Twenty-Seventeen

I’ve been on vacation for nearly three weeks now… though this time is approaching an end, it’s been a great reflective experience for me. If you are able to take a few weeks off from your regular job like this – I highly recommend you do so.

Anyhow, I don’t have much to say in reflection of the past year. It was very busy for me – which is both good and bad. I published the first major book on Animate CC with Peachpit (with a focus on the ACA objectives), a bunch of Animate CC courses for Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight, spoke at Adobe MAX in San Diego and at Parsons/The New School in New York City for the AEL Summit, and have done so much more through collaboration with Adobe Learn, the Animate CC team, the Adobe Education and Community teams,  and others…

Looking forward… I have a new book on beginning Animate CC through Apress co-authored with Tom Green which wrapped right before Christmas, a new Pluralsight course on programming fundamentals with Animate CC which I’ve just recently completed recordings for, and a number of new Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning courses being planned. I’m also nearly ready to record updated material for the Animate CC course on ACATestPrep! I’m not sure how busy my 2017 will become… but I do hope to gain more control over my schedule and workload. This is a professional priority for me.

As indicated, after 2+ years of pretty much going non-stop, I need to scale back and get more control over my time. I’ve already started this process over the past year with a freeze on new consulting projects. I’ve said “no” to a LOT of people on both general consulting services and more tangible software development projects.

I hope to release a new album of music under An Early Morning Letter, Displaced this year. About 40 minutes of material has been recorded over the past few years and I simply need to write a bit more… and commit to releasing it. This is a priority for me… but creative endeavors run by their own schedule. No title to announce yet. It’s been difficult.

Shivervein. An Ending.

ShiverVein_Logo

I’ve been creating music under the name of An Early Morning Letter, Displaced since 1999. 2 full length albums, 3 ep albums, and a variety of compilation and remix work stretching all the way to 2013. Back in 2012, I decided I needed to break from this and do something fresh. Shivervein was born from these ideas as a project separate from An Early Morning Letter, Displaced… not weighed down by any of the restrictions and expectations I had placed around it

I’m a vastly different person from the one who created An Early Morning Letter, Displaced so many years back. When I released the 6Threads ep back in 2010 I had the intention then to finish the project and move on. This ep contains work from the entire catalog and was meant to provide some definitive closure to the entire effort. Sometimes… it takes a few years for an intention like that to fully build into something actionable. Today – that intention has reached its end and An Early Morning Letter, Displaced is now dormant. A part of my personal history I am proud of – though truly glad to bury these ghosts far behind me.

Shivervein is the project I’ll be writing under from here on. It was difficult having two identities like this that were so similar. This isn’t a problem any longer. Thanks to all those who supported An Early Morning Letter, Displaced over the years. I hope that Shivervein can now move beyond what is contained in the proto-album, bloodletshadows, to become something just as special.

Adobe Education Leader for 2014/2015 Term

AEL

Happily surprised this morning to receive news that Adobe has renewed my term as an Adobe Education Leader for another two years.

I’ve gained so much from being a part of this program; providing feedback to Adobe, working with industry leaders, networking with other great AELs from both higher ed and k-12, publishing and consulting opportunities, speaking gigs, and much more… very happy to remain part of this great group of people!

Twenty-Thirteen. End.

Going to keep this short this year. Here comes.

Final photo of 2013… in the DARK!

Technology
Lots of work with both Flash Platform and web standards technologies. A lot more Flash Professional work than expected and Edge Animate is maturing in a lot of areas – great to see! Video streaming on the web is still a freakin’ mess though.

Publishing
New relationship with Lynda.com, continuing to work with Peachpit, Adobe, and others… Hoping this all continues into 2014!

Business
Best year ever. The most striking part? Almost all of the money I’ve made has derived from Flash-related ventures. Not. Dead. Yet.

Community
New year wishes to everyone in the Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Education Leader programs. Hope you are all well and that we have a productive and meaningful 2014 together.

