I am back at the keyboard again and I am quite thrilled for the New Year. For those that have made some resolutions, I would like to offer my words of encouragement and extend to you all that I am right there with you. This blog has been added back to my list of projects after a short time where it was on the cutting block. It had become a voice for my thoughts for the several months. It was my outlet to make it through some very difficult times with life. I was pleased with the effect. In the end, I found the strength that I needed and the outlet to express it. To my followers, it was an honor to have your voice and support. The year ended with great prospects for the year and new challenges to face. I know now that I can face them with a straight back because I have already overcome much due to the support here. My thanks.
Now, let me explain one thing. I had been tempted to stop this blog due to the fact that I have been invited, and paid, to use some of my artistic skills for a friend of mine. To begin with, it will be very simple things, but it has the potential to grow into something far more productive that I have had in many years. I have ached to produce something that will display my talents to the general public. However, most of the time, I have failed to set aside the right amount of time for it or the energies have faltered. In the end, I was forced to retreat. This time, I will not let that happen. I have a direction and it will come to a completion in the near future.
As much as I want the artwork to succeed, I decided to keep going with my writing and the expression of my thoughts. I moved some time around in my schedule to make it fit. Now, I am back to my usual hum of productivity and slight agitation at the world’s foolishness. I will be turning my eyes to the horizon, but this blog is a part of me now. I can’t just let it go and I need it for the simple fact that I may need to work out some ideas in the coming days.
A last thought for today is a full explanation of the art that I will be working on. As part of an early career option, I once wanted to explore the area of illustration. I wanted to sketch and create images to help give life to books and others forms of writing. I had studied with the techniques of pencil, charcoal, pastel, and oil paints. I tried my hand at other media such as watercolor and acrylic painting. It allowed me to express a part of my being that was locked away. I am now getting that chance.
A friend of mine that I have written about in this venue has asked me to join him in a venture where I will be doing cover art for novels which he will be writing. It will be the eBook format with a print-on-demand option. My artwork will be part of that package and help to promote and express his written vision. We have worked together on a few projects before, but this will be our first professional venture. It will be a very exciting year ahead and worthy of the efforts.
I will likely be doing some of the art work through digital tools in order to refine it and prepare it for the final product. Once the image is ready, I will be sharing some of the sketches with those that read here. I am very excited about this move and will be happy to share it with you all.
I wanted to use this moment to express a few thoughts that have been floating around in my mind. In recent weeks, I have come to realize that I have actually found some good friends who are not just there during the good times. I have been given a great amount of good things in my life, but friends have been limited in number. The friends that I have held dear have been great and long-lasting. It was their influence on me that helped change some of my unsavory qualities. I still struggle with tendencies of less-than-positive view and a slight trend toward narcissism. Of course, I like to think that all of us have a moment or two where we are self-centered and self-serving. All of this is coming into the light as I settle into a new job and new responsibilities. I am the new guy again.
Confidence in one’s abilities is not always a bad thing in those moments when it must be used to defend a position or offer a suggestion. I am often finding myself pulling back from speaking like a know-it-all. A great talent is not always appreciated and some resent it. This brought me to realize that perhaps there was a better way to handle such a situation.
As I stated in a previous blog, I was going to begin reading a few books. A couple did not grab me immediately, so they were put to the side for a time. To be honest, reading a novel, for me, is something that fits into the right time in life. So, I moved through a few books and found that I was back to reading the Game of Thrones, which I had put off. At first glance, the writing was skilled with developing great twists of intrigue and characters. I felt that it was lacking a great amount of description to the world that I was used to. However, I have found it to be enjoyable, and I continue to read.
Back to my point about handling a situation with some humility and grace so resentment is not borne by others, I found that one particular character in the book to have a similar situation. The bastard Jon Snow, who comes from his father’s house with training and skill with the sword, enters into the service of a fighting troop who protects the realm from the forces beyond the Wall. It is a harsh life and they are sworn off a life of family. As Jon enters the training, it is very clear that he is capable of defending himself and defeating his classmates in large groups. However, he is isolated by those that he has defeated and embarrassed. It becomes even harder as the trainer brings his own ridicule into the situation.
It is at this moment that Jon is given some advice that perhaps he should remove that haughty nature from his confidence. It is this quality that the other recruits and instructors are resenting in Jon. I don’t think that I would have puzzled it out as well as Jon, but he turned from beating his classmates to teaching them with the skills that he has. He goes from loner to a distinct leader of the recruits to the point that they follow him, even against the wishes of the instructor.
In this, I considered the new position that I was placed in at my new job and remembered the true leadership that is found in being a mentor while being the leader. I have used this technique in the past, but it has been some time since it was on my mind. It has drawn me from the darkness that I often faced during the last few months.
It was inspired by a novel, enhanced by friends, and used by a person seeking to become a better part of this world. I count those here that read and follow me as part of that support. When I was lost, all of you were there for me. My thanks to all.
By the way, my frequency may not increase entirely as the job levels off and the coming of the great month of November. November holds a few things that should be excellent. It is the month of NaMoWriMo and I will be making my second attempt to writing a novel of 50,000 words in a month. Last year, I finished the novel in January, so I am trying for a better run this time. I will likely update the blog as I can.
Also, my wedding anniversary comes toward the end of the month and it will be eighteen years, so it will be exciting. So, for now, I need to catch up on my favorite blogs and enjoy what all of you are writing.