Archive | Hope & Wonder (Issue #8)

Instrumental: For the Final Months of the Year by Melissa Cynova

Autumn brings with it shorter days, looming holidays and a constant wonderment about where the days have gone. Is it already November? Where did the year go? We never have time to accomplish all that we wanted, it seems, and we’re so quick to discard or disregard those things we have done (and done well)

With the running down of the year, however, comes the opportunity to pause and truly reflect on who we are, where we’re going, and how we got there. It is easy to follow the path above- the quick dismissal of achievement and holding fast to our failures.

What if, instead, we took a cue from nature and slowed down the clock?

What if we were patient and kind to ourselves, even though we totally dropped the ball that one time (or three times).

In tarot, the Star card follows the Tower. After the Tower falls, the world is spinning and disjointed, and it’s hard to get your bearing. There are clouds of dust and rubble all around, and you’ve lost your main landmark. You might feel a little lost, and a little adrift.

The Star brings with her grace, quiet and comfort. She is the first deep breath after a crying jag. She is the cool hand on your fevered brow. She asks nothing of you, holds nothing against you, and gives you space to heal.

This is the space we should allow ourselves. For every goal that we missed, there were a thousand times we were present for a grieving friend. For every deadline that went by, there were a hundred times we played with our cats or took a well-earned nap. We were giving each other hope, and likely leaving ourselves high and dry.

The Star asks us to breathe. To be present. To be forgiving and to forgive.

Most importantly, she asks us to bless ourselves as well as each other, so that our hope doesn’t diminish while we’re ministering to other people.

Xo Lis

About the Author: Melissa Cynova

Melissa Cynova is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. Her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, was recently published by Llewellyn Publishing. Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her husband, Joe, two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

You can reach Melissa at She is on Twitter and Instagram under Little Fox Tarot. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

Sunday Salon: The Quest for Quiet

The month before Christmas is probably not the best time to go on a quest for quiet.

But, here I am, doing just that.

Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash

This idea of getting quiet first nudged its way into my mind as I watched Office Hours, a series of short videos author Dani Shapiro offered through Facebook during the past nine weeks. Shapiro talks about this concept of making space for your words – not just in time or place, although those are important, but in your mind. Doing that requires a willingness, but also an ability to get quiet.

My mind is always a very noisy place. It’s filled with the din of worry (my little dog doesn’t seem like herself, is she sick?), or responsibility (so much music to practice with concerts coming soon) or wonder (what will life be like when my husband retires next year?) When I startle myself awake at three o’clock in the morning, these are just a few of the thoughts that begin to clamor inside my head, spiraling like ticker tape on an endless loop, each one another bad investment of time and energy.

Because it’s become increasingly clear to me that in order to create anything meaningful, you must find a wellspring of quiet within. Just like my office in the corner of our upstairs bedroom, you must retreat to that “room of your own” psychically as well as physically, must find a way to escape what Shapiro calls the “internal chatter” about life in general that can be so all-consuming.

But here we at almost December. It may be The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, it surely is one of the noisiest times of the year. For me as a musician, the “noise” is all too real. I play handbells in a group that travels with a truckload of bells and their associated equipment, a sum total of more than two complete piano keyboards full of noisemakers in varying sizes and shapes. The decibel level is astounding when you stand in the midst of it, as I will do for hours and hours in the coming weeks. There have been times in rehearsal lately when the overtones become literally deafening, and for a split second I lose the beat, the sense of rhythm that keeps me on track with the music.

The noise of the outside world is just as great right now, isn’t it? The sense of urgency to have the best possible holiday, to have the most elaborate decorations, to attend the most fun gatherings, to get that oh-so-perfect present. Over the years I’ve mostly given myself a pass on all that hoopla. Doing five or six concerts in the month of December, each one consuming anywhere from six to ten hours of time (travel, set up, rehearsal, performance, tear down, travel), is more than enough excitement for me. By the end of a weekend of concertizing, all I long for is Quiet.

Where do I find it?

