Daydreams Diary: Flames (Part II)

Daydreams in Otherworlds © 2017 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

When I first started out, “Daydreams” was very much a character.

Now she’s just a cloak that I wear to protect whatever little shred of privacy I have left.

Flurry

I’ve all but exposed my whole ass for the world to see. Most are no longer comfortable with me since I’m not fluffing their egos while being kind and PC. But I’m getting off-track a bit. Let’s rewind to the first half of this before I go any further.

It chirped away. Not a pleasant bell like that of a teeny sparrow, but a manic, repetitive, screeching sound akin to metal on metal. I could almost sense what it was. In fact, in the corners of my subconscious, I think I very much did.

It was a person in my professional network, pointing me towards the mouthes of the displeased.

Displeasure—oh, how I’ve danced with you on and off these past few years.

Passive-aggressive in its nature, though point taken, it stood out like a festering sore on a beautiful face. It’s always a meme, right? No one can pull me aside and quietly voice their grievances. No, it has to be shouted to their entire following, but covertly enough that I can’t expose them. So much so that if I did, I’d look like the crazy one.

This is not the first time.

Or the second.

And I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Oh no, definitely not the last. But I’m not allowed to feel either.

“Oh stop whining.”

“What a butthurt bitch.”

“Quit playing the victim.”

I can hear it now. Loud as ever.

I’ve been more vocal on human rights issues and more. These are some things sadly deemed “political.”

“It ain’t cute, sweetheart.” They said I was shaming people. Well darlin’ sadly, in these times we’re living in, some things need to be shamed.

In the words of someone I’ve always deeply admired that’s been harmed by the very industry I work alongside:

Name it. Shame it. Call it out.Rose McGowan

So what’s wrong with me calling these issues out? Why does that all of a sudden make me not your cup of tea? What does my little insignificant voice have to do with your happiness? Why do you feel the need to tear me down in the process?

I thought I was well past letting bullshit like that penetrate me. But it has. Yet again. Especially when these [very public] bashings start to effect my income. (If I showed you the numbers, and how far they’ve traveled downward since about May 2017, you’d cry.)

I’m slowly moving past it. After all, the projects on my desk don’t give a shit who is ripping me apart and why. I had a little outburst over it, then soon after regretted it. It made me look like the asshole. It made me look immature. Though I come from a place where if you don’t respond, you’re a coward. Though in today’s world, if you do respond, you’re giving them attention and that also winds up making you look like an idiot.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Amidst all this madness I had a great conversation with one of my best friends whom I consider like adopted family. He spoke of similar situations with slimy people’s passive-aggressive nature and likened getting rid of such negativity to purging impurities with flames. What a beautiful comparison it was. Like the practice of burning sage—a cleansing ritual.

So I guess what I’m stabbing at in all this is, sometimes we need to purge the ugliness in our life with flames. And no, I’m not telling you to go set shit on fire. (Ya crazy asses.) I’m simply hinting at the notion that in order to truly move up and move on in our lives, sometimes we really need to cut things loose—set them ablaze. One thing I’m learning is it doesn’t matter how many times we feel we have to do this. If we feel the need, it’s probably for a reason. There’s probably another phase ready for us on the other side waiting.

So go burn some sage.

– Daydreams

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A Year in CardCastles: 2015

CC 2015 Highlights Badge Icon

Twenty-fifteen will go down in my rear-view as the year that played Russian Roulette with my emotions.

There were unforeseen highs and uncertain roads. I saw a closing of doors and an opening of many others. My friends and I suffered some devastating losses, but I was reminded to be thankful for those that are still here.

Then one of my biggest influences passed away, and my life took a turn to carry on old paths and forgotten dreams…

These are the moments that made, (and almost broke, but ultimately…well, you’ll see) CardCastles in 2015.

 

 

CardCastles 2015 Highlights

January

We started off small and quietly. I shared about fears in Ashes over at Stories That Must Not Die, and reposted it here since the story tied in to some past thoughts shared.

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February

There was a  l o v e theme.

Window to the Heart

Then, I was blindsided by change. The future of CardCastlesInTheSky hung in the balance. A former large part and driving force of my site used to be the gallery. By clicking on the gallery you used to be taken to my Twenty20 Store where my designs could be purchased in many forms. Just shy of three years I decided to part ways with this company due to a shift in ideals.

You can read about the gallery closing here~> in All Good Things Must Come to an End 

This post was one of my Top 5 viewed this year.

If you’re curious as to why I decided to stop selling my artwork and designs/home décor, you can read some of the reasons in, Blowing the Doors Wide Open .

 

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March

Repeat The story of the gallery closing had a happy ending/new beginning on March 1st. I first premiered my new gallery home at the base of my new project Snapping Turtle Publishing.

You can read about the gallery opening in, Blight and Blastoff. *This was among my Top 10 viewed posts this year.

You were all so welcoming and supportive of me going out on my own!

I went into uncharted land and climbed out on a limb. Once outstretched on that branch I jumped into the fire.

You cheered me on every step of the way.

 I will forever be grateful for that.

Sight

 

The stats climbed as I started to delve into touchy topics like in Stuck On Repeat.

Don’t let the page “Likes” fool you, this post got quite a few views across the internet. My Twitter stats reflect that this post made over 1,000 impressions in less than a day.

Even with all that, your favorite post that month was Sleepy Sundays: Strange Hope.

That new variation of an old design brought some more attention to my artwork than ever before. It started to shock me, really. It brought in a lot of art lovers and new followers and readers to the site. By the end of the month, we even had some celebrity readers and fans in the music industry.

I felt like I was in some strange dream.

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April

We spread acceptance.

