soul searching.

Hey friends, how’s it going?

Life is.. weird over here. If you’ve been following my socials, you know, but just in case you haven’t…

Here’s what’s good:

-one-

I GOT ARCs! ARCs are Advance Review Copies; uncorrected proofs that will be sent out to trader reviewers, bookstores, book bloggers, and other authors for potential blurbs. I have a copy of my book that I can HOLD IN MY HANDS and I’m just… wow.

IT’S GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO BEING A REAL BOOK!

With that, my pre-order links have gone up, so if you want a copy of my book, you can get it from any of these fine retailers:

amazon • b&n • indiebound • chapters

-two-

People have been ordering my book! I know this because amazon tosses up orange ribbons from time to time. I try not to stalk my book too much, but sometimes my friends will show me!

I mean… what??!!??

-three-

I got to moderate a panel at C2E2, a comics and entertainment convention that takes place in Chicago every year. This was my first time attending, and it is the COOLEST. Maybe my favorite con of all time. So, I got to be a moderator, and it was at a cool con, and it was an official author type thing, and I loved it so, so, so much. More of this in my life, please.

I mean, I got to be a guest and have a page on the website and everything. Wow!!

-four-

I started an author newsletter. You can sign up here! I’ve sent out 3 issues, which you can see here if you’d like. I think they’re a good time, but I might be biased!!

So yeah, some good things for sure. I’m hanging in there, I am. Spring is here. Well, it’s “technically” here. Weather wise… well, winter isn’t giving up without a fight. Which is normal for Chicago.

Where I’ve lived for 11 years now. WTF.


Here’s what’s weird:

First thing: my hair is super thin now and will not hold any curl. At all. And that’s depressing. I’ve ruined it and I’m either going to cut it all off and start over or get extensions. OK, who am I kidding? I’m not going to do anything.

I miss my curls, though.

Second thing: I’m gaining weight and I don’t like it. Mainly because I don’t feel like buying new clothes.

Third thing: shortly after I posted my last post, I came down with a migraine that felt like stabbing knives and ice picks through my brain. Then the week after that, I was blessed with the worst panic attack I’d had in at least 12 years. That happened while I was at my desk at work and IT WAS NOT FUN.

Have you ever had a panic attack? It had been so long that I’d forgotten what it felt like. I wanted to literally rip my skin off, then crawl under my desk and burst into tears. My stomach was messed up, I didn’t feel like myself, and I hated every second of it. My dear friend Wanda helped me hold it together through texts. I made it through the day and pretty much collapsed when I finally got home. Adam brought me McDonald’s.

I still don’t know what happened. :(

A week later, as I was walking across the bridge to the shuttle on my way to work, I fell and couldn’t get up. I had to ride in an ambulance (a first), and I got an X-ray. This X-ray, in fact:

You’ll know when you see it.

I had to have surgery the next day, and I haven’t been back to work since.

That was 3 and a half weeks ago. The knee is healing (although it’s still warm and swollen which I don’t like). I’m in physical therapy 3 days a week, and I have to do exercises every day. I’m slowly getting better. I use crutches to get around for the most part. I’m trying not to overdo it, but the world doesn’t slow down for a broken knee. I have painkillers for the bad nights, which, luckily, are few and far between anymore.

I didn’t know an injury like this messed with one mentally and emotionally as well as physically. It hasn’t been easy. But I’m managing. And trying to focus on the good.

  1. I didn’t break any teeth
  2. I’m expected to make a full recovery
  3. The cost of the surgery sucked up my 2019 deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, so yay for that
  4. No commuting for now!

Now….

Soul searching. Trying to figure out what’s next. I really don’t fancy getting back into the rat race of commuting and having to be “on” for 12 hours a day. But I need to make money. Steady money. Good money. Because I have at least $8K in medical bills coming and I need to figure out how to pay for that along with my other bills. Which means work-life balance is about to fly out the window … as I will need to work, work work.

