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Oh, the Places We Go!

Ten springs ago, I walked the hills of Wales. I was in the middle of making a choice, and this little pedestrian path sign seemed like the perfect metaphor for choices. 

It also reminds me of these lines from the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose. 

That day on the path, didn’t know that I’d make a really bad decision later that year. Nor that I’d make a really good one not long after.

Interestingly, all those Welsh paths eventually led back to the same trailhead. 


Interestingly, all of our choices—bad and good—lead us right where we need to be. Even if we feel lost in some landscapes and seasons.


I guess this post is a kind of blessing on our choices—a reminder of the great gift choice is.   


Happy trails, happy choosing,





The Heart That Took Flight

Happy Book Birthday!

I was rummaging around in my old blogs looking for something this morning when I made a happy discovery: my first little book, The Heart Takes Flight, just turned 10, almost to the day!

This illustrated vignette was a labor of love. In fact, it was born out of what I thought was lost love. I had met my now-husband the summer before, but it hadn’t worked out at the time. Heartbroken, I decided to finally write a book. About hearts, of course.

I had no idea how prophetic this little book would become. It was the first of six published books (and counting!). It traveled the world with me in subsequent workshops. And it’s a continual reminder that when we feel like we can’t go any further as we are, we are being invited to grow a whole new way to move through this world. 

Here’s to heart-flight. 



Blessing of Endurance

Deep in the umpteenth revision of my book, I feel like toddler-me knew exactly how I feel.

I’m saving my writing juice for the Big Project, so this month’s post is a little encouragement to press on & press through. And maybe remember the determination we had once upon our little selves!

Plus something lovely from John O’Donohue’s poem “For the Interim Time:”

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become….

Blessings of endurance,

Anna, now & then


S is for…

One of the things I learned from my husband:
Shoe Goo fixes most everything!

Part of my book-writing process is creating a list of terms: alphabetized proper names and odd or specific spellings. This is helpful both in style sheets for future copy editors but also when I can’t seem to remember if “corn dog” is one word or two. 

The list of terms for my current book on the first year of marriage is now ten pages long, and when I skimmed through looking for something the other day, I thought that some of the letters read like little found poems. And so, I share the letter S here. 

(Random things I did not know: what was once the capitalized acronym SCUBA is now lowercase scuba, and Snoop Dogg spells his name with two Gs. Always learning!)

Saint Lucia

Saint Teresa of Ávila

Sarah & Byron 

Sarah & Christer


Scott Valley




Serenity Prayer



shish kebabs

Shoe Goo


Six Mile

Skycrest Trail

Smith (River)



Snoop Dogg

Sour Patch Kids

Southern Oregon

South Kelsey Trail 

South Fork Salmon (River) 

The Space Between

Spafford, Horatio






Starsky & Hutch

Steens Mountains


summa cum laude

Sunrise Point

Symphonic Chronic

A Compass of Love

A few Decembers ago, I painted this little heart compass. I had words for each of the four points that I wanted to cultivate in the coming year, but I remember deciding not to write them onto the paintingto leave it open for future words. 

I was also leaving it open to share it with othersfor your words. 

This is my Happy New Year’s hope: may you point your heart in the direction of all that is good & peaceful & beautiful in the coming year.

Blessings & joy,



SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - logo image

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - Growing Createive Community

Thanks for reading SO Guild of Artists & Artisans announcements for Thanksgiving, December 2021, and January 2022! We have a lot to tell you about! Our Black Friday alternative sale. A December filmmaking and editing workshop with Alex Gaylon. A January storytelling workshop with Georgia Churchill. Our YouTube channel. And more…

Thanksgiving Plus One

Fine Art & Craft Sale

(The Antidote to Big Box Store Black Friday Crazy-making)

Begins Friday, November 26

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - Thanksgiving Plus One Fine ARt & Craft Sale

For many years, the day after Thanksgiving has been advertised by giant retailers as the day to shop for bargains at big box stores. For some of us, THAT is no fun at all (not to mention that the purchases are less than inspired.) We are offering you a local and lovely antidote for that “ailment.” 

Our special Friday-after-Thanksgiving event is for all those who have supported the Guild through the past months and years by making a cash donation, purchasing anything from our gallery, attending one of our workshops, sharing Guild information with friends, or wanting to do any of the aforementioned. 

The Guild’s talented and generous artists have donated a few select pieces to offer as a fundraiser for the Guild and for your gift-giving pleasure. Of course, all the items in our most recent show will also be for sale. Come help us support the Guild and celebrate our wonderful community of artists and art lovers. You can also enjoy light refreshments, music, laughter, and a relaxed atmosphere to begin the holidays in an artful frame of mind. Please note that COVID safety procedures will be in place.

You are invited to our “tech-forward” Filmmaking and Editing Workshop With Alex Gaylon

Click here to find out more about the Film Making and Editing Workshop or to register

The Art of Storytelling Workshop

Presented by Master Storyteller, Georgia Churchill

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - image of Georgia Churchill

A Three Part Zoom Workshop January 15, 22, & 29
Time travel through stories!
Discover your voice!
Connect to the rich and ancient tradition of oral storytelling!

This class for all those from age 7 to 107 will be empowering, warm, and full of laughter. We enthusiastically welcome anyone interested in learning to tell stories or simply wishing to improve their oral communication skills.

