Well, somehow 2020 just keeps rolling on. As we approach the holidays, I have a few thoughts for you about our creative work this holiday season. I also wanted to share the trailer for HOME FOR A WHILE (Magination Press/Illustrated by Natalia Moore) that my amazing younger daughter helped me create.
But first, let’s talk about pickles and pie.
Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving in our house without pickles, pie, dairy-free mashed potatoes, and vegetarian stuffing. Those staples render smiles on everyone’s faces and happiness in our tummies.
Although the holidays are going to look different this year (well, everything looks different this year), we can still hold onto things that are important—like pickles and pie. Maintaining small pieces of important traditions is a way to bring some joy to catawampus holidays. It offers a way to manage conflicting and complicated emotions.
In HOME FOR A WHILE, Maggie helps Calvin learn strategies to manage his emotions by finding activities that bring him joy—like shooting baskets. We can always find joy, even in tough times.
You can also find joy when you create. Instead of putting pressure on yourself, engage in creative activities that make you happy. Perhaps that means playing with words or silly puns. Perhaps that means creating a scene with visual language that transports you to another place. Perhaps that means drawing a picture of a brand-new creature.
Throw away the pressure.
Find the joy.
And identify your strengths…
Our strengths provide a foundation for success—a life raft in rough waters. Take a moment to identify three of your strengths. Then be sure to nurture those strengths as much as possible. For example: I have a particular affection for and strength in making dairy-free mashed potatoes. I hold onto that each year with everything I’ve got!
Maggie helps Calvin see strengths in himself that he never saw before. Nurturing our strengths is critical to emotion regulation, opening our hearts, and finding joy.
So, as you approach the holidays, allow yourself to grieve the traditions you’ll miss, and make time to celebrate the traditions you can still include—like pickles and pie. Hone in on your strengths and use them to propel you forward in life and in your creative pursuits.
HOME FOR A WHILE is moving into bookshelves on February 2, 2021, and is available for preorder wherever books are sold. I hope you enjoy the trailer:
Feel. Write. Risk.