Tag Archives: Goals

#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

It’s undeniably autumn! The year will be over soon. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I’ve made a few drawings this month, although I didn’t do one every other day as planned. I used photos as references for these (click on the smaller images to enlarge):

And I reinterpreted some of my favorite illustrators’ pictures:

And I entered a few  Zentangle challenges, posted herehere, and here.

I wrote four poems this month, and posted three of them, here, here, and here. (Yes, I know. I’m using the term poetry lightly. A couple of them are kind of prose poems.)

In October, I’m looking forward to participating in Inktober and OctPoWriMo. I know my limitations; I know I won’t make a drawing and write a poem every day. I’ll be happy if I do one or the other.

The last weekend of September I went on a writers’ retreat. (I’m coming home today!) I expect to start (in Scrivener) a project I journaled about twelve years ago.

I’m behind where I want to be on my blog. I have holes starting October 10 (though I have 90 posts scheduled between now and April 2). I keep telling myself the world won’t end just because I miss a day on ARHtistic License. I just like being dependable. I’ve posted daily for about two years.

I’m sending out queries to agents for my picture books. So far no nibbles. Sigh.

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I’ve signed up to be a contributor for A Writer’s PathSo far I’ve submitted one post. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll let you know when it goes live.

On recorder, I’m continuing to practice the last 13 pages of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. I’m chicken to go on to book 2, because it looks really hard. I have another book that I used with my sixth graders when I was teaching that involved improvisation, but I can’t find the CD that goes with it. And so I’m procrastinating on moving forward.

On guitar, I’m up to page 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. 

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on November 1, 2017, to share your progress during October. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

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#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

How are you doing on your creative goals? Only four more months in 2017. It’s a good time to assess our progress.

In August, I completed two sketches and colored some pages in my coloring journal.

 

On the writing front, I wrote six poems. I tried a couple others, but they just didn’t gel. I shared two on ARHtistic License, Paradigm Shift and Horsey Limerick.

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I’m currently three weeks ahead on blog posts. My comfort level is four weeks ahead, so in one sense, I’m a week behind…

 

I finished rewriting a third picture book manuscript, Lottie Loses the Lottery, which I am preparing to send out to agents. No nibbles yet on the other two, Gabe’s Garage of Goodies and Mine!

I bought the Scrivener software, and I am currently transferring The Unicornologist into it while doing another rewrite. Pretty soon I want to start reworking my 2015 NaNoWriMo project, The Night Runner, and I want to be familiar with Scrivener’s features by then.

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I’ve run The God of Paradox through my critique group, and I’m getting ready to do a dry run with my bible study group starting in October.

I’ve been struggling with fatigue this month, so there were lots of days that I didn’t practice my instruments. I’m doing better lately, though. I’m still practicing the duets in the back of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1 for the special secret project I’ve mentioned before. And I’m up to page 55 in Essential Elements for Guitar.

I performed in a choral concert on August 19. I’m planning to write a blog post about it soon.

Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on October 1, 2017, to share your progress during September. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

#ALCGC2017 August Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 August Check-In

I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I didn’t write any poetry during July, but I did make a little watercolor every day for two challenges I’m participating in, Index-Card-a-Day and World Watercolor Month. Here are some of my favorite cards from July (and last week’s cards are in a separate post).

I’ve submitted a second picture book manuscript to agents. No nibbles yet. Sigh. 

I’m still getting feedback about The Unicornologist from my trusted beta-readers, and it’s clear from their responses it still needs some work. Sigh.

frustrated-writer-2Since I’ve been spending so much time rewriting lately, I wanted to write a blog post on how to rewrite, revise, and edit your novel. It’s turning into a series. Look for it this month on ARHtistic License. I’m only about two weeks ahead on my blog posts, half my comfort level.

I’m making progress on guitar. My fingers are beginning to form chords on their own with less effort from my feeble brain. I’m up to page 52 in Essential Elements for Guitar. I’m also coming along on recorder. I’m working hard on the last pages of Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1. I still have a project in mind for the duets at the end of the book.

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Photo by David Beale.

