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Love Wins

Posted by on 10:01 pm in Life | 0 comments

Love Wins

Today, no Tarot education, friends, or card stories. Just one very excited artist, so happy that yesterday, love won. Portland is a very LGBTQ-friendly town. Huggy. Love-y. Most of us want everyone to find joy and happiness in life. (There are of course the exceptions to the love-y Portlander rule, but, thankfully, I don’t know any of them personally.) We were happy when gay marriage was legalized here, but I can’t say just how thrilled I am to know that now folks can get married all over the U.S., even in my college town of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Now, I’m not normally one to be public in my discussion of politics, but this is very personal to me, and to many people I care about. Marriage equality is a topic dear to my heart, but for more reasons than just that of wanting my friends to be able to love who they want to love. I grew up with a different kind of bigotry in my life. My mother married my awesome stepfather, whose mom is Panamanian and whose father is African-American. I had friends whose parents stopped letting their kids come over after my parents married, because my dad was black and my mom was white. This was shockingly still considered a no-no by some in the South. My dad was such a healthy, loving source of support in my life. I had an intense mother, and I credit my stepdad for teaching me how to have a sense of humor. He is genuinely one of the kindest men I know. We went through a lot together. My mother and I needed him on an emotional level, and it was total B.S. to me that anyone else thought they had a right to decide that they were wrong for wanting to marry. People’s judgments, both spoken and unspoken, really got to me as a kid. I loved having him as my dad, and I couldn’t understand people’s ignorance. Who were they to say whether he got to be my father in an official capacity? Watching this intolerance over and over again raised me to be very aware of the treatment of others, especially in the departments of love and marriage. So, I guess it’s not surprising, even if I don’t identify as gay myself, I have always been an advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people to marry whomever they love. Love is love. If only we could all be so lucky to love someone and be able to spend our lives with our perfect partner. And, to celebrate love winning, of course I had to re-share “The Lovers” card from The Portland Tarot. It features two wonderful people I love very much. I think they are one of the greatest couples I know. How they started dating is one of my favorite little stories. Yay for love and for getting to make our own choices. One day, kids will look back on this time and scratch their heads that who you got to marry was ever an issue. As a friend posted today on Facebook… “Now it’s not gay marriage. It’s just marriage.” Preach it. Go out and represent love, my friends! With love,...

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Creating “The Seven of Mugs” – The David Bowie / Thomas Jerome Newton-Inspired Tarot Card

Posted by on 10:30 am in Creative Journey, Minor Arcana, Stories | 0 comments

Creating “The Seven of Mugs” – The David Bowie / Thomas Jerome Newton-Inspired Tarot Card

A Great Start to Another Year of Art The card I last completed was The Seven of Mugs (traditionally Cups). I had a pretty ambitious concept for this one that has been stuck in my head for two years, and it ended up taking about seven cards worth of effort to complete. But, for me, it was worth it. It was the project that launched my year and showed me just how far I could go with my art. The Original Concept So, the concept. I had always envisioned that this card would depict a guy watching a series of televisions, in which each presented a scene relating to the concept of the cup. The character would be present in each television, living out that particular story. In the foreground he’d be witnessing the options, and in the background he’d be experiencing them. The concept made me think of a scene played by David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. The character, Thomas Jerome Newton, sitting in an old gynecological chair, mesmerized by a wall of televisions.  Ground Control to Minor Leo Those close to me know what a huge Bowie fan I am. I got a huge kick out of the idea of paying homage to one of my heroes in a card. However, I was clear I wanted it to be an homage, not a direct rip-off of the idea. I was contemplating who to invite to star in the piece, and when pulling cards on the options I had in mind, it became clear that a particular individual would be a perfect choice. I sent Leo Daedalus, an impresario and performing artist who runs a show called The Late Now, a Facebook message to invite him right before the new year. My husband and I had attended his shows for awhile and loved them. Leo and I met when I was invited to the show a couple of years back to present my 2nd Edition Majors Deck and talk a bit about the project. Since then, Leo and I had gotten to know each other a bit and I sensed he’d get a kick out of being a part of the piece. He responded to my message requesting his participation with an emphatic yes. As our conversation unfolded, he told me something really fun. (By now, I am never surprised by these sorts of happenings.) Apparently, he had been thinking obsessively about the movie The Man Who Fell to Earth for the last month, and especially about the scene I described. He had been wondering how to incorporate an homage to this scene into his own creative endeavors. The Concept & Style Come Together Well, it was a no-brainer that we were destined to collaborate on this piece, and we began with much enthusiasm. It was an auspicious beginning that was an indication of the unfolding project to come. Over our brainstorm sessions, he decided to go so far as to dye and cut his hair in a Thomas Jerome Newton style. We picked an outfit he already had, where he looked like TJN in his suited scenes. Visually, I decided I wanted to go for a style meshing TMWFTE, Bladerunner, and Minority Report (some mood board images below). The week of the shoot...

