Monday, March 21, 2011

So what's happening now?

In my last post, I talked at length about my mom's suicide, the loss of loved ones, and how I've managed to cope with everything on an emotional level.  It's still a work in progress, but hey ... so's every day you roll out of bed.  Still, you've got to move forward with your life and try to make it through the rough times.  I was no different when everything happened to me.  It's been almost a full year since my world was seemingly shaken apart at the seams.  So what have I done in the meantime?  It took some time, it took some effort, but I saddled up and jumped right back onto that horse that threw me.  I stopped letting everything eat away at me, and I took my life back.

For those of you that have been wondering how I've been managing since the last birthday, here's the obligatory update:

Some things, like getting back to this blog and making it worthwhile, might not seem like much, but it's something important to me.  See, I used to envision this as a place where I could interact with everyone and give them a peek inside my head to see how I tick, while at the same time, I might learn a little more about all of you.  This was also a place for me to exercise my mind with my writing, without operating under the confines of doing it "for" anyone else but myself ... well, and for you guys, of course.  So when the time came that I decided to talk about everything that happened, I thought this would be the best outlet to work with ... and I've tried to keep it going since.  I hope you guys have all gotten something out of it, but more importantly, it's something that I'm genuinely proud of now.

And speaking of my writing, the events of the past year have also pushed me into working on another project.  For years, I've had a couple of ideas for stories, original properties that I kept telling myself I'd try to flesh out one day.  Unfortunately, it always ended up being one of those things I'd promise myself I'd get to "eventually".  Well, "eventually" is now, and the reason is twofold.  First, with so much lost so quickly last year, I couldn't help from slipping into the almost clich├ęd feeling of wondering what if something were to happen to me right now.  Luckily, I've managed to find a balance ... trying to make the most of the time I've got, but not obsessing over the "What ifs".  Still, it was enough to give me a little bit of the kick in the pants I needed to finally start actually putting pen to paper and developing those ideas into more than just the occasional thoughts.  I've been working in Adobe Story to build a script and I've been writing an initial story draft in Word.  Plus, I've got a handful of different notebooks with character notes, plot outlines, etc., all itching to find their place in the IPs I'm developing.  Hey, I know that it's entirely possible these properties may never see the light of day for any number of reasons.  I might not finish what I've started, there may be a lack of interest from The Powers That Be ... who knows?  But that brings me to the second reason for doing it ... it's for me.  Doing this bit of creative writing is giving me an outlet to step away from everything that's happened and to build something new.  Not only that, but some of what I've gone through in life has given way to me adding more depth to the story.  It's an outlet where I can release some pressure and also relax at the same time.  It's been a bit of a catharsis.

On a professional level, things have been all over the place.  When everything happened, I buried myself in my work.  Hell, I was even writing articles for USA on my birthday, in-between the awkward phone calls and trips out of the house to get away.  I missed covering Comic-Con for the first time in roughly eight years, though.  That might seem like a little thing, but for me it was a major disappointment.  For me, the yearly trek to San Diego has always been a working vacation, of sorts.  An opportunity to not only build on my network of contacts, strengthen my portfolio of work, and cover exciting new news ... but it was also an opportunity to get together with a lot of my closest friends whom I might not get the chance to see under normal circumstances.  And last year in particular, I could have really used the break away and the camaraderie.  Unfortunately, it was just too much of a financial strain with everything else happening at the time that needed to be taken care of.  Hopefully I'll make it out there this year and start fresh, but it's still possible that SDCC might not make an appearance on ye ol' agenda until 2012.  This will just kind of have to fall into place this year, but we'll have to wait and see.

On the upside of the professional life, I've added yet another outlet to my portfolio these days.  I've been covering video games at @Gamer, Best Buy's official video game magazine.  I'm still writing regularly for USA Network as well, writing for the channel's Character Arcade.  There are other random outlets here and there, and I'm always pushing myself to find more.  Believe it or not, I've actually come close to stepping away from some of the pop culture journalism for a while.  No, not because I lost interest, but because I'd been pursuing some other opportunities.  Don't get me wrong, I'd have still been writing as much as I could and wherever I could, but I might have needed to avoid a conflict.  Either way, it didn't quite come to pass, so the point is moot ... and regardless, I'd still always be doing my thing here.

I still have a goal to do more with my friends.  Over the years, I lost touch with a lot of people and, to be honest, I pulled away from a lot more immediately after the loss of my mother.  It was just hard to deal with everything at once.  Still, I've been working on doing better, reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and keeping myself from shutting myself off to everyone.  It's really true what they say ... you can never have too many friends.  And I've been lucky enough to have some friends in particular who have been my extended family at a time when I needed them the most.

So, that about wraps the update for me since last year.

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