And I need to write, which is not good money (yet). I’m also scared to write. I don’t know if I’ll even have time to write, since I’ll have to take on as much freelance as I can for the foreseeable future.

But that doesn’t stop me from wanting other stuff. I want to travel. I’m still healing. I have debt. My apartment is a mess. There’s always a million things to do and organize and sort out, and it’s so hard to get motivated. Or I get motivated at the wrong damn times (like when I should be sleeping, hence the insomnia yay). I have too much stuff (especially clothes and books) and I need to get rid of a lot of it. I want to play the Sims and watch Netflix. I want to sleep.

I know other stuff I want, but I’m scared to get it. And then my mind goes round and round and I get all tense and freaking out in my brain and even though I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep at night and my appetite is super weird and I’m TIRED.

So yeah. Soul searching. But I don’t think I’m doing it right.

Told ya things were weird over here.

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precious free time.

Weekends are way too short. Now that I’m working outside of the home again, with an hour commute each way, my free time has become very limited. After working from home for three years, I’m still adjusting, even after four months, to the sheer amount of resources dedicated to having a full time job in an office again.

There is the financial cost. Now I have to pay for a monthly commuter pass, when before I paid as I went. Since I didn’t use the train or buses more than once or twice a week at most… well, that’s an increase.

I try not to buy lunches out, as that can add up. $10 a day, $50 a week, $200 a month? No thanks! I take my lunch in most of the time, and I’ll buy lunch only as a treat from time to time.

New clothes (we can only wear jeans on Friday), new expensive headphones (I work in a busy area, and that’s no good when you’re an introverted proofreader), new shoes, because boots are not comfy all day, and my others were either athletic shoes or falling apart.

Energetically, I’m exhausted every day when I come home. Constant people people people. I like my co-workers. But I wish, all the time, for a quiet office where I can work in the dark.

But the hardest cost is the time cost. Eight or more hours, five days a week where my time is not my own. Two hours of commuting back and forth. The prep time every morning and every evening…. that’s another 2–3 hours. If I have freelance work to do, or stuff for my book, or other assorted administrative things to do., plus dinner…well, that’s my entire day.

My personal to do lists are towering. My apartment and bedroom is a mess. I haven’t unpacked from Disney World. Because when the weekend rolls around, I’m exhausted. I crash the whole time.

I have plans and lists. Clean. Organize. Exercise. Sims! Read ALL the things. Shop (I need new ear plugs, gloves, boots, work pants). Write!

But instead. Instead.

I sleep. I play games on my iPad. I read. Sunday night comes way too quickly. And I spend the weekend desperate for Friday night, so the next weekend, I can maybe do better.

I never do better.

I have to figure out how to do better.

Because I do like the work I do. And I do like the office; it’s very pretty. As I said, I like my co-workers. And I LOVE having a steady income. I’m in debt again, and I like supported my artist friends. I like buying books and makeup and traveling.

I just have to figure out… how to balance things better.

But in the meantime…

Rest. It’s time to start a new week.

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hi there, 2019.

19 is my favorite number, and this is the first (and barring any major scientific breakthroughs) and last time I’ll get to have it as the actual year! How exciting!

The last few years have been rough on a general, worldly scale. Seems like every day in the news there is something horrible happening. I hope 2019 brings some big, positive changes for good people trying to do good things.

I hope I am a good person and that I keep focus on doing good things.

The year started off with me sleeping in a bit, finishing up a deadline, relaxing, reading, and writing. Tonight’s dinner menu was pork loin and green beans.

Tomorrow, I’m back to work for real. I’d been back since December 26, but it was very slow in the office, and the floor was quiet and chill. I don’t anticipate things getting too out of hand this week, but next week is sure to be ramped up to 100. I started just as the busiest year ever was winding down, so soon I’ll get to see what it’s really like.

I’m only a little bit nervous.

