It’s All About Perspective: Respect the Past, Kick A$$ in the Future!

Posted: December 31, 2014 in Art and Creativity, Jobs and Career, Life Lessons
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"Respect the Past, Kick A$$ in the Future!"

“Respect the Past, Kick A$$ in the Future!”

So, hey, it’s almost 2015, and you know what that makes me?

Super freaking old!!

How the hell did this happen? I remember when 2010 was a distant planet of Someday. And suddenly in a few days it’s . . . 2015, and I have an almost-10-year-old!?

Psst, here’s a little secret for anyone under, say 35. You know how older people seem, you know, older and wiser? In our heads, we still think we’re 16, or 18, or somewhere around there. We are constantly surprised when we have to make decisions and be in charge and tell ourselves what to do and then either do it or choose not to. Because somewhere in the back of our overworked, overtired brains, we ARE still partying like it’s 1999, or 1979, or any other year that seems to be in the impossibly distant past right now.

2015, people. C’mon! That is a seriously cool number! It speaks of things that could be awesome, am I right? We have plans to make, goals to hit, and just maybe, some serious a$$ to kick! Bring it on, 2015. I, for one, am hoping this is my year. My “Finally I’m going to do it,” my “ready or not, here I come.” Or even, dare I say, my “It’s Britney, bitch,” year. Anyone? Britney . . . oh, never mind.

But hold up. Before we crash headlong into the new year, there’s a little thing called perspective that we apparently begin to develop as more years (ahem) are added like notches in our experience belt. There’s a person who is wreaking havoc in my family’s lives right now who likes to say, “You can’t keep living in the past,” to Luke. She says it because she doesn’t want to face all the bad choices she’s made and admit to the terrible things she’s said and done, all of which he remembers clearly. She’s right, though, in a way. You can’t live in the past because then you’ll just be stuck, trapped in a Groundhog Day of your own creation.

But there’s a funny thing about the past: even though you no longer live there, you do take it with you. You have to deal with things you’ve done and said. You grow from the experiences you’ve had and the people who have influenced your life. The past is important because it has shaped who you are today, even if you don’t want to admit it, or spend the majority of your time running from it.

With that said, this is often the time of year when people are looking back over the past year to take stock or to see how far they have come. It’s so hard in the in-and-out of each day to be able to pick your head up and take a look around at where you’re going and where you’ve come from. Sometimes it’s a miracle that you made it to the end of the day with your sanity and body intact.

So in order to say, “So long, 2014,” here are some of the things I am proud of this year, and after that, I’ll give an exclusive sneak peek into what I’ve secreted away in my sock drawer for 2015.

2014: That Was Some Cool S*$t, No?

2014: The Year In Which We Acquired the Allegro Bus (A giant diesel guzzling house on wheels)

In January, Luke and I bought an RV. An honest to goodness, mothertrucking recreational vehicle! And we’re not even retired! Here’s our priceless hunk of metal (Actually, you should replace the word “priceless” with “truthfully we throw fistfuls of money at it when we walk by it, just because . . .”):

"That there, Clark, is an RV..."

“That there, Clark, is an RV…”

With this gigantic rolling home on wheels, we get to travel, relax and enjoy life. We stayed small in 2014, except for our epic trip to Pennyslvania, where my daughter and I rode every roller coaster we could get our little paws on. Other than that, state parks, campgrounds, and even our own yard were just cause for rolling out the awning and stoking up the campfire for s’mores made with abnormally huge (pillow-sized, really) marshmallows.

2015: Once our custody issues are out of the way (fingers crossed) we want to roll down the highway in our massive beast of burden. On my list: Florida, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, a possible hike to Maine, and more of Arkansas!) P.S. It doesn’t hurt that diesel fuel prices are about two dollars cheaper per gallon than last year! Our ultimate goal (and one that will probably not be realized in 2015 but we are working toward, is for me to write and do art on the road and Luke to be able to own and run a used car lot from the road while we gallivant around the country in our home on wheels. Yup, there I said it. Let it be so…

2014: The Year in Which I Actually Completed Paintings

My entire life I’ve operated on the premise that although creativity and art are in my blood, what good does it do me? It’s not like I can make something of it!

Insert glare at naysayers here.

