Didn’t I say to finish projects before new ones…

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“The #world as we have created it is a process of our #thinking. It cannot be changed without #changing our thinking.” ― #AlbertEinstein

It’s time for a change here too, so I give you #MonochromeMondays. Ask anyone that I went to #College or #University with and they will tell you that I am a firm believer that #Iamnotapoet. Personally, I like to think of myself as a #WordSmith more than anything else because I love words, molding words, and recreating the idea of words. So here’s to #creating mess, new work, and late wine nights while trying to finish #Teagloom.

Here’s the thing…

(we started out friends… just kidding, I’m not Kelly Clarkson)

Life has a way of getting to some people, others seem to flourish with what they are given or provided. Both scenarios are ideal to some and not so much to others. I could sit here and complain about how I’ve been feeling, I could voice to you my lows and highs of the last year, and I could pin it on my lack of self-esteem or on a specific situation but really it just comes down to me.

Have I been feeling different? Out of it? Depressed? The internet allows me to self diagnose, but there is no guarantee that is the answer. I am not a doctor, I didn’t go through years of schooling to advise on health – but I am afraid of doctor’s offices and hospitals. Instead of going to my appointment… I ended up cancelling; it was for a decent reason, I needed to rush to the passport office with Mr. A for our passports to be reissued. That was in December, you say, what about in the months since? There’s no excuse.

Moving to another city, dismantling everything I know about having a job, and trying to find my way in a home I once knew has been jarring. I grew up here, always wanted to return here, always wanted to reconnect with this place and it’s life – yet here I am retreating from the outside world and effectively becoming a hermit. Transit is nearby, but I don’t go; shopping is nearby, but I don’t go; food is near by, but I order-in or cook. I even work from home, in a tiny office hoping that today will be the day that my neighbors will have some common courtesy regarding their noise.
Of course there are some positives about life here:

  • Everything here is so diverse
  • Everything can be ordered online and delivered relatively quickly
  • Everything has a million options
  • Everything exists here, in one form or another

Living in a big city means that the world is almost at your finger tips – you just need a little effort. The problem is that in a world of everything it is hard to stand out or feel important in any form. Do I need to feel important? Sometimes, in fact I think we all do. We need a connection to something in some way, but being surrounded by everything can make a person feel minuscule and sometimes obsolete.

We are into the fourth month of the year and I haven’t been consistent with posting. Is it because of how many options I have? So many other things to do? No. There is just so much opportunity that I feel swallowed whole. So what’s next,  you ask.

  1. First goal is to find a rhythm – I don’t know what type or how or cadence it will be, but it’s a start
  2. Leave my house – which, to be fair, I do leave to pickup the groceries I ordered online, and to see my grandparents occasionally
  3. Finish a project – there are a few things that I would love to complete and get out there, so why not
  4. Find something new – it’s important that this happens after completing something else. If I continuously start new things before finishing something then it’s just a vicious cycle
  5. Sound proofing – it would be nice to be able to work in peace, but whether I sound proof here or find a new place or a studio? Who knows, LOUD NOISES

Here’s to a new year, a new place, a new cat, and all the things that come with writing.

-A

Extra Life & some new rules

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Another year, another Extra Life!

Extra Life is a great foundation that has been working to help kids be kids even if they are sick or in the hospital. “Since 2008 they have raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids” – and that’s straight from their site.

So, what’s the situation? A 24 hour video gaming marathon to help raise support. Tried my hand at it last year after a few years of watching others, and now it’s time for round 2. Being a kid you get to have this unique freedom and imagination of the world around you, and it doesn’t last long as you grow up – but kids shouldn’t have to grow up sooner because of things beyond their control. Point: it’s a great cause and it’s well worth losing sleep over (which is why Extra Life was also the subject of my P4A video last year).

I play for my local CMN Hospital, BC Children’s! Last year we cruised through a few games on my stream: Five Nights at Freddys, Overwatch, Little Inferno, Post Master, Epic Stickman, World of Goo, and Organ Trail.

