Memories: Revisited

December. 2011.

I haven't born stopping by much lately, but today made me realize that I need to. 

It was something random I needed to find; some obscure reference to something I'd written or photographed - and I found it in my archives. What I also found was the reason I started this blog to begin with - a place to capture my words and images. A catch-all for the organized chaos of moments and things that mattered then, matter now, and maybe matter tomorrow. 

She was so little then. In the memories I tripped over in my rush to get back to to today. If no one else ever reads the words I write here, that's okay. I'd forgotten the reason I'd started. And then I found this post about our first trip to Williams, Arizona, for The Polar Express. We were living in Tucson at the time.

If I never do anything else right for the rest of my life, I did this. A memory preserved in small bits; to have and to treasure for always. 

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Think she’s old enough?”

Doesn’t matter.

“Think she’ll like it?”

Of course.

“Think she’ll…”

“DADDY!!! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!”

Yeah, she’ll appreciate it.

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Where are we going, Mama?”

“It’s a surprise.”

“But I don’t like surprises.”

“So we stay home.”

“That’s now that I said.”

“So it’s a surprise.”

“Where are we going, Mama?”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“I see snow!”

“Isn’t it pretty?”

“Can I make a snow angel, Mama?”

“Maybe later.”

“After we get to our surprise?”

“Yeah, baby. After we get to our surprise.”

“Daddy, Mama said I can make a snow angel after we get to our surprise.”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“We’re here!”

“Where’s here, Daddy?”

“Our surprise.”

“So I can make a snow angel now?”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Enjoy your stay and your train ride to the North Pole.”

“The North Pole?”

“The North Pole.”

“Will Santa be there?”

“Of course. You may even see him on the train.”

“I GET TO SEE SANTA ON THE TRAIN?”

“Yes, you do.”

“I GET TO SEE SANTA ON THE TRAIN!”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Mrs. Clause can see you now.”

“Are you a real elf?”

“Are you a real girl?”

“Your ears are pointy.”

“That’s because I’m a real elf. You’re cute.”

“That’s because I’m a real girl.”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Would you like to be my honorary elf?”

“But I’m a girl.”

“Girls can be honorary elves.”

“What do I have to do?”

“Just hold my hand and wave the first train off. Think you can do that?”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Smile and wave, sweetie.”

“I am.”

“Not at me, you silly goose. Smile at the passengers on the train!”

“I’ll wave at them. But I’ll smile at you.”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“We’re going to see Santa”

“Yes, baby. It’s our turn now.”

“Then I can make a snow angel?”

“You are adorable.”

“Can I be an adorable snow angel?”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Hot! Hot! Ooh, we got it! Hot! Hot! Hey, we got it! Hot! Hot! Say, we got it! Hot chocolate!

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“What would you like for Christmas?”

“A special doll that’s just for me!”

“Merry Christmas!”

“I love you, Santa!”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Mama! It’s SNOWING!”

“I see that.”

“Now see me dancing in the snow!”

“I see that, too, baby.”

“Can we take the snow with us, Mama?”

“No, but I can take a picture of y0u dancing in the snow with us.”

“Take more, Mama. Take more!”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“Am I making  good snow angel, Daddy?”

“The best.”

“I want to make it smile.”

“I think it already is, baby.”

The Polar Express
The Polar Express

“There’s snow on my manos, Mama.”

“Yes, I know.”

“My butt is wet, Daddy.”

“I figured it would be.”

“My legs are cold, Mama.”

“Makes sense to me.”

“Can we stay here forever, Daddy?”

“Forever? No. For now? Yes.”

“For now is so pretty. Thank you for for now.”

December 5, 2011.

Introducing Art by Eliana M.K. on the Esty Shop!

I might not do some of the things other moms do with their kids to spend quality time with my kid, but I'm learning to embrace and celebrate the things that we do together that make our relationship unique. Mama's ADHD and kiddo's high functioning autism means we do things our own way. 

