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What can I say about 2012? A lot, if I let myself....

Overall, it was a great year, but it was also a year to which I had to let go of negative aspects to fully realize, and that didn't start up until October or so.

Still, after several unsuccessful months of trying to live in my hometown again (2-3 hours away from the rest of our lives), we bought a house and moved to a place we'll expect to be much happier--a place closer to our friends, and with space for everything we wanted (and yet still more for the imagination to play). But we moved to my hometown for the right reasons--to help out my father, who is now living with us in the new house in the new location, and I think everyone is happier now.

And, of course, letting go of my day job. I loved my day job 6 years ago. It was the perfect sort of day job for a person that wanted to be creative in their off hours. But over time it changed, and, frankly, it changed me--all in ways I didn't like. I was bent on quitting in March, but they offered me telecommuting (not knowing I was on the verge of leaving), so I opted to give it six more months in hopes that would make the crappy parts less crappy. And while it did make the crappy parts then more bearable, things just got... well, crappier after that and telecommuting wasn't enough to balance it out. So in December, with all of our ducks in a row, I took the plunge and I let it go. That one still hasn't hit me since it was a week and a half ago, and I've been on "staycation" with M since while his office is closed for the holidays. It'll hit me once he goes back to work on Wednesday, I suspect. Well, and after my last paycheck comes in. But, I'm happy and M is happy.

Another new thing I did this year was to let go of my stringent to-do lists, goals, months of planning, etc. and just do things. Don't get me wrong--I do keep a list of a handful of things: usually cleaning the catbox and doing laundry, because otherwise they wouldn't get done, but I used to write down every little thing--read 50 pages, write 1000 words, have fun for 1 hour, walk 2 miles, etc. and it was all overwhelming, and not nearly enough of that got done. So earlier this year I set up priorities in my life (of which I'll talk about in my New Year post) and I found that while I still need to remind myself to do the most banal of chores, I could knit quite prolifically on the basis of wanting to knit, and not because I needed to knit 5000 stitches that day to meet an arbitrary "I was productive today" goal.

One of the best things this year was establishing myself, for the first time in my life (even though it had been my ambition since I was in the singe digits) as a working artist. In January of this year, I started dyeing spinning fiber, and I found it so fun that I just kept doing it. And I quickly realized I might be on to something. So with no business plan and $100 in Christmas gift cards to fund it, I started selling them on Etsy... really just for fun. It's been modestly profitable since that first month, and I've learned so many things about myself as an artist in this last year that I hope to carry into other endeavors in the coming year.

I also had the intentions of experimenting more with my fiber impulses this year, leading to my first garments, my first knitwear designs, new techniques in spinning, and a variety of other things. Furthermore, this spirit of adventure has pushed me into other places--I started to learn how to sew (although I have a long way to go), I started tinkering with writing by breaking out of my novel foundations, edible gardening, and--very late in the year, I tried my hand at embroidery and cross-stitch. I intend to explore more for the coming year, too.

So, all in all, I have to say it's been a great year. And shedding off the negative aspects of this year and going into the new one, I can only hope 2013 is even more amazing.

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Paint-by-Numbers

My hop, skip and jump during this morning's check of my RSS feed brought me to this interview by Seth Godin (and part 2). There's a lot of wonderful gems in his article, but one section that stuck out in particular was this:

[Writer's block...] came to be because suddenly writing was a profession. Writing had stakes associated with it. Writing was “important”. We filled it with all this expectation. Writing itself is as hard as talking and very few people get talker’s block.

Rather than trying to find a way to industrialize writing – here are the twelve steps, here are the eighteen ways to do this, here are the six things you should copy from that; that’s just going to suck all the life out of writing and turn it into yet another cog-oriented job. We should do the opposite.

We should blow up the expectations of writing and say something worth saying and say it in a way that’s personal. It turns out that the internet, for the first time in the history of mankind, says to everyone, ‘Here’s a microphone. If you want to talk, talk. If you want to write, write. If you want to make a difference, make a difference.’

