gearing up part 2.

I might look my age here.... nah. 😁 #selfie

Wow, 2016 has been a doozy, hasn’t it? So much has happened, and keeps happening—on a global scale, a personal scale, a national scale. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. I have to step away and remind myself that I can’t, and shouldn’t, try to save everyone. I have to take care of me, too.

November was busier than I anticipated! I’ll break it down in list form. You know how I love lists!

– got sick a few times and had to take time off work either due to severe pain, and once for a stomach bug! neither were fun. at all.
– doctor diagnosed me with anemia and prescribed me iron supplements and red meat. the anemia explains my obsession with crunching on ice (rumored to be a pica for people with iron deficiency), why I’ve been so run down and well, maybe even why I’m so bloody cold all the frakkin’ time.
– attended TWO cons. windycon the weekend of November 11–13 and ChamBanaCon the weekend of November 25–27. had a great time at both. met really cool people, ate really good food, and had wonderful conversations. plus, ChamBanaCon had bananas all over the place. plush bananas. banana artwork. bananas bananas bananas. my only regret is that I’d never come to the con before.

Me with a giant banana! #ChambanaCon 😂😂🍌🍌

– got hypnotized for the first time and I liked it a LOT. not as entertainment, but as a relaxation exercise. it was very similar to meditating and yoga nidra. I really liked the floaty feeling, and also feeling like I had permission to deeply relax.
– got to be at a panel for the first time at a con! LOVED IT.
– Had the History Channel in my home *twice* filming Adam talking about HH Holmes stuff and some such. that was pretty neat.
– been keeping up with my therapy and medication.
– enjoying the work I do for Envision. a lot.
– started buckling down on Christmas shopping.
– had a low key Thanksgiving. worked in the morning, ate good food for an early dinner, napped and read, then went to the radio.
– hung out at the Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez radio show for a second Thanksgiving. So much fun!
– went Black Friday shopping at Kohl’s after the radio show, and scored some gifts for people, some fun things for me, and had a great time!

Christmas In Chicago 2016

December is here, and it’s actually one of my favorite months of the year despite winter officially starting on the 21st. This month’s going to be on the busy side as well, with the following things coming up:

– a massage (praise the Lord please and thank you, so needed)
– a ChiYA brunch
– finishing up one of my contracts
– The Nutcracker
– doctor’s appointment
– my birthday
– Aidan’s birthday
– Christmas & all its accoutrements (cards, gifts, food, etc.)
– holiday travel (and seeing mommy!)

… and I know I’m forgetting stuff. Don’t feel like pulling out the ole planner to check.

I also hope to squeeze in some writing. I tried to do Nano this year. FAIL. That sort of furious writing rarely works for me. And it’s OK. We all have our processes. I would like to work on becoming more disciplined, though, so I can get more words out sooner. The sooner the writing part is done, the sooner the revising part can start. And I’m excited about the ideas coming in. I just need to focus and do it. JUST DO IT. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes. (plea to Universe: please have it go astonishingly well, thank you)

And I think that’s enough for now. Till next time…..

my hopes for the next 4 years….

Spectacular Sun

– that I have the bravery to speak up if/when I see injustice, and if/when it happens to me
– that I don’t become complacent
– that I stay vigilant, awake, and strong
– that I survive
– that my friends survive
– that right and good prevail

random ronni facts.

I know. I just keep making posts about me. But it is my blog, after all, so I think that’s OK.

I stole this list of prompts from one of my favorite people/authors Jennifer Niven (peep her “about” page to see her answers) because it looked super fun, and also challenging. I’m going to have to think about most of these answers.

So please bear with me. Enjoy this post, and I PROMISE I’ll write a real update soon. And I know I owe you some Disney pictures as well.

IMG_6452

Favorite writers:
– Marian Keyes
– Sarah Dessen
– Erma Bombeck
… just to name a few

Favorite book:
-no comment-

Favorite literary heroine:
Right now, I’m rereading WATERMELON by Marian Keyes, and it’s a toss up between Claire, Anna, or Helen (3 of the Walsh sisters).