When I look at the things I hoped to accomplish last year and beyond, these are the ones that I managed to land:

– a publishing contract
(my book sold! eeee!)
– read at least 25 new books (at least 10 by POC)
(I read 37 new books, and 20 were by POC)
– travel to at least one place, domestic or international
(I went to Jekyll Island, Disney World, the Smoky Mountains, Atlanta, Charleston, and Cleveland)
– do more yoga
(before I started a new day job, I was going every week for a while there. still not ideal, but better than before)
– walk more
(the commute made this necessary! plus I went to Disney World. naturally lots of walking there!)
– take more pictures!!
(definitely did this one!)

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t really do resolutions. I like to set goals. Actually, intentions. Things I want to accomplish, changes I’d like to make, but not necessarily within the confines of the 365 days. Some of these goals are recycled, because let’s face it. I am who I am and the same things I’ve been working on all this time are probably the same things I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. But it’s OK. I’m a work in progress, and that’s fine. (The purple ones are new for 2019!)

Intentions for 2019:
– I want a joyful, energetic body.
– I want a loving, compassionate heart.
– I want a restful, alert mind.
– I want lightness of being.

In 2019, I NEED to:
– DRINK LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month.)
– DRINK MORE WATER
– exercise more
– walk more
– write more (this novel NEEDS to come out of me. It’s been in there for nearly 3 years now)
– make more money
– pay off at least one big credit card
– spend less time on social media
– spend more time working toward my goals
– spend more time with my loved ones
– declutter and clean my bedroom
– go somewhere cool
– take even more pictures

In 2019, I hope to:
– read at least 35 new books (at least 10 by POC)—up from 25 last year
– do a better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– travel to at least one place, domestic or international
– have financial comfort
– have more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– eat less fast food
– get in better physical shape
– make new friends and appreciate the friends I already have even more
– do more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– journal more
– save money
– be more brave with my writing
– write more snail mail letters
– maintain a work-life balance that also sustains my lifestyle

In My Dreams for 2019:
– a new publishing contract
– my creative well running over
– discipline to complement and honor the creative well
– happiness and health for me and my loved ones
– hitting at least one best-seller list
– things I want to hold close, for now

Looking Forward To:
MY BOOK!! NOVEMBER 12, 2019!!!!
– summer
– new books and music discoveries
– writing this novel (or whatever novel comes out of me)
– trying to grow my hair longer
– seeing where my writing takes me!

Here’s hoping that 2019 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you to make room for that which does. Sending it to me and all of you.

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year in review: 2018

Was 2018 a good year for you?
2018 started off rough, not gonna lie. I got sick twice, I lost my sweet Fi, and some publishing things didn’t work out like I’d hoped. My day job ended in April, and while I needed the break I did worry about money. I got frozen shoulder. Too many migraines. Depression was right there all the time, just waiting to take over. Sometimes it did. I felt lonely and exhausted and like all I did was mess up and disappoint people. I had to take a major break from social media and the writing community because my head was a mess.

Lots of tears and frustration in those first months.

But then on May 1, I had a spa day which included a chakra balancing. And suddenly, I felt a shift. Things started changing. I started feeling hope and strength again.

I visited my mommy. I took the time off to rest and enjoy playing The Sims. I started meeting new people. I started getting more interest in my book.

Summer came and things completely shifted! Adam and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary, and he asked me to plan a trip to Disney for later in the year! We went to Atlanta and Jekyll to visit family and see friends. I started seeing a chiropractor. I got to go to Tennessee and I saw a baby bear!

In the fall, I got a new job which was OK, but then I landed a better job, with a reverse commute and a great team and more pay. My son turned 16!

But my BIGGEST NEWS is that my book sold. My first novel is going to be published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers, my dream publisher. November 12, 2019, my book will be on shelves, but I’ll let you know when you can pre-order it.

My BOOK SOLD. To my DREAM PUBLISHER. I’ve been pursuing this seriously since 2005. Thirteen years. And I still can’t believe it’s happening.

