Because the world can never have too many horses in it.
Because the world can never have too many horses in it.
Well, it had to happen eventually. The end of a long-running, highly-satisfying writing gig.

I just didn’t think it would end with a whimper.

Today I turned in my resignation to the magazine formerly known as The Crafts Report, now Handmade Business.

It’s been a wonderful 8-and-a-half year run. (It would have been more than ten years, if I’d taken the gig when they first asked me, but I was working for another fine craft magazine at the time, that they felt was competition.) And I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my incredibly disfunctional delightfully wacky sense of humor with thousands of people every month, for more than a hundred issues.

I knew the writing was on the wall when my column was cut back to every other month, then again, when I wasn’t given any deadline at all (they’d switched editors and my email requests weren’t getting through–something that happened with disturbing frquency during my time there.) (And no, that wasn’t my fault!)

I did one last series of four articles for them, on finding, telling and expanding our story to connect our work with others more effectively. The last one should appear in this next issue.

Like the pathetic idiot dedicated writer that I am, I pitched one last column idea to them last night. And received the answer today: “Mmmmmmm……no.”

And so I’ve tendered my resignation, wished them well and moved on.

Okay, that last part? A huge lie. I collapsed in a puddle of self-pity and tears. The magazine seems to be headed on a fresh path with great energy, and I wanted to be a part of that.

They say one door closes and another opens. So far, only a query from a new online publication that wants how-to projects only, for no pay. Nope. I love tutorials as much as the next person, but writing them is not what I’m here on earth to do. (Not that I’m very clear today about what I am here for, and please don’t rub that in.) And even that came by way of a dear friend who knows I’m flailing.

You know what it’s like when it feels like the world doesn’t want your gifts? That’s how I’m feeling today.

And in the midst of this swirl of self-imposed demoralization, a small miracle happened here.

Someone posted a link to this incredible, exuberant, life-loving, robot-hugging truly free spirit, who only brightened our world for a heartbreakingly short time, Zina Nicole Lahr, a delightful woman who died so young, yet leaves a legacy that is simply, joyfully, inspirational.

And I am ashamed of myself.

I am embarrassed that I allow myself to take so much for granted. I’m mortified to act like the world owes me a living. I’m horrified I am not instead simply grateful for what I have–which is a lot.

Of course I want more. That’s human. But wanting is not doing. Nor is standing in a corner pouting because things aren’t going my way today.

It’s up to me to say my piece/peace to the world.

It’s up to me to bring my art into the world.

It’s up to me to create my purpose, my dream, and my journey, no matter what life throws me here and there.

And it’s up to me to embrace my happy thought. Zina’s amazing life reminds me that we are never too old for a challenge, for exuberance, for a sense of wonder.

Wherever you are today, whatever you’re doing, take a moment to think about what good work you brought into the world today.

And know in your heart that the world is truly a better place for it.

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

16 thoughts on “RETURN TO WONDER”

  1. Thank you for always sharing your wonderful authentic self with all of us. We all share in your adventures, great and small, and in your wins and defeats (which really aren’t defeats, but more of a side-stepping routine we all go through from time to time). While it’s said, “This too shall pass”, because you shared it with us, we all know how it feels when it happens.

    Mahalo nui loa!


    1. LOL, I’ll bring the beer and you bring the chips and dip! Yes, thank you for letting me indulge in my pity party. I actually felt better after I posted it, and I’m glad you do, too. (Feel better, I mean.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now you’ll be able to extend your talents to a wider audience! The rest of the world is ready for your humor, unique viewpoint, and good writing skills.


  3. Their loss! Sorry to hear this. Its an AFGE (Another f-ing growth experience)l

    “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” by William Butler Yeats

    The Circus Animals’ Desertion


    I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
    I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
    Maybe at last, being but a broken man,
    I must be satisfied with my heart, although
    Winter and summer till old age began
    My circus animals were all on show,
    Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
    Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.


    What can I but enumerate old themes,
    First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
    Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
    Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
    Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
    That might adorn old songs or courtly shows;
    But what cared I that set him on to ride,
    I, starved for the bosom of his faery bride.

    And then a counter-truth filled out its play,
    ‘The Countess Cathleen’ was the name I gave it;
    She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away,
    But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it.
    I thought my dear must her own soul destroy
    So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
    And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
    This dream itself had all my thought and love.

    And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
    Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
    Heart-mysteries there, and yet when all is said
    It was the dream itself enchanted me:
    Character isolated by a deed
    To engross the present and dominate memory.
    Players and painted stage took all my love,
    And not those things that they were emblems of.


    Those masterful images because complete
    Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
    A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
    Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
    Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
    Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder’s gone,
    I must lie down where all the ladders start
    In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.


    1. Oh, Kathy, I don’t understand what that all means, but it sure FEELS familiar. And I love The Countess Catherine. Thank you for sharing this with me, you are so sweet! hugs, Luann


  4. Dear Luann, I’m so sorry to hear your pain through this, um, transition. You write eloquently. Have no doubt there will be another place for you. Not knowing where it might be, or when you’ll find it is one of the difficult parts. Meanwhile, I shall wear my Luann Udell horse today as I think of you. I love that little guy. I’ve been through a traumatic upheaval in my life, and while I worked towards my own goal, I failed. However, amazingly, things have worked out better for me, not holding on to my goal, than if I was still struggling with the same issues. Go with the flow, my dear. It will be OK.


  5. I always enjoy your articles!!! We are only human, so don’t beat yourself up. You did lose something. Grieve, then continue to get stronger, as I see you already have! I think as women (more so than men), we can heal through expressing our sorrow, it gets it out and can be swept away…… shame in that!!!!


  6. Well damnation! I had wondered how I would like Crafts Report’s new incarnation and learning that you won’t be there does not bode well. I hope you find some other publication that’s even more fabulous and that they come to you!


  7. Well POO. However, it’s good to know that I ‘found’ you through the CR, and by finding you, I’ve discovered how to be a smarter artist/crafter. I like it. (And I direct everyone EVERYONE to read Good booths gone bad) Rock on my friend. As my Pop would say, “You done good Kid”


  8. Those of us who’ve been reading, enjoying, and learning from your posts over the years will continue to do so wherever you land. I do believe that when something ends it makes way for something else, and I’m always hopeful that the something else will be even better than what’s ended. I hope it’s that way for you, too!


  9. Luanne, you are such a gifted and easy to understand writer. Maybe it’s time for a book? Perhaps this book could include your wonderful art, plus any words you want to share? There are plenty of “how-to’s”, and none of them illustrate the depth of your talent and personality. Please consider my idea,,,,,no deadlines, no pressure, just have fun with it. Hugs,,,Lynne Sward


  10. Have you ever been to It seems like they send me an encouraging e-mail whenever I need it. Don’t worry – you are simply amazing! Can’t wait to see what yiu do next.


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