Life is interesting.
This post is going to feature someone special, but I'm gonna taaaaaaake my time getting there. It's gonna be long, hahaha but it's alllllllllll Dreemie 😄
Read if you like, of course.
This is for me as much as it is for you. Hmm. Maybe more for me. I think it's the epitome of what Steemit meant to me.
Three weeks ago,
I was exhausted from an entire weekend dressed as a Monkee Capt'n, trying to get kids to smile and make them believe that they were worth it! Giving THEM the tools for success, and asking their permission if I could be a part of the journey with their family.
Two weeks ago,
I was making last minute preparations (AKA completely procrastinating - right @snook? LOL) for an incredible road trip adventure with the generous @mariannewest - taking us all the way to Colorado to meet (and touch, and love, and finally see eye-to-eye) Steemians, new and veteran - for @thealliance block party, led by my MVW @enginewitty. If I could describe that experience and could only use one word? It would be: REAL.
This last week,
Well - hahaha. Let's just say that is NOT how I wanted to get the most engagement EVER on Steemit posts. But - it struck a chord. So many people commented and many more DM'd me. And it's oddly comforting that you all KNEW you were safe to speak your mind with me and voice those opinions! Very powerful feeling. Silver-ish lining? I even met a few new people, visited their blogs, and was sad to support some of their final UNIQUE posts. Why sad? Because they are newbies that were already struggling, frustrated, and feeling very much alone, and pushed out of Steemit.
Bye Bye my treasured SBI!
And then I gave all 805 shares of my precious @steembasicincome to one special newbie. (Ohhhh how I wanted to make it to 1000 @sumatranate - my SBI partner-in-crime!!! LOL and was about to hold a contest to ensure that I was... hahahaha) But. You only need SBI when you post. So, it went to a new home! SBI is the gift that keeps on giving, so I think he will need it to grow here should he choose to stay!
I WILL tell you about that special newbie but first - YES, I still believe in the concept of SBI. When all is said and done, it's one of the things I was passionate to support, glad to give away, elated to encourage, and tickled to see thrive. One of the main reasons why I think SBI works? It's voluntary, not mandated.
I founded Welcome Wagon on April 21, 2018 in the middle of a witness chat held by @shadowspub where lots of heated voices were talking about what was wrong with Steemit, and instead of pointing fingers - I offered a suggestion. Quietly, then a little louder, and then a lot louder. And then just said - you know what? I'm just gonna start it. Anyone want to join me? 10 people said yes - and that was that. And we were CRAZY successful. What started out as a little spark, turned into a slow, steady burn of newbies-on-fire, that was reaching and extending. Until Hard Fork 20.
A few months ago, I asked @bluefinstudios and @shadowspub if they would take over as the WW leaders. They didn't hesitate. I helped behind the scenes, which was very fun, in an almost mysterious and incognito way. They brought on a new WW trainee, and in true WW fashion - I devoured this newbie's posts from "introduce yourself" post to present day.
Why bother reading all those posts?
Because if you want to help someone, you have to get to know them.
He took DAYS to perfect each piece of art, and then MORE time to share it with us in a post. I left comments on every post - teasing him that he was going to have a TON to answer. Thankfully, WW protocol is to delegate to our trainees so that they can actually have the Resource Credits to answer our comments! LOL He came back later that night and answered them one by one! What he didn't know was @ginabot was notifying me that he was responding. hehehe So when he told me he was "finally all caught up! LOL" - I told him, "well - you will be when you respond to all of the responses I was giving back in real time." 😜
and a real friendship was born.
Every single Welcome Wagon trainee had the same heart after their intense week of training. It was always "I don't know how I would have survived here without you guys. I feel like I won the lottery. How do I pay you back?" They ALWAYS wanted to know what they could now do with the gift they were given freely.
And our answer was always the same.
"We don't do this for money, or upvotes, or power. We do this for our home. If you pour back into Steemit the way we poured into you - we all win." And did they??? Holy cow, did they ever!!! Until they couldn't anymore. After HF20, we delegated ourselves out to help them all (LOL I even lost my precious Minnow slider!!! bah!!!! 😂) - but in the end, they couldn't anymore. They felt the continual squeeze, and it didn't take long to figure out where the squeeze was coming from. It was like watching the slow death of loved one.
I believe when you take the TIME to find those diamonds, (and ohhhh, make no mistake - it does take time!) and give them the tools to succeed, and the support that they need, and the opportunity to grow - it's a win/win/win/win situation. And you know me - it doesn't work unless it's at least four wins. hehehehe
So this new newbie....
