Time moves on, whether you’re ready or not!

26 05 2020

Weather: Been an arc of warm weather lately. Mid to upper 80s, with varying amounts of humidity. Not ready for it to be summer yet, so hoping for a curve back to normal-ish temps. 

There have been a number of changes fluttering through Castle Ellis this week. Some expected, some not so much. 

Still grinding through the weeks of chemo for my mum. I don’t envy a second of what she’s having to endure, but the alternative is much much worse. She’ll be having her last dose of the aggressive chemo next week, then she’s onto the maintenance level stuff, which purportedly will be much milder on her system. I hope so. She’s miserable and in pain. Hate seeing her like this, and I’m doing what I can to be positive and supportive for her. We’ve had  number of really good conversations, some deep, some silly, but all really helpful to both of us. Love her so much. 💞 Keeping our eyes on the end of August when this all is done and then we move on to the healing. Fingers crossed and candles lit.

On the home front here at Castle Ellis, the husbeast is back actively working from home after a second week of furlough. So we are back to our “work schedule,” which I have zero problem with. The fact the calendar shows we’re just about to stumble into June tells me half the year has been stuck in sludge trying to “make the best of a bad situation”. Kinda tired of that. I’ve made previous proclamations with great intent to get things going again, and to be bluntly honest, I haven’t really made good on.

This week a few things changed on that front. I ordered myself a rug for my craft room/office, which may not seem like much, but it forced me to get the room decluttered and reorganized to get the rug laid down. I also ordered a pair of proper dance slippers from Bloch (a dance shoe resource of some good repute). They arrived today and I slipped them on (and they FIT! WOO!). I teared up for a brief moment because now I had no excuse.

I have been aching to get back to doing barre work and ballet proper, and in my current shape that is not going to happen right away. SO…I’m starting with barre stretches and Pilates to get my flexibility back and some stamina. I danced for a good 16 years (from 6-22 years old) until my damn ankles and knees gave up the ghost. I miss it.  Like an ache in my bones. So. I’m in no way trying to get back up En Pointe, but I can at least try to get in shape and get back to moving. Get my flexibility and some grace back. Slow the toll that arthritis and being overweight is taking on me. But I have to start NOW. Not when it’s convenient. Not when “things get back to normal.”

Our little glass and crafts business is starting to finally get off the ground again and I’m finding that I’m enjoying working on projects again and even love working on the website (Einini Craftworks if you didn’t know). It feels like spring awakening, albeit with less actual running around outside because….well Covid 19.  We’re lucky to have a side-gig that doesn’t really require much in the way of in-person contact.

We’ve been baking and cooking a lot (Please refer to my need to move because….oy.) So weirdly, in the middle of all this stress and worry, between the virus crap, my mum’s cancer and other minor financial bumps in the road, Bri and I are finding that thin silver lining to hold onto and it’s kinda pulling us through with it. My anxiety hasn’t really been too bad, which is crazy considering the circumstances. I just seem to be able to distract myself enough to not obsess over things. 🤷‍♀️

Ultimately what kinda dawned on me today was that no matter what stupidity is happening around me, (and oh, boy the stupidity!) and no matter what minor inconveniences or changes in plans happen, life is gonna continue to shamble forward regardless. There’s no real pause button or reverse. You just have to adjust and keep going with the flow. For the past week or so, that’s what I’ve done and I’ve been pretty content. Doesn’t mean small disappointments or bits of annoyance don’t happen. It’s just I’ve stopped letting myself jump into my cranky pants and join the pity party. Time is a commodity I can’t waste any longer. I can’t get it back and I need to make better choices with how I spend that particular coin.

Life is too goddamn short to spend it on things that don’t make me happy.






Pandemic reboot in progress (Only took 5 weeks! 🙄)

20 04 2020

Weather: After 2 days of bloody SNOOOOOWWWWW!!!! 🤬🤬🤬, we finally got back up into the 50s and it’s a beauty of a sunny day out. 

So we’re still working our way through the raw and tender emotions of losing our feline friend to cancer, but the husbeast and I are trying our best to feel the feels, but not get drowned by them. Not an easy balancing act. We’re spoiling the hell out of Lady Fern, our remaining cat. She’s not quite sure what’s going on but she seems to find it all equally enjoyable and unseemly. (She is the Dowager Duchess of Castle Ellis)

As for the day to day, I’ve been suddenly showered with an excess of self- focused annoyance that I’ve been wasting a lot of time with my nose in my phone with only smatterings of small projects getting accomplished. Mind you, I’m not beating myself up for not having mastered quantum physics, or writing a novel or crocheting an entire wardrobe. (I STILL HAVE TIME!!!) But there is a notable sluggishness that has started to take over on both the physical and mental front that is of concern.

