I launched my Inspiration Interview series back in April (with the lovely Katherine Center). I've always wanted to interview people who share their work with the world and inspire me to practice courage, be free, and dream big. Kelly Rae Roberts is certainly one of those people.
I met Kelly at the LoveBomb gathering in Oregon. I have to say that I was taken aback by her. Kelly is a woman who defies boxes. She's not someone you see and immediately understand. She's complicated, but very straightforward. She's soft, but unquestionably strong. She's both wise and curious. She's very serious and very playful. The only single thing I can say about her is that she's awe-inspiring authentic and unapologetically hopeFULL.
Blog readers, meet my friend Kelly!
Kelly just published her first book, Taking Flight, and I have to tell you . . . it's amazing. One night, Steve and I plopped down on our bed and went through it, page by page. Reading, laughing, pointing, talking, and simply enjoying. It's art, inspiration, and truth rolled into one book. At one point, Steve looked at me and said, "It's like the artist version of your shame resilience work." I just smiled.
Kelly and I are both social workers. We share a deep belief in the glory of imperfection and the holiness of messy. Kelly's book is receiving amazing reviews and attention because it dares to tell the big secret of the universe: We're all afraid, but we still have to do it - art, love, vulnerability - it doesn't matter. We just have to put a brush in our hand and jump.
I have one signed book for the giveaway. Please leave your name in the comments. The giveaway ends on Wednesday night at 8pm. Someone will be the proud winner of a big ole' bucket of art, love, and possibility!
Here is my interview with the amazing Kelly Rae Roberts. I came up with this standard format for the Inspiration Series after thinking, "What do I want to know about people?" I want to know about their humanity, their ordinary-ness, their pjs.
Creativity and Inspiration:
What is your writing process?
Oh man, this is a tough question. The truth is that I’ve always struggled with writing. I remember growing up absolutely despising anything having to do with writing assignments. It wasn't natural for me and I didn't have the passion for it to develop any discipline around it. As I got older, I fell in love with the writings and poetry of my college friends and wondered how they possessed such talent, how they expressed such tender beauty inside their written words.
As the years passed, I found my creative voice in painting and as that voice grew, I found myself wanting to capture my creative journey through writing. My passion for art, for the creative journey, for the blooming of spirit, came through in my writing about these things on my blog. And all of that led to writing a book about taking flight into a creative life. So, I suppose that's my writing process: I get inspired. I then write about whatever it is I’m inspired about. No tricks, or schedule, or heartache. Not yet, anyway!
What are your greatest creative inspirations?
My greatest creative inspiration is finding connections inside everyday conversations. It’s exploring the small moments in life that hold all the deep meaning. It’s finding, then releasing, my very own possibility into the world with the hope that it will do good work out there and maybe come back to me in some other moment or shift. It’s the stories of the women in my life - all the courage and tenderness and strength.
What are your greatest creative barriers?
For me, my greatest creative barrier has been creating balance in my daily life. I struggle with carving out a chuck of time everyday where I can get to my studio table. The business side of my creative business swallows my time and my creativity suffers. So, I suppose time management has been my largest creative barrier. I’m learning, though!
Truth-telling is a vulnerable and sacred process for most of us. How do you stay honest in your writing?
Oh, this is a good question. I believe there is sincere value in telling our stories. It’s how we learn from one another. How we unearth treasures and wisdom inside ourselves. It’s how we connect to the joys and hurts of the human spirit. I try very hard to represent all the pieces of my experience in my writing - the broken pieces and the joyful pieces. It all matters and it all connects us.
How do you manage your life (family, partners, children, friends, etc.) when you are writing?
I remember when I was writing Taking Flight, it seemed to take over my entire life. Luckily, my husband was doing a clinical residency rotation out of town for several weeks, and I don't have any children, so I was able to truly focus without too many other demands to tend to. But I do have clear memories of feeling like I was failing my friendships, as I seemed to drop off the radar during those months. I was stumbling my way through the process of writing my first book while trying desperately to maintain life as normal. It was a huge learning experience. Next time around, I’ll strive for a bit more balance.
Now, for some fun!
From James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor's Studio
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favorite curse word?
From JL's Uncle Jessie Meme
A song/band/type of music you'd risk wreck & injury to turn off when it comes on the radio?
Heavy metal. Lord help me. I just can't take it.
Best show on television?
I can't believe I’m saying it, but I’m shamelessly in love with The Hills. It cracks me up. And I love the lingo and drama (omg!).
Juno was the last movie I saw that I still think about.
Favorite room in your house?
My bedroom. It's colorful and sunny.
1985. Michael Jackson’s Thriller tour - before he got weird.
Brass or strings?
If you could have anything put on a t-shirt what would it be?
It would be a hope note written my Jen Lemen.
The best part about being your age?
I am 33 and I have loved everything about being in my 30s. The letting go. The deepening of friendships. The rewards of embracing the life I’ve always envisioned for myself.
Favorite Girl Scout cookie?
Poker or gin or bridge?
Shower or bath?
My bff just sent me some brand new pjs from the garnet hill catalog. I’m a lucky girl. They're cotton and cozy.
Counting fish at a dam.
A talent you wish you had?
Songwriting and singing.
A month in New Zealand with my husband, our dog, and a euro van.
What's on your nightstand?
My book by you (!), The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron, and an early photo of me and John.
From the famous "Weird Things" blogoshpere meme
Tell us 3 weird things about you:
1. I have no idea how to cook; therefore, I eat a lot of pasta.
2. I check to make sure nobody is hiding in the shower before I go to bed.
3. I have the world's worst memory.
From Smith Magazine's Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure
A six-word memoir that captures your life as an artist OR your art life.
brave in sadness, brave in love :)
Congrats to Wanda! She won a copy of Kelly's new book! WooHoo!
Thanks for all of your awesome comments! If I win the lottery, I'll send each of you a copy of this book. Swear. We all need more creativity, inspiration, and possibility!