It’s Here!

Hey guys,

Like I mentioned in my last post, this week I’ll be transitioning into my new blog, which I’m very nervous/excited about. The first post goes up today and I would really appreciate you checking it out. I’ve been actively building this new space for about a month now (though the idea has been on my mind for over a year) and I’m excited to start showing it off.

Along with the blog I’m also in the process of moving all my old video content to a new YouTube channel and will be posting new videos there every Sunday. Over the course of this month I’ll be transitioning my social media and other online personas to match my new blog URL, www.juniebird.com.

This month is the soft launch and I plan on still posting a few things here for the rest of the month, but starting in October I’ll be posting only on Juniebird. My old posts will still be here, but by the end of the month I won’t be adding any new content to this site.

I hope you’ll join me this month over at juniebird.com!

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Comic Con 2014 PowWow

When I was a camp counselor we would gather with our cabins at the end of the day and go around the circle doing a powwow. The “pow” would be the low point in the day, something that was frustrating or disappointing, and the “wow” would be the best part of the day.

This year I managed to snag a badge for Comic Con. I was there for Saturday and Sunday and probably could have planned things out a little more in advance. Like I did with VidCon, I’m going to PowWow each day I was at the convention.

DAY 1
POW: Meeting so many new people at once. Another friend of mine who goes every year introduced me to her rather large group of friends. It was great to have some people to hang out with, but it was also a bit much for my introverted side. I kind of crashed from too much social interaction while we were waiting in line for dinner. Whoops.
WOW: Feeling like I finally got a sense for how the expo hall was set up. Last year I was only there for one day and I mostly walked around in a daze because I was so overwhelmed by it all. This year I managed to find a bit of order in the madness, which was quite calming.

DAY 2
POW: The realization (even though I knew it going in) that I wasn’t going to get to do some of the things I was really excited about. The lines were too long. The crowds were too much. And I was too tired. I definitely git a brick wall of tired on day two around 2:30. I was about to go into another panel when I realized that I should probably start my mini road trip before I got tired enough to fall asleep whist driving.
WOW: The Women of Marvel panel was definitely a highlight. I loved hearing about the female driven titles that Marvel has and the women who write/draw/color/manage/produce them. I’m so excited for the future of women in comics both as creators and creatives as well as the female characters that we see and will be seeing in the future.

All told it was an exhausting weekend, but I’m very glad I went. I am honored to be even a small part in the industry that puts these things out into the world. I’m excited that Comic Con is a thing I go to now, and will continue to be going forward. Every year I learn more and I’m excited to be learning and growing into this industry.

If you’re interested in seeing some of these thoughts in video form, let me direct you to this week’s YouTube video. And while you’re over there maybe subscribe to see more of my videos? I’ve very much appreciate it.

VidCon PowWow

When I was a camp counselor we would gather with our cabins at the end of the day and go around the circle doing a powwow. The “pow” would be the low point in the day, something that was frustrating or disappointing, and the “wow” would be the best part of the day.

In an effort to organize my thoughts from VidCon in a way that tries to show that I had a fantastic time, but also recognize some of the “pow”s of the event, I’m going to go back to my roots and powwow my VidCon experiene.

DAY 1
POW: I was really frustrated with the availability on Thursday. It was “Industry Day”, which is a great thing to focus on, but as someone who was mostly attending VidCon for the panels it was annoying that there wasn’t much to do on the first day.
WOW: Since I had so much time on my hands, I signed up to get a free manicure from the HLN booth. While I waited for it I met some pretty fun girls, one of whom is an LA local and I’m hoping will become a friend.
I also had a great time wandering the expo hall and meeting a few of my favorite YouTubers by happenstance which was lovely.

DAY 2
POW: This was the beginning of #linecon. While I was able to get into all the panels I wanted, I know that was not the case for everyone. I think that if they learn from this year and have a better system in place next year a lot of nerves and frustrations could be saved. Having tickets for signings and knowing about where in the line to at least tell people that they probably wont make it in would go a long way.
WOW: I went to so many panels on Friday and took lots of notes. I love the feel of learning that I got from being surrounded by other people who are also interested in creating online video. Such an inspirational feeling.

