I Wrote a Book

16 10 2018

A year ago I got up early in the morning, grabbed my coffee, and sat in my garden to put the finishing touches on the first solid draft of a book. The morning writing pattern has repeated itself on another beautiful autumn day as I write this update to let you know where My Creative Journey has taken me.

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My first copy, The post its mark the typos that were immediately found!

I started this blog a little over seven years ago. I needed a place to be creatively free and separate from my day job as an art director. I found a community of writers who welcomed me with open arms and most surprising of all, people wanted to read what I wrote. My Creative Journey took me to unexpected places and my blog evolved. I started to write more about people who inspired me and who lived their lives creatively. I started a new section called Creative Heroes and my sweetie, Steve, filmed the interviews.

Two years ago an election happened that shook up the world. I started to ask myself, “What can I do to make the world a better place?” The answer that came to me was to write a book and write it on creativity. I believe creativity can fill your life with joy. I also believe it can make the world a better place. Understanding one’s creativity allows one to see things from a different perspective and that can prompt change.

Growing Your Creativity” is a 6-week process book. It’s like a curriculum where one week builds on the last. It takes you step-by-step to understanding your creative roots so your life can blossom.

In the last year, I’ve had editors and friends read my draft. I’ve had a focus group go through the process. I incorporated the input and added stories, some of which I wrote in the Creative Heroes section of this blog. This Spring I put my art director hat on and designed it. It organically grew into a workbook.

I’ve now got a website to help spread the world, conniemcleod.com. I printed a few advance copies and I’ve started to put it out into the world. The seeds have been planted. I’m starting to book speaking engagements, guided book groups, and there’s even the probability of a creative retreat in 2019.

Growing Your Creativity, The Live Your Life with Joy Workbook” officially goes on sale December 1. It can be bought on my website and I’ll mail you the spiral bound workbook or you can download a pdf ebook. Preorders are now being accepted.

In a few months my website will have more bells and whistles and I will move this blog to the new space. I will, of course, keep you updated.

The thing about creative journeys is that they make sense in hindsight. A need for creative freedom led me to blogging. Blogging turned me into a writer. A need to make the world a better place led me to write a book. A passion for gardening gave me a metaphor for my book idea to grow. My creative journey gave me the healthy roots to make this happen.

You can go to my website and read the first chapter for free. I am booking speaking engagements for 2019. You can contact me at connie@conniemcleod.com. I’m still polishing up my social media pages, but you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. If you’re in my area, I’m always up for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Thank you for being a part of this journey of mine.





My Own Little Shop of Horrors

20 10 2012

I hate the effin’ bamboo in my backyard. Yes, it makes me foul mouthed and foul tempered. If you’ve ever dealt with the monster, then you understand. Its firmly entrenched having been living there for two decades. I would have to literally take down the fence, destroy the deck, and bring in earth moving equipment to dig up my tiny yard, to get rid of it. It’s woven its evil tentacles under every square inch of this sliver of a garden space that is supposed to be my Zen garden.

So I have resigned myself to live with it. I just try to contain it. It’s growing season is usually 6 months. In the spring I can sit outside with a morning cup of coffee and come inside for a refill and by the time I return, there’s a stalk as tall as me growing between the deck boards.  It’s now Halloween season and it’s scaring me because it won’t stop growing. I think it’s somehow involved with global warming and is conspiring to take over the world with it’s cousin, kudzu.

It had been a few weeks since I had gotten out there to prune it as it continued it’s relentless attempt to take over the world. As I’m stooped over cutting it out from beneath the garden rocks, I thought what are the life lessons I can learn from bamboo.  As if on cue, I get back-to-back calls from my adult daughter and aging mother because they also need attending to.

Living with Bamboo

Deep roots help you survive adversity. My ex-husband planted the bamboo. He’s long gone, but what he planted is still here. Post divorce I stayed in the home we had built. My ex and I wanted our daughter to keep her home roots when her life was unsettled during this tumultuous time. My home has now been reinvented as my own creative oasis.  My daughter has moved out and the effin’ bamboo is still here.

Accept things for what they are. Like bamboo, my daughter may annoy me at times. She operates in her own time frame, which is rarely the same as mine. Because she knows I love her unconditionally, she feels free to call me in the middle of the night because she’s locked her keys in her car with the engine running. I am not going to change her, but she will continue to grow into adulthood. I can only change my own reaction to the things that annoy me.

Things that bend with the wind are usually stronger than things that are inflexible. My 84-year–old mom is stronger than she realizes. She has created a full and happy life in a nursing home, no small accomplishment. Her age and frailty may bend her down at times, but her inner strength has her bouncing back after the storm passes.  And calling me because she has lost the remote control— that’s an easy problem to fix.

Find the gift in the problem. I have decided to live with this annoying weed that grows before my eyes. It is not worth the money and effort to get rid of it. My backyard fence travels along my neighbor’s driveway. They hate my effin’ bamboo which invades their yard too. Our homes are very close to each other. When I decided to embrace what I can’t get rid of, I allowed it to grow along the fence line. It helps diffuse visually how close my neighbors are. It also naturally filters the hot afternoon sun that would pour into my kitchen window.

Everything has it’s own beauty and grace. As much as I hate the effin’ bamboo, I must admit to the beauty of it when the sun streams through it’s leaves and it’s dappled light filters through. And the sound of the wind through its leaves along with the sound of the wind chimes, is soothing to my soul.

Some things thrive no matter where they’re planted. So while I still hate the effin’ bamboo, I know it‘s not a personal vendetta from God. Maybe there are lessons I am meant to learn.

Or maybe…I just need a panda bear.