This year we’re aiming for a 24 hour steam of Stardew Valley, which I started streaming early this year to get used to the controls and game play. New to this year are a few things:

  • I am going to be hosting on Twitch with a side-along cast on Youtube (last year I was on Youtube only)
  • I am introducing some donation perks! That’s right! #YouMaketheRules 

Starting today – the next five people who make donations of $10 or more will have the ability to create one “suitable for all viewers” rule for one hour of the stream. You pick the rule, and you can pick the hour it’s going to take place (first come first pick).

Want to donate, but unsure of the sort of wacky rule you could impose?

  • Can’t say the word “the”
  • Can only drink Sprite
  • Has to use a Kazoo
  • Balance books on my head
  • Maintain chopsticks as walrus tusks
  • Play game of your choosing (I’ve got a few in my library :D)

The possibilities are endless – so what will you choose?

You can donate directly to my Extra Life campaign here!

Can’t donate now and you’re worried that you won’t get a chance to boss me around for an hour? There may be other donation perks around the corner. ^.^

 

Chat soon!

-A

Deconstruction of a Creative Space

Moving is something that has become a part of my genetics at this point. Having grown up with my parents separated and pursuing their own lives, it meant that I was always moving between houses regardless of whether or not I would return to them. Sometimes it was just going away for the weekend, and ~11 times it meant that we were actually moving out of the house.

We have moved 4 times since 2008 and we are about to move again. There is always a chance, as a renter, that your landlord will want to sell the place and it is their right to do so. When we found the condo in 2015 it was a saving grace, but it’s best to jump back a bit.

Early 2013… I want to say… we found our own place ahead of the wedding and settled in with a few roommates. The room that became our bedroom had a small offshoot from it that evolved into my first creative space. Walls were covered, writing desk was in the corner, scheduling work was laid out, and overall the space just inspired.

When you are a creator of any kind, it is nice to have a space that is your own – a place where all of the tools and mess can come out, a place that is yours to fuel the fire. As a writer, my space is usually a combination of books, tools, a desk, pictures and words, memories, and things that I’ve collected to help spark my brain when it decides it’s blocked. It’s a massive combination that sometimes requires rotation… which rarely happens so some stuff just gets left in a box for a while.

Our landlord then had to declare bankruptcy a few months before our wedding… so… it was a bit of a nightmare at the time and I was less worried about dismantling my space. We had to stay with my in-laws until after the wedding so that we could focus a bit more, and then after we found this condo. It was in town, walking distance to work (for me it was 5 minutes), and it had a niche for creativity. Our property manager came for an inspection and said that it was the best use for that area that she had seen in the condos. The layouts are pretty much carbon copy on our side of the building – so she’d likely seen a few.

Catching back up to today – my space is a combination of stuffed animals, beanie babies, pillows, a desk, fan art, Zillas, book shelves, books, sewing, cosplay, printer, post cards, stamps, … there’s just a lot in there for such a small space and it just works. This time we have two months to leave (why we didn’t last time is another story) and the dismantling of the room has begun – it’s hard.

That was a long lead up to get to this point, but taking down all of my inspiration and sparks is sad. There’s a chance that we won’t have this room in the next place (yet to be found), so there is a chance that I may not see some of these things for a little while. I actually started to pack up the stuffed animals and beanie babies first (they were on the top shelves) and I started to think about purging. Did I really need the 20+ beanie babies that I bought in my early 20s because I had thought they’d be worth something… I’d keep the ones my Dad got me when I was a kid… but the rest of them? I sorted out a chunk of them and turns out I could make about $300 from them if they sold at top price… but then I started to second guess.

It had now been 4-5 weeks since we found out the condo was being sold, and two weeks since the sale was finalized and I have one shelf packed and another on the floor… this is a struggle. It feels like the loss of creativity – which is even harder since I had been revising Teagloom for a hopeful print in June. One box and the wall covers down… except for my pink display board which I have no idea how to pack. If I remember correctly, we had a long skinny box last time… but it was horrible, heavy, and falling apart.


Happy to say that we managed to find a place and we have moved in. The tear down of my office at the condo was hard. It had been my niche for all things writing for two years and was just starting to feel like home. Our new place has a bigger space for me – a bigger space for my words and creativity. There are still a few things to organize and hang, but the exciting part is that I finally had the space to bring the chair!

