Monday, 28 July 2008

What I did with my summer far.

As you may or may not know, I have been writing a cartoon about my cat for just over 4 years now. I have had a lot of encouragement over the years to DO something with it and I have always resisted.

Resisted, for a number of reasons but maybe the main one being, I had doubts about it being good enough. Good enough for what? Well, I don't quite know. Why does it have to good enough? And good enough for who? And what is good enough anyways? Why do I have a hard time looking at Cooptown and claiming it's greatness. I am proud of it, but when someone new sees it, I get a little embarrassed. Which is ridiculous, because usually when someone new sees it they ask to be put on the mailout list.

Not everyone is going to enjoy it. That is the nature of the world. But I get feedback every week from (dare I say it) fans, who LOVE Cooptown and LOVE getting it every Tuesday. So when am I going to get on board and embrace it and be outwardly proud of it (instead of in secret)?

I believe that happened this week!

During my 6 weeks off work, I made a goal for myself to self publish a Cooptown book. I started by researching online self-publishing companies and after careful consideration chose Lulu. I then spent a couple of hours every day, picking out my favourites, redrawing them, scanning, uploading, converting, arranging, fixing, cropping, straightening, etc, etc, etc. Until I had 64 of my best all ready to go.

I had intended on putting 65 in the book and when it came down to my last week of holidays and I had done 64, I did what I do and just stopped all production. I took a couple of days off but in the back of my mind I just kept saying to myself "One more left, don't stop now! Finish it! Follow through!"

Finally one night, I stayed in and had every intention of picking one more, redrawing it, scanning, cropping, converting, uploading etc, etc, etc. And at 8:30 that night, I hadn't even picked up a pencil. I finally realized that I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to follow though and finish it. I had one moment of complete self annoyance "What the hell is wrong with me!?" and then I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me.

Instead of struggling to not be me, why not give in to being me and leave the book as it was - at 64. That way IT WAS ALREADY FINISHED. As soon as I realized that I was making up the rules and that I could change them to suit me, my heart lept into my throat and I got a little teary and a lot dancy. (I danced around my apartment for a full 5 minutes - rejoicing that I finished my Cooptown project). I went onto the website and hit 'complete'. It did it's thing and 3 minutes later, I got an email saying my book was ready for printing.

OMG - my book. My BOOK. MY BOOK!

I clicked on 'buy' and ordered one copy to be mailed to me. I wanted to see it before going crazy and ordering stacks of them. I wanted to hold it in my hands and flip through it. I'll be honest here - I wasn't expecting much from it. On the website, it looks a little grainy and pixelated so I was preparing myself for it to look only ok. Plus you know, I still felt a little sheepish about the whole thing - who would want a Cooptown book?

It came in the mail on Friday. I got home from work and had a notice in my mailbox that there was a package for me to pick up. I went and got it and then walked up the street to meet Stef. It was in a box all sealed up and I grinned like the Cheshire cat and giggled all the way to meet Stef. We got to her car and I tore it open.

Cooptown by kt

I have a book. A self published one but a book nonetheless.
We got in the car and drove downtown (we were meeting LT, Jdub and 4 year-old Lizzie for WALL-E) and I spent the whole drive kind of in awe. I flipped through it quickly and then again more slowly, I smelled it and held it up to the window as we drove past people mouthing to them "I wrote this" "This is my book."

I re-read each comic and for the first time I thought to myself "This is really good." Seeing it in this format finally made me see what everyone else sees.

I am so excited about my Cooptown book. It is beautiful.

It is also for sale! It's the perfect coffee table book! You can order it off of the website or you can order it from me. The price is the same either way ($15) but if you order it from me and live in my city or are going to see me soon, then you don't have to pay any shipping fees - and they are spendy. If you want to order it and you live in a different city than me, then I can probably ship it to you for cheaper than Lulu will.

Here is the link to Cooptown online.
Oh, and did I mention, I have a book!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

My life's purpose!

If you found out that you were dying, what would you do with your time left on earth?

And why aren't you doing that anyways?

These two thoughts ran through my head last Sunday. The first thought came to me and as I was frantically listing what I might do with my limited time left, the second thought came to me.
Why aren't I doing that anyways?
Why aren't I?

Why? Well, I've got a load of reasons and excuses but they are all incredibly lame. I wrote a list about a year ago about all the things I wanted to do, be and have before I die. And then, because I'm not dying, I tucked the list away and got on with doing nothing.

So here is just one thing that I want to do with my life. I want to support and inspire other people to live their best lives. I want all of us to be making the most out of what we've got.

A year ago I went through a process to figure out and define my life's purpose. I am sure there are as many different ways to do that as there are people in the world but I followed Jack Canfield's system of figuring out your life's purpose. It is in his book The Success Principles.

What I came up with is this;

My life's purpose is to use my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others to live their best lives in authentic and harmonious ways.

So now, I am going to make this happen. I have a plan brewing in my mind and I am working on making it a reality.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

What to do, what to do.

It is definitely time for a new post and while a lot has happened recently - my sister's wedding for example - I find it so much easier to write about smaller things than a big event.

Having said that, I will say that the wedding was great. We had a lot of fun and the ceremony was beautiful. I am so happy for my sister and Jason and know that they will have a long and happy life together.

I have three days off before I go back to work and I am not quite sure what to do with myself to make the most of them. I feel like I should be doing something that I am not going to be able to do during the day while I'm working but then I realized that pretty much involves everything from chilling out at home doing nothing, to going to the beach and reading or going to a matinee. Running errands, cleaning, visiting friends - there is so much that I could do so I guess the real problem is that I don't know what I want to do.