I’m a rabbit loving, nature bathing, forest faery who’s part mountain goat and fish. When not writing or painting you’ll find me singing to the stars, whispering to the trees, or talking to the animals. I experience everything as if it’s the first time. I’m complex and yet simple, can entertain myself to giggles, dream endlessly, never give up hope, and love with all of my heart. And I prefer doing it all with a magick rabbit by my side.
Answers to a collection of 33 curiosities and fun facts from questions over the years.
Where do your ideas come from? – They come from my imagination, my experiences, and my memories. They journey to me in dreams, reflections from nature, a conversation, and are ignited when music touches my heart. I feel and see everything as extraordinary and hear a story in every color, texture, movement, creature, feeling, and experience.
Do you have a process for your writing and do you know the story and ending before you write? – My only process is to surrender to the story and write. I don’t have any formal way I follow, at least not at this point, and find that too much structure puts a damper on the flow. There’s plenty of time for that in the editing and refining process, so when I have something to say, I just say it and let it take me on a journey. That’s how I begin until the story is told. I don’t know the ending, although I catch glimpses of where the story is taking me and have an overall feel of its essence. I try to stay as authentic to the journey as I can without trying to manipulate it so that I can just get the story out. More process comes later, but in the beginning it’s more about just getting it out and being the story’s voice. I don’t make outlines, although I will jot down thoughts that come faster than I can write, so I don’t lose them. This may include writing notes on the palms of my hands when I’m out.
What are you currently working on? – I don’t really talk much about the new book, as it’s like a baby in the womb and feels too premature to reveal. That said, I’m only just beginning the arduous stage of editing and revising right now since it was returned from my editor and it’s too early to say how it might transform. In its current state it’s a novel, so it’s very different from my first self-published book, but it’s the most dear and important project to my heart, to this date.
Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you get through it? – I haven’t really experienced this. On the contrary, I think my challenge is that I have way too much coming at me and through me, so I tend to write in excess. So, I have my work cut out for me in the editing process. It’s a good learning curve of challenge and refinement. But I will say that music does wonders for this process of flow. And not just any music, but the right music that just touches this place inside of you like nothing else can. That is one way you might induce greater inspiration with your writing. Sometimes you just need to walk away and refresh, or change the scenery and get out in nature. Invite an inspiration in via dreams or on your walk and take note of the little nuances and seemingly mundane things that show up. I also have this unusual way sometimes of getting a good flow going when I’m surrounded by noise. I know! Crazy, right?! I find that it engages the left side of my brain to block the distraction so that the right side of the brain can have at it. I don’t recommend that to everyone, but it creates the experience of automatic writing.
How do you find the time to write and what does a typical day’s schedule look like for you? – If you don’t make the time, it won’t happen. Or if you don’t make the time, something may happen to force the time upon you. And believe me, we can find time for what is important to us. At first I did it only when inspiration was flowing, until I fractured my foot hiking and got the message I needed to complete the story and not treat it as a side hobby. I used the two months of healing to do just that. And since, I’ve found that I need to balance inspiration and discipline in order to keep moving forward. So, I actually have recently created a very structured, but balanced schedule that involves at least a 2-3 hour block in the late morning for writing (which these days involves editing/revising) after my morning routine and time I allow for social media and an hour of writing a blog on the days of my blog series, I then have lunch break, a block for my exercise routine at the athletic center, 2 hours of painting after that, and relaxing/movie time before getting to bed. Weekends are open to what ever shows up and allows for outdoor and social activities. Of course there are times extra things show up that need taking care of, so I just readjust to the best of my ability for that short duration.
