Getting Your Feet Wet

Mood: Celebratory | Drinking: *Clink*

water1

Come on in, the water’s fine!

I’m so very pleased to introduce you to ladonnawitmer.com, version 4.0. She’s been a long time coming — nearly a year, in fact, and I couldn’t be happier that I finally get to show her off to the world.

I’d like to give you a quick tour, but first I have to thank a few people who pulled a lot of strings and spent a lot of their late-night and weekend time to make this happen.

First, let’s talk about my far-away friend Eric Oehrl, working his Flashmaster magic out there in the wilds of Michigan. The nifty navigation over there on the left? That’s Eric. The amazingly awesome Flash movie that now introduces this site (lovingly dubbed “the cinébyte”) — that’s Eric, too. EO, my friend, without you, none of this would have been as moving. I bow down before your mad skilz. You rule.

Next, the ever-lovely Miz Kathy Azada. My partner in various crimes, misdemeanors and art projects. Kathy has already brought one miracle to life in the form of our art & poetry book, The Secrets of Falling. And have you seen all those must-collect postcards in our shiny new Store? Those are all designed by the fabulous Kathy, too. My friend, you make all things lovely. Thanks for dreaming with me.

None of these dot com shenanigans would ever have happened if not for one mister Chris Brown, my fearless web guru. It was he who came to me sometime last year and said, “We’re gonna redo your website.” And I was all, “Pshaw, why? I like it the way it is.” And he said, “No, trust me, we can make it better.” And I’m so friggin’ glad I listened! Chris, if this site doesn’t get you a truckload of new clients, nothing will. Thank you a thousand times over.

If you’re wondering who shot all these gorgeous underwater photos, may I direct your attention to my all-too-often behind-the-scenes husband, Bruce. One day last summer whilst on vacation in Mexico, I pulled a red ball gown out of my suitcase, handed him a waterproof camera and said, “Let’s go down to the pool.” One hour and lots of “1-2-3-holdyourbreath” counts later, we had a roll of film (yes, old school) full of aqua and red. (Check out Bruce’s gallery to see all the photos from the underwater shoot.) Thanks for going along with my crazy scheme, Bruce. As always, I owe you one.

Be sure to click around this site from top to bottom, starting with the home url, www.ladonnawitmer.com, where you’ll be instantly immersed in a mini-cinépoem called “Submersion” that will take you on an underwater adventure. Be sure you have your sound turned on for that one.

You’ll notice that some things that are familiar — The Writer still contains some foul language pertaining to one Mr. Johnny Depp, but check out the wee seahorse for a new treat. The Library still contains music from Franky & Wil, along with poems for your reading pleasure, but the poems are new.

The Others still contains links to lots of old friends, and a few new ones, too. And you can still send me an email via Says You, but you can also now comment on this blog — I know lots of you have asked me about that over the years, so you’d better make use of it!

Speaking of this blog, She Says is now a fully functional weblog with an RSS feed and everything, so you can add me to your blog roll and all that fun stuff. You can also search the archives via keyword for old entries, if you’re into that sort of thing. All of the old entries made the migration to their shiny new home.

The Cinépoems have a lovely new page with an upgraded and higher-quality video player for your viewing pleasure. We’ll be making ongoing improvements to that page over the next few months, too, because we’re not satisfied with mere perfection. Must. Keep. Tweaking.

Oh, and notice that the newest cinépoem is one you haven’t seen yet… Bright Neon Love was shot in Las Vegas over the holidays and gets to debut with the big site unveil, that lucky little poem.

The Gallery has been completely retooled — all the old photos are still there, but they’re much easier to view now. There are new photos, too, from Bruce, from a fabulous young photographer named Caitlin Bellah, and from recent cinépoem shoots as well, so be sure to check that out.

And finally — my pet project — our Store. My two books, Shedding the Angel Skin and The Secrets of Falling are available for purchase (and well worth the asking price), as always, but now you can also get yourself some of those pretty postcards I mentioned earlier, as well as a few photographic art prints.

The Store lives on etsy.com, which is an amazing site in its own right and one of my new favorite things ever. Lots of very cool artists hawking their wares on Etsy, so be sure to explore. After you purchase a book and some postcards, of course.

