The WANTcast Episode 003: On Capitalizing On Your Differences + Making Your Own Rules with Negin Singh

The WANTcast Episode 003: On Capitalizing On Your Differences + Making Your Own Rules with Negin Singh

Body Community the WANTcast Work

Get up. Go make something. There are so many plusses in our corner. -Negin Singh Click To Tweet

Today’s guest is Negin Singh, the Founder and Artistic Director of cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA, and currently the Director of Inspiration (real title) for top Augmented Reality developer DAQRI. She’s been featured on the White House Blog, spoken for the big-wigs at places like NASA, and was named one of the top 30 Indian Entrepreneurs under 30 by India Current Magazine.

If you’ve ever wanted to create something in your life – whether it’s theater, a business, a product, whatever – you KNOW how many hoops there are to jump through and how often it is that the good stuff never gets out into the world simply because people don’t have the resources or funds to let their extraordinary talent or vision live.

As you’ll hear from Negin, cARTel was formed to solve that problem and take away those barriers that usually end up preventing really fantastic art from every even happening. They’ve put on critically acclaimed concerts, film festivals, circus and theater events, live radio shows, spoken word performances, art installations…most of which have been held in unexpected places like parks, vintage stories, pool parties, living rooms, and pretty much any place that’s anything BUT traditional.

inspirational-quote

Back to DAQRI – if you’re anything like me, you read the words “Augmented Reality” and thought…what? Basically, as Negin taught me, AR is where technology meets the “real world.” Think Google Glass and projects like that. The fact that Negin is the leader when it comes to creating such literally life-changing, visionary projects absolutely blows my mind.
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Negin is actually a friend of mine from college. I’ve had the honor of watching her grow and flourish for the last decade and completely shift the way others think about what it means to CREATE. What’s more, is that every step of the way, she’s championed other artists, other woman, and even when we were competing for the same roles, she never let me forget what a joy it was just to be “it it” together.

In this episode, we talk about body image and fitness experiments, Negin’s tweendom in Dubai (and her most embarrassing childhood memory), capitalizing on what makes you different, recognizing your privilege, and how she turned her frustration with the system she was supposed to prescribe to into a movement so big that their annual music festival got called out by a certain “-chella” festival ;)

We also talk about not fitting in, not following rules, and about how you really don’t have to have a degree or background in something in order to succeed at it.

If you’re a creative of ANY type, you’ve ever felt different, or you’ve ever wondered how you’re going to get your message out into the world, I think you’re going to really resonate with Episode 003.
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WANT NEGIN:

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quote-about-creating

Show notes:
cARTel (website)
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
DAQRI (website)
Facebook
Twitter
Negin’s Instagram
No Budget Film Festival
NBFF Instagram

Brokechella
Crayola Color Alive
L.A. Boulders
Apocalypstick

My sound guru Roger Bellon
WANTcast theme by Christopher Given Harrison
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Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Negin’s message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

The WANTcast Episode 001: On Creative Depression + Facing Your Fears with Artist Delia Brown

The WANTcast Episode 001: On Creative Depression + Facing Your Fears with Artist Delia Brown

Body Community the WANTcast

I cannot think of a better guest for the first WANTcast (if you want to read a little bit about the pod’s launch, click over to this page).

When I was younger, I thought I was going to be an artist. Not in the esoteric, all-inclusive way. The drawing and painting way. I studied the classics in art class every Saturday morning, copying Monets, Manets, and Reniors, wondering if I could ever grow up to be like them.

As I grew older, I realized I didn’t know what that looked like as a profession in a time other than the 1800s. I didn’t have role models. And so that desire just…faded away.

I first met Delia Brown a couple years ago when she became an indoor cycling teacher at Equinox, and was instantly drawn to her down to earth, inclusive, sassy but soulful personality.

As I got to know her, these little pieces of information started to surface… Like the fact that she rapped. Or that she swam in the ocean every morning.

Or that she was literally a famous artist.

