Ever since I left a little over two weeks ago to drop Girly off in Florida to begin her missions trip, I've lost all track of what day it is. It's so hard to believe that it was so long ago. She'll be back in a month's time and in the meantime, I've been running all over creation with plenty of things to keep me busy. Zach is gone from 8:20 to 2:30 every day with the autism program and so I thought that with both of my kids gone during the day, I'd have lots of free time to sit on the beach and read books, take the dogs for long walks, get really creative in my studio.....well, those notions and dreams have flown right out the window. Instead, I've been up late at night finishing up a midterm exam for the Gender Studies course I'm taking, working on a custom order, running around to appointments, and all sorts of other things that have eaten up whatever free time I wishfully thought I had.
One thing I did do to soothe the craving for creativity was to create a zine (an abbreviation for fanzine or magazine). I used to make little homemade magazine and newsletters when I was a kid. I would write up articles, draw pictures with them and then make all of my family read them. When I was 17 years old, I self-published a 32-page homemade magazine called "Crown of Glory." I put out about 22 issues and stopped publishing shortly after I turned 19. I had a paid subscriber list of 110. It wasn't a money-maker, but more of an outlet for my need to write. When we moved into our new house four years ago, I found all of the back issues in the shed out behind our apartment. I took all of them and put them into the recycle bins. I couldn't bear to open them up and read them because they were written at a time when my family was immersed in the cultish world of neo-conservative and ultra-fundamentalist Christianity. Those magazines were a trigger thing for me that I didn't want to confront.
My friend, Dawn, had recently created a zine of her own and it got me to thinking that I should get out my art pens and create one of my own again and so I did.
I created my zine around the road trip that I took down to Florida to drop Girly off for her missions trip. I had so much fun putting this together. My creative needs were satisfied and I feel like I have a precious keepsake of our long drive down.
After I got a bunch copied off and bound and listed on my Etsy shop, I sent one off to Girly so that she could have something fun to show her teammates and something to color. She takes after her mama with her love of art and creativity and made sure to bring her colored pencils with her so I knew this would be a special treat for her.
And now I have all sorts of stories and ideas running through my head. My plan for my next series is to write down the memories my grandfather and I make during our weekly outings. He has the most amazing stories and I feel blessed to hear them and I want to make sure I write them down to keep them close to my heart, but also to share them with others. I've also thought about creating a series that follows the bariatric surgery process that I just started yesterday by going to the group meeting and orientation at the clinic.
As much as I would love to spend all day in my studio and create, I'm at a place in my life when there are so many other things vying for my attentionl kids, hubby, work, school, dogs/cats, life in general. I wouldn't change any of that, but I think I've finally found something that I can do every now and then when I have a little moment of peace and need to zen out to find my balance. Art and words are my zen. Every little moment I have with them is precious.
(if you want to check out more info on this zine, you can find it in my Etsy Shop)