This is a bit of a side tangent, but too bad!

When I was a kid, I used to visit my great-great-grandparents at their home. My grandmother was partially raised by her grandparents, so they were always a big part of our lives. Most people don’t get to know that many generations before them. We would visit their apartment in the home, check out the tea room, and sometimes stay for dinner. There was a creek that created its own path along the outskirts of the property, and it always seemed to be a relaxing place to be despite the inevitable death of the all of the occupants.

Point – my great-great-grandfather had this pale green, high back, winged, la-z-boy type of chair in their place. He was always in it, never said much (likely due to his health), but I could always crawl up beside him for a hug. After he passed away the chair stayed in the same place. After my great-great-grandmother’s health decline, she was moved in with my bajillionth-cousin and my grandmother ended up with the chair. When I saw it in my grandparents place it seemed sad and out-of-place. They also got their couch and love seat, but that pattern… I don’t think I could get that pattern past Mr. A at all. It’s a very floral-esque – but the chair is stoic. And now it’s here in my office and I hope it will rub off its history and tradition on me and my creative processes.

So out with the condo and in with the townhouse. Here’s to brighter and better creative spaces and, now that we are settled, here’s to getting Teagloom all squared out! (More on that next week)

-A

It’s 2017!

It’s actually three months into 2017 and the year seems to have plateaued already. January 1st came and looked back at the year that was 2016 and then decided that it was just going to cruise. That it could get away with not doing anything because so much happened in 2016.

2016 was a fairly interesting year for myself. On the writing front I was able to move into some content writing with my day job, Nanowrimo was completed with a week to spare, a month-long series of letters to myself (May Amy), and Teagloom started to test the waters of the world. Outside of writing… there was a lot: four 5K runs, a 10K run, a half marathon, two job title changes, 2 competitive seasons in Overwatch, a trip to Walt Disney World, a new vehicle, and my family moving closer. There was also another completion of the 12 Days of ScrtChristmas and another failed attempt at reviving the 50bookchallenge channel (which will hopefully have better luck this year).

The only thing that feels lacking is the writing front. As an individual I feel somewhat accomplished with 2016, but as a writer… there is more that I could have done. Last year was the year of running so I am going to try to make writing the focus this year. The goal (finances depending) is to get at least two of my novels out there: Teagloom and Death Defines Us.

While I think that DDU has a more widespread audience there was a fair bit of interest in Teagloom after it was posted on Inkshares for the Geek & Sundry contest. There were a fair bit of eyes on it and quite a bit of contact after the contest had ended about when it was going to come out so that’s the goal. The checklist is a medium-sized but doable before summer… I think:

  • Second draft completed
  • Copy edit
  • Cover designed
  • ISBN purchased
  • Imprint formed
  • Kickstarter… maybe?
  • Published
  • AND at least one convention appearance
    • which means a table and marketing material

 

All things considered that seems fairly doable.

-A

 

#Last26of26

Alright. I post here and then I don’t post here. It comes and goes, and its in bursts, but I’m back again with another project.

#Last26of26

There are 26 days left in my 26th year on this planet so I thought let’s do this! We’ve been through every day May Amy, what’s next. And the answer is more challenges for myself and pushing the limits of my creativity.

What can you expect? I wish I had a cut throat detailed answer for you, but all I can say is keep an eye on my social media channels. The next 26 days will entail posts across my main platforms:

-A

 

First short = complete!

It’s been a great every day May and I am already looking at the next everyday for July. Eventually I might be able to make a post every day or every other day, but for now it is time to focus on some planning and some marathon training.

Thanks for reading the letters – a little cheesy, but it was definitely interesting for me – hope it was for you!

 

In case you were wondering, the first runDisney Short happened and here’s how it looks:
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I ended up doing a little over 5K in 47 minutes on an elliptical and a treadmill for the Yellow Shoes virtual run. Still getting my body used to exercise in general so it was odd to try to pace my 5K. Looking forward to the next Mickey Short which is June 5 – June 18, 2016 and is Red Pants!

Aiming for a faster pace this time – fingers crossed!

-A