Yes, it’s here in my comfortable chair in the upstairs bedroom, with stacks of books and journals piled on the ottoman beside me, making space for the words of a favorite author or poet.

It’s sitting at the kitchen counter, drinking a cup of cinnamon tea, reading or staring out the window at birds flitting back and forth from the maple tree to the feeder and watching clouds skate across the blue sky.

Also on the yoga mat in my basement, moving my body through strengthening and stretching exercises, being aware of air moving in and out through my heart and lungs.

Quiet is in slowing down, taking time, noticing, focusing, breathing.

What I must remember in this quest for quiet is this: Quiet will not come to me unless I seek it out, unless I consciously make a place for it, a space for it. Unless I take myself upstairs to that chair, brew myself that cup of tea, unroll that mat on the basement floor. Why is that sometimes so hard? Why do I so often let the clutter and distractions  – the Noise of life – become an overwhelming melange of sound until I’ve lost my sense of direction?

I wish it were as simple as stopping the sound of a ringing handbell, a technique called “damping.” Most often it’s done by placing the rim of the bell against your shoulder. Sometimes, with larger bells, you need to press them into the padded table. With very small bells, you can damp almost furtively by touching the bell with your thumb.

I suppose the varying degrees of noisiness in life require similar variations in technique to quiet them. The clamor of those middle of the night high-anxiety sessions will need to be pressed firmly down, while the lesser noise of daily living – Facebook! Email! Commercials! – can be controlled with a flick of an “off” switch.

“I’ve come to realize,” Shapiro says, “that the thing that stops me isn’t the puppy, the e-mail, the UPS truck, the school conference, the phone, the laundry, the to-do lists. It’s me that stops me.” She recalls an osteopathic physician from whom she once received treatment. “’Things get stuck,’ he said with a shrug. He gestured to the area where the neck meets the head. The place where the body ends and the mind begins. Things get stuck. It sounded so simple when he said it. It’s me, and that things that are stuck. Standing in my own way.”

Standing in my own way, making my own noise.

And so the quest for quiet begins but also ends where everything else does: with my own conscious effort and intention.

With stepping out of my own way and stepping into the quiet spaces around me.

May you find all the quiet you seek in these days ahead.

About the Author: Becca Rowan

becca_rowan_bio_may2016Becca Rowan lives in Northville, Michigan with her husband and their two dogs. She is the author of Life in General, a book of personal and inspirational essays about the ways women navigate the passage into midlife. She is also a musician, and performs as a pianist and as a member of Classical Bells, a professional handbell ensemble. If she’s not writing or playing music you’ll likely find her out walking with the dogs or curled up on the couch reading with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) close at hand. She loves to connect with readers at her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Happy Thanksgiving: Celebrating Hope, Wonder, and Gratitude

In the United States, it’s Thanksgiving. A time to gather around the table with loved ones and celebrate our many blessings. We celebrate creative living in every aspect of the meal: from setting a beautiful table to creating each delectable dish served upon it. We try new dishes to stretch our tastes and try to create the tastes of our childhoods with heirloom recipes handed down from grandmother to daughter (or from grandfather to son).

It’s also a time to honor the harvest, gathering the fruits of seeds planted in fertile ground. And fertile minds. Because what is creativity but harvesting the fruits of the seeds we’ve planted?

We’re also on the edges of the season of wonder, when children hope for snow flurries and the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells on dark nights. We decorate our homes with twinkle lights and glowing candles, illuminating the darkened corners and reminding us that where there is shadow, the hope of enlightenment is also nigh.

In celebration of this holiday, we won’t be offering you a new poem, story, or essay, but a collection of two dozen gems of wisdom on hope and wonder – gratitude and creativity.

“There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens up the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way.”
–Jim Rohn

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“The act of giving something to others is an art of flowering your heart.”

