Category Archives: videos

art for Mom 2.0

It’s been a long month of sick kids (and parents) at my house.  And even though I knew there would be many, many, many of my favorite people at the Mom 2.0 Summit last weekend, I had to scramble pretty hard to get there.

But I made it.  And it was so good in so many ways.

Something magical happens when you get so many amazing people in one place.  And watching my video up on the big screen at the opening of the conference was pretty magical for me, too.

I love like crazy the theme of Mom 2.o this year:  What You’re Doing Matters.  Partly because I wrote it (and felt so honored that the Mom 2.0 Girls chose it as a theme), and partly because I SO believe it. And seeing the art show, with all those ordinary mom moments from daily life in a place of honor up on a wall in a gallery — it was powerful stuff for me.

Here’s the art I contributed:

I Mod-Podged old dictionary pages on a canvas and then wrote the words with a paintbrush and black acrylic.  It’ll be sold at the Mom 2.o online art auction (proceeds go to Haiti), and I’ll post the link when I have it.

By the way, here’s the piece of art I meant to contribute to the Mom 2.0 art show:

But after I finished it, I was kinda looking at it, thinking, “Not bad!” — when I noticed that little upside-down bird above “brave.”  And, yep:  Turns out I painted the words on an upside-down canvas.  Oops.

But I also contributed some other art!  I painted on the women who came to the art show.  Anybody who wanted one got a word — or several — on her body.  Here’s the beautiful Laurie Smithwick‘s arm:

All to say, it was a heck of a weekend.  And that — really and truly — is not even the half of it.

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Filed under crafty stuff, events, for writers, news!, videos, visual art

defining a movement

My friend Laura asked me to make a video for the Mom 2.0 Summit art show that’s coming up in February.

And here it is!

Many thanks to Shutter Sisters for allowing me to use photos from the site.  And many thanks to the amazing photographers:  Karen Walrond, Jenny Lawson, Tracey Clark, Sarah Ji, Kristin Zecchinelli, Irene Nam, and Meredith Winn.

And here is the essay that I wrote for the video:

WHAT I WOULD TELL HER:  (If I knew what to say.)

You are a miracle.

And I have to love you this fiercely:  So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.

You’ll forget all this when you grow up.  But it’s okay.

Being a mother means having your heart broken.

And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.

And it’s the best there is.  And also, sometimes, the worst.

Sometimes you won’t have anyone to talk to.

Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve forgotten who you are.

But you must remember this:  What you’re doing matters.

And you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

The truth is, being a woman is a gift.  Tenderness is a gift.  Intimacy is a gift.  And nurturing the good in this world is a nothing short of a privilege.

That’s why I have to love you this way.  So I can give what I have to you.  So that you can carry it in your body and pass it on.

I have watched you sleep.  I’ve kissed you a million times.  And I know something that you don’t, yet:

You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day.

And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one.

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Filed under for writers, news!, videos, visual art

my holiday gift to you

One of the most perfect, delectable, romantic movie scenes ever.

Happy holidays.

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Filed under random, videos

writing wednesday: life with kids

Here’s a Writing Wednesday about life with kids.  The question comes up over and over:  How do you do both?  How do you get it all done as a mother and a writer?  And almost every mother with little kids I know struggles with some version of this question.  How do you get it all done?  How do you take proper care of your children and yourself?  (And here’s a spoiler for the video:  I have no idea.)

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Filed under for writers, random, Uncategorized, videos, WRITING WEDNESDAY

revising a draft

Here’s me, yesterday, revising an early draft of a story.  This is what it looks like early on–lots of writing all over the page: arrows, carrots, scribbles.  Then I go back and type in what I’ve written.  Then I print it out and write all over the typed pages again, over and over until it feels ready.  People often ask me if I write things by hand or type them.  I always used to say I typed.  Until one day I noticed that it’s about half and half.

The words scrolling on the screen are the words that resulted from the very writing moment happening in the video.  I don’t usually share early drafts with anybody at all, so it feels a little thrilling and crazy to put those words up for the world to see–especially when those little sentences are just newborns.  But people seem to be interested in the process of writing.  And you can’t talk about revision with something that’s already finished, can you?

My husband thinks the sound of the pen on the page is like a dog wagging its tail.  And that’s kind of exactly right.

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Filed under excerpts, for writers, katherine's books, news!, prose, random, videos, WRITING WEDNESDAY

written on the body

I’m not sure how I came up with the idea to do this.  But a few weeks back, I decided that I wanted to paint words all over the body of my friend Jenny and have our friend Karen photograph it.  So I asked them.  And to my serious delight they both said yes.

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Here’s something I love to do:  put words in places you don’t expect them.

In college, I stamped poems onto signs made out of sheet metal and  put them up around campus.  I stamped words on office supplies, and bedsheets, and the pages of old books.

I loved the idea of words showing up where they didn’t belong.  The surprise of it.

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Now I am a grown-up, and writer, and I spend most of my creative life typing.  

But every now and then, I get to step away from my laptop.  And two days ago, I ventured out into my  mother’s back garden with two of my favorite people.  And I could not believe how relaxed we all were.  How game Jenny was to be painted like a tattooed lady, and how calm she was.  And how perfectly Karen captured not just the look of things, but the tenderness of it all.

And then our friend Laura showed up, too, and we hung out at my mom’s kitchen table.  We ate do-nuts and joked around a lot, but there was definitely something magical going on there that day.

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And then, using Karen’s photos, I made this video–to try to bring the words off the page a little.  To bring them to life in a new way.  And boy, did they come to life.

ALSO: This happens to be the garden where I got married. 

And ALSO:  Karen took exactly 500 photos that day.

And ALSO: Jenny read to us from the memoir she’s writing when we went back inside, and my face hurt from laughing the rest of the day.

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Filed under everyone is beautiful, excerpts, for writers, katherine's books, news!, prose, random, videos, visual art

a little excerpt from Bright Side

Happy Mothers’ Day!  Here’s a video I made with an excerpt from Bright Side!

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Filed under excerpts, for writers, katherine's books, prose, random, the bright side of disaster, Uncategorized, videos