Masthead header

What in the world is a “blog hop”?

legs

“The greatest defense is being who you are… Just look at the flowers and trees. They do not suppress each other. Even when crowded, they show themselves and grow in all directions and so make it to the light.” ~ Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Our charming new friend Justine Taormino (more on her below) asked us if we’d like to join her on a blog hop ~ and we love the idea! The requirements were to answer four questions and to introduce you to Justine (she’s so terrific!) and invite three other blogging friends to continue the dialogue. So here goes…

We are taking our dive into the world of blogging very s…l…o…w…l…y. It’s not that we don’t have a lot to say, it’s that we both just have very full plates (especially Lynne these days with an extremely imminent move – like NOW – from Georgia back to Texas ~ her hubby is in the Air Force). We are also still finding our voice and our groove with blogging and building our Two Poppies site.

Answers (S: Suzee | L: Lynne)

1) What are we working on/writing?

S: For the past few months my main focus has been getting our first book Beautiful Rainbow World off to the printer, the eBook created, and a teaser video produced. The book is a collection of photos of global children set to the lyrics of a song by the same title. We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for the book project, and are extremely excited to see the book in its complete form. It is scheduled for delivery in early June! As far as our blog, I’ve been a bit hesitant about following through on my inspirations to share. I often feel insecure about the possibility others will either think I’m nutso or that it will be something interests no one other than me. The process of writing this post has already opened me up to know that my truths are worth sharing ~ regardless of any of my insecurities. It will reach who it needs to reach, and when.

So far, we have been sharing Lynne’s photography, creative projects, and snippits from lives that have inspired us. As we grow this site, we plan to share more about each of our life’s journeys, including our lives with our children and our creative processes (sometimes combined). We will aim for that blurred line of sharing our authentic thoughts and experiences while also maintaining a boundary of privacy for our families.

L: These days my voice is heard through my photography. This is my third year taking an image a day (365 project), as of May 22 that’s 872 days in a row! This year I’ve also embarked on a picture journey with my son, Isaiah. He has the most incredible mind, but it is never quiet. Compared to the rest of my children, I struggle with the best way to parent him. This project is a collaboration between the two of us, a way for us to understand each other better. Who knows? I may just do the same thing with one of my other children next year. As far as writing, I have had trouble finding enough quiet in my mind and in my life to practice daily writing. If I have a thought that absolutely I have to write down I keep a journal handy and jot it down.

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

S: I think the fact that we are sisters, both sharing on Two Poppies, sets us apart a bit. For anyone who has met us, they know that although we are very compatible with each other, we are also quite different. Lynne is easier at sharing herself with others, while I can tend to be very protective of my personal stuff. Lynne struggles with the feeling that she shares too much, and I struggle with the feeling that people feel shut out by me because I have difficulty opening up and trusting sending my truths into the world. {Wow, even writing this is making me tear up! I think I hit a nerve.}

We haven’t gotten there yet, but we also plan to write about how we are striving to raise our children (6 between us) with a very open view of the world. This includes not stifling their creativity and imagination, and letting them grow into who they were born to be. We both are extremely culturally curious (which is why we also own Multicultural Kids), LOVE being in nature with our kids – seriously our very, VERY favorite place to spend time with them — and enjoy sharing creative processes with them, often inspired by them instead of the other way around. We plan to open up about what we have learned from our kids about the world ~ believing that their freshness to this human experience is actually more wise than meets the eye.

L: Suzee said it all, I’m not sure what I have to add here. Photographically speaking, I’m not sure what sets me apart. I know that I try to be 100% authentic in the images I post. As Suzee said, my biggest fear is that sometimes I am too open, especially when it comes to respecting the privacy of my children. Before I post an image that they may feel sensitive about I always check with them beforehand. I think as humans we always want to paint ourselves in the best light, especially when it comes to social media. I try really hard to present the imperfectness of life in all of its glory without making it seem like I’m complaining. My photography is kind of like my diary, what I’ve figured out (for now anyway), what I don’t understand, etc. I’m okay with being a not-so-private person, I just hope I respect those I love who aren’t so open.

