My Debrief of a Geeky Mission

This is what I love about LFN fans… zany fun and boundless creativity wrapped up in compassion and kindness. This is why there was a successful convention 20 years later, and this is yet another reason why LFN remains a special period in my life. Congratulations to all involved, and a very happy birthday to you, Heather. I hope you enjoy the book.” -Christopher Heyn

*Disclaimer: Code Names of my mission team are used due to protection , but mostly strictly for fun.

For those who know of me, know of two things; my passion for film and my fandom of La Femme Nikita. As I stated in previous blogs, I got to experience a once in a lifetime event in Toronto earlier this summer to meet half the cast and help volunteer for the event. What I didn’t realize, is what ridiculous friends I would make and bring home with me from the convention.

My 31st birthday was and wasn’t recently; it was earlier this summer on June 6th. A week after a lot of us came home from the Reunion Convention in Toronto (my personal birthday gift to myself this year). I met few and very amazing individuals, as I also reunited with Maxine and a few of the ladies of the Official Roy Dupuis Fan Club during this trip. The memories are solid, however, I would have never imagine the wits and ends my new friends would go to put together a little adventure for me in order to receive a very special birthday present and a long winded birthday.

 So, what had happened was, behind my back, a couple of my LFN friends decided to team up to buy me one of Chris’s books, “Inside Section One,” due to my passion for TV, film, and writing in general. However, they wanted to make me WORK for the damn book and send me on a scavenger hunt that would take me “around the world.” It wasn’t just a scavenger hunt, it was a mission directed from Nikita. The objective of the mission was this, SURPRISE! The directory was taking down from digital encryption and transferred to hard copy, in result of multiple attempts of Red Cell stealing the damn directory again. I had to “travel” around the world and warn my team of operatives to execute Omega Protocol and go dark until instructed otherwise. In reality, my travels were teleported through messenger, tipping off each operative.

Mind you, I don’t do a whole lot of role playing, since my life is already 3-Dimensional as is, however with a little nudge from The Accountant and my team leader, Kendra, I gave in, and the mission was underway. Another note for you all, this scavenger hunt/mission/role play started on June 15 and finished on June 25! Here are the hints that came up for my travel log:

  1.   First hint to start me off was going to Melbourne, and connect with codename: Katiebug and tell her to execute Omega Protocol.
  2. Katiebug then sent me the hint, “give a message to the Bulgarian, by La Brea Tar Pits.” That hint sent me to codename: Bulgarian Lass.
  3. Once identity was verified, Bulgarian Lass cussed at me in her native tongue after giving me the hint, “What about Sag Harbor?” My first reaction was, what the hell is that?? Eventually the hint led me to a New York operative, which we don’t have a cool codename for yet. LOL!
  4. The fourth hint from the NY operative was, “I hear the band likes Nascar Hall of Famers, but they’re scared of the judge.” LOL! I pinned it down to N.C., but I knew of two operatives from NC. I sent a message to the first one, but within two minutes, I told her, “disregard.” I then remembered who codename: Judge Judy was.  
  5. After succeeding with the Judge Judy factor, she then sent me a hilarious, but long ass hint. “New assignment from Ops has me working on a TV show called ‘Judge Judy’ to infiltrate the networks. Agenda currently unknown…”

    That’s when the banter was taken a step further, “POGUE! YOU NEED TO COME TO ORDER OR I’LL FIND YOU IN CONTEMPT!” LOL! After she calmed Pogue down, she sent me back to our “b” channel to wait further instructions from ‘Nikita’. I then made my way back to “b” channel, where Nikita displayed a new hint.
     

  6. This next hint sent me out to Venezuela with a code to decrypt and a photo of the largest waterfalls in their country. That’s when I knew I found codename: LatinChica.
  7. After LatinChica, I would head to Washington State to an operative who goes by the codename: The Accountant. No, I am not talking Ben Affleck movie lingo.
  8. From there, The Accountant, sent me the hint, “There’s an operative who bounces a signal off Virginia. Their substation shares my coast.” 
  9. That hint led me to the operative, Valencia. Once I verified my identity and sent her to execute the Omega Protocol, she sent me back to NC to deal with the feds. LOL!
  10. I guess I was too good of an operative, because the last operative (*cough*The Fed*cough*) had me hanging for like two to three days, purposely. My retaliation, you may ask? I sacrificed her and fed her to Red Cell and went ahead with my team leader to head to the cargo plane to intercept the directory.

