Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Begin again (again)

After nearly two years of quiet, I’m back. It’s been an interesting time, with lots of starts and setbacks. The same goes for this site as well.

I could spend a lot of time telling you why I quit posting here, saying it had something to do with the death of productivity (long live productivity) and the rise and fall of, various personal/family/financial things, or trying to get my fine art career going (along with a year-long project that has gotten bogged down — I can’t decide if I’m stuck or empty or some combination thereof, or if I’m just distracted by paying the bills with freelance design, art direction, and web development projects.)

Phew. What a string of parenthetical remarks. I talk that way sometimes, and it drives my Dad nuts.

But what I will tell you is that lately I’ve been inspired to pick this little blog back up based on some things I’ve read from some really sharp guys who live here in Nashville: Jeff Goins and Kenny Silva. They’re both Christian guys with a passion for Jesus as well as a drive to create. The simplified version is that Jeff is a writer who leads teenagers on mission trips, and Kenny is a Realtor interested in leadership and vocational ministry. (Again, that’s the simplified version.)

So, after a few e-mail conversations with Jeff and meeting both Jeff and Kenny for coffee, I’ve decided to get back into writing here on Mysterious Flame.

What’s different now?

Apart from the aforementioned life experiences (and then some) I think a lot of the reason I left MF behind was my focus had changed.

  • I pretty much gave up on (by-the-book) GTD.
  • I’ve gotten more focused on painting (while I’ve lapsed on the Nashville365 project I expect to start back up again soon, with a vengeance.)
  • I’m less focused on productivity as a personal fetish (yes, I just quoted Merlin Mann.)
  • There were too many productivity blogs out there, and it seemed like everyone was maxed out on topics, myself included.

Now, just because I quit blogging here, it doesn’t mean I quit blogging altogether. I’ve been blogging all along on my fine art site. Granted, the kind of writing that belongs here is different from my art blog, which is built more around imagery and art theory. (I’m also starting a blog on my freelance design site, which is another thing, too.)

Okay, Blackman — wrap it up. What’s the bottom line?

The bottom line is that I’m going to focus creativity and inspiration instead of productivity. I’ll probably touch on some bigger life issues that don’t really apply to urban landscapes or design/marketing.

I do hope you’ll stick around and join me on this new ride. I think it’ll be fun to explore creativity as a means and an end.

Hello again

So MF has had a new look for about 2 weeks now, and it’s finally got all it’s content back. (Hopefully I didn’t clog anyone’s RSS reader with a ton of “new” posts.) As I mentioned in my last post, I resuscitated the old posts from trusty old Google Reader, reformatted the text and images and tweaked a few grammatical points here and there, and viola! Mysterious Flame is back on the road. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten the comments back on the site. I’m honestly not sure how to do that since I’m not a power WordPress user (yet), but frankly, there weren’t that many to begin with, so I’m OK with it. If you want to go back and re-comment, by all means, do!

Hopefully I was able to retain the old Permalinks (I checked, but there are probably a few that I missed.) So if you see anything that looks out of place, a broken link, or something that’s missing, please let me know via the contact form.

Hello to newcomers

I want to welcome newcomers to feel free to poke around the site and explore. Have a look at the About page to see what this site is about, (“sharing ideas for maintaining creative momentum and finding ways to become ‘unstuck’”). Take a look at the Art & GTD Series, which is one of the main intellectual problems that got me to start the whole site to begin with. I’m also pretty proud of the posts I’ve done on Stuckness, Gumption, and Motivation.

Welcome back to old friends

Old friends, I hope you’ll enjoy the new site and find it more usable than it was before. I’m sure some things will be tweaked here and there, but I think this design will prove to be more versatile in the long run. For at least a year anyway. ;-)

Upcoming content

While it has indeed been a while since I’ve written anything new, I’ve got a few things in the pipeline, as well as some cool/useful tools I hope you’ll like.

Anyway, it’s good to be back, and I look forward to getting this ball rolling again. See you around!

Mysterious Flame is back (with a brand-new look!)

So you might’ve noticed: Mysterious Flame has been down for a while. I’m a man, I can admit it: it’s my fault.

See, it all happened when I tried to take advantage of a special Executive Shared Plan package at A2 Hosting to combine different web hosting accounts into the same account (this site and my fine art portfolio, and I failed to back up the SQL database(s) correctly.

And MF went kablooey.

But there’s an upside to this! I’ve had some ideas knocking around for redesigning/restructuring the site as well as moving it from Drupal to WordPress. (Drupal was overkill for what I wanted out of the site, and the forum idea never took off.) So this was an unexpected (read: unplanned) opportunity to take a stab at it and try to get my webdev skills sharpened.

So take a look around, and please be patient as I hammer out some kinks. I’m still working on recovering all the old content (thanks to trusty ol’ Google Reader, I was able to find pretty much all my old content, and revise it here and there.) So, kids, there are two lessons to be learned here. Lesson #1: Always backup properly, especially your databases. If you don’t know how, find out! Lesson #2: When things go wrong, there’s an opportunity to create something newer and potentially better.

Mysterious Flame Returns from Hiatus

Back from the Beach

Mysterious Flame is back from a brief-ish hiatus. As you may know, it’s run by one guy (me), and the month of December was pretty crazy busy. Aside from the holiday craziness in general this time of year, my wedding and a honeymoon put other things on hold. Not that I’m complaining.

So I’ve been back in the studio, working on a painting and making some progress. I have a ton of ideas in mind for paintings that I want to do, so I’m anxious to finish the piece I’m currently working on and get started on some new pieces. I’m back at the keyboard, too, and I’ve got a ton of ideas for Mysterious Flame as well, for all sorts of topics to discuss and people to guest-write and interview.

So toss the RSS feed in your feed reader (I recommend Google Reader or Bloglines) and check back often for some neat stuff we’re going to explore.