February has been one busy month with SO MUCH happening behind-the-scenes: preparing the final touches on my new poetry book Sage Spirit, the book signing and Sage Spirit book launch party in Southern California, the Creative Spotlight, the upcoming Mark My Words Exhibition for Sage Words in West Palm Beach and now preparations are underway for the DENT Conference in Sun Valley. It’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of travel, but all wonderful progress!
Back in September when we chose the date for the Sage Spirit book launch, it felt like it was forever away.
My poetry was ready, but we hadn’t even started the book. How could we possibly pull this off? But thanks to the two other dynamos behind this passion project, Kristen Alden and Kimberly Taylor-Pestell, it happened and in a BIG, beautiful way!
I took the leap and began with Sage Words, and now—here along with Kimberly and Kristen—I introduce Sage Spirit, my second passion project with these two dear friends for whom I have a great admiration and respect. If Sage Words is our cautious and diligent firstborn, Sage Spirit is our brave, spirited child on a journey for self-discovery.
We started our “West Coast Tour” at Belle’s Nest in Kimberly’s hometown of Sierra Madre. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the magnetic and lovely owners Gloria Prins and Elena Alonzo for hosting our book signing! Their charming shop is like a warm and cozy blanket—handmade and knitted with love by your grandmother.
Kimberly told Kristen and I about Belle’s Nest and Gloria and Elena’s mission to create a place for artists and entrepreneurs to make their dreams come true.
It couldn’t have been more perfect.
We had a few hours for additional preparation in between the signing and the launch party that evening at Community Brains Art Gallery in downtown Pomona, hosted by Kristen’s friend and gallery owner Tom Hill. Kimberly’s family helped with set-up and provided transportation—along with much love and support—and Kristen’s sister was our home base for deliveries of the Sage books, party favors, food and wine. Thank you to ALL the kind souls who donated their time to make this event run so smoothly!
There was a three-day break before our final event at The Guild’s Creative Spotlight, so I took this time for a little R&R in Palm Springs. Palm Springs is a vintage, mid-century modernism paradise with hiking trails in abundance for the outdoor lover. The best of both worlds!
We stayed in a bungalow at Amin Casa, which is historically known as the Gloria Swanson house. The Amin Casa has a gorgeous pool and gardens and a breathtaking view of the mountains. Our host, Nelson was absolutely lovely, too. He was warm, welcoming, hands-on and attentive. I highly recommend this peaceful gem!
We enjoyed the scenic hiking trails of Palm Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park, and rode the Aerial Tram up to the top of Mt. San Jacinto, where we were caught in a beautiful snowstorm.
On our final day in California, we left Palm Springs and headed to The Orange Space in Redlands for an evening Q&A with The Guild. The Guild is an organization whose focus is creative conversation, collaboration and inspiration. They host a monthly Guild gathering—The Creative Spotlight—inspired by the Impressionist artists in 19th-Century Paris as well as the 1930’s Oxford literary group, The Inklings.
The topic of our Creative Spotlight conversation was about managing a meaningful 3-way creative collaboration without ever meeting in person… until now! We shared a few poems from the Poetry In Motion series, along with the story of how it all began, our individual roles and creative processes and what we learned along the way that made for an even stronger collaboration moving into Sage Spirit.
Our takeaway from this experience is how important it is to have a deep respect for the creative process—and each other.
Art comes from a personal and vulnerable place. During a collaboration like ours, ideas and creations are seen throughout the process when art is in its most raw form. Like a newborn, we should handle it with care until it has grown and developed enough to where we can let it go to follow its own path.
And, trust your instincts. Go with it if it feels right to you. Say yes! When you know, you just know.