3) Why do I write what I do?

S: On Two Poppies, I haven’t delved too much into some of my spiritual insights, but when I have them, I write them down knowing that at some point I will share. It also goes back to getting into my groove. When I get the amazing messages I have received, I know immediately they are meant to be shared (because it is not actually just my information, but something that came streaming through me for the benefit of others as well). Some of that is gaining courage, and some of it is learning how to put it into words. I have a MS Word document called “My Truths” that I have been keeping for years ~ excerpts from books and podcasts, dreams, quotes, stories, experiences, etc that have inspired me or came to me through many different sources. It has a lot of great stuff that I hope to eventually blog about ~ or share in another way. I express myself a lot through painting and mixed media ~ so maybe I will also do a combination approach.

L: Oh goodness, I don’t write so much these days, although I have two more children’s books that feel really ready to be written, so I’ve set a goal to at least get them down in some version by the end of the year. I still struggle with formulating all the ideas, revelations and questions in my head in a way that can be shared with others easily. I know it’s a practice that gets easier just like everything else, one of these days I will get there. I keep a journal on my night stand and in my purse, so I’m ready! As far as photography, I think it’s as much about documenting the beautiful and not so beautiful parts of my family, it’s also therapy. It’s my way of feeling vulnerable and growing through that vulnerability. I hope that doesn’t sound totally selfish! Of course, I love documenting our little life. It’s my way of slowing things down ~ I don’t feel ready for my kids to grow up!

4) How does my writing process work?

S: I don’t think either Lynne or I really feel like “writers” yet, but we do feel like story-tellers, which is why we started Two Poppies ~ to share our views and experiences. I’ve been journaling fairly consistently since I was a kid ~ with stretches of silence woven in. I was super good about journal writing every morning for the past several years. Then in February we got a puppy! So, the puppy allowed me enough time to meditate, but never enough time for journaling as well. She’s getting easier now, so I’d like to start back up with that practice ASAP. I also experienced some wild writing while at a creative retreat last fall with Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner ~ and the writing and sharing process I experienced there opened me up in ways I never knew writing could. I still feel like my writing style is stiff and I hear too many English teachers, copywriters, and editors (I am also a graphic designer – mostly for the corporate world) popping in my head as write ~ so I would like to loosen up.

As far as blogging in particular ~ I am a creative spirit, and forcing things never really seems to work for me. So, when I’m feeling super inspired to share something, I write. Being that Lynne and I also run another business together, are publishing our first book, plus lots of kids and family obligations thrown in the mix ~ I haven’t written as many posts as I had hoped. I’m planning to possibly take a blogging e-course to gain confidence and direction. What I’ve shared so far on Two Poppies has been fairly safe – I’d say the Journal Gem post on the poem that came streaming through me was my most vulnerable.

L: What writing practice? Ha! As I said before I keep a journal with me everywhere, so it’s only a matter of time before I will have a writing practice. I also keep my camera with me all of the time. I’ve made a real effort this year to try to be more deliberate when I’m taking photographs. This means less clicks of the shutter and slowing down to actually capture what I visualize. I live in a constant state of self-doubt, so lately my mantra has been “Trust Yourself”. The doubt cloud had gotten so big I couldn’t really hear MY voice. I’m trying really hard to listen really hard to that true inner voice, whether that’s with writing or photography. It’s hard and I fail all the time, but I keep plugging away. I don’t know if I really answered the question above, but it’s what I felt the need to write so I will go with it. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been able to do much more than upload my pictures to my computer and share them once in awhile on Facebook. I have big plans to create picture diary blog posts, but life has been so crazy lately I haven’t gotten very far. Keep checking in, though, one of these days I will get to them.

