Today was a beautifull and glorious day! I woke up to the sound of my roommates laughing and crying and hugging and being overjoyed because they have been partners for 17 years this September and finally where they live will not be determined by which states don’t discriminate against us. Marriage Equality is now the law of the land! Legal in all 50 states. No more worrying that your marriage won’t be recognized in the state where you live because you had to drive hours away to even get married legally. Now we get the same rights as everyone else when we get married. Today was a stunning victory for LOVE and for everything that is right and good. Discrimination in any flavor is wrong and it’s truly a gift to have a weight this heavy lifted from our spirits.
I am blessed to know that no matter who I fall in love with in the future, we can legally bind our lives together in a pledge of strength and support.
Originally posted on Hermit & Star Books:
First and foremost, GAY MARRIAGE IS NOW LEGAL IN THE US!!! Now, we can just have marriage like everyone else. No more arguing, fighting, or trying to figure out what state to live in so I can marry the love of my life! Let’s just take a moment to really feel that and be grateful for the times we live in.
If that wasn’t enough, we also woke up this morning to find that our Illustrated eBook of the Parliament of Twilight: Episode 1 was in the top 100 for two different categories on Amazon!
Super awesome, right?
Then, we have even more big news. The cover reveal event for TWO of our upcoming novels went live on Facebook today with this:
Don’t miss out on the Double or Nothing Cover Reveal for the Parliament of Twilight books! Episode 3 and the special illustrated edition of Episode 2 are going…
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Originally posted on Hermit & Star Books:
Finished the formatting for the paperback version of Parliament of Twilight Episode 2 tonight! And the cover is looking super nice as well. It just needs a few little tweaks. We will probably be ready to order a proof copy by the end of the weekend. The eBook format will take a little longer, since it is really tricky getting the pictures in just right. We should have an official release date anytime now!
Also, while we are talking about the pictures, in the coming weeks, we will be updating our Zazzle and Etsy stores to include several different ways you can get full color versions of some of the illustrations. Stay tuned for more info about that.
Is there one that you are particularly fond of? Let me know via…
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Whenever we have a really rainy day it makes me wish I still had a magic shelter balcony to enjoy it. There was this one second floor apartment that I had with an attached balcony that sat over the front porch. Technically we weren’t supposed to be on it because the floor of the balcony/roof of the porch wasn’t 100% solid, but there’s no way I’m having a balcony and not being on it. When we moved in there were nails and screws put through the door into the door frame to keep it from opening but I told Johnny (my boyfriend at the time) in no uncertain terms that he was to get the door open for me. I was very careful putting too much weight on the middle of the floor, though, and kept mostly to the walls around it. Blissfully, they were nearly a foot wide and wonderful to sit on.
I’ve always loved rainy days for the calm that settles over me (not if it’s storming of course) and the energy that buzzes in the air. I love falling asleep to the sound of rain. So it was truly a gift for me to be able to sit out in the rain under the covered balcony, sheltered by the trees and listen to the sound of the rain making music with the tinkling of my wind chimes..
I love clowns…
I know I’m like the only person who does.. It seems like everyone is afraid of clowns. I wonder, sometimes, if it’s the most prevalent fear there is or if it just seems like it..
See, we had a fundraiser day at the Walmart where I work to promote Riley Children’s Hospital. They were selling popcorn, cotton candy, had some kinda basketball raffle and there was face painting. I was like “Yay facepainting”
because I’m 5 because I wanted to donate to a good cause so I took my first break just a hair early so I could get in before they shut down. I already knew what I wanted – a rainbow and fluffy white clouds! So I step out the door and there is a clown facing the parking lot with one of those signs on that hangs over your shoulders and I squealed “YAY A CLOWN” and the clown turns around to see my excited and hugely smiling face and he’s all “Well hello!” We had a nice little interchange (note to self: shoulda got a clown selfie!) and I went over to wait my turn.