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”
― Anaïs Nin

“In a time of destruction, create something.”
― Maxine Hong Kingston

“Gratitude opens the door to… the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe.”
–Deepak Chopra

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
― Socrates

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
–Albert Schweitzer

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
― Marcus Aurelius

“Music and art both spring from a grateful heart.”
–Katie Wood McCloy

“Hope is a waking dream.”
― Aristotle

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
― Rachel Carson

“Philosophers wonder when they do not know, artists when they do.”
― Raheel Farooq

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“There is no one harder to live with than an artist. Therefore an artist is a real gift because he or she raises the sanctity of everyone else in the community.”
— David Steindl-Rast

“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
― Laini Taylor,

“I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music. Anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. This world would be unlivable without art. Thank you for inspiring me.”
–Steven Soderberg

“An artist gives. Gives visually, gives through courses, or with free advice, through generosity of spirit and through a need to share.”
–Veronica Roth

“Art is the giving by each man of his evidence to the world. Those who wish to give, love to give, discover the pleasure of giving. Those who give are tremendously strong.”
–Robert Henri

“There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.”
― Octavia E. Butler

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
― Barbara Kingsolver

“Gratefulness translates into a joy-filled understanding that informs art making – a simplicity that goes beyond preconceived ideas and moves us toward truth.”
–Dean Taylor Drewyer

We hope you enter the waning days of 2017 with a sense of hope, are open to the wonder and beauty of the world around you, and honor your own personal harvest and creative spark. We are so honored to witness the ways in which you you celebrate your creative life with a full and grateful heart.

With love from our creative table to yours.
The Staff of Modern Creative Life

Instrumental: Farmbox Adventures by Melissa A. Bartell

Two years ago, driving home from a visit to my husband’s family in South Dakota, we were in rural Nebraska when we passed by a lush, green, field. It was the kind of farmland typical of a postcard image, and it was beautiful, until we saw the sign “Presented by Monsanto” at the corner of the field, just outside the fence, and our hearts fell.

Summer Farmbox by Melissa A. BartellNearly ten years ago, on another trip to South Dakota, we saw the number of family farms that had been bought by commercial soybean growers, and found an eerie response in the fact that the high school had been made smaller, and the population was going down.

Both of these images have haunted me for years, but even though I strive to buy vegetables in season, to buy locally-sourced or organic products whenever possible, when you live in Outer Suburbia doing so can be a challenge, and while my city does have a farmer’s market that operates throughout the year, its hours are far too early to be compatible with my extremely nocturnal tendencies.

Ironically, it was my friend Tabitha (she of Sunday Sensations) who gave me the key to making a difference in my own life, as well as in my community. She’d mentioned her recent delivery from a local-to-her CSA (community supported agriculture) organization, and it spurred me to find something similar in my own neighborhood.

Choosing a CSA was easy for me: of the several that exist in my region, only one delivers to my address. I spent the weekend of my birthday reading all their information, and made my first order that week. Thus began my relationship with

While many CSAs operate as co-ops – you buy shares and get a box that represents the number of shares you have – this one is a bit simpler. They have several ‘sizes’ of boxes ranging from wee (which is apparently their most popular option, and, they say, is ideal for a two-adult household) to boxes large enough for corporations to share out (or use in the company kitchen, maybe?), and we also have the option of choosing all fruit, all vegetables, or a mix.

Even better, there’s a way to ban certain items from ever showing up in my box. I’m one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap (this is genetic – it means I lack a specific enzyme), so I’ve asked that they never deliver cilantro. Similarly, I’m not a fan of kale (and as someone who is extremely hypothyroid, I’m not supposed to eat it, anyway) so I’ve asked them never to send me that.

My CSA allows me to customize my box, as well. Every Friday, I can access the list of the next week’s box, and if there’s something I have too much of, or isn’t included but is available, I can add or change a few items. As well, I can add some meats, dairy, and eggs, all from local farmers. We’ve become big fans of the cherry-smoked bacon and Mexican-style ground chicken sausage we can get, and I no longer buy milk in the grocery store unless I’m making something that requires a lot of it. The milk we get with our farm box isn’t raw, but it is low-temperature pasteurized, and it comes with the cream on top.

