“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” – William Butler Yeats
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
“The best way for you to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
“I am not afraid…I was born to do this.” – Joan of Arc
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart
“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.“ – Walt Disney
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” – Pope John XXIII
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston
“Perserverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine
“I attribute my success to this–I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
“Who seeks shall find.” – Sophocles
“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir
I read this book, a hard sci fi novel in high school. Fucked if I can remember the title but the basic premise was that there was a brain-nanite thing that you could inhale and it would change things. Also the Aliens enclosed the whole solar system in some sort of shield. Nothing in, nothing out.
There was a woman who was part of an experiment in probability. Her brain-mod would allow her to not only predict, but alter the ‘up’ or ‘down’ spin of some sort of ion or another that was completely random.
But think about it. Humans are against ALL ODDS the craziest, most intelligent, cruelest, most compassionate, gentlest, harshest beings. There’s no predicting a human because we don’t actually follow the universal laws of probability. To attempt to graph our behavior patterns in a sane quantifiable manner leaves you a little nuts. We perservere, survive. We have NO CHILL when it comes to some things, and are extremely lax about others. We can’t really be predicted, because we’re always altering our realities.
Even our greatest heroes face ‘impossible’ odds and survive. Especially, even. A human is at their shining best when the entire universe is in a point of flux. When choices become the most important things we have. We stare into the blackness between the stars and wonder. Hope. Dream. Wish. We change energy with a thought. We reach out and touch not just things but people, hearts, minds.
Aliens just watch us and are either baffled, indulgent, or terrified. We’re tiny beings in the grand scheme. Numerous but fragile. Perfectly adapted to hostile environs. We have taken aggressive adaptation to the point of modifying our bodies for our environments synthetically. We can take a situation from ‘we’re all gonna die’ to ‘holy shit we lived’ with just one flash of genius. We can stare into the face of danger and smile. We live for those life or death adrenaline scenarios. Some of us have made entire careers out of being batshit crazy.
Humans warp probability.
It’s technically classed as a psi ability in some alien lexicons, but one that’s passive. There’s various grades of it too. Captain Kirk, for instance, is like ‘Let’s make some noise’ and they all survive. Han Solo says ‘Never tell me the odds!”. Arthur Dent reaches into a bag and produces the question that fits the answer. River Tam turns the tide of battle with a mental flip of a switch. Samantha Carter again and again builds doorways between stars, sometimes with nothing more than her wits and the equivalent of a paperclip and tinfoil. Jane Foster survives longer than anyone else ever has with the literal force of chaos flowing through her veins. If she wasn’t human, she’d never have lived long enough to save her world.
These are all people who are extraordinary, who through their sheer humanity have built new futures.
Aliens can’t quanitfy us because we’re chaos in motion. Rogue physics, the edges of cosmic constants. Variables with no fixed value. We make choices, and reach out and touch other beings, and we take logic and probability and the most likely outcome of things and twist them into new shapes. It’s more than just creative thinking, high-stakes adaptation, or even empathy.
A human can literally even the odds.
That’s why alien crews like keeping humans around. We’re crazy and unpredictable and able to survive just about anything. We’re loyal for the most part, to love or money or Crew. Once a human decides that you’re theirs, they will literally warp the universal constants for their crew.
I check the webpage out of habit, but Meredith Gran’s comic work Octopus Pie is over. I feel like this is how sports fans feel when a jersey is retired and lifted to the rafters, forever in its untouchable place, time divided between when it was active and whatever comes after.
That might sound grandiose, but in my mind, nothing tops the ten year run of Octopus Pie. And in the lifespan of what we call Webcomics, 2007-2017 is a granddaddy of a run, worthy of names like “pioneering,” “influential” and “groundbreaking” because in the space of those years, in this new medium, there was room to be those things without any hyperbole. The comics landscape of the past decade needed filling out and Meredith carved her space out with precision, showing a polish and drive and a talent from the beginning that set a high standard.
I’m guessing that I started Hark a Vagrant about six months after Octopus Pie began, but Meredith’s was already a name to be reckoned with, due to the solid reputation of her previous comic Skirting Danger and because she was an honest to god trained animator in a sea of stickmen comics or two-dudes-on-a-couch comics (RIP forever *kisses fingers, holds them to the sky*). I was intimidated by her sheer capability. But inspired too. I did not need to be intimidated, she was one of the first people I met in comics, and easily one of the best.