While I’m waiting for the little girl ahead of me to get a big, bright heart painted on her little cheek, I couldn’t help thinking about the clown – especially when two girls from the Subway were waiting near me and going on about how creepy clowns are. He seemed really happy to see me. Yes, I realise that’s a clown’s job, but it was kinda like “hurray someone who still loves clowns”.
It just makes me kinda sad… I feel bad for the clowns. The whole reason that someone grows up to become a clown is that they want to make people smile, make them laugh, brighten their day (obviously I’m not talking about haunted house clowns – that’s a whole ‘nother issue) and it just breaks my heart. I can’t imagine having that dream of being this bright ray of sunshine in someone’s day and having them freak out and run away instead.. That has to break their big, bright cartoony clown hearts.. It’s so unfair what horror movies have done to clowns. They’ve tragically ruined forever the image of the loud, laughing, silly clown.
Just makes me feel like I should search out others who still love clowns, who still get a big smile from a fluffy wig and polka dot pants, and start some kinda clown support group to let them know they still have fans..
So is there anybody out there that still loves clowns like me?
I am tired a lot. Worn out, exhausted. Not all the time, but often depending on the week.. One would assume it’s because I work two 40 hour a week jobs. Of course that is part of the reason. I am blessed with roomies that help me by managing the house, doing the accounting, sharing the chores etc etc, but that much work can wear anyone down. But this idea.. that maybe work isn’t the real reason that I’m tired.. That maybe a big part of my energy drain is in not being myself. That I’m wearing myself down on an almost constant basis by pushing down who I am inside like trying to keep a beach ball under the water..
True, then, that the work is tiring on my body, but maybe not necessarily for the reason I was thinking. Lack of sleep between shifts sometimes, yes, but what about all the time I spend, all the hours I work, trying to be “appropriate”. Trying to belong in the workplace with all the other people. Trying to fit in, so work feels “easier”.
“I used to think the true self was hard to find, that it required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to unearth, like buried treasure on a rocky beach. Now I know the opposite is true. The true self is like a beach ball we push beneath the surface of our lives. The true self is designed to float—it wants to rush upward and outward.
The effort to keep it pushed beneath the waves can wear us out.”
Revealing self is a hard thing to do when you learn at a very young age how to be a people pleaser for protection. It’s not a conscious effort made to be false. I’m not trying to be fake. I’m just trying to feel safe. My arms have become so accustomed to the work of holding that beach ball down that they do it without me even trying. Sometimes I let a little of it surface, the parts that I think people can handle.. the parts that maybe won’t be rejected. But it’s scary. It’s part of why my besties are people that I’ve known for about 20 years. They’ve been a part of my life through more than half of it at this point. They’ve seen me at my highs, at my lows, broken, inspired, in love, abandoned, running away. They know more about me than anyone in my life and they’ve been by my side as we’ve grown and expanded together, becoming people today that our 20 year old selves would likely not even recognise.
They are two people who I know I can trust. Who I can put my faith in. And who I know love all of me, even the parts they maybe don’t always like. At least with them I don’t have to fight to keep that beach ball buried. I can feel safe being all of my self.
How do I bring that to the rest of my life? Obviously, I’m not saying that I should just reveal everything about myself to every person I meet. But it would be nice if I could just be authentic. Maybe I can’t reveal everything, but I could start with peeling off the manufactured layers weighing it down..
“We confess because when we cage up a part of us, it’s exhausting. We confess because there is joyful relief in letting the beach ball rush to the surface. We confess because parts of us need to float, to be seen, to be known.”
italicized portions from “Why It’s Exhausting To Hide” by Dr. Kelly Flanagan, which inspired this post.
Say hello to Markette! He’s my very first Scrap Kitten!! He’s still a work in progress but I couldn’t wait for you to meet him. I really couldn’t have been more excited when he came to me. I’ve been thinking about trying some other aminals as I wade through my scrap fabric piles but I hadn’t had anyone speak to me yet so I’ve just been waiting for one to really show up and here he is! Bowtie and all!
