December 19th & 20th – Car ride and New person

What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?

The most memorable car ride of 2009 would be the weekend trip mom and I took to Asheville and back. One Saturday after work, I rented a minivan and the two of us drove up to Western North Carolina to get the remainder of my boxes from my move. A friend had been storing them in her basement.
I ended up driving the whole way up to the mountains, as I really wanted to get there as quickly as possible. The drive back, mom and I shared driving duties. The ride back down to Florida was long and felt as though it would never end. That point b just felt like it was taking an eternity to reach. We made a number of stops for caffeine fixes and food. In the end, we opted to stay overnight in a hotel in Florida as neither one of us could muster to drive any further. For the first time in my life, I paid for a night in a hotel, entered the room and quickly passed out in one of the beds in my clothes. Definitely not a pleasurable stay in that hotel for neither one of us. We then awoke about five hours later to complete the final wing of the trip, which was about two more hours worth of driving on the interstate. All in all, a bit of a not-so-fun trip, but one I most likely will never forget for a long time.

She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

This prompt is definitely the one that got my brain going into deep thought mode. Just who is my unsung hero of 2009? Well, I don’t have a boyfriend, nor have I dated anyone this year. The love arena has stayed rather unexciting and silent as of late. And, I didn’t meet any new friends that have done anything incredible. So, where does that leave me?
My “new person” of 2009 is me. I began the year as the old Shannon and am ending it as the new Shannon. While I am the same person overall, I believe that I have undergone a transformation due to my health journey. Losing 73lbs changes a person. It changes a person for the better. For the first time in my life, I am a confident person. I love myself and believe that I am worth all the good things that come my way. Never thought of myself in that way before. Putting myself first and foremost has done a lot of good. Sure, I have gone through times where I was not necessarily the most likable gal in the room, but I think that I have grown a great deal lately. The weight loss and moving are two big reasons for all of this. Nice to be able to appreciate myself. I firmly now believe that you must love yourself before you can expect anyone else to. For all those reasons, I believe I am my own new person.

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This blog post is in response to Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge.

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December 17th – Word or phrase

A word that encapsulates your year. “2009 was _____.”

2009 was full of changes. Yeah, just can’t go with just one word there. This was a year that started off as a roller coaster of a ride and has continued to go through the ups and downs of the track along the way.

At the start of 2009, I was unemployed and in all honesty, desperate for work of some kind, anything. I had returned to Central Florida from the beautiful mountains and all I wanted was a paycheck every week or two that would pay the bills and help me get back on my own two feet. Thankfully, my prayers were answered not long after the New Year’s ball dropped. On February 2nd, I started my current call center job.

My weight loss journey was still at the forefront of my mind back in January. I had only just begun my weight loss about three months prior, so I still had a ways to go. By April and my birthday, I was close to where I hoped to be, but was seriously struggling with self-image issues. A great support system aided me in getting over that mountain of a challenge and by the summer, I was 70lbs lighter than I was when I began the journey to better health.

Creatively, I’ve gone through good and bad this year. Thanks to Debbie & Joe’s wedding last year, my excitement for photography had returned while I was still in Asheville. After getting my tax refund, I was able to purchase my first DSLR in late April. It quickly began my new “baby.” I was more than excited about showing it off to anyone who would listen to me ramble about it’s awesomeness. In early May, the camera came with me to Asheville for a quick in-and-out trip to collect the remainder of my belongings that another friend was holding for me in her basement. It was a good feeling walking around downtown Asheville with my new camera firmly in hand, even if it was only for a few hours that sunny Sunday afternoon.

Writing-wise, I’ve been through a number of highs and lows this year. When I first got back down to Florida, I told myself that it was a good time to really sit down and write. That I not only had a lot to write about, but that I need to utilize the free time I would now have until I found a job to do just that. Unfortunately, I did not do this. Instead, I found myself depressed and uninspired. I was waiting for inspiration to walk up to me and punch me in the nose. I now know that not only will inspiration not do this, but that I was naive to even think that it might happen in that way. Inspiration usually does not just jump out in front of your car in the road ahead waving its arms wildly. It comes as you are working and doing all that you can. You need to be open to inspiration, not just sitting there calling out its name. So, after months of excuses and not writing more than I absolutely had to, I had nothing but notebooks full of blank pages. Gradually, I got back on the writing wagon and got my butt in gear. While I had been writing prior to NaNoWriMo, it was this event in November that really got my writing ignited again. I now write something everyday again like I had been doing and I feel like I’m not that lazy, procrastinating writer that I was most of 2009.