Favorite storyline(s):
– I always enjoy a good love story, especially if it’s funny but not full of unnecessary angst and drama. I really like rich, hot white boy stories, especially if he gets the girl who is either on a lower economic scale or of a different race, or both. And I like far-fetched yet sweet ones, like the movie THE PRINCE AND ME. And of course, I adore good old-fashioned romantic comedy, like HITCH, THE WEDDING PLANNER and books like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West.
– OK, this is going to seem really sick. But I love reading books about teens locked in institutions. Especially if it’s against their will and really awful and they have to be super daring/clever/brave to get out. Like April Henry’s SHOCK POINT.
– Dance, dance, dance! (OMG DANCE ACADEMY!)

Favorite love story:
Well, I listed a bunch in the previous question, so check there. ;)

Fictional doppelgänger:
*insert diatribe about the need for #ownvoices and more diverse literature here*

Fictional boyfriend:
Detective Walter Clark Jr. from the (sadly cancelled) show Golden Boy

This is him:
Golden Boy

Don’t EVEN act surprised about this.

Fictional best friend:
Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time

Favorite word(s):
banana

If I were a song, I’d be:
(when I’m depressed) Left in the Dark by Annelise Collette
(when I’m better) Bird Set Free by Sia
(when I’m flying) The Greatest by Sia

If I were an old-time movie star, I’d be:
Susan Kohner. She played a role that still to this day touches a deep part of me in the movie Imitation of Life.

If I could be another writer for a day:
Well, this depends on several factors! I can think of many author’s success I’d like to have, or at least my own version of it.

If I weren’t a writer, I would be:
My DayJob™ and freelance gigs are various copy editing, proofreading, and editorial gigs. So probably still that.

Things I keep on my writing desk:
My writing desk is technically my lap. I have a pretty fancy lap desk that my friend Andy got me for Christmas a couple of years ago. But also the coffee table in the living room, or my bed. But for the sake of this, I’m going to create my DREAM writing desk:
– at least one mug full of pens and pencils
– a 6 pack of Vitamin Water
– candy, candy, candy
– my glasses
– incense and sage, burner, lighter
– notebooks and notepads
– planner
– stickers
– my Lumiere lamp and Lumiere Funko figure
– my two Funko Regina Mills figures
Double Trouble #onceuponatime #funkopop #evilqueen #reginamills

Secret talent(s):
– I can cry on command.
– I can wiggle my ears.
– I can put my foot on my face like Maddie in the Big Girls Cry video.

Oh! And if you’d like even more ME (Oh God), then head over to ChiYA, a band of Chicago-based YA writers. I was featured on the blog a couple of days ago.

sunday stealing: bookish questions

Books!!

This week’s Sunday Stealing is… Bookish Questions!

Right up this bookworm’s alley. :)

1. How long did it take you to finish your last book?
The last book I read was It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, and it took me a few days. Usually, I can read a book in 1 or 2 days, but because I’ve been so busy with work, it’s been taking me upwards of a week or two to finish books these days.

2. How many times do you stare at your bookshelves each day?
At least once. How could I not, though. Look at them:

New Bookshelves! :)

3. How many Goodreads friends/books do you have?
I have more than 1000 books, 544 friends. Wanna be one? Add me here: https://www.goodreads.com/lilrongal

4. Do you ever quote books in public?
I’m sure I do.

5. Do you ever re-read books?
Absolutely. Especially Harry Potter, A Christmas Carol, and Sarah Dessen novels.

6. Do you judge a book by its cover?
I do. Sorry.

7. Do you take pictures of your books before you read them?
Every once in a while.

8. What are your biggest distractions from reading?
Work. My own writing. Playing internet and computer games.

9. Where is your favorite place to buy books?
Anderson’s Bookshop and other indie bookshops.

10. Do you always have a book with you?
Yes. Either physical, or on my phone or tablet. I have loads in the kindle app.

11. Do you read during breakfast?
I don’t really eat breakfast.

12. How many hours a day would you say you read?
Normally? At least one or two. But lately, it’s been 15 minutes a day because work’s been so busy, or I’ve been working on my own book. Looking forward to getting my reading time back.

13. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago?
Less. But I will fix that.

