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

News | Creative Facilitator

As of this weekend I will be at the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida every Saturday and Sunday through the weekend of February 3rd. I have been hired on as a “Creative Facilitator” and will be overseeing hands-on art stations in conjunction with the Deidre Scherer exhibit.


Entitled “Close Up with Red”, the image above is used
with permission from the artist. Thank you Deidre. :)

The exhibits themselves are meant to create an open dialogue on the topics of aging, death, dying and grieving as well as, I think, a reminder to be compassionate, have faith, and offer hope and companionship to those around us. I have seen Deidre’s work up close and it is awe-inspiring, humbling, heart-wrenching and life affirming. I do not know how else to really describe it. You need to see it.

I encourage all of you that are local or who will be in the area to come out and show your support of the museum and the exhibit. My own personal hours there are:

Saturdays: 10:30am – 2:30pm
Sundays: 1pm – 4pm

This Saturday will be my first day there and Sunday, February 3rd, will be my last day which is also the last day of this incredible exhibit. So if you would like to chat about the exhibit and create something personal in response to the exhibit, come play with me!

Various art supplies and creative space will also be provided during the week but I will only be available on the weekends. As extra incentive, :::Cheshire cat grin::: I will also be bringing more supplies with me from my own studio for everyone to use during the hours I am there on the weekends.

The next date that I will be at the museum, as of the current schedule, will be Saturday, May 24th at 3pm. contemplate/generate is a hands-on workshop and guided tour.

I will post updates as I am scheduled so keep checking back!

Happy New Year!

Well, it is official, it is 2008. Can you believe the whole year has gone by as fast as it has? The first few months always seem to drag but once you hit July, that’s it, it’s all downhill.

This year is going to be absolutely fabulous, I feel it in my bones. My projects are lined up, my ducks in a row, and I am moving forward through each project from 2007 and closing it out as steadily as I can. I hope to have everything caught up and mailed out by the end of next week. I would like to say by this weekend but I am trying to be fair to myself and more realistic. Being hopeful and rushing myself in the past has only caused more delays when Murphy’s Law has kicked in and disrupted my perfectly planned schedules. I am being a little more gentle with myself this year in order to avoid stress.

Hoping you all had a wonderful New Year and that you enjoy successes, joyful surprises and overflowing creativity!

365 Days

There are four goals that underly everything else on my challenge list this year:

Create something artful daily.
Write daily.
Blog daily.
Stay on track.

The last one is the most important as it could make or break everything else. I am being more realistic about things, being more gentle to myself, and have flux days worked in for when my schedule and God’s are not in sync. Those times when you have everything planned out and someone else or something you have done throws a wrench in something that starts the snowball rolling at the top of the hill. If you are a creative, or even just a busy person, you know exactly what I mean.


Easter is apparently coming early this year. :::smirk:::

365 Days

I have seen several of my Flickr contacts doing 365 days challenges, most some type of photographic self-portrait, and it is interesting to see how everyone evolves over the course of a year. Some post full shots, some pieces parts of themselves like a foot, a hand or an eye, some pose for some really artful shots. No matter what they do, though, it is a little piece of themselves inside.

I will be blogging here and doing a lot analog. I have been keeping my sketchbook pretty busy lately, mostly just stray thoughts and doodles, nothing serious, but it has been used at least. I am hoping to spend more time at home in my studio, either way though, I will be here more often and hope to see you here too!

365 Days

There are four goals that underly everything else on my challenge list this year:

Create something artful daily.
Write daily.
Blog daily.
Stay on track.

The last one is the most important as it could make or break everything else. I am being more realistic about things, being more gentle to myself, and have flux days worked in for when my schedule and God’s are not in sync. Those times when you have everything planned out and someone else or something you have done throws a wrench in something that starts the snowball rolling at the top of the hill. If you are a creative, or even just a busy person, you know exactly what I mean.


