Archive for the ‘Graphic Design’ category

The Rundown

October 28, 2015

Wow!! You haven’t heard from me since Saturday because I’ve been super busy! I’ve been swamped from: the gym; to the printer; to meetings and a hearing and more meetings to come; to homework and school politics; and the completion of my Killer Frost cosplay.

This busy week is far from over. I still have: two all day meetings; an early morning to work magic, become Killer Frost and turn D into The Scarecrow; and a Friday night dinner party at my house! It never gets easier, but it’s all worth it and rewarding when I can breathe!! So what do I have to report?? Hear is the best news from the last four days.

#1 !!!~
On Sunday, I hit my personal best on the dumbbell bench press with two 50 pounders for 12! That means my 1RM for that movement may be 70z!! I love it!! It’s straight comedy to Google pics of women using dumbbells for this (which is why I choose this pic). They are always like 3 to 5 pound weights. Commmee on! Really?

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••NOT CUTE••

#2 !!!~
The Tony Hillerman Writers Conference is next week and I completed the program. I met with the printer yesterday and signed off on the proof. Yeayyyyy!! The final looked awesome and I added great quotes from writers this year! I had some resolution issues with Adobe InDesign, but got it all figured out in perfect time. Phew!

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••MY 2015 PROGRAM DESIGN••

#3 !!!~
Tonight I put the final stitches into my blue velvet, Killer Frost dress. This cosplay keeps with the trademark icy theme of this super villainess. I attached icicles to the bottom of the dress. Tonight I stitched in the sparkling tulle and silver snowflake cape. Hopefully I can pull this frozen look off. I’m hoping this cosplay comes together just right early Friday morning.

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••A HINT OF KILLER FROST••

P.S.
I was HQ in 2013, though I liked Poison Ivy better in 2014. Interesting that this year in the news, Harley Quinn is the Most Popular Halloween Costume Nationally on Google Search. That’s old news to me. This year be like a sea of Harley Quinns. Like Young Jeezy says in his awesome song Me OK“Mister if I’m talkin’ you should listen, game is free OK.” Maybe in 2017 everyone will be Killer Frost?

Book Jacket by Candlelight

August 7, 2015
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•••Felicia's preliminary designs for the jacket of a new book.•••

This week was a super busy week for me. I need more hours in the day!!!! I was slammed at work, had a bunch of meetings, straight killed it in the gym and then came home to work more every night until tonight! Most of my evening work was creative work, which is good, but I was up last night until after 2:00am. I am so tired. A two hour workout featuring bi, tri, shoulder and trap monster sets means I’m tired and wasted!

From Monday thru Thursday, I edited over 100 images for a Santa Fe author. She needed many things done in order to mail the beginning parts which will coincide with her manuscript to her publisher. The images needed to meet publishing specs. I also designed a mockup jacket for her upcoming book, which required a large amount of image extraction. It was a stressful, but fun project with many long nights!! Hopefully the publisher will run with my design.

New Site Theme: In Another Dream

June 25, 2015

In creating my new site theme and gravatar I cloned images of a dream catcher I made almost two years ago. It is the only dream catcher I have ever made and it was very special. The piece was completely laced in gold as that is the most precious metal. It took me several hours to make. I felt inspired to create it.

Looking back at the photos of my catcher last night made me sad because I actually broke something I put my full heart into. Only the trinkets I so carefully picked out for the golden web remain, one of which was a tiny jar of wish dust. One day I will make another… when I muster the courage to dream again.

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Crime Writing: Here is to a Killer Future

June 19, 2015

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Yeah… I would say crime writing is a viable option for me. I knew that before I worked and attended day one of “Finding Your Inner Sleuth.” It was a great day. I love learning and with every bit of knowledge I get, I feel more and more empowered. I want to be both a physical and intellectual monster! I’ll be Queen of Iron and Ink!!!