What made you decide to start writing? – Like art, I found it was a natural inclination for me to write as a means of expression where I could hide behind words since I didn’t much enjoy speaking in public. Creative writing was my favorite and in elementary school I was recognized for my short stories, but I was very good at organizing my papers, as well, for more serious stuff. I used to read a ton when I was growing up. Every summer I’d get through stacks of books – mostly horse and animal stories, Nancy Drew, choose-your-own-adventure books, and in my mid to late teens began reading more metaphysical, spiritual, and personal growth books. I loved getting lost in the worlds and it kindled a flame. I wrote love poems and letters to boyfriends, enjoyed corresponding with friends and family via notes, and in my early twenties when I took my first sabbatical, I started writing a few children’s stories and started a memoir. I never did anything with any of it and it wasn’t until 2010/11 that I felt drawn to write and self-publish my first book, Spiritual Skin. I contemplated a sequel to it, but never felt enough inspiration for it, so I thought this was my first and last, but it wasn’t. In 2015 I listened to an inspiration to start writing again, wrote the first chapter, and then went off to live in an RV for a year and half. I didn’t pick it back up again fully until we settled back in Lake Tahoe where the story flowed through.
When did you start painting and what kind of training did you have? – I have been drawing all of my life. It was my favorite pastime. My fondest memories are of summers sitting at the dining table with my French grandfather drawing after play time outside. I received a lot of recognition for my drawing in elementary, middle, and high school, but never had any formal training. I naturally took to it without art class teachers’ help. In fact, most of what they said didn’t make much sense to me. I was very good at reproducing things that I saw like a photocopy. My favorite and best thing I could draw was, and remains, animals. I never felt drawn to taking classes outside of the ones we either had to, or had as electives, through high school. For some reason I felt inclined to keep this part of my life raw in its nature and didn’t want to feel controlled by rights and wrongs. I wanted simply to bring forth my visions without boundaries. Having everything else in life feeling so controlled, this let me have one little sacred piece to myself where anything goes.
What’s your favorite medium to work with? – I’ve worked and dabbled in oils, acrylics, water colors, pastels, charcoal, pen, pencil, and blends of these. At first I was drawn to oils, but am now an acrylic lover solely. I do feel drawn to experiment with pastels and mixed blends of mediums again. Will keep you posted.
Do you have a favorite artist and artistic style? – I used to be all about the detail and it would take me hours to work on just a few inches of canvas at a time. I then found joy in a looser and more flowing way of painting. My art has a very spiritual and surreal quality. I love painting animals in a way that brings their souls in touch with your heart. I’m definitely drawn to fantasy and a whimsical, Faery tale way of telling a story or imparting an energetic imprint in your heart through my work. My style keeps evolving and I imagine will continue, as I change. I still find animals, nature, and the Otherworldly to be most inspiring for me. As for artists, I don’t have a favorite, although I admire many. To be honest, I try not to fully immerse into others’ art because I don’t want to be influenced. As a Pisces, I don’t naturally have boundaries, and so to keep within my creative experience is helpful with that. That said, I do love the illustrations and paintings of Beatrix Potter – no surprise there, dear friend and fellow artist, Mykal Aubry’s paintings, Tahoe resident artist, Cathy McClelland‘s paintings, and a plethora of artisans I’ve met through Instagram from around the world that work in different mediums and create the things I see in my imagination. I also have a special place in my heart for Pamela Colman Smith’s (aka Pixie) late Victorian style work on the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck, her visionary romanticism captured in her folklore, children’s stories and other works of art, and her unique, bohemian style. I especially relate to her synaesthetic sensibility of painting visions she saw when listening to music.
What do you love most about painting? – It’s a way to express what I can’t always in words and to give you a glimpse of what I see, feel, and experience in the dream worlds I journey to and spend a great deal of time in. I’ve heard some of my work described as the visions people see when they take mind-altering substances, but I just naturally go there without ever touching any of that. I love to help unlock memories and feelings that lie deep inside and painting provides a channel for me to layer energetic seeds and keys to guide that process for the viewer. Painting is about creating an experience and it’s a journey that reflects life as art. While some may say painting helps them to escape, I would say it helps me to be closest to the realms I hold dear in my imagination. It was a way to feel connection when I felt a sense of separation from a world that didn’t feel to be my home as a child. And now, it’s a way to bring forth the magick I feel in that other state, into the every day…a bridge that brings harmony here and now between realities – between the physical and spiritual.
