currently.

[ Current Clothes ] “Mickey Mouse” tee-shirt, galaxy leggings
[ Current Mood ] a bit overwhelmed & worried
[ Current Music ] Spotify radio based on my “currently obsessed” playlist
[ Current Taste ] candy
[ Current Make-up ] none
[ Current Hair ] messy
[ Current Annoyance ] nothing
[ Current Smell ] random house smells, candy
[ Current thing I Ought To be Doing] REVISING 😬
[ Current Desktop Picture ] pretty, shiny, and pink
[ Current Favorite Band ] Ruelle, Halsey
[ Current Book You’re Reading ] a bunch of different ones at the same time
[ Current DVD In Player ] Moana
[ Current Color Of Toenails ] light blue
[ Current Refreshment ] water
[ Current Worry ] getting everything squared away before I leave for Disney World on Monday

the trouble with being a night owl.

I’m a night owl. I’ve talked about this a billion times on this blog.

I love being a night owl. I love the middle of the night. It’s quiet. I feel no pressure to be on. I feel more creative and comfortable. Safe, maybe. I do my best writing in the middle of the night.

However.

I’ve begun working my day job again, in addition to another Berlitz contract, AND another short job coming later this week.

I’m also starting to move from brainstorming books to actually attempting to write them.

It’s tough reconciling this.

The freelance work is a little easier. They give me the work, a deadline, and leave me to it. I can do it when I feel like it, when I feel most alert, and when I can bust it out (as long as I focus!).

The day job? That’s a bit harder to manage. There are expectations of me being available from 9–5 (with an hour break for lunch), which means I need to be awake and alert. I also need to be awake because I’m copy editing things that get reviewed by lawyers and represent a huge company. Mistakes would be awful. It’s been unusually busy the last few weeks, so my brain is fried at the end of the day. I work from home, but that presents its own set of challenges. I have a sick kitty who wants attention all the time.1 I have to clean up after him every day. Sometimes I just hate being on high alert when I want to be napping.2 And I’m still technically recovering from surgery, so by the end of the day Wednesdays I am tapped out completely. My surgery site feels prickly, my back aches, and I’m exhausted mentally and physically. Friday, I signed off work at 5pm, ate dinner, read a bit, fell asleep at 630pm and woke up at 330am. Stayed up for 90 minutes before crashing again at 5am, and woke up for the day at 1030am. I broke my 27 day Duolingo streak (I’m learning Spanish! 32% fluent!) and didn’t even have the energy to mind too much. I was just that tired.

But sometimes, even when I’m struggling to keep my eyes open during the day, I wake up around 10pm. I want to write and watch Netflix and read and listen to music. This does not work when I have to be up in the morning!

I try to combat the fatigue by opening the curtains and letting the natural light shine on me while I work (and the cats sometimes enjoy a nice sunbeam bath as well). I drink V8 Energy, which is green tea, not coffee, and has a full serving of fruits and vegetables. I try to eat breakfast—yogurt and a Zone bar. Sometimes I’ll have tea. It could be the V8 kicking in and keeping me up, so I take melatonin at night. That knocks me out within 25 minutes, but the problem is that I rarely feel completely awake in the mornings. So, we begin again.

I would rather sleep in the day and stay up all night. (Except when I am at Disney World.)

Being a night owl is at odds with our society. Granted, there are more 24 hour options available, and there is the internet. But if I want to hold down a job, I have to be “normal” and well, it’s been decades and I’ve never truly adjusted to “normal.” So, the trouble with being a night owl is right now. It’s after 2am. I have to be up at 845am, work my 9–5 job and then do a few hours of freelance after. Plus eat and give Fi attention and take my vitamins and my meds. And try to squeeze in some writing. And connecting with my writer friends.

It’s a lovely, lush busy life, but it’s also exhausting. But what can I do?

Being a night owl is tricky. But I’ll manage it. Because honestly, my life is pretty cool right now. I really don’t want to trade it for a normal sleeping rhythm.

(Sorry for the random post. Just felt like chatting, I guess.)

Till next time!

  1. I don’t mind it too much. He curls up right next to me or lays behind me, and I kiss his head over and over. I love my little Fi so much.
  2. This is not to say I am ungrateful for the job. It’s a pretty sweet gig I have, and I am lucky to have it.

current & random.