All of the presenters did a great job today! I had such a good day. My bosses keep pushing me to write a book, and I’m getting closer to jumping. I love that I have found my place in the world of writers. I fit in there like hand-n-glove. I learned some interesting things from Detective Mark Manary, Christine Barber, Dr. Irene Blea, Laura Sanchez, and Don Bullis.

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I’m looking forward to working in Albuquerque again tomorrow! I wanted to share some of the photos from today and a few of the more interesting things I learned. Here is to a killer future of crime writing!!!

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Interesting things about Detective Mark Manary:

å He went into homicide work because he is the survivor of an unsolved cold case. In 1989, his father was murdered.

å His career in law enforcement started as a military cop with the Air Force.

√• He went to a Handwriting Analysis School, where he “learned so much about writing and the use of words.” 💜’ed that!!

å He is President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP- Albuquerque Lodge#1).

å He had to read and look at data for six months straight to get up to speed on the West Mesa murder cases.

√• His first step as lead in the 118th West Mesa Murders Task Force was to secure the records room. He allowed only two keys. 💜’ed that!!!

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Interesting things about Author Christine Barber:

√• She is an amazingly smart woman, former journalist/editor, and friend who I have known for years. 💜 her!!!

å She took the show hands down today!!!

å Her current research into the West Mesa murders will likely give Detective Mark Manary great tips.

√• She is working with an anthropologist who is using scientific techniques to conduct soil analysis for potential West Mesa murder burial sites. 💜’ed that!!!

√• As part of her research for her new book “Rules of Survival,” she has completely emerged herself into the world of sex workers in Albuquerque.

√• She is now publishing the “Bad Guy List.” It is a freaky scary, but informative printout which highlights Albuquerque’s criminal activity.

√• She knows a lot more than anyone I know about serial killers, sex acts, what they cost, who is involved, and the dark fate of Albuquerque’s sex workers.

√• I met Christine years ago… not as an archivist, but as a writer. I invited her to the archives to conduct research for her book “When the Devil Doesn’t Show.” That book is about David Parker Ray, the “Toy-Box Killer” from Mountainair, New Mexico. He was a suspected serial killer. Though no bodies have ever been found, Ray is said to have murdered at least 60 people between Arizona and New Mexico. Together, Christine and I uncovered possible burial locations on mining property owned by Ray.

A Crime Writer’s Ad

June 13, 2015

The latest ad I designed looked better than I thought in the Albuquerque Journal last Sunday (see An Ad to Attract Crime Writers). I had converted the design to a halftone image in a test and it didn’t look that great. Luckily the settings the Journal uses for printing halftone is finer than I thought! Tonight I finished the program design for this portion of the Literary Landscape Series. Just in time!!!

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•••Ad designed by Felicia Lujan•••

An Ad to Attract Crime Writers

June 4, 2015
2015_LiteraryLandscapesAd_BW_Final

~~Ad Designed by Felicia Lujan~~

Today I received the final approval for an advertisement I designed last week. It is scheduled to run in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday. I’m really excited to have been asked to design this particular ad for the 2015 Tony Hillerman Literary Landscapes Series. The ad is for a 2-day workshop titled Crime Writing: Finding Your Inner Sleuth (which we all know I have already found). I’ll be working the workshop on June 19th and 20th in Albuquerque at the South Broadway Cultural Center as part of the Wordharvest/Tony Hillerman Conference staff. The ad went through internal approval, as well as approval by the Cultural Services Department of the City of Albuquerque. When I sent it to the ad rep for the Albuquerque Journal, he said it was “beautimous!” I took that as a compliment being that he has seen so many! It will not look as good halftone, but it will run in a newspaper. I have been doing a lot of design work at night and I love it. I’ll be talking about some of the other projects I have going on soon.

