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  1. last updated 04/25/2017 Character Details Name: James Parker Gender: female Age: 30 Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota [originally from southern Louisiana] Day Job: office manager and accountant for a small law firm Not-So-Secret Identity: the Cracked Belle Archetype: cracked southern belle Class: Raconteuring Ranger Level: 3 Attributes Mental: the strength and endurance of the mind examples: intelligence, wisdom, comprehension Creativity: the strength and endurance of the imagination examples: writing, drawing, character creation, table-top gaming Physical: the strength and endurance of the body examples: weight loss, cardio improvements, lifting PRs Soulful: the strength and endurance of the spirit or sense of self examples: personal development, meditation, spa-like self-love Adventure: the seeking out of new experiences examples: meeting new people, travelling, adrenaline seeking Responsibility: providing for those who depend upon me (self included) examples: having a job, volunteering, having a positive reputation Adventures in Badassery Quests List Mental Quests be conversationally fluent in at one additional language produce something using a coding language complete another Coursera course complete my Master’s Degree / another Bachelor’s Degree Creativity Quests popularize my blog start “Boyfriend & Kitty” comic win a writing contest publish a novel/novella publish a collection of short stories publish a collection of poetry win NaNoWriMo again monetize my blog Physical Quests drop to 130 lbs bike 14 miles easily do five consecutive pull-ups jog 5k with minimal walks/breaks Soulful Quests determine my Goal work through LaPorte’s "The Fire Starter Sessions" attend a self-improvement workshop work through Covey’s "Seven Habits" Adventure Quests go sky diving kayak the Ocoee (in Tennessee) own a motorcycle participate in Minneapolis’s Polar Bear Plunge particiapte in a Tough Mudder Responsibility Quests bring home $33k/year doing something I enjoy be worth net $25,000 complete my Will & Testament Active Quests Mental: be conversationally fluent in at one additional language practice Duolingo 20 minutes twice a day for 12 months join a Spanish language forum Skype with a Spanish-speaker (without making them cringe) watch a Spanish film with no subtitles and get its gist read a Spanish work of prose and understand it save up enough money to go to a Spainish-speaking location by 2025 BOSS: go to aforementioned location and carry out a full conversation Creativity: popularize my blog create list of topics create and adhere to a writing schedule connect with other bloggers how many, how often give reader appreciation promptly respond to comments give thanks for likes and follows activate ads or another source of income BOSS: get a proper domain name Physical: drop to 130 lbs follow the workout program for the Tough Mudder Half on its Rest Days, I need to at least do a 1-mile walk create and adhere to an eating schedule cook one Week’s Meal every weekend, to be eaten for each each day Friday dinner with Brian keep caloric intake under 1600 average BOSS: Soulful: work through LaPorte’s "The Fire Starter Sessions" “So many people are looking for it: their Big Life Purpose. [...] YOU are the very purpose of your existence.” ~ Danielle LaPorte, “Fire Starter Sessions” create and adhere to a reading schedule BOSS: Adventure: participate in a Tough Mudder follow the workout program for the Tough Mudder Half on its Rest Days, I need to at least do a 1-mile walk park further away; always take the stairs BOSS: the actual run! skip as few obstacles as possible. Responsibility: goal task BOSS: Rewards and Consequences Rewards Consequences The Narrative The Story So Far... when things are broken, we are naturally inclined to dispose of them. but kintsukuroi, or “kintsugi”, is the Japanese practice of making a broken item (e.g. pottery) into something even better. the damaged endured by the item -- this becomes part of its strength. James Parker was always an overachiever. her values were clear, and her honour respectable. but James’s brain was flawed; doctors and society gave the bad wiring names like “bipolar” or “anxiety”, “obsessive compulsive disorder” and “eating disorder”, “addictive personality” and “adrenaline junkie”. no matter what James did, she could never be who she wanted to be or do the things she wanted to do-- not as long as she left the wiring as it was. later in her life, James stumbled upon a group of Nerds who fashioned themselves as heroes. unbeknownst to her at the time, they were Heroes. James befriended