Feb 12

It's A Flourish!

Oh, hello!  It’s been a while, huh?

Like a really LONG while? I have missed you all and this site SO much while I’ve been away, and focused on the Quirkipreneurs projects. I love it over at there, but there’s just a special feel to this place that speaks to the heart. Now that entrepreneurial topics have their own home over on the Q, I’d love to re-focus this site on more casual, personal writings, stuff that doesn’t belong there.  Sound good? Ok!

But the official transition can wait.

Right now, I want to introduce you to a new member of the team… see that little line drawing of a critter over there?  The one shaped like a pear that grew feet andth a trunk?  That’s a Quirk.    He (she?) is a member of a tribe that will be showing up pretty much all over the place, and there is a curious connection back to the Circus Serene.

See, my imaginary helpers here at the Circus have always been Elephants, because, you know, ELEPHANTS! .  You’ll find jokes and little remarks about them scattered through the site, quips how they read the email, put up new tents for new projects, demanded more peanuts, etc.   When I started the Quirkipreneurs site, I just naturally carried that idea over, substituting “Quirks” for “Elephants”.  Then, gradually, the Quirks began to take form, and have faces and identities (Honestly, they’re a bit like the Minions from Despicable Me…  I think they’re likely related).

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I Am An Artist.

Jun 17

It's A Flourish!

imageI am an Artist.

By ‘Artist’, I don’t mean that I paint or draw well enough to win a fancy ribbon (although I have) or earn a buck or two (although I do).

I don’t mean that I am a master craftsman or even a participant in any of the other creative arts, like writing or dance or music or film (because I’m not).

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What, Exactly, Does Tori *DO*? Probably Not What You Think.

Jul 27

That’s a question I’ve heard all of my life.

I heard it most recently during an interview with The Word Chef, Tea Silvestre , while we talked about my award-winning branding. Not one, but two of her people asked exactly what I do—and as usual,  I stumbled out a vague answer — “It’s in flux!”

Seriously, I felt a bit embarrassed that my branding (while admittedly beautiful & effective) *still* doesn’t make what I actually do very clear.

That’s because what I do really *isn’t* very clear, much less concrete. Since I launched the Circus, the market has shifted and changed, and my direction has shifted and changed.  Most of the past year has been focused on developing the Quirkipreneurs concept and website – a project that has shifted me into a role of community builder and entrepreneur, and will hopefully lead to a lovely, clear answer to “What does Tori do?” very soon.

But I know a lot of you want to know just how I earn my moolah (Since it’s rather obviously NOT through the products & consulting I’ve never gotten around to offering ‘round the Circus.)

Ready? Ok!

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The Squid Of Second Guesses (a coloring book page)

May 02

It's A Flourish!

Yes, I’m breaking my long silence to bring you a near random absurdity:  The Squid of Second Guessing.

squid_of_second_guesses

How’d we end up here? What’s it all mean?

What is it, exactly, that the Squid is second-guessing?

And what are you supposed to do with this?

Good questions.

I’m wondering that myself.

Unfortunately, I have to dash off for a memorial service today, followed by a 91st birthday dinner, so I’m a bit too flustered and see-saw-ish to make sense of it all.

But know what I’d love to come back to, tomorrow? A bunch of squidish speculations in the comment section! In fact, if you’d like to answer those questions yourself, name the squid, or make up your own mini Tales of the Squid, that’d be awesome!

Or you can download the squid, print it out, and color/paint/bead/sequin it to your heart’s content.  And I’d love love love it if you’d link to that in the comments, too! Squid of Second Guessing: The Printable Version

But whatever you decide to do, or not do?

No second guesses allowed!

Squidly said so.

It's Another Flourish!

UPDATE: Some folks reported problems downloading the larger image, so here it is again:
Squid of Second Guessing: The Printable Version

(and Squidly still says so!)

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Of Red Dresses, Quirks, and Way Too Many Jennys.

Feb 02

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know I’m a shameless fan of Jenny Lawson, @TheBloggess.  What you don’t know is that it’s not just her absurd humor, Texas-sized heart, or habit of adopting stray taxidermied animals that makes me feel so connected to her.

It’s things like this tweet:

This is a tweet from @TheBloggess. I screen captured it for you. Don't call the police. I'm not holding it against it's will.

And my twin brother:

My brother's best sexy, sultry look. I think he nailed it.

You’ll need a bit of backstory to see the connection, so bear with me, k?

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We Interrupt This Blog For A Personal Insight Emergency!

Sep 15

This started as a comment on a previous post, but it turned into something more.  Not a lot more, mind you, but it’s certainly more than a comment – It’s about my process, so it may not make a lot of sense at first. Also, there are questions for you at the end of each section, so you can dive in and not-make-a-lot-of-sense right along with me, if you like.

