2015: A Look Back (Happy New Year!)

2015ReflectionWow. Just wow.

Writing-wise, 2015 was a pretty stellar year. I sold the sequel in the Royals of Solana trilogy, went to my first RT Convention and met some incredible authors/friends, attended six book signings, finished half of the 3rd novel in Royals of Solana trilogy, wrote a new short story in its entirety (with ideas for 2 more in the series), and plotted a brand new Young Adult novel. For extra kicks, I finished the first 3 chapters of it, and invested in my public relations and marketing brand with a kick-a** PR company (Y&R PR).

2016 is lined up to be just as big, if not bigger! I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to NewYear Clockstart on those lofty goals!

In the personal side of my life, intense highs balanced some vicious lows.

First and foremost, my husband and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary! I’m so blessed to have this man as my companion in life. He took me to the Bahamas, where we spent four incredible days scuba diving! Several wreck dives, huge schools of fish, even a shark sighting! Water is a major place of peace for me, and allowed me to recharge with the one I love. Boy did we both need it! (And a huge thank you to my parents, who watched our two angels, despite everyone getting sick while we were gone!)

We also moved into a new house, an seven-year-long savings effort that we finally achieved!

Our seven-year-old started first grade in a new school, and those changes don’t mesh well for someone with Autism Spectrum disorder. Adjusting and acclimating to new surroundings, teachers, and friends was a tremendous challenge for him, and many days were extremely rough. Combine with major hassles with health insurance, including a still ongoing legal fight, my stress was at an all time high in 2015.

Despite all these, there are still so many things for which I am thankful. Our youngest had his cranial helmet removed and learned to walk (actually, went straight to running!) He started part-time daycare and made new friends. A billion more things with my hubby, family, and friends, and all their tremendous support that I cannot thank enough!

2016 is going to have some significant challenges as well. Goes with the territory, but I’m well prepared.

2016 Goals:Remember WhereYouve Been

Continue “Go With the Flow

New mantra: “When you start doubting yourself, remember how far you’ve
come.”

No more soda 🙂 (already 2 days into that one!)

I wish everyone a peaceful and happy New Year. Here’s to a phenomenal 2016!NewYearChampagne

Happy Birthday, to my Hubby

Today, my hubby has reached a major milestone: the top of a hill most archeologists would date back to 25 years ago. But to me, it’s not a hill: it’s a pedestal.BryanSusieFormal

Happy birthday, B. The “butter to my bread, the breath to my life.” My partner in crime. Thank you for you: for saving me from vicious spiders, for eating my terrible cooking with a smile, for lending me your patience when I’ve none left, for being the most awesome father to our two boys, and keeping laughter alive in our house.Pinata

For My Husband…

On our anniversary, I want to share with you all the reasons why I love you. How I’m reminded every day the last seven years to be grateful for you, our family, our life, and our love. You are my real-life romance.

I love you because… 

Your eyes are like mine.

You wake me from bad dreams.

You aren’t afraid to be silly.

You make my coffee just the way I like.

You walk me to my car.

You open doors for me.

You listen to me, even when I think you can’t hear me.

We each do our best to make the other happy, and proud.

Your laugh lights up the room.

You are patient.

You love music.

You quote movies.

You gave me our son.

You’re motivated.

You love my parents.

You still look at me like I inspire you.

You kiss me when I’m sleeping.

You teach me to cook new things.

You make our son laugh.

You kill spiders and wrestle snakes for me.

My goals in writing are just as important to you.

You are my ultimate supporter, even when I’m my harshest critic.

You like thunderstorms.

You hug our son, and I smell your cologne on him hours later.

You know how to make me laugh when I need it most.

Our dreams are the same.

You always say life’s too short to sweat the small stuff. But these small things mean the world to me. Because they are all a part of you.

Happy Anniversary, Bryan!