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The Beauty of an Improvised Life

Posted by on 12:05 am in Insight, Stories, Tarot Ideas | 0 comments

The Beauty of an Improvised Life

The central tenant of improv is the phrase, “Yes, and…” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how this powerful phrase can change our lives, and how well it ties to Tarot. I’m taking my second level of improv classes right now in Portland, at The Brody Theater. (If you don’t know what improv is, it’s a theatrical technique in which people basically make things up as they go, often with hilarious results.) If you’ve ever seen improv theater (think “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” for example), it may look relatively simple at first glance, but the underpinnings are very deep, and it is a challenging art form to master. But, I’m not trying to master it, not right now. I’m just falling deeply in love with what the practice of this art form has to teach me. Improv is a Performance Art; It’s Also About How We “Do” Life. If you are doing improv with a partner, the first rule is to say “Yes” to everything they offer. If they enter the scene and say, “Hi, Linda, it’s so great that we are finally meeting up for coffee!” and you say, “What do you mean meet up for coffee? I thought we were shopping for a new Stairmaster at Super Sports World,” the scene grinds to a halt. You just said, “No” to the creative offer your partner made, which makes it very difficult to proceed. In other words, you overrode their creative offering with your own agenda. Boo, that’s no fun for anyone. How often do we do try to reorder things to the way we think they should be? Tell people their perspective is wrong, before we really get a chance to play in the space they’ve created? In improv, a better way to handle that scene would be to say, “YES, it is so nice that we met up, AND I really need to talk to you about our friend Joe’s Lego addiction. It’s really getting out of hand, I think he needs an intervention.” Or wherever else you are inspired to offer up to add to the scene. Brick by brick (ha!), moment by moment a situation and story evolves—and it takes the absolute deepest presence to truly participate in this act. You can’t get caught up too far in the future, you must stay in the moment to create the scene. I don’t know about you, but I need all the practice I can get to learn to better stay in the moment. What could life be like if we said “Yes” to more? How would the Universe show up to support us if we showed up in a co-creative way by not only saying “Yes” to whatever was offered us, but we also chose to show up and add to that offered experience in a proactive and collaborative way? How would the Universe show up to support us if we chose to say, “Yes, and…” to more in life? Click To Tweet Improv is an art form that is about so much more than what happens on stage. It’s about being truly in the NOW, putting aside our agenda to enjoy participating in a truly collaborative experience, and playing with life in a microcosmic sense. You know what? So is Tarot. The...

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How You Can Use Tarot to Write the Perfect Email for a Challenging Situation