And I’m singing in a chorus! It’s just a short-term thing. It’s actually a series of master classes for choral conducting students, but there will be a concert. I feel like I’ve been transported back to college days. Rehearsals started last week, and I’m stoked. I haven’t been in a chorus or choir for about twenty years.

Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on September 1, 2017 to share your progress during August.

#ALCGC2017 July Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 July Check-In

I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.Oil_painting_palette wikipedia

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

My routine tweak of reading Scripture while I eat breakfast is working out well for me. I’m also trying a new hack during my writing time of setting a timer for 45 minutes for working on projects, and then 15 minutes to look at social media. It’s important to update social media, but I can’t let it dominate my work time, or I never get around to my writing.

I still haven’t organized my study. I cleared off my desk a bit, but it’s cluttered again.

I haven’t written any poetry during June, but I only missed a few days of the Index-Card-a-Day art challenge I’m participating in.

I’m about twenty-eight days ahead on my blog posts; I want to be at least thirty-one days ahead.

I thought I was finished writing The Unicornologist, but I’ve sent it out to my beta readers, and the feedback I’m getting is directing me to another rewrite. <sigh> I was hoping it was ready to send out.7. The Unicorn in Captivity

My practicing guitar, piano, and recorder has been less consistent than I’d like. My evenings are reserved for practicing, but lately I’ve been so exhausted that I fall asleep watching a half-hour of television with Greg (he insists I spend at least that much time with him every day). I used to doze off in the evenings when I was still teaching. I don’t know why it’s happening during retirement. I certainly don’t have the same level of physical and emotional stress. Anyhow, I’ve made it to page 51 in Essential Elements for Guitar, and I’m up to the next-to-last page in Sweet Pipes Recorder Book I.

Enough of my whining. Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on August 1, 2017 to share your progress during July.

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#ALCGC2017 June Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 June Check-In

“The ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017” is quite a mouthful. I’ve created a shorthand nickname for it. Let’s use the Twitter hashtag #ALCGC2017 to tweet about our goals.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I’ve made a slight change in my daily structure. I used to do my scripture reading (I read a chapter a day and journal my insights–currently reading 1 Kings) when I sat down after lunch to write. If my writing time got delayed because life intervened, I was tempted to skip my Bible time–and often did. So I decided I would move my devotions up to breakfast time. Reading scripture early in the morning can set the tone for the whole day–and I want to be aligned with God’s purpose for me. For years I’ve been doing the sudoku puzzle in the newspaper every morning while I eat breakfast. But you know what–I can do it while I eat lunch! Problem solved. Since I started my new regimen, I haven’t missed my Bible time once.

I still have stacks of boxes in my study, but a couple of weeks ago we had new windows installed throughout the house, and I had to clear space for the workmen. So I consolidated some boxes and restacked them neatly, reducing their footprint. The room looks more organized, even though it’s just an illusion.

I am twenty-four days ahead on my blog, though my goal is to be a month ahead. I’m getting closer.

I haven’t written any poetry this month, but I’ve tried to, when I’ve found myself waiting and not wanting to waste the time.

The only art I’ve made is one more page in my coloring journal, but that will change shortly. During June and July I’ll be participating in the Index-Card-a-Day challenge and World Watercolor Month. Last year I posted my creations every day; this year my Tuesday posts will be a compilation of the previous days’ cards. I’ve bought some watercolor postcards, and I have a new technique I’m planning to try, so be sure to stop by ARHtistic License every Tuesday for the next couple of months.

I’ve finished rewriting another old story that I hope will become a picture book. I will be submitting it to agents in June.

I’m close to finishing what I think is my final run-through of The Unicornologist. I hope to send it on agent rounds in June.

I’m up to page 47 in Essential Elements for Guitar and the ensembles in the back of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1. I purchased The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 2. I think I’m farther along on recorder than I’ve ever been. 🙂

I’m continuing to practice piano, but my arthritic hands are preventing me from progressing. Three fingertips on my left hand are numb from playing guitar (Guitarists, is that supposed to happen?), and my fingers lock up sometimes, refusing to bend after I’ve stretched them to play very full chords. I can’t play as fast as I’d like.

