Friday Finds: Video – “The Butterfly Dragon” by Sushan Yue

Again, a lot of the people who are likely to read this journal have probably already seen this, but I know there are some who haven’t. (Besides, things like this are worth watching even when they’re not the big viral thing of the moment.)

Interpretations of this animation vary, but this has been quoted as a comment from the artist:

“As for the story: the butterfly dragon, a symbol of imagination, enables the little deer creature to express his creativity by teaching him how to paint. The mask, representing the deer’s imagination, is blessed by the dragon and transforms him into a creature similar to the butterfly dragon. Essentially it’s about unlocking the ‘god’ inside us all. :)”

The artist’s website can be found here.

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Goals for 2012

On tap writing-wise for this year:

1. Complete the first draft of The Second Life of Bartholomew T. Lion.
(This is the novel begun for Camp NaNoWriMo last August.) Ideally I’d like to do this in the first half of the year, so I can maybe get a couple beta reads and get going on revisions in the second half of the year.

2. Release at least 2 more stories/collections via Smashwords and Amazon’s Kindle store.
“Real Dragons Don’t Wear Sweaters” sold reasonably well last year, and I’d like to expand my self-published ebook presence a bit this year, while still pursuing traditional publishing opportunities.

3. Get a professional head shot taken.
The photo I’m currently using was always meant to be something of a placeholder, so I’d like to replace it with a more polished one… preferably sometime when I’ve just gotten a good haircut and I’m looking all spiffy. 😉

4. Enter the Writers of the Future contest every quarter this year.
I managed to get in an entry in quarter 3 last year… though I didn’t make it past the first round. (I figure this goal might serve a dual purpose and encourage me to complete at least four of my current short-stories-in-progress this year.)

As far as traditional resolutions go, they’re pretty much the same thing I struggle with generally: 1) getting writing off the bottom of the to-do list and making it part of my routine again, and 2) trying not to be quite so desperately envious of other writers I know who (in the little world of my mind) are succeeding at everything I’m failing at. >_< We'll see how that goes, but all in all, I'm putting more faith in the goals than the resolutions.

2011 goals in review…

They say the first step of keeping your resolutions is to look back on what worked and didn’t worked in the past year’s resolutions. With that in mind, I figured I’d do a recap of my 2011 writing goals.

1. Finish at least one short story per month.
This worked pretty well until summertime, when I wound up focusing on my novel revision plus my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, and never got my short story rhythm back. It still strikes me as a very reasonable goal — as long as I’m not trying to write a novel at the same time. That said, it’s getting more and more frustrating trying to sell short stories to magazines, so I think 2012 is going to be more about longer forms of writing for me.

2. Submit to at least three markets on my “someday” list.
Accomplished this with no problems. Didn’t get accepted by any of them, but at least got a couple of encouraging rejection letters that made me feel as if the goal of being published in another professional-level magazine isn’t totally out of reach. 🙂

3. Put at least one long short story/novella up for sale on Smashwords.
Done. You can find “Real Dragons Don’t Wear Sweaters” both at Smashwords and in Amazon’s Kindle store.

4. Work on my website (add bio, sample stories and poems, etc).
Websites are always a work in progress, of course, but as far as the website serving as an online portfolio where people can get a better idea of who I am and what I write, plus a way to find out where they can get more of what I write, things are pretty well set up. From here on out, it’s going to be adding and tweaking, instead of flat-out building.

5. Create enough visual art/craft items to be able to finally open an Etsy shop.
This is the only one that I didn’t get much done on. I did sign up for Etsy and even spent a few hours putting a banner together for the shop, but I only made one greeting card, and then art kept getting pushed to the side in favor of writing projects. I’d still like to get back into art again, especially the little sorts of things that would sell on Etsy, so I’m tempted to carry this goal over into this year. At the same time, though, I’m finding that art can be frustrating for me these days because my skills aren’t where they need to be, and as much as I try to tell myself to just draw things for myself and get a feel for it again, at this point I feel more accomplishment and satisfaction by using my creative energy for writing.

2012 goals coming soon…

Friday Finds: Poetry – “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Apparently this poem has been making the rounds since about 1994, but I first encountered it when it was posted to the [community profile] poetry community here on Dreamwidth.

http://poetry.dreamwidth.org/108156.html

You can find more about the poet and her other works at her website:

http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/