I last did this survey in January 2005. Read on to learn more than you ever cared to know about me. 😀

(Funnily enough, some of the answers haven’t changed in 12 years, others are so so so different)

[ Current Clothes ] “I Stand With Standing Rock” tee-shirt
[ Current Mood ] tired and a bit overwhelmed
[ Current Music ] n/a – Watching The OC
[ Current Taste ] BBQ Fritos
[ Current Make-up ] none
[ Current Hair ] topknot
[ Current Annoyance ] nothing
[ Current Smell ] moisturizer
[ Current thing I Ought To be Doing] working, probably
[ Current Desktop Picture ] pretty, shiny, and pink
[ Current Favorite Band ] not a band, but I love Sia, Halsey, Tove Lo
[ Current Book You’re Reading] a bunch of different ones at the same time
[ Current CD In CD Player] CD player! Heehee! Told you this was old!
[ Current DVD In Player] The OC
[ Current Color Of Toenails ] rose gold
[ Current Refreshment ] Vitamin Water
[ Current Worry ] that I won’t nail my revisions, therefore letting my agent down

~~~~~~
BASICS
Name: Ronni
Sex: Female
Birthday: 12.20
Height: 5’1″
Hair Color: Golden
Eye Color: Hazel
Eye Color Of Choice: I like my eyes. Sometimes I wish they were greener, but hazel is pretty nonetheless.
Writing Hand: Right

BODY ILLS AND SKILLS
Nervous Habits: I do that leg shake thingy… and I play with my ear when I’m nervous and/or need to relax
Do You Bite Your Nails? When I’m very stressed or upset
Are You Double Jointed? No
Can You Roll Your Tongue? Yes
Can You Blow Spit Bubbles? Yes
Can You Cross Your Eyes? Yes

CLOTHES
On the average, how much money do you carry in your purse/wallet?: None of your business!
What jewelry do you wear 24/7?: Tiffany necklace, wedding ring
Favorite Piece of Clothing: Probably my grey hoodie

FOOD
Do you wind your spaghetti or cut it? Wind, for sure
Have you ever eaten Spam? Yup.
How often do you brush your teeth? Twice a day

HYGIENE
How often do you shower/bathe? Every other day, unless I’m going out
How long does your shower last?: Probably 10-15 minutes.
Hair drying method: Depends. Hair dryer if I want to straighten my hair, air dry if I want my curls to fly
Have you ever colored/highlighted your hair? Yes
What colors has your hair been? I highlighted it. It looked good but destroyed it. My hair took a long time to recover, so I’m never doing that again.
Do you paint your nails? I get my toes done sometimes

MANNERS
Do you swear?: Hell yes
Do you ever spit? Ew no, gross

FAVORITES
Actor: Theo James, Jordan Rodrigues
Actress: Shailene Woodley
Food: Spaghetti
Month: December
Day: Friday night
Cartoon: n/a
Shoe Brand: Sanuk, Doc Marten, Ugg
Subject in school: Dance/gymnastics
Color: Pink, purple
Person to talk to online: Rena
Sport: Gymnastics
Body part on/in you: Eyes
Body part on the opposite sex: Hair, eyes, lips
TV show: Jane the Virgin, Dance Academy
Movie: too many to name
Holiday: Christmas
Magazine: Teen Vogue
Vacationing Spot: Disney World
Thing To Do In The Summer: Enjoy the warm, eat ice cream, hang with Aidan
Thing To Do In The Winter: Write, buy and wear cute hats, scarves, and gloves. Celebrate Christmas, shop the clearance racks.
Perfume: Arboretum
TV Station: n/a

IN AND AROUND
The CD Player: n/a
Person you talk most on the phone with: n/a
Ever taken a cab? Yes
Do you regularly check yourself out in store windows and mirrors? Of course
What color is your bedroom? Light brown
Do you use an alarm clock? Nope, I use my phone or iPad
Name one thing you are obsessed with: Korean skincare
Window seat or aisle?: Aisle. My tiny bladder demands as such
What’s your sleeping position? All over
Even in hot weather do you use a blanket? I always sleep under a comforter and/or blanket.
Do you snore? Adam says I do. I don’t believe him
Do you sleepwalk? No
Do you talk in your sleep? No
Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Yes :)
How about with the light on? I often fall asleep with the light on
Do you fall asleep with the TV or radio on? No

breakthrough.

Untitled

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Ten years ago, my novel, ONLY YOURS, got rejected by its last publisher.
I was drowning in debt and financial troubles.
I was a single mom, living in an apartment with the weirdest neighbors ever, and working in a job that was… hard. (The work was great, the co-workers were great, but the culture was challenging.)
My boyfriend (now poor husband) at the time was long distance.

My writing well was draining. I tried, and only produced crap. Well, there are a few good parts here and there, but for the most part? Nothing. No novels, not even short stories or poems. Just snippets and false starts and oh God, it was hopeless.

So I gave up on publishing.

That was ten years ago.

After I moved to Chicago, I decided to focus on “real” things. Things that made me money. It was hard at first. The job market in Chicago is tough. But somehow I found my way and now there are times I have to turn work away because I get so much. This is a blessing.

