Archive for 'growing up'



When I was a kid: Walking uphill through the snow both ways
by Jessa Slade on November 29th, 2010

Currently working on: Christmas
Mood: Elfish

The first Christmas lights are up in my neighborhood! When we walked Monster Girl in the coldrainydarkOMGwhowantedtogetadog tonight, one house had an illuminated candy cane lane running to the front door. The big picture window blazed with one of those miniature Christmas villages that make me want to shrink myself down to the size of a silverfish and scuttle through the fake-snow streets.

(I imagine a human-sized silverfish scuttling through the sleepy little village would terrify the carolers and the kid on the sled, but it’s a small┬áprice┬áto pay for living in the Land that Christmas Never Forgot.)

This season brings out the kid in a lot of us, I think. The promise of gifts is part of it, of course. Also wearing big puffy coats and pants that make me walk like a snowman inspires seasonal cheer.

But now that I have to CREATE the holidays instead of just revel in them, it can get hard to maintain that child-like wonder. For example, I’m making jewelry for gifts this year and apparently a bead store vomited all over my workspace:

img_1339Hmm, looking at this, I realize this is a good visual representation of my creative mind: Pull out everything, scatter it everywhere, see what fits together. Vacuum leftovers. Repeat.

But being creative, creating the holidays, comes with a cost. Much like the marauding silverfish. In the case of beading, I usually shed at least a few drops of blood and the scars linger for days. See:

img_1337The combination of sharp wire, sharper Swarovski crystals, Superglue, and black thread (not all for the same project) is etched in my skin, despite multiple showers. What we suffer for our art.

That’s the thing I didn’t get as a kid, that a lot of work went on behind the scenes to create the fantasies that delighted me.

But learning the coldrainydark truth — that somebody expended effort, love and blood to create — doesn’t ruin the fantasy. I’ll just take a moment to pause in my busy night and appreciate how the lights twinkle.

Got any tips for enjoying the holidays with kid-like abandon? Please share.

And check back here at Silk And Shadows. Marjorie Liu — eeee! — will be guest posting with us later in the week and giving away a copy of her latest Dirk & Steele book, IN THE DARK OF DREAMS.