I can make something of it, damn it, and I will, and this year I did!

Thanks to the Co-lab Artistry course with Susan Tuttle and Alena Hennessey, a course worth its weight in gold, as far as I’m concerned, I created more than ever! New paintings, new ideas, tons of creative inspiration. I even went back to old paintings I wasn’t happy with and redid them! After years of creative frustration, 2014 was the year I finally pushed through. By December 1, 2014, I had completed (finished, sealed with varnish and added hanging hardware to)  . . . uh, drumroll here, please! . . . six mixed media collage paintings and reopened my Etsy shop! For me, that was a huge accomplishment, and even though I haven’t sold anything yet or gotten as far as I would like, just getting myself out there is a big deal to me.

2015: I have at least 10-11 more paintings in various stages of completion and I will be adding them to my shop in the first months of this year. I also received an early Christmas present from Luke: an Epson Artisan printer and a flatbed scanner, so I can begin playing around with art prints and printing out my digital art. I’m also thinking about doing some merchandise on a small scale featuring my art (bookmarks, cards, etc.) to get my feet wet with being able to sell other items.

Here is a preview of some of the art I am working with at the moment:

Two digital pieces and two collage paintings I am currently working on.

Two digital pieces and two collage paintings I am currently working on.

If you would like to visit my Etsy shop, please click here: I plan to be adding more mixed-media work and some of my merchandise creations to my Etsy shop in the first half of 2015.

2014: The Year in Which I Wrote Things!

I’ve been writing things for a while. I wrote articles, blog posts, and profiles of companies and products. But I didn’t write anything for me. In 2014, I quit writing for others all together, and focused on writing my own stuff for the last few months. Now, I’m going to be honest, I am a little disappointed that I didn’t turn out epic reams of fiction, burning up whole forests of paper (or, uh, just copious amounts of megabytes of computer memory) in my quest to become a bonafide Fiction Author (with Capital Letters to make it seem extra important).

No, I didn’t do that.

But here’s what I did do: I started the outline of a non-fiction ebook and am at least halfway through with it, I wrote a short story that is 10,000+ words, a shorter short story of around 5,000 words and began a story based on the ghostly blue digital art piece in the collage above. I did all of that! Me! Now, I have to go back and edit the fire out of all of those things I wrote so they will not burn the eyeballs of anyone who reads them.

2015: Once the things I wrote are fit for human consumption, I will start sharing them on here, and then I will write more and share more and possibly head to Amazon in the future to try my luck at creating a Kindle book, etc., etc. In other words, I am going to go big. I will be a writer. I am a writer. Just keep saying it with me, because eventually it will be come true.

The stories I am working on right now that I will be sharing on here in 2015:

1. The story of a stolen diamond that leads to the discovery of an underground mine of enslaved diamond miners (who may or may not be a hidden race of Bigfoot creatures) run by a mysterious and evil villain who hopes to collect all the diamonds for his own gain and greed. The only hope . . . a teenaged Bigfoot who is thrust into the villain’s sights when he hatches a plan to free his enslaved mother and sisters and avenge his father’s death, along with with a helpful group of humans working for a government agency tasked with bringing down the villain. And our furry hero has to do all this while battling the weird feelings he is developing for the beautiful human girl who is helping him.

2. The story of a cursed vintage mug that brings visions of a fiery death to everyone who possesses it, as found out (maybe too late?) by the lonely woman who purchases it at a vanishing antique shop for a dollar.

3. The story of a boy who moves to the Northeastern forests of North Carolina with his forest ranger father and discovers that the leader of the protected pack of wild red wolves may in fact be a ghostly girl whose tale is tragic and whose intentions toward the boy may not be entirely good.

4. The big one: I am working on the beginnings of a novel set in New Orleans about a girl, a ghost, and the possibility that a tragedy that happened over 100 years before may not be laid to rest. This will not be ready in 2015 (unless miracles really do come true) but I will be working on it this year!

So with that, I say “See ya, 2014!” All in all, I have accomplished more this year than I ever expected, and I have very high hopes for 2015!

What about you? Do you think it’s important to look back and look forward as the new year begins? Are you planning some big things in 2015? Or, are you someone who thinks resolutions are meaningless? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


See you next year!




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