Sacred Art & The Power of Support

Support. We all want it. What we create is sacred to us and requires building up & even, protection, at times. Support comes in a variety of forms–encouragement, freedom, sharing time and energy, giving, etc. We want family, friends, and even strangers to support what we do, what we create, and give us their blessings.

Kitty's art--created from found/donated objects

Kitty’s art–created from found/donated objects

My biggest supporters are my family and closest friends. I receive the support of sacred creativity from my friend and our Editor at Thorncraft, Kitty Madden. In her presence, I feel free to express my truth about art & creativity & business, free to talk about my interests, but I am also free to listen to nature and her poetic speech about her garden and art.

Kitty’s singing water bowl

She is a healer, and through her belief in my abilities and actual follow-through, she helped to heal any excuses and self-doubt I had about making books.
Motivational artwork Kitty created as a chant & yoga movement for balance.

Motivational artwork Kitty created as a chant & movement for balance.

She is open to expansiveness. I’ve changed the focus of my publishing company recently to open up to a book about yoga, and she has been encouraging & supportive in that endeavor. Being in her sacred space of found art & natural patterns, I am accepted & I accept her artwork.

Kitty's photo of me in her sacred art garden.

Kitty’s photo of me in her sacred art garden.

I write often about her, as her creative inspiration propels me forward every time I’m with her. She is more than an editor, she is an artist and a true friend to me for all the encouragement she gives. Being behind the scenes as an editor isn’t always easy, so I’m always happy to shine a light upon Kitty.
This path is not glamorous or even glorious. Metaphorically, often it’s not marked adequately, and trails have to be blazed or re-cut. Sometimes, it is dark & mysterious, but we are following our truth to put new stories out into the world, stories that need to be heard. Kitty continues down this publishing path with me, pausing only to ask, “so what’s next?” I look forward to our future journeys together. I’m grateful for her inspiration and friendship.

The Literary Midwife

When a manuscript has been created and moves into the final trimester before delivery, our books go to my literary midwife, Kitty Madden. She is the final Editor for all books at Thorncraft. Because we work with words on paper, the editor can go in and change and adapt as she likes, but only as the author agrees. This is how we work together for every book.

Kitty Madden, Editor for Thorncraft Publishing. Photo by Beverly Fisher

Kitty Madden, Editor for Thorncraft Publishing. Photo by Beverly Fisher

When my journey began, I spent most of my time daydreaming and talking about ideas. I moved on to research and tangible words on paper with instructions. Kitty was one of the few people I trusted with my manuscript, with my growth as an author, and with the crazy idea in my head of publishing books. She marked up every page of my first book, not only with her corrections and questions, but also with positive praise about what I was doing to satisfy a reader and to communicate as I intended for the story to talk. Kitty makes corrections as an editor should, but she does not express the brutal cynicism that some people in books think is an automatic part of the literary landscape (for that, I am grateful…the world has enough cynics). I had no idea that she would encourage the publishing company to materialize, and she believed so truly and thoughtfully that I began to see a reality instead of a dream. She was also vocal about all of the obstacles and how she couldn’t imagine what they might be and wouldn’t want to try to confront them, but she would deliver these books alongside me.

As with any two (or three or four) creative individuals, we don’t always think of the same solution to a problem in our books, but our ability to collaborate offers peace in our work. Generally, one of us concedes at the other’s explanation for “why.”
This is always a fun discussion of, “oh, but I like your way and think maybe it is best.”
“Well, thank you, but I’ve been thinking about the way you changed it and I think it does work.” Etc etc. until we conclude, “Both ways work, and let’s do this.” Usually, we compromise. We trust one another and enjoy the creative process, which makes our work pleasant.

We are well into the final trimester of Melissa Corliss DeLorenzo’s next novel, Talking Underwater.
When we formatted the book, Melissa asked, “Will Kitty begin editing now?”
I said, yes, and Melissa expressed her relief. This is always affirmation that Kitty’s words coax the highest expression of the book into the world while comforting, reassuring, and coaching the author.