Creative Writing

Holy Cow, Time Flies!

Well, I guess it has been awhile since the last blog post…since August of 2014? Oops!

What have I been up to since then? Mostly working on projects, some of my own, several for design and content writing clients; traveled a bit, but not enough; met and greeted Josh Groban a couple more times (pictures for another day); helped plan and put on a 20-year high school reunion (WTF?!?!?)…so, taking time to write about life has sort of been a non-priority. I thought it might be a good idea to just quickly post here so 2015 doesn’t feel too left out, so a longer post will have to wait!

As for those things that made me realize my life needed redirection, and in following my own calling, I realize some things are just best left in the past. As time passes, people and situations that have caused unhappiness and unbearable stress aren’t worth worrying about anymore. People and environments sometimes change for the better, others don’t, and as it turns out, our being present or absent has little or nothing to do with it. Sometimes to walk away and keep one’s distance is the best, healthiest thing you can do for your own sake. If people don’t like what you do or how you do things, why worry; put those feelings into something more worthwhile, always. Honestly, if nothing’s going to change in the here and now, and you realize separating yourself from those unhappy/unpleasant places is what you need to finally land where you belong, whether it’s leaving a “dead-end” job, breaking off a toxic relationship, or overcoming a persistent roadblock in life (or all of the above), push forward with no regrets and don’t look back – let the messes you can’t fix fall onto someone else’s lap, focus on your dreams and goals, and keep looking up. Enough said there.

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“Keep Looking Up” – Watercolor painting by Jill M. Sheehan, available as a print and in other formats on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle.

Things to Come in 2016:

  • Taking on more design and writing projects for clients;
  • Finally getting my JillthePill Design site launched beyond a “landing page” state;
  • More personal artwork projects; you’ll find several designs are currently available as high-quality art prints, stationery and personalizable housewares on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle. (<–Shameless plugs)
  • Working on developing more handmade pieces – some previous work is available on Etsy, but I’ll be adding new designs as I hone my artsy-fartsy skills!

And beyond that, I just have to see where things go, because holy cow, time flies.

Stay tuned – have a happy, healthy 2016 and beyond! Carpe diem! 😀

Learning and Growing.

I have found, since walking away from the old job, that I have learned and grown so much in my thirty-something years, and truly I was at a point in time where I got as far as I was going to without taking flight on my own to seek my true calling in life. The “old” me, the insecure one of years ago who had little confidence in herself, would never thought this possible. Thanks to good friends, supportive parents, and just plain looking inside myself to realize my potential, that little frightened bird has made it. However, for those following along here, please don’t tell me I should just let go, move on, and walk away from something when I’ve committed myself a great deal to at least trying to do my part, with a load of feelings and thoughts that go with it, when I’ve been doing the best I can, take it or leave it. It’s just not that simple – these experiences, feelings and thoughts are a large part of what has built me up to who I am today. Hear me out for a little background on my life, why don’t you?

There are a few situations I have had to go through in the past to realize sometimes you have to “just keep swimming” and not look back when something has helped you grow, but only held you back for whatever reasons after a time; sometimes it’s not agreeing or meshing with people and situations that have become dysfunctional, futile or feed negativity into an environment while you try to keep your eyes on the prize, whatever it may be. You become broken inside, discouraged, losing heart, losing focus. For so many reasons it can happen, and not just at any one time or place in your life. There will be people who misconstrue your words, don’t listen to your advice (or that of others), rush to keep you quiet, cut you out of the picture or threaten and intimidate you for daring to speak up, and in that, seemingly refusing to validate your feelings and input. And there are those who do not see things eye-to-eye with you, or simply aren’t in an ideal place themselves, whatever it may be, and in dealing with this realization sometimes you have to leave behind or cut out those parts that aren’t healthy in order to remain strong yourself.  You can’t change other people, after all; you can try to affect change, but we’re not designed to fix other people’s problems, only work on ourselves and do the best we can to make our existence the best it can be.  But for all the parts that make it difficult, realizing this is a sign of growth, especially when you muster the courage to break through the haze and see you are still that same person you used to be, still full of hope and potential, still wanting everything you always have, only now you’re stronger, braver, more prepared for the journey ahead. 

Month One, Complete.

Well, how quickly the time flies, the end of January already? That means my first month in this new adventure of being self-employed is wrapping up. 2012 ended with feelings of guilt and a bit of anxiety, 2013 starting with the next phase of sorts: emptiness. The first couple of weeks I felt so empty, that vessel-full of frustration and futility suddenly giving way to a new, fresh slate. It was weird…I just felt nothing for a time, it’s like a mourning process, I guess: guilt, anxiety, emptiness, and now acceptance and the slow adjustment of my new life. I don’t regret it, though, because I am seeing life has put me where I need to be when I need to be, and I’m keeping busy with projects. Motivation comes in waves, inspiration pops up at rather interesting times, and coffee has become a dear friend, which leads to burning a lot of midnight oil these days. I do need to work on that, trying to keep a normal person’s sleeping schedule. I’ve had to kick my ass a bit, tell myself to “snap out of it” and get into this new groove, but as the weeks have passed, it’s getting easier.

Letting Go and Moving On.

So, a major step in my future plans happened this week: I submitted my Letter of Resignation at my current job, which happens to be the family business. I am starting 2013 anew with a new venture: my own business. *GASP* Why? How can someone just walk away from their family? Well, it’s not walking away forever, it’s not disloyalty, I will still be related to many of those with whom I’ve worked for over a decade now, but it’s time. I have spent too much time setting my own interests and needs aside to please others, and I realize it’ll never be enough and only burns a person out.

