I did not have the peacefulness and rest in February that I did in January. I wanted a second sleepcation but that was not financially possible or possible time-wise. I hope to in March, however. (I need 6 per year, I think.) While I am getting better at reasonable deadlines (a longitudinal approach, not a quick fix "self-care" thing) and getting better at time off and sleep, there is still a level of rest that I need at my age and my current physical/mental health status that I am not quite at yet. I hope to make some particular creative and publishing moves in 2017 that will financially strengthen me to where I get the time I need for extended periods of rest. In due time.
I enjoyed the art that I created in February. In my last Artists Make Art post (a series that I started in December 2015 when I first launched this central site to discuss my multi-art multi-genre work), I made a custom collage as a snapshot of some of my work in January. (I made similar collages last July, as a snapshot of most of my work.) I did not create that snapshot this month, however, because I am working on some publications that require graphics, photography and of course the writing; did not have time.
Though I closed the live blog part of Gradient Lair in late 2015, over 1,000 new Twitter followers joined @GradientLair since then. This means that I have over 11K Twitter followers and over 20K Gradient Lair blog subscribers. I changed my mind from January; I decided to start using the Twitter account again to share #classicGradientLair posts. This is some of my writing that may not be included in future anthologies, but writing that is meaningful to me even years later. It is kinda neat looking at 2-5 year old essays and still enjoying them.
I did a lot more content organizing for the anthologies; the hardest part is the culling. What to include; what to leave out; what to add, if new. Essentially this is like editing/writing many short books. I mean, the Gradient Lair archive has over 4,000 entries and over 1,000 of them are long form writing. Also, I am truncating the online archive itself; I am deleting some writing and posts from the archive altogether to make it lean. Additionally, I continue to work on something with the fabulous Moya Bailey and I look forward to what it will become.
I did not post anything new to Drift Sojourn blog in February or January; this is because I am working on design, portfolio, and logo changes. I hope to complete them all by the end of March. I did post new photographs on my Instagram profile. As I mentioned in previous Artists Make Art posts, I now use Snapchat (user name: thetrudz) to share what I am working on, including my writing, to post my cooking and baking experiments as a newbie cook, to discuss my work as a professional photographer, and just for fun personal use (i.e. sharing images of my personal life). I started a thread on Twitter that includes some of my snacks on Snapchat, meals from start to finish in 9 snaps (photographs). I started doing my Colour Stories project again as well.
I am back to working on my fourth photography eBook. Two of my previous three photography eBooks—Photography Projects For Practice and Portfolios and Free or Frugal: Learning and Creating Photography On A Budget—are available for purchase in Publications and on an eBook link on Drift Sojourn itself. Additionally, an educational publication, 300 Photography Resources, and my 2 sets of iPhone wallpapers "Healthy Eats" and "Sweet Eats" are available in Publications as free downloads, but tips are appreciated.
In January, I did a major revamp (lots of functional, organizational and aesthetic modifications) of my website cinemacked.com itself. It is user-friendly, well-organized and responsive (meaning it morphs to fit an iMac/desktop computer, iPad/tablet or iPhone/smartphone). Thus, it has been a full month of the new site look; I absolutely love it! I published the following on Cinemacked blog in February: 3 New To Netflix Selections - February 2017, Film Review - Miss Sharon Jones!, How To Get Away With Murder - Annalise Keating, Esq. vs. A.D.A. Rene Atwood, and 10 Powerful Quotes From The 89th Academy Awards. I also live tweeted the following films: Cast Away, Crimson Peak, and John Wick and tweeted my review of Rogue One, which is number 5 in one of my end of the year posts on Cinemacked, 20 Films That I Enjoyed Viewing In 2016.
I live tweeted the following award shows: NAACP Image Awards, African American Film Critics Association Awards and The Oscars. I received very positive feedback on my Oscars coverage from some @Cinemacked readers; I think it is one of my best and most informative live tweets ever. I updated my TV Roster to include one new show: The Catch. I live tweeted many long time television show favorites in February including Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Suits and The Flash; updates are included on my TV Roster.
I shared 2 threads on topics that both impact me deeply, how people interpret and use images to oppress: 1) Serena Williams' images and agency vs. the White Gaze and 2) a critique of the racist re-imagination by Glenn McCoy of "The Problem We All Live With," by Norman Rockwell, to center Betsy DeVos. For Black History Month, I re-shared a reading list and an art thread that includes my Womanist Mixtape from Gradient Lair.
I also casually (not heavily right now as I am busy with other work) worked on 2 short publications (eBooks; projects outside of the Gradient Lair anthology work and my photography eBooks) that I originally started in 2016, and mentioned in previous Artists Make Art posts.
I did not publish any essays to the blog here in February, but I did start a few that I will publish in March and April.
A big misconception about time off or time to rest is that as long as you are not spending money, then it is "free" to have such free time. Well, as an indie creator, any time that I am not working (excluding things that create residual income), then I am not earning. There is no paid vacation time; there are no sick days. Thus, I have to be able to afford to take time off to take it in the first place, which means balancing reasonable deadlines with positive physical and mental health. This will be my focus for March so that I complete what I need to, but also have the sleepcation that I desire.