I’ve Become A Writer… Smile

My husband can definitely tell I’ve become a writer.  It’s bugging the hell out of him. A little.

As a writer, we’re taught several ‘rules’ that we can’t break if we want to be successful. First, avoid adverbs.  If you’ve used an adverb, that means you didn’t find the right verb. Go back and do it again.

Secondly – and this is what my husband has been suffering from – repetitive phrases are a no-no.

My hubby works from home a few days a week and spends the majority of his day on conference calls. (Exciting, I know, but he loves his work and I’m grateful.) So I overhear some of his calls, and more specifically his responses. And the more I learn as a writer, the more I pick up on the ‘rule breaking’ in my husband’s conversations.

Granted, my husband isn’t a writer, and probably none of his coworkers are either. So maybe they don’t notice it as much as it bugs me.

My husband has 3 phrases that he uses constantly. Not just two or three times a day, but more like 2 or 3 times per conversation.

~Long story short…

~At the end of the day…

And the most overly used phrase:

~In my perspective… (or From my perspective…)

Each of those phrases by themselves aren’t a problem. But the fact that I hear him use them so often every day, it’s become a tick under my skin. So I pointed it out to him a few weeks ago.

Clearly, it doesn’t bother him. He thinks I’m nuts.

And habits are hard to break. Since I pointed it out to him, I swear he’s been using them even more often. My parents heard us ‘arguing’ about this the other day, and now it’s become a family ‘joke.’ (B and I hardly argue, but we can have spirited, fun discussions. And by ‘joke,’ more like it’s something everyone in my family is waiting to see me smirk when he uses them.)

I wonder what ticks my husband, and family, see in me, now that I’ve become a writer. What new behaviors or phrases do they see me using that irritates them? Critiquing their emails? Being too picky when proof reading my husband’s homework? Throwing a book across the room when I think the editing is horrible? I’m sure I have several.

But at the end of the day (smirk), I’m glad they could put up with me before, and continue to put up with me today.

Long story short (smirk), it’s official. I’m a writer because I’m bugging my family. Just makes me smile!

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Read Your Ways

Husband Waiting Area

Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I read an interesting blog discussion the other day about romance writers who have their spouses read their work-in-progress. Their husbands’ or wives’ willingness to read the love scenes (some erotic) made me laugh out loud. I’m not laughing at them- I commend them for having (and using) that luxury. I wish I had that luxury. Because my husband doesn’t like to read. Not ‘doesn’t like to read my stuff”; but doesn’t like to read, period. At all.

Which made me think: is it ironic that I’m an aspiring romance author, writing up a creative storm every day (or most days), and the very man who inspires much of the love scenes I write doesn’t like to read? I quit my day job so I could write full-time (and take care of our son), and he helps me accomplish this by providing for our family so I can pursue my passion. But he doesn’t want to read my passion. (He’d rather leave it in the bedroom).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making any assumptions about my husband’s unwillingness to read my work. It’s not like I’ve never asked him just thinking he’d prefer not to. That was one blog responder’s story. She never asked because she didn’t think her spouse would be interested.

But I’ve asked my husband. Several times. “Just 1 paragraph, please?” He still refuses. But I can’t blame him. As much as he detests to read, I still laugh when I see him sitting in his office reading a text-book (he’s currently studying for his Masters degree). Which, when he told me he wanted his Masters, I laughed again because I knew how much he hated to read. And Masters is ALL READING. But I still support him 100% and get a kick out of watching him read his textbooks.

But I won’t rag on his unwillingness to read my work too much.  He still helps me come up with perfect zingers and one-liners that fit perfectly to my characters and dialogue. My husband is an expert at off-the-cuff comebacks.

And bottom line, I know he loves me. I know he supports me, and he works hard so I can write full-time. And I thank him every day for giving me this chance. So instead of reading my work to help me, he assists me by being my muse and inspiration for the stories I love to write.

What about you? Does your significant other read your work? Have you even thought to ask them?