New Year, New Perspective, New Challenges. Hi 2017! How Ya Doing?

1 01 2017

Weather: High: 38° This may be the first New Year in a while that has been unremittingly Sunny! I hope it bodes well for the year. It’s at least a good start!

So yesterday I posted my year end post, which as per expectation was about looking back. This is my new year post. It’ll mostly be about looking forward. 

As a lot of people have been already proffering up their goals and expectations, I see both some foreboding and some hope in generous proportions.  For myself, I am weighing in heavily on the side of hope. As I saw someone else say last year, Hope and Naivete are similar but not the same. Hope requires effort while Naivete is more based on expectation and assumption. So I’m placing my energies on hope for the short term, although I realize that in order for things to pan out in the positive, there will have to be some work to get there.

For my goals, a lot remain the same as last year: more art, more writing, better health. In general, be a better person. I am already working on the health aspect. (Took a  near 4 mile walk today. Yes in winter, in Michigan. It was cold, but sunny. No excuses.)  Art will start tomorrow, as I’m heading back into the studio. Have a lot of projects on deck and I’m being militant about not sliding into bad habits that include making excuses or being easily distracted. Time is a commodity I am not taking lightly anymore. I’m turning 50 in less than 2 weeks. Seeing people of my age bracket dropping dead of health issues in the past year has put a very sobering sword of Damocles over my head. Either commit to self care and make the effort to get things done, or accept the consequences, short and long term. I’m not willing to throw in the towel because it’s difficult. I rather like a challenge, though I will bitch about it in the beginning.

It’s also going to be a financial rebuilding year for us. We invested a lot of funds in house overhaul last year and this year we need to get ourselves a little more above water than just floating on the surface. (Sorry, living lakeside seems to make a lot of metaphors water related. :shrugs:) Some luxuries are going to be curtailed and some trips & expenditures we were contemplating may be back-burnered for the year. But, that’s the adult part of the equation. Sometimes you can play a little looser with the pocketbook , but there comes the time to pay the piper and you can’t put that off forever.

There’s a lot of uncertainty overall going into this year, what with political shenanigans and the usual global instability. But I think that part of my duty, as a good citizen of this country, is to be vigilant that rights are not eroded and that, as a nation, we don’t start moving backwards. I get that things like economics and foreign policy will always be on the pendulum, swinging back and forth, but I don’t agree that having all citizens of this country being treated with dignity and equality is something we should backtrack on. Moving backwards is despicable and only makes us look the villain, and rightly so, in the eyes of the rest of the civilized world. We’ve kind of fallen backwards in a lot of areas, and that is a little depressing. We’re better than that. We just need to realize it and work on it.

One of the things I think is going to be a big change for me this year is scaling back on social media. I’ve made this claim several years in a row, because I know it’s an ongoing distraction. Weirdly enough, I think it’s going to stick this time, only because last year was so unbelievably ugly that I was actually staying offline to avoid the fracas. Even people I agreed with were getting on my nerves. Social media is mostly my way of staying in touch with long distance relatives, friends and the swath of artists that I consider part of my community. Somewhere along the line, it turned into a loudspeaker of political and opinionated blather, until it was a nonstop stream of only that. I started getting bored, then increasingly annoyed with it. Now, I’m trying to decide if there’s a better way to reduce the signal to noise ratio or if I should just take an extended sabbatical. That remains to be seen.

Studio time is going to become a priority for me, because I’m totally buying into the art as rebellion idea. If the world is going to continue to be ugly, then I will combat it with the tools I have. I’m joining the #MakeArtNotWar Challenge this year. It’s a way to carve out time for my creative pursuits and keep me accountable. Also, I hope it will prompt me to blog more often, read more, write more and just in general generate more new creative output. Some of my fave people to interact with are musicians, writers and artists. Some of them wear all three hats (:cough: Ego Likeness : cough:). But regardless of their chosen medium, these people are always working, day or night, in the mood or not. That’s the work ethic I’m hoping to foster by doing this challenge. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo several years now and I always rise to the challenge there. Now I just need to stretch that commitment out for a year. The nice thing is I can fold my health challenge into this one, because self-care is part of the package.  😀

So in general I have some pretty lofty goals and challenges on the ledger. But I’m already in process on most of them, so they’re not unachievable. The challenge is not letting my commitment lag.

