Readying a Retreat (and other exciting news)
In just over a month’s time, I have raised over 65% of my goal of $2500 which will offset costs for my upcoming writing/working retreat in New Mexico. It’s been amazing to get checks in the mail and see paypal bits pop up in messages on the computer. Thank you SO very much!!
There are still two weeks left to contribute to my residency fund and every teensy bit helps. I am busily preparing the cards and other rewards available for contributors as thank you gifts. It’s wonderful to see Ginger’s adventures in print on cards and it feels like a sneak peak into what she will look like in book form, which of course has been a long time dream of mine…..
I am humbled by all the support and praise of this little character I spend so much time with. A dear and far-flung friend of mine said this about our Ginger…
“I love that she’s so fearless! Sailing, traveling, etc. I admire that. I think it strikes a chord with people.”
And it’s true. She IS fearless. Or at least, like most of us, she pretends to be. And that affords her opportunities in the world she might never have dreamed possible! There is much about Ginger’s story I do not yet know, and that the point of this residency in Taos. To suss that story out. There is a wonderful scene in the movie Miss Potter where Beatrix Potter is presenting a new painting to her publisher, friend and future fiancee, Norman Warne, about a rabbit’s Christmas party. She says about the story of this legendary party…
“Now I know such a legend exists, because I made it up…. I know on this night, that they will eat and talk and laugh and dance, and roast apples on the fire, but I’m not certain how the party ends, because I haven’t made that part up yet.”
And that’s exactly how I feel about Ginger’s story. There are things I know. She is adventuresome and a bit of a fashionista, in spite of her shyness. She loves to meet other animals who are equal parts like her and unlike her, and she loves to send postcards….
The postcard angle is where Ginger got her true start and it continues to be a huge theme in her story. Since I too love anything to do with hand-crafted correspondence, it is no surprise that I have been following the work of the Letter Writer’s Alliance for a number of years now. With their tag line reading:
“An Alliance for those who enjoy letter writing and postal adventures.”
it’s no wonder I love the work they do, gifts they share and postal related products and activities they post! You see that stamp on the post card above featuring the cardinal? That stamp is an example of what the LWA calls “fauxstage”. Not true postage contributing to the delivery costs of the card, but rather a stamp-like image that adds to the postal allure of the card. I adore letters and postcards that come with extra cool stamps, don’t you?? Well, it occurred to me that with Ginger’s love of all things postal, a wee partnership with the LWA might be in order. So I contacted them to see if I might put together a Ginger themed stamp design of my own to offer as a free download on their site. It would prove to be a fun exercise for me, and would be a gift to offer to others who adore sending well adorned envelopes and postcards through the mail.
And so, here is the result of our partnership!!! I took a winter/Solstice-time themed image I created last year in this post, and added some stamp-like things to spruce up its postability and to make it look official, and voila!! You can download this page at their website now, in a printable file version. I think it turned out really sweet! And it’s our gift, to you.
While we are thinking along the lines of stamps and post and holiday correspondences…. this image is also now available as a printed card that you can get at my Society6 page.
And so, amidst the busy-ness of this season, I am also preparing for my retreat from things in just over a month’s time, for that is when my best work is known to peek out of it’s shy nest hidden at the edge of the woods….
“Physically, the creature endowed with a sense of refuge, huddles up to itself, takes to cover, hides away, lies snug, concealed. If we were to look among the wealth of our vocabulary for verbs that express the dynamics of retreat, we should find images based on animal movements of withdrawal, movements that are engraved in our muscles.” ~Gaston Bachelard (from The Poetics of Space)
We’ve had a mad road trip to a cacophonous regional dance tournament and ill loved ones bravely facing down end of life visitations and decision-making. There are concerts in which to participate and to attend… gifts to seek out and parties to plan for, bake for and to attend. It is December, and somehow the Spirit of Waiting which our souls crave during this season of Advent and Solstice is harder and harder each year to achieve. Yet I celebrate all of the gifts of gathering this season brings while I prepare for the calm at the end of the storm.
During those first few precious days of a New Year, I will retreat to work in Taos, at a place that never fails to stir my deepest creativity. I’d love for you to be a part of this retreat; to follow the story of a small creature in a big world, who believes in the magic of a well drawn, hand-written postcard in the mail box. I’d love for you to join a young rabbit, who in spite of being a rabbit is quite the shepherdess, as she counts her sheep in a long lost language of rhyme. Pitch a coin into the little donation basket being offered by these creatures. Be a part of their burgeoning adventures. I thank you kindly for all of your support.
Happy December to all….