I've been wanting to share an interview with Christina Rosalie for quite some time now. Since I had the honor of reviewing Christina's book over at Scoutie Girl last week, it seemed this was the perfect time. Enjoy!
Tell us about how you got started on this path I've always been a girl with a pencil nub in my pocket, and some kind of notebook on hand, just in case. I'm always on the look out for stories. I listen hard. I ask questions. I care about the answers that I hear. I pay attention to patterns. I notice the small stuff. I've always done these things--for as long as I can remember.
What I love to do more than anything else, is to find a way to reveal a little bit of knowing; to uncover some thread of story, some glimpse of meaning that matters. I am always looking for a way, through image and metaphor and just enough description to carry whatever small and personal evidence the moment holds, into the realm of the universal.
Who directly participates in and benefits from your work? I'm fortunate have a very a broad, diverse tribe of readers and collaborators! From other writers to new media creatives, from parents, to fellow adventures, people find my work, and contribute to my creative process from all different angles. A Field Guide to Now in particular is for anyone who craves living a wholehearted extraordinary life, amidst the ordinary circumstances of daily moments. It's for mothers who are trying to navigate their way back to some sense of themselves; it's for creatives who are afraid to really lean towards their work and begin; it's for the adventurers and nine-to-fivers who need a reason to pause, to take note, and to show up with intention in the moment at hand.
What is the most beneficial aspect of your work on this journey? (to you, and to those you touch) To try daily to do the work of showing up with intention. To remember again and again, that all we really have--that all we can really control at all, is whatever we have right now. It's so simple really, and yet some days it's the hardest thing in the world. When I succeed at being wholeheartedly in the moment, when I am really aware, I find that there is opportunity for synchronicity and possibility and wonder almost anywhere.
Tell us about A Field Guide to Now and how you are bringing it to the world. More than anything, I hope this book finds its way into the hands of people who need it and who find inspiration or encouragement or wonder between it's pages; and since it was released in September, I've been getting emails daily from readers who've found my book, and who share little glimpses into their lives, and how it matters to them. That is the most wonderful gift to receive--those little glimpses of proof. And, I'll be honest: it's a bit of a daunting process to promote a book as a new author, while working full time. It's also challenging because though I'm used to blogging--and sharing my story in the public eye--I'm not particularly versed at asking people to promote it, and it's a remarkably vulnerable thing to do. I'm still learning how to do that well.
What keeps you doing this work with joy and gratitude? I've always been a truth teller, a wonderer, and a facilitator. I taught elementary kids for years, and before that at risk middle school kids while I was in college, and I've always loved the process of finding out what makes someone tick; what makes their eyes light up, and their hearts start thudding quickly. It's such a magical experience--to catch a glimpse of that, and I always want to find a way to help them take action towards whatever it is that is.
This is really why I write: because words and stories occupy the transitory territory between what is inside and what is outside; between what we imagine, and what we can make real. I love to be the facilitator of that process--and I think it's utterly magical to create work that contributes to making meaning in this way. I chose to use both mixed media illustrations and prose in A Field Guide To Now because I think each medium invites a certain particular kind of engagement and discovery.
What is one thing you suggest women can do to move forward in their personal journey with integrity and wholeness? Show up for themselves daily, without excuse--even if that process of showing up just looks like claiming twenty-minutes with some tea and a notebook. No matter how we spend our days--at home with little ones, or in an office, everything comes at us, full throttle, all day long. We spend so much time in this digital era in input mode. It is vitally essential to claim a little time for processing; for listening to oneself; for finding the tempo of one's own creative pulse.
Please share some final words for our sisters in community. A Field Guide to Now is about living intentionally in the moment, and about how intention can become momentum for taking action—towards living a wholehearted, creative life; mindfulness leading to wholeness, and wholeness opening to wholehearted potential. Even if you are neither a creative type, nor an explorer—I know you’ve felt the wild drums of wanderlust or a turbulent unnamed longing in your heart, to become. Let this be your invitation today--to begin whatever the creative work is that delights you; the work that you long for; the work that makes you whole. Start now, in the smallest possible way. Begin. Begin. Begin.
Christina Rosalie is a writer, mixed media artist, digital strategist, and mama of boys. Her work has been published in Kinfolk, The Sun, Mothering, and The Los Angeles Review, and in various other publications both online and in print; and her most recent artwork, a series of ten mixed-media pieces titled, "Making Your Mark" was recently featured at the Burlington City Arts gallery. Christina has an MFA in Emergent Media from Champlain College, and lives with her family in northern Vermont. Visit her at christinarosalie.com, where she writes about the art of living intentionally; the process of navigating motherhood and creativity; and the realness and hliarity that results from sleep deprivation, curiosity, and the unusual propensity to leave things on the roof of her car, find four leaf clovers almost anywhere, and invariably get paint on her jeans. Follow her at @christina_write.