Illustrator Storyboard Template | Free Download

I love finding holes in the internet that I can fill. I searched for an Illustrator template after discovering that is precisely what keeps causing me such huge delays in the design process when moving to After Effects.  In my efficient obsessions, I keep trying to skip that step and then my projects immediately become:

  • a tangled web of graphic files that are hard to visualize at one time

  • impossible to create a more cohesive style

  • hard to reuse elements

Sure I create color schemes and burn through post-its like a monster, but I want to be able to see them all together.  I know others do this and quite well I should add, but I've really been researching the workflow of others as well as my own and realized today that I just keep skipping it...

So this is my new workflow plan:

Workflows-storyboard

Workflows-storyboard

Anyway, I decided to make a 1080p video size animation Storyboard Template for Illustrator to force myself into this habit from now on. Thought I'd share.  Maybe someone will find it instead of spending their Saturday night formatting a grid with script notes!

If anyone finds this helpful, I'll be back with an update on using a variation on this workflow to work with Keynote animation projects...soon.

By the way, I put the scripts on one layer and backgrounds and swatches also on their own layers in the template setup so that the export to After Effects or split to their own files will make it all a little cleaner. That is THE goal in this life, right.

Use the Illustrator export "Save as" feature to split the artboards into individual scene files to make animation within After Effects possible (because the damn dynamic link is still 10 years away from dynamic).

Cheers, F

Clatterford

I almost never go to the doctor, preferring to work it out for myself with the sage wisdom of plenty of liquids and letting nature run it's course. When that doesn't do it, I also enjoy practicing medicine on myself and others who will let me until I get it right. Who doesn't? medievalfolk-medicine

This week, though, I finally gave in to the medical industrial complex because I have this thing happening in my ears that won't go away. It feels like voodoo or someone won't shut the fuck up about me - burning like hellfire and itching deeper than anything should itch - so I gave up and went to the doctor.

And wouldn't you know, this doc in her glossy clinic (that also has it's own app) prescribed. folk. medicine.  They had an assistant wash my ears out with a warm spray solution of H2O. I was then instructed to go get some vinegar, mix with water and douche my ears out every day with a syringe you can get from the baby aisle. I got some drops too. They are for your eyes, but you can use them for your ears.  Note: Cannot be prescribed vice-versa.

EnglishVillage1

It is any real surprise that in my old age I just want to move to the English countryside and run a little surgery where I can practice medicine myself? Maybe join a ladies guild or something...

 

Little Red Riding Hound

I came across an old file recently that really made me laugh. It was all of the original photos and page layouts that I created sometime in high school...???  We had a lot of labradors around at the time and decided that we needed to recreate a story with them, for some bizarre and hilarious reason.  So we dressed them up and used real film to take the story photos we needed.  My sister and cousin were instrumental in wrangling and dressing various dogs and struggling through setups.  MD encouraged me and my weird storytelling need, as usual. So since I found all of the originals and I miss my labradors, I decided to whip them together and learn the basics of Adobe Muse at the same time...because I'm a nerd and that's fun for me. Yeah, here she is:

Little Red Riding Hound

 

LittleRed

Molly was not your typical Labrador. She was a plus-sized model. Fact.

Viewmaster Remastered (for Download)

I had a crazy idea that I needed a Viewmaster slide for a lil video project. I started digging through our collection because of course, we have quite a collection. Not very surprising really. Anyway, the scanner let me down (bright colors, no texture) so I rigged up a viewmaster slide on a tripod. Took a picture. Composited out all the pieces I needed...and decided to share it, just in case others need it for similar random creative projects.  And as usual, if you use it, I'd love a credit and share the link with me. I love seeing something I've made, in action in other projects:

Jem Viewmaster slide

 

DOWNLOAD Template PSD and Viewmaster Slide Sound (recorded from a vintage metal viewmaster)

City Museum

My favorite quote lately is Mariela saying:

"I don't workout very often because my gym is halfway across the country."

City Museum in St. Louis is her "favorite place on earth" and absolutely my favorite place in the Midwest.

We met in St. Louis. I went to school there. And I learned about art, history, culture and people by going there often in high school, courtesy of M-Dog. It's a magical place for us.  It was so fun spending the day with M-Dog at "Willy Wonka's Junkyard," recently:

https://vimeo.com/147474347

Pro Tip: Knee pads are a GAME CHANGER.

