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Winter tonic. On a Meyer lemon and elderflower hot drink binge. Ice skating cures my winter weary head, but does nothing for my hat hair. XoS


I am setting about this list as snow blurs my view of the street from my studio, Yoyo Ma plays quietly in this still chilly room and tears, loosened by my elderflower and hot lemon drink perhaps, gather and spill for no reason other than, it is Monday and after a particularly full weekend, I am catching my breath and writing. Like a tapped tree, I pause and tears flow.

1. Winter- oh I will find the good and praise it, despite the cracked skin on my forefingers, my sore shoulder from something I did last week, the salt stained mudroom floor, the slippery roadways and this ridiculously bad hat hair I have. Winter is saved today because I went ice skating earlier. I love ice-skating. I am terrified to step out on the ice sometimes, even though I know it is six inches thick and can easily hold my weight. There is a thrill and a shudder of terror until I push off. Then, skating is heaven.

On the Lake by Suzi Banks Baum

2. Remember my ‘cave call of winter’? That cave call is getting louder and louder despite the passing days. Okay by me. I love the snow, I love the slowed down days, I love being home.

But I am dreaming of Costa Rica.

Suzi in Costa Rica

3. It takes not one bit of effort to love my Powder Keg Session writers. We met yesterday and there were some significant revelations and amazing doodles. Mostly, we loved being together. The Powder Keg Sessions will resume in April- one Sunday a month for three hours of writing and creativity. I am extremely fortunate to get to gather warmth in a circle of women and write.

#doodleaday2013 Sunday night #doodle xoS

4. The Full Moon is called the Wolf Moon this month and if you live where the sky is clear, unlike the Berkshires which promise snow then rain (sigh), the moon will be still round tonight.

Full Moon over St. Peter's in GB by Suzi Banks Baum

5. I love going to the greenhouse just to smell the green. I bought a hyacinth, even though I know it will bloom and likely dry out and be compost before spring comes, but for the vivid purple amid all this white, I am willing to splurge 4 bucks.
6. We are still so in love with our heated mattress pads. If you are trying to figure out how to stay warm at night, but keep your house cool, try these. I spoke to a friend whose husband loves to keep their sleeping space really cold. She woke up with a cold nose one too many times this past week. Peg, this one is for you.
7. I love that I made my way in to New York City on Saturday for Mama Gena’s Intro. This program changed the way I live my life today. It is an investment in your life that you will not regret, I promise you. During the afternoon, we wrote about Desires. Not intentions, desires are what you yearn for, the space you long to inhabit and just thinking of your desires makes you salivate. Here is something about desire.

@mamagena Fantastic Intro today. XoS

8. I love planning my workshop for the International Women’s Writing Guild.
We will be working in to small accordion fold books using collage techniques to create found word poems. We will be learning a few easy-to-replicate-at-home techniques that can jump start your creativity. I am honored to teach with the circle of women leading the workshops that weekend.

Found Word Poem by Suzi Banks Baum

9. I love the quiet that happens during a snow day.
10. I love wearing long johns. My whole family wears them around the house and they remind me of my dad so much. You readers in the south will have to bear with this list of things to praise about winter. This list is really a lifeline to finding something positive on a day where that heated bed sounds like a mini-vacation. Here is what happened yesterday morning when I curled up in the sun to doodle while rainbows streamed in the window.

Rainbow Heart by Suzi Banks Baum

How about you?
If you ‘found the good and praised it’, even on this snow clogged winter day, what would you come up with? Give me ten.
Just go easy on that shoulder.

Xo S

Lori Landau takes the Powder Keg Dare!

Dearest Suzi–

this, in response to your beautiful (as always) post on doodling.
Last night I attended the Dodge Poetry Festival, and was so very privileged to hear the incredible Nikky Finney read from her work. As always, I doodled and drew my way through, using one art form to absorb another. This drawing–attached–is of Nikky, who is as fierce and compelling in the flesh as she is in words.

With love,

Powder Keg Sessions Post: I Dare You to Doodle

#rainyday #doodles. Thinking about the #PowderkegSeries today. #outofthemouthsofbabesevents xoS

Is it rainy where you are today?
Sundays that dawn rainy often wash my family in to a quiet, studious place.
Right now, my girl, who is riding the transition in to public school, is studying.
My boy, also making that transition as a senior, is outside playing lacrosse somewhere in Berkshire County.
My husband is off doing his daily work-out.

And I am here.

In my new writing workshop, The Powder Keg Sessions, I give my participants space and time to doodle.
Doodling frees your hand.
It lets you ‘play with what you love’ visually…dots, squiggly lines, fir tree tops, water ripples.
And serves as a portal, that threshold you cross in to a quieter listening place.
Here, you can access your creativity readily.
From here you can pick up a pencil, apple peeler or clay and set forth to make something the world has not yet seen from you.

dar·ing (dârng)
Willing to take or seek out risks; bold and venturesome. See Synonyms at adventurous.
Audacious bravery; boldness.

I double dare you all the way.
Send me your doodles and I will post them here.
Love, S

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