reflection

transformation.

As usual, it’s been a while since I’ve last updated, so this is going to be a LONG one! I hope you’re ready.

I’m trying to figure out how to reconcile The Ronni Davis Author Brand with the Anywhere Is Ronni (who’s been on the web since 2000). And this is the website that’s in the Edelweiss link for my book, which is really strange… I have no idea how they even found it. But one thing I always try to live by is what you see is what you get, so if you came here from there, welcome to my personal blogspace! This is me!

(Also, if you came from there, I recommend you go look at my author page. It’s way more professional, and that’s where you’ll find out about all my books and news and stuff!) 🙂

As usual, most of my life updates happen on twitter or instagram, so if you’re not following me on either or both of those, why the heck not?

Since I always wait so long in between updates, and my last update was more than an entire season ago, I will do a bulleted rundown of the biggest things that went down.

April
• Met Kacen Callender, who acquired my book when they were still at Little Brown. Now they’re an amazing author in their own right! And a dear friend 💖

• Kindling Words West writing retreat, which was amazing. Met new friends, wrote lots of words, got some nature, and ate delicious, healthy food. Such a great experience!

• I came off the crutches and started sleeping without the leg brace
• Got let go from Sherwin-Williams
• Found out that our lease wasn’t being renewed on May Street (thanks gentrification), so had to go apartment hunting (Adam had been there nearly 15 years, I’d been there 11)
• Packed, sorted, donated, and trashed stuff on stuff on stuff
• Signed lease on gorgeous new apartment!

• Was cleared to remove leg brace for good!

May
• Moved to new place, which is 30 minutes north of where we used to be, 3x the size of the old place, and in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood I’ve ever lived in
• Started yoga again
• Attended #MMC30, where I got to meet Mouseketeers I’d looked up to since the 90s, reunite with old Mouseketeer friends, and meet/reunite with friends I’ve known for ages from the MMC fandom! It was such a good weekend, and I got so many amazing hugs. There was food, and dancing, and tears, entertainment and so much love. After, I spent a couple of short days at Disney World with my friend Nikki (the redhead), and got to meet my instagram pal Delaney (the Snow White miniature)!

• Attended MegaCon for a few hours and got to meet David Tennant!
• Went down to physical therapy 2x a week
• Started seeing my chiropractor again
• Woke up every day in my new apartment like “I can’t believe I get to live here!”

June
• Continued to get settled in the new place
• Filmed a video tour of the new place

• LOVING my office

• Went down to 1x a week for physical therapy
• Started seriously writing again
• Got the news that the bone was completely healed and that I could officially return to exercising (lol). Therapist took that as the cue to really start pushing me to regain my strength and flexibility
• Saw Sarah Dessen again!! And signed an ARC of my book for her! (And I was shaking the whole time. Sarah Dessen is my main inspiration and idol, and to sign one of MY books for her was incredible)

• Changed my hair!

Trying something new hair wise
• Said goodbye to our dear Crookshanks. He was 18 years old. So very missed, this guy.


The reason I picked the title TRANSFORMATION for this blog post is that 2019 is the year I feel like there is something seriously at work in my life. Between breaking my knee, and losing my job, and having to move, I’ve been kind of knocked for a loop. Definitely kicked far out of my comfort zone.

When I tell people I broke my patella, they’re gobsmacked. Even my personal doctor was gobsmacked. Apparently this injury is quite rare. I won’t even say how it happened… people are always unimpressed with the truth and tell me I should make up something cooler. Aidan wants me to tell a story involving pirates. Sometimes he will tell the story for me. With pirates.

Life is definitely weird. So is it any surprise that when I wind down at night, my YouTube go-tos (besides my favorite Simmers) are videos that are some sort of transformation? Car detailing, disaster house cleaning sessions, restorations, makeovers? The worse off the before, the more satisfying it is to see things made shiny and new again. Maybe I feel a kindred spirit with all that change, or maybe it’s just satisfying, a constant in my life, which, if the acid churning in my stomach is anything to go by, is needed because somehow I don’t think 2019 is finished with me.

But I’m putting this into the Universe:
• Please let me nail these proposals so I get at least one new book deal in the year of our Lord 2019
• I get a permanent or long-term work-from-home part time job (or full time, whatever) in the fall season of 2019. I just work better when I’m in my own office, surrounded by my inspirational things and my toys and my books, listening to my music, and wearing my comfy leggings and tee-shirts

In the meantime, I know I am changing. New hair, as you saw earlier in the post. New place. New me. Suddenly, I am a clean freak, when before, I was just too tired and overwhelmed to care. I am still pants at coming up with yummy things for dinner, but one night I made some really tasty chicken parmesan and I feel like that’s the first time I’ve ever cooked chicken parmesan… 🤔 But the key was to sear the chicken first, then put on all the stuff, and bake it. It was delicious, maybe I’ll make a sandwich of that for dinner today…

Anyway. WTF? Yesterday I baked brownies and scrubbed all the small appliances. I don’t understand me anymore.


Just over 120 days until my book comes out. Still 6 months away so I’m not stressing too much, but it really is time to start thinking about marketing efforts. I know my publicist has some things in the works, and I think the timeline for things to jump off kicks into gear sometime in August. As it is, the ARC has made its way into readers hands, and I’ve gotten some lovely messages and emails, beautiful bookstagram posts, and someone (who you should follow because her posts are so cute) made the most ADORABLE fan art of Ashton and Devon:

 

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The first time I got a reader message, I was floored. I cried. Because now all the hard work, the stress, the tears, the giving up and starting again was all worth it. It had been worth it already… but getting a letter from a reader who is thanking me for writing that book… I can’t even describe what that feels like. It’s a whole other level of gratitude. The readers are who this is all about. The main thing I’m hearing is “This is the book I didn’t know I needed.” And it’s amazing to see that. It’s kind of incredible, learning that my words have touched readers like that…also makes me want to work harder on my next book. Which is a whole other can of stress!!