Now it’s your turn. ARHtistic License was created to help encourage the creative community. I’d love to know how all of you are doing so far in 2017, so I (and ARHtistic License readers) can encourage you. Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. Check in on July 1, 2017 to share your progress during June.

#ALCGC2017 May Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 May Check-In

“The ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017” is quite a mouthful. I’ve created a shorthand nickname for it. Let’s use the Twitter hashtag #ALCGC2017 to tweet about our goals.

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I missed a few days of Scripture reading. I’m back on track now.

I haven’t gotten a handle on the clutter in my study. ARG!Palette bing free commercial

I’ve written no poetry in National Poetry Month.

I’ve done no artwork.

I’ve focused on getting a month ahead on my blog. I’m close.

I finished my rewrite of The God of Paradox into a Bible study, just working on it on Saturdays since the first of the year. I’m planning to test-drive it with my Bible study group, when we finish our current book (Hebrews).

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I’ve made good progress on rewriting The Unicornologist this past month.

And I received two paychecks for articles this month—my first writing paydays in seventeen years. “How to Hold a Writers Retreat” is in the May-June 2017 issue of Christian Communicator. (I forgot about that one—submitted it eighteen months ago.) And Primary Treasures bought my article, “Putting on Full Armor” for a future issue. (I originally wrote it twenty years ago. I’ve been spending my Sunday writing time rewriting and submitting manuscripts in my file cabinet from back in my freelancing days.)

guitarI’m up to page 42 in Essential Elements for Guitar and Unit 12 in The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. Making slow but steady progress on guitar, recorder, and piano.

So, I’ve had some successes and some failures this month—par for a creative’s life.

If your progress this year has been mixed, it’s okay to reevaluate your goals and adjust them. I set ambitious objectives this year, and I’m not doing as much as I think I’m capable of, but I am working my little buttinsky off.

Now it’s your turn. ARHtistic License was created to help foster growth among the creative community. I’d love to know how all of you are doing so far in 2017, so I (and ARHtistic License readers) can encourage you. Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. Check in on June 1, 2017 to share your progress during May.

2016 in Review

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2016 in Review

New Year’s Eve is a fitting day to look back evaluate your progress. Have you accomplished what you wanted to do this year?

Creative Goals for 2016:

I overdid it. Everything I’ve read about goal-setting since mid-year says don’t set too many goals. I guess 14 are too ambitious.

Here’s what I did and didn’t achieve:

  1. Continue work on my three major works-in-progress, The Unicornologist, The God of Paradox, and The Night Runner, and begin the submission process with at least one of them. I decided to focus on The Unicornologist. If it ever gets done, it’ll be my first novel to be published. I’ve been working on it on and off for about twenty years, and several times I thought I was I was on the verge of completion, but I just started my second major revision of the year. So, nothing is about to be submitted. However, ­The Unicornologist is a much better story than it was at the beginning of the year, so progress has been made.
  2. Write a poem a day. Take Writing 201: A Poem a Day. WordPress revamped its Blogging U, and Writing 201 wasn’t offered this year. I did not write a poem a day, but I did write a bunch of poems.
  3. Oil_painting_palette wikipediaMake visual art. Finish the online drawing class on Craftsy.com and integrate creating art into my week, maybe even take a class at the local community college. I did not finish the Craftsy course, or go back to college. But I did some zentangle, and I participated in the Index Card a Day challenge.
  4. Practice calligraphy. Fail.
  5. “Win” NaNoWriMo in November. Since I have so many unfinished works, I decided not to start a new one, and sat out National Novel Writing Month this year.
  6. Work humor into my writing. I’ve been reading How to Write Funny by John B. Kachuba, and I’ve tried a couple of humor pieces.
  7. File the papers stacked in my office so I can move in my sewing machine from the laundry room and start quilting again. Honest to goodness, I have spent hours on this goal every month, but my paper keeps multiplying. I still have two boxes of stuff to file. However, I joined the quilting ministry at my church, and so far I’ve made one comfort quilt, and three baby quilts for the Crisis Pregnancy Center.
  8. Practice zentangle. I did, a little.
  9. Write for the devotional markets. Fail.
  10. Write a piece for Huffington Post. Never got around to it.
  11. Color. No, though I did buy a cool Van Gogh coloring book.
  12. Practice guitar. Fail.
  13. Practice recorder. Fail. But I did practice piano for an hour almost every day.
  14. Rewrite and submit some of the unsold pieces in my files to new markets. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but this will be on my list for next year.