Like will-be-in-art-history-books famous. Like the-kind-of-famous-I-wanted-to-be-as-a-painter. Like, BIG TIME fame.

(She’d never admit to it so blatantly, of course. But I like to brag about her talent. So yes. Big time.)

Earlier this year, something else surfaced: that she had been diagnosed with, in her words, a pretty gnarly strain of cancer.

In this episode, Delia she talks about falling into a creative depression that lasted years, doing things because they’re scary, finding role models that reflect who you know you can be, and – of course – her rap career (she opened for Wu Tang Clan, now writes/performs wonderfully hilarious parodies on YouTube), her Real Housewives project, and her appearance on one of her fave Daytime TV soaps.

We also, of course, talk about the Big C – and why she actually doesn’t wish she “didn’t have to deal with it.”

If you are into living life to the fullest – yes, I‘m going to be that general – this episode is for you. I love her and I know you will too.

WANT DELIA:

Play in new window | Download
Listen + subscribe in iTunes
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WANT more? Come back on Thursday for Delia’s WANT Woman spotlight…

Show notes:
Website
Instagram
Delia’s blog
(+ blog entry “Chemo Is Done, Boo-Ya-Ka”)
The Fuzz demo tape from 1993 on SoundCloud

Delia on The Young & The Restless
Rap parodies: (These Hoes Ain’t) Lawyers, Whole Foods Parking Lot rap response: Revenge of the Black Prius
Information on uterine papillary serous carcinoma
Donate to support rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Theme by Christopher Given Harrison
Jessica Murnane of One Part Podcast

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Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Delia’s message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!
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photo credit: Wallpaper Magazine

The WANT Women: Tricia Huffman on Honesty, Hardcore Zen, And Effing The “Shoulds”

The WANT Women: Tricia Huffman on Honesty, Hardcore Zen, And Effing The “Shoulds”

Community WANT Women Work

Positivity is seeing things for what they are but choosing to find the good in all of it. -@beingtricia Click To Tweet
I’m always inspired by women who’ve done their own thing and forged their own path. Especially when they’re functioning on pure passion. And especially when they’ve left something familiar and safe to do so.

Tricia Huffman‘s been there…twice. First, leaving her secure office job to follow her passion of working in live music production – and second, leaving her successful music production job to follow her passion of living your best life. Neither of which, by the way, were kick-started by anything but pure heart and an unwavering belief in herself that she could.

Tricia wasn’t just a leader in her industry, she was one of the only women in her industry. By asking lots of questions, following her heart, and having a hunger to learn, Tricia went from selling shirts at the House Of Blues to literally running the show on tour for pretty much every big-name artist you’ve heard of…you name it, she’s worked it. As a woman working in a male-dominated field, Tricia always made sure to stay down-to-earth, empathetic, and thirsty for knowledge. Six years and countless worldwide tours later, Tricia was successful, well-loved, and had created both career and community. On the outside, she was living the dream. And on the inside, she was loving it.

And then, something happened that changed her perspective: her father passed away suddenly.

After taking time off from the road to sit and reevaluate life, pursuing what made her healthy and happy, she realized that she had an intense pull to help others do the same. She wanted to do something more with her life: to help everyone live passionately and purposefully. When she went back on tour with that intention in her mind – to help musicians (who are often worn down by rigorous touring schedules, performances, and don’t always have self-care at the forefront of their minds) stay healthy, happy, and yes, joyous while on the road. It was Jason Mraz (at the time, she was his sound engineer and tour manager) who ended up feeling so good as a result of her coaching that he told his team, “I don’t know what Trish is doing…but I want her doing this for us all the time!”

I’m not risk averse in the least, but change is usually something I approach with caution. I ease into transitions, aware that I’m sensitive to shifts and can get overwhelmed by the delicate balance of mourning the loss of what once was + celebrating the newness of what will be. And sometimes, when I’m not in my most self-aware and self-loving state, this caution can slow me down almost to a halt.