Posted by on 11:56 pm in Business, Insight, Tarot Ideas | 0 comments

How You Can Use Tarot to Write the Perfect Email for a Challenging Situation

Here’s the scenario: You need to write a tricky email, and fast. But you’re afraid to hit send—something feels off. You’re worried about the repercussions if you don’t get it just right. Or maybe you’re not sure you’re being as clear as you can. Clear communication can be challenging! My major in college was Fine arts, with an emphasis in Graphic Communications. Communication is a big component of all the work I do, whether I’m communicating from a visual place or a content place. So, it’s not surprising that I am always thinking about how to improve the communication process. There’s nothing like clear communication to keep things running smoothly, to move toward our goals, and to make sure our relationships are well nurtured and maintained. Sometimes, when writing an email, communication just flows. There’s really nothing complicated to express. Then there are those days when communication is tricky. If today is that day for you, then I’ve got some great ideas for how to improve your email communication, and how Tarot can help you get it just right. The Many Ways an Email Can Go Wrong… and Right Let’s face it: the content of every e-mail we write is susceptible to the state of our moods, the clarity of our mind on the day, how attentive we are feeling, and assumptions about the signals that we think other people are sending us. Some days, an email can feel like a minefield. Or can turn into one, if we aren’t careful. You know how it is when a communication goes awry. There’s usually some kind of collateral damage to clean up: a misunderstanding, a dropped ball, hurt feelings, a broken relationship. Or you just simply don’t get your desired results: your invitation or request didn’t grab your intended audience enough to get the response you were hoping for. But, if we write consistently good, useful, clearly-communicating correspondences, we will hopefully be blessed enough to never know what difficulty we avoided by taking the time to be careful in our expression. Tricky Email Messages that Need Extra Care I have to write all kinds of emails in my day-to-day. Here are the ones that often end up being the sticky wickets: Communicating with people to organize gatherings Discussing boundary setting around an issue or situation Messages related to developing new business Correspondences around clearing up hurt feelings or misunderstandings Setting expectations with others, in work or personal matters When You Might Send an Email over Making a Phone Call I’ve learned that when you can talk directly with the person—whether on the phone, on Skype, or in person—you’ll usually get the best outcome. However, there can be a number of reasons we might prefer to communicate via e-mail and situations in which it would be wiser to do so. Maybe you are the kind of person who has a hard time standing up for your needs in a conversation, so an email gives you a chance to get all your thoughts down clearly, to use as the seed for a later, in-person discussion. Maybe you need a record of the correspondence—either to refer back to later or to save as evidence of the dialogue. Maybe you need a chance to clarify your thinking and feel writing it down would get...

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Heal Your Money Story

Posted by on 6:13 pm in Business, Insight | 0 comments

Heal Your Money Story

I think a lot about money and business. I work with people every day who are working to grow their business and reach their tribe. The thing I notice most, in myself and in others, is that we all have some work to do on healing our money story. I’m going to offer you a new way to live in your money story. I have to say, my own story has so much in the last year and I believe it can for you, as well. At the heart of business and work is our desire to express a passion, to help others, and to make a living doing it. It’s a pretty simple equation. However, I grew up with a really negative perspective on money, and it’s taken me most of my adult life to heal my relationship with it. I’ll share a few of my hard-won insights with you. Money is not evil. And none of us are evil for wanting it. Money is simply an energy exchange. It’s a beautiful tool that allows me to put my time into something I care about and to then have a common exchange for my efforts that doesn’t require me to trade for goods and services. (Trade is really cool, but honestly, it’s complicated! I love the simplicity of exchanging money.) I really think that our relationship with money can often illustrate inner workings that have very little to do about money itself. For instance, I’ve noticed that my ability to charge more for services over the life of my business has more to do with my inner feelings of my own value than it does my skill and experience. Sure, they’re interconnected, but sometimes I have charged rates far lower than my skill and experience warranted, and overworked myself in the process—that’s where inner value comes into play. To move forward, I’ve had to heal my own feelings of deserving, and to be willing to ask for what I really need and want to live the life I want to live. Think about if you’ve ever stayed in a job where you were underpaid. Or accepted a relationship where there was an unbalanced give and take between you and the other person. How much were your ideas of self worth impacting your choice to move on or request a more equitable condition? The process of asking has evolved for me as my understanding of the truth of money has unfolded. This is the money evolution I’ve noticed in myself… The first inner money monologue I had was, “I want more money.” If you follow the Law of Attraction, the idea is that wanting puts us out of alignment with having money. Wanting doesn’t feel very good. It feels like lack, like not having, and like a fixation on material versus spiritual concerns. Still, after much inner work, I still couldn’t convince myself the money I needed to do what I wanted to do was on the way. I felt like I was missing a piece of the puzzle, and was just frustrated with the approach. I could find a good feeling place all day about money and, eventually, I just had to cave and give in to my need to struggle in this area. And I knew I...