I’m starting a new regimen of physical activity now that the snow has finally buggered off and I have cleared space in my Craft Room to do some yoga and pilates. There’s plenty of space on our deck & back yard to do any exercises that require jumping or kicking. No more excuses. I’m sure the neighbors will get some humor out of watching me bounce around while swearing. (Being out of shape at 53 is not for the faint hearted!)

I have created a spreadsheet (because OF COURSE I DID!) to track projects that I’m working on and will keep them going though the end of the year.

It took a few weeks to realize what’s been blocking me for a while has been a whole bagload of uncertainty. With Snoots, with my mom, with other unfolding events that are too lengthy to go into- I’ve let waiting for the other shoe to drop to stop me cold in my tracks. So, I’m just letting out a breath and gonna start doing things. Pause things when there are other things that take priority, then go right back to them. I have am unreasonably deep need to dwell on things, instead of just taking care of business and moving on. Yes, when things have an emotional impact, you take the time with them (See Snoots). But life moves on regardless of what your dealing with. The stupid virus hasn’t really stopped the world from spinning or time from moving forward. It’s definitely thrown a number of spanners into the machinery, granted, but we can either stare at the chaos, or sigh and fix it to be more resilient and better functioning this go around.

On that note, I’m becoming very impatient with people who have the means to do things and are settling for complaining or making the situation worse. (I understand that there are plenty of people without those means — money, health or circumstances– but they are doing their best to keep going. I’m talking about people who do not lack those means. Innovation is SORELY lacking these days.)

Waiting for the politicians to sort their shit is a fool’s errand. Do what you can, no matter how small, to help those in your community. Be safe, and be smart. But it’s time for us to stop wasting time waiting for others to do their job. Enough. (I’m just salty because I want to do more, but I’m limited by some of those means.)

Anyway. I did some small things to improve my odds of moving and reduce my tendency to fall into the distraction rabbit hole. I deleted a game on my phone that had been sucking up a lot of my time. (It’s puzzle based and that’s like bloody crack-flavored catnip for my stupid brain). My phone has one of those “wellness” trackers that shows how much time you spend on individual apps. That was a bit of a kick in the teeth. 🙄😣 So, phone is getting set aside far more often and I’m doing my best to utilize the web for more self-improvement and writing.

Here’s to scraping off the ennui and getting my prodigious ass back in gear. No more flimsy whiny excuses. Time to start checking off the ticky boxes!


Endings and beginnings

4 09 2018

Weather: Summer has been weird. September is no different. In the upper 80s today, and sticky. Hope we get a fall this year, and not a trip-over-autumn-and-squarely-in-Winter again. 

So. A lot has happened since my last blog post. A lot has happened in the past week. And that’s just talking about my personal life 

As you can probably tell from the title, change has been the rule rather than the exception.

The endings part has been bitter sweet.  We lost 2 major big names recently- Sen. John McCain and Aretha Franklin (RIP Queen!). And I lost two people close to me- My uncle Dan and my husband’s Aunt Kathleen. Both had been ill a while, but the end, when it comes is never welcome, though there is a small tinge of relief that they are no longer in pain. That relief comes wrapped in guilt, because you exhale and cry in the same breath.

Another ending, which is not so much a death, but an farewell nonetheless, is I left my job. I had given 3 weeks notice so there wouldn’t be too much of a gap in coverage. But it was time. Over the past year, after being diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder, I was suddenly hit a series of related health issues, ending my summer with a nice hearty case of Gastritis. (Thankfully caught before it turned into a full blown ulcer.) I’ve lost a bunch of weight due to being on an insanely restricted diet, so silver lining I suppose.

Stress is an unrelenting bitch of a thing to deal with.

After a very brief, ugly, UNSUCCESSFUL flirtation with anxiety meds, I, (and my doctor,) made an executive decision to stick with a therapy focused process. Therapy has been  amazingly helpful for me, mostly in that I’ve managed to unburden some long forgotten baggage. I have new coping methods and the anxiety, while never gone, is less frequent.

In addition, I really had to face the fact that I was going to have to quickly and definitively remove the main sources of stress from my life. My job, while surrounding me with good and supportive people, was not mentally or emotionally healthy for me. The job itself had morphed from something I enjoyed and could handle, to something much more complicated that required a level of commitment and energy I couldn’t honestly give it. This was not fair to me or to my coworkers, so I discussed with the husbeast and my managers, and it was pretty much unanimous what was the best course of action.

This particular ending was much more in my control, albeit still a difficult decision. There were financial and insurance related things to consider, so we crunched numbers and realized that it was workable, given some changes and some reasonable efforts to be made on my part.