What is it about rabbits for you? – Rabbits are pure magick and their complexity fascinates me. They take another level of commitment to understand and really need presence, intuition, centered peace, integrity, and purity to interact with. Perhaps I understand them because we are so alike. Perhaps it is their wisdom of working through fears and timidity that I have had in my life that supports me and vice versa them, including with things like social situations and an overload of people’s energies we’re both sensitive to. Perhaps it is their connection with creativity and that fertile Spring energy of joyous blossoming and renewal that is magnetizing because of sharing a similar path. Perhaps it’s their innocent exuberance and playfulness that I adore. Perhaps it’s the dichotomy of their gentle and delicate nature combined with an inner ferociousness available to them if needed that I love. Perhaps it’s their cleverness and spontaneity that I love as a free spirit always thinking of new, creative ways to do things. Perhaps it’s their connection to the Moon and Cosmos, as well as their deep Earth love in perfect harmony. Perhaps it’s because like Faeries, they are creatures of the twilight and so most certainly are best friends to Faeries like me. Yes, it’s all of these reasons and in every way they feel like home to me.
How did you meet your life partner? – Actually, we met while living at the north end of Lake Tahoe. We had a lot of big life shifts in common that seemed to draw us together – both divorced or in process of divorcing, both lost our twin soul animal companions, both going through major transformational periods, both vegan – and all at basically the same time. The actual meeting took place at a Vegetarian Meetup potluck that he was hosting at his house. The strange thing is, I’m not big on doing group things so I’m not really even sure how I was part of Meetup to begin with and what prompted me to go. I do remember wrestling with the idea of going or not going because of this, but I did. Interestingly, I arrived on time, but everyone else arrived a half hour late. So we had that time to connect and learn of our synchronicities and eventually we ended up on our first date, kayaking on the lake. The rest was a journey, but a well-worth-it one.
Why did you choose Lake Tahoe to be your home? – I’m going to have to say Lake Tahoe chose me. Years before I ended up living here I had Tahoe come to me in meditation and while following dots along my journey of exploration. From the moment I actually visited, I knew I was home. I am in love with the perfect blend of mountains, forests, crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe and the multitude of lakes surrounding the area, the four seasons, the clean air, and the ability to both enjoy solitude and entertainment just minutes from my home. I also happen to thrive at high altitude, love the drier climate, and feel most inspired by the picturesque beauty that surrounds me. I lived here for 3 years, then Dave and I returned after our RV trip to settle again. Although there are a few other places we considered living, for now this feels most aligned. Who knows what the future holds though, but I do love that all of my rabbit companions have a connection to this lake, including my dear Russian Tortoise, Gaia.
What made you walk away from the work you used to do and were successful at? – Basically, it all culminated to a natural conclusion and closure on its own. I never sit and devise a plan and timeline around the work I will bring forth or not, I just listen to and align with what is in flow energetically. I came to a very pivotal point in my life about 3 and a half years ago that was similar to that void feeling and I lost all inspiration, drive, and passion for what I was doing and for life as I knew it. Everything seemed to point to endings in all areas of my life and a need to recreate myself or wither away. Passion is so important to me and I realized that I was done and that’s when my partner and I went off to live in an RV for a year and a half. I used that time to be with myself and nature and see what messages I could hear. In the end, I walked away from teaching Reiki, doing intuitive coaching, hosting retreats and workshops, offering sacred tattoo design services and custom art, etc. It simply wasn’t part of the new path I felt rebirthed into.
Will you ever teach again? – I really don’t know. All I know is that I am being led elsewhere at this time and into different formats of sharing my gifts. I did love teaching and all that it enriched my life with, as well as loved empowering others. I only know that it’s time to move on and to listen to the creative urging inside of me to bring forth something different. Perhaps teaching may come around again in a different format or if and when the energy feels important again to teach Reiki or other topics. For now, I love releasing it to people who are moving into that role on their path currently and seeing them, along with some of my students, blossom is such a gift.
