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I've been trying to sit down and reflect on what happened this year and how I can do better, but man - I can't even remember what happened last month, let alone last January. So I'm going to spend a few days digging through photos and (*sigh*) Twitter posts to see if I can't re-assemble this year. Because, like, I know stuff happened.

...right?

January
It was cold and it was clear, as far as I can tell. I spent most of January in the edit trenches, trying to fix Book 2. I turned Book 1 in officially in December, so I could finally focus on book 2 edits.

According to my other blog, it looks like I finished edits on book 2 mid-January and shipped them off to my editor. I then turned my attention to trying to write book 3.

I also went to ConFusion in Detroit. This was my first time attending and I brought both Lady Jr and Dr Lady along, which was an excellent, if occasional frustrating, decision. Lady Jr was still learning how to walk, so she could kind of toddle if she held your hands and of course that's all she wanted to do. I have some fond memories of walking up and down the mostly empty occasionally full hallway with her, people smiling and encouraging. Cherie Priest thought she was cute af and that might have just been the highlight of my month.

I also got to meet two of my agent sibs at that con, which was great, because people, I still desperately need people.

I re-upped for another six months of punching class in January as well, because I'd finally broken through from bumbling newb to semi-confident newb. I applied everything I learned from punching class to writing book 3, but it was increasingly difficult to get Lady Jr fed, washed, and in bed before I headed out. Still, I needed to get out of the house and meet people, so I kept going.

February
This was... a month. A lot of really exciting firsts, publishing-wise. I received my first blurb, which I'd had no idea was coming. It kinda threw me through a loop, ngl. I was shaking pretty hard and the crash was intense. I'm so glad getting reviews has become a little more mellow since then.

I also received several shirtless photos of models on Valentine's Day because my editor was either lowkey trolling me or seriously didn't notice what day it was. That was probably the happiest moment in the whole cover... thing. But the rest of the cover thing didn't happen until later, so -

We got way too much snow in February. It just kept coming. I've got pictures of at least a foot and a half of the stuff, and yet I think school was only canceled once.

I mean lookit all this stuff:
february-49

I apparently gave up on writing book 3 for a while to go back and work on the novella. But I did pick it up again before the end of February with only minimal gnashing of teeth.

Hmm, looking back, February was probably the happiest and most exciting publishing-wise.
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Okay. That's it. Saturday mornings are going to be for journaling. I need to come back to this, and not just for my mental health. My mind has become a sieve and I keep trying to think back on the years since Lady Jr hit us and too much is slipping from my grasp.

Like how the fuck did I write a book with a newborn. I know I did it if only because people have talked about it and left reviews and stuff, but man. Coulda fooled me, because apparently writing a book with a toddler is 10x harder.

I thought the sleep dep would be the biggest problem, but instead it seems to be that my brain has just shut down. I used to idly noodle on plot throughout the day and have something to write down by the time I reached a keyboard, but now I get to the keyboard and there's just... nothing. It's like the toddler has stolen all of my available brainwidth and there's nothing leftover for background processing.

But Lady Jr, oh Lady Jr. She is worth all the brainwidth. We can talk to her now like she'll understand us, and for the most part, she does. She's also got the most amazing side-eye and the sly grin she gets when she's about to do something she thinks she shouldn't is hilarious.

She can open the fridge which has been a problem because she just goes over and stands there like a teenager.

Her current favorite things:
- Pushing the stroller
- Attempting to put on pants. Over her pants.
- Putting all her babies to bed (i.e. stuffed animals). The living room occasionally looks like a morgue with a bunch of tiny bodies covered in tiny blankets.
- Saying "no."
- Pointing at things as we name them.
- Paging through books.
- Dancing.
- Bubbles.
- Stacking cans of fish.
- DOGGIES
- Cheese
- "Outside?"
- Putting on mommies' shoes.
- Pool noodles.

My current favorite things:
- Quiet early mornings
- Running in the snow
- All the books I've gotten to read that don't come out until next year (my little virgo heart is so happy to pre-complete things)
- Fleece-lined leggings (seriously how did I live before these)
- Coffee
- Heated mattress pads
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june-39

In which I basically just chase a toddler around all day.

Come for the toddler pics. Stay for the... toddler pics. )
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Client got back to our group email about "uh how and what and when" with "oh we really want you guys!" and also "but not until summer next year!"

