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Showing posts from 2014

Uplifting and Spirited Music

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, play. My husband and I watched and listened intently to them performing the Brandenburg Concertos. I have always been deeply touched by hearing those concertos but haven't seen them played live in ages. These concertos seem to have the ability to reach deep into my heart and go past that, touching my soul. The Chamber Music Society  features many gifted musicians who aptly interpret and play the various concertos beautifully. The artists are various ages--each lending a unique quality to the music, which seems to stem from their age for example vibrancy, ambition, wisdom and mastery. Each of the artists exhibited a tremendous joy, drawn from their mastery over their chosen instrument. Their joy was infectious, resulting in numerous standing ovations. Now, if only I could come close in my lifetime to composing a piece of literature, painting or combination of the two, approaching the genius

Stepping Closer to Winter of Mind and Spirit

Fall has hammered me. I believe I have SAD  (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This type of disruption happens every year. Lessening of outdoor light, naked trees, leaves blowing about--BINGO, my spirits fall. Most days, I'm flat lining. I know there are full spectrum lights available. Must get one of those. Meanwhile, I've been trying flower essences, essential oils, meditation, naps, whatever...still SAD takes over, thus less and less blog posts, writing and other creative production. This empty basket represents the harvest. SAD isn't just about the weather and light changes for me, it's about the harvest. I have posted quite happily about sowing seeds, putting good energy out into the world. But what I'm noticing is how many things I've put into that harvest basket and then tossed back out and into the universe. That makes me sad too. My debut novel, so to speak, was to be published spring 2015. No go. Too many problems and issues to move forward on tha

With Gratitude

Not sure if it's luck, hard work, lots of wishing or a combination of all three but it is with sincere gratitude that I report in, this first Wednesday of November for the  IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group)  monthly blog post. I could look at my situation negatively because much of what I've been going on about here in this space has turned out to be... but everything happens for a reason. I've decided to return to the pure source of my inspiration. This requires me to simply write as much as I can and to paint with a open heart in my studio.  All this is easier said than done. I had gotten extremely distracted and pulled away from creative writing and painting by various projects and part-time jobs. I was over-scheduled and distracted. Distracted to the point where I couldn't breathe, let alone be creative. It all left me drained of creativity and my body revolted. I am a bit under the weather, thus I haven't been posting much or visit

Brimming with Possibilities

This is my monthly installment, as a member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group . Follow the link, as this is an exciting time for us. It is the anniversary for the group, brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, who has worked tirelessly building a safe, rewarding and meaningful community for bloggers. Over the last few months since I've been participating in IWSG, things have been rapidly developing and changing. It's almost as though, as a result of admitting my insecurities, airing them out and working on resolving or at the least dealing with them, I've embarked on yet another amazing journey. I do attribute some of this movement forward to my re-engagement with the possibilities of the Law of Attraction, metaphysics, magick and earth-based spirituality. With all of these thoughts and desperate practices coming together, the possibilities in life seem endless. These possibilities encompass every aspect of my life. Since writing is at the forefront,

Follow Fest Interview and Sharing

When I first became a blogger it was difficult to know if I had readers and visitors coming to my blog. I’d post and be met by the sounds of crickets. Then, I branched out into the world of the blogosphere, a world I  didn't  know really existed. From my ventures, I met a lot of interesting bloggers.  I've  started following and commenting on numerous blogs, for you see, prior to my outings, I too was out among the crickets. Lurking about but seldom saying anything. A fellow blogger  I've  met through my journeys around the blogosphere is Melissa Maygrove . She had the brilliant idea to have a Follow Fest , where we share about who we are, what we do and most importantly, how you can connect with us further. It is my intention through joining Follow Fest, that I’ll connect with many more readers and people interested enough in what I do to want to learn more by following. So, here goes my entry for the fest. Name:   Stephanie Rose Bird Fiction or

