29 March 2010

Chatting with Jill Murray

After joining the freshly redesigned Y-Eh! blog, I've just had the chance to grab a few moments with YA author Jill Murray and get her perspective on life, work, writing, and more.

Jill's new book, Rhythm and Blues is sometimes described as "a teen comedy of ambition, identity and Auto-Tune." Her characters, much like their author, are driven (that's a polite word for obsessed), sometimes right off the deep end.

Keep reading for our Q&A below!

C: Do you believe in finding a dream job, and if so, what is the uber-fantastic-ultimate-perfect career for you?

J: I believe in making a dream job. However, I think that "dream job" as a final destination is not achievable. The more you learn, the more you change, the more you change... oops! Now my dream's different! So right now I'm trying to figure out how to make my whole life good, so I can be as responsive to change as possible. The vision I have for my life at the moment includes being able to write as much as I want, work on web projects for good people just because I want to, not for money, and to be able to live in a tiny farmhouse somewhere pretty with good air, and grow my own vegetables. I guess I'm a hippie.

C: Everybody has a creative side, even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist. What or who inspires you?

J: Getting out and trying new things inspires me-- basically, everything I write about. Dancing, singing, being (hyper)active, meeting people who look at things differently. For Break On Through I was initially inspired by shebang! b-girl crew in Toronto. For Rhythm and Blues, I took singing lessons with Amanda Mabro. Recently I was doing research in Panama, and I was just amazed by these coffee farmers who spend their whole day in the sun, on the mountains, surrounded by coffee-- so full of joy and pride and satisfaction in what they do. That's the life I'm aiming for.

C: If you could do one single thing to improve your life or your family’s life, what would it be?

J: I would blink my eyes and make it so that the entire world ran on something more caring and fulfilling than money.

C: What is the most exciting thing you've ever dreamt of doing? Skydiving? Singing in public? Climbing to the top of a Mayan pyramid?

J: I can't think of anything more exciting than building a small simple life full of loved friends and family, satisfying work, and amazing food. And some days it seems like there's nothing harder to achieve either. In the summer, I'll go to Ethiopia to learn about coffee and build housing. That will give me temporary excitement for the summer. What I learn is almost guaranteed to last much longer. But I'd rather be fulfilled than excited.

C: If you could move to any city in the world, which one would it be and why?

J: I'm a Montrealer at heart, and for a long time when I lived away from it, I pined to be back. I've been to a few places that were fascinating, welcoming and special. So far the only other city I've visited that made me want to send for my things and install myself permanently was San Francisco. But maybe I'd even like to move away from the city. (Of course, one could do far worse than the temperate, fertile area around San Fran... hmm... food for thought!)

Thanks so much for having me on your blog to answer these big questions, Christine!

Jill Murray

Rhythm & Blues

Break On Through



24 March 2010

Visiting Vernon

They say you can never go home again. A long time ago I discovered that 'they' were right and that when and if you return to your home town, you'll never find things as you left them.

When you go home outside the holiday season, you're the only one doing so at that particular time. Your friends are grown and gone, shops and restaurants have changed, leaving you slightly unfulfilled in terms of nostalgia and social connection.

Nevertheless, I love going home for visits because fortunately, some things never change - or take a really, really long time to. I do cheesy stuff like walk on my favourite beaches and drive around to viewpoints in the valley.

And sometimes friends move back. I'm now at the age where people come full circle, returning home to raise their own kids. I'm not there yet, but it's interesting to watch these changes unfolding and accepting that life only moves in one direction.

01 March 2010

Themes for Baubles in 2010

Since starting an Etsy store in January 2009, I've learned a lot about how to make sturdier, more interesting jewellery. It's been a great ride learning about what works and what doesn't.

So far in 2010, I've been experimenting more than ever and giving my Etsy store some much needed love. I've really enjoyed putting together a couple of themed collections inspired by my trip to Kenya and the early spring here in Victoria.

Without droning on too much, here are the pics:

If you haven't had a chance to visit, my Baubles now have their own Facebook page. I'm also hoping to add a new album for recent and upcoming Steampunk designs as well as a "Feeling Blue" theme. Check back soon!