Easter is apparently coming early this year. :::smirk:::

365 Days

I have seen several of my Flickr contacts doing 365 days challenges, most some type of photographic self-portrait, and it is interesting to see how everyone evolves over the course of a year. Some post full shots, some pieces parts of themselves like a foot, a hand or an eye, some pose for some really artful shots. No matter what they do, though, it is a little piece of themselves inside.

I will be blogging here and doing a lot analog. I have been keeping my sketchbook pretty busy lately, mostly just stray thoughts and doodles, nothing serious, but it has been used at least. I am hoping to spend more time at home in my studio, either way though, I will be here more often and hope to see you here too!

Challenging the new year

Inspired by Ramone, I am working toward starting my new year out on the right foot. Though I am currently spending a lot of time analog finishing up projects from this year, I am also looking to the future.

WHAT’S ON YOUR NEW YEAR’S LIST?

Most people call them “resolutions” but I prefer to challenge myself. There’s less guilt and I am more apt to rise to a challenge than go on a goal diet. I’ve met most of my 2007 challenges head on and have even exceeded a few but, like all of us, there were a few that slipped through due to time, life, and other changing obligations. It’s chaos theory. So the ones I was not able to complete are simply re-evaluated and moved forward; no guilt, no regret, no remorse attached. In short, do the best you can, stay on track as best you can in an ever-evolving life, and let yourself off the hook but keep trying. Everyone fails and we are all in a constant state of flux. Goals you set now may not be valid in six months, in even two weeks from now. Change and the forward momentum of life are an unavoidable constant so don’t bog yourself down with blame, regret, or guilt. Just reevaluate, renew and reset.

MAKING LISTS

We all have lists. Some insanely long, full of baby steps toward larger goals. Some narrowed down to less than 10, all major life changes. What are some of the things on your mind for the new year? What goals do you have for yourself? What are you going to challenge yourself with over the next 12 months? Whether it is trying a new medium, improving your existing skills, or doing things that benefit the rest of your life, take a few minutes to post your list here. I think you will be surprised how many of us share common goals. Feel free to share your whole list if you want! Just remember, do your best but let yourself off the hook if you fall short and keep moving forward. We are ALL our own worst critics so don’t blindside yourself with guilt and slow down your progress!

MY 2008 CHALLENGES

I don’t think there is room enough here for all the challenges I have set for myself for 2008 so :::takes a deep breath::: in no certain order…

1. Complete my 2006 NaNo novel and get through at least one editing session.

2. Publish three (3) collaborative art books on Lulu; one being for charity.

3. Launch my rubber stamp line in the first quarter of 2008.

4. Make a trip to North Carolina and go mining with my family.

5. Make a trip to Seattle for a reciprocal visit to see a friend.

6. Lose 80 pounds of toxic Lymphatic fluid thus improving my overall health.

7. Improve my schedule for production work for my greeting card line(s).

8. Remember everyone’s birthdays and mail out cards early.

9. Raise $1,000 for EACH charity that Art for Cures benefits this year.

10. Go back to school and work on my BFA in Visual Communications (Digital Design).

11. Complete at least three illustrations for my ex husband’s novel as he works on the 2nd one.

12. Launch my Word Whimsy site and its forums area.

13. Complete the illustrations for two children’s books that I have written.

14. Complete the stories for two (other) children’s books that I have already storyboarded.

15. Launch the full version of Odonatia along with the daily blog from the island.

16. Blog from my main site at least once a week. (you’re here hehe)

17. Complete my main site’s metamorphosis and overhaul my online portfolio.

18. Become as proficient with CSS as I am with HTML; I can write an entire site on paper.

19. Save up and take up violin again; buy my own with all the goodies.

20. Save up and buy a nice digital camera.

21. Save up and upgrade my desktop computer.

22. Become more fluent in Latin.

23. Create and post art tutorial videos online; save up and buy a digital camcorder.

24. Create handmade mini books of haiku and sell them on Etsy.

25. Knit a 2nd set of hand warmers; I gifted the first pair. :)

26. Obtain a 2nd contract to work with the local museum; just got my first last week. :::happy dance:::

27. Read all of the Harry Potter books.

28. Come out with at least one more issue of my zine, The Kraft Paper Muse, that was meant to be quarterly; shooting for publishing two issues this year in March and September.