**All of the images used in this video are taken with our own cameras -- even the Viewmaster slide, which I will share soon for anyone out there needing it for their own weird media projects.

Thanksgivable Thoughts

Last week, I spent the day at a winery, got drunk on the best wine I've ever had— (and I've Christmas'ed at the fucking Ritz. No joke.) ...went to an after (read: pajama) party with hilarious new people, convinced my lady to go to ikea!!! Made it all fit and could still (barely) shift! Had a Bloody Mary brunch in the sun. ("First assholes there.") Life feels amazing...so then why and the hell am I always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, November is a time to give thanks, so I'm gonna start a mind dump. You're always a loser if you never celebrate the victories:

  • Mariela always believes in me. It doesn't matter what it is—she's there to cheer for me. "She makes me think I can do things that I can't—yet."
  • I'm thankful for the life we've built together and for the adventures that always bring us closer, finding our way back, trackin ghosts through the fog...there are no words for our bond.
  • The stories! Our stories are our children. "We're married to music." It saves my soul. "In my darkest hour..."
  • She sees me in a way that no one else does. She's blind to gender, but loves whatever I am...
  • I'm thankful for the way her hair and cleavage catch the light just right...creeper, yes. But I'm a photographer, c'mon that's obvious!
  • I really appreciate that she just lets me decorate the shit out of everything...even though it drives her crazy to go to ikea. —She does! Once in a while...
  • I'm so lucky that I found The Abbotts. My life has been a remarkable whirlwind since. They'll never know the real opportunities they've afforded me on this journey of trying to grow up. I love seeing them. In all shapes and configurations. Our visit to Chicago included one of the best brunches with the Abbotts. We laughed (mostly at Mariela) until we were sick. They appreciate her almost as much as I do...❤️
  • My friends. Both old and new. Where would I be without you? You're the real fighters. The true allegiance. You've been able to stick through it with me, at my worst—only because you make me my best. I feel like I've been on a tour of friends lately and it was such a great ride. Thanks for all the laughs and phenomenal stories and fun (and drinks).
  • I'm so grateful to California...accepting us with open arms at a time when we really needed it. That includes some short, but very meaningful, relationships. I'll carry the lessons you taught me. I'll pay forward all the greatness you brought to my life. They were noticed.
  • I'm grateful to have a meaningful job that challenges me to keep leaping for the stars. I love startup culture because it challenges me to my very foundation. It's so exciting for someone like me.
  • My past and the women that made me strong. You saved my life with your examples of strength and courage.
  • The worthless men that showed me how things should be different...and to the few good men that proved it.
  • My beautiful amazing dream car...every day when I walk up to that car, I'm thankful. (Even more thankful when the turbocharger kicks in and it whines like a beast!)
  • And especially for all the interesting people out here that want to do things differently and that want to see how others are doing it even more differently. I'm so lucky to be here at all...

And that's why, I try myself into the ground. Cuz I don't want to ever let any of you down.

I know I do, but we get through... Thanks for staying on this crazy road.

Mariela still "brings me to my knees." I'm so thankful that she just walked right into my life and refuses to leave. A true rarity in a world of fleeting connections.

Her and Adele just be sayin:

Duke it Out

IMG_3900-0.jpg

Everybody calm the fuck down. The Dukes of Hazzard is still on Netflix. Buy the damn DVD's if you think it's such an exemplary collection of American television...I mean, I loved Daisy. Don't get me wrong... She touched my...little dyke heart, too. But seriously. If they didn't want to be pulled, they shouldn't have made their show centered around a car with such a hateful symbol of racism, especially as late in this battle as they did! Southerners need to finally accept that we won the "Battle of Northern Aggression." (People still really talk like this in the south. Ugh.) Or actually, they could hire me to do post-production to every episode. I'd like that...

  

Supreme Decision

I was on my way to a marriage equality rally in DC in 2010. Our bus broke down in Ohio and we had to spend the night at a rest stop with 40 other gays and a man that was friends with Harvey Milk. We missed the rally in DC, but Mariela took a gamble on a candy machine. She said to a friend, "if I get the ring, I'm going to ask her to marry me." She asked me if it ever became legal, would I marry her? I said yes...and within the hour smashed it against the table during an exciting game of boggle (QUEER WED actually rolled on at the same time!)!!! Since then we've been civil unioned, domestic partnered and then finally married by the great state of California. We've been together since college. 14 years. I didn't think this day would happen. Now we can even live in Kentucky! :-/ PRIDE PARTIES NATIONWIDE!!

