It’s been a while….

That is just not referring to my little hiatus from blog writing. It is referring to a lot of aspects of my life. My writings, my career, my friends. It has all slipped through the cracks over the last month or two. Today was the first day that I had the time and energy to dedicate a full work day (roughly 8-10hrs) to my still budding web design and social media marketing business. A friend of mine needed a new website built for his carpet cleaning and commercial office cleaning business, and though I have been slowly putting it together over the last two weeks, I have just not had time or energy to fully devote time to it. While working today I took a fifteen minute break to contemplate what happened over the last two months and why I let it happen. 

My writings. By writings I mean everything from the continued editing of my fiction novel, my blog and the ongoing process of attempting to get a book deal for the novel. What happened? I actually quite my nanny job so I had more time to focus (well, okay I quit because the parents were bat shit crazy) and I have found that since quitting I have done less work than I did when I had 12 hours of my life taken away from me each day by my nanny job and then probably another 3 or 4 by my web business. No progress has been made, no query letters have been sent, no editing has been done. Where did my grand goal of trying to get some kind of a book deal within the next year go? What happened to me?

My budding career is hit and miss lately. I have been on a roll having project after project, but nothing really too steady. Mostly it is websites, which I LOVE doing because it is fun, it is different every time and well, let’s be honest it makes me the most money. Nothing too steady though that I can depend on day after day, month to month though. The only person I have to blame for this is myself. I have slacked so bad on marketing my marketing abilities. Redundant huh? Part of that is my blog. As much as I am sure you all love reading all the thoughts that are in my head, the blog is part of marketing my abilities as a writer for freelance writing jobs. I tell every client that they should be posting minimum 1 post every 10 days or so and I can not even get myself to post that often.

My friends are a whole different can of worms. Unlike the other two things I have let slide, I am fully aware of the almost sole reason I have kind of pushed them all to the side. I canceled my wedding. Nobody freak out, I am still engaged and super happy with my fiancé and can’t wait to be a Mrs.! but, things (that will be detailed in a moment) happened and my family could no longer afford the insane cost of a wedding. My four best friends and I had gone dress shopping (yes, I had my princess moment and cried when I put on the dress), they had looked for brides maids dresses, I had found a venue, my friend who is a DJ had agreed to do my wedding for just travel expenses. It was all planned and then BOOM! reality check. Life just is not nice when it comes to this type of thing is it?

So, I guess it’s time for the explanation of my life crumbling out from under me for months. It started the first week of May. I lost my grandmother, the only grandparent I ever had. She fought for as long as she could, but with already life threatening health problems, her diagnosis of rare and aggressive lung cancer and 8 weeks to live was still hard to handle. I will never forget the phone call. It was a Sunday, my fiancé and I were having a lazy day and my dog Hades was acting odd. He was extra snuggly and would not leave my side, Hades is normally a very lackadaisical dog. He will occasionally get up and remind you to scratch behind his ears, but on this day, he was in my lap refusing to let me out of his sight all day. The call came early afternoon. My phone rang and I went into my bedroom, as my phone was on the charger, and saw it was my mother. My heart immediately skipped a beat as I answered. I heard it in her voice as I heard her say “Sara…” She really did not need to keep talking. I collapsed right there. I had rug burn where my knees hit the floor. The first thing I felt was Hades nudging me to make sure I knew he was right there for me. After a few moments, and saying goodbye to my mother, I pushed myself up to face my fiancé. His mother passed away a few years ago from the same thing and he knew the look on my face and immediately jumped up to hug me. This was the beginning of two weeks of on and off grief and the end of my wedding plans. As I let my life spiral momentarily out of control in the wake of my grief, my mother and my aunt dealt with the cold truth that is burying your loved one. The only thing that is even more insanely expensive for no reason than a wedding is a funeral and burial. Except that now we were being screwed by an insurance company in the process. Over $15,000 later, we are fighting an insurance company that only wants to give us $200 for it all. Losing my wedding would not usually cause me so much grief, but the last thing my grandmother said to me, the last time I saw her (a week before she passed) was to keep planning my beautiful wedding and that when I walked down the isle she would be with me. It was not so much about losing my dream wedding as it was I felt like I let my grandmother down in some way by giving up the wedding plans. It is pain I still feel, I don’t think I will ever stop feeling as I am still crying about those words at this very moment.

The other reason my life has slowly gotten away from me? Moving. FUCK. MOVING. Please excuse my language as I typically don’t write in a profane manner (I do enough swearing when I talk, it does not need to spill over into my writing), but fuck moving. We started our house search about two months before the end of our lease. This was about the same time last year that we began our search, so we did not think much of it until any place that we liked REFUSED to hold the house for more than two weeks. Seriously? I had my last home on hold a month before we moved in and NOW these jerk faced property managers want no more than a two week hold? FINE. Have your two week hold. We lost two places we liked because of that stupid policy. We lost the place of our dreams because they property managers did not like our application as much as they liked someone else’s and without so much as an email to me or my realtor about it either. Memorial day rolls around, at 7am I got a property search notification and the house was PERFECT. It was in the neighborhood we wanted, it is less than five miles from my fiancés’ job and we moved so fast that no one else had a chance to even look at it before our application was in. We got them to extend the damn 2 week hold so we had a few extra days and everything was moving along wonderfully.

