I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR

I DID IT!

I FINALLY PUBLISHED A BOOK!

I wanted it published by the end of the year and  I did it!

I kept making myself dead lines (my son’s birthday, my parent’s anniversary, my birthday, Yule) and then miss them and feeling frustrated about it. Every time I’d read the story over I’d find something I wanted to change and so I did. I never had a beta reader or an editor, that will change when I start writing fiction. As Christmas approached I knew I’d be away with no internet for a few days and I wanted it out into the world before then. And amazingly I did it. I published it in ebook format first. I actually had people request it in paperback so I stayed up all night of the 22nd fixing formatting errors for Amazon so that before Christmas the paperback would be available.

The month didn’t begin so great. I had to have a covid test because of a sick coworker. Then my dad ended up in the hospital for a week. Then my husband got an infection in his hand. Then my son moved home and I lost my office space. 

One of the editing processes I did to my novel this month was to run it through the Hemmingway editor. 

My Review of the Hemmingway Editor:

DON’T BUY IT! 

It helps identify only FOUR things: reading difficulty, adverbs, passive voice, phrases with simpler alternatives

It does not correct these things! It only highlights them.

My novel is 50,000 words and when I tried to put all the words at once into the online version it froze up. So I bought the program. When I tried putting all 50,000 words in at once into the paid for program it froze up. So I started working in chunks of 8,000 words. It was able to accept them but when I had some sentences to write it lagged really bad. I would type and then stop typing and wait and watch as the letters slowly appeared on the screen. So I wouldn’t recommend writing in it any more than you have to to fix some editing. Paid version does nothing different than the online version.

So now that I’ve accomplished my goal of becoming a published author what is next for me?

Write more! Publish more!

I miss swimming. I miss green grass. I miss warm feet. I miss traveling.

November 2021

Nanaramo went over like it usually does. I was already at the start. My goal was to just write some each day, just to get in the habit of writing everyday. I wasn’t worried about word count, I just wanted to establish the habit. The first week I did write every day.

My excuses: 

1)On Halloween my dad went into the hospital. He was in for about five days. Out for three or four days then back in for a few more days. Then during the third week I had to go to a doctor appointment with my mom. During the fourth week my mom was supposed to have a procedure done and was staying at a local facility where she kept falling down and they called me to come stay with her while she was there. 

2)I started a new job. First week was training with someone who was trying to catch up on work that needed to be done before she left and month end stuff. The first full week on my own I knew I was in over my head. This is a big company and I’m used to small start ups. I tried to walk out but they like me for some reason and I like money and the people there are super nice and I really liked my desk. I stayed. 

With the new job and parents getting old and unwell, snow started to fall in the last week of the month and my son needed snow tires…I was a bit stressed out. I was still also trying to get over my Tik Tok and video game addiction. By the end of the month I was reading a book again before bed and/or listening to a radio play. But any time I hit the button for Tic Tok I was on for three hours as that is what I have a time limit set for (I may change it to less time in the new year). As for my video games I can usually get them all played in less than an hour and some days I don’t even play them at all, they do seem to have lost their appeal. 

Electronics are a good distraction from real life but I want my writing to be that distraction. But with the story I’m writing right now it is about my family and it’s not a distraction at all, it’s more stress. I’ve debated putting it aside and working on some fiction but I’m worried my memory is getting bad and I may forget things. I’m having trouble from day to day remembering what people tell me at work, if I don’t write it down I forget it. Not sure that is normal for my age or I’m losing it because I have what my parents have or I’m fine and just stressing.

Always hoping the next month will be better. It’s Christmas, who am I kidding, that’s never fun.

Oct 1st 2021

I rewatched the documentary Roadrunner again. I still cry when David Chou talks about Tony’s favorite song as Anemone. I remember sitting at my desk when I worked at my first hotel listening to music on Spotify while I read Kitchen Confidential. Someone had made an Anthony Bourdain playlist, mostly songs not on my personal favorites list, at that time. As songs played through the list if I liked them I hearted them and then they were on my personal favorites list. The first song on Tony’s playlist was Anemone (I had started the list of shuffle play), it was instantly added to my list when I heard the intro. When I looked up Google What do anemones symbolize? I got the following response: “The most significant anemone flower meaning is anticipation. According to the Victorian language of flowers, anemone flowers also signify fragility. According to both Greek mythology and Christianity, the red anemone symbolizes death or the act of forsaken love.” Quite fitting in regards to Tony don’t ya think? I was feeling it then as I feel it now and every time I hear David say that it was Tony’s favorite.