But, my book is up for preorders, and you can get it at any of these retailers:

amazon • b&n • indiebound • chapters

Cool right?? Also, my book was one of BEA’s YA Fall Buzz Books! Which is awesome because I was mixed in with some great company!


And one last thing! I graduated from physical therapy on July 1! I’m so proud I did it. Even when it got hard, I kept going.  Now I just need to keep up with the exercises. 😬

After falling and breaking my knee in February 2019, and having an emergency surgery to fix all the things... I went from crutches to brace only to walking on my own... all with the help of Mandie and the team at PhysioPartners. Months of rehab and I can
Life keeps throwing things at me and somehow I’m pushing through. I’m sure I’ll look back on 2019 like WOW WHAT A YEAR and with fondness… but I’m not gonna lie. It’s been a bit of a challenge sometimes.

But the second half is starting, and my book comes out in the fall and that’s exciting!! Also my birthday and Christmas and omg it’s only July I need to slow the eff down.

Anyway, I guess that’s all for now. I know there are a lot more feels in there, but I’m too tired to pull them out now. The Benadryl is kicking in, but first it’s asking for a snack. And this post is already super long. I don’t even feel like proofreading it.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me looking cute at Disney World in May. Till next time!

3 Comments

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.

1 Comment

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!!

0 comments

hello 2018.

I align myself with peace and calm, not stress.
I am aligned with the joy and light of my highest self

The last couple of years have been rough on a general, worldly scale. I’m hoping 2018 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 setting intentions, meditating, and writing. Tonight’s dinner menu is pork loin, green beans, and macaroni and cheese. I plan to spend the day sleeping in, writing, relaxing, hanging with the kid, and enjoying my last day off before having to jump back into the fray of work and life and the bone chilling cold weather, which I will avoid as much as I can. This evening, I have a date with my writer group on Google Hangouts. Excited to chat with everyone!

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t really do resolutions. Rather, I like to set goals. Actually, intentions might be a better word. 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.

Intentions for 2018:
– I want a joyful, energetic body.
– I want a loving, compassionate heart.
– I want a restful, alert mind.
– I want lightness of being.

In 2018, 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
– do more yoga (I say this every year. I haven’t been to a real yoga class in months. That needs to change. I know it won’t any time soon with this COLD ASS WEATHER, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– walk more (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out.)
– write more (I really want to draft the novel that’s been knocking around my head the past 18 months or so, but I’ll take anything the muse wants to give me.)
– make more money (I like to buy things. I like to travel. I like to donate to charities, and I like to give lots of gifts. I need money to do those things. So, I need to 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
– take more pictures!!

In 2018, I hope to:
– read at least 25 new books (at least 10 by POC)
– do a better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– travel to at least one place, domestic or international
– have financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want, within reason, of course, and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– 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
– have so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– 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
– keep up with my Self Love planner

In My Dreams for 2018:
– a publishing contract
– my creative well running over
– discipline to complement and honor the creative well
– happiness and health for me and my loved ones

Looking Forward To:
– summer
– new books and music discoveries
– writing this novel (or whatever novel comes out of me)
– trying to grow my hair longer
– seeing the A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet
– Jekyll Island in June
– writing retreat in July
– seeing where my writing takes me!

Here’s hoping that 2018 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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2 Comments

year in review: 2017

Was 2017 a good year for you?
On a personal level, I cannot complain. Yes, I had some ups and downs, but that’s normal, right? When I look back through my photos, I feel immense gratitude at the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, and the stuff I got to experience.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
– went ziplining!
– stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
– rode Avatar: Rite of Passage
– watched a solar eclipse
– rode a chairlift
– visited Utah
– flew business class on an intercontinental flight
– attended a gala
– hired a life coach
– attended the Once Upon a Time convention
– had a spa day

IMG_2606

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a close friend of mine is expecting!

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my sweet Helena.

What countries did you visit?
Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
(with layovers in Iceland and Germany)

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 10, 2017—the day I got all my girlie plumbing removed
February 17, 2017—the day I got an offer of rep from my agent Caitie Flum!
May 25, 2017—the day I brought Charlotte home
September 5, 2017—the day I left Chicago for a month abroad with my BFF Jennifer Niven
September 18, 2017—the day I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and FELL IN LOVE
September 26, 2017—the day I visited the ABBA museum and became a fan
October 1, 2017—the day I few into Iceland and saw rainbows upon rainbows
November 9, 2017—the day I met Jason Segel
December 6, 2017—the day I saw Hamilton

IMG_2419

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
1. signing with a literary agent!!
2. spending almost a month abroad!!

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

Did you suffer illness or injury?
got a couple of colds

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, makeup, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017?
– Just Say—Extreme Music
– How Far I’ll Go—Auli’i Cravalho
– This Night Is Ours—The Funshiners
– Issues—Julia Michaels
– The Louvre—Lorde

IMG_2423


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
– wasting time on twitter

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– The Moana soundtrack

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip abroad
– an agent
– a Fjållråven backpack
– a (mini) home office

IMG_2537

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a book deal

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43. (bish whet) I slept in, then spent the afternoon getting pampered at The Spa at The Four Seasons. Then I had dinner at a French restaurant that didn’t have great service but the food was amazing! Adam gave me a Tiffany bracelet.

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
*angry face emoji*

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Sometimes you just have to say “yes” and make it work. You never know what amazingness is waiting on the other side of it!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
skinny jeans, cute tops

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting a book deal

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit fatter (thanks, Italy)
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
So much! But that’s for another post!

IMG_2605

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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