The first session will focus on basic storytelling techniques such as loosening throat muscles, vocal tone, diaphragmatic breath, and expressing believable emotions. Then, in the second session, participants will apply these techniques to a 5 minute story of their own choosing, and the third session will be a sharing and celebration of everyone’s stories.

Throughout all three sessions, Georgia will pepper in examples from stories of her own repertoire. With them, she explains the power of storytelling and the way that stories are windows into the time and place from which they emerge.

Click here to find out more about the Art of Storytelling or to register

SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements - Happy Holidays!

Wondering what to give to the person who has everything or to give to an entire family?

Consider giving them the gift of either of the workshops above or give them a Guild gift certificate.

We are excited to announce that our Guild YouTube Channel now features ALL 13 of our videos freely available for viewing! With over 6 hours of content featuring Guild members and guest instructors, our Creative Community playlists include artist spotlights, tutorials, and ZOOM class recordings to inspire you! Moreover, you can learn how to create 3D paintings with Sheila Mason, 3-D collages with Kathi Culver, embossed copper ornaments with Ruth Wendover, applique banners with Jean Robertson, naturally dyed fabric and paper with Angela Franklin, and DIY Puppetry.

Tune in and try something new today!

Click here to go to the Guild’s YouTube channel

If you have ideas for programming, please share and let’s see what we can do. Call or email 541-659-3858 [email protected]. Stay tuned for more SO Guild of Artists & Artisans Announcements here on SOARs blog, Art matters!

24353 Redwood Highway Kerby, OR 97531 USA(541) 592-5019
Click to go to the Guild website  

In the Middling

I could call this photo “Miles per Life,” quoting myself from the last time I turned the age of a speed limit. But 10 years on, I don’t think that phrase quite works with such little numbers. There have been so many more miles than 45.  

For my 45th birthday, I wrote myself a quick little poem, as I did for my 35th (you can find that one here). I’m sharing it below for all of us in the vague realm of middle age.  

As an adjective, “middling” means average, moderate. As an adverb, it means fairly, moderately. And though I’m not necessarily a fan of average—or adverbs!—I like the idea of navigating this life moderately. Grace to us all as we try.




Ever lover of edges

and brinks,

I don’t know what to do

with middles—

the center 

the belly

of life.


The softness scares me—

far from either hard

start and end.


One friend just gave birth.

One friend just died.

Give and take.

Maybe life is in 

the “and” of grace. 

Online Filmmaking & Editing Workshop

Are you an artist who wants to document your creative process, a parent who wants to make better home movies, or an aspiring filmmaker or video journalist? Learn how to shoot and edit your own footage to create a short film in our video production intensive on Zoom!

The Southern Oregon Guild of Artists & Artisans is proud to present an online filmmaking and editing workshop with Alex Gaylon. Sessions take place on Saturdays, December 4 and 11, 2021, from 12–4 pm Pacific Time.

You will gain concrete filmmaking skills that you can put to use right away. Use your smartphone or any other camera available to you! Editing will be taught on the free software, DaVinci Resolve.

The class fee is on a sliding scale, $100-200, with scholarships available. Don’t have a camera or computer? Don’t worry! Call 541-659-3858 or email us at [email protected] and we will connect you with the resources you need to attend.

Online Filmmaking & Editing Workshop

Mini Workshop with Silvia Trujillo!

Short notice mini workshop with Silvia Trujillo

Saturday, November 20

10am- 1pm

In Phoenix at Artist Attic/ Scrappy Craft

Bring paintings to start, finish, or rework and I’ll help you with the process. There are a few of you who have expressed interest in having a class before the next scheduled date of Dec 2, so here’s your chance!

Let me know if you want to attend, and/ or if you have any questions.

It will be great to see you!

Best wishes, Silvia


*Below are two that were painted en plein air during the smoky summer. Thank goodness for Autumn 🍂 

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Five Wise Things

Beneath Baker Mountain on our recent road trip

I’m writing a book on the first year of marriageit was a wild ride! Besides the “primary research” of experiencing matrimony for the first time, I’ve also researched by reading a lot of books. A lot. And most all of them were filled with gold. In fact, I dog-eared so many pages, I couldn’t even make a stack of the 30+ books—it was too lopsided.  

I’ve since gone back through, freed the folded edges, and typed up some of my favorite quotes. My wonderful problem right now is deciding which of the 20-pages of quotes to include!


For now, I’d love to share five wisdom-chunks that will likely make it into the final draft. May they bless you the way they’ve blessed me: 


“I believe one of marriage’s purposes is to teach us how to forgive.” 


—from Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?  by Gary Thomas.


“I thought of how helpful it would have been to have learned, early on in my marriage, that not every problem can be solved and not every irritant can be negotiated away, that a good marriage is a mixture of delight and disgruntlement, that unhappiness comes from expecting it to be otherwise.” 


—from It Takes One to Tango: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse—and How You Can, Too by Winifred M. Reilly.


“[T]he best way to work on ‘us’ is to start with ‘me.’” 


—from Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler


“The trick to achieving the kind of connection you want is to develop the advanced relationship skill of binocular vision, the artful ability to see your partner’s perspective as well as your own.”


—from How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love & Steven Stosny


“Marriage is the perfect opportunity to improve yourself. No other single setting in life can form more character.”


—from Two Become One by Dr. Harold R. Eberle