When I think back on 2013, I see it mostly as a super-frustrating and unproductive slog, where I was very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very far off my ideal game.
Due to a confluence of many factors, much of 2013 was physically painful, and mentally and emotionally…I don’t know the adjective…what’s the word for draining + soul-ripping + hopeless + hopeful + tiresome + tireless + cautiously triumphant? Anyway, 2013 was tough.
But apparently it wasn’t quite the total zero that my reflex memory says it was. Because when I went to tally some of my tangible accomplishments, I came up with all the stuff below. It made me feel better. I knew I was trying to get stuff done amid the muck and mire and foggy sloggy molassessy morassessy blechhness. Turns out I actually was!
For a lot of reasons, I tend to think of this past “year” as stretching to around 15 months, ’til back around September of 2012, when things took a series of tough turns. That’s probably one reason “2013” has felt like such an arduous slog to me. (Smart thinking, Lance!) But it also has the benefit of pumping this list up considerably, because the end of 2012 was also when I briefly had an assistant. And when I have an assistant, I jam. So some of the stuff here took place in later 2012, or got started then.
(For the record: with my imaginarily-supersized 2013 coming to a close, I’m officially rejoining you conformists as regards measuring years. 2014 = 12 months, starting now.)
This began as one blog post, but as it tipped toward 4000 words with the end still far away, I decided it was a multi-parter. :-) So here’s part 1: Web and Work Stuff.
I launched The Internet Sherpa and Lance Magazine
For a long time (a long time ago), my presidential campaign blog (now my old presidential campaign blog) was my main expression outlet.
When that got retired, I wasn’t really looking to replace it, but I needed some sort of web presence and place to post things, if only for my family and some of my clients. Lancebrown.org (later branded “The Real Lance Brown”) became that for several years, but it always sucked at it. It had no identity; it was half work/tech stuff, and half personal stuff, and half political/creative stuff*; as a personal site, it was boring, and as a professional site, it was unprofessional. Among other problems.
I have long been on a quest to make my personal site something more useful, meaningful, informative, and fun. The “Lance Magazine” concept came to mind in like 2009 or 2010, and mostly just gestated for a long time.** It was actually the professional side of things that forced my hand. I just needed a business site, which didn’t force people to wade through the randomness and TMI-ness of my personal site, and where my value proposition was stated clearly on the front page, and so on.
So The Internet Sherpa was born. And because I was moving the relevant lancebrown.org content over there, it started to look increasingly dumb to keep that old site going at all anymore. It was time to suck it up and launch whatever version of Lance Magazine I could manage, to handle the personal/creative/political/etc side of my output. (And to move the relevant stuff from “The Real Lance Brown” to.)
So that’s what I did…originally launching in “beta/draft/under construction” mode, to cover my ass for the fact that the site was terrible. I’ve since taken that qualifier down. The site is no longer terrible. It’s still got a long way to go before it’s really doing everything I want it to, and the design is wanting, but there is stuff there that is interesting and useful and beautiful and other good adjectives, especially if you are a fan of me or are into the things I’m into. Lance Magazine‘s slogan is “So much Lance, you’ll puke with joy”. I can only hope I live up to that for you this year. :-)
Both sites have an email form where you can sign up to be updated when new stuff is posted. You should do that!
*I bestow most things with three halves these days. It really opens things up!
**In a given year, probably 90% of what I’m “working on” is mostly gestating (meaning that my subconscious is doing most of the working), waiting either for the idea to be ready, or (more likely) for me to have the resources to put it into action. I have projects that have been gestating for 5 or 10 years or more. (My voice recordings are also a big part of the gestation process. More on those in part 4.)
I got a bunch of new clients
I’ll be highlighting my clients on their own throughout the coming year, but here’s a quick list of some of my new clients from the past year:
- Cannon Law P.C. – Lawyers (Bill Cannon and Mike McConnell) in North Carolina
- The Refinery Celebrity Resale Boutique – Designer clothing resale store in Las Vegas (and online)
- Orange Drive Hostel – Boutique hostel in Hollywood, CA
- Sarasota Cottages (rental cottages in Sarasota Florida) and Olde World Painting (house painting in the greater DC area), both owned by the lovely O’Keefe’s
- Barrett Property Management – Property management company in my old stomping grounds of Nevada County
- Craig Johnson Plumbing – plumbing services in Nevada County and surrounding areas (formerly/merged with Mark Davis Plumbing, also a client)
- Berkshire Money Management – Financial planning firm in my hometown area
- Christine James, Northern California lawyer and proprietor of Broad St. Executive Suites
- John Krol / OneEighty Media – communications consultant, broadcast journalist, and city councilor in my birth city Pittsfield, MA
- Nevada County Fair – California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds
- Puma Construction – stamped concrete, rubber overlays, and driveway resurfacing in Bucks County, PA
- James Mottern – Writer/Director
- John MacDonald Insurance Services
I built a bunch of web sites for clients
I’m pretty sure I’m missing some here—and these will all be featured in their own right someday, as I highlight all my projects individually—but here are some of the sites I designed for others in late 2012 and 2013:
- Chris Berry – King of Me (original design)
- Decumanus Green (WordPress conversion of existing design)
- JohnKrol.info (original re-design)
- Krol Ward 6 (WordPress recreation of an existing design)
- Pay it Forward, Berkshires! (original design)
- Orange Drive Hostel (WordPress recreation of existing design)
- The Refinery Celebrity Resale Boutique (original design)
- Kathy Sheffield, MFT (original design)
- Berkshire Family Focus (design collaboration with owner)
- VJ’s Salon and Day Spa (original design, replacing my old design from ~5 years ago)
- Stand Up For Pits (original design…though I didn’t make that logo, or any of these logos)
- OurHorses (modified existing theme)
- Nevada County Fair (implementation of another designer’s design into a WordPress theme)
- Puma Construction (original design)
- Barrett Property Management (design collaboration with owner)
- Craig Johnson Plumbing (modified existing theme)
- Don Willis Music (with Preston Design Group; theme created from Louise Preston’s design)
- Emandale Chorale (with Preston Design Group; theme created from Louise Preston’s design)
- Bonnie Connor PhD (with Preston Design Group; theme created from Louise Preston’s design)
- Blomberg Training USA (with Preston Design Group; theme created from Louise Preston’s design)
Here’s a gallery of screenshots from the above list (click any of those links to visit the sites themselves):
EDIT (1-4-14): Added four sites to the list of sites I built. I knew I’d forget some!