In addition to exploring many of the various add-on options, I’m having a blast discovering new-to-me vegetables, or learning new ways of preparing familiar ones. Farmbox Sausage by Melissa A. Bartell

This fall, I’ve received acorn squash three times, butternut squash once, and delicata squash twice, and the latter was previously unknown to me. Another week, I received Swiss chard, which I’d never cooked before, and really enjoyed trying.

Even though the farm box I receive is meant for two people, there are days when I’m just not in the mood to cook, or I’m not home. When we had to make an emergency trip to South Dakota over Labor Day weekend because my mother-in-law died, the friend who kindly took care of my dogs was invited to take home anything that wouldn’t keep, and when we get behind on using things, she isn’t offended if I beg her to take things off my hands, so they won’t go to waste.

My Wednesday night routine now involves setting the empty carton from the previous week’s farm box out on the front porch (along with any empty egg cartons or cold-bags) to be picked up when the new box is dropped on Thursday.

My new Thursday ritual is opening the new farm box.

Often, I am greeted by the earthy smell of potatoes – they leave them loose in the box – but equally frequently the first thing I encounter is the greens. (I confess, I often sing “The Witch’s Rap” from Into the Woods when I’m unboxing lettuces and other greens. My life is a musical, after all.)

As I write this, we’ve just finished a lovely dinner of broiled teriyaki salmon, Yukon gold potatoes sautéed with yellow onions and garlic, and a salad of green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and except for the garlic, every vegetable came from my farm box. This is a fairly usual occurrence now, and there are some nights when I try to make an entire meal solely from farm box products (so far, our favorite is quiche made with the afore-mentioned chicken sausage and mushrooms).

You might be asking me, is it worth the money? Well, I pay about $25/week for my box. $5 of that is a delivery fee but when I add milk and eggs, the total isn’t much different, because I’m over the minimum price for free delivery. It’s probably slightly more expensive doing this than it would be just buying veggies at the store, but not only does it mean I’m not heading to the grocery store as often, I’m also supporting local farmers, which is vitally important.

If only my CSA delivered coffee, I’d be completely happy.

Farmbox Unboxing by Melissa A. Bartell

About the author: Melissa A. Bartell

Melissa is a writer, voice actor, podcaster, itinerant musician, voracious reader, and collector of hats and rescue dogs. She is the author of The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Holiday Tub. You can learn more about her on her blog, listen to her podcast, or connect with her on on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

My Wise Elder by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

My grandmother died when my mother was five,
our only photo shows her cradling
the last child, smiling over
the lace-drenched, long white christening gown.
In family memory she was gentle
with a snap to her tongue
and a Scot’s practical bent.

I hope I inherited some of that.
The only gift I know for sure
was breast cancer.

Her image floats to the front
of my mind as I grapple
with the loss of two friends
and the advanced cancer
of two others. I feel her smile
as I sign up for a long-desired
trip to Costa Rica, daunted

by the logistics of getting there
but determined to live actively
as long as I can.

About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones

PatriciaWellingham-JonesPatricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.

Sunday Sensations: Surprised

Sunday Sensations - Tabitha

There are people who have never left their hometown. As a newly minted adult, I met them. Boggled at the complexity of the thought, I gaped. They didn’t even drive the foTabitha in Icelandur hours to the nearest city across the state line. They’d never left Iowa.

Corn fields are nice, but I need to breath new air every once in awhile. My father was made of wanderlust. As I grew, there were few places in our town we had not seen. Los Angeles was as familiar as an old friend. I spent hours in our car traversing the length and breadth of her streets.

And we went further.

Trips took me to state after state in our nation. I experienced humidity for the first time as a small child. I had my mind expanded when I realized that, if you drive far enough, people’s accents change. I learned the world is not black and white, but filled with all shades of gray. There was lessons learned in trains and buses and planes. I saw America.

I climbed through the desert, I picked through the forest, I sat by lakes and streams and two major oceans.