many of them, and used the knowledge she acquired from them to begin the art of kintsugi on herself -- she started to reconnected one wire to a totally different port in her mind, thus completely changing how she thought and reacted. James was always a natural storyteller. however, when she started rewiring, or practicing self-kintsugi, she noticed her Raconteur Powers, along with many others, beginning to increase and improve. in short time, James would become the Cracked Belle from the south. as a superhero, she would ringing out her and others’ stories and adventures. she didn’t just save people; she began to teach people how to save themselves. and all the while she would still be mending and embracing the “broken” parts of herself. Level 50 after many years of training, self-kintsugi, and general improvements, James Parker and the Cracked Belle had finally become one. the Cracked Belle no longer hid in the shadows and went by a pseudonym; and James Parker no longer feared pursuing her dreams and raising her voice. who she was and who she wanted to be had finally become one. James still regularly posts in her blog; however, she now has thousands of readers. she has also been published a few times, both prose and poetry. physically, she is in the best shape of her life. she is capable of running a 5k with relative ease, and struggling to do a pull-up is bygone concern. her diet allows for frivolity, but she maintains controls of both eating and drinking urges. James is polyglot, being at least conversationally fluent in several languages. she also has a small “kitchen” garden, cooks most of her own food, and has numerous other D.I.Y. projects both in progress and completed. one thing that never changes was James’s love of stories. she still engulfs tales, and then shares her learnings with others. she also still focuses highly on constant improvement. every mistaken or error is just a chance to practice self-kintsugi and make it even better. so long as this remains true of her, she will always be the Cracked Belle. Links Current NF Thread Adventures in Badassery (NF Epic Quest) WordPress Blog Twitter Instagram Fitbit MyFitnessPal Nerd Fitness Challenges Past and Present Challenges Challenge 3.02 (April 23, 2017): The Muddy Belle Challenge 3.01 (Sept 26, 2016): Respawned Raconteur-Adventurer Challenges 1.01 - 2.11 (2012-2014): archived; posted as “jtggodqos”
  2. In the spirit of the book Level up your Life, this group is aimed at engineering our characters, stories, and epic quest lines. (And whatever other direction we might like to go.) This group was originally created by @SnowOwl! And for my first inspirational quote ever posted to the boards...
  3. Epic Quests of 2016 This is a roadmap of what I want to accomplish over the coming year: new experiences, different projects, less excuses and more adventure! Let's begin... Physical Run the 26.2 miles (hopefully the Paris marathon) Done in 04:47 on 3rd April 2016! Learn to roller blade (especially how to stop safely) Not as confident as I'd like but I've learnt a few methods for stoping/slowing during Summer 2016. Roller blade around the centre of Paris on one of the biweekly randonnées roller Did participate in one in June, yet I wasn't good enough to last longer than 2km. Take classes in self-defence, dance or parkour Improve on my 2015 5km PR of 27.00 minutes Do an obstacle course or mud run Mental Make something using a Raspberry Pi Be able to understand and enjoy humour in French Understand fast spontaneous conversations between French natives (e.g. pub talk) and be confident enough in colloquial speech to join in without freaking out and apologizing for saying anything Master the French subjunctive tense Get some teaching experience Learn about the political systems in the UK, France and Spain and take all available opportunities to vote Learn how to learn and retain information more effectively Get systems in place to get through and keep up with scientific literature Master the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail Complete a ‘data science’ type project using Python Personal Be there more for my sisters Take plenty of photographs Send cards Figure out how to be more charitable Spoil my boyfriend Make some good friends in my city Buy new glasses Travel Explore the French countryside through hiking and camping and possibly running Go to London comic-con in cosplay Done in October 2016 Visit a friend in Exeter Done in September 2016 Introduce my boyfriend to my grandparents Organised my travels so I can do that this Christmas Plan a long sabbatical adventure
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