So, back to the art, writing and photography mines for me. I’m taking this a lot more seriously than I did before. There’s more at stake this time. Weirdly, I’m not stressed out by it. I’m taking the tact of flipping a negative (lack of income) into a challenge (make more stuff, sell more stuff, HUSTLE!).

I work better with a challenge I can tackle than getting stuck brooding over the negatives of a situation. Yes it’s a concern, but it’s a workable concern. My actual goal is to generate income without having to hold down another job. The income won’t be as stable as a job would be, but we can accommodate and set the surplus aside for a rainy day. I have three main areas I can produce creative output- Mosaics, photography and writing. There are a number of subsets under those three areas, so opportunity abounds. I also know there are numerous outlets I can approach to sell these various creative outputs. But, as time and experience tells you, you can’t sell what you haven’t made.

The next three weeks are going to be work intensive. A lot of editing, a lot of planning, a lot of jumping in the car with my camera and taking some time to explore. Taking assessments of resources. Reaching out to vendors and doing the promo work.

I’m excited. And motivated. And for now that is all I need to get started.

Beginnings can be glorious, and sometimes made better by having a clean slate to start with in the first place. Changes are on the near horizon and I am eager to embrace them.


We pause in our house related chaos to maken zee update. A very very random update.

17 04 2015

Weather: Spring has sprung! We’ve finally stabilized out in the upper 50s, low 60s with spatterings of flirting with 70s. Love it! 

So the past couple of weeks have been almost entirely consumed with getting unpacked and decorating and purging stuff and breaking down boxes…..BREATHES. And going to the studio when I can.

But I’m happy. So very very happy!

The house is perfect for us. We are just finishing up the lingering unpacking, but we’re about 85% done.  It’s been amusing to keep finding things we “bought for the new house” that we’d forgotten about. Made parting with other things so much easier!

Getting back to the studio has been both a relief and a daunting prospect. I really get a therapeutic surge being there. Being able to focus on making things is calming and assuages my self-deprecation. It’s a bit daunting though when I realize how close we’re getting to tourist season and I’m so far behind on making things. I work on two levels: the art side and the craft side. The art side is usually bigger pieces, mostly abstract, meant for galleries or individual purchase. The craft side is smaller pieces, made in multiples and sold with the intent to keep producing more, similar pieces with some consistency. Getting back in the rhythm of producing both kinds of work at the same time is jarring after the past few months of inactivity. The good news is I have two pieces larger artwork on deck after I finish my current piece. I also have two other pieces that just need finishing touches before I can offer them up for sale.

I’m full of ideas, just need to line them up and get them done.

Looking forward to summer on the lake. Husbeast and I went to Lion’s Park Beach last night for the first real beach therapy of the season. Still a bit chilly to do more than stand at the water’s edge and shiver, but SOOOOOON. 😀

Switching gears here: I’m going to actively be avoiding politics and the usual hand wringing over-analysis that’s going to start happening now that “candidates” are starting to announce their runs. Let’s be honest– There’s not a single person who the media props up as a potential candidate that is worth our time. As voters, we are never going to get the candidates we hope for, because honestly? Most of them have been in politics too long. Any newcomer will probably get buried under expensive ads from the other candidates who have carefully garnished their chests in the past few cycles. It’s always gonna come down to the lesser evil. Obama was an exception because he was a historic candidate, a first in many ways. But there’s no Obama this go around (by which I mean an unexpected candidate with charisma and oratorical panache.)  Politics is no longer an admirable path for anyone and the kind of people we need to run to fix things, with fresh ideas and strong will, won’t run, because they don’t want to put themselves through the meat grinder of the press and negative ads. They don’t want to put their families through that. I’m tired of the lack of good choices. (Full disclosure: I tend to lean liberal, because most of the things I believe in fall under their umbrella. Show me a  conservative who is pro-marriage equality, pro-environment, pro-choice and pro-income equality and I’d probably consider voting for them. It’s not brand loyalty, but issue loyalty.)  Anyway, that’s about as much time and words as I wish to waste on Politics. Done.

In general, I think I may be scaling back on  social media. I find my timeline on FB to be awash with cynicism and bitterness. Twitter is basically just a news stream for me these days. I need to be out DOING things in order to have anything remotely interesting to share or post. Otherwise I’m just regurgitating other people’s info, words, and ideas. Nothing wrong with sharing other’s ideas if they’re good ones, but I’d like to share my own as well. I want to get out and take photos with my camera (not just my phone). I want to immerse myself in my art and writing again. There’s a lot of world out there that is getting missed while I sit in my living room on my laptop going “tippity tap” on the keyboard. In winter, there was less motivation to get outside, but now that the sun is shining and the temps are going up? I want to be OUT THERE. Nice thing is, social media will be there when I come home.

