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Being in a field that relies on inspiration makes adhering to a strict schedule for creating works of art tricky. I find it difficult to force myself to write. My writing is very personal for me and as a poet I am moved by my emotions. I feel most happy and comfortable writing my ideas in poetry. Below you can read a poem I wrote about believing in the sweetness of victory in tumultuous times.

If I could take my dreams and bottle them up I would...just so you could sip from the

rush that awakens my soul.

The reason that crashes over and over, plunging you deeper with each roll.

Is a harrowing promise infused with tears ...and sweat, that only Hope can give.

Skin that tastes of salt ...dried and crusted... gathered from the far edge of where

these dreams live.

Do not be afraid of the journey and not knowing how.

The bruises and blisters collect, you can’t give up now.

The loneliness of the grind may be deafening loud.

But on you go...for you must... do not wait for the crowd.

Climbing, sinking, reaching, aching, do not save the proud.

For what waits at the top just out of reach is your ticket inside a soft golden cloud.

Do not... let it...float...away.

.Angelique Monet.

Vol 1 No. 2

I am not sure why I have always written in poetry and why it is a challenge for me to write plainly. Maybe I feel I will ramble on with the slurry of thoughts and not get to the point of an inspiring conclusion. Ahhh, the inspiring conclusion, the reason to continue on for me is the key to life. I live my life having hope in all situations and focus on the bright days amongst the darkest. If I had to draw a parallel, it’s similar to eating a freshly washed bowl of strawberries. They are plump, red, and beautiful. You take one bite and it is perfection. It’s juicy, soft and gives a burst of summertime that pulls you in as you devour the sweetness. Your hand reaches for the next before you have the chance to swallow the first. You bite with anticipation of a sugary wave but only to discover an unripe, sour, dry pallet of disappointment. Your inner voice whines “Ughhh I hate these ones!”. Yet you finish it anyways with hopes that the next one you bite into will be as sweet as the first. The idea and memory of the goodness will always pull you through the lackluster one bite at a time.

This is a how I lead with my craft. I am flexible, forgiving, and open for what is to come. I know that I have had the best and worst of experiences that ignite the fuel of my art. Maybe it won’t be today but tomorrow the sweet hope of victory awaits.

.Angelique Monet.

If you are planning to spend a lot of time in a space to create or work on your life’s pursuit, go the extra mile and make it special. Whether it be a cozy nook, or wide open it should be a haven where you can lose track of time feeding one dream after the other. I love beautiful and whimsical spaces and objects. They inspire me to think outside the box. They inspire me to be more than I am. They inspire me to grow.

My studio is more of a nook. I like to keep things close and cozy. I am all about creating a warm and inviting ambiance. I have a steel wall that I call my brain. I use it to hold all of my ideas from sketches, to color choices, finished pages from my new book, and my manuscript. Without this wall my brain would be in overdrive at all times. The best part of this steel wall is that I am able to use magnets and easily slide my work around to rearrange and squeeze in a new idea I hadn’t thought of.

I also have a magical trunk holds The Bravest Worrier’s props that represent the Worry monster’s secrets. I would bring these with me when I would have in person author events for The Bravest Worrier, but I keep them out now that I am doing virtual visits. Everyone really loves seeing what Worry eats, smells like, and how big he can grow.

Tips for making your space special

  • Get a comfortable chair. You will be there for a while! I can not stress this one enough. When I finished The Bravest Worrier my back was a mess. I bit the bullet and invested in a proper chair with incredible lumbar support. Now I can sit for hours without even a hint of pain.

  • Lighting, lighting, lighting. I have a great window that lets a lot of natural light in. When I want more of a cozy feel I have options from several lamps and candles to create the mood that I need to get me into the creative zone.

  • Organize your space. Have your tools handy and neat. You don't want to waste time looking for that certain something and loose your mojo.

