got from Goddess Leonie and my dad) when you hear your friends voices in your head laughing:
Fukem. 
Who cares what other people think? Be happy and excited to be YOUWhen you’re creating, don’t let anyone else come into your head, unless you’re creating something for them. So, stick your stickers, paint your paintings and draw on the walls. Just be sure you’re creating what you want to create! Let your freak flag fly, and if anyone judges you for it, fukem.

Creating Out Loud



My life is shifting. It’s been on a slow upward climb for some time now, but I didn’t realize that until recently. We have lots of amazing stuff going on over here, and this web site is just the beginning of one of them. 
I have been cleaning houses for our business for eleven years. And for about the last seven years, I’ve desperately wanted to do something different. I am creative. I love all things to do with creativity. And, good Lord, cleaning toilets all day long is not creative. It’s boring, tedious and hard work. So I’m going to stop cleaning toilets (not mine, of course. That would just be yucky.). It’s going to take some time, but I’ve got a plan.
And it involves creativity.
Lots and lots and lots of gloriousdazzlingradiant creativity. ☆

Tuesday

When a New Character Won't Shut Up

I've been happily plodding along working on my YA novel about two sixteen year old girls. I have the entire thing mapped out (but I'm not afraid to go off track), and I've been writing every day. I love my characters, plot and ending.

Then, out of nowhere, a new character and story pops up. Not only is he unwelcomed, but he's a HE! I've never written a male main character before, and I had no intention of doing so.

I was in the car one day with my five year old, when he asked me a question about our family life. I could have answered one of two ways: I could have given him an I-don't-know-now-stop-talking-about-it-answer, or I could be honest like I usually am when he asks questions. I went with honesty, and as I was explaining I started to wonder if I was telling him too much for an almost-six year old to comprehend.

Then I started wondering about him at fifteen and being neurotic and worrying about things too much because I told him too much when he was a kid. BAM! I had a character. That night I tossed and turned in bed as the male character told me his name, where he lived, and what his parents were like. I finally had to get up and find some index cards to write stuff down. Then I fell asleep.

Now I have THIS kids story practically writing itself every day. I'm taking notes like a good little writer, but I'm trying to refrain from actually writing anything until I'm done with my current ya.

I'm not complaining, believe me. I'd much rather have characters throwing themselves at me than feeling like I'm a brain dead writer who can't come up with anything.

Has this happened to you? How do you handle it? Have you ever had the urge to write about something/someone unfamiliar?

Monday

When Your Characters Surprise You

You always hear to let your characters tell their story and see where they take you. I used to think that sounded like a bunch of weird, writerly mumbo jumbo. But it's been happening to me lately.

I've been working on my young adult novel every day (a miracle in itself). I get anywhere from a thousand words to one sentence, but I make sure I get something down. Since I've always had a hard time finishing stories and holding my interest in them, my main goal with this novel is to just plow through the first draft until the end. I'm writing bad, bad embarrassing stuff like you're supposed to in your first draft. I'm not allowing myself to fix anything. I'm just writing.

And a cool thing just happened. I was writing a scene with my main character (a sixteen year old girl) eating breakfast with a couple of woman she'd just met. I had no idea where I was going with this scene, I just knew I wanted one of the woman to drive her to her next destination. While eating breakfast my mc asked how the two woman met, and they each gave such a funny response that I was actually excited to learn how they met. And I had to stop writing for the day so I still don't know. But that's a great feeling to look forward to what my characters will tell me when I get back.

My Top 5 Reasons Why I Homeschool

I failed sixth grade. And it wasn't much of a surprise considering my parents got divorced that year, and our home life was anything but stable. One of the things I specifically remember about attending sixth grade in my new school, was asking the teacher to teach more about a subject and him telling he he wasn't allowed. In my first sixth grade class we studied Europe in great detail. For some reason I loved, understood, and craved to know more about everything Europe. (I say "for some reason" because I ended up being a bad student the rest of my school years. That was the one time I was really interested.) When I got to my new school and it was barely touched on before moving on to another subject, I protested. I wanted to know more. I would have even been happy relearning everything I'd already been taught about it. But it couldn't and wouldn't be done. It wasn't allowed.

This is a perfect example of why I love homeschooling. Here was a kid who wanted to learn more than they were willing or allowed to teach. Below are my top five reasons I love to homeschool:


  1. When my son was interested in the Titanic, we spent weeks studying books, movies and documentaries on it. I will never tell him he can't learn more about a subject he is interested in. I'm lucky and thankful that he's so into big things for a five year old like space, evolution, God, and a few things I can't even wrap my brain around. But we will study his interests and learn as much as we can about whatever he's into.
  2. Nothing beats one on one teaching. Not only does it provide instant feedback, but everything we do is tailored to fit his needs. Our school is planned around him...what he likes, what he's interested in, what he'd like to try, etc. 
  3. Being a writer I'm huge on creativity. I love nothing more than my son and I getting our art supplies out and creating something. Whether we work on our art journals, makes cards for people or just wing it and put stickers all over a sheet of paper, I love being creative with him. And teaching him at home lets him be as creative as he can possibly be. There's no one here to tell him his time is up and he has to move onto something else. He can draw all day long if he wants. And when we were working on our 8ft. New York City drawing, that's exactly what we did. 
  4. I don't think for a second that kids need to be surrounded by kids their own age all day long. I love the fact that my son is learning social skills towards people of all ages. He introduces himself to kids, shakes men's hands, and high-fives the ladies:) He's learning to look people in the eye when both he and they speak, to not interrupt and to be polite. I've seen him hold doors for strangers, pick up things off store floors and put them on shelves so people don't trip, and pick up a garbage can when someone ran over our neighbors'. This is all without being told. 
  5. My very tip top reason that I love to homeschool is...I get to spend day after day with my son. I couldn't imagine sending him off for six or seven hours a day (and I know he feels the same way). I feel like the luckiest mommy in the world to be the one to teach, explore, and hang out with him all day.
Obviously I know homeschooling isn't for everyone. Lord knows I get enough eye rolls when people learn we homeschool. But I also know there are a lot of people out there who want to homeschool but don't know where to begin, or they're afraid they'll mess it up. But if you feel that calling, do it. Just try it. The very worst that can happen is it doesn't work and you end up sending your kid back to school. But don't be like so many people I've met with grown kids who say they always wanted to but were too afraid. My Bug is only five and a half, but we're having the time of our life together. Every day.

