Categotry Archives: Post-purri

All the random willy nilly hodgepodge I can come up with

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Defining Your Process

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Today marks my 2 year anniversary at BTC Revolutions it’s been a life changing year for me and I’m looking forward to see how we will be changing the world in the next two!

I wrote this about two years ago, and never submitted it… I may be more Charlie than I expected.

Charlie-brown-1-sadI’m super excited to be a part of the #TeamBTC blog but as I stare into the emptiness of my Evernote page, I sigh… I need a topic. What better thing to write when you don’t know what to write but to examine how you write. My process has always been take the original topic given to me and completely change it as I go. I am an analogy writer through and through. I like to explain topics by looking at them from a different place.
Some people are procrastinators and work best when the pressure is on, some only like to hit bare minimum requirements counting each and every word as they go, and some tend to over-analyze things. There are many other ways people attack their particular to-dos but in the spirit of #JFDI, let’s just examine the four archetypes of process.
The song “Book Report” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a perfect, yet whimsical example of these four types. The four main characters lament about a recent homework assignment, each in different way.

Charlie Brown – Charlie Brown knows he needs to get his homework done, but he keeps putting it off. He is a classic procrastinator. I know I have a touch of classic Charlie Brown in my blogging style, I always think that I work better under pressure, this is not the case.
If you are a classic procrastinator, try and find ways to help yourself get out of the rut. Schedule a little time every day to get some writing done and just keep chugging along when you can. (I started this post yesterday when I had some downtime, and I’ll probably finish it tomorrow.)

Lucy VanPelt – (One of my life’s personal heroes by the way) wants nothing to do with writing her book report. She counts every word to hit the bare minimum and most of her words were very, very, very ,very ,very – unhelpful. What Lucy could do, is find a way to express herself in a format she enjoys. If you are a classic “Lucy” and do not enjoy blogging or writing but still want to get your message out, look for a different way to do it. A visual person might want to start making infographics. Are you a talker? Express yourself with video blogging.

Linus VanPelt – Linus is a very conscientious researcher but he lets his research take over and go off into tangents and analogies that don’t quite make sense. Don’t let your research take over your theme. If you start out with a topic that gets lost once you start putting words to paper (as it were) maybe the initial topic is not what you want to write about. Keep going into the direction of the research and make changes and tweaks accordingly.

 

Schroeder – Schroeder takes the subject and tries to find a way to explain it in a way that he finds the most entertaining. Using an analogy is a great way to explain things to people in a way that helps them understand new ideas in a familiar way. I am a classic Schroeder, some of my most popular posts have used this method to compare social media and blogging to pop culture. Shoot – that is the basis of this post itself!


While I am sure there are 100 different variations of each style listed above, every author is different. The point of this post is to get you to try to define your process. Once you define it, learn the best way to work with your type to best accentuate your writing.

Where do you fall into this scale? What is your Peanuts process?

*Apparently, I am also “A Lucy” as I just checked my word count and felt an immediate need to add more.

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Geeks, Rosewater & Finding Your Passion

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11821176_1057843920895149_500233631_nLast week, I attended my first ever, GenCon in Indianapolis. I had no idea what to expect, except for a lot of people, a lot of gaming and a lot of heat. What I was hoping to get out of my week was some inspiration. I have maybe only written one or two blog posts in the last year, when I used to write 2 or 3 a month and I have been trying to get ‘unstuck’. I went and signed up for a long list of writing seminars in hopes of triggering something to get me back at the keyboard. Wait…. There are words on a screen right here… you are reading them, so obviously, those worked. Right? Wrong.

My inspiration did not come from the writing seminars, don’t get me wrong, they were all useful for people wanting to write a novel, or a story, or a screen play… but not for me. For me, they were a bit disheartening when I didn’t get that spark that I had my hopes set up for. What did inspire me to get back to my writing was discovering the passion the people at GenCon have. Seeing how much time and effort that people put into intricate cosplay outfits, to recreate favorite charachters (not to mention suffering through 90 degree heat in them). Or people that sat playing their favorite games for so long, they have to pack breakfast, lunch and dinner, to eat at the tables. Now, while I consider myself a proud geek and I love what I love, I did not understand the intense passion that some people have for a game, a world or a particular character… or in the case of my main inspiration, a very specific topic in a very specific time frame.

