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inner excavate-along: let's begin


Welcome to the first "official" Inner Excavate-along post! This week we are exploring Chapter 1 of Inner Excavation. Today's video shares a bit about this chapter and a few new thoughts I have around the chapter theme. Tomorrow, book contributor Kristen Perman stops by to share about her photo walks and how they've changed now that she lives on the west coast. And then Thursday, we will all meet here again to connect about the Chapter 1 prompts we have explored this week (and you will be able to link up to your prompt responses in that post).

A few things you will want to do as we get started (if you haven't already): 

  1. If you haven't ordered Inner Excavation, now would be a good time as you will need it to join in on the fun!
  2. Join the Flickr group: all you have to do to join is a) have a Flickr account and b) click "join this group."
  3. In the "Introduce Yourself" discussion thread on Flickr, share a bit about yourself, share your blogs and connect with other Inner Excavators. 
  4. Choose a journal/notebook to work with during the Inner Excavate-along.
  5. And remember, you can join in at any time throughout the seven weeks and beyond.


In today's video, I share how I've begun using my journal and dive into the theme of Chapter 1: I begin.

This week's prompt: This week, I am taking a series of photos inspired by the pinecones in my hand photo that appears in "Scenes from This Day" in Chapter 1. I am also going to write a short "I am..." poem from the prompt in the book and then put the poem + photos together into a simple collage in my journal. You can play along with this series of prompts OR choose any prompt from Chapter 1. You also have the option of "doing your own thing" inspired by the chapter.

A few notes from the video:

Supplies used/mentioned:

A note about comments: Please use the comments of today's post to connect with me and ask any questions or share your experiences so far with Chapter 1. If you do ask a question, I will reply in the comments so look for my response there. 

Thank you so much for coming along! In the Flickr group, consider sharing photos of your journals and maybe even of yourselves as a form of introduction today.

(Update: The Inner Excavate-along was a free read-along on my blog in the summer of 2012. All the posts are here on the blog, but I'm not directing a group through it with newsletters etc. at this time. I hope you enjoy following along! Find out more about my book, Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Mediahere.)

Reader Comments (22)

HI Liz,
I was drawn to your book shortly after it was published. I admit that I haven't read it all, and am so, so excited to have this opportunity with you and all of the participants to dive into it here. Your video was very sincere and well done. I really got a sense of who you are, and what this Inner Excavate-along journey will be like. Thank you for taking the time to share all of this with us. This is going to be fantastic!
PS I just signed up for Instagram this weekend, and I am hooked. My name on instagram is brianacreates.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBriana G.

Beautiful thoughts contained in your video diary entry today. Thank you for sharing your dig site with us. I am so looking forward to this art-eologist journey through your wonderful book. I am at a new beginning place so this class is perfect timing for me. Thank you for pouring your time into this project, it is much appreciated.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Hi Liz~
Just wanted to confirm that you got my contact info. I used your 'get in touch' email link to send my address to you. Looking forward to this journey!

When you spoke of how we are all at a beginning of some kind, I really took that to heart. Just a few days ago I began some new rituals in my personal life, expanding on them even more this week...and here, by divine coincidence, you speak of that edge, that place of starting.

I have ordered your book and patiently wait for it to come. What you said in your video has given me lots to work with. I look forward to sharing this part of the journey with you and others.


June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

I am over the moon to be involved in this, Thank you, Liz!! - -it is coming at exactly the right time - the sumMEr of ME! ;-) xoo


I am excited about this journey! I gather words and love that you share this~
I hope to begin to push my creative edge. My Muse is shy, sometimes...I want to share
more art, not just my words and photos.

Thank you for this class :D
I hope to excavate more insight and let more light in~

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElla

I am so excited for this...ready for some hard work to begin. Ready to step more fully into my life, to listen, to grow, to be grateful. Thank you for letting us work along with you in your beautiful book! xo

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Looking forward to beginning...thank you for your wonderful insights and reassurance.
Really loved what you said about being more equipped and able to access our own wisdom with experience.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary C. Nasser

Beginning is a scary word in many ways. I like the idea of looking up from my excavation site and seeing others around me who I can ask for help. For the next seven weeks, I look forward to giving and receiving assistance on my journey.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJill

To begin... I am ready!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

Powerful stuff on your generous video this week - thank you for sharing your heartfelt person with all of us out here in the ethers. I look forward to seeing what dredges up out of my own dig site this week and over this glorious summer. Thank you again for holding all of us in your hands! I LOVE it that you write in your copy of your book! Too fun.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

So looking forward to exploring the book (please Mr Postman, bring it soon). Thank you for inviting me to the dig site and for popping up with help :)

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess (AmieJay)

So excited to start this excavate along! Thank you so much for hosting this journey!! :)

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

My journal is ready . . . had fun putting it together yesterday. I went on a long walk and got some beautiful photos, thoughts were running through my head. This is will be a fun and creative adventure for all of us. I even put the book on my Kindle so I can read it during the day if I get the chance! Thank you for creating this special experience!

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Wynn

i wasn't sure if i would have the time to participate in this - life has been so frantic recently. but, i find that i need to carve out creative time for myself each day in order to maintain some type of sanity, even if it's only five minutes.

the weather in london has been so terrible that i have been catching the bus instead of cycling to work, so the commute has become a place where i can dip into reading again. so, i'm currently carrying your book around in my handbag and reading it on my commute :)

a self-portrait poem is what leapt into my mind yesterday after reading the word 'factory' in kelly barton's poem on page 23.

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleonie wise

Thank you Liz. Reading this first chapter and watching the video today has touched tender places. I've come to a place in my life where illness has dictated giving up employment and acknowledging some new limitations. Turning to see this as a beginning is a beautiful shift for me. Here, right in front of me, is this gift of time I've always wanted.

Your gentleness and heart come through the screen. Thank you for touching my heart today.

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley McGill

Your talk of always being at a beginning spoke to me too. A feeling of hope washed over me. I turn 40 next week and have been grappling with all these societal messages of my youth being gone and of lost opportunities as I try to conceive my first child. What a relief to be reminded that this is no end, just a simple turning towards a new beginning and yet another birthing of my self. A potent and blessed prompt. Thank you

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Just wanted to share a quick little "aha" moment I had today. While getting my journal together I was digging through my massive collection of paper scraps looking for my letter stickers and came upon a slip of paper with the word begin, start on it! I think that's a pretty good sign I'm right where I'm suppose to be!

June 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacy Kathryn

I recently came back from a trip to my country, Brazil, where I haven't been in 10 years.
Going back with my kids and showing them my childhood and the places I used to visit, made me rethink a lot of aspects of my art.
Here is where I used to go when I was a child!

MOre pictures on my blog. Please visit


June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBabi

I'm totally sold on the Word Toolbox! http://isawyoudancing.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/i-am-words-they-gave-me.html

June 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

I'm late to the party, but my book just arrived. I'm very excited to be able to participate in this and look forward to the journey. Thank you for sharing this with us!

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

I am... behind.
I am... slow.
I am... just in time for myself!

I am a skeptic, a cynic by nature, I doubt. But
I also explore, try, again, and, again.
I am willing to plod.

I am delighted with the book
I am delighted with the first video
I am excited to try the next chapter!

July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterQueen Mary

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