I worked in advertising agencies. Long, demanding hours. Six day workweeks. Plus freelance! I was making so much money but I was sick and unhealthy and stressed. I started getting grey hairs!

Lily Pads & Yellow Flower
 

I trained to be a yoga teacher. And while I will *never, ever* regret that year—really one of my happiest, most intense, and most amazing—I decided I didn’t want to teach yoga.

I was an extra in a movie, and decided I wanted to be an actress. That journey was one of the hardest things, and I don’t mean the trying to get famous or even book jobs part. I mean the research, the studying, the self-exploration, the creativity it takes to embody a whole new person and make that person real and whole and true. I liked acting, but friends, I just didn’t love it enough for the amount of hustle it entails. So I was content to work as an extra for a season, and hang out in the background, eating junk food and hanging out with my friends who were extras.

That last experience yanked me back to my writing roots. I’d been writing crap on and off this whole time, but often abandoned stories about five thousand words in. Then work got too demanding and I couldn’t write if I wanted to. But being on set? It’s like being IN a story. And I guess the combination of background work and acting classes woke up my creative mind. I also went back to my roots. I love writing love stories. The day I woke up and said “I’ll just write a love story,” things clicked. And the words began to flow.

I finished my first novel since 2006. It was a hot mess. It still needs work. But I did it. I DID THAT.

I started writing it without the intent of pursuing publication. I was rusty. I was out of the loop so I didn’t have critique partners or a writing community to guide me through. This story was meant to be fun. But then it kept growing and developing into something more. Something that someone else might want to read. So I changed my goal. And started working harder. I found critique partners. I began studying the craft again. I wrote and revised and wrote and revised… and there is STILL work to be done.

But it feels like home.

I often lament about the publishing journey. It’s hard, and the constant NOs and rejections and “go back and try agains” can really do a number on one’s self esteem and dreams. I tried to quit writing again last summer after a heartbreaking rejection. I moved all my documents to the recycle bin. I muted all my writing friends on twitter and facebook. And I grieved. and I can’t think of a time when I felt more WRONG in my life. I’m a writer. I have to write. So I decided, I can write, but I’m done with publishing. My manuscript was with agents and I was seriously considering pulling them off submission, and settling into my “real” life of freelance and contract editing, cleaning up cat poop and vomit, and trying to figure out where to put all my stuff. I have a lot of stuff.

But something kept giving me hope. My writing friends pulled me out and pushed me. They put things in perspective for me. They told me to send my work to them if I felt like deleting it again. (I did have to do that, quite a few times.) Those conversations often blew up into encouragement. And so I lived to fight another day.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

I had a few more close calls earlier this year. Not quitting writing, just publishing. But remember, I still had those manuscripts out with agents. Something told me *not* to pull them off submission. Instead, I focused on my recovery and brainstorming TWO new books (which is wild, because I was scared I had nothing else in me), watching Netflix, sleeping all the sleeps, and catching up on reading.

I’m glad I didn’t pull them. I’m glad I didn’t quit. I’m glad I saw a McDonald’s commercial with a little girl who reminded me so much of little me (with better hair), and a brown father. I’d NEVER seen that before. Ever, ever, ever. That commercial touched me so much and reminded me how much representation matters. I’m glad I kept going, and that I *will* keep going.

Because friends, I’m now repped by Caitie Flum of the Liza Dawson Associates, and I could not feel more excited to be working with her! I’m so thrilled that she gets me and my book, she is a fierce fighter, and looks out for her clients. I’m eager to see where this journey will take us.

I still have a long way to go to realize that NYT best-seller dream. A lot more work, a lot more angst. But now I have an advocate, someone who believes in me, even when I might not believe in myself. (That happens a lot in this industry.) In the meantime, I’m so happy to be part of #teamcaitie!

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