After I watched Roadrunner I went to read the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I had started it a couple of weeks ago and switched to Duma Key by Stephen King because I wanted something with more of a storyline. The Power of Now was an ebook so I could highlight it and organize the important parts like a high school textbook. Organizing takes my mind off things and I didn’t want to go to sleep crying about Tony again. I found where I had left off. The next chapter had the heading: Create No More Pain in the Present. Again. A fitting coincidence.

 I needed to get away. I worked in a hotel seeing travelers every day. I wanted to travel too. I’ve always wanted to travel, even before I learned who Anthony Bourdain was.

Another time I was working at the hotel and I was reading his book Kitchen Confidential and it mentioned a song that I thought I knew, I sounded familiar, so familiar that I  stopped reading for a moment to try and remember a memory of when I’d heard that song. Lost in thought and my personal playlist playing on Spotify I looked at my phone. That was the song that was playing at that moment.

September 1st 2021

My son and his girlfriend moved into their first apartment last month so I’m pretty sure he’s not coming back for his room. I bought a set of white sheets for his (now mine) bed and tie-dyed them, I wasn’t comfortable sleeping with Spider Man. He left his Smart TV which wouldn’t connect to my laptop so I moved that to the living room and took the old TV from the living room and put it in my room.(my laptop is old and doesn’t have HDMI conection) I can still watch Netflix and Prime via my laptop. He came and got his computer chair and I took mine out of storage in the closet and put it in my room. Freed up space in the closet! 

I met up with some gals from highschool last month and as we reminisced about old times I realized that Nova Scotia ain’t so bad after all and I started writing a book about it and what to do here during the pandemic (or anytime). I’m also still in the process of writing about my trip to Florida. I’m still making notes, as they pop into my head, and notes about other stories.

Writing is related to how life, in general, is going and this month I’m starting to feel depressed. Maybe I’m tired after a month and a half of working full time, I can’t even remember the last time I worked full time. Most shifts are only 6 hours but some days can be up to 12hr days and I don’t always get a day off each week. Having a day off doesn’t mean I get to catch up any in my sleep because there are always things to do. Summer is short so I want to go for drives and enjoy the sunshine and green trees while we have them. It’s been hot and muggy this summer so I’m looking forward to cooler evenings so I can go for walks and have campfires. My back and my hip have been bothering me so so I’ve been keeping the Ibuprofen and Voltaren companies in business. It makes it hard mentally to go to work when I know I’m going to be in pain while there. It also doesn’t help any that my landlord won’t fix our front steps, he says the price of lumber is too high. So that is another thing that I worry about, I don’t want to fall on the steps nor do I want my husband or anyone who is visiting us to fall on them. He’s probably holding off until I paint the house. He brought me paint last year to do the front of the house but I never got around to it yet. This month I should be able to get it done.

August 1st 2021

After I published my first book I decided to take a few months off from my monthly blogging to reevaluate my next course of action with my writing and life in general.

My time to write and my attitude towards my writing are based upon how my life in general is going. 

Covid was great. I didn’t have to socialize with people and everyone in the grocery store kept 6 feet away from me. Trips to stores were for essential items only (so I saved money by not browsing while shopping, I only bought what was on my list) and I only went once a week. Wearing a mask meant I could cuss people out under my breath and they never knew. I was laid off in April of 2020 and the Canadian government paid more than I was making when I was working so that was great. It was the not knowing how long it was going to last that bothered me. When I plan something I work backwards to make sure I leave enough time. With covid there was/is no end in sight. Planning on doing any project while laid off was difficult because I wasn’t sure when I’d be going back to work.

Downside to wearing masks was when people didn’t want to wear them. I also learned that there are LOTS of people who don’t know how to follow directions or the big “one way” arrows that stores had stuck to the floors. Big downside to covid was I couldn’t go anywhere. My trip to Miami/Florida Keys never happened in 2020. Last June we did take a three day trip to Lockport NS, but it was too cold to hang out on the beach much. Local pools were closed last summer. This summer it was by appointment only and there was a window of an hour in the morning that you could call to book your swim time for that night, no advance bookings and I’m not a morning person so that didn’t work for me. . The local YMCA (about a 2hr drive away) developed a crack in the pool so it closed last year and never reopened. The pool at the local university was open/closed a bunch of times and then they decided on no more public swims, you could only book online for a lane to swim in but only up to two weeks in advance and you had to have a year long pool pass. No way was I buying a pool pass for the upcoming year still filled with uncertainty and they could close the pool down again anytime they wanted and not give me a refund. The pool issue led to the lakes being packed so I never got to go swimming much this summer either.

