an interview + a giveaway = a whole lotta goodness {christina rosalie}

photo by thea coughlin

one day {i don’t recall which one} i found my way to christina rosalie and her words.  the beauty of her phrasings called me in.  the tone, the honesty, the intentions resonated.  a mama and an artist…among other things…but these two pieces rang for me.  she is doing it.  some days are messy, but she is really doing it.

on another day i discovered that she was writing a book.  i knew that book would be in my hands once published.  knew what a pleasure it would be to have her writing in my hands, images of her artwork tucked inside.  and when i saw her book sitting on the bookstore shelf…without a second thought…i reached for a copy and held it close.

yet another day, i found myself walking a path in the woods along squam lake.  right beside me was christina.  and although she did not know yet who i was, i was aware of who she was.  but no matter.  we chatted as we found our way to the dining hall…she, i, a few other women.  and her genuine beauty and grace was so…well…genuine.  she was warm and friendly and downright lovely.

and this brings us to today.
today, when i’d like to introduce you to christina, if you don’t know her already.  today, when i’d like to introduce you to her book, a field guide to now: notes on mindfulness and life in the present tense.  today, when i’d like to give you a little taste of her beautiful spirit.

my copy of a field guide to now is a bit dog-eared.  reading christina’s book, i found my head nodding and my heart whispering yes.i.know.this.  if i quoted from every page that i turned down, this would be a long post indeed.  so let me just offer you a tiny splash of favorite passages which flowed right into my heart…

“stop thinking in terms of what you think is possible.  the odds are just numbers.  the best things happen if you let them.  begin with saying yes.”

“whatever the work is that you long to do, do it today without excuses.  involve your children if that is the only way.  my studio is always a riot of snippets, their paintings always strewn about my floor.  begin with pouring yourself wholly into whatever you are doing, and trust that momentum will gather, that resources will arrive.  opportunity will find you.”

” this is what i know:  the heart is not a machine.  it does not have the capacity to love at any greater speed, or to feel anything more deeply, when the pace is doubled.  while fast is better for machines, we’re fools to live by such a rule set every day.  rushing every second, we forget that we’re capable of a certain quality of joy that can be arrived at only slowly, as time unfolds.”

now, let’s chat with christina…

where did the idea for the book come from?

It was three years ago when the title for this book showed up at the back of my mind. It was early fall, and the light had just begun to slant in long angles and the first maple leaves were turning vermillion and the idea simply arrived one afternoon, in answer to my own life. It was a time when almost everything in my life was uncertain, and I longed for something tangible—some reference manual for navigating the moments of my life. The book then began as an exploration. I was curious: what might happen if I brought my entire attention to the moment at hand? What might occur if I showed up only here, wholeheartedly, in the process of becoming?

I like to say that it’s part survival guide and part adventure guide—because it’s both an invitation to create whatever your heart yearns for from the ordinary substance of your life—and proof that it is possible. For if we have anything, we have this moment, and if you stop and really pay attention, you’ll discover that wherever you are is exactly where you need to be.

who is this book really for, and why will they care about it?

This book is for anyone in search of a meaningful life.

It’s for creativesIt is an invitation for people who are inspired by The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron—but don’t have the time to sink into each chapter and assignment. A Field Guide To Now is written in short, poignant chapters on purpose. Time is the essence. I know all about what it means to be sprinting between work and home, commuting to and fro in the dark; or to be overwhelmed by to-do lists; or to feel scattered and distracted and overdrawn. This book is an antidote to that rush, to that feeling that there will never be enough time to begin, to commit to a creative project, to become what it is you long to become. But there is. This book is proof.

It’s for mindful, soulful parents.. For any mother or father who has lost a sense of their own wholehearted self—beyond their role as a caregiver, a spouse, a teacher, and a wiper of jammy cheeks. It’s evidence that big things are possible, if you begin them, wherever you are, in the midst of things, and you persist, day after day.


It’s for anyone navigating love…
For anyone who craves a deeper connection to themselves, to their present, and to the people they are connected to daily. It delves into the messy, heartfelt terrain of relationships and love—of loss, of marriage, of motherhood, and childhood and attempts to examine some of the stories that we tell ourselves around those relationships. It’s both solace and a survival guide, and raw, heartfelt evidence that the work of loving is synonymous with the work of living daily with intention in the here and now.

photo by christina rosalie

as a wife and a mama to two young boys, how do you carve time for creative endeavors into your life?