I’ve also got a couple of Baby Scrap Dragons that I’m working on but since I finished the frantic push to finish the awesome Nightvale hoodies I made for the live show we went to, I’ve just been working casually. Did I mention that I had been working on Nightvale hoodies? OMG I DIDN’T?! *failselffail* So yeah, that happened. I will get some pictures taken to show them off because I am beyond happy with how they turned out! I did upload some work in progress pictures to my Instagram, so if you’re following me there you probably already saw those. But I will force the besties to model theirs for me so I can share them with you.
This idea comes from Robert Ohotto – who I’ve mentioned more than once and is completely brilliant! He talks about needing to “land your plane”, meaning to take a break. What do you do to relax? To just take a breath and settle? Do you sink into the couch for a marathon of your favourite show or a great comedy? Some of my faves are “Community”, “Big Bang Theory”, “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother” – tho it’s been a bit since I watched HIMYM due to unforeseen reality in my show. I also LOVE My Little Pony – the new Friendship is Magic version, which, yes I did try oh-so-hard to hate when it first came out but one episode in and I was like “okay fine you win it’s awesome and uplifting and so so much fun”. Do you hike or run or swim? Do you do yoga? Tai chi? Dance?
The point is that you have to have something to bring yourself in for a chill every once in a while. As Robert says “no one can fly forever”. At some point you have to land that plane or it’s going to run out of fuel and you’ll crash if you just try to force yourself to burn hot forever. Are you guilty of this? Do you push yourself for more and more productivity until you just crash into the ground? Does it manifest as an illness that hits you out of nowhere and you’re sleeping 10 hours a day, curled up in your blanket burrito and your exhausted body and spirit is just reveling in the comfort and rest?
You’ve got to find that thing you can land your plane with. That hobby or show or activity that lets you just un-think for awhile and relax. Not thinking about the next project or all the plates you’re spinning, your to-do list, your daily planner gods.
Besides watching comedies and My Little Pony, I also love working on simpler projects because I like taking the plane-landing time to just play instead of creating anything specific. That’s where a lot of my baby scrap dragons come from. Play time. They are mismatched and imperfect and adorable. That’s what I love about them.
So what is your thing? How do you land your plane?
Since I specialize in boyfriend plushie sets, I have decided to offer “Boyfriend Bundles” in my Etsy shop. Purchase both characters and get a discount!
Usagi and Misaki from “Junjou Romantica” are available here
Mashiro & Shuujin from “Bakuman” are available here
Papa & Stein from “Soul Eater” are available here
ALSO I have added Pinterest to my list of sites and I have a board (Where The Cuddle Buddies Live) for pictures of my Cuddle Buddies who have been adopted to show off where they live now in their forever homes. I’ve only got a couple of pictures up at the moment but I would love to share more photos, so if you’ve adopted one of my little plush darlings and would like to show them off please email me your pictures and I’ll be sure to get them posted!
AND AND I just put the finishing stitches on two brand new baby scrap dragons! I will get pictures of them soon to share with you. :D
It’s important to my artist soul to remember that there will never be another person to create the things that I create. My artistic gifts, my artistic vision, is mine only. So if I don’t finish my project, it won’t exist. What a sad thought: that there is magic and joy that I am not allowing to spread because of my own self sabotage. I am not only getting in my own way, but depriving others of my special brand of joy and creativity. What if the one person whose soul my work was meant to touch and inspire them on their own path never sees that drawing? That plushie that makes them want to start creating with their own hands?
I know that my biggest self sabotage is with the Perfectionist. I am working to discover another way for the Perfectionist to be. A way that healthy rather than destructive. Maybe as an efficiency expert when I’m wasting time on something but don’t see it, or as a brilliant organizer. I will find a way to befriend and love the Perfectionist… eventually.
How do you sabotage yourself creatively?