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
– SOLD A NOVEL!
– stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort
– rode Slinky Dog Dash
– saw a baby bear in the wild!
– rode a chairlift
– had a chakra balancing
– had a real photo shoot
– attended YALLFEST

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my dear Fi in February.

What countries did you visit?
I stayed domestic this year. But in the US, I visited Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, and Wisconsin

What date(s) from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 24, 2018: the day I lost my dear Fi
May 1, 2018: RESET
June 13, 2018: the day I got THE CALL that my novel had sold!
July 27, 2018: 10 years!
September 18, 2018: When I got to officially announce my book deal. I got SO MUCH LOVE I cried!
November 27, 2018: the day I started the job that (so far) I really, really like

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I SOLD MY NOVEL!


(ashton: linneart.tumblr.com | devon: alexiscastellanos.com)

I’m so happy you’ll get to meet these two dreamy teens this November!

What was your biggest failure?
– keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.
– not keeping up with my gratitude journal as regularly as I’d have liked.
– not eating enough leafy greens.
– not doing enough yoga or barre.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
– frozen shoulder (started in April, seemingly “thawing” now)
– the flu (January)
– migraines, ugh

Where did most of your money go?
bills, books, travel, gaming

What song(s) will always remind you of 2018?
– thank u, next—Ariana Grande
– God is a Woman—Ariana Grande
– All The Stars (f. SZA)—Kendrick Lamar
– Never Fall In Love (f. MØ)—Jack Antonoff
– Warrior—Chloe x Halle
– I Like that—Janelle Monet
– Sober II (Melodrama)—Lorde

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends
– spending time with my mommy

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– eating junk food
– procrastinating
– being afraid

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– EXES
– MØ
– King Princess
– Ariana Grande (I know I’m so late but she’s a QUEEN)

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– an upgraded computer for gaming
– a BOOK DEAL!

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a trip abroad
– long hair

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 44. I worked, then came home and collapsed. But to be fair, I’d been at Disney just recently, and wore the birthday button, and had many mini-celebrations, and that was fun!

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends
– The Sims

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I guess no one this year 🤔

What political issue stirred you the most?
😡

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
I NEED to find a viable work-life balance! My family and leisure time is important, and I have to find a way to not work all the time but still make decent money. I’m tired, the place is a wreck, and I am doing stuff all the time but I don’t feel like any progress is being made. Something’s broken and needs to be fixed soon!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
at home: PJs, yoga pants, leggings, tops
out and about: skinny jeans and tops or sweaters

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
making more money

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter, definitely fatter
iii. richer or poorer? poorer (for now)

In 2019, I’m looking forward to:
My official debut year! I’m so excited (and nervous) about what’s in store! 😱

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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when i’m a published author.

I am writing this now, less than a out from the release of my debut novel, as a testimony and a promise. I want you to point me to this post if by some reason I become an asshole down the line.

When I’m a published author:

I will remain humble
I will remember how long it took me to get here
I will remember all the people who helped me along the way
I will do my best to pay it forward
I will welcome any and all fan art and fan fiction (oh please God let there be fan art and fan fiction)
I will avoid Goodreads the best I can
I will be ready for ANYTHING to happen, or nothing to happen at all
I will continue to be grateful that this dream of mine is finally coming true

I will not cull my Twitter or instagram to seem “cooler” or “more important”. If I do cull, it will be for my protection and to enforce safe boundaries
I will not tell people variations of “you can’t sit here” because they’re on a different part of their path from mine
I will not become a diva
I will not read reviews!!!!
I will never respond to reviews, especially if they’re negative!!!

I will protect my family
I will protect my mental and physical health

Most importantly….

I will keep writing, and keep dreaming big, no matter what happens

Want to support me?

Like my Facebook page Ronni Davis – YA Author
Follow me on instagram!
Follow me on twitter!
Follow my Goodreads author page, and add my book!

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