Will you ever offer sacred tattoo designing again? – I feel complete with this part of my life and haven’t done any new designs in the last 3 years or so. I can’t say never, but I can say that at this point in my life it feels complete. It was a special connection on a very intimate level to work with people on their meaningful designs, but I feel the need to step away from the intensity of that work as well. I don’t have any desire to do this again. I’m only looking forward.
When did you get your first tattoo, what prompted it, and do you think you’ll get more? – I got my first tattoo in 1998 when I lived in Sedona. It was a butterfly and it marked the first big, transformational period in my life. I was almost 25 and had spent several years in deep personal growth and studies, which included seclusion into a hermit period in the vortex energy of Sedona’s red rocks. I got many, many more tattoos in the years following, in reflection to my journey unfolding. I haven’t gotten any new tattoos for about 4 years now. The energy of what I have on my skin, currently, feels very balanced. Like with the rest, I can’t say never, but I don’t have any plans or visions of adding to them.
What’s your meditation practice? – I don’t have a formal practice that I follow because life, to me, is a practice of presence in every moment I challenge myself to deepen with. I believe life to be a “walking meditation” that I strive each day to consistently embody in the integrity of my own example. In this vein, everything I do is a meditation in itself.
Do you have any hobbies and interests outside of your writing and art? – Oh yes! I’m an adventurer at heart and love to explore in all ways – within and without. I spend my personal time nature bathing, exploring the outdoors hiking, biking, snow shoeing, skiing, and kayaking at least 2-3 days a week, I train and take gentle yoga and core and restore classes at the athletic center 5 days a week, listen to music and create my own through sound channeling and crystal, sound, and chakra bowls, watch movies and read inspiring books, make creative vegan dishes, dabble in gardening with my garden tower and indoor succulent Faery gardens, collect rabbit, dragon, butterfly, and Faery nick-knacks as well as crystals and feathers I find in the forest, travel around the world – although am more home-based these days, dream and giggle a lot, dance when the moment moves me, sing, tell stories to myself and love making others laugh, and spend quality time with my loved ones, including my rabbit, Astrid who assists with everything I do. I really love sleeping too and do a lot of my work in dream time.
How long have you been vegan and what prompted this change? – I don’t have an official anniversary with this like some people do, but I gauge it based on my partner’s anniversary. I became vegan about 2 years earlier than him. Let’s see, we’re coming up on 2019, which will be his 11th anniversary, so that makes 13 for me. I don’t have a magickal story around this or even a dramatic one. It was a natural progression that quickly moved me from pescatarian to vegetarian (for like a minute) and then to vegan. I actually went raw vegan almost right away for the first 2 of the 13 years. What I noted was it coincided with my spiritual journey. The more intensely and rapidly I was changing in this way, I naturally was drawn to more vibrational matches that both felt aligned and reflected my beliefs. I noticed getting stomach aches when I was eating meat and realized my sensitivity and connection to animals was speaking to me – only now I could hear it and was more present with the messaging. And that began the journey and lifestyle change. For me it’s more of an alignment thing. At the time, I didn’t really know anyone else who was like this except for my brother and yet I never felt isolated or different. It was natural and just an extension of me, so it didn’t even seem like a “thing”. I later started learning more about what my body was messaging me in terms of how animals are treated, factory farming, and the impact on the environment and health. I seemed to be feeling their feelings and that was it.
How did you become known as The Rabbit Faery? – Well, once people started seeing the deep connection I have with rabbits, my innuendos about seeing and talking to Faeries and the Otherworlds, and being transparent about my magickal experiences, I guess it was the natural conclusion to arrive at. 😉
What’s your personal style? – I’ve been somewhat of a chameleon all of my life and constantly shift my style to reflect the changes I make within. Currently, I find much joy and peace in a threefold style mix of vintage romantic, whimsical, and classic bohemian.