I laughed out loud. Literally.

They want to dismantle our company and then they actually believe any of us will stick around for six months afterwards, twiddling our thumbs in the hope that they'll be able to take us on?

Yeah. How about no.

It's a relief, in a way. At least I know I need to look for my own stuff now. But wow. Just wow. The friggin balls these people have. If we didn't have to keep working for them for the next few months, I would have just replied with a "fuck off."

JFC. I kinda feel bad for them. I don't think they even have the beginning of an idea of how screwed they're going to be. Oh well.
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Just got notice that the company I work for is closing in six months.

It's not a complete surprise. The writing has been on the wall since I was hired and our client hasn't exactly made a secret of how much they'd rather do what we do in house. But it's still a shock that after all these contract fights it's finally happening, and at a time when our client needs out expertise and support the most. But they've also constantly belittled & disrespected us and our work so - meh, fuck em.

I always knew this job wouldn't last forever. It couldn't. But the timing really sucks. We're only going to be in Michigan for another year, year and a half. My wife will be taking a pay cut soon. Lady Jr is still in daycare. It's too early to make any plans based around my (potential/budding/incipient) writing career. And we'd been thinking of trying for a second soon, but... well. Money was already a worry.

I'm less sad about the money and more sad about the loss of freedom. This job was a lucky find and a lucky break. Work at home and pretty much set my own hours and still get paid enough to justify daycare? Heck yes. That's just not something you find in the U.S.

And having *had* such a job, I just can't imagine going back to being a desk monkey or having to work 40 hours a week. Or - shudder - deal with time clocks again. This job was a dream. How do I move back to reality?

I don't know, but at least I have a decent chunk of time to look at all my disparate skills and try to land with both feet on the proverbial ground when this ship finally sinks (lookit me, mixing metaphors like a boss). Honestly, I would love to do something physical and outside, but unfortunately all those jobs wouldn't pay enough to justify daycare (daycare is fucking expensive).

So what can I do with a background in customer service, foreclosure, property assessment, and now programming webtrainings?

Fuck if I know. There has to be something, right?
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I swear I'll stop disappearing from here some day. The sad thing is, I really do need this kind of journal more than I have before. I self-censor so much everywhere else now that I just need one place I can put my thoughts and let them be - or watch them fight it out.

But somehow I'll make it a few days and then I can't seem to come back. I think it's because DW is not LJ and never will be and I really miss LJ. I miss Google Reader. I miss having all of my peeps in one spot, talking at length about their lives. Not just the shiny bits, like on FB, and not just trying to be clever all the time, like on Twitter. It looks like there are ways to use the DW reader as a RSS feed, but every time I try to add something it doesn't work.

I should try again, though. It is worth keeping up with you all.

We got out of town for Mothers' Day, which was great. Lansing is growing on me, just a little, and broader Michigan ain't that bad once the leaves return. We went to the lakeshore (I will never call it a beach, sorry) and it was actually quite pleasant. We originally headed to Holland for their tulip festival, but there was just too many people to shove through with a napless baby. Quieter parks with room for her to walk/run are preferable.

Mom and dad came with us. They drove all the way from MD to visit us for a few days, which would be nice if it wasn't for dad's new, very expensive, giant-ass truck. He loves that it only gets 18mpg and I just... that man. I will never understand him. x.x

But it was still nice to see them - well, Lady Jr to see them. My worries that they'd treat her any differently/less than their other granddaughter have proven unfounded, for which I'm grateful.

I don't know where we're going to move when we have to in a year (or two?), but I would like to be closer. I still remember how I wanted to get as far away as possible from my family when I was younger, moved all the way to WA from FL, and now I'm like "same state would be fine." LOL. How things change.

Community

Mar. 22nd, 2018 05:53 am
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Taking time away from the glitz and facades of twitter was a good idea. It's given me space and helped me realize the root of my problem. Because it's not jealousy, as I originally feared. Jealousy was just the symptom. At the heart, it's really loneliness.

I thought I was jealous of all the success other people were having, which was ridiculous because past me would be super effing jealous of present me. So I just felt super guilty about all these bad feelings I was having. And then I realized - I wasn't jealous of their success. I was jealous of the community they had, the friends that screamed happily with and for them, the long twisting conversations they'd publicly have.