My boyfriend, Jon, and I as well as the friends we went to the con with, spent most of our time going in four different directions. Jon and I decided we wanted to attend at least one event together. We read through the website and found one seminar that we both said. “Hey, that’s weird. Let’s go to that one!” So we both signed up for Creating Medieval and Fantasy Cuisines… because, why wouldn’t you?! Not knowing even a glimmer of what to expect, we took our seats… and were immediately called out for sitting in back, I knew then, this was going to be good! The room filled up quickly and the speaker, Daniel Myers, started in. He covered all sorts of things you would need to know when creating a universe and the foods and methodology of how that food would be prepared down to the last detail (Knowing the available heat sources are a must when considering how people in your world eat and live.)

The now practically full room, was buzzing. Comments, questions, side conversations.., the place was full of energy. At one point, Daniel stopped following his outline and the second hour just became an open discussion. This is when pulled out my phone and put the title of this blog into Evernote. Then, he started to talk about Rosewater. I don’t think I can even put into words how Daniel talked about rosewater, but I made me want some. Listening to him describe his complete joy in making a dish that was similar to meringue but featured rosewater… you could see multiple people pulling out phones to Google it for making it at home.

Thanks to Daniel, and all the other 61K people at GenCon (and my yearly participating in GISHWHES), I’ve been able to reignite my passion, not only for writing but embracing all the weird and wonderful things I love.

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Being the Change. My #BTCLife

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Be the change.

What did those words mean to me a year ago? Well, I knew it was part of a quote and I got the basicis of the mood of it all. What I didn’t know, was those 3 words were about to change my life.

Be the Change

A year ago at this time, I was working in social for a local company in my home town. Looking back on that time, quite honestly, being paid to learn how to be a community manager. Good thing too. Little did I know, that one day when I got a random ping from my friend Brew, my life was about to go from zero to 60.

I did phone interviews while dressing my car for prom (as a part of my first GISHWHES) and post fluke summer storm that knocked the power out in my house for a week and the next thing I knew, I was setting up an office in my dining room.

To be honest, the first month or two was a complete blur. I went from an account that saw possibly 3 replies a day on Twitter to one that if I didn’t hit Twitter limit once per shift, I would be shocked. Learning new accounts, new procedures, just exactly who the members of One Direction were, and possibly the biggest thing…. learning how to work virtually. Driving to work, sitting at a deck, worrying about what to wear, these were now things of the past. Now I had to worry about internet connections, doing my own taxes and fixing my own tech if something went wrong.

After a while, I found my groove and I discovered that I flourished in this work style. I liked being able to focus on the work and not the goings about in a traditional office environment. And I worked. I worked a lot. I worked long hours and I worked every day. And I loved it. There was blood, there was sweat and there were tears.

I have never worked harder or been more proud of myself then I have been this past year.

I’ve learned some things about myself, some good and some things that I need to work on. I know what it is like to embrace change and ask for way to make myself improve. I’ve toughened up a lot, I can not not only articulate what I want, I can map out the plan to achieve it. I still can’t take a compliment (don’t ever let that stop you) but I can handle them with more grace. I’ve learned how to celebrate my wins as well as the wins of those around me. I have seen what working as a true team can do and that the results are astounding and limitless. I’ve found my drive and my hustle. I’ve learned the importance of stopping to breathe and most of all, to give focus where it is important. I’ve reached into a place within myself and how I look at my life that I never would have even begun to process without working for BTC. The people that I work with (no matter how far apart we are from one another) are NOT my coworkers, they are my family.

I’ve discovered passions for what I do and WHY I do it. I’ve become part of the team that is working to end childhood hunger in America. Not only are we changing the model for what it means to be a digital agency, we’re changing the world! This is more then just tweets. This is life. The #BTCLife.