The reality of my next step to work towards my gifts, the cargo plane ended up to be another escape room for me and Kendra to piece together and get out. As I went behind the cargo boxes, an envelope dropped into my hands. It turned out to be a couple of the pieces of the extra goodies that Chris sent to everyone who bought the book during this time around! Even though I was distracted momentarily, Kendra and I managed to get out of the cargo bay of the plane with twenty minutes to spare. We were trained well! LOL! However, my mission wasn’t done. Saturday, I had another piece of the puzzle awaiting in my mailbox to reveal another essential of the gift. When I put everything together, I didn’t hesitate to call Kendra to demand my answer… “YOU GOT ME CHRIS’S BOOK, DIDN’T YOU!?!?”

As usual, Kendra had a good laugh over the phone and she finally explained the whole ordeal of putting the mission together and her and Jennifer both assisted in buying me the book for my birthday. She knew I was catching on quick with the scavenger hunt, but she gave me each piece of the puzzle separately just to keep me second guessing myself. Let me just say, it fucking worked.
Today, as she came over to have lunch and watch one of Roy’s more ‘current’ films, “Cyanure”, she finally delivered my copy of “Inside Section One” which will be a good tool for me for further education with the film industry and how film and TV projects are put together.

Let me tell you a small secret, I have had NOBODY in my life that went through all of this planning to feed my geekiness, and to give me a gift that I would cherish for life. My life is nowhere easy for me. I found Kendra has certainly earned a place in my “chosen” family here in Madison, and I am super blessed that ReCon seriously brought us together to cherish so many memories together already!! I just hope someday I can provide such amazingness creativity to celebrate her life and our friendship!!

Also, I am blessed for the individuals who played their part in this game. It was soooooooooo perfect and fun with everyone involved!!!! All the clues and banter was priceless between me and those involved. I just hope the Bulgarian Lass can teach me a few words in her native tongue. Last, but surely not least, thank you Chris for giving us this opportunity for a crazy birthday ride that lasted ten damn days with these friends!

The Marketing and Networking Skills of a Socially Awkward Guru

The title fits my persona with my social anxiety issues and PTSD; hence, the title. This is why I enjoy being a writer sharing my story instead sitting in front of thousands singing, rapping, or even speaking. I can still get my message through with my writing skills without the fear of stumbling on my words and stuttering, or even having a panic attack in front of large crowds.

One of many, many triggers of my PTSD today, which will also be featured in my fifth book, The Road to Coping. It’ll be a continuation of my military story and guidance of alternative therapies that I use to keep me as sane as possible and ease my symptoms.

My current publication has revealed some truth in my networking and marketing skills. It obviously isn’t the usual tools that majority of writers use to get their stories and names out into the world, but it’s been working for me.

I won’t deny that there was still a bit of doubt in my progress. I mean, a total of two years to get this book situated. Well, one year consisted of the writing, but it shouldn’t have taken one year to actually design, edit, and publish it, but what is life?

Two years may have felt like a dry spell during the time that was spent; as I look back though, I have a very different perception. The ranking that the social site, Authorgraph, for writers like myself has proven that I have a strong support system, who has shown unconditional patience and love with me and my message from time to time. Authorgraph has recently shown me that The Road to Healing: An Equestrian Therapy is ranked at least two million places higher than both Evolution of Oneself: My Poetic Memoir and Underground Poetry. How does this come about? A lot of investment, marketing, education, and networking. Here is a list of what my successful tools that I continue to use:

1. Education:

If you are able to invest in college, DO IT! Especially if you aren’t educated on the dreams and goals you want to accomplish in life. Invest in the education. INVEST, INVEST, INVEST!

I have had my share of courses that fit the credentials I need to be a successful writer, even if the program itself isn’t directly intended for a writing degree. I have had numerous writing courses for electives, granted, failing my English class twice. Yes, my English instructor tried to push me to my full potential, but my time management got in the way, hence failing the class, not once, but twice! The gracious outcome of it all though, is she is still one of my biggest supporters in my authorship and writing career that I continue to build.

Writing and literature classes aren’t the only classes that have benefited me. My current degree I am working towards is in the Visual Communications field. If you don’t know what that is, the best description I can explain is, it’s a hybrid degree between Graphic Design and Film Production. My actual career goal is still the film industry, whether it’s short films, documentaries, script writing, etc. In order to even get in the door for a career on that level, you need to provide numerous articulate skillsets. In this program, I learned numerous Adobe software to edit, create, and improved on my book designs, book layouts, web design, typography, kinetic videography in a huge manner. I have also had the ability to use my photography education and put it towards video.

