2018 we’re going to SHINE!

Several years ago I ditched resolutions and challenges for the new year. Planning my year around one central theme helped me focus on things a little better and I found I was more productive. December each year I meditate on the past year, what I’ve accomplished, what I would like my future to look and feel like, and what I want to create going forward. This year, for 2018, “Shine” is our theme.

Shine, to me, is revealing my Self and my projects. It is of getting out of my own way and bringing to light the things I’ve been wanting to complete but have held myself back on out of fear. In my world, the fear of success weighs heavier than the fear of failure. Being in the public eye has never been appealing to me because of health-related wardrobe restrictions, so I’ve long hidden my light and it has not served me well. I am accused of being that “Too Much Woman” at times (first realized here) a title I am proud of because it means I am roughing up the ground and I am dangerous. I have always been eclectic in my interests, forever a student, and have a passion for life and learning that I am no longer willing to apologize for. Maybe it is my age, maybe it is my health, but life is too short not to make it the life you want.

My daughter @RockPaperFox and husband @RomanDeadGuy are joining me in these resolute plans…

OUR GOALS FOR 2018

I will update these as they are reached with links, etc as we go.

  • Launch Patreon for both myself and for my husband, Val, to help us reach the goals we want to reach. Money does not buy happiness, but it buys the freedom to create happiness. Patreon will allow us to vlog educational field trips, self-publish our books, do book tours eventually, and purchase product supplies while assisting us with covering our everyday bills and keeping food on the table.
  • Launch Val’s Classical Latin Minecraft series. Val will be teaching Classical Latin within Minecraft via a series on YouTube. There will be three videos a week on Monday (vocabulary), Wednesday (sentence structure), and Friday (week in review). Val is K12 certified to teach Classical Latin and will be going through the 3rd Edition Cambridge Latin course. We have been developing the videos and his backdrop world on our Realms server for the past several months.
  • Publish. I have several children’s books screaming for my attention, in the case of Clementine’s Garden quite literally. This Spring she will be the first to be released followed by the dual release of A Cat Named Pillow / A Dog Named Socks for summer reading, Scarecrow’s New Hat and the long awaited The Owl and the Mermaid for Fall. My daughter, Rock Paper Fox, will be illustrating The Shawl Monster for release in the Fall as well.
  • Publish. Stalemate, a work of fiction based on the script I wrote for my thesis, has been in revisions for several months. I am looking a Fall release for the book. Afterwards I will start script revisions and register it with the WGA East.
  • Complete editing and critique on Remnant, the first of three books by my husband, Val Michael Selvaggio.
  • Read. The entire Harry Potter series, just because, as well as a few other titles on my Goodreads. I’d like to read 50 books this year, some of which we will all be reading so we can discuss them.
  • Consolidate. I’ve always envisioned Renmeleon as a portal of sorts, combining all of my loves here in one spot. To that end, my magazine, Kraft Paper Muse, will be hosted via a page here and will be free to view. If you would like a printed copy, they will be available for purchase via MagCloud. Books will have their own domain names and will also be hosted here as micro sites. I am building a creative web to trap all of the pieces of me that will be fun to explore and even educational in some parts.
  • Retrain myself to work on a schedule. I’ve not worked a job outside of my home since before the onset of my LE in 2001. I have always been creative on a daily basis, but I would like to be more serious about it and with that comes scheduling. I have not had a dedicated creative space since we moved to Kentucky, so I’ve had to adapt my workflow and our home has become my studio.
  • Develop surface pattern collections. I am creating pattern collections for all of my children’s books for use as companion products such as paper goods and fabric. My focus this year is surface pattern design as the basis for all of my products.
  • Armor up. It should be no surprise that my family and I are all nerds. We got involved with the 501st Legion here locally when I took over the Kentucky Browncoats last year and have been working toward gearing up wo troop with them as well as developing our Firefly cosplay. Add in Victorian-era costuming for Steampunk and our yearly Dickens involvement and you’ve got a closest full of cosplay for various causes between the three of us. Mandalorian, Sith, and Jedi are all on the near horizon.

I am always drawing so I will have smaller things peppering my Instagram as I work on things. My daughter and I do three shows a year together now, both of which I am involved with – the Berea Makers Market (Berea) and the Kentucky Fried Zine Fest (Lexington) – and I will be showing films at the Kentucky Theater monthly starting in March through December. I’m looking forward to sharing all of it with you!