How selfish of me, right? How dare I decide I want to do something else with my life. Most people seem to be supportive, while others seem quick to judge me and everything I’ve ever done, as if they knew me all that well, as if I’ve never done anything for them or contributed anything of worth to the business. At least, that’s how I see it. (Maybe I’m wrong, but this is not the place to delve into further thoughts that benefit nobody.) I suppose it’s to be expected, people don’t think you’ll walk away from something that may very well be a lifetime commitment to them. It’s not like I am unwilling to be supportive or never plan to do anything for my family’s business again; quite on the contrary. But for me, my life is meant to be so much more than it is now, and in order to move forward, I have to let go, to free myself so I can achieve everything I have set out to do from here. They will be fine without me if they’re willing to stay the course, so I hope to see things continue into the future, for everyone’s benefit.

Leaps of Faith (Whee!)

Oh hey there, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Well (deep subject), I’m still juggling a whole bunch of stuff at the moment: helping put on an auction (see my previous post about Gloria’s Angels), plus the big screenplay rewrite (we’re on track to be done by year’s end, with casting to begin in early 2013), and just plain working at the ol’ jobby job. Plus, I have been mulling over and finally decided to take the plunge and strike out on my own, full-time, by starting my own freelance design/copywriting business. I’ve been dabbling in design more as a hobby with little projects here and there, and using my skills on the job for many years, but I want to give it my full focus now, while continuing to follow my various creative pursuits. Never a dull moment; I can’t imagine just doing any one thing forever; I’m a free spirit who wants to embrace as much as I can while I still can. It’s requiring a lot of leaps of faith, but I am at a point where I feel I can trust my abilities and believe in myself, knowing I will land on my feet.

Playing with WordPress and other Creative Endeavors

So, I got bored of the standard “2011” WordPress theme, plus I’ve been wanting to learn more about how WP works and can be customized, so if you’ve been here before, you’ll see I’ve modified the design a bit. As in, installed an entirely different theme! I didn’t design the theme, just trying to make it my own and figure out all the quirks. (For one: why is it centering all the smileys? Very strange indeed…) Graphic designers need to know these things to be useful to their clients, after all. 😀

I still have a million other things I’m juggling at the moment (well, maybe not a million things, but a decent amount), not the least of which is working on a collaborative rewrite of a screenplay! Yes, at last I am using those creative writing skills for good (not that I didn’t before). I was approached by Vernon “Eck” Eckleberry of Atlantic Pictures, LLC; he’s a classmate from a screenwriting class I took through Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and it’s been an exciting process so far! Since we’re several states apart, we’re doing the Skype thing (very useful service, let me tell you), and making some really great revisions to his original script, 10,000 Angels. His first film, Mattie and Meteor, is in post-production right now and is slated to air on OWN in the fall. Stay tuned as we go along, because I’m hoping it’s just one little step toward a very rewarding series of long-term projects! 🙂

I am also doing some artsy-fartsy things and trying to gear up for opening a little Etsy shop soon, but it’s not quite ready to go, so hang tight. If you like quirky critters made out of polymer clay, though (sneak a peek here), it’ll be right up your alley! And that’s all I’m going to say for now. 😉

That’s about it for today – check back now, ya hear?

Where Have You Been?

Yes, I’m sure many of you are wondering where I’ve been (okay, so maybe only a small sampling of you), why did I just leave my Website all sad, lonely and unloved for…er…6+ years or so? Has it been that long? Wow. And yes, it’s time for an overhaul…in Internet and Technology time, that’s several shiny devices that have come and gone! Let us mourn those old toys for a few moments…okay, done.

Actually, it hasn’t been that long in some aspects; I’ve been actively using my domain for file storage, occasional micro-updates of sections on the site, but most of that has gone unnoticed to the world-at-large. Well, isn’t that life, though? Get all tied up in life, work, all that fun stuff. I have been quite productive and social in that time, however;  if you know me well enough, you know where I tend to lurk and post regularly. If you don’t know me well, that means absolutely nothing. 😛

In this time, I have also been getting educated! As in, schooled! I decided to invest in myself and my creative skills (that whole “figuring out what I want to do with my life” thing) and studied subjects of interest like Playwriting, Screenwriting and Graphic Design. And in doing so, have really stretched my mind and my talents and have essentially found things that make me happy and that I’d like to spend more of my life doing. So, see, this “hiatus” has been a good thing, and good things come to those who wait, or whatever cliché you’d like to apply to that.

Anyway, without going on too long here (too late), I do promise more updates. More details on my future plans and where things on this site will be going. And yes, this includes an update, or at least a minor overhaul of sorts on what’s probably the most popular part of this domain: The Mathnet Website. Oh yes, there wasn’t much going on for many years, and I feel terrible about letting it just sit, but the need, and time, to update content wasn’t really there (plus the whole having a job and going to school business sidelined my efforts somewhat, too). I’m also a part of the efforts over at SquareOneTV.org, so it’s not like the fandom has dropped off the planet; in fact, we’ve been doing a lot of interacting with former cast members recently and are celebrating 25 years since the show debuted as of 2012. Not to mention in the time since I last overhauled, wonderful sites such as YouTube and Facebook have come along and are still going strong, making it easier than ever to share clips and gather fans in larger groups and all that fun stuff. And because of that, Sesame Workshop has been paying attention and are now taking a DVD release into consideration. So, this is the best time to be reviving those efforts! Stay tuned, I promise you won’t be disappointed. 😉 And on that note, before I let anyone leave, please take the time, if you could, to “like” the official Square One Television page on Facebook – Sesame is using this as an indicator of interest by the fans. Tell your friends! Tell their friends! If you honestly want to see the show gain a pulse in the media again, and hey, it worked for The Electric Company, this is the best way to do it!

Okay, I’m done for now. A lot to digest, but I hope y’all are still with me. Take care, and much love! -Jill 🙂

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