Forward Movement with the Four Agreements 

It’s been three days since I gave up social media and started to focus more on my spirit and surroundings. I have done extended social media breaks before but this time feels different. When I left social media in the past, the first few days were filled with anxiety because of FOMO – FEAR OF MISSING OUT. I would wonder what hilarious hashtags were trending on Black Twitter or if I missed some big news on Facebook. Eventually, I would settle in to my social media-less existence but I always felt slightly uneasy. I have built most of my freelance career and connections on Twitter, so it was always hard to sign out and delete my app. 

The past few days have felt incredibly liberating. I haven’t given social media a second thought and I don’t want to sneak a peek at Facebook or Twitter (the only two social apps I use because I’m an old lady). My creative juices are starting to move from a trickle to a light stream as I do more research and world building for Orion’s Chains – my upcoming science fiction/fantasy novel with a Black woman protagonist. I’m mapping out and creating rules for her world. It gives me indescribable joy to create this body of work and I hope to be finished by Summer 2018! 

I am also spending more time reading. I just ordered Don Miguel Ruiz’s best selling book The Four Agreements. The novel is an Oprah fave and discusses beliefs that limit our potential and cause us to live less joyful, fulfilled lives. I have heard about this book for years and now I’m finally going to give it a try! I’ll be posting my thoughts and the connections I make with my own life here. I found this handy chart of the agreements on the book’s website fouragreements.com: 


My meditation and prayer practice has made a triumphant return and I feel less stressed overall. I have a big writing assignment due at the end of this month, so meditation before bed has helped me wind down after my nightly writing sessions. 

My goal for this blog is to post on Sundays and Wednesdays…for now. Hopefully, more people will become invested in my journey and I’ll have time to squeeze in an extra post 🙂 
Have a great day and live well ❤️

-Tai Gooden 

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The Story of my (2017) Life

 

Hey hey everyone! I’ve been missing from this space ALL YEAR LONG – even after I said I was going to do better. I’ll admit to my big ole lie and honestly say that I prioritized other things over updating my blog. In many ways this has been great – I’ve had a chance to write for new places like Syfy Fangrrls and I’ve continued to do coverage at conventions in several states. But in other ways it has been awful because I am paying for this URL name so I need to utilize it and share my work on this space. I can’t use my own website as a solid reference point when I am seeking new work and that is NOT okay!

Are you ready for my true life confessions aka word vomit? Here it goes…

I went to Vegas in July and had a great vacation with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law. But when I returned to Virginia, I found myself in a constant state of unrest. I felt like I was slipping in several areas of my life. My finances were not where I wanted them to be, I felt spiritually broken, and I was not satisfied with my progress as a writer. I looked around my home and it was a cluttered, disorganized mess. Yes, I have two small children so I don’t expect it to look like a magazine cover. But, there was too much stuff everywhere I looked and it reflected how I felt in my mind and spirit. I was confused, disheveled, and on the verge of shattering into a million pieces. There had been some major changes at my job, so I quickly contributed all of my problems to work and kept pressing forward. I had a lot on my plate there and I was gearing up to do DragonCon coverage for BlackGirlNerds. I marched through August in a proverbial haze and went through the daily motions of life. I worked, cleaned, ate, slept erratically, and prepared to make my way to Atlanta.

DragonCon was a blast as usual. It gave me a few days to escape my mess of a life and focus on doing what I loved – taking cosplay photos, interviews, live tweeting, and writing panel notes. I came home feeling exhausted, but living on a convention high until I returned to the reality of my life. It’s funny how running away, even if it is for my freelance work, didn’t change a damn thing at home. I became even more in tune with the issues in my own world. In the middle of rolling out convention coverage, I sent my oldest daughter back to school and began to adjust to her new life in a gifted student program. I grinded hard at work to keep up with the never-ending changes in a fast-paced environment. I filled large black trash bags with clothes and things we didn’t need anymore and gave them away. I started tuning into podcasts like Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday to try to find something to satisfy my soul. I started feeling like I was healing, but there was still this wave of unhappiness under my skin and I could not shake it. I confided in my husband and he had no answers, but he did present me with a few interesting questions.

He asked me what I needed to take away and add to create the life that I wanted to live. I spent some time thinking about it and I came to a few realizations. First, I wanted to feel like I had a living and (writing) work space that reflected who I was as a person. I looked around and my house didn’t feel like a home. It was just a sleep and hangout space filled with things that didn’t reflect who WE were as a family. I realized that I needed to do more than purge – I needed to organize and rearrange spaces to add my personal touch to them.