People like Tricia inspire me because they are actual living proof that following your passion and sense of purpose always works the way it needs to – even if the vision morphs along the way. Now coaching others both one-on-one and in groups, she’s got a whole line of products to go with her biz, including her Own Your Awesome affirmation deck and a little poster I love about Doing The Wants:

joyologist

Tricia’s career trajectory and life is a master class in this.

Meet your Joyologist.

WANT TRICIA.
joyologist


Name: Tricia Huffman


How you’d know me: Your Joyologist


What I love about myself (and why): My honesty. I have always been honest and with that have always been my true self. Honest to others and myself. Why? Because that is a real challenge in today’s society. We are so overcome with fear of what people will think, we are afraid to be honest. -@beingtricia Click To Tweet


What is your definition of “positivity?” Seeing things for what they are but choosing to find the good in all of it.


When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?” When I was 15. I had lots of undiagnosed pain and other medical problems and was a freshman in high school and dealing with all of that pettiness and my parents weren’t happy. I felt very alone and unloved and contemplated ending it all. I decided if I was going to end it, I may as well give myself one more chance and live my life, my way, not caring so much about everyone else and choosing to love myself. That it didn’t matter what everyone else was doing I could love myself.
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How/where negative talk shows up in my life: I have a pretty good handle on seeing it come up in my mind… I teach people how to tune into it themselves so they can transform it.

But, it still comes up. Right now it comes up most with my new endavour of an inspring merchandise line. I am so eager to get it into stores worldwide and get a ton of exposure, so I have to keep acknowledging myself for all of the progress I am making instead of wanting the big end goal right now.

via @beingtricia, Instagram
via @beingtricia, Instagram

When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually… Very quickly thrown out and converted into affirmations, and ackowledgment.


When others talk negatively about themselves… I call them out on it and lift them up.


It baffles me that women still… Talk so badly about their physical appearances.


I wish that more women… Would love and appreciate how amazing they are, right now, as they are.


The coolest thing about women is… Our ability to be so many things at once. We don’t have to fit into a box. We can be amazing mothers, teachers, leaders, and express ourselves outwardly by what we say, do and even wear.
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My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: Remembering that I have the power to choose how I see it all and what I choose to do with it.


My top female role models: Amanda de Cadenet, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehlor
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Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by… calling them out on them (with love) And not just saying “Oh no honey you aren’t ____,” but saying, I don’t want to hear you talk that way about yourself.

joyologist


Favorite negativity-busting activity: getting out into the world. Even running an errand. Gets me out of my head and reminds me that we all are going through things. It makes me more compassionate.


Fave self-love ritual: walking and really just vegging out and watching good tv and not feeling an ounce of guilt for it!


Favorite feel-good food(s): This vegan gluten free mac and cheese recipe I love to make…But really love a good kale salad and roasted kabocha squash


Favorite movie(s) to watch when I’m feeling down: Romantic comedies


Favorite empowering book(s): Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

after-the-ecstasy-the-laundry


My feel-good playlist: I don’t have one! Lately I am into dancey pop driven songs..I think spin class got me hooked on that.


Advice I would give my…
…4 year old self: Never stop seeing the world in wonder.
…14 year-old self: You are perfect as you are.
…24 year old self: Keep following your heart.


5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list:
1) To be a mother – currently happening.
2) To get my affirmation deck into Urban Outfitters.
3) To be able to run my inspiring merchandise line and be a present mother.
4) To be able to retire (I don’t have an active retirement fund).
5) To show my children some of my favorite places that I was lucky enough to visit around the world. Definitely Italy.


My best tip on self love: Do affirmations in the mirror. It is uncomfortable because it works.


When I truly love all of myself… Everything falls into place


Right now, I am most excited about… The baby I am expecting!


My body is: Strong


Three words to describe me: Real, alive, present


Current mantra: I am a badass!

joyologist


WANT YOURSELF:
Tricia inspires me to follow my heart and take risks, and now I want to hear from you. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? What did you learn?

