When I read the blog post for today was ten things I’m proud of, I had to think for a minute. Sure, I’m proud of a lot of things. This was actually a GREAT exercise for self-reflection.
I do have to say one of the things I’m most proud of is winning NaNoWriMo two years in a row. This past November, I OWNED the words. Although, I’m pretty sure Bronwyn would agree I need to not procrastinate quite so much. (xoxo)
I’m really proud of Mr. VampBard, too. He’s been a real trooper this year. He’s taken over things I normally do because I haven’t been able to. He’s found a way to balance things–and manage me when I am over-the-top–and has a great head on his shoulders for so many things. He stepped outside his comfort zone and traveled alone for work this year, too. Professionally, he’s hitting his stride and he really likes what he’s doing. Which is important. Okay, he’d like it more if he could work from home, but that’s how we roll.
I’m also really proud of our marriage. Everything isn’t always sunshine and roses, but we use our words to communicate and work things out. We haven’t had a lot of time in the past few years to spend weekends away, and even our self-imposed ‘staycations’ are wonderful. When I realize I need to get off the computer, stop working, and be present. As matter of fact, Mr. VB had me pack a bag and kidnapped me with only a day’s notice. He planned a road trip for us that was one of the most spontaneous, outrageous things I’ve ever done. Well, maybe not THE most outrageous.
And when Oldest got married? He was a pillar of strength while I was a hot mess. Pretty much literally. I’m proud of the way he was able to identify my needs and anticipate them–proud of both of us. I don’t easily allow people ‘in’, and this showed me I’ve finally found my other half–the one who truly gets me–in Mr. VB.
I’m really proud of my kids. Oldest is off to medical school and married. She’s doing well in med school and feels good about it. She’s also got this whole adulting thing on lock. It’s interesting to wonder what your adult child will think about some of your choices–and want her opinion. She chose a wonderful ‘other half’ who truly understands her, wants to be with her, and treats her well. They seem like they’re growing closer together every day. Every time I see them, I smile. I’m proud of her because she doesn’t take shit from anyone, too.
Middle is in her sophomore year of college and follows momma’s rules. She’s doing very well in college, and I’m proud of the way she’s carved a little life for herself at school. She continues to make me laugh, and she’s a very caring person. I’m proud of the way she’s able to prioritize and accomplish things. I’m proud of her artistic talent.
Youngest makes me proud every day. While he’s still in high school, he has matured so much in the past year it’s not even funny. His sense of responsibility, empathy, and his ability to innately know when I need him to be my kid and when to step up his game is unparalleled.
I’m proud of myself for becoming involved in the Celebrate! collection of novellas set in Liz Crowe’s universe. I adore this book, you guys. I can’t wait to add in the development I had to cut due to word count constraints for the collection. The first version of Distilled isn’t the one published. Oh, no. I actually had to rewrite it, and Chris, my wonderful editor, had to mark THAT version up (as well as part of the previous one) to get the final product.
While I really want to work on my Up North series, the plot bunnies keep rolling in. I’m proud of myself for taking a chance and becoming involved with other authors and following given timelines. It’s not easy for me to march to the beat of another drummer, but I really thrive on deadlines–now to make the self-imposed deadlines equally as important to me!
I also published Gloria this past year. This title was ‘dipping my toe’ into the world of publishing. I’m proud of myself for actually doing it when it would’ve been so easy to delay (like I have been the Up North series).
I also wrote F/F/M menage in this one, which was a stretch compared to what I’d written previously. While I’ve read GLBT+ (and edited) before, I’d never actually sat down to write something in this subgenre. Oh, and it’s Sci-Fi, too. Something else I never thought I’d actually write–even though I have been a Trekkie for as long as I can remember.
This title definitely took me out of my comfort zone. As my first published story, I stressed over things like timeline–going as far as making comments about the passage of time to make sure I had everything spot-on. Hopefully, I was successful and didn’t miss anything.
The concept for the Animalium Chronicles will give us two more stories, and I might be able to get one done this year. No guarantees–the writing schedule is pretty full!
I’m pretty proud of myself for having new graphics made by Kris for my website and trying to get the damn thing to work right. It still doesn’t (comments on posts will be the death of me, I swear…), but I have a plan in the works to make that happen. It might involve the site being down for a smidge as I relocate my webhost (and if you can’t reach me via email for a few days, that’s why…but I’ll announce here!).
I’m proud of myself for not saying fuck it and trashing the entire site, too. Starting from scratch looked better and better soooo many times during the days I was setting this monster up!
I’m super proud of myself for admitting I couldn’t do it all. Teresa is a fabulous PA, and she did some things for me I hadn’t had–and wouldn’t have–time to accomplish. Making teasers is one of them. While I’m not exactly sure what I can let go of–and what I can’t–right now, I DO know having others around to help out with things that’ll take me EONS to accomplish is definitely beneficial.
Personally, I had no choice but to let others do for me. I spent five months with an ankle injury (still working on getting to tip-top shape) and I was basically on no-weight-bearing status for at least half of that. Admitting there were things I couldn’t do was difficult. Asking others to do them was even harder. I never realized how much I took my mobility for granted until I had to schedule bathing because it wasn’t something I could do on my own with a cast. I also never realized how much I enjoy taking a shower whenever I want.
I also made decisions–and I’m really proud of myself for that. I usually struggle with deciding on artistic things because I’m sure I’ll find a better way to do something later. These are my promo T-shirts. I love and adore my T-shirt artist because no two are the same. They have the same design, but some elements are different, and that’s pretty damn cool if you ask me.
To be honest, I was on Facebook one day and my artist’s wife was showing off her creations. Naturally, I had to pick up the one with a fairy and an owl. No-brainer, there. Then, when working with a group of seasoned authors who know all about swag and about promoting and giveaways (oh my!), I felt like a deer caught in headlights.
These shirts were my swag solution.
They’re different, and I won’t have a box of bookmarks or postcards sitting around collecting dust because I have these made as I need them. 🙂
I’m also proud of myself for removing toxic elements from my life. I’ve done this in several ways–from my personal life to my professional life. Being a people-pleaser really sucks. We want everyone to like us, and we want everyone to be happy, sit around the campfire, and sing Kumbaya. Reality check. Totally doesn’t happen.
I’m a much happier person (most of the time) because I’ve tried to remove people that are Debbie Downers. People that spew hate. Others that don’t follow through on what they say they’re going to do. Part of what makes a person toxic for me is the forceful assumption I believe the way they do. Yeah. Not always the case. And, because of my people-pleaser status, the path of least resistance was just smiling and nodding…and ending up doing shit I didn’t want to do. No more…if I can avoid it.
I’m proud of myself for building my editing business. You can check out the site HERE. I am honest with my authors–and because I’ve gotten to the point where I focus on the story and not worrying whether I’ll hurt someone’s feelings, I’m a better editor.
It’s really hard to take those critical eyes and turn it on your own work, though. Unless someone points it out. Which is why all authors need an editor willing to make their manuscript bleed. We don’t do it to be mean. We do it to make sure your story is the best it can possibly be. Every author should grow with every edit–as should editors. Well, unless one has been editing 20+ years. Then, maybe, teaching some master classes would be in order.
Check out what everyone else is proud of: