Joanna Campbell Slan has moved, searching new blog...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Year of Daring Greatly Starts Now!

I’ve been reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and as a result, I’ve decided to dedicate this year to reaching out to other people. That means putting myself in a vulnerable position, because they might “shut me down” or reject me. It involves taking a risk, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what Brown means by “daring greatly.”
Well, so far, the venture has been worthwhile. On a whim, I emailed Alice Zinn, a renowned miniature artist, who lives just up the road, and invited her to lunch. 

I’ll let Alice tell you what happened next: I did a little research on Joanna, including getting in touch with my pal author Camille Minichino. (Margaret Grace to those of us who read her "M" in Miniature murder mystery series.) Camille assured me I would have a good time.

We agreed to meet at Riverwalk Café in Stuart, because it’s halfway between us. Right as I pulled up in a parking space and opened my door, a lady two cars over sang out, “Are you Joanna?”

And so I met the lovely and vivacious Alice. From then on, we could hardly keep up with each other. We had so much to share. Not only does she know Camille, but she’s also a friend to Chris Verstraete ( And of course, she’s familiar with Fay Zerbolio, the curator of the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis. When it comes to mystery writers and to miniaturists, it’s a small world—pun intended.

Here’s Alice’s take on our meeting: We had a lovely two-hour lunch and visit. Joanna knows the owner, Pam, who came by to say hi. I don't think there was a moment of silence!

When Alice asked if I brought any photos of my work, I considered lying. After all, showing my work to a real, live artist seemed pretty silly. Okay, that would certainly be taking a risk, but why not? She knows I’m just a hobbyist. So I went to the camera roll on my phone.

Alice says: Although she had several pictures I liked, there was one piece I really LOVED, a fireplace that looks like a gargoyle’s mouth!

On our way back to our cars, we talked non-stop, but we did pause to admire a Schnoodle (a designer dog, Schnauzer and Poodle mix). I showed Alice a photo of Jax, and she gave me a business card printed with images of her miniature dogs. One of them looks a lot like my pup! (Guess what I want next? An Alice Zinn original of Jax. Wouldn’t that look splendid in one of my mini-homes?)

Alice says: I think the most fascinating parts of our conversation, however, had to do with the similarities of our professions, working in a solitary environment, and what fame on a (no pun intended) small scale is like. We talked about being a self-starter, and she was so sweet about understanding that I'd had to carve out some time for this meeting just a week before I'm doing a show. There was a lot of talk about various forms of creativity, and the differences between doing something creative as a job as opposed to a hobby.

So this week my Daring Greatly gamble was a success. I’ll let you know what happens as I continue to “stick my neck out!”

All best from your friend,


1 comment:

Gram said...

Wonderful. You hit the jackpot!