Next, I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be as a writer because I wasn’t investing in my craft. I was sporadically working on a book that made me well up with excitement and passion when I thought about it. I was trading that passion for articles and other writing assignments that put some extra cash in my pocket, but weren’t helping me grow and develop as a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed doing them but I needed new challenges. I wanted to dive more into content marketing and move away from website work. I wanted to dedicate more time to my book and take more courses to help me learn how to become better at world and character building. I wanted to stretch my wings and do different things, but I was too comfortable and afraid to allow myself to take the chance.

I realized the combination of a stressful work environment and displeasure in my writing and home spaces were all contributing to my spiritual downfall. I was falling in bed at night like a zombie and forgoing prayer. I woke up frantically in the morning after missing multiple alarm clocks and I would shelve my morning meditation as I rushed to barely get to work on time. I was leaving my spirit malnourished and it was beginning to chip away at my patience and overall health. Persistent headaches, dizziness, and random nausea became a daily part of my life.

Today is October 1st, 2017. It is the start of a new month and the last quarter of the year. I am stepping away from things that distract me and often disturb my spirit, including social media and several people. I love a good live tweet, but I have to do this for my own life. I am going to focus on my book, Orion’s Chains, and spend more time making my house feel like a home. I’ve tapped back into my prayer/meditation life and I am reading, learning, questioning, and growing as a woman. I want to document some of my journey here and I hope you will follow me. Let’s talk spiritual, TV, pop culture, and Pinterest projects!

With Love,

 

Tai Gooden 🙂

I’m Back and I’m Gonna Do Better In 2017

Heeyyy! It has been a really long time. Like months. I feel ashamed but my life went completely sideways (in the best way) after ReGeneration Who last year.

I traveled to Las Vegas, San Diego, and even took a trip down to ATL to do press at DragonCon as a part of the Black Girl Nerds group. I had the BEST time at DragonCon and I enjoyed cosplaying as Martha Jones.

I wrote lots of articles with The Frisky (a regular contributor job that unexpectedly ended recently…beyond my control) and other websites (check out this Sense8 article with Vice) and took lots of time off to spend time with my family. I cried a lot, took pictures, maintained my awful sleep habits, and had an overall great year on a micro level.

Now, I’m back and hoping to pay more attention to my website in 2017.

This year, I will be a quarterly contributor for The Learned Fangirl! I can’t wait to bring you some in-depth articles about Doctor Who and Black women in sci-fi! And, I am working on securing a few press passes for some great geek cons this year!

I also want to spend more time here. I hope to post more of my thoughts on current world situations, links to my articles, and some pretty cool pics from this year’s travels. Right now, I’m heading to Tampa, LA, ATL, and back to Denver again, but who knows where I will end up over the next few months?!?!

I hope you all have been doing well and I’m wishing you a happy, healthy 2017.

(Re)Generation Who!!

Tai and Dalek

Whew!! It’s been a LONG time!! I really miss being in this space. This year has been pretty busy so far. I’ve continued to contribute regularly to a few websites and I am also starting a few new projects.

A couple of week ago, I returned to (Re)Generation Who to do press. Of course, I had an excellent time and I had the opportunity to meet a few awesome people along the way! I adore the convention founders Oni and James as well as their team.

It took a while, but my first article about the con hit the web today and I am so excited to share it with you. It’s in a similar style to what I did last year…lots of random facts about the things I learned at the con.

I have a couple more articles on the way, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the first one on Paste Magazine’s website!!

I’ll be around soon to tell you more about MY upcoming podcast and new adventures 🙂

With Love,

Tai Gooden

2015 Year In Review!

Today is the LAST day of 2015!! Oh my goodness…time surely flies when you are having an excellent time.

Last year, I named a few goals on my blog. These are the things I wanted to accomplish in 2015:

  • Take a “mental health day” once a month
  • Write for my dream publication (won’t share it here because I am a chicken lol)
  • Expand the list of publications I pitch to each week
  • Complete the 52 week money saving challenge

I am proud to say that I accomplished everything I had on this list!! My dream publication was The Guardian and I wrote my first piece for them in February 2015. Check it out here.

