I finally got an iPad!

Seriously, I’ve been wanting one ever since they first announced, but I’ve talked myself out of buying one every year. They are just too dang expensive.

They were to dang expensive, that is. This wonderful combination of a great job with great pay, along with a great offer from AT&T, means that this iPad I just purchased are easily within my working budget.

I’m looking forward to playing with it and finding new ways to work with it. I’ve already loaded my blog software and even composed this entry using it.

I’ve loaded some music apps, but I plan to purchase GarageBand and other programs, as well as Photoshop, to maximize my creative possibilities. I will also be loading office apps, like Pages, and try to be productive as well as creative.

Okay, I’m off to play with my iPad and spend some money in the App Store. Be good!

Resolutions 2013

Like most people that I know, I make New Year’s Resolutions every year. And, like most people that I know, I fail to keep them. Every year.

What bothers me about this is that these “resolutions” are usually things that I *want* to do. I mean, sometimes my resolutions are about what I think I *should* do, but usually they are about what I want personally, yet I still fail.

I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve decided, for myself anyway, that I fail because I’ve turned my desires and ambitions into burdens, tests that I must pass in order to feel good about myself. I think, in some way, my body and mind know that my value as person is not based on whether or not I achieve my goals and *I* do not let *myself* achieve them.

So, for 2013, I’m changing things up. Instead of making “resolutions,” I’ve decided to “give myself permission” to do wonderful things! I want to do wonderful, awesome, creative things, and the only one stopping me is me, so I’m giving myself a break and setting myself free to be, well, me.

I’ve structured my goals and ambitions, because that is who I am, but I don’t have to feel like I’ve failed if I don’t meet them, yet I can still celebrate when I succeed (and I have criteria to judge whether or not I’ve succeeded).

My two big goals for 2013 are 1) to unleash my creativity and 2) to finish projects.

2013: The Year of Living Creatively

My desire is to create something every day: write a song, a short story or scene, take a photograph, create a poster, draw a picture, make a video, etc.

There are so many creative outlets that call to me, yet I rarely allow myself the time to pursue them fully. Yes,I am a good musician and a decent writer, but I want to be so much more. I believe that “so much more” can be accomplished if I practice and “do”. (More on that later).

I dug out one of my old journals and I intend to use it as a scrapbook and log book for all of the things I create every day. It’s only a hundred pages or so, so it won’t be enough if I actually do create something every day, but how great would it be if I filled it up and had to buy another one because I was making so much art?! “Pretty great” is the answer to that question. I would also accept “Freaking Awesome” or even “Nice!” as correct.

Ironically (or poetically), I did not “create” anything yesterday, January 1st. You would think that I would want to start this “Year of Living Creatively” off with an early success. You’d be right to think that, except I spent yesterday hanging out and playing with my favorite people and dogs, even going to the park for a while. I don’t get to do this all the time and if I could, I would. I will always give myself permission to experience tremendous joy and pleasure with the people I love, even at the expense of my art.

Lucky break for me: I’ve talked to myself and decided that it counts if create something “for” every day. For example, this blog entry counts as a “creation” and I’ve deemed it to be for yesterday (which is when I intended to write and post it, anyway). I plan to create something else today, so I’ll still be on track to bring 365 new things to the world this year. Which leads me to:

2013: The Year of Finishing Things

I’m not a great finisher, I can admit that. I work very hard and smart on projects, at work and at home, and I have a lot of energy and motivation at the beginning, but tend to abandon them in the middle, or more often than not, right before they are finished. I get distracted or lose interest. I don’t know why. Again, the obstacle is me. I’ve given myself permission to finish the things that I start.

I’m inspired by the Bre Pettis’s “Cult of Done Manifesto”. I, too, want to “make things”. I really like the part “If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it”. During this year, I plan to accomplish and create more than just small ideas that I can create in a day, I want to make big things, too! I’ll be making notes and getting inspiration for bigger, longer projects, and working on them. Yet, I will keep this rule in mind, if it takes more than a week to get started on a project, I’ll abandon it. There are lots of other ideas than can be realized and if an abandoned project pops back up and the energy and motivation is there, it can still be realized.