There is some truth about social media being based in narcissism. It is all about  sharing me, posting about me, my feelings, my opinions. Blogging really is just the long form of that. It’s not a bad thing in small doses, but it can lead to “missing out” syndrome. I’ve finally managed to rein in my need to comment on all the things. It’s funny how there are people who treat comments like validation. If you post and no one comments, are you in some way lacking? It’s a silly premise. If you’re basing your worth on whether other people happen to be online and read your post and have something of value to add to the conversation? You’re gonna be sadly disappointed a lot of the time.  I fling my posts out there like messages in bottles. It’s nice for a response, but for me they’re just a small flag in the sand about where I was and what was happening at the time. I plant it and walk away. I try not to comment unless I can add to the conversation. Birthday greetings I try to keep up with. It’s a small gesture, granted, but I like doing it. Maybe my age is starting to show.
I’m less interested in over analyzing  things, and just enjoy them. Maybe I just don’t have anything to prove. I know I’m not the most knowledgeable of nerds, but I’m okay with that. I don’t like all things in fandom, so I don’t watch, or listen, or read the things that don’t hold my interest. I also don’t waste energy commenting on things I don’t like or indulge in. Why would you? People who like a thing don’t need to hear my 20 cents on why I don’t like it. It’s not going to change their opinion, and will probably only serve to make them defensive, or angry. Friendships get broken over stupid things like that.
I don’t pretend to have a firm grip on all issues or legislation in the political arena, but I have opinions, which I can modify if new info arrives. Maybe this is what going with the flow is all about. Life is getting more complicated by the day, over full of information and demands for my attention. I think the answer, for me, is to just not indulge in the over saturation. I may not know everything, but I can stay focused on the things I am interested in, that I can change, that I can help. I’m not awash in money, so I help the people and causes I can, and try to spread the word about the ones I can’t. Stress is skyrocketing in this country, and our attention is so paper thin anymore that our outrage wears off before any situation is resolved. So, I’m going to slow down. Think before I post. Breathe before I jump to conclusions. Research before I assume. I may not be the first one to the megaphone, but at least I’ll have a calm and reasoned response, possibly with a little more info.

My 2 favorite quotes from the past year have been “You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited” and ” Not my circus, not my monkeys”. Both speak to online interaction very pointedly. If I responded to every single outrage post I saw online, it’d be ALL I DID, ALL DAY. Yes, the world is awful. Yes, bad things happen, including bad legislation, bad behavior and irredeemable acts by morally bankrupt people. Reading about it all day would make you either want to punch someone or feel so helpless you could curl into a ball and never come out. Guess what? You can only do what you can to make the world a better place. But it’s not all on you. Sometimes you need to just turn off the stream of awful. It doesn’t mean you don’t care. It doesn’t mean you’re heartless or apathetic. It’ll keep you sane.

Sorry that this post is a bit of a grab bag of things. Lots of thinky thoughts stored up over time needed some air. 🙂

So, in sum up– I’m going to go do the IRL thing and only come online sporadically. I do have people I care about far away so  I want to keep that connection. But I need to cut the cord a bit more frequently. Hopefully when I come back to my keyboard, I’ll have better stories, less navel gazing. Also. PHOTOS OF CATS!! (Because it is an internet law, isn’t it?)

Be kind to yourselves, my friends. You might be missing out on things online, but you won’t be missing out on life out there. Find your balance. Be happy.

Life Reboot, number….I’ve lost count now.

10 03 2015

Weather: Michigan Winter on the Wane. After weeks of sub-zero wind chills and cold air temps and snow snow snow….We’re finally stabilizing back up into the low 40s & 50s.

So I haven’t post anything since my post- brain trauma write up. Time to catch up with all the craziness.

I am pretty much fully recovered. Had a third angiogram and a 4th CT Scan. Which basically told me that 1) all the blood has cleared out of my skull, and 2) I still have no answer as to what caused my brain bleed. The doctors all told me there is close to zero chance of this happening again, which is weird, considering they don’t know what caused it. C’est la vie.

I’m off almost all of my meds, which I am infinitely thankful for, because the getting up in the middle of the night to take horsepills was getting a little tiresome.

There have been bumps in the road. I had an allergic reaction to the dye from the angiogram which resulted in a week of severe skin irritation and a lot of Benadryl being taken to stave it off.  Once that finally vanished, I succumbed to that week’s version of plague. (Luckily the head cold version, which sucked nonetheless) Still have lingering nasal yuck, but hoping for it to be all gone soon.

The down side of perpetual sickness, even if it changes up the version, is that everything in your life kinda gets put on hold. Have only been to the studio twice since getting home from the hospital. I’ve missed several weeks of TaiChi. My weight is getting ridiculous again, but that happens when you’re stuck on a couch feeling miserable.

