Nearly Valentine's

Hello Valentines,

I must thank you for being in my readership at Rising Forth. I began this site back in November, 2009, before lots of seismic things happened in my life, when my writing was just beginning to take shape, when I thought my book would be written within a brief amount of time–lalala just like that! Back when my kids lived under our shared roof.

Time has passed.

Large-scale and intimate pivotal events have taken place in my life, as they have in yours. I have been shaped by these events, and by the way the world has changed in the ensuing years, grieved and celebrated with humanity, felt the need many times to hide my head under a blanket, and turned again to the world as a resource, because that seems to be the best way for me to show up.

By our writing we are made, Valentine's too.

This winter, I continue to work on the manuscript of the book that got me started writing in the first place. Maybe you think, “Isn’t she done with that thing yet?” Well, believe everything you hear about writing a book. Primarily, it takes time, gigantically–in the writing, the writer is made. The content is deeply personal, and only now, as my daughter is about to graduate from college, do I feel I have enough space in which to write fully.

Are there things that have taken a large swath of your life to learn?

Both of my kids are in an era of life lessons, dealing with long-term relationships and decisions, with transitions and who they are as young adults. Like how to handle a water stain on silk or wrangle grain moths in the flour jar. They are every bit as dear as they ever, but their bigness brings out certain new empathy in me. Just today, Catherine texted to say she needs help to figure out her next steps after college. Not one split second between reading her words, and boom! there I was on a late winter day at Northern Michigan University in 1980, chilled, heavy sky and backpack, out in front of the theatre not at all sure of where life would take me after graduation. No more shows to audition for, no friends to walk along Superior to the breakwater with, no teachers or directors to contour my learning.I clearly recall the weight of my own life shift, felt it settle around my shoulders. I remember how my body felt, I recall the sense of a horizon out in front of me that I had never seen before.

Things do work out. But not without participation, right?

Last year at this time, I was writing. I engaged in Lindsay Robinson’s 100 Day Project that begins every year on Instagram in April. I spent 100 days painting a tree in my journal. Every day, a tree. Rudimentary, because maybe you remember I am not a painter?

Over the course of those 100 days, I heard from so many people that they’d like to do the 100 Day Project, but they had no clue as to what to select to actually DO. I have mulled that question over. What the heck do you want to do for 100 days and how do you start? You can purchase a self-guided workshop to discern what you might do for 100 days, beginning whenever you decide you want to begin. I have a plan for my own 100 Day thing this year, which I will let you know then.

From Out of the Mouths of Babes

Many welcomes to this new website. Suzi Banks Baum Rising Forth is your spot for inspiration on Daily Creative Practice, real conversations about motherhood and traction in our creative work in the world.

Thank you! Call again Valentines! A scale from Noho in Manhattan by SBB

Thank you for stopping in!



Here are my teaching dates for 2020 as I know them today:

• April 1, 2020 Powder Keg Writing Workshop for Women resumes at the Ramsdell Public Library in Housatonic, MA 6:30 PM THIS now happens online. You can learn more here.

• May 30, 2020 Discovered Truths in Discarded Books: a wordy art workshop at the Bushnell Sage Public Library in Sheffield, MA 10-4 PM TBA

• July 24-29, 2020 Build a book of writing prompts at IWWG. Learn more here.

• August 7-11, 2020 5 full days of Backyard Art Camp in Great Barrington, MA

• August 23-29, 2020 Book and writing intensive at Snow Farm in Florence, MA. Go here for details.

• November 29-January 6, 2021 Advent Dark Journal

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