Irons in the Fire Update.

30 01 2012

Weather. It’s nuts. Just pure unmitigated nuts. We had 8 inches of snow the previous weekend. This weekend we had a bit of flurries. In between, melt & freeze. This week? 40s & 50s and rain, oh my. JUST NUTS.

So. My updates have been scarce lately. Mostly due to lack of news & fits of ennui.  I figured it was time for my first Irons in the Fire update for the year.

Writing wise, I’m finishing up the taking-forever-revisions on Book #1 of the Serpentigena Trilogy. Book#2 is kind of in a holding pattern, mostly because I haven’t specked out the plot as well as I should have. I’ll be heading back into the story soon.

My short story, “Into the Stacks” is going to be part of an anthology that is in the early stages right now.  Just waiting on some business side decisions so we can move forward.

I’m also trying to get back to work on a short story I started a while back, a little piece drenched in all sorts of Lovecraftian dread & darkness. 🙂 Really happy with the way it’s turning out.  I may offer that one for free through my website, once I have it done & edited.

Speaking of my website. Oy. Needs a MAJOR overhaul. I may have to recruit someone else to do it. My web skills are covered in cobwebs and what I’d like, I’m nowhere near capable of doing.

I’m still getting the facebook page for Corvusangelicus Press together. The holidays & the break-in robbed me of a lot of spare time. No excuses now.  Got my logo together:

Corvusangelicus Press

Corvusangelicus Press Logo

Now I just need to get the business paraphernalia launched.

There is another big life change brewing which will impact my writing & art production, but I can’t discuss it publicly. At least not yet. It’s a good, albeit challenging change. More info as I can reveal it.

On the art front, I just finished a mosaic for my soon-to-be born Nephew. It came out fantastic! (if I do say so myself. ) I’ll post photos as soon as I present it to my sister. She gets  first look privileges. 😉

I’m going to be starting next on a series of Zodiac themed tiles, 6″ square each, which will be put up for sale at the Einini Glassworks etsy site. Again, I’ll be posting updates with pictures and sale prices as soon as they’re done over on the Einini Glassworks Facebook page (Which you should go “Like!” 😉 and on the Einini_Mosaics Twitter feed.  I also have a series of Celtic themed tiles planned, that I hope to have available before St. Patrick’s day. On the horizon are some Goddess & Myth themed items. I’m also going to be making more practical items like coasters and mirrors as well. BUSY Art Chick is BUSY.

I’m really piling on the projects, but I’m enjoying every damn minute of them. 🙂

On the personal front, I’ve been taking a lot of pointers from The Nerdist Way (Which I highly recommend to anyone with time management issues!) and working on getting my time & personal stuffs more organized. My health has taken a few hits in the past couple months, some out of my control, some I should have not neglected. So I’m starting back on my healthy eating plan, working out, and getting more sleep. (Writing & art are implicitly sedentary activities, so I have to crowbar some movement in there) I’ve also started simplifying things in my life.  I can feel my chest starting to unclench finally. Stress is a weird thing. Sometimes anxiety pops up when you’re feeling calm. Usually because you stuck too much of it into a tupperware to deal with later and the lid finally popped off. Needless to say, I was doing all the wrong things to deal with stress and it came back to bite me on the arse.

At some point you have to take a look at what you WANT to do in life and tell the things that are standing in the way to take a hike. Stop talking about doing them, and just DO THEM. Nothing feels better than finishing a project or accomplishing a task. Staring at half done things, thinking, “Crap…I really need to get that done” isn’t fun or pleasant or really motivating, to be honest.

Anyway. Lots of things to do. And for once, things are past the discussion/planning stage and well into implementation.  Loving that feeling of walking the walk.

Next time, photos of projects, updates on books and possibly more info on the cryptic life change.

 





Traditional Birthday Musing Post….

12 01 2012

Weather: FINALLY we’re getting some SNOW. FINALLY!  temps are dropping through the day from the 40s to the 20s & we’re supposed to be getting between 6-10 inches of snow. ::clappy hands::

So today is my birthday. I’m 45.

Forty.Five.

The “5” years always give me more pause than the “0” ones, for some reason. Maybe because the mark the middle of the decade and thus put me in the “Oh Crap! Heading towards [insert next decade marker here].” frame of mind.

