Mom, activist, writer, maker, Mary Brune

Mom, activist, writer, maker, Mary Brune

My name is Mary. I’m a mom, writer, environmental activist*, and serial crafter. I love learning new skills and over the years I’ve taught myself how to make everything from paper, soap, and tote bags, to fridge magnets and mobiles. I love the feeling that comes with creating something new and get a special satisfaction when upcycling materials that would have been tossed out otherwise. For instance, I once cut up a leather jacket I had purchased in Florence, Italy—where they know a thing or two about leather jackets—to make soles for baby shoes. No joke. I almost hyperventilated when I sliced into the sleeve. But I kept on cutting. After all, as gorgeous as it was, the thing simply didn’t fit me anymore. And because of the recent arrival of the recipient of said baby shoes, it likely never would again. So, why not? Transformation is good for the soul (and soles, it turns out).

After all of the mishaps and mistakes I’ve made over the years while trying out new projects, the most valuable skill I’ve learned is how to see each failure and hideous, unusable, inedible outcome as a learning opportunity. They can be stepping stones toward creative nirvana, or they can be stumbling blocks that leave you feeling defeated. It’s all in how you frame it.

Which brings me, in a meandering sort of way, to the raison d’etre for this blog.

I started The Daily 500 because long before my love of crafting began, I loved to write. I wrote my first story, “Mrs. Cookie and the Picnic” at age six. I wrote it out on three-hole-punched, lined paper and tied the pages together with yarn.  I made several copies for family and friends. It was the first thing I “created” that brought me that completion-satisfaction feeling. I continued to write regularly (and get the rush from the process) throughout high school and college. Once “real life” began and I started working full-time and later, having kids, the commitment to regular writing just fell away.

That’s not to say I’m not writing at all, because I am. I actually have too many projects going on at the moment—and I’m not finishing any of them. I created The Daily 500 to help me get the same kind of satisfaction from the completion of my current writing projects—two in-progress screenplays and partially planned out children’s book series—that I’ve found from whipping up a tote bag or baking soft pretzels.

As the  mother of three kids under ten (the youngest three months at this particular moment), I often find it difficult to carve out the time to write, and when I do, I often feel a bit guilty about it. After all, it doesn’t earn my keep, it won’t help clean the house, nor will it make the world a better place. Still, if these projects are important enough for me to expend the brain power thinking about them, it’s the least I can do to try to move them forward by putting in consistent effort. My hope is The Daily 500 will provide the accountability I need to write at least 500 words a day about a variety of topics, and in doing so, help me form the habit of writing daily. I’ll need to be disciplined about my writing and make it a priority if I ever want to move those projects from my “Someday Maybe” list to my “Reasons to Celebrate” list.

I want 2013 2016* to end not with a feeling of disappointment over unmet personal goals, but with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction for all I have accomplished, and for— finally— kicking my procrastination habit to the curb.

After all, it can’t be that hard to come up with 500 words about something. According to WordPress this post is over 620 words. Now that wasn’t so hard.

* I co-founded Making Our Milk Safe (MOMS) in 2005, and spent seven-and-a-half years working for chemical policy reform and safe products for our families. I’m still fighting that fight; I’m just doing it from the home front. You can read about some of MOMS work here. [Update: Since starting this blog I’ve taken on the role of co-president of the PTA at my children’s school, started a Masters Program in Education, and continue my board service to Pesticide Action Network North America (http://www.panna.org). Reading that I wanted to complete these writing projects way back in 2013 and am no closer to do so today in 2015 makes me sad. I do want accountability, but at what cost to my personal sanity? I hope to revive the commitment to blogging here so that I can get back into the writing frame of mind. Thanks to all for your encouragement!]

9 thoughts on “About

  1. I love the idea of moving things from your “Maybe Someday” list to your “Reasons to Celebrate” list. Besides the hard work it implies, there’s poetry in it. Way to go, y suerte!

    • Anne, you are too kind. YOU are the prolific one! I subscribe to your feed and am so amazed at how you crank out your posts–many of which require real reporting!–and manage to grow your garden and tend your family with grace. I am in awe.

  2. Mary, Keep writing! I love reading your thoughts and take on life. Resonates so much with my own. I can hear my high school friend, just older and wiser. 🙂 Lara

    • Thanks, Lara! As you can see it’s been a long time since I’ve check in on this site! My daily 500 is more like my yearly 500! I have such fond memories of you and talking about writing in high school. I still remember the novel you were working on. Are you still writing? If so, please share! Hope you are well!

  3. Hi Mary,

    I just read your post about your experience on The Master Cleanse, and I see that you’re planning lentil soup for one of your first meals after Easing-Out.

    You might want to reconsider that.

    A few years ago, I made that same mistake.

    My wife, looooooves lentils, and made a soup. But as you might know, beans and legumes can cause gas.

    Well let me just say, the morning before going to see Wayne Dyer at 8:00 speak at the Hay House I Can Do It event in Vancouver, I was up all night with the worst gas every. So painful.

    (Ironically, I met renowned author of The Complete Master Cleanse Tom Wolosyn there just hours after he met Wayne Dyer and agreed to be his Master Cleanse Coach.

    Thought you might be interested his take on the cleanse here.



    • Sorry, I’m just seeing this now! Good thing I didn’t do it! I ended up making a soup of mostly broth, with some ginger and shredded carrots. I definitely eased my way back in. It’s been several months and I feel the need to do the cleanse again. I may have dipped into the Halloween candy a bit too generously!

      Thanks for the advice!

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