I get asked this question quite often–and I think everyone is hoping that I’ll say I’ve discovered some magic equation for navigating time with boys and work and time to create–but I can’t really say that I have.  The truth of it is that on good days, when I’m committed and focused and wholeheartedly present in my life, I wake up and do some morning writing just to capture my own thinking and reflect and process.  But then any real writing that I do, or painting, happens after my boys are in bed–because I feel such urgency now too, in the fact that they are only small once.  They’ll only want to build Lego houses with me after dinner for a small while in the scheme of things, and there is something that feels incredibly precious about this fleeting time.  So I try to show up when I get home from work with complete intention, ready to focus on them until they’re tucked into bed for the night.

when do you do your best creative work?

The truth is I spend a lot of time up late at night, when the house is quiet.  It’s peaceful then, and still, and I can work for undivided chunks of time.  I find I need that:  consecutive hours, uninterrupted to really create work.  Of course, I also need sleep, and there have been many mornings (especially of late–as I’m working full time right now, and commuting) that I haven’t had enough sleep, and even the strongest cappuccino and the butteriest fried eggs can’t make up for that deficit.  And then I end up not writing–and I rush–and I can feel how everything becomes disjointed–the day off kilter from the start.  Then I have to work to reset, to recalibrate, to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier so that I can show up at the page and the day with intention.

and now some fun ones…

what did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Fried egg + thyme on toast and a flat white (a double shot over frothed milk)

what were some favorite books as a child?
I loved so many classics with feisty girls in them: The Good Master by Kate Seredy; Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (I loved Jo the best.)

what music are you enjoying lately?
Lately I’ve been listening to Hem, Beach House, Matt Kearney, The Paper Kites, and Emiliana Torrini.

what was the best part of your day today?
Waking up to find that Obama is still president was a pretty great thing.  Coffee, kisses from my boys, and Lotus Wei’s Joy Juice (totally helping me to stay lighthearted in the midst of busyness and stress lately.)

see?  i told you she was lovely.
but we’re not finished yet.  now for the giveaway…i’ve got two for you!

the first is a postcard pack giveaway:
christina will be gifting 12 gorgeous postcards featuring original artwork from her book, a field guide to now, delivered to you with a handwritten note.  postcards are printed with archival inks on premium paper by moo.com

the second is a book giveaway:
i will be gifting one of you lucky readers a copy of christina’s book, a field guide to now, and you can dog-ear your very own pages.

***here’s what you need to do.  if you’d like a chance to win a pack of christina’s beautiful postcards, leave a  comment stating your interest in the postcards.  if you’d like a chance to win a field guide to now, leave a comment stating that interest.  you may enter to win both giveaways, but you must enter two separate comments.  for fun, share what you’re wearing right now or what you’re eating right now or to what music you’re listening right now…something, anything about your now.  winners will be selected by a random number generator and will be announced back here {in this post} on monday, november 12.

the winner of christina’s book a field guide to now is celina!
“I’d love to win a copy of the book. It is on my wish list. xo. (Cozied up in a sweater dress and skinny jeans on this blustery fall day)”

the winner of the postcard pack is amanda!
“I would love to win those gorgeous postcards! I’ve read the book and it and re-read certain parts, my copy is full of sticky tabs marking my favorite bits :)
As for now, I am wearing a cami, lounge pants, and my favorite “house” sweater, sipping coffee, baby playing at my feet, hum of a lawn mower in the distance.”

thanks to everyone for playing along.  i truly wish i could send you each a copy.  it’s such a good read…

fun, non?

sending a little love your way, m

 

 

photo by thea coughlin

Christina Rosalie is a writer, mixed-media artist, and creative consultant whose award winning work and been featured in print and online. Most recently she has written for Kinfolk, Milk and Ink and the Los Angeles Review, and her mixed media artwork has been included in shows at Burlington City Arts gallery and SEBA gallery. Christina has an MFA in Emergent Media from Champlain College, and lives with her husband and sons at the end of a long dirt road in northern Vermont. You can find her online at christinarosalie.com where she writes about the art of living intentionally, and the realness, hilarity, and wonder that results from the convergence of curiosity, creativity, and life with little boys.

find christina here.
order her book here.

