The Human Movement



I’m not sure what it is.
If it’s in the air.
If it’s in the water.
Lately, I’ve noticed more and more sisters bravely stepping out of the shadows of their lives and bringing their truth into the light.
As a creative, at times I struggle to walk what seems to me to be a very thin and distinct line. Either you have a pretty feed or you have an honest and ugly one.
I think that’s wrong. I think that’s a steamy pile of beaver bullets.
We don’t have to choose one or the other. We can choose BOTH. Because WE are both. Flawless and scarred.
Yes, I want my living room to be a place that provides comfort and ambiance, but not at the expense of who I am. Yes, I am a maker. But I’m ALSO a human.
A messy human.
A broken human.
An an extremely sensitive human.
Every couple of days, a depressed human.
This is me. This is us. Stained and sanctified. Ruined and wanted. We are violently immaculate.
So please don’t stop.
Please continue breaking the barriers and ripping down the pristine walls hiding your most succulent treasure. Do these hard things; be vulnerable and brave and gentle and awake. Be ripe. Be succulent.
Please PLEASE keep sharing your truth. I love your art, I really do, but I NEED your truth. Your truth makes me brave. It helps me to remember that I am not alone. It reminds me I am a sacred and important and holy piece in God’s toolbox, just as you are. And because when you are you and I am me, we change all the stupid rules keeping us apart.
Sisters, this is SO MUCH BIGGER than the maker movement.
We are growing and falling and breaking and soaring, and we never have to worry about the landing part, because grace will be there to catch us. Every time. Grace is never absent or late. Grace is always right there, just below you, waiting to help you back up.
Love you.
Be succulent.

I’m too tired to think up a title.

Bella walks me almost every single day. She’s fairly diligent about it, though sometimes she forgets and I have to whine at her–jostle the leash in her face or coax her out of bed with something sweet, like my all-encompassing love. Yeah, and when that doesn’t work, I move on to more effective methods, specifically this fail-proof tactic, which is to position myself as close as possible without actually touching her, at which point I proceed to breathe, and stare, blinking as little as possible, and pushing the train of my thought into her brain until I have succeeding in wrecking all semblance of peace and focus. Works like a charm.

Once we’re out, once we’re moving, we’re happy about it; the sun on our faces, the breeze in our hairs, the raucous yet harmonic symphonies as we stroll beneath the trees. It’s good for us. We are such homebodies, she and I, with dispositions that tend toward reclusive behavior. No, no. I wouldn’t call us hermits. Hermit-ish? Perhaps. A bit. But don’t worry, we go out all the time: when there’s no more milk, when the house needs fumigating, during earthquakes. See, we’ve totally got this handled.

So Bella was walking me the other day, and while she stopped to perfume my neighbor’s lawn, I was noticing a bush, on which a single rose was in its final stages life. For those of you who don’t reside in the states, over here we’re knee-deep in winter. Everywhere things are dead or dying. It’s hard to watch. I’m walking around with a palm pressed to my face, peering through fingers two and three, wincing at every turn. They’ve come up with a fancy name for this–seasonal depression, I think it is. But I’m pretty certain I don’t have that. For one, they say it starts and ends at the same time every year, whereas my depression is spotty, inconsistently regular, really more of an annual thing. I mean . . . I’m a writer.

So I’m standing there, gazing at this moribund little bloom, trying not to well up. By now Bella’s looking at me like, “Mom, pull yourself together. It’s o-kay. It’s isn’t in pain or anything.” And I’m all, “I know, I know, it’s just so . . . sad.” And so she looks at it, cocks her absurdly adorable head, replies, “No, Mom. Not really. This is just what happens. Things have to die so they can be born again fresh and new.” And that’s when I was like *poof*.

Because–with Bella’s guidance and sage observation–I realized I am that dehydrated rose at the end of its cycle. Once a piercing, vivid scarlet, but today, remorsefully, leached of its color, making its slow descent back into the earth from whence it came. I have reached the point of no return. The problem is I keep TRYING TO RETURN. If I were a Jedi, maybe it would work. Sadly, tragically, I am not.

To make a long story short, my second book was done. Like done done. I finished it over a year ago. It had been edited and beta-read and all that jazz; I was simply waiting for a few final pages of edits, typos and grammatical what-have-you, and then we would publish. Easy peasy, right?

Normally my husband is the one to make changes in my WIPs, and there are good reasons for this. Are you listening, Cara? GOOD REASONS. Because I am a smart girl but also a ninny, I decided to work on it myself. After all, it was only a few edits. Rather than explain how it all went down, I’ve decided to show you.


