I am so enormous, crazily busy! The EMG-Zine anthology eats several hours a day and isn't moving nearly as fast as I'd like (but wow, it's going to be a heck of a book), I'm getting as many emails a day (real ones, not spam) as I'm able to answer, so I'm not getting through my backlog like I need to be, I'm filling orders as fast as I can and sending out buckets of packages, I'm barely able to keep up with the forums, and the muse is seriously bending my ear. (Writing muse, but over nothing useful, just self-indulgent fanfiction stuff... darn it anyway.)
It's made me sort of step back and ask - where am I going this year? I made a goals list, but, truth of the matter is, this monster project I've started is going to need more than me pretty soon. Do I want... *shudders* employees?? The answer to that is definitely NO.
I'm also looking at incorporating again, for a few reasons. (The most recent being a contest that I could seriously STOMP [imho], but which requires my business to be anything but sole prop.) Don't need the loans I thought I'd need last year - I've got everything just about perfectly balanced to continue sustainable growth without any additional input.
Where I want to go - I can't quite go yet. See...
Eventually, I'd like EMG to be a destination. We own 36 acres of the most gorgeous birch forest, just 15 minutes out of Fairbanks. The house we've built now (mostly built), this will be the EMG studio. We'll build ourselves a private house further back on the land, and this will be the 'civilized' hub of a little community of 3-4 yurts - the kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities for at the most a dozen folks. People would pay to come vacation here, enjoy the relative solitude, small classes and community functions in the local art scenes, use it as a jumping off point for the touristy Alaskan destinations nearby, and, most specifically, for art/business boot camp.
It would be an art commune destination - 2 week minimum stay (or some such), with better deals on month-long packages, basic, rustic living (either bunk-style with a roommate, or bring your spouse and share a yurt) with shared facilities and intensive training in... well, everything - business records, organization, how to make stuff, art (with guest lectures/projects), use of high-tech equipment so you could decide if digital art was for you, for example, or if you wanted to invest in your own Epson or heat press. In exchange for 'dirt cheap' rates (yaknow, compared to usual hotel rates), each visitor would put in a few hours, invoicing, packaging, cleaning, gardening, cooking - whatever they were best suited for or enjoyed. You'd get access to art supplies you may not be ready to invest in (some would be included in your rent, more expensive stuff you'd have to purchase, but you could purchase, for example, a squeezed out pallet of artist's oils for $3 instead of having to buy half dozen tubes for $10 each...). Food would be included - a stocked kitchen, maybe some shared meal-making. Guests would be handpicked according to their personal interests - I was thinking of a month specifically geared towards traditional media, or alcohol-free, or Internet-free... whatever combinations happened to match up. High-speed wireless would be available, but probably no cable. (DVD player, undoubtedly available) It'd be low-key - everything optional, pretty much, and if you just wanted to come veg out and soak up artvibes, horrah for that, too. :)
I don't know how practical it is - maybe it would be too expensive for folks to afford, maybe the months I need the most help (winter!) wouldn't be appealing enough, but wouldn't it just be the most fun ever?
Ah, well - I'm just wasting a little time daydreaming before I fire up the heatpress and start catching up on more t-shirts n' mousepads. :)
Oh, and we just booked our airline miles to go to Mexico at the end of March! Horrah for airline miles (this is what building a house using an airline miles credit card will do!), and sharing lodging with Jake's sister, and Jake's job, which gives him plenty of paid vacation as well as more airline miles! It will be pretty darned cheap (which is good, 'cause travel budget comes out of my earnings), and oh man, am I looking forward to it! Sleepy little town, no touristy beaches, and we'll be getting a quiet place with no cable or Internet, all of which suits me just fine.
Life is good. Sun is coming back. T-shirts aren't pressing themselves...