This weekend I had a wonderful visit from the lovely, Zetta Elliott. I am so lucky to have crossed paths with some pretty phenomenal creative people over the years. Zetta holds a very special place in my heart because she is the author of Bird, but also because I am learning and questioning something every second in her company and she is very easy to host. Before Zetta, I never classified my need for quiet as a product of being an HSP (highly sensitive person). I tend to get dizzy and short of breath when I have to talk or listen too much, and after long periods of socializing, I relish spending days inside my home to quietly regroup. It wasn’t until meeting someone with a similar affliction that I actually thought about it as a “thing”.
The beauty of having Zetta visit, outside of the fact that she brings me a new book and cookies each time, is the amount of intense conversation we have, but also the fact that we both understand the need for quiet and retreat. One of the most magical moments was when I was able to steal away to my studio for a few hours in the morning before Sunday brunch while Zetta worked downstairs on a new picture book story about a fox and a crow. Her brief oral telling of the story made me salivate with anticipation. Another dear bookish friend, Linda, came up to meet us for brunch at one of my favorite restaurants. We talked about education, colonization, tracing our DNA, poverty, cultural responsibility, creative living, and everything else, over decadent omelets, chocolate zucchini bread, and bacon and cheese biscuits. I closed the meal with one too many mimosas which opened the floodgates for a mild headache and upset tummy.
Back at my apartment the three of us pulled out ledgers and began planning our goals and aspirations for 2014. In my late 20s I made a five-year plan and then broke goals down into years. In the last 5 years, life has truly surprised me in spite of my plans, which I enjoy. This year, I have decided to list large goals for the year and organize them monthly , but for the first half of 2014 most of my goals are projects that I began in 2013. I am a bit too overwhelmed to add new projects to my queue. To preserve my sanity, the first half of the year will be more maintenance than anything. Zetta has convinced me to try my hand at an illustrated memoir..sort of a manifesto for young girls who want to be artists. I am not nearly as confident in my writing abilities as I am my drawing talents, mostly because know that writing is just as demanding a craft and I spend all of my hours on drawing and painting. I would like to write more, and I will, but I also need to carve more time in for reading. In the meantime, collaboration is always a fun challenge. I would still love, love, love to illustrate Zetta’s manuscript, Muñecas. Zetta’s writing is just mesmerizing. So stay tuned to 2014! It will be a great year of closure and new beginnings~ Check out Zetta’s latest YA novel, The Deep, companion to Ship of Souls.