In January 2021 I had a misunderstanding with someone which led to me taking a 12 week Zoom class where I learned about the acronym BEAR-MAN. 

About ½ way through July 2021 I started a new job at a motel. The staff are great. Six hour shifts. One full day off a week. I work at the front desk and help with the laundry of towels, face clothes, pillow cases and the odd blanket. Easy peasy. And it’s seasonal so I’m done at the end of October. Knowing when I’ll be done work is great because on the occasional rough night I just think to myself “Only two and a half months to go.” and it helps me get through.

My plans for the end of October are to take an online course so I can teach English as a second language online. And eventually, when covid fully goes away, I can travel to far away lands and teach English in person.

No NaNo November

I started the month wanting to do NaNoWriMo but as always life got in the way. I did start writing the intro to Airplanes to Alligators and by the end of the first week I only had 5,734  words when I should of had 10,000 words. Each day looking at the numbers of words that I was falling further and further behind wasn’t encouraging to write each day.

My excuse this year is that I started a new job at the end of October and had to complete a training course while doing on the job training at the same time. I also applied for a part time job and it ended up they wanted me full time. Apparently I misunderstood when they said a min of 20 hrs a week and a max of 25 or so hrs a week or possibly more if I was needed to fill in for someone out sick or on vacation. What I was supposed to hear was: I’ll never have less than 20hrs a week but I’ll most likely be working 40+ hrs a week.  Like the other jobs I’ll work until my health fails again. Then I’ll go look for a part time job, again.

Round two of COVID has hit the area I live in. We went from ZERO (0) cases to 126 cases this month. I know that’s not a lot compared to places like Florida who are nearing the millionth case. Some people are freaking out here. Some restaurants are going back to closing their indoor seating areas and doing take out only. Tonight at a fastfood drive through I was told that the cashier would hold the pin pad for me and that I could only touch the buttons. Whatever. 

The local university has closed their indoor pool indefinitely, the local municipal indoor pool hasn’t been open since the spring, there is a YMCA about a two hour drive away and their pool has had a leak since the spring so it’s still not open but for the same price as a two hour open swim there I can book the spa for 45 mins and have it all to myself. The city that is over an hours drive away has a couple of indoor pools and the area has the most COVID cases in the province and they are asking people to stay away, don’t go to the city Christmas shopping, everyone is to stay away. I can’t even go visit my friend in the hospital because they closed their doors to all visitors when last month I thought it was bad when they were only allowing two different visitors a day per patient.

I was told I have a long weekend coming up off from work so hopefully the schedule will be up when I go in tomorrow so I can reconfirm that. (Though that doesn’t mean anything because this weeks schedule has changed four times already and that’s something else I was lied to about in my interviews was that they weren’t going to be changing the schedule all the time and they do and it’s only going to get worse as they are hiring another new person starting this week. I guess I shouldn’t have told them I’m flexible. I’ll remember that for the next job.) Then tomorrow evening I’m booking a room at a local hotel that still has an open swimming pool available for its guests. It’s going to cost me over $300 just to go swimming! But I’m going nuts so I need it. I have been able to have campfires but with the new job some days I work the morning shift so I don’t want to stay out late with a fire that is burning out, because I like to stay until it is just the red embers left. But I suppose since it now gets dark before 5pm I could start my fires earlier in the evening and that would allow me to go to bed earlier too. I’ll just take my supper outside with me and eat by the fire.

New plan for Breakfast Bar Confidential is to publish in ebook format before I turn 43 next month. It will only be published on Amazon for now, that will make the publishing part easier. I’m still editing it myself and figuring out the formatting issues and making sure it looks correct. I have a cover but I just need to figure out the formatting and trim stuff. I finally was able to come up with a simple blurb for the back cover. The inside the back cover page about me will be brief as I have not much other than this blog to show for my writing talents.

Eerie October 2020

Parenting doesn’t stop when children move away from home. This month I was able to get some writing done in my new office/sons old bedroom, not much but some. I slept in there several nights as well. I like sleeping in there because I can fall asleep listening to Anthony Bourdain audiobooks or tv shows. 

I took some more photos this month. I’m really liking photography. I took a photography class when I was in film school 20yrs ago, I loved the weekly assignments, a goal to aim for. I found a Facebook group that has similar weekly topics and the page administrator offers helpful and positive comments. Some weeks he posts a link to tips related to that week’s topic. I’m enjoying this group as much as the Genre Writers of the Maritimes Facebook group. 

