Another Year of Hope and More Art Too – Goals for 2015

I spent the last day of 2014 reflecting on a lot of the things that happened in 2014, like San Diego Comic Con, the RT Convention in New Orleans, Star Wars Day at the Giants, the Avengers Race Weekend in Disneyland, a relaxing and beautiful trip to Monterey, new friends, a new job, and so much more.

I also went back and read my resolutions post from January 1, 2014. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I accomplished the goals I set out for myself in 2014.

  • Production of more art, including some I’d be proud to present in a portfolio – Not only did I produce pieces I’m proud of, but I also had two separate pieces in two different art shows.
  • Regular writing (blogs, short stories, a novel and/or a screenplay) – While I didn’t make much progress on the novel, I did write a short story and blogged regularly for the Girls on the Grid and the Geek Girl Pen Pals.
  • More web creations – I am making better use of my domain. It still needs work, but at least I’m using it.
  • Glorious, amazing mistakes – I made some mistakes. They are mine to learn and grow from.
  • More meaningful interactions with those I care about – I’ve had some great trips with family and friends and feel like I’ve made my time with them count.
  • As to my goal about not buying books – I mostly succeeded with that one. But I was not very successful about decreasing my to-be-read list. Part of the problem was that I attended the RT Convention for the first time and came home with more book s!

Clearly I want to continue living my life according to the goals I set in 2014 (especially continuing to reduce reading pile), but I’d like to add to last year’s goals.  Here are things I am going to strive for in 2015 (that aren’t blogging related because I wrote about that already):

  • Try to compliment someone every day – Stop for a moment and think about how you feel when you receive those random, genuine compliments from strangers. I know how I feel and I want to try to spread that brief moment of joyful recognition and appreciation to others.
  • Collaborative art projects – I’ve met some really talented people in the past year with distinct skills and styles. I’ve been thinking a lot about different projects that could combine my skills with theirs and I hope to bring many of those ideas to fruition.
  • Pursue opportunities to sell my art – I’ve created some interesting work in the past year and want to continue to do so. But that means those completed works need somewhere to go. I’m already at limited wall space and there is only so much work you can give to friends and family. It’s time to put some of it out in the world and see if others will pay for it.
  • Get out more, including on dates – as much as I’m loathe to admit it, I probably should get out and try to date more. It’s not that I think I need someone else to be happy (I’m pretty happy), but I want someone to be able to share more of life with.  Susan Sarandon has a great little speech in the movie Shall We Dance:

Why is it do you think that people get married? …..Because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

So those are my goals for 2015, what are yours? And how are you doing on day 1 of this wonderful new year?

Hope, Dreams, and Optimism in a New Year (2014 to be specific)

The New Year begins and with it more goals and pledges and resolution for just about everyone. I’m no different. There is a reason for the brightness and optimism as the calendar year changes. The hope for a fresh start and improved situations is powerful.  While I agree with many ‘experts’ that say you shouldn’t wait for the new year to make small (or large) changes that will improve your life – mentally, physically, emotionally, whatever-ly. Every day is a fresh start. But the calendar year provides a tangible mile marker that is hard to forget.

I have big plans for this year. I’m determined for 2014 to be the year that changes a lot of things for me.  Big things are going to happen because I’m going to make them happen. I’m going to focus more effort on my appearance, my health, and my relationships.  And I’m going to actively work towards changing many things other in my life. I have so many plans and goals and things I want to do in my life, but I have not been actively working towards many of them.  The things I have been doing in the name of achieving those goals have been more superficial activities. Yes, I have been taking classes to gain skills and meet education requirements for a new career field, but I haven’t been actively practicing many of those skills to produce work that will help me achieve my goals.

They talk about making New Year’s resolutions in the manner of SMART goals (specific, measurable, blah blah, etc.). But quite honestly, I really don’t know how to make all of my goals SMART. I barely feel like I have enough time as it is to do many of the things I love (and the things I have to do). So, I will need to make many changes and I haven’t quite figured them all out yet. I do know that I need many changes in my life and I need to actively work for them every single day.

So here are just a few things I’m hoping to work towards this year:

  • Production of more art, including some I’d be proud to present in a portfolio
  • Regular writing (blogs, short stories, a novel and/or a screenplay). I’ve got ideas I just need to sit down and let them out.
  • More web creations (I’ve got a domain – mesulli.com. I need to make better use of it.)
  • Glorious, amazing mistakes (because this means I’m not afraid to try. It means I’m creating even if it doesn’t work out)
  • More meaningful interactions with those I care about

I’ve also got a more specific (and for me very challenging) goal.

Aside from the three books I have already pre-ordered, for series that are absolute favorites, I am aiming to not buy any books next year. Why make this ridiculous goal? Because I have a problem. I buy way too many books. In 2014, I need to make my way through my massive to-read list of books I have previously purchased.

What are your big plans for 2014? And how are you doing on day 1 of this wonderful new year?

2013: Foster Creativity…

One thing that I know was majorly lacking from 2012 for me was creative endeavors. I had big plans for several things and I continued to work towards my eventual career shift, but that work was mostly on the technical side.  But, I didn’t really foster my creativity. I did one Talenthouse invite, and admittedly even that was kind of half-assed just due to the many demands on my time.

So this year, I’m making it a priority to work on creative things.  Luckily, I finally get to start taking some more artistic classes – so that should help. But, I want to do more than just my required schoolwork. For one thing, I know it makes me happier and usually provides stress relief as well.  That in of itself is a good reason to attempt more creative projects.  I’m not putting any definitions on what they can be either. Decorating cupcakes and cakes and writing blog posts are just as valid as working on paintings and drawings.

But as they say, goals and resolutions should have some specificity to ensure measurable progress.  As such, I have come up with a few specific objectives. I want to participate in at least four Talenthouse creative invites. And as of last night, I have decided on another specific, measurable creative endeavor for the year.

Philip Pullman's Fiary Tales from the Brothers Grimm book coverI received Philip Pullman’s Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version from the publisher as a promotion.  As I read the introduction last night I was struck by the comment that fairy tales are composed of flat, stock characters <maybe extract a direct quote>.  Essentially, fairy tales are about telling the story and as such they lack distinct character development, descriptive passages, and defined settings.  Any descriptions that are present are very generic (deep forest, golden hair, etc.).  The stories change based on the person telling the tale.  This is what makes fairy tales so ripe for interpretation.  Recently, we have seen many new takes on fairy tales (Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Hansel and Gretel: Witchhunters, Snow White and the Huntsman  Mirror Mirror).  However, this is not a new phenomenon.  Consider the Disney interpretations over the years, Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theater, the series of Fairy Tale movies that included Puss in Boots with Christopher Walken, etc.  You need only do a search of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty on IMDB to find out how frequently fairy tales are reinterpreted.

So what is my point in all this? I’ve decided that I want to visually interpret every tale included in Pullman’s book (there are 50).  I’m not making any rules other than that I will do one a week (and my week will begin on Mondays – this should help by providing a full weekend at the end of the week to complete each piece).  This week – it’s The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich.  So, before next Monday expect to see something related to the aforementioned tale.