The Success Carrot, and a new writing home.

I'm pretty excited, building out the Indie Kindred website with supporting resources for indie makers. For now that means a new article department that will have writing across three themes: inspiration, creativity and connection.

The first article is live--with an excerpt below. If you're reading this via RSS, you will really want to subscribe on the Indie Kindred site to receive new articles or video shorts as soon as they are posted, straight in your inbox. I can't wait to get more posted soon--I have some seriously good reads in the works.

And I want you to have the best of the best--to not miss a thing. (So subscribe, if you haven't already!)

Chasing the Success Carrot

One thing that comes up again and again in my conversations with friends and colleagues is the way it is so easy to project a feeling of success onto other people. We see their outward accomplishments and imagine them: pleased, satisfied, and finally without a care in the world. We think, Here is someone who has had the Big Success Moment. Surely feeling Finally Okay Now and Peace at Last must follow.

Here's where it breaks down.

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How Far We've Come

On our way to the Portland Indie Kindred debut, with Liz Kalloch. Photo by Justin Davanzo.

On our way to the Portland Indie Kindred debut, with Liz Kalloch. Photo by Justin Davanzo.

When I look at photographs from the beginning of this strange journey, it feels like years ago instead of months. And honestly I hardly know how to hold all that has happened in between--I'm hoping some of my next projects give me an opportunity to slow down and process and tell you some of the stories in different ways.

At times the gratitude just makes me so still that I can hardly move. Other times I can really feel you, not like an abstract idea or an anonymous presence but as a real companion in a real place living a story running somehow parallel to mine. In these times I feel our intersection, and I'm enlivened to tell more stories and make more good things--for you. For us.

When I look at photographs of this journey, I remember it all so viscerally--how my body felt after driving so many hours and what the prairie of Western Kansas looked like out the window. The quirky things and deep thoughts coming from the backseat, where my two girls were keeping it real and keeping me company in the best way imaginable.

But most of all I remember the joy. The joy of being together, face to face. The joy of trusting myself and having it work out. 

And the joy of being on a journey that never ceases to surprise and delight me. 

The final US screening and 2013 Indie Kindred Tour Celebration is tomorrow night in Brooklyn. I hope you'll come, and dive into the joy with me.

Photo by Justin Davanzo

Photo by Justin Davanzo

Collaboration Preview: Christine Mason Miller, Liz Kalloch

Photo by Justin Davanzo.

Photo by Justin Davanzo.

Christine Mason Miller and I were fortunate to become friends at just the right time in both of our journeys. She is a friend and support of artists: mentoring them and championing their work, all while creating her own work in the world with steadiness and grace. 

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Liz Kalloch's friendship continues to be a hand that reaches out and grounds me, and I wish I had a hundred merit badges to give her for all the times she has laced me back up and helped me find my way. 

This week Christine and Liz and I will gather for the Indie Kindred screenings in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, but I'll be celebrating the togetherness we've woven all along the way and letting their love and belief restore my weary bones. 

It will be more than good to be together. 

To see if we have tickets left for these screenings or others in Vancouver, Brooklyn and Melbourne, check here

LA, NY, BC, Oz and Showing Up Just As I Am

Photo by Stefanie Renee. Indie Kindred Q&A with Jonatha Brooke and Jolie Guillebeau at the Serendipity Retreat.

Photo by Stefanie Renee. Indie Kindred Q&A with Jonatha Brooke and Jolie Guillebeau at the Serendipity Retreat.

I don't know how I expected to feel by the end of this year's Indie Kindred tour. In my mind I guess I grew more confident or self-assured, or maybe more distant as my mind and heart started to tinker with whatever comes next. 

Instead, the closer I get to the end, the more humbled I feel by all that's unfolded so far. The extraordinary people I've been able to meet and embrace and see particular and precious moments in their journeys play out in their eyes and on their faces. Being of service, making a difference--large or small. The honor of it is something I hold with careful, open-cupped hands.

My heart is riding so close to the surface that it is ironically more difficult, not easier, to take my place at the front of the room after the film plays.

I'm pretty teary these days, which I think is one part weariness and two parts gratitude.

This month we will finish strong with screenings in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Melbourne, Brooklyn and Vancouver. I'll keep showing up just as I am, moment by moment: bashful or teary or electrified with excitement.

There are more kindreds to gather, there is more magic to make.

Join us.

Photo Album: Lancaster Screening and Dinner

Menu. All photos by Bella Cirovic, shetoldstories.com

Menu. All photos by Bella Cirovic, shetoldstories.com

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We were so fortunate to have my photographer and friend Bella CIrovic with us for the Lancaster screening and I'm excited to share some of her lovely snaps with you. 

We were hosted by the lovely Alyson Earl, (pictured above) who treated us to a delicious mediterranean dinner featuring fresh produce from a local farm.

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  Can you imagine being greeted by a lavender walkway?

 Can you imagine being greeted by a lavender walkway?

Feeding body and soul

Feeding body and soul

Bella and I both had our girls with us, and they all took quickly to this Pennsylvania sanctuary.

Bella and I both had our girls with us, and they all took quickly to this Pennsylvania sanctuary.

This is the crazy look I get when I'm having a good idea. My friends, like Alyson, know to take it in stride.

This is the crazy look I get when I'm having a good idea. My friends, like Alyson, know to take it in stride.

This says it all. Thanks to everyone who joined us in Lancaster for a sweet night.

This says it all. Thanks to everyone who joined us in Lancaster for a sweet night.

To share Indie Kindred tour photos of your own (or to see more), check out our public Flickr group

Next up: Seattle and Portland.

Save the date: we're coming to Santa Monica on November 9th!

Indie Kindred Debut at WDS 2013

All photos by  Justin Davanzo . With moderator  Michelle Ward  and featured artists:  Jonatha Brooke ,  Jolie Guillebeau ,  Liz Kalloch ,  Christine Mason Miller  and  Liz Lamoreux .

All photos by Justin Davanzo. With moderator Michelle Ward and featured artists: Jonatha BrookeJolie GuillebeauLiz KallochChristine Mason Miller and Liz Lamoreux.

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Usually when we finish a big project, my friends and colleagues are still scattered across the country, exchanging words of congratulations by phone. But not on this day. 

On this day, so many of the people involved in the project were there with me, and it was an unveiling of epic proportions. We sat close by each other near the front of a full theater and balcony, and every time someone near us appeared on screen (or her artwork did), hands reached out from all around her to touch her shoulder, give a hug or squeeze her hand. I got to be there to see the tears in my friends' eyes as they watched their story unfold.

I have nothing but gratitude for this day, for everyone who made it possible and who came to bear witness and celebrate the introduction of Indie Kindred.  It really was a dream come true.

Big thanks to Justin Davanzo for being our event photographer. You can see more photos from the debut and other events in the Indie Kindred Flickr group.  

Next up: Seattle and then we're back for a public screening in Portland! Our fall schedule is filling up--check out upcoming events here