Most of you know that I have been called “The Darkivist” and “The Dark Archivist” at work. This workshop is right up my alley. I have helped with research on several law enforcement investigations over the years. There are going to be 10 amazing speakers during this 2-day writing workshop, but there are two that are going to be very interesting. Detective Mark Manary will talk about being a member of the 118th Street West Mesa Murders Task Force. He has worked with the Albuquerque Police Department for 16 years. These murders mark a very dark time in New Mexico history. The buried remains of 11 women were discovered in 2009 by a woman walking her dog. The remains were discovered on the mesa in Albuquerque. The case is unsolved and the murders are believed to have been committed by a serial killer. Later that day, Dr. Irene Blea will talk about her research for her new book Daughters of the West Mesa. I’m really looking forward to the crime writing workshop.

WestMesa_Lectures

Appreciation and 2014

December 31, 2014

I have to say…getting messages like this from an intellectual who also walked the world of modeling makes me happy. Good to know that I made a creative and intellectual difference in 2014 for this author with a doctorate.

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2015 is a go!

December 26, 2014

Looks like I’m in again for 2015 with the Hillerman Conference. I just received this email from Jean. I gotta say…it makes me feel good to get a message like this from one of my two smart boss ladies. I like that they appreciate me!

I truly enjoy making a difference in any way I can and being respected as an intellectual. Anne was also really happy with the photos I took of her. I can’t believe I have been working with this conference for 5 years already!! Time passes so fast. I just went back to find my first post about the conference.

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Pray for Gainz

December 15, 2014

I designed a new web site theme and gravatar. This one is called “Pray for Gainz.” I may rework it a little bit more, but the quote is staying put. I like it!

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Unique Identifiers: A Closer Look at Biometric Technology in New Mexico

December 3, 2014
Biometrics_by Felicia Lujan_December2014

|Biometrics~ A digital composite by Felicia Lujan. This composite is composed of 13 layers, 8 masks, 3 color overlays, and a Gaussian blur. The composite includes images of binary code and components of ocular, palm vein, and voice recognition scans.|


**NOTE: This research was
not intended to promote or
renounce the use of biometric
systems, though I do find the
technology extremely interesting
and useful in most cases. I
understand that the use
of this technology is considered
controversial by some. I intend
to continue my exploration into
how biometric technology is
being used around the world
for the greater good.

________________________________
I am an archivist with a deep love of technology, which is one reason I pursued a masters level certification in digital information management. A little over a week ago, I was in a meeting that reignited my interest in biometrics. I must admit that I was naïve in my assumption that my state was not a pioneer in this industry. First off, I didn’t know that the central nervous system of New Mexico state government (aka the State Data Center at the Department of Information Technology) utilizes biometric technology as a method of security. After that meeting I came home curious about how involved New Mexico is when it comes to biometric research and implementation. The writer, the researcher, the analyst, the special agent in me took over and that night I added biometric engineer to my list of dream jobs that I would love to have. So…what type of education does a biometric engineer need? Most commonly, a biometrics engineer has: a computer science degree; a computer language certification like Java or C++; and good problem-solving, people, and technical skills.

I found an informative link online titled “Become a Biometrics Engineer: Education and Career Roadmap.” Hum? Well, according to this plan, there are only 7 “popular schools” specializing in advancing a career in biometrics. The page said that “biometric technologies include complex equipment designed to analyze personal identification markers unique to each individual, such as fingerprints, ear lobes, vein patterns, voices, and iris shapes.” Through this research, I discovered that the technology is not limited to “individuals” or people here in New Mexico. I did know that biometric engineers were software developers, but there was a lot that I didn’t know before I embarked upon this research over the Thanksgiving break. Ear lobes? Veins? Hum? Didn’t know those were used as unique identifiers? We are all well aware of the TV shows touting the sexy use of biometrics, like CSI and most recently my beloved Scandal, but that’s just on TV right? A dead guy’s index finger couldn’t possibly be used to confirm his identity? Could it Shonda? Maybe I should ask Chien Le?