My week in Tucson really helped me understand this because I saw friends frequently and never once felt the urge to check social media. But as soon as I got back to Michigan, the urge returned. Less strong than before, granted, but it was there. I am, truly, an extrovert at heart and working alone at home is not going to work for me in the long term.

I know there are coworking spaces that one can rent, but - aaah, maybe that needs to wait for when we're not dropping 10k a year on daycare. A number that is not remotely an exaggeration because I just did my taxes and had to crunch the numbers several times before realizing it was real. Holy shit no wonder we have no money.

So renting coworking space is not a feasible option right now. Punching class is helping, but I can't stay until 9pm or later when everyone leaves/socializes. Another, local writer has reached out to me and I have some hopes there. Plus, our neighborhood has a monthly meeting that they finally moved to a time I can attend. So. More hope.

Just. Yeah. I knew working from home would be hard, but I hadn't realized how hard. I truly enjoyed being in the office and being around people while we were in Tucson, a fact I more fully realized when my other coworker, who had been out of the office due to a climbing incident, complained about having to be back in the office.

I know working in the office has its own share of problems, especially adding in a commute and a baby. But then again, working at home - on very busy days I feel guilty I didn't get any housework done. Or I end up using my lunch break to vacuum/cook/what have you. Which is certainly helpful, but then I don't actually take a break. Like legit, Tuesday and Wednesday I didn't leave the house except to drop the baby off and pick her up.

I don't know what the solution is in the short term. I've found some FB groups that seem to do a better job of facilitating conversation and community than Twitter, and that's helping a little. But nothing will really sub for Actual Human Interaction.

And maybe that's okay, for now. Maybe all I needed was to realize that I'm not a Terrible Human Being (TM) and that at the heart of it all, I just need a community. Because now, maybe, I can start working on ways to build that, instead of wondering how I can be so exceedingly ungrateful.
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We were away in Tucson for the week and I didn't check the news or really the internet much at all and it was pretty nice. I also wasn't checking my email every five minutes, which I desperately needed a break from.

So of course my edits for book 2 came in. Hah. A full 12 hours passed before I even saw them. And it was fine! Nothing exploded! Now, will I learn from that and be able to calmly ignore my inbox for an hour or two? ...probably not.

But I can try.

I turned in my copyedits yesterday morning, so at least those are no longer in my court, but I promised to have my synopsis for 3 done by May and also promised to get those edits done by... mid-May... so. Juggling, I should learn it.

But Tucson, Tucson was wonderful. I have returned to places I've lived many times in the past, and those felt weird and off, but this felt like coming home. The wide-open skies, the sunsets, the saguaros, the mountains - not to mention seeing all our friends who still live there - it felt as if we never had to leave.

Of course we did, and coming back to Michigan was... odd. Just bare trees and bare ground and a coating of snow. I think one of the reasons I don't like this state is because there's nothing *distinctive* about it. No mountains, no palm trees, no evergreens, no Sound, no swamp - just trees that all look alike and some farmland. Even Illinois feels distinctive, with its endless fields of corn.

Drop me anywhere else I've lived, and I'll know where I am right away. Drop me in Michigan and I'll probably just shrug. I know, I know, the lake shore is nice and the Upper is full of hikes, and we need to explore. But man, mid-Michigan is just... dull.

Tucson... we hiked (a little). Baby saw saguaros and ocotillo and cholla. She did not attempt to hug any of them. We ate (a lot). I went for a run at sunrise at it was amazing. I went into work for a day because I'm a nut. I realized that Tucson has too many good coffee places. When did *that* happen? I got a little bit of a tan. We took some author photos with prickly pear.

I know I was so done with Tucson when we left, but now it's like a dream. Granted, we left in August when both heat and humidity are a thing, and we visited in March, when it's frigging gorgeous. Michigan is only just waking up from winter and soon it'll be gorgeous here and Tucson will be a mind-melting 115.

But I miss it.
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One of the hard(er) things about having a baby has been finding the time to exercise. Time was, I'd do Crossfit 3+ days a week and go for runs and also go for long hikes on the weekend.

But a baby changes all that. First sleep deprivation and then the simple difficulty of figuring out what to Do with Baby when you do have the time. The Crossfit boxes nearby don't exactly have daycare, and *someone* has to keep an eye on the baby even when she's asleep. And she sleeps 14+ hours a day.

