I screwed up.
I committed the biggest, most horrendous crime as a writer and mental health advocate.
I forgot to update my blog over the last month.
*Cue Psycho violin screech music*
In my defence, most of September and October have been a whirlwind of non-stop hustling and bustling, and it was only my birthday weekend past that I realized how much I put my blog on the back burner in an attempt to keep up with other writing demands.
And let’s be realistic, being a stay-at-home, freelance writer doesn’t mean I get lots of free time. Most days I’m barred up in my writing den with my cats and dog, smashing my keyboard as I try to get projects done while fuelled by one too many ice caps and chai lattes.
Should I have been paying more attention to my blog? Yes. Am I an idiot for putting off this recent post? Oh, yeah! Could I have been more attentive? Hell yes, but sometimes life has a way of drifting to more pressing matters, and sometimes you gotta sacrifice in one area in exchange for something else.
In lieu of putting Fighting the Good Fight on a brief hiatus, I spent the last six weeks focusing on promoting Lemonade Stand and travelling for my unofficial (and very underpaid) book tour. I spent over two weeks travelling around Newfoundland, personally delivering books to fans, friends, and family. I racked up km’s on my Rav, I spent way too much money at Tim Hortons (on ice caps and blueberry muffins, of course) and took a few days here and there to spend time with long-lost friends and family.
How I kept up with everything over the last six weeks is beyond me, and the thought that after Tuesday we’re heading into the Christmas season, I’ll be lucky if I keep up with all the demands and expectations. (Lets hope I do!)
That’s not to say I didn’t have fun over the last few weeks either. I get to spend every day doing something I love – writing and more writing. I get to lose myself in my manuscripts and recently, I’m really into writing a lot of poetry. (Thanks Rupi Kaur!) At the end of the day, it’s a lot of pain and fun, but I couldn’t be happier.
(Now if only I could stick to a better sleep schedule.)
So in ode to a crazy, fun, busy, and overwhelming six weeks, I decided to compile a list of all the adventures I have been losing myself in. So settle in, grab an ice cap, and enjoy the highlight reel.
Getting to Play Band Groupie to Rough Hands
What’s better than best friends and great local music?
When they’re together of course!
I was lucky enough to have my friends from the band Rough Hands on the west coast, lending them a place to crash and spending time together toward the end of their Eastern Canada tour. It was a very impromptu stay, but we had fun and I was thankful to get to see some faces I haven’t seen in a while. Their show was absolutely fantastic and I was giddy to play band groupie for the weekend.
Seriously, check them out. Luke and this band mates are making some great music. They’re 100% gonna make it to the big leagues – no doubt about it!
(Just remember who offered you a bed and shower when you’re rich and famous some day. 😉 )
*Out of the Dark is available on iTunes!*
Book Launch and Unofficial Province Book Tour
Mid-September, after I spent several days personally signing books and writing messages to all the 110 wonderful people who personally bought Lemonade Stand off of me, I packed up my Rav4 and headed across NL to promote and deliver my book to masses.
Through my book tour, I got to meet a lot of new people, listen to other people’s struggles with mental health issues, and talk book writing. It was a great and exhausting two weeks travelling around (and getting lost a few times!). Don’t worry, I plan to honour this experience in a future blog post. (Coming soon!)
Chris de Burg Concert and St. John’s Adventures
In all fairness, I had other motives besides my book tour to head across the province. I had tickets booked to Chris de Burg’s concert with my mama. Having Mom raise me on the right kind of music, I have only been waiting to see him live since I was thirteen. With the launch of his new cd A Better World, it didn’t take much begging and pleading for Mom to agree to come with me.
I was excited beyond belief when he walked out on stage. I laughed. I cried. I sang at the top of my lungs. (Sorry Mom.) I danced wildly around in my seat. (Sorry Mom.) I clapped a lot and cheered super loud (Again, sorry Mom.), but I had the time of my life. One of the best concerts I’ve been to at Mile One (and that includes The Backstreet Boys). And lets just say, I wasn’t the only one losing my cool when he ended the show with “Patricia the Stripper”. (Right, Mom? 😉 )
I also planned things for my wedding and finally got to say Yes to the Dress! It took a few hours, a mild panic attack and a few happy tears later, but I’m glad to finally have another item checked off the Thomas Wedding list.
In addition to all the wedding fun, I curbed my adventures back to book research and with the help of my best friend, I spent some time exploring St. John’s, making sure that I was getting details and descriptions right for my upcoming NL novel.
Besides I got to spend a lot of time on Signal Hill, taking in the view (despite the cold) and I finally got to see the Canada 150 sign while getting to pose for some pictures with my bestie at the historic site. I also got to see Quidi Vidi for the first time ever, which was a real treat. (It’s pretty bad I lived here my whole life and I’m only now seeing great land marks. Fail.)
Despite acting like a tourist, I did get a lot of information for my manuscript and I know it will all pay off in the long run when my NL novel is finally complete.
