The Luxury of Time

November 25, 2014 10:09pm
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(via Plum Deluxe)

Love the sentiment – one that resonates quite true for me at this particular stage of my life. I’m always striving for something a little better, but what I’d love more than anything else is just more time.

I stumbled across this post very much at random, but have found it to be particularly inspiring and actually I’ve been refreshing it every couple of days for the past week or so just to see what new comments are added to the thread!

Hundreds of independent authors at various stages in their careers – some just trying to get their first title done, some seeing tens of thousands of dollars a month in royalties, some that have happily left their “evil day jobs” behind and others still working and making good progress towards that goal.

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/06/2014/indie-authors-quitting-their-day-jobs/

Good luck ever mining this kind of professional feedback from traditional publishing… 😉

Positive Pranking

May 10, 2014 1:44am
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I’m not always the biggest fan of pranks. I mean, I guess it depends on what the prank is – if it’s relatively harmless and the pranksters are good sports about it afterwards, then that’s one thing, but if it’s just for shock value and only one party is laughing at the end of it … kind of like most of the pranking videos that are popular on YouTube. 

Filling someone’s cubicle at work with balloons from floor to ceiling? – FUNNY

Dumping a bucket of worms on somebody’s face while they’re sleeping? – JUST BEING A DICK

I mean, don’t get me wrong – there have certainly been late nights when I’ve stayed up watching more of those videos than I’m proud to admit because for some morbid reason I just can’t look away, but if I ever woke up to Sara standing over me with an electric razor in one hand and the majority of my hair in the other, let’s post it on YouTube! wouldn’t exactly be the first thought on my agenda!

Now all of this is said, mind you, because tonight I stumbled onto a very different kind of pranking video … in fact, one devoted to giving the homeless a night of luxury that most could never dream of, and just between you and me, the whole thing was pretty darned cool… 😉

Along those same lines, they also had one where they surprised an unsuspecting waitress with the best shift ever, and if you think that it stops at just a fat stack of tips, well, start your engines and watch the video to stand enthusiastically corrected!

For more about Break’s Prank It Fwdcheck out their site – all in all it’s a pretty great concept and I didn’t even have to worry about a bucket of snakes getting dumped on my head or anything… 😛

Inspiration. On Writing.

March 13, 2014 2:56am
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The E.L. Doctorow one in the middle is my favorite because it’s the one that I find myself faced with the most often. I tend to procrastinate and wander and do a lot of things in the name of writing that aren’t really writing, so maybe having that quote right in my face will help to break the habit and get back to typing words a little bit!

Runners up that nearly made the board…

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” — Robert Heinlein

“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.” — Neil Gaiman

“You can make anything by writing.” — C.S. Lewis

Good News for 2014!

December 31, 2013 11:25am
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Eternal optimist John Green shares a few inspiring statistics to consider to as we prepare to leap over the calendarial bridge from 2013 into the mighty and prosperous 2014.

Also, in 2014 I’d kind of like to see calendarial become an actual word because I couldn’t come up with anything better to fit in that sentence.

Happy New Year!!!

Kid President, I like your positions on please, thank you, AND corn dogs!

Also, this is freaking adorable … Kid President Meets the Adult President. 😉

Life is Hard

November 11, 2013 10:03pm
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This video has been going around a lot recently, and for good reason – there are a lot of really great thoughts in it. I love the story about the pancakes, but the part that really hit home with me was when she talks about the dangers of ranking my hard against your hard

Sara and I have had a really hard time getting pregnant. I’ve promised myself that once we’ve had the baby and all of it’s behind us, I’m going to write about it in more detail, but for the time being, I’ll just say that it’s taken us years to get where we are today and tens of thousands of dollars to get here, and for now we’ll leave it at that.

It’s been really hard, but quite frankly, a lot of the time what made it even worse was not having the social support that we didn’t know we didn’t have until we were already up to our necks in it.

Comparisons were levied at us from every direction. We had friends try to minimize what we were going through by telling us their own pregnancy horror stories. We had family tell us that it wasn’t fair for us to distance ourselves from gatherings because other people had it hard, too. We also had friends and family who held back the good tidings in their own lives because they felt bad about the things that we were going through.

It was after one of these randomly terrible exchanges that I started analyzing what was going on around us and it really made me start to wonder, “Why does your hard have to be worse than my hard? Or better, for that matter? Why can’t we just sit here and sympathize with each other over the phone and recognize that we’re both going through some really hard times, and support each other instead of one person having to win over the other???”

Because believe you me, I certainly didn’t feel like I had won that conversation. Knowing that I’ve got it harder than somebody else doesn’t help me to get through that situation any better than knowing that it could be worse. If something is hard for me, then it’s hard … it doesn’t make it any lighter because I could have cancer or my loved one could’ve been killed in a plane crash instead of simply having to endure this less hard problem of not being able to make a baby.

Everything is hard, and most everyone goes through hard patches in their lives, but that sentiment should never be used as an argument to “Suck it up!” because “Everybody’s got problems…” 

Everybody’s got problems because life is hard, and we should strive to help each other through those hard times by being there, and being supportive, and listening, and not judging, and not comparing someone else’s struggles to our own as a means to justify how much sympathy they deserve. We could all stand to be a little more neighborly and easy-going on one another instead of always being so quick to throw our own challenges into the mix when the other person is just trying to unload.

