Archive | June, 2013

The New Project

26 Jun

I’ve been working on a new project for a couple of years now (which I guess means it’s no longer “new,” but anyway). It’s part of my dream to be a creator of cool things.  For a while, the project didn’t really go anywhere.  It was a good idea, but we didn’t have the means to implement it.

Until about a month ago.

All of a sudden, things started happening on this project.  Pieces started to fall into place, and the way to make it a reality finally became clear.  Even then, I was hesitant to talk about the project, because I was afraid that everything would fall apart and I’d be left with broken words.

I was also afraid that people wouldn’t understand what we were doing.  Not because the project is unconventional or controversial, but because a large part of my OCD is anxiety over how other people perceive me.  I get stuck in loops of worrying over how someone will take a single word choice, and the more stressed I get, the harder it is to break the cycle.

But you know what? It’s time to stop being afraid.  The only reason we’ve made progress on this project is because we finally got up the nerve to ask for things to happen.

So, faithful blog readers, here it is. The new project.

Life Online

If you watched that and got all excited or wanted to learn more, I have really good news for you. (If you watched that and didn’t have such a reaction, this news will probably not help you.)

We are in production on the series.  The scripts are written, the actors are cast, the sets are built, the lights are about to be hung (I hope…), and the costumes are planned.  But we’re still in need of some help.

Specifically, we’re in need of some financial help.  The camera and audio rental is going to cost us $500.  We’ve put up a fundraising site to help raise the money, and we’re already halfway there, but if we don’t make our goal, the camera and mics will have to go back early.

This means that even though we have a volunteer cast and crew and donated space, we could still miss out on making this happen simply because we don’t have a camera to film with.

I’m not very good as asking people for money, but if you have $5 to spare, that will get us an extra day with the mics. $10 gets us an extra day with the camera. As a bonus, all donors will get their names in the credits of the show, listed on our Sponsors page of the website, and maybe even in the show itself.  We’re also releasing bonus sneak peeks of the show for every $100 that we raise.

If you can help us out, the donation site is  If you can’t donate, please help us by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, carrier pigeon, skywriting, or whatever other means of communication you like.  Every dollar we raise goes to making the show, and earns you the undying gratitude of the 15 people involved in the project.

You can also follow the production news on Facebook by liking Symbios Productions, or on Twitter by following @SymbiosCo.

Thank you.

13 Years Ago

15 Jun

13 years ago, I was a socially awkward 13-year-old girl in a hotel room just outside of Asheville, North Carolina.  I was on my way to summer camp for two weeks.  I’d been to sleepaway camp before, every year since I was 7 in fact, but this was the first time I was going to a camp out-of-state.

13 years ago, I had just gotten a call from my dad telling me that my half-sister had been born.  It would be six weeks before I would meet her, and she’d throw up on me the first time I held her (We got past that first rocky start though.  Btw, happy 13th birthday Lindsey).

13 years ago, I had no idea that the place I was heading to would turn out to be the defining place of my life.  All I knew was that I’d seen it on TV, and I didn’t want to spend another summer at girl scout camp.  I wanted a camp where I could learn to shoot a bow and arrow, climb a rock wall, swim in a lake, and do it all without anyone knowing who I was.

13 years ago, I lived in the shadow of my family- my mathematical genius older brother, my compassionate elementary counselor mother, and my personable younger brother.  I didn’t share their aptitudes, and I certainly didn’t feel like I ever fit in. This summer camp was my way to figure out who I was on my own terms, without my last name preceding me.

13 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I spent a total of 7 years at Camp Highlander, starting as a camper and working my way up from counselor-in-training, to barn staff for the riding program, to certified lifeguard and founder of the camp swim team (Highlander Hammerheads forever!).  There were rocky years, such as my first year when I wrote my mother every day asking her to come and take me home (she didn’t), and my last year when my graduate school admission was botched and I had to leave two weeks early to try to sort it out (I couldn’t, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for my academics, but that’s a different story).  However, the good times far outweighed the bad.

The memories that I made, the friendships that I formed, and the lessons about life that I learned over those seven years on Old Forge Mountain have made me into the person that I am today.  I told a boy that I liked him for the first time at camp.  I cared for a newborn foal and mourned the loss of another.  I told bedtime stories about a giant pickle in a grocery store to a cabin of 6-year-olds who are now leading cabins of their own.  I learned a lot about the songs of Van Morrison and The Beatles while sitting around a campfire, and how to dance to Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” in a hand-built wooden gymnasium.  But most of all, I learned who I am.

I have grown out of my social anxieties, discovered my own strengths, and yes, even learned how to shoot a bow and arrow (thank you, Terry, for never giving up on a more-than-slightly dangerous left-handed archer, even as the rest of my cabin cowered behind the benches).  I am comfortable with who I am (most of the time, at least), and I know I wouldn’t have gotten here without those summers on the mountain.  Even though I find myself stuck in Georgia every summer now because of the demands of a grown-up full time job, I carry a piece of Highlander with me every day.  A song on the radio, a sunny day with a breeze, even the sound of kids playing in a swimming pool can take me back to those summers in a heartbeat.

13 years ago, and every summer since, my heart goes just north of Asheville, to a camp that’s been sitting literally on the side of a mountain since 1946.  And I could not think of a better way to spend my time.

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