An open, editable document is a highly dangerous thing. It is the writer’s siren, singing an irresistible song. It was only supposed to take a couple weeks. It was only supposed to be a few key scenes. It was just going to be minor edits.

Only, only, only, only, only, just, just, just, just, just.

Just and only–they are snipers; be vigilant.

In conclusion, I got stuck; and for three months now I’ve been editing and rewriting, every day, anywhere from 7 to 9 hours a day. This might not have been the horrible decision it absolutely-definitely was–because I truly enjoy the polishing aspect of writing books–if not for the fact that I had already begun outlining New Book, hatching plans and ideas I was extremely excited about. Yet, I knew Old Book could be better, and therefore I had to try. Except I couldn’t and it killed me. It was like trying to break a coconut with a clothespin; I couldn’t get in. My mind, for what it was worth, was there with the Old Book, while my heart remained dreaming about the story–back there–taking its first beautiful breaths. And I was missing it, because I was stuck with Old Book. So I became resentful, which was all sorts of lovely and perfect, because everyone just adores a novel written by a fatigued, resentful writer, said not a single person in all of existence.

It got so bad, even texts wearied me. I began doing something that, as a lover of language and proprietor of vocabulary, I swore I would never do. BRB. IDK. C u soon. L8r. It was scary times.

I don’t know you, not personally, and while we may look quite a bit different on the outside, on the inside it’s all pretty much the same stuff. Which means if I’m struggling, then you must be, too. I’m so sorry about that. I know how heavy it is, and I so wish I could take it from you, just for a few moments, give you a chance to catch your breath. Normally this is where I would engulf you in my arms. I’m a hugger; like, slather-my-body-against-yours and commence-side-to-side-rocking kind of hugger. I hate that I can’t do this; however, I refuse to let something so trivial as the spacetime continuum deprive us a hug. So, here. Just for now.


Maybe, like me, you are feeling wilted and dry. Maybe, like me, you have convinced yourself that stepping away is the same as failing. It isn’t. What you need is a time-out. It is not punishment, it is grace. It is a pause button. If there is no one in your life to do this for you, then consider that person me: I am pausing you.


You have been paused. You can come back anytime you like, an hour from now or in three months, but however long you decide to pause, you need to be real and honest with yourself about when you’re really ready to come back. No one else can tell you; no one else has a say. Only you. In the meantime, you are to do other things–think of it as a loose pause. You’re not frozen, you’re simply spliced, allowing you to put with one thing on hold while pursuing other things. It’s our make-believe, we can do what we want with it. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as they are activities that nourish your heart, soothe your soul. It’s works. It’s working for me. While I am paused, I am taking naps and extended walks with Bella, having coffee with friends. I’m also drawing. Who knew!

I thought about writing captions for each one, but to tell you the truth, I’ve grown weary. Even this blog was probably a little too much for me at this point. I’m already four days into this post, which means by now it’s lost all novelty and I’m convinced the whole thing is one giant crapsicle. I’m highly temped to trash it and just post pictures, but I’m not going to; because if even one of you is helped by some of the things I had to say, then the strife will have been totally worth it.

However, since I basically hijacked this drawing from another artist, I feel it merits a wee caption. This girl, “Avery,” a piece by Kelli Murray, an artist I absolutely adore, was the first thing I ever drew.

Perhaps it’s not what we see, but what we make of what we see that determines what is created.


FullSizeRender 2


Bella and I walk the same route everyday, and every time we passed that decrepit rose, I had to look away, because one of two things was going to happen: I would start to blubber, because I can’t help but see the deeper meaning in everything. The other thing, well, it was a bit, shall we say . . . illegal. I thought about leaving my house sometime in the night, taking with me a pair of shears. *snip* Luckily I was spared from having to trespass and commit lawful rose-slaughter; the other day while Bella and I were on our walk, we saw that finally it had died. Thank GOD.

Speaking of Bella, the whole dying so we can become born again fresh and new–yep, that was a true story. All that genius came out of my Chihuahua’s teeny tiny cumquat brain. Shocking? Meh, not really. Bigger isn’t always better. Certainly not where pimples and hemorrhoids are involved. Amen? People often tell me Bella bears a striking resemblance to Yoda. And you know what, I don’t disagree. No. In fact, every day I’m becoming more confident one of his descendants is living in my house. 


may The Force of my love be with you,

~ Cara


Hey! If you’re on Instagram, I would love, love, love to connect with you. We can commiserate about art and life, how one is always imitating the other, and exchange more of those virtual hugs. I’m not yet sure what these will look and feel like, but we’ll figure it out! @theycallhercara

I don’t know.

