Author: Tara Tona

Sometimes you need Rap Music

Know what I mean? I’m listening to T. I. “Why You Wanna” and godd*aaaang does it feel good. It’s like a breath of fresh, cool, 2006 nightclub air at 2am after 3 shots of Bacardi O. That kinda thing. Man. And then you think, why didn’t I do this sooner? Why don’t I listen to hip hop every day, before breakfast, and after lunch, and after all the kids go to bed and nobody is crying anymore and nobody needs you to feed them or wash them or wipe them or anything at all, just go to Naughty by Nature or LL Cool J– OHHHHHHH, haaaaay, now I’m on to “Mama Said Knock You Out“. I’ve been in Eastern Europe for 14 months now, with 3 children under the age of 7. The details of why and how are another story, what matters at the moment is getting through each day without melting down by 5pm. And a certain kind of heavy-hitting hip hop music, the kind where the bass reverberates in your spine, deep …

Summer Travels and to be “Content”

…unfinished piece I wrote last summer, when I traveled alone with my two daughters to stay in Bulgaria for 6 weeks with our family…. “I don’t know if it’s a real thing or not, but I recognize it as existing every time I travel anywhere new (or even not-so-new).  It’s the feeling you get when you’re on vacation and under the spell of being released from your daily stressors and the repetition of routine.  That feeling of wonderment at all of life around you– the buildings, cars, people, streets, food…

What I don’t do won’t kill me (?)

I have no idea half the time. No idea how to get there, how to make time work in my favor, how to be a really good mother, how to make money. How to stick to one thing until it’s “successful”, whatever in gods name that means. I don’t know when is the right time to speak up, or if speaking up is what is best for me and my family (b/c as a mother I’m pre-programmed for my concern to reach beyond myself, it’s unstoppable), or if writing is worth the time to do it. The less time you spend working on something the less quality you’ll reap from it, but the greater the honesty of that thing will be. What a trade-off. I don’t know when my mind will catch up to my calendrical age and start to think less emotionally and more like a calm Buddhist monk, something I desire like a child wants cheap plastic toys for Christmas. Or how to stop being dependent on sugar to make me feel just …

Be Here Now*

    I’m sitting in a kitchen in a tiny old apartment in Sandanski, Bulgaria.  It’s about 1:32 pm here, sunny and warm outside.  My cousin-in-law is sitting on the bed next to me (beds in kitchens are occasionally a thing here, really cool), and we’re listening to retro 80’s music on my phone while working on our computers. I haven’t felt this relaxed in a long, long time.  We came here a week ago, just me and my two girls.  A special 6-week vacation to stay with my husband’s family (he is back at home, holding down the fort like a champion, making us all miss him awfully).  It is also a chance for me to disconnect from all the maddening stress that had been stalking me for many months at home.  The combination of being sick and having sick babies for weeks on end, since February, with barely a breather between each new illness, and my constant companion of allergies so fierce they make my brain feel like cooked squash, was wearing me …

You, My Love

“Here it’s just us. You sitting on the sofa, I nestled in close beside your warm, tired body. Together we sit. There is no need for conversation in these moments, only the need to get just a little bit closer, to snuggle in a tiny bit more…”

Interview with artist Fiona Avocado

“One of my former comics instructors recently said something eluding to being an artist and cartoonist is like being a vampire, it is always going to be a part of you. I have always been creative, any time I try to do anything else, writing, journalism, community organizing, teaching, my art always intersects with that work…

Creative Forces – Inspiration, Bravery, and Making Time to Make

Creativity (noun): “The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”

Oh, it sounds so simple doesn’t it? The use of the imagination… there are no rules, no boundaries, no foundation, no precedent… So why is it, then, that many of us become so disengaged with creativity once we grow up?

Pursuing your Dreams and Taking Chances

  Blahhhhhh. 11 Jan. 2016 I had expected to write something full of thrill and excitement and joy for this month’s theme, but then I never end up writing about what I think I’ll write about. This morning I suffered a minor emotional breakdown. Overwhelmed.  To the max. Cried, hugged on my husband, and slowly started to feel better.  Life is freaking hard to deal with sometimes, no? To be honest, I should have expected it.  I had been so on my game the past few months.  Full of energy and positivity, multitasking like a bandito, staying up late and waking up early and getting. it. done.  But what I forgot is that at some point the great big Burnout will occur.  It’s inevitable.  In fact, it’s just simple math: Overwork + Lack of Sleep + Overstimulation in the form of Crazy-Whirlwind-Housecleaning/Reorganizing + Financial Stress = Emotional Meltdown waiting to happen. Add in a full dose of pregnancy hormones and whoooaaa buddy, look out.  (Funny side note on those hormones… throughout this pregnancy (5 months thus …

New Year’s Resolutions

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the days between Christmas and New Years a tiny bit more than any others. Even though Christmas Day is undoubtedly my absolute favorite day of the year (the family is gathered, baked-goods and gifts abound, a fragrant Spruce covered in twinkling lights and useless yet adorable baubles in the living room– what isn’t there to love?) Yet there is something almost magical about the handful of otherwise ordinary days post-25th.  The excitement and jubilation of Christmas has passed, and with it go the stress and pressures which inevitably build up in the weeks preceding it.  New Years is still on the horizon, plenty of time to make plans and clean up the general chaos that piles of gifts bring about.  These precious days are almost like an extension of the year in a way, like you’ve been given a little extra time before the ball drops on the new year to relax, revel, and then get your act together. Today I scoured our bathroom.  (Small house, …

Interview with Mala + Mantra founder, Judith Compton

Judith Compton’s passion and years of experience in the fashion industry led her to create a line of meaningful, beautiful, and inspiring jewelry items. Her brand, Mala and Mantra, is a fusion of classic meditation beads and modern style– all gorgeously and thoughtfully put together by a talented group of women working in a fair-trade collective. When Jamie Bullock brought this brand to my attention, I had to learn more about it! Here, Judith shares her story with us.

Interview with E.P. – Airforce Pilot, Working Woman

E.P.* is a lady who I’ve known since we were in elementary school together.  She possesses a truly radiant kindness and warmth, the type of person who instantly makes you feel comfortable around her.  She also has one of the biggest and brightest smiles I’ve ever seen, and a joyously happy laughter to go with it.  I’m so glad she allowed me to ask her some questions about her life and career as a pilot in the United States Air Force, and share them here on our blog. (*We are using only her initials because she is a member of the U.S. Air Force and requests that her name remain anonymous for this interview)     Tell us a little about yourself and what work you do I’m a Florida girl, born and (mostly) raised.  We moved overseas for a few years as a child, but always back to Florida.  I joined the Air Force Reserve almost 2 years ago.  Right now I am finishing up some training on the C130.  It’s a pretty awesome, large cargo …