An Underrated Treasure

I've joined yet another blog hop. "Underrated Treasures Blogfest" is hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, who also put together the much talked about A to Z April Blogger's Challenge. Thank you Alex, for reminding us that our posts are due today. Sometimes I get oblivious and caught up in my own world. When I first heard of this blog hop I got very excited because on the designated day, bloggers post about an underrated or obscure book, movie, band or a TV Show. What I like about this challenge is that it made me think. I went through my mental inventory of books, movies, bands and TV programs to decide which one to blog about and why. What did this particular type of expression mean to me and what could it offer others. This was a fun exercise in itself because I was reminded of the many hidden treasures I enjoy that could be shared. I will do so, each month, as the hop continues. You can see what other people are sharing by scrolling down  Alex Cavanaugh's Blog  to

Tasting Memories

While it may sound unbelievable, when and where I grew up speakeasies were still in existence. I grew up in Southern New Jersey, what we call South Jersey, of Jersey Shore fame. As far as when, that rests with me. There were many fascinating things about visiting speakeasies with my parents, one of which is that my mother was learning to make her own alcoholic drinks. We went regularly to one which featured the white lightning of the owner and another featuring homemade wines. My mother was a very idiosyncratic woman. She liked drinking the white lightning perhaps a bit too much. On the other hand, at the other speakeasy we’d visit, she quickly became captivated with the idea of making her own wine. From there, she went about going to antique shops, in the ‘olde’ town of Swedesboro, to find just the right crocks, as the vessel in which she’d make her wines. To my untrained nose, her wine-making was a foul affair. What else could it be in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, so di

Guest Post by Author Chrys Fey

This is a first for Stephanie's Studio. Please welcome Chrys Fey, who is our guest blogger for today. I met up with Chrys in April during the A to Z Challenge . With that challenge, bloggers posted every day of April on a topic built around the alphabet letter of the day. I'm not sure how I came across Chrys' blog. Perhaps it was through our mutual groups on She Writes . Immediately upon discovering her blog  Write with Fey  I was struck by the depth and breadth of her posts. Very generously, practically everyday, she posts helpful hints for writers. Her posts are informative, entertaining and engaging. You can tell she's beloved in the blogosphere because numerous people comment on her posts on a daily basis. If you're into writing, I highly recommend you visit her blog. What Chrys and I have in common is not only our passion for blogging. We are also both authors. She has been prolifically publishing suspenseful novels. One of the groups she created on She Write

Welcoming Change

It's been an interesting end to the summer. I've found work, as I shared previously, and it's meaningful to boot. The type of freelance writing jobs coming my way enhance rather than distract from the direction of my path. Even while working, I find myself deepening my spirituality and credit a lot of this to the Law of Attraction . Before I even knew what the Law of Attraction was, I began to notice people popping in and out of my life in a way that suggested all of it served a purpose. In my line of work, which involved working with lots of different students, I connected in meaningful ways that were mutually beneficial because of this coming together. Lacking the words to describe this phenomena, I could only say we crossed each others paths for a reason. Years later, I read a book that changed life as I knew it called  "The Secret." Now that I understand the Law of Attraction and embrace its precepts more good is flowing in and negativity is swiftly dep

Notes on Writing

Where have I been? What have I been doing the past two weeks? Making decisions, sorting things out, and as my last post suggests, moving forward. While sometimes I imagine I've gone down the ubiquitous rabbit hole, what I've been doing is necessary. To grow is to change and changing takes place on a convoluted path in its own time. As a writer and member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group , I gained some much needed courage. It may sound counterproductive but I quit a year long writing class that wasn't serving my needs. I'd been tortured about quitting it since the beginning. You have to apply for the class. Twice I was rejected but last year I was finally admitted. It's a small class that promises a lot. In the end I could see it was never going to deliver. Our teacher was disengaged all month and seemingly only thought about the class a few days before we were to meet (our meetings were once a month). The week I quit she asked us to