 


 

Our blogging buddies ~ oooh! they are so amazing! It’s worth your time to check them out.

justine_sml
Justine Taormino is an INFJ and a Pisces with moon in Scorpio – dualities, emotions and intuition are her jam. Warm, empathetic and resourceful, Justine worships the world through feelings and deep conversation. She is interested in experiences – how people anticipate, dream of, live through, enjoy and reflect on their daily lives. In 2010, after struggling with years of anxiety, pressure and whole lot of “shoulds”, she got herself a therapist. This is also when she began her blog, Allowing Myself, adopted a dog, bought a beach cruiser and began falling in love with her “one precious life”. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and best-dog-ever Carter Cash. The most recent quote to break her heart is by Ram Dass: “We’re all just walking each other home.” You can find her on Instagram @jtaormino and Twitter @jtaormino21.

 

MelissaDinwiddie_bigsmile_300x400

Melissa Dinwiddie is an artist, writer, performer, inspirationalist and creativity instigator, on a mission to empower people to feed their creative hungers. She coaches and consults with individuals and groups, and leads creativity workshops and retreats in inspiring locations around the world as well as online. Melissa writes for The The Huffington PostTiny BuddhaThe Abundant Artist, and others, and shares the inside scoop on living a big, bold, creative life on her own blog, Living A Creative Lifewhere you can get a free mini-poster with her Keys to Creative Flow and Imperfectionist Manifesto.

 

Summer_3

Summer is a wife, Mama, therapist turned photographer, and runner. Her blog, Running Chatter, is a place where she muses about life, motherhood, and deeper heart issues by weaving together two passions — words and images. After the unexpected death of her Mom she developed a deep appreciation for the little joys in life. She believes that laughter is food for the soul and enjoys finding the humor in her own chaotic life.

Summer Kellogg
Owner/Photographer SummerK Photography
Website: www.summerkphotography.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SummerkPhotograhy

 

Sue Ann_img_2943_250
Sue Ann Gleason, creator of Chocolate for Breakfast, the Well-Nourished Woman, and the Luscious Legacy Project, is a lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination, and a champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life. Sue Ann has been featured in Oprah and Runner’s World magazines and numerous online publications. When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, she can be found sampling exotic chocolates, building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes, or crawling into bed with freshly sharpened pencils and pages that turn.

You can connect with Sue Ann (multi-passionate maven) in a number of places. Delicious freebies await you!
joyful eating | nourished living | wise business
Facebook

 

 

Sue Ann Gleason - First, I want to say thank you for including me in this blog hop. I have had so much fun following the links and discovering new writers. What a treat! Next, you may be s…l…o…w…l…y finding your way into the blogging world but I want you to know the images I have feasted on here on your blog are indelibly imprinted in my heart and in my psyche. I am so inspired to read about your writing process. I, too, see myself more as a “story-teller” than a writer (you’ll read more about that next week) but this blog hop illuminated for me the power in simply claiming that word. Writer. I write, therefore I’m a writer. Thank you for being willing to share your vulnerability and your life. I feel enriched just knowing you.

P.S. I want you to know that after meeting you two, I started referring to you as. . . “You know, the two women I met on that retreat. The ones who left me with ‘sister envy’! May your relationship and all that you share here inspire us to seek deeper bonds with our sisters, both biological and beyond.

twopoppies2012 - Thank you so much Sue Ann for your kind words. After meeting you, and hearing about this “new” life you have created after having a rewarding teaching career, it truly inspired us to know that although everything might not be happening quickly due to our other commitments ~ but if we keep telling our stories and growing ~ many new possibilities await us!

Summer - One of my favorite things about this virtual world? The two of you.

I’m thankful to have “met” you. Thankful for follow your journey. Thankful to know that there are beautiful souls out there who have so much to offer.

I can’t wait to read more of what you have to share as this space develops. Thank you for your authenticity. . . both of you.

(So excited to explore the links you shared)

Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray - […] What in the world is a “blog hop”? from Two Poppies […]

twopoppies2012 - We couldn’t agree more. Now we just need to work on our tele-transporting super powers so we can meet in “real” life. You are a blessing to this world with your vision and your words. Take good care ~ and thank you for being so supportive.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*