Putting Faith To Purpose

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So a few weekends ago, I had a homecoming of sorts as I was back in the Atlanta for Gaylaxicon/Outlantacon. The con was a smashing success but that was to be expected. I had a wonderful time reconnecting with my Outlantacon family and adding new additions to our merry band. This was also to be expected.

Enjoyed the panels I was on and the ones I sat in on. I had an incredible time and I didn’t want to leave, This too was  to be expected.

What wasn’t expected however was the revelation I would receive repeatedly during the weekend and the moment I returned from Atlanta.

In addition to the con, I also had the chance to catch up with my best friend, my brother, William. We caught dinner and caught up with each other’s lives and we both discussed the hardships of  the job-force. Our discussion forced me to ponder on what I’m doing with my life. Am I happy working the day job I worked? Am I content in my writing career? And as I expressed to Will, there’s more to life than the day-to-day rat race that we’re forced to endure.

A similar discussion emerged when I caught up with my other sibling and fellow storyteller, Amaya Radjani when she brought me up to speed on some exciting opportunities that she’s been offered. I found myself asking again, where am I? Where am I going? Am I happy? What am I going to do about it?

When I was younger, I swore that I was never going to become the guy who asked where did he go wrong in life and why is he stuck in a bad predicament. The signs kept pointing that there was something I had to learn this weekend, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Then the damndest thing happened. While I was in the hotel room, the movie Office Space was on. Of all the movies HBO could’ve played, they played the one movie where the protagonist was facing the same dilemma that I was facing at that time, that weekend.

I stopped believing in coincidences years ago. Call it Fate, call it God, call it some sophisticated probability, the message was being given loud and clear, it’s time to step out on faith and fulfill my purpose. I didn’t know how this was going to happen.

And no sooner did I return to work on Monday did some foolishness pop off and I knew right then and there, the time had come for me to move on and to fully embrace my purpose in life.

And what is my purpose?

I’m a bard, a storyteller. It is my art, it is my blessing, and the curse I’m burdened with. I have to write to stay sane. Whether it’s penning a blog entry for Livejournal, formulating an essay speaking out on the issues of minorities, utlilizing visual art to convey a story or share a profound truth, or writing another novel, this is my power. Like a shaman who uses his gifts, words are my tools to build, to aid, and in certain cases my weapons to protect. I share my story and the stories of others. I share our truths in an effort to make the world just a little bit better.

I had no qualms about working the dead end jobs while my writing took off but now I’m realizing that it’s time to kick it up a notch. I believe I’m meant to be doing something greater. And going forward, I’m going to attempt to restructure everything to work towards that purpose.

Regrets, I have none. As far as the past goes, I did what I had to do and I made the best decisions I was able to make with the information and resources that I had at my disposal at the time. Besides, I don’t think it was my time then. But I definitely believe my time is now.

I don’t know what all of this means or where I will end up but I definitely know that this is the path I’m  meant to be on. While I’m being mindful and wise about the choices I make, I’m not afraid and I’m not stressed out. For me, that’s saying something. That’s actually saying a lot.

I’m moving with purpose and stepping out on faith. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I get the feeling it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

March Madness!!!!!

So starting next month business begins to pick up for me. In addition to editing and writing, con season kicks off for me.

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Exciting news! Yours truly will be back at MidsouthCon this year. Even more exciting is that I get to kick it with my good buddy Cherie Priest who is one of the Guest of Honors.

Oh yes. It’s about to go down.

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As you can see, my schedule is about to pick up and I can’t wait. I’ll be back at Norwescon this year. I’m very stoked to see all of my friends again and kick it with some awesome peeps. Seattle is one of my favorite cities and I’m always up for the chance to get back there. So if you’re in the area, definitely stop by and join us.

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To say Gaylaxicon/Outlantacon in Atlanta is a homecoming for me would be a major understatement. Can’t wait to see my family, be home and just party it up all weekend. And you will want to be there. No really, you will want to be there.

Outlantacon Schedule

I’m about to log off, hit the road and head to Outlantacon. My internet access will be sparse but I will be checking in.

Here’s my Outlantacon Panel Schedule for this weekend:

Saturday

1:00 PM  How Not to Get Published: When dealing with ‘traditional’ publishers (be they major, large, small, indie, etc) the submission process is critically important. Learn from our experienced pros what you should do by hearing examples of what NOT to do when submitting your work to publishers.
Panelists: Lee Martindale, Kiernan Kelly, Dennis Upkins

2:00 PM Latest in Gay Comics: A popular panel topic each year at OutlantaCon, our panelists detailed look at the comics companies, both major and indie, to find out who is doing what with queer content.
Panelists: Joe Phillips, Darren Nowell, Scott Tatum, Dennis Upkins

3:00 PM Character Creation and Development: Learn from our experts some tips and skills in developing interesting and engaging characters in your work.
Panelists: Hushicho, Kayelle Allen, Dennis Upkins

5:00 PM The Blogging Author: The Art of Self PR: In the world of independent publishers, print-on-demand, and a very flooded literary market, it really does fall onto the shoulders of the author to promote him/herself and his/her own work. Learn from one of the very best what it takes to succeed in today’s literary landscape.
Panelist: Kayelle Allen, Dennis Upkins

6:00 PM Teen Fiction: The Young Adult market has become a hugely successful and influential aspect of the publishing landscape, from Harry Potter and Eragon to Hunger Games and Gossip Girls. Our panelists talk about the major players in the field; attendees are encouraged to bring up their favourite teen series as well.
Panelists: Eugie Foster, Kiernan Kelly, Dennis Upkins

7:00 PM LGBT Literature: What’s happening in the world of LGBT lit? Our panelists talk about the state of queer publishing, what’s hot and what’s not, and make recommendations to readers. Bring your own recommendations to share with the group!
Panelists: Kage Alan, Kiernan Kelly, Dennis Upkins

Sunday

11:00 AM DC Rebooted … Now What?: With the big major relaunch of every DC title this year, the company has opened up its future to go anywhere it desires. But where are they headed? We’ll look at how this reboot has affected both DC and the market at large, and we’ll talk about where DC might go from here.
Panelists: Joe Phillips, Darren Nowell, Scott Tatum, Dennis Upkins

12:00 PM Job By Day, Writer By Night: Let’s face it … its tough to make a career from writing. The majority of writers have a ‘day job’. So how do our author and filmmaker guests juggle creating fantasy worlds and gay romances at night with computer support, database design and other mundane careers during the day? There’s got to be some funny stories there….
Panelists: Shae Connor, Eugie Foster, Paul Bright, Dennis Upkins