Then there’s the non-illness related bumps in the road. My dad’s only brother, who was my favorite uncle, passed away this week. He’d been ill with heart problems related to previous health issues. Still, it hurt to see him go. It was kind of like losing another connection to my dad. We’re going to the wake this weekend.

Now there has been some GOOD news, albeit stress inducing, but in a GOOD way. We purchased a house! Here in St. Joseph and in our price range and in town proper. Never thought we’d get all three. Closer to the studio. Closer to town. Putting down some roots finally. Brian hated living in the apartment, but made do. We lucked into a four square style, 2-story house with almost all the features we wanted, including fairly brand new appliances. (Which is a god send, because we’re gonna be tight as ticks until I can get some work/artwork sold.) Will be so happy to get all our stuff out of storage and start paring down the non-essentials.

All in all, things have been slowed down, and both Bri and I feel like we’re rebooting. We will be putting a lot of energy into getting the house organized, getting back into the studio to make up the time we’ve lost over the past few months, and getting ourselves back in shape. It’s time. We’re in a very good place now, and I don’t want the opportunity to slip from our fingers. Having had a pretty serious scare on the health front has, without being totally cliche, put things in perspective.

The long cold winter is finally over.

Hoping for a productive, creative and new start this spring.

More regular blogging will happen once we get settled in.

I’m happy.  I’m alive and with the person I love, and we’re about to embark on a whole new adventure.

I really really can’t wait. 😀


So THIS is what happy feels like….

3 06 2014

Weather: low 70s. Sunny. Lake is calm.


So I was doing my usual surfing around zee net and was reading some of Wil Wheaton’s blog when I came across this entry,
Being a Grown-up” and found myself smiling a lot. Now I have nowhere near Wil’s readership, fame or general charm, but I really commiserated with the ideas there.

We’ve settled into our apartment in Michigan fairly easily.  I’m still looking for a job, but it’s not breaking my back. Husbeast’s job is covering us fine for now. House back in Indiana….News on that soon. Good news. We bought a second car for me, so I’m not clawing the walls with cabin fever (it’s a bright orange 2007 Chevy, enough to get me around locally, and to work, once we get to that point.)

I was just puttering around the other day– done some laundry, surfed the web, cleaned the apartment– and I was listening to a song as I waded around the usual websites. The song is immaterial but a line caught my ear and suddenly I was crying. Not from sadness. I didn’t recognize the emotion at first. Realized I was happy. Really and truly happy.

I think people forget that Happy doesn’t mean everything is alright, perfect, and settled. This was the Happy that comes with realizing that a long slog through an untenable situation is finally ending. That, although there are still challenges and possible obstacles ahead, they’re not the same, soul crushing things I’ve been dealing with the previous 10 years and they are going to be off my plate. FINALLY.

I looked out the window at Lake Michigan. Some storm clouds had rolled in and the lake was a little turbulent. It felt cleansing, rather than ominous.

I felt content. I know it’s not going to last forever, but I’d forgotten what that felt like. Like a song that you haven’t heard in years, and suddenly it comes on the radio, and you suddenly remember the lyrics and a smile pulls your lips up.

It came back this morning when I wrote a lengthy post on Facebook about trying to step away from polarization in thinking, about trying to start working with people instead of always being in opposition to things. After writing it, I realized that’s where I’m happiest. When I can step back from the snarling warfare that has become every discussion/debate online, and really look at both sides. And see that everything in this world is not either/or. That there are always more options than just A vs B. That this world is so much more complicated than a soundbite, or 140 character vent or Facebook post. (Including mine). And I’m okay with not knowing what the right answer is. That I can see that parts of arguments FOR and AGAINST something might have equal value. I’m wary of anyone saying they have all the answers or, more off-putting, the ONLY answer.

In deference to Wil’s post that I linked to up there, I felt something click into place reading it. I’ve felt like a fraud of an adult for a long time. Not because I’m irresponsible, or that I act immature, but that I don’t feel like I have all my shit together. I’m 47. Shouldn’t I have a better grasp on….well, everything? After reading Wil’s post, I finally was able to shed that last bit of insecurity. I think the reason I feel content for the first time in a while is that I’ve come to terms with MY definition of being an adult. And I’m completely secure with it.

For me, being an adult means taking care of your obligations, taking care of those in your care, and understanding, with acceptance, that some things in your life are meant to happen, and some are not. That you can do ANYTHING you want (within legal boundaries of course), but there may not be time to do EVERYTHING. Letting some lesser dreams go to focus more energy on the ones you REALLY want to pursue. There’s peace in not letting other people’s negativity infiltrate your soul. You can empathize without absorbing. You can sympathize without making it about you. You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to. And it’s okay not to weigh in on everything that crosses your path online. Having passionate ideas is good for your brain. Do what you can to help others, do what you can to lift up others in need, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. But the key factor is, keep YOURSELF out of the equation. By this I mean, do things without need for recompense, praise or reciprocation. Do things because they’re the right thing to do.