#WANTwisdom: A Pragmatically Positive Guide For Writers + Creatives

#WANTwisdom: A Pragmatically Positive Guide For Writers + Creatives

Tips + Tools Work

Hey WANT peeps!

A weekend post – kind of fun and unexpected, right? I hope you’re sitting back and relaxing today, soaking in the last few hours before Monday rolls around.

I know that for me, Sundays are a time of very focused, grounded reflection and creativity, They’re when I get my best ideas, and when I’m able to look at the week (sometimes month, if I’m being ambitious) ahead with clear eyes and a soft gaze. Sundays are for me to reflect on who I am and who I want to be.

photo: creative start
photo: creative start

This week, I got to jam with Kit Steinkellner – an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who is also currently an editor at Hello Giggles.

Kit has been celebrated for so much in such a relatively short amount of time – a breadth of work some people take a lifetime to accomplish, she’s done before 30. She’s an inspiration to me and to so many other writers, not just because of her external success, but because of her relatable voice and special way of looking at the world. (if you haven’t read her interview yet, check it out here)

Humble, pragmatic, and spot-on, I asked Kit to share her five best pieces of advice for aspiring writers – which, honestly, can apply to anyone. Here’s what she said:


ON ART AND BUSINESS: Work on being the best artist you can be and the best salesman you can be. It’s 2015, you need to be both, but please try not to get the two mixed up.

ON SPEAKING TO YOUR AUDIENCE: Write the book you want to read, the movie you want to see, the story you want to hear.

ON THE STRUGGLE: Every writer you love to pieces had a hard time. It’s okay to struggle. You’re in good company.

ON PREDICTING THE TRENDS: Do not worry about the marketplace. The world doesn’t know what it wants next.

ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: You can’t control whether or not someone will like your work. Here are some things you can control: working hard, showing up on time, being kind, writing thank you notes whenever you get help.


I know, for me, I sometimes forget that “the struggle” is universal – we hear stories about the tough times, long hours, and writers block after the fact instead of when people are still in it. It can be tough to remind yourself that where you are is exactly where so many have been – and frankly, probably still are, just in a different incarnation.

A few things that help me stay productive and focused on a positive, forward moving direction?

A JOURNAL OR NOTEBOOK YOU LOVE. I’ve been through so many notebooks and journals and then given up on them because they’re what works for someone else, not for me. You’ve got to find what works for you. I know that mini-notebooks aren’y my thing, and neither are clean, blank pages. I’ve got a hard-cover, ruled Moleskine I adore, though. Sure it’s a bit more difficult to fit into my purse and a bit heavier than your average paperback version. But I actually love that it’s a bit more substantial, that it’s got lines to help me put structure to my sentences and ideas, and how its neat little elastic band prevents it from flailing open and pages getting smushed (if Moleskines are your thing, you can get your own for a pretty reasonable price here).

Moleskin notes + papers I've stuffed between pages.  Also, good reminder - no need to get too tied to labels when it comes to your work. Life is meant to be full and varied. Be it ALL.
Moleskin notes + papers I’ve stuffed between pages. Also, good reminder – no need to get too tied to labels when it comes to your work. Life is meant to be full and varied. Be it ALL.

STRUCTURE + RHYTHM. No one but you needs to know about this one – but having a sense of structure and rhythm are key to your sanity and follow-through, no matter what creative work you’re doing. When I feel at a loss for good ideas or (on the opposite end of the spectrum) completely scatterbrained, I come back to my core principles of WANT and the way I’ve structures a typical WANT week/month.
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If a calendar system helps you, great! (I personally use a combination of 30 Boxes, a big ol’ desk calendar, and my Google Cal – did you know that you can get G-Cal to text you before a big event or to-do?) But even just a general sense of what kinds of things you’re producing and when you let each of them live is a lifesaver in those rough patches.