So that’s the tour. Please make yourself at home, get a little wet, and let me know what you think. I’m off to go splash around a little myself. I just don’t get tired of playing with all these new toys!

-Lo, who should mention that it’s not really about drowning.

Something in the Air

Mood: balmy | Drinking: just-brewed iced tea

beelike

Spring. Love. Change. Whatever you wanna call it, there’s definitely something in the air, tingling along your scalp, settling in your stomach. Things, they are a-happenin’.

I know you don’t want to believe it, since you’ve been hearing this for awhile now, but big new things are imminent, IMMINENT I tell you, in this webspace!

My web guru Chris, design maven Kathy, and Flash superstar Eric have been busy as proverbial bees these last weeks, and even longer, getting something special ready to live and breathe.

We’re down to the final tweaks, the last-minute changes, the buffing and polishing now. I re-recorded some poetry trax at Chris’s house just yesterday morning (because the first track wasn’t perfect enough for you, dear reader). Feel free to start your countdown.

Other things are lining up, too. In cinépoetry land, Michelle and I have ambitious plans for the next shoot, and we’re meeting with brave volunteers Jimmy & Emanuela on Wednesday to lay down some vocal trax in preparation for that.

Meanwhile, when the shiny new site launches, a new cinépoem will be piggybacking. Bright Neon Love, shot in Vegas over the holidays, is in the can and ready to make your acquaintance, so don’t neglect The Cinépoems page when you’re exploring the new site.

Things are afoot for me personally, too. Some big decisions, some big dreams, and some not so boldprint events that I’ll be babbling about here shortly.

But for now, I must beg your patience. It’s all very much worth the wait, I promise. Any day now…

-Lo, who stuffs sleeves full of tricks.

Friendtastic

Mood: dithering  | Drinking: iced tea

facebook1

Obviously, today’s topic of discussion is facebook. BUT. Let’s get one item of business out of the way so as not to be talking around the pink elephant teetering on the coffee table, yes?

My updates have been pathetic of late. I hear you. I know this. It’s not accidental. It’s not even laziness, not really. Here’s the big secret: In about T-minus 14 days, give or take a few, there’s going to be a whole new ladonnawitmer.com banging about on the interwebs. So shiny with newness, you’ll need Olsen-sized shades to stand the glare. I swear.

Part of this fabulous new update will include an absolutely amazing blog space. So I have been loath to post in the old format when I know something so much better is just around the bend. Patience is a virtue I am lacking…

That said, I will do my damndest to post more regularly so you aren’t clicking here in vain. Okay? Okay. Now to the topic at hand.

Remember friendster? Oh, the internet days of yore. I joined friendster way back in the day when it was the new big thing, and the only one of its kind. And then I quickly abandoned it for myspace, newer bigger thing. I found lots of old friends on myspace, made a few new ones (hi, Jillie), and still maintain a space there.

But then, in 2006, facebook opened its door to every tom dick and mary, and we all began flocking to it. Myself included. The difference, I’ve found, with facebook, is that there are just SO many more people there.

My friends list includes a dude I went to kindergarten with, high school classmates I have neither seen nor spoken to since graduation, a girl I worked at Dairy Queen with in 1990, an ex-boyfriend from my college days, fellow Pulliam Fellows from 1994, my cousin from Indiana, my best friend from San Francisco and my new boss.

It’s a harrowing cross-section of my life, with people from literally every stage, every decade, every major experience.

I’ve had a delightful time reconnecting with some long-lost acquaintances, renewed a few meaningful friendships, and cyber-stalked people I’ve been curious about for years.

The question, “What ever happened to so-and-so?” has never been easier to answer. Now you know exactly what happened to them, and you have pictures to prove it.

Since I live 2,000 miles from where I grew up, I never run into anyone from high school at the gas station, never see an old college friend at the grocery store, never have to worry about an unexpected ex-sighting whilst wearing my fat jeans and a limp ponytail.

But that also means that I’m fairly well cut off from my old life/lives and all the news that goes with it. Facebook is a treasure trove of information, and I’m happy as a pig in shit wallowing in it.