38 thoughts on “an interview + a giveaway = a whole lotta goodness {christina rosalie}

  1. I would love to win the book! I supported it just a bit on kickstarter, but haven’t managed to order it yet. Sounds like something I could really use right now!! (written as I steal a moment while I supposed to be running in my little self window while hubby watches kids.

  2. Now for the book. I haven’t eaten anything yet this morning, breakfast is not a strong point for me. But I am drinking a soy latte in a handmade heart and star ceramic coffee cup. Music…right now I am listening to the soundtrack to Perks of Being a Wallflower…wow what a take back to high school days. This movie was one of very very few that made me miss high school :).
    xo

  3. You know, by the time I got to her table at the Squam art show, she was completely sold out. I did not get the chance to meet and talk with Christina, but now I truly hope to, maybe at Squam next year :). Meanwhile, thank you for introducing such an inspiring, lovely woman and for the chance at this giveaway Michelle!

    Ok, I am going to enter in both! The postcards are beautiful and I would be thrilled to win them. Right now it is 6am in Boulder, I am wearing my black trouser socks, red plaid pajamas and an old fuzzy sweater.
    xo

  4. I’d love a copy of Christina’s book. I discovered her blog a few years ago when she was a teacher and had just one son, and was hooked. She is an amazing writer.

    And I’m eating toast for dinner.

  5. I would love to win Christina’s book, it sounds wonderful. Right now I am wearing trousers and a short sleeved shirt as I have been at work in a warm place but am now feeling a little chilled at home, time to think about changing into some jammies for the evening.

  6. Thank you for posting this interview, what a lovely lady. Loved reading her blog too. I’d love to read her book. Eating eggs for lunch, listening to Sia – ‘Soon we’ll be found’. Link below for the video, even better than the song. Enjoy the colours. Sending hugs from here x

  7. I’d also love to be entered for the book – it sounds wonderful! And as for what I’m eating… tea and a vegan brownie. And yes it is not even 8am. Some days are just like that :)

  8. Oh how lovely! I would love to be entered for the postcards. Right now I’m wearing my favorite jeans and a ratty tshirt, I might gussy up a bit to go out later. But then again I might not bother ;-)

  9. I have the book (love love!) so would love (love!) the beautiful postcards to go along with it! Sitting here on a very early (5:18am) Friday morning in my pjs and Mackinaw Michigan sweatshirt. This interview was just what I needed to start my morning…thank you!

  10. I still (regrettably) haven’t gotten her book, but I would love that, too! I’m wearing an Iowa Hawkeye t-shirt (sad, b/c they haven’t won).

  11. I’d love to be entered for the postcards! And I’m eating pomegranate seeds that I just spend half an hour shucking… :)

  12. Oh yes, please…the book! It’s only ten of 7, but I’ve already changed into my pj’s :) I’m waiting for my little one to finish brushing her teeth, so we can get bathtime going. Lovely interview, Michelle!

  13. The book is on the always growing “list” I was lucky enough at Squam to hear her describe it in person–how fun is that? Would love to get a copy.

  14. I had the great pleasure to interview Christina on my site, and have a very beloved copy of AFGTN on my bedstand. But I would love to win the postcards so I might send little bits of love into the world.

    My now?

    Reviewing a dream-plan I had some months ago about a one-on-one coaching and consider how I might find one or two more beta testers. And dreaming a lot about magick.

  15. I’d love to win a copy of the book. It is on my wish list. xo. (Cozied up in a sweater dress and skinny jeans on this blustery fall day)

  16. Right now my body is hot-cold-hot after an intense Bikram yoga session and the thought of eating anything (right now) that’s bigger than a banana is unfathomable :)

    I backed her kickstarter project to bring this book to life and it makes me happy to see people reading it and loving it.

    I don’t need to win anything, I just wanted to tell you how happy I am that Christinas beautiful book has found its way into your hands.

