Wish I Was There Giveaway

I’m dealing with a serious case of GRL envy right now. I went in 2014 as a reader and had such a wonderful time meeting people and spending a weekend thinking about books.

I swore I’d go in 2015, but life didn’t cooperate. And 2016 hasn’t been any better.

I am, needless to say, hoping 2017 will be the year!

Honestly, this past year hasn’t gone the way I’ve planned at all. I am struggling to figure out how to get books finished and out faster. I think I actually did better with it when I had the full-time job (although my health really suffered).  I haven’t quite found that balance yet.

I’m earning enough as a writer to pay my bills, but not enough to move out of my parents’ house yet. *sighs*

It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m very close to things coming together but I am not quite sure what I need to do to make that happen.

But, many, many good things are happening so I’m trying to focus on that.

This past week, my co-writer and I submitted a novel to a publisher that we’ve been working on for three years! Technically, we’ve been working on two novels (with a combined word count of nearly 200k) for three years, but we submitted the first one and are very excited about it. We should hear back in about six weeks. Eep!

I am also working on an expansion of “Pain Management”. It was the short story that was part of the “Dr. Feelgood” anthology through Dreamspinner Press. The rights have reverted back to me so I am going to expand the 10k short into a novella. I hope to release that in November.

And I am 60k words into a novel that is coming together very well. It’s in the hands of one of my betas at the moment and I am hoping that have that out by January!

In non-writing related news, my annual Stratford, Ontario weekend vacation starts tomorrow. So I’ll be going to see “Macbeth” and “As You Like It”. I’ll spend the rest of the time wandering around a pretty little town, eating delicious food, and taking photos. It’s always a lovely, relaxing time.

My Kindle app is loaded with books and I am going to do my best to do a minimum of work. Ideally none, but I’m not always very good at that.

Taking the trip the same weekend as GRL wasn’t planned, but it did work nicely. I am glad I won’t be at home moping about not getting to hang out with my favorite authors and readers!

So I thought I’d do something to make life a little more fun for those of us who can’t be at GRL.

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I’m offering a giveaway of one of my eBook titles to anyone who comments with what you would enjoy most about going to a writing convention! You can answer as either a reader or a writer (or both!).

BUT, there’s a little catch. If you see this posted on my blog, go to my FB fan group (Brigham’s Book Nerds) and comment there. If you see this in the Book Nerds group, comment on my blog.

And if you are an amazing fan who already has all of my eBooks, leave a comment anyway and we’ll figure out something else for your prize. 🙂

I will pick the winner tomorrow morning, so don’t wait to enter!

No GRL For Me

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Today’s the sign up for GRL this fall and I’m sad to say I won’t be going.  I left it last year planning to go as an author but the closer sign up got, the more I realized it wasn’t feasible this year.  October is a busy month for me under the best of circumstances, but with two friends getting married (one before, one after GRL) and not as many books under my belt as I’d hoped, I made the decision a few weeks ago not to go.

Time and money are in short supply these days and I think it’ll be better for me to not go, but when I saw sign up announced I felt a twinge of sadness.  I had truly hoped to be there and I’m disappointed that I can’t make it happen.

So, my new goal is to work my butt off and make it in 2016.

And if you’re going to be at home during GRL 2015, well, I’ll be right there with you (virtually anyway).

Foggy and Out of Step

Chicago Skyline Aerial

It’s taking me a while to get back into the swing of things after being gone.  GRL was wonderful and so was the time spent in downtown Chicago.  I desperately needed those two weeks to unwind and recharge. But now that I’m back I feel … off.  Like I’m not synced up with the world and am half a step out of beat.

After two weeks of not writing and barely checking in on social media, it’s hard to get back into the routine I had.  I don’t know if that means I need to find a new routine or just be patient while I adjust to real life again.

I am back to writing; in fact I had a great breakthrough on my novel and am finally making progress after I stalled for way too long. Being at work is tough though and I can’t seem to get back into it.

I’m sure the time change for daylight savings time isn’t helping, but that’s not it either.  I just wish the foggy, surreal feeling would go away. I don’t like feeling like I’m not present in my own life.

Anyone else feel like this?

p.s. The photo above is not one I took of Chicago although I have tons of photos from there that I still need to edit.  Hopefully I can tackle them in the near future.

 

Excitement and Anxiety

I’d originally written this blog post about a week out from the start of GRL and my trip to Chicago.  Well, I kept forgetting to post it, and when I finally did go to post it, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  *sighs*  That tells you exactly where my brain’s been all week.

So here we go.  Take two.

When I signed up for the GayRomLit Retreat last winter, I was really excited.  Some time off work, a trip to a city I hadn’t been to in a long time, a chance to meet friends I’ve only talked to online, and an opportunity to learn more about writing and the m/m romance world?  Awesome!

When I decided to take two weeks off work and turn it into an extended vacation that was even better.  I’d get to spend some time with friends outside of the writing world then meet my husband and parents downtown and enjoy the city. Yay, vacation! Even more awesome!

But now, it’s not awesome.  Now it’s just terrifying.  Now it’s like the first day of a new job and school anxiety combined with vacation logistics all rolled into one giant clusterfuck of panic.  I want to curl up in a little ball and cry and have someone pet my hair and tell me it’s going to be okay.  The stupid thing is, I know it will.  I’ve done way crazier shit than this.  At nineteen or so, I hopped on a Greyhound bus with my best friend and we took it from Lansing to Manhattan to meet a couple of guys, one of which I only sort of knew.  About a year later I flew to New York by myself (to see one of those guys who I wound up dating for nearly a year). I’ve gone to Paris twice.  I’ve lived through an apartment fire.

I can handle shit, I know that.  Once I get there I’ll be fine.  The anxiety will ebb away and I’m sure I’ll have a blast.

But right now it doesn’t feel that way.  Right now it’s the kind of anxiety that twists my stomach.  If someone offered me a full refund on the conference I would take it.  If I could back out without losing money and disappointing everyone, I’d jump on it.  If I could quit without feeling like I’d let myself down, I would.  Except, I don’t want to be a person who lets my fears get in the way of awesome things.  I want to be brave and do things that scare me.

So for now it’s just one foot in front of the other as I check things off on my To Do list and try to keep the panic to a dull roar.

I leave tomorrow for Chicago.  It’s about a four hour drive from here.  I’ll head straight for Roger’s Park where my friend lives.  I’ll probably hang out at a coffee shop for a bit while she finishes her work day.  I’ll have a little time to decompress and then we can spend some time together on Tuesday and go to dinner which I am really looking forward to.

GRL starts with a Writer’s Workshop on Wed. and the rest of the retreat is Thursday through Sunday.  Sunday I’ll meet my husband and parents downtown and we’ll stay until the following Friday.  We have plans to go to the museums and aquarium and check out the downtown.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Now if only I could convince my anxious little brain of that.

p.s. Oh, and that cry I needed? I got that.  A friend sent me a really lovely, supportive message just as I was finishing this up and it made me cry.  Just a quick, hard cry but it helped a lot.

I can do this.