I was really
struggling last night.

Doubting everything.
Doubting everyone.
Doubting myself.

This recent anti-online-business bruhaha shook me, what with all of the talk about “online businesses aren’t real/can’t make money” and “people who don’t have degrees and haven’t successfully run brick and mortar businesses can’t coach/teach/write about business.”  It undercut my confidence in what I’m trying to do here.

So I curled up with a particular book that serves as my creative touch stone, and slowly? I remembered why I’d set up this weird and ill-defined circus caravan in the first place:

To do something fun, experimental, unpredictable,
something that incorporates a variety of skills into
a package that, hopefully, can help others and add
consistently to our household income.

Something that inspired me. Something that was inventive. Something that took risks.

I’m not asking you to set aside secure or boring or every day lives, and take those risks with me.  But if you  are already taking risks (or wanting to take those risks), I’m asking if you’ll consider joining me and others in some small or large way,  so we can have support and comfort as we forge new ground and take these risks together.

My questions for you: What is the original concept that drove you to decide developing your own venture-business-thing was the way to go? What are you risking with that?

But then? I realized
I’m not exactly clueless.

I’ve been surrounded by small business and innovation all of my life.

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Weekend Ketchup #3 (Or is it #4? I skipped one)

Jul 31

The Ketchups are my newly revived, mostly-weekly ritual, a fret-free way to assure that I post once a week, even if it’s not pure awesome-sauce. If you’d like to play along, just add your ketchup (or a link to it) in the condiment section below.

Whoa. This week? I got stuff DONE! Go me!

We have a new About page! I’m still scared to go and re-read it just yet, but I thought it was pretty rockin’ when I wrote it.

And writing about myself? I hate it so much that I avoided it by logged into LinkedIn and updated my contacts there – something I’d not done in 2 years. And I seriously hate LinkedIn, because it’s so formal and there are so many blanks in my resume and and and…. well. You get the picture. But my About-Page avoidance wasn’t quite severe enough to make me update Facebook.

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Weekend Ketchup: #2 of 57 Varieties

Jul 17

image The Ketchups are my newly revived, maybe-weekly ritual, a fret-free way to assure that I post once a week, even if it’s not pure awesome-sauce. If you’d like to play along, just add your ketchup (or a link to it) in the condiment section below.  And yes, this is loosely based on Havi’s Friday Chickens, except it’s Ketchup.  And yes, she’s fine with it. (She even linked to my very first ketchup experiment in 2009. Which only went for one week. So I’ve already surpassed myself… yay!)

So. This Week? Realizations?
Don’t remember them.

I know I had some, but they’ve vanished, so I think I’ll just whine, for a moment.  Wine may not be an ingredient in your ketchup recipe, but it’s in mine, because I said so.

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Weekend Ketchup! (Cuz Everything’s better With Condiments)

Jul 10

Totem Pole from British ColumbiaOk, yes, I’ve been pretty much AWOL for the past…

…erm..  it’s been a whole month.  I’ve been busy with a project that I was *sure* would be ready to go “any day now”, so I kept putting off posting until it was ready.  Now? It’s actually, really almost ready! Yay! Seriously ready! YAY!

Curious about what it is? The image over on the right will give you a hint. But meanwhile, a lot of stuff happened, stuff I didn’t tell you about because I was busy being “almost ready”.   So I’m taking the opportunity to Ketchup.  I’d love it if this wound up my version of Havi’s Chickens (a weekly public check-in she and her readers do) but I’m flakier than Havi, so we’ll have to wait and see if I repeat it.

Meanwhile, here’s the ketchup from the last month or so! (Don’t worry, it’s not past the ‘best by’ date)

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Of Woo, Fear-Facing, & Action Plans: Live Blogging Session, coming Soon!

May 24

A Whole Lotta Nothing Remember About a Week Ago?

You know, when I wrote about Woo, and I promised to move past my fear of it, and do this really cool thing I wanted to do here?

Remember how I told you to watch the blog carefully for a few days, because there was a time element involved? And remember how NOTHING HAPPENED?

Now, Fast Forward to Today..

As you know (or don’t know, because I always forget to promote it), every Monday, I host a chat on Twitter, via the hashtag #Emmit. And each week, a marvelous group of Quirkipreneurs gather to discuss right-brained, boundary-expanding approaches to typical business tasks and topics. (It’s turned out to be a mind-blowingly effective testing ground for new stuff. You should check it out. But not now, because it won’t happen again till next Monday.)

Yesterday’s chat? Yeah. It was one of the mind-blowing ones for me. See, I forgot about it until the last minute, so I had to pick a topic on the fly.

“Fear…” I thought. “There’s been some talk going on about fear and business lately… ok, let’s talk about that. Whew, topic found!”

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