Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Buh-bye 2013.... The year that coulda been better, coulda been worse....

Hard to believe that the end of the year has popped up again so fast. At the end of each year, I try to go over for myself whether or not the year I made the year successful enough for me or not.

Short answer: Yeah. Enough, though of course not nearly as successful as I would have liked. I just have taken on too many projects and that wasn't that smart. On the other hand, I did try out some things or re-visited some things that I'm glad that I did.
Quick shout out to shout out to Benton and DeAna.. Thanks for the wonderful xmas cards all these years !

(By the way, happy xmas to all, though belated)
Memorable bits for myself in the fan realm...

* Went back and took a beginning film class as a refresher. It was good review, the saddest thing is remembering not only how difficult it can be for a class of strangers to necessarily get along (I didn't get into any arguments- but I was suprised how things have not evolved in that almost every writing and film class seems to devolve into people backing into groups rather than all blending together by the end)- but it really was 'survival of the ones who most pesevered' by the end. Bottom line: I was reminded that no matter the person(s), it's NOT easy to get people to work on your project. I was thrilled that I kept mine fairly modest by design but was able to complete a phony trailer and short film at the same time. Helped a few people out at the same time, helping a few other students complete their first short film- and that had was rewarding to be able to help them and vicariously feel that joy again of COMPLETING one's first short film- and it was exciting to get over my own phobias about being too over the hill at this point to ask complete strangers out of the blue to be in a film for no money. (Yes, it still is terrifying to be rejected at any age, but how thrilling when people say yes, and when you put together something worthwhile to yourself at the end.

* Was 'pushed' to attend the Big Wow! convention in town. Saw a rather cranky (too bad, he was awesome in person years ago at Comicon) Neal Adams, talked to a few indy publishers, and was wowed by the mid-size scale of the convention. Also suprised how friendly the conventiongoers were, made a few friends just waiting in line- (Doesn't happen so much at Comicon- it's too damn huge) - it's certainly has grown. Also finished my pencils (for the most part) of the Faith graphic novel that I brought to Big Wow, as I was searching for an affordable inker/finisher. There, I also got a great review of pencils by a professional inker who works for DC/Marvel- which was a giant boost to the ego- very honest on what was rushed, but he seemed to genuinely find them done well.

* Created a graphic novel class for kids... which on the surface can seem odd if I haven't been published, but I gave the pitch as to what I was designing. Essentially, I was/am passionate about creating a class that I would have loved to have had as a kid. The first session was disappointing, but I'm glad that the reviews don't reflect that. Even though it was small enrollment for session one, most of the kids voted it up- and the second session was fantastic- As with most classes, I find the first go-round is nerve-wracking because it's untested except in your head. Then, one does a post-mortem - review what worked/what didn't, then go back and try it again- and the second time had a standing-room only enrollment and there were so many great talented kids in there that were hungry to create- that I really learned probably as much from me, as I did from them.

* Found an 11x17 scanner! But.... still haven't set it up yet. Must do today! Bad crazy asian man. Very bad.
* One of my good friends who freelance writes for a living comes to visit, and we shoot the breeze over the creative frustration.

* Start a new writing class that gets to be a bit much- in juggling what's going on in life, too- but the instructor extended an invite to retake it. The content is great, for sure. Will see... but considering how some life things came up in conflict with it later on, no regrets.
* A friend nudges me to go to APE-CON! Fun to be a dealer, although admittedly we got into a few heated disagreements about the booth. Met some very cool people there who had/have been doing it for years. Attending the self-publishing chat was part inspiring and depressing at the same time. On one hand, it's nice to know that there are others who are broke but genuinely love the art form as I do. Bummer because we're all freaking old and Dan Vado says that he feels that self-publishing in the current form may be dead and that on-line is the future.
* On the flip side, the writer in the booth next to us did a kickstarter that was successful and shared his story about being a scientist who quit his day job, to pursue doing his graphic novel.... and had GREAT success this weekend. And, no, his wife is not thrilled with his decision.
* What's odd is that I notice a pattern of one thing I wasn't planning on attending leading into something else rather cool happening instead.

* Another side effect of APE is that I found out about a local writing group that was also trying to do comics, so I have started to attend that. That, in turn, got me to moving further ahead in the comics' realm and prepping a few graphic novels- along with learning much with my friends' self-publishing ventures this year.
* Well, the bummer side is that the year wrapped up with a full-time teaching position falling through & health issues that are on-going..... but I look forward to getting things revved up this new year.

Happy new years to all!

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