I can do more on workdays, but I'm still limited - I am supposed to be working after all. I returned to running first, because running has become a pretty integral part of my writing process. Also, I have other motivation: the Zombies, Run! app. Honest to god, that app is the sole reason I decided to get a smart phone.

My runs got longer. I challenged myself to a 5k. Did it. My runs got faster. And longer again. Now I regularly run 3+ miles like it's nothing.

But lifting? That's been harder. I got into Crossfit with my wife and part of the reason I made those 5.30am classes back in Arizona was because we were both going every morning. We motivated each other to go.

But now, one of us has to stay home with the baby.

I started going to an MMA class 3x a week back in August, and that has been remarkably hard to stick with. For one, I go alone. For another, it's in the evening. All I want to do in the evening is curl up on the couch and/or sleep. But I decided on a whim to learn how to punch Nazis properly and have been keeping with it, if sporadically, ever since. My wife enjoys having a quiet evening to herself and I enjoy dropping men twice my weight.

We've only been able to have that arrangement since the baby has become 100% predictable with going to bed (*praises the baby gods*). Also since, you know, sleep.

I still felt like I was missing something. The calluses on my palms are almost completely faded. I couldn't call myself a weightlifter anymore. I kept trying to start and failing.

But the weather warmed up a bit last week and I realized it was warm enough to lift without losing any skin to the frozen metal. So I did. And then I did again. And something feels as if it changed, as if I might be able to keep up with this. Lifting was my constant throughout pregnancy. The barbell never changes; it's always the same weight, the same metal, the same force.

So, I'm hopeful. Reclaiming my body post pregnancy has been a much slower process than I ever expected, but I'm almost there. I've had to learn to love & accept the way it's changed, but I also need to take care of it. Returning to the barbell & weightlifting feels like finally reaching the end of that path.

Let's see if I can stick with it.
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I missed posting this weekend because weekends are time spent hurriedly getting chores done while the baby sleeps and/or hiding the laptop from the baby. I tried to write something several times, but alas.

As I write this, it's warm in the house for once and rain is pattering loudly against the rainspout outside. It's been raining since midday yesterday and it's not supposed to stop for another day. Most of the snow is gone. The forecast calls for 40s and 30s for the foreseeable future.

I'm less than excited.

I thought last year was a fluke, but this year only confirms it: I kinda like winter. It's dark, yes, and cold, yes, and full of ice and snow - but I kinda like the snow and the cold. And the long nights are so bright when the ground is covered in snow.

I'm lucky to work from home, which means I can leave the house and chase the fleeting sunlight whenever I want (provided there's no meeting). My office has a south-facing window, so it's frequently the warmest (and brightest) part of the house. Plus there's a gorgeous park nearby and in the winter, it's nigh deserted.

I love to run in the cold. At first, 20 degrees was intimidating. Then it dropped below 10 and I forced myself on a run and I realized - this is a hella lot more pleasant than running in the heat. No copious amounts of sweat or bugs and after the first few minutes, you're warm enough.

I love love love running while it's snowing. It's so blissfully quiet and beautiful and gorgeous and it's like running in another world. And unlike running in the rain, I don't get drenched.

I love the way the snow glitters in the sunlight, how it blows across open fields and clumps on trees. I love the sharp bite of the cold air on my face and the puffs of cloud that form when I breathe. I love the way the stars look on a very cold & clear night.

I love how a light rain on a layer of snow creates a fog that hugs the ground. It's creepy and awesome.

But what makes me realize I really do love winter is looking ahead to spring and just kinda... cringing. It's going to be muddy. And it's going to rain. And it's going to be sticky. And then the bugs will start coming out.

Blrgh. Bugs. I hate bugs. Specifically the mosquitoes that come out in April. They're the worst.

I'll miss winter. I won't miss the icy patches or the dark, but I'll miss the bite and the chill and the snow.

There are good things about spring. Going outside without twenty layers. Bulbs. Fresh growth. Starting a garden. I'll embrace it in time. But now, listening to the rain and knowing how sodden the ground is, I'm going to mourn winter.
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february-10


This one.

She is a freaking delight. Sometimes I think back on how hard those first 3-6 months were and I'm just amazed at how easy we've got it now. She's full of laughs and giggles and hugs and the best part: she sleeps!

Of course, I write that and then this morning she threw a fit, so. She seems to be teething or just going through some toddler shit. Honestly, I'm surprised by how much stuff I just kinda shrug and go idk about after having this kid for more than a year. But until she can use words and tell us what's wrong, sometimes we can't figure out the screaming and we just have to watch the Happy Baby video for the 100th time.

