Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be
Category Archives: St Pete Patch
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be
This gallery contains 36 photos.
Original Post Date October 02, 2013 at 12:29 PM Von enjoys a day at the Dali Museum, and experiences a burst of synergy with her writing partner. ArtsAlive sponsored Free Museum Day this past September 28th, and boy oh boy did we take advantage! Marie, my American English ambassador and co-collaborator onI Blew Up Juarez, had the great idea […]
Original Post Date October 03, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Von vlogs! Subscribe to her YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/fantasma390
We’ve all been here. Someone takes a situation WAY too personal and flips his lid instead of keeping his cool. Here’s a vlog of my recent excursion into the firestorm, with tips on how to navigate sanely through. Do allot for language, friends. And by all means, laugh it up!
Original Post Date September 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Writing about nothing is actually writing about something. Von demonstrates how.
It started that way for everyone sitting around the pond. Our instructor, who I have a photo of but can’t remember her name, was trying to instill a writer’s fervor into our 11-year old heads. My fellow advanced writers and I that spring of 1988 sat staring at blank pages of journals. “But I have nothing to write about,” one lamented. We backed him up in solidarity with a whine of agreement. The instructor sighed. “Write that down, then.” So we all wrote, I have nothing to write about, across the page. And paused our writing tools for further instruction. “You have ten minutes, write from there.” And she walked off. We looked at each other. We looked at our single sentence. The ducks looked at us.
This morning felt the same way. I opened my journal, flipped to a clean page, and stared. And stared. Most Wednesdays I wake up knowing exactly what I’m going to deliver to this blog. Today? Hoy? Nada. I thought about describing my morning dream, but I’ve done that before, and frankly, it was pretty gruesome. I haven’t written any new poetry, and haven’t been drawn to the archives to find one to offer. I’m in study mode with Juarez, so there’s nothing to expound on here yet, as it’s still in development. So. What to write about?
I sat cross-legged with my spiral journal on my lap, my pubescent mind growing anxious as it stared at those ominous six words, now given a time limit to fill the page with something, anything. I looked around and observed some of my counterparts in a flow. Some were still holding a pencil in place. I caught the eye of one of my cohorts doing the same thing I was doing, panning the group and panicking. Then I caught sight of a duck moving my direction. What’s that duck doing? Write that down. The duck started to wobble up from the pond, closer to my perch on the wall. I began to document everything the duck was doing. I was thrown into the phenomenon of duck encroachment, describing its motions, its thoughts (as I perceived them to be), its hunger for revenge for the death of its ducklings. Its embodiment of a human spirit cursed by a witch. Its thirst for blood, a la Bunnicula. Scribble, scribble, scribble, and, next thing you know, she called “Time!” The ombudsman of the group whined, “but I still have more to write!” And we chimed in with our concurring laments. She made some statement about staying there to complete our writing, but it was time for dinner. I didn’t even hear the rest of her statement. I heard food was ready. No more journal.
In my not knowing what to write about today, I developed something to write about, merely by letting my mind ramble, and then applying it in written form. This is how writers work, this is where we excel.
P.S. I just did the memory walkback thing. Her name was Mrs. Vickers!
Original Post Date September 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Von pulls out tried-and-true tactics to sketch next year’s marketing campaign.
Autumn announced its arrival Sunday by saturating the entire West Coast. Constant rain made the mornings dark, the afternoons cool and moist, and the evenings sudden, pretty much forcing all outward activity indoors, forcing me into a reflective, contemplative mode.
Roses and Thorns Analysis. What have we accomplished this year? What are our opportunities? What failed and why? The rain doesn’t just signal the shift in season, it signals the time to start planning for 2014. The big question: once I Blew Up Juarez is published, what are we gonna do about it?
I switch from contemplative to productive. An experienced event planner and campaign manager, I implement Z to A planning: using the date of an event as the starting point, and building back to current time to see what pieces have to be in place in order for that event to succeed. Where to launch? When to launch? The rain’s constant beat outside the bay door encourages my planning process.