Once everything got moved is where my lovely career was derailed slightly. My office is where all the boxes of stuff we did not know what to do with were put. My office is literally just a pile of boxes. It is hard to work when you have no where to work. I despise mixing my spaces. My bedroom is where I relax, watch netflix, play video games and sleep. My living room is where I watch television, play with my dogs and entertain. My dinning room is where I eat meals. WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO WORK WHEN MY OFFICE IS JUST A PILE OF BOXES?????? Yes, that sentence really did deserve all caps. I have been sitting in literally the same chair all day in my living room using a large ottoman as a desk space to build an entire website.

So here I am, at the end of my work day, making my first attempts at getting back on course after my two month detour. First of all, I AM A WRITER! have articles you need written? I CAN DO THAT! No really, I have degrees in communications, I went to graduate school. I even presented papers at regional and national conferences. I know what I am doing! I do websites! Websites are fun! I do not have to be in your area to help you out! I am great with phone meetings, I LOVE google hangouts and Skype which allow me to screen share so we can be on the same page when going over the site! Contact me (hence the whole contact page thing in the menu up top!) No seriously, do it! I am cheaper than most firms you will talk to since I am freelance! I also do social media marketing. I am awesome with business pages on Facebook and twitter I can turn $100 of your advertising money into 150+ likes and follows in less than a month (no guarantees but that is the average I have achieved!). And again, I’m cheaper than any reputable firm!

Step two, I am going to go write and edit and figure out my next move in becoming a published author. Going along with that, if any of you have ties to agents or publishers or are published, leave me a comment or contact me through my contact page because I would LOVE some advice on what to do next and how I can up my chances of getting a book deal. Would love it! 

Step three, tell my friend what happened and accept the sympathetic looks and talk I will have to go through when I tell them that I lost my grandmother, I lost my wedding and I was too afraid of how many tears I would spill telling them that I waited two months to say it. 

Thanks for reading my ramblings. Hopefully I will stick to my ten day timeline and have some more to write about in ten days or less!!

~S~

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Completion

It’s a weird thing when you complete something you have worked on for years. That moment when you type the final word of a story you imagined for the first time when you were barely six years old. It is bittersweet though. What do I work on now? For twenty years I have imagined a world beyond what I lived in and just over the past few years have I taken to really spending time writing it down. Tonight I typed the final word and it was amazing. To finally get the first part of the story down and complete was great. The next steps ahead are what terrifies me though. What if I just spent years writing out nearly 77,000 words just to find out I suck as a writer and that no one will ever read my story? What if I spent all this time just to be rejected by agents and publishers and be stuck with a manuscript that will never see the light of day. 

I guess that is why this is so bitter sweet for me. I love my story, I love the world I created and the plot and the characters, but I imagined them, so of course I love them. How do I make other people fall in love with them also? Especially since some agents do not even want a sample, they just want a summary. How do you make someone understand the progression and growth and depth of your characters and your story when all they want is a 1000 word summary and then if they want to read more they will ask for it. Pouring your heart and soul into something and then having to sell it like some sleezy used car salesman just so you can get the full manuscript read is counterintutitve to my nature. I hate forcing things on others, but I feel if I do not force it that it may not happen. The agents that ask for a sample I feel more comfortable with. I like knowing that they will at least get to read part of the story before they reject it or ask for more. It seems a more natural, though I would say ten pages is a little on the low side to really get a feel for the book. I typically say twenty five pages is when I decide if I like or dislike what I am currently reading. Twenty five may be too much or agents to read every time they receive a submission

They other part of the submission process I find annoying is that some agents say they will not even respond if they do not wish to read the manuscript in its entirity. I understand that not every submission is good enough yet, or is a good idea, but to not even take the time to write a simple email and say that you are not interested seems rude in a way. Someone has put time and effort into their submission, could you not spend a few moments to write a stock response that tells the submitter that though you appreciate them submitting you are not interested at this time? Otherwise they could sit there for 6-8 weeks just wanting a response. I would rather receive a letter saying an agent was uninterested than never hear back at all. 

The sweet side to all of this is that after twenty years the first story I ever wrote is at its full potential. Not only is it at its full potential, it has a sequel that needs to be written. Though the first book has been completed, there is a second and possibly more if I leave enough open ends. I even left room for a prequel if I feel like moving backward in time within my world. I have so many options that I am excited for where to move next. I have the second book in my head, and there will most likely be a third. I can’t see myself drawing the story out much further. I was never one to enjoy series’ that continued long after they should have ended. 

I have a road ahead of me when it comes to the publishing process, but I also have a road ahead of me to work on other aspects of my story. Both roads are equally exciting, and luckily I can travel both at the same time.