Sometimes I'm really glad I decided to take a day off each week to spend home with her and sometimes I long for 5 days/week of daycare. But I do like this balance. She forces me to slow down, at least for a day, and examine the world anew. And then the other 6 days of the week I continue doing everything at 2x.

She's just. Ugh. So good. I understand now those people whose FB feeds would fill up with photo after photo after photo of their baby, each only subtly different. I do the same, I just try to keep it to flickr. I like to just watch her play, see her concentrating as she figures out her toys and learns to do new things.

But boy is it hard to remember she's a growing, changing human being. I keep underestimating her, at my peril. I keep looking at her and marveling at the things she's been able to do for months and missing that she is literally learning new shit right before my eyes. She understands way more than she lets on, she can do more than I let her, and yet - yet she really is still just a baby.

I'm also endlessly proud of everything she can do, and even more proud (prouder?) of how she just keeps doing. When she was practicing how to walk, she'd use the coffee table to stand, let go, take a step, fall, laugh, and go right back and try again. Man, how did we all lose that effortless ability to try and try and try and laugh at our failures? Honestly babies should be the motivational speakers, because they start from literally nothing and become functional human beings. The sheer number of things they have to learn and master in the interim boggles my mind.

Yet she'll do it. She's doing it.

And I hope she never stops. <3
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Case in point: yesterday I received an email from my editor with several pics of hot, shirtless men attached. I saw the pics before reading the email, so it was a pretty wtf moment. And then I read the email and it all made sense: the art department wanted to use a model as reference for the cover, and they wanted me to tell them which looked most like my MC.

Then I had another wtf moment because cover and art department and aaah, this is my life now?

Most days I wake up at 5am and try to get some writing in before I wrangle a baby and a dayjob and try to take care of myself by going for runs and, well, going outside. Some days, I don't see - or talk to - anyone except my family. Some days I don't even make it outside. Punching class has been helping with that and now we take baby to a music class on Saturdays, but my life is very isolated and unglamorous. Our house is smaller than the apartment we had in Tucson.

And then I get emails with shirtless models.

I'm in a weird place even for publishing. I have a two+ year lead to my debut instead of the more typical year. I finally joined a 2019 debut group where everyone is just now signing their contracts, and we will see more people join in the next six months who don't even know it yet. Meanwhile, I'll have all three books turned in before the first even sees the light of day. I have to actively be careful about getting too excited publicly about my books because I don't want to wear people out / bore them.

So on the outside, everything is super chill. I occasionally tell people I'm an author, but without a physical book to back that up, it still feels like bragging (will it ever not feel like bragging?). So mostly I don't talk about it. And then I get blurbs or shirtless men pics and I have to scream internally.

I wrote "eternally" at first and that's not wrong.

But really I have No Chill. Every time I get an email from my editor or agent, I freak out. And then hearing that other authors are reading my book and not hating it? Fuuuuuuuuuck. I honestly keep wondering how I'm going to survive the next year. Lots of internal screaming. Lots of running. Lots of hand flapping and spinning in circles. It's a shot of adrenaline and then my whole day is pretty much wrecked because I'm too excited to do anything. How does anyone handle this?

I'm beginning to better understand impostor syndrome. It's not that I don't feel I'm good enough - I put in the work, gdamnit - but that it's such a huge shift externally. At home, internally, I'm doing the same things I've always done. But now I'm trying to connect with a friend of a friend, and the source friend mentions I might be too intimidating. Wait what? She's never seen me deadlift and seriously I can barely squat half of what I used to - oh. You meant the author thing. Oh. Author, I'm an author - but that doesn't change who I am, who I've been, for the last thirty years.

I'm still here sipping coffee at 6am, watching the baby monitor and willing her to go back to sleep.

Go back to sleep, mama-Kai has words to write.

Day 2

Feb. 14th, 2018 05:25 am
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Now for a second, slightly longer, catch-up post.

Where have I been? In short: Twitter. In long: Fucking Twitter.

I'm actually giving Twitter up for Lent* because it's making me miserable. I originally joined it to find agents and then I stayed to try to figure out/engage with the writing community, but now it feels as if I'm sitting in a fishbowl holding a conversation with myself. Occasionally someone will drop into my bowl and I'll feel like YES THIS IS THE POINT OF TWITTER REAL ENGAGEMENT and then they leave and then I realize, lol - Twitter is not set up for real engagement.

