Let me tell you the story of how my path crossed with that of The Crazy Crone. I noticed her gravatar image in the comments of a blog that I was visiting and noticed that she had a lot of purple. Since I like purple, I went to her site. Whilst I was poking around there I read about some places that I know very well as they are in the general area that I live. Then I read that she has a cat called “Smudge” – same name as mine. So I commented on her blog. Turns out that Mo used to live in my area but has since moved on. In actual fact, she moved countries and now lives in Cyprus. Mo shares her home with lots of animals including four dogs. She sent me a photo of her husband and the dogs watching fireworks which I have included below. As Mo described it, it is like they are the front row in a theatre. 🙂
Funnily enough, it was joining Facebook which opened me up to the blogging community. I never accessed the internet much but I had a friend in the UK who invited me to join FB, then I started noticing lots of posts from blogs and it sounded interesting. I started out on Blogger with general blogs about life, crystals, spiritual development, tarot and so on, then switched to WordPress as I found it more functional, creative and accessible to a wider community. The other point is that I just love writing, I’ve been writing all my life but only realised in recent years that it’s a gift I’ve taken for granted and I needed to be more structured in how I approached my writing.
You are like many of us in that we seem to have been writing most of our lives prior to blogging. How long have you actually been blogging?
I started when I was living on the mid-north coast of Australia in around 2009, if I remember correctly, but it was very sporadic. I did do some teaching via my earlier blog, on Facebook and via videos on YouTube.
You’ve been blogging for a number of years then. Does you blog have a particular theme?
I operate two main blogs – one for my artwork: http://thecrazycrone.org and the second for the book I’m writing as a blog: http://thecrazycrone.com. I got organised about my blogs and writing when I was talking about the title of my book as: “Wild Woman, Crazy Crone” and a good friend suggested an alternative title: “The Crazy Crone – Living a Wild and Adventurous Life”. It really rang bells for me and somehow adopting the moniker The Crazy Crone seemed to get me more focused on blogging regularly. For years friends have nagged me about writing a book about my life as I guess it’s been a bit unconventional, but I never felt comfortable about the book format. Then another friend said: “But, Mo, your blog is your book!” and it was an “aha!” moment. With a blog you can be far more flexible, I wanted to include photos and art which make conventional books more expensive, Iwanted to be able to trundle off into the highways and by-ways, and I was off and running. The book blog I operate sporadically, depending on my health. Interestingly, I used to do rants and raves on what has developed into my artwork blog but it suddenly morphed into digital and surreal art full-time in October last year. I’ve been creating art since 1996 when I discovered mandalas. But I’m on a pension and meeting the costs of conventional paints and canvases can be difficult. On-line art suits my budget. I did an on-line art course prompted by the images of the Major Arcana in the Tarot and it got me into the discipline of daily posts. Then I did another on-line surreal art course with Alexis Yael Anderson using selfies, and I discovered lots of ideas for creating digital art on-line. I’ve always had a myriad of images running around in my head in my head which I could never quite bring into being with conventional canvas and art. I’m rubbish at real life, still life or scenery, but I’ve always loved surreal art by artists like Magritte, Dali and Pollack. So suddenly I came across various tools in Photoshop and Corel, plus the on-line editing suite, PicMonkey, and I was off and running. Then I joined the Art Every Day in November Challenge run by Leah Piken Kolidas which really consolidated the discipline of blogging on a daily basis.
You are extremely creative Mo. That’s terrific. Have you gained anything from blogging?
On a personal level, I have reconnected with my love of nature which I had as a child and forgot about as an adult. I have also realised that I can tune into nature and listen to the energies of trees, plants, rocks and so on which I’d completely forgotten about. I’ve also realised that all the photos I’ve taken of nature have led me to the point where I can incorporate them into my art. Blogging has reconnected me with myself. The other great thing is that it’s connected me to the blogging community which I think is on the whole pretty terrific.
I know that I love incorporating my photography into my graphic artwork, so I can understand your pleasure with that. On a personal level, do you have any challenges in your life that blogging has assisted you in dealing with?
I have had fibomyalgia since 1999 and spinal damage as well which causes a fair bit of pain, plus I never know what each day is going to be like as the fibro can be a bit erratic and unpredictable. I think blogging helps me keep a focus and stay on top of things. It’s also taught me that the world is not going to fall apart if I can’t blog for a while, so I’m getting more patient. Long way to go with the patience though!
I think patience (and the lack of it) is something that many of us can relate to. How often do you actually blog?
As I said, with my health challenges it can be a bit erratic, but I try to blog daily with artwork. Creating art helps me focus and alleviates the pain in my back and hips.
And where do you find inspiration for these posts?
I’d have to say that inspiration comes from a spiritual source, not a conventional god, I’m not into any particular religion, but from a feeling that love is the engine of the universe and when I tune into that love, I get inspiration for words and art. I think there is far more in the unseen realms than we realise and it is this which feeds us creatively and nurtures our kindness and humanity. So for me that spiritual input comes from nature, from trees, grasses, the sky, clouds, undergrowth, flowers and so on. They talk to me when I’m creating art and it’s as if I’m meant to express their energies to the world.
I’m finding through these interviews that inspiration from nature is becoming a recurring theme. That is so wonderful. Do you have any quotes or mantras that you feel fits your life?
One by Gabrielle Roth: “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask you one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence”. Another by the poet John Dunne: “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. . . .” Hunter S. Thompson’s quote, altered slightly: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a glass of champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming: “Wow! What a ride!” And finally from the Ulysses Motorcycle Club of Australia: “Grow old disgracefully!” I’ve done my best, at 66, to live up to the last two!
I never thought I would see the day when the mantra of the Ulysses Motorcycle Club was quoted as inspiration. (For those of you who may be interested in reading more about the club, you can find information here). My next question is to ask you what draws you to other blogs?
It wasn’t until I start blogging on a regular basis that I came across other blogs and realised how many were out there creating such wonderful material. I like all manner of blogs – travel, art, humorous, zany, personal, self-expression, kindness, spiritual – whatever is interesting, challenging and written with heart, warmth and love. I have found the blogging community in the main to be friendly, supportive and to be a powerful antidote to all the negativity in the world.
Indeed they are a supportive bunch of people. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you a little better Mo. Do you have anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes, I’ve had to face fear on many occasions but life’s too short to live on your knees. Be true to yourself, however that expresses itself for you and don’t ever let anyone else decide who you should be. Take risks (at 65 I and my husband, 76, moved from Australia to North Cyprus) and remember the Dalai Llama’s comment, that his religion is kindness.
Have a blessed day 🙂