The most information dense white paper I discovered was written by Chien Le of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in November of 2011. Le wrote A Survey of Biometrics Security Systems and his research introduced biometric security systems. It also outlined application fields for biometric technologies, solutions, middle-ware and software, advantages and disadvantages, acronyms, and the future uses of biometrics. Damn! Chien Le beat me to the punch didn’t he?! Here it was…all laid out for my thirsty mind. Le’s paper says there are “seven basic criteria for biometric security systems.” These are “uniqueness, universality, permanence [hummm?? Do I hear digital preservation?], collectability, performance, accessibility and circumvention.” I don’t completely understand some of the criteria, but it was very useful to read over the types of biometric solutions outlined by Le. Current technologies include: facial recognition detectors, fingerprint readers, voice recognition, iris scanners, vein recognition, DNA biometric systems, and 2D barcode scanners, among others.

This technology can have good uses, but there are many privacy advocates who are against the use of any biometrics. In December of 2013, Scientific American published Biometric Security Poses Huge Privacy Risks by Oliver Munday with a byline which read “without explicit safeguards, your personal biometric data are destined for a government database.” The article starts with the sentence “security through biology is an enticing idea.” Yeah it is. Is that all it is though? An idea? I think not. Maybe I’m not worried about privacy as much as I should be? The article is basically a call to United States Congress for “lasting protections against the misuse of biometric data.” Munday quoted an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who seems to fear that biometric data will be used genetically to test for criminal predisposition. I’m actually not sure that’s a bad thing? I guess my only concerns at this point would be relative to health information and insurance coverage. When it comes to physical security and data security, personally, I think that biometric technology is necessary. It is a way to uniquely protect data, which in the end equals the preservation of knowledge and heightened security.

Over the weekend I started whittling through what I found. I read a great deal of articles and a few white papers before I started to look at projects going on closer to home. The more I researched this topic, the more information I found. I was most interested in how biometric systems actually work, so I focused my mind on the technical aspects. I had questions like…what are the major components of a biometric system? Who uses these systems? One of my questions was answered in Le’s paper. I have a sore throat now, so last night I wondered…what if a person needed to use voice recognition and something was wrong with their voice? How is that accounted for in designing a successful system? According to Le, there was no solution. A voice recognition system will not recognize a hoarse voice wave. So now that we have some background on the basics of biometrics, let’s take a look at what I found going on right here in my state. I was able to locate information on at least ten concrete areas where biometric technology is being used in New Mexico from at least 2003-2014. I’m sure there are many projects I missed, but frankly, this could be a thesis and maybe even a dissertation. This is just a quick look at highly visible projects I came across over the last week.

We will start with the New Mexico Department of Information Technology (DoIT) since it is a meeting with this office that rekindled my interest in this technology. DoIT is “responsible for infrastructure IT services provided 24x7x365 which includes: the State’s telecommunications system, two-way public safety radio, digital microwave, the State’s core data network and internet connectivity, and the State’s Data Center.” It is here, in the State Data Center where biometric technologies are being used for data security. I felt impressed with my state when I learned that and tomorrow I will get a tour of the center. “The State’s Data Center provides a secure facility with redundant power and cooling which houses many of the State’s critical IT systems including the State’s mainframe and agency servers. This division also provides enterprise system services which include the State’s consolidated email system…” It will be interesting to see what type of biometric security the agency is using as of late. I am guessing a finger or palm scanner?

The two strangest projects I found information on were tied to the use of biometrics on kids and animals in New Mexico. On April 3, 2013, there was a news release put out by KOAT (channel 7) titled Los Lunas School Offers Biometric Scans at Lunch. What? Seriously? Yes. Seriously. The school apparently tried to implement a palm vein scanner in the lunch room instead of good old meal tickets or cards. Parents were not happy about the suggestion of using infrared wavelengths (electromagnetic radiation) during the lunch hour to ID their children. The parents fought off the proposal which would have allowed scanners to recognize a unique vein pattern in the child’s palm and they won. I wasn’t sure which seemed stranger…scanning kids or scanning animals? I also read about how the New Mexico livestock industry is using Retinal Vascular Pattern (RVP) for livestock identification. RVP is the pattern of blood vessels at the back of the eye. It’s is being called the new way of branding animals. I wonder how ranchers feel about that since they must prefer the old burn and freeze methods? What’s a brand without cowboy symbology right?