What would’ve helped in any of those situations is if someone would’ve spoke up and said, “Hey, it sounds like what you’re going through is really hard. Do you want to talk about it?” Or, “Let’s go get a cup of coffee and try to get your mind off of that stuff for a while.” Or even just, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here for you. Full stop.”

It’s actually pretty simple because my problems may not be about you, but you’re welcome to try and help be part of the solution … as long as you can remember that they’re about me and not about you.

And that’s actually pretty hard, too, but it’s something that we all have to work through together. 😉

Inspiration is Everything

October 21, 2013 4:31am
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One of the things that’s usually pretty good for getting me revved up and inspired in the creative world is gawking at other successful creative people, so the other day when I found myself with a scad of business work, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this video from PAX Prime with likes of Mike & Jerry from Penny Arcade to help me pass the time!

It’s kind of cool because unlike some of the other Q&As that they’ve done, this one was led by Robert Khoo, who’s best known as the business unicorn that lifted their comic to its destiny … and officially speaking, I guess you could say that he runs the company now, and it’s certainly no secret that under his leadership, they’ve done very, very well for themselves! And so in a way it’s inspiring for me to listen to these guys talk so candidly about how their business operates and some admittedly controversial happenings that they’ve seen over the years, and how they’ve grown with them as a result.

Admittedly one piece that also piqued my curiosity was the couple of questions that touched on money, both in how it has affected Mike & Jerry’s lives in addition to the bit on various companies bidding to buy out Penny Arcade there at the end. I’ve always assumed that by this point they’re both doing very well, but it seems a little weird to put an actual number on something that started out as a couple of guys drawing comic strips in their apartment in between playing video games. I think that’s what’s inspiring the most to me – simply to be able to see the entire arc of their success from the ground level back in the late ’90s to now being this huge, but still incredibly small business of little more than a dozen people who create the largest webcomic on the Internet and raise millions of dollars for charity and run the biggest gaming conventions in the world, among all of the other new projects that they have popping up all of the time.

It’s very cool to me to see something like that because it gives hope to the types of creative stuff that I’d like to do myself.

A few other videos of theirs that I enjoyed in this same marathon session…

I’ve been slowly working my way through this comic’s archives over the last couple of days – it’s such a cool concept with plenty to inspire you in just about every aspect you can think of. Below are a collection of my favorites … there are a lot because I had a really tough time narrowing them down, so you might want to just browse the entire collection yourself to see what inspires you! 😉

You can even order prints for some of them, which would probably make for some pretty awesome Christmas gifts this year…

Chris Hadfield – An Astronaut’s Advice
http://zenpencils.com/comic/106-chris-hadfield-an-astronauts-advice/

Taylor Mali – What Teacher’s Make
http://zenpencils.com/comic/124-taylor-mali-what-teachers-make/

Robert H. Goddard – The Rocket Man
http://zenpencils.com/comic/64-robert-h-goddard-the-rocket-man/

Alan Watts – What If Money Was No Object? – (audio track via YouTube)
http://zenpencils.com/comic/98-alan-watts-what-if-money-was-no-object/

Randy Pausch – The Brick Walls – (audio track via YouTube)
http://zenpencils.com/comic/86-randy-pausch-the-brick-walls/

C.S. Lewis – To Love at All
http://zenpencils.com/comic/103-c-s-lewis-to-love-at-all/

Lawrence of Arabia – All Men Dream
http://zenpencils.com/comic/85-lawrence-of-arabia-all-men-dream/

Douglas Adams – A Good Time to Be Alive
http://zenpencils.com/comic/62-douglas-adams-a-good-time-to-be-alive/

Albert Einstein – The Important Thing
http://zenpencils.com/comic/51-albert-einstein-the-important-thing/

Neil Gaiman – Make Good Art – (audio track via Vimeo)
http://zenpencils.com/comic/50-neil-gaiman-make-good-art/

Kurt Vonnegut – The Life of Art
http://zenpencils.com/comic/49-kurt-vonnegut-the-life-of-art/

Kurt Vonnegut – Take a Moment – (the puppy in this one looked very familiar!)
http://zenpencils.com/comic/27-kurt-vonnegut-take-a-moment/

Steve Jobs – Your Time is Limited – (audio track via YouTube)
http://zenpencils.com/comic/16-steve-jobs-your-time-is-limited/

“You are already naked – there’s no reason not to follow your heart.”

Space Oddity, Revisited

May 13, 2013 3:19pm
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ISS Commander Chris Hadfield comes back home to Earth today, but not before sending us one last song from space … quite the fitting finale!

Note that he re-wrote some the lyrics to better fit with his journey, not to mention the entire last verse to give the tune a little HAPPIER ending… 😀

BTW, here’s a great article from The Guardian chronicling Chris’ last five months aboard the ISS and the impact he’s made with everything he’s shared online from that unique view above the world. Here’s to hoping this is a trend that continues with the next astronauts to take his place!

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