Carin Cullen wrote a blog post today listing her creative achievements of 2012. Her list really inspired me (already being a day late on posting this blog, I was also on the look-out for material), so I immediately sat down to write a similar manifest. This is when the trouble began.
If you've been reading my blog for any time at all, you will recall that I'm lucky to accomplish anything in my life due to a serious handicap - I'm untethered in time and space. Most of the time, I don't have the first clue what day it is, and I'm hard-pressed to identify the month. I also suffer from a related, but slightly different affliction. I don't have a good sense of how much time has passed between events. I like to speculate that this is because I live in the present, and therefore the past is irrelevant, but it's more likely because I'm fundamentally flawed in some way.
The point is, when I sat down and wrote my draft, I included quite a few events that happened in 2011. It all just runs together for me. Luckily, I reviewed it with my husband, otherwise known as the voice of reason, and he set me straight. If he also rolled his eyes, he was kind enough to do it when I wasn't looking. In case you're wondering, yes, he knows precisely what the day and time are at any given moment. He can make astoundingly accurate guesses on the time without using a timepiece. Just more proof that opposites attract.
For a moment, I was disheartened. How could I write a list when I can barely remember what I did yesterday, let alone 2 months ago? I sat down and thought about it and then I asked my husband. The Don, darling man that he is, reminded me (yet again) to give myself more credit...to recognize how far I have come. I hate to admit it, but he's right. You know what? 2012 was a big year for me.
- In June of 2012, I started Ink & Alchemy with just a FB page and the goals of encouraging, inspiring, and transforming creative people via social media and networking. It didn't happen overnight, but I&A is now over 400 strong and growing on a daily basis.
- My website made it's debut into the world and as part of this, I learned to write a teeny bit of HTML. Not exactly creative, but for me it was a huge accomplishment.
- I learned so much while working on my website and social media platform, that I am hosting my very first course in Social Media for Creative People. Those of you in the Albuquerque area are most cordially invited. Please RSVP. I believe that in today's world, a social media platform is a requirement and I want to pass along my experiences and help others get their words and work out into the world.
- This one is a doosy. I never post images or work without getting permission from the creator, which is frankly, a heap of work to obtain, maintain, and keep track of. During the process, I discovered a lovely silver lining. Since I began contacting artists for permission, I have made connections with hundreds of artists, building relationships which will hopefully endure and add to my creative life in many ways. I have received so much encouragement and knowledge from this exceedingly generous group of people. Thank you, featured artists of Ink and Alchemy. You rock!
- I joined a very small writing group, which has helped me to stay on task and become a better writer. An unexpected fringe benefit - I found a solid writing partner and a true friend. Jonanthan Kahn is an accountant, a writer, and a talented musician. He's just getting started on his FB page, so if you have a sec, head over and give him some love.
- I also joined a larger, already established group, Southwest Writer's Group. I learned so much from this talented and diverse group of writers, that I decided to serve on the board in 2013. Looking forward to it!
- I was a NaNoWriMo winner! During a very hectic month, I managed to write 50 thousand words. Words which I am now trying to browbeat into a novel that doesn't suck. Said novel is slowly taking shape and I'm very excited!
- I opened an Etsy shop and subsequently sold 2 pieces of art, magically transforming me into a real , honest-to-goodness artist.
- My short story, Elegy in Orange, was published by Blue Mesa Review and then nominated for 2012 Best of the Net. Still waiting to hear what happens with that, but just getting this published was an accomplishment that I'm proud of.
- As part of a commitment to get more involved in local art and writing events, I attended my first art workshop, Extreme Journaling, hosted by the talented and energetic Juliana Coles. This really helped get the creative juices flowing! Juliana is a talented artist and a great teacher. Check out her online courses and Etsy shop. I also attended the Tony Hillerman Writer's Conference and the Business of Art Series at New Grounds Print Workshop. All incredible experiences!
- My husband installed cabinets and a benchtop in my studio, which has really transformed the workspace. I'm in here now, with the fireplace blazing!
- And best of all, I'm starting to feel more confidence as both a writer and an artist. I'm finding my voice!
By the way, if you hadn't noticed, a complete list of Featured Artists is available here, on my blog, at the top right corner. You are encouraged to visit their sites, like their pages, buy their art, and just generally love them up a bit. Trust me, they like it! If you're interested in becoming a Featured Artist, read the information at my website and then drop me a line. Let's talk!
I did mostly finished the piece called At the Boundaries; it's only lacking a few minor markings, a signature, and the final glaze. It's difficult to photograph because of it's odd size, but I'm pretty happy with the results:
Oh! And how could I forget? I learned to knit! I squeezed it in right under the wire (day before yesterday), but last night I knitted several rows all by myself. I did, indeed, learn to knit. I'm looking forward to a very happy and creative New Year and I wish the same for you!