See What Quitting Facebook Can Do

Ok, so I know it's only been four days since I deleted my Facebook account. But I have to say...I don't miss it at all. At least not yet. My husband thinks I will in a few weeks.

We'll see.

I'm still planning on coming back in July. (Even though my awesome friend started a Bring Back Lisa Miles page on Facebook.)

So far this week I've:
  • Joined the YMCA -- This is something I've been wanting to do forever and we finally did it. We went yesterday and today with our friends. Yesterday was the first time I've ever left my five year old in a play area without me right there, and he did great! Although he did have his best friends with him, so that helped.
    • I've used the treadmill, bike machine and one of the exercise rooms with equipment. Afterwards we take the kids into one of the play areas or swimming. Of course, all that great exercise I've been doing was probably just undone by the chocolate chip pancakes I made for lunch today.
  • Been writing on my current WIP -- After putting it aside for a few months, I'm finally back on the writing bandwagon and working on my ya novel. It feels good to stare off into space about my story again.
  • Came up with a new memoir/fiction idea that I'm tossing around. I feel like it's a story that needs to be written down, I'm just not sure if I want to fictionalize it or have anyone read it.
  • I'm also tossing around the idea I have for my next ya  novel. I haven't written anything down on it yet, mostly for fear that I'll start on that one and forget my current one. But it's bubbling up there.
And there have only been two times where I've thought about posting on Facebook. One was the other day when I saw two pregnant woman sharing a cigarette, and the other was when my son said something funny:

                         Me: Daddy bought a new grill.
                        Him: What's he going to do with you?
                        Me: With me, what do you mean?
                        Him: If he bought a new girl, what's going to happen to you?

And that's it for my four days without Facebook. Hopefully I'll have alot more added to that. If I'm not to sore from working out to crawl to the computer.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I learned a lot. About myself. I learned that while I might be able to go, go, go and have plans all day every week day, I will eventually burn out.

In the beginning of the summer I was taking both boys to the YMCA almost every day. Then we'd either go to my girlfriend's house, to the library, out to lunch or all three. Little by little I found myself getting home later every day. Then one Friday I stayed home. And, bam, I discovered something. I'm a homebody. I love being home. I got so much done that day and couldn't believe all of the time I had to actually do things around the house. And my relationships didn't suffer. My girlfriend and I still text or talk on the phone fifty times a day.

A few weeks ago the brakes went on our van (while I was driving with both boys in a downpour on the expressway), and I was stuck home for over a month without a car. During that month (without a choice), I slowed way down. We took nature walks, started art journals, made a Spiderman Web across our living room,  and lounged around under tents we made reading books by flashlight. I cleaned out the craft room, school room, three of the bedrooms, three bathrooms and a bunch of closets. I donated bags of clothes, toys, and household things to Goodwill.

I joined two homeschool co-ops for the Fall, but we're only going to go to one for classes. We'll use the other for field trips. Bug is finishing up karate at the YMCA this Saturday, and decided he wants to continue by earning his belts. We're signing him up at the karate academy where he'll take karate twice a week. I wish it wasn't twice a week, but I'm very happy he's so into it.

Instead of making sure our week is filled with play dates, library trips, museum trips, the zoo and everything else, we do one or two things a week and play the rest of the time.

This past summer I learned probably my most favorite lesson of all. The art of slowing down.

Thursday

Fall Cleaning Under Way




Last night I worked on my art journal while Bug was at Sports Camp. 


My supplies.


Bug loves to have his Legos all over the table and couch during the day. Unfortunately he kept them there all night. I had to have him put them on the shelves near the fireplace instead. Clutter drives me crazy!


For the past year we've lived here we've had blue drapes in our bedroom. I actually happen to like drapes because they're so heavy and block out the light. But they were old fashioned and driving me crazy. I decided to take the brown curtains from Bug's room and buy clips to hang them up in ours. I wish we had one more panel for each window, but it looks much better. Plus, I've been sneezing like crazy around here lately, and I'm wondering if it's dust. I washed the white sheer curtains behind the brown ones. They were very dusty! Looks like I'll be doing a Fall cleaning on each room pretty soon.


And Bug's room looks so BRIGHT now! 


This is our upstairs bathroom. I've wanted this folksy shower curtain forever and finally splurged and bought it. Now I just need to pain the bathroom.

Wednesday

Sensory Bins & Art

I bought big containers at Target this week ($7.99) and expanded Bug's rice, and waterbead bin. I love having the larger bins (I added more waterbeads and rice to each), and he'll sit for an hour and play. We also colored the older rice last year. It was super simple and a lot of fun.



Yesterday we sat outside at our table again and worked on art projects. I'm still playing with watercolors, and Bug finished making his time capsule he got as a birthday present. 



My watercolors are nothing fancy but I enjoy doing them and coming up with new ideas.

We also made a giant tent in the living room yesterday. We had some friends over and they enjoyed it, too.



Then later we walked around Park Ave and had dinner at Jine's, then my husband and Bug had ice cream at Abbott's. After, we walked around Parkleigh and I drooled.