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Celebrating World Tarot Day… and Intuitive Arts for Everyone

Posted by on 5:43 am in Intuition | 0 comments

Celebrating World Tarot Day… and Intuitive Arts for Everyone

Are you ready for World Tarot Day? It’s right around the corner, on May 25th! For the longest time, I was clueless about this holiday. Funnily enough, the first time I found out about it was when I was contacted a couple of years back to be a subject for an article about Tarot and the holiday celebrating it that appeared in The Oregonian. You’d think I’d have been more aware of a day that celebrates such a huge passion of mine (and was a big event at Tarot.com, too, where I worked for about a year). I’m not generally a big holiday person, but I really do like World Tarot Day. Not just because I love Tarot itself, but because I am a big believer in spreading the word about the intuitive arts. Tarot is such a great entry point for folks learning to experiment with their intuitive gifts, so a holiday celebrating it can only be good for the expansion of the art. But, most of all, the more exposure Tarot gets, the more myths we can dispel and the more widely accepted it will become. I deeply believe, if more people were to learn healthy skills that allow them to tap into their own powerful intuitive abilities, our world would be a much more peaceful and deeply satisfied place. Intuition doesn’t just belong to psychics, readers, and healers. Perhaps these individuals are born with a stronger connection to this ability, or were able to learn it through life experience and the help of teachers. Intuition is innate and something each and every one of us possesses, to some degree or another. Tarot and other divinatory tools like it allow us to more easily access that ability by circumventing our addiction to logic and tapping into our centers of play. It’s a way to trick our subconscious into coming out to have a conversation with us. And that subconscious isn’t just an aspect of our psyche, but also maintains our connection to our own soul and life purpose. I see Tarot as a freewill tool that allows us to treat our life more like the fun game it can be, and not take ourselves so damned seriously. I mean, sometimes a Tarot reading can feel life-or-death serious. Ultimately, though, even the most serious reading is allowing us to treat our life as a story and act as a witness. From the place of witness, powerful change can emerge. Could the world use more of that? Hell yes. So, yeah. Happy World Tarot Day, friends. I hope you spend it with your favorite deck. And, even better, with a Tarot friend or two. Theresa   Do you intend to celebrate the day? Tell us what you’re...

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Pop a Deck in Your Briefcase: Using Tarot for Business

Posted by on 12:28 am in Business, Tarot Ideas | 0 comments

Pop a Deck in Your Briefcase: Using Tarot for Business

I was a budding entrepreneur from an early age and talking business has been a favorite topic of mine since I was itty bitty. I did a lot of kooky stuff to earn my own scratch as a kid: I created paid backyard carnivals for the neighbor kids, held regular garage sales for old toys I no longer played with in my toy box, and set up $.05 face painting days at the pavilion in the playground. I was always looking for ways to be creative, delight others, and earn cash doing it. That hasn’t changed for me. The Portland Tarot is a great project and is so fulfilling. It’s probably not too surprising to know that it doesn’t pay my bills, yet. I’m super pleased that it mostly pays for itself, since I’m still in the act of creation, and creating quality work isn’t cheap. So, what do I do to pay the bills? I’m lucky to say I also get to do something I love for my daily work, too. For the last ten years, I’ve run my own branding, design, and web development shop, Cogflower Creative (formerly Pridemore Design). Business is Hard: Tarot Makes it Easier Let me tell you — Tarot has been an incredible pal to me over my years of running my business. I use it for all kinds of work-related questions: to better understand the souls of my clients’ businesses, to help clients move through muddy waters, to make challenging decisions… It has kept me sane, grounded, and even helped me to make hard calls I would wish on no one. (Of course, if you’ve run your own business, you know that there’s no escaping those from time to time…) I won’t mince words. When you run your own business you are taking on your own personal crucible. It will grow you. It will change you. Running a business is a significant rite of passage—and not one you ever finish and get to declare, “Done with that!” and move on. It will make you stronger in every area of your life, if you stay present and engaged and willing to grow. I have learned so much about communication, responsibility, personal power, and passion through my years of running my own business. Once I added Tarot, though, I found I made much better use of my time, made more mindful decisions, navigated sticky waters with people with a measure more grace, and stayed much better on track with my big picture goals. Because there’s one thing for sure… If you develop a good relationship with Tarot, it won’t hesitate to tell you when you’ve gotten off track. @PortlandTarot <– Tweet This And what if you don’t work for yourself, but are an employee somewhere else? You may not work somewhere that you free to use Tarot, and that’s cool. Use it on the sly, when you get back home, or get a phone app so you can take a “bathroom break” to check in about pressing matters that come up in your day. Ideas for Using Tarot in Your Day-to-Day Business “Stuff” Here are some cool ways I like to use Tarot in the day-to-day of my biz: Checking on the potential outcomes of different paths/options Checking in with myself about where I would...

