Hello, You’re Fabulous!

sandysbookMy cousin has written a book and published it. Hello, You’re Fabulous! by Sandy Slovack, M.A.

I’m jealous. Writer’s jealousy. And I’m laughing at myself as I write that, because I wouldn’t be jealous if the book was terrible. It’s not. It Is Good (capital G!).  I know this because I’ve been playing with Sandy’s book the last few weeks.

Sandy and I have known each other a long time. (No, I’m not telling you how long.) We talk about life, and laugh non-stop when we’re together, allowing brief pauses for wine, coffee, and food. We can be ourselves in our conversation, making mistakes, being goofy, and being wise all at the same time.

This is what I know about Sandy. She believes in people. She sees the pain and the brilliance and the possibilities. Beauty. Love. She learned to do this for herself, and then shared it. And this is exactly what her book is about.

The pain and brilliance and possibility in each of us. Learning to see this in ourselves. Learning to accept this bright shining being is really us, mistakes and wisdom and all. Learning to be this in our lives. Loving ourselves.

The book is a conversation. Not just reading. Doing. Asking questions. Listening to our heads and hearts, and answering. Discovering what we’ve been telling ourselves, and changing the stories that need to be changed. Choosing to believe in ourselves.

Choose love. This is what Sandy is saying, and offering us a path to get there. Thank you, Sandy.


In this post:

Hello, You’re Fabulous!, by Sandy Slovack, M.A., Balboa Press, 2015 http://bookstore.balboapress.com/Products/SKU-000931970/Hello-Youre-Fabulous.aspx

Sandy’s website – www.SelfEsteemSolutions.com


Lions and tigers and writer’s block

The Wizard Of Oz - original movie poster 1939
The Wizard Of Oz – original movie poster 1939

Think The Wizard of Oz. The 1939 movie with Judy Garland as Dorothy.

Dorothy and Scarecrow and Tin Man are walking through a forest. It is creepy.  The light is dim. They start talking about what might be hiding. Lions. Tigers. Bears. Oh no! They manage to scare themselves silly by the end of the scene, even though there are no lions or tigers or bears. The Cowardly Lion, who they eventually meet, is nowhere near scary.

This is what I have been doing the last two months. Scaring myself silly. Imagining lions and tigers and bears. Blocking the writing on my book.

I’ve been doing other things instead of my book. Useful good things, I tell myself. Yes, true, they are. But it is odd how I do those useful good things first, plan to get to my book writing second, and somehow never get there.

I’m watching this happen. Two months of watching and not doing. I can’t seem to break the pattern. I’m not choosing to. What is stopping me?

Over my years of creating, I have run myself into blocks and scared myself a lot. I see what’s happening and I find my way through. Every time. Except now.

I could blame it on the fact that this is my first experience writing the second draft of a book. I don’t know what to expect, don’t yet know my process for this kind of creating, or how long it might take me. I do know this long at not-writing is too long.

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Tell me I’m an artist

misc.pics 128When I was eighteen, I tried to become an artist.

I loved school and I believed in school, so I got myself accepted to university and started my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I thought courses and a diploma and those letters, BFA, after my name would make me an artist.

I thought being an artist came from outside. Like being knighted. I dub thee ‘Artist’. One of my art teachers would surely tell me, ‘’Cat, you are an artist.’’

All through that year, I hoped someone would see me, the artist me. I didn’t say it out loud, or whisper it. I never wrote it down on paper or the covers of my sketch books or a bathroom wall. Tell me I’m an artist.

I was so desperate for this, it must surely have been printed across my face. It must have leapt out of every piece of art I created (both the amazing and the dreadful) and every essay I wrote.

It didn’t happen. No one said these magic words.

I left the Fine Arts Department after that first year. I got my diploma in Business Administration instead, and went to work for the government.

Yes, go ahead and laugh.

Continue reading “Tell me I’m an artist”

Where the wild wind is

The wind is a wild thing today. Greedy. Careless. It woke me before light this morning, tearing the last of the leaves from the trees and throwing them at the walls of the house. The weather report tells me there is a hurricane southwest somewhere, stirring everything up.

where the wild wind isIt is later now. I am sitting in my car, parked by the lake, writing. I watch the wind. It’s shoving the surface of the lake, grabbing the waves and throwing them against the shore.

The birds don’t seem to care. They know the wind, and they are ignoring its tantrums. The ducks and loons have moved into the sheltered bay where the water lies calm. They paddle and dive for their breakfast. Chat among themselves about how warm the air feels for an October morning.

The gulls have taken to the air, wings wide. They love this crazy carnival wind. Let it toss them high and higher, then abandon them for other toys. The gulls roll and fall and rise again. I can hear them, and I am sure they are laughing and shouting dares at the wind. Do it again, higher!

I watch the water and the gulls. Hear the wind roar towards and past me. I am up there with the gulls, my wings wide. I love this wild wind. Let it pull at my clothes and my hair. Let it rock my car and toss leaves at my house. Let it throw its wild heart at me, daring me to catch it and pin it to the page with my words.

And so I have, and have not, for there the wind rises again. Whirls round me, laughs in my ear, and is gone.

Let my words be like this wind.  Wild, careless, greedy.  Laughing.  A carnival, rising and rolling.  Pulling and shoving and playing at everything in my life.  Tossing my wild heart high and higher, daring me to throw my wings wide and shout, ”Yes, do it again!  Higher!”



Invaded by Minions

Kevin and Friends
Kevin and Friends

My studio work table has been invaded by Minions. Well, one Minion, to be precise. His name is Kevin. He is eating a banana and smiling, his yellow cheeks bulged out on one side. Evidently it’s a good banana.

Kevin is only two inches tall, but his effect on me is in the exponential multiples. You know, ten to the millionth power plus.

This is why.

Kevin makes me smile. Makes my insides laugh. He gives me joy, every time I look at him, standing there on my projects pile.

His smile is pure smile. There’s nothing behind it and nothing attached to it. No agenda. Very simply, he’s happy and he’s letting me know that.

I love it when I meet someone who is pure smile. Not only their mouth smiles. It’s all over their face and all over their body. They are unabashedly happy and they are radiating that happiness like an August morning sun. Brilliant. Blazing. You can’t not feel it.

Smiles like this, full body smiles, are contagious. I meet someone who is smiling full-on, and next thing I know, I am beaming back at them. No matter how I feel before I meet them, they change me by the time we part.

We don’t even need to stop and talk. I can pass them on the sidewalk, share smiles, and be changed in seconds.

That’s how powerful we are, when we are in full-on, pure smile. We can change the world. Just by smiling.

Go for it, Kevin. Show me your smile. Invade my world.