I lived in other people’s shoes. You can’t not when you travel. I slept in beds that were not my own. I ate at tables that did not resemble home. I found the foreign even in my own country. Early on I found out that not everyone is shaped the same.

I marveled in Missouri why there were so many trees. In my California mind I believed that trees were something you planned. To have them so densely, so chokingly — must be a conspiracy. I voiced my wonder to my parents and asked, “what are they hiding?” It’s been a family joke ever since.

Packed bags provided their own life lessons. All you really need can fit in one or two suitcases. Vital life can be done with less. Real happiness comes with who you are with, not what you carry.

To say I am grateful for my father’s traveler’s heart would be the understatement. My mother provided the necessary comfort for any journey. She packed as if the Boy Scout motto was a creed to be followed without deviation. We were always prepared.


Last week, I stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Iceland. I thought of those people I met so many years ago who had never thought to leave their own state. I discovered a new favorite place that took six hours of plane travel and two hours of driving. Had I been like them, had I never moved from my spot, I  would have missed the chance to see something this beautiful. This was unlike anything I had seen and I had seen so many days at the ocean. I held my husband’s hand and fell in love again with travel. I can’t wait for our next trip.

About the author: Tabitha Grace Challis

Tabitha Grace ChallisTabitha is a social media strategist, writer, blogger, and professional geek. Among her published works are the children’s books Jack the Kitten is Very Brave and Machu the Cat is Very Hungry, both published under the name Tabitha Grace Smith.

A California girl (always and forever) she now lives in Maryland with her husband, son, and a collection of cats, dogs, and chickens. Find out more about her on her Amazon author page or follow her on Twitter: @Tabz.

The Great Leap by Christine Mason Miller

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

In just a few days, I’m crossing over. Good-bye forties, farewell first half of life. The big one is here—I’m about to turn fifty.

I’ve never felt daunted by any previous birthdays, but my fiftieth has had me, at times, in a mild state of panic. What does it mean to turn fifty? What lies ahead? How will this change the way the rest of the world sees me? How can I make the most of the time I have left? Because there is now no denying that what remains is limited—time to not only to be alive, but also to be healthy, energetic, and able to do all the things I want to do. I have lately been feeling a unique kind of pressure to make the right choices; my fear of reaching old age with a suitcase full of regrets about what I did or didn’t do when I had the opportunity has been a lingering presence all year long.

In a nutshell, I don’t want to blow it.

I’ve also never been one to create a master plan for my life. I’ve made big plans for business, creative projects, and even dinner parties, but not for the totality of my life. I’ve never had an age-related goal (married by 25, homeowner by 30, etc.) and have rarely tried to predict exactly where I might be or what I might be doing beyond a few months. This has been especially true since my divorce, when I was inspired to take an entirely different approach to my future.

Since then, I’ve steered my life in a way that is less about focusing my sights on specific hopes or dreams and more about setting my compass according to my values—the kind of person I want to be and what I want my life to look like. But even then, I try to hold onto any plans as loosely as possible. Experience has shown me that there are other more mysterious forces at play, and, if I’m willing to let go of the desire for control, there’s a very good chance things will unfold in ways more magically, abundantly, and beautifully than I could have ever orchestrated.

As my husband and I get settled in our new home and community here in Milwaukee, I’ve been watching him connect with an assortment of friends, colleagues, and classmates from years past. He is catching up with people he hasn’t seen in thirty, forty and fifty years, hearing about the highlights of their lives as well as those of other mutual friends. I’ve been involved in many of these conversations, and they have inspired a pulling upward of perspective. I’ve been imagining myself on a cloud above the earth, only it isn’t just the physical entity of our planet but all of time. It is a dynamic universe filled with moments and memories and experiences – mine included, many of which haven’t even happened yet, of course—and I’m up above, watching all of them collide and twinkle and carry each of us along different paths and trajectories. This decision went this way, that one turned things completely around. Those are the points of no return. These are the things we’ll never get back. And over there—that’s what is still entirely possible.

