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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
I Did All the Things 
29th-Aug-2014 08:25 am
So. I had had some big life plans with Judah, Before. And after, we immediately shifted into big life plans with Michael and Lynne. So when that ended in January, once I got past the whiplash, I took a deep breath.

And said "Okay, this is an opportunity."

The stuff we'd been planning on? Was not going to happen. Which meant a lot of bad things, but it also meant that we were in a rare place to be able to sit down with that now-empty space and figure out what we really, actually wanted to do.

I took out a notepad and a pen and said to Adam, "Okay, what would you want to be doing this year and beyond if you could do anything? Blue-sky stuff. What do you really want?" And we wrote all of that down, and first steps to make it all happen. Same for myself.

I realized this month that it is only August and I have already done everything on my dream list.

I'm not going to post Adam's because it's his, but here's mine. Note that I was shy and listed quieter, more attainable things than what I ended up doing.

Ask the press I copyedit for for more work
Oh man I did like 6 books in May and that was a lot. But it's my primary source of income right now. Anyway, the way I went beyond in this one is that I get to actually edit books for them now if I want to. So this year, for the first time, I have requested partials and stuff! I haven't fallen in love with a manuscript yet, but when I do, I'll be able to add another title to my long list of titles. :) (Note that I am not jumping in to do acquisition for the hell of it. This'll be a lot of work, and I only want to do it if I love the book. Time management, y'all.)

Start a Patreon page
Okay, I did that, but I hate it; Patreon still hasn't delivered any of the features it's promised, and it's a struggle every month to actually get them to send me my money. I have to request it three times on three different days, then e-mail them to say "where is my money?" :/ I would prefer to be sponsored via PayPal subscription, if you've a mind to sponsor me!

E-mail acquaintances who write for Salon about how to do that.
Well, I figured that one out.

This is the first item on the list where I just jumped right ahead of the reasonable first step; I just grabbed some time and wrote the article and looked up who to send it to and boom, they took it, and now I have clips for my portfolio and stuff.

Work on rape culture books
This one I didn't get as far on because of the next one on the list, but outlines and research and some writing have been done, so I'm giving myself this one on account of it says "work on" and not "complete".

This. Oh man. Hi. I have a bit over half a novel now, just from this year. I burned straight through this spring, on a hell of a tear; I set it aside only because I needed to figure out how to do a tricky thing, and I figured it out, and it's amazing, and -

- then Elayna came home and refused to get a job or a volunteer gig or even let me know her schedule more than 15 minutes ahead of time, and that turned this into The Summer of No Writing Time/Space.

Her move-in day is Monday. Expect to not see me online a whole lot next week, because I have this story in my head struggling to get loose, and I am going to finish it by the end of September. I need to. I can. I will.

E-mail to see if I can guest-edit a poetry magazine
I did that! But then I had a realization that affected any number of things from that point forward.

That realization was that I can do everything I've been wanting to do, just not necessarily exactly the way I thought I'd have to.

So I looked at the ideas for the magazine that Michael and Lynne and I were supposed to be starting together, and I asked myself, "Which parts of this are of core importance to me? And how can I do those things in a way that fits with my life?"

The answer was, among other things, that I really still wanted to do a poetry magazine. How to fit that with my life? Well, I'd need to keep it small and manageable. Quarterly. Ten poems per issue, because I can raise or find $100 per quarter without having to do a life-consuming crowdfunding campaign or being beholden to anyone. The other thing I needed? A co-pilot! My body is unreliable. I don't want to take anything on that will fail if it's totally reliant upon me not having a migraine, et cetera. And I had just happened to befriend and fall in love with fellow poet ashlyme... so that's how Liminality was born.

Keep the last few paragraphs in mind, because those realizations have informed a lot of the year since I had them in April.

[there are related things]
There are two other things that stem from my "what about those life plans did I really want?" that I'm making happen; neither are ready for announcement yet, but both follow the principle of "how can I make this happen in a way that fits with my life?" and "who is my co-pilot on this?"

Look into foster care
I've posted about that before. :) We did indeed look into it! We have filled out the applications and done our first home study and MAPP classes start in two weeks and we are VERY EXCITED.

Get more involved in local burlesque community
I don't want to dance professionally because dang that's a lot of depilation + see above re: my body being unreliable. So. This was the last item on the list, mostly because it was ill-defined and I didn't really know what the first steps would be! Fortunately, I saw a call for volunteers for Alterna-Tease, and I was like "There! I can help there!" So we hosted some performers, and I volunteered to work registration at Friday's classes.

Which led to adventures. Because I got pulled into the first class due to insufficient number of students. "How to Host Burlesque."

Reader, I... might be good at that.

I'm going to talk in a separate post about my Year of Being Brave. It has informed my ability to do the stuff on this list, but it goes way beyond that, and this post is long already! But my choice to be brave and put myself in situations where adventures can happen totally led to me doing improv standup to a room of awesome burlesque performers. And apparently not sucking. :)

Also took the opportunity to offer my services to the heads of various favorite troupes - administrative, merch table, whatever, I just really enjoy our local burlesque and arts community and want to do stuff to help make it go.

And when I saw a call for volunteers for next month's Best of Sirlesque, I answered it. Originally I was just going to take tickets, but. They needed a stage kitten. So. :)

And that was the list. Everything and more. The more has included stuff like taking charge of my body and going to the geneticist, which led to the orthopedist, which led to the physical therapy that changed my damn life. Also finding a dentist I could work with and getting started on that.

And it's caused me to develop some good habits. Instead of saying "I wish I could do that" or "maybe someday" when I have an idea for something awesome, my first thought is now "How do I make this happen?" and doing it. (Just did for another thing this morning.) Major habit change!

I have done everything on this list. Some things are still in progress, but they're well underway.

Now's the time to ask what should be on my next list.
29th-Aug-2014 01:06 pm (UTC)
Whoooooooo well done :-D

29th-Aug-2014 02:30 pm (UTC)
"I wish I could do that" or "maybe someday" are the two big things I need to move beyond so congratulations for getting into gear! :)

Now back to researching my options!
29th-Aug-2014 02:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! Congratulations!
29th-Aug-2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Go you!

"How do I make this happen?" is the best! I'm going to make a sign for my desk that says that so that I'm constantly confronted with the idea.
30th-Aug-2014 02:39 am (UTC)
This is really inspiring! Major kudos for your bravery and accomplishing everything you wanted!! :)

It's easy to tell yourself that X is unreachable, but so mind-blowing (and yet makes you say "oh duh") when you find it was actually well within reach, and you just needed to be brave and go for it. I found that out this week with work, and it's making me want to take that feeling of "I can do this!" elsewhere in my life.

Edited at 2014-08-30 02:41 am (UTC)
31st-Aug-2014 06:55 am (UTC)
This is definitely inspirational. :) You've definitely had an amazing year, it's been great to watch. :)
31st-Aug-2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is excellent! Hooray. (I was going to ask what a stage kitten is, but Google was more helpful than I expected.)
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