Tracking

I'm so bored with social media...and I'm completely creeped out that everything is so trackable. I'm also bored with trying to tell stories in only 140 characters. I finally got my Wordpress app working again on the new phone. So I'm going to do another social experiment on myself...don't worry it's similar to the men's ties, but not entirely. I'm going to switch back to my own site, read more and actually DO more. I need to produce more CONTENT and stop talking about it... If I post a picture, I need to cross-post it here. If I have something stupid to say about the world, I'm going to say it here. If I create something for the world, yep it's going here. I want to have a place to see my progress, a place to use some of my own contributions to big data for my goals. That seems reasonable. And hey, my site just turned 8 yrs old! Happy birthday, Gurl.

I always say that...

"I'm back!" I always say that when I start blogging again. The fact is that I just haven't had time to even update my Wordpress apps and sites in so long. But the numbers say that people are still coming here. Probably just thousands of former frenemies but that's okay too. It's better than Facebook... Speaking of, the new Facebook privacy invasion makes me wanna delete my account entirely. Just like this guy:

Delete your Facebook

Every time I've added people on Facebook we become more distant. It's weird. It's just changing our society so quickly that I just can't... Maybe people just feel weird that I'm open publicly while they think a password site makes all the difference? I've spent so much of my life hiding (even in real closets) to think that I should hide now. Maybe you're hiding because you have so much to hide. That's okay. I know how it feels. But I'm gonna be who I am with you if I know you...and I'm gonna be that same person to everyone I know. That's what makes me—well me. You should try it. Not the being me part, but being you.

Maybe people hate my posts because they think that me sharing my crazy life is bragging. But I'm just as surprised with my daily stunts as you are! And I think constant pictures of your kids would certainly run head-to-head with that idea. I can't have kids. Sometimes I'm not sure if that's a blessing because I work my fucking ass off and I haven't given up on my own goals and dreams...which I share. But I also share my setbacks and believe you me--it often feels like I have more of them than successes! And I enjoy your posts about your kids...I'm happy that you have the life you want and I want to be apart of that...even if it's a dumb thumbs up icon. But I say, let's take it to the next step...real life. Let's send pictures again and talk on the phone. I promise not to scream.

But if we've had weird relationships in the past, exes and the like...I don't wanna be friends. I'm sorry but I'm not that kinda lesbian. I don't think I'm a lesbian at all, to be quite honest. But that's another post.

Now I'm working on a new site, a CopyCatFilms sister site...but Drupal is just too stupid for me. I'm a wordpress lover all the way. Kill that install. Start over. I even paid good money for that damn layout, but sometimes you gotta know when to fold'em...I love a reason to quote Kenny Rogers. It makes me feel closer to Dolly. (And who wouldn't want that?)

So I'm also packin for a trip to Illinois. Flying right under that Gateway to the West! My camera has been hacked with Magic Lantern and I'm going on a crash course of learning to use it. I cannot wait...

Kitty does not want me to leave.

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Morty Misses, too

Our cat is intolerant of new situations. Strange for a cat that recently handled a cross-country trek of over 2,300 miles. Sadly, he lost his best friend right before the big trek across country.  I know he misses Ninga... But the truth is...I can't get over missing Ninga yet, either. When I think of how abruptly he left us, on the eve of our move from Chicago, it just floods me. It was really just... a lot for me, at the time. He's been a part of my life for 14 years...it was just supposed to be a check-up visit.

How can we go it without him? --I blubbered into every box as we packed ALL night.  This big journey into the unknown... He's the protector in our house. He's the fighter. He'd save you from a burning microwave, and swat a piece of pizza from your hand without hesitation. He went to a top 25 school and ate pizza out of party boxes.  He'd leer over you, standing from the top of a door--making you think he'd pounce on your head or at least break a leg getting down. But beware--cuz if you'd reach to try to help him down, he'd rip holes in your arm--like a sheet on a clothesline--on his way to the floor, while hissing like a tiger.  He'd get mad if you'd cry.  And he would practically clean his own cat box.  Funny looking with big, tall, back legs and spots like a dairy cow.

Morty-Ninga.jpg

I miss you more than I could have imagined.  Surprising, since you were always such an asshole!  I would have done anything to save you. I know when you reached your paw up on my arm and laid your head to sleep for the last time--you knew that.  And I'm sure you were pissed that I was crying.  Thank you for forcing me to grow up and hanging on along the way, Ninga.