In my first life as a novelist, I took a very paint-by-numbers approach. Not to say my ideas weren't original, but in the progress of idea to novel to submission, there were lists of dos and don'ts (and people freaked out if you deviated), and "if you follow steps 1-3 (and get terribly lucky) congratulations! You're now a published writer!"

Six years ago, these steps didn't work for me, although clearly they've worked for many others. But the world has changed, and I have changed, and while I try to get a grip on being a writer/storyteller again, I think I'll just continue my focus on making good art and try not to think about steps, rules, and word counts.
This entry was originally posted at DreamWidth with comment count unavailable comments.

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Fiber Infection

I keep seeing knitting mentioned on more and more of my f-list. 

I like to think that my constant knitting posts are spreading a fiber infection.
 
It may not be true, but it still makes me feel warm and fuzzy to think so.

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Busy Hands

I've been taking a break from social media lately. I mostly keep up in reading, but not so much with the posting.

Anyway!

About a year and a half ago, inspired by jmeadows I picked up a yarn spinning kit. Due to a variety of things (spinning not conducive to my other obsession--playing video games, moving, travel, the holidays), I spun for maybe a week and got distracted and forgot about it.

Spinning, Writing and Busy HandsCollapse )

PSA: London. July. For Real.

I have a standing "if you're ever in London..." with a few people I've met over the years, but don't talk to often these days. I think all of them have LJ, but I'm not sure if they still check it.

Well, as it turns out, I will be in London with my husband from July 3rd to July 7th of this year. If you're one of those folks, please let me know if that offer to meet up for lunch/dinner/etc and catch up is still good ^_^

Plane tickets are bought. Hotel is reserved. This one is for real.

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A post in one-liners

Hero Con was awesome.

The people we met were awesome.

Going Rogue is going to be f'ing mind-blowing.

I need to upgrade my computer so I can run "Ultra Mode" on GR.

Looking at all of the concept art makes me itch to draw again.

NaNo is coming up in a week.

I need to write my outline.

November promises to be stupidly busy.

And I'm going to love it.

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Adventures in cat herding

This weekend has been almost all about cats. The shelter currently has a backlog of cats needing photos, and I've spent about 11 hours this weekend snapping them, cropping them, and uploading them to their respective kitties. All in all, I took 200 pictures, sorted through them, edited, and uploaded about 90 to the database.

A bit more than I expected, but totally worth it. All of the cats I took pictures of this weekend are some kind of special needs cats--medical or behavioral problems. Many of them are still considered adoptable to someone willing to give a little extra TLC and patience, but will continue to live happily up at the sanctuary regardless of whether or not someone takes them in.

So I thought I'd share of some my favorite pictures from this weekend, cos I know many of my friends are also cat people.



Meet Pineapple. I think his photo speaks for itself.

None of the other cats had faux-hawks, though.Collapse )

Copper Street

Hi folks!

I've made a little writing comm over on Dreamwidth called Copper Street. It's a casual little community based around making weekly writing goals. These goals are intended to be realistic and sustainable... in other words, it's not a temporary residence, but a place to move into for a while.

Membership is open, and we don't really care what you are writing about, whether it be flash fic, fan fic, novels, scripts, or academic papers. The only requirement is a desire to write, and having a DW account.

If you're interested, I hope to see you there!

This entry was originally posted at DreamWidth with comment count unavailable comments.

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[Seattle] Steampunk Swapmeet - Saturday

This Saturday, there is going to be a Steampunk Swapmeet. More info available in the link, but it's in Seattle proper between 12-6 and free admission.

(You'll notice it also plugs Steam Con, which we were interested in, but unfortunately conflicts with Hero-Con and we didn't find out about it until after everything was booked. (I think we still would have gone to Hero-Con, but it would have been discussed. Maybe next year...))

Anyway, anyone want to meet us at the Swapmeet? We were thinking of getting there between 12-1 and hanging out until we had our fill.

O_O

We just ordered our plane tickets to Japan.

I think I might be in shock.

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