Finally

I thought I would never get to finish it.  I had panic attacks, thoughts of my name being slung through the mud, and dreams of being drawn, quartered, hung and burned at the stake.  After months of working to keep my life going in the right direction, helping my best friend through his Mother’s illness and then the loss of her at Christmas, working tons of overtime, I have done it.  I finished the edits on Knightwatch Press, Ultimate Angels anthology.  I cannot thank the publisher and all the authors for their amazing patience with me as I had to continually put off the deadline to have it complete.  This past weekend I put it all together along with my introduction to the book and sent it off to be formatted.  I think the fans will be happy to get a copy of this one, the stories are very well told.

So what is next?  Well Ben and I have found a new place to live and will be spending all of March ‘moving on up’ to a beautiful duplex.  It is a home built in the 1920’s and still has it’s very well-kept original hard wood floors!  It has three bedrooms, the entire attic over the whole house, the basement, and our own backyard.  The landlord is still doing some final work on it before we can move in, but we will be getting the keys over the next week or so.  Ben’s daughter Mallory and our dear friend Savannah have helped us pick out colors and we will be going and painting all the upstairs rooms.  We have started the process of sorting through all the things we have at our current apartment, and are slowly purging clutter from our lives.  It’s the 5 second rule, you touch it and if you cannot figure out what it does, where it goes, or where it came from then it gets sold, given away, or tossed.  So far we are doing an amazing job.

One of the best things in this house is we will have a library.  This will be where we will not only keep our books and have comfy chairs to sit and read in, but will have all of our horror art we have collected at conventions over the past few years hanging up!  As authors this alone has been just an amazing thing to have achieved, getting to have our own library.

After all of this running around (did I mention I am still working a ton of overtime at my day job?) cleaning, packing, moving, purging and unpacking, I know of one thing I will be doing.  Something I have always dreamed of having, a long hot soak in a beautiful tub.  This is our new bathtub.  There are still some renovations, and we plan on changing the sink back to the era specific style.  Right now, my focus is getting to the point where I can fill this tub up and say, “Calgon, take me away!”

I hope this post finds you all well, and I hope to give you more updates soon!

 

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Life update

So it’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  A few snippets here and there, mostly of random writing, but even that has been sparse at best.  I’ve been asked recently what is going on and if I have any upcoming projects.  The answers are it’s complicated and yes.

Trying to sum up the past two years and make it a long story short.  My best friend Ben lost his Dad, then his wife, his house, his dogs, and very recently his Mom.  I know many that would insert a joke here about a country song.  However I have been with him through every step of this.  Watching and sometimes feeling the same, all the emotions from anger to sadness, depression to guilt, frustration to anxiety.  I have watched him day in and day out for over a year now from when I opened my home to him and gave him what meager life I could.  It has been incredibly difficult for him and for me, the helplessness I feel sometimes to not be able to take away some of the bad can be overwhelming.

One of the positive things in his life is his daughter Mallory who will be 3 in May.  She is such a breath of fresh air and a spark of life to both of us.  Hearing her laughter can take away the darkest of days.  Watching her long eyelashes rest upon her cheeks while she sleeps melts my heart every time.  Ben will never understand the gift he has given me as I had never wanted children, by having him in my home and my life; he has brought her into it too.  Wild horses couldn’t drag me away from either of them.  I am truly lucky to not only have discovered this joy, but to get to continue to be a part of it.

So what else do I do you ask?  Ben and I have found a common love of fishing and the outdoors.  Most every time he doesn’t have Mallory, we are out in some stream, river, or pond fishing.  For my birthday I got a fishing kayak and you can hardly pry me out of it when I get out there.  To be able to be out on the water is the most calming experience I’ve ever had in my life.  The cell phone gets turned off, no computers, no work, no bills, no traffic, no headaches, and no drama on the water.   I’ve gotten to see so much wildlife and beauty out there, not to mention the fish I’ve caught.  I have to admit, the rush of feeling that fish on my line and then fighting to bring it in, only to take a picture and set it free is incredible.  You have only to go to my Facebook page to see all the pictures I’ve taken.

Now understand I grew up racing cars and the high paced environment.  So this experience is considerably slower and even more relaxing for me.  The best part is I have someone to share it with who feels exactly the same way.  Which is a good thing because you should never go out there alone; you have only to read Ben’s blog to find out why.  For Christmas I got a fly fishing rod.  As the weather has been conducive this winter, I’ve even gotten to go out a few times and use it.  I never understood Ben when he said it’s an art, but it really is.  The graceful movements are extended all the way past the rod and the line out over the water.  There is such pleasure in it when I cast just right.  I haven’t caught a fish on it yet, but I’m not discouraged.  The fish will come, they always do.

That brings us to winter.  There are some days that are too cold to go out and play in nature.  That does happen inOhio.  So I do have some writing projects I am working on.  I am currently finishing up the edits for an anthology by Knightwatch Press called The Ultimate Angels.  I should have that done and off to be formatted within the next week or so.  Then it’s back to my novel.  My characters are calling to me to finish their story and it is my goal to have exactly that done before spring.

So keep watching here, and I will try to do better at keeping you all posted on my life’s happenings.  Thank you for reading!

Close the Door

“I’m sorry”
Words said so many times before
“I won’t do it again”

Another promise for breaking
“You make me crazy”
Words of love or words of pain?
“I need you”
So simple a declaration

“Why can’t you be…”
Better, quiet, obedient?
“If you’d only listen”
Words change meaning the same

“She fell while cooking.”
Another lie added in
“She walked into the door.”
Knowing looks of doubt

“You’re getting sloppy”
Your belt cracks down
“Please baby, forgive me”
Your tears melt my pain

“You’d be nothing without me”
Sometimes I wonder
“It won’t happen again”
I turn and close the door

My first book signing

This past weekend I had my first book signing as a published author at That Book Place in Madison, Indiana. I was accompanied by Benjamin Rogers and Patrick D’Orazio. There were about 30 authors there in the outdoor fair they have every year celebrating their anniversary of when they opened the store. It was an honor to be invited to attend.