Other learning investments I came about with marketing and networking is from those I keep close to me. Read blogs of professions who have already set wave to their paths. Oh em gee, you are reading mine as we speak. 👅


2. Support and Invest in Individuals who Support and Invest in You
This investment advisement falls sort of into the networking tool. I have done my share of not just investing money or time into my own goals, but I have expressed my support in numerous projects from my ‘go-getter’ friends, whether it was purchasing their music albums or mixtapes, donating to their Indiegogo fundraiser page, travel to support them during their accomplishments whether it be guest speaking at events or graduating their Juror Doctorate degree, promoting their projects via social media, etc. What you put out does and will come back to you.

3. Invest in Yourself

This reflects back on my last post about Minimalism and the values you hold in life. If you are trying to build a business, a huge factor in development is investment. If you are a photographer, buy that camera. If you are a videographer, buy that drone. If you are a writer, buy those books to read  to keep those creative juices moving. If you want to move to another state, save your damn money and invest in a new place when you get out to your destination. If you want to travel, spend your money on traveling. If you find a career or location that actually feeds your soul, invest in that rather than buying new clothes, shoes, DVDs, CDs, video games, or other distractions on a weekly basis. There is a reason the wealthy remains the wealthy. Those who know how to keep their money and investments alive don’t blow their means away, but then again, there is always that one individual. Don’t be that broke individual who hoards shit that you only used once or twice.

4. Networking on Social Media:

I am not talking about just creating an account on Facebook and ‘friending’ everyone and anyone. Keep your account as personal, but you can still apply yourself to groups on Facebook that is relevant to your path in your career. I am involved in over a dozen groups that are considered for writers and bloggers like myself. We share expertise and our works to one another for criticism and support.

Don’t limit yourself on social media, if you are trying to get your name out on a business level. The most effective social platforms beyond Facebook in my experiences are Twitter, Google+. and Instagram. There are also social sites out there that are strictly for writers and readers to discover new Authors. I have my own author page on Goodreads and Amazon. I also have an account on Buplish.com. Also, I have expanded  my poetry on numerous sites like poemhunter.com and poetry.com. Through those social sites, I have gained thousands of fans, collaborations, connections, critiques, and a few I actually consider friends. You cannot build your foundation alone.

On the flipside; keep your personal circle small. Make sure it is also filled with ‘go-getters’ beyond your family and loved ones who will keep you motivated on your journey. Don’t fear having friends from all walks of life. Don’t let the propaganda bullshit separate you from your heart and what is right. Coming together is one of the most important factors in today’s and age. It will help you to grow in your heart and in your mind. Get rid of those associates that hold you back. Keep with those who push you as an individual, even if they push your buttons. This ability will help expand your mind,  as well as, keeping you humble in your journey. The smaller and realer the circle is, less the drama will be unraveled.

5. Publishing My Books
The site I was recommended and still use is createspace.com. For me, I have the knowledge to design a book cover and a book layout, so I do not have to invest anything into those steps when it comes time to publish my book. Also, it helps me build my business beyond my photography skill sets. The more you can do for your foundation for business, the most likely you’ll be capable of continuing and expand. Especially if you want to grow your business and not apply towards someone else’s.

6. Most Importantly, Blogging
Writers need to stay connected with their readers, or the readers will lose interest in their works. Just write. Any topic that intrigues you. For me, it’s my poetry, short stories, fan fictions, philosophy, and mental health that are majority of my blog’s posts. I have a pattern of writing more posts when I am on break from school, because that’s when I am actually capable of sitting down and sorting out my thoughts. The expressions with your blog helps your viewers feel involved and reaching out to you for certain advisement, tips, and possibly work.
If I come up with anything else on marketing and networking, I will surely write another blog, but for now, I am off to be productive before a 12-hour shift at work.

A Sneak Peak of My Current Playlist While Writing

I grew up around film and music. I got a listening ear with eccentric tastes. My oldest brother got me into alternative rock music. Both my brothers got me to enjoy Hip-Hop/Rap/Rhythm and Blues, and the parents got me into the country and classic rock music.  Also growing up it was a trend to be a teeny pop girl who got into one or all of the boy and girl bands. It’s a bipolar mindset when I bounced back and forth from Eminem and Backstreet Boys. It probably would be defined as a love/hate relationship in a sense since Eminem promoted hate in his music and Backstreet Boys had plenty of love songs in their playlists.