Be willing to invest hours each week and if you have a family share that commitment so that they are aware of your needs. I am a mom and a wife. I could spend all day in my studio working on twenty different projects before coming up for air but this would tip the balance and cause frustration in other areas of my life. Also, carving out certain days for events, creative time, and the business side of things helps keep things flowing smoothy. Early in the week is when I like to do events. Early mornings and end of day is when I answer emails. The rest of my time I leave open to let the creative juices to flow.

Keep it fun. Keep it flexible. Keep creating!

I am most happy at home or in my studio and consider myself quite the hermit. Busily tending to my craft with music in my ears, coffee in hand, and an arm raised high, mouthing "introverts unite". That is until it’s time to preform my author visit A Day to be Brave. When it's showtime I light up and burst with enthusiasm and joy. I give my all at high energypace pace for 6 hours. In the beginning I wasn’t prepared for this and I would absolutely crash when I arrived back home. I later researched and found that public speakers have to train for their events just like an athlete trains for a game or a run. Painting and writing are my life and I never thought I would also become a public speaker. I remember my first speaking event and my husband, Mr. Z and I laugh at it now. I prepared a forty-five minute speech/presentation. I was so nervous I swore everyone could hear my heart thumping. I stepped on stage and raced through my prepared words in a dizzying blur. I made it though and looked out at the clock and only fifteen minutes had passed. Talk about stage fright and panic. I had to improvise and brought people on the stage with me to look at the props and talk more about worry.

It has been almost five years since then and I have perfected my speaking skills. I actually now have to be mindful not go over the clock. There is so much worry and anxiety these days that it creates some in-depth discussions.

I feel absolutely honored to have the platform to inspire others to believe that all things are possible. I have had so many adults come up to me after an event and tell me that it felt as though my message was for them and that they were going to go after that dream they tucked away.

When I wrote and painted The Bravest Worrier I thought that I would release the book and that was that. I did not take into account the amount of work that goes into touring. When I created my author event for The Bravest Worrier called 'A Day to be Brave', I thought about Broadway, movies, and yes Shakespeare. How could I visit schools and make it a magical and impactful performance? How could I transport them from the media center or gymnasium into the Unworthy Forest or into Worry’s secret lab for forty-five minutes?

I had my words and paintings, but I needed more…I needed props!

I had plenty to work with. Worry is a big foot and lives in the forest and magical things happen inside of forests.

The objective was to created props that children and adults would love and remember the next time they worry. Transporting the children’s senses was key to immersing them in the story.

What would a Worry eat? Well I will tell you he is on a very strict diet of what is inside those tiny eggs...our hopes and dreams and they are waiting to be born. We have to protect them from Worry because he will gobble them up! He will be the first to tell us why we won't succeed, why we are not good enough and we don't want to listen to Worry the dream gobbler. Worry can weight up to 1 ton! That's 2000 lbs and fifty of those pounds are his belly button fuzz! The children always love this one and when I perform in person they get to touch and explore these props. They always touch the gross and stinky things with delight and laughter. It shows them in a real world environment how they can take their power back from Worry and that is my goal. They feel as though their worries will never go away and they have no control. Which is not absolutely not true.

What has always caused a spark of comradery is the sharing of worries amongst the audience of students. I ask what worry feel like in their bodies, mentally and physically? The hands shoot up. They have shared some very deep and real feelings of being swallowed up by the darkness, or feeling sick to their stomaches. Some have spoke of confusion, feeling trapped, headaches, and rapid heart beats. Being so young and already experiencing the powerful emotions of anxiety leads to the importance of having these discussions early. It will help to normalize something we all struggle with from time to time and students will feel comfortable seeking out help when the worries and anxiety ridden moments are happening more frequently. Worry is in a world of it own and it can cause a sense of aloneness and despair.

I feel have a responsibility with my writing, painting, and speaking to be more than just entertainment. My gift has always been to help the reader not only see the light but feel the warmth of the light at the end of the tunnel. We are all in this together and there is comfort in knowing we are not alone. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts I implore you to reach out to someone you trust and open up. Worry is too heavy of a burden you need not to carry.

.Angelique Monet.

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