I discovered that the national labs and the air force bases are also using biometrics. Of course, this was no surprise. I read a white paper Chris Aldridge prepared for Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in June of 2013. Sandia Report No. SAND2013-4922 is titled Mobile Biometric Device (MBD) Technology: Summary of Selected First Responder Experiences in Pilot Projects. This report was concentrated on the use of MBDs to enroll individuals in databases and perform “identification checks of subjects in the field area,” for “military, law enforcement, and homeland security operations.” The report was a multi-agency/multi-state project with 3M Cogent Systems and involved: Iowa, Colorado, California, D.C., Texas, Washington (Seattle), Arizona, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Idaho. I think the most interesting part of this study used a “mock prison riot” for first responders out of West Virginia. We all know how critical that information is given New Mexico’s prison riot history. Many of the agencies studied for this report are using “Fusion devices.” Fusion was developed by 3M Cogent Systems for the Department of Defense. A large part of studies in this field are tied to law enforcement, but currently the technology trend is leaning towards cyber security.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says biometrics are important because they: secure facilities, protect access to computer networks, counter fraud, screen people at our borders, and fight crime. The NIST says this technology is used to manage identities for: first responders at the scene of a natural disaster, border patrol, soldiers in theater, and police officers on the street. It makes sense that the following projects are closely related to the projects cited in the Sandia report. In New Mexico, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uses the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) to support criminal justice DNA databases. The National DNA Index System or NDIS is part of CODIS. The FBI uses biometrics to analyze data from DNA databases and for latent print analysis. Holloman Air Force Base is using the 49th Security Forces Defense Biometric Identification System which is comprised of hand-held scanners. The scanners are used to screen people entering the base to verify the access authorization. Identity is established using barcode technology and fingerprints. In February of 2011, it was announced that Santa Fe County was using biometrics to “remove aliens convicted of a crime.” It can also be noted that between 2003 and 2005, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) researched the use of biometrics in handgun grips while working with a New Mexico biometrics company. The NAE was interested in developing biometric grip sensors, but a 2005 report declared the tests a failure.

I also located evidence of the health care systems in New Mexico using biometric technology. The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) offers Biometrics Screening Services as part of Employee Health Plans. These screenings are said to align with recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Ommmm…Maybe this is where my privacy fears rest? In 2013, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine released a Joint Consensus Statement on Biometric Health Screening for Employers. According to the “statement,” the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines biometric screenings as “the measurement of physical characteristics such as height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and aerobic fitness that can be taken at the worksite and used as part of a workplace health assessment to benchmark and evaluate changes in employee health status over time.” I am a fitness freak, but that seems crazy? What if something is wrong with me and I don’t know? The statement outlines the “purpose of screenings” and I found it kind of scary. What if they find out I experience shortness of breath or I’m genetically predisposed to cancer? Will they drop me from my insurance plan?

In New Mexico health circles, I also located a “Fingerprint Techniques Manual,” which was prepared by the New Mexico Department of Health. The manual had very interesting graphic illustrations on the fundamentals of fingerprints. This training tool covered from patterns to arches to loops to lines to deltas to cores to whorls to scars of the fingerprints. The machines can read all these intricate things. The Division of Health Improvement uses this technology as part of the Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program. Makes more sense than the biometric screenings. I feel comfortable with this use. This type of use can protect people from abuse or other forms of criminal activity. I was rather impressed with the 36 page manual. It reminded me that about 15 years ago I applied for a finger print technician position with the Department of Public Safety. I was crushed to learn that these people don’t make very much. I don’t know…I guess you have to be a biometrics engineer to make it out there!? What I do know is that I found a great deal of information about how New Mexico is actively participating in the biometric industry.

