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Category: Author’s Musings

I think about a lot of things, be it writing, life, or all points in between.

The Value of Creativity

I got into a discussion with my very good friend, Meredith, tonight about the value of our creative efforts and how we should embrace that all our creativity is, well… created equal.  Just because something may not be up to quality standards, one creative work shouldn’t be lessened by another, even in our own minds.  It still takes time, effort, and creativity to produce; all of which are valued commodities to artists and creatives.

It raised an awareness about myself and the way I view my endeavors.  I’m certainly guilty of labeling my various creative efforts and compartmentalizing them into the “good” stuff and the “extraneous fluff.”  All of it, though, was created by me and shared with you.  While one may not be as good in quality as the other, it shouldn’t lessen the creative energy that went into producing it.  I think a lot of creative people I know are guilty of doing it to some degree.

And I think we all need to stop doing that.  Being dismissive of our own work and lessening its value is why we get taken for granted by jobs and prospective employers.  It allows us to get sucked in to opportunities and projects where “exposure” is our payment, instead of cold, hard cash.  Or lets us be paid a pittance for hours of labor, instead of being paid the quality rate of an industry professional.  We have to change our own perceptions of our work and its value if we expect others to do the same.

Know what you and your creative endeavors are worth.  Know what your time is worth.  Neither are infinite.  You are a finite resource and everything you do is valuable.  Embrace that mentality, share it with other creatives when you find them devaluing themselves or their work.  Nothing you do is worthless.  In fact, someone, somewhere, may love it.

Remember that and take it to heart.  If someone else can love your work, then you should too.  All of it.  Equally.

A Mini Journey

I’ve been considering taking up painting miniatures for my D&D games for a while now, but was oftentimes overwhelmed at the sheer bulk of information there is out there about it.  Even basic “starter kit” suggestions seemed a bit much for my novitiate mind, so I kept hemming and hawing about it for ages.  Well, I finally decided to just bite the bullet, throw down and a starter paint kit and go from there.  My first attempt has been clumsy to say the least, but I overlooked a few things that are likely pretty important.

Primer being first and foremost on the List of Things I Neglected to Buy.  The kit I purchased didn’t have any.  (Why you’d sell a starter kit without primer, I’m not entirely sure!)  So when I sat down and started painting I realized that my paint ended up running off the mini more than it actually stuck!

Woe is me, but I refused to be defeated.  I stuck with it and applied a couple of extra layers of basecoat before I started adding colors for the armor and weaponry.  So far, I feel like it’s rather a trainwreck of horribleness, but for a first attempt I don’t think it’s that bad.  Plus, it’s an orc bad guy — bad guys can look terrible!

I’ve reached out to friends that paint minis on the regular, though, and they’ve all been super helpful so I’m hoping it will help me improve.  I just need to get some proper primer…

I write, therefore, I am…

I’ve decided this year that I’m ditching the word “hope”. I’m going to stop hoping for things: hoping to get better, hoping to get back to my writing, hoping to get back to my art. Hope is for those who lack the will to actually /do/ something.

I plan on doing things. So this year, my keyword is determined. I’m determined to get better, determined to get back to my writing, and determined to get back to my art.

That was a post I made a few hours ago on Facebook.  True to my word, here I am to update my blog and get back on the right path for myself and my life.  I may still stumble from time to time, since I’m still struggling a bit with my auto-immunity issues and finding some decent pain management, but I’m determined not to let it continue to drag me down.  I have a lot of things I want to get done, a lot of them that I will likely pay for in pain, but that’s what it takes.  I won’t always be at my best, but at least I’ll know that I put forth the effort.

To that end, you’ll probably see more on this blog than you have in the past couple of years.  A lot of it will probably be nonsense writing from my forays into the world of Hydaelyn on Final Fantasy XIV Online, some of it will even be from my adventures with the Table of Fantasy Awesomeness every Wednesday with our Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League table.  You might even get some of my classic writing and roleplaying prompts, or my oftentimes opinionated self ranting about one nerd-topic or another.  Whatever comes in the days ahead, I want to live up to the mantra that features so readily on this website as a hallmark to my life:  I write, therefore, I am.