We read together, either to each other or in bed together with pillows all around us while we read our own books silently. We write together and she travels with me when I attend events for public speaking. And art. We do so much art. Sometimes, I have to remind myself not to be stingy with the "good" materials, like when Pentel sent me a giant box of amazing supplies, because I think she values what she creates more when she knows I value the fact she is creating enough to let her use the materials I use in creating my own art. 

And now, we Etsy together. 

I just created an Art by Eliana M.K. section on my shop. The idea is to list notecards, postcards, and prints of a few special pieces and more to come as we clear up moving boxes in the apartment to get creating even more! Right now, she is saving up to pay us back for her new Nintendo 3Ds, mainly because she's 9 and an only child and that means we have to start focusing on teaching the value of a dollar and all that happy stuff. For every sale, I've told Eliana she will receive 50 percent of the profit. Since she currently owes us for the 3Ds and her new Pokemon game, her profits are mine until The Husband and I are paid back, and then she can use her Etsy money to save for her next big want (Wireless Cat Headphones from Brookstone!). Money doesn't grow on trees and I'm sure Santa's time is limited in our home, so I think this is a good way to go. 

Besides, the look on her face when I showed her the first listing last night? Worth. Every. Minute. Creating. Her. Art. Section.

She's a real artist now. 

She always has been.

Click here to check out Eliana's current listings featuring her Beautiful Skies art prints on my etsy shop. We have notecards and postcards! Thanks for reading! 

 

Send Senator Warren a Postcard (Because She Persisted)

"She was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless, she persisted."

I dunno about you, but I want this on my headstone. Because, yes.

A good friend of mine suggested sending Senator Elizabeth Warren postcard for Valentine's Day, Then she messaged me to make sure I actually did it. So I did.

This is what's on the shop now, thanks to Janel.

She Persisted, Postcard # 1

She Persisted, Postcard # 1

Show her you support her and appreciate every time she has refused to back down. 

Each card is $8.00, and will be stamped and mailed with your personal message handwritten by yours truly. No novels, please. Yours isn't the only Valentine I'm writing for the Senator. 

Option # 2, Because, obviously. 

Option # 2, Because, obviously. 

 

For every postcard sold, I will donate $1 to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change; a nod to Warren's silencing by Republicans  while reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King, criticizing Senator Jeff Sessions, the nominee for attorney general. Donations will be made at the end of the calendar month. 
 

I should point out that I almost went with notecards, but Janel is predicting I'll be making a rather nice donation to The King Center, which means postcards are faster to open and no paper is wasted on the envelopes that get thrown away.

Clicl on the images to order. I'll get to writing and stamping and mailing as soon as the order I just placed is my mailbox.

Thank you, and thank you, Senator Warren. 

 


On Art, Moving, & Outsmarting Myself (Maybe)

Funny how moving can force you to get on track. I've got an crazy amount of finished art pieces I've been meaning to list on the Etsy shop...  but good intentions don't exactly always mean stellar results. 

 

 

But now that I can tell you that we will be moving to the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, I also can tell you that I'll be damned if I wrap these pieces up to forget for another few years. If I pack one piece, moving tape and all, that's exactly what will happen. But because I decided to try to outsmart myself by listing as much as I can before I put it away for the move. Nothing like Actually Making Something Available to the Public for the odds of Actually Selling it to increase exponentially. 

 

Paper Petals

Paper Petals

We plan to leave Maine the week of January 13, and with your help, I'm hoping to sell enough art to cover fuels costs for the moving truck and my SUV. My Pie in the Sky goal is to raise enough funds to cover hotel costs along the way, as well. Moving is expensive, y'all. If you like something in my shop and decide to buy before we hit the road, it's kinda like loving me so much that you bought me a gas card. Which is totally flattering, by the way, and you are my favorite.

If you are looking for something and don't see it listed, tell me. I love commissions. Keep checking back for new finished art pieces and prints, because I'm listing at least two new items daily for the next week or so. 

Happy New Year! 