Where this is all heading

I have a day job and (try) to create things at night and on the weekends, but what I want to do is create things all day long. Or, at least, create things during the day and spend time with friends and family in the evenings and weekends. The problem is that I do not have the skills to make it in any professional creative field. I’m decent to pretty good in a great many things, but not at level that would allow me to support myself financially, let alone a family. My intent with this year is to change that. Before I am forty years old, I want to have the option to pursue a creative career, or several creative careers all working together to allow me to be both fulfilled and secure. I believe that my creative skills will only get better the more I use them and that if I explore many different forms of expression, I will find one or some that fit me and talents the best.

This will, of course, entail a great deal of sacrifice. I’ve already sacrificed a lot in pursuit of art and music, but not enough. I’ve already cancelled my cable TV, and will, if I want to succeed, be spending less time on Facebook and playing video games. My hope is that, even the entertainment that I allow myself will give me inspiration and ideas for my own development and expression. Also, books books books. I will be reading everything I can get my hands on, because that is how I learn and it makes my brain happy. I will dive into my Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator books. I will be hanging out with Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, and Stephen King (and stealing as much as I can from them). I’m saving up for a higher-quality digital camera and a better digitizer for my computer. I’ve registered some more domain names, so that when I’m ready to strike out on my own, business-wise, I will have them in place.

2013 is going to be a great year. We survived the Mayan Apocalypse, things can only go up from here. For my part, I am going to work hard to be who I am. I think that’s the best thing I can do for myself and the world.

Launching CosmicDogOnline (for real this time) (maybe)

I am not a good blogger (clearly), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be.

I have a wide range of technical skills and I am a professional writer (for what that’s worth), so this blogging thing is definitely something that I can do. That being said, I have no expectation that this blog/site will make me any money, so this will be more of a “labor of love”.

I would like to build my freelance writing and web development businesses, though.

To further that goal, I am re-investing my time and energy into learning a wider range of professional software (namely, the Adobe Creative Cloud suite) as well as digger deeper into technical and web writing.

I’ve picked up a couple of books to help me along:  “Photoshop CS6 – The Missing Manual” by Lesa Snider; and “Letting Go of the Words – Writing Web Content that Works” by Janice (Ginny) Redish. I will be studying and outlining these books as I go through them, as well as putting the lessons I learn into practice. I will post reviews of these books once I finish them.

I’ve landed a couple of website jobs, which is good. However, I’m rusty, hence all of the studying. I’ll be working hard to make sure everything comes together well, both for my benefits as well as my clients’.

I’ll keep you updated. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a lot of work to do!

I suck at blogging

There, I said it. Now you don’t have to.

This isn’t unusual. Most people suck at blogging, especially people with blogs. However, I pay for this site every month and I don’t use it. That’s bad.

What makes it worse is that I actually have interesting things to say. My life, especially since I’ve launched this site, is pretty amazing.

In the last few months, I’ve had friendships blow up, became homeless, and slept in my car. A very loving and dear friend passed away. My buddy and I successfully launched a new website celebrating geek culture that is on right on track and is gaining a following.

I dropped out of school…again.

I ended up getting a job that was so physically difficult, that all I could do when I got home every day was watch T.V. and sleep.

Then, I got hired by the largest, most successful business in my city as a technical writer, a career I’ve been pursuing for years.

It’s been an amazing trip, and I still have a lot of interesting challenges coming up. I’m still (technically) homeless, I’ve been house-sitting for some friends for the last five weeks or so, but that will end in August. So, I will be looking for someplace to live…again.

On the plus side, in addition to this awesome writing job, I’m starting to sing really well. I actually enjoy listening to myself these days, I was beginning to think that I never would.

Also, I got a haircut today and I look great!

Welcome to CosmicDog Online

For many years, I used my TypePad blog for both personal and business activities. It worked well enough, since freelance writing and editing jobs were not high on my priority list and the bulk of my online time was devoted to personal expression. Recently, however, through my association with a new website called The Geekery Online, I’ve discovered that I am quite good at this work and rather enjoy it. So, I am expanding my business and marketing plans. Hence, the all new CosmicDog Online.

This space will be used to highlight and promote all of my creative and technical skills and passions, mostly involving writing, editing, web design, and music. You can expect to see new articles and short fiction, perhaps even some longer works of fiction. There will be examples of elegant web design, especially custom WordPress themes. And, of course, there will be new music.

This day and age, it’s important to be versatile and it’s good to be one’s own boss.

I hope you enjoy what I will be bringing forth in the coming weeks and months. I especially hope that you enjoy it enough to hire me for a project or two. I would like that very much.

So, again, welcome to CosmicDog Online!