Category Archives: Victoria Morris

Creating The Time

Vickie - TimeThere’s a schedule we keep in our house that is to say the least, busy.

I’m sure many of you reading this will nod your head right along with me when I say that my entire week, every single week, is pretty much mapped out by the needs of my family and the coming things in our schedule that make me simultaneously a tiny bit crazy, and very thankful for the iPhone calendar.

The neat thing about the busyness, is that I’m thrilled by what it entails. My oldest daughter is a World ranked Black belt in Tae Kwon Do. We travel all over the country, and Canada for tournaments. It’s fun and exciting to watch her continue to do so well.

The not-so-neat thing, is that the regular practice and classes she needs and wants take up the majority of that schedule.

I have a younger daughter that seems to fall into the cracks of: “what can I do” or “when is it my turn?” It’s definitely a subconscious worry of mine, that she gets pushed into the background. Often, and unintentionally.

That can also be said for my creative endeavors.

I put my family first in everything. Except on those days when I push for me — like in attending Superstars Writing Seminars, or to help at a Comic Con. But every time I do — I feel like I’m betraying the family I’m not with.

And every time I choose my family over writing or drawing, I feel I’m betraying the family of characters and stories in my head.

The balance between these is what I most struggle with as an author/artist/wife/mother. The same questions that I worry about for my little girl, are the very same I have to ask for myself. What can I do to make more time for writing? When will it be my turn?

When 2015 was yet to begin, as most people were making New Year’s resolutions, I had an overwhelming feeling that 2015 would be the year I finally would publish something. I had no idea what that something would be, but I felt this indescribable joy.

That feeling did turn into reality. But I struggled throughout the year to continue to find the time to write and draw. Even in writing this post, I had to fight to work it into the schedule, and felt terrible about how long it took to come up with the idea.

And that’s when I realized, I need to just stop worrying.

I am the kind of person that will feel bad about things not in my control. The kind that will beat herself up for not doing enough. I also have to continuously tell myself it’s okay if I don’t finish everything on the to-do list. I have seriously had to remind myself that the things I do for my family are enough — that they are great things.

There have been many nights I’ve gone to bed (always the last, several hours after the house is quiet) feeling absolutely sick at not creating something. Anything. Even just one sentence.

It’s taken years to realize that that is okay. That what I do has value, even if it’s heading the routine that keeps the schedule humming. Or finding, then working in ice skating lessons for my youngest.

I need to just stop worrying.

That’s what I’ve found this year most of all. The thrill of seeing my name on the cover of an anthology with several friends is a dream come true. But getting there, I had to work around and through the schedule to create the time to brainstorm, write, edit, and deliver that piece.

Somewhere in this year — where I continued to berate myself for not doing or being enough — I coauthored a book that I also illustrated, I drew a cool tattoo, I wrote my eighth novel (during NaNo this last month) and I’m currently working on illustrations for a friend’s novel.

I don’t know how I did all that. I don’t know where or when. But I did.

I just need to stop worrying. Because I somehow, always can find the time. It’s there.

My house stays clean, (I can’t work on anything for *me* if it isn’t… just can’t.) my family schedule stays running, and I get to do the things I love.

As I get ready for 2016, like last year, I feel the overwhelming sense of getting something else out there in the publishing world will happen. I don’t know what it is yet, nor do I know how or when it will appear. But I do know, I’ll find the time for it — somewhere. And along the way, I may get to see my oldest become a World Champion, my youngest start playing hockey, and my husband actually take a full family vacation.

Just stop worrying. You will find the time.

If that’s the one thing I can give to my writing friends, I think I did good there too.

About the Author: Victoria Morris

Victoria MorrisVictoria lives on the edge of a misty magical forest in the Pacific NorthWest with one husband, two daughters, a big white dog and one huge resident bald eagle that likes to circle over her house when she brings in the groceries. A lifelong artist and writer, Victoria is building a universe inside her head that has taken form in a six book fantasy series, with a middle grade trilogy on the side. While illustrating the world and all its characters is always on her mind, she draws portraits in her spare time to relax. Find out more at www.VictoriaDMorris.com.

Where Sweltering Heat Meets the Inner Geek – Guest Post by Victoria Morris

 

 

– Guest Post by VictoriaMorris

Phoenix-ComiCon-Logo

I’m fairly new to the comic con scene. My first foray was a two hour visit to Emerald City Comicon here in Seattle, just so I could get a feel for the crowds I figured I would have to deal with — in preparation for the trip south later that summer for the 2013 Phoenix Comicon. Since the noise and the commotion only made me happy to be there, I figured I was good to go.

