Greetings! I'm Shannon Elise-Muir Broden, known professionally as Shannon Muir, and casually as Shan. I'd let my LiveJournal account sit dormant for years, until recent events reminded me of two things:

1) The historical significance of some of my public posts in the animation industry;

2) That there are some private posts I would want to maintain access to.

In that spirit, I have migrated things over here to Dreamwidth.

As to my level of activity going forward, I'm not sure yet. If more of my old LiveJournal friends become active here, I might be encouraged again as I've become far more appreciative of the nature of community over the years in addition to just being a public blog.

Thanks for reading!

Shan
I'm mainly posting on Facebook these days. Tried an app for crossposting but didn't have luck earlier. Might try again if I find one I like.
Just like the book before it, GARDNER'S GUIDE TO PITCHING AND SELLING ANIMATION offers a selection of Spotlight Interviews from people in all aspects of the animation business. The book is more than just my telling how it can be done, but gives the chance to hear from people in their own words how it has been done.

Look for spotlight interviews from:

* HEATHER KENYON, former development executive at Cartoon Network
* GREG WEISMAN, producer of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN and many other credits
* LOUISE NEMSCHOFF, entertainment attorney (please note her information is general and does not constitute specific legal advice for any situation)
* STAN BERKOWITZ, writer of the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER and many other credits
* MARV WOLFMAN, with numerous credits in animation, video games, comics and more
* JYMN MAGON, Story Editor for numerous series including many for Walt Disney Television Animation
* VIC COOK, director for SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN and many other credits
* JENNIFER UPTON, Producer at HIT Entertainment London
* BETSY MCGOWEN, former executive for KidsWB!
* KEVIN PAUL SHAW BRODEN, show developer and narrative illustrator
* ADAM BEECHEN, Story Editor for HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI and other animation and comics credits
* CHRISTOPHER KEENAN, former development executive for Warner Bros. TV Animation and animation development consultant
* STEPHANIE GRAZIANO, owner of Building Your Own Business and former animation studio executive


Get GARDNER'S GUIDE TO PITCHING AND SELLING ANIMATION now from various e-book retailers (who are mentioned in prior blog posts)! Selected sites also provide a sample of part of Chapter One, which includes the Heather Kenyon interview. Check it out now!
I'm finding even more ebook retailers offering GARDNER'S GUIDE TO PITCHING AND SELLING ANIMATION in Adobe PDF. At any favorite book site you want to check, be sure to look it up by title not author as many places have it mis-listed by Garth Gardner as the author, who is only the publisher.

My latest find offering the book and a preview of Chapter 1 is:

http://www.ebooks.com/ebooks/book_display.asp?IID=400844
GARDNER'S GUIDE TO PITCHING AND SELLING ANIMATION was apparently released to Adobe PDF e-book without much fanfare in DECEMBER 2008. Places I've found selling it so far:

http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin/item/1589650581/Gardner's-Guide-to-Pitching-and-Selling-Animation-eBook.html

http://www.dedicatedteacher.com/estore/product/GGC9781589650589

http://www.lybrary.com/gardners-guide-pitching-selling-animation-p-5326.html



... and (ahem) on an erotic book site I will not repeat the link for.


Dedicated Teacher in particular will show you a free sample of Chapter 1 and the Table of Contents.

Hey, it's half the price of the first book for double the pages! What are you waiting for?

P.S. A number of the sites - including those that list the never released paperback from last September - have Garth Gardner as the author, NOT me, though my name is clearly on the cover and inside. It's a genuine Shannon Muir-only book, for sure!
I like the LJ notifications I've seen on Facebook, and I like the idea. I have both Facebook and LJ open and I guess it should be prompting me if I want to post something to Facebook. Not getting it though.

Anyone know if that's an IE-only feature? I'm in Firefox 2.
Decided it's time for a tad of a facelift on the LJ and to find a new theme, but I still need one that says 'writer' like the notebook did. I'm trying Rainbow Keys as I type this but I don't like the large header font.

Hmm... I'll keep experimenting.
To everyone who will have to put up with me at work: I'm tired and I'm sorry in advance. I will not be my razor sharp troubleshooting save the world self.

But I do have to say that JemCon 2008 was totally worth it. To see how all the fans have come together and their interest in custom fashions for the dolls, their appreciation of the show for being far more than just a selling point for said dolls, and the cosplay.