It caught on in the Whovian community like wildfire and I soon found myself being offered press gigs, writing opportunities, and so much more. I had a blast doing press at events like (Re)Generation Who and InterventionCon and I met so many interesting, inspiring people along the way. I wrote yet another piece for The Guardian based on my press experiences and the connections I made on Twitter. Yes, social media can be a vile place, but sometimes it functions the way I believe it was meant to work 🙂

I did everything from interview Dascha Polanco from OITNB to a profile of how Twitter Blerds are changing the face of TV. I wrote about UK refugees who process their emotional pain through song, a dress-wearing tortoise who brings joy to sick children, and if we can really trust anyone on How to Get Away with Murder.

I had the chance to ponder the theist themes in Doctor Who and to help boost the signal on webcomics we should be reading. I traveled to Denver, CO and San Diego, CA for the first time and ate delicious foods at every stop along the way. I stayed up until 2AM (only to get back up at 6AM to work), cried about my missteps, and celebrated my youngest daughter’s 1st birthday.

I participated in my first convention panel AND podcast, lost a few friends, and gained a sense of purpose. I truly LIVED in 2015!

Now, 2016 is on the horizon. It’s the year I have been waiting for: my year of transition and completion. The year I want to start an organization that will impact other women and girls. The year I want to see my name in print magazines. The year I want to start a podcast and let underrepresented voices provide a needed perspective in geek culture. And the year I want to be like Shonda Rhimes and say YES to the things that scare me (like writing a novel)!!

I want to thank every publication and editor I have worked with this year. All of you have taught me valuable lessons and helped me continue to grow as a writer. Thanks to God, my family, my “tribe,” Jamie Broadnax from BlackGirlNerds, Lindsey from CSO podcast, and ALL of my Twitter fam: y’all keep me uplifted and wrap me in love when I need a boost. I appreciate everything and I take NOTHING for granted.

Hello 2016…I’m ready for you!!

-Tai Gooden

 

My Latest, Greatest Hits on the Web and NEKOCON!!!

Happy Fall y’all! I’m a terrible blog owner!

But….it’s because I have been so darn busy. I have had a couple of really cool pieces hit the web. Check out a sample of what I have been up to lately:

*Geek and Sundry: The Webcomics That Are Changing the World

*HelloGiggles: Shondaland is BACK! Here’s Everything That Happened Last Season and What’s Next

I also had my first piece post on Upworthy! For those who aren’t familiar with the website, they post all things positive going on around the world. Of course, as soon as I found out they had a freelance writer’s program, I immediately made it my business to get an article on their page. I wanted to find something that met all of their criteria for an excellent story: surprising, meaningful, visual, and shareable.

I tried a couple of ideas and got hit with REJECTION. Ouch. But, I finally found THE story that I knew would be a home run. While scouring the web, I found an interesting article about a group called Stone Flowers. Based in London, the group is comprised of refugees from all around the world. These people have suffered unimaginable pain and persecution, yet they found their way to this unique music therapy group. They write songs about their experiences and record them in their native language!

Check out this special story here and share it with all of your friends. I don’t know about you, but I love a powerful story!

Next up….a pretty cool piece I recently wrapped up for Paste Magazine! ANDDD…..

I’m going to be a PANELIST AT NEKOCON!! Nekocon is an anime convention that takes place in Hampton, VA. The talented and fabulous Jamie Broadnax from BlackGirlNerds has invited me to come out and do a panel with her about social media. So, if you are in or near the area, come check me out!!! I’ll be the Black chick with the Afro rocking something Doctor Who-ish (yes, even at an anime con).

And remember…I am a freelance writer FOR HIRE. So, for any serious inquiries, HIT ME UP and let’s talk bidness 🙂

-Tai Gooden

Intervention Coverage!!

Hi Everyone!

I am so darn late with posting links to my latest press adventures. A couple of weeks ago, I did press at a geek/nerd con called Intervention. I had the opportunity to write for a couple of places about it, so please check everything out below:

The Mary Sue: Intervention – The Panels and The Powerhouse Woman Behind The Unique Geek Convention

Geeks and Cleats: Intervention is a Geek Entrepreneur Haven

Black Girl Nerds: Webcomics 101: What You Need To Know

Right now, I am working on a super special project and getting ready for a special panel appearance in a couple of months, so I may not be around as much. But, I love you guys!!!

-Tai Gooden