 

 

Cyber Monday on the Etsy Shop

I had major plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on the Etsy shop, but life got in the way, so it's on to Plan B: and that's 25 percent off all prints, notecards, and original art listed (Sorry, commissions are not discounted.) Bonus? I'm running this sale through December 31! 

No, I'm not crazy. I am, however, planning a big move with my family and need to lighten the load. That means one goal is to sell completed art before it's time to load the moving truck! 

Before I share the coupon code with you, I want to show you something I just worked on for my writer friends, Alica. She wanted a few original art pieces with inspirational writer quotes on them to use for postcards she plans to give away at events. After a little bit of back and forth to get the ideas flowing, Alica settled on two quotes (one by me and one she came up with herself). I came up with a few original backgrounds for Alica to choose from, and once she chose her faves, It was time to combine art with inspirational words. That part I did digitally.

What do you think?

This one is mine. The cool part is that with a new background, I can offer a print on my shop and Alica's image is still unique to her! 

This one is mine. The cool part is that with a new background, I can offer a print on my shop and Alica's image is still unique to her! 

Alica came up with the inspirational quote and asked me to create a background to show it off. I am so proud of the final product.  

Alica came up with the inspirational quote and asked me to create a background to show it off. I am so proud of the final product. 

Now that Alica has her digital files (and is already ordering her first set of postcards!) I am working on the next projects. My friend, Heiddi, commissioned a monogram, which I am very excited about. And then there's the two journals I'm hustling to self-publish on Amazon in time for Christmas gift giving. I'll tell you about those soon. For now, though, stop by the Etsy shop for 25 percent off all non-commissioned art with coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS. That means that if you haven't had a chance to order Christmas cards yet, you can score Joyful Snowman cards at a sweet discount and get them in time to send out to your friends and family!! 

Happy Cyber Monday! 

 

Full Stop: Tales of an ADHD Adult in Maine

This is one of those times where I am wondering if I should be saying what I am about to say because people may talk and and all that jazz, but I'm writing it anyway because stigma is bullshit and not talking about it only adds to the shame so many of us deal with when it comes to mental health issues. It's one thing to tell someone we love to be proud of themselves for talking about the hard stuff, publicly or not, and quite another to believe of and for ourselves. 

I stopped writing here and talking about mental health and body image issues and even the funny stuff a while back. I know why, and the short story is that I need to verify that the jar of fucks I've got is empty again. For a while, it wasn't. And that sucked. 

Let me give you the cliff notes version: I am a life-long recovering bulimic, will always have body image issues, and have severe ADHD with anxiety and depression wrapped up in that pretty little package. This is reality. It's as real a part of my identity as are my kinky curls and my fear of spiders. Please don't tell me that labels are bad because to me labels are roadmaps helping me navigate the unfamiliar terrain that comes with each new day. I like my labels. Labels are answers to questions I didn't know I had for far too long. 

ADHD. Anxiety. Depression. Bulimia. Recovery. Me. That's the nutshell. My anxiety and depression are controlled, for the most part, when my ADHD is controlled. All hell breaks loose when that first domino falls. That's me knowing myself. Plain and simple. 

Moving on...

Here's the deal. I'm here. But I'm not. I'm unmedicated and have been for a very long time. My therapist asked why I'm not on medication when she says I should be, and then confirmed its very hard to get treated as an ADHD adult in the state of Maine. This makes me sort of sad I sucked at chemistry in high school while highlighting a very probable cause for why Maine is in the running for Meth House Capital of America, necessity being the mother of invention, and all that. 

I'm A big advocate of natural remedies, but sometimes it's not enough. You can't tell a depressed person to try harder at not being sad any more than you can tell a person with cancer to walk it off and stop being such a fucking pansy. And I can't make my brain work the same way a non-ADHD brain works just because I want it to. (And trust me...I really, really want it to.) Thankfully, my therapist pays attention and has recommended a psych evaluation with the hopes that said evaluating doctor recognizes what she has. Doctors are gun-shy about prescribing any controlled medications with tight state regulations, which makes me jealous of my ADHD friends living Not in Maine, but there is still hope with this route. This means that I can only dream about being able to stop a panic attack in its tracks until I get a new prescription for anxiety medication, and that sucks. 