That's what, say, dreamwidth or LJ are for. And I realized I missed this kind of community. The kind where I actually see and feel seen. So I'm not just dropping Twitter for a while, I'm trying to come back here and re-engage. I need some reality and not just the shiny. The shiny can be fun, until you start comparing yourself to the shiny and just seeing a smear of shine instead of real people and their own struggles.

To be fair to Twitter, I have met people through there. I've connected with my agent siblings, for one, and I found out about Sirens (a women-in-fantasy conference in Colorado) and Confusion (a con in Detroit) through it. Which is why it's been hard to quit. Which is why I'm telling myself I'm just taking a break.

Because omg, my life is actually really amazing right now if I'd just step back and stop comparing myself to people further along / with more friends / covered in awards. Like, I'm not even at a point where I can compare myself, and yet. That is what I do. I'm competitive. Can't stop, won't stop, so I'd better get away.

So yeah, there're some aspects about my life I'm actively trying to change. Depression. Loneliness. Time management. Money. But holy shit I'm an author. I mean yeah my book is still a year out, but I have copy edits next month and blurbs coming in. Fucking blurbs. From other authors. People - humans - are reading it and not putting it gently back into the box and pretending they never received it.

I have a baby who is walking and starting to talk and who gives us hugs and squeals with delight when we tickle her feet. I have a wife who does Science and just published another paper and is doing Cool Shit. And I have punching class, where I'm occasionally actually good at the punching.

Things could be better - I really wish I had friends locally, I wish I could talk to one friend about all things re: publishing because she's been there and understands but instead we tiptoe around any mention of books, I miss Arizona and the mountains, the whole country is going to hell, this part of Michigan doesn't understand what plowing means, I still struggle to weightlift and my body is not where I'd want it to be, food is hard, depression is high for both me and my wife, god do I miss the mountains...

But I'm doing all right.




* I'm not Catholic, but the idea of occasionally giving something up that you feel you can't live without is a good exercise, IMNSHO.

Aaaaaah

Feb. 13th, 2018 06:30 am
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I keep disappearing on here and then I think I'll never come back, but then I also realize that now more than ever I need somewhere where I can scream into the void.

So much is happening and yet also so little. Life is a strange place and I have so few people to talk to about it because I work from home and we live in Michigan and all my friends are now online and busy themselves and/or don't want to talk to me about the two things that are most important in my life right now: book & baby.

Also I keep thinking I'll do a proper DITL and come back, but alas - easier said than done. The weekdays are hugely boring and the weekends are usually chockfull of baby-wrangling - which you'd think would make great DITLs but then it's just hard to remember to keep taking pictures. I've had more than one attempted DITL fizzle out by midday.

Anyway, gonna try to come back in a small way at least. I miss you guys, I miss having this outlet, and you deserve more than just me showing up every 10-11 months to scream about something and disappear.

So: hi. Let's try this again.

january-16

- I'm Kai.
- I have a baby that's 16 months (!) old.
- I'm a web-training developer by day and an author by night
- I have a wife
- And two cats
- And I live in Michigan.
- And I'm going to try to blog here every day for the rest of February.

*waves*
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Baby's asleep and I feel like procrastinating on finishing this round of edits, so

Here's some random thoughts on a Monday afternoon:

1) Omg we almost have a one year old. She is doing so much, and she's so much more aware of what's going on around her. She's more and more her own tiny person instead of just a baby.

2) After only getting on a plane once in the last 12+ months, we're going to break our dry spell hardcore and I'm a little afraid. I have a convention at the end of October which will be my first time away from Lady Jr. Then we're planning on going to Germany in November (!) and Minnesota for Christmas and then Tucson in March. I'm a little afraid, not gonna lie. Lady Jr did fine on the one plane ride we've been on so far, but she was 4 months old and a whole lot less wiggly. Oh well. We'll handle it.

3) It's been autumning for a few weeks now. August was really cool and the leaves started turning that last week. Now it's 80+, of course, but half the trees are vibrant and there's a syrupy quality to the light in the mornings and evenings that I just want to drink up.