Mid decade is always a period of reassessment for me. For good or bad.  This time around I find myself mulling over what hasn’t been achieved and realizing I’m still a lot further along than I was last year or the previous milemarker year. So…maybe it’s more of a “Goal Line in sight, time for the press to the end” thing. That is heartening for once.

In the past year alone, I finished a novella, started a self-publishing imprint, jumped into  mosaic art with both feet, and am contemplating the ever popular leap of faith that comes with realizing that your passions have become too demanding to compete with a day job that doesn’t satisfy anymore. (If it ever did.)

In the negative column, we’ve dealt with loss of family members, family pets, a burglary, and several minor setbacks. The truth be told though…most of that was out of our control.

I’ve been joking the past few weeks that now that I’m 45, I’m only 5 years away from actually enjoying the AARP benefits that I’ve been receiving mail about since I was 35. The reality is, I’m actually looking forward to the benefits. I’m looking forward to being retired. (Though as a writer/artist, I seriously doubt I’ll stop working until I’m 6 feet under. )

The one thing I do know is 45 is barely halfway through my potential lifespan. And I still have a good number of active years ahead of me. The question now is…do I use them to pursue my goals till I exhaust them, or do I continue to just chip away at things?

I think 45 is a good year to start grabbing the bull by the horns and seeing where that gets me. Attempts will probably outnumber successes, and I’m okay with that. I’d just like to at least have the opportunities to make the attempts. Sitting idly by and waiting for life to happen, whether through caution or fear, is no way to live. I envy people who had this kind of fire in their 20s. That’s a lot more years to make mistakes & course correct. Still, it’s never to late to reboot your life path. Nothing is written in stone for the future, no matter what the doomsayers would have you believe.  So why not try ALL THE THINGS? Well, ALL THE THINGS you’re interested in, that is. 😉

Art & writing will always find it’s audience, if you give it enough room to find it. Weather the critics, ignore the jealous and nurture the supporters in your life. At the end, you’re on your own.  I think I’m ready to deal with that. In the scope of world history, I’ll only be a blip, but I can be a slightly shinier blip if I’m doing what makes me happy.

I guess 45 and I can be happy together. Age IS only a number, you know. The universe doesn’t really pay attention to our need to arbitrarily assign time frames.  Keeping perspective is important.

So…happy spawning day to me. Here’s to another 45 years. I only hope they’ll be as fascinating and entertaining and challenging as the previous 45.  (Without all the negative stuffs, mind you. Really tired of that crap. 🙂





Regrouping.

6 01 2012

Weather: Seriously, Weather Gods. WTF? 50 degree temps today? IT’s BLOODY JANUARY!! I would very much like my crappy blizzard weather now, rather than in March!

I mentioned that our home was broken into and burglarized right before Christmas. We were lucky not much was taken, though there were a few things that are still making me broken hearted that they’re gone. My engagement ring for one. My grandmother’s garnet pendant for another. Money is easily fixed, technology replaceable. Sigh. The worst thing that’s come from the break in is the shredded mental state it leaves behind.

Three weeks on and I’m just now getting my sense of security reassembled. we had to replace our back door in it’s entirety. (Frame, storm door, main door. New locks, new alert system. Door brace). It’s very difficult to escape from the victim mentality. It leaves you shaky, tight-chested and constantly thinking the worst case scenarios. It’s hard to sleep when you don’t feel you’re secure. It’s hard to leave the house, when every time you come back, you’re sick to your stomach at the possibilities.

I worry about leaving the cats at home. I lug my laptop to work with me everyday. And my passport. And anything else I’m worried about getting stolen. My back is not happy about this.

So now…now I’m starting to feel less insecure. I’m feeling a little more relieved everytime we come home and everything’s fine. I’m still jittery, and I’m still a little suspicious of anyone walking down our alley. But I imagine this will also dissipate with time.

The side effect of all this paranoia and fear is that it totally derailed all the momentum Brian and I had going before the holidays. We had a fire stoked to get our art and writing done. We had plans, we had deadlines….all went up in a puff of anxiety. So now we’re regrouping. Scraping up the scattered shards of our confidence and trying to reassemble them. Gonna take time.

The one thing this incident has NOT quelled, but in fact has strengthened, is our desire to move and leave behind this area for good.