A few things I’ve learned recently, and I try to practice are:

1: Accept apologies without suspicion or judgment. Even if you doubt the person’s sincerity, let it go.

2: Question any possible inflammatory statements before posting or saying them. Will the outcome be helpful or merely inciting others to fight?

3: Know when to walk away from a discussion that has lost its purpose, become needlessly mired in personal insults or has reached a stalemate. (Also know when to walk away from people who are constantly engaging in these kinds of arguments)

4: You owe nobody an explanation when you say NO to a demand for your time or services that you deem excessive or unfair.

5: Be nice. To everyone. Be polite. To everyone. Be compassionate. TO EVERYONE.  However, this does not mean you have to agree with them, support their actions or let them walk all over you.

6: Creativity starts when you stop worrying about what others think or what the market wants. Make what you want to make. Stop taking the advice about creativity from people who don’t create.

7: If the internet becomes overwhelming, or you find you’re getting angry at people you don’t know, or if you find yourself getting bored scrolling, turn off the computer and go do something else. In fact, start doing it more even if you aren’t any of the above.

8: Lastly, you are under no obligations to talk about or reveal anything about yourself, ever. It has to be a choice. Anyone who tells you otherwise has an agenda.

These are the things I’ve learned and am trying to apply daily. And in practicing what I preach, you, gentle reader, are fully entitled to ignore, object to or embrace these things. Do what’s best for you.

I guess this whole happiness things does pivot on choices in the end. You can choose to be happy– remove the things from your life that are unnecessary or causing undue stress or fostering unhealthy attitudes– or you can choose not to be. There’s no penalty or judgment in either direction.

I suggest, humbly, that we all try to find our own guidebook to being an adult and stop beating ourselves up for not meeting some arbitrary criteria. Be the best adult you can be. Don’t condemn others for not adult-ing the way you do.

But let’s all try to grow up a little. It’s not hard. It’s not scary. And you’ll shed a lot of baggage in the long run.

Heidi 2.0

4 03 2012

So…Friday I took a big step into a new life.

I quit my day job.

I’ll be working full time on writing & mosaic art.

This is part of a bigger plan. Because, yes: There IS a plan.

Brian and I sat down and worked out the numbers. (He’s still working). I’m lucky enough to have a partner who not only is willing to support me financially, but also support my path and my passions.

I’ve already set up a schedule for myself through the week, which I imagine will morph organically as I find my rhythm of work. I hope to do my writing in the morning, with a minimum wordcount for each day, and relegate my afternoons to working on mosaic art. Weekends will be for getting projects photographed and up on Etsy, and for marketing/designing new things.

This first week will be bumpy as I get used to my new routine and getting my discipline in place.

It’s a big step for me. For the first time in my life, any income or lack there of is solely on my shoulders. If I don’t get the work done, there’ll be no product to market & sell. I have eliminated the biggest excuse for not working on writing or art, not that it should have been an excuse in the first place.

Added on top of all this new self-discipline and work routine, both the husbeast & I will be both tightening our belts, finance-wise, and also doubling down on our efforts to get the house sold & our sorry butts out to Seattle.

On paper, this all looks so efficient. Alas, this is not doing spreadsheets and fixing equipment.Writing and art are a bit more nebulous and although discipline helps you to put your nose to the grindstone, the tools and raw materials we’re working with are not exactly measurable or readily available. But therein lies the rub. It’s a risk, to do this creative act. Doubly so to risk your livelihood on it’s back. Payment is at the whims of your audience, not just the hours put in.

So, I’ve taken the leap. I’m hoping for a soft landing. I know it’s gonna be a bumpy ride….

And I cannot wait to get started.

Ahh….2011. Clean fresh slate!

4 01 2011

Weather: After a freak anomoly of upper 50s on New Year’s Eve,  we’ve settled back into ZOMG COLD as the gods intended.
High: 36º & partly sunny with possible flurries later.

So, it’s been an elephant’s age since I posted and a lot of mental shakeup has happened.

When last we saw Ms. Heidi, she was lamenting the writer’s block on book #2 and trying to figure out a way to escape Indiana without having to go bankrupt or chewing off an arm .

The first of the year found me and the husbeast in a fiery mood. Contemplative & reflective be damned, we were more of the mind to burn bridges than philosophize on future endeavors.  It’s an interesting mindset to start the year off. We aren’t angry or resentful, merely frustrated at our lack of forward motion and the turning of another calendar year with little to show for the time passed.