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This is Not a New Year’s Resolution. (It’s an Artist’s Revolution.)

Posted by on 8:12 am in Creative Journey | 1 comment

This is Not a New Year’s Resolution. (It’s an Artist’s Revolution.)

Last year didn’t go quite as expected. Not bad, overall… Let’s just call it, “Beautifully tumultuous.” When I started this project, I was gung ho to finish it in record time. I mean, I did most of the work for the Majors in a matter of months. Leapt tall websites in a bound, ran two fundraising campaigns (honestly, much to the chagrin of my bank account as my passion project often took precedence over finding client work). Amazing things happened and everything worked out, even as challenges abounded. When 2014 rolled around, I was sure I could whip out half of the minors. No prob! Erm, not so much. But a lot of great things did happen. And some sad things, too. Life wouldn’t be life without ups and downs. And we can find beauty, even in sadness and loss. Early in the year, Jefferson’s mother passed away. It was a tough time, and having lost my mother when I was in my early 20s, I could empathize with him, and was very sad to lose this lovely woman in our lives. Then, not long after, one of my dearest kitty compatriots, Kiekie, was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to be put to rest. Times were tough. We were both in grief over these losses and doing our best to find the lessons we could take away from it all. They had taught us so much about how to live life fully. Life soldiered on, as did we, and I guess you could say things took on a sort of seriousness. I felt like I needed to focus some more on working with Jefferson on creating a more stable home and financial life, and that meant really digging in and focusing on my design and web development business. And quite honestly, I am so lucky to have awesome clients to work with, so I don’t mind. It just meant putting art time on the back burner and spending more time in the work-related trenches. It felt right to put something back in the financial and energetic coffers after putting so much energy and so many resources into the creation of the deck the year before. We needed to have a feeling of more careful steering on a well-paved road and less roller coaster ride. However, The Portland Tarot just seemed to get more and more exciting as time passed, even though I spent far less time on art last year. I worked the first half of the year on developing a new image for the packaging, to get it ready for retail. I also busted my buns to earn the money to pay for a larger print run, which was oddly more relaxing than trying to run a fundraising campaign. I worked with my promotional priestess, Ailey Hines, to get the deck placed in more stores. I saw web sales wane, and store purchases become more frequent toward the end of the year, which I was totally keen to see (though I will take both!) I feel like The Portland Tarot blasted off, and it was exciting to get feedback rolling in from so many quarters, confirming all the hard work we put into making this deck accessible and easy to use for folks with a variety of levels...

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Embers of the Heart on a Cold, Wet Winter

