I posted the above picture on Facebook Saturday as a joke but then I went back and really looked at it. While I have heard those words many many times before I don’t know if they’ve ever really sunk in before.
The fact that I have value as a person and contribute to society is something I’ve always had a hard time conceptualizing. The idea that I provide something unique to the world that isn’t already being provided by someone else, especially since there are so many people in this world. It seemed like a statistical improbability to me.
Confidence is something I struggle with but it is also one of my goals for 2021. To own my excellence, if you will. I am aware of the problem and am actively working to better myself on that front. That being said, I know that (sadly) I am not alone in feeling this way about myself.
In this day and age of social media where we are bombarded from all directions with posts from talented individuals it can be difficult to protect your own self worth. Like a small flame on a windy day. But know that you have value. You matter. Not just to the world but to the people in your life. A small flame to you is a raging bonfire to an ant. It’s all about perspective.
Ok, that went off on a weird tangent but you get what I’m trying to say.
Love yourself. I love you. I love each and every one of you. Because your willingness to join me on this batshit crazy ride I call writing is the kindling I need to keep my own flame alive.
For those of you who are new, welcome! And as newbies you may not know that, in addition to The Sword & Shield I have completed another, completely separate novel. Seer is a Young Adult standalone fantasy that I wrote in a freakishly short time (less than a year). I know some people can pump out multiple books in one year but that’s not me so let me bask in the glow of my own accomplishment.
Anyways, I wrote Seer, my agent shopped it out, and the lovely publishing house INtense picked it up. As of now it releases in late April and the final cover is being polished as we speak. Shortly thereafter I expect to get the editor’s notes on the manuscript for me to review and then my second book baby will be that much closer to being born!
In other news, we were assigned the task of creating a vision board for work and this is what I came up with:
The top picture is rather self explanatory, I plan on completing The Sword & Shield sequel this year. Given that I had originally intended on completing it by this month I intend on finishing the sequel this year or die in the attempt. To the right of S&S is a picture representing my aspirations for an organized and clutter free condo. Bottom left is my goal to work towards a healthier self and bottom right is my ambition to get promoted at work.
Something I feel is necessary when setting a New Year’s Resolution, or creating a vision board is that the goals are attainable. I have no intentions of setting myself up for failure which is why I am confident that I have the power to achieve everything on that board!
Well if you’re reading this you survived 2020. Congrats! But we can’t let down our guard just yet. There are still many unresolved plot lines that 2020 has left for us to complete. For example, what the heck happened to murder hornets??? Weren’t they supposed to be a thing?
I rang in the New Year in a festive manner. By working till 7PM and then hanging with my guy friend. He took me bowling and we went through a drive through Hines Park to see the lights.
It was beautiful and I only got a little car sick.
For the most part I was really looking forward to January 2nd. On that night I went to the Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo. If you aren’t a Michigan Native you probably aren’t familiar with this magnificent event but it is a sight to behold. And given that we’d be outside, wearing masks, I decided to go and hope for the best.
I went with David, a guy I have been dating, and we had a blast. One of the aspects of it that I am initiating the ‘Year of the Yeti’ at work featuring Yuri the Yeti. In my efforts to promote a positive work culture I will be putting a Yuri the Yeti related post every week. Here are the pictures I managed to snag from Saturday night!
I love gift giving. It is, I would go so far as to say, my primary love language. I take my time methodically selecting presents that will bring that specific person joy, and then receive my reward by enjoying the look of delight on their faces when they realize what kind of meticulous time and planning I have put into making their holiday extra special.
Holidays are meant to be spent with family but as the saying goes, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” What does that mean? Well first of all it means all those people touting ‘blood is thicker than water’ as a way to justify toxic family members are wrong. But also it means that found families are every bit as important as the one you’re born into.
I had the pleasure of enjoying four separate Christmas celebrations this year:
Secret Santa – My team at work did a secret santa wherein we were given the name, address, and likes/dislikes of a team member as well as a $30 cap and a plan to do a video conference December 18th to open them. I was apprehensive at first because my person was one of the newer TMs and I knew very little about her but I needn’t have worried. She ended up loving what I picked out!
Neighbor Xmas – During shelter in place, from the view on my balcony, I first met my next door neighbor Amanda. It is borderline freakish how quickly we’ve gone from strangers to besties but when you click you click. We enjoyed Christmas with myself, Amanda, her son and her boyfriend on the 17th.
My Kidnappers (for legal purposes that is a joke) – When I was 12 my mom thought I was going to be a weirdo loner kid so she signed me up for a mentoring program. That’s where I met Susanne and, later, her husband Eric. I have been hanging out with them almost every week (aside from college and shelter in place) for the past 18 years. They are a second set of parents and I love them dearly. It is also an ongoing joke that they kidnapped me to raise as their own.
The Big Kahuna – Christmas Day! I celebrated with immediate family and took great pleasure in dressing Gipsy Danger up in an array of holiday themed sweaters.
I know the holidays are not always happy for everyone. I am very aware of how blessed I am in the number of loved ones I celebrate this season with and that not everyone is similarly endowed with that same level of love in their own lives. But I also consider all of you as part of my family. A family that has supported me through my highs and lows, my bursts of inspiration and my grueling writer’s blocks, the good/bad/ugly and everything in between. And if I had your addresses I’d write you all Christmas cards, that is how much you mean to me.
