5 Things – October 2014

oRANGEbLACKpURPLEIf you haven’t seen it yet, I do a weekly 5 Things post on my Nerd Grrrl Island tumblr. Here is the collection for October.

10/5: Finding inspiration, dusting myself off & dancing to Joy Division

10/12: #BinderCon edition, need I say more?

10/19: Peculiar pig sculptures, aging myself, & reading

10/26: Being good to myself, changing my last name, & signing up for #NaNoWriMo

There is a Tina Turner song embedded in one of them. Go ahead, click & seek!


Three Decades of Gaming and I’m Not Going Anywhere

It’s been over 30 years since I played my first video game. I’ve played them practically my entire life. I’m pretty sure that makes me a gamer, and gives me as much cred as anyone else who calls themselves one. I started playing handheld games and Atari around age 6.


The first handheld games I played were Bandai Incredible Hulk Escapes, electronic football and bowling (I don’t recall but I think they were both by Tiger). If I were to give either of these to my kids today, they would laugh. Meanwhile, I could not get enough of the Hulk game. The sound and lights kept me busy for long periods of time (away from everyone in my family, due to the sound!)

Few things from my childhood make me smile as much as when I think of our Atari. I nearly got misty-eyed last year when I saw the Atari Flashback console at the store and had to resist every urge to not buy it. The Atari was just cool. It thrilled me to play games on it.

#MicroblogMondays: The Name Game


Mel at Stirrup Queens (who is also responsible for #MicroblogMondays!) wrote today about the controversy surrounding our last names, if we do or don’t change them when we get married.

It took me nearly a year after I got married to change my last name. It just felt strange, so I kept putting it off. At the time, and I was young, no one mentioned I didn’t have to change my last name (people neglected to tell me all sorts of things about life back then). Eventually I found my way to the Social Security office and reluctantly erased my maiden name.

When I divorced, I decided to keep my last name to make it simpler for my kids. Now I feel like my last name doesn’t belong to me. It’s odd signing your name and feeling like you’re forging someone else’s signature. It’s also weird that my ex-husband’s new wife has the same exact name as me…

I’d like to start over and give myself a whole new name. One that feels like me. One that belongs to me.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

#IAmNOTKelliStapleton: Shame on Anyone Defending Her Actions

Every child should be granted the opportunity to blossom.

Every child should be given the opportunity to blossom.

My daughter just had a 40-minute tantrum. She is 10 years old. We have dubbed her tantrums, “overloads” (thanks to a Twitter friend’s recommendation). She didn’t want us to call the outbursts tantrums, as “that is what babies have.” Today’s overload was because she did not want to do her homework.

Her overloads can be intense and she has great difficulty with them. She screams, cries, kicks, hits, throws things. Some days, she and I can use techniques we’ve learned and help ease the situation. Other times, like today, there is no soothing until she wears herself out. Today, that meant choking and gagging from screaming and crying and hyperventilating, and being absolutely exhausted when she was able to calm down again.

During these overloads, it is common that I feel overwhelmed. They are emotional. They are loud. They make her older sister anxious. I would love to be on a beach relaxing in the sun or doing countless other things at those moments. I can only imagine what my daughter would rather be doing than experiencing an overload herself. (more…)

#MicroBlogMondays: What I Learned at #BinderCon


Believing in myself is the biggest barrier to my success.
Initiate it. Be assertive. Be persistent. (#OnlyGirl panel)
Need a mentor & a solid support system for my writing.
Develop your beat, know your stuff, take classes, study structure, be efficient. (Laura Shin)
Embrace my talents, respect myself and my expertise, remember I have a voice that needs to be heard.
Report, report, report. (Jill Abramson)
Claim the things you’re most ashamed of, put them out there, be fearless. (Lisa Selin Davis)
Own it! My work, my words, my worth.
Never work for free.

❥❥Thank you Leigh Stein and Lux Alptraum for putting together a phenomenal event!

❥Join in on #MicroBlogMondays!

#MicroblogMondays – Reaching for the Bottle

glitternailsI was near tears on Saturday night.

I was tired of facing disappointment yet again, and the stress of life was bringing me down.

I wanted to drown my sorrows in booze. Oh, the temptation of forgetting everything, even if only for a few moments…

I weighed my options and reached for a bottle. Thankfully, it was this bottle, of fantastic, glittery nail polish.

I learned it’s impossible to be sad when it looks like Studio 54 exploded onto your fingertips.

