on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘John’

A Writer’s Love Letter to Other Writers

Journals, handstands, and writing taken by lamiki

Writers see the world differently. We analyze every word that you say, every move that you make, and every thought that you barely breathe. We piece stories together when there aren’t any to be told. And we create a world out of the pieces that we see in our own.

And yet, with as much as I love this part of myself, being a writer is hard. It takes practice. The great Haruki Murakami wrote an entire book about how being a writer (especially of epic novels) is like long distance running, it takes practice, endurance, and a lot of training.

I’ve been writing stories my entire life. In elementary school I would sit along the wall while the other kids played foursquare (the game, not the app) and scribble stories in my notebook with a felt-tipped marker.

One day, a girl in my class saw me writing and came over.

“What are you writing?” she asked.

“Oh, just a story,” I said, and curled the spiral bound notebook up in a way so that she wouldn’t be able to read it. But of course she did. And she noticed exactly what I didn’t want her to, the name of one of the characters.

“Ohhhh, do you like Tyler?”

There were three boys named Tyler in our class, and it was perfect for one of my characters. We were nine years old. Even if I tried to explain it, there was no way she was going to understand how writers work.

As my husband, the illustrator said one day, he creates art out of nothing, and I create art out of what I see. That is the difference between the illustrator and the writer.

My first fiction teacher told me that his wife used to read his stories and would always find the character that resembles her. Shortly after I wrote the best short story of my life and the protagonist was modeled loosely after my best friend.

That’s the magic and the danger behind being a writer, we don’t know how to separate the two worlds apart and we don’t want to. That’s why process of writing is scary and personal, we write about what we see in the world in order to understand it, we write for us and at the same time for you. We write because we have to, because we need to, because the world needs us to.

And sometimes that’s enough.

Steve Jobs and Movember: Time to Get your Mustache on

Something magical has happened in my house since the night Steve Jobs died – and I’m not talking about the top 40 pop music that’s flowing up the stairs from my husband’s office into mine as I write this, but what he’s doing while listening to it.

He’s drawing.

The Evolution of an Artist

My husband, John, has always been a creative-type. By day and trade he’s a graphic designer, but he always had ambitions of being an artist. But no one ever told him that he could. So he pursued the next best thing, design. And he’s good at it.

For as long as I’ve known him, John has been a designer and an illustrator. But it wasn’t until he sat down, moved by the news of losing our generation’s Gutenberg, Edison, Picasso, Carnegie, that he drew this tribute to Steve Jobs and something inside of him opened up.

Over the past two months, John has been drawing almost every night and this month, he’s decided to sell a limited number of Steve Jobs’ Tribute Prints to benefit Movember. While pancreatic cancer took one of the most inspiring innovators of our time, John wanted to do something and help raise money to make sure that other men are not taken before their time like Steve Jobs was.

Why you should care about Movember

John Kimball Holding Steve Jobs Tribute Artwork

Movember is the month formerly known as November and is dedicated to growing moustaches and raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues; specifically cancers affecting men. To show my support for the men in my life, I have signed up as a Mo Sista. 

Why do I care about men’s health?


  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • A man is diagnosed with prostate cancer every 2.2 minutes
  • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
  • 24% of men are less likely to go the doctor compared to women

Those statistics suck.

John’s three-weeks into growing his ‘stache, but tragically, even though I’m a Mo Sista, I can’t grow a mustache. It’s physically impossible. So instead, I’m asking you to support our Movember campaign in two ways:

Support our Movember campaign through a donation – If you would like to and can, please make a tax-deductible donation of $5, $10, or $25 to our Movember campaign.

Or if you’re a charitable geek at heart –

Steve Jobs spotted in the wildPurchase a limited edition of John’s Steve Jobs Tribute print – You can purchase the print through his etsy store or by contacting me directly. All proceeds of the prints go directly to the Movember campaign and will be mailed out at the end of the month. You can purchase a 12” x 12” print on Luster paper or a 16” by 16” on Canvas. All prints are individually signed and numbered.

In case you’re wondering, the print looks amazing in person.

Time to get your Mo on

We only have one more week to grow and support these Movember moustaches, so please come along for the ride. And John will not be selling this print once Movember ends.

Funds raised during Movember will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others. Through the Movember Foundation and their men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, Movember is funding world-class awareness, research, educational and support programs, which would otherwise not be possible. 

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having, please click on the links below:

Thank you for donating at our campaign and for helping me change the face of men’s health. Go the Mo!

Why I am a Mo SistaSteve Jobs Tribute Art auctioned at Seattle Geek Roast

I’m a wife and a daughter who has a dad, grandpas, brothers-in-law, uncles, cousins, one adorable nephew, and numerous amazing male friends. I care and love each and every one of them and want to do what I can help change the face of men’s health.

Are you with me? 

If so, you know what to do – donate, buy, or help me spread the word about this campaign.

Thank you.

How to Impress your Customers and Create Lifelong Fans

We Were Promised Jetpacks live at Neumos in Seattle

Last night I went to a show to see one of my favorite bands play. We Were Promised Jetpacks just released their sophomore album and last night was the final stop on their U.S. tour and the first time they were the headliner. Last night was also the third time I saw them play and each time they get better and better.