I prepped for NANOWRIMO by organizing photos from my time in Florida and local Nova Scotian photos.

I started a new part time job towards the end of the month so hopefully I’ll be on a normal schedule for a while to come.

Halloween was very different this year. No kids came to the door. I never carved a pumpkin or decorated. I sat out back and had a campfire. I never went to any haunted houses or corn mazes in October. In past years we’ve celebrated my son’s birthday and halloween together but this year all we did was have chinese take out with my parents at our house and a DQ ice cream cake for dessert. Parents left. Took son back to university. House was empty like nothing ever happened, eerie. That’s the feeling the house has now, like he had never been here, all that is left is memories, nothing in the present moment.

Started reading The Dark Half by Stephen King on Halloween.

Sept 2020

Finished reading Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman. Loved the story Sunbird! It’s soooo Anthony Bourdainish.

Started and finished reading Someone Somewhere by Dana Mills who ran the two in person writing groups that I’ve been part of at my local library over the past few years. He  actually is a  really good writer.

Still waiting on my beta reader #1. While waiting I worked on my author platform. I now have a website, Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook account to go along with this blog. 

Son moved out and I now have a proper desk to work at. It’s been hard to go in his room and get to work. I look around and see memories of him growing up and our time together. I cry. I could have/should have spent more time with him and done better by him. I knew this time would come but it came all too soon, I was not/am not ready. I know it’s time to start working on me, to pick up where I left off before he was born. He’s starting a new chapter of his life and I must do the same and my chapter is to become a writer. The best chapter of my life was being his mom, it was an amazing adventure.

Got a new fire pit for the backyard, thankfully we’ve been allowed to have fires more often this month compared to last month. This pit is bigger than the last one and with evenings getting cooler and darker earlier I seem to be going through more wood more quickly, requiring me to tramp into the forest and haul out logs to cut up and burn. Thankfully our neighbors have been renovating their house and gave us all their old hardwood floors to cut up and burn.

August 2020

Re-read the book 101 Plots-Used and Abused. Did some research into plot twists and inciting incidents.

Finished reading American Gods. Started and finished reading Stardust; then started reading Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, all  by Neil Gaiman.

BBC is still with the first beta reader. Found a second beta reader that will take a look at it in September. I just hope to get it back from the first in time to edit it some before I send it to the second.

I met a guy on one the Anthony Bourdain appreciation FB groups. He is also a writer and has written several books about characters based on Bourdain. We messaged and he said he didn’t write them for profit so he gave me e-copies of them to read for free.

Mid august it starts to turn chilly, upper teens to mid-twenties, no more temps in the 30’s, maybe a day here or there but nothing lasting for several days in a row as we had earlier in the summer. We ran out of campfire wood for the backyard. I had to pull logs up from the forest to cut up. I also bought a bag of wood at a farm market. The neighbors across the street are remodeling their entire house so we got some of their hardwood floorboards to burn that they were throwing out. Even with rain in mid-Aug there was still burn bans on, waiting for fall for more fires.Swimming pools are all still closed to the public and beaches at lakes are covered in dog poo, I really miss swimming.

July 2020

Started and finished reading: a novella Mutant Message Down Under and Stardust by Neil Gayman. I returned two books to a friend and borrowed some more. 

In one of the writing groups that I’m part of on FaceBook, someone put up an announcement that they were willing to be a bata reader if someone was looking for one. I contacted the person and said I’m almost done self-editing but I work great under pressure so if they say they want to read my story by a certain date than that would light a fire under me and I’d be done editing by then and I’d appreciate them reading it and giving me their thoughts about flow and grammar. So on the 26th I handed my story Breakfast Bar Confidential to a stranger to read. 

Way back I had talked about three friends that I had to lose. One I lost last year and have stayed away except for the odd run-in while shopping. The last two I’ve been able to stay away from since December, although I have talked with one on FB and the occasional text. Until July 1st when I asked the one I’ve been occasionally texting if they wanted to go for a drive and play Pokemon Go like we used to. I got used. I should have known better than to go back but I had to give it one more try. I missed the old days but I didn’t miss being used. They seemed so nice when texting. I feel for it again but that was the last time. I’m done. I now know that those kinds of people will never change. They will always be the same. I have seen changes in me and my husband and have watched my son grow up so I know that some people do change but I guess not everyone.

I bought a recliner for the living room. It’s nice to lounge in and relax. Except the sound went in the 32” smart tv so now I have a 23” tv to squint at from my reclined position. Insert face palm emoji here. LOL