So, I’ve been MIA lately and here’s why:
And then this happened:
Yep, it all went down a couple of weeks ago and the time leading up to the wedding left me more harried than a mother of two sets of twin toddlers. The good news is that everything (mostly) went off without a hitch. The not so good news: Redesigning Rose is going to be a tad delayed as I was forced to take a hiatus for a month. But I’ve returned from my honeymoon relaxed and eager for life to return to normal – or as normal as can be expected in a writer’s world.
I’m closing in on finishing yet another round of edits after some fabulous beta reader feedback. On its heels will be copy edits. Once completed, I should be done, right? Not so much in the self publishing world. I need some proofreading and then I will embark on a quest to become a formatting genius for my Amazon upload. And then I’ll move onto the other ebook providers. Only once perfected will Redesigning Rose become available and you will be able to read all about my beloved Rose. I hope you love her as much as I do – and her side kick, whiskey-slinging Becky, too. And have I mentioned Scott and Adam yet? I’m told they’re pretty dreamy.
I’m hesitant to set a new release date until I have a more firm idea of when the editing will be completed as I do not want to disappoint and change it again – I am hopeful for June. I’m immensely grateful for everyone who has reached out and asked about my novel, given me a nudge or words of encouragement. I am truly blessed. Thank you for your support! And your patience!
Last weekend I entered the last year of my thirties and spent the week looking ahead to what many dread. As I’ve pondered the last nine years, I can’t help but marvel at the changes the last decade has brought.
I’m not exactly where I thought I would be. Being childless at thirty-nine was not part of my plan, but I never thought I would actually sit down and write a book and then edit it for two years, only to self publish it in upcoming months – even though it was my dream since I was thirteen.
I didn’t think I would be a divorcee. I didn’t think I would remarry again so soon. And I particularly didn’t think it would be to an old friend. But I should have known after our lives intersected many times over the last decade that fate would throw us back together one last time and seal the deal. As much as I want to at times, I can’t regret the time we never had together because without it, I wouldn’t be the individual I am today. And I’m kind of pleased with her. I’d never give her back.
I remember watching a talk show in my mid twenties with an actress who, on the brink of forty, stated her thirties were the best years of her life. She mentioned how much she had grown as person, how much she had learned, and how comfortable she now was in her own skin. At the time I had wrinkled my nose and thought she was crazy. I knew everything in my twenties.
I knew nothing.
I learned more about myself in my thirties than I ever have. I didn’t think it was possible to grow so much as a person as I have in the last near-decade. My newfound strength and determination astounds me each and every day as I push through my goals, as I do more in a day than has been possible for me in years, as I become more and more comfortable with who I am and who I am meant to be.
She was right. The third decade has been an incredible ride.
Not every day is perfect, which is good because growth would stagnate and decay would set in. I am grateful for every day, including the less pleasant ones, because – like negative feedback on my manuscript – it brings new challenges and spurs on growth.
I am grateful.
Here’s my stunning cover for Redesigning Rose! Thanks to the lovely Jane Speed and the team at Carte Blanche Creative!
To everyone who has asked what my book is about and I refused to divulge, this post is for you. And anyone else who might be interested.
Stay Tuned for a cover reveal!
Rose Parker has the perfect life. But after an exchange with her husband triggers questions, Rose uncovers alarming answers. It is only when she drives off in her SUV crammed full of belongings that Rose realizes just how far from perfect her life actually was. She has nowhere to turn.
While debating between distressing sleeping arrangements-her mother’s house full of questions or a hotel room with too much solitude-Rose bumps into an acquaintance from her gardening class and allows bubbly, exuberant Becky to indulge her in a wild night full of whiskey, weeping, and whispered confidences. Suddenly, Rose has a new friend, a roof over her head, and two gorgeous men moving her out of her marital home.
As Rose struggles to settle into her new life, she remains determined to comprehend her past. And with time and distance and especially wine, comes knowledge. Frank wasn’t the only one lying to her. Rose was lying to herself.
The first feedback of Draft 5.5 is in. My mom was really impressed with my changes and stated “Your writing is really good.”
Yes, it was my mom, but for anyone who doesn’t know my mother, this is high praise. She who disuaded me from writing soap operas at thirteen (OK, maybe she was right about that) and whose reading genres of choice are James Patterson serial killer thrillers and Robert Ludlum conspiracy theories, thinks my writing is not only good, but really good! I sunk into my car after her comments and cried, thinking maybe the three years of blood, sweat, hair pulling and poverty might have been worth it. Maybe my manuscript isn’t so bad. Maybe people won’t think my baby is ugly.
Then I rallied and went off to a book cover meeting – something I still can’t believe as I write it almost a week later. And now the lovely lady who is assisting with my cover design is also loving my story as is another reader (both of whom have never read previous drafts, nor anything else I’d written). I’m floating on a cloud now while I wait for further comments, a few more critiques, feedback from my editor and then I can schedule a release date, revise, proofread, and create and implement a marketing plan. Who said writing a book was just writing down a few words? Right, no one said that. Ever.
So, I’m ready! OK, maybe I’m on step 2 out of 6, but progress is being made. I’m even ready for the harsh critics. (Uhm, this could be a fib). And because many have asked, here’s how things are going down with my first novel:
I am going to self-publish.
There, I said the six little words so many in the industry consider dirty.
After hours of research, a few years of waiting while writing to see how the industry would develop and a lengthy internal debate, I have decided to self-publish. Initially, my book baby will be available only as an e-book and then we’ll see how things go.
