Wandering at the Shadows' Edge

exploring potential and possibility

Spotlight – Bethany Powell and Unlock Coaching

Today’s spot is going in yet another direction. One of the people I met at the Sirens Conference is a writer, but she also offers a unique take on life coaching. She targets her coaching toward those in the more creative fields. Being a writer herself, she has some insights the average life coach may not.

In Bethany’s own words on the Unlock Coaching website:

Are You Pursuing Your Dreams?

Or are you scraping for energy to write after work?

Unable to find focus for art projects on the weekends?

Wishing you had time for both work and play?

UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL FOR MORE WITH COACHING.

Bethany is a lovely person to be around, and she has the ability to help you see where you need to make changes to improve your creative efforts and feel better overall. And I think creatives, even more than those that don’t pursue creative endeavors, sometimes need some help keeping that creative well full and flowing while balancing the more mundane tasks life requires.

You can find information on Unlock Coaching and Bethany on her site, linked above, and on Facebook. She coaches both in-person and long-distance.

If you’re feeling like you could be doing better, doing more, take a look. You never know how a different set of creative eyes might be able to help you out.

Spotlight: Courtney Phi

Last time I spotlighted a group of people. This time I’m putting the spotlight on just one person who is talented in a multitude of artistic and creative areas

Courtney Phi Art

Courtney Phi Art

Her name is Courtney. She does everything from fine art and calligraphy to sewing and embroidery. She inspires my own creative efforts but she’s so good at everything that sometimes I’m also intimidated by her talent.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, she does personalized, calligraphed Hogwarts Acceptance letters. If you’re in the market for a special piece of artwork, she has an incredible eye and works in many different media.

You can find her on Facebook, purchase art and calligraphy at her Etsy store,  or support her art and creative efforts over on Patreon.  And if you can’t afford to purchase her art but still want to support and encourage her art, please tell your friends and family who might be in the market for a special gift or piece of artwork. Share these links on social media. Drop her a message on her Facebook page.  Shine a little light in her direction.

 

 

Spotlight: Krypton Radio

My first spotlight for this year is not an individual, but rather a whole group of creative and fun people. I spend most of my New Year’s 3-day weekend listening to internet radio – specifically:

Krypton Radio – it’s Sci-Fi for your Wi-Fi!
Krypton Radio - it's Sci-Fi for your Wi-Fi!

Krypton Radio was created in 2009 by Gene Turnbow and friends because they wanted a geek radio station to listen to while gaming. If you’re a geek or fan of speculative fiction, movies, games, anime, or anything along those lines, this is a station for you.

In their own words

Krypton Radio plays an eclectic mix of music from the entire spectrum of nerd culture. We also play old time radio serials, and even have geek DJ’s. We’re the only station in the world that plays music the fans make themselves. We have geek-centric talk shows, radio dramas and a ton of geek tunes. It’s all family safe, so yes, if you’re a kid, or are old enough to have kids, everybody can listen.

Visit their site, give them a  listen. You can stream the station on your computer or mobile device, and listen in-game on Second Life, InWorldz, and Open Sim.

If you like what you hear, give them a shout out on social media. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to support them, for as little as $1 per month, you can do so at Patreon.

Mapping the Shadows

One of the things I’m not good at is following up on ideas.  I get great ideas and intentions, and then forget to follow up on them. There are a couple of different ways I’m trying to map out tasks and ideas I need to follow up on.

I’ve created my own “planner.”  It won’t really kick in until the new year, but it is helping me keep track of the events and tasks that are easily planned and scheduled. Once the new year starts I’ll probably add a bullet journal into it. I’ll try to include pictures once I figure out how I’m going use it.

I also have a “creative” journal – the idea was to divide each pair of pages up into seven sections and then decorate each of the sections with something that applied to that day. It could just be the date and a freehand background design or it could include other decorative items like tape or stickers. It could include the horrible drawings that I do – because I haven’t sat down and applied myself to actually learning to draw LOL.   Great idea – execution not so great.  Sometimes I remember to decorate a section and sometimes I don’t. It really depends on how many things I have on my mental list for the day.

I got smart and put all my writing ideas in one place. When I’m ready to take one from concept-and-notes to actual story, I transform the concept card/folder into its own file. And for the series that wasn’t supposed to be a series 😉 I’m creating a “canon” book or story “bible” so that I don’t lose details about characters, places, timelines, etc.

I’m still working on finding the combination of things that will let me map the shadows effectively.

How do you map your journeying?

Words That Light the Path

The past week my concentration has been writing-related. If you saw the previous post, I’m sure you’ll understand why.

As a result, I’ve been doing very little crafting. I’ve done some knitting on an ongoing shawl project, but that’s about it.

So…. I’m going to keep things writing related and recommend a few authors who inspire me.

Nathan Lowell 

I adore his Solar Clipper/ Deep Dark stories.  The main characters aren’t “heroes”. They are everyday people who make the effort to look outside of the boxes they are familiar with. In Quarter Share, the lead character’s first accomplishment is making good coffee! Ishmael’s stories go with me every time I travel. They’re old friends that I never tire of catching up on. At the same time, I avidly look forward to Nathan’s new stories – especially those in the Solar Clipper/Deep Dark universe.

Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

From their self published and small press works to their traditionally published novels, I’ve loved everything – fiction and non-fiction – I’ve read. Both are extremely approachable on social media as well.  If you want a fun entry point to steampunk, that involves more than just pasting gears on to things, try their Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series.

Scott Sigler

If you like horror, sci-fi, or football, take a look at Scott’s works. Though he has lousy taste in beer, he’s a wonderful storyteller, and for a “Future Dark Overlord (FDO)”, he’s a pretty decent guy. I don’t know if he’ll remember the “brewmistress” after all these years, but I remember the Houston book signing for Infected and being asked what beer at the brewpub he should get.  Then there was the first Podcasters’ Pimp party at DragonCon 2007 when he learned I’d brought my own homebrewed beer.  😉

There are other authors I adore – but they have larger, traditional publishing audiences.  These authors are perhaps (Scott is a NYT bestseller) less well known. But they are all authors that I’ve personally met – back in the early days of podcasting. They’ve chosen to blaze non-traditional paths for others, including myself, to follow, and for the most part not gotten the credit or recognition they deserve. They helped to set me on the path to publication, encouraged me in podcasting, brewing, and writing. The least I can do is give them a shout out here.

These are some of the authors that light the paths through the shadows for me. Maybe they can do the same for you.

Words in the Mind’s Shadows

I spend a good amount of time wandering in the shadows of my own mind. The stories I find there, at some point, get written down – or at least notes get made about them. I have a completely different site for my writing: J Lynn Baker, so you won’t see me talk about here very often. But something sort of big is happening today.

I have a story in an anthology. Today is Cover Reveal day. And today is the day the e-version of the anthology goes on pre-sale. So I had to post something about it here.

All the details, information, and links are available at the other site, so I’m just going to post the cover art, created by the very talented Amanda Lewis.

Queens & Courtesans Cover

Queens & Courtesans Cover

Shadows of Scribing

Some of the skills I’m trying to improve on are my calligraphy and illumination skills. I’m kind of concentrating on Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) styles for now. Not many people in my area are doing this style, and I like the way the calligraphy and illumination look.  These are two of the pieces I’ve done for a friend, even though I haven’t been playing in the SCA.

They came out pretty good, though I can still see lots of room for improvement.

Hells Gate Tiny Tourney Scroll

Hells Gate 6-11-16 Tiny Tourney Scroll

Queen's Champion Letter of Intent

Ionnes’ Queen’s Champion Letter of Intent 11-15

Keeping Warm While Wandering

In my last post I mentioned that I had crocheted three shawls.  I’m one of those people who gets cold easily, so shawls come in handy when I’m at work or traveling.  I only have pictures of two of them completed. The third picture is just the first couple of repeats of the shawl.

The first picture is of a shawl that was supposed to be mine, but when it was finished I wasn’t really happy with the colors. My sister, on the other hand, adored it. So I gave it to her!

Kelli's Shawl

Butterfly Stitch Shawl in Desert colors

The second picture is a completely different pattern. This one was intended from the beginning to be kept at work, so I picked a really boring neutral color for it.  I love the pattern though and expect I’ll be making a few more in different colors and different weight yarns.

Crochet capelet

Victorian/Steampunk style shawl

The third picture is actually the first shawl I did. It’s the same butterfly stitch as the first shawl, but a different weight and color of yarn.

Butterfly stitch beginning

Beginning repeats of the butterfly stitch shawl

A Brief Foray into the Light

It’s really easy to get lost, even at the edge of the shadows!  I’ve been busy – even done some projects, but somehow never came back far enough in the light to document them!  I’m going to try to do better because I really do want to track things I’m working on.

In the meantime, I’ve crocheted three shawls – one of which now belongs to my sister. I’ve submitted a short story to an anthology which will come out in October. And I did a letter of intent for a friend in the SCA.

In progress projects include a knitted shawl, a practice inkle weave piece, some kumihimo braids, final revisions on one novel and several other novels, novellas, and stories in progress. I have two major projects in the works – a book of hours and a reliquary for friends.

And of course, there’s always the intent and attempt to post more often here and on my other sites! Time to make that a habit, rather than the occasional “Oh yeah – I need to update that!”

For now, it’s time to wander back into the shadows though.  How is journey going?

Lost in the Shadows

I’ve neglected this site for a long time. I didn’t mean to, but the road I was walking kept throwing obstacles in my path and I wasn’t doing much in the way of crafting. I was reading and doing some cooking, but mostly I was concentrating my writing. That has its own site over at J Lynn Baker.

It seemed like there was never time to update things here, and I have to admit that on some occasions, I just didn’t want to update.  I think in some way I felt it would take away from my writing. I’ve changed the way I feel about that – updates here count as writing. They’re non-fiction writing and I’ll be tracking the number of words I write here as well.

Another thing that brings me back to this site is that I have some major projects I’m working on. I’m going to document them here so I have a record of the process involved.

So, I took a fork in the road and got lost in the shadows for a bit. I’ve found my way back to a place I know now. This time around, I’ll try to keep a better record of the branchings in the path so I can find my way back if I need to.

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