DAY 3
POW: More lines today. Specifically getting into the convention center was a nightmare on Saturday morning. Security people were contradicting each other and I saw one threaten to take people’s badges away. Both sides need to come in with an understanding that this is going to take some time. Clear communication would have been a huge step in the right direction on this one.
WOW: Saturday I got to meet one of my favorite YouTubers, and wound up meeting a bunch of people whilst waiting for a party that I never did manage to get into. It was great to connect with some new people, especially since I had come by myself.
I’ll also say that a favorite part about Saturday was that I finally mustered up the courage to bring my long board after debating it all weekend. It was fun to have that transportation, it sparked a few conversations, and was just generally useful.

Overall, I had a great weekend and am definitely interested in going again next year. Maybe with an industry badge? That my employer pays for? #wishfulthinking

So We Begin Again

As I’m beginning to come back to this space I look at the most recent posts and am stunned by how much my life has changed in the past few months. So before I start posting regularly again, I thought it would be good to do a bit of an update on where I’m at right now.

APRIL:
I found a job in the middle of April, leading to me not having the time to devote to blogging. I convinced some friends to go rock climbing with me on Saturdays, and spent some time adjusting to working full time. My job is far enough away that it required me to get a car, s

MAY:
In May I took a weekend off to go to Chicago and officially collect a diploma. It was nice to graduate, see old friends, and say goodbye to a city that had given me so many opportunities. Back in LA I had a small party to celebrate and spent lots of time with friends.

JUNE:
Last month was filled with spending time with friends, seeing movies (The Fault in Our Stars), and continuing to get used to being a real adult. I’m still not sure about all this, but I suspect that no one is. I went on church retreat mid-month that got me excited about the future — whatever that may be — and left me with only two days to get ready for VidCon. VidCon was a fantastic experience that gave me a lot to think about.

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I could (and probably will) write a whole post about VidCon, but for now all I’ll say is that I’ve decided to spend some time developing my own online space as a result of it. Going forward I want to focus here as well as over on YouTube at my channel. If you’re interested go ahead and check it out.

Ch-Ch-Changes

I’ve been struggling to blog lately. There are many reasons for this, the main one being that I finally got a job. I’m a receptionist at a small production/distribution company and I’m excited about it and what it could become. I’m glad to be employed, but I know that a job taking up my time isn’t the reason I’ve been quiet around here lately. Even before I got the “You’re hired” phone call I had been having troubles putting my thoughts into posts.

It’s frustrating to me that I can’t seem to express myself in the same way that I used to. For the past month or so I’ve written multiple blog posts that have never seen the light of day. I kept trying to be timely and failing. I wrote posts about the How I Met Your Mother finale, the Divergent movie, and Captain America: The Winter Solider. I have so many thoughts on these things, but I can’t seem to articulate them well enough to feel confident in hitting publish.

I want to talk at length about how much I adore Shailene Woodley’s hippie-ness. I want to have deep discussions about the Marvel cinematic universe. What the last few films will mean for the next ones. How they are tying the movies into Agent’s of SHIELD. How SHIELD is finally starting to pull on my heartstrings. But I can’t seem to come up with the words.

Even beyond media I never got around to writing up a post about my writing goals for this quarter. I’m sure if/how they change in balance with working full time, but I can’t even seem to outline it for myself. Using my phone alarms to be on time, a new planner, how I’m dealing with buying a car; all things I’ve written on our thought about writing on, but haven’t gotten out the way I want to.

My frustrations are because I know that I’m not where I want to be. I know I could be doing better. But I’ve lost track of how to do it. So I want to say that I’m not putting any pressure on myself to write, but I’m starting to see that route is going to get me NOWHERE, so it’s time to rethink.

It’s time to plan and organize and figure out what’s reasonable within my new schedule and current commitments. I don’t know the answer yet, but this post it a declaration that I’m going to try. I love my job, but I know that I want to do more with myself than just get by, it’s not going to be easy, but I know I’ll be better for it.