There were many reasons I decided to do it alone. And when I say ‘alone’, I mean without a publisher because you’re never an author alone with Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Google Plus. Here’s a massive Thank You to all my lovely friends, near and far, new and old, for all their support over the last three years! I couldn’t have made it through without you! And I’ll still need copious amounts of hand holding in the next few months – OK?
I digress. My go-it-alone reasoning:
- I have watched the e-book and self-publishing industry evolve and gain momentum during the last three years.
- I have read multiple self-published works this year that exceeded some of the releases of the big publishing houses.
- I am committed to only releasing high quality work and spending money upfront on all the necessary steps including professional editing and cover.
- Marketing is mostly a DIY adventure for most authors unless you’re a Stephen King, so I have to do it myself anyway.
- I believe that self-pubbed novels are becoming publisher’s slush piles and more and more self-published authors are inking traditional publishing deals (when they work hard and produce quality work).
- So I’m left with, Why Not? Besides the upfront costs – really the only detriment – why wouldn’t I give it a shot?
So, I’m hoping the three year journey will culminate in a release date in May 2013. I’m leaning toward the 13th. It’s my lucky number after all.
But we’ll see how things go with further editing, my work on Book 2 and just a little bit of necessary wedding planning between now and April. And I need to work. And sleep. It’s no wonder insomnia has become an issue with the plethora of lists in my head. Speaking of which, I should get back at crossing things off.
Blog Post – Check!
I have been fortunate enough for the majority of my adult life to be able to commute to work by car in locations that are not subway accessible (see the first point below) within a close proximity to my home. Or unfortunate if you take an environmental standpoint, but Toronto’s transit system is so antiquated that it would have taken double the time to get to work and when I don’t want to be there in the first place, why would I want to spend more time getting to and from the necessary evil?
Beginning last December however, I have been temping downtown and there is no other feasible way to travel except via the subway. And although there are advantages, like being green and the additional reading time, there are plenty of disadvantages. I’m sure transit lifers have more stories as I’m such a newbie. But I’ve seen my share and sometimes my novels don’t quite offer the escape required from the sardine machine.
Kudos to everyone who has traveled ‘the better way’ every day for decades because there have been many a trying moment in my last nine months (including a 1.5 hour delay where I had to stand on a platform. Outside. In February). I normally have my nose tucked in a book, so I probably miss much, but from time to time (especially if the book isn’t interesting, or if I get too sidetracked by annoying people), I turn up my head and take in the scenery.
In no particular order, my Toronto commuting pet peeves:
- The Toronto Transit Subway System itself. Having recently visited NYC, we quite easily traveled via subway from time to time and were shocked at the staggering amount of lines and routes available. Toronto desperately needs to get its act together. It’s embarrassing.
- Delays – At a minimum of once a week, there is a serious delay on my commute. At times it is more than once during what is supposed to be my 30 minute train ride. Today, for example, my penance for writing this was an additional 20 minutes due to several issues. Malfunctioning trains, idiots who press the emergency button because they have nothing better to do, fights on the platform, security issues and the thing they never talk about, all crop up on numerous occasions. I’m all for the emergency buttons. I am. For an EMERGENCY. Like when my grandmother fainted on the platform last year (she commutes to bingo. And I won’t even get into the stories she can tell). That’s an emergency. When you’re annoyed at your fellow sardines. That is NOT.
- Pole Huggers –Go take a class if you want a pole all to yourself.
- Pickers – Need I say more? See germs below.
- Coughs that are not covered by hands, sleeves, newspapers. Nothing. It makes me want to crawl into a bubble. Again, see germs below.
- Germs – The subway will make a germaphobe out of you faster than you can buy stock in Lysol. (see above).
- Cologne and Perfume bathers – The sinus headache before my day has begun is fab.
- For the boys: Even if my nose is tucked into a book, your crotch is at eye level and any adjusting you do is still well within in my line of vision. And so are your underpants when your jeans are around your ankles.
- Mold – I realize there is probably not much that can be done about this, but my sinuses tell me loud and clear each morning that it should be a growing concern.
- You love your music. I don’t. To channel my mother, and show my age, you’ll go deaf.
- Screaming at fellow commuters and near fist fights. These are always fun.
- Obnoxious talkers. You don’t need to speak quite so loudly. It’s a confined space. And I want to read. I know its not the library, but at 7:30 in the morning, please do not disturb my delusions that life should still be quiet and calm. Or at 5:00pm when I want quiet after a busy day (well, as busy as a temp can be), I do not need to hear your life story.
And two of my personal favourite moments:
- The groaning woman with bowel issues who had no qualms letting the entire passenger car know about it. Yet she wouldn’t get off. I really could have used some thumping music of above said offenders. How can you not get off, travel above ground to find facilities? This also proves the subway system desperately lacks restrooms.
- The drunken teenage girl I thought was going to fall onto the tracks until her equally inebriated friend dragged her back. (No, I have never been that drunk and stupid. That I can remember). Thankfully she got off the train before she could decorate it with the Rockaberry Cooler or whatever the cool kids are drinking these days.
All grumbling aside, I’ve also seen good. Seats given up for the elderly, infirm, stroller bound, or expecting women. Doors held open and people stepping off a busy train to wait for another to make room for a handicapped man in a wheelchair. Heck, I’ve even braced myself to catch a toddler and once, an elderly man, who chuckled profusely when he notice I had thought I might catch him if the train jerked and he fell. At least I made him laugh. There isn’t much laughter on the subway. Maybe there should be. Then again, maybe not. I need to keep reading after all. And throngs of people need to keep doing what they’re doing. Unless they’re things on my aggravating list. Then they should stop.