Today, radio is a disappointment. Let’s be honest. Mainstream media overplays crap music. Even with the good music, the radio plays them so damn much to the point that I get exhausted usually of the song  I am blessed for my Spotify streaming and IPod, so I can ignore turning on the radio and get tired of their playlists and play the music I want to play on my own time.

Holy shit, I own an Apple product! Someone take notes (inside joke). Anyways, before I buy a whole album, I search it through my Spotify and if I can listen to the whole album without skipping a song, I consider buying the whole album. Instead of puking out Holiday Jams, I decided to share my own personal tastes in music and my top five albums I am currently playing. A sneak peak of my eccentric mind and you know well that new poetry will be produced through the influences of these tunes.

5. Kane Brown – Kane Brown

This upcoming country star grew his fan base on his own through social media before getting a record deal with RCA. His authentic rich baritone voice brings me back to the likes of Trace Adkins and his voice on the cover songs he’s chosen gives them an original vibe. Whether it’s him or George Strait singing “Check Yes & No”, him or Randy Travis singing “Three Wooden-Crosses”, it brings joy to my ears and brings me back to my childhood. Unlike other cover-song artists, Kane Brown, can actually make great original songs. A blessing in disguise when he walked away from X-Factor and a boy band offer. You can’t take the country out of the boy. When I need to be reminded of home, I don’t just turn on my Randy Travis, George Strait, or the Outlaws. I also enjoy the new country likes of Georgia Florida Line, without the pop remixes, and certainly the rising star of Kane Brown.



4. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have proven themselves once again to be able to acquire themselves, in a relevant setting, with the times of music. Forming in the grunge rock era, Anthony and crew have evolved into a more  psychedelic rock vibe with their current album.  I love listening to this album when I feel the need to meditate and chill in an afternoon of writing and editing my projects and sipping on my coffee. The album brings me to another zone of ideology of my poetic thoughts. It falls under the same formality with one of my all time favorite soundtracks of all-time from the TV series of La Femme Nikita. Geek alert!



3. Tech N9ne – The Storm

Here’s a pick for my Hip-Hop readers! For those who are annoyed with the mainstream crap music. Tech N9ne never disappoints his rogue audience. With subliminal lyrics that actually have a message to be said. The music also reveals revolutionary beats to compliment the stories being told on his album. A true poetic rapper in my tastes. I mostly enjoy listening to the likes of Tech N9ne and other brilliant artists like G-Eazy, Hopsin, Eminem, Dappy, Yelawolf, and MGK when I need a motivational boost in my poetry writing. Tech N9ne is also essential in my fitness playlist. What prompts me the most with his lyrics is the fact that he doesn’t fear to expose his viewpoints on today’s issues like in his single, “What If It Was Me” that confronts police brutality in today’s society. I wish there were more fearless rappers that would rap about life outside of alcohol, drugs, sex, etc.. Especially for an introverted audience who see life pass the depressants of society.



2. James Bay – Chaos and the Calm

As a poet, the strength for me to enjoy good music is within the lyrics. James Bay’s songwriting is exceptional when it comes to storytelling. There is a calming within the music even though the songs are based around heartache and love from my perspective of the album. James Bay’s music allows me to dig deeper to find myself reflecting and writing on true love topic. A topic I never really touched up on for the last year or so, but a strength in my writing. As morbid as the album is with the subliminal messages, it still gives me hope in my love antic poetry and motivates me to just read other poets’ works when I hit writer’s block for my own.





1. Shinedown – Threat to Survival

Another album released in 2015, like James Bay, Threat to Survival is another motivational spark for my fitness playlist, as well as, life in general. I have this album on blast usually when I am driving myself to work or on road trips back home up North. The lyrics throughout this album is a 180 from their first album that I discovered, Leave a Whisper, during my own dark days of depression and alcohol abuse. It reveals the growing and maturity of the band and Brent Smith himself as he bettered himself for the purpose of fatherhood. I just love stories of individuals who conquer their demons in this world and work out like a beast instead of partying like a rockstar! So here’s a toast, and crank up the volume, because I am celebrating life with Shinedown!