14. Do you consider yourself a speed reader?
Yes. I can read very fast, which is good with my profession!

15. Do you read in bed?
Every single night.

16. How old were you when you got your first library card?
Oh wow, I think 11 or so. My father used to drop my sister and me off at the library and I loved it. I’d read there and still come home with a huge stack of books.

breather.

Airport selfie while wearing my fave hat and #colourpop ultra matte lip

You guys. YOU GUYS. I survived! I’m up for air. I made it.

This latest contract had me working many hours, reading hundreds of pages a day. And this was in addition to the DayJob™, sneaking in writing revisions, events, visits from family and friends, meet-ups, appointments, and errands.

I am POOPED.

I’m exhausted and sick; coming down with my first cold in maybe a year or so?

But also proud. Because I did that, they are very happy with my work, and my relationship with is client is awesome. I survived the madness and I am so excited. (I am also hopped up on cough medicine with codeine in it at the moment so if this entry seems a bit goofy, that’s why.)

So far, this month (and part of September as well—because that’s when all this stuff started), I:

01. Attended a #ChiYA meet-up. It’s a group of Chicago authors of YA, and we’re going to do all sorts of cool things. *sings* Just you wait….
02. Finished this massive contract—maybe thousands of pages. Sent the invoice yesterday, so now I wait. And then save/pay off credit card/Christmas shop/buy something special for me.
03. Started *two* new contracts! One with a new company called Envision—they seem really nice. I’m excited about the work I’ll be doing for them. And another project for Berlitz. This one’s scope is WAY less intense.
04. Had many important doctor’s appointments (including my very first mammogram!).
05. Been keeping up with my medicine and my therapy, including the homework assignments she assigns. I really like my therapist.
06. Attended Anderson’s YA Literature Conference and YA Fan Frenzy. Got to hang with lovely author friends and make new author friends, and came away feeling loved and inspired and exhausted.
07. Stayed on the fancy floor in the hotel during the conference. They brought us cookies every night. I could get used to this—it’s part of the reason I work so hard.
08. Got the CUTEST Kate Spade Minnie Mouse bag.
09. Voted.
10. Got to see Rena *twice*. She’s my bestie, I should be seeing her more often. We’re both so swamped with work. Thank God for Google Hangouts. We talk almost every day on there.
11. Hosted my friend Sun, who I’ve known online forEVER. It was so fun hanging with her, relaxing with her, and having her in my home. She brought a nice energy.
12. Spent time with Aidan, who was here from 10/12–10/17. Never enough time, but it was fun. We ate junk food, watched raunchy stand up comedy, and laughed a lot.
13. Shopped, donated, supported people I care about, and some strangers I barely know.
14. Attended the Sia concert. Loved her show very much. Lots of dancing and artsy stuff. Very enjoyable!
15. Started Christmas shopping! 😮🎄

Now I’m back to revisions. Goal is to have them done Halloween! I want to start a new project for #NaNoWriMo, so I have to have my current one in a very good place before then. I’m very excited for the possibilities for both. :) I want to be really bold with this new project. Unapologetic, but still sweet. So eager to get started. We’ll see if I still feel the same once I’ve started, though.

But this weekend, aside from some tinkering with the novel, I SLEEP ALL THE SLEEPS. READ ALL THE BOOKS. And maybe call my mommy if my throat settles down.

Next week, I have to fix my car, get it tested, and then register it for another year. Just bought one of those portable battery chargers–hope that gets her running again. I’d love to have the freedom to drive so I can get a massage from Jan and also Christmas shop!

So, up next for the next 4–6 weeks:

01. Whatever deliverables for the two new contracts.
02. Plan Christmas shopping.
03. Get car squared away.
04. More doctor’s appointments.
05. #NaNoWriMo
06. Schedule and partake in a spa day.
07. Keep taking meds properly and going to therapy.
08. Prep for Thanksgiving! OMG.
09. More Christmas shopping.
10. Read read read. So behind on reading, my TBR pile is obscene.

I’m sure there is more, but I’m ready to relax now.

RELAX.

Wow. It feels very strange not having a big deadline looming over me. My next freelance deliverable isn’t due until EOD Monday, and it’s not a huge thing. Which means an entire weekend free. I’d forgotten what that felt like.

But I’m sure it’ll come back to me. Easily. 😂

Just Me. Feeling Kinda Pretty. :)

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