You can keep up with my daughter’s work on her site at RockPaperFox and my husband’s on his site at RomanDeadGuys.

 

Comfort Zones are Overrated

Spy. Classroom. Scalpel.

I got my round one writing assignment for NYCMidnight’s Flash Fiction Challenge at midnight Friday night and have been writing, rewriting, outlining, and generally banging my head on a pillow. We were given 48 hours so the deadline is midnight tonight.

I’m at 846 words out of the needed 1,000 for submission.

I’ve never written Spy genre before so it’s a real challenge. With this particular genre, you have to be concise with details and you focus your subplots. I dove in head first the moment I got the genre/location/object prompt, brainstorming for about 20 minutes till an idea hit. I wrote for about an hour then let it percolate overnight. I started writing again this morning a little before 8am and, four handwritten pages in, I decided I needed to revert to outlining and work on my summary.

I loved writing loglines and working on elevator pitches at Full Sail, so that’s where I’m starting. With what I know.

It’s going to be a long haul waiting till mid September to find out if I made it to round two. The best thing I can do is put it totally out of my head and mark a reminder on the date so I can make sure not to miss any emails. Till then, good luck me!

Defining Passion

I’ve been watching a free series that has been offered by the ever fabulous and thought-provoking Michael Hyatt on platform tweaking. Even if you are pro, I recommend taking a look at the series. He posed a question at the end of the first video that was a lot harder to answer than I had expected or should have been.

What Are You Passionate About?

Once people find out that I have created my own career path and work from home, it is not uncommon for me to get into a discussion with them about how they are not happy with where they are and what they would really like to be doing. In every conversation so far, there has been one common theme: Their goals don’t match the end result of the path they want to be on. The question that I pose to them is this:

If there were no limits to money or location, what is the one thing that you could spend the rest of your life doing and be happy?

Most of us have a difficult time seeing past roadblocks and ruts we have fallen into, the thought of having that kind of control, so it takes a minute to recover before we can even begin to answer that. There have only been a couple of people that I’ve spoken to that know exactly what they want and have a clear focus. Michael’s question put me on the spot as well and I had to answer this for myself.

My end goal: To be able to travel with my family, write, create, and teach while experiencing the world through art, food, creative and cultural interaction as we share the expanding of our own eco-centric views of the world.

Spelling this out, I see a definite need for some self-alignment within my own path. We live a creative life but, while we have traveled a little more this year than most, my husband is still trapped in a 9-to-5 job that doesn’t align with his own desires. As his wife and best friend, I want a lot better for him and for us as a family.

Moving Forward

What am I passionate about? This was my turn, and it wasn’t easy.

I am passionate about a number of things, which is good and bad. In the past I would head in several directions, keeping my interests separate instead of integrating them. I thought that keeping them compartmentalized would help me to stay organized. It did for a bit, but if I hit a bump with one or, with my health more often, it would throw everything off. From there I overlapped my projects in an effort to go in one main direction. Progress. Finally, I cleared my plate and started getting more focused on what I wanted. I stopped taking clients and dug into my own projects that had been neglected for so long. I’m much happier now and have made great advances, but I am still whittling away at what we don’t need in our lives in order to focus on the more meaningful.

Finding balance when you work from home is a unique challenge, but it’s doable with a direction and a plan.

Staring it down

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My paperwork in for graduation in a few weeks, I am looking toward my 2nd Masters. My highly coveted Game Art Masters is still not on the horizon, but I know the skills I need to hone, so I’ve made a decision: Public Relations MFA.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Growing up, I was very shy when I wasn’t on my own terms. Most people that know me will laugh, but it is still true. I can be loud and out there when I am passionate about something, when I know my topic, but ask me to speak in front of a crowd and I’m a wreck. I’ve had several opportunities to sing in front of large groups in the past. It took me years to qwell my nerves, but I was never successful in getting rid of it completely, though, and would invariably fall apart once I was off stage. Acting too. In hindsight, I was proud of myself for being “brave”, but it definitely didn’t feel like it at the time.

My hope for this degree program is that I’ll find some kind of method along the way that will allow me to overcome what holds me back. I feel a bit like I am throwing myself to the wolves.

Thankfully, I happen to like wolves.

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Photo Credit: Steering for North via Compfight cc

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