 

Growing Up Right

When I was young my parents never said, “You must be a Roman Catholic or a Southern Baptist.  You have to choose, one or the other.”  They felt that religion, or the lack thereof, was a personal decision that I should make on my own when I felt the time was right.  It’s something that I largely love and respect them for because it’s let me explore the world without having it colored by the perceptions of heavy-handed doctrine.

I was also never taught that I should hate someone for their race, their religion, or their sexual orientation.  Growing up, I had friends of all kinds of colors, from all kinds of creeds, straight friends, homosexual friends, trans-gender friends, and probably friends from every other kind of fringe element.  I’ve never looked at them and said, “Hey, I should probably not like you because you’re different from me.”

I base my like and dislike of people on how they treat me and by their actions, because — as the saying goes — actions speak louder than words.  We are, each of us, the sum of how and who we are with other people.  Humanity is not an exploration of the individual, but rather how we are together as a society.  It both amazes and astounds me that there are still people in the world who don’t understand this concept.

Back to Writing Roots

Before there was a dream of publication…

Before there was talk of books and being an author…

There was just a girl with a blog that enjoyed writing.  Somewhere in the process of the journey to become an author, I lost sight of that girl that I used to be.  The one who wrote for love of the written word.  Not for fame.  Not for fortune.  Not for the dream of being read by many.  I wrote because it was what I loved to do and I wrote about anything and everything I wanted.  I didn’t worry about my image; I didn’t worry about having a marketable website presence.  I just wrote.

It didn’t matter if it was fiction, my personal opinion, or just stuff from my everyday life.  It was merely me and my near-daily journey with the written word.  I don’t know how or why I ever lost sight of that love.  Perhaps being forced into too many molds, trying to live up to too many expectations; somewhere along the line I stopped writing for me and writing to “be” someone.

With everything that’s happened in my life in the past year, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on things and despite that I’m still as sick as I ever was, I still find that there are moments in which I feel like writing something.  It may be a rant, it may be a stories inspired by my roleplaying adventures, or it could just be my thoughts on things that happen in my life or in the world itself.

So, here we go again, word-fans.  We’re going back to our roots and see what flourishes from there.

Coming Up For Air

For the first time in months, I have enough clarity to make the attempt to write something — namely this post.  Until you’ve experienced debilitating chronic pain first-hand it’s difficult to comprehend.  I know, because I watch the people around me — friends, family, even completely strangers — that have no earthly clue.  It’s made this journey a lot lonelier than it had to be, but it’s also made me a stronger, more independent person.

I’m sure the burning question on everyone’s mind is:  What’s going on with you now?

To be completely honest, I don’t know yet.  My current therapy is a weekly injection called Enbrel.  I’m on that for the next three months to see if it’s actually going to stick — unlike every pill therapy we’ve tried before it.  It’s difficult for me to plan anything right now because I don’t know if the pain might come back tomorrow.  Or a week from now.  Or a month.  You get the picture.

To that end, I stepped down from my scheduled appearances at Comicpalooza because I want to focus on healing first.  I don’t want to meet-and-greet people and fans when my face is covered in psoriasis scales.  It’s embarrassing for me and I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for them.  I also want to have more to offer potential readers than a self-help book.  It’s useful and it’s enjoyable, but people love fiction.

So, when I’m able, I plan on continuing work on Riftwalker Chronicles as well as dusting off Journey of Excalibur.  Both are stories that I love and want to finish — that need to be finished, my Muse has spoken.  After that, I might delve into some of my old files and do some work with my home-crafted world of Oridosha and resurrect my Tyberan from the verge of fiction extinction.  We’ll see!

It was good to finally come up for air.  There for a while, I felt like I was drowning in my misery.  With everything I’ve been through in the past couple of years it’s hard not to be skeptical of everything, but I’m clinging to hope with everything that I have.  I want to be better.  I have novels to write!