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Snowed In. (Sort of).
Hey friends! GameHoleCon 2019 has come and gone. I had a wonderful time, made some new friends, and had a lot of fun on the live stream playing for charity. Following the show, I revisited my plate to see what I had left to catch up on. I'm so happy to report the answer is...NOTHING. I'm completely through every backlog I had, and I'm ready to rock out with new words, words, words!
I'm so happy about this I've already pledged my resolution for 2020, too. I keep a journal where I list everything I do for my career on a daily basis. My goal is simple: fill this journal up with risks taken and opportunities explored!
In January, I'll be making changes to my Patreon. I am going to deliver one item yet this year, and then plan on adjusting it when I have new art and the tiers planned out. I did a soft launch this past summer to ensure I stuck with the existing (and better) friendlier terms for creators, but haven't really pursued it further. Now that I don't have any past due deadlines screaming at me, I'm free to move forward with that.
Life's been pretty busy as of late, and I'm embracing the calm moments as much as I can--which means not being glued to Twitter or Facebook. I don't care for election years, because it feels as if the entire year is one, loud scream. (Yep, I am voting, though! The thing about rights, is that if you don't exercise them, they get taken away.) I did a lot of testing and it seems like my best option is to use it sparingly and sporadically. That might translate into more blogging next year, but we'll see.
Not watching much TV these days, either. I'm enjoying His Dark Materials and Watchmen on HBO, though Watchmen Episode 4 leans into a horror convention I have a hard time with. I'm curious to see what they'll do going forward, so will probably stick it out. I am reading a lot more now that I don't have to research for work as much. Hilariously, I can actually dive in and read for myself. A luxury!
This week's posts is about my first GOH appearance next year and what I plan/hope to do with the Make Art Not War Challenge. My travel schedule is filling up and, as of right now, I'm booked through the end of April. I'll be looking forward to an EARLY Spring. I hope. It started snowing here before Halloween!
Anyway, I'm diving back into the pile and working my way through some fun new possibilities. Hope you're all doing well and enjoying this time of year. Don't be a stranger!
In the 11/14/2019 edition:
By Monica Valentinelli on Nov 12, 2019 06:08 pm
It’s been about two years since I self-published the Make Art Not War Challenge: Rules, Essays, and 31 Creative Prompts ebook following a year’s worth of posts to help keep people motivated and focused on making art, and approximately a year since we booted up a micro-community with this spirit in mind. I’ve had some time to think about my next steps for this program that I wanted to share with you.
Right now, it doesn’t make sense to give this a huge push as an online movement. A lot of online spaces are experiencing a ton of changes for reasons ranging from algorithmic bias to a drop in types of usage, etc. So many people feel so overwhelmed, they’re sticking to the basics and exploring local, existing, private spaces. I suspect we’ll see this happen even more going into an Election Year. Mind you, my intent was never to make this Monica’s MANW Challenge, because that’s not the reason why I started this.
My dream for the Make Art Not War Challenge is to create spaces where the arts are accessible for people to explore music, literature, art, etc. regardless of their identity or income while getting guidance to learn how to build a career or seek employment in the arts. I am not the only one who has this vision; to put something like this in motion (on the scale I’m picturing) I’d need a significant amount of resources/money to build (both on and with) existing programs that exist for specific arts and verticals. It doesn’t make sense to create something brand new that doesn’t take into account the work wonderful community leaders, educators, and professional organizations are already doing.
This is not the time for that initiative, either. I’ve come to the realization that no dream of mine can be realized until I finish securing my own oxygen mask. There may come a point when I have the resources/money available, either through a donor or other means, to turn that around but for now? It’s just a gentle whisper until the time is right.
If you’re reading this and you’re struggling, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Though I’ve been keeping my head down on Twitter (and I’m mostly off of Facebook other than the occasional, ridiculous quip), I do pay attention to the vibe. If it’s any reassurance, what’s happening in the world is having a profound effect on everyone in both small and big ways from feelings of guilt for pursuing your dreams to being shell-shocked by the increasing amounts of vitriol online and off–not to mention all the personal stuff everyone has going on. It’s a lot for anyone to manage!
That’s it for me right now. In closing, I want to add simply this: if you can’t find the light in the darkness, become one. Shine.
By Monica Valentinelli on Nov 12, 2019 03:45 pm
I’m pleased to announce that I’m the Writer Guest of Honor next year at RadCon, a science fiction and fantasy convention in Pasco, WA. I’m really looking forward to this–Washington State is so beautiful and I rarely get to visit during the winter months.
Right now, I’m proposal panels, figuring out what I want to read, and prepping a keynote for the show. I’m really grateful for this opportunity to connect with a lovely segment of the community, and hope to see you there!
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[New Release] A Happy Gnome to Benefit Extra Life!
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