Meredith and I briefly shared an apartment and a studio, and I can tell you, she can draw circles around everyone you know. I later shared a studio with Mike Holmes, who could also draw circles around everyone, and now the two of them are married in some sort of talent supernova. I am happy for them, even though I feel like I make grade three crayon pictures next to them. But the other thing that being friends with Meredith for a long time has shown is the cutting wit, the care for stories done right, the love for a medium that will take you through highs and lows that come with comics, and lately through her job as a comics professor, the nurturing of upcoming talent. I see all of this in Octopus Pie, a comic where character was paramount, where plots were expertly moved, a fine balance was found between the messiness of people and the fun you can have with stories, where subtle emotional movements where rendered with room to breathe, where I felt like I could reach deep into the hearts and minds of the characters on the page because they had been fleshed out so well over the years that they seemed as real people, people that I loved.
I don’t really like that phrase “comics will break your heart,” commonly attributed to Schultz, or Kirby, it doesn’t really matter. You see it all the time, mostly when people are reckoning with the fact that they work in an unforgiving medium. I don’t even know what it is about the saying that I don’t like. Maybe it’s because we all know that comics are hard work, we all know that you might put your life and blood and heart into something and you might get nothing back. There are no surprises to be found there - it’s not a bad day you had, it’s a life you’re well aware of living, if you do. But we love the perserverers in comics. The people who live the phrase are the ones who inspire us the most.
I’m saying all this, and pardon the segue, because I have seen Octopus Pie, some of the finest story work of my generation, passed for recognition time and again and it confuses the hell out of me, truly. I don’t want to turn a tribute to a work I hold dear into sour grapes, that’s not the intention here, but lord above, if I can’t point this out now, then when can I? We all know that there are no guarantees in this life (comics will break your heart) but I’ll say this once and then leave it: this is a comic of quality that was miles ahead of so many of its peers, and it deserved better, industry wise. To wrap up the earlier point, maybe I don’t like CWBYH because it implies that you should shrug your shoulders and not ask for better every time, that a short end of some kind of stick is expected even. That’s easy when it’s yourself, but speaking as a fan now, I say to heck with shrugging, I want to put Meredith on my shoulders and parade her around and dump her into a Scrooge McDuck thing full of awards.
Actually that sounds pointy and bad and the Ignatz awards are bricks to begin with so maybe forget that analogy but you get the idea.
I hope you read Octopus Pie, I hope you buy the books. I hope the legacy of it is long and full, because it always will be for me. And I think readers will agree, because I know this devoted fan base pretty well. I read the comments, I’ve sat next to Mer at comic shows, I’ve listened to some of the emails that touched her. I know this is a comic that meant a lot, to a lot of us. In this world of work we put our hearts and souls into to begin with, that is a wonderfully worthy thing.
I do not know what Meredith will do next, but whatever it is, I am here for it, seat pulled close to the stage. The retired jersey is in the rafters, the game is still being played by the people who dreamed better because it was there. Aw what can I say, I’m sentimental!
35 Powerful Affirmations That Can Change Your Life
Life extends from the thoughts and emotions that you experience. This means that employing affirmations of positive words can have a powerful effect on how you feel and help boost you to new levels of achievement.
Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Much like exercise, they raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought” neurons. In the sequence of thought-speech-action, affirmations play an integral role by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and, in turn, negative actions.
Repeat the below aloud and with conviction in the morning and after a few days you will notice the shift in your mood, perception, and interpretation of any given situation.
1.) I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.
2.) Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.
3.) My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
4.) I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.
5.) I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.
6.) I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
7.) A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.
8.) I am guided in my every step by Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.
9.) (If you’re married) My marriage is becoming stronger, deeper, and more stable each day.
10.) I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
11.) (For business owners) My business is growing, expanding, and thriving.
12.) Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.
13.) Happiness is a choice. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I’ve been given.
14.) My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.
15.) (For those who are unemployed) I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.
16.) I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
17.) My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity.
18.) Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.
19.) Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.
20.) I am blessed with an incredible family and wonderful friends.
21.) I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.
22.) Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
23.) I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.
24.) Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase of life.
25.) My future is an ideal projection of what I envision now.
26.) My efforts are being supported by the universe; my dreams manifest into reality before my eyes.
27.) (For those who are single) The perfect partner for me is coming into my life sooner than I expect.
28.) I radiate beauty, charm, and grace.
29.) I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.
30.) My obstacles are moving out of my way; my path is carved towards greatness.
31.) I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.
32.) My fears of tomorrow are simply melting away.
33.) I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.