I’ve been able to do some things I never thought I’d be able to do. I can make it from one end of the MSP airport to another in 9 minutes. #FloJo. I was able to take my mother on a vacation to see some of her family she hadn’t seen in years. Despite my insane schedule, I even took the time to fall in love with a great guy. I have still yet to master the elusive work/life balance… but I know I’m on the path to getting there.

So, back to those three little words… Not only do I work for Be The Change, they have been the change for me.

http://btcrevolutions.com/ 

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Talking GISHWHES

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When I heard people say GISHWHES changes your life, I didn’t believe it. But after participating for the first time, I truly believe it.  It is amazing the things you become willing to do as a part of a team doing something for a good cause and for the sake of making art! I’ve stepped out and some things I never thought I would have done, and pushed boundaries I’ve always wanted to but, but couldn’t. I’ve also learned that I can function on practically no sleep. And, that’s a thing 😉

I did a mini video journal during my GISHWHES experience as a part of SSSVEDA, enjoy the crazy.

SSSVEDA Day 17

The Aftermath: Part 1

The Aftermath: Part 2

Team Standard Nerds recap video

I hope you enjoy the videos, it was an ABNOSOME experience to be a part of GISHWHES 2013, and I can’t wait to get together with my Standard Nerds again!

View the wonderful weird that is Standard  Nerds!

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Something Gishwhes This Way Comes

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gishwhes-carriejkeenan-standardnerdsEarlier this month, I was listening to a Nerdist podcast where the special guest was Misha Collins. They were in a castle in Scotland celebrating Chris Hardwick’s girlfriend Chloe’s team, Badwolf,  win of a scavenger hunt that Misha hosts called Gishwhes.

G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. stands for the “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen”  and it is epic! Listening to the interview, I thought that would be an amazingly cool thing to participate in. Then, I made the mistake of Googleing it. Um, wow – the items on that hunt are madness! Not only is the even set up to create art and experience it also has a social good aspect.

From the website:

“On the social improvement front, we’re proud to announce last year’s teams also broke the Guinness World Record for the most charitable pledges of Acts of Kindness (93,376!) in partnership with our non-profit Random Acts (www.therandomact.org), submitted thousands of images and videos of participants hugging war veterans and committing acts of kindness, delivered thousands of coats to homeless people and helped victims of Hurricane Sandy.”

I put the the thought out of my mind and it was replaced with other things and time moved on. Until today. I was doing a quick Facebook stream skim and saw a friend’s post recruiting for her Gishwhes team. Wait? What? I know that word! I did a double take and thought about it for about 2 seconds and I did something don’t do. Or, didn’t at least.

I signed up!

For most of my life; if it scared me – I wouldn’t do it, if there was the possibility of embarrassment – let me do it, if it involved talking to random strangers – yep, you guessed it, I wouldn’t do it. For the last year or so, I have been reaching out to “do the shit that scares me”, so here I go.

Now, here I am, one of the STANDARDNERDS – ready and waiting for the insanity ahead of me!

I’ll leave you with the awesome Gishwhes philosophy:

“Gishwhes believes that “normalcy” is overrated and that true “living” can be found hidden under the rocks of community artistic creation and in acts of artistic sublime public performances. More importantly, we are all artists and have gifts for society no matter what our capabilities or talents. And most importantly, cheese is not a good sewing material.”

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City Walk-About: Boston

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As I start this post, I am 100000 or so feet in the air flying over some unrecognizable city that is just sparkly lights below me.

I am on my way home from a trip to Boston, one of my all time favorite places to be. I may be from a smallish town in the Midwest, there are two things I am truly at heart.

1. A city girl

2. An East Coaster. (Who was born in California & lives in Wisconsin)

I was lucky enough to go to Boston once before, I came in 2001 for St Patricks Day with some girlfriends. It was a quick trip, not even 3 full days, but I got so much out of it.