I gained useful knowledge through this research into biometrics and then regurgitating what I learned. My son just asked me what I was writing about and when I told him he looked at me with the curiosity that I love and see in myself. I told him “I’m writing about biometrics. Do you know what that is?” I explained with words and then decided it was easier to show a nine year old a catchy tech video with visual candy. Together we learned about the future of biometric systems. Between October and November of this year there were several videos on the use biometric technology. The National Science Foundation released information on a project by a young man studying the use of ocular biometrics in the video game industry for disabled people. In October the Telegraph out of the United Kingdom released a video declaring that we would simply kill passwords with biometrics and CBS news declared that biometric palm scans will help keep hospitals secure.

The future of biometrics is here. It is everywhere and happening all around us. Biometrics is about identifying who we are and not who we say we are. Tonight I learned that the most accurate method for a biometric reading is the heartbeat or an electrocardiogram (ECG). Makes sense ha? It’s symbolic actually. Symbolic because the heart is at our biometric core. It is the giver of life. The heart represents how we feel and who we are. That beat is indeed is a unique identifier.


Sources:

News release, Santa Fe County and All New Mexico Now Benefit from ICE Strategy to Use Biometrics to Identify and Remove Aliens Convicted of a Crime, released on ice.gov, February 15, 2011

White paper, A Survey of Biometrics Security Systems by Chien Le, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Washington University, November 28, 2011

News release, Los Lunas School Offers Biometric Scans at Lunch, released on koat.com, April 3, 2013

White paper, Mobile Biometric Device (MBD) Technology: Summary of Selected First Responder Experiences in Pilot Projects by Chris Aldridge, Sandia Report No. SAND2013-4922, prepared by Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, June 2013

Article, Biometric Security Poses Huge Privacy Risks by Oliver Munday, released on scientificamerican.com, December 17, 2013

Publication, Fingerprint Techniques Manual, prepared by New Mexico Department of Health, Division of Health Improvement, Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program, no date

Various internet searches for basic information in articles and videos

Dreamcatcher by Felicia

December 1, 2014

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Unveiling of CB McKenzie’s Author Site

November 20, 2014

I’m finally ready to unveil the new author web site I designed for CB McKenzie!! Take some time to visit cbmckenziejr.com. If you have feedback, I’d love to hear. The site is off to a good start!

His book tour is going well. He has gone from New Mexico to Arizona to Texas. CB will be in Texas making appearances until he heads to Mississippi on the 28th. In December, he will be promoting his book in California. Check his new web site for details.

Bad Country is now available on Amazon and is near the top of Kindle for PI books!! The First Edition hardcover sold out in a week!!! I’ll be writing a book review soon!!

CB McKenzie | Author + Professor + Truck Lover + World Traveler + Model

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~~~Web site design by Felicia Lujan~~~

Bitter Sweet Belladonna

November 12, 2014

I have uploaded a new and improved theme and gravatar for my web site. The new site design features my Poison Ivy cosplay and a quote from Ambrose Bierce… “Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.” Awesome!!

You have to like the works of “Bitter Bierce” right? His satire is remarkable! He was an American military man. Later, he was an editor and journalist who also wrote short stories. He was known for his “nothing matters” motto. Ironically, as a writer, I’m sure everything in his world mattered. A look at his writing will reveal that he was hurt by someone he loved.

Bierce would have liked the comic book character Poison Ivy. Unfortunately, she was birthed with ink in 1966, over 50 years after Bierce was last seen somewhere in Chihuahua in 1914. Poison Ivy is a fictional, toxic woman he would have appreciated.
🌿🌿🌿💀🌿🌿🌿
“You’re dead and buried, darling. Sorry love. You’re plucked.”

