Our February featured writer is Maria DeBlassie, author of the newly-released book Everyday Enchantments. We are so excited to welcome Maria to the Plume family and to share her enchanting (okay, we had to!) work with you. Be sure to check out our Instagram post from January 5th to find out how you could win a signed copy of Maria’s book and some exciting upcoming editions of Plume! We’ll be doing a live drawing for the winners on 1/25 at noon. See our highlighted Instagram stories for the drawing countdown. We hope that you enjoy this interview with Maria!
Plume: When did you know you were a writer?
Maria DeBlassie: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I was in high school that I decided I wanted to be a Serious Writer. I wrote every morning before school for twenty minutes a day, and longer in the summer—a habit I continue to this day! I turned to blogging after finishing graduate school, and my first book was born out of my daily musings on the things that made me happy from my blog. Now, I continue to write daily, tend my blog, and work on new projects. It’s a huge part of my self-care practice.
P: Where do you get your ideas?
MD: I love everyday life, corny as it sounds. The magic of a Monday, the quiet bliss of an afternoon cup of tea, the illicit joy of reading late into the night…these are the simple pleasures that make life wonderful. It’s easy to overlook them, get swept up in our to-do lists, but when we pause and take in the beauty around us, we remember to be more than that to-do list. We glean wisdom in the whispering trees and the synchronous happenings that punctuate our day. We remember to dream. And that kind of ordinary joy is pure magic.
P: Where do you write?
MD: Anywhere and everywhere. I love writing at the kitchen table with a pot of tea and something cooking on the stove. I write on napkins and stray paper when I’m out and about. Sometimes I even write at my writing desk.
P: Do you have any writing rituals?
MD: I’ve learned that I need time to sink into the realm of the imagination. I need time in the kitchen or garden—or both—before I’m ready to delve into my stories. Other times I need yoga or twenty minutes of reading to help me unplug from the outside world. This is my transition time, like that moment right before you fall asleep to dream your dreams. Then I write.
P: How supportive is your local community for writers?
MD: I am so lucky to have multiple writer communities both locally and online. I got started as a blogger and there are so many inspirational bloggers and indie writers out there who are incredibly supportive. It’s like a warm, loving network of creative introverts who support one another’s dreams—in the sanctuary of our own homes, naturally.
Locally, [in Albuquerque] I run a creative writing group at CNM Montoya Campus and many of us have been working together for years. I always look forward to our workshops because everyone is super positive and offers great advice to make our writing better. There is also the local chapter of NaNoRiMo, run by Sonja Dewing, owner of Plot Duckies and Querque Quills (both great local writer resources). Then there are so many great reading series like Bad Mouth, put together by Rebecca Aronson and Erin Adair- Hodges, and the new monthly Red Door Reading Series run by Nora Hickey. That’s not even getting into the many great local bookstores that are incredibly author-friendly like Page 1 Books and Organic Books. I only wish I was able to participate in all these communities more often!
P: What are some of your self-care practices?
MD: I have to have a regular yoga and workout routine, otherwise stress sticks to me. I believe in the interconnectedness of mind, body, and soul, so tending one helps me care for the others. I also love making time for long walks in nature, afternoon cups of tea, and going to bed early to read.
P: What is your favorite book about writing?
MD: I absolutely love Writing–by Coincidence: Flowing with Signs & Synchronicity to Write with Passion by Jenna Moore Fuller. It’s all about tapping into synchronicity to inspire your writing. It’s enlightening, accessible, and incredibly motivating!
P: What are you currently working on?
MD: My latest project is called Tarot Tuesdays, or #TarotTuesdays if you are on Instagram. It’s a series of 78-word stories based on the 78-cards in the tarot deck and synchronicity which I hope to turn into a book when I’ve written about all of the cards. Each week, I draw a new card, learn about its role in the tarot, and, with the help of meaningful coincidences, write my story. I’ll say this about my journey into tarot so far: The magic doesn’t lie. The cards always tell me exactly what I need to hear! I’m so grateful for this new project because it gives me an opportunity to meditate on the magic of this powerful deck.
Maria DeBlassie, Ph.D. is a native New Mexican mestiza blogger, writer, and educator living in the Land of Enchantment. Her blogging life started as a year-long journey to write her back into happy, healthy, and whole through daily posts about life’s simple pleasures, everyday magic, and radical self-care. That year-long experiment turned into a lifestyle, a book, a press—and her ongoing blog, Enchantment Learning & Living. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there. Find out more about Maria and conjuring everyday magic at www.mariadeblassie.com.