 

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ARHtisticLicense:

I didn’t specify any goals for my blog, though I intended to continue it and improve it. I posted every day in 2016.

These were the top ten posts of 2016 in terms of views:

  1. Ballet Feet
  2. Go Mobile
  3. All Things Unicorn
  4. The Yarn Creations of Jan Furtado
  5. Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum
  6. Collision of Science and Art
  7. In Praise of the Humble Recorder
  8. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee
  9. If I had my Life to Live Over
  10. ArtLifting

Have you read all of them?

The one I’m most proud of is the Art of Quilting Show, because of the sheer number of hours it took to take all the pictures (and then sort through about 200 of them), write the article, and design the post.

The one that surprises me the most didn’t make the list; it’s Arizona Fine Arts Expo, which only earned ten views. I actually reposted it from another blog I contribute to, Doing Life Together, which is not an arts blog, yet it netted me 135 views there. The post I authored that got the most views on Doing Life Together in 2016 was a memoir actually posted in 2015, Easters of my Childhood, which garnered 281 views in 2016, many more than any of my posts on ARHtistic License.

My readership is currently 206 as of this writing, which I know is substantially up from last year, but I don’t know by how much, since I didn’t record my number last year, and WordPress only gives me current follower statistics, not a growth graph. (Are you listening, WordPress?) Are you a subscriber to ARHtistic License? If not, please follow me. You can sign up on the sidebar on the right.

How about you? Did you meet your goals for 2016? Do you have goals for 2017? Have you written about your goals? Comment or share a link below.

Tomorrow I will post my creative goals for 2017 and issue a challenge to all my artistic readers and friends. See you then! And happy New Year!

Preparing to Set Creative Goals for 2017

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Preparing to Set Creative Goals for 2017

Last year I thought I did a good job of setting goals. I started the year with seven.

By mid-year I had fourteen.

Saturday I’ll tell you how many I actually accomplished in 2016.

Next year I’m going to take some advice I read in this article and also this one.

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I especially like strategy #3 in the second article, which involves taking the step of planning how you will achieve your goals. Genius!

If you would like an accountability partner for achieving your creative goals in 2017, take the ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge. This year, I will be setting monthly goals for myself, and posting my progress monthly. You can, too.

Start thinking about your goals now—New Year is next week! I hope you read the articles linked above and are considering how you’ll set priorities and schedule your efforts. On Saturday I’m posting my final update for 2016, and Sunday I’ll launch the Challenge for 2017, so be sure check back. (You’re welcome to visit ARHtistic License every day—new content about the arts and the creative process is posted daily.)

The ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge Third Quarter Update

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The ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge Third Quarter Update

Do you set goals for your artistic endeavors? I listed my 2016 goals on January 1 and I’d revised them quite a bit by July 1.

In the last three months I’ve concentrated on Goals #1 and #3.

7. The Unicorn in CaptivityI’ve been working diligently on my revision of The Unicornologist. I really want to be able to start submitting it before the end of the year.

As far as visual art is concerned, in June and July  I participated in the Index Card a Day challenge. I made a little artwork on an index card 55 out of 61 days. I overlapped with World Watercolor Month in July and painted all my index cards that month.

I am seriously reconsidering goal #5–to “win” NaNoWriMo this November. I already have two big projects besides The Unicornologist to finish. Maybe this is not the best time to be starting a new one. It might be a better use of my time to just focus on The Unicornologist. If I were going to participate in NaNoWriMo, I would need to be in the midst of preparation by now. So I think I’m going to let that one go.

Which leaves only eleven other goals to work on before the end of the year.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals? Do you have your progress posted on your blog? Feel free to leave a link in the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just give us an update.

And let’s meet again on December 31, 2016, to assess our progress and January 1, 2017, to set our goals for 2017!

The ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge Update

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The ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge Update

We’re halfway through 2016—time to take stock of how well we’re working toward our creative goals.