4) I feel not exhausted for the first time in 2 weeks. Lady Jr got some kind of fever around my birthday and then gave it to me, but it wasn't just a fever - it was also severe fatigue. Now it seems like Lady is coming down with it and I don't envy her one bit.

5) My editor gave me my edits a few weeks ago for books one & two and they're not nearly as bad as I'd feared/expected. I just have to cut 20k from book two which is a little daunting, not gonna lie. Also fix some character stuff in book one. But that's pretty much it and I've been riding that high all week.

6) Current pub date for book one is March 2019. So far. So soon? I have to have book one 100% done and edited and copy-edited and proofed by this February, and then it's out of my hands. Kinda crazy that by the time book one comes out, I'll be done with the other two books. Publishing is slow, but also maybe the fact that I wrote book 2 first might have something to do with it.

7) I'm all legit & shit and have a page on my agency's website. You can even read the current "query" for book one if you're bored.

8) Despite all of that, I keep having crippling flashes of impostor syndrome. Yay!

9) No, we don't know where we're moving next. Probably not for another year +.

10) Punching class is now punching + kicking class and I love it except for last week when I was exhausted/fatigued all the time. Makes me miss Crossfit and it's more close-knit, cultish society tho.

11) Aaand the baby's starting to wiggle. Till next time!

31...

Aug. 12th, 2017 06:26 am
spryng: (Default)
 In a few weeks, I'm going to be turning 31. I usually start thinking about my birthday as far ahead as June, even May sometimes, and trying to mull over/consider my previous year and the year going forward. But this year I didn't even remember my birthday was approaching until late July, and then it was August, and now we're almost halfway through August.

Part of that was because my July 1 deadline was all encompassing. Part of that was the baby is also all encompassing. Between the two and trying to keep up with Twitter (because technically it's work now *wink*), I don't have much time/mental energy left over. 

But I should get back into the groove of updating here. It's good to just take a moment and process things more deeply, instead of in bite-sized 140 character tweets or in DITL-esque dumps. 

So 31. To consider 31, I need to look back at 30. And 30 was... 30 was taking my life as I knew it up to that point and dropping it off a cliff. 30 was change. Massive upheaval. 30 was a prayer to Kali I didn't know I was making. And the result is that I have grown more professionally and as a person than I have at any other point in my adult life. 

To recap: 30 saw me pregnant and moving to a new state, an entirely new & different region of the country: Arizona to Michigan. 30 brought me a dayjob I actually enjoyed and then decided to drop a 3-book contract on my head. 30 gave me many heart-to-heart conversations with my mother and a greater understanding of her as well as our relationship. 30 also made me see parts of my childhood in an entirely new, and not altogether nice, light. 30 put an infant in my lap and took away sleep for 6+ months. 30 led to some of the darkest nights of my life. 30 has given me some of the brightest days.

30 was the fastest, scariest, most exhilarating rollercoaster. There were literally days I wondered if I would survive. There were literally days I cried tears of joy and wished would never end. There were days I had never felt luckier and days I considered divorce (not seriously - I was just in a really dark place).

30 was incredibly intense.

So if 30 was life kicking my feet out from under me, what does that make 31? I think 31 is going to be all about rebuilding. Chasing structure and stability and balance. Discovering who I am now as a mom, as an author, as a full-fledged adult. I am no longer "adulting." I am getting shit done. And hopefully taking the time to enjoy myself along the way.

To rebuild, I need to find my community again. I need friends here, even if they're not as awesome as the ones in AZ. I need to get out of the house more. Those are basically my only goals for this year: get the fuck out of the house.

To that end, I've joined a MMA class that meets 3x a week. I call it Punching 101. It's led by the whitest white dude ever and I feel a little bad giving him money, but it's also literally 2min away so I can actually make the class. Which has been a big hurdle when the baby goes to be at 7pm and most of the classes I've considered are at 7pm. 

I've also been invited to a Labor Day potluck and I'm going to go to our daycare's silly end-of-summer event next week and Lady met another person at work who has a 3 month old that we're going to have "play" dates with and DAMMIT I am going to actually meet people and get out of the house!

30 was the year of burning everything down. 31 will be the year of rising from the ashes.

spryng: (Default)
August DITL

It's been a while, but I'm still alive! I'm going to try to aim for at least one DITL a month for the rest of this year, because I love the photos I get out of it (example above).