Due to the commitment of why I was on the trip, and travel time (and the fact I can’t stay awake after ONE 20oz Magners from MJ O’Connor’s) I only had my last day to “tourist about”.

And tourist my friends, I did!

My journey started in Back Bay, where I was staying at the Boston Park Plaza hotel. The hotel was only about a block away from the one thing I had on my list as “Must, under no circumstances miss” Boston Commons. When I was a child, one of my favorite books was the Caldecott Medal winning book “Make Way for Ducklings” a story about a mama duck and her babies, there is a bronze sculpture of the family in the park and I *had* to get a photo of this for my mama.

Let me clue you into a little known fact about Boston. If you want to choose a time to go on a walk-about around the city without the crowds, go at 7 on a Saturday morning. I had the park practically got myself. There was me, the jiggers, a dog walker or two and some older gentlemen doing Tai Chi. And the squirrels, ducks and pigeons.

(Side note, I am seriously disturbed by birds, pigeons in particular, and in flocks they are MUCH worse! I blame the babysitter who the me watch “The Birds” when i was little. So mother dear, appreciate what it took to get you that photo)

Then came time to attempt navigation of the subway, more commonly known as “The T”.  I approached the ticket machine with trepidation, it gave a few options and thankfully I stopped myself from buying a commuter rail ticket to God Knows Where, I got my pass and headed down stairs. As I stood, waiting for my train quietly trying to take pictures without looking like a tourist, I started reading the signs.

Yep. I was at the wrong train. Quicker than you would think I can bolt up and down T station stairways I was at the right spot at the exact right time. Just a few stops away and I was deposited 200+ years ago. I have always been excited about history, the older the better for me. I was pumped to have time to explore this hostoric town and have it mostly to myself.

I walked the Freedom Trail, visited Fanieul Hall and Quincy Market and wanted up and down the streets of the Nort End. The thing about Boston that struck me so deeply is that it is a city of contrast and textures. You can be walking down cobblestone streets that were there before this country was a country and look up to see sleek contemporary sky scrapers. As I went through the photos I took, I noticed texture was a major there running through everything I took. Every type of brick imaginable on the walls and on the ground, a different feel under your feet.

And now that we are somewhere over, I don’t know… Pennsylvania maybe, it is safe to say, I made it walking through those crazy streets without the obligatory turned ankle! The part of my wanderings that turned out to be a surprise favorite to me was walking through the residential part of the North End.  Wandering up and down the narrow streets led my mind to wander as well. Peeking into windows, reading signs and making up stories about the residency.

It was a magical weekend as well because as I walked around, I got to watch Christmas unfold. On the first evening, I walked past the crews hanging lights and putting up trees on the streets. On Saturday, the festivities were in full swing. Not only was there a giant tree in the square and paper stars hanging from the dome in Quincy Market,  but there was live music, Santa and even a selection from the Nutcracker preformed by the Boston Ballet!

All and all my long weekend was just what I needed to bring back a boost of creativity that I needed. Wandering aimlessly around a fabulous historical city is something everyone should get the chance to do. It added a fresh new spring to my step, some jingle in my bells and a bit of zing to the rest of me!

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Just Your Average Tuesday #KickOffMyRewards

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Say what you will about Klout, and most people do, but I got to be a part of a very cool event today because of it. Today was the Kick Off My Rewards – Breakfast with a Packer at Lambeau Field.

Because of my Klout score, at the time of writing this, my score is 61 and that was high enough to get myself and a guest seats for today’s event. Green Bay Packer Jarrett Bush talked about what brought him to the team and told us  about Super Bowl wins and answered questions from the crowd (mostly about “THE” Seattle call).

I brought my mom, Nelda as my +1 for her very first trip to LaLaLaLaLaLambeauuuuu. We stayed for the day. going to the Hall of Fame and also taking the Stadium tour, a first for the both of us.  The highlight of the tour is walking through the tunnel onto the field!  If you happen to take the tour – be sure to try and get the tour led by Grant -that guy is amazing!

… Not too shabby for a Tuesday

 

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