Besides doing my own intimate classroom panel (which was the least organized thing I've ever done, and actually in some ways the best one), I was recognized from the front row audience during one of the larger panels as I was introduced as co-founder of TRULY OUTRAGEOUS! JEM mailing list and being thanked for how key we (meaning Lesley and I) were for starting JEM internet fandom and getting a LONG round of applause for it. I've had occasional short thank you accolades like most people do in average settings but this... this was simply amazing. They also publicly made sure to ask me to thank Lesley too, and as she has been doing the day to day management for so many years, she deserves it almost certainly more than I. L, these fans really really thank you. Several people came up to me privately and said thank yous as well.

Another big and moving moment for me was actually getting my badge. It had the Jemcon logo up top, then my name, and then below that two words "Animation Writer". They easily could have labeled me "Truly Outrageous! Mailing List" and that would have been fine. When you consider JEM is the show for which I saw my first animation script samples and really started to learn to write animation because of it, met an incredible woman who served as a role model for a time when a lot less women were in the field, and quite frankly I know I cemented my path going into animation because of this show, to see all of that connected together after 20 years was an incredible moving experience. Though it's been real for a long time, this was that moment where a childhood (teenage) dream truly was real... and truly outrageous! :)

Met some other awesome pros, including getting to really talk to Samantha Newark (speaking voice of Jem/Jerrica - she sings too but the singing voice of Jem was actually in New York), and Michael Sheehan (voice of Rio).

More details later, I have to get out the door to my day job, which I do love so and would not have happened without all the rest.

There's been so much in my life that falls together like this it's why I have to be convinced life is more than just coincidence.
I know I've been gone quite a bit, between work and school I've been VERY busy.

But if I'm not busy enough, I've managed to find a little time to put in an appearance at JemCon 2008 in Van Nuys next weekend. Most of you should know what JEM is given we have similar friends circles, but for the few who may not it was a 1980s cartoon about female rock bands and "glamor and glitter, fashion and fame" to quote the theme song. I won't be there as a Special Guest mind you (that honor is reserved for people that worked on the show such as Christy Marx nd others!) but it still was cool to get a request to come from the Con organizers given that I'm known in the JEM community as co-founder of one of its first and definitely most enduring mailing list. Someday though, maybe Christy and I can both end up special guests at the same con.

Christy - and I know you're reading this but I'm going to say it all the same - has been one of the best mentors and friends in this business I could ever have hoped for. Thanks for taking a chance on a 15 year old teen two decades ago. So much of this incredible life is thanks to you, and I'm not going to forget it.

JemCon 2008, celebrating the '80s animated series JEM, runs from September 27th-28th at the AirTel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, CA. My panel is scheduled for Sunday at 11AM, but don't miss all the great industry guests on both days of this convention! On-site registration will be available, so if anyone in the neighborhood wants to stop by and say hi or check out what this JEM craze is all about, I encourage you to check it out.

More details at http://www.jemcon.org.

Now to think about how to compress things into 45 or so minutes and not get too redundant with what I suspect Christy will cover. I'm planning to try and emphasize animation production over writing since Christy specializes in writing and development, but a lot will depend on the audience. I've learned the hard way to go with the flow.
I'm having trouble sleeping so I'm up writing about my day.

So today I turned 36. At first it was a pretty normal day. Eat breakfast, read some homework, do a little blogging, and a little more unpacking. Got into work a little after 10. Came in to find that no one had decorated my desk as some of my coworkers have gotten for their birthdays but that's all right since I don't really like blatant attention to things. The receptionist remembered to say Happy Birthday so that was fine.

So I get to work as usual. Through the day, more birthday wishes show up - in the hallways, in email. One group of people I work with tell me they've called me for a meeting and as part of that quick stop by the office give me a card and flowers. Subtle and nice attention from the people who mean it, that's what really matters to me more than an obvious pointing me out that doesn't really reflect who really knew. I think the people in the office on Facebook seemed to be the main group that figured it out and word spread. Overall, it was a very nice day even though I was very busy!

Kevin showed up just around 6 and for dinner took me to an Italian restaurant in a quaint little part of Glendale called Kenneth Village, named for the street it is on (but I don't know historically if that name comes in turn from someone who might have been of importance there). I really love historical stuff and architecture so this was really fun. Called George's and had really good food. Apparently they deliver to Burbank and Glendale. I'll have to consider maybe doing that once in future.