He wanted to support my work, since I was supporting his. That's a natural response from a diamond in the rough. They don't take and take. They take and then give. He is a single dad that works around the clock, and when he isn't working - he's perfecting his art. And when he's done, he's sharing it with Steemit. And he finally had a little time to dig into my Steemit book... I got some DMs that thrilled this little author's heart. I think "I didn't know it was THAT good" might have been my favorite line LOLOL Kinda one of those things that make you die laughing, and say "Thanks... I think???"
When community works well, content creators inspire content creators! A beautiful cyclone of passion to do better is ignited.
I had been drooling over his work. We shared him at #PYPT with @shadowspub, he was connected with good art communities like #artzone, and after one amazing post - my favorite piece of his (well, now... second favorite hehee) I started using mental telepathy on him. "Make me a book cover, Make me a book cover..." I was too shy to really ask him to do it - so I used my thoughts to sear his brain! hahahaha
I had no idea I had this power.
LOLOLOLOL Maybe I AM Talia!!!! Only Fireflies subscribers will get that joke 😜 But apparently, it worked. Because one day I woke up to a new DM with the words "Can I show you something that your work inspired?"
Um. yes. Yes you can. LOL
The initial work was overwhelming. My jaw dropped. Do you know how much it costs to hire a GOOD artist to do your cover art? A LOT. Now it was my turn to feel like I won the lottery! He told me it was mine to do whatever I liked with it - but there was only one issue... I try to force the reader to use their imagination - to make the story their own. If we show Talia's face - it takes her from looking like a million different possibilities to one. Could we maybe change that? oh. and blue. i like blue. LOL
And from that point on
He was on a mission to BLOW MY MIND. After digging deep into every corner of my mind, seeing that I'm a lot of light - but a little bit dark 😏 , discovering that I REALLY like blue glow (Ummmm right @whack.science??? hahaha), letting me grab some last minute font help - cuz too many font options make me crazy and I need @penderis to just choose the RIGHT one with his eye for design detail! hehehe - It was finished.
It took a while to get there in this post.
But I think you see that I had more to REALLY say than just "Here's a cool thing that happened." I wanted to tell you WHY it did. I wanted to show you the LIVES beyond the posts. I wanted to show the miracle of CONNECTION. And guess what.... he shows just how he made this masterpiece ON THIS POST. Go check it out!
I am in awe. It is beyond what I could have imagined. Waking up to the final version today and ALL the care you took to think of EVERYTHING I would need for the future? for print, for posts, all the media! That says you believe in me 😊 hehehe You're amazing. You are. You inspire me. What a thrill and a gift to cross paths with you. It wasn't just steemit, it wasn't just individual passion, it wasn't even only the connection... it was all of it working together in harmony. You've touched my heart. Thank you. From the fullness of my heart
If you people don't stop DMing me hilarious names for the Name the Monkee contest.... ENTER THE CONTEST!! lol the ACTUAL contest. hahaha DMs do not count and that goes for you too @dutybound. The name cracked me up!!! I have to say it probably won't win - but it will spread smiles on the faces of a lot of steemians ;) Do it for that reason alone ... hehehe (and it's not THAT offensive. lol Kids are allowed to say poo. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha) plus @dronegraphica had me cackling with laughter over "Monki Bumjangles." LOLOLOL we ALL need to laugh more!
Have a beautiful day, all.
Me? I'm headed to church for some well-needed rest for this soul. hehehe
and all my Fireflies subscribers HAVE to see this amazingness so... @enginewitty @andysantics48 @monchhichi23 @scuzzy @happysmileyman @freedomtowrite @kiwideb @countrygirl @creatr @creed221 @quirky.countess @coachjj @notconvinced @bethalea @saffisara @zen-art @youngboss @silversaver888 @cecicastor @penderis @tamala @swolesome @hazem91 @kchitrah @arthur.grafo @bluefinstudios @snook @yidneth @joelithic33 @ydraz @ancapbarbie @eaglespirit @eveningart @dreemit @misslasvegas @chireerocks @chinyerevivian @kaerpediem @dkkarolien @jamerussell @priyanarc @dutybound
Welcome Wagon logo is the beautiful, loving work - generously made by @penderis. Use only with Welcome Wagon permission.
All other artwork made by @dutybound. Fireflies images were made for explicit use by Fireflies meaning: no touchie. it's mine. hehehe