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SA 2010: A Year in Review

Tuesday 12/28/10 excerpt ~ I sit at one of my favorite coffee shops, staring out the window into the darkness.  I reflect on the past year and all that it has brought me, all that I have done.  I. am. exhausted.  I am also elated.  It's hard to put into words the sense one feels from so much hard work and accomplishment.  It would be easy to dwell on the fact that there was so much I had hoped to finish this year and just didn't for one reason or another...and that list is long.  But I think that's a stingy attitude.  Looking back at this list, I know I achieved more in a few months than others did all year.  That's not me trying to one-up anybody, just noting that in the grand scheme and given all I've had to do, I'm doing pretty good.  

And I decided to share that.  

So I welcome you to the SA 2010 Year in Review MegaPost!
Some major (and minor) achievements include:

Website:
  • a new template design and more streamlined look
  • addition of numerous links & lists
  • stats counter and subscription options
  • addition of About SA and other informational pages
  • discovering the voice of this site as it reveals itself to me
  • re-arranging, re-arranging, and more re-arranging of the different elements
I will be adding more to the site in the new year, so look for more changes to the style and organization.  The website, like my processes and self, will continue to evolve and grow.

Writing:
  • Getting my novel started.  I participated in National Novel Writing Month and managed to make it to 31,000 words.  I will continue work on the manuscript in the new year, and will post more on NaNoWriMo soon.
  • A somewhat regular writing practice.  I used to write every day, but over time that had dwindled.  While I am not back up to my original output, I am writing more and more regularly and it feels wonderful.
Acting/Modeling:
  • The first real return to my acting career.  I started with the modeling scene, where I have been getting myself back in the groove of preparing for gigs, getting in front of the camera, being aware of what my body does to find the best lines and, of course, bringing that all-important energy & emotion out for the camera.  I find I really enjoy it.  Creating images is a collaborative process involving not just the photographer, or model, or environment, but all three, and I love being a part of that process.  I hope to continue modeling at least part-time throughout my life.
  • Head shots, resume & decent portfolio.  You can see much of my work & experience here and here.
  • Researching one's craft is vital if you want to keep progressing.  This year, I've spent some more time checking out different movies and TV shows, studying and enjoying the nuances of the actors and the stories they help tell.  In particular, I've been checking out a lot of old movies, and recently watched the TCM documentary series "Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood".  I love this business, and the history of it fascinates me.  Movie-making has truly come to be the American art form, one through which you can easily see the pioneering, innovative, dreamer quality for which this country is so famous.
Photography:

  • This year, with the help of my very Photoshop-capable brother, I designed & created the Tricky Fish Photography logo and began the process of sorting through my immense archive of photos for quality shots to post.  Look for many more Tricky Fish photos (and logos) in the year ahead.
  • I made my first foray into model/fashion photography.  Up until now, I have gone only for landscape/nature photography and travel & wedding photojournalism, using mostly natural light and generally choosing not to shoot people.  I will be delving farther into the fashion/portrait genre in the future.
Design:
  • I sold my very first piece of jewelry this year!:

This really got me revved up, and I'm eager to get my shop up and running for the new year.
  • Better & more unique designs.  Inspiration really hit this year, and I have been coming up with some really excellent pieces.
  • Dipping my toes into more complicated accessory and clothing design.  Though I have a costuming and sewing background, I've had neither the tools nor the time to really dive into clothing design.  I hope to change this in the new year.
Image Consultation:
  • I put Phoenix Image Consulting on hold most of this year, though I did work on various projects, generally helping friends and putting together wardrobes for shoots.
  • I'm currently working on a new (I think) organization model for dreams & goals.  More on that in the new year.
Administrative:
  • I honed my skills as an Administrative & Personal Assistant this year.  I am now ready to go virtual Admin Ninja for anyone who needs some work done.
  • On the home front, I got a lot of things done and a lot more organized for "next action" status.
  • Eliminated half my debt.  I'm hoping to kill the rest in the new year.  
Linguistics:
  • I spent some time getting into Russian this year, and while I had to take a break over the last couple of months in order to get other things done, I look forward to returning to it.
  • Study of dialects from various eras and locations, especially the differing styles of classic movies.
Body:
  • I've been working out slowly over the past couple of years, doing my best to repair the damage done by ignorance of various afflictions and unhealthy eating habits.  I'm happy to say that I'm in better shape than I've probably ever been.
  • I've gotten back into Martial Arts!  Woot!  I have always loved Kung Fu, and I am back on the path to achieving one of my most important life goals: Master.  The process is slow, but I will achieve this goal.
  • This year I have cultivated a real enjoyment of mushrooms.  It started over a decade ago with the discovery of the wondrous culinary uses for portobello and shiitake mushrooms while working at the French Cafe in Omaha, NE.
Personal/Spiritual:
  • This year, I said good-bye to someone with whom I could no longer maintain a healthy relationship.  It's hard for me to let someone I love pass out of my life, but sometimes it is kinder (to both parties) than holding on.  I wish this person well in their pursuits for the future.
  • I felt a greater sense of my own strength, calm & resolution grow within me this year.  It's been a rough couple of years for many, and I think that those of us who can find that inner self-possession will better be able to weather the ups and downs that are sure to visit us in the years to come.  I intend to keep cultivating that awareness in myself in the new year.
So what's on the agenda for the new year?  Well, the list is massive, so I won't go into the maddening details, but I will endeavor, just like this year, to get as much done as I can without putting myself in the ground.  Make no mistake, this project/life path of mine is no easy task, but it makes me happy, so I'll keep working at it.  I love this quote from Paulo Coelho: Never give up. When your heart becomes tired, just walk with your legs - but move on.

2010 Favorites
This year had me so busy, that I scarcely had time & resources for some of my favorite pastimes.  I often see nearly every movie that comes out, and read a great deal, but not this year.  Still, I did see a few movies this year, and here are a few of my favorites, along with some other things that gave me pleasure in 2010.
  • Movies: The Winter's Bone; The A-Team; Toy Story 3; Inception; Eat, Pray, Love; Machete; The Black Swan; True Grit
  • TV Shows: The Walking Dead, Glee, Castle, Community
  • Reading: Invincible (comic book series)
  • Social Networking: Paulo Coelho's twitter feed & blog: Daily inspirations and encouragement for dreamers and sensitive souls like myself.
  • Politics & Commentary: Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell; Zadroga Bill; Jon Stewart
  • Quotes: "Release the bees!!" ~ Stephen Colbert at Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive
This year was good, but I think the new year will be better.  I'd love to hear everyone's stories of triumph, and their plans for the new year.  I'd also like to send a major shout of thanks out to my friends & family for their support as they made the process of this last year so much easier.

Best wishes to everyone in the new year.  See you on the other side of the clock.

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