So we did the best thing possible: Instead of flailing and blaming the sundry usual scapegoats for our lack of success, we decided that the fastest way to force us to focus on our goals was to remove any and all distractions. So we purged our closets and dressers for clothes, compiling 3 large bags of donations. That felt so cleansing, that we are doing our books & media next.

For myself, I’ve taken the tact that the reason things have gone so pear shaped in past few years is twofold: 1) Making things so complicated that it became impossible to manage, and 2) trying to re-establish a life path that hasn’t been working for me.

So firstly, simplify. Really, there are only 3 things I want to focus on this year. 1: My health. My weight is ridiculously out of control & being 44 in a couple weeks, I can’t justify letting my health get this out of whack.
2: My writing. I need to stop worrying about the extraneous things (getting published, negative feedback, finding an audience, faling behind my friends in their publishing careers) and focus on the stories. Just write the stories. Finish them. Polish them. When you love them, get them out there. Traditional routes may not be for you. And that’s OKAY.
3: My Life Path: You know that definition of insanity? The one where you keep doing the same thing over and over & expecting a different outcome? That’s what I’ve been doing every year for the past 5 years.  I kept telling myself “get back on the path” without taking the time to see that the “path” has been going nowhere. Time to forge a NEW path. With NEW goals, NEW outlooks &  NEW energy.

Ultimately, what has happened is my brain has finally kicked the old ways of doing things out of the mental shack & has brought in some new untried ways of doing things. Most of the people I look up to, who’ve made a decent success of their lives, have bucked the traditional route on a lot of things. I know I’ll get lots of people telling me, but what about this or that benchmark of success? Isn’t that what you’ve been striving for? Recognition? Money? Legitimacy?
The truth is yes, that is what I’d originally made the goal of my pursuits. Lately, though, those things seem less important to me. Would they be nice to have? Sure. But I’m done wasting my time & energy trying to pursue them in absence of a way that makes sense to me. They’ll come. Eventually and maybe not in the ways that most people expect.

Brian’s kind of in the same boat. He’s realizing that the marketing & sale of his niche of product doesn’t fall into the neat business plans of other products.

We’re both kind of in this whole new perspective towards our art. There is a surge in the DIY type of business plan.
It’s not easy.
It’s not going to replace the Traditional way of doing things.
But the truth is there is becoming a need for an alternative way of life & doing business. It lies completely within the commitment & passion of the artists to make it work with any kind of success. There’s no books or plans or websites of how to do this. You can’t get a paint by numbers on how to make it work. You just have to do it and keep adjusting your methods until it starts working for you.

I have the greatest respect for people who make a success of their particular art or business the traditional route. I’m just saying it doesn’t work for me or the husbeast for that matter. We are both rapidly approaching a point where we are going to say, to hell with our current methods of income & throw ourselves into our individual art full time. Will this be a challenge? Oh HELL yes it will.

I’m working on an essay, a writeup I’m calling “No Option B: Living without a Safety Net”. It’s a philosophy I’m beginning to embrace wholeheartedly. If you have no backup, you will be extremely focused on making your chosen path work, right?

Mind you, I’m not saying this plan will work for everyone, nor am I saying it’s a better way of doing things. But it appeals to me because every  time I’ve taken a leap of faith, something good has come of it. I may not have landed on my feet squarely, but at least I’ve moved forward. It’s when I start second guessing my intentions or work that things get hairy.

Some of the best success stories in this world started in bad economic times.  But the people who made leaps in this kind of environment were those who stepped away from the well-worn path, and blazed a trail that to everyone else seemed foolish or just plain crazy. The reason why some fail isn’t the path they’ve taken, it’s their inability to commit to the path once they’ve gotten on it.

So there it is. My New Year’s Resolution, for lack of a better phrase.

I have other friends making similar pacts with themselves. We’re starting to create a network of artists, writers & craftspeople. Sometimes a community of like minded people can motivate you more than the pursuit of material gain. And maybe that’s a hippie-ish artsy kind of way of looking at things, but I really don’t have a problem with those kinds of labels.

Blogging will be more regular this year. I’ll also be cross-posting these to Twitter, Facebook & LJ.

Off to do Day Job work now. But my brain is already formulating ways to replace the mundane with the creative.

Irons in the Fire update…

16 12 2009

Weather: High: 28º (Zomg! Single digits this morning!) & sunny!