I Was Rooting For You, Red Band Society

[CN: talk of eating disorders, hospitalization, diseases]

photo cred: @fingerribbon

The faults in Red Band Society are numerous

I still am. There were several new shows this year which piqued my interest. Some I’ve already completely given up on. There is at least one that I continue to try to embrace, despite my issues with it. Disclaimer: I am not a fan of “your favorite is problematic” and over-policing of entertainment. My music, TV, and movie shows do not often reflect my personal beliefs. If I were to say I’d never listen or watch something with a “problematic” lyric or story or actor, I’d have nothing to entertain myself with. Sometimes, I just like to unplug and get lost in a song or a show.

If Red Band Society was not dealing with pediatric patients, specifically teenagers who also happen to be the show’s demographic, I don’t think I’d be writing this. I would not be nearly as concerned over what this show and its writers are getting wrong, and I’d never dedicate 2500 words to explain my problems with it. (more…)

Please Help Me Get To BinderCon!

Help Me Get To BinderCon!Hello.

I’m in need of some help. I received a scholarship to BinderCon. I still am in giddy disbelief to have been awarded one, and I’m anxious to see all the conference has to offer. There is one bump in the road, and that is money. Unfortunately, I’ve had some extra expenses and issues going on that have dried up my bank account. I need to raise enough money to cover travel, food, & other expenses for the weekend. It is fast approaching, I need to be in NYC in a little over a week.

I have a fundraiser page which details more about the conference, why it is so important to me, and the breakdown of the funds I need. If you are able to give any amount, I’d greatly appreciate it. I will return my gratitude and will not ever forget your kindness.

I have rewards for certain donation amounts and I will be blogging and tweeting about my experiences at the conference. I’d love to make this an interactive fundraising. None of this is possible without you, I’d like you to feel a connection & know your money is being put to good use. If you are leery of a fundraising site, I get it. I gladly accept donations on PayPal (link is to the side or via butterflyxart (at) gmail). If you are interested in the social media mention(s), bookmark, artist tile, or virtual assistance work, you will still be eligible for those awards if you donate through PayPal. Just make a note at checkout or send me an email.

Please reach out if you have any questions: comment here, use the contact page, or find me on Twitter. Thank you for your support. I’m off to work on my speed pitches!

Have a great day.


5 Things – September Edition

2014-09-06 22.05.05I’ve been spending my Sunday evenings writing 5 Things over on Nerd Grrrl Island. I was feeling less than inspired for much of September, and tackling a lot of personal issues, but I promised myself to do 5 Things each week. It gives me a sense of achievement, and it’s wonderful to wake up on Monday morning knowing I’ve already gotten some thoughts down for that week.

My hope is that my 5 Things takes a more creative turn, as that was my initial intent with it. I’d like to have fun with it and write about elements of my life that I may not otherwise share. I’d like to tell stories.

At the end of each month, I’ll share my 5 Things posts over here for those who are not on Tumblr. Don’t forget you can also follow me on Twitter (@4lala) & find me on Facebook as well.

5 Things – 9/7/14

5 Things – 9/14/14

5 Things – 9/28/14

#MicroblogMondays: The Perfection Monster

Tea Bag Wisdom

Ah, the wisdom of tea bags. I need to write this quote on my wall so I see it throughout the day. The Perfection Monster sneaks up on me, prevents me from calling a new piece of work (whether visual art or writing) done. I’m constantly seeing something else that could be added or tweaked. If I let the Perfection Monster get to me, I’ll never get anywhere. (Yes, I just looked over at a painting that took two years for me to call “finished” and contemplate what lurks in my drafts folder…) Sometimes, we just have to say “DONE!” (or, alternatively, “fuck it!”) and sign that canvas, hit the “publish” button, without criticizing every last brush or key stroke.

I have found a couple things that help keep the Perfection Monster at bay:

1. I read major publications or other works I respect, and find typos. The grammar nerd in me is aggravated by any error I find, from dinner menus to magazine articles, I’m often appalled that something made it past editors paid to check for mistakes and hit the printer. However, if I pull back for a second, and simply acknowledge we all are just humans doing this work, none of us perfect, I realize my writing never needs to meet the infinite (and ever-climbing) bar I place upon myself.

2. When I head to a museum or gallery, I seek out pieces I’m attracted to or works by artists I have deep respect for. I stand in front of the picture and stare, looking for the mishaps, seeing where paint never hit the canvas, where a line was accidentally blurred, where a touch-up calls too much attention. I see that even the Masters, artists I look up to, aren’t perfect either. It’s an important acknowledgement: we aren’t machines. We breathe, we feel, we create. We make things, and a lot of times those things are flawed.

The fact we’ve opened ourselves up to create anything at all, that alone is beautiful, flaws and all.

What ways do you keep the Perfection Monster away? 

Thanks again to Stirrup Queens for #MicroblogMondays. I missed last week, but was really looking forward to coming back to it today. I went over the 8 sentence limit rule, but what can I say? Rebels gotta rebel.