PictureFour of the 32 postcards I created and sent through the mail for the Naropa Postcard Project.
     I was recently invited to participate in an amazing project with my former grad school friends from Naropa. One of them, Chris Mazura, rounded up a group of us to participate in what he's calling the Naropa Postcard Project.  Here's the basic idea: a group of writers all received about 30 blank postcards which we were then tasked with transforming in any way we felt using writing, text, art, drawing or whatever. The writers were then required to mail the postcards out to other writers on the list. So, all 30 writers should receive 30 postcards. The idea was inspired by Ken Mikilowski's Alternative Press Postcard Project that the lit mag Bombay Gin covered when I helped edit the magazine. Cool idea, right? 
      So, about a month ago, I got a slick manila envelope filled with 8-sheets of printer friendly paper perforated into postcards. I couldn't believe Chris pulled off the logistical genius to get all the addresses and everything together. Then, my artist brain kicked into high gear and I decided to use the eight blank pages as mini art pieces, incorporating text and image and variety of mediums: graphite, colored pencils, water colors, oil pastels and permanent marker. The timing was perfect. I've been so overwhelmed with raising my daughter, working my day job at the organic farm, working on edits for Women Float and trying to cultivate a healthy marriage (not to mention the garden at home), that art has gone completely out the window. But the Postcard Project gave me the two key things every distracted creative person needs: peer pressure and deadlines.
       Each time I received a beautiful, inventive postcard in the mail, I'd pause and think, "Right. When are those due? What am I doing?" I broke the project down into chunks: time for creating the images, time for addressing the backs, time for writing the short messages, time to go to the Post Office to buy stamps. And yesterday I finally did it: I mailed out all 32 postcards! Did I really mean 32? Yes. 30 for the participating writers and two  extras for whatever. So, I sent one to Hoot a postcard-related lit mag and one to President Obama, just for safe keeping. I'll post that one below, called "Ode to Eileen Myles," just so you can see my great leap into the art-political circus.
     The takeaway? First, we all need friends to inspire us and get us out of the dark creativity doldrums sometimes. Second, deadlines are amazing. Third, I'm so excited to have connected with my former creative co-conspirators. It's never too late to revive past artistic connections. 
        For more on the project or if you want to participate in the next round, check out Chris' blog here.  Oh, and if you need anything to read, Women Float is now available for pre-orders here. 

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