So yeah…VERY cold this morning. Captain Coffee is helping thaw me out.
Seems like ages since I did my irons in the fire update, so here’s what I’m working on:

The Archive Universe is finally taking shape. I’ve been spending some time crafting the “rules” and giving some underlying structure to the magic systems and alternate history it will exist within. There’s a base storyline in the Library of Alexandria, and nicely enough, there are enough holes in the history of the Library that I can plant my story in them and let it take root. Love it when Historical records can provide the “What If” for me. 🙂

As for the individual books under this Universe umbrella:

When The Lights Go Down: Current WC: 107K – In Rewrites.

Shadow of the Wolf : Current WC: 51K – Still in process. Hoping for 75K before starting revisions.

Dark of the Mirror: Current WC: 53K – In revision. Adding in references to Universe and revising some of the plot. Hoping to bulk it up to around 100K

Carrion Dreams: (Book 1) Current WC:  52K – Still writing. Needs revision to put it in alignment with Universe.  [Books 2 & 3 are in outline form]

All Things Fanged & Furry: (Book 1 of the “Houses” Trilogy) Current WC: 50K
In massive re-write mode

All Demons Dread & Dire: (Book 2 of “Houses” Trilogy) In massive re-write. Most of story is getting scrapped to better line up with Book 1 & universe.

Untitled (Book 3 of “Houses” Trilogy) In outline form, but due to be revised in line with Book 2 rewrites.

Archivist’s Tale: Still in planning stage.

Lyra’s Tale: Still in planning stage.

Kenric’s Tale: Still in planning stage.

Other Fiction:

Dreamfic: Currently only a couple of stray chapters in search of a bigger plot.

Librarian stories: “Into the Stacks” is almost finished. Needs two more chapters to be done. Second untitled story is in notes & outline stage.

So yeah. 2010 is gonna be a rather busy year for me. I’m hoping to have WTLGD ready for submission to an editor by January. Then we’ll see where we are.

On the non writing front, I’m getting a little geebly waiting for the next season of Being Human, and the final season of Lost. And the finale for Supernatural. Gonna be rather depressed when both those latter two are done.  We’ll see if anything rises to the top to get my obsession piqued again.

Not ready for the Holidays to be here already (Haven’t even figured out what we’re doing for the Solstice on Monday. ) Presents are mostly bought & cards have been sent out, though I’m almost positive I’ve forgotten some people. Sigh. December has been made of fail so far.

Need to get my 2010 list together. I’ve decided to do one of those “101 things to get done this year” lists. Nothing crazy like a typical “bucket list” , but number one on the list is gonna be MOVE TO SEATTLE. Somehow, my hubby and I will make that happen, probably next summer. I’m going stir crazy living where we are. Time for a change of scenery.


Now playing:
Abney Park – Under the Radar
via FoxyTunes

Thursday…Almost Friday, but not quite.

16 07 2009

Weather: High: 84 degrees and partly sunny.

Have decided to change my life goals.

Now all I want is to get published and be just famous enough to live a bohemian artistic life in a beautiful house in the wilds of Washington with my equally published husband and have cats and other friends of an artistic persuasion who visit and have lots of time between books to just travel and experience life. So…of  these new goals, I have already accomplished one: I have a slew of friends who are artists and writers and musicians! So thankfully, I can cross that one off the list. LOL!(And by friends, I don’t mean people I follow on Twitter or have fanned on Facebook. I mean literal friends that I’ve known in person for a good long time. THX!) Now for that elusive published goal….

I make that previous statement with a little tongue in cheekness, but it really is what I’d consider an ideal life. (I may be envying Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer a bit much right now. Mind you, I envy the freedom and artistic expression they have more than anything else. I have a lovely husband who is game for pretty much anything and loves me to distraction, so I’m set on that front. 🙂 (Love you Bri!) )

Am kinda of flitting back and forth to my desk so sorry if this post comes out a little disjointed.

On the writing front, I spent a good couple hours last night re-reading the MS and trying to figure out what the most glaring problem with it was. And then it hit me. I have a good threat played out for the first 3/4 of the story. Unfortunately that’s when the threat kinda turns into a whimper. And the ending I’ve come up for it seems a little flimsy. I mean it’s an ending. I just don’t know if it’s a SATISFYING ending. This is when you go through the “Did I just write 320 pages of unpublishable crap?”

Ah well, actual WORK work interfered with blogging and writing today. I suppose that is the way it’s meant to be in the first place, bugger the realities of this job market. Sigh.

Hopefully will be working on plot issues tonight. I also have some friend’s fiction to read and plenty of other husband snogging related activities to accomplish as well. (Last night I had a particularly victorious Blueberry/Cherry Crumble & Peach Crumble experiment! Quite the NOM! I love when a “throw it together and see what happens” turns out good!)

So. See you all on the flip side. Thank goodness the weekend is within sight and Harry Potter is on the agenda! WOOT!

Now playing: Shiny Toy Guns – Ghost Town
via FoxyTunes