Phoenix proved it could bring its own unique spin. First, it is HOT. And when I say hot, I mean, I’ve lived in Arizona, and have wonderful memories from that time. But Phoenix at the end of May, beginning of June feels like you’re the egg frying on the sidewalk. The convention planners are smart though, and as they grew, they moved operations into the convention center — handy, since that’s right across the street from the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The Hyatt runs misters along the outside of their building, making the walk much more comfortable. And it’s literally just one crosswalk away to the front doors of the southwest’s inner geek heaven.

The main floor of this con, where you’ll find the artist, author, and comic alleys, is built below ground. It’s cool, comfortable, and seriously easy to navigate. Within minutes, I knew my way around, and was more than comfortable to assume the job I had traveled 1,200 miles for: to assist at The Coppervale Marketplace booth with James A. Owen.

I spent then, and continue to spend now, the majority of my time at James’s booth. For some, I’d bet you’d think that would be boring — especially when the likes of Richard Dean Anderson, Nichelle Nichols, or John Barrowman are high on the special guest lists. Believe me, being at this booth is anything but boring.

My first year there, I got to play photographer for James as he met Dean Cane. Superman meeting an actor who played Superman. Super cool, right? Oh it gets better! That year, Terry Brooks was also a Guest, and he came to visit with James not once but twice. Right there, just hanging out. He invited James to dinner with he, his wife, and his sister. Just a small gathering, and let me tell you — watching an author you admire bounce like a kid in a candy store because an author he admires invited him to dinner… yeah, that doesn’t stink. When it came time for that special meal, I made sure James wasn’t sidetracked by adoring fans or the thousands of comic books in his path to the doors. And while James chatted with friends, Terry came down. He smiled that endearing smile, and asked if I would be joining them. I shook my head. Oh no, thank you Terry, but this night is for you and James. I waved them off and went back to the booth. Have you ever met Karma and shaken her hand, right while you knew you were? I knew right then and there, Phoenix Comicon would always be my favorite event.

Each of the last three years I have traveled to work the show. No longer just a hand at the booth, I took over most of James’s con planning because of the ease I found in Phoenix. And I know a lot of that is because they do such a wonderful job taking care of their guests, artists, authors, and every single one of the 55,000-80,000 attendees.

This last year they rearranged things to make the lower levels easier for everyone — celebrity guests were all moved upstairs, giving the lower level several more rows to work with that had been designated as line-place-holders in the past.

They also changed management. And with that came a high focus on guest comfort. At least three times a day, we had a staff member come by the booth to ask if we needed anything. And when we did, we had it within minutes.

From a fan perspective, I noticed they were much happier with the newer setup. I always have wonderful conversations with the people who come to Coppervale’s booth. We usually have a lot in common. It probably doesn’t hurt that I could talk about a certain series of books every single day for the rest of my life and still not get enough of them. But here, I always find new friends, get to show them some amazing art, and even sell them books that I truly cherish. Sometimes I think I’m getting more out of the deal than they are.

Every one of the three years I’ve attended, Phoenix has made me feel like I’ve come back home. Every warm home, both literally, and in heart. I couldn’t put a number on how many people living there are friends to me now thanks to this convention. And because of that, I will attend for as long as I am able to.

Some other additions: Last year, Phoenix added a Fan Fest event that took place in December. Though smaller, and more focused on the comics side of the show, it was a success, and Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2015 will again take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. This year it runs December 4-6.

The important information: Phoenix Comicon updates their site well, and is currently set to the Fan Fest event.

Where: For Phoenix Comicon: Phoenix, Arizona

Venue: Phoenix Convention Center

When: June 2-5, 2016

Costs:

  • Attendees – If like past years, Comicon 2016 passes will come available for sale in December once Fan Fest concludes, with a cheaper sale price ($45 last year for Full event) running through the new year. After the holidays, the badges will go up to regular and at-the-door price. ($55-$60)
  • Hotels sell out quickly. The Hyatt will start taking reservations in January for the con block of rooms. There are several other options; The Renaissance, and The Sheraton for example, but they too will sell quickly. Should you wish to attend, plan accordingly.
  • Vender booth –
  • Artist Alley – All pricing to be set after Fan Fest.
  • Author Alley –

Guest Writer Bio:
Victoria lives on the edge of a misty magical forest in the Pacific NorthWest with one husband, two daughters, a big white dog and one huge resident bald eagle that likes to circle over her house when she brings in the groceries. A lifelong artist and writer, Victoria is building a universe inside her head that has taken form in a six book fantasy series, with a middle grade trilogy on the side. While illustrating the world and all its characters is always on her mind, she draws portraits in her spare time to relax. Find out more at www.VictoriaDMorris.com.