That being said, if you didn’t receive a card this year and you want one (and don’t mind it being hella late) shoot me a message with your address and I will personally send you a heartfelt and handwritten holiday hello.
Bye 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
Children come in all shapes and sizes. While I have not birthed any spawn of my own, I often refer to my book as my first born child. And then, of course, there are my fur babies Echo, Kira, and Gipsy Danger.
Like human offspring, my children have brought me joy, frustration, tears, and moments of triumph. Most recently I had a full on panic attack while sitting on the floor of my condo, clutching Gipsy to my chest. Starting the night before she began throwing up and I was awake with her all night and held her and cleaned up the vomit. She wasn’t keeping anything down. Food or water. I called the vet around 1:30PM the following day and they advised that she was likely dangerously dehydrated at that point and to get her to the animal hospital.
Much like a human ER I sat in the waiting room (animal hospital parking lot) for a total of four hours waiting for her to be seen and be released. She’s back to her normal, perky, mischevious self as of this morning (Friday 12/11) and positively flees when she senses it’s time for meds.
For any pet parents out there, I would highly recommend Bivvy pet insurance!
In the wee hours of the morning (3AM) on Saturday November 28th I woke up from a dream where Dolly Parton said she believed in me and if that’s not a sign then I don’t know what is.
Let me explain, this is the woman who wrote over Three THOUSAND songs! If that isn’t a sign from the writing gods to get my butt back into gear then I don’t know what is! So I turned on the light, much to Gipsy’s dismay, and got dressed in real clothes and put on makeup and brushed my hair and I got to WORK!
And by work I mean walking Gipsy, going to meijers, hanging out with friends who were also awake freakishly early on a saturday and drafting this post.
But THEN I got to work! With Dolly Parton’s visage still fresh in my mind and Adderall and caffeine coursing through my veins I opened the long neglected word document that held The Sword and Shield‘s sequel and got to work!
Well…that’s what I’d like to say happened but this isn’t a Hallmark Channel Movie and life doesn’t just magically give things like inspiration to you in the dead of night. It takes work and work is exactly what I did. I put together a new outline that covered all the important points I wanted Ezra to experience and discovered new ways that I could delve deeper into who he is as a character.
I’m very excited about this new path I’m embarking on in my journey to be the best possible author!
So this year is a mixed bag for me as far as things to be thankful for. Given the last 11ish months, sometimes it’s hard to remember that a lot of really amazing things have happened to me this year. My debut novel was published, I transitioned to working from home with only one panic attack, I made a decision for the betterment of my health and overall well-being, I got my newest fur baby Gipsy Danger, and I have had the unfailing love and support of friends and family.
I recognize that I have been incredibly fortunate this year while many out there have suffered catastrophes both natural (floods, fires, plague) and man made. The most important thing is to remember that, if you’re reading this, you got through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I have to believe things are going to get better because if I don’t I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to get out of bed in the morning.
Thanksgiving this year looked very different from other years, as I’m sure it did for you as well. It wasn’t the big family gathering traditionally thought of when one thinks of Thanksgiving. For the most part, the family I saw were tens if not hundreds or thousands of miles away, courtesy of Zoom. It was a bit chaotic for sure but being able to see everyone made it feel more like Thanksgiving.
I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful and safe holiday!
So here’s the thing. Sometimes shit happens. It’s inevitable. Like I said in a recent post, you’ve gotta dust yourself off and move on. But I feel like I didn’t emphasize enough how you only lose in that situation if you don’t find a way to grow from it. The way I grew from being unmatched with by a seemingly great guy? I stole his book idea. Well…technically.
His idea was, and I quote: ‘sexy construction man in space’. If anyone wants that idea it’s all theirs, lol.
But what his idea did do was prompt another space related idea that didn’t sound like a 99 cent Kindle porno. And while I’m insanely excited to get to work on it right away the VERY LEAST I have to do is finish S&S’s sequel’s first draft so I can pass it on to my agent for thoughts. So what’s a girl to do?
She’s going to take advantage of the fact that she gained an extra hour (writing this on 11/1 when we ‘fell’ back an hour) during one of her nights of insomnia to outline this bananas plot that popped into her brain so that, when she finally IS ready to pursue it, she won’t have forgotten everything.
Don’t worry ladies, I will be sure maintain the original vision by way of the protagonist’s sexiness.
While it’s not impossible to get through life alone, I’d hate to feel like I ever had to. In that facet of my life I have been very blessed indeed. I have an enviable support system made up of not just friends and family, but also coworkers as well.
That’s probably one of the most magical things about the company I work for. I have yet to meet an unlikeable person within the walls of the Family of Companies. Granted, there’s 20,000 of us (give or take) so I may just not be looking hard enough – but I doubt it.
The reason I bring up coworkers is that, upon hearing that I wrote a book, my friend Bethany proceeded to buy it on Amazon. (See above for the picture she sent me upon its arrival.) She then not only shared her purchase with the rest of my team, expressing her eager anticipation to read it, but she also shared her purchase on Facebook.
If you have not already done so, and have the ability to take a selfie with a copy of my book or the cover featured on your e-reader and then share it on social media that would mean the world to me. Marketing is one of the aspects of being an author that I struggle with the most so any help in that area would be appreciated immensely!