Ninga.jpg

Morty is missing you terribly. Not only for the company, but always letting him know what's right. You gave him only the good sides of you, like a good father. He goes out on the new balcony, unsure of the new textures, scenery, and railing. He's scared of the boundaries. You showed him how to be a cat. He still waits for you.

I hope you know how much you meant to my silly life. I had no idea how much you meant to Morty's.  We're trying to move on and keep him happy. He had a playdate with a nice cat. His response was...rather pissy.

Cat Facts

So, I know that Mariela found "Cat Facts" by some means of her Internet dorkiness, but she really has taken it to a whole 'nother level. It all started when we moved to California and immediately needed to change both of our phone numbers over to local numbers.  We put it on Facebook, but who reads that, right?  So it began...no one knew the numbers we were texting from.  So we turned it into a little game--each new contestant added on new sections, visuals...and now--well, I couldn't be prouder of Cat Facts.

*Please note: the misspellings below are intentional and necessary.

 

The gist is that--immediately upon receiving a "who's this" text--you start responding with random Cat Facts and photos...set a timer--send them every hour on the hour (for contestants that are upgraded to Cat Facts Premium):

 

Thanks for signing up for Cat Facts! You will now receive fun daily facts about CATS!  >^..^<

Cats use their tails for balance and have nearly 30 individual bones in them! <To cancel Daily Cat Facts, reply 'cancel'>.
(after receiving reply):
Command not recognized. You have a <year> subscription to Cat Facts and will receive fun <hourly> updates!
In ancient Egypt, killing a cat was a crime punishable by death. Thank you for choosing Cat Facts!
(after next reply):
Command not recognized. Cats bury their feces to cover their trails from predators.  To <cancel> please let us know you are human by completing the following sentence: Your favorite animal is the ___?
(reply anything other than "Cat"):
INCORRECT! Your favorite animal is the Cat. You will continue to receive cat facts every <hour>. Would you like to upgrade to premium subscription?
(if reply is "Cat")

CORRECT! Your favorite animal is the cat! Congrats, you've been upgraded to Cat Facts  Premium with Cat Pics!

Welcome to Cat Facts Premium: Did you know that the first cat show was held in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London. Mee-wow!

(after reply):
Thanks for texting Cat Facts (Premium). Would you like to receive an instant Cat Fact with cat pic every time you text? <To cancel, reply 'unsubsribe">
<Command Not recognized> Did you know there are about 100 distinct breeds of domestic cat?
CAT_domesticdishes
(after reply)
Thank you for your feedback about Cat Facts. Did you know cats have excellent senses including night vision and the ability to hear ultrasound?  <To Cancel Reply "Not Meow">
cat_tiedye
(only after they reply "not meow"):
<command not recognized>

CAT_rightMEOW

 

 

Gimme My Fuckin Change Back

Fun to relive old times & talented artists of our past/present/and hopefully future. We woulda never left Chicago without an old friends' music cheering us on...

Young Hines: Gimme My Change

Every time someone was in my car they would ask (more like scream), "WHO is this!?"

--He's our Nashville souvenir...and eventually a removed catalyst in our move to California. His music just shared so much emotion with how the days felt in Chicago, yet it was a reminder of the past and someone that I truly admired.  I don't say that about many people, probably none.  He didn't wait for someone to offer him a way to make his music.  He just made it.  He learned and challenged himself.  He worked days at a time in his little home studio.  He worked a day job to buy more and add to his studio.  I completely adopted his model in Chicago.  He renewed my spirit.  He made me wanna dream differently.  I buried myself in my work and continued to Fail With Pride (our other Nashville take-away).  So when his album released...and it was speakin my language...and Chicago was completely shit, boiling over, and busting at the seams.  I knew it was time for another lifetime adventure. I love every piece of California. And our amazing journey to get here.  Even if I do miss all the amazing people that helped us get here. Every. Single. Day.  But I'm so glad to have found home.

(I know, I know. The video of the move and our Route 66 is soooo far past due--but it's happening. I've been very busy setting up the small studio of my dreams.  Workin. Testin. Workin some more.  The Young Hines way...  :D)

Crazy busy times. Cali is amazingness. (Evernote WP email integration sucks...)

