|Me and Lisa with Bugs Bunny at the ballpark|
Overall, this has been a wonderfully stressful year. A year of transitions, a year of learning, a year of slowing down. It’s been a year I’ve been able to pull off surprises, something that’s hard for me, a mouthy type-A personality, to do. And through it all I’ve survived, some days with great joy, others with great pain.
Transitions have always been a bit of a problem for me. Change has never been my best friend. After being married to a career Air Force man and moving more often than not before we got settled in, it would seem as though change wouldn’t throw me for such a loop. But it does. And for some reason, I don’t foresee that ever changing.
The major transition was the closing of the Forensic ID department at LabCorp. I was their customer service representative/administrative assistant/go-fer and I loved every minute of it. My supervisor decided every case file of every case the department had done – all the way back to ’96 – needed to be scanned and saved as a PDF. Guess who that task fell to? Little ol’ me. We all miscalculated the amount of time needed to do this monstrous task and I’m still at it. I started with the most recent files and am working backwards. I just finished 2005. Once this is done, I’ll be working for the Research & Development department as their administrative assistant/go-fer. I’m blessed to have such a great job and even more blessed to have the wonderful supervisors and co-workers I have. They have made this transition as easy as possible for all concerned.
|My daughter and her husband on her 30th birthday|
One of my largest blessings was a reconnection I made with a friend I thought was lost forever. We’d had some misunderstandings and bad timings back in 2000 and hadn’t spoken to one another since. I always prayed that one day we’d be able to put the past in the past and move forward once again as friends. That prayer was answered when she contacted me in July. It was bittersweet in a way though. While our friendship has been renewed and we both feel so blessed to be back in one another’s lives, one of the reasons she contacted me was to let me know her daddy was dying. I was surprised to find they lived about eight hours north of me so I made arrangements to go see them. In August I was able to kiss the man I considered my foster father and tell him how much I loved him. I also got to visit with his wife and my friend. Unfortunately, my foster daddy lost his battle with leukemia shortly before Thanksgiving.
It’s been a year of loss. Not only did my foster father pass over but a dear friend was murdered by her ex-husband who subsequently also took his own life. His selfishness left three beautiful children without parents. They’re blessed to have a grandmother who loves them and is giving them a home.
I lost my publisher, Roxanne Jones, just a few days after my novel Out of the Past was released. Shortly after that, the company closed and my book was no longer available. Now neither of my two novels are available and I was faced with a tough decision – just let them disappear from everywhere but my heart and computer, shop them around to another publisher, or self-publish.
I thought about those choices long and hard. I discussed them ad infinitum with my partner and my kids and anyone who would listen. I asked for, and received, advice from other authors who are self-published and took their advice to heart. I read blog after blog after blog and more than one book. And finally I took the plunge.
Because of a more than rocky personal financial situation, I decided to ask for investors to help me get started. If I was going to do this, I wanted (want) to do it right and not take any short cuts. I’m notorious for taking short cuts in things I do and then getting frustrated because those things don’t turn out right and then I quit. I’m bound and determined that’s not going to happen. I was blessed to have three people step up, tell me they believe in me, and invest money in order to help me get my first book out.
Rainbow Tales Publishing released its first book, Out of the Past, on December 20 and as of this writing has sold quite well. The print version will be available in mid-January and I’m confident it will also sell well. With the royalties from Out of the Past and possibly another investor or two, I will release Welcome Home in mid-spring of the new year. And I hope to have a third novel ready to go by mid-autumn, using only the proceeds from my novels to put it out.
My long-term goal for Rainbow Tales Publishing is for it to clear enough money that I’m able to quit my “day” job and concentrate on writing and publishing the best quality books possible. Will I open the company to other writers? That remains to be seen.
This long-winded blog just scratches the surface of my 2012. My biggest blessing is I’ve shared all of this and so much more with my loving, patience of a saint partner, Lisa. Her encouragement and her support are a godsend and I love her with all of my being. As soon as same-sex marriage is federally recognized, we’ll be tying the knot and all of you are invited!
|One of the gourds I Zentangled this year|
|Atlantic Beach, NC, at sunrise in early fall|