The thing about ADHD is it's not just a punchline. It's not just forgetting things. It's not just being flighty and late for everything. The doctor who diagnosed me, who also has ADHD, told me that the condition is very similar to bipolar in that we have ups and downs, but on a much lesser extreme.  My up is creativity and short bursts of focus and the ability to not only put the laundry in the washer, but to take it out, load the dryer, fold, and put it away. My down is depression and sensory overload and Full Stop. I can't focus so the little things pile up and the pile doesn't stay little for very long and then it's big and bigger and biggest and because I can't focus on any one thing, I don't do any of it. And that sucks.

I'm not blogging. I'm barely writing. I can't stay focused. I don't have many friends up here. It takes everything to do the smallest thing and I'm weeks and months behind myself on everything. I'm adding supplements and working out and avoiding alcohol and sugar and everything I can find I'm supposed to do outside of medication and it's helping... but it's not enough. It hasn't been for a year now. 

If I owe you something, I'm trying to get it done. If I promised you something, I intend to follow through. I'm just everywhere right now instead of able to focus on the things I'm supposed to get done. I'm really trying. I may be behind. But I haven't forgotten. 

So. That's what's up. 

(Also yes, I'm wearing a jacket. It's 31 degrees and snowing in May. Because Mother Nature can't get her fucking mood stabilizers up here, probably.)

(Also also my hair is fabulous. But thanks for saying so, anyway.)

(Also squared, I just looked. My jar of fucks is, indeed, empty. This is good. Fucks (read: the noun form) always fuck (read: slang verb form) a good essay.))

That hair, though...

That hair, though...

Because Your Mama's Worth a Buck

At least, I would assume she is. I know I am. I even asked The Husband I was worth a buck and after his face stopped contorting itself into inexplicably pained expressions, he totally gave me the thumbs up.

I figure that means he was too overcome with emotion to say the actual words, but awkward silences and dirty jokes are our love language, so I am confident in telling you that his thumbs up meant "Yes, my love, I would certainly buy you your book for 99 cents on Amazon as it is currently on sale through May 9 for 99 cents if your book was not, in fact, your book." And then he would pause, look into my eyes lovingly while trying not to laugh, and say "You are totally worth a buck. I'd give you a buck all day long."

Isn't he romantic? This is exactly why I said yes to becoming Mrs. The Husband fourteen years ago. He's a keeper, this guy.

To celebrate Mother's Day and the BabyFat sale, I'm going to have a little fun. I have a 24-hour giveaway on Amazon for ten winners to get a kindle copy of my book. No purchase is necessary, but you can't win the book if you already own it. (I might even run another contest before the sale is over just for fun!) 

How else can you be amazing and support me and this crazy writing dream?

If  you just wanna be awesome and help me claw my way to a spot on the Amazon bestseller list, you are more than welcome to gift Babyfat to everybody you have an email address for. Your mother-in-law, wife, girlfriend, sister, best friend forever, and that mom you made eye contact with at the last PTA meeting would be very grateful for your consideration and very impressed with your taste in books. Because really, BabyFat is like six degrees of separation from Neil Gaiman because Jenny Lawson blurbed the book and I tweeted Neil asking if I could send him and his wife, Amanda Palmer, a copy of BabyFat and he actually wrote back and said yes and...

Wait. That's only three degrees and now possibly a PPO, so it's probably a good thing I screen-shot that tweet so I have something to hold on to. Did I have a point here? Oh yes...BabyFat is on sale, I want to know how many mamas you know that you think are worth a buck, and I love you. 

Don't forget to enter that contest

The end. 

One of my favorite features in the book is that each chapter starts with a social media update from friends and followers. 

One of my favorite features in the book is that each chapter starts with a social media update from friends and followers. 

