Of Squirrels and Type

Diggory made the trip with us.

One of my favorite sounds in the world is that of a typewriter. There’s something primal to the creative soul about the sound of a key striking paper, leaving an impression behind, and that metallic clinking. Tap tap tap tap tink tap tink tap.

My daughter and I spent our Sunday evening at a Type-In hosted by Bryan Sherwood, aka the Kentucky Typer, at A Cup of Common Wealth in Lexington; check out their fun little Pay It Foward, you can even buy me a drink online! There were typewriters everywhere (read heaven), people swapping them across tables and making the rounds to try other models out. We took two of mine, both gifted – a small, blue Royal and my Underwood Leader.

I was gifted a little Easter egg about my Underwood: The H key was backwards, apparently a rare thing, and I was told to leave it that way. The color was also discussed, as that particular shade or patina was unusual. I felt like a proud mother, though I already was with my 15-year old sharing my love of these wonderful machines.

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An IBM Selectric sat at the end of our (door made into a) table with a typewritten note in the top (above). I hadn’t realized that model had originated in Lexington, and it made me feel even happier that we’d moved up to Kentucky. My mother had worked on one of these machines back when I was in high school, and I remembered the gentle whirring. My daughter turned it on and swooned, continuing the time honored tradition of laying your head on the keyboard to listen to its gentle hum.

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Overall the event was a big success and I think thy got double the turnout they were thinking they we going to get. The woman next to us, Anne, was actually from Winter Park, FL, my old stomping grounds growing up. We got to meet with a couple people I knew from Instagram, one even recognized my name which was a nice surprise.

@TypewriterRevolution on Instagram was there with a binder full of his lovely ETCetera publication (that I am now hooked on).  As soon as I am able, I’ll be picking up a signed copy of his  book, it looks fabulous.

I also discovered the Typosphere, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole…

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Because goals.

My family and I recently saw Kubo and the Two Strings (make sure you stay for the credits).  We were in awe. I am a huge fan of the work that comes out of Laika, and even applied for a job with them once before Boxtrolls was released. The story was wonderful, as all Laika stories that I’ve seen; i.e. Coraline, ParaNorman. Stop motion itself already has such a wonderfully rich history, the new work I have seen coming out of several newer studios is no exception.

And just because. Out of Laika came HouseSpecial. Originally Laika’s commercial arm, now a standalone studio. This is one of my absolute favorite commercials. Enjoy!

Now that we’ve settled in a bit, I’ve been working on The Owl and the Mermaid again. As this year has been one of remeasuring comfort zones, I’m toying with the idea of doing a book trailer and was totally inspired by this.

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.

Death means change

Yes, a rosary AND tarot.*No, nothing is wrong, outside of the normal. I pulled the Death card this morning, which would have the untrained freaking out. It doesn’t mean death though, that is usually the Tower card aka cataclysmic, not-so-happy change. But the Death card is a motivator. It means change is coming…which is why I pulled it.

I got wind of a job lead in the UK yesterday and am applying for it today. I pull the cards when I’m led and one always, quite literally, jumps out at me. Writing for gaming was one of the reasons I took the Creative Writing MFA from Full Sail. The job is a script writing position, one of two, with a game developer. I glanced over it, a pipe dream, till I read that they valued talent over experience. I’m not sure if I am talented enough in that industry, but I’m a quick study and I’m giving it a shot. It’s all a leap of faith. Let’s hope they would allow me to work remotely, otherwise it’s beg to be relocated.

“You are entering a growing phase. Acknowledgement comes slowly. No one will offer a helping hand unless you beg for it. Don’t take no for an answer. Avoid self-pity.”

The idea of moving isn’t a new one. We’ve wanted out of Florida for a long time. My health cannot take the heat or the allergies (bugs mainly) and I miss having a change of seasons, especially this time of year. We have been eyeing three places; Western North Carolina, Colorado (Denver-ish), or Eugene, OR as I have family there. We would need to be relocated via an employer to be able to afford it, so I’ve been looking. If we had to stay in Florida, Jacksonville. My dream home, though, honestly: New York.

“Get rid of some old habits. Stop doing anything that doesn’t feel right for you.”

This has been a theme for a while. I cleared my plate at the end of 2011, already a year of big changes for us with claiming our home, our wedding, and a clearing out of anything that didn’t influence us in a positive way. I took 2012 to regroup, refocus, get my Masters and complete a graduate certificate. I’ve been writing on an almost daily (more-so lately) basis and long for a job where I can use my talents. I’m focusing on the things I love that can help enrich our lives – getting my book(s) finished and uploaded to CreateSpace, designing products for Etsy, and working with hand-lettering (10.00 off a class with link) as well as an ongoing book design gig. I’m also submitting work to a couple of publications and a Christmas greeting card contest.

So we’ll see if the job and a move are in the cards for us. It is all in God’s Hands as to where He wants us, so we’ll just keep praying with an open mind and be ready for the challenge if I’m called. Speaking of motivator, time to consolidate so more and attack my studio! Artsy supply grab bags on Etsy soon…
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The tools of the trade for a Christian-based pagan, I love this little deck. The artwork is fabulous, it reminds me of an old gypsy deck.

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