The morning was a bit chilly, but when we got there, Patrick was waiting for us with two extra seats next to him. Due to the breeze, we couldn’t do our full table set up or even take Zebediah out of the car. So Patrick helped Ben and I set up our areas and we sat down ready to sell. I was nervous, anxious, and a wound up ball of nerves.

As a publicist, it’s a different hat you wear so to speak. I’m normally prepared to run around and be fast paced all day long. Not even close to what I experienced. You set up, sit down and wait… and wait…. and wait.

People come by; you say good morning, they continue on. Some stop and talk to you, but never look at your book. Some pick it up and thumb through it only to move along without a word. This can go on for what feels like hours. Inside the pride you have at your work starts to get a little weaker. You start wondering if all the blood sweat and tears you put into your book was for nothing. You begin to doubt yourself. Doesn’t everyone understand just by looking at you sitting there that you are a special someone and they would really enjoy your work? You’re smiling and pleasant and no one seems to really notice you.

Just when you think you should pack it all up and just go home, something really special happens. I had an older woman stop and pick up my book. I smiled and made the small chit chat, trying to be quiet while she looked at it. She turned and called her daughter over to read a couple of my poems to her. Next thing I know, she turns around and with a gleam in her eye says very softly how much she would like to have my book.

Suddenly all doubt washes away, I feel like I could sing, or maybe pass out. As I sign her copy with trembling hands, Ben and Patrick stand up and take pictures of my first sale. I am suddenly on top of the world again and feeling great. I shook her hand and as she turned to go down to the next author had to step away from the table myself. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes.

As Ben looked at me smiling all I could say was, “I’m so sorry, I never understood what an author goes through.” He chuckled and we sat back down and had a great day there on out.

All I can say at this point is a humble thank you to each and every one of you that support me, help me through this, and follow me.  You are all what keeps me going.

Filled

Sometimes I just don’t understand life.  There are these days,  when there really isn’t a whole lot keeping me busy, and my mind goes off to that dark place that isn’t as warm and comforting as it once was.  It feels like there is this hole inside of me that is missing something, but I am still lost as to what.   Maybe I’ve always been lost.

I went to class like normal, paid attention, turned in my work, passed my tests.  It felt as if I was just going through the motions, like it was all just show, no substance.  I came home and did my chores and my assignments for the next day.  Sat at the table and had dinner alone, mom was off at her night job again.  The phone didn’t ring; no one came to the door.  I just sat there staring off into space, not lonely, just lost.

I took the dog for a walk and saw Jonie, she prattled on about Bobbie, the new boy in town and how dreamy he was.  I smiled and giggle with her for a while, it felt hollow, but she didn’t seem to notice.  After a bit I continued on down the street to the beach at the end.  Sammy, my pup, loved running on the beach, so I set him free off his leash while I sat down in the sand to watch the ocean and the sunset.

There is no place that had sunsets like our town.  The ocean was a deep crystal blue, and the sun would turn oranges and reds like a fireball.  For a few moments, just as the sun touched the horizon, it was as if the ocean was liquid fire, everything blazing with color and beauty.  For a minute, I swear I can hear angels singing with the glory of it all, even Sammy sat down next to me and was still and quiet.  The warmth that radiated from the water, a salty breeze caresses my face, the signing filled my mind.  It was as if this was a moment God was giving us a private preview of his true self.  So bright it was painful to watch, but the beauty captured you and you didn’t want to look away.  My heart soared.

As the last bit of fire dipped beyond the horizon, I stood up and took Sammy home.  Taking a quick shower, I dressed for bed, taking my medication, and hoping that the feeling of peace wouldn’t leave my soul before the next day came to do it all over again.  Waiting for that moment, when I could feel filled again.

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Updates

Well guys and gals, I am sorry that I have not posted in a while.  Things have been at a maddening pace for the past two months for me.  I wanted you all to know I haven’t forgotten any of you, nor has Lacey.  As a matter of fact, she is beating the inside of my head so hard to be let out again that sleep doesn’t come easily to me anymore.  But don’t you fret, I will be working on her this week.  So keep checking in.

Thought I’d give you all a little update what has been going on for me.  I’m not real good at this whole personal thing, so bear with me.  First my two best friends had to move out the first month.  They lived across the street from me and moved an hour away.  It was an everyday after work and on the weekends kind of thing and extremely stressful for all those involved.  I miss them, but it’s a good move for them and things are looking up.

Also I work as a rescue worker for a couple of race car tracks and the past month was the end of the season.  Normally keeps me tied up from Friday night through Sunday night.  Leaves little time for anything other than rescue operations and passing out at the end of a long day.  But I was born into the sport and wouldn’t trade it for the world.  To me, there is nothing better than the feeling of saving someone’s life and cheering them on to keep them going around the track.

The second month I have been MIA, working overtime at work and getting things in order for the restructure we have been going through.  I work for a medical billing office for the university in our area, and it’s been a bumpy road.  We are hoping to have everything settled by the end of the week.  It will be nice to get back to a normal pace, I hope that is what we will achieve at least.

I have also been working with Ben on a lot of different pieces of writing.  He has really helped me beyond imagination in honing my skills and turning out some really good work!  He is my mentor and now also my co-writer on a collaboration piece we are both working on.  We have been submitting a few stories over the past month when life has slowed down enough to allow us time.  His wife Kristy is so wonderful to help us with our edits and cheering us on.  Kudos to them both, they really have become a strong support and great friends to me.  Thank you guys!