Moving On

I am on my way somewhere. I think I have an idea of the destination but really I'm unsure. I'm the type that likes to hold onto things. As a nostalgic person, I'm very resistant to throwing things out. I hold on to old letters, redundant email addresses and ancient digital files. Those should be the easy things to trash but they aren't. Then there are the larger items, clothing, shoes, coats and books. You don't even want to know the age of my collection. This morning I had a novel idea. I decided to pack things up and give most of them away. The nicer things I'd put on consignment. "Where's all that stuff going?" My husband asked as I carried bag after bag out the front door. "Away," I said, feeling as though my stuff had found a different place to live and was moving out. When I reached the 25 pound weight-loss milestone I had what I thought was a clever idea. I began packing away clothing that was too big for me in chests

Dans le Jardin

Magick and great ashe stems from engagement with plants. Over the years I've come to regard them as a reservoir of healing, font of wisdom and source of creativity. Healing with plants is an important facet of holistic health. Herbs are quite capable of gracing the mind, body and spirit with age-old energetic insights that lead to wellness. I've written a good handful, maybe more, of posts about gardening. Gardening as a pastime, a pleasure, a metaphor and a space for cultivating hopes and dreams. Do you remember when I shared the post  Seeding the Snow ? That was in March and I was so relieved that spring was actually going to show its face after a long, hard Chicago winter. Still, winter was unrelenting so it seemed as though you'd have to plant in the snow. The snow didn't want to make an exit. Then there was this post called  Weeding , which focuses around the activity of gardening as a form of mind/body/spirit therapy. When I wrote "Weeding" I was s

Blogging, Writing and Resting

(Untitled: Colored pencils on Paper by Stephanie Rose Bird) Whew! That was a busy post I did previously called  Getting the Word Out There . I wrote it as a member of IWSG  for our monthly blog hop. Thanks so much to so many new people for stopping by during that event, joining this blog as members and adding me to your circles on Google+. I have been humbled by all of the new connections I've made with fellow bloggers, readers, writers, artists and people generally this past year. I am a private and quiet person. Coming out of my den and connecting with the world once again has been an inspiration. As I was busy blog hopping last Wednesday and Thursday as a part of the support group experience, I stumbled upon a post by a fellow member Gwen Gardner called  Giving it Another Try . One of the most compelling parts of her post for me was that she posed the question to us, is blogging dead? As an artist specializing in painting, I've heard that topic discussed numerous

Getting the Word out There

Insecure Writer's Support Group It's no big secret. I'm not fond of critiques. Last April I wrote a post called  Critique Anxiety . This was about presenting an excerpt from my manuscript for a workshop. That was the same manuscript that I almost gave up on and wrote yet another post about my loathing of rejection called  Query Burn Out . While it seemed to me that I was bathing in rejections, eventually I got a publishing deal for my debut work of fiction. Now that the book will be published I have gone about setting up a blog tour or even hiring a publicist. I reached out to a publicist and unexpectedly she critiqued my online presence. Signing up for a critique or asking for one through your actions, such as submitting work for review, is one thing. When they come out of the blue, it's quite another. Unbeknownst to me, the publicity firm combed through my social media. Then they reported back what they thought I needed to do to make it better. This didn

Fill Her Up

I’ve written a lot about transformation during the past year because I started working on that journey seriously in January. Yesterday I went shopping. It was an eye opener. After having lost 45 pounds, I found that my former haunts were no longer mine. Over the years I had gotten so accustomed to being a certain size and shape that automatically when shopping I gravitated towards the same sort of clothing. Yesterday, I had to redirect myself away from the XL clothes, which would have bagged and dragged along after me. Instead, I headed to the size mediums—a huge breakthrough for me. In my past with the XL’s, my main goal was to find what covered me up the best. In some instances I had pushed past XL to a size XXL, so there was also a challenge to figure out which size I could actually fit. Generally at the XXL sixe, I would just leave the store to go find a store specializing in vanity sizing, wherein I could fit an XL. Now I’m no longer engaged in that sort of inner conflict. St

Gone Fishing

Remember this  post? Well, I'm at it again. Don't mind me. I've just unplugged to get back into the flow. See you right back here in this virtual studio after I catch some long overdue  fish.