I started out with seven goals which I printed out and taped on the wall, and then added seven more on Post-it® notes.

I discovered that having that many goals, even though they’re all good objectives, just isn’t realistic. I know I’ll never make progress on all of these before the end of the year, and I’ll try to pare them down to realistic expectations for next year.

  1. 7. The Unicorn in CaptivityContinue work on my three major works-in-progress and begin the submission process with at least one of them. I’m focusing on the oldest of my WIPs, The Unicornologist. It’s not ready to submit yet, but it’s getting closer. I’m using K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel Workbook after the fact to find the story holes and fix them, and also to add more depth to my scenes and my characters. After that, I’m going to go back through and apply what I’m learning from Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More lecture note packet.
  2. Write a poem a day. Take Writing 201: A Poem a Day. I haven’t written a poem a day, but I have written some new poems. I’m working through the exercises in Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s poemcrazy. I haven’t seen WordPress offer Writing 201: A Poem a Day yet this year.
  3. Make visual art. Finish online drawing class on Craftsy.com… Well, I never went back to the Craftsy course, but I still want to. As far as making visual art, I’m currently participating in the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge, and most of my cards have been drawings, paintings, or Zentangles (see #8).
  4. CalligraphyPractice calligraphy. Since I bought my new calligraphy set, an entire ink cartridge dried up waiting for me to return to it. I still want to do this.
  5. “Win” NaNoWriMo in November. I still have time to prepare for this. I plan to begin my pre-writing in September this year, using Weiland’s aforementioned book. Pretty soon, I’ll be writing and pre-scheduling lots of blog posts so that I won’t have to write any in November and can concentrate on my new novel.
  6. Work humor into my writing. I’m reading a book my friend Betty Arthurs (one of the funniest people I know) recommended, How to Write Funny, edited by John B. Kachuba. I still haven’t written an actual humor piece. Hmmm. I’ll try to do that soon.Smily free wikimedia
  7. File the papers stacked in my office so I can move in my sewing machine from the laundry room and start quilting again. I actually have sorted out and recycled or filed tons of paper. However, the boxes labelled with “stuff to find places for” keep multiplying as we tackle the mess in the garage of doom and in our over-stuffed closets. We are finding lots of treasures that we’re enjoying after not seeing in decades, or are giving away to someone who can use them. And I have started quilting again.
  8. Practice zentangle. That’s a topic for a whole other post–come back to ARHtistic License on July 9, 2016 to learn more.
  9. Write for the devotional markets. I wrote a lot of devotionals in the 1990s, but never sold any. I’m a much better writer now. I should try again.
  10. Write a piece for the Huffington Post. You know what? This is probably my lowest priority.
  11. Color. Is it a bad thing that I have so many other things I could be doing other than coloring? Probably not. I’m holding coloring in reserve for a day I’m too brain dead to write.
  12. guitarPractice guitar. I have been a beginning guitar player for forty years. I have a gorgeous Ovation Celebrity languishing in a case. Greg bought me an amplifier for it. I want to practice. I can’t seem to get around to it. I am practicing piano almost every day, though.
  13. Practice recorder. During the last eight years I taught, I became a pretty serviceable recorder player. In the two years since I resigned my teaching job, I’ve hardly played at all. I want to get back to it. How do people who play multiple instruments practice them all? Any suggestions?
  14. Rewrite and submit some of the unsold writing in my files to new markets. In order to make room in my file cabinets for all the stuff that’s cluttering up my office, I went through many files. Some of my old pieces, written in the 1980s, were admittedly horrible and got relegated to the recycling bin. But others aren’t half bad, and if I gave them a facelift, could be marketed. I want to do this, but I think I should finish The Unicornologist firstI think next year I’ll commit to dolling up one old piece every month.

So, how are you doing on your creative goals? I challenge you to post an update on your blog. (Put a link to your post in the comments below.) Or if you don’t have a blog, simply share your progress in the comments below. And let’s meet back here on October 1, 2016, and update again.

And if you haven’t set any creative goals yet, it’s not too late! Think about what you’d like to accomplish in 2016–but you probably should aim for a few manageable objectives, unlike me!