Have Kindle: Will Sign

Did you know that Babyfat for Kindle is still on sale for only 99 cents on Amazon? Or that if you buy the kindle copy, that you can then sign up for a free account on Authorgraph and request my signature? Of course, if you bought BabyFat for kindle already, I can sign that, too. This doesn't just apply to new purchases, y'all. 

That's right, people...I CAN E-SIGN YOUR E-BOOK BECAUSE TECHNOLOGY IS FUCKING AWESOME. 

Observe:

I've been meaning to write about this for months, but we all know that I'm nothing if not always behind myself on getting the To-Do list done, so technically I'm pretty much right on time. 

Before I go, I've got a contest for you. I'm giving away one signed paperback to one lucky reader. All you have to do is follow me on twitter and RT this update: 

One winner will be randomly selected and notified on twitter at the close of the giveaway. Good luck! 

In Which I Introduce the F*ck-It Journal

Seems now that Mercury is out of retrograde and no longer being the biggest celestial asshole out there (again), I suddenly have my creative mojo back. So much so, that I'm alternating between getting paint under my fingernails with staring at blinking cursors as I try to figure out transitions and witty ways to wrangle words. It's times like this that being ADHD makes me smile.

One of my new Must-Make items in my list of Things That Make Pauline Happy is hand-painted composition journals. Yesterday I figured out that I can paint roses and then I showed a finished journal to a friend who decided she was going to buy it for another friend, which is cool, except my friend kept referring to my long-winded Original Altered Composition Journal as a Where's the F-Bomb on this Thing, or something like that.

As in: My friend really needs a fuck-it journal.

And: Why doesn't the cover have "fuck" on it somewhere? 

And: Aren't you going to paint the word "fuck" on this thing?

So I started referring to the long-winded Original Altered Composition Journals as Fuck it Journals and the rest only becomes history if this shit goes viral and I manage to somehow pay off my credit cards by swearing and painting pretty things.  

The journal that started it all. I cannot wait to make more.

The journal that started it all. I cannot wait to make more.

Check out my product description in my etsy shop:

When the kids don't listen to a word you say because if you have to tell them to clean their room One.More.Time...
When your husband has the man flu and actually gets to sleep because, ya know, he's dying...
When your blog post didn't go viral (again) even though it totally should have...
When Pinterest gives you a complex...
When life is sad & you can only share so much on Facebook...
When life is fucking amazing and you can only share so much on Facebook...
When you dream the dreams you want to remember...
When you dream the dreams you wish you could forget...
When you feel like a badass because you are one (but it's taken you entirely too many motivational memes to figure out the obvious)...
When you have things to say and want to say them out loud without making a sound...

This, my friends, is where the #F*ck-It Journal comes in. The one pictured here has sold, but that's paintbrushes and insomnia are for. These original & one of a kind, hand-painted, full-sized composition journals are perfect for you because you decide how to use it and get to have a say in how it turns out. 
Want roses? Talk to me. 
Doodles or Dia De Los Muertos art? I'm your girl. Mixed media? BRING IT. 

Is it your To-Do list? Your Dear Diary? Your time to yourself that you'll protect like a woman possessed because, fuck it, you deserve it?? Maybe your fuck- journal is all of these. And that's awesome. Maybe it's none and you fill your Fuck-It Journal with shit that is entirely Not Anyone's Business But Your Own

That's awesome, too. 

Write to your heart's content in an original, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted composition journal by artist, award-winning photographer, and author Pauline M. Campos. Each F*ck-It journal is made to order and will be unique. F*ck-It Journals are decoupaged, painted and/or doodled on both the front and back covers, featuring a hand-written #F*ck-It Journal tag affixed to the front cover with a dip pen & India ink. Your call on if your Fuck-It Journal tag is rated PG-13 or if you just DGAF what other people think about your love of the word "fuck". (<--- See What I did there?). Inside covers are unaltered because Pauline doesn't have that kind of patience, so... Fuck It!

Messy. Raw. Beautiful. Yours. 

What will *you* use your Fuck-It Journal for? 
 

Reserve your F*ck-It Journal here.