Looking back // 2017 #Goals

Florence + the Machine
Read the article // Read the blog post // Watch the video
Looking back // This past year was a little bit of a wild ride. I covered Shaky Knees Music Fest and got in reaching distance of some of my favorite musicians. I saw President Elect Trump live and in the flesh and got to report on it while snagging the most Enquirer looking photo I have ever taken. And got a photo with Major Garrett. painted my nails based on books. I learned how to photoshop rainbows into pictures which may be the hardest talent not to abuse. I met amazing, talented artistsI lost my car, a true tragedy as ours was the most epic story soon to be told. I went to an author's house and an insane asylum. I read so many interesting books, essays and words I could bust. I got my septum pierced and grossed out my mom and, as it would turn out, my Dean. I wrote pieces that I am proud of. I finished up my last year of college and I got a degree. 
Book & Nail: High Fideliy
Read the blog post
Trump Rally
with Major Garrett at a Trump rally in Valdosta, GA

Easy to spot on graduation day. Photo cred to my brother.

2017 #Goals

2016 Best Nine // @acquiringshelby
Write for local publications // I want to meet more people that live near me and feel connected to my town. I've always looked at it as a temporary space, but I want to give it the shot it deserves. Mostly I want to listen and document the lives of those living in failing rural communities. Looking at the numbers alone, this town is failing. But knowing the people here, the history here -- I know there are good stories in between the corinthian columns, the train tracks, the empty retail stores. I want to find them. 

Make healthier choices // Beyond losing weight or toning, I want to be more conscientious of the decisions I am making and how they affect my body and mind. I realized it has been a few weeks since I ate fast food and that's awesome. I want to keep that streak going. And of course, drink more water, exercise at least twice a week, and dance in my bedroom etc etc.

Write 15 letters to writers/artists/people I admire // I like this here tangible goal. Something at the end of the year I can measure. I get to live in the time of some of my favorite writers and artists. While I could tweet most of them, sitting down and mailing a letter seems super fun. Will there be a response? I wrote a letter to Lemony Snicket in middle school and he wrote back. Even if there is no response, it will be nice to sit down and reflect on what makes something good, how I connect with it (why it appeals), and sharing that with creators. There are few greater compliments than telling someone you like what they create.

Write thoughtfully, carefully, and sincerely // I want to be more concise and direct in my personal writing. I feel like I am always dancing on the edge of details and never saying what I mean. As a reader I'm sure it's like reading cotton candy, except it's not sweet or interesting.

Develop my photography technically, behind the lens and in editing // An ongoing mission of mine is to improve my technical photography skills. The unfortunate part of my photography methods now is that I have no idea how to explain it to you. I can some but mostly I switch a few dials and press a few buttons and the photos come out well enough. But I want to learn more. This especially applies to editing. I want my photo editing to be consistent per photo set and interesting to look at. 

Make stuff, try to sell it // This one is weird and a little uncomfortable for me. I'm not an artist but I like to create. I make weird felt creatures and paint poorly and make hats and hand embroider sweatshirts. Maybe something I make can do for people what other artists do for me. Or maybe not. I just want to make things that come from a genuine place that does not try to imitate or pretend to be something else.

Minimalize // I have too much stuff. And like they say on the television classic "Hoarders," "A cluttered physical space is a cluttered headspace." Words to live by.

Happy New Year.

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