Monday, November 3, 2014

Finding Home Again

You remember when you moved away from home? Like for that very last time? Maybe you got your first job and moved into your own apartment. Or maybe you got married. Or maybe you left mom and dad and moved into a commune to grow special herbs. And then you went back home to visit, and you were like . . . Oh.

OH.

This place is, like, familiar and stuff. But. It doesn’t fit anymore.

I’ve felt this way a lot in my life. Maybe we all do. That whole growing thing, and all. But in particular, the last couple-three years, my life has experienced a tremendous amount of change. Like WHOA NELLY change. Truth is, I did not see myself here five years ago. I thought I’d have a book out by now, maybe more. I thought I’d still be a full time writer, like I was then, maybe editing some for extra cash, but I imagined that I’d spend most of my free non-writing time either with my kids or baking or preparing for the next holiday or birthday, as I’d done for probably forever.

I did not imagine that I’d be tired all the time, my eyes so grainy and strained, they constantly ache.

I did not imagine that I’d go nearly two years having read only like 1.25 books.

I did not imagine that I’d be working twelve to sixteen hours a day, every day, editing other people’s writing.

I did not imagine I'd experience X, Y, Z, and other traumatic things.

And I certainly did not imagine that I’d go nearly two years without writing anything new.

But I also didn’t imagine that I’d be happy.

For a while there, I was afraid I might not make it to today. Loss became this truly palpable thing. And I came to understand helplessness at its absolute most terrifying worst. Sometimes I had to make the conscious choice to just not let go.

And then I made a new choice, and I started stepping. As in, out of bed. I started stepping, as in, to get dressed. I started stepping, as in, to apply for jobs. And I kept stepping and stepping, in part because I had some pretty amazing people in my life who loved me and climbed down to hell beside me and encouraged me to keep stepping some more, thank god. Thank them. And it got better. And better some more. And even better.

Then one day, even though I knew things still could be better in a lot of ways, it dawned on me that I could not be much happier. I did not know happiness could feel this good. And I began to feel whole again, settling into myself. I was home.

And then something happened. I received an email informing me that I had been given a reading slot at the upcoming World Fantasy Convention.

And I was like . . . Oh . . .

OH SHIT.

I’m not a writer, people. I haven’t been a writer for a long time. This world is familiar, but I don’t fit anymore.

Yet again, I have returned to a place that I once called home. And there's such a longing to stay. But. Fear. Inadequacy. FEAR. I can't do this.

Except. My friends Brad Beaulieu and Derek Silver have graciously, kindly, lovingly agreed to read with me, so that I don't have to read alone.

We're there for you, Brad said. We'll fill the room with happy faces.

So. Okay then. Okay. Deep breath.

We're calling it: Sloshed and Sexy.

Because at least one of us will be downing a shot right before. In fact, all of you are invited to join us, drinks in hand. We'll be reading sex scenes so people will come. To the reading. We can all share a cigarette afterward.

So if you'll be at World Fantasy this year or in the vicinity, hope to see you there.

Friday, November 7, 10 PM, Arlington room.

And thus, I keep stepping and stepping. Finding home again.




Friday, August 1, 2014

Out Came Random Tolkien References and a Fabulous New Cover

So the response to my last post was kind of ... overwhelming. You know how when it's gray and rainy out for days and months and forever in a row, and it's the middle of December in the middle of hell and the sun will never come out again for as long as you live, and you will never, ever smile again because the world is a flame-retardant poopbag that has actually managed to catch fire and blaze like the deepest depths of Orodruin because of course? Well. You all extinguished the flame on the fiery poopbag, my friends--with your super offers for edit samples, and your tweets, and posts, and emails, and remarkable displays of kindness. Many thanks for that. I will soon track you all down individually and give you air kisses and virtual cheek squeezes.

*waves away the fading smoke to see you better*

The amazing thing about receiving kindness is that it sort of forces you to pause and wipe the ashes and dust from your lenses so you can view the world more clearly--and see that even though it's a fiery bag of crap sometimes, you don't have to look all that far to find a Samwise Gamgee cooking up some sausages and taters for you in the midst of the flaming shite. Besides the obvious benefits of receiving such help, the kindness is rejuvenating and utterly inspiring. And it makes me want to keep blogging. Weird, yeah?

On that note ... LET THE BLOGGING BEGIN! PROBABLY!

I''ll take a tentative step towards blogging more regularly the easy way: with an announcement of a fabulous YA Mystery Romance and its gorrrrrgeous book cover, which happens to belong to my BFF and partner in crime and critiques and occasional glasses of Grey Goose (and sometimes sausages and taters). BEHOLD! I BRING YOU BEAUTY!

SCATTER by Michele Shaw
Summary: 

When you spend your whole life being invisible, being seen by the right person is worth giving up a few secrets ...


Ten. That’s the number of years seventeen-year-old CJ has been running from her father after witnessing her mother’s murder. And while she’s never been allowed out on Halloween, she’s good at being a ghost. With her real identity erased and no hope of staying put for long, she’s listed her chances for friendship, a first kiss, and college under “never gonna happen.”  

One. The number of people CJ can trust. That is until she and her aunt flee to yet another safe house where they find nothing is what they expected. Saddled with a nosy housemate she doesn’t want, entrance into a private school she can’t afford, and unexplained hostility from gorgeous classmate Boone, CJ is ready to move on. But she finds it isn’t so bad when her first-ever prospects for friendship and love slowly tempt her to step out of her secrets.

Zero. The probability that CJ can stay. With her father’s relentless drive to find her endangering anyone who dares to protect her, CJ must choose between her new life and doing what’s right, because the only thing worse than letting people go, is watching them die.

About the author: 
Michele Shaw is a young adult author, short story writer, poet, and editor who lives in the Midwest of the USA. She eats way too much candy while writing and snapping pictures of sunsets and has never met a dog she didn’t love. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter (@veertothewrite), and her website michelelshaw.com

(ALSO, SHE'S THE NICEST PERSON YOU WILL EVER MEET EVER AND I LOVE HER BUY HER BOOK SO SHE CAN GET RICH AND HIRE A CABANA BOY TO MAKE ME TATERS ALL THE TIME AND ALSO BECAUSE YOU'LL LOVE THE STORY)

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How's that for a rad cover? Isn't it enticing? And I gotta tell you: I've read this book--read it actually when it was just a wee babe coming to life, and I loved it even back then. It's now a beautiful and fast-paced page-turner from Muse It Up Publishing. It's mystery. Love. Growing up. Thrills. And OMG OMG OMG I-CAN'T-READ-FAST-ENOUGH-BUT-DON'T-END-YET! Look it up, check it out, and put in your pre-order now on the Muse It Up website. (Seriously, it's an amazing price, too). And then find Michele on Twitter and Facebook and tell her I sent you (just be friendly though, not like super stalky or anything. Don't make it weird.)

So excited about this book. So so so excited. Can you tell?


*To those of you who have e-mailed about edit samples and haven't yet heard from me or are waiting for an additional response from me: my most sincere apologies. That overwhelming-ness is rather huge, and it's taking some time to get through e-mails while also editing and continuing to look for work, yadda yadda. But I promise I will respond! Thanks again! And I'm still hoping to see something kind of academic come in, too. Are you a college student? A writer for an online journal? Hit me up! I CAN HELP YOU. 

Also, thank you thank you thank you again and again.