Here at Seasonalists, I go by the name Verity Mews. Yes, it is a pseudonym. Yes, it’s a bit of a pun.
Verity means truth. The persona “Verity” may be a fictionalized version of myself, but this project, at its heart, is a way for me to share some of the truest things I have learned in my lifetime.
Mews, of course, is a homonym for “muse”. It’s my transparent way of saying that — in creating Seasonalists — I am hoping to act as a muse … for myself and for any readers who happen upon the space.
~ Motivations ~
In my other writing life, I am a fiction author who writes supernatural horror. I am fascinated by the endless possibilities of the genre, and I love the work. Still, it’s not good to limit oneself to only dark and scary things, nor is it really possible for me to do so.
The truth is, I enjoy pastel colors, and bunny-rabbits, and a good cuppa, just as much as anyone. I’m making Seasonalists so that I have a place where I can unabashedly write about my love of such nice things.
~ Qualifications ~
I’ve spent much of my life (outside of writing) being extraordinarily domestic. I’ve raised a couple of children of my own, and had a hand in raising another dozen or so. I’ve done public school and home school. I’ve been a classroom assistant, a scout leader, and an educational opportunity coordinator. I have provided daycare and eldercare. I’ve been happily married (and passionately in love) for nearly 30 years.
I have lived on farms, in large houses, and in small apartments. I have kept and cared for animals ranging from show dogs to chickens to salamanders. I’ve gardened extensively in the past, and I expect I will again. ( Even if I am not in possession of a garden in this particular phase of my life.) I have spent untold hours cooking, cleaning, crafting, organizing, and caring for others.
And I’ve studied the domestic arts intensively since I was a little girl.
(One of my earliest memories is clipping an article from a magazine about how to make scented dividers for one’s lingerie drawer. Mind you, my only lingerie at the time consisted of pjs and day-of-the-week panties.)
Ever since then, my preferred genre for guilty-pleasure reading has been in the vein of how-to and self-help. I have read countless articles and scores of books about doing things better and faster.
But I didn’t just read. I implemented. I experimented by trying out dozens of systems and methods in my day-to-day life. No one author’s approach worked perfectly for me. Over time, though, I figured out how to winnow, adapt, and synthesize the ideas I read about to better fit my personality and my life. I built my routines from the raw material I found within all those resources, and I came out with something that uniquely suits me.
~ Intentions ~
Here at Seasonalists, I will share my routines. I will share techniques, methods, and systems. I will share tips, and tricks, and suggestions.
I I do not want to tell anyone what kind of life they should have. Rather, I want simply to make it a little faster and easier for others to create a life they love.
~ Disclosures ~
I think it may be important for my readers to know that the journey to where I am now wasn’t smooth. I have worked hard to build a safe, loving, beautiful, world for myself and for those I share my life with.
My family of birth was complicated. I lost my father at a young age. There were stepfathers, and half siblings, and many others who came and went. There was a great deal of love and beauty, but there was also alcoholism, violence, and mental health issues. There was too much transitioning, and not enough stability. In high school I earned A’s or F’s, and only barely managed to graduate. I became a very young, very unwed mother. Then I had an ill-advised, short-lived, early marriage.
In my life, I have been on welfare. I have worked in disreputable joints. I have been a stay-at-home mom. I have had respectable jobs, (but no career other than writing.) I have been poor, and I have lived a comfortable, upper-middle-class lifestyle.
Family has been everything to me, and I have been estranged from family. I am committed to some of the best friends in the world, and I have “broken up” with people I thought were life-long friends. I’ve been left behind, and I’ve walked away. I’ve taken advantage, and I have given more than anyone should.
Somewhere along the way, I got a mental health diagnosis of my very own. It took a while before I learned how to deal with it.
I try not to dwell on these less than ideal truths, but I will not pretend they don’t impact who I am and what I do.
The take-away is this: If I could get from where I started to where I am, then you probably can get to where you want to be too.
~ * ~
TLDR: To paraphrase some famous lines from a movie I haven’t seen: I have a particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long domestic career. Skills that make me a font of knowledge for people who want to create a life they love.
And I’ve reached a point in my life where I’d like to share those skills with others.
Welcome to the Seasonalists blog.