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In the pause: Dreaming and planning for 2018

I use December 26th as a day to dream and plan for the year ahead. I’d love to hear about your dreams from 2018. Here’s what I came up with:

International travel to Iceland, Dublin in Ireland, and the Alhambra in Spain to do research for Emerson’s second book while continuing to promote the first book in the young adult fantasy series that came out in November.

Emerson’s series is filled with science and art, two of my personal passions. I’ll be doing quite a bit of research on astronomy through the program at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Excited to connect with lots of other star-gazers in the new year.

2018 already has a few speaking engagements for me including being a featured speaker at the Virginia Festival of the Book in March where I’ll be visiting a number of schools and M-W C.A.R.E.S. in October. I’m looking forward to doing more work in schools and centers of community to help empower young people and encourage creativity.

In January, I’ll be hosting my first live storytelling event. Produced by Caveat, New York City’s Secrets and Lies features six phenomenal storytellers weaving tall tales about this wonderful and turbulent place we call home. Five of them are true and one’s a lie. Can you figure out the one that really is too far-fetched to be true? Secrets are hidden all over this town. I’m looking forward to learning even more about them and bringing them to life for audiences.

For my own storytelling practice, I’m excited to take Adam Wade’s classes at Magnet Theater and to get more involved with the storytelling community as an audience member, fan, and active participant.

In 2017 I was fortunate to be a critique advisor for students at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. I learned so much and it felt wonderful to be able to help the students in the program. I’m looking forward to getting even more involved in the work there in 2018.

I have a job where I spend all day working to help arts organizations use technology to grow engagement among their guests and visitors. I’m excited to continue that work by learning more about Salesforce and the needs of our partners in the performing arts, museum, and film festival spaces.
And speaking of art, I’ll be doing more of my own paper collages and looking for inspiration in the wonderful museums we have in New York City. In addition to the amazing upcoming exhibitions at the Met, the Museum of the City of New York, and the New-York Historical Society, I’m going to make more of an effort to get to museums I haven’t yet visited including The Frick Collection and the New York Transit Museum.

Reading about the work at The Edelman Fossil Park in New Jersey inspires me. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara and his team are doing an incredible job, and I hope to get down there at some point for a roll-up-my-sleeves community dig.

In the health arena, I’m going to recommit to running and will throw my hat in the lottery ring for the New York City marathon. (Thanks to Jen A Miller and my friend, Cara, for their inspiring posts on running.) I’m also very excited to attend and promote my dear friend and yoga sister, Marita‘s, work with The Mindful Rebels. She’ll be running yoga classes through the Yoga NYC Meetup group starting in January. We’re also taking a fantastic yoga and meditation class at the Rubin Museum in January and planning a jump rope revolution event around New York City when the weather gets a touch warmer. B.Y.O.R. (Bring Your Own Rope) and join us!

For a while I’ve wanted to do a therapy dog training with Phineas because he loves people. I recently learned about the R.E.A.D. program with the New York Public Library that gives kids a chance to read to dogs. The program promotes literacy among kids while supporting kindness to animals all at one of my favorite New York organizations. A win-win-win-win for all.

In 2018, I’m going to continue my quest to buy a little piece of New York City real estate. It’s a long-term goal and I’ve got some work to do. My fantastic friend and agent, Mindy Feldman, is helping me plan and explore, and several neighborhoods in Queens are looking more and more like the right choice for the diversity, culture, convenience, and possibility that they afford to residents. Now if only Queens had a Central Park of its own. Surely that has to be something we can make happen, right?

2017 showed us that despite our best efforts the world can be a cruel place. I’m going to do my part in 2018 to promote more kindness every day. This recent news story about small everyday kindnesses inspired me. I hope it inspires you, too. The world needs more kindness.

 

Which brings me to the midterm elections. I’m encouraged by the races in Virginia and Alabama, and that has further motivated me to do my part (and then some) in 2018. I’ll be going to the Women’s March on January 20th in New York City, continuing my financial support of the ACLU and the Democratic Party, and volunteering with organizations such as Run for Something and Emily’s List.

With so many wonderful things to do, see, and explore in the world, I’m going to let my never-ending curiosity lead the way in many different directions. I hope you’ll join me on these adventures and tell me about your own.

Wishing you an imaginative 2018!

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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