Well, sort of.

This has been the craziest month for me, and the last week has reached new heights of surreality. I’m running on low sleep and lower caffeine, so bear with me while I try to make sense of everything that’s happened, okay?

Great. Thanks.

So . . . a week ago, I drove into work with a suitcase and got on a plane with my manager, my boss, and a coworker, and flew to California.

I have never been to California.

It is apparently very hot in California.

Who knew?

So, while it snowed in Colorado, I relaxed in a hotel room in California and took in the sights.


That was a good joke.

Actually, I spent four consecutive days going to ten-hour-long seminars on story structure, plot, character design, and scriptwriting. By the time it was over, I had been screaming on mute for three days, had almost fifty pages of notes, and could see sounds. I was also molded into the shape of my chair.

But! I learned so, so much, and I’m excited to get back to Colorado (hopefully) today and begin to apply what I learned. If I make it through the snow and actually get home, which we are definitely rooting for!

Besides going to the seminar, which was a whirlwind and definitely adventure enough for little homebody me, I also had the chance to attend a session at the recording studio in Burbank and watch an episode of the radio drama I write for be recorded. I met some of the actors involved, watched another of the writers direct, and had the chance to start up a discussion with one of the original creators of the show.

So, yeah, I learned a lot. And it was very exciting.

After six days of nonstop rushing, however, I am ready to be home. I’m typing this in an airport in Las Vegas, NV, and my flight should (again, hopefully) be taking off in the next half an hour or so.

So wish me luck! Send up a prayer if you think of it! I’m excited to get home and hoping to beat a snowstorm back to my cozy cabin in the woods, where I will immediately curl up with some hot chocolate, my kitty (who I have missed excruciatingly), and my sister (who I have also missed excruciatingly). Colorado, here I come!

I have been so out of commission this week! What did I miss? Tell me about what’s been happening to you lately?

Creativity, Inc.


I listen to audiobooks on my commute to and from work every day. It’s how I keep reading when life is busy and crazy and I don’t have the time or the energy to stop and open a book.

Which, unfortunately, is all the time right now.

So, my commute is my saving grace. An hour and a half every day, five days a week, will plow you through a lot of audiobooks.

This week I’ve been listening to Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. It’s the origin story, you might say, of Pixar animation studios, written by one of the original creators.

It’s absolutely fascinating.

Pixar is and always has been one of my absolute favorite movie studios. Up, The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo are all established classics in my mind, and ones that I will watch again and again over the years.

The writer of Creativity, Inc. is an amazing blend of scientist and storyteller, and hearing him talk about the years they spent developing the animation necessary for these kinds of movies, the ups and downs they’ve had, and the disasters they’ve faced and walked through, was incredible. Creativity is one of those things that is very, very hard to push into a box and establish in a nine-to-five, and most big businesses manage it by grinding their workers to dust and replacing them every few months.

Pixar, thankfully, has set a different standard, and their model revolutionized the storytelling industry.

As a person who also tells stories for a living, it has been an incredibly eye-opening book to read. (Or listen to.) The more I learn about the story industry—whether that be books, movies, TV, or radio—the more I want to learn and the more determined I am to continue working in my field. No, it’s not perfect, and yes, it has its issues, but there is nothing else I would rather be doing. Stories are a magic and a science all of their own, and I am slowly, with many fumbles, starting to understand and appreciate them for more than just the face value and box office reviews.

Creativity, Inc. gives a captivating inside glimpse into the life and business of some of the best storytellers on the market. Writers, I would highly, highly recommend it to you, whatever sort of writing you do. The very driven, pressurized atmosphere that he describes in his books may not appeal to you, but the principles that they’ve built their company on continue to be some of the best in the industry.

No wonder Up has the single best love story in animation in its first eight minutes.

(Okay, that last part is only my opinion.)

But still!

Have you ever read Creativity, Inc. or a similar book that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about it!

In The Mess


Okay, let’s see a show of hands here. Who else watched The Magic School Bus when they were growing up?


I know I can’t be the only one. That show was one of my favorites. I loved the adventure, the impossibility, the discovery of it all.

And I loved Miss Frizzle.

She had so much flair and such an awesome view of the world. I loved the way she always had the kids figure things out for themselves, and the way she encouraged them to try something new.

My favorite line in the entire show is when she tells them to, “Take chances, make mistakes, get MESSY!”

I love that.

I love it so much.

I love it because when you’re a child—or me—there’s a massive amount of pressure to ‘get things right’. I have never been particularly good at taking chances or getting messy, and when I do make mistakes, I am almost always embarrassed by them, even when they are mistakes that are fixable, understandable, and very much a part of the process of development.

I like to get things right on the first try. Every single time.

How silly is that?

This week—or month—has been about taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy. I’ve been developing a logo, a new look for my blog, and business cards to take to a conference that I am attending in ten days. (YAY!) As with everything in the creative process, it took a few tries—and mistakes—to get something that I liked and felt comfortable using. (To be fair, we’re still in process, so things may change on a whim.) And, because I am a perfectionist and don’t like to make mistakes or admit I have made mistakes, it took me several days to confess to myself that the business cards and logo I’d slaved over, perfected, and ordered were just—wrong.

*Bangs head on desk many times*

Don’t laugh. It happens. And I am beginning to grow comfortable with the fact that, when it happens, it is much better to admit the mistake, accept that sometimes life is just a little messy, and fix it, rather than stubbornly sticking by the mistake and trying to force a liking for it.

It took a bit to get me there. I had to swallow some serious pride.

And just when I was tempted to be frustrated, I remembered Miss Frizzle and her wonderful, “Take chances, make mistakes, get MESSY!”

And I felt better.

What does your mess look like this week? Are you taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy as you discover things in your process? Tell me about it in the comments!