The power of networking. I consider the context of my novel (military background, military installations) and start making phone calls. Looks like the date I would like to promote my work is not only available, but they’re willing to stock the paperback version of the book prior to my arrival on that military base. Glorious! I consider other aspects of the novel, and which communities are highlighted, and start networking those contacts.
The rain lightens up just enough to take Bobby outside for a brisk walk. We quickly pace the soggy trail, my mind crunching numbers, ordering events, prioritizing goals. I’m fully calculative now. I’m designing a plan of attack, an offensive. I’m slapping on the campaign helmet, I’m General Schwarzkopf!
Back at my work desk, I’m writing out if-then scenarios, running algebraic equations, putting weights to variables, I’m freakin’ everywhere. My left brain is excited, having relinquished command last year to let the right brain do her creative thang, now back in the lead. My initial scope is elliptical in nature: an outer sweep and then a concentrated inner sweep. I sit back, fold my arms across my chest, and look down at the schematics I’ve freestyled to the drum of the rain. Yes, yes, this is looking pretty damn doable.
VS Enterprises was conceptualized for just this type of situation. I am an independent writer and an independent consultant, so I not only produce art but am skilled at promoting and marketing it for others, as well as myself. I work with vendors, venues, and promoters. I network with like-minded artists. I draw on my previous experiences managing people and campaigns to enable interest in the work. I am not alone in this process. The co-owner of VS Enterprises is a seasoned marketing director and a practiced social media campaign manager. She’s also relocating to the coast, which will make honing my 2014 promotional campaign a fun, collaborative procedure.
Yes, I enjoy being a writer. But I equally enjoy being a queenmaker.
Original Post Date October 09, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Technical difficulties send Von back to the draftboard.
Technical issues, all day, every day this week! It started with a video call with my family, and my cousin informing me my Patch blog link doesn’t come up at home. She lives in Panama (the country, not the beach up north) and she and others over there can’t read about my antics. If they can’t read it, then people in Germany can’t read it, the guys in Afghanistan can’t read it, shoot.
Then I received a return email from our very own St. Pete Patch editor, William Mansell, regarding the want to adapt my blog for different Patches in Pinellas County. His answer, emulate same post with an individual account where I want to be. Tedious. I reminded him I couldn’t embed videos in the body of the posts. William (Will? Willy? We never got informal) said all it needed was a refresh to the page. You can look at “Grace Under Fire” and see the short code in full; even if you refresh all day, it’s not showing the video. Argh.
I designed a music-centric post with the intention of embedding the videos related to the conversation I wanted to have with you. I logged into my YouTube channel, typed in one of the artists, and when I hit play, I got no audio. I noticed the speaker icon had an x beside it. Must’ve disabled it somehow, right? Checked my settings, visited the video manager, and there was a copyright issue. “Third party dispute,” was the phrase highlighted beside my video. To borrow from my friend Sonia’s catalog, “What the WHAT!?” I clicked on it to read further, and some organization claimed to own the song I sang in the video. The random organization cited “We Was Crazy” as the infringed composition. Huh? The song I sang is “Crazy,” by Patsy Kline, written by Willie Nelson, recorded in 1961. I highly doubt “We Was Crazy” was rockin’ the airwaves back then. Erroneous, erroneous claim! I shouted to my YouTube screen, and I prepared to dispute it formally, but trying to be time-sensitive, opted to just click Acknowledge and move on. The restoration of audability didn’t occur til close to 6pm.
What a mess. I have a marketing distribution list, a Twitter account, a channel, a blog, scattered all over the 0s and 1s. Like the time I pulled on Gina’s pants and they stopped below my big butt: I’ve grown too big for my britches. This is a good sign, growth means progress. It means interest in my art. So it’s time to collect all these sources of information and put them in a clean, dynamic, global portal under the brand Von Simeon. I planked down the finski to register a domain name, and will use the rest of October to get it organized for ya. Until I say so, keep checking in here. If you’d like a direct announcement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the header “add to distribution.”