What’s your favorite thing to do with Astrid? – Hard to pinpoint just one, as I LOVE my time with Astrid and don’t like being away from her. That said, I love working with her and by that I mean I adore having her warm furry cuteness draped around my feet while I’m writing, as she sleeps, nudges, or nibbles at my ankles and pant legs. She gets very excited when I’m focused and ready for her to help channel ideas to me. I also cherish our snuggle time of course.
Are you ever going to put together a cookbook with all of the amazing recipes we see you share? – Lol! I am so touched by all of the nudges from friends near and far on social media and here who have expressed so much interest in my kitchen creations over the years. Truth is, yes, I do have a vision and plan to bring that about, but am currently focused on my second book, which is taking precedence at the moment. Once it’s complete I’ll turn my time and efforts to Faery yummies to share with you.
Do you have a favorite type of music or music artist? – I’m very frequency-attuned to sound and music and while I love a variety of musical influences and find that the moment and mood dictate my sound needs, I’m more drawn to instrumental music without words as my preference when I’m in creating or “me-time” mode. While I would normally say I don’t have a “favorite” artist, currently I do find myself with a favorite for this time period in my life – pianist and composer, Paul Cardall. His album, New Life, is always in my cd player and I literally listen to several of his songs over and over. They’ve been my musical inspiration with my current book. I also love Enigma, Lisa Gerrard, Yanni, M83, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings…what ever I’m working on dictates the music needed.
What’s your favorite compliment? – “You know, Tania, the longer I know you, the more the magical/incredible/extraordinary begins to feel perfectly normal.” ~Mark McCullough, Wood Artist and Founder of Ravenwood Inspired
What’s Astrid’s favorite smell? – The moonlight’s luminous fragrance that kisses her nose as its fullness wafts through the forest through the window. Close seconds are fresh strawberries, dried papaya, foraging blends of flowers and herbs, and mom’s freshly cut garden greens.
What’s your favorite color? – Now and always has been, aqua. While we’re at it I’ll throw in my all-time favorite number and flower – 5 and sunflowers, my favorite travel experience – Egypt, my favorite scents – vanilla and gardenia (I also choose vanilla over chocolate), my favorite plant – succulents, and my favorite dream – laying in a meadow on a desolate planet with rabbits all around and on top of me.
Is that silver hair we see? – Yes! During our nature immersion living in an RV for a year and a half I reconnected with the nature of me and felt that letting my true roots and origins emerge in all ways felt most authentic for me. I embrace my silver hair – someone remarked on them as “highlights from the Fae” which I LOVE and in fact love them so much I decided to go more dramatic and had more silver threaded through my hair while they fully grow out.
Do you have any tips on feeling and looking younger? – The biggest thing to me is to never lose that childlike wonder and continue finding ways to play and express yourself creatively. I also believe strongly in living as much of a balanced life as you can, getting in touch with your feelings, spending lots of time in nature, getting exercise, good rest, eating more plant-based foods, letting your skin touch the sun’s rays, drinking a lot of water, expressing gratitude, sharing the love in your heart, and making healthy lifestyle choices to live more in tune with nature’s cycles and use and consume more organic and natural things.
Any advice on how to follow your dreams? – With patience, nurturing, and discipline. I find that the first step is definitely to allow yourself to dream and imagine, then cultivate love for yourself and the worthiness you deserve to manifest these dreams, but the most important step is the follow-through and action. Any small thing you can do each day in the direction of your dreams is forward movement. Release attachment to when and how it has to happen and enjoy the journey.
Are you really a Faery? – hehe! Hmmm…well, what do you think?
Thank you for your interest and for sharing the journey.
In love & creative magick,
Tania Marie, The Rabbit Faery ~ Creating Life as a Work of Art with a Magick Rabbit by My Side