Well, hello.

I hope whatever timezone from where you’re reading this, life is serving you up equal parts beauty and beast.

This post is going to be about writing; it’s also about life. It’s about writing and life. If either of these interest you, please, do read on.

Continue reading

The Goods

It’s day 11 (actually it’s day 12, but I’m a slacker and have fallen behind) of the 30 Day Poetry Challenge, and guess what? When they said it would be a “challenge,” turns out they meant that it would be challenging.

Who knew!

Originally I intended not to spend any more than 5 to 10 minutes on these posts, but as they have progressively grown more challenging, I have been inclined to rise to the challenge. Which looks like me putting my forehead in my hand and grinding my teeth whilst I attempt to be clever and creative and Grand Canyon deep. I’m not sure if I have succeeded, but I am loving these prompts and I wanted to share today’s with you.


Happy Saturday/Sunday, friends!


Day 11 – Write a list poem.


Tips and suggestions for the handling and dispensing of virtues and other savories


Store kindness and mercy in reliable tupperware (nothing worse than stale charity)

Prepare and deliver intentions on the same day (possibly doesn’t age well)

Place humor at eye level and within arm’s reach (perspectives will clarify or conceal)

Poke theories and assumptions with a sharp truth (might still be gooey in the center)

Launder patience and keep folded in the linen closet (this will behoove you when unexpected guests arrive)

Begin each day with a bowl gratitude (otherwise you will forget to eat it)

Measure responsibilities for each day only (tomorrow is finicky and fickle)

If not on your person, peace should be kept somewhere safe and secret (I assure you this is for everyone’s benefit)

Rinse, rinse, rinse (rinsing is key to avoiding moods and attitudes gone bad)

Only serve opinions when the harvest is ripe (when in doubt, give it one more day)

Wisdom will keep for ages (but if you don’t share it then people will be none the wiser)

Wait twenty minutes before serving hurt feelings (additionally, running emotions beneath cool water reduces the risk of future cuts)

Look at all insights beneath a magnifying glass (this helps determine if they’re genuine or fake)

Be certain to monitor good deeds (they can spoil)

Generosity is like a tree: give it lots of water and plenty of sunshine and it will produce the sweetest fruit

Grace (give it prodigiously, and don’t be embarrassed to take some for yourself)

April Fool’s Erasure Poetry

You will never believe it!!! Last night I was visited by a benevolent ogre who turned out to be a distant uncle on my father’s side (twice removed) and he bequeathed me a BILLION dollars, so Michael, Bella and I are moving to our own island in Figi! WOOOOO!

Eh? Didn’t fool you? Oh, you’re too smart. ;-)



April 1st marks the beginning of National Poetry Month, and in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, Silver Birch Press opened their arms for submissions. But not just any submissions. Have you ever heard of Erasure Poetry? I had not until I came across their blog. It’s an interesting concept in which certain words are blacked out or otherwise obscured in order to create a new piece of poetry. Whatever is not blacked out is the poem. I’m in between novels at the moment and thought this the perfect project (distraction) for the day.

These were the requirements:

– interpret “April Fool’s Day” as you will: humor, trickery, thoughts on the day. Then, using a book of your choice, locate page 41 to create an erasure poem.

As a prompt, here are definitions of “fool”:

Noun: A person who acts unwisely; a silly person.

Verb: Trick or deceive.

Adjective: Foolish or silly.

So. Let me just tell you . . . it was WAY harder than it sounded. I admit to initially sort of smirking at the task, thinking Oh yeah, I can do this. Gonna write me the best erasure poem there ever was. (Six hours laterI spent the entire day absorbed in this task; and that was simply creating the poem within the poem. Editing it took another 3 days, a LOT of photocopies, a few choice words, and a tremendously steady hand. I’m convinced I missed my calling as a brain surgeon. Can’t teach that. No, not really. Because I’m pretty sure they expect you to pass Algebra before they let touch brains, and personally I would rather metaphorically mess with people’s heads. Gently, of course. But it IS good thing I wasn’t weaning off coffee that week. Blacking out the words was time consuming and extremely tedious, but after all was said and done, I had some poems I liked. AND — I received word this morning that my poem made it in to the line up! They chose the one I liked least, but that’s okay. I’m honored they selected it. Thank you, Silver Birch Press!

If you’d like to read my poem, as well as some other incredibly lovely and creative pieces, then I’ve left you the link there at the bottom.



Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Stay silly!


~ Cara