ENGAGEMENT + INTUITION. If you’re doing something creative and actually putting it out into the world, get a keen sense of how you can be of service. Like Kit said, the world doesn’t know what it wants next, and there’s no use trying to be everything to everyone or predict what’s going to be trending next. However. you can take a look at how people are responding to your work, exactly what they are responding to, and analyze the “why” behind it.
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How are you connecting with the core of someone else’s being? What about you is striking a chord in others? There is something unique about you that resonates with others. Even when you think you have an idea of it, keep digging. Keep searching. It’s the quest for connection and purpose – and how you engage in the process – that will keep you authentic no matter what the marketplace says it wants. Because the secret, I think, is that it just wants to connect.
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WANT Action Plan:
What helps you stay productive? Any genius finds or strategies I (and we!) need to know about?

The WANT Women: Kit Steinkellner On Great Art, Great Butts, And Saving The Human Race

The WANT Women: Kit Steinkellner On Great Art, Great Butts, And Saving The Human Race

WANT Women

As a writer – and heck, as a member of the female species – strong female characters in all forms of entertainment have always appealed to me.

From the Narrator who ran the entire show in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, to Joan Holloway-Harris and Betty Draper, to the latest happenings in the Kardashian world, there’s something about how women are written (and written about) that can invoke a strong gut reaction from other women.

Writers expose us to these ladies – some of them characters, some real humans – and whether they realize it or not, are able to band us together or tear us further apart. How many times have you cringed at the headline of US Weekly, or high fived yourself when your on-screen girl crush finally expresses herself eloquently and effectively? Whether they’re characters in a play or real-life women on the street, it’s the writers of the world who are able to convey their stories in a way that speaks to the rest of us.

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When Kit Steinkellner gave me her answers to this WANT spotlight, I had to giggle (no pun intended, see two sentences from now). Because reading it, you’d never know the Grand-Canyon-wide breadth of success this woman has had and how much she is leading the way for the next wave of young artists – specifically, writers.

Kit is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, an editor at Hello Giggles (there it is), a webcomic author, and a writer on pretty much every site you probably already read and love. As a playwright/screenwriter, Kit has been applauded by New York Times, LA Times, LA Weekly, and Backstage for her work both Off-Broadway and here in Los Angeles – and as Hello Giggles’ weekend editor, she’s responsible for (what I believe to be) some of the most thought-provoking, girl-powered pieces on the site (saying a lot, since Hello Giggles is pretty much all women-are-awesome).

After a dozen-hundred times clicking on links that intrigued me and fist-pumping by the last line, I finally stopped being surprised by the fact that all my favorite pieces had Kit’s name in the byline; that it was Kit who giving the strong, positive voice to the issues we want to be talking about, as women and as humans. She’s looking at the world though a rose-colored lens, writing topically but never cynically, championing the women leading the way – and offering empathy towards the women who are just trying to figure it all out.
We're a sisterhood. We have to act like

There are so many gems in this WANT Woman spotlight, but two in particular stood out to me: One, the genius negativity-busting tactic she and her husband use to crack a smile (I know I’ll be trying this one at home). Two, her unique take on judgement. I do think it’s in human nature to judge, even just a little, and we can’t ignore that impulse or berate ourselves for thinking we’re horrible people for doing so. But, as Kit so eloquently and succinctly expresses, we can take a solid look at exactly what we are judging in others and why. (there’s also the part about her booty, which is kind of the best side note ever.)

With every woman she writes or writes about, Kit speaks with a voice of aware compassion. She cheering the successes and pointing out role model material; she’s not ignoring the flaws and shortcomings but not tearing them down, either. Kit is telling the stories we want to hear, need to hear, and ultimately, are a little bit of our own, too.

WANT Kit.
headshot


Name: Kit Steinkellner


How you’d know me: Most people on the internet know me from Hello Giggles, where I am a staff writer and weekend editor.


What I love about myself: I try to be the things I most admire in other people: thoughtful, kind, driven, generous, daring, and resilient. I also think I have a pretty decent sense of humor, at least I make myself laugh. Plus, my butt belongs in a music video.