It’s funny how talking about taking big steps in one’s life and the desire to make changes in one’s life are easy to come by. Especially when time appears to be available. It sometimes takes an extreme event to throw cold water on your head and wake you up to the fact that time is, in fact, not unlimited. And sometimes the comfort zone, even if it isn’t palatable, can sometimes make it difficult to change your situation. The devil you know, etc etc.

So. Life goes on. And either you let the horrible event shape you, or you grit your teeth and keep moving forward. Life moves forward regardless.

I promise the next blog will be filled with witty comments, helpful insight and more news on developments for me & the husbeast. Or at least some fun pics & a random snark.





So, 2012? You gonna play nice, or do I gotta put my Docs on?

1 01 2012

Weather: WINDY OMG SO WINDY! Temps in the low 30s, nary a snowflake in sight.

So the New Year is here, and as per tradition, we’re supposed to make our Resolutions for the year. Meh.

I made the decision this year to eschew that tradition, and instead make plans. Plans have a bit more concrete around the ankles and tend to require a little more commitment. Okay so maybe I’m just being prickly about things, but resolutions seem to have failed me for many years and plans seem to work out, so there you go.

So my plans for 2012 are thus:

  1. Finishing Book#1 & getting it published. : Deadline: End of February
  2. Write Book#2 & outline Book#3 : Deadline: August
  3. Get in shape. Like a healthy weight, better blood pressure, etc. And get my flexibility back.
    GOAL: 50 lbs by New Year’s 2013 ;
    ALSO: All doctor appointments made by end of February
  4.  Mosaics: First series of tiles done by end of February.
    Second Series done by end of March
  5. Moving. Bri and I agreed to move before end of summer this year. It’s in concrete now. Seattle here we come.
  6.  Simplifying: Started last night. Purging anything that isn’t necessary. Paring back spending to necessities & business related expenses.  Bills paid off. Savings built up.
  7. Here’s the vague one. I may be changing my employment situation in the near future. This decision will be made in March. Based on several variables that will be monitored over the next couple months.
  8. Online presence:  New website, new FB and more consistent with my online posting. More focused, better content.
  9. Time Management: More work on art & writing. Less time suckage by TV, interwebs and general woolgathering. Create better scheduling of my time. I work better with a calendar & deadlines. Nebulous plans don’t get results. Concrete plans do.
  10. In general, going to adopt a better attitude towards all things. Being negative and cynical has resulted in precisely zero accomplishment. Yes, the world as a whole is kind of a mess right now. Being depressed and angry about it doesn’t change it. So, I’m going to support causes that are trying to DO something. I’m going to vote for candidates that are trying to DO something and I’m going to do my best to promote things that will offer solutions & make at least an effort to be positive. Kicking the Drama Llama to the curb, so to speak. No more whining, more action.

So there they are, my plans for the year.

I’m going to be turning 45 in a little over a week. That realization has sort of crystallized a few things in my mind. That my time to make significant changes in my life is getting shorter. That reshaping my body and getting healthy are going to take more time and more diligence than I initially thought.  That a lot of things I thought were necessary for my comfort and happiness are no longer that important.  I’m finding a weird zen peace in having less things and more space. More time for art and less full schedules. I like being busy, I enjoy hard work. I’d just rather be exerting effort on things I find worthwhile. I’ve worked in jobs for years now where I spend 8 hours a day being insanely busy…producing NOTHING. Literally I have nothing to show for the effort or stress or time invested. I may never make the money I do now doing what I want to do, but at least I’ll have concrete results to show for my efforts.

On last thing I’m going to quit this year is punishing myself for mistakes or not meeting a goal. As we all know, the best laid plans can get derailed by life events out of your control. The important thing to do is not dwell on the failure, but course correct and get back on track as quick as you can. Bumps in the road should be expected, even if we can’t anticipate them. Also, stop waiting to do things until X event happens. I lose so much time putting things on hold until after some future event. Time is a very finite quantity. Every minute you waste waiting for other things to happen, you lose. Forever. You don’t get that time back later. So, work on things even if you don’t have time to finish them right now. Chisel away at projects in increments. Cherish the times you have big blocks of time to work, but don’t waste the smaller increments inbetween.

Ultimately, this year will be better, because I won’t allow it to be anything else. It’s gonna require some serious focus, effort and meticulous decisions to be made, but I’m willing to put in the time. Here’s to a 2012 that will be exciting, productive and ultimately, satisfying. 🙂