You’re welcome in advance.
Working on my NL Novel
Once I concluded my book tour, and book research, and my mini vacation home, I finally mucked back to Corner Brook and remained held up in my writing den for weeks on end. While still trying to working on getting We Were Fighters published (and exploring self-publishing options as well), I’ve been spending a lot of time on my new manuscript, a fiction novel based in my home province of Newfoundland.
Knowing that only publishing houses here on The Rock will only take on NL content manuscripts, I’m hoping that this could be my first foot in the door to getting my novels out there. Within three weeks I had banged out over a hundred plus pages, turning my eyes and brain to absolute mush. As I mentioned before, being a writer is lots of pain and fun, and despite being hooked on caffeine and severely sleep deprived, I’m having a lot of fun writing this novel and creating a small taste of NL culture.
But with the goal to have the manuscript finished before Christmas, I still have a long way to go! Writer’s block had me stuck a few times and as a haphazard writer who doesn’t write in linear fashion, I find myself getting caught up in wanting to write the exciting parts vs. “the middle”. A terrible flaw on my behalf.
But don’t worry, I’m a pretty disciplined writer and with less than a hundred pages to go, I’m hoping that by 2018, this could be a potential published work.
Wish me luck.
Hiking and Halloween Birthday
Of course, October isn’t my favourite month just because CB is absolutely one of the most beautiful places in the world during the fall. I also get to look forward to a string of friends’ birthdays (including my own) and of course, Halloween and lots of horror movies!
While admittedly, October brought about a brief depression episode, I still managed to trudge through most of my writing duties, even if it felt like pulling teeth some days (and bouts of relentless anxiety). A week leading up to my birthday, I could barely pull myself out of bed, and tragically, I lost one of my childhood pets. My dear cat Sam, who was lucky to have eighteen long years of life. He made his journey over the Rainbow Bridge the day before my birthday, so celebrating this year was followed with fleeting moments of sadness and mourning.
But despite losing one of my oldest pals, I did get to spend a wonderful weekend in Gros Morne, hiking with the crowd to celebrate one of my friend’s birthdays. While it was cold, we were severely hungover, and it snowed, we managed to hike Green Gardens without coming across any bears and barely escaping the obvious signs of a huge-ass bull moose. All in all, a successful trip up the Coast.
Thankfully though, I got to end October on a high note. Not only did my birthday fall on a Friday this year, I also got to have a Halloween birthday party with my best friends. Following a week of bad anxiety and fatigue, and the death of my kitty cat, my birthday turned out to be a great night of friends, fun, and laughter – and really how could I ask for more?
Considering I spent the last two Halloweens either working or stuck on the couch with the stomach flu, I was glad I finally got to put my Phoenix costume to good use. After a few weeks of practicing cosplay makeup and putting finishing touches on my costume, I was able to bring one of my favourite X-Men characters to life. Of course, Zack gave Hugh Jackman a run for his money as a Logan/Wolverine look-a-like.
Besides, we had fun putting off a very funny – and very drunk – photo shoot. We had comic book heroes from all universes, we had some crossover hybrid characters, and witches. But hey, having Lego Batman there was definitely the most fun – especially when trying to watch your bestie struggle to drink through that face mask.
My birthday was a great end to a fast-paced month. Despite all the chaos, and work loads, and the threats of approaching deadlines, it was nice to take a few nights just to enjoy company with those I care about most. Sometimes we get lost in the mundane of every day life, and sometimes we get too caught up in our own lives to remember to spend time with others. So I was grateful for the few moments of peace and hilarity in a busy schedule. ❤
Even though I had lost track of time and let six weeks zip by without realizing how much I had been neglecting my duties to my blog, I am thankful for the chaos and havoc that has been my life for the last several weeks.
Autumn has come and gone before I realized it, and give it a few more day, there will likely be snow on the ground. While I am no where near ready for winter, and even less prepared for the enclosing Christmas season, I’ve been reflecting lately on how lucky I have been this last year – getting to spend my time perusing my writing career. It’s far from perfect, and I’m making nickels compared to the dollars I was making serving tables, but I’m the happiest I’ve been in months, and that’s all that matters. Happiness is all that matters – it’s that hard and that simple.
So what if it means cutting back on ice caps and lattes or spending more nights eating in than out? Being “poor” doesn’t mean being unhappy. I had a great fall and instead of ending this blog post on a big sappy metaphor – how my life is changing like the colour of the leaves (See what I did there?), I’m getting one more season closer to my dreams.
So sometimes life gets hectic and I ignore my duty to my blog.
Sometimes I fall behind on writing duties at the expense of other writing projects, and sometimes I forget to reach out to friends and family more often than not – but that’s life. I’ve been on a wild ride these last two months and I can only wait with anxious breath about the impending winter adventures that I’m sure are in store.
Worst comes to shove, I can always write an apology blog post to make up for it all.
So here’s to next season, and the next blog post. I’ll see you guys soon.
And as always,
Fight the good fight.