New Moon, New Start

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you…

Keep going if you know the words. Meanwhile, I’ll just bob my head and smile. It has been a while. And since I’ve last appeared in this space, I’ve been out and about in the world collecting experiences. My most recent one was a glorious trip to Sesimbra, Portugal with my cousins. I may write more about that later.

brown beauties in portugal
Brown beauties in Portugal.

Today I’m dusting off the blog to say hello. It’s fall in the western hemisphere and it’s a new moon. And y’all know I love a good reason any reason for a fresh start. After this hiatus, I’ve got a lot on my mind. Some of it I’ll share here, but other things I may share in two new spaces currently under development. Every few years I reimagine my online identities and now feels like a good time to allow some things to stand on their own.

We’ll see.

In the short term, I just wanted to tap the mic, say hello, and welcome you back to the studio. coco’s brewing…

200 pages down.

I’m 2/3s of the way done with Pearl’s book. I’ve been on a first name basis with her since I began this journey.

parchment-23662_640Reading it makes me wonder how much wisdom gets lost because women don’t share their most intimate thoughts? Either aloud or in writing? Many of us live our lives, and simply figure out the hard shit as we go along.

Some read the self-help gurus say, and I’m sure there’s plenty of insight to be gained by doing so. Others bond and grow through occasional talks with a close friend.

But how many of us engage in a systematic effort to document (your real) life and the lessons it teaches you? Either for your own reflection and edification or for the express purpose of passing it on? If we are not the keepers of our stories, who should be? When our stories fade, our wit and wisdom fade also.

I’ve written before about questions I’d love to ask but can’t. There’s also this about the importance of family narrative. There’s so much learning to be gained in the living of life, yes, and eve more so in the telling and retelling of it.

Do you document your life? Why or why not? How do you or how would you if you started today?

Why cocostudio?

I can’t recall if Cean or John or figured it out first. We were high school classmates, and for one reason or another Cean I think (or maybe John) saw my name written out: Nicole Collier. Doodling or something, he noted the co in Nicole and the Co in Collier. In that instant, the nickname Coco was born.

It didn’t catch on. Well not really, anyway. People have always called me whatever suited them: Nicole, Colie, Nicolette, Lette, Nicki, Nic, and so on. Cean called me Coco and John called me NiCocoButterBeanSoup. Maybe one or two others jumped on the Cocowagon. Everyone else stuck with whichever version of Nicole they liked.

I thought coco was cute in print, so I began to write it everywhere.

Somewhere in the middle of the AOL and Geocities explosion, when everyone’s website had animated .gifs and embedded music, I taught myself basic HTML and built the first version of cocostudio. It was black with turquoise and white letters. And yes, music was embedded (Joe Sample).

Fast forward to graduate school. I wanted to try my hand at my own domain. So in November of 1999, a month before I was due to graduate, I bought It served as a portfolio site as I interviewed for teaching jobs. It was yellow then, with cheerful colors.

Over the past 14 years it has been an electronic resume, a clearinghouse for photographs and clips, a calling card for freelancing, even a journal of sorts, before blogging became a thing. Many times I’ve archived everything and started from scratch – sometimes promising and postponing relaunches for up to two years at a stretch.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 4.13.05 PM
One of my “coming soon” promises. John designed this logo. You may see it again one day…

I think I’d been nearing the two-year mark this time around, but here we are. Too many times I’ve let perfect be the enemy of good. And honestly, I’ve often let it be the enemy of progress. But this year is about action, vibration, movement. Building.

What’s in store for you?