Here’s the thing, though… I tend to be pretty conservative with my “add friend” button. If I see a little picture square of a bona fide long-lost friend, I’m only too happy to request their virtual friendship. I tend to leave old acquaintances and ancient co-workers to their own devices, however. If they send me a friend request, I’ll happily accept, but I’m not running around collecting names to drive up my friend count.

So I have trouble understanding why the little brother of a former classmate — someone whose name/face I know, but with whom I cannot recall having one single conversation — would want to be friends. Or rather, would want to add me to his friend list and then never, ever speak of it again.

If I request a friend, I usually follow up with a “OMG, I haven’t talked to you in 15 years, it’s so nice to see you, how are you, tell me all about your life, blah blah blah.”

What’s the social networking standard of conduct for virtual friendship? Shouldn’t there be some sort of actual socializing and/or networking going on? You would think. Right?

So heads up, if you’re one of the head and shoulders on my friends list, I’m gonna expect you to say hi once in awhile. That includes you, dude from college with whom I shared many an weekend adventure. Start yapping!

In the spirit of equal sharing, I will start writing on walls with abandon momentarily. Consider yourself warned!

Meanwhile, keep an eye on this space. I promise you the transformation will be well worth the wait!

-Lo, social networking butterfly.

Let There Be Dark

Mood: Low | Drinking: Watery Tea

nuuanupali

Although I’ve never been a big holiday cheer sort of gal, I have, in times past, managed to muster up a helluva lot more cheer than I am this year.

2008 didn’t come in looking like a brawler, but she’s going out leaving me battered and bruised and more than a little bewildered.

I’m no stranger to getting laid off. I survived the dot com bust of ’01, and I know such things are to be expected when you’re a creative person working in a corporate company while the economy sinks below sea level.

Funny thing is, I wasn’t expecting it this time. I’m the only copywriter in my entire company, and I thought that alone garnered me some job security. Not to mention the fact that I’m a damn fine employee. I work hard and fast. I don’t miss deadlines. I’m more organized than the average type-A office manager. My cubicle is fetchingly decorated. In short, I’m a gem to have on staff.

But it seems the hard truth of the lesson learned is this: Companies don’t give a shit about you.

It doesn’t matter how hard you work, how early you arrive or how late you leave. It doesn’t matter how valuable or singular your skills. When push comes to shove and you’re up against the almighty dollar, they will shove you out the door without a second’s hesitation.

Yes, I’m bitter.

I’ll get over it. I will. But when your entirely unexpected layoff is sandwiched in between the sudden death of your grandmother and your birthday; when said layoff means that the baby you’ve been postponing for 5 years has to be postponed even longer; when your CEO-dictated departure falls on the day after Christmas, well, I think you deserve a good wallow with a heaping spoonful of bitterness on the side. Don’t you?

In the meantime, my website has been down, my neck has a squinch, my dog’s eating dirt, and there’s a wee Asian boy outside my window screaming at his mother in Mandarin because she took away his favorite toy or some equivalent of toddler trauma.

*sigh*

Once the poor-mes are over, though, I’m going to fix my sights on a few things I’ve been promising you all for a long time and have not yet delivered. To wit: the long-awaited arrival of the newest cinepoem, Homeland Security; the long-overdue overhaul of this here fine website, including a real live RSS-feed on yon blog; and some shiny new poetry, fresh from my writing group revisions.

Sound good to you? Yeah, me too.

Now I’m just going to wrap up the boo-hooing and get on with it.

-Lo, keeping her silver lining intact.

Tunnel Vision

Mood: Whacked-Out | Drinking: Tea

ohare_united

So. You’ve likely noticed the site has been wonky lately. Missing blog posts, delayed messages, funky lookin’ things. This is the first time all week I’ve been able to get a post uploaded, too.

That’s because we’ve been shifting the entire site to a new hosting company, and there are a few bugs we’re working out.

Older blog posts are there, you just can’t see them right now for whatever reason. It will be fixed shortly, I swear.

Meanwhile, since returning home from my Nana’s funeral in Illinois, I’ve been completely focused on finding a new job.

If you are in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, and you know of anybody looking for a stellar Senior Copywriter, hook a girl up!

Life is far from normal lately, but there are lots of lights in the tunnel. Just have to figure out which ones are the oncoming trains and which one is the way out.

-Lo, who would like to believe this is all for the best, but will have to wait and see.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started