Cleanin hard' drives, workin' on illustrations. And now I'm testing my Evernote integration with our portfolio site. Did it work? Evernote is so wonderful. It's like a culmination of my creative work, my professional work, my dumb thoughts, my stencil & painting ideas, to do lists, books to search, startup car audio companies ...and everything is organized separately, but still--together. However, after testing the email features to Wordpress...I have to say: it sucks.  Evernote, I don't want your brand or any other brand all over my website, thank you.  I do not want it imported with a giant ad banner over my words.  I'm editing my reviews of the Evernote app about this.  Don't be corporate douchery. I don't want your brand where I don't want it. I pay for a service.

It reminds me why I hate television and now Facebook.  It's the ads.  It drives me crazy. I get more sponsored posts than real updates by anyone or real businesses.  Gross.

P.S. Please upgrade the audio recorder because our hilarious stories sound like shit from these Evernotes though...srsly. Dropvox er somethin. Try integrating, playing nicely, and removing the corporate douchery. Thank you.

Stirring Around Our Workspace

I do this often. Stir the furniture in our apartment...I think it drives Mariela crazy. But it's how I was raised. My granny still moves her furniture around every few months. I just thought that's what normal people do! So I've taken it to the next level...and modified most of our furniture to add wheels. It's quite handy.  I think the needing to stir comes from our Native American roots. We can't move the tribe, so we shift stuff around. It gives a new feeling to a familiar place. Makes sense.  But she also kept a large knife stuck in the door because we lived around really scary people--within our house and the neighborhood.  So I've modified her model by using a magnetic knife rack by the door--but it holds keys, wallets, little dyke tools, camera remotes...etc. etc.

The latest stirring episode is because I've been frustrated with my photography lately. But I'm chalking it up to a few things: 1) I haven't really found my place here yet. Like a job or community involvements, but I know that will happen. Spring is in full bloom in Northern California and it's magnificent. 2) I'm used to photographing dingy urban stuff--usually weird & dark. Exactly the opposite of here. It's bright and sunny all the time and  much more suburban. I know that riding my bike on daily missions will kick me over into the groove again. And that will happen when I find my place/job, too. I just have to be patient and diligent with my own projects in the meantime.

The biggest projects we have going now:

  • pilot script
  • creating 2D puppet animations for storytelling
  • editing our cross-country move to Cali video

I've been hard at work on a video for my family that is finally complete! Mariela and I learned so many new effects and techniques, but the content is personal, but maybe I'll do a rough cut of some of the footage to share here. The time lapse of the family cottage is pretty terrific--if I do say so myself.  I had stayed up so late the night before--drinking wine at the dining hall, an unexpected nap, and then more ukulele playing and singing with the fam. But it was 4am and the sun was a'comin. I scurried to gather my gear and ran out to argue with my new time lapse settings in Magic Lantern. I got it. It's beautiful. It's quiet and serene. All the colony kids and vacationers fast asleep...I even managed to get the sun rising over the colony pool. Luckily, I had the forethought to get the cottage first and move downhill for the pool. So maybe a short cut to come soon.

We had a terrific weekend and really didn't get anything done on our projects, but sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the sunshine.  So we joined some new friends at Half Moon Bay for a fun day at the beach. I'm just still so stunned that the OCEAN is that close!  Luckily, my midwestern hickness is wearing off and I haven't referred to the Pacific Ocean as a LAKE in quite a while now. ;-)

 

 

 

Is My Blogger Broken?

I kinda hate writing again. I liked blogging for my previous job, but it just never felt like my voice. So, I have to ask, is MY blogger broken? Perhaps with Google trying to kill RSS--they are in fact sabotaging the little people on the Internets. The geeks, present company included, that setup their bedroom as a radio/tv station 8 yrs ago--a station/podcast that they could only dream of having in 6th grade, will be crushed by the lack of readership that comes from RSS publishing.  But I'm not one to get my panties in a bunch over the latest internet sensations.  I know that those of us with real stories & real skills will always have a place at the table.

In related news, scriptwriting is brutal. We're hard at work to finish our pilot script for a web series. However, our planned web series is about lesbians--but it's not a lesbian web series, per say. Yet some of the scenes absolutely must be graphic! Ha--it's hard to pitch the pilot without including the graphic parts in the first episode, yet it doesn't quite fit. Eh, if we have to produce it ourselves, we'll do what we want (animation if need be--and you'll all be glad for the graphic parts). It's the age old dilemma. If you let others in...they will likely take it OVER. But with the help of others, our stories can finally be shared.