Music
A new release from An Early Morning Letter, Displaced? I do hope so. A few tracks have already been written…

Absinthe
A new passion of mine for the past two years. It’s more than just another beverage- so rich in history and complex in flavour and aroma. I’ll continue to champion this spirit as misinformation is crushed and acceptance grows… my very best to the honest distillers out there.

Looking back at 2011… and ahead to 2012…

Twenty-Eleven was a stand out year for me. In my professional life, I had three books published in addition to co-authoring a DVD workshop along with two smaller video courses. Considering I’ve never had my writing or video recordings published before this- it’s a pretty big deal for me. Working with Packt, O’Reilly, Adobe Press/Peachpit, and video2brain was an interesting experience. There are definite differences between how each publisher operates and the methods of communication that occur during the different phases of writing, recording, and publication. It’s been enlightening.

I was fortunate enough to also speak at some great conferences: D2WC, the AEL Institute, Ignite Denver, Adobe MAX, COLTT, WCET, FITC @ MAX, and a bunch of smaller user group (notably RMAUG) and educational events. Speaking gives a person the opportunity to share some bit of their life and work which, through the preparatory process, has been organized and refined into something others can understand. While speaking is almost always a good experience – it really is the networking aspect of these events that I find so likable.

This was my 3rd year as an Adobe Education Leader and my first as an Adobe Community Professional. Many, if not all of my recent successes have been due to interactions with the people I’ve met from both of these wonderful groups. Even with huge shake-ups over the year in both groups… and even in Adobe as a whole [not going to re-hash all that here] – I still feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to these two communities and continue to work with Adobe in whichever ways are most appropriate to my position and interests.

There is a cost to everything, of course. The price I paid was to have a good chunk of the year pass by in what seems like seconds. I feel as though I’ve missed out on some of the more domestic areas of life and this saddens me. I’ve certainly learned some lessons about resource management and the value of setting aside time for myself.

In Twenty-Twelve, I want to cut back somewhat… I plan to attempt to do so, anyhow. Currently, I have two book projects and a major video training already in the works and plan to do some smaller projects as well. I have a few speaking engagements lined up, including D2WC and 360|Flex. Even with a lot of these projects and events already set, I don’t plan on being overwhelmed as I was this past year. I believe the trick is to space things out in manageable ways… and avoid project overlap… when possible. I also hope to have time for more artistic endeavors. With a renewed interest in photography and having had no time for any audio production and composition over the past year, I’m ready to move ahead in this area.

The theme, for me, of the next year is going to be one of balance. Balance of time and projects as I’ve already written above… but also more precisely a professional balance between Flash Platform solutions and those solutions that involve web standards like HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Back at the beginning of my career, I started out as a web designer doing mostly HTML, CSS, layout, and imaging. As Flash became a more capable platform, it became more desirable for me to expand my work in that direction and I learned and grew along with it. I am a huge champion of the Flash Platform and will remain such in Twenty-Twelve. However, this does not exclude my continued work in the field of web standards… the maturity of these technologies and emergence of tooling around them. I’m also hoping to swing back more into the design side of things as well- have been in strict development mode for far too long.

In the past couple years, even with this manufactured battle between Flash and web standards raging in the forefront, I’ve always tried to bring the perspective of balance in the relationship that exists between all of these technologies and platforms. I’ve held the opinion that they are complimentary… that the web is big enough and open enough for a myriad of technologies. The exclusionary and elitist attitude I’ve seen among developers and designers over the past couple years is directly contrary to what I’ve always imagined was among the core ideals behind the world wide web.

My wider hope for Twenty-Twelve is that we will see less of this. It isn’t helping anyone to tear people down for their technology of choice or to exclude them from building great experiences. Let’s continue to work together to move the web forward and experiment with whichever creative technologies we feel the strongest affinity toward. Don’t cut others down for their choice of tools. Don’t chastise them for not “moving on” or “branching out”… and don’t chastise anyone for doing so either. We have the freedom to make such choices- to downplay individual choice is to downplay what makes this field such an extraordinary one.

Peace to you all in this New Year.