Posted by on 4:59 am in Stories | 0 comments

Embers of the Heart on a Cold, Wet Winter

Tonight I felt a strong urge to write. I have no art news at this time, and the only deck news I have is that it is now available in several stores, something that will matter little to people from out of town. (But if it does matter to you, I can certainly use some help convincing some of the bigger stores to expand to more outlets, which buying from one of the major retailers here would certainly support. You can still get it online, if you so desire to acquire it.) Even with scant deck news, I will write about what’s on my mind and heart of late. Maybe you can relate? Winter is always an interesting time for me. I feel a deep sense of withdrawal, an urge to hibernate and ponder life. It seems to make sense in the overall energy of the season. Almost natural (as natural as being a digital, desk-bound producer can be). Yet, all around I feel the holiday pulse quickening, the call to stay busy and make, do, give, and perform. It’s the way it’s always been done. The contrast can sometimes be disorienting. If we aren’t doing enough, or are doing too much, or aren’t giving enough, or have enough people around us, there’s this feeling that we are failures. We can never win in this scenario, we are always at war with ourselves. No wonder so many people get depressed at the holidays. And of course, it doesn’t help when you already feel lonely. This year I’ve made a deliberate choice to withdraw from the usual rush. My deck has gotten into many stores, just as I believed it would. It would be a great year to get out there and do sales and festivals, as I have every year before. Frankly, I just don’t feel like it. I love selling my work, but I’m not in the mood to play salesperson. And I’ve decided that’s okay. I’m putting the overall expectation meter on a low setting. I didn’t come to this suddenly. This year is a bit different, because it comes on the heels of my marriage to the handsome and wonderfully kind Jefferson Lee. We had a small, close-knit, and low stress wedding at a restaurant in our studio building, with old friends and a few family members. Our vows were close to the heart and unrehearsed, as we shared our deep appreciation for each other and what we bring to each others’ lives. After a couple of fun days post-wedding, in Portland with friends and family, visiting some of our favorite haunts—Powell’s, The TARDIS Room, Ground Kontrol—we headed out for our honeymoon to Hawaii. Funny enough, the wedding had been a breeze, but work had completely sapped us in the weeks before. We each pulled 80 or more hour weeks a month, with very little time to plan or prep for our nuptials. It was a lucky thing we kept it simple. When we got to Hawaii (a trip that we paid for mostly thanks to the kindness of family, friends, and strangers who contributed to our GoFundMe), it took us a good couple of days to really shut off. It’s not something we’re great at. We both work very hard and care a lot about...

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The New Deck is Here! (And Other Exciting Things.)

Posted by on 7:14 pm in Press, Readings, Stories | 0 comments

Wow, a lot has happened since my last post. I can’t possibly cover it all in one sitting, but let me touch on the important parts. First of all, if you’ve been here before, you may notice that the site has changed! Life and creative pursuits have been all-consuming, and it was about time that I refreshed the content on the site. I also gave the site a facelift in honor of… The new, 3rd Edition of The Portland Tarot Major Arcana deck! Now, I just did a 2nd Edition last fall, so why would I need to do a 3rd? (Wow, was it really almost year ago?) The answer is that I needed to create—and had been talking about creating for some time—a retail-friendly version of the deck. The revised deck has a new, sexy wrap that makes it easy to stack in on a store shelf and see immediately what it’s all about. (The old organza bag was elegant, but mysterious.)   I also added a new “Pug Angel” bonus card with some information on the back, in addition to the existing 3 bridge cards that were already there. It’s pretty much the same reading guide as before. All of it is wrapped tightly in shrink wrap, to keep anything from getting away. I even purchased ISBN and UPC codes. The new deck is $29.95, and even more ready for easy gifting, with a front and back cover that introduce the deck in all its glory. Buy the Deck Now After a year of hard work with my clients, I was able to save up enough moolah to print a whopping 1,000 decks! Now I’m ready to place them in stores around Portland and the US. (If you are a store and are interested in retail placement, please contact my sales goddess Ailey at ailey@theportlandtarot.com to get more info.) Tarot Readings with Theresa Also, did you know that I do Tarot readings? This last year I had many opportunities to do readings for people. I read for a total of 50 people at this year’s World Domination Summit. (I wish I had taken a photo of the long line, it was amazing.) I’ve been reading a long time, but I have to say, the hundreds of opportunities I have had to read the last couple of years have contributed immensely to a growth in my abilities. I’m just amazed and humbled by how a regular Tarot practice truly can hone our intuitive abilities and, dare I say it, make us even more psychic and tuned into powerful manifestations. It seems like much of the world still views Tarot as fortune telling, but for me it has always been a tool for helping me shape my path and draw in what I most desire. Learn More About Readings Speaking of which, I have exciting news of a personal nature! My lovely partner in crime, Jefferson Lee (of Mount St. Helens fame), and I are getting hitched later this year! I couldn’t be more excited, he’s such an incredible and lovely human being. He has been my steady right hand through this wh0le project, working with me late into the night to make big deadlines, supporting me unwaveringly even as we struggled to make ends meet while I was...

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