  17. Hi Michelle, I found you through the muse theme on Instagram, and am happy to arrive here on the day of such a lovely giveaway! I am going to have to enter twice as I would love both of these gifts! So this will be my book entry… :) And then I will be poking around your site some more. :)

  18. This is so timely. I was reading another article about her book just 5 min ago and said to myself right this has been on your buy list for a while just go ahead and get it. And then I read this. How nice to have met her!

  19. Great interview Michelle! I had only recently stumbled upon Christina’s blog prior to Squam and was so intrigued by the description of her book … I rushed the doors at the Art Fair to be sure I got my copy! I read it on my journey home and it has lovingly nudged me towards the thresholds that have been calling out to me for years now. So much of what is happening now in my life was impacted by that book! So a very humble, heartfelt thank you to Christina! I think the very best kind of book is the one that feels like it is speaking the words you’ve had buried deep within, providing clarity and comfort in the confirmation that what you believe is echoed by another.

    Did I mention I love the book? And the artwork … and as one with a mission to save the postal system, I would love the post card set!

    Okay … what I am wearing right now: my favorite jeans with the blown out knee – they have some stretch and allow me to breathe! A gray jumper dress that is actually from a kids clothing catalog – I couldn’t resist! So I guess I am 14 today. My favorite clogs; a necklace made out of handpainted ceramic beads; and my bear cuff. Also sipping coffee and shhhh! pretending to work! xo

  20. I would love to win the book! I am in a comfy skirt and a hot pink sports bra…catching up on blogs, resting after a couple days of election frenzy and watching over my dog Selkie, who isn’t feeling hot these days. I’ve also got Lotus Wei by my side (Quiet Mind). .

  21. I would love to win those gorgeous postcards! I’ve read the book and it and re-read certain parts, my copy is full of sticky tabs marking my favorite bits :)

    As for now, I am wearing a cami, lounge pants, and my favorite “house” sweater, sipping coffee, baby playing at my feet, hum of a lawn mower in the distance.

  22. I don’t remember where I read about Christina originally but her book has been at the top of my wishlist since that moment so I’d love to be entered for that. The sentence in her opening paragraph resonates so strongly at the minute – something tangible in a time of uncertainty.
    Have loved reading how your paths crossed at squam.
    Oh, and right now I’m listening to Mumford and Sons.
    Happy Thursday. :)

  23. …I would also like to be entered to win a copy of the book.
    Right now I am wearing running shorts, a long sleeve teeshirt, and
    my favorite running shoes, Aasics.

  24. Oh Michelle, what a simply lovely giveaway. I would love to be entered to win the postcards. Right now I am drinking black coffee, not my favorite at all. I am doing a vegetarian version of Whole30 so am not allowed to have my usual Stevia, really my coffee is not that enjoyable.

  25. This is a great giveaway! The postcards are beautiful and I could certainly use a little inspiration in my life as we come into the holidays. Right now is a special moment because I am holding my sleeping baby boy and listening to his baby breathing.

  26. Thanks for introducing us to Christina. I understand completely why you love her so. I am sitting here in some purple pj’s listening to the hum of the generator and watch the trees sway out my window with fresh snow. I would love to be put in the running to win a copie of Christina’s book. Wonderful post once again!! I love watching you grow and seeing how your blog continues to develope.

  27. OH I love Christina and was so grateful to meet both of you at Squam! I would love the postcards because I do still like to send out regular mail to friends and postcards are always so much fun to send! Of course I need to get the book too but I’m gonna buy that! As for what I’m doing right now…drinking coffee in my pj’s catching up on email (and your blog)! xo

  28. A lovely post, Michelle, and interview! The postcards are lovely, and of course, I’d love to win. I am re-reading “The Power of Now”, again, and its a continual practice to remember that i only have now and that really the only sane place to be…
    Up early this morning, in my old cozy bathrobe, and drinking a cup of “La Fem” coffee. Thanks for this great giveaway! xo

  29. Oh please put me in the running for Christina’s book! Right now I am drinking coffee with half and half, wearing LL Bean hiking pants, a brown and maroon cotton shirt, a well-loved sweater, with pockets (a prereq. for me and sweaters) and listening to the harmony of my snoring dog Sally and the emerging words in my head, as I go over the introductory paragraph for an essay I am writing on spiritual development. Thank you, Michelle!

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