Some of you may have noticed my end of the year blog post never posted. This is because I didn’t write it. You’re surprised, I know. I mean, because I’m SUCH a religious blogger and keep you guys updated to the Nth degree. Ha! Ha. Ha. Ha. Here’s a little honesty for you, I didn’t write it because I just couldn’t. Meaning, I couldn’t make myself do it. I was in a major funk (still am, but I’m working on getting over it) and didn’t think I could be positive and uplifting and thankful, like one should be when recapping their year and ringing in the next one. ESPECIALLY when their year included a BOOK DEAL and other amazingness. So. For three weeks now, I’ve been working myself up to this post.
If you know me, you know this:
I don’t like negativity.
But I like honesty.
I believe being positive yields positive.
I do try to keep my troubles to myself because, see above.
I’m a diligent silver lining finder. (I mean, seriously. I thread those suckers together until they’re one great big shiny silver cloud and then I sit under it and bask in its glistening splendor while the rain pours.)
When considering how to get over the funk-a-dunk I’m in so I could move on to bigger and better things (like sharing the details of my deal), I realized there was really only one way to do this. And that is, work through it. Talk it out. Blab about it. Open up. Let it out. And then let it go.
But don’t worry, for your troubles there will be cupcakes at the end!
2013 sucked. I mean, really really.
Disclaimer: good things did happen. Very good things, which we will get to later.
So. Many. Travesties. Happened. The year went like this: something good, five things bad, something good, ten things bad.
Of course I won’t list them all because, come on, everyone has problems and who wants to read about one person’s sob story year. No one, that’s who. But I am going to talk about the ones that have affected me most and some of the good things that have happened as a result.
As writers—as people, really—we can use our circumstances, encounters, trials to our advantage. It’s cliché to say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger so I’ll say it like this:
What doesn’t sink you teaches you to swim (I'm thinking Titanic here).
What doesn't end you can mark a new beginning (I'm thinking when your computer crashes and deletes your entire completed manuscript and you have to START OVER but the new one is somehow BETTER).
What doesn't eat you can be eaten (I'm thinking bacon here).
But seriously. I’ve found this to be true. So many times I’ve been to the point where I thought I couldn’t take one more broken appliance, messed up car, flooded room, health problem or bad news text. But then the next thing would hit me and I’d be like, “Hm. I guess I CAN take one more. Who knew?” With every new blow, the last one seemed less damaging. The new thing might be a vicious punch but it made the last thing feel like a whisper. And when you heal up from the hit, you have a nice little callous. A tough spot that’s harder to hurt when life hits you again. You see how that works?
Btw, you all just sang Kelly Clarkson in your head didn’t you? Don’t try to deny it.
Health problems. Those closest to me know I have a slight heart condition. There’s a small (and I mean, very small) hole in one of the valves that causes me a bit of trouble now and then. It’s something I’ve dealt with since I was a small child and is relatively under control. In fact, I haven’t had any problems with it for more than three years. But knowing there’s an issue there, I’ve always kept my eyes open for any signs of trouble. I hate to say it like this, but I almost expect that IF I’m going to have medical issues, it’s going to be cardiac related. That or, because of my family’s atrocious history with the disease, cancer. Basically, I keep my eyes open for these two things. So imagine my surprise when I find out I have an extremely rare, sometimes debilitating, and incurable skin disorder.
Hello, Awful. Nice to meet ya.
I won’t tell you the name of the disease because some of you (you sickos) would Google it and find pictures and… let’s just say, I had Frankenstein nightmares after seeing the pics.
Silver lining. It could be so much worse! There are a number of other horrible diseases that I DON’T HAVE. From the looks of things, I’m only a stage 1. Which means we caught it early and can hopefully prevent it from spreading into Frankenstein stages. Also, and this is important, it isn’t something that is terminal. YAY FOR SILVER LININGS!!!
Personal problems. This is where I was hit the hardest in 2013. My relationships. This was a widespread epidemic and of course I’ll talk about it as delicately as I can while still getting my point across. There was a more personal situation with my immediate family that I won’t really get into but let’s just say it was one of those things where ya think ya know someone and then ya don’t… Yeah, that.
Here’s the thing, sometimes the people we care about do things that can’t be undone. And unfortunately, those who are the closest to them (meaning, we) pay for it. Even if we’re innocent. And there’s not a frick fracking thing anyone can do about it. Except pay the cost. And smile. We can always smile.
Honestly, I’m still reeling from that one and don’t know when I’ll ever fully recover from the things that have taken place. Cryptic, I know, sorry. Remember, cupcakes are coming!
And then there was this. I learned a lesson at thirty years old that most people probably learn at a much younger age: I know A LOT of people. People who call me friend and claim to care about me and appear to have a stake in my life. BUT I have very few who are ACTUALLY friends. In fact, I can count them on two fingers. And like most people, I learned this the hard way.
When I released (self-published) Fatal last February, it came as a shock to many people since only those closest to me knew of my writing. Which I’ve actually been working seriously at for over seven years. My writing was something I kept close to home. Until last year, I didn’t share it except with trusted critique partners and agents I queried. I expected people to be surprised that I was publishing a book. What I didn’t expect was for people to hate me because of it.
WHAT, you say? Yes. It was ugly. And sadly, full of misplaced religiosity.
I expected “friends” to support me. To be happy for me. What I got was a crap ton of people publicly bashing me on the social media known as Facebook (we’re talking my personal account, here). Solution? I moved to Twitter. Which leads me to my
Silver lining. Helloooooo super supportive writing community whose home is Twitterland. I love you so much. Whether you know it or not, you asked me two important questions that changed the way I look at personal relationships. 1) Who ARE these people you hang with? And 2) WHY do you let them in your life if they don’t have your best interests at heart? Note: no one ACTUALLY asked me those questions. You just allowed me to step away from things so I could ask myself those questions. FOREVER CHANGING THE COURSE OF HISTORY. Or mine, anyway.
With that said, the people I hang with on Facebook who DID support me, I thank you so hard. You’ll never know how your kind words kept me going when things got weird.
And now for the really good stuff. You guys. YOU GUYS. My series is going to be published. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. I can’t express it in words. It’s a dream come true. But honestly, and I’m dead serious when I say this, the best thing about 2013 was me breaking out of my box and letting people read my work. So many doors have opened. So many wonderful people I’ve crossed paths with. People who were helpful and understanding and supportive—even before they knew me and without anything to gain. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve all this amazingness. And to think none of it would’ve happened if I’d kept my writing a secret.
Worth it? A million times, yes.
Bad year? Yes, but… we live, we learn, we move on, we grow calluses. And smile. We smile.
Sometimes we don’t deserve the things that happen to us, the bad OR the good. And sometimes we should be thankful for that. Let that soak in.
I promised you cupcakes and I’m no breaker of promises. These are the EASIEST cupcakes ever. Only two ingredients! If you think this recipe sounds weird, don’t worry. THEY ARE FULL OF YUMMMM!
The Easiest Cupcakes Ever
1 can (15oz.) pumpkin puree
1 box cake mix (I use yellow but spice or chocolate is also good. Or red velvet? OMG, somebody try red velvet and report back to me.)
Mix ‘em up, fill a cupcake tin, and bake at 350 degrees. Frost with this easy cream cheese frosting or frosting of your choice. Enjoy.
MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY BOOK DEAL TOMORROW