Wow, what a year.
It all started out right on track: I was in law school, I had just wrapped up the initial plan with WiseInk regarding a timeline for the creation and launch of Shadowland America, and there was the excitement of all of the good things to look forward to over the Summer.
Then, the Spring semester at William-Mitchell turned out to be my last, because of an abysmal Fall semester and a better-but-not-good-enough showing for my GPA as the Spring grades came rolling in.
So, while I was coming to terms with the end of my Law School career and what that meant for me and my family, things started going sideways for Angie and her business with LLR.
But, it was early in the year yet, I had mapped out some readings and a trip to Colorado for a pre-launch tour, and I had begun working on some other promotional ideas while I learned all about how exactly a collaborative effort worked, as I was also learning how to transition from a friend to a team leader for my editor and two illustrators.
The CO tour was amazing, even though my illustrators couldn’t make it as initially planned, it was an amazing time with friends and getting the poems out in front of people and just breathing and dealing with the lose of law school and all the aspirations that were connected to that.
With returning to MN and everything going on with Angie’s gig, I now had to get back into the world of employment. At first, this was supposed to be something part-time, nothing too crazy, but as the sales continued to go down, and money starting to get tighter, more and more time was taken up with looking for a few part-time jobs, but then it came down to finding a fulltime occupation.
Meanwhile, there was instability in the lives of my little team. Deadlines started getting pushed back due to mental or physical health issues, divorces started, kids got sick, etc. I started getting sloppy with following up and with direction, and enthusiasm and all of that positive energy started to wane for all of us.
I eventually did find an awesome fulltime job, but not before we had cashed out all of my retirement funds and sucked up all of our savings.
So, now it’s the end of December. Shadowland America was supposed to be launched into the world in it’s final carnation last month. Don’t worry, it’s still happening, most likely just in the Spring of 2018. This whole year, this whole year has been about failure and shortcomings, MY failures and shortcomings, and working on and thinking about this book project has basically been the only thing that’s kept me going.
Being there for my friends as they’ve gone through ups and downs in their lives, all while crafting amazing pieces of art for this project, or painstakingly reading and rereading and editing my poems, has been a really good lesson for me regarding community in all it’s manifestations.
It’s all still a work in progress. This book, my life, the lives of my collaborators and our families. Although I had aimed to capture the more positive, artistic and abstract elements of community, I think it’s evolved to encompasses the other, less pleasant aspects of community as well, the parts we all tend to hid from eachother or at least attempt to.
The book project is still coming together, is still forthcoming, and has been an anchor, even as it moved and shifted itself, something for me to look forward to and have some hope for.
So, I’m not giving up, and I hope you aren’t either. Find your anchor, even if it’s a shaky and shifting one.
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