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My dear friend and Stories family member Matticus shared an important discussion topic over at Stories and we shared it here as well. You can read that post here~> in the end, it’s just an opinion

There was a photo journal of a trip to NY and you all loved it. Those were among some of the most popular posts that month.

Soon after the stats jumped even more.

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Screencap of WordPress Notification
This was only mirrored in other posts throughout the months. We shared more at Stories and I passed it on here. Now it was just a matter of waiting for our friend to return home and join the rest of her friends.

New readers poured in all finding me through common interests. I started to make detailed reports combining the Statistics here with the CardCastles Twitter and Google Analytics.  The results gave me insight on what people came here for and how to plan for the future of things here.

Then some hurtles started to show themselves, and it was almost like something could be felt in the air.
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May

Then it all went silent.

I lit a candle for the second time to pay respect to a friend.

We had lost somebody dear to us, and for a while, it all didn’t make sense.

Heart Light

Friends along with the Stories team mourned this loss and gathered together.

We wore blue to stand with our friend in some form. I wrote about my own experience the day of the funeral in Sleepy Sundays: Old Friend. The piece remains one of the most complemented renderings this year. 

I lent my artwork over to Stories so Matticus could vent his feelings of grief. He was the mouthpiece for the rest of us that only echoed his feelings. 

Then something happened through that grief.

Love

A family was solidified. A community rallied around that family, and they slowly lifted us up.
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June

The request for this piece set into motion the beginning of self-employment. My first steps out on my own as an artist, free from any former companies. You can read the story behind that here. ~> Paint On the Walls

Kiss the Sun From that point I was fully and officially out on my own with this art business. This freelance thing has been uphill (and stressful, but mostly uphill) ever since.
I started getting more interest and emails asking about features and guests, so we set plans in motion for July.

We Regrouped & Recouped and then we Disconnected with a little help from Estelle. 

It was a heavy month, but we went out on a high note. 

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July

This month, although seeming promising from June’s point of view, managed to deal another blow.

Despite the tone, The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ got the most comments this year.

After processing that upset, we paved the way for better times.

Better times arrived.
We became a legit business. Now we can toss around business cards and stuff. 

Har har.

~~~~~

We Celebrated 3 Years!

We set plans.

We Broke Records!

My Creepy Reads and Local Legends post featuring author J.P. Pollack and his book Death On the Devil’s Teeth flooded CardCastles with the most views ever in one day and most views in under 30 minutes. 

It still holds the top spot. 

I learned a valuable lessons in planning when the CardCastles Artist Spotlight bombed.

We Moved On

…and may have broken the internet while we welcomed home a friend.

I shocked all of you when I lifted the veil for the very first time over at Stories in To Paint a Picture. I’m just sorry it was under those circumstances, but I regret nothing.

July was like some erratic squirrel, but in hindsight, I grew tremendously from it. 

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August

Roadside garnered quite a bit of positive attention.

We planned again in the Summer’s End Approaches and you liked it. This was among the Top 15 viewed this year.

And this one…We Could Be Heroes

and then some more bad news.

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September

It started with bad news, and me writing this~>Dare to Dream: A Tribute to Wes Craven

and the idea for 31 Nightmares was born.

It was planned for the entire month.

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October

The 31 Nightmares Series

31 Nightmares
#31 Nightmares Series
Myself and guests shared horror-inspired works in honor of film legend, Wes Craven.

 

New York Comic Con

I took a trip to see friends and ended up with one of the greatest experiences of a lifetime. This group of buddies that have become some strange family, all knew each other for close to five years. There’s a few crazy stories how we all got to know one another and they all involve gaming, of which we are avid fans.

 The stars must have aligned because the one year I was able to go, the developers of one of our favorite games were hosting a panel.

The entire time blew my mind. Warframe liked our tweets about it too!

October was liberating and therapeutic any many ways. 31 Nightmares brought in so many new people I’m planning on resurrecting it next year. Here’s how crazy it went with numbers:CardCastles Twitter Stats Oct 2015

October yielded 11.7 thousand impressions. I’d say we left quite a mark!

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November

Out of nowhere I started getting requests for my services. Book illustration, logo design, book covers, animation, intro videos, website design, you name it. I was so excited and overwhelmed by it all I may have said yes to too many things.

This was all, however, a blessing in disguise. It’s teaching me to plan better & manage anxiety.
I got to joke around with one of the stars of one of my favorite shows. 

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December

 The year-end posts I made on social media said it all. You all make this place what it is. 

There is so much left out of these highlights & I could go on for days. Just know that you all made this a special year of healing & change for me.

Thank you deeply for reading, sharing, viewing, and staying with me through such a rough & trying (but triumphant) year!

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See you next year! 

 

Sleepy Sundays: Morning Light

Morning Light Morning Light

Summer is a time for relaxation and a little fun. After such a rough couple of weeks, it’s about time.

Have you ever “partied ’till the morning light”?

Have a colorful summer Sunday!

Touched by #RawrLove

So it started with this:

and this:

and turned into this:

#RawrLove All Day Saturday on Twitter

(Go ahead, just click that link and see how many wonderful, beautiful people have kept the #RawrLove going all day (&night) long. & It’s still going!)

 

We at Stories, would like to thank all of you that have participated. There was a point in the day where Matticus and I were shuffling through and retweeting all of the love, and I was moved to tears. What I saw was more love than just the two of us could keep up with and it extended on, even more as I smiled.

You helped blanket the universe with just a little more love today. I have no doubt that Rara is moved as well.

There is so much more to say, but tonight I’ll just leave you with this.

 We are so happy to have you back where you belong, Rara – with your friends; with your family.