After hearing a few too many stories of lives being consumed by things like lawsuits, family estrangements, and addiction, I keep thinking about the finiteness of our existence.

This week I’m turning fifty, but the day might come when I turn seventy, and what will I be looking at then when I let myself float up above the atmosphere and take stock of the time I’ve had? What do I see now? Has my general approach—values first, pursuit of dreams second—served me or hindered me? Which regrets and heartbreaks from my past are still in need of redemption or transformation for my future?

The funny things is, my birthday will arrive and then it will be over. After all the build up, the angst, and hearing David Byrne’s “How did I get here?” in my head over and over again, it will happen. I’ll be fifty. And that will be that. But what is true about turning fifty has, in fact, been true all along – I don’t know how much time I have left. I don’t know what’s coming around the corner. Each day my work is the same—to make sure my compass is in alignment with what I love and value most, open the sail, and let the flow of life carry me toward my future, whatever the future may bring.

About the Author: Christine Mason Miller

Christine Mason Miller is an author and artist who has been inspiring others to create a meaningful life since 1995. Follow her adventures at

Welcome to Issue #8: Hope & Wonder

“God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us — in the dreariest and most dreaded moments — can see a possibility of hope.”
~Maya Angelou

You see a rainbow emerging from a cloudy sky, and you can’t help but smile.

You stop at the mailbox on your way home from work, and take a moment to consider what might be inside. A letter or card from a dear friend, maybe, or the latest issue of a favorite magazine.

You catch a glimpse of your dog or cat, nose pressed to the window, waiting for you to come home – even though you’ve only been out for ten minutes.

“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems a thing of wonder.”
~ Susan Orlean

You stand on the patio as a squall builds, and you let the mounting energy of the storm invigorate your heart, mind, and body.

You spend more time in the kitchen, cooking amazing foods, laughing with your best friend, your partner, your parents, as you slice and dice and saute and stir.

You wake in the middle of the night to silence, the magical hush of the season’s first snow.

“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.”
~John Burroughs

You try to capture these feelings – hope and wonder – that exist hand in hand, and are so close to the surface as the holidays approach.

Maybe something you overhear in a café or witness while shopping sparks a story. Perhaps there’s a poem waiting in the crackle of your fireplace or the pattering of rain on the roof. A child playing in the last of the autumn leaves might make a perfect photo, or inspire a memory of your own childhood, your cheeks rosy from playing in chilly air.

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”
~Christopher Reeve

Welcome to Hope & Wonder, the 8th issue of Modern Creative Life, and the end-cap of our second year of publication.

While this issue is slightly abbreviated (the first issue of our third year will launch in mid-January), it’s also packed with content.

In Hope & Wonder, you’ll get a peek into the daily lives of other creative folk in our Studio Tours and Typical Tuesday series, and meet people walking fascinating creative pathways in Conversations Over Coffee. With photos and fiction, poetry and prompts, essays and enlightenment, you’ll find a deeper understanding into all the ways in which we all create.

As always, our mission at Modern Creative Life is to honor the pursuit and practice of joyful creativity. We believe that the creative arts enrich our everyday living, enhance our environment, create lasting connections, and sustain our souls. Please join us as we look to other creatives for ways in which they find peace in the shadows, or succor in the sunshine.

As we share the stories of other makers, we invite you to use their experiences as a guide on your quest for your own Modern Creative Life.

What do you hope for, or wonder about? What gives you hope, or makes that childlike bubble of delight and wonder surround you? We invite you to share your stories, poems, essays and photos with us as we celebrate the hope and wonder all around us, and the way each helps to nourish our creative selves. We are open to single contributions as well as new regular contributors. Email us at

About the author: Melissa A. Bartell

Melissa is a writer, voice actor, podcaster, itinerant musician, voracious reader, and collector of hats and rescue dogs. She is the author of The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Holiday Tub. You can learn more about her on her blog, listen to her podcast, or connect with her on on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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