Photo Credits: Getty Images

            I doubt if I’m alone in my quest for “My Next Big Thing”. We all fantasize about latching onto something that will change our lives from the grinding, mundane ordinary to a transformed life of purpose, passion, joy, comfort, and security. I believe one of the reasons we tolerate the mendacity and decadence of The Donald is because we all believe deep, deep down that there is a chance we too might one day turn a corner and stumble into great wealth. We cling to that dream through thick and thin, and who’s to say it can’t happen? 

I’m sure many of you, my dear readers remember the Pet Rock. Just to bring you up to speed, I borrowed the following  description from Wikopedia...

The Pet Rock is a collectible conceived in 1975 by advertising executive Gary Dahl. Pet Rocks are smooth stones from Mexico's Rosarito Beach. They were marketed like live pets, in custom cardboard boxes, complete with straw and breathing holes. The fad lasted about six months, ending after a short increase in sales during the Christmas season of December 1975. Although by February 1976 they were discounted due to lower sales, Dahl sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks for $4 each, and became a millionaire.

With his money, Dahl opened a bar named "Carry Nations" in downtown Los Gatos, California. Dahl continued to work in advertising; however, he avoided interviews for years, because "a bunch of wackos" harassed him with lawsuits and threats. Dahl said in 1988, "Sometimes I look back and wonder if my life wouldn't have been simpler if I hadn't done it."


            OK, OK, OK, Gary, your life might have been simpler if you hadn’t done it, but whew doggies, who really wants to say no to a Million Dollars?

            Anyway, that is what my husband Bill and I are up to, looking for a pet rock, a product born out of our brains and hands that will support us in the manner we would like to live our lives. So far, we’ve tried CAD Design, and I still love it. I don’t plan to give that up as long as I can slide a mouse around on a desk. CAD has taken us to many places on the planet, and it’s been very good to us, introducing us to people, places, and cultures in 6 other countries and 6 other states. I’m writing about our journey on my personal website . I call it “Riding on the Back Of The Mouse”.
In 2015 I wrote and illustrated my first children’s book, “Olivia Ocelot Comes to the Rescue: Adventures in the Rainforest” which happens in Costa Rica. Now I’m working on the sequel, “Olivia Ocelot Saves the Day: Adventures in the Desert” in Arizona. I’m posting it in a blog at . That is definitely a “keeper”, and I will keep on keeping on with the children’s books. I already have book 3 hovering in my brain, and it will be in Michigan.
This past summer Bill and I did a lot of Farmers Markets with my book and the :swag” I’ve developed to go with the book. I create pillows, backpacks, handbags and artist aprons out of fabric printed with my art from the Olivia Ocelot books. I get the fabric from an amazing (POD) Print-On-Demand fabric website, Eastern Market in Detroit was one of the markets we went to. Bill’s Dad, Russell Jantz worked there as a teenager for his Uncle Ike Maas, who had a farm at Telegraph and Plymouth Road. Ike eventually sold the farm to Detroit Diesel.
So anyway, the beat goes on. I am a lifelong artist and writer working in painting, fiber, sculpture, silk painting, Computer Assisted Art (CorelDraw and 3D printing), and Bill is a talented man in wood, lettering, and mechanical things. Wouldn’t you think we could come up with the Jantz Pet Rock? We have a full basement and a garage to create it in, we have a decent computer for doing all computer type stuff for the Jantz Pet Rock, and we have a van to schlep all the stuff around with. Come on, Muse, where is our Pet Rock?
Recently I bought the millionth book about my quest for my next big thing, “Your Next Big Thing” by Ben Michaelis, PhD. Ben has some really great advice in the book, and he wants to help the reader “Reimagine Yourself- Discover Your Purpose- Take Action – Live in the Now…10 small steps to get moving and get happy”. Ben talks about the eternal battle between your inner hero and your inner critic. Your inner hero “who wants you to dream and move boldly towards a bright and exciting horizon” versus your inner critic who “wants to slow you down and stop you in your tracks….You inner critic will be there to set up roadblocks to slow you down…raise your anxiety, inhibit you imagination and torpedo your plans.” Hot damn, I sure know what he’s talking about!
Ben thinks your inner critic means well, and is only trying to protect you from the world, but she/he can certainly make a mess of your ambition and hopes for the future. Ben says, “Your inner critic is the part of you that tells you, :You can’t”” I think we all have heard that creepy little voice. Anyway, I think one of Ben’s suggestion for dealing with that little voice is especially Brilliant! Ben recommends that we separate the Inner Critic’s voice by assigning it with an accent! How cool is that? He suggests a French accent, but you can choose whatever accent you prefer. Then when the little curmudgeon starts harping at you, you can tell it, “Thank you for sharing,.” And get on with your day. I recommend the book if you want to delve deeper.
Well I guess that’s all for this post. Please check out my websites if you would like to see my art work. /
Have a wonderful day!