This Has Been: January 2014

This month has been my first of the “real world”? There’s a question mark there because I’m not even sure I know what that means. Am I a part of the real world now just because I’m done with school assignments? That doesn’t seem right? What world was I in before? Nevermind that though, we can leave the philosophic musings for another time.

Some highlights from January include:

Going Snowboarding for the first time in a few years. I never got a chance to go while I was at school in Chicago (the midwest is far too flat), but I finally got a chance to go to the mountains down here in SoCal. I’m excited to go again and for the many other adventures that are sure to come.

Started to write a DONE list in the evenings, reminding me of the things I did get done instead of beating myself up over procrastination.

Brought my scooter in for a tune up. Not sure that this is really a huge high point, but my scooter is cleaner and runs better now than it has for the last few months, so I’m pretty happy with that.

Got back to blogging. One of my new years resolutions is to get back into the habit of blogging (more on my new years goals in my one little word post, here).

Came up with a routine to start following and have been tweaking it and reorganizing it ever since.

Lot’s of reading! Ton’s of TV! I’m still reading some of the stuff books I got for Christmas and I’m searching for new books almost every day on my Kindle. Gotta keep my eye out for those deals.

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Overall it’s been a weird month. I struggled a lot this month with not having a schedule and the same structure that I’ve been so used to for the past 16+ years of my life, but I think I’ve figured out a way to rebuild that structure and am getting to a better place for it.

One Little Word: Free

In 2013 my word was fearless. Even though I didn’t do anything in particular to bring it out, fearless brought me to Los Angeles. It took me from whatever strange space of student, but not at school, that I was in early in the year and brought me to living on my own in a tiny apartment with a new community and the end of my academic career for the time being (no, grad school is not on the table right now).

I’m so glad for fearless. But I knew that 2014 would bring new challenges, new changes, and a new word along with it. I spent a lot of December deciding what that word would be, but in the end free chose me.

2014 is the first year where I have the complete freedom to make my life whatever I want it to be. Now that I have a degree I can start applying to jobs, instead of just internships. I have the freedom to choose what I want to do every day. I am free to explore Los Angeles. Free to plan new adventures. Free to write whatever I want without worrying about something fitting into the assigned guidelines. Free to stay or move. Free to live my life.

And this year I really want to take full advantage of free. Instead of it just being a mantra, I want to make my goals and achievements match my word for the year. To do this I’m going to be targeting specific areas for every three months.

For free, I’m framing every three months with a few targeted goals. In the end I’ll have 10-12 major goals, and setting them up every three months will give me more time to spend developing and refining each goal as I go along.

Next time I’ll be talking about my first set of goals for January to March: Planning Freedom.

Family of Hope

It has just occurred to me recently that as I plan on living here in Los Angeles for the long term, this is probably the place where I will settle down and start a family. At this point I don’t even know if that’s in the cards for me, but I certainly hope so. It’s amazing to me that this city that I am still getting familiar with could eventually be a place that I call home.

I have a million little hopes and dreams for settling down. Things like the kind of house I want to live in and the hope that immediate and extended families will get along. That we will be happy, that we will be safe. That we fight fair and that we are spontaneous and whimsical.

I hope that whoever I marry will be whimsical and adventure-some with me. I hope they will be able to treat everyone with respect even if they disagree. I hope they will be independent, because I can’t imagine putting my dreams on hold for someone else and I would never ask anyone to do the same for me. I hope he is a good man.

I know that even with the best of intentions that people are human. I know that I’ll mess up. People annoy each other and it’s only a matter of time before I’ll complicate things in my head and I’ll make some snap decision that should have been discussed before and everything will be a mess for a little while. I hope that whoever I wind up with will find a way to forgive me. I hope I will find a way to forgive him when he screws up too.