Another big change in my life this year is that I went vegetarian in October. After having considered this option in the past, never did I seriously think I could or would do it. But, I decided to give it a go for health reasons. I felt that cutting out meat and making myself try new veggie meals would better my health and maybe help me lose the last few pounds that I had been trying to get rid of. After just a few weeks in, I then educated myself about the treatment of animals in regards to dairy cows and chickens, as I was still consuming milk and eggs. As soon as I took in the reality of how free-range was not the free-range I had believed it to be as well as considering my lactose-intolerance situation, I gave up anything animal derived. I am now a vegan. Admittingly, I am still working on the lifestyle part of being a vegan (getting rid of leather shoes and what have you), but I no longer eat anything that comes from an animal. I am happy about my choice to become vegan and feel better than ever for it. Definitely no regrets in the slightest.

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This blog post is in response to Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge.

December 13th – Changes

I discovered this neat challenge via Carly’s blog. It is a challenge created by blogger Gwen Bell. To read more about The Best of 2009 Challenge, please check out Gwen’s blog.

What’s the best change you made to the place you live?

Well, presently I am living under my parents roof. I am living here for a few more months until I move back up to Asheville, North Carolina next summer. That said, there is not a lot of changes I can do less for within the room I call my own for the time being.
If I have to narrow down one change I did to the room that stands out, I would have to say displaying the majority of my writing and crime books in the room. It is inspiring to see them right out in the open when I’m writing or merely seeking a bit of inspiration in my day.

Now, once I get back into my own place in 2010 (won’t be just me, will have one or two roommates), I plan on of course displaying the great books, as well as my DVD collection (which has shrunk in the last year). Also, I will be showing off photos of family & friends and some of my favorite photography shots that I’ve taken in the last few years. Lots more will go into my new place, that I know. 🙂

The future and change

Back in 2005, I began my comic creating adventure with my first baby, THE LINE. I was full of enthusiasm and excitement for what lie ahead for myself and my new creation. Soon after I completed the script for the first issue, I found my partner on the book in artist Eric Gravel. Eric and I just clicked right from the start creatively. His initial sketches along with his own eagerness he brought to drawing the book really pushed things forward. A few months later, and there I was, at Wizard World L.A. with issue #1 in my hands behind the Ronin Studios booth. The feeling I felt in not only having something I worked hard to create in my hands, but in being out there at a comic convention sharing it with others was like none other.


From 2005 until this year, I attended as many comic book conventions as I could. I have enjoyed every moment of the ride. This adventure has taken me from Florida to New York to the previously mentioned California. I regret none of the experiences I have had since embarking onward as a comic book creator, not even the bad ones. Every single experience and moment has helped me learn and grow not only as a creator/writer, but as a person.


That all said, sometimes life brings forth new opportunities. I believe this is exactly what is happening for me right now. In the last year, I have gone through tremendous changes in my life. All of the things I went through from 2008 to this time now here in the year 2009 have pushed me in new directions. In short, I moved to Western North Carolina in June 2008 and ended up back here in Central Florida by the beginning of December 2008 due to job loss. In addition to the moving back and forth, I began a weight loss journey in September 2008 (more on that in previous and later blog posts). These things happening in my life along with all the recent experiences this year have changed me. I believe change is a good thing, and this belief stands with my current whereabouts. I feel like a caterpillar who has finally gone into her cocoon and emerged with a new vision on the world around me.

What does all of this have to do with comics you are asking yourself? Well, I have decided to stop creating comics. At least for the forseeable future. Now, I will be completing the HYPERSONIC mini with co-creator Chris McCarver, as well as getting THE LINE #4 in print, but beyond that, no more. This decision in no way has to do with not loving the comic book medium or creating comics. On the contrary, I love and will always love comic books. This decision has to do with the feeling that I need to return to my writing roots, so to speak. I began writing as a kid in school with short stories and for the school newspapers and have been yearning to return to this sort of writing. I want to return my focus to journalistic and creative writing again. Yes, I could still be writing my comic stories at the same time, but I want to truly focus my efforts in this area and I feel that this is the way I need to go for now. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day, and I am working eight of them, and commuting there and back with another hour and a half, so free time is few and far in between most days (not to mention my workouts in the mornings). So, I have decided to just focus myself and narrow things down a bit for now. This could change however…so you may just see another blog post from me in a few months stating I am writing THE LINE or what have you…this is just where I am mentally right now. I felt that for those following the books, they had a right to know what was going on. To all those who have been there, supporting myself and THE LINE since 2005, you have my sincerest appreciation and thanks. Your loyalty means a lot to me. Thank you.