because sometimes you need a dose of daily sweetness to keep you going {not a food post, shockingly}

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Sometimes a woman needs a dose of sweetness to keep her going. From being blocked creatively to dealing with taxes and finalizing a new freelance project to the evils of jetlag and a 3AM rise, my first week back from Ireland has been a trying one. Instead of moping about the house, I paid a visit to my local stationery shop {cue the: PAPER?!} to purchase invites for a small housewarming party I’m giving this month, felt-tip pens and a few motivational journals. People who know me well know that I do not have a taste for DIY. I’m not a glitter girl; I abhor pink, and anything overtly fanciful. As a child I wore blue, scowled, and wrote in spiral notebooks. I didn’t throw parties and I certainly didn’t devote few hours of my day to handwrite notes to my guests and seal invites with an ink stamp of my initials.

I may have said this previously, but I’m often inspired by children’s books and shows. While in Dublin I watched The Babysitter’s Club on television {initially as a result of an abysmal selection of television options}, and I came home to re-read some of the books I procured during my brief stint as a copywriter at Scholastic. Real writers know that writing children’s books are incredibly difficult because of the intended audience. You have to craft a story that will keep a child’s attention while awakening their sense of wonder and imagination. The and then this happens! effect. Years ago, I used to do writing exercises that mimicked this format just to stir the subconscious, just to get something down on paper.

I also return to children’s books, not as a means to revert back to childhood, but as a means to keep the world simple and beautiful before we adults find ways to ruin it. Before we find excuses to winnow our affection for the magical away {taxes! credit card debt! rent! pragmatic pursuits!}. My fiction is relentlessly dark — I’ve a predilection for broken people — so I welcome anything that has the capacity to momentarily bring me back into the light.

I acquired two books that have stirred: Celebrating You (and the beautiful person you are) + It’s Gonna Be Okay. While both are not your garden variety children’s books, and while both don’t give you the stench of self-help, they straddle the two very delicately. Truth be told, I don’t know why I picked these books off up the table, let alone purchased them, as I’m by nature a skeptic.

I mean, seriously. I’m writing a book about sociopaths and barnacles.

But it’s okay to open the window a crack, I guess. It’s okay to feel lost and speak those words out loud. And it’s okay to pick up a beautifully-illustrated book that celebrates the good in you, and to thumb through a journal that invites you to document one reason why you’re hanging on today, even in the midst of all-encompassing fear and anticipated doom. I laughed at some of the quotes in It’s Gonna Be Okay because they’re honest:

I’m not okay. You’re not okay. And that’s okay. –Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. –Herm Albright

While I haven’t written anything in the journal as of yet {the book is structured like a call/response to a quote and the reason you haven’t punched anyone today, etc}, I have written. Eight pages into a new chapter and it’s good, really good. So much so I keep re-reading it in apoplectic shock. So maybe there is something to be said about contrast. About seeing light to burrow back and document the dark.

Who knows?

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