Got back to the apartment to open my gift from Kevin - a 3 cup Cuisiart I'd expressed interest in some time ago as I'm trying to get back into cooking more. For the size of stuff I make the next level up (7 cups) is just too big so I am hoping this will work and encourage me to cook at home even more!

Now to bed, and to face another day of work. At least we get short summer Fridays.
One thing that is a little frustrating for me is that I'm wide awake at 6:30 am every morning and can't go back to sleep.

Now I have little choice about being up at 6:30 am (at least until daylight savings time goes away). Having a slightly low thyroid, I have to take meds for that and then can't eat for an hour. So I've made a habit of getting up, taking my med, and then going back to sleep for an hour. I could do this just fine at the old place.

Not here, no. Once I'm awake, I'm awake. And often I've still gone to bed around midnight like I used to at the other place.

So overall I'm getting less sleep, not more. Bleh. I was hoping to get more sleep by being able to stay in bed until long after 8 instead of rushing out the door around 8 to catch the bus.

So this morning I started reading my Introduction to PHP book. First assignment due Thursday. Oi, I am so rusty at some of my basic HTML. For example I know td and tr have something to do with tables, but not truly what they mean - I've done that strictly by trial and error to adjust. I have to use them extensively in this week's assignment. Oi. I can't remember how many years it's been since I made my own webpage from the ground up, most of what I have I've just updated info but not code and in one case (shannon-muir.com) the basic template was built a few years back for me by someone else. It was, in fact, how I learned about td and tr from that page code.

I still think I can do this. It's just going to be... interesting.

Sigh. Yawning but not tired.

So, my mornings are either going to probably end up being devoted to homework, or maybe even fiction writing again? I have a story idea but am considering sitting on it for NaNoWriMo. It's the last in the series of stories I've done for the last couple of years. While skipping ahead in some ways because I'm taking the characters from their sophomore year of high school to their 10 year reunion, it became relevant in that one of the real life people who inspired one of the characters (or, more correctly, aspects of one of the characters - there is no real life basis in the actual personality of the person to the fictional character save an interpersonal relationship I had with a real life individual) passed away within the last year. It really wasn't my intention to kill off the fictional character, but I realize that it feels right to do so, and probably will serve for me to work out the issues that made me draw on the real life for inspiration in the first place. The real life character will have to face the same shock and frustrations I did, based on the larger issue I was dealing with, though the specific details of those emotions are for very different reasons.

I may end up throwing the whole draft out, but I think for my own sake I need to work it through.
One of the things about moving is that it makes you acutely aware of how much you can accumulate and the need to prioritize what you hold on and what you let go of.

Or, the lack of ability to do that, as the case may be.

I'm not sure which I am at the moment. Kevin and I made a run to a storage area I have rented to deal with the overflow I had to move out of the apartment early to make room for more packing. Our purpose was to get a TV stand I purchased at IKEA (and we later got a second one today for the other TV set I now have, that's a different story...). Anyway, we did an accounting of what's still there.

One folding media shelf. Two folding bookcases. A computer desk that needs assembly. A box of all the old issues I did for PAPER MAYHEM with the CTF 2187 fiction, women in PBM gaming articles, etc. when the widow of the publisher sold me all the back stock.

And I believe it was twenty (or just shy of twenty) bankers boxes of stuff!

About six of those off the top of my head are books, from my school annuals to media communication theory texts, to National Geographic series for younger readers I kept for research. Two boxes are full of all my CTF 2187 game turns from over the entire span of my career playing the play by mail game (speaking of which, I have to remember to send my new address to the GMs and get into a game with Dad again like we talked about!).

But for the life of me, off the top of my head, I don't know what the other boxes are. No, wait, that's not totally true. My childhood and adolescent writings are in some of those. But the remaining boxes can't ALL be that. So what are they? You'd think if they were so significant I'd, like, remember. Right?

Good thing I also rented the semi-private garage. I knew I'd need it, but wow, this was a bit more than I expected. Seriously.
Hi. Yeah, I know, I've been a bit AWOL lately.

Been very very crazy. Work mainly. That and finishing two classes in Project Management on Risk and Quality. Now I am taking two more (Fundamentals and Leadership) PLUS Introduction to PHP.

Not to mention I moved.