••••~Poison Ivy’s game over lines from Batman: Arkham Asylum 🎮
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Highlights of the Day: Tony Hillerman Writers Conference 2014 (Nov.6)

November 6, 2014
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~CB McKenzie and Felicia. He wanted me to hold the ad I designed for him.~

It was a long day, but it was a good day! I spent the day learning, networking, and documenting. Here is a chronological look at my highlights:

8’ish~ I received an awesome text from my friend. It read… “Hey there busy lady! Have a wonderful hillerman conference! U never cease to amaze me with your endless energy and enthusiasm. U r an inspiration!! Can’t wait to hear all about it…” I can’t tell you how good it is to have people who show they care about me in my life. I’m lucky to have met her.

8’ish~ I received an email from author CB McKenzie. He said he was in Santa Fe and wanted to meet with me before leaving town.

10’ish~ Heard lots of good things about my program design.

1’ish~ Happened to see my favorite cabinet secretary, who is also on the commission for my agency at the conference headquarters. He was there for some meeting and we chatted for a while. I told him about my “other life” as a writer and creative force. I loved that he wanted to steal me away to go work for him at State Printing after I showed him the program I designed. I assured him that I loved my career in the archives and had no plans to leave.

3’ish~ The best writing teacher I have ever known, Sandi Ault, complimented me. She liked a super short piece I wrote during a timed exercise in her pre-conference workshop. After I read it she said… “Nice! There are agents in the room. Stand up. I want everyone to see you Felicia.” I was sitting on the floor in front because I was taking photos. If you knew Sandi, you would know why this is a big deal to me. She is amazing and very hard to please. The task was to write 3-4 sentences describing King Kong’s love (without calling it love) for the blonde the first time he held her in his hand. Here is what I wrote: “The animal in him melted away with the brush of her pale skin. A tingle ran through the thick palm of his hand. Years in the jungle had not hardened him enough to deny the softness of her face.” This evening she told me I’m a good writer. She heard other stuff I wrote during the workshop.

4’ish~ I had a meeting with CB McKenzie and sealed a deal. I’ll start working on an author web site and promotional material for him soon.

6’ish~ Got to hang with my two law enforcement buddies who are also writers and regulars at the conference. Betsy (lieutenant and spokeswoman in Oklahoma) and Sana (an officer in Texas). Both woman are originally from New Mexico. I just love Betsy. She kicks ass.

7’ish~ Watched some awesome videographies created by the Film School students of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. The Screen hosted a short film screening and panel presentation moderated by Justin Golding. It was about bringing a novel to the big screen. The panel included Melinda Snodgrass, David Morrell, and Kirk Ellis, who have all had their writing featured on the big screen and TV. I loved that Ellis said… “Our job as writers is to make shit up!”

It was a good day! Gotta get up super early tomorrow so I’m going to bed early. The new book/new author breakfast starts at 7:30am.

Completely Dedicated to My Passions

November 5, 2014

I can’t tell you how good it felt to hold the final, professionally printed program in my hands tonight. What a gratifying moment. I know it is going to be appreciated by the awesome community of writers and creative spirits I will be surrounded by for the next 4 days. I am really proud of myself. Why? Here are some of the reasons.

1) I have a full-time position in the archives, which I love…so I did this on my personal time. I worked countless hours. I stayed up until the crack of dawn on several nights for three months until my eyes felt like they would fall out of my head.

2) I was asked to design this after earning the professional respect of two amazing women over several years.

3) I completely mastered a new program in this process. You can call me an Adobe InDesign (desktop publishing) master now! I have now made the Adobe suite my biaaaa.

4) I designed most of the ads in this program. The full-page ad I designed for an author was secured for an oversized redesign for a major book tour by a PhD who was recently awarded the Hillerman Prize. It also secured a meeting with him in the next few days to discuss a potential design/promotional partnership.

5) I have proven that if you put money last and you follow your heart with selfless sacrifice, the rest will fall into place…eventually (if you stay positive and dedicated).

And lastly…

6) I made the deadlines!!!! The 2014 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference starts tomorrow. I will be the official photographer and I’ll document the conference on it’s 10th anniversary!

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