It’s never easy to pick out my favorites when there is so much good music out there. You just need to know where to look and what bands to follow. Some honorees for this post includes TwentyOne Pilots (Blurryface), Keith Urban (Ripcord), James Blunt (Moon Landing), G-Eazy (When It’s Dark Out), B.O.B. (Elements), Sam Hunt (Montevallo).

If I didn’t have any social anxiety issues, all of these artists would be on my concert list for sure, but due to my anxiety, I’ll just sit here and jam out to these tunes with my headphones on in the gym or with the volume cranked up in my car.

Tis the Season… To Get Back To Writing.

I’m breathing, hastily, but still… I am breathing. You can either thank the harsh, wet winter or the fact that I have survived another semester of the college life. I should be happy working on a second college degree, but lately I been frustrated. These days all I want to do is write. Write, write, WRITE!
So of course I am working on my third book once again after putting it aside for 18 months and focusing on a largely transition in my life from moving to a bigger city, getting robbed in six months of living here, consuming my life with institutional training and now working a decent job. All of this gives me a hard time to let my creative juices flow naturally.
But there is a positive note for my challenges. I have written enough new poetry for a fourth book to publish within the next year as well, but I need to get my third book done first! My ADD has other plans though. I have no idea what theme or design to create my book cover or even a title for my fourth book.
So, I pinch myself to refocus on my current projects and to finish editing this damn book I been sitting on (figuratively, not literally) for the past year or so. Ironically how I am killing time while typing you up a livelihood of an update in my articulate journey.
Life is fucking crazy!
Okay, I feel better now that I screamed that out…

…In my mind and onto this blog.

Bottom line: The Road to Healing: An Equestrian Journal will be published on 12/22/16. Two years after my second book was published! Speaking of my second book, I need to go back and edit the format for that book and my first book to make it more readable for my readers and republish those collections. After that, I can figure out where to go with my fourth book.

For now, I need to snowboard through this two-part snow storm to get my ‘happy-ass’ to work for the evening. I am closing with a sneak peak photo and poem that will be in my new book.







Writer’s Block on the Low Key

Staring at my Chesapeake Bay candle, listening to the show Renegade in the background on the Heroes & Icons TV channel, and mentally beating my brain to force out the ideas that live co-existentially in there. This is a slow day. All I can think about is a detoxifying bubble bath to cleanse and mediate for a few minutes to redirect my body, heart, and soul beyond the distractions that seem to put up a brick wall. I can’t see what my curiosity aches for.

The week consists of 40 hour work week to keep on the tax radar and 40+ hours of school and study for my future as a videography adventurer into the wilderness. A complete 180 of what three months of nothing did for me, which was… nothing. No progress, no writing, all procrastination and struggling with moving past my first and hopefully last robbery I have experienced in this fairly new city I find myself in. The challenges of my comfort, truly tested. Um, to the point of keeping low key with my life and just surround myself with my past. I thought of going back to that lifestyle. The lifestyle that almost drowned me. Taking ten steps back wasn’t the answer. So questions were asked amongst myself while enjoying the reruns of shows like Renegade, Walker:Texas Ranger, Star Trek, Hercules, & Xena.

All this nostalgic TV series reruns on one of my new channels changed that procrastinating mindset, along with my new job and returning for my last year of college life. The week days aren’t easy. I sleep when I can between classes since my work hours are of my calling, on third shift. I barely have time to cook my meals and eat like I would like, so I find myself ordering pizza. I order a lot of pizza. Not as healthy as I want to be, but it’s pizza! It’s better than eating pizza rolls daily.

I hear stories from successful artists who are and have been in the main spotlight, so to speak. We all have one thing in common, we all make sacrifices to become bigger and better than our old artistic selves. Okay I lied; we all have two things we have in common. The second is motivation. Motivation to be more than what you see yourself and what others see you as. The universe is just that. For us to look beyond the life we all have been placed in. Mind over matter. Speaking of matter, I need to follow through my gym membership this week, because my mind says so.

My mind is also telling me to edit a video interview I shot on Tuesday, so I don’t get behind on my classes and I can continue on the YouTube series pre-production that I have came up with that could possibly change our lives, and not just mine. The world needs a voice, and this voice is finding new stories everyday to shine a light on during this chaos and attempts of order. So back to the writing I go, since I write better than I speak when I explain things of ‘Murica’ value or uneducated value and if the trolls don’t like it, fuck it. I refuse to live in fear, I refuse to be silent, and I refuse to allow others to tell me how to live my life. I will speak my truth, my visuals, and my peace. Now, back to your regular broadcasting…