Hopefully, people will be along for the ride, but the truth is I’m doing this even if they’re not. Hitting the half century mark carries some deep implications for me. I desperately need to ingrain some good habits now. Here’s hoping I can make the grooves deep enough to stick.

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Mood: Upbeat, but tired
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 2 cups of java. Probably some tea later. 
Work-Out Minutes Logged today: 1 hour & 20 Minutes (walked 3.5 miles)
Listening To:
Twenty One Pilots, Ego Likeness & the Hamilton Soundtrack on Spotify
Book Last Read: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: CBS Sunday Morning & Sherlock (Soon!!!)
Latest Artistic Project: Writing:  Editing  Serpents Trilogy
Mosaics:  Holiday ornaments & working on  Nordic  Mandala

 

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Update from the Fringes.

27 03 2012

Weather: Don’t get me started. How schizophrenic has it been? 10 days of 80 degree temps in MARCH? And now we’re back down to the 40-50 degree level. Climate change is a myth, huh Sparky? ::slaps idiots::

So– heading into my third week of full time pen monkey/mosaic artist immersion and I’m STILL trying to work out a doable daily schedule.

I find that I’m most productive in the morning…which came as a complete shock to this inveterate night owl. Of course, I’d still be a night owl if I wasn’t having to get up at 5 OMG O’Clock to get the husbeast off to work. ::Tries to figure out how to win lottery so husbeast can go full time artist as well::

Nonetheless, I’ve managed to find a somewhat reasonable balance of Writing:Art:Domestic Responsibilities. Granted, I wish I was spending more time on the first two, but it’s getting sorted on a day to day basis. The hardest thing? Limiting my distractions. I wish I could say that I was better at resisting the urge to marathon one of my DVD sets (Too easy to call it “research” — WHO AM I KIDDING?) or get swept up in the all too easy sway of “refresh–read-refresh”, because that bloody need to NOT MISS ANYTHING is just a shimmy to the left of crack addiction. Less expensive but just as wasteful.

So, Learning Curve for functioning outside the routine of a 9-5 Day Job is taking longer than I hoped. BUT! I will succeed.

I’m currently finishing off the last rewrites on my first novel. I have a short story awaiting publication. And on the mosaic front, I’m doing my first commission piece, a mixed media piece that combines stained glass & tiles. It’s coming along better than I hoped. We’ll see if the finished product lives up to my ridiculous standards. (Nothing has yet, just so you know!)

On the “Hey, here’s a link you should be reading” front, I’ve become particularly fond of Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds blog. He posts some very helpful lists for writers, most often with some hilariously rude metaphors & descriptions. It’s a no bullshit zone for advice. Also, his books are amazing. Seriously–go check him out.

Kickstarter is eating up what funds I can provide lately. I can’t help it. In this new atmosphere of crowd funding, there is some fantastic art , books & music being created and if you get on board, the incentives have been amazing!  I’m hoping in the future to find a way to use kickstarter to fund some bigger projects I’ve been thinking about, but I need to consider the incentives to offer. Plenty of time for that.

On top of all the projects & day to day things I have going, there’s that little “Sell our house & move to Seattle” thing that is staring at me like a panther about to pounce. SO MUCH TO DO! What in all the gods names was I thinking to do this many life changing things at once? Oy.

Well, enough blathering. I have a ton to do on my checklist for today. Time to start chiseling that bitch down to size.

Mantra for today: Butt in chair, focus on the work, finish your goal for the day.

Remember to check out Einini Glassworks. There will be more items posted soon. Including some of my mosaic work!





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.