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Take the Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Change Your World
Welcome to March Madness!
This week's news, announcements, and musings include Wednesday's check-in, a brand new theme for March, and a motivational post (or two) for my Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge. You are welcome to join us at any time. Thanks so much for reading and supporting my art!
In the 03/30/2017 edition:
By Monica Valentinelli on Mar 29, 2017 01:00 pm
Good morning, challengers! If you’re just joining us, you can check out the full set of rules for my Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge. As always, this challenge isn’t about me–it’s about you. Hopefully, these posts are motivating you to make art and find your light.
Time to revisit my pledge!
My Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge pledge:
I pledge to devote one hour a day to my original art.
If I don’t feel motivated, I pledge to write down the reasons why I wanted to take this challenge for fifteen minutes or one-to-three pages whichever comes first.
I pledge to mark down on the calendar whenever I complete a day’s efforts.
As the challenge creator, I pledge to create a weekly accountability post every Wednesday beginning on January 9th. Comments will be open. Hashtag #makeartnotwar2017 #manw2017
I pledge to check into social media twice a week for personal use, and once a month with my local community of artists and writers.
March 2017 Challenge Recap
I had no problem making art every day.
Motivation hasn’t been a problem. Sometimes, I do feel out of the loop because I haven’t been online as much. The only way forward, however, is to make art. Can’t sell a blank page!
Tracking? Eh, I fell off the wagon there. House guests, trip/con planning, and the pain and agony of adulting really soured my mood. More on this shortly.
Social media? TOTALLY MANAGED. (Finally! YAY!) Future community time? Also planned.
All in all, I think this was a fairly productive challenge month. I felt my priorities shifting 100% to work (which is good) and more reading (which is very good). Doing that, allowed me to better spend my free time knowing I am doing everything I can to get shit done. That’s a good feeling!
Adulting blows, because it’s boring as hell and it’s not as exciting as writing a new story or making a gift for someone. But, it is part of being human on planet Earth, unfortunately, which means that it’s necessary to offset that filing/appointments/life, the universe, and everythingTM decision-making crap with a reminder of the good stuff. That can be hard in today’s climate, but no matter what age we’re in that little bit of light can be found.
PLANT Theme Recap
March’s theme was PLANT. I decided on this theme to ease off of “big picture” planning and focus on the small stuff–especially after February’s ORGANIZE theme. PLANT encouraged you to spend this month accomplishing small, mini-goals. Even if you did a handful, that adds up quick! And, knocking off a few minor to-do list items can help build your confidence as an artist, too.
To tap into PLANT-ing the seeds for my future, I focused on outlining–which isn’t something I normally do. Then, I started working on a few scenes for each story just to get started in preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo. I also revisited my “morgue”, which is where my stories go to die, and the 100s of e-mails I have filled with story ideas. From there, once I grab ideas from the dozens of journals I have lying around, I’ll probably put together a spreadsheet. I’ve also marked down two settings I need to create setting bibles for; they are massive, massive lumbering beasts that can populate games, stories, comics, etc. Additionally, I did focus on spring cleaning, organizing my art supplies more, and I started taking stock of my beads. I do have a rough idea of how long a household project will take me, however, and that definitely helps me plan my day.
Out of this, what I learned was that outlines for fiction don’t come naturally to me, because I’ve always been more of a gardener (as opposed to an architect) when it comes to telling stories. My solution to writing has always been to write until I internalize what I need to, and I always wanted to try new approaches to see if I’d get longer projects done faster. Outlines have helped me recognize a story’s potential for conflict and character motivation, which are two things that are often lacking in stories if you’ve worked in games for as long as I have.
For some novels and long-term projects I’m working on outlines are essential; they’re also necessary in the world of media/tie-in for approvals, too. In the past, I’ve worked off one-to-three paragraph pitches for short stories, but now that my productivity cycle is longer? I have to use them–especially since I can’t drop everything to work on “one” project for months at a time. That would be glorious, if that were the case, but to stay in business I have to do more than one thing.
For April, I am embracing Camp NaNoWriMo and am in a cabin with other writers from my agency. April’s theme will be SPEED! It takes inspiration from the many one hour, one thousand words writing sprints the NaNoWriMo team conducts. Watch for my upcoming post about how (and why) this theme can be a lot of fun!
Mood: Focused like sharks with laser beams on their head.
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I stopped counting.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Housework
In My Ears: Nada
Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2 Remastered
Book Last Read: The Oracle
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: ONCE Upon a Time
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Read my end-of-the-year list of releases for an overview of what I’ve put out for 2016.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming this month!
By Monica Valentinelli on Mar 24, 2017 02:37 pm
Popping in to remind you that panelist applications are open for OdysseyCon, which takes place April 28th through the 30th. I am a Literary/Gaming Guest of Honor at the show, along with the luminous Tad Williams and excellent Christopher Mihm.
Deadlines are rapidly approaching, so be sure to submit your panelist application if you plan on attending on the Odyssey Con website. Cheers!
By Monica Valentinelli on Mar 24, 2017 09:00 am
Unknown Armies is an occult game about broken people conspiring to fix the world. I worked on all three books, and they are now available for you to download in PDF format. This game is utterly dark, weird, gut-wrenching, and very cool! If you don’t want to get all three, I’d start with the first one or check out the Unknown Armies Kickstarter page for more information.
Unknown Armies presents magick as it might exist in a world informed by crime fiction and secret histories, as twisting wrinkles in reality created by greater and greater risk, sacrifice, and obsession. As a player, you are confronted by the consequences of your character’s actions, and challenged by the implicit threat of a world shaped by the will of those who want something more than you do.
Unknown Armies Book One: Play is the book for players. It details:
Obsession and identity.
All of the rules for resolving actions.
The central shock gauge mechanic.
How to avoid fights, and how to deal with them when you’re dragged into them anyway.
The magick of adepts and avatars.
Gorgeous full-color art and layout.
Unknown Armies Book Two: Run is the book for gamemasters. It tells you how to:
Present the characters with obstacles to their fevered dreams of changing the world.
Oversee character creation and setting collaboration in the first session of play.
Draw on the rich and disturbingly familiar world of the occult underground.
Create new creatures and antagonists.
Resolve conflicts as a fan of the characters.
Prepare situations to disturb and entertain.
Unknown Armies Book Three: Reveal is the book of the weird for everyone. It contains:
Gamemaster characters, locations, creatures, and events.
Heresy and hearsay, alphabetized like a devil’s dictionary.
Ideas, hooks, tidbits, scraps, lies, truths, and horrors.
Lists, stats, and ephemera.
Even more weirdness.
Even more magick.
Created by Greg Stolze and John Tynes, Unknown Armies presents an entirely original yet disturbingly familiar approach to mystery, horror, and action in roleplaying games. If this is your jam, check it out!
MANW Week 11: Check-In and Emotional Labor
Camp NaNoWriMo Prep and 5 Writing eBook Recs
Why You Should Take My Writing the Other Class
Convention Prep: Geeking Out about My Top 5 Makeup Must-Haves
MANW Week 10: Check-In and Creative Prompts for Spring