Lastly, my iPhone is dead all the time now. If you know me, in real life--please don't hesitate to email me your phone/text messages. Yes, it's true that you can also continue texting--but only if you have an iPhone--cuz I'm an Apple whore like that. (I can still gettem' on my iPad.) And I'm no longer participating in the stalking pleasures of Facebook. People don't really share. They come to gawk. I'm not tryin to hide--I've always been right here. But when ignorance starts filling my day (people posting racist images, tormentors of my past showing up in "likes," then of course my judging of everyone else's lack of judgement, and all the other dumb drama) I just have to walk away. Sometimes you just need a break--to really see what it was doing to you.

And then it reminds me why I liked blogging in the first place!  I don't give a shit if someone clicks a like button, most of the time without even reading what I'm saying.  This is a place that I'm free to be me.  I can post what I want.  I don't have ads for ridiculous crap in my face. And further, the content I share can actually be reviewed, saved for scripts, or produced in one of our videos.  When I put stuff on Facebook...it might as well be added to a consumer database of what I like to do and then just immediately deleted.  Ain't nobody gonna go back and deal with FB's weird, controlling ways of showing you even your own content!

So I'm back to the bloggin board...where it's beautiful, ad-free, and just what I want it to be.

P.S. Happy Birthday M.C. I still think about you all the time. I read through some of our final stories together this weekend--you always knew how to laugh.  And you always believed in me.  I'll never forget that.

Puppet Intro: Real HouseDyke

:: work in progress :: A first puppet…brought to life with a little 90's inspiration (song remix by yours truly). I'm still working out some of the kinks before I can launch the full puppet project, but I'm addicted.  All of the images are hand-drawn from photos. Can't stop, won't stop now! Being a "day person" has taught me that I'm a terrible housewife, but I'm a pretty good HouseDyke…typically capable of fixing just about anything.  "Just about"..."Most of the time."

Even if there's a struggle...

Adoption Workshop #4

So we attended the longest adoption workshop yet--in the East Bay (IAC). Surprisingly, it was the best.  The best of FOUR that we've attended over the years! We are in love with this place. It was so open and honest about everything. It is the polar opposite of isolated, infertility treatment darkness and the strange uncomfortable other info sessions we've attended both in Chicago and here in San Francisco. When the meeting started, the facilitating woman shared her own story of a very difficult closed adoption.  It was nice for me to hear.  Even though I love & live with someone everyday that is the result of a very closed adoption, it is good to hear of others experiences.  It's also nice because I am of an unusual "open" adoption where I have two families that I love very much--but making it all work, in reality, is sometimes very difficult on me.  I don't want that for our kids.  I want them to feel home.  I want them to know that they are here to stay, that they belong.  --Honestly, feelings that I did not have as a kid.  I definitely have had some processing to do and I've been working on it over the past several years as we've stepped closer and closer to the adoption process.

But after this session, I feel absolutely ready.  Now, it's just the large sum of money necessary to begin.  Ultimately, that is what it has always been...It's hard to invest in a business, and at the same time, afford adoption.  And now that I've stepped out on my own with freelancing, I feel that I really need to find steady, stable work in order to fully jump into adoption.  Freelancing is just too uncertain.  And honestly, I miss working with people--surprising, I know ;-).  But I know that will happen soon enough.  Why?  Because this place is magic.  Absolutely magic.  There are so many interesting startups, companies, and organizations here.

Back to the waiting room: Then...then the nice lady put up a ppt screen and said that we would all get in small groups and openly discuss our experiences with infertility, and what has led us to adoption.  My heart jumped in my chest.  My palms started sweating and a rare feeling washed over me: FLIGHT.  I focused my gaze on the door and started fantasizing scenarios to make a break for it...Openly discuss this!? With strangers!! my inner voice was screaming!  I looked into Mariela's eyes and I knew I just had to do this and that she was with me.  We turned and just jumped right in.  The most amazing thing happened.  It actually felt good.  I felt like I could breathe.  The people were so open and warm, nonjudgemental, inquisitive, and openly shared their own stories.  For the first time at one of these awkward things--I actually felt connected to the people.  Imagine that.  It was a place that I would actually look forward to attending their day long workshops, etc. etc.

I can't wait to get started.  So it's back to job applications for me. Wheeeeeee!