John and I had an awesome spot on the balcony along the rail and the perfect view of the stage and all of the band members. As we waited for the lights to dim after they cleared the stage and set up the equipment for We Were Promised Jetpacks, I noticed that the stage was very clear and there were five guitars laid out. We Were Promised Jetpacks only has four members. I don’t remember them switching guitars at previous shows like some of the heavy alternative rock shows I went to in high school, but whatever, the lights were dimming and they were coming out.

The drummer, the lead guitarist, the lead singer, and the bass player all came out on stage.

And then came two more.

They started playing – the four men of We Were Promised Jetpacks who I had seen before and two more. They played their radio hit from their second album and then rolled into the song that made them famous (at least in my book) – with five guitars.

Want to know how to impress your customers and turn them into lifelong fans?

Surprise them with what they’re least expecting.

Turns out the additional members came from the opening band, Bear Hands. We only caught the tail end of their set, so we didn’t recognize them. But, man, the whole time they were playing – and again during the finale – it just blew me away.

Whenever I hear their music in the car or on the radio, I feel warm and amazed by their sound. But last night, they just increased my utter respect for them. I have no idea if this was an icing-on-the-cake, only time that these two bands performed together or if they did that set at every show, but I don’t care. The energy that flew out of those guys during that performance started their show off with the right level of bang and exploded into one of the most amazing concerts I’ve attended in awhile.

Was I impressed before? Yes.

Am I even more hooked on them – their music, their product? Absolutely.

And now you are too.

#snOMG: Overcoming My Fear of the Seattle Snowpocalypse

It’s snowing right now in Seattle. And it’s kind of a big deal. You see, all we need are a few inches and it shuts down the city. Call us whatever you’d like, but we just don’t have the infrastructure to deal with clearing roads and keeping all those hills clear. Plus, in most cases it only snows for a few hours, accumulates just over an inch, then warms out and turns to rain. And all of our fears are gone, but at least we got some time off of school and work.

We’ve received bad press about this, which I understand. There are a lot of good things that we’re good at here in the Pacific Northwest, but we dealing with snow like you crazy kids in Boulder and Chicago can. It’s just not a weakness we want to improve on.

It’s such a big deal that we embrace the hashtag, #snOMG, because that’s pretty appropriate with how Seattleites are feeling right now (whether they care to admit it or not).

Myself included. Yes, I am an active member of #snOMG.

Staring #snOMG in the face

Tonight, after barely making it home from the gym, John decided it’d be the opportune time to teach me how to drive in the snow. Uh huh.

As we crawl up our street, I’m on pins and needles, with my heart racing, hyperventilating, the works. I’m already in a fragile place: at the gym, I had a long talk with my coach about how much my arm is hurting from when I injured it during a workout over the summer. The hurt has evolved and is affecting my life outside of the gym. I can’t eat with chopsticks throughout an entire meal, it’s that bad.

So picture fragile Laura in the passenger seat of her brother-in-law’s almost-collector-status, rear-wheel drive, 1983 Mazda RX-7 with her husband at the wheel explaining the benefit of learning how to drive in the snow—something she’s afraid of and is not in the mental state to face right now at all.

We crawled up the street and a few blocks over to an abandoned parking lot. I regulated my breathing. The lot was without cars, speed bumps, and very few streetlights. John drove first, demonstrating and talking me through how to use the gas to regulate the direction that you’re going and how if you slide, point the wheel in the direction you want to go. Things specific to a rear-wheel drive car.

John drove, sliding in circles, and giving me the play-by-play for everything that he was doing and how to recreate it. Then we switched.

Taking the driver’s seat

With me in the driver seat, John’s instructions were to just drive and have fun and if he gives me any instructions to do them. Immediately.

I drove. I spun. I made a hard left, then a hard right. The back kicked out, I counter steered. I went in circles when I wanted to and I went straight when I wanted to, too. It was just like racing in an autocross—except there was snow under my tires and everything moved slightly slower. And I giggled. A lot.

I’ve raced a lot of cars in my life as an autocrosser, but the majority of them have been lightweight, rear wheel beasts. I know what it feels like to drift a corner and how to correct oversteer. Driving a car is intuitive—especially an older one that has a cable-throttle, giving my foot a direct connection to the gas without a computer getting in the way. The only difference here is less traction due to snow.

Learning: I can handle this

When you have a fear, even if it’s one that leaves you kicking and screaming to avoid, find someone to help pull you out of that place, show you it’s not as scary as it seems, and teach you how to overcome it. They key with snow—and what I’ve been lacking all along—is confidence that I can drive in it. Tonight I got my first dose of it and I’ll start building it from here. Baby steps, my friend.

Now, assuming that the rain doesn’t come and melt it all away overnight, I will not go cruising around like a teenager green from the DMV. I plan to fully embrace my #snOMG-ness and freak out by staying at home. I overcame my fear of driving in the snow, but that doesn’t mean I’m “cured” of all nervousness about it.

I’ll keep working on that one. I can handle driving in the snow; it’s everyone else on the road that I don’t know about.

Thank you, John, for being patient with me.

What’s one fear you’ve overcome lately and did someone help you through it?

Photo Credit: thisisbossi