Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Great Balancing Act

My 8th-grade graduate/gymnast:
Balancing in Santa Monica

Last night my daughter graduated from 8th grade. I could go on and on about my ambivalent feelings concerning this. First of all, I'm super proud of her. She's such a smart, kind, hardworking, lovely young lady. But I also can't believe she's as old as she is. Didn't she just start kindergarten? How is it possible that she's starting high school in August?!?

Anyway, yesterday my mom gave her the book Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss, which is one of my favorites. And at the ceremony, they read the quote about "having shoes on your feet" and being the one who "decides where you go" from the book. I love that, but my favorite Oh the Places You'll Go quote is:

So be sure when you step
Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life's 
A Great Balancing Act. 

For some reason that quote makes me well up every time I read it or hear it or even think of it.

I love the first part, because care and tact are really important but rarely discussed qualities. I might be a little too careful and too tactful sometimes, but I think too much care and tact is better than not enough.

However, it's balancing that I wanted to write about today.

I'm in a phase of life where balancing is necessary, constant, exhausting, and oh-so-worthwhile.

I came back from my trip to Baltimore and New York feeling so focused and motivated about my creative endeavors. I couldn't wait to write, and record, and edit my writing, and edit my audio, and record YouTube videos of excerpts from DoD 2, and make a YouTube video using writings and photos from my two trips to Tanzania, and set up a Google+ account, and blog more, and tweet more, etc., etc., etc.!

That fire hasn't dimmed but other pulls on me are now competing for my time and attention:

  • My daughter graduating and all the hoopla associated with that plus her busy gymnastics practice schedule. 
  • My son finishing up elementary school and the baseball season. 
  • Simply wanting to hang out with my kids, because I love being with them and the years are zooming, and soon they'll be all grown up and no longer at home. 
  • Wanting to spend some date-like time with my husband, and it's tough to squeeze that in when we're so busy with work and family stuff. 
  • Wishing to just chill and read and rest. (I swear I'm a type B personality trying to live a type A lifestyle!)

Balancing. Constantly balancing everything!

I love my writing and audiobook work. I love my family and all that's necessary to take care of them. I want to do both wholeheartedly with my best attention.

And I think I manage pretty well in both areas.

But it's a "Great Balancing Act," no doubt about it!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Back from Balticon and APAC!

I'm home from an incredible 10-day-trip back east, first to Balticon and then to APAC. I've returned feeling focused and inspired by all of the talented, creative people I came across. And I traveled with my mom, which was so cool. And I got to meet up with my awesome friends Aileen and Carol, which was so, so great!

But right now while I'm exhausted and ready to collapse, I thought I could quickly blog about the high points and low points of the trip. Here goes!

High point: Balticon People!

  • I got to hang out with awesome, creative people like Abbie Hilton, Bryan Lincoln, Lauren Harris, Hugh O'Donnell, Tim Dodge, and Veronica Giguerre.
  • I was part of the Metamor City Live cast. So much fun! And I got to meet Chris Lester!
  • I also got to meet P.C. Haring, Alex White, Doc Coleman, Rosemary Tizeldon, Starla Huchton, Katie Bryski, and Christiana Ellis!
  • My favorite part of the weekend was tossing around ideas with other writer/podcaster/voice actor people. We are a unique breed and it was terrific to all be in one place collaborating in person!

High point: APAC People!

The sessions at APAC this year were incredibly helpful and worthwhile. I reconnected with some audiobook folks I already knew and met many new extraordinarily talented people.

  • Hillary Huber was the director I was matched up with for my "Director Diagnostic. She was awesome! I was pretty nervous and she put me right at ease and had some fantastic suggestions for things I can do to bring my narration skills up to the next level.
  • I had an audition at Audible that was so much fun and allowed me to show my stuff! Audible also hosted a group of us narrators for a day of training where we were treated so well and were able to learn so much about how Audible works.
  • I socialized at the APA mixer and the Tantor party and what could be more fun than to be in New York attending parties with other narrators and audiobook people!!!
  • The talent on the panels I attended at APAC was unbelievable. How lucky was I too get to learn tips of the trade from Katherine Kellgren, Tavia Gilbert, Barbara Rosenblat, Dion Graham, Scott Brick, and Jeffery Kafer!

I feel so energized and focused about the audiobook work and privileged to be part of such a fantastic industry and community.

Low point: Ouchy toes.

But everything can't be 100% positive, right? There was something sucky that happened. I decided to treat myself to a pedicure on my birthday, which was the Saturday I was at Balticon. The pedicurist must not have realized what a princess I am (ha!) and what delicate feet I have (ha, ha!) because she dug into my big toes like she was cutting eyes out of a potato and ouch it hurt! And ouch, 7 days later it still hurts and my big toes are red and inflamed and the opposite of attractive. Yes, I have a pedicure injury. How embarrassing. And ouch. Mostly ouch!

But it doesn't matter because the rest of the time was so much fun and so worthwhile. So I'm soaking my feet and reconnecting with my family and reminiscing about all the amazing experiences I had on this trip. Yay! (And ouch!)