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Take the Make Art Not War Challenge and Change Your World
Welcome to 2018?!?!? Yep. Halloo!
Wow, 2017 didn't seem like 2017. Did it? It felt more like 1987 or, in many ways, 1937, as if we were running backwards and headed straight first into the annals of history. Of course, that's ridiculous, but what last year made me realize is how important my overall health and well-being is to my productivity. Of course it is. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Except, I wasn't the only writer/artist/etc. feeling overwhelmed, and that's part of the reason why I devoted so much time to my Make Art Not War Challenge, both on my blog and the eBook I created to sell on Amazon.com and DriveThruFiction.com.
Following my own advice, I realized late last year I'd become so emotionally attached to what was happening politically, the 2017 goals I'd set for myself on a personal level fell by the wayside. Again. I forgot why I wanted to be a writer, and I was all too ready to throw in the proverbial towel. Then, sometime in December, I made a pledge to spend 2018 focused on a very specific aspect of Make Art Not War, and that was to get my shit together. Using baseball's spring training as inspiration, I've been more focused than I have been in a while. That said, this is an extremely methodical approach that's not for everyone, but for me "doing" is far better than "being ineffectual because I'm so incredibly angry". For example, in my spare time I've been:
Setting up an Author's Shelf for my publications
Redoing my writing reference library
Revisiting my reading time
Cutting down on conferences/cons
Creating new systems to cull story ideas/outlines
Setting up a new priority system for labels in GMail
Developing a visual map/graphic that represents my business plan
I've also found that being healthy sometimes means revisiting my coping mechanisms, and tossing which ones don't work (Ahem! Addiction to Diet Mountain Dew, for example...) for me. So, things are good in my world. I'm finally getting caught up, and am anxious to nail down the remaining pieces of bigger projects so I can move forward with my career. There's a lot going on in my world, but it's not the kind of thing I necessarily need to talk about or describe every step of the way. Right now, I'm just having fun writing my ass off, and I'm glad and extremely fortunate that I'm in a position where I can do just that.
Hope you're all doing well in your worlds!
In the 05/24/2018 edition:
By Monica Valentinelli on May 23, 2018 11:58 am
Saturday, May 26 2:30-3:45 p.m. Geekiness and Productivity University B
Moderator: Rachel Kronick. With Becky Allen, Catherine Krahe, Allison Morris, Monica Valentinelli
Capitalism tells us that we are only worthwhile when we produce or when we consume. As a result, many of us end up justifying everything we do, whether for work or pleasure, in terms of “productivity”: “I’m useful to society because I make widgets.” “My crafting/stargazing/gaming/reading/writing make me work better and consume more.” “That person is a better geek than me because they spend more money on their hobbies.” These kinds of framing buy into and reinforce capitalism. Are there ways of framing geeky pursuits that don’t buy into a capitalist framework? Are there ways of justifying our geeky pursuits that don’t commodify them? Are there ways to avoid needing to justify our geeky sides at all?
Sunday, May 27 1:00-2:15 p.m. Smash the Patriarchy Reading at Michaelangelo’s
Naomi Kritzer, David D. Levine, Monica Valentinelli, LaShawn M. Wanak
Powerful stories can move mountains and shatter glass. This reading is not for the faint-of-heart. The stories will unsettle you, make you uncomfortable, force you to think and feel. Come for the stories. Leave with possibilities.
Note: I will have swag bags at my reading that will include this! You’ll have to come to find out why!
Sunday, May 27 2:30-3:45 p.m. Why Do Gender Neutral Things In Games Get Gendered As Masculine?
Moderator: Rachel Kronick. With Kel Bachus, Tanya D., Jack Evans, Jed Hartman, Monica Valentinelli
Watch a “let’s play” and you’ll soon see a lot of gamers gendering non-gendered things — humans with non-declared genders, fish, trees, basically anything or anyone that moves — as “guys” or “he”. NPCs in tabletop RPGs quickly get gendered as masculine if the GM doesn’t explicitly declare them otherwise (and a lot of GMs forget that non-masculine genders exist). A lot of gamers generally tend to fall into masculine-default mindsets while gaming. Why does this happen, and how do we stop it?
Monday, May 28 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The SignOut Capitol/Wisconsin
Saladin Ahmed, Becky Allen, Eleanor A. Arnason, K. Tempest Bradford, Sue Burke, Kristi Carter, Nino Cipri, Loren W Cooper, Meredith Dillman, Timmi Duchamp, Tananarive Due, Anthony W. Eichenlaub, Jack Evans, Rhea Ewing, Karin Gastreich, Andrea D. Hairston, Alex Iantaffi, Vylar Kaftan, Naomi Kritzer, Rebecca Kuang, David D. Levine, Dale Cameron Lowry, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Nancy Jane Moore, Pat Murphy, Beth Plutchak, Cath Schaff-Stump, Nisi Shawl, Sheree Renée Thomas, Amy Thomson, Monica Valentinelli, LaShawn M. Wanak, Sunny Moraine
My 2017 Publications
New! December’s 30 Day Challenge to Make Art Not War
MANW Check-In Week 48: November’s Progress and Finish Lines
[Recommending Reading] Writer’s Yearbook 2018
[New RPG Jumpstart Release] Legacy of Lies for V20 Dark Ages