Changes since last DITL: ...not much? I'm working on Book Three, Lady Jr is now 10 months old, the weather is gorgeous here, and I'm turning 31 at the end of the month. o.o Maybe I'll do a special DITL just for that. We'll see.

Read more... )
spryng: (Default)
[personal profile] 42itous reminded me that I basically disappeared completely off of LJ. I moved to dreamwidth without really any fanfare, didn't accept LJ's ToS, and then also kinda disappeared off of DW.

I went back and accepted the ToS to login one last time and because I missed LJ. But it's a sad shell of what it once was. I don't think DW can ever come close, but I still need a place where I don't have to worry about putting any filter over my words, where I can just write stream-of-conscious, whatever's on my mind at the time, about any part of my life. For me, LJ started as a public diary and has continued to be there for me when I navigated all sorts of messy parts of life.

I'm still on Wordpress, but both those blogs (speckofawesome and KADoore) are pretty filtered. Speck is mostly for baby stuff and lofty goals. KADoore is my author blog, so it's even more filtered.

But here, here I am me. Messy, anxious, flawed, rambling at length about whatever is currently at the forefront of my thoughts. Occasionally DitLs, occasionally just catch-up posts.

This is a catch-up post.

I've been quiet because I've been busy, but not in any exciting way. Just in a spending-every-free-minute writing sort of way. Wake up before baby? Write. Stay up after baby goes to sleep? Write. Baby takes a nap? Write. Lunch break at work? Wash dishes I mean: Write.

I'm not complaining, not one bit. But my life is probably the least exciting of anyone's right now.

BUT I did make my deadline. In fact, several days early. All of that writing and homebody-ing paid off. I turned my manuscript in for book one and now I can breathe again. I did it, the thing I've been afraid of ever since my agent contacted me one week after giving birth and to let me know Tor was interested. I took the tiniest seed of an idea and turned it into a polished manuscript in just under eight months.

This was a really big moment for me. It's not just that I wrote a book. I've been writing books for years, decades. I proved to myself that I could do this, that I could write under contract, that I could trust my process and that the ideas would be there. Every step of the way was filled with doubt and fear, but I kept my head down and pushed through and here I am.

Hitting this deadline was very important to me. Even if I could push it back if it came down to it, doing so would have allowed doubt to creep in and take hold. I needed to prove to myself that I could do what Real Authors (TM) do, what I'd been practicing on my own for almost a decade - write under contract in a set timeframe. And apparently under some of the most trying circumstances possible - new baby, new city, depression, extreme sleep deprivation, and isolation. I'm sure it could have been worse, and maybe there were times I should have fucking chilled, but now I have no excuses going forward. I know I can do this now.

So when, inevitably, doubt and its friends impostor syndrome and anxiety return, I have a very big stick I can wield to keep them at bay.

Now, finally - not when I got an agent, not when I got a contract - I feel like I can call myself an author. There's no little twinge of guilt or shame or fear. I've proven it sufficiently to myself, which is more than enough for anyone else. I can do this.

Whether or not I'll actually succeed at doing this as an actual career... we'll see. A lot of it is luck. A lot of it is timing. I could still fuck it up in some new and exciting way. But at least as far as the writing part goes, I think I've got this.
spryng: (Default)


This is my life now.

Baby is 6 months old. Lady is still a postdoc. I'm back to work full+ time - i.e. I work part time at the Job Wot Pays and then 2+ hours/day writing. Deadline for this book is July 1st and I am definitely not panicking, not one bit.



In which our heroine has a fairly typical Sunday, it just now revolves around a tiny overlord. Warnings: A lot of baby pics. And I mean a lot. )

Goodbye LJ

Apr. 6th, 2017 11:38 am
spryng: (Default)
I guess that's it. I tried to look at my friends' page one last time, but LJ wouldn't even let me do that without agreeing to their new terms of service - the translation of which they say isn't binding, i.e., by hitting "agree" you're actually agreeing to the original Russian. I can read some Russian, but not that much, and besides, I'm just not comfortable with the direction they're heading.

So. That's it. I'll keep the crossposting up, but that's about it. I'm sorry. If you've migrated to dreamwidth, drop me a comment and I'll add you.

It was good while it lasted, LJ. I met some awesome friends there. I vented a lot of frustrations and blogged about a lot of boring, everyday things. LJ was my haven when things were bad and my community when things were awesome. It was such a great place to just dump thoughts and get some feedback and love.

RIP LJ.

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