And so, a little prayer for my future spouse, my future family:

Dear Lord,
I am so excited to meet my future. I don’t know what it looks like yet, but you have everything planned out perfectly. Help me to find them. Help us to lean on each other when things are hard. Guide us though our lives so that when we meet we will be ready for each other. Help us build each other up and make each other better. To make each other more like you. Amen.

I Want to Write…

Lately I keep trying to come up with topics to write about here, but stopping myself from even beginning. How can I write about this new phase of life when I so clearly don’t know the rules yet?

I want to write about my internships about how the executives and partners might know my name. About how actors I recognize will wander in while I’m assembling a chair in the bullpen and I see internet stars on my lunch break.

I want to write about riding a scooter in LA. About how I’ve learned to lane split while the long line of cars is waiting for the light to turn green. How I can park ANYWHERE and it only takes $3 to fill up my gas tank.

I want to write about going to swanky parties where fancy cocktails are a part of the gig and I can squint and see the back of Mel Gibson’s head. About getting a little bit tipsy and stopping for tacos at 1am on the way home.

I want to write about whirlwind trips to San Francisco. About Japantown kareokee and bad turkey burgers and not having to look up directions because I remember exactly where the bus lines lead. About waking up in my own bed to fancy french toast and surprising old youth group leaders with my presence.

I want to write about how buying a Kindle has probably tripled the amount of reading I’ve been doing. About how I am devouring a steady diet of YA books finished in single days.

I want to write about the experience of writing a NaNoWriMo novel amist all of this chaos.

But… (and there is always a but)

…what is the statute of limitations on writing about virtual strangers who are in the realm of well know? How do I write about the day to day lives of people who have an IMDb page? I don’t need or want to name names, but what if I write about someone and they then find it and don’t like what I say about them?

…I don’t know that three months of riding is enough experience to write about and even as I make plans to never get a car I can’t help but wonder how that will sustain though the years. Then I think about traffic and start an internal hate-rant.

…what is the policy on publishing things on the internet on famous people? I’m not sure. I don’t want to offend. I mean no harm.

…what is there to say about San Francisco that I haven’t already expressed? How do I convey both a trip with friends and a visit to see family in one sentiment when there were two different halves to it.

…this dependence is a shade embarrassing for a 22-year-old. Why am I up until 2am reading books meant for 13-year-olds?

…I’m not even sure I’m writing a NaNo novel anymore I’m so far behind.

This new life has new constrictions, a lot of which I haven’t quite figured out yet. I’m not sure where to draw the lines and what those lines are made up of. When I started blogging there was no fear of backlash, no worry of my words coming back to haunt me, but now… what if someone finds this and uses it against me? What defense do I have?

I guess the question becomes: How do I move forward with this blog and share my experiences without accidentally rubbing someone the wrong way?  Perhaps the question I should be asking is: Who do I value more, my blog readers who I want to be honest with or the people I meet in real life who judge me based on that vulnerability?

NaNoWriMo 2013

This month I am participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The collective goal: 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. That’s 1667 words a day. Part wild goose chase, part life-style change. The hope here is definitely quantity over quality.

Personally, I’m more in this for the habit creation than anything else. I am terrible at making writing a part of my daily or weekly routine, and I think that a minimum-per-day system will help me to turn it into a habit. Since I know my schedule and the way that my weeks tend to work, I’ve re-arranged the word-count a bit so that I write 1924 words a day six days a week.

With that in mind, I’m happy to say that I finally have an idea to hack away at. This isn’t to say I have an outline or a fully realized plot or even more than one character, but you’ve gotta start somewhere, don’t you? I didn’t really have the idea to be participating in this shindig until two weeks ago, and I only come up with this idea last week. I even had to enlist some help to come up with a start.

Okay, okay, I’ll tell you.

My protagonist is a teenage girl living in San Francisco who witnesses a murder by someone she knows on the Golden Gate Bridge.  She hides, but her curiosity has gotten to her and she has to figure out what’s going on.  I’m going for a YA/noir feel, but we’ll sort of see how it goes.

Would you ever attempt 50,000 words in a month?  Any other participants want to be friends?  (I’m morethanexist, find me here!)