What is your definition of “positivity?” Believing that it’s possible to change your situation and that you are enough of a warrior princess to make it all happen for yourself. Reading inspirational quotes and going “Totally” instead of “Ugh.”
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When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love turning point? Oh man, I hate to say “It was a man” because that goes against a lot of what I– whatever, that’s what happened, I met my now-husband and he thought I was so great and I thought he was so smart, and if he was smart and he thought I was great… I just decided to go with the math and start thinking I was great.


How/where negative talk shows up in my life: Basically what’ll happen is I’ll be with someone who’s insecure about their body/career/whatever, and they’ll start giving a voice to those freaked out monsters and rope me in and try to turn it into a self-loathing jamboree, because misery loves company. It’s usually someone looking for validation or a place to vent, which makes sense…but insecurity is so contagious. They really need to invent a flu shot for that.
We're a sisterhood. We have to act like (1)


When I talk negatively about myself it’s usually because… I think that’s what the outside world is thinking about me and I want to say it first so it doesn’t sound like I’m oblivious to my many failings.


It baffles me that women still: Undermine each other and look at one another as competition (if not outright enemies) as opposed to members of the same team. We’re a sisterhood! We have to act like it!

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I wish that more women… judged other women harshly for not being kind and generous instead of what we do judge women for: image stuff, relationship stuff, baby stuff. Can you imagine what it would be like if we put the peer pressure on other women to just be better people? We’d save the human race.


My top female role models: My mom and my sister, always and forever. And all the lady writers I’m obsessed with: Cheryl Strayed, Joan Didion, Anne Lamott, Mary Karr in print, Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling making it happen on TV.


Favorite negativity-busting activity: Sleep. No joke, EVERYTHING is better after a good night’s sleep or a nap. Also buying myself presents. Also making someone that loves me (usually my husband) say nice things to me; I’ll give him a number like 3 or 5 and he’ll have to say that many nice things about me (I totally do this for him, too). Not only is it really awesome hearing someone say nice things about you, but the whole idea of forcing someone to give you compliments is so ridiculous you just end up laughing about the whole thing for like an hour and then you’re like “Wait, what was I feeling bad about again? F—, I can’t remember. Oh well, what’s on Netflix?”
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Favorite self-love ritual: Going to a bookstore/the movies/ the theater, and giving myself the gift of great art.


Favorite movies to watch when I feel down: Anything I liked when I was, like, twelve years old: Never Been Kissed, Titanic, Ever After, 13 Going On 30 (that came out a little later, but whatevs)


Favorite empowering books: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed taught me everything I know. Also The Velveteen Rabbit.
books


Advice I would give my…
…4 year old self: Someday you will grow up and then you will be able to eat all the cake batter you wish, so be patient, your time will come.
…14 year old self: All your future friends are having a really rough time right now soon, stay strong and wait a decade, your group is waiting for you.
…24 year old self: You don’t need to be a wunderkind. You need to be a good person. Stop stressing about your career and start stressing about being a worthy member of the human race.


5 things on my bucket list:
1.) Have a job where I get to be the boss and I employ all my friends
2.) Have lots of international adventures
3.) Make a big, splashy, worthy contribution to the world of art and storytelling
4.) Be a known art yente who makes lots of awesome creative-world matches (and I would be TOTALLY cool with being responsible for a couple of weddings to boot)
5.) Dye my hair more colors.


Right now I am most excited about: Art and adventures, always art and adventures.


My body is: so awesome, it is keeping me alive right now – thank you!


Three words to describe myself: fragile and unbreakable


Current mantra: “Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, Plan E, Plan F, Plan G…”

Find Kit on Twitter at @booksaremybfs


WANT Yourself:
Who are the women, real or fictional, you admire but have only read about?
(or, in the case of characters in TV shows and movies, watched onscreen?)
What about the way they’ve been written, or written about, makes you love them?

IMG_0883