Reflections 365

Well, here we are, post-Christmas. When I logged into my blog today, I was informed that my very first post was last year at this time. Isn’t it amazing what happens in a year’s time?

Looking back on my last 365 days, I am astounded by the events. This time last year I was preparing to publish my first book. In fact, on New Year’s Eve I learned how to put together a book trailer; that’s how I brought in 2013. I started down the social media road to building relationships with other authors and began my website. My book, The Fine Line, came out in January, filled with glitches and errors; an important teaching experience for me. As I’ve said time and time again, everything happens as it should. If it weren’t for self publishing, I wouldn’t have met Tc and Nessa with PDMI.

I experienced my first radio appearance, experienced my first Facebook party, started interviewing on blogs, and for newspapers. February came and with that my introduction to PDMI Publishing, LLC. Thanks to social networking, another author told me about them as I started looking for a home for my second book. I also experienced my second paranormal investigation. By April, PDMI re-released The Fine Line under the title Between Worlds Series (volume 1): The Fine Line. I had my first book signing as well as my very first author showcase at The Portsmouth Public Library. I hosted The Spring Fever Blog Tour for new and established authors right here on my blog during the months of April and May. More events and signings followed in May, June, and July.

The summer was challenging for me personally. I began utilizing my YouTube Channel to share my paranormal experiences with others. August marked the publication of my second book, Idolum: Visions of the Undone. Following that, I learned I may have breast cancer. I have never faced such uncertainty in my entire life. It changed me in so many ways and it also sparked in me a desire to help with research. I knew exactly what vehicle to use to do it, too: my books.

I underwent a lumpectomy in September. I found out I didn’t have cancer, thankfully. In October, I participated in the Waverly Zombie Walk as Wonder Woman. The money from that event went to breast cancer research. I went to the mysterious land of the MothMan and met some awesome individuals who are also paranormal investigators. I hosted my first online Halloween party and was a guest on Willow Cross’s blog talk radio show where I shared more personal paranormal encounters as well as news about the breast cancer fundraiser.

Since my surgery, I have encountered health challenges, mostly upper respiratory infections. I’ve been sick each month and have been on antibiotics for two weeks at a time. This has angered me, I’m sad to say. I hate being sick. Before my surgery, I had been fairly healthy. I lost a significant amount of weight in 2010 and since then, I’ve been able to doge illnesses; I didn’t get sick. The surgery opened me up to illness; I truly believe that. So, as helpful as it was, it has also had its fallout. However, each time I get ill, I say, “At least it’s not cancer.”

By November, I was involved in yet another author showcase and was able to donate money to The American Diabetic Foundation. My sales at that event were the best they’ve ever been; the money went to charity. I hosted The Autumn Authors Aspiring Blog Tour for self published and unpublished authors.

So here we are; the end of December.

Since the beginning of November, I’ve faced multiple career related challenges. As most of you know, I’m not a full time author; I have a day job to pay the bills. I have been forced to learn many important lessons about myself and about the trustworthiness of others through events at work. I have also learned how to defend myself and my decisions based on evidence-based practice. I’ve also learned I don’t have to go through that journey alone. As difficult as these life lessons are, I must learn fro them because that is what it’s all about. Each life experiences presents to us an opportunity to become better. Things at work have transformed who I am and how I do things. Somewhere, a midst the darkness and corruption, there’s a silver lining.  What I can say is that I appreciate even more the women I worked with at my previous job. Their support and the things they taught me have been very useful in my current situation; I am thankful that I still have them to lean on.

I have been working on my third book throughout the year. I have made new friends through social media, author events, during vacations, and locally. I’ve celebrated life with family and friends throughout the year. 2012 was a transforming experience for me, but 2013 has presented more opportunities for me to learn about my own personal beliefs than ever before. In 2013, I stepped on sacred Mayan land (Chichen Itza) and learned about their culture, gaining a new respect for the ancient people of our world. I enjoyed the luxury of another cruise, seeing other beautiful sites and meeting life long friends. I ventured to the zoo with my beautiful son, enjoying a day just to ourselves, making new memories I’ll cherish forever. I have been to The Great Wolf Lodge twice, once to celebrate my son’s 12th birthday. I have experienced pink eye for the first time in my entire life. I’ve had my first ear infection since the 6th grade and I concluded this year in Tennessee in a remote cabin with my son and husband where I battled yet another upper respiratory infection. Still, I finally went to The Old Mill, took my son to Gatlinburg, Ober Mountain, and ate at my very first Hard Rock Cafe.

Each day in 2013 I watched my little boy grow more and more into a young man. I’ve watched him adjust to a new school. I’ve observed him adjusting to new things and new friends. I felt his comfort during the cancer scare and his relief when he learned I wasn’t going to die. I’ve watched his excitement when we’d attend events together and I watched his face when I told him we’d be going to Birmingham in February and that PDMI wanted to see his comic book sketches.

What a year! I feel like I’ve been talking in circles, so I apologize. But, think about your past year. You brain doesn’t play it back like a video tape. You have to think about each thing that happened and then piece it together.

So what’s coming in 2014? February will mark the Birmingham Library Author Expo and the opportunity to meet my fellow authors through PDMI as well as my talented publisher. April and May will feature the 2nd Annual Spring Fever Blog Tour. May is when I will be attending the Dayton Author Expo, an event I wanted to participate in last year, but couldn’t. After that, who knows? One thing you can count on is more YouTube episodes and my third novel (hopefully in the fall).

Concluding today’s entry, I want to say THANK YOU all for hanging in there this past year, reading my blog, following the tours, riding the waves. I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for PDMI, my fans, and the support of close friends and family. Have a safe New Year and I wish you love and light for 2014!

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