Yeah, seriously. MOVED. After 12 years in the Koreatown/MacArthur Park area, I have now officially made Glendale my home as of June 23rd. The higher heat is taking a little more getting used to, but I am within walking distance not only of work but of far more places than I was before. Sure I was walking distance of a bank and the grocery store, but the MALL? Actually, I guess technically with the opening of the Americana (Glendale's clone of the Grove that they built near Farmer's Market a few years back), make that TWO malls. The pluses far outweigh the minuses.

Fingers crossed the first big project I've worked on will launch in a couple weeks. That's taken the bulk of my time. I really hope people like the end result. We've worked very long and hard on it, and had some struggles too. But I guess that comes with any project.

I do have hotel reservations for Comic-Con and already asked for the vacation days back in March which got approved. Hopefully I won't be too burned out to enjoy it.

FYI, you can also find me a lot these days on Facebook too... partially because I have a lot of co-workers who hang there, not to mention my sister whom I seem to follow just about anywhere. Except to the other journal she moved to. No plans to migrate for now.
Still very busy at work and now also midway through online classes on Project Quality and Project Risk Management, and in the midst of all that fitting in a book appearance that was originally set in motion last Fall but is only happening now. So if you want to stop by and meet or catch up with me, here's an opportunity.

If you're in the San Fernando Valley area on May 17th, Van Eaton Galleries (a major place for finding animation cels and animation art) and the Creative Talent Network are teaming up to present their 2nd Annual Animation Book Look. Lots of authors will be there with all kinds of books on animation, including myself for GARDNER'S GUIDE TO WRITING AND PRODUCING ANIMATION. Also, since Kevin Paul Shaw Broden did all the illustrations inside the book, he'll be there with me to sign books and some of his original art will be available for sale.

Find out about everyone that's coming here:

http://www.animationbooklook.com/index.html
Sorry I've been gone a while, but between a great trip to Seattle area to visit my sister's family and lots of fun work back here in LA, I've been swamped.

I think I mentioned back on MLK weekend I was crunching to get an article done for publication. It's finally come out and it's advice on Breaking into Animation Writing on existing series.

The script samples and overall article are mine, I don't know where they got the top graphic from or why they used that as it is from the FINAL FANTASY video games. FF X-2 happens to still be my fave game of all time, but ...

In any case, I hope that people find this article informative and I enjoyed doing it. Here's the link:

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/20-FE3-ShannonMuir.html

The whole issue is on freelancing, FYI, so there might be a lot of useful stuff there. Consider taking a look.

And thanks again to WOW! Women on Writing for the opportunity.
In doing some web searching tonight, I came across the following:

http://flagshipmagazine.com/BackIssues/issue94.pdf

Of specific interest to me was page 31, a commentary page by a longtime pioneer and legend in Play By Mail (PBM) gaming named Bob McLain. Bob McLain is important to the history of PBM as the founder of Gaming Universal, what was one of the three top postal mail focused publications at the height of the pre-PBeM era (the other two being the now defunct Paper Mayhem and Flagship, the latter still active in Britian but was over here in the US as well for a time).

He speaks of his dissatisfaction of the word 'legend' being used to describe two gamers in the business and somehow not being yet applied to himself. One of the gamers in question is my own father, John Muir (or John C. Muir as he's always preferred to be by-lined). What's funny is that the word only describes my Dad on one site, and if Mr. McLain had paid attention, *I* am the one using the word in an interview I did with my Dad for an online magazine called Sabledrake... and frankly I'm biased, but hey he's my Dad. I just wish Mr. McLain had paid attention, evaluated the source accordingly, and even jumped on me for my nepotism if he felt a need to complain - I think that would have been a bit more fair than his blanket dismissive statement. I'm at least thankful he still seems to show some respect for my Dad but conveys very little knowledge about him since their early days - my father did in fact study Library Information Systems long before we saw where things would head in the Information Age, but due mainly to his children being too tired of moving around after his years in the service and completing his GI Bill, he instead settled down to being a hardware technician for a community college.

What it really boils down to is that while my father still actively plays postal gaming, he isn't as active on the Internet past email and therefore his involvement seems diminished. I would agree his influence was probably greatest at the time of paper magazines for which back issues will never make the Internet. My father wrote articles not only for Bob McLain's Gaming Universal, but quite often for the late David Webber's Paper Mayhem (where I also got my start in PBM fiction following in my father's footsteps), and even occasionally for the US version of Flagship during its run. He was well known and respected for his fair and honest game reviews, the biggest impact I saw first hand when a major game company was willing to pull a game off the market for retooling after my father gave it a tough review with total respect and no hard feelings. Many other gamers would turn to him for alliances, help, mentoring, support. I'm only conveying to you the evidence I watched play out before my eyes growing up that even stretched far beyond looking up to my Dad, granted through my biases, but it's what I know.

I also know my own interest in gaming, which evolved to PBM fiction, to computer gaming, and now actively working in internet casual gaming/virtual worlds, all began because I grew up as the daughter of this incredible, wonderful man.

I refuse to let my father's many years in PBM be reduced to simply be reduced to a throwaway paragraph in an ascerbic commentary, no matter how old.

So, Mr. Bob McLain, if you're trolling the net all these years later... for the record, you too are one of the legends of PBM in my eyes. Your effort to put together Gaming Universal helped spread the word of the field that broadened to PBeM and beyond. And thank you for giving my father that first chance, because it definitely was influential in my life as making him an inspiration to live up to and follow.
Showed up in a friend's LJ and I just decided to amuse myself here...

Answering twenty questions, most of which I understand... )
Nice discussion at the book group. Kevin and I had a business lunch to discuss next steps in the Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory universe, then off to shop for the wedding gift - as well as a new dress and ultimately also a trip out to the wide shoe store for shoes to wear with it (the agony of being a 9 double-E). My only dress shoes were black and I'll need white shoes for this one. Learned that not many white wide width styles are available, so I better take good care of these ones - they might end up doubling as the shoes for my own wedding!

Then off to the train station and back home. Just got off the phone with Kevin and apparently he got a flat tire somewhere along the way :( Which will mean some form of alternate arrangements to get home when I go back tomorrow, since he usually drives me home. But oh well, we'll manage.

Now to make updated flyers for the Book Club to have on the Women's Ministry table, then to figure out how to rest for the rest of the day. I think I'll just let TORCHWOOD tape and catch up later...

Update

Mar. 8th, 2008 08:46 am
The nice thing about not driving and owning a Blackberry is that it's a great combo to post to LiveJournal from a train...

Headed down to Fullerton for several things. The bi monthly Womens Book Club is today. Then Kevin and I need to get a wedding gift for his cousin's wedding plus me hunt up another dress to wear more than likely (I rarely wear them as is). The main thing I don't look forward to there is getting bombarded with have-you-set-the-date questions.

To which the answer is no. While I've more than recovered from the backslide I experienced last year, Kevin's no better off. And he doesn't just want to leech off me and I respect that. End result though is after over six months of engagement, we're stuck due to his lack of employment.

I know it's the same struggle that's been going on the whole eleven (closer to twelve) years we've been together. Kevin really is working on it, and recently trying even braver tactics than before.

We're hanging in there, though, though it's not always been easy or without stress. But I know after the experiences I've had before, Kevin is a treasure in the ways it matters most.

In the meantime, I stay very busy at my job. I try not to get too stressed or frazzled, but I love what I do and the people I'm with. I never dread going to work, and can truly say I love what I do.

Even managing to read and write some, but sleep is suffering some for it...
I did get the WIA newsletter stuff proofed, and then headed out to Fullerton. Missed most of church, but did get some room reservation paperwork and some flyers dropped off for the Womens' Book Club so at least it could be promoted to second service this week and both next week. Almost everyone who currently comes to the group is from first service, so that's really where it needs to be promoted anyway.

Also watched the Academy Awards with Kevin and his parents this year, as we have done every year (sometimes just us, sometimes all four of us). Lots of surprise winners - including my favorite song of the past year or so, "Falling Slowly" from the movie ONCE. I figured the vote for the three songs from ENCHANTED would split, but that young girl singing in the AUGUST RUSH tune was very good and I felt it quite plausible that song would win. I mean, I *SCREAMED* with joy when they announced Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. And, because of the miscues that happened, I'm glad they did give Marketa some onstage time. Since these two are mainly out to make music and not films, they might never get this chance again.

Also bummed that RATATOUILLE won over PERSEPOLIS - I mean, I liked the Pixar film and all but I felt PERSEPOLIS to be of good quality across the board plus being groundbreaking. At least it's progress... :)
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