29. Teach an artist’s workshop.

30. Reorganize my studio.

31. Organize my house without having to use a bulldozer and a flamethrower.

32. Explore 100% of at least one of the Guild Wars expansions.

33. Stop eating refined sugar…oh boy, this is going to be the toughest one. (see no. 6)

34. Stop drinking soda, coffee and no more than one decaf chai a week. (see no. 6)

35. Drink 64 ounces of water per day. (see no. 6)

36. Get back to the point where I can ride my stationary bike every morning. (see no. 6) This will mean wearing the compression bandages 24/7 like I am supposed to. :::depressive sigh:::

37. Get rid of all of my VCR tapes and cassette tapes; make lists of what I want from iTunes and on DVD then donate them all or sell them at the pawn shop and put the money in Ysa’s account.

38. Sort, condense and toss ALL of the boxes in my house so that there are none to transport the next time we move; possibly in November of 2008 if we don’t resign our lease.

39. Become fluent in Spanish, again. I took 8 years college-equivalent, aced it all, and don’t remember a darn thing. I can practice with friends and especially at home because everyone else here wants to learn too.

40. Get my daughter and I more involved with the local homeschooler co-op.

41. Start sewing again on a regular basis and make at least one crafty, sewy thing a month.

42. Make and use Morsbags [ pod: Art for Cures ] for grocery shopping and other things I would normally use plastic bags for. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Stop by, sign up, and support Mother Earth. I will be making some and selling them for postage cost only in the Art for Cures Etsy shop at some point.

43. Write something daily; haiku, poetry, journal entry, blog entry, something. Email doesn’t count. Ideally, write 500 words a day on my 2006 NaNo novel but I’ll take this one baby step at a time.

44. Be artful daily; doodle, sketch, art journal, photograph something, sew, knit, anything creative and handmade no matter how small it may be.

45. Participate in ScriptFrenzy 2008 and win. I made some notes on an idea I had for last year’s ScriptFrenzy but didn’t have the time to follow through on it. I would like to this year.

46. Participate in NaNoWriMo 2008 and win. The first year I played, 2006, was a blast. I wrote 37,000+ words on a novel I’d been wanting to write for a long time. I didn’t win by their standards, but did by mine, and it was good to get the story out. I have written more since then and am well up over 80k now. I did a little experiment this past NaNo and wrote another 10k+ but my life was too busy to follow through on it. I am scheduling the month of November off this coming year if I am at a point to do so. With any luck, I will be on a book tour having finished my first one. :)

47. Sell one design on Threadless and put the money to good use; half for my daughter’s savings account and half for something I could use in my studio like a binding machine, letterpress or graphics tablet.

48. Become more self-sufficient despite health issues.

49. Accomplish at least half of the things on this list (50/100) and do not stress out if I don’t finish all of them, just celebrate the ones I did and move on.

50. Add another 50 things I would like to accomplish to this list and make it a full 100…

51. Meet with my writer’s group locally at least once a month.

52. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Everything.

Reduce by using Morsbags (see no. 42) instead of plastic bags at the grocery store.

Reuse coffee grounds in the garden.

Recycle by making old clothes into new things like bags or comfy pillow cases. Take small plastic grocery bags back to the grocery store to their recycling collection bin.

Whatever can’t be made into something else or reused will be donated to the local Humane Society thrift store.

53.

…know there are a TON of other little goals I have, some are baby steps for the larger ones, but I will leave it at this for now. I will post more if I think of them.

Brightest blessings to everyone for a fabulous new year to come. May you all have great successes, may your hands keep moving toward your goals, may your muses work overtime and your pens keep up, and may your internal editors shut up when you need them to the most! Wishing you all the happiest and most bountiful of new years!

Namaste,
Ria :)
aka Renmeleon